Wednesday, October 14, 2020

2020 Moms Are Pivotal In History

 It’s no doubt that we’re living in a historical time.

We as working moms are feeling even more pivotal. And I don’t think it’s talked about enough. 

Back in the 60’s it became a big deal for women to work. And now during the pandemic, women are not only working, but being caretakers and homemakers on top of it. We are combining the 1950’s housewife with the 2000’s career woman. The ultimate modern woman. 

Taking meetings with our two year olds climbing onto our laps, immediately muting the call in between each speaking turn, to ensure the toys clashing don’t make it into the background noise. 

Telling coworkers that afternoon meetings work best because it’s your toddler’s nap time. 

Finding chunks of time to assist our elementary kids with their online school. Putting up do not disturb signs at our desks so they know not to interrupt. 

Using small pockets of time trying to clean the house and cook meals. 

Then trying to make it outside for walks with other pockets of time.

And then with other pockets of time; wait there aren’t any. 

We head out the door just to go to target once our husbands walk through the door. 

We’re making history. The homemaker and the aspirational career woman are no longer a dichotomy; they’re one in the same. 

Is...this the new norm? Or is this going to be a story for our grandkids someday? Will this be our version of depression area stories? Instead of talking about all the weird, cheap recipes and saving bread bags, it’ll be talking about all the weird time saving hacks and working at midnight. 

While I acknowledge I have covid privilege, I feel resilient. This could be the new norm. And we need society on our side. 

It’s mentally and physically draining, but like I said; it’s pivotal. New territory. I don’t hate it. It’s just different and unexpected. I have found, and continue to find, all the little silver linings in every nook and cranny of our days. 

We’re a new type of workforce, whether we like it or not. And if we want our next generation to be strong, healthy, and intelligent, I’m asking again: Society, please be on our side.  

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Our 2019 Disney Trip

Our Disney Trip

It will be such a cherished memory forever. We had honestly such an amazing time, just writing about it is making me so happy to relive everything. Cannot wait to go back. We are thinking in a few years we will again. There will be some awesome park additions by that time. Adam is looking forward to Star Wars Galaxy's Edge of course :) 

I realized I haven't blogged in forever, and I have been wanting to journal about our trip, so it was time to do a blog post on it. I'm breaking it down by day. This is more of a trip report and not a tips and tricks post. There are enough of those out there anyway. 

Day 1 
Travel day
Flight went great. We flew Delta out of Minneapolis. No delays or issues. Thea being 8 months and a crawler of course didn't want to sit still for 3 hours, it took some effort to entertain her. I had her in my Lillebaby carrier most of the time, and she did fall asleep for the last hour or so of the flight. We landed in Orlando during that golden hour before sunset. So happy. Got on the Disney express bus and had a beautiful 30 minute ride to the resort while the sun was setting. Really set the precedence to a beautiful trip. Didn’t use the luggage tags because we felt it was worth the extra 5 minutes to grab our own bag. This way we knew it would be with us when we arrived. I've heard if you use Disney's tags, the luggage takes 3 hours to get delivered to your room.

We did a split hotel stay this trip. We stayed Pop century for the first half. It’s very fun and lively. Love the smell of the lobby... What a delectable happy smell. In fact, when I got home from the trip I found wax warmers through this Disney site and they smell the same! I've been using them at home ever since. Food court area was packed, but the food we had was good! Adam and I had chicken parm, Mira had chicken strips. They have a ton of cool looking cupcakes. Of course Mira got about one per day on this trip. But do you think she ate more than a bite? Nope…

Our room was just as I expected, maybe a little better. I ordered some food/drink essentials (cereal, milk, granola bars, etc. oh and formula) from amazon prime and Instacart while I was on the bus. The food was delivered a couple hours after we got there. This is so slick and honestly addicting. We got a preferred room here and got building 10/70’s. Close walk to the lobby and pool without having to deal with all the commotion.

Got our stroller from kingdom strollers and it was perfect! It was a city mini GT. It was clean and seemed barely gently used.

They provided us with a Pack N Play for Thea. I'm glad I brought her sound machine! As expected, this resort has a lot of kids on school trips and what not so lots of random running down the halls and doors slamming. Noise maker is really helpful for not only the kids but for us too. 

Also it gets chilly at night! I had a light sweatshirt and pants on and I was cold. We did the normal thing where we shut all the lights off, and one of us goes down to the bar to get drinks, and comes back so we can drink them in bed with each other and quietly talk. Haha. This is parent life.

Day 2
Magic Kingdom day! 
It was a beautiful warm day. It was around 80 or so. We of course got going later than I hoped but after having to get settled in from arriving the night before, I decided to not set the alarm. We got to the park around 10. I had fast passes for Space Mountain, 7 Dwarves Mine Train, and Pirates of the Caribbean. Mira met the height requirement for all of them. She loves coasters at Valley Fair and Nickelodeon World. But was it a mistake to have Space Mountain as our very first ride? YES. Haha. Mira was pretty scared and a tiny bit traumatized afterward. Of course I was bummed because Space Mountain has always been my favorite. Luckily I redeemed myself when she rode 7DMT. She absolutely loved it. Oh and did I mention she gets to ride everything twice because of rider swap? Total win. Pirates of the Caribbean all 4 of us got to go together, it's such a staple ride. I mobile ordered Peco's Bill so we didn't have to wait in line. Sooo difficult to find a table here. Finally a family waved us down to signal they were leaving in a minute. The food here was okay. The toppings bar is pretty cool though. Then we went around Adventureland and Mira and Adam did a couple "little" kid rides with Adam that had shorter lines. Meanwhile, I took Thea, walked around to take a few pictures, and got myself a Dole Whip Swirl. SO GOOD. Oh and I use this time to look for fast passes. We did Barnstormer, a couple princess meets, and the tea cups ride. We were having so much fun I totally forgot I made a dinner reservation for Be Our Guest. I immediately called and asked for them to switch the reservation to Thursday and not charge me the penalty. And it worked :) It was now around 6:00 or so and the park started to get pretty busy. We walked around a little more and decided to skip the fireworks and head home early, it was probably around 7. Of course we couldn't get past all the cool glow toys without getting Mira something. Got a pizza from the food court and tried to get the girls to bed early-ish. Tomorrow is an early day.

Day 3
Hollywood Studios
I'm me and my kids are half Wahouske so naturally we did not get going on time. Park opened at 8 and we got there around 8:15. We should've got there by 7:30 if we wanted to get in any normal spot in lines. It was 8:15 and the line for Slinky Dog was a mile long. Maybe a half mile, but still, it was a 110 minute wait already. We met some Toy Story characters since the lines were short, did Alien Saucers, marveled at Slinky Dog, then went off to do our fast passes (we had a Slinky Dog one for later). Star Tours - Mira was obsessed with. We did a bunch of Star Wars stuff like Jedi Training (such a cool experience for Mira). Oh and this morning was cold and WINDY. In fact, it didn't really let up the entire day. Mira and Adam did Tower of Terror. She was again, traumatized. I get it, I don't like rides that make me float either. I opted to not use the rider swap and skip it. When Mira and Adam do rider swap this is the time I either change or feed Thea, or both. It really works out. Mira also got to meet more characters; a lot of Disney Jr. ones. It was also cool to have a front row spot to an impromptu Storm Trooper/Star wars crew processional. At around 3:30 we decided to go back to the resort to warm up, take a nap. Luckily Thea had warm fuzzy blankets on her. The girls didn't want to nap, but we just hung out in the room. We went back to the park to do our Slinky Dog FP. Rode it a couple times, then decided we were too cold to enjoy being in the park any longer and had an early night again. Bus back to resort, food court, then bed.

Day 4
Animal Kingdom
Again, wanted to do 8 AM rope drop, but didn't get in until 8:15. This was okay, though. We had good fast passes anyway. We went to the Kilimanjaro Safari and there was no line. It was a good time to do it this early because all the animals were out and about. Another cold morning though. Mira and Thea wore their winter hats and mittens with fleece sweatshirts. I think it was in the high 40s in the morning and warmed up to low 50s in the afternoon. It was sunny though, and the park was quiet. I was just wanting a scarf for myself but couldn't find one anywhere. We grabbed some coffee and then went to It's Tough To Be a Bug. Another walk-on attraction with a short line. Then I had FPs for Everest. Adam did rider swap first with Mira. She was a little scared and didn’t want to go again, so I went by myself. SUCH a fun ride! Mira didn't like the Dinosaur! ride either too much. It's loud and jerky. We opted to not use rider swap for that either. We went over to Dinoland. Cute little area for kids. Mira got her face painted and rode a couple kiddy rides. Then it was time for Flight of Passage FP. This ride had so much hype. You know what? The hype was all. worth. It. Of course we used rider swap; Mira loved it. I loved it. I think I even got teary eyed. Couldn't wait for Adam to go and turned out he loved it too. While Adam and Mira were on it I mobile ordered Satu'li Canteen. The food was ready by the time they were off the ride. DELICIOUS food. Now that we used our 3 FPs I decided to grab another. I snagged another Flight of Passage for the evening. If you don't know Disney, this is super lucky! FOP twice (and 4 times for Mira) in one day. I need to get a lottery ticket. We decided to take the bus back to the resort to rest and warm up again and were excited to come back and see Pandora all lit up in the dark. It is SO cool. So cool. We all did FOP again; such a good finale to our night. The ride is even better the second time. Bus back to resort, food court, then bed.

Day 5
Might be my favorite? It's hard to choose honestly. Had a character breakfast reservation at Boardwalk Resort. Delicious food. Great character interaction too. And UM I want to stay at this resort next time. Took the boat across the lake to the entrance of Epcot (super slick - don't even have to collapse the stroller). Again, I had 3 Fast passes. But honestly the rides were kind of lame here. We did Spaceship Earth. Cool ride, but like don't need to do it twice. Adam opted to skip his rider swap. Then we did Soarin'. There was tons of hype over this too and turns out, it was kind of boring. Pro tip: If you do Flight of Passage, Soarin' will be a snooze fest comparably. Adam agreed. While I was on Soarin (alone because Mira didn't want to go again), Adam took Mira to the Nemo ride. She was kind of meh about that too. While they were finishing up Nemo I went and grabbed some lunch for Mira at this stand that had tons of health food. Epcot food rocks. I knew once we started getting food from the other countries Mira would be having none of it. We had a FP for Mission Space, but my gut told me to cancel it because of the type of ride. I just know Mira wouldn't like it. I replaced it with Test Track for later on. Mira met a TON of characters. And there were either short lines or we used Fast Passes. Our fast passes here got all over the place, I think there was a point where all 3 of us each had a different fast pass haha. Then we went around the world. MY favorite part. Adam's too. Ate a ton of good food. And lots of drinks. It was festival of the arts so there were a lot of artisian pop up booths that had unique, inexpensive dishes and drinks. France was my fave, Japan was Adam's fave. Mira loved Japan too. When we got to Mexico it was now getting dark and we were hungry (read: hangry). But Mira was throwing a fit about something and was not calming down. As much as it killed me to not get to eat in Mexico, we decided to head back to the resort. Oh and it was our second resort now; Coronado Springs. So pretty here. And we loved our room, and again it was a short walk to the lobby/food court. We ate at the CSR food court, a nice change of pace because they had Mexican. Mira needed to just get to bed. Hey, up until now, we made it 5 whole days without a breakdown.

Day 6
Magic Kingdom (again)
We aren't morning people so naturally we didn't make it to 9 AM rope drop again. We got in around 9:30. Today the security lines were SUUUUPER long, like taking a half hour to get through. Adam took one for the team and said give him the backpack so I can go through the stroller only line (which doesn't require getting looked through). We went to the bathroom, mapped out our morning, and then Adam was finally in. We did Under the Sea all together, then the fast passes this day got shifted around a ton, both by me and disney. We did Splash Mountain, Big Thunder Mountain, Haunted Mansion. Jungle Cruise got axed because it temporarily shut down. We did our Be Our Guest reservation. The food honestly sucked and it was so overpriced. But being in the Beast's castle was so flipping cool, I couldn't even be mad. It was hot again today, 80 degrees or so. We learned that Mira doesn't do well with long days without a break so we went back to the resort and utilized the awesome pool and waterslide. All 4 of us went for a swim. This resort is so much quieter than Pop Century, and the grounds are so pretty they make you feel like you're on a real vacation, not at a Disney summer camp. I want to stay here the whole time next time. So glad we fit in pool time. Magic Kingdom had extra magic hours this day so they were open until 10 PM instead of 9. So we got dressed and went back. We got a decent spot to watch the fireworks. Adam saved our spot and I mobile ordered Casey's Corner mac and cheese hot dogs to snack on during the show. So good. Fireworks were spectacular. It will ruin us the rest of our lives. And honestly I teared up during the fireworks. I can't believe it. The music, the story being told, soaking in the moment of being with my family, having a pinch me moment that I am finally back here after 10+ years. So many feels. After the show we wanted to utilize the extra time and Mira ACTUALLY wanted to go back on Space Mountain. I was thrilled! We had a blast. And the line was only 5 minutes. Naturally this is when Adam will change and feed Thea, but she fell asleep. We walked around and enjoyed the quietness and magic of the night. We did It's a Small World and a couple others. Then it was 10:00. Time to go! I got us some food court food to go back at the resort and then it was time for bed.

 This is the day that I decided I am now a Disney Koolaid Drinker. Everything went off without a hitch. Practically no hiccups. Adam and I didn't fight (I say this because we witnessed sooo many couples bickering), Thea was an honest to god angel baby, Mira had one tantrum, but otherwise was good. And everything felt magical. Sad that this was our last Disney park day but we at least had one more day at universal.

I hadn't purchased the universal studios tickets yet because I could not decide if I wanted to do the Islands of Adventure side or Universal or both. I looked at the weather forecast and it was supposed to rain all night and through the morning until 10 AM. I made the decision to just get Universal tickets because I figured we could use the rainy morning to sleep in.

Day 7
Universal Studios
The rain actually stopped around 9 AM. I got room service (because I can't believe we've almost gone the whole trip without getting Mickey shaped waffles!) Then we took an Uber and got there around 9:45. The sun came out and it was another nice day. 70's this time. Bag check was a lot more lenient here than Disney. The park was practically empty too. We did Shrek 4D and a few other rides. Of course I had to do The Mummy, my all time favorite ride. I went by myself because Mira was too short. I love how universal has Single Rider lines for all the rides. Adam went and loved it too. Then it was time for Harry Potter World (Diagon Alley)… we spent a ton of time there. For a park being so empty, HPW was pretty crowded. We ate at the Leaky Cauldron, and if you thought Be Our Guest was bad, this one takes the cake. Overpriced and not only bad food, but tiny portions. Terrible combination hahaha, usually it's one or the other. In fact, Adam thinks he got sick from this place. He had some sort of stomach bug later in the day. Mira got a Hermione wand from Ollivanders, Adam and I rode Escape from Gringotts. Fun ride! Then we decided we needed to explore the rest of the park. Honestly my Disney Koolaid was acting up because I was missing it. Universal isn't as clean, the cast members aren't as friendly, the theming is an afterthought or just non existent (but I will say they are on POINT with the Harry potter part). I loved it as a teenager for the rides but as an adult with children, I'm not too into it. Definitely a skip for next time. Mira loved the little kid area (it had like Barney, Spongebob, etc.) and then we did the ET ride. Oh and we also did the Transformers ride twice. IMO that one is better than Escape from Gringotts. I had fun. The park closes at 7 so we didn't have a ton of time. We got an Uber back at around 6:30, since Adam was feeling progressively more sick. Oh but I had to quickly run over and ride The Mummy one last time before we left LOL. When we got back I went to the food court by myself to grab stuff to-go. I don't think Adam ate much, he was miserable. 

We had an early flight the next morning and Adam still wasn't feeling well. Smooth nonstop flight again. And we got back on Day 1 or 2 of the Polar Vortex I think. What a slap in the face. Adam started to feel better that evening and luckily no one else got sick.

Random thoughts:
-One weird thing I miss from Disney; the sound of our magic bands scanning. I gained a weird comforting attachment to hearing that jingle. 
-I might be a unicorn but the crowds didn't bother me. I know it was January and not the busiest time of year, but doesn't mean there aren't still a lot of people there. I went to look at the crowd levels posted after a few days and turns out I can't tell the difference between a crowd level 6 and 10. It's like trying to tell the difference between -5 and -25 degrees. 
-I planned on buying a bunch of souvenirs, and a lot of christmas ornaments. But turns out ornaments are $25 a piece, even for simple ones. They only go up from there. Dangit, Disney. 
-Obviously I'm biased, but age 5 is the best age to take to Disney! Mira was in the perfect spot to still believe in all the magic, everything was so novel and big to her, yet she can roll with Adam and I on all the big rides (and maybe get scared on a couple). I LOVED being able to see the magic through her eyes. Pretty soon, if not already, she is going to know there's a person inside that Princess Sofia costume. 
-Thea was also an awesome age to bring. Infants are so much easier to travel with than toddlers. She can hang out in the baby carrier or stroller and nap right there. She's not antsy yet; all we have to do is give her a plastic spoon and she has her entertainment for the next half hour. It also helps that she's just not a fussy baby. 
-We didn't do the dining plan and never will. I have a ton of reasons but the main ones being: you would have to book a sit down meal every day... and we quickly realized that wouldn't have been good use of our time and removing a lot of spontaneity. And second being it's just a ton of food, because each person in your party needs to have their own plan, so if you decide to split things you're gonna end up with unused meal credits. 

Monday, December 3, 2018

Turning 30 Has Been Looming Over My Head

I still have 5 days. I still have 5 days. I've even been practicing saying "I'm 30" just to ease myself into it.

Yes, December 8th I will turn 30. I have been dreading it for at LEAST the last 6 months. The closer it got, the more my eyes started to well up at the thought of it. The only thing that has kept me going is the fact that every woman above the age of 40 has told me 30's have been their favorite age. You are having fun, while also being taken seriously by people.

Yes, I'm afraid of aging. If I think about it too much I get a pit in my stomach and just need to re-direct my thoughts. I know 30 is still young. I know this. It's dumb, honestly.

I have been soaking up my last year of 20's as much as I possibly can, that means finding any old reason to explicitly tell people "I am 29".

Them: "What do you do for a living?"
Me: "Well, I'm 29 and ...."

Them: *small talk about college*
Me: "I'm 29, so I've been out of college for 7 years"

Them: "Do you have siblings?"
Me: "Yes, 3. My youngest sister is 19, and we're 10 years apart, so, ya know, I'm 29..."

Me: "Did someone say 29?? I'M 29! HAHA! Oh, sorry I guess I heard that wrong."

I really felt the need to wear-out the use of declaring my age as I near the end of my twenties. I hope I wasn't too ridiculously obnoxious.

Speaking of obnoxious, at age 30, I still:
1. Sweat profusely when I have to drive next to a semi on the freeway.
2. Online window shop by putting a bunch of items in my virtual cart and never purchasing them.
3. Become obsessed with a song and listen to it on repeat until it wears out.
4. Accidentally eat snacks instead of actual meals.
5. Mock people who are mean to me behind their backs.
6. Don't coupon
7. Not even a little bit.
8. Impulse buy dumb gadgets on Amazon.
9. Buy plants and fail to keep them alive
10. Make complex salads and fail to clean up the mess (ask husband).
11. Refuse to wear non-skinny jeans.
12. But I can also go a full day without getting out of my robe.
13. Write down a grocery list, then take a picture of it so it's on my phone.
14. Spill food on myself. Today it was a quarter size dollop of key lime yogurt IN MY HAIR
15. Forget to reply to a simple text for 2 days. 

I didn't want this to come off as sad, but I didn't want it to come off as a corny inspirational piece either. Just something in the middle. I'm leaving the young decade; the one where middle-aged people always reference back to; "Brenda! Take a shot with me! Do I look 29? I feel 29!" "It's my 20th anniversary of my 25th birthday Haaahhahahah"

My twenties were: wild, boring, adventurous, safe, full of life events, milestones, bad decisions, black out drunk escapades, kindergarten school pickups, breastfeeding, waiting outside in lines to get into the club in the middle of -20 degree weather, getting in raging drunk fights with my friends, moving 3 times and raising babies in each home, working at 4 different companies, 6 different positions, traveling to fun adult places, traveling to family friendly destinations, embarrassing moments, redeeming moments,  I'll let you figure out which order these go in ;)

Know what makes me the most emotional of all, though? In my twenties, I've completed all of my "milestone" goals. I am married to the best husband, have two beautiful children, own a home in a beautiful city, and I have my career established. Now it's time, in my 30's, to knock out my smaller list of goals. Happy birthday to me. 
Sunday, August 12, 2018

Thea 3 Months

Weight: 13 lbs
Height: TBD at next appt
Clothes size: 3 months, 3-6 months, 6 months
Diaper size: 2
Sleeps: Great. I put her to bed at 8:45 every night and she sleeps until 7 AM. Nurses and then usually goes back to bed until 9. She's super easy to put to bed; still in her Rock'n Play. Naps 3-5 times a day. Will nap literally anywhere still.
Hobbies: Eating her hands, smiling at mom and dad and sister, attempting to talk to us.
Still likes: sister Mira, getting her diaper changed, taking baths, putting blankies over her face
Eats: Still exclusively breastfed, but gets two 4 oz. bottles while I'm at work; one in the morning and one in the afternoon, then I come home during lunch to nurse her. Adam's mom was just nannying for us for the last 3 weeks and it's worked out really nice. We've tried several bottles due to her having gas; Comotomo, Tommee Tippee, Philips Avent, and now Dr. Browns. The nipple on Dr. Browns is small, and is least like a "breast" but it has the slowest flow and gives her the least amount of gas. So I'll stick with those for a while. 
Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Doing Breastfeeding Better the Second Time Around

There are several things I have done differently with breastfeeding Thea than I did with Mira. I did breastfeed Mira until she was 2 years old, so that's not to say I wasn't successful the first time around. But there were two notable supply drops that caused me a lot of stress and work to get it back up. First one at 7 weeks, second one at 4 months. I tanked through my frozen milk supply the first time and had to supplement with formula for a few weeks, about a bottle per day, the second time.

I think it's rare, once a mother supplements with formula, to then go back to exclusively breastfeeding, but I managed to.

Even with support from friends who had babies around the same time, "veteran moms" who knew the breastfeeding ropes, and online breastfeeding forums, there were still things I managed to get wrong with breastfeeding Mira. I'll list them below and how I changed it with Thea this time around.

I think it's pretty cool how breastmilk changes over time to meet your baby's needs

1. Not pumping enough. Like most mothers, I had an oversupply at the beginning. I pumped here and there to get some relief, maybe once a day, if that (like in the morning when I woke up with rock hard boobs and couldn't take it any longer). I don't remember how many ounces I had, but I'm guessing between 50-100 ounces by the time Mira was 6 weeks.

This time, with Thea, I purchased the Haakaa silicone pump. From about day 5 I used it to pump all my excess milk. I didn't even really need to wear nursing pads because I would nurse her on one side and have the Haakaa catching all the letdown (and more) on the other side. I didn't use this every time I nursed, simply because I didn't always have it near me. Anyway, this led me to have over 300 ounces of milk stored by the time Thea was 6 weeks old. My body just kept telling me to keep making that much milk and continued to have an oversupply as Thea got older. I haven't counted recently but I know I'm over 400 ounces.

2. Not eating enough calories. With Mira I was consistently losing weight. I got back to my pre-baby weight pretty early and even continued to lose even more. Eventually I was swimming in my pre-pregnancy jeans and actually felt "too" skinny. Yes, that's a thing, and no it isn't all it's cracked up to be. I was still considered a healthy BMI (albeit on the way low end) but I felt like I was withering away. I wasn't paying attention, but I was burning more than I was eating. Those extra 500 calories needed for breastfeeding were not being eaten.

This time, I have been going HAM on food. I even have been tracking my daily calorie/macro intake to ensure I'm not going over or under. At 12 weeks, I'm still 20 pounds away from my pre-pregnancy weight and I'm okay with that. I take in about 2100 calories per day and am JUST starting to go into a small deficit at 3 months postpartum.

3. Not drinking enough water. I can't speak for how well I did last time, but I know that I wasn't consciously drinking a lot.

This time, I have a tumblr that's always being filled. I pack it with ice and am just constantly making sure I'm drinking it. Water is one of the key things for producing breastmilk. 

4. Working out too hard. Last time, when I was clear to hit the gym at 6 weeks I started going right away. I was running intervals and doing most of the normal stuff I did pre-pregnancy. I only got to the gym once or twice week at first, but I burned a lot of calories. I wore THREE tight sports bras because wearing two was not enough with those big nursing boobs, and I couldn't have them bouncing everywhere when running on the treadmill. Well those bras squeezed the crap out of my boobs. I can't say for certain, but that could've been affecting my supply.

This time, I started working out but just doing face paced walking. I wear ONE supportive sports bra but it isn't too tight around my boobs. I lift weights and still try to be as healthy as I can without bouncing all over the place.

5. Going on hormonal birth control. Last time at around 6 weeks my doctor put me on the "mini pill" - progesterone only. It's supposedly not supposed to affect your supply, but coincidentally this is around the time my supply dropped by over half.

This time, I told my provider right away that I won't be doing hormonal birth control this time and she actually agreed that it seemed to be a common complaint with the mini pill.

6. Putting baby on a nursing schedule. With Mira, it seemed that she was eating every 3 hours right away. I became married to the idea that it would and should be consistent. If she got fussy and I knew I had just fed her an hour before, I was just giving her her pacifier and rocking her, trying to soothe her. Yes, that got her to calm down, but it still could've been that she was hungry. I don't know who told me that babies eat on schedule. I even had an iphone app that told me when I fed her last, which side it was on, etc. Instead of using that as a guide I used it as a bible.

This time, I didn't download the fancy app. I let Thea tell me when she was hungry. She was eating every 2 hours at the beginning, but would often cluster feed in the evenings. She started sleeping through the night at 2 weeks, too. 2018 me is looking back at 2013 me with a smug look on my face, because Mira hardly ever slept through the night.

Some other little tweaks I have made: 
-Getting a better nursing pillow. I used the Boppy last time and still use it sometimes, but My Brest Friend is a game changer; it's a lot thicker and sturdier.
-Making lactation cookies. They seem to work? But I don't even CARE if these don't work, they are yummy as hell.
-Taking blessed thistle capsules. Again, I can't be certain that it works, but SEEMS to. I take between 2 and 4 capsules per day.
-Lastly, not being afraid to nurse in public. I didn't get comfortable with NiP until Mira was around 9 months, but with Thea I have done it from the beginning. No cover, no hiding in a bathroom, just doing the damn thing. This has allowed me to be flexible with my own schedule and I can go anywhere anytime. No more trying to time my errands and worry about "what if she gets hungry?"

I'm just glad I learned things along the way. Breastfeeding has always required a lot of work from me, so it's definitely consumed a large part of being a mom. It's all worth it. <3
Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Thea 2 Months / Mira growing up

Perfect baby. Adam and I were talking on our drive home from shopping yesterday. We have always agreed that we want 2 kids. But we decided even if we DID want a third, we feel like we've already used all our luck on our first two perfect babies. If it ain't broke, don't fix it, right? 

Weight: 11.6 pounds (56th percentile)
Height: 24.2 inches (97th percentile)
Clothes size: 3 months, 3-6 months
Diaper size: 1
Sleeps: Through any sound. I mean any. We go to bed around midnight and put her in her bassinet at the same time. She sleeps until about 7 AM. 
Hobbies: Looking at her hands, moving arms and legs, smiling at mom and dad and sister, attempting to talk to us. 
Still likes: getting her diaper changed, taking baths (she is kicking away in there now, smiling the whole time), running water, vacuums, staring at ceilings. 

Yep, I still love having a new baby. I don't love that she caught Mira's cold. I've been using the NoseFrida and while it works, it's gross. 

M i r a.

I've been studying her face here and there the last couple weeks and can't help but notice how much it has grown. Yes, just her face. I think she has the prettiest smile on the planet and her eyes are to die for; big and brown with long lashes. Her bouncy, plentiful curls match her spunky (and spicy) personality. 

I'm just impressed with how she can live off of like 4 different foods and still grow like a weed. I mean, she has literally had Club crackers for lunch on more occasions than I care to admit. Are all 5-year-olds this picky? 

But I'm soaking in all those nights where she comes crawling into our bed with her teddy. Steals my pillow and kicks Adam the whole night, but we love it. She had a nightmare the other night. Woke up crying and calling for us. I run in there. Come to find out she dreamt that we were all getting ice cream and we told her she couldn't have any. And then she ended up having to get black licorice ice cream. What a terrible nightmare.... 

She's starting to wash and condition her own hair in the bath. She gets out and gets her own towel. This is nice for us, as we can focus on getting Thea ready for bed, but also a little sad. I still have to brush her hair, read her a story (or 2), tuck her in, give her between 13 and 80 hugs and kisses, and sometimes we sing her "special song". I think she requires that when she's feeling a little neglected due to baby. 

She's going through such a transitional age. I have a lot of emotions over it: Love, guilt, regret, hope, honor, luck, fear. Am I disciplining her enough (she has some serious tantrums), am I disciplining her too much (is taking away her markers for 3 days too mean?), are we paying enough attention to her, are we paying too much attention to her, does she watch too much tv, does she not floss enough, do I yell too much, do I not yell enough, do I spend too much money on clothes, and also why does she keep digging the same dress out of the hamper? 

I had to snap a picture of her last night. She is so sweet, especially when she's sleeping. I wanted to capture her hugging her teddy, the books under her pillow, and well the picture doesn't show it but her cute little snores. I still call her my "baby". She might be my baby forever. Ok writing that last sentence made me lose it a little. Happy tears, though, right? 

Saturday, June 2, 2018

Thea 1 Month

Height: 22.9 inches (98th percentile)
Weight: 9 lb 14 oz (58th percentile)

Things Thea Likes:
The sound of running water
The sound of the vacuum
Being held by mama
Staring out windows
Sleeping during car rides
Going for walks
Getting her diaper changed
Light mouth kisses
Bath time

The girls at their checkups earlier this week

She smiles at us :)
She eats every 2 hours unless she's taking a good nap, then will go 3. Has been sleeping for 5 hour stretches at night in her Rock N Play.
Can count on one hand the amount of times she's actually cried so far. Usually she makes her requests by grunting or a quick little yell first.

Not much to say about a 1 month old. She's cute as a button and we're thoroughly enjoying this stage!

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Thea's Birth Story

Thea's birth story is similar to Mira's, but different in that it was all planned. Since Mira was a c-section baby, my risks were a little different. I would have a VBAC if I were to go into labor early/on my own, but scheduled a c-section. The former never happened to c-section it was.

I knew what to expect this time around, thus I was able to be more clear headed and calm. We had to go to the hospital at 5 AM that morning. Checked in, they took a few blood tests, asked me all the standard hospital questions. Oh and they stuck an IV in my hand, which is honestly possibly the most terrible part of it all. Ugh. I squeezed Adam's hand pretty tight during that. There was a lot of waiting around. At around 8 they wheeled me down to the OR, or at least the floor of the OR. They made me drink the sour stomach acid-reducer drink to prevent vomiting. The anesthesiologist came in and asked me a bunch of questions. My blood pressure was taken several times. Some other stuff went on, I'm sure, there was just a lot going on.

At 8:40 I was finally wheeled into the OR. I saw my OB sitting at the computer and all the staff (attending RNs, Surg techs, CRNA, etc.) prepping. I tried not to look at the surg techs sorting all the surgery tools. A little intimidating. The nurse anesthetist and anesthesiologist then had me sit up and hunch over. It was time for the epidural. It's not as bad as it looks, it's more of a nuisance than painful. You have to stay hunched over for like 8 minutes while the huge needle is in your back. You can't move. But you feel the cool juices getting shot into your back. After that it's finally time to get moved to the operating table, with assistance of course. Then it's time for the oxygen mask, the blue tarp, the "pinch test" to make sure I'm actually numb. Adam was actually asked to briefly leave the room because apparently spouses aren't allowed to be in there while the epidural is being done. He was able to come back in once I was on the operating table. I was all cool, calm, and collected until the surgery actually began. I could feel every tug, just like last time. I can feel my blood pressure drop (it's normal) and can also see it on the screen next to me when the numbers go down. They give me some sort of antidote for that. Then after a little while I tell the anesthesiologist I feel nauseous. She gives me a different antidote for that.

I think it was about 20 minutes and there was a few seconds of exciting commotion that hinted Thea's arrival was imminent. Sure enough I hear the cries. They lifted her up so I could see her and I got super emotional, of course. Didn't bawl, but let myself cry. Adam cut her cord and she got quickly looked over by the attending pediatrician. Everything was perfect and they brought her back to me. I got to bond with her. Since I was still getting stitched up she was just held next to my face/upper chest. I thought she was so beautiful and looked very similar to Mira. I kept stroking her head and face and talking to her. She was content with her mama.

After the stitching up was done, they put her back in the bassinet, moved me back to my bed, and wheeled me into the recovery room. Adam followed me in, as did Thea. The nurse gave her to me so she could nurse for the first time. She knew how to nurse, that's for sure. My vitals were taken quite frequently. The anesthesiologist asked some more questions, checked to make sure the epidural wasn't moving up my body. Everything was fine. Baby Thea was still perfect. Then we got the go-ahead to move back upstairs. I got to take Thea with me on the bed.

We got to our room and had our cuddles, Adam held her for a while. We snapped some pictures of her, texted family the news. Since my mom had Mira, we told her she can come by with her to see her new sister. They came by not too long after. Mira finally got to hold her sister, the little human she's been kissing through my stomach for the last 9 months. I think she was in shock and wasn't fully processing the fact that this was her sister. It wasn't until she came back to visit the second day that she really started giving her kisses and talking to her.

The nurses and staff were all great. I love those few days being in the hospital; being taken care of, getting to order room service, and not having to care about anything but our baby. We started off the first day in one of the smallest rooms, and after moms started filtering out and with some complaining by us, we got moved to the biggest room (with a lake view) the next day. Yay!

My recovery this time around was faster. I was up and walking around without any help on day 3. Adam has been great, again, with helping getting up in the night with Thea, with helping me/waiting on me. I didn't have the baby blues much, maybe just the first week I would cry easily. Glad that's over and the hormones are back to normal.

Thea nurses every 2 hours pretty consistently. I'm producing well and even have about 65-70 ounces of breastmilk already stored. Thea sleeps well in her little rock n play. She sleeps for 3 hour stretches typically. We started off using the pack and play but would have trouble getting her back to sleep after her first feeding because she needed to burp like 6 times. Having her at a slight incline in the rock n play has helped and doesn't need to burp so much. My milk letdown is also less strong now than it was the first couple weeks, so that's probably helping too (swallowing less air).

The second baby is much easier because we've learned from the first time typically what each of her cries mean. With Mira we were left so lost and confused about why she was crying, only to figure it out a month later; oh it was gas because we weren't burping her enough.

We feel so lucky to have Thea. I have spent the last almost four weeks holding her 90% of the time. I don't typically set her down in any of the gear we have unless I absolutely need to (like make food for myself).

As for Mira, she has been hot and cold. She loves to help and she loves her sister. But sometimes loves a little too much. I do have to remind her to be gentle. She will just wind up and yell "but shes just so cute!". We've been really trying to make sure the adjustment from only child to sibling is going smoothly. Adam has taken her to the park, alone, a few times. I try to make sure she gets in on all the cuddles. We will go out for ice cream and continue to do our "normal" stuff. Now that I'm almost fully recovered, I can take her on little mommy and me dates too. 

We simply love our girls :)

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