Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Talk To Me - Pumping (I Need Advice!!!)

At the moment I am exclusively pumping to feed Henry and every couple days I will actually nurse him. And while I was producing just enough milk for him with no extra, it seems like after I am done pumping my boobs are never empty and that there is more milk that I could be pumping.  The boy just started eating more and I just don’t think I can keep up with what he needs, but I am frustrated because I know more milk is in there.

Now I know that you will never be able to pump out milk as well as what your baby can nurse, but because I am working and because we are still having issues with nursing is just not an option unless he is cranky and wants it.  So I need to figure out how to get all this milk out of my boobs without his help.

I have tried heat (which helps a little, but not completely and is not convenient at work), I have tried pumping twice as long and/or pumping more frequently (which is hard to do all the evenings I am home alone with Henry), I have tried compressions, I have tried speeding up and slowing down the cycles and yet I still feel like there is milk in there!

I am not sure if it is my pump as I got the pump from a friend (get your panties out of a bind; I bought all new parts for it) and it is the Ameda Purely Yours pump.  Not sure if the pump is just worn down and therefore not pumping efficiently…it is ridiculously loud and makes strange noises but the suctions seems good.

Is it my settings?  What settings do you keep yours on if you are double pumping?  I have the suction fairly high because I double pump and the cycles just under halfway. (If that makes sense)  I don’t mess with the cylces once I start pumping so that is why I keep it at a medium pace.

I will let the pump do its thang, would have squeezed my boobs while pumping and will not get a drop of milk for 5 minutes and then I take the pump off and manually express milk, you know like you would do to Old Bessy, and I get milk. Uh, ?????

I have been trying to increase my supply, but it doesn’t matter much when I can’t get all the milk out anyways.  I just ALWAYS feel full…but not hard full where I am leaking or like I do in the morning, just heavy.   

And on top of that I may have a clogged milk duct.  I am not sure if it is a cyst that is causing the clog (I have had a cyst in the same boob before and it feels very similar) or if it is just a badly clogged duct that even if I massage and add heat to won’t come out.  When I nurse my boobs feel great and the clog/cyst does go down to a marble size, but typically it pretty huge.

So, to all those moms who also pump….please give me some suggestions! 

Is there something I can do to help?  Do I need a new pump? (which I would like to avoid is possible because I am only pumping a few more months) Should a readjust my settings?  Is there a better technique I just don’t know of?!?!  Is my supply just really that low and that is why I am not get more milk out?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated by me, Henry and my boobies.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Talk To Me – The World Of Skinny Jeans and Jeggings

I know, I Know. I want to talk about Jeggings….what happened to our Jennifer?!

No, this is not like me to talk about anything fashion related.  I am the person who doesn’t wear anything too trendy, hates changes in fashion, and likes my regular jeans and sweatshirts and that is about it.  

However, I am curious.....What are your thoughts on jeggings and skinny jeans?!  Do you like them, do you think they are ridiculous, do you own a pair, what do you wear them with, are they for everyone?

(That is totally my ass on the left)

Why do I ask, well because I have to admit….I am looking at buying a pair of tighter jeans.  *Insert GASP*

Now, I am by no means a small girl, so I am not sure jeggings are good for me because of just how tight they are  but I have these AWESOME boots (below) that I want to wear over jeans but I can’t because all my jeans have wider bottoms/legs and therefore they look stupid stuffed into boots.  I was never interested in skinny jeans or jeggings before, infact I thought they were stupid…mainly because I am too big to wear them. Also just the name is silly, jeggings…really?!  Come on.  They just sound stupid.

HOWEVER.  Now that I have these boots that I cannot show off properly with my current wardrobe, I have started searching the world of skinny jeans.  Yes, I will eat all that shit I talked about skinny jeans/jeggings later.

But before I go down what could be another one of my many fashion mistakes, I thought I would get the opinion of others.  Others who are a bit more fashion forward and haven’t been living in their yoga pants and tank tops since January.  People who would give HONEST advice about this fashion trend.  Or maybe who have suggestions on how I can show off my new boots in a way that is better suited for me.

So please share your thoughts on skinny jeans/jeggings.  Do you like either?  Have a preference on one over the other? What tops do you wear with them so you can even out your proportions….aka so some of us hippy people don’t look like giant upside down pears?!!

Please share your thoughts.  

And until them, I will just continue wearing them around in my house with my maternity leggings. HOTT STUFF coming through!!
My boots....LOVE.

What exactly are jeggings you ask? See HERE

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

My Original Piece of Art – Slightly Better Than a Five Year Old But Not as Good As Van Gogh

Over a year ago I decided I wanted to paint something to hang in this big white space next to our dining room.  I decided I wanted it to be a swirling pattern that flowed between 6 different canvases.

This is what I ended up with!  

 (Ignore the clutter of stuff below the pictures...we are rearranging for the holidays!  
Who am I kidding, we are just trying to fit 10lbs of shit in a 1lb house, or something like that!!)

I actually finished these in November of last year, but Terry just hung them up Monday night…we got sidetracked in January :)

The picture quality is horrible as they are camera phone pictures, but you get the idea.  There are three continuous lines that flow between all 6 canvases and start and end in the bottom right canvas. 

And to totally toot my own horn (dirty girl, not in public) I must say that even though these pictures do not do my amazing artwork justice, it turned out REALLY good! 

The colors are bronze, black and wine which go with our dining room that is painted in a wine color and has bronze accents.  The canvases stick out about 1 ½ inches and I glued black ribbon around the outside of the canvas.

I was surprised how long these took me to do; it wasn’t as simple as just painting a line….no, no I am too fussy meticulous for that.  I had 4 pencil drawings to figure out the perfect patterns so the painting didn’t look too cluttered and had a smooth flow and I wanted each line to be a certain width and to have a certain look.  Each line has different textures, which you would have to see in person.  (Yes, you can come visit me!)

Overall I am really excited by how these turned out and that after a year they are FINALLY up!  I really can’t believe what a difference it makes in the house.

(Ok, I am done tooting myself.)

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

My Little Girl is Growing Up!

No I did not have a love child that none of you knew about, I am talking about my younger sister (some of you may remember her as she use to blog before school got absolutely crazy and she decided school was much more important).

Way back in 2008 my sister made the fateful and irrational decision to move in with Terry and I.  Yeah, I don’t know what she was thinking either….but crazy does run in our family!  It was originally just going to be a year, then two years and now, after signing her FIRST official lease on her very own apartment today, she is officially moving out the beginning of January which will be exactly 3 ½ years of living together.  To be honest I can’t believe how fast it has gone!  It doesn’t seem like it has been that long and then again sometimes it does seem that long.

As some of you may know, my sister is 8 years younger than me and when I went away to college I missed out on a good chunk of time with my sister.  Yes, I was around for the important things like holidays and birthdays but I wasn’t around for all the everyday things that happen.  So when the idea presented itself for her to move into our spare bedroom, I think we were both excited to regain some of our “missed” time together and I think we did just that.

We have had lots of fun and have laughed a TON together….I mean tears coming from our eyes laughter!  We have also had disagreements and arguments that have silenced us for days.  We have cooked some delicious meals together while also ordering take out after some not so delicious attempts at cooking.  We have pigged out to the point of getting sick and have gotten sick of dieting.  We have shared holidays, birthdays, and every day in between.  I have been with her through new relationships and breaking up bad relationships.  I have been witnessed to long nights of studying and all her frustrations and successes with school. I have offered TONS of advice; some sought after and more probably unwanted.  And this last year she was with me during my pregnancy and the birth of her nephew and has been able to see him these last 10 weeks everyday….the two of them are best friends already and he totally has her wrapped around his tiny finger!

And with all that said, I think we both agree wholeheartedly that it is time.

It is time for us BOTH to move on.

We are actually both excited that we are not living together anymore.  Not because we are sick of each other, but because it has been good and we want to leave it at that.  However it is time for us to be apart for awhile and start our “new” lives.  Her - graduating from college, getting her own place and living on her own.  Me – with my husband and son and our new life as a family.  Seriously, the timing is perfect and that is why we are both ready and excited to go our “separate” ways.  And by separate I don’t mean THAT separate…she will still live in the same small town and, um, we work together!  But now when I see her we can ask how each other is doing instead of just knowing because we are always around each other.  We can talk on the phone or make plans to go out and catch up over lunch or dinner.  We can be sisters and not roommates.

I have to say I am looking forward to this a lot and I am sure Terry is as well so he can go back to walking around the house naked!  I am ready to have our house “back” as three adults, three cats and now a baby in a small two bedroom home is a bit much.  And I am excited for Kristen to now have her very own place, where she can walk around the house naked if she wants!  I am excited to see her on her own because if I have seen just one thing these past 3 ½ years, it is that she is an amazing young women and I know she is going to be amazing as she finds herself and starts her “new” life on her own!

So congrats to you my sisters!  I am SO excited for you!  And I expect you to invite us over for a home cooked meal within 48 hours after you move into your new place.

P.S. I wrote a hilarious very serious post HERE when she first moved in about all the rules she had to obey.  She didn’t follow them, and that is why she ended up in the basement. Lesson learned, right K.?! :)

Friday, November 11, 2011

Texting with My Son

There are so many reasons why it is great having Terry stay home with Henry.  They get to form a special relationship, we don’t have to pay for child care, I can text Terry as many times during the day as I want, I am 100% certain Henry is in good hands with his daddy…and the list goes on and on!

And one of those other reasons is when Terry sends me picture text messages throughout the day.  Nearly every day I get a picture message of Henry and a little message.  I look forward to these a lot! (Yes spelling mistakes are suppose to be there.)

Like this one:

Henry: “I'm sorry I pooped all over my sleepy time clothes... but I loves you bunches, mommy:)”

Or this one:

Henry: “I mets a new friend at scool today.  Cans he stays fer super?”

Me: "Awww, what a nice friend!  Of course he can stay for dinner, I love pig :)  Oh mommy is just kidding, we wouldn't eat your friend"  (heehee)

Henry: "Your silly! Tanks mummy!"

But yesterday’s texts may be the best so far!

Henry had a Dr. Appt yesterday and he got 3 shots.  So I sent Terry a text telling him to just bring a small bottle of milk incase he needed it, but that I would boob Henry after his shots as it comforts him.

Terry sent me this picture and text:

Henry: “Oh that’s would be nice, mommy :)  Tank you mommy! …whats is a shots?”

Then I got this picture and text right after that one:

Henry: “Daddy just told me….I don’t thinks I need them.  Really I’m strongs likes the Hulks (whoever the Hulks is)"

Me: “Don’t cry baby.  Yes you are big and strong but these will make you indestructible! *smooches*"

Henry: “Whats “dindistrctables”? Okay, I trustest you mummy!”

Come on, that is good stuff right there!!  I don’t think a child care place would humor me and carry on a conversation like this :)

And yes, Terry and I send text messages back and forth “talking” for Henry ALL THE TIME.  We do the same thing with our cats too.  We are a special kind of crazy :)

Thursday, November 03, 2011

Henry Donald - 8 Weeks Later….

My little man is 8 Weeks Old Today!!  He can't believe it either.

So it has been 8 weeks since we have been blessed to finally meet our beautiful baby boy!  

One more month and Terry and I will have made it to our first milestone…we both agreed that first week we were home with him that the hardest time will be the first 3 months.  We know it will still be hard, but I think as new parents we needed to set this goal and we say it to ourselves every time we get stressed!

Seriously, there is NOTHING in this world that prepares you for what it is like to have a baby.  There has been great joy followed by intense frustration and then every emotion in-between.  But overall, we are so happy and those frustrations very quickly dissolve when I look into his eyes and he looks back at me and I am just instantly filled with that overwhelming love that I have for this child.  It is all truly unbelievable.

So to update you on the last 8 weeks.

How is Henry?
He is doing GREAT!  He does have reflux which means he can be a cranky butt sometimes because he is not feeling well, but when his reflux is being controlled he has such a wonderful personality!  The faces this child makes are awesome, he totally cracks me up!  He really is such a fantastic baby.  I feel we are very lucky.

Both pictures he is thinking of something very important!

What are his stats?
Well he goes to the Dr. next week, but let’s just say this boy is GROWING!  When we weigh him at home he is over 11lbs!  He is getting SO BIG, seriously…your arms cramp up if you hold him too long with no support under your arm!  He doesn’t feel like a fragile newborn anymore, he has some meat on them bones and feels like we won’t break him!  Also, he is strong!  He has been doing a fantastic job holding his head up since he was very young.  And his legs are ridiculously strong!  This is good as Terry wants him to play hockey :)

Any Nicknames?
Our child has so many nicknames I don’t know if he will ever know his real name.  Currently we call him Hank, Chubs, McRooter (think MacGruber from SNL combined with his intense rooting), he is also McPooter, Mr. Wiggles or Senor Wiggles, and Pig.  And these are not all of his nicknames…poor child.

Any Milestones?
Yes! He is starting to smile now! And no, it is not just gas. He is starting to react to what you say and will do this crooked big mouth open smile thing with this cute breathing that sounds like he wants to laugh but hasn’t figured that out yet. IT IS ADORABLE!  We also put him in his pack-n-play that has an activity mat in it and when he moves his legs things would move above him and he would smile….he is starting to entertain himself! 

I think he is smiling and saying aaaarrrggg!

I love this boy....the force is strong in this one!

 The Smirk!

Henry’s Favorite thing?
T.V. – Yes, we let our kid “watch” TV.  He loves to lay on the floor or chill on the couch in his boppy and watch TV for a little bit.  And I love it too.  Baths are also becoming more fun for him.
 Watching TV with Dad!

Least favorite thing?
Getting dressed or undressed. Not a fan.

My favorite thing he does?
My heart is completely happy when he lays his head on my shoulder and has his hands on my shoulder and falls asleep. It is AWESOME.

How is sleeping?
When I started back to work we transitioned him from the soft, warm and cozy bassinet that he had outgrown to the big, scary, open crib!  At first he wasn’t a big fan of the crib, but now he seems to enjoy it!  In fact, he now sleeps 8-9 hours at one time and goes back to sleep for a couple more hours. AWESOME!  (And believe me, we know how lucky we are)  Depending on his mood and when he gets his afternoon nap he either goes to bed around 11pm and sleep until 8-8:30 straight through or we will put him to bed around 9pm after his dinner, dreamfeed him around 10:30 and then he will wake up around 6:00 for another quick bottle and finally wake up around 9:30.  No matter what he always seems to be up by 9:30am.  Naps on the other hand, he prefers you hold him and not put him in the crib and usually takes 20-40 minute cat naps during the day. (Hence the sleeping at night)  As for Terry and I, it is hard to get to bed early.  Terry doesn’t even get home until 11pm 3 days a week and there are bottles to wash and I pump right before bed and get ready for the next day while Terry also gets the house ready for the next day.  Someday we will go to bed earlier!

Anything surprise you?
LOTS!  But I am so surprised at how fast he is growing!  I will see him and the next day he will look so much bigger.  It is crazy how fast they grow up!

How’s his reflux?
He is taking Zantac twice a day and that helps, though we had to increase his dosage this week.  For a few days he wasn’t napping, crying all the time, and getting sick.  We called the Dr. and asked if we could up the dose and the other night we saw a huge difference.   Also, if I breast feed him, he will throw up while he eats so bottles help him keep down the food/acid because he is upright.  It can be frustrated, but it also seems to be manageable as well.

How am I doing?
I am OK.  TIRED.  SO TIRED.  I do feel sad at times and have had to pass the baby off on Terry and walk away for a few minutes.  But it can be hard, especially when I was stuck in the house for 6 weeks.  I was a little (read a lot) stir crazy and it actually is nice to be at work for the simple fact that I am OUT OF THE HOUSE.  And honestly, I don’t mind being gone all day and hanging out with Henry at night.  Terry leaves for work 3 days a week as soon as I get home from work and comes back at 11pm.  He also works every weekend, 8 hours a day.  So basically most of the week we are “single” parents. Not fun and I don’t know how real single parents do it.  So that can be hard sometimes.  But overall, things are good.  I am good.  I have SO much love in my heart for my family right now that even with all the frustrations that come with having a baby, I still believe there is nothing more amazing than having a child! 

How is Terry doing?
Let me tell you, for someone who told me once he didn’t know if he wanted kids he is absolutely smitten by this child and honestly AMAZING at being a father.  The second he saw his son I saw a change in Terry.  He holds Henry and you can just see it warming his heart and that he is totally in love with his little man.  And he is SO good at being a daddy.  The first week Terry pretty much changed every diaper without me asking him too….he just wanted to do it!  And he always wants to hold him, dress him, give him a bath…basically do everything for him.  He has a patience with Henry that I don’t always show and he loves just being there for him when he needs him.  Terry really likes being at home with Henry.  And I am 100% ok admitting that he is better suited to be home with Henry than I am.  He takes him on hour long walks every day, is very organized and structured but fantastic at just rolling with whatever Henry throws at him, and will rock him for as long as Henry needs without complaining once.  Yep, Terry is one happy and wonderful daddy!

On to some pictures!

 With T. dressed as Link from Zelda!

My Boys :) 

With mom...he just shit his pants and it was leaking out the diaper. NICE

With Aunt K.

With Sopie the Giraffe 

The Sucker is as big as his face! 

The cat is on my lap and so is Henry.  Can you see Henry? 

Stretch and yawn! 

The pout....LOVE it!

With grandpa and Grandma at the pumpkin patch! 

Family picture at the pumpkin patch 

teehee - we HAD to! (My sister is holding him up!) 

Picking out pumpkins is exhausting!

Sleeping Baby is Sweet Baby!

I love his legs and little piggies!