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June photo of the day: 4

4 Jun

Picture #4: CLOSE-UP

Here’s my sweet, milk-drunk daughter 🙂

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June photo of the day: 1

1 Jun

So I’ve been seeing these “365 photos” and “photo of the day” things all over facebook. When I saw this:

..I figured I would give it a try. Why not, right? I’m doing it on my blog AND instagram because I really need to keep up with my blog and this will be a good way to hold myself accountable 😉 So here is picture #1: “MORNING”…

I took this at 9am, but it feels like it should be 2pm. Abbie is going through a growth spurt so she was up at 11pm, 1am, 4am, 6am, and then 8am. Yikes. Needless to say…I’m exhausted! Just look at her innocent eyes…how could I get upset with her?? Going  through a growth spurt must be hard work. In this photo I’m watching her play while eating my cereal, and watching the clock praying she’ll go back to sleep 😉

Feel free to join this challenge with me!

Cloth Adventures (continued)

1 May

Up until today, cloth diapering had been going really well! We were exclusively using the cloth diapers during the day and only using disposables at night, when we went on a trip out of town, and once when I forgot to do the laundry (eek!). We didn’t experience any leaks which was wonderful because I had read that, depending on the “build” of your baby, certain brands can cause leaks.

We use the all-in-one, one size BumGenius diapers and I honestly don’t have any complaints thus far in our cloth diaper journey. It’s really easy to just throw the dirty diaper in the laundry bag (just like you’d throw away a disposable diaper). Then every other day, you just dump the laundry bag into the washer and viola. Done. I know a lot of people think its a hassle…but most people are doing laundry every other day (regardless of you’re doing cloth or not) simply because babes are messy.

So let me share what we learned today: yeast is a nasty, nasty monster. Lol. Abbie has a yeast rash and as I researched how to treat it, I discovered that if you’re using cloth diapers you need to “strip” the diapers to make sure all the yeast is gone so that your baby doesn’t get another rash. Now, when I first heard the term “strip your diapers”, I imagined sitting there ripping the diaper up and “stripping” the cloth part off. Maybe I’m strange to have that as my thought process? I dunno. Whether I’m strange or not, stripping diapers is much easier than I thought. It just involves dawn dish soap, bleach, and doing some laundry. The BumGenius website has the stripping directions on there so it is super easy.
Thankfully the rash is going away now, the diapers are stripped, and we are ready to hop back on the cloth diapering bandwagon 🙂

Ten things they DON’T tell you about life after childbirth…

28 Apr

Just a warning: If you’re a dude, you do NOT. I repeat..YOU DO NOT want to read this. Your view of women will change forever.

There is so much misleading info about what “after having the baby” looks like. In movies, the women are perfectly sitting there with make-up on, hair gorgeously styled, and a perfectly clean baby sitting in their arms. Yeah. Right. That isn’t real life.

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When Justin and I were in our Bradley childbirth class, we definitely went over a “postpartum” chapter and our Bradley instructor did a great job. But there are just some things that you can’t be prepared for until it happens to you. I discovered in my postpartum days that there were several things I wish I had prepared for more. So I thought I would post this to try and help whoever might need it out there….it’s a bit graphic, so I apologize.

1. You will bleed for a while. A LOT. I’m not talking “heavy cycle” either. I’m talking “Where on this green earth is all this blood coming from?!”. Granted, if you have a c-section its a bit lighter, and it will get lighter every day as long as you are resting enough. But I swear in the hospital (those first 48 -72 hours), my bathroom looked like a scene from a horror movie. No joke.

2. You’ll be in maternity clothes for a while. Unless you’re one of those freaks who looks like they were never pregnant when they have a three- day- old baby in their arms (they exist, really.), be prepared to hang out in sweats and maternity clothes for a few weeks. I think I finally fit into my pre-maternity clothes after 2 months. bleh. And don’t waste your time investing in a belly-bandit or compression wrap. Mine was useless. Your body will do what it wants do.

3. You won’t be able to sit properly for a few days/weeks. Recovering from a vaginal delivery is a rough recovery… more so if you tear. Since I tore extensively, I may be a bit biased. But I was sitting on pillows for about 6 weeks. I even had one in the car.

4. Your lady parts will be messed up. Seriously. Just don’t look down there for about 8 weeks.That’s all you need to know.

5. You’ll be afraid to go #2. In the weeks following childbirth, poop is no laughing matter. Take LOTS of colace, water, and fiber…but the first few times will still be scary and you’ll be checking the toilet afterwards to make sure your uterus isn’t in there. Too far? Sorry 😦

6. At some point, you will want to give up on breastfeeding. Breastfeeding is hard. Even though it is natural and every woman is capable of doing it, it takes a few weeks to get the hang of it. DON’T GIVE UP!! It is the best thing on this earth that you can give your baby. See a lactation consultant as many times as it takes to get the hang of it. And don’t believe that crap that “some women weren’t made for breastfeeding” or “my boobs are too small/big” or “the baby just likes the bottle better”. lies, lies, lies. You can do it. And if you don’t want to breastfeed because you think it is awkward, hard, inconvenient, or because you don’t want your breasts to sag….then you’re selfish. I’m sorry, I’ll get off of my soap box now.

7. You might have some bitterness towards your baby. I truly believe that every mom goes through some level of postpartum depression. I remember sitting in the dark, rocking my newborn baby, crying, and thinking ‘this little baby has ruined my life!’. Irrational thought? You betcha. But it is normal to have a tough time adjusting to a new life with a baby. Its just really hard sometimes. Whats important is that you recognize your feelings and communicate them to your partner to get support.

8. You will be jealous of yor husband. Not just because he didn’t have to push the baby out, but because he gets to sleep while you’re up breastfeeding at 4am. He doesn’t have to go through crazy hormonal changes…..and bottom line: he just doesn’t have it as rough as you do. There are times when I’m sitting at home with Abbie (usually on a fussy/ rough day) and I find myself green with envy that Justin gets to work out with friends in the morning, go to work all day, come home for dinner, and then sleep through the night. Don’t get me wrong…I LOVE my daughter and I love being a stay-at-home mom. It is definitely where I’m called to be. But there are days where I fantasize about just leaving town for a couple of days, shopping my tail off at my favorite stores, and staying in a beach condo. Not that I’ve given that idea much thought or anything…

9. If you choose to get an epidural, you might not be able to feel parts of your body. I’m not a fan of drugs during childbirth (or any time for that matter) at all….but I understand that sometimes they are necessary. I’ll share Abbie’s birth story later this week but, long story short, I ended up in a hospital with an epidural 30ish hours into my labor. A week or so after the birth, I noticed that a certain spot on my upper thigh had no feeling! Talk about freaky. Four months later its still numb. I researched it online and there are hundreds of thousands of women with the same issue. All due to stupid drugs and stupid anesthesiologists hitting a nerve wrong in my spine. grrrr. So, yeah. Don’t get an epidural unless its medically necessary. It’s bad for your baby anyways.

10. Your diet may need to drastically change. Baby eczema, cradle cap, baby acne, spit up, gas….these are all things that society things are normal for a baby to experience. But in reality, they are a sign of imbalance and “gut issues” in the baby’s body. These issues, if not taken care of early on, can lead to disease, sickness, etc. This stuff is scientifically proven people. It’s not just some hippie view that I have. Anyways….a lot of those previously stated baby issues are caused by mom’s milk and the proteins in it. A popular one is dairy. But not many people know that things like wheat, corn, eggs, soy, and caffeine can greatly affect a baby and they just pass off the signs of a reaction as something that is “normal”. This is the whole reason I went on the elimination diet and, eventually, switched to eating paleo as I did more research on how these things affect our bodies.

So there you have it….lots of info that you should know before giving birth. Sure, not all women experience ALL of these symptoms (you lucky ducks…). You may only experience one. But if you plan on having more than one child, it is good info to keep tucked away so you are prepared for the future. Remember…in the end, it is worth it all. If it meant that Abbie was healthy and happy, I’d experience it all over again tenfold.

Paleo update

23 Apr

The Paleo plan is going well! I have lost another 5 pounds and I’m fitting into things that didn’t fit BEFORE I was pregnant! woo-hoo!
I definitely need to kick my working out into high gear though. Once you have a baby, things are never the same haha.

The only struggle I am having with Paleo right now is limitation. Since I’m still eliminating things for Abbie’s stomach issues (plus my own allergies)…I am running out of things to eat! Today, the doctor suggested I cut out eggs since I mentioned Abbie has rashes that look like eczema. There goes another source of protein 😦 I already had to cut out nuts and beans (which aren’t Paleo anyways), so I’m left with straight up meat.
My favorite snack right now is a kale and garlic turkey wrap. I sauté garlic and kale in olive oil, add salt and pepper, and wrap it in a slice of turkey. Yum!

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Cloth Adventures….

2 Apr

Two things Justin and I are adamant about: saving money and giving Abbie the best we can provide.  So when we learned about cloth diapers, we knew it was the only thing that made sense.

I must admit, not knowing anything about cloth diapering, my first thought was this:

I did NOT want to mess with safety pins, accidentally poking Abbie, cleaning up a poopy mess  in that thin cloth,  or folding nasty rags after doing the laundry.

But I began to research and found that cloth diapers are pretty cool! They are easy to use, wash, and MUCH easier on the budget (we learned that cloth diapers can save you around $1500)! The other bonus is that cloth diapers are much safer to use since they aren’t filled with chemicals – even those brown “chlorine-free” diapers are filled with them! As far as usage goes, the only big difference is that instead of throwing the trash bag of dirty diapers away, you dump the trash bag into the laundry.

If you are currently using or plan on using disposable diapers PLEASE go here . It’s what helped me make the decision to switch.

So, with all that said, we are slowly making the switch to cloth diapers. We got quite a few disposables at the baby shower so we are finishing them up..but today was Abbie’s first adventure wearing cloth ALL day (we use Bumgenius). Here is what they look like…

left: cloth diaper, right: cloth diaper insert

insert

 They come in all types of colors/ patterns and its super easy! Abbie couldn’t even tell a difference!

"What? I'm wearing a cloth diaper??"

Product Love #2: Boppy

1 Apr

Abbie chillin' on the Boppy pillow

I could talk about breastfeeding for hours. The trials, the joys, the annoyances (leaky boobs? what?)…yep…I’ve become one of those moms that has no boundaries when it comes to anything related to babies or bodily functions. When the day comes that I start talking about Abbie’s poop on here, we’ll all know I’ve gone off the deep end.

But I digress. Back to breastfeeding.

Personally, breastfeeding has been a struggle (and still is sometimes) but I thank God that I haven’t given up and we’re still going strong. While I could go on and on talking about the many health benefits that go along with it or how it saves SO much money (yay for free food!), I really want to talk about the importance of being comfortable while nursing.

Let me say this right off the bat: I used to hate my Boppy. Obviously that has changed (hence, the ‘Product Luurve #2’). So let me explain…

After Abbie was born, feeding her was pretty difficult we couldn’t find a good position at all. I tried the Boppy when she was a newborn but she would only eat in the “football hold” and I couldn’t maneuver her in that position PLUS try to get the Boppy to fit around my huge stomach that still looked pregnant (pretty picture, eh?).  When it comes down to it, I think Abbie and I were just trying to get the hang of breastfeeding and everything was frustrating us at that point. I remember sitting in bed with FIVE pillows trying to get both of us into a comfortable position. I wanted to give up and switch to formula so many times (praise God I didn’t!).

It wasn’t until she was a few weeks old that I fell in love with my Boppy. My stomach was smaller, she was bigger, and everything just seemed to work better. Now, I can barely nurse without it! It puts her at the perfect height and allows me to have a hand free that would normally be holding her up to me…I seriously wish they made a blow-up “travel size” version to stick in my diaper bag. I should patent that idea in case they read this blog hehe.

Here’s the break down:

Pros

  • allows mom to be hands-free while nursing (eating chips carrot sticks and channel surfing  reading timeless literature, woot!)
  • comfy for baby and mom- sometimes that is where Abbie takes her naps if she falls asleep in my lap after nursing
  • easy to use
  • multi purpose: pillow, nursing pillow, helps baby sit up, great for tummy time
  • slipcover comes off for easy washing
  • many stylish, cute slipcovers available

Cons

  • difficult to use when mom is bigger
  • no travel-size available
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