Tuesday, June 28, 2011

The battle continues....

The breastfeeding battle, that is.  I think that I've officially begun to wean Miss Evie.  I am not pumping anymore because I'm home for all three feedings that she still has each day.  I am not taking any more Fenugreek (goodbye maple syrup smell!!).   Last week, we cut out the night time feeding for good.  We have tried to do this a few times before, but we are sticking to it now that she's almost a year old.    

I know that this process is going to take a while, but I'm really having a hard time with it right now.  I even have a hard time writing about it.  This is what is best for us.  The frustration (to both Evie and me) just got to be too much.  My supply has always been low in the evenings, but lately it's been so bad that she is obviously frustrated about it.  When she is frustrated, she becomes more likely to be distracted, which leads to biting, pinching, hair pulling (all unintentional of course, but it still takes a toll), and just a really bad experience all around. 

My biggest fear, and the reason that I hate to say that we are weaning, is that I keep holding out hope that this is just a phase and that tomorrow she'll suddenly love to nurse again.  Breastfeeding has created a bond that I never dreamed possible.  I am only truly beginning to realize that now that I am ending it.  I am so grateful that we've been able to do this for so long. 

The good news is that I have 330 ounces in the freezer, and even if I could not nurse her myself AT ALL, that would probably last us over two weeks.  I am still able to breastfeed her reasonably well, so I know that we'll make it to a year on breast milk alone...I am trying to feel good about that.

Friday, June 24, 2011

11 months


It's hard for me to believe that you're 11 months old today.  I never thought I'd be one of "those moms" that gets a little misty when I think about my baby turning one and not being a baby anymore.  It turns out that I am that mom.   You'll probably notice me squeezing you a little tighter in the next month, but I don't think you'll mind. 

In the past month, you've become so much more mobile.  Still not crawling (but your grandma asks EVERY time she calls...lol), but you scoot, roll, crab walk on your head, and grunt your way to whatever you want to get into.  You are up on your knees so often, but you fake us out.  As soon as we think you're going to lurch forward and crawl, you collapse and roll away.  When we put you up against the coffee table or the couch, you've begun taking steps on your own, with BOTH feet now.  (No more splits because you only move your right foot!!)  If we hold your hands, you will walk for several feet.  You even crossed your auntie's living room last weekend! 

You have really begun to love books in the past few weeks.  We've always read to you, but for a long time you didn't seem to even notice what we were doing.  Now, you like to look at the pictures and "help" turn the pages.  You like to look at books on your own on the floor too.  You are "talking" quite a bit these days too.  Your babbling seems to have become more complex, and I'm pretty sure that you actually said "mama" and meant me a few times recently.  The babysitter was sure that you said "duck" when you were looking at your farm animal book today...You wouldn't repeat it for me when I got home, so I guess we'll just have to wait and see.    

You love to play outside, although the weather hasn't been very cooperative lately.  Going to the park is becoming our afternoon, post-nap ritual.  Playing on the swings is your favorite, but you also like digging your hands and feet in the sand.  You also really love the water.  I promise this Wisconsin weather will get better, and we'll spend as much time as possible in the whale pool this summer!!  

The stats:
- Weight: approximately 19 lbs.
- Length: approximately 29"
- Two teeth (bottom center), which you just got after Memorial Day
- Not crawling, but rolling, and just beginning to cruise on furniture and walk holding onto someone's hands
- Still nursing 3 - 4 times a day, but you fight me about it most of the time.  You'd rather feed yourself!!

I love being able to spend so much time with you now that school is out.  I can't wait to see what the next month brings!!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

M and Breastfeeding

While I was pregnant I knew that I wanted to breastfeed.  In the beginning, I didn't know what I was getting myself into, but I did a lot of reading, talked to several friends who had breastfed, and learned as much as I could.  I didn't really have a goal in mind, like that I wanted to BF until a year, or anything like that.   Frankly, I was scared to death that for whatever unforeseen reason, I wouldn't be able to do it.  I had heard a few horror stories (mostly from my mom who tried to BF my youngest sister for a few weeks).  My normally very helpful sister-in-law also gave me some very unhelpful "advice" that  "Breastfeeding is REALLY hard, just so you know.  A lot of people can't do it."  (Yes, that was a direct quote.)  Thanks for letting me know....

M knew that I wanted to BF, though overall, he was fairly indifferent about the whole thing.  Over the past 11 months, M has become my biggest BF cheering section.  His support was vital in the first weeks when Evie wasn't eating well because of her milk allergy.  Then, he cut out most dairy products with me (at home anyway) during the time that I was very strict about watching what I ate.

In the past few weeks, Evie has been more distracted than ever.  She is eating more and more table foods, and she has become disinterested in nursing.  It's been much more difficult, and I really have felt like quitting for the first time since she was born.  M has been the most supportive during this time.  Two nights ago, her bedtime feeding was especially exhausting.  He took her, read her a book, and got her to sleep so that I could have a few minutes to myself.

He wants us to make it to 12 months of breastfeeding as much as I do, and knowing that helps me through the hard parts.  I couldn't have made it this far without him, and I hope that he knows how much his support means to me.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Wordless Wednesday - Afternoon at the Park

She can't go down the slide by herself, but she likes it when I help her down.

The swings are her favorite!

This was moments before she put a handful of sand in her mouth.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Cheeseheads in the Flatlands

Last weekend, Evie and I visited my youngest sister 4 hours away in central Illinois.  Her husband is going to school there to earn his Ph.D. in nutrition.  They have been living there for about a year now, but I know that she really misses Wisconsin.  My middle sister drove from central Iowa to meet us there as well.
All three of us at my youngest sister's college graduation (2009)
Evie did pretty well in the car

My youngest sis and bro-in-law with 1 week old Evie

My middle sis with Evie at Thanksgiving
We don't have the opportunity to get together very often like this, and we really try to enjoy it when we can.  They don't get to see Evie very often either, so they really enjoy their time with her too.  I am very close to both of my sisters.  My middle sister is two years younger than me, and my youngest sister is less than 18 months younger than the middle one.  Growing up so close in age, we've always had a lot in common.  Our extended family is also very female dominant.  Our mom has three sisters with whom she is very close, so we've always had a strong female influence in our lives. 

First time in the big pool
We had a laid back weekend together.  Friday night, we went out for dinner and had a couple of drinks.  Saturday morning we went shopping, and then Saturday afternoon we took Evie into the big pool for the first time ever!  She LOVED it!!  We out for dinner and for a walk around my brother-in-law's campus on Saturday evening.  Before we knew it, it was Sunday morning and time to head back home. 
General sister goofiness

I talk to both of my sisters pretty much every day, and living as far away from each other as we have over the past couple of years has been difficult.  I hope that one day Evie can roll her eyes at her mom and aunts the way we used to at my mom and her sisters.  We get pretty goofy when we're together, so I don't think that will be a problem.  ;)
This weekend with the giant cupcake

Monday, June 20, 2011

First Father's Day

Yesterday was M's first Father's Day!!  We had a fairly uneventful day.  Evie and I were gone all weekend visiting my youngest sister in central Illinois (more to come on that!), and we didn't get home until early afternoon.

After Evie woke up from her nap, we gave M his gifts.  We got him three books; two for him, and one for him to read with Evie.   We got him The Final Four of Everything, because he always says, "Everything is better in a bracket!"  We also gave him Wisconsin's Best Beer Guide.  He really enjoys sports and beer, so both of these books seemed like topics that would interest him.  Evie picked Sunny Bunny Loves His Dad for both of them.  (I literally held up two books in Barnes and Noble and that was the one she touched first.  Coincidence?  Probably, but it's fun to say that she picked it out!) 

The weather was great, so we got Evie ready to hang out in her whale pool.  She is really becoming quite the waterbug.  We played outside for a while, and did a little bit of work in the garden and that was the end of our low-key Father's Day.

How big is Evie???  Sooooo big!
I'd like to start some sort of tradition for Father's Day, but I'm horrible of thinking of good ideas for that sort of stuff.  Does anyone have any traditions that they've done, either for their husband or their dad?  We can always start next year!!

P.S.  If you are here for the Toddle Along Tuesday Blog Hop, Welcome!!  Please feel free to leave your blog address in the comments.  I'd love to follow you back!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Total Baking Fail

I normally consider myself a reasonably good cook.  Only once (that I remember) in my married life have I created something inedible.  Around Christmas time a few years ago, I made ginger snaps that turned out so rock hard that even the dog wouldn't eat them!! Then came Wednesday, I believe that my inedible count went up to 2. 

Sometime over the past year or so, I misplaced my go-to chocolate chip cookie recipe (if you have a good one, let me know!!), so I looked up a recipe online.  I found one that was "chewy oatmeal chocolate chip cookies."  I had no desire to put oatmeal in them...we're not really oatmeal cookie people.  I figured I'd just leave it out, and we'd have chewy chocolate chip cookies.

Boy, was I wrong!!!  Here is the result:

Yes, that is 9 cookies melded into one GIANT cookie on my baking sheet.  Apparently, oatmeal cookies don't call for as much flour because the oatmeal soaks up some of the wet ingredients.  Obviously, I was not aware of this.  In hindsight, I did think it was strange that the recipe only called for 1 1/4 cups of flour.

I quickly added more flour to the remaining dough and I managed to salvage a few decent cookies.

In the end, all that really matters is that the dough tasted REALLY good.  ;)

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Wordless Wednesday - Gardening

Helping in the garden (aka playing with grass)

Strawberry Fail (Replaced with melons)



Evie helping out some more

Monday, June 13, 2011

Soooo distracted!!!

It seems that every time I sit down to nurse Evie these days, she is distracted by ANYTHING!! I'm very proud that we have been able to continue breast feeding for this long, but I feel like it's getting more and more difficult every day.  I'm sure that this is a combination of many things: the fact that I'm looking forward to weaning at 12 months, Evie enjoying feeding herself finger foods, and my hatred (that word is not too strong here) for pumping in order to keep my supply up. 

In comparison to many others, we've had a fairly smooth journey through breast feeding.  We didn't have any latch issues in the beginning, I only recently started having supply issues, and my body responded well to pumping, which made going back to work a lot easier.   Our biggest bump in the road was her diagnosis with a dairy allergy at 4 weeks old.  This Wisconsin girl gave up ALL dairy products for over 5 months.  I checked every label and avoided anything that I even thought might contain milk products the whole time.  At Evie's 6 month check up, her pediatrician gave me the ok to begin "cheating" to see how much she could handle.  (Most babies outgrow the allergy/sensitivity by a year and I thinks she's pretty much over it now.)  I just recently had my first slice of pizza last week...HEAVEN!!!

But I digress....lately Evie has been so much more interested in looking around the room, smiling at Daddy/Mommy/Doggy/Blank Space on the Wall to get in a reasonably good feeding.  Even during the night, if I feed her I have to keep the house completely quiet or she won't fall back asleep.  (I used to use overnight feedings to catch up on DVRed TV shows...ha ha ha!)

I've read about other people experiencing distraction while nursing, but I never thought that it would be this bad.  I know that as we get closer to weaning, this will probably happen even more.  Evie is just more ready for it than me, I guess.  Hopefully the next 6 weeks of nursing are mostly as pleasant as our overall experience has been.  Even though I look forward to wearing real bras, eating/drinking whatever I want, and owning my own body again, I know I'm going to miss this.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Happy Birthday to me!

Yesterday was my first official day of summer and it was also my 29th birthday!  I can't believe that I'm in the last year of my 20s.  M took the day off so that he could spend my birthday with me and Evie.  Another highlight was my sister and her husband (and their two giganto dogs) stayed at our house on Thursday night.  The live in Iowa right now, but they are hoping to move back to Wisconsin this summer sometime.  Thursday evening, my sister babysat so that M and I could go out for dinner.  I think that she and Evie really enjoyed themselves.  She got to feed Evie some kiwi, and some purees as well.  I think she was surprised by the mess!

M gave me my birthday present before we went to bed on Thursday night.  He got me two books that I'm really looking forward to reading: Bossypants by Tina Fey, and The Tudors by  G.J. Meyer.  I love Tina Fey, and I recently DVRed all of "The Tudors" reruns on BBC America and I'm really into learning more about the time period. 

Friday morning, my sister, M, Evie, and I went out for breakfast while my brother-in-law was at a job interview.  After breakfast, my sister left to drive up to my parent's (about 2 1/2 hours from here), and then I went to get my hair done.  I made the appointment a couple of weeks ago thinking that I could use a change when I turned 29.  The pictures below don't really do it justice.  My hair was actually much longer than the before picture looks, and the color is now MUCH lighter.  It's a pretty big change, but it will be a good summer 'do.
This is the best before pic that I could find.
Overall it was a great birthday!!  I'm looking forward to whatever "29" has in store for me!!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

And it's....

summer vacation!!  As of 11:30 this morning, I was officially on summer vacation.  What a wonderful feeling!  I'm going to be teaching summer school for the next four weeks, but it's only a few hours each morning. 

I went back to work exactly 7 months ago today, and I hate to admit that I've been counting down for a while.  Overall, the school year went relatively well.  I made it through with a baby, I finished my master's degree, and I coached the winter season of cheerleading.  It wasn't even that long ago and I'm already wondering how I did it all.  I definitely owe M for helping make it happen. :)

I have a few projects planned.  I really want to speak only Spanish with Evie while we're at home.  I'm hoping that she'll pick up a bit, and eventually become bilingual.  I want to do some genealogy research on M's side of the family.  He doesn't know much about his family heritage, and I want to be able to tell Evie about it someday.  I also really want to paint a few rooms, and shampoo the carpets (which I've been putting off since spring break). 

I know we need to relax a bit too.  I'm sure that we will have a lot of fun at the park, taking walks with the dog, and playing outside.  We're already beginning to plan Evie's 1st birthday party next month, and M and I are taking a trip to Vegas with some college friends.  There is so much to look forward to!! 

Sunday, June 5, 2011

An end in sight

Only three more days of school until summer vacation!  I feel so fortunate that I will have this extra time with Evie.  I am excited about all of the things that we will get to do together, like play in the pool, go for walks to the park, and so much more!  I feel like we'll be able to do more than when I was on maternity leave because I won't have to worry about being home to nurse her every two hours.   

As much as I love this glimpse into the life of a stay at home mom, I know that it's not the job for me.  Not full time, at least.  I think that I'm a better mom when I can contribute outside of the home as well.  Also, the energy necessary to take care of Evie all day, every day amazes me.  I give stay at home moms so much credit for being able to engage their kids all day, and maintain their own sanity too. 

But really, all I'm thinking right now is....WOO HOOO!!!!!  SUMMER!!!!!!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

10 months

I know I'm a little late on this.  Evie turned 10 months old on May 24, but because I just started this blog on May 30, I thought I'd do her 10 month update now.

Height and Weight:  Height was 28 inches at your 9 month check up.  19 pounds 0 ounces at the doctor's office on Saturday.  Hopefully we're done with doctor's visits for now.  We need to kick that nasty ear infection!

Milestones:  This one is tough because I haven't been doing this every month.  Still not crawling, but getting closer every day.  Each day you seem closer and closer to cruising along furniture too.  You can stand up against the coffee table unassisted for quite a while.  You take steps with your right foot, but the left hasn't figured it out yet.  You pretty much end up in the splits next to the coffee table!

Loves: Going for walks.  Playing outside.  Laughing at Keeka.  Playing peek-a-boo.  And you really seemed to like playing in your new pool on Monday afternoon.

What mommy enjoys most about you at 10 months: Watching your personality blossom!  Every day you are more your own unique little individual with your own quirks.

Dad, I thought pools were supposed to have water in them...???