Monday, August 29, 2011

We've got a biter!

Evie only has two teeth, but I'm pretty sure that she has a biting problem.  For a while, she bit me while she was nursing.  THANK GOD that has passed!!  But she still bites my arm/shoulder/chest/leg/foot/whatever she can.  It doesn't really hurt that much, but I'm still worried about it. 

I begin school tomorrow and my biggest fear is that Evie's babysitter will tell me she bit the other kids when I pick her up tomorrow afternoon.  When she bites me, I've been pulling away from her and saying "Ow, no biting!"  I don't know if it's working or not.  I think I just have to give it more time.  I feel a little better too that she hasn't tried to bite M or anyone else that I know of.  Hopefully she'll keep her teeth off of the other kids at daycare too!!!

Have any of you dealt with biting?  What have you done to stop it?  When did you little one outgrow it?

Friday, August 26, 2011

The Gender Guessing Game

When I was pregnant with Evie, we decided not to find out the gender of the baby.  I had always wanted it to be surprise when the baby was born.  Hearing M tell me that we had a daughter was one the coolest experiences of my life; I wouldn't change it for the world.

Because we didn't know, I constantly wondered, "Boy or girl???"  I read all of the old wives tales.  I even went so far as to test them on my sister-in-law, who knew she was having a boy, so that I could see if they actually worked.  (Some did, but they also said I was having a boy...Evie is definitely a girl.) 

Most of the time that I was pregnant, I thought I was having a boy.  That's what my instinct told me, but in reality I think I was hoping for a boy.  I'm sorry if that makes me a bad person, let me finish explaining...  Having a daughter scared the crap out of me for several reasons, including:
  • Middle school
  • Princess stuff
  • Girl body image problems - I've had enough of my own, I don't want to see my daughter go through it too
  • Self image in general
  • The color pink
  • How girls treat other girls
  • How boys treat girls
  • Barbie, or even worse, Bratz
  • Snotty teenage girls
The list could go on and on.  I also worried about how M would react to having a daughter.  He is from a very male-dominant family.  He has one sister who is much younger than him, and she was always coddled and treated so differently because she's a girl.  I feared that he would feel that our daughter couldn't do certain things "because she's a girl." 

After she was born, most of my apprehension went away.  I'll be scared of being the mom of a middle school girl forever.  I teach  middle school.  I know how horribly mean they are to each other, and to pretty much everyone around them.   But I realize now that we all go through it, and we all survive.  All I can do is be there for her through it all.

I feel like I've turned completely 180 degrees.  Now, I am concerned that if I have a son, I wouldn't be able to have the same bond with him.  I only have sisters, so I've never seen the mother/son bond in action from that point of view.  I know that Evie and I will have rough patches, all mothers and daughters do.  I will do my best to help her make it through the times when it's tough being a girl.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

"But Doesn't Breastmilk Go Bad?"

Real life conversation in the break room at lunch.....

Frenemy Co-worker: "But doesn't breastmilk go bad after a while?"

Me: "Do you mean the stuff that I pump for her to have at daycare?  I could freeze that for a couple of months if I wanted to."

Frenemy Co-worker: "No.  I mean, like, she can't have the stuff in your boobs after, like, 6 months or so, right?"

Me:  No, that's still fresh....??????? 

There are only two people in my life whose negative comments have shaken me up.  The first "negative Nelly" is the aforementioned co-worker.  She doesn't have kids, but she does have lots of opinions about parenting.  To be fair to her, in the conversation I wrote above, I think she was actually trying to ask if I could start giving Evie other foods at 6 months.  She just asked in a really bizarre way.  She also showed that she doesn't feel that breastfeeding beyond 6 months is appropriate.  I tried to ignore that part.

Unfortunately, the other one of those people has been my own mother.  I think there are a lot of factors in her unenthusiastic view of breastfeeding.  When I was born almost 30 (yikes!) years ago, I don't think there was as much support from hospitals, and I think it was more difficult for a woman returning to work to keep up on pumping, etc.  I don't think my  mom knew that I would have as much support as I did from lactation consultants, our pediatrician, and friends who had also breastfed.  There isn't necessarily a specific comment that she has made, but her attitude has always been fairly pessimistic about my plan to breastfeed, and the length of time that I have chosen to breastfeed.  I wish that it could have been different.

I am very fortunate that 99% of the people in my life have been nothing but supportive about my choice to breastfeed.  My mother-in-law has even been one of my biggest advocates for breastfeeding as long and Evie and I are happy to do it.  I've managed to avoid being affected by many negative comments purely because I don't care what most other people think about the subject.  How you feed your baby is your choice.  I know that there are many women who try desperately to breastfeed, but are unable to do so for various reasons.  I have been lucky to have the choice and ability to breastfeed Evie for a year and beyond.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Wordless Wednesday (and 13 Month Update)

Pasta is so yummy!!!

...and messy!!

I love pasta!
You are 13 months o ld today little one!!  I can't believe how quickly time goes by.  The past month has been great spending so much time with you and seeing you grow so much. 

In the past month:
  • You have started saying more words.  Now you know "hi" and "bye bye"
  • You have been pointing at everything and everyone. 
  • You get EXTREMELY excited whenever you see a dog, whether it's on the street, on TV, or in a book.  
  • You have started wearing shoes...sometimes.  You're still not quite sure what to make of them.
  • You have begun playing peek-a-boo with your own hands.
  • You have figured out my hiding spot for my cell phone and the remote control...I'm not actually very happy about that one.  
  • You have figured out how to go down your slide by yourself.  I still catch you at the bottom though.  :) 
  • Your personality has gotten bigger and bigger every day!!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Then and Now - Going Old School

Our first picture as an official couple - August 2001
Yes, his hair was bleach blond and I still dated him...we were in college, who knows??
Ten years ago, M and I officially became a couple. I was 19, and he had just turned 21.  I was going into my second year of college, and he was starting his third.  It was before 9/11.  It was before everyone had cell phones.  It was before facebook and blogging, and real jobs and adult responsibilities.  We were pretty innocent, and we really just wanted to have fun.  (Duh, we were 19 and 21!) 

Halloween 2001
He was a made up superhero "Duct Tape Man."  I found a cheap bumble bee costume.
When we met, I never thought that he would be the person I would spend the rest of my life with.  We were both very into partying at the time, and I didn't think I could meet "the one" at a beer-fueled college kegger.  The night we met, something just clicked.  I could just talk to him.  Before we knew it, everyone else had gone to bed, the sun was coming up, and we were still talking on a ratty couch in his basement.

On a camping trip in Door County - Summer 2003
We've certainly been through a lot in 10 years.  A year into our relationship, I left for Spain for 5 months.  The distance sucked, but it definitely made us stronger.  When I got back, I knew that I never wanted to be away from him like that again.  We've been with each other through ups and downs, but one thing that M says is that the good days have always outnumbered the bad ones.  Any rough patches have always just brought us closer together and made us a team.  

Our wedding - Fall 2005

We kind of grew up together.  I feel lucky that we still want the same things together that we did 10 years ago.  A lot changes in your 20s, and we've made it though all of those changes as a couple.  In the past two years since we decided to add to our family, we've really had to be there for each other.  The number of good days keeps growing.  

Brewer Game - Last week
We have so much to look forward to.  I can't wait to see what the next 10 years has in store!!!

Monday, August 22, 2011

What a Way to Start a Monday

Disclaimer:  This post discusses many super gross diaper blowouts.  Not for the squeamish!  YOU'VE BEEN WARNED!

Apparently, 3 diaper blowouts before 8:00 a.m. = a happy baby!!  Evie has been a super fuss the past couple of days, and I think I figured out why this morning.  She has had issues with constipation since we started rice cereal/purees at six months, but she pooped once each day over the weekend, and I didn't think that was the cause of the fussiness.

I guess I was wrong.  When she woke up for the day around 6:00, she had a poopy diaper that must have woken her up.  It leaked all over her onesie and her crib....eeeeeewwwwww!!  After I got her cleaned up and fed, she was cruising around with her push toy dinosaur while I cleaned the kitchen.  I heard her make the second mess from across the room....This one leaked too....double EEEEWWWW!!! 

I thought that was definitely the end of it.  Oh, was I wrong!!  We were reading books on her bedroom floor (her current favorite pastime), and I noticed the smell.  I picked her up to change her, and this one had leaked not only onto her clothes, but also onto her bedroom floor.  Triple EEEEEWWWWW!!!! She was a very pleasant little girl the rest of the day.  I just couldn't believe the quantity, and all within the span of about two hours!!!

I'm not super squeamish about poop, but this was more than I've seen in a while.  At least it wasn't puke.  I CANNOT handle puke.  M and I have an agreement that he will clean up all puke incidents because seeing another person's vomit always makes me vomit.  Thank goodness Evie didn't spit up much when she was a newborn.... 

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Oops, I did it again...

I posted earlier this summer about a baking fail, and I've struck gold again!  My sister and I were going to go to the big farmer's market on the capitol square in Madison, but the weather didn't work out.  To make up for missing out on the amazing baked goods, awesome cheeses, and fresh vegetables, I decided I would make some fresh blueberry muffins. 

I looked up a recipe online: "To Die for Blueberry Muffins."  That seemed like what I wanted, so I went for it.  I furiously began mixing everything together, and the batter looked perfect going into the oven.

I took this picture to post about my baking glory...I was WAY ahead of myself.
As I was looking over the recipe and reading the reviews (I know these are usually good things to do BEFORE you put the muffins in the oven), I realized that I had completely missed the part about adding baking powder.  
The devastating results
 So, this is what came out of the oven 12 minutes later.  They look worse than they actually tasted.  They just didn't rise the way they were supposed to.

When I cut one open...
Because they didn't rise, the blueberries had nowhere to go.  It became a kind of blueberry pie in muffin form.  Maybe I'm not the baker/cook I once thought I was.  M still ate one, and I've already had two, just to make sure they weren't as bad as they looked.  ;)  Hopefully I've learned an important lesson.  Better luck next time.

Edited to Add: As I put labels on this, I realized that I have a label for "baking" and a label for "fail" that I have only ever used in relation to each other....LOL.  I think that's a sign.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Y3W: Let's go Brewers!!

M scored some free tickets to the Brewer game on Wednesday night, so we packed up and headed to Milwaukee!  The Brewers are currently leading the NL Central by 6 1/2 games.  Woot!  Woot!!

Picture quality = Not so good.  A really nice usher offered to take the pic for us, we can't complain.  (He also gave Evie a baseball card!)
This was Evie's third game.  She does really well at them.  Miller Park is GREAT about accommodating families with kids.  They allow nursing moms to breastfeed in any of the first aid stations in your own quiet, curtained-off area.  The will also let you hang out there for a little break from the noise of the game.  Kids under 2 get in for free, and they let you bring in your own snacks as long as the bags are sealed.  So, it's a pretty affordable family outing too!

Tailgating before the game
 Hopefully we'll be able to make it to a few more games this year.  I don't want to jinx it....but maybe even a playoff game...!?!?!?!?

Thursday, August 18, 2011

You want me to do what?!?!?

When Evie was about 3 - 4 weeks old, I began to notice her gulping and gasping while I nursed her.  After breastfeeding, she would scream and cry for sometimes two to three hours until she would finally fall asleep out of exhaustion.  Being a new, first time mom, I thought that I was probably doing something wrong.  I called the lactation consultants at the hospital, I researched for answers online, and I came up with a few answers:
1. My let down was too strong/fast for her.
2. She had acid reflux.
3. Nothing was wrong, that's just how she and I worked together.  (The last answer was obviously the most troubling.) 

Then one night, I fed her and she did not stop crying for about 5 hours.  I called the nurse on call because my pediatrician's office was closed, and I tried my best to comfort her.  It seemed endless.  I made an appointment and took her in to her doctor first thing in the morning.  He diagnosed a milk protein allergy.  He said, "Cut dairy out of your diet, and I bet you'll have a happy baby again."  He also asked me to come back with poopy diapers from 4 separate days so that he could confirm the diagnosis.

At first I thought, "No big deal.  I'll cut out dairy."  Then I really thought about it.  I gave up all dairy on the spot, and Evie was a happy baby by the end of that week.  It was VERY difficult at first, but the thought of her crying and being miserable was enough to help me pass up cheese, ice cream, and every food with milk listed as an ingredient for almost 6 months. 

This was one of my breastfeeding victories.  I would never have believed that I could change my diet that much, or that I would be willing to do that.  Many, many friends and family members asked me why I didn't just quit and switch to formula.  In my mind, it was always a fairly easy choice - it's what I needed to do to give my daughter what I thought was best for her.  The benefits of breastfeeding outweighed this sacrifice in every way.  I would do it all over again!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Wordless Wednesday - My Little Bookworm

Evie has developed a fascination with books over the past couple of months.  Hopefully this will be a lifelong love of books!!

P.S.  Excuse the mess.  I put them on the shelf, she pulls them off of the's an ongoing battle. 

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

NEW!! NEW!!! NEW!!!

I've added some new, fun pages to my blog!!  Well, I was excited about them anyway.  

Along the top of my homepage, I now have an "About Me" page.  

I also created an email to tie into the blog so that I can be privately contacted, if anyone would feel inclined to do so. 


Monday, August 15, 2011

Busy, Busy Weekend

It's been a crazy week at our house!!  First there was Evie's surgery.  She has pretty much completely recovered, and her eye looks great!  I think that the blockage has been cleared up, and hopefully there won't be any more eye goop problems. 

Thursday morning, Evie and I made the couple hour trip to my parent's house.  Both of my sisters were there too, which was really nice.  My parent's house is fairly big, but when my sisters are both there with their husbands, and M and I are there with Evie, it seems like you can't find an empty corner.  To make matters worse, one of my sisters has two LARGE black labs, plus Keeka thrown into the mix, and the house seems more like a zoo.  M, Evie, and I have been sleeping at my grandparent's house across the street when we visit to alleviate some of the commotion.  It's nice to spend a little more time with my grandparents too.  They are only in their early 70s, and I hope that Evie will be able to really get to know them.

Saturday morning M and I had to leave early to come back home.  We had tickets to The Great Taste of the Midwest, which is a craft beer festival.  M works for a beer distributor and he received some leftover tickets through work.  I am not the beer snob that he is, but I still thought it was pretty neat.  Imbibing to intoxication is not really the point of the festival, but it's pretty much unavoidable.  We tried A LOT of good beers, and had fun hanging out just the two of us. 

Yesterday was spent recovering and playing with Evie.  I have to begin going to school this week to prepare my classroom.  I can't believe that I only have two more weeks before school starts!!  I know it's cliche, but time sure does fly when you are having fun.  I'm looking forward to a new school year.  I'm not coaching this year, and I finished my master's degree in May, and there are so many cool things I want to try out this year.  I feel like I'll have more time to focus on implementing and perfecting some of the things that I learned in my master's program. 

Before all of that, I need to clean my house.  I better get to it before Evie wakes up!!  

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Surgery Update

The surgery went well this morning.  I was able to stay with Evie until she was completely under the anesthetic .  It was heartbreaking to watch, but I was glad that I was able to be there.

The actual procedure was super quick.  I barely had time to compose myself and begin a crossword puzzle to stay occupied, and the doctor was there to tell me how it went.  When I went to the recovery area, one of the nurses had calmed Evie fairly well.  I took her, and she started sobbing!!  She was so groggy and confused from the anesthesia that she was inconsolable.  She would calm down, then try to move, and she would start sobbing again.  In reality, it all only lasted about 15 minutes, and then she was relatively relaxed.  We had to wait in the recovery area for about a half hour, then we were released.

She slept the whole car ride home.  At home, I was able to nurse her, and she ate a few puffs.  By a little after 11:00, she was back to normal for the most part.  She has had some bloody boogers, which they said was normal.  She's napping now, and I hope she sleeps for a while.  (I know I just jinxed myself.)  I think it would be good for her. 

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Getting a Little Nervous

Tomorrow is Evie's tear duct blockage surgery.  It's a routine procedure that has a 90% success rate (that's the statistic given to me by our pediatric opthamologist).  The surgery itself only takes about 30 minutes, and they said that we'll probably be at the hospital for about 3 - 4 hours total.  So, I wasn't really nervous about it...until the surgical nurse called to confirm the appointment yesterday. 

She was going over the procedure and everything that we should be prepared for.  First, she asked if anyone was coming with me to the appointment.  M's job is crazy this time of year, so he can't take off, and my sisters and my parents are all busy, so I told her that it would probably just be me.  She hesitated and then said, "Oh, I'm sure you'll be fine." That was a red flag.  After I told M about that, he called him mom and she's going to drive up to go with me.  Whew!

The nurse also told me to make sure to dress Evie in something that doesn't have to go over her head because her eye will be sore for a few days.  I just don't want to see her in pain.  Evie rubs her face a lot when she's tired, and I'm really worried that she's going to aggravate the tender area...

The good part of the phone call was that that nurse asked if I am breastfeeding.  When I told her that I am, she said, "Great!  We love breastfed babies because it helps comfort them after the surgery."  I felt good about that.  I'm just nervous that I won't have much for her at that point in time.  We're doing morning and evening feedings only at this point, and my supply is very diminished during the day and over night.  I guess she can comfort nurse if all else fails.  Breast milk also counts a clear liquid, so I can nurse her until 4:30 tomorrow morning.  I'm planning on getting up at 4:00 and breastfeeding her so that she has something in her stomach before the surgery.

Overall, I'm probably just overreacting about the whole thing.  I'm a worrier, and situations like this don't help!!  I'm sure everything will be fine, and she'll feel a lot better when I don't have to wipe up her eye goop all of the time. 

Monday, August 8, 2011

Toddle Along Tuesday

Hello and Welcome Blog Hoppers!!

Come on in and take a look around.  "Meet" my family of four: me, M, Evie, and our pudgy dog Keeka.  If you are so inclined, feel free to follow! Please leave your blog address in the comments because I always follow back!

Visit Growing Up Geeky or Our Growing Garden to add your blog to the blog hop.  Also, visit Moments That Take My Breath Away, the featured blog of the week!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Book Review - Bossypants

M gave me Bossypants by Tina Fey for my birthday back in June.  It was a very quick read, and HILARIOUS.  If you like Tina Fey at all, watch 30 Rock or enjoyed her on SNL, by all means, read this book!!!  She writes with the same kind of humor and wit. 

If you are looking for a tell-all about Saturday Night Live, or behind the scenes at 30 Rock, you won't find it here.  The author does talk about the workings of the shows to an extent, but doesn't ever mention names or incriminate anyone.  The book is autobiographical, but the ending really focuses on being a working mom, especially the decision to have a second child.  If you follow celebrity gossip, you probably know how this worked out.  She is now expecting her second child due at the end of the summer.

She talks about the struggle of being a working mom and how it always makes you feel like you should be somewhere else.  She discusses feeling like she is missing out on her parts of her child's life, but also that being a stay at home mom isn't all that glamorous either.  One of my favorite quotes, "Almost as many moments of full-time motherhood stink like Axe body spray on a brick of bleu cheese.*"  Footnote: "These moments include: cleaning poop out of a one-piece bathing suit, getting kicked in the tits by someone who doesn't want to put on her shoes, Dora the Explorer."

My favorite chapter is "The Mother's Prayer for Its Daughter."  I laugh (and cry) every time I read it. 

Overall, great book!!!  Have you read it??  Leave a comment and let me know what you thought!!!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

My Best Advice

When I was pregnant and planning to breastfeed, I had several discussions with a close friend who had success breastfeeding her first son.  She never told me that it would be easy, or that it comes naturally, or that it would be pain free....She was realistic.  She gave the best advice I received regarding breastfeeding, "It's going to suck at first.  It's going to hurt, and you're going to cry a lot.  But it will get better."

Maybe that sounds harsh, but it sure helped me.  It got me through the hard parts in the beginning.  When I cried because Evie wouldn't latch, or it felt like someone was taking a cheese grater to my nipples, I thought, "This is normal, we'll make it." Of course, this is not the best advice for everyone, but I think I needed a little tough love.  :)

I cannot believe that I am still breastfeeding a year later.  We are cutting back in the slow process of weaning.  I only nurse Evie in the morning and before bed these days, but we're still going.  I hope that Evie gets the benefits of this for the rest of her life.

I've seen this circulated on other websites, but in honor of World Breastfeeding Week, here it is again: 101 Reasons to Breastfeed.  

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Wordless Wednesday - Look What I Can Do

I can make a mess!!!  

Now that Evie is mobile, she has lost all interest in her toys, and only cares to play with Mommy and Daddy's stuff.  We have been on a baby-proofing bonanza at our house in the past couple of weeks.  

Here are a few of my favorite messes. 

Opening up every enclosed space in the kitchen. Removing various towels and canned goods.
(Don't worry, there is now a latch on the cupboard with the garbage.)

Pulling all of my school stuff off the bottom shelf of the buffet.

Emptying all of the contents of her diaper bag.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Need. To. Eat Better.

I was very lucky that I lost all of my pregnancy weight, plus an additional 20 pounds (thanks, breastfeeding!) after Evie was born.  I've been cutting back Evie's feedings since the end of June, and I can definitely tell a difference with my eating/weight.   After 9 months of pregnancy, and 12 months of breastfeeding, I have developed some pretty awful eating habits.  I've gained about 3 pounds since the end of the school year, which I know isn't much, but I don't want to start a pattern.

I was never a work out junkie, but I've always been pretty active.  In college I got into running quite a bit, and it has always been my go-to weight loss tool.  I bought a jogging stroller and started running this spring, but I didn't feel like it was making much of a difference.  This summer, I've been working out with a teacher from my school who is also a personal trainer.  He taught a summer school class for students and other teachers, and it's amazing.  We do weight training and cardio, and it ROCKS!  But....I still don't feel like it's making a difference.  (Other than the muscle definition, which is awesome.) 

I'm not really trying to lose weight.  I'm at the lowest weight I've been since high school, but I'd really like to maintain that.  Working out alone isn't going to cut it anymore.  I need to start eating better, especially eating reasonable portion sizes.  That has always been my downfall.  Whether it's healthy or unhealthy food, I eat A LOT of it.

Going back to my pre-pregnancy weight would not be the end of the world.  I wasn't overweight before.  I own jeans in sizes 4 - 12 from all of my different weight fluctuations over the past couple of years.  (I could open my own store, or else I'd be a very popular garage sale stop!  LOL!)  If I want to stay on the lower end of those sizes, I know I'm going to have to start watching what I eat.  I guess it's time to buckle down.  Ugh....

Monday, August 1, 2011

Toddle Along Tuesday

 Hello and Welcome blog hoppers!!  
Please come in and take a look around.  
Don't forget to leave your blog address in my comment section.   
I always follow back! 

Stop by Growing Up Geeky or Our Growing Garden to add your blog to the blog hop list, 
and stop by Confessions of a Magnolia Mom the featured blog too!