To wean or not to wean

As J approaches a year old, I have been asked by many people when I plan to wean him from breastfeeding.  I’ve also asked myself this question.  When I was pregnant I knew that I would breastfeed for at least a year, but haven’t given it much thought after that original decision.

I wholeheartedly agree with and believe the vast benefits that breastfeeding has for infants.  J has never had any illness other than a slightly runny nose, never had an ear infection or any other health issues and I am sure this is in large part due to breastfeeding.  I know that breastfeeding for some mama’s is extremely challenging either by lack of time or milk production levels, and I feel very blessed that I have not had to endure this struggle for the last 10+ months.  Which is part of my hesitancy to decide when to wean J.

I don’t feel like I “need” or “have” to wean him.  But I also realize that with planning to expand our family soon, I’m not sure how the logistics will work if I were to continue to breastfeed J while pregnant or beyond.  It wasn’t until recently that I was educated on the fact that some mama’s can continue to breastfeed both their young children along with their infants in what they call “tandem breastfeeding”.  I had no idea that was even a possibility.  But I’m also not sure that I could do that or would want to do that with my kiddos.  Partly because when your little one is really little, for the first 3-4 months, I felt like all I did was breastfeed.  My boob was out of my shirt and attached to J more often than not during those first few months.  A blessing, yes…but extremely exhausting at the same time.  The idea of feeding two kiddos simultaneously is kind of nerve wrecking for me.

With cows milk being introduced at around a year old, I feel like maybe that will aid in the weaning process too.  Although I know there are plenty of ideas and opinions out there about the ill effects of cows milk on infants too…so I’m not using this as my only reasoning behind deciding to wean or not to wean.

So when then?  At this point I plan to just see what happens.  Maybe J will decide that he’s not that interested anymore….although I don’t see any sign of that yet.  And until he starts sleeping through the night I doubt that this will happen on his own accord.  Or maybe when baby #2 is on the way and I’m too big around to nurse J comfortably that’ll be when I really push the weaning.  Although I haven’t the slightest idea of how to go about that either.

Until then I’ll take full advantage of the snuggle time I have with my little guy, as we all know those days get fewer and further between as the grow into big boys 🙂

baby snuggle

(J at about 2 months)

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Baby Fever

You never know when it’s going to hit you.  Granted if all of your friends or really anyone else around you is either pregnant or thinking of getting pregnant, it’s bound to catch up with you sooner than later.  Or if you have a little one who’s about to turn a year…you’re in for it.  The fever. Baby fever.  I can feel it coming…

When the Hubby and I starting seriously talking about starting a family for ourselves, I had probably had Baby Fever for almost a year.  I was ready as soon as we got married.  I wouldn’t be surprised if most women are.  But we made the plan to wait until the following October(ish) so that we could use our first year to take vacations and take advantage of being child-less.  We took full advantage and went on 3 trips that summer, all the while my Baby Fever soaring to new heights.  It seemed like there were babies everywhere.  Most of my friends already had one or two, plus cousins, friends-of-friends, everywhere I looked there were babies.  So once the fall hit, we were both ready.  Going into it I told myself it would take a few months.  But as luck would have it, we didn’t have long to wait for little J to come along.  

Now that J is almost a year, I can feel it coming on again.  Partially because we want our kiddos to be close in age, and partly because as soon as your little one reaches that first major milestone you suddenly find yourself missing being pregnant, feeling that little one become something inside your belly, you even miss giving birth. Whoa.  I’d always heard that childbirth is the worst pain most easily forgotten.  Truth.  I remember it hurt like hell and being in labor for 14+ hours only to have a c-section wasn’t a picnic, but I’d do it again in a minute, no doubts.  And with the added bonus of more than a few of my friends also thinking of starting or expanding their families in the near future, it fuels the fire even more. 

The Hubby asked me the other day how we would manage two kiddos.  Yup, the money will be tight(er) and we will sleep even less than we do now, but we’ll figure it out.  That’s what you do. Children give you a reason to find a way.  You make it work, then one day you look back and can’t imagine how you did it.  But you’d still do it all over again without hesitation.  I’ve tried to think back on what we used to do in our free time or after work the days pre-baby…for the life of me I can’t really remember.  Honestly it was probably pretty much the same as what we do now, only we probably watched more TV.  Babies change everything and still seem to fit into your life like they always belonged there.  

There are always things to figure out before you start or add to your family, but those things also just seem to fall into place sometimes.  Yes it would be ideal to have a house, less balance on the credit card, money set aside for paying all the hospital bills, etc.  But not having those things doesn’t mean you aren’t ready or able to handle a family.  You make it work.  There’s always a reason to wait, but then again the longer you wait the larger the chance someday you’ll look back and wonder why you waited so long.

And if our next one (or two) is anywhere as cute as the first…then bring it on 🙂  

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eesh I think my uterus just skipped a beat…BABY FEVER!!!!

Mommy Craft #2 – Spring Wreath

Hooray for another successful mommy craft day!  This time Spring wreaths were on the docket.

K and I got a bunch of ideas from Pinterest and then used some of our own imagination.

Here’s what we started with:

10" Natural Grapevine Wreath

You can find these at any craft store for about $4 each – what a steal! Especially if you catch the 50% off sales.

Then we picked out one good quality fake flower bunch, we went with Hydranga’s

Botanic Artistry Cream Hydrangea

We also picked up some smaller accent flowers with a little more greenery to them

6' White & Cream Apple Blossom Garland

We also picked up some wooden letters and burlap ribbon to add

This is how they turned out

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A little hot glue and paint for the letters and ta-da!  Not bad at all for around $20-25 each!  Way cheaper than something similar pre-made at any store.

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Plus the kiddos got to have a play-date too 🙂 Major bonus 🙂

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J thought it was so fun to help little K out by bringing him toys and helping bounce him in his chair.  He was pretty fascinated by another little baby in such close proximity.  Baby’s seem to have that built in intuition that they just know when there is another little baby or little kid.  So fun to see these two growing up together 🙂

Peek-a-Boob

What is it about people (mainly men) and peeking when a woman is breastfeeding?  There is an entire industry built on helping a woman keep covered up while we breastfeed.  I get that while in public there is only so much that you can do to keep yourself covered, and even if you are covered it’s pretty obvious that you have your boob out underneath that pretty designed cover-up.  There’s also a whole social movement now days about a woman’s right to breastfeed in public (without a cover).  And I must say that during the early days of learning how to feed J in public my boobs were probably the subject of a lot of gawking.  Let’s face it, anyone who has breastfed a crying and wiggling munchkin in public has probably flashed more than their fair share of strangers.  I’m sure I have.

Early on in the adventures of breastfeeding when the little ones need to eat every hour or two, making it feel like you constantly have you boob out for the world to at least partial see (or imagine), you get used to people staring (or pretending not to stare) and I was so preoccupied trying to get J to actually latch on that I didn’t care who saw whatever they saw.  But now that J eats only a few times during the day there’s much less chance that I’ll need to breastfeed him when I’m not at home or at work.

At the office I have a door that closes as well as curtains on my window and blinds on my door as well.  So when J is feeding, I turn off my lights and close my door etc.  Apparently that is not enough to deter my co-workers or clients from thinking that I’m doing something worth peeking at.  Even with the knowledge that I have a small child who is either sleeping or eating when my lights are off and my door is closed, the men I work with can not resist the urge to peer through my window.  It’s like I’m a fish in a tank.  Even if I close the curtain to my window, it’s almost instinctual for them to try and catch a glance at what’s going on in the dark room.  Or as my hubby puts it – “men will try and see boob no matter what.” Oy.

So we came up with this:

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“Door closed? Lights off? Then Lauren is UNAVAILABLE.  Please do not peek in the window.  Please do not tap, wave, knock, whistle or scratch at the door.”

Guess we’ll see if it works! Silly men…

Memory keeper

When J was born I decided that I wanted a way to keep track of things like his first steps, his first words, etc.  But I didn’t really like the generic memory books that they sell in the stores, with only a one line place to write such big memories.  What I decided on instead was a journal.  This way I can write in any format I want, whether it’s a letter to J, summaries of what he’s been doing, or specific memories or big steps in his life.  I feel like it’s more personal than just a notation in a generic book about his first tooth coming in at 9 months.  I try and write in the journal whenever I feel like something big or special has happened that I want to remember and that I want J to be able to go back and read about someday.

I started with his birth story and have written in there once or twice a month since.  This was my entry from tonight:

Hi Honey Bear!  You have grown so much! A little over 10 months now and your head grazes the bottom of my desk! Grama said your face is changing a lot now too – not so baby faced anymore and more like a little boy.  Sometimes I get a glance at what I think you’ll look like all grown up.  Your top teeth are starting to pike through now too! Those teeth come quick once they start growing.  This week you went back to walking, more more crawling for you!  We’re going to need more baby gates now.  You also figured out how to climb stairs although I have no idea how you figured that out! Double Trouble!  This week you started saying “na” and “ooogh” and you like to “talk ” and respond to people now too.  Still no “ma” yet though, but you’ve been saying “da” for a while now.  You stick your tongue out and can spit now and you like drinking from a big cup even though you just drool it right back out onto whoever is holding you.  You’ll eat pretty much anything but we tried raspberries and strawberries and you’re not quite sure about those yet.  But you’ll eat blackberries.  Avocados are still a favorite and peas too.  Your favorite game is chase or “rawr” as Grampa calls it.  Daddy or Grampa crawl around on their knees and you “run” and squeal – so fun!  We did bubbles on Easter and you like those too.  You are giving hugs and kisses now too.  We can’t get enough of those snuggles.  We’ll take full advantage of them now 🙂  Can’t believe you’re almost a year old…Love you.

 

I hope that someday J will be able to go back and read through all these memories and milestones.  He won’t remember a lot of them, but maybe it’ll paint a picture in his mind about when he was little.

This is the journal I found at Barnes and Noble.  I added his name to the side and inside the front cover to personalize it, but I liked the message on the front.

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P.S.  He’s now discovered the kitchen cabinets open…dun dun dunnnnnnn. We are in for it now….

Walking & Climbing…oh my

It’s official.  J is walking.  I’m talking across the room, anywhere and everywhere – walking.  Time for many many baby gates and even more outlet plugs and drawer locks.  Oh boy.  People warned me.  Well, they tried.  It’s funny how something so little and wobbly can move across a room so quickly.  Kinda like a horror movie.  You know, where the scary person jumps from one side of the room to the other in a split second and you jump out of your chair.  Well a newly walking infant has the same effect on parents.  It’s like a scary movie on repeat in our house now.  Man that kid can find the strangest things and get to them way faster than I can…Let the fun begin! Ha.  He is pretty adorable though, walking around like a dinosaur with his arms half stretched out front like he’s about to attack something.

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Oh, and he can climb stairs now.  How the hell he learned that….who knows.  I’ve never had him on the stairs, near the stairs…I didn’t even know he knew the concept of stairs.  Until Saturday when he approached the stairs and promptly climbed up 4 of them without blinking an eye.  It’s like second nature for kiddos to scare the bejeebers out of their parents.

And I just can’t get enough of the hugs he’s giving now 🙂  Love that he’s starting to show affection, melts your heart 🙂

baby lovin

 

Mini/Grocery cramming

A few weeks ago my husband bought a Mini Cooper as his commuter car.  He loves it and we are trying to really take advantage of the great gas mileage compared to our SUV’s, so we drive it almost everywhere.  Although now that we’ve been used to having our larger cars, we’ve discovered the few hardships of having the Mini in comparison.

For instance, we have to load J through the rear hatch of the Mini because there just isn’t enough room to get the car seat loaded and buckled in from the front door.  Luckily the hubs has long monkey arms so he can reach over the rear seat to get J buckled.  Also, shopping of any kind is limited.  The first weekend we got the Mini we went to Home Depot for a few things…and forgot we had the Mini, so the large piece of dry erase board we bought had to run the full length of the car and the front corner poked me in the side of the head the whole way home.

Well we still haven’t fully adjusted to the size difference yet.  On Friday night we made our bi-weekly grocery run.  Costco and Wal-Mart for 2 full weeks of food and a few other items.

My menu board for the next 2 weeks has the following items: (all mostly homemade dishes)

Chicken Noodle Casserole
Chicken Pot Pie
Soy Garlic Fish
Artichokes
Mac & Cheese
Nachos
Chicken Fingers
Meatballs

Our grocery list:

Costco-

Chicken
Ground Beef
diapers & wipes x 2 (one set was a baby shower gift)
orange juice (individuals)
Milk

Wal-mart-

jelly
fudge bars
baby yogurt
mommy yogurt
frozen peas x 3
burner buns
butter
avocados
marinade
egg noodles
mix frozen veggies
cream of chicken soup 2 cans
pie crust
tortilla chips
artichokes
fresh berries
carrots
cereal

plus the following household items:

toothbrush
face lotion/wash
shampoo
dry & wet cat food
sponges

We hit Costco first to get the large items out of the way…after we got those few (large) items loaded we weren’t sure we’d get all the rest of our groceries in the car with J and the two of us…But the Mini surprised us – it really is larger than it looks! Not too bad for around $260.00

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Also had this cutie-pie moment 🙂  J’s starting to give love via hugs and “kisses”

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If the stuffed dog hadn’t cost $17 he totally would have gotten it just by sheer cuteness and obvious attachment…sorry to whomever ended up with the slightly drooly pup.