Friday, February 28, 2014

On My Mind

I'm trying not to stress about it and convince myself not to worry.  I'm trying to act like it's no big deal and whatever happens happens.  But it is a big deal and I am worried about it.  I want it to work out so badly.  It didn't work with E and I honestly think I will always hold a little bit of guilt in my heart, guilt that I gave up to soon, that I didn't try harder.

When I was pregnant with E I had all intentions of breastfeeding.  I didn't even consider using formula at all.  On my birth plan, I specifically said "No formula to baby."  But looking back on E's birth, nothing went like I had planned.  I tried nursing hours after the c-section.  We got a few good latches but nothing was coming out.  I was in the hospital for 5 days and tried every 2 hours to nurse and nothing was happening.  All the nurses and lactation consultants were helpful.  I had to use formula because E was loosing weight.  I wouldn't let them use it in a bottle, we used it in a supplemental nursing system.  The last night in the hospital, Mike and I needed a break.  We had E stay in the nursery so we could get some sleep.  He ended up scarfing down 2 2oz bottles of formula.  I was sad that he had a bottle so soon but I knew my baby was probably starving and needed it.

I continued to try to nurse at home and I pumped after every feeding.  It was so much harder than I thought it was going to be.  Somedays it seemed I would nurse E, pump and then he was hungry again.  I constantly had something attached to me and I resented when E wanted to nurse.  When I would pump, I would barely get 2oz.  I was using everything I pumped in order to avoid formula.  Mike said he supported me in whatever I wanted to do.  I was grateful for that.  I could tell he wanted me to use some formula so I could get a break now and then but he also knew how important breastfeeding was to me.

I remember the day I made the decision to stop breastfeeding.  It was a Friday, E was just over a month old.  Mike had left earlier that day for a golf tournament in his hometown and my mom was coming up later that afternoon to help out for the weekend.  It was a hard day.  E wouldn't stop crying, I tried everything I could think of but in my gut I knew he was hungry.  I broke down and fed E some formula I had from the hospital.  I cried while he inhaled the bottle.  I felt like a failure, like there was something wrong with me.  But then I looked down at my baby's face and he was so content as he looked up at me.  We looked into each other's eyes and I remember feeling a real bond with him for the first time.  It's like he was finally content and I knew I made the right choice in giving him the formula.

I still pumped as much as I could until I went back to work, then E was 100% on formula.  Looking back, I do wish I would have tried harder or gotten more help.  But at the time, I made the best decision I could, I was just a mom trying to feed her baby the best way I knew how.

I don't know how things will happen with Baby 2, especially since I know I'm having a c-section again which can sometimes delay milk production.  This time around I will know how truly hard breastfeeding is.  I will understand that it takes time and patience and I am going to do my best to take a relaxed approach.  I'll also have a 2 year old who will need me as well so I have to be realistic with my plans.  All I know is that I will try my hardest to breastfeed but one look at E will remind me that if I have to use formula, that will be ok too.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Snow Days = Pinterest Recipes

The past two days have been snow days, Thursday was the blizzard and today was spent digging out. On top of all the snow, one of our cars won't start. Which doesn't seem like a big deal except we have a narrow driveway and park our cars behind one another. And of course the car that doesn't start is parked behind the working car. Mike spent the better part of yesterday trying to fix it, in the snow I might add. We gave up and called to get it towed. However, because of all the snow, it's going to take 6 hours before the car can get towed today. Which means we're stuck here for a while.

This is our driveway.  The snow is past my knees!

While on vacation, I did a lot of pinning so I decided to make use of my forced time at home and try some new recipes out. I tried 3 new recipes, all of them a success!

The first recipe was something to satisfy my chocolate pregnancy cravings I've been having,
Chocolate Peanut Butter Oatmeal Balls. They are super easy to make, super yummy, and on the healthy side. I'm getting my chocolate fix and some good protein all in one bite.

E helped make this recipe.


The second recipe I tried out was a quinoa dish. I haven't had quinoa in a while and when I came across this recipe I had to try it, Cheesy Greek Style Baked Quinoa.. Again, on the lighter side and full of protein and veggies. Next time I make this I will add more spinach because I love spinach and it cooks down a lot. I could cut back on the cheese if I wanted to, but did anyone ever say "Less cheese please?" This recipe was such a hit with Mike and E we ate the entire thing before I could take my after pic.

The third recipe I tried was Cookie Dough Greek Yogurt.  I made this for Mike and E as a snack this afternoon. I had a few bites and wish I would have made one for myself. This is another great recipe for the chocolate cravings without all the guilt of making a pan of brownies (which I happened to make today as well). Lots of protein from the Greek yogurt and I used mini dark chocolate chips for just the right amount of chocolate.

My boys approve!
Happy Pinning!

Thursday, February 20, 2014

While We Were Away

We are starting to get our house ready for the addition of Baby 2. Because our house is cozy, (I prefer cozy to small) E and his new baby brother or sister will have to share a room. I wanted to redo the room so both kids could have some individual space. My mom offered to paint the room and add a few decorative pieces while we were away in Florida. That sounded like a fantastic offer to me so I told her to have at it!  After a few phone conversations with Mom during the week we were gone, I got the impression she was doing more than just painting. My mom is a talented crafter and decorator and we have the same taste, so I completely trusted her.  

When we got home, it was like I turned my house over to HGTV for a week and got a surprise reveal. Not only did she paint the kids' room, she totally redid it and did some redecorating in our bedroom and the living room. I absolutely love what she did to our house and I'm excited for more decorating to come. I'm also more confident that my family of 4 can live comfortably in our cozy house. Thanks Mom!

E and Baby 2's Room:
This is E's side of the room, right above his bed.
Letters recovered, construction decals, and road painted.

The canvas needs to be hung but this will go right above the crib for Baby 2 on the other side of the room.
Tree decal is new and Mom made the canvas with paint and stencil.

Reading corner.
New rug and Ikea spice rack as bookshelf.  Reused the elephant picture Grandma and Grandpa G took in Africa and E's old animal decals.

Our Room:
Baby 2 will sleep in our room for a a few months so we needed to make it baby friendly.
Moved rocker into our room. New rug, curtains, and canvas tote. Bassinet to come.

Dresser will double as changing area while Baby 2 sleeps in our room.
Mom repainted our old ugly brown dresser, stenciled and added new hardware.

Living room:
Photo collage above couch.
Used frames I already had and spray painted old frames from Goodwill. New lamps and lampshades and pillow.

Love these rules hanging in our living room.
Mom made this from a canvas she painted and stencils.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Our Florida Vacation

As I write about our week in sunny Florida, I'm looking out the window at mounds of snow.  However, if I look up in the sky the sun is shining and the sky is the perfect shade of blue.  It's almost like I'm back in Florida, except then I look back down and the snow is still there.  I also know what's coming tomorrow. Another winter storm, a predicted 3-6 more inches of snow.

My in-laws rented a house for a week in Cape Canaveral.  The house was on a quiet dead end street with a trail leading to the beach.  The house was geared towards vacationing families; fully stocked with beach toys, beach blankets, beach chairs, and a beach umbrella.

Mike, E, and I went to the beach everyday except for one when the temp dipped to 60 with some pretty strong winds.  E spent hours digging in the sand with his shovel or his front end loader.  He'd make occasional trips down to the water to splash and scoop water up with his shovel.  He would giggle when the waves crashed against his legs.  Then he'd head back up to our camp and begin digging again.  Outside parenting is easy, when Mike and I weren't digging with E, we'd relax in our beach chairs watching the waves in the ocean.  There was plenty of good people watching on the beach as well.

The majority of our time was spent at the beach, but we joined the rest of the family for some day trips.  We were about an hour away from Disney World but decided not to do the theme parks.  For the cost, Mike and I didn't think E would get enough out of it.  We did check out Downtown Disney one day.  It's basically just an outdoor mall and it didn't really feel like Disney.  But they had a huge Disney store which E liked since he is obsessed with the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse.  There was also some construction going on and E's other obsession is construction vehicles so seeing the crane and excavator at work was probably the highlight of Downtown Disney.

We also spent a day at the Kennedy Space Center.  E liked looking at the rocket ships and the various videos each exhibit had.  There was also a kids dome play area which was great because towards the afternoon, E was done walking though exhibits.

I was worried about how E would handle vacation, from the pane ride to being in a strange place for a week.  He did so great, much better than I expected.  The plane ride was fine, he was asleep within minutes after takeoff on the way down and slept for over an hour.  The rest of the time he was content looking at books and I was prepared with lots of snacks.  On the way home he was a little more restless, probably because we had to get him up at 4 in the morning to make our flight.  But he did well as long as he was sitting on Mom or Dad's lap.

As far as being in a strange place for a week, he adapted well.  Sleeping was a little rough, mostly on Mom and Dad.  He didn't get many naps in because there was so much to do.  And he was up around 5am each morning and crawled into bed with Mike and me.  Sometimes he would fall back asleep and sometimes he would just roll around.

I smile as I look through the pictures of our vacation.  We had such a wonderful time escaping the cold Minnesota winter and it was good for E to spend time with his grandparents and aunt and uncle.

On the plane to Florida

 We headed to the beach as soon as we got to the house.  

Days on the beach!

 Touching a moon rock at Kennedy Space Center

Downtown Disney - construction site and a big Mickey

 E chose Goofy at the Disney store

 Part of the fun was seeing grass and wearing shorts!