Monday, April 25, 2016

Weekends are where it's at

What a gorgeous weekend we had filled with visits from Grandma and Papa Nelson, yard work, shooting hoops, school craft projects, naps, shopping, Jimmy Johns sandwiches, playing with friends, sandals and shorts and pie and ice cream. 

We are slipping into an easy summer routine with longer nights, dirty toes, and t-shirt tanned arms. I love that it stay lighter out and the windows can be open letting in the perfect breeze. 

I could live in 70 degree weather all year round. I love weekends.


Thursday, April 21, 2016

Jett's First Cereal

Jett is almost 6 months old and still has troubles sleeping through the night. As mentioned in a previous post he was doing well until month 4. From 4 months old to now he gets up once in the night to eat. 

Thinking this might fill him up and giving him something to do while we eat dinner, we decided to try out some cereal. Jett loves watching us eat but often finds himself getting hungry. 

He did well. They say only ten percent get in their mouth and I can agree with that. With his hands getting in the way, him moving and it being pretty runny, more spilled off the spoon that what got into his mouth. 

We'll keep trying and keep hoping one of these days he'll make it through the night again. 

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Exclusively Pumping

Let me start by saying whatever a mother chooses for her child is what's best for her and her child. My opinions are my own, I'm just sharing them to document my experiences and to possibly help others who might have similar struggles.

With Sullivan, I had visions of nursing till he was one year old. I thought he would do great nursing, we would bond while he nursed, I would produce milk without any problems and I'd have a healthy chunky baby. Instead I got a colic baby who cried a lot, had to cut dairy out of my diet hoping that would help, my breast we sore only to find out after he was a week or two old that Sullivan was born tongue tied and wasn't latching correctly. I constantly heard how tiny my baby was which to a mother struggle to feed their child was like hearing I was starving him. I'll admit, my first few weeks as a mother were spent crying with my baby and praying he would eat well and be happy after being full. With nursing Sullivan I was never sure he ever got full and I felt like he was always wanting to eat. Bonding while nursing didn't happen, I honestly could wait to be done and always felt like it took forever. I'm also extremely uncomfortable nursing in front of others and in public so errands and visitors worked around our feeding schedule. Even as he got older I thought things would smooth out, and they did get better. But trying to nurse and pump enough to have him drink during day at daycare was a struggle. We eventually started introducing formula to him as my supply depleted. 

When Jett was born, I had a mindset that I would try it again but if memory lane took me back to how it was with Sullivan, I would stop and do formula. I wasn't about to travel that road again with a newborn and a 3 year old to take care of. In the hospital, things went okay. Again while nursing I felt Jett was hungry and never got a good latch plus he'd fall asleep so I was unsure if his belly was getting full. About 4 days after he was born, I switched plans and decided to just pump. I had read pins on Pinterest about exclusively pumping and thought maybe if I do that I'd stress less and make it a few months on breast milk. 

People have tried to say that if you exclusively pump you won't produce much milk and eventually your supply will stop. People also said that it's uncomfortable and tiring. I have exclusively pumped for over 5 months now. I have an entire freezer in my basement just for milk, yes just for milk. I never dreamt that would happen.

When I first started exclusively pumping I pumped every 3 hours, day and night and I continued this until Jett was a little over 2 months old. Somewhere around the 2 1/2 to 3 month mark, I moved to every 4 hours- day and night. With Jett now being 5 months old, I pump every 5 to 6 hours. I still get up once in the night to pump. It can be tiring but I have a goal. I want a freezer of milk to last me until Jett would be one years old, once I have this, I'll stop pumping. As of right now, I have 3,020 ounces of milk in my freezer. The picture below is my freezer of milk. Sadly this isn't enough to get me to 12 month old. Rather this freezer full will only get me a couple of months. 

I'm very proud of what I've done. It really hasn't been that hard or tiring. I do still look forward to when I'll get a full night's sleep but doesn't every mother! On average, I produce between 40 to 50 ounces of milk a day. Jett currently drinks about 35 to 41 ounces of milk a day so even if I didn't have my freezer stash, I'd still be getting by. 

What I've found that works. When starting exclusively pumping, find a schedule that works for you and stick to it as best as possible. Pump often and freeze the milk. A while back we ran into an issue with Jett were he was getting frozen milk at daycare and fresh milk at home and suddenly he wanted nothing to do with the frozen milk. We worked through it and now he gets frozen milk at home and at daycare. On occasion he will get fresh milk but using frozen milk and home and daycare keeps things consistent and uses the old milk first. All breastfeeding mothers know how devastating it is throwing away milk or spilling it.

I hope this post inspires other moms like me who aren't comfortable breastfeeding but still want to provide their milk to their children. You can exclusively pump, enjoy your growing family, have a healthy baby and get that beautifully stocked freezer of milk. 


Thursday, April 14, 2016

Spring has sprung

It's been a beautiful week here in Iowa. Every day seems to get a little warmer and a little less windy. We took advantage of the nice evening and hit up one of our favorite little trails. 

Mike and Sullivan had fun feed the geese bread and then we went on a little family walk. Just what we all needed to wind down for the evening after busy days of school and work.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

5 month Jett

On Friday our handsome, smiley, lovable Jett turned 5 months. These are the months I want to bottle up and keep forever. Jett loves attention. Loves people talking to him, playing with him, and of course chauffeuring him around so he's not left alone. His smile could light up the room, seriously, I don't think any other baby's smile can be bigger than his. And his dimples will win over any lady young or old.

At 5 months, Jett can roll over consistently from back to tummy, in fact he rarely is on his back anymore. Most of the time he gets mad being on his tummy all the time because he hasn't mastered rolling back over. I think we are getting close though, he's rolled back to tummy and then tummy to back a few times but nothing consistent. 

We are also working on sitting up! A work in progress but I have a feeling we will have this mastered before 6 months. 

Shortly after he turned 4 months, Jett took a turn like all unpredictable babies. He stopped finishing his bottles and sleeping through the night. Not sure what all brought this on, but he's continuing to gain weight, is healthy as an ox, isn't fussy and has no issues with burning through diapers. It's very strange though because some times he finishes them and others he will leave 1 to 2 ounces left. I think because of the change in his eating habits, this caused him to get hungry in the night and wake up. So we are no longer sleeping through the night anymore. Now at 5 months he gets up to eat once in the night but can whine an additional 2-3 times for his pacifier. 

There's no teeth yet, but with the combination of appetite change, constantly chewing on his fingers ALL THE TIME, and stinky #2s, I have a feeling teeth will be popping up soon. 

Jett's personality is also developing more. When he's angry he scrunches his nose and starts to snuff and snort. When he's happy and content he "talks" loudly. And if you want him to giggle you just have to tickle him. He's very ticklish so we tickle him all the time just to hear the wonderful baby giggles. 

His attentiveness and eye sight are advancing as well. He loves to grab for toys and play with his older brother. It won't be long and Jett will be Sullivan's little shadow. It's quite adorable when Sullivan talks and sings to him, Jett listens and smiles to every word. I can already tell he thinks of the world about his older brother. 

Jett is our little baby bear. If your hands are near his, he will grab on and not let go and if you give him something to hold it goes straight in the mouth. 

We love watching you grow sweet boy!

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Creative little mind

Sullivan is growing to be quite the little artist. In fact, on most days he would choose to sit and draw, color or make collages instead of play with any toys in his room. 

One of his newest obsessions is working in dad's office whenever Mike is working in there. Sullivan sets up shop while Mike's busy counting shirts or tending to orders and emails. This past weekend was just the same, Mike was taking inventory while Sullivan was making a picture. While drawing Sullivan seemed to notice an old crate in Mike's office that he uses for additional storage. Sullivan insisted on having his own "cubby," I guess it's a sign he's moving in. He felt pretty special to  have a spot for his things in dad's office. 

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Picture Perfect Weekend

What a great weekend! Such a bummer that tomorrows already Monday again, but we made the most of our weekend while we had it.

It was a windy one, but today was perfect temperatures and the sun was shinning. I'm loving the green grass, buds on the trees and longer days. The boys love being outdoors so we tried our best to get moments of fresh air this weekend despite the 40+ mph winds. 

With an early start to the weekend on Friday afternoon, I helped at Sullivan's preschool setting up for their annual garage sale. I had extra time to kill while Sullivan was finishing up his preschool class, so I took a quick walk on Main Street to check out some shops and then home to get the house cleaned. I've realized that life would be so much better if work got done at noon on Friday and I had a couple of hours to run grab groceries and clean the house before anyone else got home. 

The boys and I hung out on Saturday while Mike was selling Red Piglet at Barn Happy's open house. While daddy was away, Sullivan and I made some cookies and scored a sweet kite for later on at our trip to Target. 

Sunday was the real fun day! Beautiful weather, a lazy morning start to the day then turning out to be quite productive. A little spring cleaning, a fun game of BINGO, kite flying and playing at the park, some ice cream, art projects for school and picking up sticks outside to wrap up the day. The boys took baths and were both out cold in no time from all the fun we had. 

Looking forward to more wonderful days like today.
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