11/21/14

so i read....

Babycenter likes to send me my updates about James all the time. Is your baby rolling over? Is your baby babbling? How much your baby should be eating? Most of the time I'll read these or delete them, whatever I want. This time around I decided not to take what every baby is doing too serious. I did that with Ardo and mainly it drove me crazy. Today I received an baby sleep basics email and I found it VERY interesting. Babycenter was informing me James could/should be sleeping about 16 hours a day (they also said 10 1/2 is fine too but I'm focusing on the higher number) Oh lawd, I wish! James does not take naps very well at all! He takes maybe one per day, and he's only 4 months old!! On the days he's home with me he barely sleeps. It's kinda driving me a little crazy because although I love my time with him (don't we as mom always feel the need to say how much we love our kids before we complain) I would love it even more to get a quick break. He usually sleeps if I go somewhere, but to be honest that's the time I wouldn't mind him awake. He'd be able to look at all the new surroundings and people, but of course that's when he snoozes. He will sleep at home in my arms but as soon as I put him down, boom, he wakes right up. I know his sleeping schedule will go up and down and I'm not holding out any hope he'll start sleeping super long stretches at night but during the day would be just fantastic!
Any advice on how to get my little guy to nap longer??
He usually like this > Description of Photo But I'd love him more like this > Description of Photo

11/19/14

breastfeeding :: part 2

I am breaking up my breastfeeding story because it's long and not something I wanted to rush into one ridiculously long post. Part 1 is here and now onto part 2.

Description of Photo Once I got home, everything went to hell in a hand basket. James still latched and he was eating every 2-3 hours but I somehow lost all the confidence because I was home by myself (how odd my wonderful nurses didn't want to come with me!) I only stayed in the hospital one day after James was born so when we all finally came home, my body suddenly realized it had been on bedrest for 11 weeks with no rest and now my body was TIRED! Suddenly on one side, James' latch started to hurt, I could tell it was shallow, he was eating but I was still pumping after and then I started topping him off with breastmilk but that meant nursing session took 1-2 hours! I was crazy exhausted. Jerry didn't get his maternity leave til September so the next Monday, Ardo needed to go to school and I was freaking out. Thank goodness my mom helped me out by taking Ardo to school for a few weeks. I started feeling very overwhelmed and then my nipple cracked. As soon as it did, I called a lactation consultant and got help. I knew how this would go if I didn't get myself help and I definitely wanted to continue breastfeeding and I wanted to cut the pumping if I could. Jessica (my lactation consultant) was amazing! I loved her website because she specifically says, don't shower, don't clean, stay in bed if you want, I will come to you!
She reassured me that whether I had to pump or I could directly breastfeed, getting James fed WAS the most important thing. I guess I knew that, but to me the most important thing was breastfeeding him, so hearing out loud that breastfeeding WASN'T the most important thing, really put me at ease. Jessica helped me learn to properly latch James, and the importance of breastfeeding on both sides and then again on both sides, and then again! The hospital encouraged me to only breastfeed for 15 minutes. Jessica threw all those rules out and gave me a new set of rules. I felt so much better. Not only did I now have some direction, I had Jessica's phone number. She told me I could text her whenever I wanted, and I did. She was such a cheerleader for me. About a week later I wound up getting mastisis. I actually wasn't shocked, I was so stressed, my nipple had cracked and I didn't always offer James my breast multiple times to try and empty them. I didn't experience it with Ardo so I talked to Jessica and did the best I could. Thankfully for me, the fever only lasted one day and I didn't need meds, James ate and ate and I pumped and pumped to make sure I was getting completely emptied at each feeding. I am so happy I got help this time around for breastfeeding. I didn't want to give up, and I knew if I didn't get help, for sure I would give up. I know so many people do stop because it's so many things at once. You've had a new baby, you're exhausted, you're stressed and it starts becoming not worth all the stress. Even my lactation consultant said, if you start dreading and hating feedings, stop! I nurse James now, just laying in bed and him just eating away and I think about the first month, I'm so glad I kept at it. It's now going on 4 months and my milk supply is well established...a little too established (I have a bit of an oversupply) and James is getting his chubs.
With Ardo, I sorta kept him on a schedule with eating and sleeping. He ate every 2-3 hours for awhile but inbetween those 2-3 hours I really didn't offer him more. He gained weight slowly and I now I know that was probably part of the reason. Our Dr said he was fine but he could have stood to gain another pound or two. James is not having any problems gaining weight. That little guy eats whenever, wherever and however much. I only control his food if I bottle feed him but even then, I offer him a 3oz bulk feeding and then an ounce after that until he is full. So while our little journey has not been easy, I'm so happy to say James hasn't had any formula (a decision Jerry and I wanted early on), he's gaining really well and my love for lactation consultants is tenfold. :) The next part of this breastfeeding story is how I was able to pump and store 500 ounces of breastmilk!
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11/17/14

beach birthday

Description of Photo On Saturday we celebrated a friend of mine from high school's 30th birthday. He and his boyfriend rented out a little place in Newport right on the beach. It was gorgeous! Days here in Southern California have finally started to cool down. The party started at 1 and we got there at 1:30, I'm considering that a huge victory because I can't tell you how late we've been getting everywhere now. Another thing I had heard about having a second baby, how hard it is to get out of the house, you people weren't kidding! I absolutely love getting together with my friends. My best friend (forever) Izzy hadn't met Jamesy boy yet. I gave her a hard time and told her James didn't want to meet her now! Ardo loves the beach so we took his sand toys and let him play near the house. He thought he was so cool playing in the sand with his jeans on. We had such a wonderful time.

Izzy with Jamesy boy, for some reason he liked her! Description of Photo We've been friends since kindergarden, that's all Description of Photo The birthday boy was going to take the plunge and dive into the ocean....but at the last minute decided against it! haha. He did wind up going in...a little. I don't blame him that water looked cold!
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11/14/14

dennys breakfast

Denny's was never really my restaurant of choice for a quick breakfast. Jerry loves Denny's and I love food so I quickly cave when it comes to choosing where we should grab breakfast. Denny's has been advertising pumpkin pancakes and that really sparked my interest. I pretty much like all things pumpkin. Last week after my mom's trip to the Dr (she received another clean bill of health FYI) we wanted to stop for a little breakfast. We decided on Denny's...or, hmmm, did we decide or maybe I was just the driver and took us where I wanted? Either way, we ended up at Denny's. OMG the pumpkin pancakes were soooo good. You didn't even need syrup because the butter was a cinnamon flavored whipped topping. THE BEST! I think they might have them through November, I gotta go at least one more time. I just love when you don't have to drive super far to get something so delicious.

I always feel the need that these posts aren't sponsored. 95% of my content is just me sharing, what I did, where I went and I what I like, but again this is not sponsored by Denny's, the pumpkin pankcakes are just the bomb!
Description of Photo My two sisters. I got hot chocolate and Mariah got pumpkin coffee. I just can't with coffee taste. I hear so many people talk about it and it sounds like it would be great but I just don't like the taste. Description of Photo

11/12/14

first time at the movies

Jerry has been wanting to take Ardo to the movies. I've been hesitant because he's not a great TV watcher. I'm not complaining, although sometimes I will set him up with Yo Gabba Gabba or Jake and he watches for a little bit, while I'm doing something with James. Jerry had a lot of confidence in him tho so off we went to see Big Hero 6. We had a gift card so we figured if he hates it, at least we aren't spending cash. We asked Jerry's mom to watch James for us because I wasn't sure how he would do with the really loud noise. Jerry is big on Ardo having his own time with us...for me, I'm a second born child and I very strongly feel that Ardo had us all to himself and now it's sharing time. Although I did agree I didn't want the loud noise to scare James, so we left him with his Abues. I haven't been to the movies in a really long time. The last movie I saw in the theater was Horrible Bosses and now they're coming out with a second one so its been a few years. We went a little crazy at the concession stand because we went hungry...HUGE MISTAKE. We bought hot dogs and pretzels and nachos and red vines and large sodas and of course popcorn. We got to the movie about 15 minutes before previews. Previews started and Ardo was super excited. After the 6th preview I think he thought that was the movie because he said he was ready to go home. haha. When the movie did finally start Ardo did well, he paid attention and sat through most of it and only needed to be bribed with a little bit of popcorn. You know what the best part was? There we so many kids making noise and crying and talking really loud, no one seemed to notice each other. I love that. I wasn't the only one shushing my kid and I got no side eyes, what a relief. I'm really glad we took him. I think the highlight besides the movie itself was that the movie theater had a big Baymax in the lobby. Ardo FREAKED! He thought it was the real thing. He went right past the rope they had to separate us from Baymax and gave him a huge hug!
I love this smile he's been making lately for his pictures. It's so sweet! Description of Photo I got a picture with him too but I guess I put my make up on with my eyes closed cause my make up looks all kinds of weird. This picture is much much better! Description of Photo

11/11/14

breastfeeding :: part 1

Description of Photo I've been wanting to share about my experience but oh LAWD where do I begin. I know I do this a lot but I didn't start this blog til Ardo was 10 months old. There are things I never shared on here about the beginning days of mommy hood. So here goes...When Ardo was born, he was in the NICU for a few days. I didn't know I had the power to say, I want my child to have breast only. At least the next day, I didn't know, so I let the Dr's and nurses give Ardo a bottle of formula and pumped milk. When Ardo came home I tried to breastfeed him. I had seen so many movies and read so many blogs, I just figured he would latch right away with no problem. Well there was a problem, a big ole problem. He had nipple confusion and didn't want to latch. He didn't want to latch, he wanted milk now and I was really scared of him crying to long. I would try and try and nothing! I reluctantly and unknowingly became an exclusive pumper. Can I tell you the life of an exclusive pumper is so hard! I was always so worried about being away from my pump for too long and Ardo was also hard to soothe. He didn't take a paci so I was always pumping, so he could have milk. It was stressful and when he turned 6 months he wanted more milk (which now actually I think my milk was just balanced) and I felt I wasn't producing enough, so the day I needed to supplement with formula, I felt I did as much as I could and I started to wean myself from pumping and started Ardo on formula. It took me soooo long to get over the fact that I couldn't breastfeed the way I had always imagined. I couldn't believe it didn't work out. Every blog and every instagram made me feel like I was the only one that had "failed." I swear every other person I knew had absolutely no problems.
When I became pregnant with James I knew I didn't want a repeat. I started by asking Laura for good literature. I realized I really needed to educate myself on how breastfeeding works. She suggested The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding as a go to guide. I read the book cover to cover and even continue to refer to it with any questions I STILL may have. Since I was on bedrest, I also took advantage to asking the nurses any questions I might have and because I saw my Dr every single day (a perk of bedrest, I love her) I continued to ask her as well. When James was born and needed to be in the NICU I took action. From day one I expressed to the nurses and his NICU Dr I want to breasfeed as soon as possible! To ensure my milk supply the night James was born, I started pumping, I got very little colostrum, but one thing I had already learned from Ardo was that I needed to pump to be able to breastfeed. I pumped round the clock every 2-3 hours. Rarely going longer than that. When it was time to breastfeed, I immediately even without being told made an appointment with the lactation consultant they had available at the hospital. I breastfed as much as I could and still pumped after to make sure I was emptied so my body knew I needed more milk. I did this routine til James came home. I was very confident in the hospital because James' latch seemed strong and I needed less and less help from the nurses. I bought my brest friend before James left the hospital and I left with a sense of confidence! That is...until I got home. Description of Photo Ardo spent a lot of time asking me what I'm doing. Description of Photo I spent my time explaining to him and he thought it was funny…still does.

11/10/14

saturday morning

I go to sleep on Friday night and I think a little troll might come in and make a huge mess because I swear I wake up to the apartment upside down. Then since it's already a mess, I just go with it! Laundry is everywhere...Goliath is laying all over everything, and in the midst of it all, my boys want waffles. My waffle maker is the greatest, I don't know how much she loves me tho because I always wind up doing this > Description of Photo
I swear I don't mean to, but I somehow always overpour.

I come out of the kitchen and there's Ardo playing with his hungry, hungry hippos. I appreciate so much that he looks at the camera and smiles on his own. It's so sweet. Description of Photo
I made a few more waffles and actually got one right this time! No spillage! Description of Photo
Before I leave the kitchen, this guy was like...um where's my waffles?? Description of Photo
That towel is not Goliath's bed, but no one told him that!