12/12/14

a midday brunch

Description of Photo Last week I went to brunch, in the middle of the week, with two of my friends, and it was awesome! I remember when Ardo was smaller I was so afraid of crying spells. You know, thinking back I wasn't very confident in my parenting with Ardo unless Jerry or my sister or Mom or someone who understood was around. I was just afraid of him acting like a baby...then what? Now, if James acts like a 4 month, then he acts like a 4 month, that's it. I deal with it. James happens to be pretty mellow thankfully (so far), but the times he isn't we just get him happy. Nursing him is always a sure fire way to make him happy, he doesn't really take a paci, but sometimes he will and that will buy me a few minutes to figure out what's wrong. Anyway, besides nursing, we didn't need any remedies, James was a champ. Our server was really funny too. He was probably as old as I am, and he saw James and said "oh is he a newborn?" I said, "no, he was 4 months old" and he said, "oh my brother is 7 months old, they grow fast, trust." I said, "oh no I trust you" haha it was a weird exchange of words. We had brunch at Larchmont Bungalow, I've never been but they are famous for their red and blue velvet pankcakes...holy crap these were good. I had it more like a dessert than breakfast but they were tasty! Description of Photo See that food...gone in 60 seconds...or less! Description of Photo

12/5/14

breastfeeding :: part 3 -- pumping

Okay so, to all of my exclusive pumpers out there, I never was able to get this much milk stored with Ardo, but because this was my second time at the pump, I was much more successful! I've been part of the exclusive pumper club too and if you're out there and exclusively pumping, hooray to your dedication! This post is about how I was able to pump and store 500oz of breastmilk, I keep adding to it, and taking a some away, but last time I checked it was 500oz.
I remember in the beginning, I would pull up lots and lots of youtube videos of women latching their babies. I would practice and practice, everyday. My lactation consultant told me that the best way to perfect breastfeeding was to breastfeed. I came across a video of a woman who had pumped and stored 1,000oz of breastmilk. I remember watching that and thinking how on earth could anyone make so much milk!!!
As I said I was an exclusive pumper with Ardo for 6 months. I didn't know that I was an exclusive pumper or that there was a name for it, I just knew I pumped and he took it. When Ardo was 4 months old I went on a 2 day vacation to Las Vegas. I pumped liked crazy, every two hours round the clock for 2 weeks before I went on the trip. While I was in Vegas I didn't think to ask for a room with a fridge or anyway to store the milk so for 2 days I pumped and dumped. I think back and cringe on how I dumped precious liquid gold (some of that milk didn't even have alcohol in it).
I was able to store about 50 ounces over what Ardo needed on a daily basis and was really proud of myself, but soon after the trip my body started producing what I felt was less and I had went through my back up so at 6 months we started Ardo on formula. Once we started him on formula I stopped pumping, I wished I could have gone longer but it was so much work and dedication, at 6 months I felt okay with putting my pump away.

As I've said before James was in the NICU for a few days after he was born. I started pumping the night he was born. I wasn't able to feed James directly for a few days so my milk had to come in with a pump. I started every 2 hours for 15 minutes each session round the clock. At night I would go 3 hours but I always woke up at 3 hours and pumped. I was very diligent because I knew to successfully breastfeed I needed my milk supply. I was very tired but I knew if I let more than 2-3 hours pass and my milk supply suffered I would be upset it later. I also thought if James was home right now I wouldn't be sleeping anyway. Everyday I brought my milk to the NICU so we wouldn't need formula. While James was still in the NICU I started noticing James had left over milk. I started breastfeeding in the NICU and James would eat as much as he wanted and after I would pump to make sure I was empty. I was still able to get a little milk after he fed. When we came home and while we were working on his latch I had the same routine. After every nursing session I still pumped. I didn't want to but in the meantime of figuring out his latch and after I got mastisis I pumped every every nursing session. Nursing sessions were taking longer than I liked but I wanted to make sure I didn't get mastisis again either so I tried to keep my breast empty. I purchase a battery operated breastpump. In the event James took a bottle while we were out, I would make that bottle up by pumping in the car, so I never missed a feeding. This went on for a good 2 months. James ate and after I pumped, wherever we were. By the end of the second month I started accumulating milk. We supplemented James less with a bottle after feedings because he was content with breastfeeding but I put a demand on my body for more milk. During feedings that he didn't take a bottle after I just stored that milk and had back up. I just kept with this routine. I breastfed as much as possible. I would switch sides, not once or twice but 3-4 sometimes 5 times each feeding. I also realized this time around I wasn't worried with James crying a little bit. I wouldn't let him scream but with Ardo any crying would make me nervous, with James I just realized, it's just crying and he'll be latched and happy or bottle and happy and his crying would stop. Soon I realized I had an over supply because I started tracking my breastfeeding. I would track how long he fed, how many ounces of breastmilk he took by bottle and how much per day I was pumping. I realized I was pumping at least 5-8 ounces over what he was taking by bottle. I didn't want to stop because I would be going back to work soon. I thought I would rather have more milk than less.

I asked my lactation consultant and she advised me that if James was eating directly from me with less bottles then to pump less. She told me that while an oversupply was okay she didn't want to up my chances of getting mastisis again. I started doing that but it had become such a routine for me to pump after feedings I didn't start pumping less til more recently. James was becoming much more efficient at breastfeeding and his weigh gain was great that the extra milk just started to pile up. No babies we're drinking it! Before I knew it my entire freezer was filled! I had to ask my mom to store some I gave her to market bags full and I still had more. Jerry's parents have a deep freezer so I asked if I could store some in there. I separated it by months and started storing. When I separated it, I counted and sure enough, 300 ounces went into the deep freezer. My mom counted hers and had 100 ounces and I had 100 ounces in my freezer at home. 500 ounces of breastmilk stored. 500 ounces! I couldn't believe! I was on my way to being that youtube woman! So there you have it! I think the thing that helped me the most and I'm sure would help anyone else that wanted to build up a supply is to pump after feeding, in the beginning. Pumping and breastfeeding (switching sides a few times each feeding) really helped my body know that James needed more milk. Then when I did pump after feedings it was always for at least 15 minutes. I know pumping is a pain in the neck and the whole point for me to have a lactation consultant this time around was to be able to avoid pumping, although I wasn't able to avoid pumping this time, I'm grateful to have a huge stash. If anyone has any questions on pumping like a maniac, please feel free to email me or leave your comments below, I'd be happy to help! I really didn't know what pictures to post with this because I was definitely NOT going to post a picture of me pumping, so I leave you with a picture of Jamesy boy, cause you know, whatever I've gone through, he's always worth it! Description of Photo

12/3/14

thankful

Today I woke up so tired! We had a very long 4 day weekend. It was wonderful but very tiring. Wednesday my friend Laura hosted a Friendsgiving at her house. I love getting together with my friends, it's so grown up of us to have our own Thanksgiving. My boys get so much love. My family, Jerry's family and my great friends. This weekend of all weekends Ardo came down with a cold. We only spent a couple hours at Jerry's parents house and then needed to bring Ardo home, he just was not feeling well. We stayed inside just about the entire long weekend. I was just about to get cabin fever when yesterday Ardo was feeling much better and we did several dances to Mickey Mouses clubhouse. I'm thankful for my sweet boys. I'm thankful that after all I went through with James he's the healthiest 4 month old. I'm thankful for my family and my sister who comes every single morning to help me with my boys so I don't completely lose my mind. I'm so thankful for my job. I'm thankful for my wonderful husband who loves and supports us. This year has been a great one. Below are a few pictures I took of the boys in their Thanksgiving gear. I really wanted to have this post done before December 1st but with Ardo sick and James not going to sleep before 10pm, it became nearly impossible to do anything. I need some blogger tips on when to blog? I am barely able to blog at home, which is why my thankful post is coming to you on the first week of December! Sometimes I swear I get tired of saying how tired I am. I promise I really do!
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11/26/14

turkey butt

We're having a friendsgiving tonight and I'm super excited about it, so for now I'll leave you with this turkey butt! Description of Photo
More turkey talk tomorrow. Aaaand if you wouldn't mind voting for us just click the pig and vote for us at top baby blogs! Thanks so much in advance and have a happy thanksgiving!

11/25/14

that time i called bravo and thought i was so cool

I am a HUGE Bravo fan. I love just about everything on Bravo. I watch all the housewives (of course), Vanderpump Rules, Watch What Happens Live, Flipping Out, and I'm really excited about the newest scripted show that is going to premiere next week. I'm mostly excited because I'm a fan of Janeane Garofalo and haven't seen her in anything in awhile. I swear this isn't a plug for bravo and Andy Cohen didn't ask me to write this post, although if he would have I totally would have done it!
Okay so back to the embarrassing story. I have Direct TV which means for us our TV runs on east coast time. Watch What Happens Live comes on at 11pm east coast which means 8pm west coast, which means I always watch it live (when I can). 8pm is usually the time I'm trying to put James down for the night and if not for the night he always eats at 8pm. That means we snuggle on my side of the bed and I'm bonding with James and Andy Cohen and whatever guest he has on that night. Two Mondays ago I was on facebook and saw that Sherri Shepard and Kenya Moore were going to be on Watch What Happens Live. If you haven't seen the show, it's a fun late night show that takes live phone calls and tweets and facebook messages and Andy asks the guests those questions live on his show. I've always wanted to call in but never have. After watching Atlanta's premiere I decided it was time. I had a question for Kenya Moore and I wanted it answered!! (truth be told I can't stand Kenya! I know I don't really know her so I'm gonna say I can't stand her character, although if you saw the show Sherri Shepard didn't seem to like her either) I did think it was weird that they were having Kenya on Watch What Happens Live on a Monday because usually Andy has guests on the night of their own shows. But facebook said she was gonna be on, so it must be true! I tell Jerry and he's cheering me on telling me to call. So I call:

Person who answers Watch What Happens Live phone: HELLO! What's your question?
Me: AAAAHHHH....Hang up!

Jerry just looked at me then starting yelling "what happened, why did you hang up!!"
But I just got scared, I really wanted to ask Kenya why she continues to play the victim when we can all see that she isn't! But when they picked up, it scared me. Jerry urged me to call back because since they picked up, I might get through to Andy, and I just love him. So I gathered up all my nerve and called back!

Person who answers Watch What Happens Live phone: HELLO! What's your question?
Me: I want to ask Kenya why----
Person who answers Watch What Happens Live phone: Excuse me ma'am ma'am, the kids from Vanderpump Rules are on tonight.
Me: What but facebook said...Kenya was on with Sherri Shepard?
Person who answers Watch What Happens Live phone: Oh no she'll be on on Sunday after Atlanta..Do you have a question for Tom or Ariana?
Me: No. :( (I wasn't prepared for another question! I barely worked the nerve for this one!)
Person who answers Watch What Happens Live phone: Okay thanks for calling!

I hang up and just start cracking up! Not only did I think I was so cool and gonna call Kenya out, when I had the first opportunity I hang up cause I'm scared. Then I finally work the nerve up to call back she isn't even on that day! I'm so lame!
I didn't wind up calling when she was on the following Sunday but someone did ask the question for me. I'm still laughing at myself for that one.

11/24/14

addicted

I've never been a coffee drinker. (are you gasping? usually people do when I tell them that) I have just never acquired a taste for it. Whenever I go to starbucks I usually get Vanilla Bean. Seasonally I will get Peppermint Mocha (my fav) but I can't taste the espresso in it. That peppermint is just too good. On my way to work I usually want something in the morning. There's a starbuck nearby but it's kinda outta the way, and since I'm usually late I don't always go. There's a McDonalds much closer and the drive thru is usually empty or goes really fast. I probably shouldn't be eating either of these, but I can't help it. I usually get a breakfast sandwich and an orange juice. I knew McDonalds had ice coffees and frappes but I never really gave them a second thought. One day I was ordering my breakfast as usual and the frappe mocha caught my eye. I gave it a try and omg, I absolutely love them! I'm totally addicted! I have been getting a few a week for the last 3 weeks. I gotta kick my habit! I'm not too concerned about my breastmilk because I pump before work and I don't but again for a couple hours after I drink them so that doesn't help to kick my habit. They aren't very expensive so again, I don't have a sure fire reason to kick my habit. I'm trying my darndest to start weight watchers but these little guys do me in! aaaah how do you kick something that tastes so good?? Description of Photo Look at that whip cream...mmmmmmm

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's usually like this > Description of Photo But I'd love him more like this > Description of Photo