Tuesday, December 30, 2014

My favorite moments of 2014- reflections in pictures


I seriously don't know where 2014 has gone. It has flown by. Really the last 10 years of my life has gone by so fast! 2014 was a great year. I went back to work from maternity leave, becoming a working mom of two, which is definitely a challenge in itself. I got promoted! I watched Holly grow and reach milestones too quickly. I have watched Grant's vocabulary go from 50 words to full blown conversations. I love seeing Grant and Holly interact with each other. Sibling love is the best as the year has gone by. 2014 has been a great year! May 2015 be another great year.

To follow tradition with my blog, every year I highlight my year with a picture to represent each month. I have done this for 2012 (click here to see)  and 2013 (click here to see) . Now here is to 2014!

Here are my reflections for 2014, in pictures:

January: Grant takes swimming classes at the YMCA!

February: Grant turns two! This is Pin the Nose on Elmo with Grant's added artwork

March- I had my golden birthday! I turned 30 on the 30th! I had a great night with friends!



April- Happy Easter! All dressed up!
May- Getting Hot in Cleveland with a girls weekend to celebrate Megan's birthday!

 



June- Dancing the night away at Greg and Heather's wedding
July- Being a wolf on our family vacation at the great wolf lodge

August- Celebrated my co-workers bridal shower, baby wolf-face style.
September- Having fun at the pork festival
October- All dressed up for Halloween!

November- Happy First Birthday Holly!
December- Merry Christmas! Love these two!



Sunday, December 28, 2014

Merry Christmas and where does the time go?

I am still alive! I know it has been two months since my last post! It's been crazy recently! I need more time to write. All I feel like I do is work, do laundry, clean, get the kids ready for bed, and repeat. Not enough time in the day, and where has the time gone? 2014 will be over in a few days! Ekk!!

I hope everyone had a good Christmas. It was fun to watch Grant and Holly enjoy Christmas. Grant was so excited about Christmas this year! We let him decide what to give Santa the night before, and he selected popcorn and tea! He didn't want to share his cookies with Santa! Grant is so funny! Here are some pictures to highlight our Christmas season! And hope I have time to write some more blog posts in the future!!

It's Santa Grant!

And Santa's Helper!

Opening presents

Grant got an helicopter and a fireman suit!



Holly is looking pretty serious!

Grant got an workbench from Santa!

Holly is more excited about Marco's cat toy present.

Yum! I like to eat presents!

Enjoying all of our new toys!

Monday, October 20, 2014

What's happening with the Shermans

I just realized it has been way too long since I have blogged! I seriously do not know where this year has gone. I cannot believe it is already October! And I can't believe my baby girl will be a year old next month! I have blinked my eye and this year is almost over! How does that even happen? So what is been going on with us recently?

Here are some random snapshots of our lives:

  •  Holly is starting to take a few steps, and standing up for longer periods of time without holding on to anything
  • Potty Training has finally taken on full force! Grant was good going potty when he is at the in home daycare provider but it was a fight to get him to go when he got at home. Last week the sitter made a potty book, where she put stickers for each time Grant went potty. He took this book home, and it helped him want to get more stickers at home! He has not worn a diaper in the last two weeks. He wants to wear his pull ups. And now he is getting to the point where he is wearing the same pull up all day long. He still pees in them on occasion. But we have made HUGE progress in the last two weeks. The potty book is brilliant and is working for Grant. 
  • I got a promotion at work and now I manage a staff! It has been crazy at work lately with this new role, but I don't have to work nights now which means more time with the kiddo 
  • Grant is going to be a T-Rex for Halloween, and Holly is going to be a mermaid! Grant loves his costume and wants to wear it ALL the time. He cries when I have to take it off. 
  • Grant is going to be a ring bearer in my brother's wedding. My brother gets married next month. We just got Grant's suit. Grant cried when I took his suit off. He was so excited to wear it! Now lets hope Grant will walk down the aisle and cooperate.  He will get to walk with his two cousins Anika and Leah (who will be the flowergirls) so maybe that will help!
  •  November is going to be a crazy month! Weddings! Traveling to South Carolina for my brother's wedding, then a big party I am planning for my brother, and Holly's FIRST birthday! Eek!! November is going to me BUSY!
  • Grant is obsessed with Christmas already. He has been watching TONS of christmas videos and I got him a santa pj set yesterday. He was so excited to wear it that we had to put it on him as soon as he got home. Christmas is going to be so much fun with Grant this year! I can't wait!!
Grant loves Christmas!!

  •  Poor little buddies both have an ear infection. Holly has a double ear infection and Grant has an ear infection in one ear. I think Holly might be allergic to amoxillion. :( She has been on it for a week now, and has a bad rash on her chest :( Poor Holly!
 Other than that, it has been pretty much the same old same old! I can't believe it is Fall already! How the year has flown by. I can't wait for Halloween and seeing Grant's excitement for it. :)



Friday, August 22, 2014

My little 2 1/2 year old

It looks like he is flipping me the bird! But he just didn't want his picture taken
This kiddo makes me smile, pull my hair out, laugh, and cry all at the same time. I can't believe he is already 2 1/2. I feel like the last the differences between 2 and 2 1/2 are astonishing. Grant's language has really sky rocketed in the last month or so. He says a lot of different sentences and gets really sassy about things. It cracks me up. He also has a temper and likes to test my patience on a regular basis. This kid puts terrible two to a whole new level! I know people keep saying three is worse. But I like to think that I have a special two year old where he'll be a perfect angel by three! (One can wish, right? )

Grant is such a funny little guy, and I love the personality coming out of him.



Ev
He wanted to wear Holly's headband

Here are some funny things he has said or done recently:
  • Grant is ridiculous and has to have his milk microwaved. (Yes I cater to this ridiculousness) He calls his sippy cup "bottle" And this is the conversation we have in the morning:                Grant: "I want my bottle, microwaved."  Me holding Holly, walking around really tired.     Grant: Put Holly down. Hold me!" 
  •  I was singing one day, Grant puts his hand over my mouth and tells me to be quiet
  • Grant likes to walk around on all fours, pant and say "I'm a puppy!" And sometimes he'll come up to me and lick me. So weird and silly. 
  • Other funny conversation that happens a lot with his "bottle":                                              Grant: "I want my bottle" Me:  "Mommy can't get it right now, she is changing Holly. Dad can get it for you." Grant: "No! You get it! Daddy's outside!"
  • Every time we leave to go to the sitter's house, Grant has to take a ridiculous amount of toys. So many that his hands are filled with toys and mine are too.
  • Grant thinks he always has to go bye-bye. I usually like to just take Holly with me when I go grocery shopping. But Grant looks all excited and says "I go bye bye" Where it melts your heart and you can't say no. I have had to sneak out of the house before. And he will cry after he finds out that I left. 
  • He loves condiments and dips his veggies and food onto mustard, tarter sauce, bbq sauce, ketchup, etc. It really grosses me out, but he seems to enjoy it.
  • He LOVES to color. And he has somehow managed to figure out how to draw crayon on his skin and draw artwork on his face. Today he gave himself a mustache. 
  •  His verision of counting is "One, two, One, two."
  • Everything is the color blue
  • He loves to watch videos of trains. And toy train reviews on youtube. He'll say "I watch choo choo."
  • He has his moments and can be sweet with his sister like holding her hand when they go for a bike ride in the pea pod trailer. It's the cutest thing every to watch.
I can sometimes be a nice big brother.
  • I got Grant a dragon bath towel, and one night Matt gave him a bath, and he was going to use a regular towel, and Grant says "I want my Dragon towel" Matt puts the towel on him and Grant goes, "I'm a baby Dragon. Rawrl!!!"        
  •  Grant goes "Woo Hoo" when he is happy about something. And it can be as simple as "Grant, mommy is going to make dinner." And he'll go "Woo Hoo!" in the cutest tone ever. 
  • He remembers things by injury. Anytime I mention our trip to Great wolf lodge, which was a month ago when we went, he'll rub his head and say "Owie". He remembers that he felt on the concrete floor from running on the wet floor when we were there.          
  •  He is becoming very independent and wants to do EVERYTHING himself, and will say "I do it!" 
  • His favorite song is "This old man" and when he wants me to sing it, he'll say "Give a dog a bone!" When he sings his version of the song, its stinking cute!
  • Everything is his, and if Holly picks it up he gets very upset by it and tries to take it from her hands. He is so possessive right now. And poor Holly can't play with anything.   
  • When we leave the house to take him to the sitters, he'll go "Bye Kitty, bye truck, bye house." Grant is such a funny and sweet little guy. He cracks me up on a daily basis. And I love how much he has grown as a little person! I can't believe he is already 2 1/2! I love my little buddy!


  •               

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Food Allergy Worries

It has been way too long since I've blogged. Sorry! Been crazy busy with life. I have so many good things I want to blog about if I ever get to them. One being about an awesome new pump I got and one about carseat safety. But one I definitely would like to write about is food allergies. So I must say I never thought I would have to be a parent with a child of food allergies. Maybe seasonal allergies since I seem to have them really bad. Especially when I was growing up. Food allergies seem to be becoming more common thing in small children. My niece Sheridan has a dairy allergy. My cousin Luke has many various allergies to dairy, eggs, wheat, etc. It's crazy too when I go to schools for my job, how many students have food allergies. Pretty much every school now has a designated table for children with food allergies. It is crazy how common food allergies is becoming! I would love to do more research on food allergies one of these days, as to what is causing food allergies to become more of a common thing. But anyways the reason I am babbling on and on about food allergies, it has been officially confirmed that Holly has a food allergy.

My mother instinct suspected a possible milk allergy when Holly was about 6 weeks old. I'm not sure what made me think it was a dairy allergy. But I noticed she had really bad baby acne, and it seemed to get worse when I ate quite a bit of dairy (I breastfeed Holly) She also would get really fussy, and spit up a lot. And her bowel movements didn't look like the regular breastmilk stools. They were really mucusy looking. I've heard of babies having issues like that before when a mother had dairy in their diet. I was hoping that maybe this was something only with breastmilk, and maybe she would outgrow it when she was old enough to have dairy. So based on my suspicions, I ended up eliminating dairy from my diet. And I must say giving up dairy is one of the hardest things I've ever had to give up. I never realized how much dairy I consumed until I had to give it up. I was really hoping I would lose a bunch of weight since I wasn't eating any dairy, but I think I stock up on carbs instead which has not helped. :)

Since I have had my suspicions about her allergy I mentioned it to my pediatrician. He didn't seem too concern and acted like she would outgrow it by a year old. He actually told me to try having dairy again in my diet when Holly was 4 months old to see how she would react. I decided not to since I noticed she would react to even small amounts of dairy I consumed. And what really made me concerned is there were a few occasions where Holly has rashed up from direct contact of milk on her skin. I have never heard of an allergic reaction from direct skin contact with milk. I even mentioned this to the doctor and they thought it was strange and uncommon as well. One day she rashed up after Matt kissed her on the cheek. He just got done eating cereal with milk on it. Milk on his lips made her little face rash up. It is really nerve racking because Grant likes to spit out his milk or throw his cup and milk somehow splashes all over the place. Yesterday Grant was being a brat and decided to spit milk all over Holly's face. I quickly wiped it up. But within a half hour she got some hives around her chin and face. Part of me wants to go to to having a dairy free household. I hate to deprive Grant from his milk especially since he is a tiny little guy who doesn't eat very much. So the milk helps adds a supplement for him.

Anyways, Earlier in July, at a family picnic, Holly ended up having a bad allergic reaction. She broke out in hives, and started itched herself, and was inconsolable. I'm not sure what caused the reaction. I think it was because she had licked a spoon with pudding on it that one of my cousins had, but honestly, I'm not even sure if that is what happened and if it was something else. Regardless, I'm just glad we were able to get the reaction under control. I didn't have any Benadryl with me, so I had to run down the street and get some. Now I keep Benadryl on hand with me at all times! Because Holly had this scary reaction, to what I think was a small amount of milk, I called her ped. They ended up referring her to an allergist. The allergist ended up testing Holly for Milk, Eggs, Wheat, Soy and Peanuts. Holly of course reacted Milk. She ended up with the highest rating for it when they did the scratch test. But to my surprise she ended up reacting to eggs which I had no idea that she was allergic to those. So now I have to exclude eggs from my diet too since I am still breastfeeding her! Another food group out of my diet! Why not? I feel like I can't eat anything. My staple items have been pretzels and chicken.

So Holly has an epipen and will see the allergist in 6 months to get re-tested. The allergist thinks she may outgrow the milk allergy. I hope so. But the severity of it, makes me wonder if its going to be awhile before she outgrows it. Food allergies are stressful! I feel like I am constantly worrying about what Holly is trying to put in her mouth. (And this kid do seems to manage to find all kinds of weird food bits off the floor no matter how good I clean it!)

Having a kid with food allergies has definitely given me a new perspective on food allergy awareness. I never realized how much they change everyday living. Dairy and eggs are in so many of the foods that we eat! I am just glad that we know what Holly is officially allergic to, and I just hope that she doesn't develop additional allergies. Nor has any reactions to milk or eggs anytime soon. I think eggs and milk are enough to worry about! At least little Holly doesn't know what she is missing out on.

So that is my recent life in a nutshell. Food allergies is definitely a worrisome adventure that I never thought I would have to deal with. But now that I am, I feel like I am prepared to deal with it. And now that I have not had dairy products for over 7 months now, I feel like I could without them for quite a bit longer. I've gotten use to it's absence.

Bye for now! I'll try to post more enteries soon!

Holly's rosy cheeks and bigger looking lips a day after her bad milk reaction. Poor Baby she was not a happy camper the following days!

Sunday, June 22, 2014

My confessions as a mother of two

Being a new parent isn't easy. Mainly because its all new. The diaper changes, the sleepless nights, the crying, the new adventure of being responsible for taking care of another human being 24-7. Adding a second child to the mix, is a whole different kind hard. I thought taking care of one was hard. But taking care of two that are two and under is definitely an crazy hard new adventure in itself. It's twice the number of diaper changes, sleepless nights, crying and chasing around. Now that Holly is becoming mobile, it's getting even harder, because now I have to stop two little ones from getting into things all the time.

Grant and Holly definitely keep me on my toes, taking care of them and working 40 plus hours a week, isn't easy. Here are my confessions (judge me if you life or sympathize with me) about juggling life as a mother of two.

1) At work I sometimes stall around and intentionally stay 10-15 minutes longer, because I am avoiding the chaos of coming home. (IE, screaming, upset children to tend to as soon as I walk in the door)

2) Cleaning has been put on the back burner and I simply don't have time to care if it is done or not.

3) There are some days where I wish I could check in a hotel and get away for a few days. And what would I do you might ask? Sleep, with peace and quiet

4) I'll admit that lately both of my kids have been getting a bath once a week. Usually twice a week, but sometimes once a week happens.

5) I have rely on the tablet or television as a babysitter at times, so I can make dinner or get ready for work.

6) Finding time to go to the bathroom anymore seems literally impossible.

7) Lately I have been bringing my makeup bag to work, and applying my makeup in the bathroom at work because it's getting harder and harder trying to get ready in the morning anymore by myself with Grant and Holly.

8) I feel like all I talk about is poop anymore. I'm constantly changing diapers, talk of bowel movements seem to be the number one topic of everyday.

9) With my first, I made sure I changed diapers by the hours, especially when Grant would wake up at night. Now with my second, my frequency of diaper changes is lower. I'll admit that usually I'll let Holly sleep with the same diaper overnight. Mainly because I don't want to wake her up too much and fight with getting her back to sleep. And plus I'm too grumpy and tired to change it in the middle of the night.

10)  If I would have know how of a handful and rambunctious Grant was going to be at the age of two, I would have considered waiting longer to have a second child (like 4-5 years apart). Don't get me wrong, I love Grant and Holly, and wouldn't change how I did things for the world. But there are instances as I run around chasing Grant with Holly in my other hand, I ask myself why did I think having two kids 21 months apart was a good idea? But on the flip side of that I know it will be easier when they get older being closer in age. It's just so hard right now since they are both a lot to take care of right now.

11) I still cater to my two year old. I give him milk in a sippy cup heated. Yes heated. It has to be at a certain temperature. (35-40 seconds usually does the trick). If it is not the right temperature, Grant freaks out. I'm too tired at this point to even fight it or stop doing it. So I cater to my two year old prince.

12) Giving up diary for Holly (she has a dairy allergy, so I have to eliminate dairy from my diet since I am nursing her) is one of the hardest sacrifices I ever had to make. I absolutely am so sad that I can't have any cheese or ice cream right now. I like throwing pity parties for myself A LOT.  Though even though it sucks for me, I know it is helping Holly from not breaking out in a rash and being super fussy. I've just been having some serious jonesing for ice cream lately :( It being the summer right now doesn't help.

13) I hope that Grant's two is truly terrible and worse than three. Everyone keeps telling me, "Oh wait until they turn three, it is worse. Two is nothing. The temper tantrums, the independence, the screaming, the torturing his poor sister. I can only take so much of two. And if Grant is seriously going to be worse at three, I think I'm going to seriously lose it. I'm secretly hoping that since Grant can communicate pretty good for his age, that three won't be bad for him, since he is living a combination of two and three in one year! At least that is what I like to think. ha ha ha...

14) Despite all the craziness, I love my cutiepies so stinking much. And everyday I am in awe of their existence. The things they start doing and learn each day amazes me. I love them so much!




So sweet, these two!


Sunday, May 11, 2014

Happy Mothers Day!

Today I am celebrating my third Mother's day as a mom. Every time I look a Grant and Holly, I am amazed by their sweetness. Sometimes I just sit there in awe of how I became a mother of two with two little babes with a mind of their own. It just blows my mind how fast it is going. I can't believe Grant is already two years old, and Holly is six months old. It's crazy, that only 3 years ago on Mother's day, I was not pregnant nor knew I would be mom the following year. Now I am sitting here with two sweet little children with pieces of myself and Matthew in them. It still blows my mind that they are here in my life, and that I was apart of making them.

It's a special day today, not because it is my special day to be recognized as a mom. But more because I have reflected today on what it means to be a mom and to celebrate the love that a mother has for their child. A mother's love is unconditional. There are days that I want to pull my hair out and check in a hotel for just one night of peace and quiet. There are days that I just want to last forever, and I don't want to lose that moment of those first milestones. I have made many sacrifices as a mom, given up dairy for Holly, get cut open twice to deliver Grant and Holly, have have lost many nights of good sleep,  and my body looks like it has been through a war zone. All of these things I have done are totally worth the pain and giving up ice cream. The longer that I am a mother the more and more I appreciate my own mother and everything she has done for me. Being a mother is being selfless to your child. Being a mother doesn't stop, even on Mother's day. 

I am so thankful to have little Grant and Holly in my life. They are such sweet drops of life. They bring me joy every day. Motherhood is not easy, but totally worth all the gross poopy diapers, long nights of crying, and temper tantrums. I'm truly blessed to have these two sweetpies in my life.

Happy Mothers day to all those mothers, grandmothers, aunts, and special women who make a difference in a child's life.

I love these two so stinking much!


Thanks Mom for everything that you do! You're the best!

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Busy mommy

I feel like a bad blogger this month. I have not written any entries for April! I have been so busy. It has been so hard lately working full time (and plus some) juggling two little ones, and being a wife.

I have many GREAT topics I want to blog about, which I hope to soon, which more likely means in the next couple of months at this rate.

So just some random themes and snapshots of my life lately:

  • Terrible two is sucking the life out of me. 
  • Two year old's are SO freaking emotional. The other day Grant cried because there was a piece of dirt on his finger, and he was upset by it. Yes a piece of dirt. Everything is just so upsetting.
  • I feel like I have been sleepwalking lately and I'm just SOOOOO tired. Coffee is the only thing keeping me awake lately. Working and two kiddos has really taken a tole on me recently. Maybe it's my age, since after all I just turned 30. hahahaha..
  • I feel like I should run in a marathon. A two year old can run pretty fast, and I feel like I spend a lot of time chasing him around. One of his favorite things to do is run away from me when he knows he is doing something he isn't suppose to be doing.
  • Holly is so stinking cute, and getting cuter by the second, I mean just look at this face:


  • Holly has been MISERABLE with teething, I wish her little tooth would pop through. She seems more miserable with teething than Grant did. Poor thing :(
  •  Holly seems to be doing everything developmental wise two months faster than Grant did it. Which makes me sad because I feel like my little girl is growing too fast on me! She is trying to crawl already, I wish she would slow down.
  • Potty training is so frustrating, especially considering we aren't trying to press the matter, but Grant is trying to potty train himself or more like play around with the idea of using the potty more or less. He has an obsession with taking his diaper off after he poops, and he'll say "I poop, I poop Mommy. And I have to carefully pick him up so he doesn't make a mess. I almost wish he just wouldn't be interested in potty training right now. His timing is still really off with the whole potty training thing. Its hit or miss if he will use it. But he is going potty everyday after he takes his nap and he wakes up with a dry diaper, so that is hopeful!
  • I keep hoping and praying that when Holly turns two, she'll be a piece of cake, and such a good toddler! One can hope. She is such a good baby! Grant was so high maintenance, which probably says a lot about him now. He is still really high maintenance.
  • I can't believe April is almost over and little Holly will be six months already. It's really true when they say that the older you get the faster time goes. I still wonder where this year has gone already. I mean, how is it almost 5 months into the year already?
  •  To end my random post, I thought I end with pictures taken by Grant. He is such an artist I must say. lol
I'm ready to take on the World!


 Here are some pictures taken by Grant:




Monday, March 24, 2014

Breastfeeding words of wisdom

With breastfeeding little Holly, it has gone pretty effortlessly compared to what it was with Grant. I've had a love hate relationship with it, but I must say the second time around I have grown to enjoy it. Even though its my second time around breastfeeding, I would by no means call myself a professional at it. I have found even the second time around there is so much to learn about it. It's not so cut and dry as most people think. With almost two years of breastfeeding under my belt (16 months with Grant, four months so far with Holly) I thought I would offer some of my wisdom to mothers who are currently breastfeeding or considering breastfeeding.

Let me say I am by no means a professional, so take what I say with a grain of salt, but I found these things helpful for myself.


It still amazes me to this day to watch my babies grow and see that my breastmilk contribute to that. The human body is amazing on what it can do!

1) Don't beat yourself up if you have to supplement.
 Recent studies have came out to show that women who supplement with formula are more likely to stick to breastfeeding than those who don't. I will say with Grant I had to supplement with him because he had jaundice and he was not gaining weight with breastfeeding. I think his latch wasn't strong enough. The nurses basically bullied me into giving him formula, and I was absolutely heartbroken. But then I realized (through many months) that supplementing isn't the end all be all. And it really can help in certain situations. I nursed Grant as long as I could than supplemented with formula and eventually got back to birth weight and his latch became stronger that he didn't need supplementation anymore. But then when I went back to work, I wasn't pumping enough, I had to supplement again. And by then it wasn't a big deal to me. So if you are planning on breastfeeding, don't feel like its the end if you have to give them formula. And if you decide breastfeeding is not for you than that is perfectly fine! I've learned that formula is not the bad guy. I think sometimes breastfeeding mothers view mothers who give their babies formula as terrible because they didn't try or whatever. But bottom line, as long as your baby is getting the nourishment he or she needs who cares! I wish we as a society could break this stigma with formula and breastfeeding.

2) The amount that you pump is not a good indication of your supply.
Baby is always going to get more milk out of you than what a pump can get. Those pumps are pretty powerful but still not as good as a baby's suckle. I have encountered many moms who panic because they don't pump very much, and think that their baby is not getting enough. But really they are! That is the other thing to, Breastfed babies don't intake as much as milk as formula fed babies, so you may think you are not pumping enough, but really its just enough for the baby!

 3) Don't be afraid to consult with a lactation consultant, even if you think everything is going well.
I didn't get the luxury with Grant to talk to a lactation consultant and it would have been helpful for me. I didn't even know I had one available. But usually their is a lactation consultant at the hospital that you deliver at, and they are free to consult with. I had a lactation consultant work with me after I had Holly and I didn't even think I needed her guidance. She so happened to come in the hospital room to see how I was doing. I found out that Holly's latch wasn't completely over my nipple and she was just "kissing" me. I felt like I was nursing her non stop, and that was why! She wasn't getting enough. I'm glad the LC decided to stop by, I didn't even know what to ask her or that I was having problems. I thought that was a normal thing since the same thing happened with Grant. So don't be afraid to ask for help. That is what a LC is there for! 

4) Breastfed babies wake up more in the middle of the night.
It's normal for breastfeed babies to wake up more, their bellies digest breast-milk faster than formula. But I will stay if you have a baby in general that doesn't like sleep it's not going to make a difference if you give him or her formula or breast-milk. With Grant, he woke up so many times during the night. I thought if I gave him formula he would sleep through the night. No such luck. I thought starting him on cereal would help too. No such luck on that either! So every baby is different. But be prepared to nurse a lot in the middle of the night. It's not out of the ordinary.

5) Its normal for breastfed babies not to have frequent bowel movements.
I remember freaking out when Grant didn't poop for over five days. But then I found out it's actually pretty normal. (After they are about two months old or so) Before he ate solids, he would poop once a week. It's weird because this time with Holly, who is also breastfed, poops daily. Even twice a day! But I think her dairy allergy is coming into play as to why she has more frequent bowel movements. 

6) Just because you are exclusively breastfeeding doesn't necessarily mean you won't have a period.
A lot of women think that because they are breastfeeding they won't have a period the entire time that they are breastfeeding. But not the case! Usually if you exclusively breastfeed and do not use pacifiers, you will most likely not have a period for awhile. But really it varies with every woman. I've heard of women who exclusively breastfeed and have a period two months postpartum. For myself who exclusively breastfed Grant and pumped at work, I had my period at five months postpartum. I get jealous of those who don't have it for over a year!

7) Your supply may decrease when your period comes around each month.
 It also decreases when you ovulated. I think that is why I had an easier time figuring out when I ovulated when we were trying for Holly because I could tell in the middle of the month when my supply took a dip. And it took a dip when it was that time of month. The increase of hormones effect supply.

8) Feed on demand
 Pediatricians may tell you to feed on a schedule. I always get annoyed when my pediatrician asks me how often my baby is feeding because I feed my babies on demand, and it varies. I can't really say there is a set number of times she eats and for how long. I feed her when she wants and for long as she wants. So it's hard for me to say how often. That also helps with supply when you feed on demand. :)

9) You may be worried that baby is not getting enough from breastfeeding but as long as they are having wet and poopy diapers they are!
 This is something many new moms who are breastfeeding worry about. I know that I did. I was so scared Grant wasn't getting enough. That is why feeding on demand helps! With breastfeeding babies can control how much they intake, and feeding on demand is important to know when they want more, verses going on a schedule. You can't overfed a breastfed baby unless you are bottle-feeding them with breast-milk. So as long as baby is having the appropriate number of wet and poopy diapers the first few weeks of life and is gaining weight, you have nothing to worry about. (And its normal to lose some weight the first week. ) Keeping a feeding log the first few weeks helps as well. This way you can keep track of how long the feedings are and if baby is getting the appropriate number of wet diapers.

10) Let the baby nurse as long as he or she wants. Don't put a time limit to it. 
 This one can be frustrating at times, especially for new moms who are breastfeeding. I will say I've had over hour long sessions before. Not so much with Holly but I did with Grant when he was learning how to get a stronger latch. It really helped him get better with nursing. A set nursing session time doesn't guarantee that your baby is getting enough milk. Baby express milk from the breast at different paces, especially when they are younger and there suck isn't as strong. The older they get the more efficient. But regardless you don't want to yank them off at a certain time. Just let baby nurse as long as he or she wants. And remember feeding a baby for over an hour doesn't mean you are overfeeding them! They will let you know when they are done.

11) Build a stockpile before you are going back to work.
 If you are planning on going back to work, pump as much as you can to build that stockpile. I would pump in between nursing sessions. Or if baby feeds on one side and not the other, then I pump on that side. When you go back to work, and it starts to get stressful, you will start dropping in supply. And I can't tell you how many times I have missed pumping sessions because it gets crazy. So the more you can pump before returning to work, the better!

12) Breastfeeding will hurt at first but gets easier.
 Breastfeeding will hurt at first because it is new, and it hurts getting used to being engorged. It usually hurts for the first few weeks. If it hurts longer than that you may want to see a LC, because there maybe another issue which is causing pain, like tongue tie, or poor latch.

13) When pumping, be consistent, stick to a schedule.
This is really hard for me, especially with my job. But it is very important to pump around the same time every time, and to remain consistent. Trust me if you don't your supply to hurt as a result. Plus you may risk getting a clog duct or mastitis.

14) Know your legal rights as a nursing mother.
Employers must provide a place other than a restroom to pump in the workplace and give reasonable breaks to pump. Breastfeeding in public is legal in most states. So do your research on the laws, and don't feel like you are not allowed to nurse in public. It's your right. Here is a listing of the breastfeeding laws by state: Breastfeeding Laws by State

15) Breastfeeding doesn't mean you'll instantly shed pounds.
For some women who breastfeed they lose quite a bit from breastfeeding. I was unfortunately not one of the lucky ones! Part of it is when breastfeeding, you are SO hungry, all the time. So its easy to over eat or eat unhealthy, which can be part of not losing weight. So women don't lose the pounds until they are down breastfeeding. I'm hoping I am the latter. I never lost the last 15 pounds when I had Grant. I was still breastfeeding when I was pregnant with Holly, so I never got to test that theory out. And now I am 4 months postpartum and now 25 pounds total to from pre-pregnancy weight (10 from Holly and 15 from Grant) I wish I would shed off the pounds!

16) Not every baby is the same when it comes to breastfeeding. 
 I thought after having Grant, that I was a breastfeeding professional. Breastfeeding did come easier with my second baby, but it wasn't easy just because it was my second time around. It still took a while to get nursing down with Holly. Every baby is different.

17) Just because you are breastfeeding doesn't mean you can't have the occasional alcoholic beverage. If you are sober enough to drink to are sober enough to breastfeed. 
I have had a lot of people freak out when they see that I am drinking one beer, since they know that I am nursing. But guess what? It's ok to drink while nursing. Maybe don't do both at the same time. Studies show an occasional drink is not harmful to a nursing baby. The rule of thumb is usually it is ok to have 1 to 2 beers, or 8oz of wine, or 2oz of liquor.Wait until about 2 to 3 hours before nursing the baby. If you feel safe enough to drive at that point you are safe to nurse. Pumping and dumping doesn't really prove anything or get rid out the alcohol content in your milk. It's basically in your blood and it takes time for it to go down. Really its only necessary to pump, to relieve engorgement and avoid clog ducts. And when you do pump make sure you dump. If you are going to drink more than the recommended amount and are unsure when it is safe to nurse use these handy dandy Milkscreen alcohol test strips . You can dip them in your expressed milk to its safe to nurse. I just bought a bunch of these on Amazon for my 30th Birthday celebration this Saturday! Woo Hoo.



Look at my little cute chunky monkey. Nursing for 4 months so far with this little cutie pie!


And don't take my word for it. Here are some great resources that I go to all the time:

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Things I thought I would never say as a parent. Part 3 (I think it's part three? I've lost track)

Having a two year old is a non stop unpredictable adventure. I never know what is going to come out of my mouth. Sometimes I find myself saying the stupidest things or things that just don't sound right. But when you have a two year that is constantly getting into everything it makes for interesting conversation. Here are some recent things I've said and even documented them as soon as I said them so I wouldn't forget! And yes these are all real statements that have come out of my mouth:

This one could be a broken record, Grant has an obsession with taking his pants off, and takes them off on a frequent basis:

"Grant keep your pants on, big boys wear pants. Everyone has their pant on right now. Grandma has her pants on, Grandpa has his pants on, mommy has her pants on and so does Daddy."

I feel like I need to explain this one so it doesn't sound weird before you read it. I was getting ready for work and was trying to get dressed when I said this:

"Grant just because Mommy doesn't have her pants on doesn't mean you should take off yours. Mommy is getting ready and will have her pants on soon."

"Grant get off the table. Tables are meant for sitting, not for Grants to be on there."

"Grant do not bite you sister's toes. That hurts Holly."

"Why did you pee on the floor? And why are you smearing it with your feet?"

"Please do not jump over me. Mom is not a jungle gym."

"Don't go in Holly's bed that is for babies, if you go in there, you'll turn into a baby."

 A twist on my words:

"Is Happy Holly?"

Grant was watching Arthur and a kid on the show showed a black and white picture that she drew. Grant thought it needed to be colored, so he went up to the tv and started coloring it:

"Grant don't color the tv, its not a coloring book"

Adventures in atempting potty training with Grant. I call Pull ups Potty Pants:

"Lets put on your potty pants. Wearing them will make you want to go potty. When you need to pee or poop, tell mommy or daddy potty." 

"Holly doesn't like it when you take off her socks. Her feet are sad"


Such a silly boy, he is trying to take a picture with my phone and is going "Cheese"
 And those are my fun statements for now. I can't help but laugh at myself every now and then. Being a parent is funny. :)

Friday, February 14, 2014

Happy 2nd Birthday Grant!

I can't believe my little buddy is already two! Grant turned two this past Sunday. He had an Elmo theme birthday and had a lot of fun. He is growing so fast! It's amazing to think he was once only 5 lbs, and 13 oz. He was such a tiny guy! Now he runs around the house, and is so loud and has a cute little personality. I definitely see some of my quirkiness in him!

So here are some pictures of how little Grant has grown in the last two years:

Birth

6 months

A year old and already loving Elmo!

18 months!
2 years old!
Grant weighs 24 lbs and 10 oz. And he is 34 1/2 inches long! Sadly he is only in the 12 percentile for his weight. But doctor is not worried since he has been consistently in that percentile. He is in the 52 percentile for his height, and in the 75 percentile for his head circumstance. Little buddy has a big head! It's for all those great brains he has.

Here are some things Grant can do at two:
  • He LOVES to color. The sitter says he colors pretty much all day long there, and is pretty content doing so. Grant has started to figure out that he needs to color in the general area where the picture is in the coloring book, and tries to stay in the lines, which impresses me.
  • He has an obsession with taking off his pants and running around the house with his diaper on.
  • He likes to pretend play and put on a bunch of hats, and wear our shoes, carrying a book or something that resembles a suitcase, and says "Bye" and walks away. It makes me laugh.
Silly Boy
  •  When he gets mad at me he says "I'm mad at you!" with such sass.
  • He loves to help me feed Kitty by bringing his food dish to Marco's food dish holder.                   
  • He's used the potty several times, not consistent, but he semi has it figured out. We probably still have a way to figure that out.
  • He knows how to put his own shoes on, even on the right foot. 
  • He loves to say "Hi" and "Bye" to everyone he comes across. He is very friendly.  
  • He doesn't like Abby Cadabby on Sesame Street. Every time she comes on, Grant gets disinterested and turns off the tv.
  • Grant is obsessed with using the Kindle. And knows how to match up shapes on puzzle apps, and loves Endless Alphabet.  He ever knows how to close out of an app and get back to the home page. And he gets mad at me if I try to help him. (Getting independent already, oo oh!)
  • Grant is so sweet to his sister Holly. And I love the way he says her name.                                               
  • He loves trains, cars, and firetrucks.                                                                                                        
  •  He has a sweet tooth, and loves cookies, and chocolate.
  • He loves to look through books and have me read to him.His comprehension blows me away. If I am talking about him to my mom, he knows exactly what I'm saying and knows I'm talking about him. I got to watch what I say around him, and will want the things I'm mentioning. 
I can't believe my little guy is two. He amazes me everyday with all the things he does. I'm excited to see what two brings. He definitely is getting very emotional and can turn it on and off very quickly. The terrible twos are here! Though everyone keeps telling me three is worse. But regardless of the extra emotions I love the little person Grant is becoming. He is so cute! Let's bring on year two!

Happy Birthday Grant!


Friday, February 7, 2014

Two verses one

It's funny how having two kids seems completely different than having one. I remember feeling like one kid was so much work. With one everything is so new and it's hard transition from just you and your spouse to a new little one. But once you get in the swing of things one seems easy peasy compared to two. It's amazing how my life has changed with having two. I have to completely change the way that I do things. One thing I have learned is its all about self managing your time.

Here is what I've learned adjusting to two:

1) You have to be ok while one or both of your kids crying for a little bit if you ever want to get ready and out the door for work.
Let me say the disclaimer that I'm not an advocate of letting babies cry it out, but I've come to terms that sometimes a baby has to cry. I try to make sure it's not too long, but if I let my baby not cry at all, I wouldn't be able to get ready. It was nice before I went back to work, because there were some days I didn't get dressed until noon mainly because I didn't have an opportunity to. Sometimes Holly cries when I get Grant ready. I've learned all I got to do is try to do the best that I can, and sometimes that may mean babies will cry.

2) My kids' morning schedule determines how I get ready that morning. And every morning its different.
Some mornings I get dressed, put my makeup on, and then get the kids ready. Those are the days when both kids decide to sleep in until 7:30 am. Other days I have to feed Holly first, some days I'm feeding Holly while putting my makeup. I've learned to prioritize and set my schedule to how my kids start their schedule. 

3) You learn to pick and choose your battles.
Not that I have two, its hard to give full attention to a newborn while trying to give full attention to a two year old. Sometimes I let Grant do things that may necessary he shouldn't be doing, (nothing unsafe or bad) mainly because I'm trying to feed Holly, and I don't have time to nick pick and discipline him for every little bad thing he does. And if Grant really wants to run around the house with no pants on, then I let him run around with no pants on. (Which he actually does quite often)

4) It's impossible to give your attention 100% to just one kid. And you have to be ok with it.
 One nice thing about having one, is that you can give him or her their under divided attention. But with two it's not going to happen. I feel bad sometimes, that I'm giving one child more attention over the other. I also feel like I should give Holly the same attention that I gave Grant as a baby, but then that means Grant isn't getting enough attention right now. It's hard to find the balance. But I've learned all I can do, is the best that I can, and give each child the amount of attention that they need at that moment.

5) Waking up in the middle of the night is easier with the second kid. It becomes part of routine by the time the second child rolls around.
 It was rough waking up in the middle of the night with the first kid. But the second, its nothing. My body is already use to running on low amounts of sleep, that I'm pretty much wide awake when Holly wakes up in the middle of the night. And I can actually function on low amounts of sleep now too. It's weird how the body adjusts to that.

6) When one kid cries usually the other starts crying.
It's a viscous cycle. If Holly starts crying, Grant starts too. And sometimes he likes to fake cry and mimic her cry. And if Grant starts crying, it upsets Holly and she starts crying. So annoying.

7) Be prepare for your first child to regress when the second child is born.
 Grant is getting better, but for a little bit he would cry like Holly. And start putting a pacifier in his mouth. He also would fuss and want his diaper changed anytime I would change Holly's diaper. It's only natural to start acting like a baby, when you are no longer the baby in the picture. Poor Grant.

8) Getting both kids to sleep at the same time so you can have a break is LITERALLY impossible. 
I'm now a firm believer of sleep when the baby is sleeping. But the problem is, it is really hard to sleep when the baby is sleeping when one of them is awake. I pretty much can't take a nap or get anything done, because Holly and Grant do not like to sleep at the same time. Boo...

9) Taking care of a baby, is easier and feels like second nature the second time around. 
 Taking care of Grant was hard. Taking care of Holly is ten times easier! Not because she is a good baby, but I know what I'm doing. I feel more experienced. I know what to expect, so taking care of a baby isn't as daunting.

10) You don't care as much about keeping baby books, taking a bunch of pictures, and capturing every moment.
I still take pictures of Holly. But with Grant I went crazy with picture taking, and crazy with updating his baby book. I don't even have a baby book for Holly. And it's not like I don't care. It's mainly because I don't have time.

11) You find yourself constantly comparing the two kids.
At least I do. I'm constantly finding myself say how Holly does a certain something that Grant didn't. Or they both like a certain something. I don't even do it in a bad way, like trying to say one is better than the other. But I guess it feels natural to compare how Holly is different and similar to Grant. Now that I have more than one child, I have something to make comparisons too.  

12) You use double the amount of everything.
I fill up the diaper pail quicker. (Pretty much in four days) I pay double the amount in child care. I do the laundry so much more now. It's so easy to use up things quicker with two.

13) You still have enough love to go around.
One of my biggest fears was that I would either love Grant more, or have more love for Holly. But to my surprise, the love for my children is unconditional, and not more than the other. I love my two little sweethearts!


I love my two cutie pies!



Monday, January 13, 2014

Things I appreciate the second time around

Now being a momma of two, there are things I have a new appreciation for. And there are things I still love using the second time around! Here is my list of my favorite things I can't do without as a mommy of two

1) Babywearing: I didn't baby wear as much with Grant, mainly because it was just easier to hold him. But now being a mommy of two, babywearing is pretty much essential to get things done.Chasing an almost two year old around while trying to care for a baby, I need all the hands that I can get.

My two favorite babywearing items: My wrap and Ring Sling.

My awesome friend Sam made a wrap for me. She even put a built in pocket to put my cell phone in it. I love the material and its so me. What is nice about the wrap, is is is so snuggly, and baby can be really close and cuddly.


Hi Mommy I like this wrap.

The other babywearing item I have that I just got recently is a ring sling. I'm in love with the ring sling, because it is quick and easy to put the baby in it. Unlike the wrap which can be daunting at times, the ring sling is very simple to use. I got my ring sling through a ring sling group at a local church who makes free ring slings and teaches people how to use them. I got mine last week, and I'm in love!

Rocking out the ring sling!


2) Zipper Sleepers- Ok this one seems like a given, but to me who is vain with baby fashion (yes I know I'm ridiculous) I would only use sleepers during the night, and put an outfit on baby during the day. Now that I have a second child, I have finally realize how ridiculous this idea was, and getting baby dressed is an victory in itself. So who cares what she is wearing. Quick and easy is what its all about! This is why I love love sleepers with zippers. And wish they made more sleepers with zippers, and less with the snaps, because the snaps take FOREVER. And its like a puzzle. For me at least. The other thing I love about sleepers, is I don't have to worry about socks falling off, which for Holly that seems to happen quite a bit. She has such tiny ankles, that her little socks fall off all the time.

I like sleepers! And looking myself in the mirror.

4) Bunn single cup coffee maker: Got one of these for Christmas and I must say I'm in love! With lack of sleep and being on the go, caffeine is a must have! Instant caffeine is even better. What I love about this is I can have instant tea or coffee. And I can use K-cups if I want. Its so fast and instantly delicious! Now that I have one of these I don't know how I got by without one.

 


5)Discover N' Grow, kick and play piano gym: I loved this with Grant and I still love it with Holly. Even though Holly is still little she loves to lay on the mat, and kick and look around at the hanging toys. It's a great way to entertain baby while trying to get stuff done.We definitely have gotten our money's worth out of this toy!

Grant loved this when he was a little guy!







And Holly likes it too!


6) Earth Mama Baby Angel Oil: The hospital got me hooked on this one! With Grant I've discovered that Baby oil is pretty much pointless to use and unsafe. I used coconut oil instead which I love! But then at the hospital they gave me a free sample of earth mama baby angel oil. And I'm in love! It hydrates nicely, and not overly oily.



7) Kindle Fire: Another momma must have is the Kindle Fire! Another thing I got for Christmas, and I'm in love with it! With long breastfeeding sessions, its nice to have something smaller and handheld as a means of entertainment, verses my big bulky laptop. Not to mention it makes cooking easier to have recipes right their on the Kindle and cooking something up. Plus it has great apps to entertain toddlers! A win win for all.

Love love love my kindle!


Grant loves the Kindle too!


8) Graco Ready2Grow Stand and Ride Double Stroller: With two kids under two, a double stroller is a MUST. I ended up getting the Graco Ready2Grow stroller because I can put my Graco infant seat in there, plus I can adjust the stroller  to different settings for when my little ones get bigger. I took my first adventure with my double stroller to Kohls, and made the experience a lot easier! This will come in handy for many other outtings.






9) Carter's five piece diaper bag set: When I was pregnant with Holly, I realized that a regular size diaper bag wasn't going to cut it. Even though Grant is getting bigger, I still bring a lot of things with me in a diaper bag, like his plate, snack, sipper cup, clothes, etc. So adding another one makes for less space in the diaper bag. So I upgraded! I love this bag, it has plenty of space for packing with two. And whats nice is it has a smaller bag with it. So when I'm going on an outting with just Holly, I only pack my nursing cover, some diapers, and a pair of clothes in the smaller bag it works out great!

  


 


10) Fisher Price Infant to Toddler Comfort Rocker: I loved this with Grant, and still love it! We put Holly in this all the time. And she loves kicking her feet in it and making herself rock. This thing has yet again been a lifesaver and has helped Holly sleep when she gets all congested.


Grant loved this when he was little!


And Holly does too!


Those are my 10 favorite things right now as a mommy with two under two! These items definitely make life a bit easier.