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Friday, May 20, 2011

The sick mother’s guide to surviving the flu…. (and breastfeeding tid-bits)

{cheesy male announcer voice} Are you a mother of a newly crawling infant? Are you being plagued with the virus from hell? Are you a stay-at-home-mom being the sole caregiver for your child? Are you unwilling to pass the plague around by asking for help from a loved one? Then do I have the solution for you!!!

Follow these simple steps to ensure the happiest baby and the speediest recovery!

Step number one:

Secure a living area where you can control what your child can get into with minimal supervision or exercise.

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Make sure your living area is stocked with plenty of toys and entertainment.
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Give up on the extra work of cloth diapering and give into the simplicity and ease of good ole’ fashioned throw-aways.

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Stay in your jammies all day.

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Keep plenty of feel good food close at hand.

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---don’t forget the amazing baby heroine known as “puffs” to keep your child happy for hours on end. (bad mommy…he ate way too many of these yesterday)

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Hydrate. Hydrate. Hydrate.

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Make sure the dogs have some form of entertainment. Otherwise, you will end up with this

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Feed your child the easiest and fastest food that leaves no room for plague contamination by eliminating skin to food contact. Also, derail all progress you made with helping the child to not be so addicted to ‘binky’.

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Don’t fret one tiny bit that you backslid from the difficult accomplishment of breastfeeding only 3 times a day (not an easy feat) back to on demand 5 or 6 times a day just to avoid having to physically exhaust yourself by soothing the baby by other means. (seriously, I’ve been so weak I black out when I stand up).

Teach your child cute but useless words and tricks to fill the many hours in the day. (he learned “uh oh” and drops things specifically so he can say it)



{cheesy announcer voice} Follow these simple steps to find the fastest way out of any virus, disease or plague you may find yourself beleaguered by.


On another note, Breastfeeding. I adore it. I love it. I will miss it when it is gone. At the same time, I’m ready for us to wind down with it. We haven’t had the easiest time of it and persevered through many obstacles that women just don’t persevere through. See here and here to read about our clampdown-bite reflex and thrush. I feel accomplished. I feel proud. I feel so happy for having made it to my goal (1 year old which we will easily make it to and probably past due to this flu setback). My OB and pediatrician both encouraged me to make it to one year saying that is the best thing you can do for your baby. After research, I decided that was a good age and they knew what they were talking about.

I’ve been a stickler about keeping us down to 3-4 feedings for a few months now. Most days, he was content with just 3. I was about to phase out the middle feeding as he is almost 11 months old and give him a gulp or two of whole milk along with his lunch. Then, I was going to phase out the morning feeding a few weeks later when he was about 2 weeks shy of his birthday and cut out the night feeding within a few days (after) of his birthday. Then DIET CITY!!!

I’d be lying if I didn’t say I’m a little nervous about this decision now. One reason is because that is only 6 weeks away. It already makes me sad and nostalgic. Though its been hard, they have been the sweetest and most bonding times we’ve had. This decision is made easier by the fact that he is so mobile now that our nursing sessions take FOREVER because he keeps trying to crawl/roll/scoot away and then comes back after a minute or two. I’ve learned to set aside that time to enjoy his personality and watch him learn but it does rather put a halt on any progress made around here because I have 3 hours of the day where I put a full stop to anything I was doing; plus the 30 minutes of non-milk food I feed him after each nursing session. I’m not easily motivated so its near impossible to jump back on the progress train after sitting idle for an hour. I do focus on him completely during that time and, as a stay at home mom, that is my sole purpose. I am here to focus on him, facilitate his learning and cultivate his imagination.

I truly enjoy these nursing times but, for someone who is struggling to not be depressed, getting nothing done around here doesn’t help. Plus, I find myself getting frustrated with his nursing habits which is a clear sign that its time to stop (for me at least). They say a child will do the exact things he is doing when they’re ready to begin the weaning process. So, the way I see it, we’re right on track.

But then this flu hit. I am so amazed at what God has equipped our bodies to do. Cole and I have been plastered together this entire flu with constant contact, cuddles and care and he has not displayed one tiny bit of this infection. I knew that when the mommy gets sick, her breast milk fills up with the exact antibodies needed to fight off the infection so the baby has the best defense. I honestly didn’t expect that to be as effective as it is. This was the first true sickness since I have had him and not a single symptom did he get. Amazing. He is almost 11 months old and has not had one sniffle or tummy ache this entire time (knocking on wood). That is a true testament to the power of breastfeeding. I’m a fan. I’m sold through and through. So, knowing this, do I really want to take away that defense for him? Obviously, I can’t breastfeed him his whole life but what are the risks of taking this away when it is perfectly acceptable for mothers to breastfeed their child for years. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not backing out of my decision but I am sad about the benefits we will be passing on. I’ve thought about continuing to nurse but only pump and give it to him through his cup but I have a terrible pump and don’t have it in the budget to purchase the one I truly need to keep up with that demand. Also, I am ready to shed some weight which I have not been able to do while breastfeeding.

I made a deal with myself when I was pregnant that I would do whatever it took to breastfeed. I wouldn't fret about what my body looked like because I was doing what I needed to to support life. In those first two months, I struggled with supply. Looking back, I don’t think I had as little as I thought I did because I took the normal ‘evening fussy period’ for hunger cries. This paranoid fear, however, caused me to eat. And I ate and ate and ate. The rule is to add 500 calories for a breastfeeding mother (according to my OB and my post-partum book). I did that and Cole still cried in the evenings. So I tried eating more with much success. That success could have been from the extra calories (unlikely) or it could have been my body finally responding to the demand. Regardless, I ate way too much. I was drinking an ensure shake, a piece of fruit and some type of carb in the middle of the night…every night for the first two months. Its no wonder I packed on 20 libbies. After that, I eliminated the middle of the night meal but I still was eating way more than the recommended caloric intake during the day. I was finally making enough and, in my depressed and exhausted state of mind, I attributed it to the food amount. So, I ate like that for months. I am currently 50 pounds heaver than my first trimester weight. I am using that point because I shedded 17 unnecessary pounds in those first few months and was closer to my goal weight. Even then, I was still 10 or 15 pounds heaver than where I wanted to be. 50 pounds. Quite a lofty goal. I have several game plans in mind and will update you when I get to them but still, that is no small order.

Obviously, I am ready to start getting my body back. I’m ready for certain lady parts to return to a manageable size. --side note. I sat in the Kohl’s dressing room for over an hour last week balling my eyes out because even their largest size bra did not fit me. This was my first attempt at buying a bra post-partum because I had a gift card and needed to stop wearing those nursing tanks that have no support. Seriously, I have worn those every day since he was born. My mom said they look like I have a uni-boob. They’re so mashed in here from my effort of minimizing their perceived size that they smoosh together into one solid mound all of the way across (I truly hope no males are reading this. If you are, I am so sorry. Girl talk.) I had at least 3 Kohl’s employees ask if everything was okay. I sniffled my reassurances and started afresh with new tears as soon as they were out of ear shot. Needless to say, it was a terrible experience. I miss my body.-- I am ready to pack up these fat-jeans forEVER. I’ll keep them because I plan to breastfeed all future children but I won’t stress so much about the supply in the beginning and I will count calories the entire time. Hopefully I will never need them. This will never happen again. Double digit pant sizes, goodbye. I will photo document my weight loss journey with befores, durings, and afters. You’re talking to a classically trained ballet dancer who spent umpteen hours in the studio each week sweating it out. I miss that. Not to mention, I have a serious knee injury that has only been worsened by the added weight compacting down on it every day. I pray that when I get these added 50 pounds off of it, it can stop pestering me constantly.

So, anyway, you are now apprised of my breastfeeding game plan. I hope this goes as I have planned but, as with mostly everything else, I will have to be flexible as things never go as I plan.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Cole's new snarl face

I don't know where he learned this or what it means but its hilarious! (sorry for the crappy phone camera)

Saturday, May 7, 2011

10 Months Old

Man oh man, what a month. It's been a whirlwind of learning, growing and exploring. Its crazy how fast we are closing in on this one year birthday. I'm already up to my elbows in crafts. I'm nostalgic and excited all at the same time. But that is a good thing. I think that's a healthy way to be a mother.

This shoot was a little difficult. Note to self: don't try this again without someone there to help.
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a few outtakes:
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Well, lets start with growth. He is a tall, skinny dude. 29.5 inches long and 17.1 lbs puts him still in the 3rd percentile for weight and down to the 45th for length. But, his head hasn't grown any in circumference so he is catching up to it.

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(poor thing hates that scale. this happens every time)
   The food worries have proven futile. I even cancelled the doctor-ordered ultrasound to see if there was a blockage in his esophagus The kid just had to get over the hump of gagging on solids and, once he did, there was no turning back. Now he eats all types of solid fruit (apples, banana, peaches to name a few), and tons of vegetables. He holds the food in this tiny hands and goes to town. I also got gutsy and let him try some of those puffs which was a huge mistake because he is absolutely obsessed. He recognizes the bottle from 20 feet away and makes it clear what he wants. The purees are still going strong. He gets 3-4 different purees a day; some include some form of meat. His favorite thing is to play with his spoon after his meal. He pretend feeds himself with it. I'm going to put some towels down soon and let him try. I'm curious to see how well he will do. We're still nursing well too. I find myself getting very ready to cut him off. I want to make it to that year mark but he really enjoys using his teeth a bit too much which isn't surprising considering the chomping problems we had in his first few months of life. Also, he is so wiggly that it takes us forever to nurse because he can't hold still. He'll start to scoot away then army crawl back and try to nurse in that position (we nurse side-lying on the bed). It's getting pretty frustrating. I had worried that I would be so sad to stop nursing and, to some extent, I'm sure I will be but I'm also pleased that I am as anxious to stop as I am. I'm really hoping that these baby blues will stop when I stop breastfeeding. I keep hearing that will happen. He still drinks plenty of water out of a sippy cup and even started drinking out of a straw on the 28th. He is still perfecting that skill though. AND, Cole got to try ice cream for the first time. It was only a tiny bit on the tip of a spoon but he LOVED IT.

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   We've been getting out into the warmer weather to explore and enjoy the season. We frequently eat our meals on a picnic blanket in our own yard. Its so cute to dress him in big boy shirts and shorts instead of onesies all of the time. It feels so silly that he is ready for them. The other day, he was in his jumper while Greg cleaned the garage and helped him work on a wheelbarrow. Also, he sits on a blanket in the grass next to me while I work on my garden or flower bed. I'm really excited for him to get to the point where he can dig in the dirt with me. I love it!

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    He is a mobil dude too. He is constantly on the go. If we're holding him, he grunts and points to everything he wants to touch. We could spend hours in a day going from one thing to another as he decides he wants to feel them. He points, makes a little sound and off we go. He loves to feel every surface. If he is on his own on the ground, he rolls a mile a minute. It is still his favorite way to get from A to B. You blink and he is 3 feet away by rolling sideways. On the 21st he perfected the army crawl and on the 3rd (his 10 month birthday) he aced the real crawl. I was hoping he would do it a day earlier so I could have said Cole started crawling when he was 9 months. Missed it by just 1 day. That's alright. I'm so proud of him, whatever pace he wants to do things. He is a problem solver and very cognitively developed and I'd prefer that to the motor skills any day. Seriously, in the video at the bottom, he is using a stick to reach a bag that is above him in a box. I didn't expect things that that with one so young; and I have a lot of baby experience. He is also working on the pulling up thing. If I'm sitting in indian style on the ground, he climbs his way up my body to a standing position. Also, he pulls himself up on other things too but mostly us because he knows we can catch him. On the 10th, he was rolling around on our bed and Greg was kneeling by it with his head resting on it. Cole pulled his way up to standing by using Greg's ears and face. It was pretty funny. Also, he stands on his own and does a little bit of walking. We have a baby walker and today, during his 10 month photo shoot, he was standing with it and it started to roll forward on its own. I was setting down the camera to jump up and help him but he didn't need me. It moved forward and he just walked along with it for about 8 steps. He didn't hesitate at all. He just felt it rolling forward and walked right along with it. I was floored. Also, he sometimes lets go of it and just stands there. Crazy, right?

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(don't you love how he was like, "you think I'm going to do it with that thing around {meaning camera}?")
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   The cloth diapers are better than ever. I discovered that I was using a terrible detergent that was causing them to hold on to smell and make him red if I did cloth only for more than a 24 hour period. I got some Rockin Green detergent that I already love. I've been using it for a couple of weeks now and the diapers not only don't smell bad but they actually smell good. I got the detergent scented with lavender and mint and I can honestly say that my son's diapers smell great. That's weird. I use 1 disposable for the overnight shift and occasionally when we are going to be out for a long time. He is currently in size 3's from Costco. I did just get a set of wool covers so I can do cloth diapering over night. He is a heavy wetter and it would occasionally leak out a bit. Woolies absorb the overflow by wicking away the moisture from his skin but it doesn't pass through to his clothes. I haven't gotten to use them yet because I need to figure out how to lanolize them. I bought the soap but just haven't done it yet.
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     He is a loving little man. He hugs like crazy and is big on the smooching now. I get quality smooches all day long. It took him a few weeks to get around to giving Greg one but he finally did on the 14th. I swear, the sun was shining out of Greg's smile. I love to watch my boys love on each other. Its music to my heart. Those top teeth are trying to come in. One was poking through for a few days there but the gums swelled back up around it. Right now, it looks like 2 giant blood blisters are in place of his top gums. They are so swollen and navy blue. It looks horribly painful. He is not sleeping well as a result. He is back down in the bedroom with us for the time being but I miss getting to sleep without worrying that I'd wake him every time I roll. His crying was waking Greg who doesn't get nearly enough sleep as it is so if I nurse him, he is comforted and quiet. I'm hoping we can get through this as soon as possible.
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    He makes it pretty clear that he has a mind of his own. If he doesn't want me to kiss him or doesn't want me to feed him something, he claps his hands, spastically waves them about and shakes his head no. Sometimes he even says 'NO' but I think its just a fluke sound. He responds to me saying 'no'. If he is headed for something he shouldn't have, I can say "no" and he switches direction. Obedient, right? He yells for Greg often. He hears him walk in the door or on the phone in the other room and yells 'DaDa' until Greg comes-a-runnin. He also is quite clear on what 'mama' means. I hear it get increasingly loud if I do not respond in a timely manner to his request. But he doesn't just make the 'M' sound. He curls his lips inward like he is mashing them together on each m. So precious.  He is big on the imitating too. I'll make the 'muah' sound when I blow him a kiss and he responds with the entire repeat process. He imitates raspberries, spit and all. He imitates clicks or coos and at the same pitch too. Also, faces. He has a killer serious face. I feel like a teenager with my dad scolding me. His eyebrows furrow and his lips pucker. Or, sometimes he does the one nostril pulled up with his lips making an O; especially when he is doing this crazy hyperventilate/panting/blowing nose thing. Its so hard to describe. I'll try to get it on video.

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(Cole watching Greg's hockey game with way too much interest for a 10 month old)
    He got some new swag this month. On an outing with Grandma Clea (Greg's mom), he scored an awesome Jeep Liberty walker that he loves. He walks around in the kitchen in it while I cook. He is my little kitchen buddy. Also, the Easter Bunny brought a fabulous Radio Flyer wagon that I just can't even stand how cute it is. The pictures will speak for themselves.

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     My big sister, Stacie, and her baby, Micah were in town for Easter. They live in L.A. and are way too far away for my liking so when they're here, everything else drops and we spend every waking moment soaking in their company. We had so much fun vegging out and catching up with at least 2 trips to our family favorite, El Maguey. There was lots of baby trading, cuddling, movies, FOOD, and catching up. These trips are few and far between so we fit as much fun and love in as we can. They just left and I am so ready for them to be back. I can't get enough of seeing my sister's baby and mine together. We're planning out a lifetime of adventures and vacations these boys will spend together. Can't wait!

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    I forced them to dye Easter eggs with me and Cole which was a huge mess but oh so worth it (I can say that because we did it at my Mom's so the mess wasn't just mine to clean up).
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Afterward, we put the babies in the bath together along with some water dye to get some cute photos. I wasn't disappointed but couldn't, for the life of me, get them to both look the same way at the same time. Observe.


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We've got a drummer on our hands. This kid can drop a beat like the best of 'em. I knew I drummed beats on my pregnant belly and that it might pay off! YYESSS!!!!



Dear Cole,

      I'm running out of ways to put this but you are so perfect. I'll say it again and again. You are the easiest and most pleasant baby ever. You are so patient with my incessant smooching and even send my heart into overdrive by returning them. We have so much fun together. You are awesome! When you call out "mama" I can't help but drop everything and come running. I don't care if I spoil you. I can't resist giving you what you want. I'm gonna have to get some control over this.
      I found myself getting teary over the rough, pink patches of skin on your knees. It means that skin isn't just baby skin that stays wrapped up in blankets where only I kiss and rub. Now they're scooting along on carpet and exploring the world. I'm so happy and excited for you and to see what you will do but I will miss the time when you were more dependent on me. But in the best way possible.
     We will always love you and everything you are. You are beautiful and smart and funny and, well, perfect. We couldn't be happier or more aware of how lucky we are to have you. You are a blessing and an angel. I love you more every day of your precious life and am so lucky to get to be your mom. I'm approaching my first mother's day and can't believe how fortunate I am to have been picked for you. We're epic, man. I love you!


Love,
Mommy

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Friday, May 6, 2011

had to share

His 10 month post is almost done. I have a few more pictures to edit but I couldn't wait to show this one off. I think I split a gut laughing.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

easter...belated

I'm fighting a wicked bug so I'm just gonna throw a few photos up here from our Easter. They make me laugh!


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Sunday, May 1, 2011

Sleepy days...

Some days are filled with the hustle and bustle. Some days are filled with imagination and adventure. Some days we go discovering to new parks, new shops, new restaurants or to meet new friends. I love those days. I thrive on those days. I count the moments until our next sunny day. Though, I can't wait to get these baby toes into a pair of rainboots and watch him splash. Any day has the possibility of adventure and imagination and I can't bear to waste it. Whether i have cloth diapers to fold or some vacuuming to do doesn't matter because it will always be there. I freely admit my matronly duties get neglected in the cleaning department but I'm working on it. Tangent...sorry.
Some days are meant to be taken at a slower pace. Time taken to sip my hot coffee a bit slower cuddled up with my baby in a blanket watching the flowers wake up and stretch their petals to reach for that morning sunsine. Some days beg for a good movie marathon. Some day are meant for crafting and reading with some good tunes in the background. That is this day and I'm going to enjoy every minute of this sleepy, slow day.
Happy Sunday!!

 

About Me

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I'm a new wife and an even newer mom. I have a secret dream to be super-mom. I love to craft, cook, dance and fill my life with as many adventures as possible. I'm slightly crunchy granola but enjoy a good steak. I'm right brained and type B (with some type A tendencies). I thrive best when I get to use my creative juices. I dabble in photography and party planning. I play piano and have a dream to learn the cello. I want to make the most of this one, short life I find myself living.

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About This Blog

This blog was originally intended to be a personal journal of my pregnancy journey and all that that entails--shared with only a few close family members. It was a way for me to keep them posted on all things baby and occasionally post a picture of my growing torso so they could see the progress. After several posts, I started to get hooked on other blogs and became motivated to attempt to do more with mine. We'll see how it goes....







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