At home, Recipes

A simple morning

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With the new baby coming so soon, I’ve been trying to find special things for Jameson and I to do together. Nothing too fancy, just little ways to fill our days with fun and sweet memories. I’m so excited to add a new little friend to our family but these last few weeks with just my boy are so precious.

Right now, one of Jameson’s favorite things to do is help me cook or bake. Whenever I start prepping food he gets all excited and pushes a chair right up to the counter and says, “Awight. I help Mommy.” And even though it may take five times as long with him “helping” me, I can never say no! I love teaching him how to follow directions, add specific ingredients, mix and knead and measure and spread, and of course taste-test along the way. 😉 The pride on his little face when he’s doing his part is totally worth the extra flour on the counter or the crumbs dropped on the floor. Someday I know I’ll be begging him to spend time with me.

So for now, we cook everything together. A few weeks ago I decided to try my hand at baking some homemade bread. I don’t own a bread machine or anything like that so I found a super simple white bread recipe that you can bake right in the oven. It came out delicious! Soft and chewy with a crispy crust. Jameson loved eating it straight up but I preferred mine toasted with plenty of butter and jam. 🙂 Either way, it was gone in minutes. We took it outside and enjoyed our snack together, just the two of us.

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If you’re interested in trying the recipe for yourself, you can find the one we used right here. And then let me know how it comes out! 🙂

Bumpdates

Bumpdate – 36.5 weeks

I can’t believe it but we’re almost to full-term! On Sunday I’ll be 37 weeks so it’s really just a waiting game at this point. Baby girl is free to come whenever she’s ready!

We had an ultrasound and regular appointment this past Tuesday and thankfully, everything looked perfect. My midwife has been concerned this whole time about my weight gain and the fact that my belly keeps measuring about two weeks behind…so they had us come in for an extra ultrasound to check on this little peanut’s growth and my fluid levels. Praise God it was all good news! She measured in the 39th percentile at around 6 lbs, 2 oz and everything else was right on track. We got to see her little face too, but she’s so smushed in there that it was hard to see anything very clearly. She looks like she has chubby cheeks though, just like Jameson! Her nose also looked super similar to Jameson’s. But I guess we’ll see for sure when she’s born within the next few weeks!

Later at our regular appointment my belly still measured two weeks behind, so basically I’m just carrying her really compactly. No need to worry at all! They’re still pushing me to gain as much weight as I can so I can have some extra fat storages for breastfeeding after she’s born (I’m only up to 11 lbs gained total, which we now know is mostly just baby and fluid). I’ve been instructed to add milkshakes and cookies and all things fatty into my diet! Don’t mind if I do. 😉

How far along: 36.5 weeks
How big is baby: About the size of a large cantaloupe (19-22 inches long and around 6 lbs, 2 oz according to our ultrasound)
Movement: Fewer giant rolls and more slithering, sliding movements if that makes sense. She’s running out of room in there so she can’t perform her acrobatics the way she used to. I can tell exactly how she’s positioned (head down, her back on my left side, her feet on my right side) and I feel her the most where her legs and feet are, as well as down very low in my belly where her arms and hands are. Sometimes it feels like she’s trying to push her way out!
Major symptoms: Braxton Hicks contractions are definitely picking up and some of them are kind of intense. There have been a couple of times where my stomach was contracted for over five minutes straight, and sometimes I have to stop everything and focus on breathing through them. Besides that, just normal end-of-pregnancy symptoms…exhaustion, shortness of breath, and lots of extra pressure in my pelvis. Everything feels like a sign at this point…like I could go into labor at any moment. I’ll be sitting around and something weird will happen and I’ll think, “This is it! Here we go!” But nope, usually just have to pee again.
Best moments this week: Our friends hosted an open mic worship night this past weekend which I loved going to with my boys, and I’m also loving the fact that it’s finally OCTOBER!!! Baby month is officially here!
Looking forward to: Labor? Delivery? I don’t know but I’m really excited for this whole process to get started so we can meet our little girl. 🙂

** Cravings: I’m adding this category back in this week because I’m finally having some real cravings! They are super boring and lame (basically just cold and crunchy things, like raw carrots and raw broccoli) but I know they’re for real because the other night I thought I was going to lose my mind if I didn’t start eating some broccoli from the fridge right away. Thinking about it right now is actually making me kind of anxious…like I need to go get some broccoli right now. Okay bye.

This picture cracks me up because of the little foot going under the crib. 😂

At home, Baby #2, DIY

Our simple & sweet baby girl nursery

I’m so excited to share this today! Our baby girl’s nursery is complete. I’m almost 36 weeks right now so we still had a bit of time to finish it up, but I’m so happy it’s done! (Nesting totally takes over my mind at the end of my pregnancies.)

snapseed-36We chose to go very simple and minimalistic this time around, partly to save some money and partly because my style in general is pretty subtle and classic. The room has a sort of shabby-chic vibe to it, but the decor is really just the basics and a few statement pieces I found along the way.

Our color scheme was mostly neutral (whites, creams, and grays) with hints of dusty pink and very light green. I figured this would be easiest to customize later based on her personal style. 😊 We started with the dresser and glider, which we already had, found a crib to match, and added the rest here and there over the past few months.

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Some of the pieces came from Hobby Lobby, some from Target, some from Marshalls. But my favorites are the ones that are homemade (my sister and I each crocheted a blanket) and the ones that came from my childhood room, like the framed picture and “The True Princess” book on the bottom shelf. Basically I’m a sentimental sap, pregnant or not. 😉

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Beautiful blanket and bow made by my sister.

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The first complete blanket I’ve ever crocheted! (Don’t ask me about the one I tried to make for Jameson…it was a hot mess. I’ll try again soon haha.)

This room has quickly become my favorite in the house. It’s so naturally light and pretty that it didn’t need much work to begin with. Adding a few little personal touches here and there was all we really had to do.

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I can’t wait to bring our little girl home to this pretty space and fill it up with love and sweet memories and that perfect newborn scent!

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And I can’t resist posting one of my little photography assistant. Because look at that face.

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See you soon, baby girl! xoxo

Jameson Monthly

2 Years of Jameson

We have a two-year-old! That feels so weird to say, like Alex and I are adults or something crazy like that. I thought I would be more sentimental and sad around his birthday this year because we’re officially all done with his babyhood but honestly I love this stage so much! Jameson and I are becoming such good buddies now. We can play lots of bigger kid games together, we joke around, we have little conversations, he helps me with easy chores around the house. Of course there are things that are harder now that he’s bigger…he’s got his own ideas about how to do things, he’s learning how to share and how to be a good sport, he’s finding out that sometimes things don’t go according to plan and sometimes we have to be patient. But he’s still our sweet and thoughtful boy and we still have many more good days than hard days. He is truly such a blessing and I feel so lucky to have him every single day.

Here’s what’s new for our little guy at two years old…

Weight & Length: At his two-year-old checkup a couple weeks ago he weighed in at 25 lbs, 8 oz and measured 2 feet, 9 inches tall, which is only about two pounds heavier and two inches taller than he was six months ago. This puts him in the 20th percentile for weight and the 22nd percentile for height…such a little peanut! Everything was healthy, though, so we aren’t concerned at all.

Clothing: He’s in 2T stuff now, and size 7 for shoes! I’m currently working on putting together his wardrobe for fall/winter, and gathering stuff for his sister too. It’s a whole new world buying things for two, especially since now I’m buying for a little girl as well!

Sleep: In all honesty he is not the best sleeper. He naps once a day for about an hour and a half to two hours (never a problem) but at night he’s kind of a fitful sleeper. Some nights are fine, others he’s waking up every couple of hours and calling for one of us. Alex usually goes in and Jameson will immediately lay back down and go to sleep without a problem, so I think he just gets scared and lonely sometimes.

Eating: Jameson is still such a picky little eater. He prefers to snack rather than eat full meals, but he’s good about eating what we tell him to even when he doesn’t want to (although it takes him a loooong time. Literally the slowest eater I’ve ever met.). His favorite things to eat are strawberries and blueberries, oranges, French toast, eggs, chicken nuggets, PB&J’s, pizza, rice, yogurt, Pirate’s Booty, and really any kind of sweet (of course). He’s not really into many meats or veggies so we usually have to work a little harder to get those in.

Speech & Language: He’s recently totally taken off in this area! He regularly speaks in six word sentences and copies eeeeverything. He has an amazing memory and can tell full stories about things we’ve done or seen — even from months ago! Sometimes he sounds like a Minion because he likes to fill in the words he doesn’t know with babble, but I understand most of what he’s saying even if I don’t understand every little word. I love having conversations with him and I love reading books as he recites along with me. He knows about 6 or 7 letters by sight now and can sing along to parts of the ABC’s (and lots of other songs too). We’re also working on memorizing some Scripture and some Catechism questions, which he’s doing great with. There’s so much more I can say about this area but I think I’ll save it for another post. Maybe a “Jameson Says” series with all the cute and funny things he says. 🙂

Loves: Spider-Man, the Hulk, wrestling with Daddy, helping me cook/bake, Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, Curious George, reading, coloring, Play-Doh, playing with his racetrack, playing with his Hess helicopter, swimming, running and jumping and being tough, hide-and-seek, playing his matching games, spending time with his family and cousins, and dancing! His top song right now is probably “Get Back Up Again” from Trolls, but he really loves all music and especially when Alex plays guitar.

Hates: Currently, the wind (random, but he had a terrifying moment last week where a huge gust blasted him in the face and shot a bunch of leaves straight at him haha). Also really doesn’t like eating sometimes, and hates when I tell him he needs to wait patiently and quietly (we’re working on this). And as we discovered on his birthday (whoops) he hates the Rainforest Café.

Things We Want to Remember: How much you love feeling your baby sister kick, the way you say “C’mon Daddy!” in that squeaky voice, the way you shout “Mommy, ARE you?!” when you need me, the way you wrap us in the best hugs with your tiny arms around our necks, how you get so excited and proud when you do the simplest things (“I deet!”), how you try to bargain with us when we tell you it’s time to stop something (“One more time den aaaall done”), how you run around and around in a circle with the biggest smile on your face when Daddy plays guitar or your favorite song comes on, your “Hulk Smash” impressions and the way you pretend to shoot Spider-Man webs out of your wrists with the sound effects and everything, how you like to encourage me (“Wow! Good job, Mommy!”), how you empathize with others when things go wrong (“Oh no, Mana [Madelyn] sad.” and “Poor Daddy!” when Daddy has to mow the lawn in the heat), how you’ve started joking about poop, the way you make fake phone calls (“Hi Daddy. How’s doin’? Okay bye. *click!*”), and how you’re always ready to act goofy with me.

We love you so much, our big two year old! You make us proud every day and we’re so thankful that God continues to bless our lives with YOU! ❤

Letters to Littles

Letter #1

To my daughter,

Hi sweet girl! This is the first of many letters I hope to write to you, just like I’ve done for your big brother. We haven’t settled on your name yet but we’ll be meeting each other very soon! (You’re due in about a month!) Daddy and I decided that we’re going to wait until you’re born to see which name seems to fit you best. I hope you like it, whatever it turns out to be. I’m kind of liking the fact that you don’t have an official name yet anyway. You can still be anyone!

A couple months ago we saw you for the fourth and final time before you’re born. We couldn’t get a good view of your little face because you had your hands and feet covering it! We tried poking you and shifting you around but you didn’t budge a bit. Obviously you’re totally content in doing your own thing (something I’ve known about you for awhile now). But that’s okay; independence is a good thing. (Although I might regret saying that once you’ve hit toddlerhood.)

No matter who you are, we are so excited to get to know you! Jameson asks to feel you kick almost every day (“See baby kick?” he says) and he loves to blow raspberries directly onto my stomach. Sometimes it startles you but I think you’re mostly used to it by now. I can’t wait to see you and your big brother meet! It’s probably the thing I’m most excited for. I’m sure you know this already, but you are so blessed to have a brother like Jameson. He might get on your nerves now and then, and maybe sometimes he’ll have a hard time showing it…but I know he loves you so much. He is so sweet and thoughtful even at age two right now, and he is fiercely loyal to the people he trusts. It’s not easy to get into his inner circle but once you’re in, you’re in. Lucky for you, you’ll be born with an “in.” I promise I’ll do my best to make sure he learns to protect you and care for you and walk alongside you in the Lord. I always wanted an older brother and I’m so thankful that my little girl gets to have one of her own.

Daddy and I are praying for you daily, little one. We both wanted a daughter so much and we already feel so blessed to have you, even though we don’t quite know you yet. I can’t wait to see what you look like, figure out all your likes and dislikes, have conversations with you someday, and learn all about your wonderful personality. The responsibility of having a daughter weighs on me in a way that having a son never has. I’m praying God gives me the tools I need to raise you in a way that’s glorifying to Him. And I hope you can give me grace when I’m sure to mess things up. My heart and my intentions are always for you.

I love you so much, precious girl. You are beautiful and valued and cherished more than you know! See you soon, sweetheart.

Love always,

Mommy

Holidays & Special Events

Jameson’s Second Birthday

Our baby boy is TWO!!! It’s been a week and a half now and I still can’t really believe it. But two is so much fun already. Two is running everywhere, scrapes on his knees, chatting about everything, giving biiiiig hugs (“I cold, Mommy. I need hug.”), wrestling with Daddy, and facing his fears. Two is the best. 🙂

We had such a fun day celebrating Jameson and I wanted to share a bit about it here. His birthday fell on a Tuesday this year so Alex took the day off and we spent it all together. I put up a few fun decorations to surprise Jameson in the morning (which he went nuts for) and we let him open one gift from us before we headed out for some fun. It was a Spider-Man action figure (his current obsession) and you better believe it came with us on all our adventures that day. 😉

We decided a few weeks ago to go to the aquarium for his birthday, since he’d never been and we thought he might like it. It turned out to be the perfect choice! He looooved looking at all the animals (especially the Nemo and Dory fishies, and the turtles) and had a blast playing in the aquarium’s little play area. Plus it was a weekday morning so it wasn’t crowded at all and a good way to get out of the heat since it’s still basically summer in Arizona.

After the aquarium we went to the Rainforest Cafe for some lunch and this turned out to be the worst decision ever hahah. We thought Jameson would think the animals were super cool (at first he did) but every 15 minutes or so the entire restaurant gets dark and simulates a loud thunderstorm with all the animatronics going crazy. Plus we were seated right in front of the gorillas which were by far the scariest ones in the whole place (I didn’t even like them haha). So Jameson ended up eating his lunch on my lap and hiding his face every time the animals made noise. We ate as fast as we could and blew out of there but we felt terrible for scaring him on his birthday! Poor buddy!

We got home for Jameson’s nap and then it was party time! We didn’t plan a whole big thing this year, partly because we knew it would be a lot for Jameson and partly because I’m having a baby next month and was not in any mood to plan, decorate, entertain, and clean up for a party like we did last year. But Jameson didn’t seem to mind and honestly had a blast anyway! We celebrated with family at my in-laws house and spent the evening doing all of Jameson’s favorite things…swimming, eating Pirate’s Booty, having pizza, opening tons of awesome gifts, and of course enjoying cupcakes!

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My favorite part was singing “Happy Birthday” to him (which was actually my favorite part on his first birthday, too). This year he totally knew what was coming and was sooo excited when he saw his cupcake with the candle on it! We’d been practicing for weeks with me singing to him and then him waiting until the song was over to blow out a pretend candle. So as soon as we started singing on his birthday his whole face completely lit up and I just knew he was thinking, “This is it. This is what I’ve been waiting for.” And he did such a great job! He waited until the song was over and blew out that candle with such confidence and excitement. It was adorable! 🙂

Happy happy second birthday, Nugget!!! We love you so. ❤

Baby #2, Bumpdates, Pregnancy

Bumpdate – 31 weeks

I had an appointment with my midwife earlier this week so I thought I’d do a little update! Especially since there really aren’t many more of these I’ll be able to do before she’s here. 😱

I’m technically closer to 32 weeks now but the pictures and the appointment were at 31 weeks so that’s what I’m going with for this post. 🙂

Overall, things are still looking great! I passed my glucose screening with no problems this time around (last time I had to go in for the dreaded three hour test), my blood pressure is still good, and little miss has a strong heartbeat (around 140 bpm). She was head down at this last appointment but my midwife mentioned she’s still got some room in there, so it’s possible she’ll flip back and forth a few more times before she settles on a position for birth.

I’m up to about 10 pounds gained total so far, which is better than it was but still not great. They were hoping I’d gain 25-35 by the end but I just don’t see that happening. My belly is also still measuring small (about two and a half weeks behind). Even though the baby looked great at our last ultrasound they want to keep a close eye on my growth to make sure she’s still on an upward curve. It could just be that she’s a small baby (or in a weird position) but if, in two weeks, she’s still falling behind they will probably want to do an ultrasound to make sure she’s okay. From there they might find that everything is perfect, or they might suggest I get induced after I hit full-term at 37 weeks. Some babies just do better on the outside once they’re past 37 weeks. I’m really hoping and praying I can avoid an induction, though, because I want to do this 100% naturally again. And because an induction would mean I’d probably have to switch over to the doctor side of the office rather than stick with the midwives I know and love. But of course my little girl’s health is the most important thing and I’ll do what I need to do to make sure she’s safe and getting everything she needs.

I’ll keep my blog updated as we find out more! Now onto the bumpdate… How far along: 31 weeks
How big is baby: About the size of romaine lettuce. She’s approximately 18 inches long and should weigh a little over 3 lbs.
Movement: Some of her kicks and stretches are kind of painful now! Especially when she’s laying horizontally in my stomach and she decides to stretch completely out. You can actually see my belly get shoved outwards in either direction. And she’s usually so close to the front of my belly that sometimes you can see her little elbow or knee poking out throughout the day, and sometimes you can even grab it! I’ll never get used to that haha. Most of her kicks are on the right side of my belly, which is exactly how it was with her big brother. 🙂
Major symptoms: Symptoms have been relatively mild, I would say. I’m definitely more tired than usual and I get out of breath so easily, but aside from that it’s actually been even more mild than my pregnancy with Jameson. Braxton Hicks contractions have been picking up a bit but that’s really more annoying than uncomfortable.
Best moments this week: Last weekend was my best friend’s wedding! I loved that I could be involved in everything and I loved seeing her in total bliss that whole day. I was pretty wiped out by the end of it all (we had the bachelorette party on Thursday, the rehearsal and dinner on Friday, and then the wedding itself on Saturday) but it was SO worth it! I wouldn’t change a thing about any of it.
Looking forward to: Tomorrow is officially September which means I’ll be able to say, “Next month I’m having a baby!” Plus September means my first baby will be turning two, and I can’t wait to celebrate him with all his favorite things. 🙂

At home, Baby #2, Bumpdates

Bumpdate – 29 weeks

Third trimester already! We're almost there! This pregnancy has been flying by and simultaneously dragging on. It makes no sense but that's how it's been. Some days I'm like "OH MY GOSH SHE'LL BE HERE IN 11 WEEKS" and then other times I'm like "oh my gosh, I can't believe how much longer I have to go." It's equal parts exciting and frustrating.

Anyway, we had our midwife appointment and final ultrasound this morning! Once again we got a great report, praise God. Little miss is growing right on track (48th percentile), her heartbeat was strong (134 bpm), and the ultrasound showed that everything about her is perfect, which we already knew. 🙂 She's still breech right now (about half of babies are breech at this point) but she should flip by the time we hit 34 weeks.

I was a liiiitle bummed about the ultrasound today because we could barely see her face at all. She was pretty much folded in half so her feet were covering her face and what wasn't covered by her feet was covered by her arm flung right across her eyes. No matter what we did she would not move, which was not surprising to me at all. She's never cared much about being poked or prodded. She just does her own sassy thing. The ultrasound tech couldn't really show her to us in 3D (which is what I was most excited for) so we only have a few profile shots. I was so looking forward to seeing what she'll look like when she's born because I was hoping it would help us finally settle on a name, but it looks like we're waiting 11 more weeks to figure that out. Oh well, babies rarely follow the rules anyway. 🙂 I should be used to it by now!

As for my health, things look mostly good too. My blood pressure was perfect and I did the 1 hour glucose test while we were there (we'll have the results of that on Monday hopefully). My weight gain is still a bit of a problem, though. I was so sure things were looking up but I only gained a little over a pound since my last appointment four weeks ago. That makes about 8 pounds total this pregnancy, which wouldn't be a huge problem except that my daughter makes up about three pounds of that and the placenta/fluid/uterus is another part of it. My belly is only measuring at 26 weeks right now, even though the baby is right on track. My midwife straight up told me to start eating ice cream every night haha. Not so much for the baby right now (she's doing fine), but more so that I can get some fat storage in place for breastfeeding after she's born. I'm not sure why this is so hard for me this time around but I'm going to try my best to eat more protein and healthy fats and hopefully get the ball rolling these last few weeks.

Phew! That was a long introduction! Let's get into the actual bumpdate. 😂

How far along: almost 29 weeks
How big is baby: About the size of a pineapple. She’s approximately 17 inches long and weighs around 2 lbs, 10 oz (according to our ultrasound today).
Movement: From what I can tell, she's a pretty routine type of baby. There are certain times a day where I can almost guarantee she'll be awake and moving around. She has an active time in the morning, another right around 1pm, and another around 10pm. Of course she moves around at other times throughout the day too, but those are her most active times. She also loves music and will usually start kicking whenever something comes on loud enough, or when I sing. In fact that might be why she's always awake around 1pm…that's when I read and sing to Jameson before his nap. I often wonder how many of the songs and the books we read will be familiar to her after she's born. 🙂 Her hiccups are picking up a bit too; she usually gets them a few times a day and they last at least five minutes or longer.
Major symptoms: Typical third-trimester symptoms happening over here. I pretty much always feel like I have to pee (and sometimes she reminds me with a swift kick to the bladder), I have lower back pain here and there, and the shortness of breath comes and goes (although it's actually subsided a bit since my last bumpdate, possibly because she's changed positions). It's getting harder to stay comfortable all night between the peeing and the big ol' belly and the sporadic shifts in my body temperature. I've also been dealing with some common cold stuff which isn't directly related to pregnancy, but kind of is because I never get sick. This is the second time this pregnancy I've had a really horrible cold so I'm almost positive it's because my immune system is lower in general right now. Still getting Braxton Hicks contractions every day too, which I'm all for because the more practice my body gets now the easier labor will be (right? hopefullyyy).
Best moments this week: Definitely getting to see our girl at the ultrasound. Even though we weren't able to see much of her face we did get to see her little lips making kissy faces and watched her stick her tongue out a few times (so adorable!). Her mannerisms were so much like a newborn's already and it was really sweet to see.
Cravings: I'm just not a craving type of person I guess. I should probably just take this category off haha.
Looking forward to: Umm cooler weather? It's been so hot in AZ and I'm so ready for fall, especially because that means it's baby season. 😀

Life with Jameson, Personal Writing

Our breastfeeding journey

i-192If you haven’t guessed from the title, surprise! I want to spend a little time talking about the experience I had breastfeeding my first baby. 🙂 This will probably be a longer post so skip it if you like. It’s really mostly for myself, to reflect on so many things that have been tumbling around in my brain and to write them all out so I don’t forget.

Jameson is almost 23 months now and I can finally say that he’s officially weaned. This might seem – to some people – like a really long time to nurse a baby, but I hope as I dive a little bit deeper into our story that it’ll encourage and inspire you to find what works best for you and your baby, and to do that thing confidently no matter what sort of pressure is telling you to change.

Processed with VSCOcam with a6 presetLet me just start by saying that I went into breastfeeding without many expectations. I had done my research prior to giving birth and I knew (for many reasons) that breastfeeding was what I wanted above all else. But I wasn’t dead-set on any aspect of it. I figured we’d try it out, see what was working, and change things up as we went along. Sort of just learn on the job. I wasn’t opposed to pumping or supplementing with formula (although I was hoping to avoid that) or even giving it up if it wasn’t working for whatever reason. But I really, really wanted it to work and I think that was the most important thing.

When Jameson was first born, breastfeeding was by far the most difficult part about motherhood for me. The sleepless nights, the postpartum recovery, the total shift in all of your priorities…I could handle all that just fine (haha, okay not completely fine). But breastfeeding was hard. It’s a huge new skill that you and your baby both have to learn, and I unfortunately didn’t get a whole lot of direction while in the hospital. The nurses showed me a few different positions and made sure I was staying on schedule but beyond that I had to figure it out on my own.IMG_3886The first night home was incredibly stressful for me. I remember sitting in the rocking chair in Jameson’s nursery, both of us crying, because he wouldn’t latch on and when he did…it hurt so terribly. I called a few different breastfeeding help lines that week (Le Leche League was the most helpful) and had my mom come over to try and show me what I was doing wrong. But honestly it was a lot of trial and error, and mostly error.

When Jameson was about a week old I broke down and admitted I needed more help than just looking up YouTube videos and trying to explain things over the phone. I was cracked, sore, and engorged on top of everything. I cried every time it was time to nurse, and with Jameson being so young that was every 2-3 hours. There was no time in between feedings for me to heal so I just kept getting worse and worse. I so badly wanted to feel that sweet connection with him and to bond over something just the two of us would share, but instead I was dreading each painful session.

That week I found a breastfeeding support group through the hospital I had given birth at and saw that it was led by a certified lactation consultant. Alex was still off from work so he came with us (bless him) and we stayed after the meeting to talk with the consultant. She immediately saw what I was doing wrong and helped me switch up the position until I felt absolutely no pain. I was shocked! Even though I was so sore and definitely not healed yet, it didn’t hurt to feed my son. I wanted to make that consultant my best friend. She singlehandedly saved our breastfeeding journey.

IMG_4682Instead of dreading every feeding, I started getting so excited when Jameson would get hungry. I was so eager to practice the new position and bond with him in a way I hadn’t been able to before. The more we practiced the better we both got and soon I was all the way healed and Jameson was nursing like a pro. Oh such sweet relief! Before long I was even comfortable nursing in public.

I think what I loved most about our new-found skill was the fact that I was the only one who could provide this for Jameson. I never pumped our entire journey because I loved having it just for ourselves. Sometimes it was draining (literally, ha!) but it was also the best decision I made for us. Besides being so so good for him nutritionally, I could use breastfeeding as an excuse to get some alone time with my him, or use it to comfort him, or use it to help him get to sleep. I used it for all these things and more, and I loved every minute of it. I can’t remember a single moment where I felt annoyed when he wanted to nurse. I really, truly loved it.

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Months went by and we got into a routine. I started him on solids just for fun around 7 months but breastfeeding was his primary source of nutrition until he was at least one. I nursed him to sleep for pretty much every nap and every bedtime, something I was warned again and again not to do because he would he would “become dependent on it.” I didn’t listen and did it anyway. He preferred it that way, I preferred it that way, and it was just working well for us. And looking back now, I don’t regret it one single bit. Those quiet moments in Jameson’s dark nursery, me nursing him in the rocking chair as he drifted off to sleep every night, I will treasure those moments forever. They’re some of my very favorites.

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Once he turned one I started feeling the pressure to wean him. People look at you funny when you’re nursing a toddler and I was being asked a lot, “Are you still breastfeeding?” I began questioning myself, too. I had always wanted to make it to the year mark but it had come and gone and we were still trucking along. The more I thought about weaning the more panicked I got and that’s how I knew my answer. We weren’t ready to quit. I still loved nursing and Jameson loved it too so there really wasn’t a reason to stop.

I think when it’s your first baby you just try so hard to “do the right thing.” You research a ton, you listen to your friends’ opinions, you try your best to do everything in the socially acceptable timeframe. Sleep train at this age, start solids at that age, stop nursing at this age. But it’s not so cut and dry. I wish I could go back and tell myself it was going to work out in its own time. That Jameson would be fine if I nursed him to sleep every night or if we started solids later than everyone was telling me to or if we kept breastfeeding until he was almost two. I wish I could tell myself to enjoy his babyhood just a bit more and not worry so darn much.

IMG_8778Over the next year the more regular food Jameson ate, the less we nursed. It was sort of a natural progression. Towards the end he was only nursing twice a day, once before his nap and once before bed. Sometimes he’d want to nurse a third time randomly during the day and I pretty much always let him. I knew this part of our relationship was coming to a close and I wanted to enjoy it as much as possible. By this point I had decided not to let the opinions of others rob me of the joy I had in breastfeeding my baby.

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Then when Jameson was around 17 months old, I got pregnant. This didn’t change much at first and I was fine with the thought of breastfeeding through pregnancy and possibly tandem nursing after the baby was born. But then I started to see things that needed to be changed. I knew once I had a newborn around, I wouldn’t be able to spend 15 minutes nursing Jameson to sleep for every nap and every bedtime. We needed some new habits and we needed them formed before the baby arrived. So I got to work.

I didn’t cut him off completely from breastfeeding, but I did start training him to get to sleep on his own. Honestly this was what I was most afraid of because, like I said, I had been warned so many times that this would be a difficult habit to break. But by this point Jameson was ready. It was maybe three days of him crying to nurse while I rocked him like usual. I stayed strong and within a week I could put him down in his crib after a book and a song and he’d go to sleep on his own without complaint. What had I been so afraid of?! Truth be told, the transition was harder for me than it was for him. I cried a lot, wishing I could still nurse him to sleep like we always had. I missed him so much. But I knew it wouldn’t be practical when the new baby came, and the best thing I could do for my son was to give him the tools he needed to get to sleep on his own.

IMG_0100I let him nurse whenever he wanted during the day while I was sleep training him so that he could recharge and we could reconnect. And a couple of months later he naturally stopped asking to nurse. I could tell my milk supply was going away but he didn’t seem to mind much. I had been preparing myself for this big, emotional end to our breastfeeding journey but it was much simpler than that. We just sort of blended right into a new type of relationship. He would ask to nurse a few times a week, and then once a week, and then not at all.

I’m so happy it went the way it did because I couldn’t stand the thought of choosing to have “one last nursing session” and knowing it was our last time. Jameson weaned himself so I don’t remember our last time nursing. I think it was easier for me that way. I don’t need to remember our last time anyway; I have 22 wonderful months of memories before that.

Processed with Snapseed. Processed with VSCO with s2 presetNow, at almost 23 months, he’s my big boy. There are still some times where he’ll randomly ask for “mommy milk” but it’s usually when he’s tired or grumpy and he gets distracted before I can even say no. I’m interested to see how things go when the new baby is here in a few months, to see if he gets jealous of her nursing or wants to try it again for himself.

I’m really excited to start a whole new breastfeeding journey with my second baby. There are a lot of things I hope are similar, and some I hope are not. I hope I’ve learned enough to let things go and watch them unfold naturally. I hope I’ve learned to stop caring so much about what other people think of the choices I make for my kids. And I really hope I’ve learned to slow down and enjoy my babies while they’re still babies, because they won’t be this little for long.

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Baby #2, Bumpdates, Pregnancy

Bumpdate – 25 weeks

image1It’s been a quiet month over here, but I’m jumping back on for another pregnancy update! I’ve missed blogging and I really do want to keep track of certain things for the future, it’s just hard to find the time. I think this is only my second bumpdate of the entire pregnancy, actually. With Jameson I was already at like 20 of these! Oh well, second pregnancies, right?

We’re at 25 weeks now and I had a check up with my midwife just a few days ago. In general everything is looking great! Baby girl’s heartbeat was strong, my blood pressure is good, and my weight gain is decent. I don’t own a scale so I never know how much I weigh, but my midwife told me I’ve gained 6 pounds so far. It’s less than she’d like (she told me I need to try and gain at least 19 more pounds within the next few months) but she’s not concerned yet because I’m doing everything right and everything else seems healthy. I had no problem gaining weight with Jameson so I’m not sure why it’s different this time but it probably has something to do with the fact that I’m chasing a toddler around now. 😉 Plus I’ve been exercising regularly and trying to choose healthier foods, something I wasn’t too great at with my last pregnancy.

Anyway, let’s jump into the rest of this bumpdate!

image2 (1)How far along: 25 weeks
How big is baby: About the size of a Napa Cabbage. She’s around 13 inches long and weighs about a pound and a half.
Movement: I’ve been feeling her more and more every day! Not everything is a giant kick, but I can feel it all anyway because of how big she’s gotten. She sometimes gets the hiccups (pretty rarely, though) and she’s a lot less feisty than Jameson was in there. Most of the movement happens when I lay down, and especially at night. We love watching my belly change shapes as she wiggles around and Alex gets to feel her pretty much every day. I love this point in pregnancy!
Major symptoms: Symptoms are starting to pick up a bit. I’m having a lot more lower back pain than I had with Jameson and I get out of breath so easily. Like standing up sometimes makes me winded haha. Sometimes I even have trouble catching my breath when I’m just sitting around! I still get Braxton Hicks contractions daily, although surprisingly not as often as I had with Jameson. And we’re to the point now where my feet start hurting if I stand for too long during the day. Oh and the last major symptom is a weird one, especially this early in the pregnancy. I’m definitely heading right into the nesting phase and it’s driving me (and Alex) crazy. I’m a huge type-A organizational planner anyway but this is over the top. Last night I spent THREE HOURS researching and writing out everything from my plans for her nursery to my labor and delivery outfits to freezer meal prep to every last thing we need to buy for her still. We have months to go on this pregnancy but my brain literally would not slow down until I had a plan for absolutely everything I could think of. It was making me so panicked and out of control but I couldn’t do anything to stop it or distract myself until I powered through and mapped it all out. I knew exactly how ridiculous I was being but I swear there was no stopping it! Hopefully it gets better as I make progress on my to-do lists because I don’t think I can take many more nights like that haha. 
Best moments this week: Getting to spend time with the two kids I used to work with, dressing up like cows with my sisters and my niece and nephew to get free Chick-Fil-A, setting up our new double stroller (!!!), buying our first few things specifically for this baby girl, and definitely hearing my daughter’s heartbeat at my appointment. 🙂
Cravings: Still nothing much. Cravings aren’t really something I seem to get. I kind of want to get at least one though, ya know? Like one really random, undeniable craving. 
Looking forward to: Starting to get my daughter’s nursery ready! I have it all planned out in my mind, we just need to start actually working on it. Also looking forward to my next appointment in 4 weeks where we’ll have our final ultrasound! I don’t think we opted for this ultrasound with Jameson so it’ll be really fun to see her at almost 29 weeks. She’ll look pretty much exactly how she’ll be when she’s born! 

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That’s all for now! I’ll probably be be back in a few weeks after our ultrasound with some pictures of this sweet girl and another pregnancy update. 😊