Baby · Food · Health · Organization

Breastfeeding & Pumping

Breastfeeding can be such a daunting thing to so many people and pressure to do so is everywhere. Weather you choose to or not is totally up to you! It was a goal of mine to breastfeed and I was very nervous if I would be successful.

I am happy to say I am. It was not easy and I had to push through pain, bleeding. blisters, blebs, clogged ducts, mastitis and more. What women can do is amazing. In the hospital my baby only wanted to latch to one side, so yes I am lopsided, after working with a lactation consultant we determined that using a guard worked beast. She latched right away and I used it from then on (both sides). I really think this also helped with adding in the bottle because she was already used to the texture and it wasn’t a new or shocking change.

After my milk came in and I was about 6 weeks postpartum I started pumping to build up my stash for daycare while I was back to work. It started out slow and not much came out. I was so upset but just like with breastfeeding you have to push through. Your body is learning something new and it takes time to adapt. Not long after pumping on a regular schedule was I able to fill the bottles in 12 minutes or less.

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I would pump the opposite side while she ate. This saved time and allowed me to build my stash while not adding in another time commitment during the day. While I work I pump 3 times to keep the supply going because she is still exclusively breastfeeding with some table food.

How I freeze and Store

  1. I pump and then pour it into the storage bags, I do not have a bag preference all have worked just fine for me. I fill each bag up to the full 6 ounces. I do this because it takes up less space, saves bags and is easy to thaw and use knowing they are all the same. I don’t have to pick and choose what I need.
  2. I seal and re-seal the bag several times and lay it flat in the freezer.
  3. Once the milk is frozen I stand the bag up in a storage bin. I place them in order in the bin with the oldest up front and each new one behind.
  4. I keep each filled bin in our freezer in the garage. (I honestly don’t know what I would do if we didn’t have the extra freezer)
  5. I only keep one bin in the freezer in our kitchen. This is the bin of oldest milk and what I use to thaw and feed her with when she needs a bottle.

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This has been what has worked best for us and kept things organized and moving for use.

Baby · McKinney · Texas Life

Maternity Leave

I want to talk about my Maternity leave. It has been over since the end of February but I am just now finding time. Time is something that is very rare now a days 🙂

I felt like it flew by! Everyday was a new learning curve and trying to figure each other out. We had 3 major holidays during this time as well.

We came home from the hospital on Thanksgiving Day. My amazing family was here and prepared a traditional meal, which is my favorite thing! It was definitely an experience. I hadn’t eaten in days, recovering from a c-section and had a tiny baby. It was the first time I ate using my left hand and holding my babe in the other. I was not so good at it, now I am expert level! Little things like that people don’t tell you to practice. lol

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I know she will never remember her first Christmas but I wanted to make it an experience anyway! We still put up our tree and did minimal decorating, mostly because she never napped so putting up decorations was not entertaining to her. She LOVED looking at the lights on the tree. We also participated in the local holiday activities by going on walks or driving through neighborhoods looking at lights. It was a great way to learn how to get out of the house and adjust to having a baby with us. While we didn’t go and see Santa my husband obliged my crazy and dressed up in a Santa suite for photos on Christmas Day!

Most days were spent feeding, changing diapers, doing laundry and trying to remember to go to the bathroom and eat myself. Before I knew it, it would be dark out! I miss this time so much. 12 weeks is just not enough to learn each other!

After our pediatrician gave us the all clear I looked up the story times at the libraries and kids places near by. This was a great way for us to get out and interact with other people. She loved the music and colors. I also loved getting this one on one time where I wasn’t in our living room. It was a wonderful way to learn the local kids/baby places and all they have to offer. I now have a list of places for when she is older to participate for other fun activities. We also started the Read 1000 Books Before Kindergarten at the Allen Public Library. So fun and a great way to spend time together.

My husband also surprised us with our first family vacation, I will talk about this in another post.

Important Things to make sure you do during this time

  1. Get A copy of the Birth Certificate
  2. Add baby to insurance plans
  3. CHECK AND DOUBLE CHECK THESE
  4. Add baby as a beneficiary on any accounts you would like
  5. Start a file for their important paperwork

I mention this stuff because I spent a lot of time making calls and ensuring this was all done, because several things take multiple calls or submitals of paperwork and you don’t wan’t anything to be missing.

I envy every mom who had more time with their little one and I am thankful for the time I had. Being a Full Time Working Mom is HARD WORK, physically and emotionally. Judgement needs to stop for everyone and the comments people have made to me are shocking and none of their business. You do what works for you!

Fitness · Health

Fun Facts

I got a great response to the previous posts of fun facts I see in magazines, so here are some more great ones! Tips & Tricks as well as good information to know about health and wellness.

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House · McKinney · Uncategorized

House Happenings

It has been awhile since I gave an update on the fun house happenings around here. When we moved in I thought our landscaping looked nice. As time went on I realized there was just way too much planted in the space. I didn’t want to immediately remove anything until I went through a full year to see what happened each season.

We have now started the removal process! I started with some large bushes, pots left all over, dead plants, and plants that just had spread way to much. I am starting a little at a time so that we don’t end up with just empty flower beds because that doesn’t look great either.

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We also removed the raised garden beds, it was falling apart and just always over grown. I do not garden and well I would love to it just doesn’t fit into our lives right now.

Our landscaper is so great to work with and works quickly. We are so thankful for his work because there is no way we could get this done in one day.

Baby · Fertility · Health · Products · Review

Baby Products

Here is a list of the baby products we use and love!

Pampers

  • Pure
  • Pure Wipes
  • Swaddlers

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I have tried several brands and different types within the brands. I found some to be very hard and seemed no fun to be on such soft skin. Some just didn’t fit my baby. These are the ones that work great for us and I highly recommend giving them a try. We have minimal leaks and the pure wipes leave her skin soft and dry.

https://www.pampers.com/en-us

NanoBebe 

  • Breast milk bottles
  • Flexy Pacifiers
  • Breast milk storage bags
  • Nursing pads
  • Bottle Cooler

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This brand is amazing! Every product we have tried has been wonderful. I chose these bottles because they are specific for breast milk and allow the fat and water to stay mixed for better nutrition. The Flexi Pacifiers are soft and breathable they are the only ones my child will even entertain taking. The pads are so soft and absorbent I never notice feel wet or even feel them while wearing. They have additional products that we are waiting to get as well. #nanobebeambassador

https://www.nanobebe.com/ 

ExerSaucer

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This play bouncer is first off so cute with the animal theme, it is also gender neutral so great if you plan to have additional kids. It can grow for different heights and weight. Our daughter loves looking at the different animal faces and the seat is soft and easy to remove for cleaning. It is also easy to move from room to room.

https://www.evenflo.com/jumpers/61912186.html?gclid=Cj0KCQjw1Iv0BRDaARIsAGTWD1vprm6zItEpL8rLIs5es5WL3joxUBx20-UMeC03VYHPmWg_gdntNfcaAnu2EALw_wcB

Bumbo Seat

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I was skeptical about these but our girl loves her hand me down seat from her cousin. It has a tray which we will start using now that she is starting to grab and eat solids. The seat is soft and easy to clean and allows her to sit up and work on her ab muscles, while engaging in play and with the rest of the family.

http://www.bumbousa.com/product/floor-seat/

Maxi Cosi – Infant Car Seat

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I chose to get an infant only car seat to start because it offered many features I wanted but couldn’t get in the grow with me options. I love the awning that can go up and down, the easy to move straps for growth, and the amount of padding throughout. It is easy to carry and use as well as snap into our stroller. The ability to cover her was a big deal to me and the safety ratings are fabulous! I don’t like people seeing or coming to close at such a young age.

https://www.maxicosi.com/us-en/car-seats/infant-car-seats.html

Diono – Stroller

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This stroller is amazing. We chose black, gender neutral. It is easy to fold and travel with, light weight to carry, and looks great on a walk. There is plenty of room underneath for storage and you can get additional attachments for cup holders and such. I love that I can use the car seat or the bassinet. The bassinet converts into additional stages to grow with baby and toddler. Highly recommend.

https://www.diono.com/

Beauty Counter – Baby Wash & Lotion

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I love these natural chemical free options for baby girl. We use these for day time baths and skin care. They smell great and leave her skin soft and smooth.

https://www.beautycounter.com/

Johnson’s- Sleepy Time Bath Set

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I use this bath set for evening baths. The calming scent of Lavender does calm her and leave her skin soft and smooth.

https://www.johnsonsbaby.com/baby-products/johnsons-bedtime-baby-bath-wash?upcean=381371174737

These are the products I am loving for our baby and each child is different but if you try these let me know what you think!

 

Baby · McKinney · Texas Life

Working Mama

I work full time, yes I work from home but I still work a full time schedule and normally work more than 40 hours per week. Prior to all of this COVID-19 craziness I worked from home.

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When people found out I was going to put our daughter in day care/school I was very judged. People would say you are at home why don’t you keep her with you. BELIEVE me if I could I would. I don’t want my tiny little girl going to spend most of the day with other people and it would save a lot of money.

However, an infant is a full time job on it’s own and then add in an actual full time job. I am on the phone most of the day and tied to the computer. When she needs me I can’t give her my full attention and when work needs me it’s a challenge. I am not self employed, I work for a large company that requires my attention.

Now that a lot more people are in this boat I am seeing a lot of posts about how hard it is! Our children need our full attention and our jobs need our full attention. It is a very difficult thing to do. It is also heart breaking when we can’t do both, it makes us feel less than or like we are doing something wrong.

We are NOT! We are doing the best we can. I am proud to be a working mom and show my daughter that you can have a career and a family. If I had my choice I would be with her all of the time but that doesn’t teach her many of the things she needs to learn.

I hope the mom shaming and judging stops one day but I know it won’t.

Baby · Fertility · Health · McKinney · Texas Life

Welcome Savannah

If you follow along you know that I just welcomed my first child. I could not be more in love or happy with our miracle. After years of surgeries, medications, trial & error, we had a successful round of IVF that gave us this precious girl. So lets talk delivery…

Birth Plan, I didn’t have a written birth plan because to me that was silly. You nor your doctor have any clue what will happen. It’s so unknown and different every time. I did however have some things I hoped (really really hoped) would happen.

  1. Go into labor naturally
  2. Natural delivery with no pain medication
  3. Skin to Skin asap
  4. Leave the hospital in the required 48 hours
  5. Breastfeed

So yah….how many of those happened….ONE! Can you guess which one?

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I was induced because I had just zero movement or signs that labor would happen any time soon and with the complications I already had it was time to evict the baby. I was induced at 40 weeks plus 1 day.

After 18 hours of being induced there was very little progress at all, so they broke my water. Things did start to progress but after a several more hours I was just exhausted and not able to sleep and my anxiety had hit a point of no return. I was on the verge of a panic attack. So I agreed to an epidural which would allow me to rest and hopefully reduce the anxiety.

My epidural process was honestly the worst part. I felt the CRNA wasn’t very compassionate and didn’t really listen to me at all. After an hour or so, with many tears shed by everyone in the room, it was finally placed. I was able to rest and then I started to realize hmm it’s no longer working. So by this time shift had changed and a new CRNA came in and had to switch medications. It was also to a point now where my water had been broken for 18 hours and that brings on additional risks.

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My doctor came in and I was fully dilated so lets start pushing. I pushed and pushed and this girl didn’t move. She must have been very happy inside. My doctor knew how much I did not want a c-section she she had held off the conversation for as long as possible. But here we were. She said I know you don’t want this but she is not going to come out this way. She was kind and said if you want to keep pushing we can go for another hour. I looked at my husband and he gave me the look that I knew we were going to have a c-section. The tears started flowing and I agreed.

I just kept saying I don’t want to do this.

Once in the room and my husband by my side, tears still flowing. We welcomed our gorgeous baby girl. Savannah, was 7lbs 14oz. There were some additional complications that I won’t get into and NICU was in the room so she went straight to them. She didn’t cry so I kept asking through the tears if she was ok. The CRNA wiped my tears and assured me she looked perfectly healthy and was doing well. My husband was with her and I finally heard the cry. Such relief. While I was still being tended to by the medical staff the NICU team brought her to me and laid her on my chest for skin to skin.

We were in the hospital for 5 days total and convinced them to let us go home early Thanksgiving morning to our house filled with family. I was in labor for 43 hours prior to the c-section. I will never forget seeing her face and knowing it was all worth it.

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This miracle I prayed for and fought for years to obtain finally happened and I am a new person.

My recommendation to anyone out there, don’t have a set plan! Have some goals knowing it could all change. Health & Safety of mom and baby are the priority.

So which of my goals happened…..breastfeeding! I have so far been able to breastfeed successfully and will share more in other posts.

Baby · Fitness · Health · McKinney · Texas Life

2020 Goals

So it’s another new year and time for me to set some focuses. These are the things I want to maintain throughout 2020. Some are the same as other years and some are new.

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  1. Healthy Lifestyle – continuing to focus on health, not just physically but mentally as well. Being a new mom my health and routine for this is year is going to be 100% different.
  2. Finances – I love to always keep a budget and meet financial goals for my family and our future.
  3. Mommy Schedule – I want to focus on getting Savannah into a good routine for her and I to make both of us happy and healthy!
  4. New things – I love to try new things and I want to do more of that. I want to visit new place, restaurants, parks and try it all.

These are my main focuses and goals of the new year. No I am not focusing on a specific weight number because I never care, the number doesn’t matter to me. I am not picking a specific number for finances because things change in an instant and I just want to maintain good progress and moving forward. Since making this a goal about 4 years ago and tracking everything I have been able to pay off student loans, a car and keep my credit card paid off at all times!

I love a focus! What are your goals or resolutions for 2020?

Health · Products · Review

Stretch Mark Prevention

During my pregnancy one thing I did every day was use a stretch mark prevention lotion. I just stumbled upon it one day at Walgreens. I like the ingredients and price so I grabbed it.

I started using it when I started to show which was around 8 ish weeks. I would use it after every shower and every morning adding it to my routine of washing my face. I didn’t only use it on my stomach I used it full body. Stretchmarks can appear anywhere and during pregnancy your entire body changes.

I am happy to report that after gaining quit a bit of weight and my stomach expanding to a size I didn’t know was possible (lol) I do not have any stretch marks. I am still using it today to help with the tightening of my skin during my postpartum care as well.

I absolutely recommend this product!

Health · Products · Review

Pore Vacuum

I love trying new facial products and working on my skin health. I saw so many different people trying these, what I call, pore vacuums. I had to try but I didn’t want to spend a fortune.

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I got the Derma Suction! It comes with 4 different attachments and two suctions speeds. The attachments allow you to get into all the groves of your face. Having two speeds or levels of suction gives you control over sensitive areas of your face.

I use this once a week, usually on Sundays. I cleanse my face and then use the Derma Suction. Keep the tool moving, do not let it sit in one spot on your face. I move in the same direction all over my face then go over it again the opposite direction. Once you are finished MOISTURIZE. I can’t say that enough! You just sucked not only the dirt and grime but the moisture out of your skin so you need to put it back. I usually use a moisture mask or a thick moisturizer cream.

You also want to clean out your took after each use, believe me you will be amazed and grossed out! There is also a small filter that will need to be changed periodically.

I have noticed a huge difference in my face and pores. My make up goes on smoother and my skin feels better. I don’t feel like I have little bumps everywhere or that my pores are full of gunk.

You can get yours at Bed Bath & Beyond (where I got mine it was $19.99), CVS, Walgreens and Wal Mart. These are just the places I have seen them. It’s not an expensive took and you will get great results!