October 1, 2014

The Breastfeeding Diaries: April from A. Liz Adventures

Thank you all for letting me share some notes from our breastfeeding journey thus far. I am April and I blog at A. Liz Adventures. The "A. Liz" comes from my name April Elizabeth, and although I dropped my middle name when I married my husband, I have now passed it down to our sweet Camille Elizabeth, who we call Camille ... or a myriad of nicknames. Millie, The Millster, Pea Pod, Pea, Peabody, PeaPo, The Littlest Pea, The Littlest, The Smallest, The Tallest -- poor thing is going to have an identity crisis.

We live in Charlotte, NC and Camille is now 4.5 months old. Breastmilk is her jam. 

When I was pregnant, I was surprised how many people -- strangers -- asked me if I planned to breastfeed. Often times I was really caught off guard, like when I was receiving a full body pat-down by a burly airport security woman. And I mean FULL BODY. Never did I expect to find myself in such candid conversations about my tatas. But I got used to it, and I think that helped me view breastfeeding as something completely natural. But isn't that part about the full body pat-down strange?

So, Camille was born Wednesday, May 14th, 2014 and her birth story is here. I was really hoping to breastfeed her if possible for the health benefits, but I kept an open mind to the fact that it may not work. She did latch on not long after birth, and with the help of my doula and the hospital nurses, I was able to get a pretty good feel as to what nursing was all about.

We were discharged from the hospital Friday and I remember thinking Saturday that my milk had probably come in. Ha. Nope, it came in with a vengeance Sunday in the wee hours of the morning (so technically Monday, I guess). I was changing her diaper at zero dark thirty when I felt large droplets hitting the tops of my feet. I actually looked up at the ceiling thinking our roof was leaking. Yep, I did that.

Let me go ahead here and say that nursing pads are vital objects. And I am really in love with a few pair of washable and reusable waterproof pads that I bought from Etsy. A "greener" option, much more comfortable, and cute to boot. I just toss them in a laundry bag and then air-dry. Yes, more work than the disposables, but less expensive as well.

Our first pediatrician's appointment was the Monday after her birth, when she was five days old. I was having no major issues with nursing at that point, but I did request an appointment with the lactation consultant as soon as possible, and they fit me in two days later. By scheduling this appointment when Camille was just one week old, I was hoping to start any good practices as early as possible but also break any bad habits as early as possible, too. I'd recommend an appointment with an LC to anyone who wants to breastfeed!
The LC told me that it was not too early to break out my pump (Medela Pump In Style Advanced) and pump once a day, not long after the first morning feeding. I started freezing some of this milk and have built up a little freezer stash, mainly to ensure that if my supply does ever dwindle or stop all together before I'm ready, I can continue giving her breastmilk for a little bit longer. I also addressed my two main concerns with the LC, which were that Camille often fell asleep during the middle of the night feedings (tickle those toes, rub that head) and that when she did spit up, which was rare, it would come out of her nose (totally normal for newborns). At four weeks we felt like we were ready for her to try her first bottle of pumped milk, and she did great. My husband gave her the bottle right before she went to bed, and that was a sweet moment to witness.

During my maternity leave, I attended a La Leche League meeting which is a good resource for nursing mamas.Their local chapter Facebook page and KellyMom.com have been great sources of information, as is The Nursing Mother's Companion by Kathleen Huggins which sits right beside my rocking chair.

I went back to work when Camille was 12 weeks old but transitioned from working in an office to working at home because my office didn't have an area fit for pumping. I enjoy working from my little home office now, and I take 15-20 minute breaks during the same times that Camille is eating at daycare (usually 12pm and 4pm nowadays) to pump. Sometimes I get caught up in a call or need to go in the office for a few hours and I'll have a delayed or missed pumping session. I get pretty paranoid that I'm doing harm to my supply but I just try to make up for it and then stay on schedule better the next day.

My goal is to nurse Camille for a year. With that said, I'm staying flexible and knowing all I can do is give it my best, and let the pieces fall as they will.
Biggest piece of advice? Have an arsenal of fellow mamas that you can text or call for quick advice. I feel like I'm always learning from fellow mothers. Thanks sweet Julie for letting us share our journey thus far!

 Be sure to catch up with the rest of the Breastfeeding Diaries series at the top of my navigation bar. 

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September 30, 2014

Citrus Lane Giveaway!

You all know how much Hudson and I love Citrus Lane....if you've been intrigued about it well today is your lucky day! I have always been pleasantly surprised and excited with our box each month. It's such a fun little treat and the box always seems to arrive just when I am in desperate need of something fun to entertain my rambunctious boy. It's like the Citrus Lane people just know.
If you are new here, Citrus Lane is a monthly subscription box of surprises for kids. You can specify your child's age and gender (I always age Hudson up by 6 months). This past month we got a Pieces Foam Bath Puzzle from Boon which was a HUGE hit with Hudson. We also got the Little Red Hen Book & CD from Barefoot Books, which are always a fun surprise because the books are so colorful, cute, and fun. Also in Hudson's box was a Melissa and Doug Red Shape Sorting Clock. It's wooden and such amazing quality! Hudson totally doesn't understand this yet, so I quickly stashed it away for a Christmas gift. Not pictured here (because Hudson snatched them out of my hand before I could snap a pic) are some Cinnamon Crunch snacks from Somersault Snacks. I didn't get to taste test these because Hudson gobbled them up!
Citrus Lane generously sent me a free box for a friend and I thought what a perfect chance to give it away to one of you! Enter below! And, if you sign up for Citrus Lane using my link you'll not only get 50% off your first box and free shipping, you'll also get 10 extra entries in the giveaway!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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September 29, 2014

Those Break Your Heart Mama Moments

Every mom knows what I'm talking about. Those break your heart mama moments when your child is sick and is calling your name and there is basically nothing you can do to make him feel better.

That was us this Saturday. We had plans to meet up with friends for my husband's college homecoming. There was a kids fair set up and we had gotten Hudson all excited about it. But, as you know, motherhood makes it pretty impossible to have plans and actually stick to them. Hudson woke up from his nap covered in vomit. He cried my name and when I went to get him he vomited again. And it didn't stop there. Every 30 minutes my poor boy would whimper and then throw up. I felt horrible. There was nothing I could do but wrap him in a towel and hold him. So that's what we did all afternoon. Thankfully by 7:00 he seemed to be feeling better and asked for a snack. I crossed my fingers he wouldn't throw up again and thankfully he didn't. He ate those cheerios like it was his job, drank some pedialyte, and then passed out in his crib.

As much as I hated seeing him sick, I couldn't help but be thankful for an otherwise healthy boy. Hudson hasn't been sick in a long time, so a 4 hour stomach bug we can handle. And I am so thankful for the snuggles. I snuggled that boy all afternoon and it was the sweetest. It was one of those break your heart moments...seeing your boy sick and so loving at the same time. I am constantly reminded that one day he won't need me for everything. I'm trying to soak up these moments while I can. 

By Sunday morning he was feeling much better. 

And by the afternoon he was back to his normal busy self. 

So that pretty much sums up our entire weekend! My how things have changed. How was your weekend?

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September 26, 2014

Oh Hey Friday!

Friday, finally! I only worked two days this week but man, they were LONG. I'm so ready for the weekend!

{one} Whenever I'm on vacation I'm always excited about the thought of coming home and sleeping in my own bed. But I absolutely dread all of the work. It seems like I spent the past three days doing nothing but cleaning, grocery shopping, and piles and piles of laundry. Oh and working and being a mom too. 

{two} We took Hudson to his first football game last night and he had a blast! Our neighbor's son is on the local high school team and we had so much fun watching him. Jon is convinced Hudson has football in his future and all I can think about are the concussions! Lord help me! 

After two minutes of football Hudson decided he'd had enough and would rather jump in mud puddles instead. So maybe I have nothing to worry about after all. 

{three} I finally pulled the trigger and ordered the dinning chairs I wanted! I love them! But they are a little cold at first....but super easy to keep clean! Now, I just need my farmhouse table and I'm all set (hint hint husband, that would be a pretty amazing Christmas gift!).

 {four} Nashville is back. So is Grey's Anatomy and Modern Family. If you need me, you know where I'll be. 

{five} If you know me then you know that I don't drink coffee. Ever. I'm a tea girl through and through. So needless to say I jumped at the chance to review a box from Tea Box Express. It is a subscription box service for tea lovers like myself! The tea and honey included in this box are my new favorites! The premier October 2014 box’s theme is “Bee Happy.” Not only does the box contain a delicious tea, gourmet honey, and bee-inspired accessories, but it also promotes positivity by encouraging customers to reflect on the happy parts of their lives.

And Hudson was pretty darn happy to be eating the bee cookie that was included in the box!

 A few facts about Tea Box Express:
Price: $25.50 for month-to-month, $74 for 3 months, and $139 for 6 months. Shipping is $5.99/month.
Availability: Currently available only in the US
Each box includes: 1 high quality tea and 3 or 4 accessories per month
Deadline for current month’s box: The 1st of each month 
Each box ships: on the 15th of each month

Happy Friday!

Today I'm linking up with September Farm and The Farmer's Wife!

And I'm also linking up with A Little Bit of EverythingMomfessionals, and Grace and Love.

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September 25, 2014

Vacation all I ever wanted

If you follow me on instagram (and if you don't, why aren't you?) you know that my husband and I took a quick trip to California. And you know what? I'm pretty darn proud of myself. Because not only did we pack in tons of fun in those four days, we also survived being away from this guy....

And I didn't even cry. I still can't believe it.

My work sent me out there and I was worried I would be lonely without both of my boys...so my husband tagged along and it was the best decision ever. Hudson was in good hands with his grand parents and I didn't feel all alone.

We packed in the fun with a trip to the Cheescake Factory, anAngels game, a fun visit with my family, and we went to Disneyland! We hit up all the rides at Disneyland, ate the most delicious corn dog ever, and got to spend a few hours with this girl....who of course showed up with gummy bears, as promised.

By our last day I was pretty anxious to get home and squeeze Hudson and was so happy to see him at the airport! He did great while we were gone but as soon as we were back we could tell he was saving all his best behavior for mommy and daddy. And by best, I mean worst. I don't blame him though, his little routine was rocked in a big way. Thankfully an authentic Mickey Mouse from Disneyland seems to have worked it's magic and he is just happy as can be to have mommy and daddy home.

And now I'm exhausted. Send wine and candy my way.

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