July 23, 2014

The Breastfeeding Diaries: Wildali from These are the Times

I am Wildali the mom of one 3 year old girl named Isabel and I blog over at These are the Times.  I nursed Isabel until she was 14.5 months old. Since I am a working mama I also pumped at work until she was 12 months old. I was only on maternity leave for 8 weeks which meant that I spent a great deal of time pumping.

In all honesty, while I read a lot about pregnancy, childbirth and child care in general I was not too educated on breastfeeding prior to Isabel’s birth. My sister in law nursed her two boys for an extended period of time and she gave me a copy of TheNursing Mother’s Companion book. I never opened it until I came home from the hospital. I wanted to breastfeed simply because I thought that is what you “should do”. Thankfully Isabel’s delivery was free of any complications and she breastfed within 30 minutes of being born. THAT set us up for the future. Having that connection right away changed me. It made me want to do it. My milk came in quickly and she had absolutely no issues latching on. She ate consistently and had plenty of wet and poopy diapers.  I buried myself in the breastfeeding book, online sources and support groups. However, somehow she was not gaining weight “fast enough” for our pediatrician’s liking. We had to take her to 3 weight checkups after she was born and within two weeks she exceeded her birth weight. I wholeheartedly believe that her “birth weight” was elevated by the amount of fluids pumped in to me during labor (pitocin, IV fluids and epidural). She never had any issues eating, but unfortunately the medical field is so focused by what they can measure that they forget about the wonders of the human body. Weight gain was never an issue for her again as she still remains in the 75% percentile.

I nursed Isabel on demand while we were together. That never changed. While I felt exhausted being the only one who could feed her, I had no idea how much harder pumping was going to be. I returned to work after being on maternity leave for 8 weeks. I had stored approximately 100 ounces of breast milk at that point. When I first returned to work I would nurse her in the morning and pump after the feeding. Then I would pump 3 times in the office. Once I would get home I nursed her on demand and I would pump one more time before bed. She received nothing but breast milk for six months and I had to do some minor supplementing around 7 months due to a business trip and not enough frozen milk. For me nursing was a breeze, but pumping was a pain. I give major props to all the moms out there who exclusively pump. I found nursing to be relaxing, it is nature’s way to force us to calm down and feed our babies. I marveled at her growth and amazing little body as she nursed. It was quiet and peaceful (while she was an infant, it became sort of like a circus once she started crawling J ). It was just US! However, I continued to pump at work until her first birthday. And my last pumping session was kind of emotional.

I wanted to contribute to this series because breastfeeding can also be natural and free of major complications. It is always demanding. It is an extension of the work your body did during pregnancy. Unfortunately somehow we have been led to believe that modern medicine and progress is better than our bodies’ natural ability to birth and feed our babies.  You will be surprised how much you will enjoy nursing your little one. It is truly a magical experience. My best advice is to TRUST your body. That perfect body that gave life to your little miracle also produces the perfect milk. Do what feels right and get help if you feel lost. Lactation consultants and support groups are an amazing source of help. Your milk is perfect, it is enough and it WILL get easier! 

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

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July 22, 2014

These are the days....

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These are the days that I don't want to ever forget. If I could bottle up Hudson right now I would. Freeze time. Keep him just like this. 

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Because although the days are long, the years are short.

 photo DSC_0958.jpgWasn't it just yesterday that he looked like this? Now he's a big boy that can wash his hands, brush his teeth, and help feed the dog. I just can't get over it. 

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I'm trying my best to live in the moment, and cherish each little minute with my boy. It's hard...especially when there are meltdowns and late nights and tears of frustration. But all of that is minimal to the joy of being with him every day. 

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The hugs, the "Mama and Hudsey!" that he shouts when he sees the two of us in a picture or in the mirror. These are the memories I will hold in my heart forever. Motherhood has changed me for the better...and for that I am so thankful.

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I never knew my heart could love this much. I love you sweet boy!

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July 21, 2014

Toddler Lunch Ideas

“This shop is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group™ and Wet-Nap but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #showusyourmess  http://my-disclosur.es/OBsstV
 photo IMG_7770.jpgRaise your hand if you have a picky toddler! I sure do. One day Hudson LOVES strawberries and can't get enough of them...and the next, he won't even touch them. So that means I've got to be flexible and creative at all times. I've discovered the key to getting Hudson to eat his lunch: options. Lots and lots of options. And cute food picks help too.

One thing this boy will always eat is corn on the cob. But we can't have that for every meal (which sad face. I love me some corn on the cob!). I love it when moms share what their toddler eats...it always helps me come up with new ideas! So here's the run-down on what Hudson likes for lunch.

 photo IMG_7739.jpgLike I said, Hudson is more likely to eat a meal if he has lots of options. On this day I gave him homemade applesauce (recipe here), banana dog bites (recipe here), cheese, raspberries, and carrot sticks. He ate maybe one carrot stick but loved the rest, so I'll count that as a win! (Hudson's plate is from here and the small cups are from here).

 photo IMG_7748.jpgLately Hudson has been loving sandwiches and anything on a stick, so I made him a simple turkey with cheese on whole wheat bread, some strawberries, and our new favorite, Snapea Crisps (which are so so so good!). 

 photo IMG_7750.jpgAnd this was probably Hudson's favorite! Yogurt, cheese, brown rice with chicken and black beans (leftover from dinner), tomatoes from our garden, and strawberries. 

And of course a homemade cookie on the counter for dessert. Because I'm a fun mom, right? I stopped by Walmart to pick up some Wet-Nap wipes (coupon here) because food + toddler always equals a big mess! These wipes are perfect for quickly cleaning up the mess and helping me keep my sanity. 

 photo IMG_7757.jpgWe love using the We-Nap wipes for easy clean up and they are perfect for getting little sticky hands clean. I keep a container of them in each of our cars for clean-ups on the go. 

And we do a lot of clean-ups on the go around here. These new wipes are super soft, hold up well, and moisturizes with aloe. Click here for $0.55 off any Wet-Nap product while supplies last. You can find them in the napkin/paper goods aisle at Walmart. 

What do you make for your toddler for lunch?

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July 18, 2014

Oh Hey Friday!

Happy Friday! Let's do this....

{one} I put my birthday money to good use and hit up the amazing Nordstrom sale. I got this cute maxi dress (it's like heaven to wear...so comfy!) and these Kendra Scott earrings. Actually, I got two pairs of earrings, the blue (already sold out!) and the grey. LOVE!

{two} Speaking of birthdays, did you enter my super amazing favorite things giveaway? If you didn't you better get your booty in gear because, hello, it's awesome. 

{three} Also, in more birthday news, my husband got me a kindle!!!! He actually got something off of my wishlist...which has never happened. And now I am spending every waking minute reading Gone Girl. I am like two years late the party, but oh my word, it sucked me in! I can't put it down. And now my husband is regretting this purchase because all of my free time = reading. I missed reading so much....it feels so good to do a little something for myself! 

{four} Citrus Lane does it again! Our box arrived yesterday and they totally knocked it out of the park this time. For those of you who are new here, Citrus Lane is a subscription service for little ones....you get a box once a month filled with fun toys and goodies. I've always been impressed with the things we received and they are usually things I would never have known about otherwise. Click here for 50% off your first box and free shipping!

This month was a little different in that Citrus Lane let me pick one of the items in our box...so I picked the My First Camera from Plan Toys and am totally patting myself on the back. Hudson LOVES it. He has been wanting to play with my camera for awhile now, so this is perfect for him. He walked around the house saying "cheese mama" and took my picture. Love him so. We also go an Aqueduck Faucet Extender that I've been meaning to buy for awhile now. I think it will help Hudson reach the water better when he washes his hands. Also in our box was a Silicone Placemat (love), a Mighty 4 Pouch from Plum Organics, and some Purlisse sunscreen for me. Such a good box this month!

{five} My friend Emily from Dear Owen has some beautiful things in her Etsy shop, Dear Owen & Co. She is so talented and made this nursery set...isn't it dreamy? I'm definitely keeping her in mind when we have another baby some day! Be sure to check out her shop....I promise you that you will love it!

Be sure to link up with September Farm and The Farmer's Wife!

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


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July 17, 2014

Dear Jean Jacket from High School.....

Dear Jean Jacket that I've had since high school,

You have served me well these past 15 years.

I have worn you to countless classes, movies, nights out with friends, dates with cute boys, Sunday mornings at church, and school functions.

You have been patiently waiting in my closet for the past 10 years for a chance to get out and about again. Luckily for both of us, I kept you around. 

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And now you are back in style...and just as good as I remembered.

Except now my hair isn't as poofy and my eyebrows are a little thicker. Other parts of me are probably thicker too....but you still fit.

 photo IMG_7615.jpgAnd for that I am extremely grateful. We've been through a lot together.....let's keep it up.

the no-longer-16-year-old-but-still-loves-her-jean-jacket-julie

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