October 31, 2013

Trick or Treat!

 photo IMG_3086copy.jpg
Happy Halloween from Mr. Fredricksen!

Up is one of our favorite movies....and Hudson has the Mr. Fredricksen's grumpy face perfected!

 photo IMG_3084copy.jpg
And just like Mr. Fredricksen, Hudson was a little on the grumpy side. 

 photo IMG_3091copy.jpg
Adventure is out there!

 photo IMG_3081copy.jpg
 photo IMG_3054copy.jpg
My photo shoot didn't quite work out as planned. Hudson would NOT keep his glasses on....such is life with a one year old!

 photo IMG_3102copy.jpg
 photo IMG_3100copy.jpg
I hope your Halloween is filled with lots of treats and no tricks!

Follow Me On BloglovinFollow Me On InstagramFollow Me On FacebookFollow Me On Pinterest

October 30, 2013

The Breastfeeding Diaries: Jess from The Newly

Hi, sweet readers! I'm Jessica and I blog over at The Newly. I started reading Julie's blog several months ago, and was immediately intrigued by the stories shared through her Breastfeeding Diaries series. As a new mom, who was currently navigating the somewhat murky waters of breastfeeding, I found the stories and information so relevant and helpful. I couldn't wait to be a part of the series to share what I've learned so far...

I became a Mother on May 16, 2013. 

Caleb Monroe was born at 3:18 pm that day. It was a picture-perfect delivery with absolutely no complications, resulting in a beautiful, healthy baby boy. My son was laid on my chest immediately, and we enjoyed skin-to-skin cuddling for well over an hour together. Within just a couple of hours after his birth, he was latching on and nursing. From what I could tell, all was well. I was content and happy. Proud of us and our accomplishment. I was nursing my son. My baby was being nourished. I was a mom. It was a great feeling.


And then we went home.


A few days into our first week at home, nursing Caleb around the clock, my nipples became raw, red and started to crack. I would rub lanolin over them between feeding sessions, but as soon as they started to look like they were softening up and healing again, it would be time to nurse. And the cracks would burst open again. The pain was almost unbearable. It felt like tiny knives were tearing through my sensitive skin. I would hold my son to my breast in agony, and cry silently as I fed him. I could feel my body tensing up when the time came for him to eat. And Caleb could feel it too. I could tell that the torture I was going through was starting to affect him. Instead of being able to cuddle my son close during nursing sessions, and kiss on his soft head, and snuggle his tiny body to me, all I wanted to do was rip my searing nipple from his sweet mouth and run away with my soothies pads and lanolin. I wanted to lick my wounds and hide until all was well. 


But I couldn't. I had a little man. And he needed me.

During this time, I also experienced severe emotional withdrawals. Though I don't think I could say that I experienced true post-partum depression, I definitely had the 'baby blues,' and nursing didn't help. In fact, in the beginning, nursing made the baby blues worse for me. My body confused me - my breasts were huge and leaked milk, no matter what I did. I felt unkempt. I went from being a full-time, perfectly groomed employee with a busy schedule, to being a full-time mom who could barely get her teeth brushed before noon. Caleb was a healthy eater, and ate every 2 hours or less, so I felt like I had no time in between feedings to get anything done. I felt chained to my home. I was scared to leave the house because I wasn't prepared to try to nurse in public. As a new mom, I also felt very isolated and alone. My husband went back to work after just three days, leaving me at home alone with our newborn. He was a great support system, and my biggest breastfeeding advocate (still is), but I didn't have any women around me to lean on. None of my friends have had children yet, so none of them were resources that I could go to for help. My mom never got an opportunity to breastfeed my sister or me, so her ability to help me was very limited. She saw it as a huge sacrifice and big inconvenience for me. And in some ways, it was. My body was no longer mine. My breasts were definitely no longer mine. My life was no longer my own. The weight of the responsibility of becoming a mother crushed me. I felt unprepared, adrift, and scared.

Everything I read told me that breastfeeding shouldn't hurt. That if we were doing it correctly, it should be pain-free. And yet, whenever Caleb latched, I felt like I was dying from the pain. My lactation consultant told me one thing. Our doctor told me another. I was scared to ask too many questions out of fear that I would look dumb. I felt like I should have known these things before having a baby. I was sure that it was my fault that the breastfeeding wasn't going according to plan. One day, while perusing new mom forums on BabyCenter, I stumbled across a reference to a nipple shield. I remembered seeing one in the breastfeeding class B and I had taken before Caleb's birth. I called the lactation consultant to ask about it. And was told that it wasn't a good option because it could cause Caleb to resist the nipple. The lactation consultant was kind and informative, but I just couldn't shake the feeling that she was subtly trying to convey the message: "You're doing something wrong." So, feeling completely ashamed for even asking about it in the first place, I put the nipple shield out of my mind. And continued to keep trying to feed my son without any assistance. I tried different holds, different positions, new latching techniques, breast massages, hot showers...nothing worked, and the pain continued.

One day, about a week and a half into this experience, things came to a head. I knew something had to change or I was going to have to stop breastfeeding altogether. My nipples weren't healing. Caleb's suction was just too strong and my body couldn't take it. The agony was unbearable. As a last-ditch effort, I asked my husband to go out and purchase a nipple shield. And what a difference a thin piece of silicone has made. All the difference in the world, in fact. With the shield, I could still feel the pressure of Caleb's sucking, but the friction from his tongue and tiny little mouth working was deflected from my sensitive skin. The shield encouraged the milk to flow more freely, which meant that Caleb didn't have to work quite as hard (and I didn't get as beat up in the process!)

Caleb is almost 6 months old now, and we are still exclusively breastfeeding. With a nipple shield. 

Yes, we still use the shield. Every. Single. Time. Being able to breastfeed successfully with the nipple shield gave me the confidence I needed to keep trying. It worked for us, so we've kept at it. Our initial breastfeeding goal was 6 months. However, as that goal is quickly approaching and we are still going strong, I think we are going to try to go to at least a year now. I went back to work when Caleb was about 2 months old, and I now have to pump daily to feed him and keep up my supply while he is at daycare. I breastfeed in the mornings, in the evenings, and all day on the weekends. And I wouldn't trade it for the world. The time I spend breastfeeding my son each day is some of the sweetest time we share.

Fellow mamas out there who want to breastfeed: Don't give up. Be patient. Listen to your body. Listen to your baby. And do what's best for you both. Don't be afraid to ask for help. And always trust your mama intuition. Against the advice of lactation consultant, we started using the nipple shield, and it's been the best thing for us. My son is happy, healthy and growing. Breastfeeding is no longer painful for me. It no longer feels like a big sacrifice or inconvenience. It's the best thing for my son. And that's all that matters.


Such beautiful advice from one of my favorite blog friends! I promise you will love Jess and her blog The Newly! And if you would like to share your story please email me at thegirlintheredshoes @ gmail. Be sure to catch up with the rest of the Breastfeeding Diaries series at the top of my navigation bar.

p.s....my girl Tamara from The Workout Mama has an amazing online bootcamp that I am participating in during the month of November! I'm excited to work my booty off! If you want to join us click here to register. 

Follow Me On BloglovinFollow Me On InstagramFollow Me On FacebookFollow Me On Pinterest

October 29, 2013

Yucky Ducky

 photo IMG_2703.jpg
If you have little ones you probably have a rubber ducky. And if you love that rubber ducky as much as we do in our house, you've probably noticed he can get pretty gross inside. Old bath water can get caught inside rubber bath toys and black mold can start to form. It is disgusting! 

 photo IMG_2709.jpg
We have a ton of rubber squeeze/squirt toys that Hudson loves putting in his mouth. Black mold + my baby's mouth really freak me out! So recently I cleaned ALL of our bath toys to put my mind at ease! Here's what you'll need to do: First, squeeze all of the bath water out of each toy. I tried to clean them with vinegar but just couldn't get them clean enough...so I had to bring out the big guns...bleach! Soak the toys in 1 gallon of hot water mixed with 3/4 cup of bleach. Then, keep squeezing bleach water into and out of each toy until all of the gross stuff comes out. Be sure to wear gloves during this process so that you don't get bleach everywhere! 

 photo IMG_2719.jpg
Assistant optional.

 photo IMG_2690copy.jpg
Next, squeeze all of the bleach water out of the toys, rinse them thoroughly, and then let them dry for a day or so. These little guys lived on my chopping board for at least three days until I finally got around to the next step! My husband kept joking that I was plotting a bath toy massacre. 

 photo IMG_2699copy.jpg
You could choose to clean your toys with bleach periodically but what busy mom has time for that? This next step is optional, but it has proven to be a lifesaver for us! Grab your hot glue gun and place a tiny dot of glue over the squeeze hole on each toy. That way, no more yucky water can get inside and your toys stay clean!

 photo IMG_2749copy.jpg
Yay for clean toys! Hudson doesn't even care that the toys don't squeak or squirt water anymore. 

 photo IMG_2806copy.jpg
And now for some cute baby in the tub shots. 

 photo IMG_2811copy.jpg
Bath time might just be my favorite time of day.

Follow Me On BloglovinFollow Me On InstagramFollow Me On FacebookFollow Me On Pinterest

October 28, 2013

The Autumn Leaves

 photo IMG_2892copy.jpg
This weekend we took it easy, drank some hot cider, and enjoyed the beautiful fall weather. It's seriously my favorite time of the year!


Hudson LOVED playing with all the leaves! And my husband was thrilled that his Bears hat finally fit.

 photo IMG_2894copy.jpg
Besides playing with leaves, the rest of the afternoon was spent making sure Hudson didn't fall in or eat any dog poop. Such a glamorous life we live.

 photo IMG_2880copy.jpg
And of course the poop machine Wrigley got in on the fun.

 photo IMG_2912.jpg
So thankful for days like these.

 photo IMG_2863copy.jpg This boy has us wrapped around his little finger. And I wouldn't have it any other way.

 photo IMG_2898copy.jpg

Happy fall y'all!


Follow Me On BloglovinFollow Me On InstagramFollow Me On FacebookFollow Me On Pinterest
Blogging tips