March 29, 2013

Nap Refusal

Sienna is currently in her crib refusing nap number two. This is the second day of this straight up refusal. Before this it has just been shorter naps. I've been dreading this transition from two naps to one. I for real get everything done during nap one. I shower, I do dishes, I do laundry. Yikes! I'm not ready. To be fair, she's not screaming. Nope. It's not that she hates the crib. She doesn't mind it. But instead of sleeping, here are the things she's been doing:

  • Holding her duck lovie over her head YELLING "quack quack!"
  • Seeing if she can get her legs through the slats in the crib at different angles.
  • Showing her belly button (to no one).
  • Praciticing saying Mama (I choose to interpret this as practicing instead of calling me to come get her over and over. I'll give her the benefit of the doubt here).
  • Standing up, placing blanket over her head, crashing down, laughing. Repeat.
  • Baby yoga: Hands and feet on mattress, butt straight up in air.
  • Throwing lovies out of crib.
  • Attempting to take her pants off.
  • Chewing on her toes.
  • Hanging from her crib bars feet up monkey style (which ALMOST made me just jump up and run to get her because it LOOKED like she was climbing out fo the crib; she wasn't though).
Well at least she's semi quiet? Sigh. How old were your babies when they went from two naps to one? Is this in my near future? Please tell me no because I won't ever look presentable again without my free hour from morning nap time.

Refusing Naps in Delaware

March 28, 2013

Overhead via text: rollercoasters of mama life

Discussions with a fellow mama about those new mothers who make it look so damn easy:
"[They're] like no big deal, baby shmaby....
And I'm crumbling in the corner
eating kettle corn,
because that's my happy place"
Me too, my friend, meeee too.

March 25, 2013

23 months!

Before I even get started on the emotional side of this, can we just visit the scientific reality that is this: Babies can be sustained with nutrients from their moms for years.

Why 23 months you ask? Well while S has only been out in the living breathing air space for the past thirteen months, we trecked through an almost ten month pregnancy before that (why do people say you are preg for 9 months when it is 40 weeks?). So 10 + 13 = 23.  I took care of the little lady for those forty weeks of pregnancy: healthy eating, exercise, sleep (sweet sweet sleep). And then.....

We exclusively breastfed for t h i r t e e n months. I'm really proud of that.

I think we owe a huge thanks to the people who were most supportive of our nursing relationship- J has been encouraging and as understanding as any guy could possibly be because we saved thousands of dollars on not buying formula it is the healthiest thing for our baby and he knew we could do it.  My mom was for sure a huge cheerleader too. What mom hands you the baby the first few weeks at 10pm after your 2 hour nap because she needs to nurse and then takes her back until her midnight feeding? Mine. We had a great lactation consultant in the early days too. She was private and came to our house- not part of the army of LCs at the hospital that are not the best in my opinion. You need someone whose passion is breastfeeding. A few 11pm calls through tear stained cheeks and a shaky voice saved our nursing relationship. And my nursing mom friends who have been there. Who answered texts about engorgement and pumping and nursing bras. Who knew when to tell me "it is just so hard sometimes" and when to say "keep going". This may sound cheesy, but nursing is not a one woman job. It takes a ton of support, time, and people who keep your spirit up and your eyes open on the long days.

For us, it wasn't a walk in the park. Nursing took effort. Back in the newborn days, S wasn't gaining a lot of weight. I remember going to the doctors at that two week mark just praying we were spiking in weight. We weren't. I was hysterical. I was so afraid I'd have to give up; give her formula. But with a kind hearted and gentle pediatrician and some more guidance from the LC, we went from slow gaining to well- the chunkiest baby. S was a lazy eater as a tiny just born thing, and her latch was medicore. But it got better and better.... And then about a month in, we got thrush. Horrible, pain shooting through my body thrush. Sienna would scream when we changed her diaper because of the horrible diaper rash. We both took meds. We pushed through it. As I nursed tears literally streamed down my face and I choked back the ugly cry. I held Jamie's hand and squeezed it. Sometimes I can't believe we survived those four weeks. But we did. It wasn't easy. I was tired. I was sad. I was hoping this would have been easier. But it was worth it to me. Having that tiny baby curled up to me and giving her what I felt was the best was worth it. Knowing I could soothe her in two seconds was worth it. Knowing that (with the GREAT assurance of moms who had been there before) it would get easier made it worth it.  I wish someone would have told me just how difficult it could be at times. They for sure told me how rewarding it would be, but my promise going forward is to tell new moms how hard it is. To pass on books and knowledge and comforting words. To empathize on the worst days and to encourage on the upswings.

Pumping. I hated pumping. I wrote a whole post about pumping here. If you're a mom who works and you want to breastfeed for the entire first year, pumping is a huge part of it. It isn't thrilling. Read my other post for tips. For sure doable, but for suuuuure tiring and takes planning.

And as we emerged from those hard newborn days, nursing became more enjoyable. It was a built in 30-40 minutes every few hours to take some downtime with my girl. I was forced to sit down, take a deep breath andd relax. Car trip and fussy baby? Nurse her and she's out for 2-3 hours. Going to a family outing? Nurse in the car before hand and smiles all around as she becomes the most social little bee. Flying 6 hours? Nurse x3 to keep her happy. Plus, up until our last days of nursing, cuddling up with my girl, especially on the weekends in our bed for a few extra minutes, was priceless. It's a relationship that is unexplainable and bonded me to S even more than I thought was possible.

Fast forward to the 7ish month mark. Baby girl was eating solids like a champ. Nursing only fourish times a day. Night wakings were minimal and there were days we were going hours without nursing. I remember around 9 months thinking, oh for sure she will cut down soon. But she didn't. As if she had read the baby books, she knew that 12 months was the time to start weaning. We stuck with four feedings from month 7-12.  And bed time hung tight at a whopping 30 minutes of nursing until 10-11 months. Then it happened. Like clockwork as her first birthday approached she started to be okay with switching out a bottle for nursing sessions. After she turned one, I thought we'd just stop. She had other ideas.... It took another month or so until we got to that point.

Our very last nursing session was last Thursday-before J and I went away for the first time together since she was born. For afternoon nap, I scooped her up and asked if she wanted to nurse. She smiled and as if she knew it was the last time she snuggled in. Then she fell asleep nursing. She never falls asleep nursing anymore, hasn't in the past few months. But her eyes rolled back as she nursed and her little eyelashes fluttered. And as her hand went from holding her lovey to patting my back to resting it quietly as her breathing slowed to that relaxed sleepiness breath. I squeezed her and rocked her back and forth for a few minutes, taking some time to appreciate how far we'd come. I pushed her hair out of her face, kissed her cheeks. I put her down in her crib and tip toed out of her room. I knew it was the last nursing session. It was incredibly bittersweet.

When we got back from vacation, there was a part of me that was sad (and shed a tear) about the fact that she's finished nursing for sure. My goal was always a year though, and we made it. Successfully.  Without a drop of formula. Without supplementing.  I am endlessly proud of our nursing relationship. I'll give myself and my girl a pat on the back. We did it.

First Day ever nursing. My tiny newborn.
Last nursing session. Sweet one year old Love.

I love you little Sienna, you are the best first baby I could have ever imagined. You taught me what it means to be more patient, to put you first and me second to make it through an entire year plus of breastfeeding. We did it together, kiddo. Happy 13 months of nursing to us!

March 14, 2013

My must have right now

Anyone else have a baby + work half time, so that you are constantly balancing home and career, never quite totally in or out of one or the other? This is my life. I love it. I feel insanely lucky to have 2-3 days home with S a week. But it also means that I sometimes just don't have time to go get my nails done leisurely. Now, don't get me wrong, my husband is the best in the land and when I say that I mean it: he is super dad. But on weekends lately I just want to take my time to be with my fam, or for a long shower, or a few extra minutes in bed. But, I do have some down time after S goes to bed at night or during naps. And you know, when I'm watching reality tv that doesn't need my full attention.

Enter this genius product:  Sally Hanson Insta-Dri   (linked here on amazon)

This lovely stuff is under $4. Cheap. And you can get it from target. Or the phamarcy. Or wherever.
 For St. Patty's day I went with this lovely green shade. I love it!!

Here's the best part- this stuff takes t60 seconds to dry- it's always set and good to go before I need to scoop up S or switch the laundry or grab the car keys. It is PERFECT for a new mama without much time or patience to wait for that nice hard glossy finish the salon gives you.

Since it's super affordable (and sometimes just has to replace a mani when there's no time) I've invested in quite a few colors. Here are three of my favorite shades. The slate (left) looks darker in this photo than it actually is. I started using the petal pushed (far right) awhile ago just because of the tone of the color. But for sure, this stuff is my best friend as a mom.

So if you are a bit short on time (and/or if you happen to be a bit short on money for your biweekly mani) these are seriously winners.

Happy nail painting!!

March 9, 2013

Is spring coming? Ever? Please. I NEED IT.

We had a sick week in our house this week.

I don't mean a sick day. I mean a sick week. We had all the gross things they tell you to prepare for as a parent- projectile vomiting, really horrid diapers, fevers, rashes, red noses and stuffy noses, a cough that sounded like a grown man from a tiny baby girl, and a double "bulging" ear infection. Yikes, yikes, yikes.

I managed to squeeze home a few hours early or get into work a few minutes late on the days I had to be in the office. As if the work Gods were smiling down on me, it was my lightest week in a long time. We did a ton of cuddling. And oh, did I mention that weaning during sickness is maybe the worst thing ever? Imagine your already whiny tearful babe pulling at you screaming "MAMA". So yep, I gave in. But we are working really hard on transitioning from nursing to bottles and sippy cups. We spent minutes and minutes and hours swaddled in a blanket together this week slowly sipping milk and letting my usual little to no tv baby gaze at Sesame Street or Mickey or whatever could keep her calm. I pulled her close, smelled her baby scent (which is fading for sure...) and enjoyed my quiet moments, even if I knew they were fleeting and followed by a difficult to console munchkin.

All this to say.... my goodness, my heart hurts when this little one is sick and this is seriously hard work! A huge thanks to my mom and our nanny. Both provided us some moments of relief and good home cooked meals this week when I am quite sure I wouldn't have been able to cook them myself with my child clinging to me (imagine a baby squirrel holding to a tree for dear life). To keep Sienna happy yesterday, we couldn't put clothes on her. I don't know but I didn't ask questions, I just let it be.

But I think we are emerging. Today it's dare I say it--sunny and warm. We went outside! We went on a walk! We went to watch daddy play in the Easter Seals volleyball tournament! We are also on day two of antibiotics (this mama fought the need for them for 5 days but gave in when we landed ourselves in the peds office Friday morning with the ear infection times two), so I think things are looking up.

Hello sunshine. Hello warmth. Stay with us, WE NEED YOU!

March 6, 2013


I love women tell all. I feel like it not only shows us some of what happened behind the scenes, but also gives us this little look into current bachelor lives. I like how you can tell who became friends, and I for sure like the way the girls totally revamp themselves (hello AshLee's gorg ombre blonde and Leslie's Herve).

But guess what I didn't like? It was so slow. I had to read twitter to be amused. There were 100 commercials. We never heard Kacie B talk. We didn't hear Amanda's odd laughter. And Brooke? Brooke is who we hear talk? She didn't even talk on the show.

Okay so this episode happened a few days ago, the order of events is blurry to me. But let's just start with Tierra. First of all, I give her some (SOME) credit for showing up. I give her negative credit points for being shady about her 7 carat fake maybe real fake maybe real engagement ring. No comment? No points for you, Tierra. And more negative points for the dress. It looked like it either a) came from good will in the 1960s but less cool or b)needed some high white gogo boots. Anyway, I think this girl is just super immature and this show was wrong for her. According to some inside info (and by that I mean Chris Harrison's very public blog) Tierra made a comment when asked if she watched the show that she doesn't like the show The Bachelor. Did you not sign up for this show?

Okay one more thing. I am in the HUGE minority on this. Tierra stated to AshLee "I didn't call you a liar, I just said that you lied". The internets, blogs, twitters immediately got on Tierra telling her that lying is the definition of being a liar. I disagree. Sometimes I do stupid things, but I am not stupid. So I actually think T won this one. I teach kids this all the time- you aren't a bad kid, you just chose to do a bad thing. Difference. Boom.

Unrelated but related-Selma's faces while Tierra was talking were awesome. And her hair is amazing. I want that hair. Pantene Pro V commercial hair.

Moving on. Sarah. Sweet sweet Sarah. My heart broke when she said that she's sure it is her one arm that keeps guys from loving her.  I think Sarah will find a new boyfriend with noooo problem now. She's so pretty. Also I follow her on instagram + twitter (What it's not creepy... yes it is). She skiis some bad ass mountains. I think she's pretty amazing for technically having a disability.

Okay so I hands down think Des will be the next bachelor. She dressed far better than she had on previous episodes where I was confused if she had maybe gotten dressed in the dark thought she could have made better choices. Her dress was on point, her hair looked great. And she spoke with such poise and normalcy- also things I thought were sometimes missing for her during the season. She for sure was told what to say. I think she's our girl. (Let's be honest, it doesn't matter who they chose, I'll watch but for the record I'll say that Lesley would have been my choice. Fine, I follow Lesley on twitter and instagram too and she seems to have a boyfriend. Womp Womp.)

Ohhhh AshLee, while everyone was saying how sweet you were this season I was always comparing you to Emily Maynard. Sweet exterior but can kick some ass if needed. We saw this in the WTA. And go you for calling Sean out on something that happened in the fantasy suite. My guess is that AshLee's interpretation of what was said was closer than Sean's of what was not said. Can we all just stop reading between the lines and admit they did it in the fantasy suite and that's why this girl is so mad? If looks could kill, Sean would be a dead man (I think this goes both for AshLee's hair, dress, and her death glares). So that's my take. It actually made me think Sean is a bit scummier than I've thought this season. Still not a bad guy- I mean I think most bachelors probably sleep with all three girls in the fantasy suites. CH (Chris Harrison- we are on an initials friendly basis) said on his blog he would have respected Sean more had he said something to the extent of....  I can't be held responsible or remember what I said before or right after intimate moments. Good call, CH.

PS anyone remember Ed's issues in the fantasy suite with Jillian? Ha! Just remembered that.

I can't wait for next week's finale- but really for the after the final rose more than the episode. I am pretty sure I know who he chooses because of the social media world but I won't spoil it for all. I'm happy with the choice, I will say that.

PS I would like to point out that Lindsay and Catherine were way up there in my rankings from the beginning and always my top 2 in my top 5. I'm pretty good at this dating on a reality show thing.

PPS I think maybe one day the Bachelor franchise should hire me. Just saying.

Sparkles & Reality TV Love.
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