Monday, May 27, 2013

Momfession: I am an extended breastfeeder.

As I write this it has been over two months since I have breastfed Amelia. There was a time when I thought I would never be ready for that day... Then when I finally was ready I thought Amelia would never want to be done. My breast feeding journey was tough. It was tough on me, it was tough on Eric and at times it was tough on Amelia. As much as I am a HUGE breast feeding advocate I will never judge another mother after my journey. The problem is we just expect that breast feeding is going to work , it's natural right? But I think it's a lot harder than most people realize and as a country we don't educate or even talk about breast feeding until right before you have a baby, then it's just one quick class telling you it's good for the baby and hold the baby like this. It's not enough. I think if more mothers knew that its hard and you will have to WORK and its emotional...well maybe they would be better prepared. Thankfully it got better for me and we made it to 16 months...longer than I even imagined. Who knew I would be into extended breast feeding? Overall I am very happy that we made it through our journey and hopefully Amelia is too. I plan to do the same for future children but you know what they say about plans...

I remember before I had kids I would joke and make fun when I heard about people breastfeeding toddlers. Honestly, It just seemed weird and funny. I hadn't actually ever seen someone do it, I only saw it on TV. You may have seen the movie "Grown Ups?" In that movie a small child runs up to his mother and asks for milk and she pulls out her breast and sticks it in his mouth in front of all of her husbands friends. They all stare in awe as this happens. One dad asks the child's father how old the sweet boy is and the father says 48 months and the friend 4?

I distinctly remember laughing at that scene along with everyone else. I'm not saying I plan to nurse any children until age 4, I'm just saying I stopped judging a mom who wants to do it. I fully believe breast milk is better for kids than cow's milk and I get how its hard to stop, its an emotional bond for momma and baby. So whats the point of all this rambling? Do what is right for your family, whatever that may be! And try not to judge another mom,  we are hard enough on ourselves, I promise.

So how did I make it 16 months you ask? A LOT of support from my lactation consultant, my OBGYN, my friends, my Facebook/twitter friends, my family and SO MUCH SUPPORT FROM ERIC. Plus the help of glactagogues like fenugreek and blessed thistle; stout beer, oatmeal and eventually reglan/domperidone. I'll let you do your own research as to what may help you but I encourage you to do the research and ask for help because BREASTFEEDING IS HARD. (there I said it out loud) 

Thursday, May 23, 2013


Amelia turned 18 months last Friday. In the last couple months she has truly gone from baby to toddler. We haven't had her 18 month check up yet because we are in the process of moving but I know she has at least gained some inches based on her clothes.

Our little flying expert...on the move to Milwaukee

Amelia is communicating so well these days. She has so many words now that I know I would miss some if I tried to list them here. Some of her favorites are water (she says "wa-wa"), doggie, mommy, daddy, keys, read, sit, snack, bite, drink, walk, outside, again ("a-gin"), mama (grandma -- Mary Ann), Nana (Penny) and Papa.

No photos please...

She is starting to learn animals and the sounds they make. So far she knows the sounds for dog, cat(she calls them kitty), sheep, horse, cow, snake and bird. We are working on duck and pig but they have more difficult for her to pick up on. She also associates the animals with their pictures in books or outside. When we walk on the river walk by our apartment we always see ducks and birds and she points them out every time.

My future's so bright

Amelia LOVES the ABC's and can sign correctly...up to C...then she just says ABC multiple times and randomly says other letters. She loves to hear the song and when she is upset if you ask her to sing the ABC's it usually calms her down. She loves the song so much that she gets upset when we are listening to Pandora and the song is over. She asks me to play it again (either saying "a-gin" or "ABC") and I try to explain to her little toddler brain that I don't control Pandora Radio and cant replay it...its tough!

Amelia's biggest language development comes in the way of word combining. In the last few weeks she has been putting words together in little phrases. It started with a simple "Whats that?" instead of "that?" and now includes, "Night Night Mommy(or daddy, or baby, or Elle, or get the picture)", "Bye Bye Daddy", "Mommy's shoes (or socks, or coat, or water, or drink)", "more please" and so much more.

Amelia loves to read, she is a girl after my own heart! She will sit quietly and thumb through her many books and then bring them to me or daddy one by one and say "read?" Then when you take the book from her she will turn around and back up and sit on your lap while saying "sit." She has a much better attention span these days and can sit through every book she owns. If daddy and I are both home she will have one of us read the book to her then take the book to the other parent and ask them to read it. Her favorite still seems to be Chicka, Chicka, Boom, Boom, with her Elmo "Balls" book coming in as a close second.

At 16 Months Amelia started to throw tantrums. They have seemed to ebb and flow since then but she wants what she wants when she wants it and if mommy or daddy doesn't do exactly what she wants when she wants it she breaks down. Now we do not always do exactly what she wants when she wants it so...she cries, loudly and quickly. They don't usually last but it can be tough. I did have my first experience with a grocery store tantrum...that was fun. The tantrums are the worst when we are cooped up inside with bad weather....which has happened a lot in the last couple months due to living in a downtown apartment in Wisconsin's crazy version of Spring.  I have to admit I did not realize this would start this early but we are making it through it. I instituted "time out" for the first time the other day. She kept trying to do something dangerous so I had to try something different. We sat for 1 minute with a timer and although she was upset that I would not let her get up she finally seemed to understand. Afterwords I reiterated what she shouldn't do, gave her a big hug and we got back to playing. She hasn't tried to do it again! Fingers crossed!

Although Amelia is a total Daddy's Girl and asks for daddy every morning when she wakes up and FREAKS out with excitement when daddy comes home from work she has also gotten pretty clingy with mommy. She hangs on my leg while I cook or blow dry my hair repeating, "Mommy, Mommy, Mommy..." until I pick her up.

No real changes in sleep and eating. Still napping twice a day most days. She has gotten a little pickier with her eating but still eats lots of good and healthy foods with the occasional treat thrown in for good measure!

HATES: the car seat, diaper changes, not getting her way

LOVES: going outside, water, sliding and swinging, ELMO, her baby, keys, reading, baths (again, yay!)

WORKING ON: colors (recognizes yellow, her favorite color!), numbers and more animals

(pictures range from 16-18 months)

Monday, May 20, 2013

Happy 30th Birthday Eric!

On April 18th Eric turned the BIG 3-0! Since we are back in the Midwest and near so many of our great college friends I decided (with A LOT of help from Bob and Mary Ann) to throw Eric a surprise party to celebrate this momentous occasion! It was very difficult for me to keep this from Eric. Multiple times I almost said something and unfortunately he did end up seeing an email that tipped him off that I was doing SOMETHING but in the end he claims he had no idea when where or what so was very surprised the day it happened. 

Eric's mom's birthday is April 13th and Abby was having a bridal shower in WDSM that weekend so we would already be traveling to Iowa so it just made sense to do it then. We planned for weeks and the day of went off without a hitch. Bob and Mary Ann usually attend the 4:30 Mass on Saturdays so this particular Saturday Abby and I told Eric we needed to go to a bridal fitting and that we couldn't attend Mass. Eric, his parents and Amelia went to Mass and were planning to meet us after for dinner celebrating Mary Ann's birthday at The Chicken Coop's new location...Mary Ann had heard there food was to die for. :) Abby and I went to the location early...and I cannot say enough about the staff...because they said they didn't take reservations but they went ahead and reserved an area for us anyways. Abby and I decorated, ordered a couple pitchers of beers and a few apps and waited for the guests to arrive. 

Thankfully everyone showed up on time and when Eric walked in the door and saw our huge group he was happily surprised. 

Mary Ann and Bob stayed for a bit with Amelia and then retired for the night while the "kids" (we are 30...not sure if we are still kids...) stayed out and had fun, Iowa State style...meaning we played drinking games until we (literally) closed down the bar! 

What a fun night! Happy Birthday Eric!