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2012 August » The Adventures of Noah and Lia
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Aug 302012
 

This past weekend we took a quick trip up to Pittsburgh to visit my family and allow some of the extended family to meet Lia (as well as my brother!). It was kind of an impromptu trip with only a few days notice but it worked out really well! The car trip up was actually less eventful than I thought it would be. It did take us about 5 hours vs. the normal 4 because we had to take an extended stop mid way to feed Lia but that’s better than expected. Noah even went down pretty easy once we got there.

Saturday AM we met up with my bro, his girlfriend, and my mom at the Pittsburgh Zoo. So much fun! We started really early when the zoo opened to try to avoid some of the crowds and heat. I forgot how big that zoo is! By the time we left we’d totally missed nap time and everyone was zonked. Noah loved every second of it.

Funny story about the zoo…lunch time rolled around and Lia needed to eat. We rolled into one of the food courts and found a table towards the back. I grabbed my nursing cover and set up shop on the concrete wall at the back. I didn’t notice the table full of Amish teen boys to my left. Caty came over and quietly told me that I was being watched. I guess they’d never seen anyone nurse a baby before? Anywho, between me and the lady about 20 feet to my right also nursing her baby (sans cover) they were entertained.

Saturday night my parents took the kids which allowed hubs and I to get out for a date night. So awesome! We made reservations at a restaurant at the top of Mt. Washington (for those not from PGH, Mt. Washington is a neighborhood that sit about 400 feet above and off to one side of the city and affords you amazing view of the downtown and the rivers around Pittsburgh) and had a very nice and elegant dinner complete with a glass of wine for me:) woohoo…

Sunday brought the rest of the family and we all gathered at my parents house to catch up and meet the newest member of our family. At one point we had 4 generations of ladies in one spot. So much fun.

Before we knew it it was time to pack up and head back. It was a full weekend but really nice to get to see everyone and introduce them to our little beauty:) Noah had a ball too, he loves loves loves his grandparents.

Anywho..enough babbling…on to the pictures:)


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Aug 272012
 

Yes, you read that right – lactation cookies! Like I said before I was determined to make this breastfeeding thing work so I was looking for everything I could do to help boost my supply and who doesn’t want to eat cookies! I found an oatmeal raisin recipe that looks promising and set out to find the special ingredients.

The thing that makes lactation cookies what they are is the presence of brewers yeast, oatmeal, and flax seed meal which are all lactogenic foods (lactogenic foods are foods/ingredients known to increase milk supply, other lactogenic foods are things like spinach, carrots, salmon, apricots, asparagus and many others). Combined into a cookie and you’d never know they were there:)

Now, finding the oatmeal, flax seed meal and raisins was easy. The brewers yeast on the other hand was trickier to find. My normal grocery store didn’t carry it and neither did the local Trader Joes. I had to trek the whole way over to Whole Foods to find it (and it was $18 for a large can…sheesh!).

I made one batch to try them out and after hubs deemed them good (and my father in law) I went and made a double batch (because I had to supply hubby too…lactation or not, they were cookies and he likes cookies:)). I’m on my 4th batch now and have to go get more oatmeal for another. They’re super quick to put together and yummy to boot. Who knows if they’re helping my supply but who cares…they’re yummy cookies!!

Aug 252012
 

On the heels of that last breastfeeding post I thought I’d share this. I don’t know how I stumbled upon it but somehow I found it on Pinterest and pinned it for later.

Melanie over at The Jenson Jaunts discovered a thrifty way of recreating the popular Undercover Mama nursing coverup. It was so quick and easy. The longest part of the whole thing was waiting for the tanks to arrive from Forever 21.

I followed her instructions and even bought the tanks that she suggested and spent maybe 2 hours converting 9 tanks into covers. I love them! They work like a charm and for a grand total of $20 I have 9 covers to hide those lovely side rolls that I have yet to get rid of.

Breastfeeding moms, you’re welcome:)

Aug 232012
 

We took some time the other evening to try to get some pics of the kids together. However, someone must have slipped Noah a candy bar or something because he was WIRED! Getting him to sit still long enough to take a picture was a challenge. We did manage to nab a few cute ones though. I want to try again some time soon..


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Aug 222012
 

Talk about night and day…my experience breastfeeding Noah was fraught with tears and failure. Aside from a little bit of success the day he was born, we struggled the whole 7 weeks that I tried. After 2 weeks we moved to exclusively pumping and not too long after we started supplementing and then exclusively formula feeding. At the end of it all I was relieved to be done with the whole thing although a part of me was disappointed that we just couldn’t make it work. Hindsight being 20/20 I think I could have fought harder for it but at the time my sanity was more important.

This time I was determined to make it work for as long as possible. We had it easier from the get go because Lia was with us in our room 100% of the time (or rather, avail to us, we did send her to the nursery in the evenings so that we could get some sleep) vs Noah who spent a majority of his stay under the UV lights to fight jaundice. I was able to latch her on right after she was born and then from there nurse her every 2 – 3 hours the entire time we were in the hospital. I really think that had a huge impact in our success.

Where as with Noah my milk never really came in, I came in spades for Lia. From the start I was able to pump an ounce or two from each side even after I fed her. We’re only three weeks in and I’ve stored up over 60 oz of milk in our freezer (is it ludicrous to buy a deep freeze just to store my breast milk??:) ).

I think another factor in our success is that I’m more relaxed this time around. With Noah and his jaundice I was frantic to make sure he was getting enough to eat. With Lia I know that as long as she’s pooping and peeing that she’s getting enough (that was the case with Noah but as a first time mom I was a bit of a control freak about things:) ). I know she’s doing well because she only lost a few oz in that first few days home and gained it all right back within the week. I realize this time around the my main job is to feed here and sometimes that means we never leave the house or even the couch (i’ve also become proficient at walking around holding her while she nurses so that I can help Noah do things). It’s a whole different mind set.

So, for now I’m still taking it week by week. I’m not saying I’ll BF for the full first year but I am saying that we’ll go as long as we can go and right now I have no plans to stop which is so much more than I could have ever said at this point with Noah.

For mom’s that had a hard time with their first, did you find more success with your second (and subsequent?). What do you think was the difference?

Aug 162012
 

Wow! I can’t believe I wrote that…2 kids. I have to say, in some ways it’s really not been that much of a shift but in others it has been quite the shift. My biggest fear going into this was how Noah would react and how my relationship with him would change. The verdict is still out… He’s at that point in his development where routine and predictability is sooo important and throwing a baby sister in there surely would rock the boat. We’ve been walking a fine line between happiness and hell with him.

Lia is amazing and so easy which is probably why I feel like things are well under control most of the time. She sleeps, eats, and just hangs out (i’m even getting 4-5 hours of uninterrupted sleep with her at night). The only time she really cries is when she’s cold or when she’s hungry and even then it’s just a quick squawk to let me know she’s pissed and she’s done. I’m kind of waiting for the other foot to fall and to wake up one day and she’s a monster who cries all the time and refuses to sleep. I hope that never happens but I am holding my breath a bit.

Her ease makes it more manageable to deal with Noah’s swings. When he’s happy he’s super happy and hilarious (and that’s a good percentage of the time during the day). However, when he’s upset or the “no” monster attacks he’s pretty terrible. “No”ing everything, hitting, and just generally behaving badly. He laughs at us when we put him in time out and just gets up and walks away. There are very things we can negotiate with that actually affect him. And the most frustrating part is that the bad moods are sparked by seemingly pointless events and overcome him in seconds. He’ll go from laughing hysterically to throwing his toys or hitting us in seconds. Stormy is a good way to explain his personality.

Thankfully he’s pretty good with Lia. He’s sweet to her and generally careful around her (he forgets from time to time and rolls around like he’s the only one there and almost squashes her). He loves to give her kisses and will share his toys if we ask him to (and sometimes unprompted). He asks where she is when he can’t see her (although he refers to her as “it” or “him” some times). So, with regard to her I think we’re doing well.

With regard to sharing me, again that’s something we’re working on. There’s been more than one occasion where I ended up with both he and Lia in my lap at one time. He often tells me to put her down or put her to bed so that I can hold him. He’s also just more into me holding him than he ever was before. He’s not overly demanding but on occasion I can see that he’s hurt or sad that I can’t respond to his needs right that second. DH has really tried to step in where at all possible to take the load off but sometimes all he wants is mommy (just like some times all he wants is daddy).

Overall I expected an adjustment period and so far this is no worse than I expected and alot of it has to do with how easy Lia is. We’re including Noah in as much Lia stuff as possible (fetching diapers, helping with the trash, etc…) plus I’ve been trying to have one on one time with him where he has my undivided attention. It’s not as much as I’d like (Lia eats almost every 2 hours on the dot during the day time) but an hour here and an hour there gives me time to connect with him again. Once Lia stretches out her feedings some I need to plan some outside activities (outside of goign to the store – which he strangely loves to do right now). Perhaps some time at the local zoo or the park. We’ll see. For now I’m chained at the boob to the wee one (which is an entirely separate post:) ).

So, forgive the ramble and disjointedness of this. It took me 3 days to write this because I only get a few sentences in at a time:) Since this blog serves as much as documentation place as a place to share with others, I wanted to get these points down:)

Aug 112012
 

During my first week home my mom and I decided to do a quick photo shoot with Lia and let me tell you, doing a newborn photoshoot with your own child as you’re trying to recover from labor is hard! Crawling around on your hands and knees is just not an activity that my body wanted to cooperate with. We lasted about a hour before both Lia and I needed a break. We’ll have to try a few more times once I’ve had more time to heal plus I need a few with her sibling:)

Here are some of my favorites:

Aug 082012
 

I started this prior to Lia’s birth but never got a chance to finish it:) As with most things these days, we’re a little late:) )

Gosh, so much has changed with Noah since my last update. I feel like he’s made huge strides in the last few months with his language and motor skills. Looking at him at 2 and now and there’s such a huge difference. He talks in full sentences now and really is starting to comprehend situations and apply past knowledge to them. He busts out with things like “i’m going to mow the lawn with my head phones on” in this middle of dinner. Or he see’s an object (like a boat) and talks about how he rode on a boat when he was little and the horn was loud. He jabbers non stop. Most of the time it makes sense but others it’s just a collection of words and phrases.

My favorite part is when he looks up and says “good job mommy” when I’ve done something to help him. The other day he added “I’m proud of you!”. I’m happy to know that he hears us when we tell him that and actually understands when to use it (well, for the most part).

He sings all the time. If it’s not a song he knows from school (hokey pokey, old mc donald, etc) he’s making them up as he goes and including situational events in them. As time goes on you can understand more and more of the song. He’ll even dance when it’s warranted. The guitar and piano are still favorites (and I need to get him new strings for the guitar).

He’s been regressing a little on the sleep – he needs one of us there to fall asleep these days and naps are a challenge if we don’t hit it just right but overall he’s not doing too bad. It took us awhile to get back to normal after the interruption/irregularity we faced after the storm at the start of July. So, he’s still shifting between an 8:30 and 9:30 bed time. He’s generally up between 6:30 and 7:30 in the morning and napping 2 hours a day (sometimes three on the weekends when we can actually get him down). He woke up today and said “I sleep good mommy”….so funny.

Last time I got him to open his mouth wide enough I think I saw part of his 2 year molars in there so they came in at some point and we didn’t notice (probably one of his bad sleep months). I dont think they’re all in yet so I expect more drama to come but for now he’s done pretty well with it.

He’s 100% potty trained during the day (excepts naps still). The over night stuff will come in time I’m sure. He does get up sometimes to go but not consistently. I figure he’ll get there at some point. His day time potty training was early so I don’t mind using pull ups at night (although, now I have a ton of day time pull ups that won’t work for night time so I’m trying to figure out what to do with them…I guess we’ll just go thru them every slowly. He’s more prone to accidents when he has a pull up on).

I know I’m probably biased but he’s just so darn smart! He knows his alphabet, colors, numbers to 10 (to 20 with help) in Spanish and English and has memorized many of his books (he’ll finish my sentences or recite the book back to me). He has an incredible memory and loves to play memory matching games (we have a cool Melissa and Doug toy that has windows you can open to reveal shapes and stuff to match). I watch him build castles and trains out of his blocks with little help from us and he’s even starting to play pretend with his toys.

Anywho, enough gushing. I’ve been trying to get some more updated pics of him. I really wanted to do a formal photo shoot but just ran out of time before Lia arrived. Perhaps we’ll do a park session one of these upcoming weekends. For now, here’s what I’ve managed to gather up:)


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Aug 072012
 

To celebrate her 1 week birthday I thought I’d post her birth story. I have a bunch of other posts started but as you can imagine, things are crazy around here. I’m trying to sleep when she sleeps which means that everything else is going to slide.

Lia’s birth story is actually quite boring:) She pulled the same trick that Noah did with my blood pressure later in the pregnancy so we were scheduled for an induction at 39 weeks 1 day. I’d hoped to go into labor naturally and my body seemed to be working that direction but it never kicked into high gear. I was contracting when they hooked me up to the monitors, just nothing strong or consistent.

So July 31 we arrived at the hospital at 6:30am as instructed, checked in and then we sat. From what we heard around us, the previous night was crazy crazy with what seemed like every prego woman going into labor. They were still cleaning and clearing rooms when we arrived so we had to wait around.

Around 8:00 they finally got us up to the room (which turns out to be the same exact room Noah was born in!). We met our nurse and she started my IV’s (well, she tried….the blew thru two sites and decided to let someone else try, they got it first try). Dr checked me and I was 1+ cm and pretty much fully effaced which was nice to hear.

They started my pitocin around 9:00 and broke my water around 20 after and from there it was just hanging out and working thru the contractions. The doc said she’d be back in an hour or so to check things out. From there I slowly progressed and actually tolerated the contractions quite well (longer than I did with Noah). An hour later I was 3cm and another hour or so later I was 4 cm. That’s when I requested the epi. The contractions were in my back because she was sunny side up and since I really didn’t plan on a fully unmedicated birth (more power to those women who have actually done that…phew…) I just gave in.

From the time the epi went in until about 3:00 it was pretty boring (we were watching the olympics:) ). I could feel the pressure of the contractions but not the pain which was awesome. This was different than with Noah. With Noah I was so numb I didn’t feel a thing. I think that contributed to my extended pushing with him (well, that an the hand by his head…details..).

At one point the contractions were so on top of one another that little girl didn’t get a chance to recover so they backed off the pit (turned it off actually) and the contractions slowed down enough for her to get a break. Once she had a break they slowly turned it back on but funny enough, never had to take it up past the first setting, my body had taken control.

At 3:00 I was having some break thru pain and lots of pressure (I think I said “I think she’s trying to come out my butt” which of course made the nurse laugh pretty hard). Doc checked and I was 9cm:) 30 min later the pressure was intense and I was complete – time to push!!

They took a few min to get things set up, all the while I was watching the contractions on the monitor and trying not to push into them. Once we started it only took me 4 sets of pushes to get her out! At one point DH was so excited that he was getting loud (he’s pretty loud to begin with) and I had to ask him to quite down. He was a great cheerleader:)

Lia arrived at 4:11. They put her on my belly while they cleaned her off and DH got to cut the cord (neither of which we got to do for Noah so this was special). She was pretty quiet (alert but not crying much) so they gave her a lower 1 min apgar score (7). A little stimulation and she started to cry just fine (Noah was the same way) and her second apgar went up to a full 9.

All in all really uneventful which was nice. It was just me, dh, the doc and the nurse in the delivery room vs. the 10 or more people with Noah (since they were prepared to take fast action if I couldn’t get him out). It was actually kinda of peaceful (aside from DH’s boisterous cheering:)).

Aug 022012
 

Lia Grace arrived July 31 at 4:11pm. She weighed in at 6lb 2oz and was 21 inches long.

Noah’s doing well with her so far. He’s interested and really wants to help. A full (uneventful) labor story to come later with more pics. For now we’re home and relaxing and adjusting to being a family of 4.

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