Monday, December 19, 2011

Homemade Foods: Avocado, Banana, and Squash, Oh My!

The plan all along was to wait till M was six months and start baby led weaning. If you don't know what that is a quick summary is skipping purees and going straight to solids. It's mainly exploring the first month and getting use to foods. As M got close to five months she started sitting up on her own. (big girl) which is one of the main signs that they can start food. I pushed it out of my mind and went on just breastfeeding. Then M got the appetite of a teenage boy. So we broke down and tried organic brown rice cereal. I'm not really sure the difference, but I'm a sucker.

I've never seen a baby do so well with eating at the start. I literally put the spoon up to her mouth and she opened wide to eat. A couple days later I finally accepted that she was ready for food. I always knew plan b to baby led weaning would be making my own baby food. I also always knew that I wanted her first food to be avocado.

Avocado purees are extremely simple. There is no cooking involved. I cut mine into fourths which makes four servings for M. Then take a bowl of water and add a drip of lemon juice.

Dip each slice into the mix. This helps stop the browning. After you have dipped each slice put them  into a Ziploc bag and add the date. Pop your bag into the freezer and you are good to go. I would toss them after a month.

These are M approved! To serve put a slice in a microwave safe bowl and set to 30 seconds. Then add some breast milk or formula to get to the consistency that you want. I use less than an oz of breast milk. Take a fork, spoon, or whatever floats your boat to mash up.

Once M had the three day waiting rule I decided to move on to squash. I didn't think to take any pictures, but it's pretty easy as well. I bought one butternut squash and cut it in half. Fill a 13x9 with about an inch of water and add your squash facing down. Bake this for about 45 minutes or until you can pierce it with a fork at 350 degrees. Once it is done baking scrape it out into your mixer. I had to add about 2 oz of breast milk with it. Puree until you have reached the consistency you want. Put these in the microwave for 30 seconds to serve.

Note how it's spelled wrong. Nice.

To store these I used to ice cube trays. Each spot is about 1oz which is one serving. As they grow you may want to use to cubes. After the squash has frozen pop them out and put them in a Ziploc bag with the date. These should be used within one month. It's a good idea to add the name of your food along with the date. That way you don't get confused once you have multiple foods of the same color. A good tip my sister gave to me.


Today we started banana which is another easy puree with no cooking involved. I cut mine into thirds and freeze in a dated Ziploc. I would toss these after a month. 


I added a little breast milk to help mash and get a good consistency. Heat for thirty seconds without the peel and mash.

If you're not convinced on why you should make your own baby food here are some good thoughts. That one squash that cost a little over a dollar made 21 servings. One avocado for a little over a dollar makes four servings. One banana makes three. A jar of baby food costs a little over sixty cents and is one serving. Jar food isn't evil, but it feels good giving M fresh and frozen food. Really it isn't much work. People will act like it would so taxing, but if I believed them about everything I wouldn't be breastfeeding or cloth diapering. See for yourself and if it is something you can fit in or not. Make Sunday your mass cook day so you don't have to worry about it through the week. Whatever you choose, happy feeding!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

M's Presents Are Here! (An Educational Shopping Guide)

Yay for presents!
 I've been working on M's Christmas list since she was about a week old. This comes from my addiction to online shopping and my love of Amazon wish lists. The list has changed many times. I've added, deleted, and added over again. Finally I felt I had my final draft and could go ahead and purchase. Just to let you in on how crazy I am. I have her first birthday, second Christmas, and second birthday lists started. I love to online shop.

I admit I went a little overboard on her. I hear all the time that she won't remember, and I get that. For me I feel like she needs these things. It comes from me being a teacher of the creative curriculum. Learning is play. That's the focal point. I believe that. They aren't just toys. They are tools for her to learn. I wouldn't go so crazy if it weren't that her last day of school is January 6th and she will be home with me. So I compiled a list of what M has under the tree this year. The captions are links if you find yourself needing this for you munchkin.

Alex Jr. Pop Beads
Pop beads are great for building fine motor skills. Older kids love making jewelry for you to wear. This really is a toy that will last awhile. Babies may need help at first, but once they get it you'll be wearing a pop bead necklace daily.

Melissa & Doug Fill and Spill Fish Bowl

This is a great toy for babies to fill and dump. This could fall under gross motor and fine motor skills. Fill the fish bowl with water for sensory play!

Fisher-Price Brilliant Basics Boppin' Activity Bugs
 These toys are great for learning cause and effect. They also work on fine motor skills by manipulating the nobs to work. There is a pull, push, and twist nob.
Wonderworld Peek-A-Boo Ball
I love this ball! It's great for gross motor development. This toy is great for babies starting to work on crawling. Encourage them to crawl by chasing after this cute thing. You can also roll, toss, and kick for older babies and kids.

Plaskool Explore And Grow Tumble N' Twirl
A great toy for many reasons! Learn cause and effect when you push and watch the balls go around. Work of gross motor skills by pushing down on the button. This toy has a little extra too. You can slide the front window open to watch the balls shoot out. This encourages babies to crawl or walk to get to them. Continuing with the gross motor theme by having to load the balls back into the toy.

Sassy Letter Links

There are so many great uses for these. Work on fine motor by linking together. Go over letter shapes for literacy. You can also use these as stencils for older children, which would be literacy and fine motor. Babies love moving there body with these! They are also great for teething.

Lamaze Musical Inch Worm

I love this little guy. M loves stuffed animals so I thought she would enjoy this toy. It has textures and a tag. If you haven't noticed tags are the cats pajamas to babies. There are also different sounds like crinkle, squeak, and jingle. If you press down on the head it plays If You're Happy and You Know it. The link has some really cute owner images!

The Muppets Green Album

I love The Muppets! I hope at some point M does too. When I heard about the Green Album I knew she had to have it. It has classic Muppet songs covered by really good bands. When it comes to music I think everyone knows about the benefits.

Eebee's Adventure Playmat and Activity House

I am way too excited about this toy. You can see by the picture all that it can do. This really is a toy that will go a long way. Use the mat for tummy time while babies explore the activities. Make it a wall for you sitter or a tunnel for your crawler. You can also make it into a playhouse or a quiet reading area to relax.

Eebee DVDs

I got three Eebee DVDs in a pack. I love these because they are activities that you do along with your baby. It's not just a movie to watch. I can't wait to do these with M. They are 6+ months.

Eebee Doll

There is no real educational value to this toy. M loves stuffed animals and I figure when she is older she would love to have a doll from the movies and playhouse. It was a good deal so I thought what's one more thing.

I hope this may help some of the shopping woes this season. Toys are such a great way for little ones to learn and explore. Some may have no value, but many can do wonders!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

A Year Full Of Thankfulness

I may be alone in this, but I love Thanksgiving. It's such a great time to get together with family and celebrate without the pressure of gifts. It's the start of the holiday season and better moods. Everyone is in the holiday spirit and then we're back to blech. Not to mention I am a turkey girl and not much for ham.

I've been hearing a lot of homemade noodles. This isn't a tradition in our family, but I think it needs to start! I am a huge sap for creating traditions for M. We had so many around this time and they are so near and dear to my heart.

Reason #345 to like Thanksgiving, four day weekend. In my case five day weekend. Also, putting up the tree! A is the fluffer and I am the decorator. At this time he clears the living room so I can crank up the Christmas music which he hates.

Looking back on this year is such a trip. This time last year I was about ten weeks pregnant and trying to hold down my food. I was throwing stuff on the tree just to get it over with. Possibly crying throughout it. Now this year there is so much hope and dreams for the future. All the things I always pictured doing with M are finally happening. Buying her gifts and reading her Christmas books we always had. Seeing her take in her first Christmas tree was so amazing. We watched the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade together. A and I went out and bought her first ornament. You always think about how these things will be, and when they happen they are so much more than you ever thought they'd be.

It was a great day like always. It's hard to see the count dwindle down as we have lost family members over the years. Ones that have been here so long are now gone and new ones are coming up. It's such a blessing to have these two babies with us and however many more our family can get. (Just kidding, my sister and I have been rationed one more baby each by our husbands.)
A, M, & Me

Grandma & Grandpa

Grandpa & M

Sister & Brother-in-law

M & her cousin

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Peace, Love, ERGO Baby

Some how I convinced A to let me have my Christmas present early this year. I already new it was the Petunia Pickle Bottom Ergo carrier. For some time I didn't feel like I wanted a buckle style carrier. I have a love for the basic old school slings and wraps. The culture behind them is just beautiful, but when A said this needed to be my last carrier I wanted to get something totally different.

Hey, Mom! Mom what are you doing?

With some research I decided on the Ergo Baby carrier. It is a buckle style that works like a mai tai carrier. There is no forward facing, which is good. M can ride on my hip or back as well. This carrier is like the Rolls Royce of carriers. It fits like a dream. The adjustments give you the perfect fit. Her weight is distributed evenly. I have no trouble wearing her for very long periods of time.

Another thing I love about the Ergo is the sleep hood. It tucks neatly away in the front pouch and is easily snapped into place once M is asleep. I would love to have this feature on my mai tai. I've also used the sleep hood during bad weather like wind and rain walking in and out of the store.

This carrier is so extremely easy to put on. If you own one then the directions will easily tell you how to put it on. I decided to make this video to show you just how easy it is to put on and how the sleep hood works. If you're looking for an easy to use, durable, and stylish carrier than your search may end here!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Milwaukee, Get Your Facts Straight

I read this article today while nursing M on my break. I have to say it got me a little heated. The ad is from the city of Milwaukee featuring a baby in bed with a knife. "Your baby sleeping with you can be just as dangerous." Ok Milwaukee, then how about instead of scare tactics you get the message out on how to safely bedshare. Maybe you can also get the message out that safe bedsharing actually REDUCES the risk of SIDS.

The article goes on to say that Milwaukee is concerned that they have a higher rate of infant deaths than 30 developed and undeveloped countries. Let me just say this. How the hell do you think those families sleep in those undeveloped countries? They bed share.

I honestly feel that we as a society in this country have a much worse outlook on how to raise babies than those third world countries. Which is probably why I parent like them instead of what would be considered the 'norm' here.

So a few words on bedsharing. It is an amazing bonding experience. To have your breath sync with your baby. To feel them so near even in your sleep. To know that if they wake they see you and feel that comfort. It saddens me when people try to scare others away from that experience or try to guilt them out of doing so.

There are unsafe ways to bedshare just like there are unsafe ways for your baby to sleep in a crib. SIDS happens. It's scary and horrible and should not happen to anyone. I have known babies who were asleep on their backs in their cribs without bumpers, blankets, or toys. It happens. Do not confuse SIDS with suffocation. Doctors can't 100% say whether or not a baby has died of SIDS or suffocated. So often they tell you ways to prevent suffocation, because really they just don't know. So since you often hear of ways to safely sleep in a crib here are the ways to safely share a bed.

  • Leave blankets at your waist or go without.
  • Don't use pillows while in bed.
  • Have your baby sleep on the mother's side of the bed (not in between or on dad's side)
  • Never bedshare under the influence of drugs or alcohol (includes some prescriptions)
  • It is not safe to bedshare if you are very large breasted or extremely overweight.
  • Put your mattress on the floor if your baby starts to roll out.
  • Try to sidecar your crib (below is a video on how to sidecar your crib)
  • Add a mesh bed rail if you are afraid of rolling off the bed.
  • Never push your bed against a wall to avoid baby rolling off.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Goodnight Stars, Goodnight Air, Goodnight Noises Everywhere

We're pretty anti routine with M. She leads the day. She eats when she wants to eat and sleeps when she wants to sleep. Our only "routine" is bed time. At nine I run her bath while A gets her ready. I set out three books by the glider and turn on her lamp. She gets her bath and some play time in the water. Then it's pajamas, swaddle, books, and bed. I either put Aveeno Calming Lotion or Baby Vick's on after her bath.

Not only is it the calm down part of her day, but mine too. It's how we both unwind and get ready for bed. Just me and her. We've been doing this for about a month now, and you really can tell she is used to this. If one night we are out somewhere and it's getting time for bed she has this look like 'I'm tired, but we haven't had a bath.' I might be putting those words in her mouth. The few nights that she was fallen asleep before nine and woken up an hour or so later we have to go back and do the routine. Otherwise she is lost. My goal is for her to be two years old and picking out the books, because she knows what happens at that time.

I try to switch it up with the books we read. Each book I read her the title, author, and illustrator. I guess this comes from my preschool class and them needing to know the difference and able to identify. To me it's never to early to start I guess. Even though I like for her to have options we still end up with several of the same books. I thought I'd share some of our nightime staples.

It's Time To Sleep My Love by Nancy Tillman

I love this peaceful dreamy book. All of her books have the most beautiful illustrations. I have been sold on anything that she writes. Each book is so full of love. I always think about the memories I'm making when I read this to M.

 "I'm getting very sleepy now so moos the tired milking cow, So croaks the almost-sleeping frog amidst the settling of the fog, So go to sleep my love"

Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown
Every night this is our third book. I swear when she hears those three last lines her eyes are out. Something about this book makes you read it in a whisper. I love that. It relaxes me.

"Goodnight room, Goodnight moon, Goodnight cow jumping over the moon"

On The Night You Were Born by Nancy Tillman
You will cry. At least the first time. I can't help but look at M in such wonder while reading this. The day she was born is just so clear. Like each second is frozen in time and I can so easily go back there. Maybe that's why I love this book. It always sends me back to that day.

 "On the night you were born, the moon smiled with such wonder, that the stars peeked in to see you
   and the night wind whispered, "Life will never be the same"

The I Love You Book by Todd Parr
I LOVE TODD PARR! His books are so incredibly awesome. I have four so far and want them all. He conveys the exact message that I want M to hear. Love, acceptance, tolerance, and humor. I love this one for nighttime, because it's like it's from me to her. 

"I love you when I am away, I love you when we are cuddled up close, I love you when you sleep, I love you when you don't sleep."

Oh, the Places You'll Go by Dr. Suess
This is classic Dr. Suess. I remember reading this book along with Goodnight Moon when I was little. I love having that to share with her. Another wonderful thing about this book is the message. Sometimes in life there are ups and sometimes in life there are downs.

"You have brains in your head, You have feet in your shoes, You can steer yourself Any direction you choose."

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Remember, It Gets Better.

I wish more women were told this at the beginning of their breastfeeding journey. I hate the mentality that 'if it hurts you're doing it wrong.' That's simply not true. M had a perfect latch from her first time at the breast, and guess what it still hurt. It's to be expected. You are going through a transition of having a baby at your breast for about thirty minutes every hour or so. Chances are there will be pain with that. What you need to remind yourself is that it does get better.

There are so many issues that can come out with breastfeeding that most women feel they should give up over. Please know that there are answers to most breastfeeding problems.

For pain in the beginning get a good cream whether it be lanolin or an all natural cream like Earth Mama Angel Baby. Ice packs are your friend. Place them over your nipples after feedings for some relief. One thing you'll probably notice is that showers will be painful on your nipples. I would try and face away from the stream as much as I could. Cover them with your arm if you have to face in.

Most women aren't prepared for what it is like for milk to come in. I know I wasn't. Each breast was probably 50lbs each. Try a heated wet rag or a Bed Buddy. I would lay mine over my chest in bed and throughout the day. Your Bed Buddy can also be put in the freezer for a cooling effect. During those first weeks I had to pump just so M could latch on. Which really is counter productive. Just know that the more you tell your body you need the more it's going to produce.

If you are dealing with low supply try an herbal supplement called fenugreek. You can get this herb alone or in a blend with other supplements that help milk supply. After getting my supply under control it dipped pretty low. I took Mother's Milk which includes goat's rue, blessed thistle, and other herbs. You can also get similar products in tea and drop form. You should also pump after each feeding to try and boost your supply. Nurse from each side. Until your supply is established make sure you are nursing or pumping frequently. At this point I can sleep seven hours without it effecting my supply. Using heat will also help your milk let down.

Most people wouldn't think having an oversupply could be an issue. It can be. Oversupply can cause fussiness, too much fore milk, gagging, and gas. I had this issue with M. She would clamp down on my nipple to control the flow and then pull away gagging. Her stools were often green from getting too much fore milk. To get your supply under control put down the pump and step away. It will hurt at first and you will be engorged. If it gets to be too uncomfortable hand express a small amount out for some relief. Block feed until your supply settles. This means only nursing one side each feeding. This will also help your baby get hind milk. If your let down is too strong lean back or lay down while nursing. Side nursing is my favorite position now.

You may come across milk blisters, especially if you are dealing with over supply. These a little blisters on your nipple that may appear white, clear, or yellow. Try soaking your nipple in an Epsom salt mix. I would take a bowl of warm water and add 2 teaspoons to a cup and soak. If you can break the skin over the blister. I used my clean hand. Try a wet compress and then nurse. You also need to find out what is the cause of your blisters. Think oversupply or yeast as examples.

For the dirty little 'M' word. I never dealt with mastitis, but I did have a plugged duct which is all I want to know of it. You may feel this as a hard lump in your breast. This could be further into your breast like mine or a block in the pore. I was pumping strings of milk. Yeah, it was sick. You can still nurse your baby on this side to clear the clog. I didn't want to so I just pumped that side until it was clear and the lump was gone. Plugged ducts can happen for several reason. Oversupply, infrequent nursing, ineffective suck or latch to name a few. Mastitis is an infection that occurs in the breast. You may notice red streaks on your breast and a more intense pain accompanying your plugged duct. You may experience flu like symptoms and a rise in temp. Message is your friend. A would laugh at me while I would massage my breast and moan with a big ole' heating pad laid across me. Use heat in the form of a shower, compress or soak. I loved each. Have you or your partner massage the breast. I felt best going in an upward motion if that makes sense. Nurse frequently and try pumping after each feeding. I read a good tip to lean forward or stand above your baby or pump. I would massage my breast while pumping. It took about 24 hours for the duct to clear in my case. If you suspect mastitis you should call your Doctor as soon as you start symptoms. They may want you to start antibiotics. I called, but they didn't suspect I had an infection and they were right.

Nursing in public can be a challenge for a lot of women. That is why I love to nurse in public to show women 'hey you can do this too.' If you want to try a cover there are many out there. Some with front wires to make it easier to look down at baby. M hates covers so that wasn't an option for us. I usually try to wear a tank top under my clothes. I'll leave it down and pull my breast over the tank. That's for my comfort so my stomach doesn't show. If you want to add cover place a burpie over the top of your breast and away from babies nose. Practice at home until you are comfortable with your nursing skill. By the time I nursed in public I had the process down from practice at home. You would be surprised how little others can see. Remember, it's your right. Nothing is more natural and beautiful than a mother nursing. I seriously question a person's mind who finds nursing to be offensive or sexual. If you don't want to nurse in public you can always take pumped bottles with you. Get a good cooler pack and you should be good for 24 hours. Remember breast milk can set at room temp for up to 10 hours. It's hard to mess that up. It's all about your comfort level. Just don't let public feeding determine whether or not you should breastfeed.

Breastfeeding is Love

I hope I've covered some of the common breastfeeding issues. I'll add more if I think of them. Just remember it does get better. Here we are pain free with no issues at the breast. You can do this. There are millions of women out there believing in you and cheering you on. I know it may not feel like it at times but you are not alone and you are meant to do this. It gets better!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Making Big Steps = Hard

I've been going back and forth in my mind on how I want to go back to school. I know it needs to happen for many reasons. This may sound depressing, but I can't lean on A forever. He already has a degree and an amazing job and at times I feel so down about not having that for myself. God forbid something were to happen to him or he left me (because I'm not going anywhere) I would have no legs to stand on. I hate that. Two, I want this for me. I need to feel that accomplishment that I am lacking so much of right now. Three, I want M to know her mama went for her goals and got it. Then maybe she'll see how much easier it was for A who went right after high school. Ha! I know this is dumb, but I feel like she would be so proud of me some day for this. Like my mom didn't have to do this, but she did.

I always tell M while she's chewing on her socks that I hope she gets Independence when she's older. Ideally if she could get a four year degree, land an awesome job, have her own place, and then meet a great guy and get married. She'll own her own bakery and make really cool cupcakes and have a loft with an exposed brick wall. I don't know, that's just what I picture, but she can do whatever she desires.

I think I hope for that, because it's so opposite of what I have done. I didn't get a degree, I've never lived on my own, I don't know that I could be truly independent, but I did meet a really great guy and get married.

Here's the problem. I want to go back for a degree in photography. I was hoping there would be a lot of two year options, but not so much. So I can do the first two years and then transfer to finish up. It's just so hard to start down a road when it's so long and your right at the beginning. I feel so overwhelmed by all of it. Can I do it? Will I do it? What if I don't finish? I have always had the problem of having a lot of drive, but also a lot of lazy. Bleh. It's got to be done, and the best thing to do is just get it over with. In ten years maybe I'll be finished.

Wish me luck. To say I'm rusty when it comes to school is putting it lightly.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Coming Closer To God Through M

My relationship with God has been a rocky one for some time. Most of which comes from the loss of family. When my uncle died I had so much anger and resentment. How could the best person I've ever known not get to be here? It's a hard to pill to swallow. After losing my parents when I was little life just seemed unfair.

About two years ago my life really took a change. I moved home and met A. My family grew even closer to one another. Life was going in the right direction. For the first time I had this peace that I was where I was meant to be. I felt like this could have been me a long time ago if I hadn't taken a different path. I don't regret that path. It's made me who I am. When I got pregnant it really hit me hard. It made me realize how much God had looked after me in my life. In ways that I had ignored or taken for granted. With all I've been through in life and the journey I took I was still safe. Then to be given such a wonderful gift.

When that pregnancy ended early I told myself not to get angry. That I wasn't going down that path again. So I stuck close to God. I thanked him for what I'd been given and that I knew I would be given it again some day. I was. Five months later I was pregnant again. Those nine months I stuck by even closer. Praying for others and praying of thanks and prayers for M. Up until she was in my arms it was constant prayer for her arrival.

Since that day my relationship with God has changed dramatically. I see life differently. I see the world differently. It's a relationship that defines how amazing God's love is. It's a miracle that should be appreciated. Being a mom has changed me forever. I now know what unconditional love is. It's allowed me to see what is really important in my life. It's taught me to not take one second for granted, because those seconds go by so fast. It's helped me realize why life is worth living even through all of the bad. I am complete. I'm fortunate and so very blessed. God has given me the greatest gift I could ever receive and I truly believe he has those intentions for everyone whether it be a child or their dreams or something totally unexpected.

In life you have to take the good with the bad. If we didn't have the bad we wouldn't know how truly amazing the good can be.

...And this is so amazingly good.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Nature Lovin' Hippie Baby

I hope so anyways. I don't care what Molly wants to be like when she gets older. With that said I do try to sway her to the hippie side. The light side as I like to call it. I do this by playing a lot of Marley and such in and out of the womb, reading her hippie like children's lit, and other small but hopefully impactful ways. Now let's get this straight. If she grows up to be an ax men and vote republican it will sting, but I'll still be proud.

So part of my parenting approach is to get her outside as much as possible. She loves being outdoors. I hope she carries that with her. Sometimes I feel like I need more of that in my life too.

Thursday I left work early, because she pooped through all five of her cloth diapers so that was our cue to leave since I had four hours of work left. (lesson learned) Since we had so much day left I drove out to the conservation to take her on a nature walk. We brought along the Mei Tai and my new camera that is now my new favorite thing ever. To make it easy for her to see and me to click away I put her in a back carry. Man, I love back carries. It just feels so right.

She lasted about five minutes before passing out. It was amazing. I'm hoping the weather holds up and we'll be out again soon. To me it's important for her to get out and experience what the world has to offer. It's important for her to be up at my level so she sees the world from that view. So here are some shots of what she saw.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Parenting After Miscarriage

Today is Miscarriage/Pregnancy Loss awareness day. It's so hard to believe that this time last year I was so heart broken not only as I approached my would have  been due date, but the day itself and what it meant to me. I was pregnant once before. I found out at the end of March. By April 17th it was over. I don't think I'll ever forget the details. I remember laying on the couch while I was losing our baby and I just kept asking A what time it was. When I finally lost our baby I knew right away. It was like I just wanted it back so bad. Like my body physically felt empty.

Trying for M was not a joyful experience like you would want it to be. I was so heart broken that I should have been pregnant. Every negative test I just kept thinking ' I should be feeling you kick.' Miscarriage is such a lonely pain. Not only do you hear things from complete idiots, but most of the time you don't hear anything at all. I could never decide which was worse. No one loved my baby at that point like I did. To most people it was just an idea, but to me my baby was very real. I held it in my hand. He or she didn't look like anything recognizable, but I know who it was right away. A mother's attachment to her baby at even the earliest stages is such a beautiful thing. It's so hard to want something so badly and know that it will never be. That child will never be.

Five months after our loss we got pregnant again. It really came with perfect time. My sister was two months pregnant, and I won't lie it added to the sting. I was so happy for her, but just sad for me. My original due date was November 30th. Instead I went to my first appointment for M. Luckily I had an ultrasound to check on her because of my previous loss. So instead of having our angel we got to hear M's heart. We got to see her move her little arms and bounce back and forth. It was so bitter sweet. It's all bitter sweet. Most people think I probably don't care any more. That couldn't be further from the truth. I still think about the baby that might have been. Whether it was a boy or girl. What they would have looked like. M has a brother or sister looking out for her. I'll never hide that fact from her.

Some days I think about how I would be planning a first birthday right now. When I feel that pain I look down and think about how I have a beautiful three month old. I try to focus on that when I miss her brother or sister. I'm so happy for what I have. Life can be heart breaking and just when you feel like nothing is fair something happens to remind you of the beauty in life and why it's worth living to the fullest.

"Dear Lord, I would have loved to have held my baby on my lap and tell them all about you, but    since I didn't get the chance, would you please hold them on your lap and tell them all about me?"

Monday, October 10, 2011

Working Mom

This past Wednesday was my first day back at work. I hadn't been there for four and a half months. Three of those months were spent cuddled up to M day in and day out. The first day was tough for both of us. She cried most of the day at my grandma's house. I walked into a crazy situation having been gone for so long. I only have two fifteen minute breaks to pump which stinks. It just didn't go well. Nothing was good. I went home so defeated and sad. The whole day I just felt like such a huge part of me was missing. Like I left my arm at home.

That night I did a lot of thinking about what would be best for Molly and I as far as her care. The plan was for her to go to my grandma and grandpa's each day. One I hated her being so far away and two I hated dragging our whole house there. I realized that I really wanted her to go to the center I work in. My preschool class would be right across the hall from her room. I loved her teachers and new them personally. I work there so I know it's a good program with a lot of benefit. I could see her throughout the day. The biggest bonus is what better break than to nurse my daughter? So I was set that I would get her in.

We all sat down and talked about it that Thursday. My grandparents understood which really helped. I wanted to make sure they new it was for my own selfish reasons and not that I didn't think they could watch her.

Friday comes along and they call me and are both sick. I couldn't get ahold of my sister. I call my Director and he says to bring her in and we'll get her enrolled as quickly as possible. Luckily around 10 she was enrolled and could go back to her room. I'm so glad we made this choice. I loved seeing her. I could feel that she was near me even when I was'nt in the room. Call me a quack, but I completely believe that she could feel it too. We sat in the breastfeeding room together nursing on my breaks. I held her close and got my fix before I had to be back. It was all perfect timing, because this Tuesday is school picture day. I am way to excited about this. I have three outfits set out to chose from. I just can't make up my mind.

With M near me these next three months won't be so bad. I feel like I got my will power to work. Who knows, maybe I'll even make it longer. I know that as long as we're together no matter what is going on in life it's good.

Monday, October 3, 2011

M's Big World

It's been pretty busy lately for all of us. It's important to me for M to get out and be apart of things. I feel like even the littlest babies need to be out seeing new things, smelling new smells, and hearing new sounds. Which is why I love to take M outside even if it is just a walk around our neighborhood. I point things out to hear and describe what we see. The tall tree with red and orange leaves. The white dog barking in it's yard. You get the point.

So now that my time off is coming to an end I wanted to do some big things together. I can't imagine not having these past twelve weeks off. Wednesday is my first day back to work and I couldn't be more nervous. Luckily there is an end in sight and come January I should be back home with her. I have always wanted to be a stay at home mom, but when I was pregnant I flipped and decided I wanted the baby and the career. Now that I have the baby I just want the baby.

A couple weekends ago we all went to the Renaissance Festival with my sister, brother in law, and their four month old son. M loved it. Her favorite part seemed to be the parade. Her eyes were like saucers with all the brightly colored costumes and horses walking by. She had the biggest smile, and it made me so happy to be able to share that with her.

My favorite part of the day was her getting distracted by a fire juggler and me unknowingly flashing my boob to several strangers walking by. At least the worse thing that could happen while nursing in public has happened. It wasn't that bad.

All summer I've been taking M to the park as much as I can. It's been so insanely hot this summer that it wasn't always possible. My sister and I have been big on having picnics with the babies. Luckily today was beautiful out so we went for one last hoorah. We spread out blankets and laid out some toys. After we ate our lunches we took the babies to the little playground. They both loved the swings. I love seeing M as she discovers new things. Her little mind tries so hard to wrap itself around things.

All I can do is hope that these next three months fly by. I just want to be able to wake up with M right by me and know that we have the whole day just to be together.