Thursday, July 26, 2012

Five a Day Game

Stone Fruits

I've been struggling to make sure to eat my five fruits and veggies a day. I get distracted by tasty, sweet carbs and forget that in order to have a healthy diet, I need my fruits and veggies.

5 a day game

One of my friends was telling me about a little competition that she has with her husband. They put post-it notes on the fridge. Each one represents a half cup for fruit or vegetable. As they eat them, they move them to the other side of the fridge.

Barrels of Apples

I asked Scott if he wanted to compete with me but he's not into competition so he declined. I decided to compete against myself! I put the post-its on my cabinets as they refused to stick to the fridge. Pink represents fruit and the green represent vegetables. I need 1 1/2 cups of fruit and 2 cups of vegetables a day (I doubt that you would get in trouble if you ate more than 2 cups of vegetables a day though). You can calculate how many cups of fruits and veggies you need at the CDC website.

5 a day detail

I started this new plan on Saturday and so far, it's been FUN! I can visually see what I need to eat. I do much better with the "YOU NEED TO EAT THIS!" rather than the depriving oneself method of "YOU CAN NOT EAT THIS!" I have also given myself some leeway. It doesn't matter how I get my veggies. In fact, I had deep fried avocado fries when I was out earlier this week and it totally counted.

This new game is also helping me eat ALL the fruits and vegetables I've been getting through my CSA box. I'm also feeling more alive and bouncier which is so good because I do not get enough sleep. I will take the bouncy feeling any way I can get it.

Walls Walla Sweets
Tuesday, July 24, 2012

8 Months with Molly Pop

Swimming Molly
In just four short months, you are going to be a year and I can not believe it. You are quickly becoming a little kid and less like a baby every day. You have even begun saying some 'words' like Dadi, Mama and Baba. We love how you will sit and whisper, Dadi, Dadi, Dadi. It is super cute. Big Girl Molly
You are crawling like mad and are so fast! You keep trying to stand up from the crawling position but if you don't have anything to hold on it, it is a bit of a disaster. You keep trying though. Pop Pop says that you have my determination. It will serve you well because sometimes determination is the only thing that will get you through.
  Oatmeal Prune Mask keeps ones skin soft!
Your love affair with solid food continues and I've recently introduced cheese and yogurt to you. True love! You have also graduated to more finger-type foods. You still eat purees but you think steamed broccoli, chopped turkey and shredded soft cheeses are great! You really like feeding yourself but allow me to spoon feed you when you are starving. We are moving from two meals up to three meals this month. It's more work for me but more joy for you. photo
We've continued your Monday/Wednesday swim lessons. You get so excited when we pull up to the pool and start bouncing around. You have been hard at work at learning how to pull yourself out of the pool, crawling in the water, splashing and floating. You are not so hip on floating on your back but I'll let you in on a secret, Mama never conquered that skill and Mama LOVES to swim. I'm so glad that I signed you up for the entire summer. I was worried that it was too much but now I think it is just perfect. We'll skip lessons this winter but will still make time to visit the pool for swimming. Molly Floats
Blowing raspberries is your new obsession. You love blowing them so much that often a tickle of spit will start to slowly drip onto your chest. You think that is funny as it just provides more spit for raspberries! Pop Pop and I find it gross because we get covered in your spit if we sit too close. You also love waving goodbye to everyone including the cats. You've been sleeping in your own nursery since your 7th month birthday and it was a good move. You've been sleeping better. We've been sleeping better and everyone is happy. Of course this isn't to say that every night is perfect but over all it's been a good move. You still come to our room in the morning for snuggles and we do like that a lot! We moved you to the convertible carseat a few weeks ago and the transition has gone well. You love the mirror I put up to watch you as you can watch Mirror Baby. She's the best baby ever! Bears!
You had your first visit to the Zoo and you thought the Grizzly Bears were AWESOME! You stood at the window and growled at them. We didn't see the entire zoo on this visit as you fell asleep but we'll be back and next time you can check out the penguins. Happy 8 Months!
It's been such a fun journey watching you grow and gain new skills. Every day is a new adventure in MollyLand and I'm so happy to be on this ride with you. This next month is going to be full of fun too! We have TWO trips planned. I surely hope you enjoy traveling in the car because you are going to be in it for long periods of time. We love you so very much, Molly Pop!   Plaid Shoed
Thursday, July 05, 2012

An Obsession - Cloth Diapering

Long before I got pregnant, I decided that I would cloth diaper. I'm one of those people that once they decided to do something, they do it, come hell or high water.
So it was a no-brainer when I got pregnant that I would cloth diaper but I wasn't sure HOW I would cloth diaper. I quizzed all my friends, took tours of their cloth diapering stations, read blogs and checked out all the stores and sites for information about cloth diapering.
Fuzzi Bunz
There was one site that really helped me decided how I wanted to cloth diaper and it was, StyleBerryBlog . Her posts on Fuzzi Bunz Diapers and how to wash them sealed the deal for me. I was hooked!
Fuzzi Bunz Insert
I bought a whole set of Fuzzi Bunz diapers and felt ready to go. Then I started reading more. I realized that the Fuzzi Bunz One Size were going to be great once the baby was 10+ lbs. I was hoping that I wouldn't have a 10+ lb baby so I knew I would need something to fit the gap. I thought about disposables and I did buy a bag of them. I knew that Scott would appreciate having the disposables until he was comfortable with the cloth diapers.
After a bit of thought and research, I decided to go with prefolds for the starter diapers. They were fantastic! I loved how you could fold them in different ways for different purposes and they also make wonderful burp rags. Once Molly got over 14 lbs and started to wiggle, I gave them up. They were too hard for me to get on such a wiggly child. By then we were firmly in the Fuzzi Bunz diapering way.
bum genius
I use the Fuzzi Bunz during the day but switch to Bum Genius diapers for the overnight diapers. I double stuff them so they can absorb a lot of moisture. They are wonderful at wicking the wet away from Molly's bum.
For wipes, I use a combination of Kirkland brand disposable wipes and fleece cloth wipes. I like the cloth wipes for drying her butt which helps reduce diaper rash.
diaper creams
I tend not to use a lot of creams but as you can see from the photo above, we have a lot of creams in this house. All but the Butt Paste are great to use on cloth diapers. When we have a nasty diaper rash, I do use the butt paste with disposable diaper liners which is also what we use with every diaper now that Molly is eating solid food and ummm well pooping solid poops.
open diaper pail
I use a dry diaper pail system and most importantly it has a lock on it against inquisitive little girls. As for washing my diapers, I follow the guidelines listed in this post. We have the exact same washing machine and so far, I've had great success with my cloth diapers. I'm so happy that I decided to cloth diaper. And most importantly, Scott likes that we cloth diaper because he has never had to run to the grocery store at midnight to buy more diapers. 
Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Breast Feeding after a Breast Reduction

Happy Girl

I’ve been doing this for more than 7 months. I've been obsessively worrying and quite awesomely breastfeeding my baby. In fact, I'm doing it better than I ever thought I would.

Let me give you a bit of background before I dive into the breastfeeding part of this story. In 1999, I went to the doctor for a routine annual exam. While there she asked if I would be interested in a breast reduction as my breasts were WHOA big, not big, WHOA big. I enthusiastically said yes and she referred me to the surgeon. After months of prep, I had my breast reduction and it was one of the best things I've ever done. I had almost 5 lbs of flesh removed from my chest and I was left with 38DDs. After the weight was lifted from my chest (pun intended), I ran several half-marathons, one marathon and gained so much self confidence. The only downside to my reduction I was told was that I may not be able to breastfeed when I had babies. So when I became pregnant with Molly, I was worried but I kept thinking, "At least there is formula so my baby won't starve."

Snug as a Bug

I, however, did not know that breastfeeding would become my parenting hill to die on. Once Molly was born, I was determined to breastfeed her as much as I could and I knew in order to do that I would have to be very determined and kind to myself. 

Molly now gets about 70% breast milk and 30% formula. All women are different. I’ve heard that almost all women get some milk after a reduction, it is just reduced.


Scott has been super supportive through this whole process. He never told me I was crazy. He has admitted that he often thinks that I am crazy when we talk about it but he also said that he was proud of me for being so passionate. I remember nights in the beginning when we were using the SNS system when he would hold the tube and pour the formula in while Molly breastfed. There would often be spillage and formula would get everywhere. Luckily it made us laugh, if not a bit sticky but it really helped me to have such a supportive partner through this journey. 

Hello WORLD!

Here is what I did to ensure my breastfeeding success (all the while knowing that I might not be successful).
I met with a Lactation Consultant while pregnant. I had flat nipples and she gave me this product called, Supple Cups to draw the nipples out. They were great! I couldn’t use them before 38 weeks though as they can stimulate labor. I also met with the LC twice after Molly’s birth and attended a breastfeeding support group. The support group messed with my head though. It was frustrating to hear women saying they had supply issues and they were giving their children 5 ounces while I was only getting about 2 ounces in Molly at that time. The LC also taught me how to do breast compressions which helped me get more milk out.
I read everything on (a breastfeeding after reduction online forum) and joined the forums.
I read “The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding” which can be a bit too preachy but I found educational. I also read “Making More Milk” by Diane West who also had a breast reduction. I found it very interesting! I would recommend reading these before birth though and making notes to remind yourself for those early days.
I got a hospital pump and started pumping immediately. I pumped 8-10x a day after breastfeeding in the beginning. Then after a few weeks, I moved it down to 5-8x and am now at 3x a day, always after breastfeeding. I really hate pumping but I’ve made a committment to myself to do this for 9 months.  I now use a Medela Pump in Style but I used the hospital pump for about two months. They have better motors and extract more. The baby is best at extraction but the pump is good too.
I used a SNS system to feed Molly. I would personally buy one from Medela instead of using the stupid syringe next time. I think it would prevent the 3 a.m. formula spills all over the bed. Scott helped me with this a lot. He’d hold the syringe and pour the formula in. We did this for about 3 weeks and then Molly refused to latch with the tube on. She’d latch without it so I moved to breastfeeding and following with a bottle. Molly has a great latch though and will eat off anything. She doesn’t care, just give her the foods (she is like this about most solid food too)! I also put her to the breast as soon as I could after birth. I had a c-section so it was about 45 minutes after she was born but she latched and we’ve been going ever since.
I take a product called Lactate Support from Gaia Herbs to help increase my supply. I also took Goat’s Rue which is supposed to regrow ducts along with Go-Lacta from Sugarpod Naturals. I take twice the recommended amount of Lactate Support as I’ve heard you need alot of Fenugreek. I smell like maple. I make people want pancakes.

Lactation Cookies
I also ate a lot of lactation cookies to also help my supply. I'm not sure if they work but they are delicious!;
I have oatmeal almost everyday for breakfast, again for supply. Have you noticed a trend, if it helps with supply, I do it!

Self Portrait #febphotoaday

Through this process I've learned that breastfeeding is not an all or nothing process. You can exclusively breastfeed, you can supplement with formula, you can feed your baby exclusively with formula. Whatever you decide is the best for your family. You just need to remember the most important rule of all - Feed the Baby!

I've also learned that almost everyone has troubles breastfeeding and that there is no need to judge people if they breastfeed or not. You do not know what they have gone through to arrive at their decision. I have two friends who did not have reductions who exclusively formula feed their babies. One hated breastfeeding and the other had severe supply issues. They are following the golden rule, "Feed the Baby". They are great Moms and we are able to trade tips about formula selection and bottles. 


In the end, I'm so happy that I've been able to breast feed Molly as long as I have. I'm also still happy that I had that breast reduction. It helped me so much. 
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