5 Days Away

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Andrew and I went away, by ourselves, for five whole days.

In January, we found out that Andrew won a trip to Cancun for him and a guest through his work. It could not have come at a better time for us. I felt like I hadn’t slept in a year, and the minute I heard the word “vacation” I imagined a full 4 nights of glorious, uninterrupted sleep, that did not include a three-year old plastered to my back (sorry girl.)

For the kids, however, it probably could not have come at a worse time.

James was still nursing and still not sleeping through the night, and I had never been away from either of them for more than 1 night.

Our parents volunteered to stay at our house while we were gone and the kids were thrilled about this, which made it a little easier to leave.

I pumped breast milk to leave for James and started introducing cow’s milk in the hopes that he wouldn’t mind not nursing while we were gone. He didn’t (at least that’s what they tell me) and I have now returned to a child who is 100% weaned. So that’s my advice for weaning your child; go away on vacation for a week and leave some other poor soul to handle it. Because that is basically what I did.

As stressed as I was about leaving them, when we arrived at the white, sandy beaches of Cancun and I got a mojito in my hand, I forgot I had kids.

Just kidding family!

This was unlike any other vacation I have ever taken. Not just because of where we stayed  (Le  Blanc Spa Resort in Cancun, which was amazing), but because I appreciated literally every single second of it. When we sat on the tarmac for 3 hours (!!) on our way there, I was pretty much ok. I mean, reading my book in peace for three whole hours? That right there is kind of a vacation.

We did everything you can’t do with kids. We sat (like literally sat and did not get up) on the beach all day, slept late, worked out, lounged (once again, without getting up) by the pool, stayed up late, danced, sang karaoke, went on a catamaran, did I mentioned slept?

For me, five days was the perfect amount of time to be away. By the end of the trip I felt like I was aching for that little three-year old to be in bed with me again.

I know not everyone can do this (we normally can’t either) but looking back, it was something we needed. Yes, it seemed like a huge pain to get ready for this, yes, I always feel a little guilty leaving the kids and yes, there were many times during this trip when I thought, “I wish they were here to see this.” But, Andrew and I reconnected in a way that we hadn’t since before we had kids. I hate myself for that cliché sentence right there, I really do, but it’s true. Being able to just hang out together, alone, uninterrupted for an extended period of time is a rarity now a days, and we know this, so everything seemed extra special.

I will say though, that coming home to our babies was one of my favorite parts of this vacation.

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Reese: 20 months, 9 days

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I haven’t provided an update on the subject of this blog for a long time. Actually, I’ve been posting for about a year and it looks like I’ve only provided two updates. Ever. Maybe I should stop talking about myself so much. God.

Reese is progressing as predicted. Tipping the scales at 29 lbs (90th percentile), no one would believe that we struggle to get her to eat most foods. Maybe a girl can live on pean alone.

She is like her mom in the way that she lives for consuming large amounts of carbs; loves include grilled cheese (wooo), waffles, oatmeal, baked beans, and “appasaw!!!!” (applesauce) which she demands fiercely and randomly, even while playing in her pool or sitting on the potty.  She’s not like her parents, or like anyone we want to know, in the way that she refuses almost all meat (except for these awesome turkey meatballs that I can sometimes trick her into eating.)

Reese is a shorty (75 cm and in the 16th percentile) and still has a huge, lovely head (95th percentile for head circumference), only these days it is full of bumps and bruises from her crib, the coffee table, the china cabinet, the steps, the floor, mom’s head, etc.

Words are her strong point and she uses sentences often. The other night in her bath she was talking to her bath toys and said, “Sit next to me, frog.” Andrew and I just about died.

She is a good sleeper except for the fact that daytime naps are not consistent. Many days she doesn’t nap at all. So maybe that makes her a bad sleeper? Not sure.

We recently took away her “baba” (pacifier) because she kept biting through it and small pieces were coming off in her crib, which was freaking me out. This event coincided with the end of daytime naps. She sleeps well at night without the baba, finally, but it was rough in the beginning. I was a thumb sucker myself and I vividly remember the comfort it offered, so it was a little sad to watch her go through the transition.

Each day we get another glimpse of the person Reese is becoming and we have begun to see a bit of her parents laid back nature, some of her mom’s  timidness, her dad’s smarts and dance moves, the sweet nature of her grandparents and a toughness for which I am thankful.

What I hope for most is that she grows up to be kind. This is what I tell people. Secretly though, I also really hope that she is hilarious. I think she will be.

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And We’re Done

A few months ago I would have told you that I couldn’t wait until Reese was fully transitioned to milk and I could stop breastfeeding. Dragging my pump to and from work each day, leaking, engorgement, the anxiety of wondering if I would produce enough milk for Reese to have while I was at work, staying up late to pump, waking up early to pump, nursing pads, nursing bras, sterilizing, washing, forgetting my pump at home and having to leave work early (and in some cases making Andrew drive it in to me), clogged milk ducts, the list goes on. I was anxious to kiss all of these things goodbye, to wear a normal bra again and to be free of the reoccurring fear that someone would somehow open my locked office door while I was pumping and see me, shirt lifted, looking ridic.

Now that the time is here, these feelings have changed a little and I find myself experiencing the twinge of sadness that I have heard mothers can feel when baby stops nursing.

It turns out that it is the moments that nursing brought us that I will miss the most; stealing Reese away from a party to feed her in the quiet of an upstairs bedroom, or her first meal of the day in the early morning light of her nursery.

After eleven months of breastfeeding, Reese is taking to whole milk like a champ and doesn’t seem all that phased by the weaning process. I had anticipated a struggle from her; many tears, sleepless nights etc., but she has moved effortlessly into the next phase of babyhood while I am left wishing she would stay in this moment just a little longer.

But when I’m thinking wistfully of the moments I’ll miss with my girl, I remind myself that I’ll never again have to awkwardly leave someone’s office mid-sentence because my boob is leaking through my dress, or remove a nursing pad that staggering amounts of people  failed to mention was stuck to my back  all day long.

These moments I can do without.

Fenugreek Review

In just about three months my little Reesie pants will hit a major milestone. She will turn one year old!

With the first birthday will come a change that has been on my mind for a while now.

Weaning.

After almost 10 months of nursing, Reese is slowly starting to nurse less and eat solids more. Can you blame her? She knows whats good.  

Because she is nursing so little lately, my milk supply has slowly been decreasing. She still needs some milk while I am at work Monday-Thursday (I work from home on Fridays) and some days I don’t pump enough for her to have the following day.

I wanted to continue exclusively breastfeeding until her first birthday, so after some research I decided to try the Fenugreek supplements. Supposably (just kidding) Supposedly, the Fenugreek seed  increases milk supply, so I picked up a bottle of Fenugreek capsules at Whole Foods (100 pills for $8.99.)

Here’s the verdict.

Effectiveness: It works.I saw an increase in supply in about 3 days; although it was not as much as I had expected. I have been getting about 1 oz more per pumping session. I’m satisfied with this. At this point, Reese is not drinking that much milk so every little bit counts.

Dosage: I took 2 pills (610 mg each) three times a day with meals. Doesn’t that seem like a ton?? It’s the suggested dosage on the bottle.  KellyMom says that studies showed no difference in a mother’s milk supply unless at least 3500 mg of Fenugreek a day is taken, so I guess this is a good amount. FYI bottle says these are not safe to take if prego.

Side Effects: I haven’t experienced any side effects except for smelling like maple syrup (surprisingly, not necessarily in a good way.) Reese’s diaper even smelled like maple syrup when I took it off of her the other morning. Ha!

Overall I would recommend it if you need a boost. Although I didn’t see a huge difference , there definitely was some increase, and it helped catch me up on my supply a little bit.

Next up: The dreaded weaning from the pacifier.  We’re a little nervous about this one.