Thursday, December 27, 2012

Twenty Eight Weeks

This week was big! Max started food on Christmas eve! He loved having his rice cereal. He ate it all up, and kept hitting his high chair table for more, he was very excited! I took video the whole time, and snapped some pictures. He loves the camera, he spent most of the time just staring into the camera as he ate. He's going to be trouble!

Max loved opening up his Christmas gifts. We had him start opening them on Christmas Eve, and he had a blast with the wrapping paper. We stopped when he got bored with unwrapping, and saved the rest. We will have him open a few a day until he gets bored. We like letting him have fun opening them, there would be no point in us opening them for him. Introducing his new toys in smaller groups, rather than all at once, will hopefully help him familiarize himself with them rather than get overstimulated and distracted. He's having fun!

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas to my readers! I hope that you enjoyed your day with your family, whether you celebrate Christmas or not.

Today was a beautiful day with our family, and it couldn't have been more perfect. Our son is the only gift that I could have ever wished for, and I'm remembering how I was dreaming of our baby this time last year. We have so much to be grateful for today. I cherish my husband and our son so much!

Here is a picture of our own Santa!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Free Baby Carrier

I just received an email with a promo code for a free baby carrier, and I figured I would share it! Seven Slings has some really cute patterns available, and you can get one free (just pay shipping)! They are normally $48, so this is a great deal! I bought one of these for a friend a few months back, and she loves it. 

Visit the Seven Slings website and choose your favorite pattern. Be sure to go to the sizing page to check the correct size for you before going to check out. Use the promo code "FAMILY2012" to cover the cost of the carrier. Once you pay for the shipping, you'll have a new carrier headed your way!

Here's the one that I chose, and I'm excited to try it out!


photo courtesy of www.sevenslings.com

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Twenty Seven Weeks

Huge milestone this week! We have teeth! Yesterday he woke up with his two bottom teeth poking through. He hadn't slept well the night before, and I knew why when I was nursing him. Poor little guy was suffering.

Max's whole face looks different now. He's holding his jaw differently, and his face looks chubbier. It's so weird how different he looks in just one day! Pretty soon you'll be able to see these teeth when he smiles! Yikes.

Our baby is growing up! He has teeth, so the time has come. We will start him on rice cereal this weekend, or at least that's the plan. For some reason, I'm struggling with this. Feeding him anything other than breast milk means that he's growing up. He's not my teeny tiny baby anymore, and it is hard. I know (obviously) that he is going to grow up, and I just need to go along for the ride. But it's hard, and I know millions of parents feel this way.

We were waiting for him to hit six months to move him into his room, but I'm not ready yet. It's hard to think of my baby not being right next to me in his little bed. On nights that he wakes up hourly and needs his mommy, those nights will be so hard when he's in his room. Poor thing, he will be screaming and scared. Or maybe that's me? Either way, this stuff is hard to think about. Every night I still reach over and check that he's breathing. It's going to be a huge emotional hurdle for me to move him into his room!

Some moms have their babies in their own room starting on the first night they are home. That's fine for their family, but not for mine. I know a few moms that have done that, and it has worked out very well for them. It's all about what you feel comfortable with, and how your family deals with the situation. I did a lot of research and decided that it wasn't for me. It's all about doing what is best for your family.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Breast Feeding: Pumping While Driving

Monday I posted about pumping at work (you can find the post here). I referred to pumping while driving, which I do twice a day. In terms of convenience and supply, it's a huge help to me.

This is a touchy subject. No, it's not 100% safe. If you get into an accident, I imagine that it wouldn't be pretty. I'm willing to take that risk though, to make sure that I'm able to keep up with my baby's milk consumption. I have a hands-free pumping bra, which makes pumping in the car a breeze. Both of my hands are available for driving, and there's really no distraction. Here is a picture of the hands-free bra that I use (no, that's not me in the photo):

Simple Wishes Hands Free Breast Pump Bra, image from www.amazon.com
I put the hands-free bra on, attach the pump parts accordingly, and then cover myself up with a nursing cover. Nobody else on the road has any idea of what I'm doing. It just looks like I'm wearing a baggy shirt. Here's a very pretty example:

I use a double electric breast pump, which makes things easy. A manual pump would be much more challenging while driving. I also use rechargeable batteries in the battery pack (I recharge them every weekend) so that I don't go through a million batteries. Here is very well priced pump: 

That's basically it! You'll want to have something to wipe yourself and the shields with, but you shouldn't need anything else. If you make the decision to do this, let me know how it goes! I'm curious to see how others do with it. 

Now, for a silly picture of me. Pumping while driving (in traffic, no less):


Monday, December 17, 2012

Breast Feeding: Pumping at Work

If you're breast feeding and returning to work soon, you are probably considering pumping at work. I wanted to write a post about my experience with this.

Some women will stop breast feeding before returning to work due to concerns about being able to pump at work. Many people may not know this, but your employer (if they employ 50 or more individuals) is required to allow lactation breaks. If you are looking for details on the federal law, please check the links here and here to learn more. You should be given a morning and afternoon break (your employer is not required to pay you for this break) in a private place. A bathroom is not acceptable, according to the law, so be aware of that.

It is recommended to pump every two or three hours to keep your supply up. I share a lactation room at work with four other women. We each have our own time slot, and we have to work around each other.

Here are the times that I typically pump:
    7:30am    (while driving to work)
    10:30am  (in the lactation room)
    1:30pm    (in the lactation room)
    4:30pm    (while driving home)

Typically people would pump before leaving home in the morning, at 9:00am, 12:00pm, 3:00pm and again at home. Because I am sharing the room with women that had their schedules set already, I moved mine around and it is working out very well.

a glance inside the fridge in our lactation room

Now I've wondered myself, what would happen if I missed a session? A few things. You would be uncomfortable (read: OUCH!). You may leak and have an embarrassing moment at work. Your next pumping session would result in more milk than normal, but probably not the same amount as two typical pumping sessions combined. If you do this two days in a row, you may start to see your supply drop. It's all about supply and demand. You need to keep up the "demand" by pumping, or your body will adjust and the "supply" will decrease to match the demand. Keep this in mind when you think you're too busy to take a break to pump.

What should you do at work to improve your supply? You can do your research, and find a whole list of recommendations. Try things out, find out what works best for you. There is mother's milk tea, fenugreek, lactation cookies, the list goes on and on. Here's what works for me: drink plenty of water, get enough sleep at night, eat every couple of hours. If I let any of those three things slip, I can always see it show up in my supply. I try to drink 32 ounces of water by lunch time. If I don't drink any water (maybe coffee only), I will see about 50% less milk that morning. This is not an exaggeration, this actually happened to me this morning. Just be careful. Pay attention to your output, and notice what helps your supply.

this may or may not be your new logo

In a separate post (found here), you can read about pumping while driving. Pumping while driving may be a huge help to you. 

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Six Months Old

Six months!!! That's half of a year! Insane!!

I would like to give updates on the two things that I'm asked about the most. Breast feeding and cloth diapers.

Breast feeding is still going very well. The little monster is getting big and strong, and we aren't having any issues. I'm pumping more than he consumes during work, so that's always a good sign. We've made it to six months breast feeding, which was my initial goal. I said that when I hit six months, I would aim for a year. So that's my next goal. One full year. In the beginning that sounded daunting, yes. Now? It sounds so quick. I stop and think, how am I going to give this up? I love the closeness with my baby. I love that I'm doing something good for him. I love the convenience.

Cloth diapering is going well too! We use two types of cloth diapers now. We use the gDiapers (which I've raved about), but we also use Alvas now. Daycare was treating each gDiaper like a single use unit (which I understand), so it was going to be a waste to use those at daycare. I just couldn't justify having 12 shells a day, it would be too much money. We bought some Alvas for daycare, which are very cheap. They're $5 each, and they work well. I had planned to use American-made diapers, but I had to look at the numbers. So he's in gDiapers at home, and Alvas at daycare. We don't always stick to that though, sometimes (ie laundry day) we will send him with gDiapers to daycare or use Alvas at home. Either way, we're using cloth.

I've experimented with using cloth diapers for night time. Max sleeps five hour stretches, so that's a lot to ask of a cloth diaper. We would go four nights without even a leak, but then the fifth night would be bad. I'd wake up and find him soaked. I just can't do that to my baby, so we've been using disposables at night. Every month or so I try something different, and I'm looking for new ideas if you have suggestions!

Max hasn't eaten anything except breast milk so far! It sounds pretty crazy. We're planning to start him on solids now though. He hit the six month point, which is part of what we wanted to wait for. He has also started reaching for our food. That's usually a great sign that they're ready. He's able to sit up on his own, and that's a big piece for safety. Overall, we're ready. I'm all excited to start making baby food!

Sitting up straight on his six month birthday!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Twenty Six Weeks

Our baby boy is healthy again! What a scary week last week was, it was hell. He's happy and healthy again, and I'm so relieved. Having a sick baby is excruciating. There's nothing worse than watching your baby cough and choke, just staring at you, wondering why you aren't helping. It's so scary for him, and I can't explain that it will only last a few seconds. I just hate it.

He's getting much more sturdy with his sitting, and he's spending a lot of time sitting on his own now. He loves it. Sometimes he gets all cranky if I put the boppy behind him as a safety guard. He pushes it away and wants to sit up on his own. Hmm. Reminds me of someone I know...

The standing is getting better too! He wants to stand a lot, and I've been letting him stand up against me and not really hold him up. He just leans on me with his butt and uses his core muscles to keep himself up. It's pretty impressive if you ask me, but I may be biased. His new pajamas make him happy when he's standing, because the bottoms have grips instead of the soft cloth. Yes, he's in 12 month pajamas already!

Max, playing instead of going to sleep.

Reading time at night usually lasts 45 minutes to an hour nowadays. He's great for growling if he isn't done reading. I love my little book worm! Our reading time is my favorite part of the day. Having him get so excited at the turn of each page, watching him look around at each image and absorb it all, and smile when he hears the story, it's all just so amazing. His favorite book now is Hey! Wake Up! by Sandra Boynton. It's definitely his favorite, and we read it about four times a night. I'm looking forward to finding out what his next favorite will be!

Oh, and milestone! He opened his first present this week! We did a Secret Santa within my mommy group, and Max got to open his present Tuesday night. He absolutely loved tearing into the wrapping paper! He did a great job pulling and tearing, and getting all of the edges. It was fun to watch. He got some balls that roll around and encourage crawling, he loves them! Some of them are rattles, and one is a light. He has a great time with them. He also got one of those sorting tubs of different shapes, which was on his list for Santa. Great presents! Thanks again Ashley!!

Here's Max, opening his presents! 

He'll be six months old tomorrow! Such a scary thought. I'll be posting more tomorrow!



Friday, December 7, 2012

gDiaper Coupon Giveaway

gDiapers has a great program for parents using cloth diapers. I was so excited about this that I signed up for it while I was still pregnant. About a month ago, I received an email from gDiapers asking all of the gMoms and gDads to fill out a survey. In that survey, I explained that I blog about their product and that I would love to give away coupons. Well, I got the coupons in the mail last week!

I wanted to host a giveaway for these coupons. I have 25 $2 coupons up for grabs. If you pair this with their new customer offer ($10 off of a purchase of $100) by using the code TRYIT at checkout, you will be getting $12 off! I like free money, don't you? If you win, I'll drop the coupon in the mail for you and you'll be on your way to glorious gDiapers of your own! All you have to do is shoot me a quick email (WhereRootsFlourish@gmail.com) and you're all set.

If you're looking for the cutest cloth diaper of the season, you need this one.

photo courtesy of gDiapers.com

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Twenty Five Weeks

I have to start with something that I forgot to post about last week. We officially have a bossy baby! Last Monday, Max received a card from my cousin's daughter (thank you again Madison!!!) and he (obviously) wanted to put it in his mouth. I let him for a little bit, because it was mostly crayon. He started to get close to the part that had ink on it, so I took it away from him. Well, that was just not a good idea. He reached his hands out for it and started crying! That was the first time he's ever done that! Little munchkin. Since then, he's done this a couple of times when he wants something. Uh oh, here comes Mr Bossy Pants!

Max has gotten a lot better with his hands and fingers. He uses his pincer grasp (aka thumb and forefinger) a lot, and it's amazing to watch him aim those two fingers at things to pick them up. He's getting great at grabbing things out of my hand, or off of the floor. It's not like a whole dragging motion of his hands. It's a deliberate reach with a couple of fingers. It's so fun to watch! He's also doing this when picking up cloth.

Unfortunately, Max got sick this week. It started on Friday night I'd say. It seemed like a cold, but his cough was a lot worse starting Sunday night. We brought him in, and found out that he has bronchialitis. It's not fun. He would cough until he was vomiting. He would stop breathing for a few seconds when it was really bad, it is terrifying. I can't explain how scary this is. He will be sound asleep and cough in his sleep. The cough will get keep going, and get worse with each cough until he's choking. I'm lucky that I'm a light sleeper, so I always hear it before it gets bad. I grab him and hold him up because he's going to get sick in a few seconds. Poor little baby. I can't imagine being a heavy sleeper, and what could happen. I can't even think about it. Once he stops coughing and vomiting, he goes right back to his happy self. Like nothing happened.

The first time it happened, my heart literally stopped when he stopped breathing. I was a mess. I started crying. I wanted to bring him to the hospital. I was so scared. Having your poor baby sick like that, just staring at you helplessly as they suffer, it's hell. That's really the only way I can explain it. I sat on the floor and rocked him as I cried. I took care of him, I kept functioning, but emotionally I was stopped in my tracks. The pain in my heart was so massive that I didn't know if I could deal with it. It is so hard to see your baby sick, that in that moment I was honestly afraid to have another baby. How could I deal with this emotionally? Double the emotional pain? Watching your baby suffer is just hell. I hear that it gets easier. I hear that eventually he'll be getting sick like this and it won't really bother me. Maybe that's true. Maybe I'll be less terrified eventually. For now, I'm going to sit here and rock my baby until we both calm down and feel better.

Max, peacefully sleeping after one of his coughing fits