Tuesday, August 30, 2016

august visitors...

august has been a quiet month for us, and as much as we love company we have enjoyed having some time alone as a family!  but last week was a special treat, we got a visit from my uncle steve and his wife chris!  it was awesome for bowie to meet her aunt and uncle and spend a fun filled day with them!  we met them at our favorite restaurant and then jarad took them on a tour of his office, which was perfect for chris who is a big sci fi lover and there is lots of memorabilia on display in his office.  then we went to snoqualamie falls and did a scenic driving tour and came home for a delicious home cooked meal.  we had a blast spending the day with them!

Thursday, August 25, 2016

farroto...

i love risotto!!!  i don't make it often, but my new take on risotto is to make it with farro!  i still use lots of white wine, chicken stock, garlic, butter and parm to make it, but i especially love the texture and bite to it.  it is not as soft as using arborio rice, but still has all the flavor and creaminess!  give it a try, it will not disappoint.  i served it with some rotisserie chicken and sauteed zucchini for a quick and easy dinner!


Wednesday, August 24, 2016

outfit of the day...

big thank you to nani and king for the amazing onsies they got for us!  we are pretty casual around here, not too many fancy dresses or big bows or headbands, so daddy approves of them all!!!



just ride!

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

bad to the bow...

i tried to retake her 5 month pics since she wouldn't sit still for me on sunday.  i got a few cute ones, but i especially love her onsie in this pic!  (not to mention a good pun)


Monday, August 22, 2016

first food...

yesterday on bowie's 5 month birthday we decided to introduce her to solid food!  we tried out avocado and although she didn't dislike it, i don't think she had much interest in it either.  i mashed up organic avocado with breast milk until it was a runny and thin consistency.  we spoon fed it to her and what a mess she made!  i think more of it got on her seat and on her clothes and face than in her mouth.  she is sitting up well and showing an interest in food when we eat, but i don't think she is ready yet, so we will wait a couple of weeks and give avocado another try.


Sunday, August 21, 2016

5 months!!!!

where does the time go?  my baby is not feeling so little anymore!  today she is officially 5 months old and there's lots of new things going on in her world!

bowie milestones...

~can roll from back to tummy on both sides (been doing this for about 3 weeks now)
~trying really hard to crawl
~trys to hold her own bottle
~loves her jumperoo toy
~is interested in her reflection in mirror
~holds rattle and shakes it
~taking a solid morning nap and sometimes a decent afternoon nap
~4 month sleep regression has hit us hard last month and we are still going through it.  having a hard time going to bed at night without being held or rocked (this is new).  sometimes need an extra feeding at night and has been waking up extra early!
~in size 6 month clothes and size 3 diapers as of a couple of weeks ago
~belly laughs
~drools a lot and everything goes in her mouth
~crazy about daddy.  her face lights up when she sees his face or hears his voice.
~little hair left, but the new roots are coming in light
~eyes are still blue, but sometimes look green with specks of brown and yellow
~likes holding onto a "lovey"
~is very interested in the hand motions we use when we do baby sign language or when i sing her a song with hand gestures


mommy milestones...

~jarad and i joined the gym!  we go 3 times a week together and leave bowie in the day care there
~still breastfeeding and pumping, although it only makes up a small portion of her diet, i am still doing it as long as i possibly can
~started painting
~started doing 2 baby books for her
~planning our trip home in october, this will be the first time bowie will fly!
~  preparing myself with lots of research on how and when to introduce solids to bowie.  i am excited to start making making purees and we will start with avocado very soon!



Saturday, August 20, 2016

true love...

jarad is good at everything he does, and now he can add fatherhood to that long list.  just when you think you could not love your partner more, watch them become a parent and your heart will explode.  watching you with bowie is one of my greatest joys!  thank you for all that you do for us!

Friday, August 19, 2016

twins...

since bowie was a newborn i have seen a strong resemblance with her and my dad.  i really see it in the eyes, but my mom sent me these pics and apparently they have a similar mouth as well.  this is too cute for words!

bowie

dad

Thursday, August 18, 2016

made with love...

hand made gifts are the best because they are made with love!  we received a surprise package in the mail with this knitted blanket from auntie nani!  i especially love it because it is made to take along with us in the car seat and use as a lap blanket which is great when i feed her!  thank you for the beautiful soft and cozy blanket!  (p.s.  pics of the onsie to come)


Wednesday, August 17, 2016

simple things...

what i love most about living in washington is the easy access we have to nature.  it is so easy for us to leave our backyard and go on a nature walk or take a short drive to a waterfall or a beautiful hike.  one of my favorite things is our neighborhood lake, "lake wilderness."  i love this lake because when we go i always feel like i am on vacation.  this lake is less than a 5 minute drive from our house, we can even walk there!  i always said i wanted to create the life that i don't need a vacation from and when i go to the lake i feel instantly relaxed and like i am vacationing somewhere far away.  it is my happy place for sure!  last night we took a picnic dinner to the lake and it was the perfect way to wind down the day.  i love my little family and enjoy these special times doing the simple things in life.





Tuesday, August 16, 2016

what breastfeeding has taught me...

sorry for yet another breastfeeding post, but as my milk supply gets less and less i can't help to reflect back.  i can honestly say i gave breastfeeding 110%, however my body did not cooperate.   i know that i am not alone and i think what i have gone through is more common than i think it is.  so what i have learned from breastfeeding is that i am not "most people."  and let me tell you why, along with some other breastfeeding misconceptions i believe in...

~most people can increase supply by drinking more water, increasing calories and taking a variety of supplements.  i did it all!  for me, the only thing that gave me a noticeable difference was a doctor prescribed drug.  however, this prescription comes with risky side effects.  although i did well on it, it is not something i can take forever, that wouldn't be good for me or baby.  i was able take two rounds of it, and my body really only reacted well to the first time i took it.  there are a couple of other drugs that are known to increase milk supply, however they are not approved for use in the US.  but woman have been breastfeeding since they have been having babies, which means they were doing it in times of famine.

~most women notice that breastfeeding gets easier around 6-8 weeks as your milk supply gets established.  it never got easy for us, we adjusted our attitude, goals and expectations.  it got a little easier around the 10 week mark and that was because we started to supplement with donor milk.

~most women notice that baby empties the breast better than a pump.  well my baby is an inefficient eater and also prefers to snack.  i found the pump was a better way for me to empty the breast and get an idea of what i produce.

~most women produce enough to meet the needs of the baby.  well if breastfeeding is a supply and demand kinda thing, then why do some women suffer from low supply (like me) and some have over supply?  also many women are able to effortlessly pump more milk to build a freezer stash, which would indicate that they are making more than enough milk.  for me, i fight for every ounce i give to her!  this shit really is liquid gold!  and whoever said "no use crying over spilled milk" has never breastfeed or pumped (it must have been a dude)!

~most women can see an increase by putting the baby to the breast often and doing a lot of skin to skin.  well let me tell you the countless hours stuck to the couch or bed with bowie nursing, but nothing coming out.  this only lead to frustration because i have a hungry baby and my nipples are bleeding, cracked and sore.

~if your baby has enough wet and dirty diapers then they are getting enough, i call total BS on this one.  bowie had enough wet diapers, but i can see she is always hungry, not satisfied after feedings and not gaining enough weight.  i think my motherly and gut instincts are a better indicator on this one (i also did weighed feedings).  i refuse to let my stubbornness get in the way of my baby thriving and growing.  every bottle of formula i give her breaks my heart a little, but my brain tells me that there is nothing wrong with feeding her this way as long as she is healthy and happy that is what matters most.

~most breastfeeding women don't get their periods back until they are done breastfeeding.  sorry for TMI but i got mine back at 3 months postpartum (70% of her diet was coming from breast milk, combo of breastfeeding and pumping).  they say that this shouldn't have too much of an effect on your supply with the exception of when you are on your period (it will lessen), but this change in hormones even further lessened my supply.

~it frustrates me that people think under supply is very uncommon and an excuse and that only a very small percentage of women actually have it.  most of the breastfeeding forums i follow and la leche would tend to think that i have given up too easily and that what i call and "under supply" is an easy way out.  it is so hard to prove that you have an "under supply" but i know that my body was unable to produce enough to satisfy my baby.  i know my body best and i also know that i went to great lengths to do my best to have a successful breastfeeding relationship.  i don't believe we have failed at it, it just wasn't what i had hoped to get out of it.

so in short breastfeeding has taught me that me and my body are not like "most women."  and just like birth stories and babies development, we can't compare, we are all so different.  i had the best of intentions on exclusively breastfeeding for the first year, i never thought we would have had such difficulties.  lots of women go into labor with a "birth plan" and they say that you need to be flexible and open minded because often times your "birth plan" does not go the way you wish.  well this is very similar.  we have had to adjust and rethink my "breastfeeding plan" so that it works for our family and bowie's needs are met.  in a way i feel robbed of this experience, but i am fortunate that even if cut short she was exclusively breastfeed for the first few months of her life.  i saw a quote on one of the forums i follow and i wish i had saved it, but it went something like this "the amount of time you breastfeed does not define your success as a mother or the love between you and baby."  as i said in my last post, i will do this until my body no longer lets me.  i fight for every ounce of breast milk she gets.  i continue to breastfeed for snacks and comfort, and i am able to pump enough to freeze a serving here and there.  i do have a small freezer stash (about 300 ounces) that i use for bottles and will use to mix in with food when she starts solids in a few weeks!  as you can tell this has been an emotional ride for me filled with a lot of disappointment and guilt.  everyday i try to make peace with the fact that my body isn't able to provide the nutrition bowie needs and that is OK, we are doing our very best and every little bit of breast milk she gets is better than nothing.

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Monday, August 15, 2016

Saturday, August 13, 2016

newest creation...

paint night with my girlfriends got me inspired to buy my own supplies and attempt a new painting of my own...here is my latest creation!


Friday, August 12, 2016

Thursday, August 11, 2016

colorful food!

i love colorful and healthy dinners!  this was my creation from last night!  3 different colored bell peppers with turkey taco meat, pepperjack cheese and avocado!  yum!!!

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

how quickly they change...

i remember thinking to myself how wonderful the 3 month mark was for bowie, she was smiling, interacting and an overall happy baby.  she is now a week and a half shy of being 5 months old and the 4th month has been way more challenging for us.  she is going through a big developmental growing spurt and one where she is very aware of her surroundings, easily distracted and gaining independence.

about two weeks ago she mastered rolling over, at least on her right side for now, and life as we know it has changed.  she is now somewhat mobile.  i can't take my eyes off of her, in fear she will roll off the couch or hit her head on a piece of furniture.  so she no longer wants to be on her back.  she can use her legs to rotate around and switch positions.  and her legs are constantly going, as if she is starting to think about crawling!  if she continues at this rate, i think she may be crawling around 6 months or so.

she is easily distracted, especially when eating.  if she hears wilfred bark or dad's voice, she stops to look up and check things out.  although it does warm my heart when she is breast feeding and she hears jarad and she looks up to find him and locks eyes and gives him the biggest smile and laugh.  she attempts to hold her bottle and pushes it away when she is done eating, whether it be the bottle or breast.  her legs are constantly kicking when she eats and she whips her head around.  feedings are getting messy!  when i breastfeed her she is always tugging at my shirt or reaching for my hair, i sometimes wear a teething necklace that keeps her interest as well.

 the biggest struggle at this stage is the 4 month sleep regression.  their brains are developing a more adult like sleep pattern which allows them to cycle between light and deep sleep.  however, they tend to wake up when they hit the light sleep phase, therefor waking you up.  what this means for us is that getting her down to bed is difficult, she wakes up shortly after, she is taking an additional feeding at night and she wakes up often wanting her pacifier or to be soothed.  we went from waking up once a night to feed her to 7-10 times a night.  i feel like we are back on a newborn sleep routine, it is brutal!  i know this is temporary, but this mama can't wait until bow starts sleeping like a champ again!  on the bright side, her morning naps usually last about 2 hours and are pretty consistent.  she likes to go down around 10am and falls fast asleep.  afternoon naps are a hit or miss, but we are working on that.

with all the developmental changes going on she is becoming more interested in toys and books!  i think we have outgrown the activity mat and she now is in a jumperoo.  this will help her build leg muscles and there are lots of interesting things for her to play with.  she also likes to have a "lovey" close to her, basically a small blanket in he shape of an animal, she loves one that is a lion and another one that is a fox.  she likes to grasp them and hold them close to her.  she is interested in the pictures on the book and enjoys songs with hand motions.  we have also started doing baby sign language with her.  for now we are only doing a few signs at a time (milk, bottle, diaper change, more, all done).  she is very interested in our hand motions, but most likely won't be able to sign back until after 6 months old.

it is amazing how fast they grow and learn.  this is a challenging stage, but i am still loving every minute of it (with the exception of those sleepless nights).



Sunday, August 7, 2016

breastfeeding awareness week...

unless you are a new mom, you may not have known that this week was "breastfeeding awareness week."  i wanted to take a moment to honor our breastfeeding journey, because it has not been an easy one and although i fear this is the beginning of the end for us, we are still going at it.  the last month has been especially hard on us, and when i say "us", i really mean me.  we have dealt with latch issues, nipple shields, but the biggest issue of all is my low supply and i am at an all time low at the moment (and one i don't think i can recover from).


i am going to give some of my thoughts and in no particular order...


~breastfeeding although a very natural thing is one of the trickiest parts of being a new mom.  it is painful, lonely, and difficult.  they say it gets better around 6-8 weeks in, but for us not so much.  it never got easy, we just adjusted our expectations.


~lactation consultants and la leche league are your best friends.  don't rely on doctors or pediatricians for advice.  although they all say they are in favor of it, most pediatricians are not very knowledgeable when it comes to breastfeeding and push formula from the very start.


~do what is best for your family and trust in your gut.


~breastfeeding is a hot topic and the mom shaming that goes along with it is no joke.  they say "breast is best", then they changed it to "fed is best."  i agree with both statements, we all know that breast milk is the perfect baby food but if you are unable to then the baby has to get fed someway or another.  but "fed is best" seems to undermine all the hard work and dedication i have put into breastfeeding, since that implies it doesn't matter how the baby gets fed as long as they eat.  but this gets to be a heavy debate with the moms in a lot of the groups and forums i follow.  so i think this makes more sense "you feed your baby and let me feed mine."


~we were lucky enough to have one of my girlfriends be a donor mom and provide us with frozen breast milk that she pumped so we could supplement.  this is a labor of love! pumping sucks and if you are lucky enough to have more than enough milk to share, giving it to a baby in need is one of the greatest gifts! 


~women love to compare birth/labor stories and they also love to compare breastfeeding journies.  we love to wear these badges of honor, especially the more difficult they are.  for example "i was in labor with no meds for 36 hours."  or "my daughter is 2 years old and we still breast feed."  these are all so personal and individual experiences, but we like to think "if i can do it, then you can too."  but this is not the reality of it.  i had the goal of breastfeeding bowie for one year, but still going at 4.5 months (given our difficulties) i know i should be happy.  i think the focus needs to be on if the baby is growing and thriving appropriately. 


i am determined to feed her this way as long as i can, even if that means that i am only able to provide a snack to her instead of a meal, nurse her to sleep or just for comfort.  the bond created through breastfeeding is a special one and i will miss this snuggle time and her milk drunk face. hope you enjoyed some of my favorite pics of our special time together.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

visting with grandma and grandpa!

our favorite july visitors had to be grammy and grampy!  it was so fun to spend time with them and so many changes with bowie since their last visit.  here are some highlights...

lazy days at lake wilderness...





nice day for a hike at marymoor dog park...




daddy's softball game...


celebrating grandpa's birthday!



Tuesday, August 2, 2016

my girl...

got some great pics of her last weekend after her bath, quite possibly my new fav!  here is my sweet girl at almost 4.5 months old!  her personality is coming through and she is so expressive!