Category Archives: Life Lessons

Pro Tip on Feeding Babies

I’ve been texting with some mom-friends this week about the challenges of breastfeeding and pumping and the guilt and resentment and “OH MY GOSH WHY AM I NOT MAKING MORE MILK I AM SO SICK OF THIS” of it all. After 3 kiddos, I’ve been there done that.

Ironically enough, world breastfeeding week just wrapped up a few days ago and that post I just linked above I wrote almost a year ago to this day. It’s hard to believe at this time just a year ago I was still nursing Lincoln. It seems like such a distant memory at this point. But I digress…

The subject of that group text always hits me like a ton of bricks because for every 1 mom that’s out there that thinks nursing their baby is a breeze and amazing and a beautiful journey, etc, etc, etc, there’s at least one mom that struggles with it and feels like she has to be silent about it. And it seems like there’s never anyone out there saying “it’s ok! I get you! you aren’t alone! You don’t have to love it!”

And that sucks, right!? Because the internal struggle of breastmilk vs. formula is real. And hard.

For the mothers that are struggling with milk production, or you think there’s something wrong with you because you just don’t love, or even like, nursing or pumping, or feeling guilty for making the move to 100% formula, you are certainly not alone. I’ve shared many of those same feelings.

I would like to share this pro tip:

10 out of 10 doctors agree: feeding your baby is 100% necessary. Recommended, even!

How they get fed is up to you. And only you.

 

When no one is watching…

Miss Rylee,

There are moments as a parent that will stop you in your tracks. Last weekend was one of those moments for me.

Ten, twenty, even thirty years from now you may not remember that day, but I will.

Your dad, sister, you and I piled in the car and headed over to Bend for Cousin Connor’s super hero birthday party. It was a great day.20130927-093615.jpg

Part of the party was a “super hero training course” where you had various obstacles to complete around their backyard. While all the kids were running around having a good time a “super villain” came out and dropped “bombs” on you guys. They were balloons and you had to run around and pop them as fast as possible to “save the city”. Everyone was having lots of fun running around making the “bombs” blow up.

There was a boy there. He was bigger than you. He was louder than you. He knew more of the other kids than you did.

You both went for the same balloon. You beat him to it. You popped it. You giggled in delight. He was mad. He threw himself on the ground and started crying, frustrated that you beat him to the balloon and that he didn’t get to pop it. You noticed him, but seemed to move on to grab the next bomb that was being dropped. You were having so much fun.

That’s when something extraordinary happened.

Instead of grabbing the next balloon, one of the last ones, and popping it, you rushed to grab it and you immediately ran over to that boy, who was still lying on the ground, and handed it to him.

When your dad was telling me this story, it was at this point that my heart stopped. I may have got a tiny bit teary eyed.

The truest test of one’s character is how they act when they think no one is watching.

Well, your dad saw this whole thing take place. You had no idea he was watching your every move, you were just doing what you thought was the right thing to do. As soon as it happened he called you over to him. He hugged you as tight as he could, kissed you on the top of your head and told you how proud of you we are.

You smiled at him and said thanks. Then ran back to the obstacle course to keep playing.

From the time you took it upon yourself to thank soldiers sitting in a restaurant for their service, now to this, I am continually amazed by your kind heart and your thoughtful, gentle nature.

You really are a super hero.

I am so proud of the little lady you are becoming.

I love you,

Mama

 

I hope I never forget.

The other night at dinner Reese was being her usual goofy self trying to get us to laugh. She was also practicing saying “more”. And her other usual cute antics. Andy looked at Rylee and told her that watching Reese is reminding him of how she was when she was that age. Wide-eyed she wanted to know more. Andy went on telling her about all the things he remembered about her when she was around a year old.

That all got me thinking. There is so much about when Rylee was a baby that I don’t remember. As Reese grows, that becomes so much more evident. In my 5 short years of parenting, if I’ve learned anything at all, it’s that it goes by so fast.

Of course I’m still not one of those “enjoy every moment” moms, because I’m realistic. And I hope I never catch myself saying that. {if I do say it, and you catch me, you have my permission to throat punch me}

But there are moments I wish I could just freeze time. Not forever, but just for a few extra moments so I can close my eyes tight in order to etch them into my brain and remember them forever.

I hope I never forget how she tugs on her ears when she’s tired.

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I hope I never forget how her hair falls over her forehead, despite me trying to brush it out of her eyes. Or how the wispies stick out and rest over the top of her ears.

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I hope I never forget how big her eyes are and how long her lashes are.

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I hope I never forget how she sweetly pats my  back when I lift her out of her crib after nap.

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I hope I never forget how her face looks with that binkie plugged in.

I hope I never forget how she climbs up in that chair, that used to be Andy’s grandmothers, and will just sit calmly against the wall.

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Follow Your Instincts and/or Learn From Your Mistakes

Kindergarten Parent Information Night:
Thursday May 16, 6 – 7 PM
Childcare will be provided

As soon as I read that on the flyer we picked up at the Kinder Round-up pre-registration day I played out the night in my head…

Pick up the girls about 5:30 PM from daycare. There won’t be enough time to go home before that so we’ll head straight to the elementary school, but we’ll end up being there 20-25 minutes early. That means Reese will miss her typical car nap she squeezes in between 5:40 & 6:15 every night. And since we’ll be at this meeting during Reese’s dinner time at 6:30, I guess I can feed her her babyfood in the back of the Jeep while we’re waiting in the parking lot. Then we’ll rush home and get her ready for bed. I know the “provided child care” will be for the incoming kinders only and not for my busy-body almost 10 month old.

Maybe we should just get a babysitter.” I say.

No, I’m sure it will be fine.” Andy says.

So there we are…sitting {actually standing} at this parent info night.

The pre-meeting rush went exactly as I had anticipated. Reese didn’t fall asleep on the 5 minute drive from the girls’ day care to the elementary school. We got there 25 minutes early. I fed Reese her dinner while she was still strapped into her car seat. Only flinging baby food throughout the back of the Jeep twice. Andy called to say he’d been stuck in traffic and to just go in without him as he may be a few minutes late.

I sign in. Take Rylee to the gym and after some unexpected tears from her, she’s off to play. As I’m coming back into the meeting area with Reese, Andy is walking in. The meeting is about to start.

Reese starts humming happily through her binkie. It’s cute. Some parents look over and smile. She’s the only baby there.

I pull out some puffs and start feeding them to her one-by-one, trying to keep her occupied, but quiet.

The meeting has started. They’ve introduced the teachers and are starting to go over the “kindergarten readiness” list.

Wait…what did they say their names were? I missed that.

Reese decides she over her puffs and is crawling all over me. I walk further back. Shushing her as I walk. But the further back I walk, I can no longer hear what the teachers are saying.

I peek into the gym.

Rylee is with a bunch of other incoming kinders, a few she knows from pre school. They’re coloring, playing duck-duck-goose and just generally having a good time.

I bounce-walk back to where Andy is. Reese starts humming again.

It’s no longer cute. It’s just distracting.

Between walking back & forth and trying to keep Reese quiet, I can’t hear anything they’re saying.

I finally concede. I walk over to Andy. Grab my stuff, tell him I’m taking Reese home, and try to sneak out the side while Reese continues to loudly hum along.

As I drive home, by blood pressure rises. I’m missing this meeting.

I look back and Reese is passed out.

We should’ve got a baby sitter…

Next time, we’re getting a baby sitter.

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Trying to be better.

I can be a really crappy friend. Never intentionally, but it happens. I’ll be wrapping up a lunch date with a friend and end it with, “call ya tomorrow.” Then kids, a job, a husband…you know life, gets in the way and before I know it, it’s been almost a week since I’ve talked to her.

This happens more than I care to admit and while my friend{s} probably understand, it doesn’t make it ok.

To be honest, this happens with more than just my friends. I let it happen with my family too. I know of some women that speak to their mom every single day. While that’s never been the kind of relationship my mother and I have had, we go a while before talking sometimes. Same goes with my dad. And my brother. And my aunts and uncles.

Are you seeing a pattern here?

I get so wrapped up in my day to day life that I forget to take the time {aka: make the time} to maintain/strengthen/nourish the relationships that are so very important to me. And now here I am trying to rebuild those relationships to what they used to be and/or what I would like them to be.

Does this happen to anyone else? I really hope it’s not just me.

Even if it is just me, my point is this…it’s been something on my mind a lot lately and I’m trying to be better about it. I want my loved ones to know that just because I may not to speak to or see them them very often, I’m thinking about them. My life runs off of a continual checklist of wash bottles – pack pump parts – make dinner – bath time – etc – etc -etc. I’ve come up with a list of actual things I can do in order to be successful instead of just saying “yea I’m going to be better about that”, then never following through. The list may seem simple and also completely obvious, but thought I’d share anyway.

Five Tips for Rebuilding Relationships

Call to Check In– While this is potentially the easiest one, this is a big one for me…I can go weeks without talking to a loved one before I even start to wonder when the last time I talked to them was. Sad, I know. So what I’ve started doing is setting a day of the week to call a different loved one. Most of the time it’s on my drive from work to pick up the girls from school, but that doesn’t always work. For example, my dad has a hard time understanding me when I talk to him on my hands free headset, not to mention quite often, he’s not even available during that time of day, so I set myself a reminder to call him later in the evenings after I’ve put Reese down for bed.

Send a note in the mail– Who doesn’t love to get mail in their mailbox…like their real mailbox. Something that’s not a bill. I know I love it, so I’m going to make a better effort to drop a note in the mail every other week or so to various loved ones…particularly the ones I don’t speak with or see very often.

Be Thoughtful– My best friend’s family is all from Minnesota and she’s pretty close to them. She grew up spending a lot of time back there in the summers and even still visits quite often. You could say she holds minnesota close to her heart. So when I saw that Shannon from GlassCast was having a sale on metal stamped states with a heart on the city of your choosing necklaces, I immediately texted my best friend’s mom to find out what city her family was from, then emailed shannon my order. Then I surprised my friend with the necklace the next time I saw her. No, she didn’t have a birthday coming up, there was no holiday. I did something  just because. But it doesn’t always have to cost money…the other night I was able to catch Reese clapping on video and sent it to my sisters via text. Both loved it, it made them smile. Mission accomplished.

Make Standing Date– In my little family, we’ve got our Taco Tuesday tradition…it’s easily our favorite night of the week. There’s never any question, it just happens. I wanted to try and carry this outside of my family unit. My best friend & I have been doing lunch dates for years now. When they happen they’re a highlight of my week. There’s time we go weeks without having one. Naturally over the course of the last couple of months, we’ve been really good about doing them every Thursday. I love it and I’m hellbent on maintaining that. From there, I’m also making a standing rule that at least once every other week I will invite a family member over for dinner.  What can I say? I’m a sucker for routine.

Start a Thing– There’s lots of things my friends & I talk about doing, but we never follow through. The other night I was putting Reese to bed and checked my email to find that my sister shared a pin from pinterest with me about some sort of squat challenge. I was kinda confused and quickly forgot about it. The next morning my best friend tagged me in something on facebook about it and saying that my cousin was in on it too. I figured I better figure out what the heck they were signing me up for! Ha. So, my sister, my best friend, my cousin and I are now doing a month long “squat challenge”. Whether through text or facebook, we’re checking in with each other and encouraging one another on a daily basis. Now we’re no longer just talking about it, but following through and getting better butts in the process.

I realize it’s sad that this no longer comes naturally for me and that I have to make a conscious effort to do something as simple as being a friend, but at this point it is what it is and I’m doing what I can to be the friend/daughter/sister I used to be.

So that’s where I’m starting. What do you think…is there anything else I forgot? Am I biting off more than I can chew? Has anyone else noticed their relationships sliding since having kids?