Sunday, August 31, 2014

Beach Babe!

We spent the last week in California to escape the AZ heat! I love California. Beach = amazing. Traffic...not so much. Especially with a 4 month old. But it was nice to get away. We visited with my in laws for a few days at Chads childhood home. It was wonderful. The home is filled with sweet memories for Chad, and is wonderfully overflowing with lush gardens, and fresh baked goods. It truly is reviving staying there. Then we scooted off to San Diego where we rented a beach house for a couple of days. We were only 100 steps to the sand which made it so easy to take baby.

Of course reality hits, we are home now and kicked into high gear playing catchup BUT it's almost the end of August which means...FALL is almost here!!! Xoxo-B

Monday, August 18, 2014

...And Baby makes 3! Marriage tips after baby!

Before we had Hunter I was very aware that things were going to change  in our lives. My husband was the biggest priority to me and I was  worried about having him become neglected once baby came.

Here are some things I try to focus on the keep my marriage as a priority!

1) Check in

This is a very important concept for a marriage. The art of checking in takes some time to get used to, and we have yet to perfect it. What does it mean? Communicate!  If this is a particularly hard concept for you, you may need to have scheduled check ins with your spouse every week. Just put it on your calendar, every Sunday at 6 PM we will check in with one another. Asking questions like "how are you?" "Am I meeting your needs?" " how can I better serve you?" "Love you?"  Etc. every couple is different some may not need as direct of questions and just need to have 15-20 minutes of visiting time uninterrupted. That's great too! Do whatever works for you and your spouse! Just remember to check in!

2)  Take Care


As a stay at home mom, my priority is my husband, baby and home. So I try to do things to make sure that all of these aspects are taken care of. Little things like making sure Chad has dinner ready when he comes home from a long day at work. And doing things that he loves to come home to like he loves the vacuum lines on the carpet! So I try to do that for him everyday. It only takes a few minutes and it makes him smile. My goal is to make the home a comfortable sanctuary where he can feel relaxed and loved, because the world is so crazy, and being at work all day everyday can really take a toll on a person.

My home is so important to me. It represents my family, and my heart! So I make sure to keep it clean and comfortable. It's hard work but so worth it! It's not perfect, I'm definitely seeing new spit up stains on the carpet everyday and the laundry seems to never be all done! But for the most part I try to keep and nice and tidy home.

Don't forget to take care of your self too! I know you're probably thinking this is the last thing that you have time to do! But, if you don't take care of yourself everything else can fall apart! Something that may be a little vain of me is that I like to get ready every day. Even if I'm just going to the grocery store I like to put an outfit together, throw on some makeup and do my hair. Believe it or not I feel more productive when I actually get ready for the day. It lifts my mood too!

3) Discuss Sexpectations

It may seem a little unromantic to discuss "sexpectations" ( expectations of sex) but if you never discuss it how will you know if you are meeting each other's needs?  This doesn't have to be as frequently as a check in,, but should happen often as times and seasons change quickly! Sex is so crucial to a marriage, it separates your relationship from every other relationship on earth. It is a natural, God glorifying act that unites a married couple in the greatest way possible! Not to mention thats how you created such a wonderful thing in first place, your baby!!!  Maybe you and your hubby need to do it everyday? Or once a week? There's no rule! Just do what's best for the both of you! Maybe in this season of life you have to schedule sex dates! Who cares! Be like Nike and Just do it! It will life your spirits and reconnect you to the love of your life.

4) Take a break

You're probably saying..."a break? Ya right!" But you NEED it! Just like sex and communication you, momma, need a break! No I'm not saying a weekend getaway (although that's nice) i'm talking about daily, little moments you can steal away and take a break from everything. What's my break? Every morning from 5-6am with my loud music and workouts! It centers me! Maybe you aren't able to do that (or it sounds like torture to you) problem!  Do what works for you! 15 minutes of reading, 30 minutes in the sun, a walk, manicure, etc! Oh hey how about a break WITH your hubby? Great idea! Date night!? Yes please!

5) Have Grace!

Have grace for yourself, and for your spouse. Especially being a first time parent! I need to remember this because I have made mistakes, and every time I beat myself up over it! Ugh! That's not helpful! Your spouse will also make mistakes, lose his cool, or not meet your "expectations". Have grace! This is a HUGE adjustment to the both of you. Probably the biggest change in your life next to marriage so be forgiving, expect nothing & appreciate everything from one another, know the hard seasons will naturally merge into the good times. Enjoy the moments of the day loving your baby and your hubs!

I'm not perfect at this but I'm learning everyday and blessed to have friends who hold me accountable to be the best wife I can,  so that Hunter can grow up with loving parents with a strong marriage! Xoxo-B

Thursday, August 14, 2014

4 month Sleep training

Just when you feel you have fallen into a groove with baby, the schedule makes sense and is allowing baby to thrive, something changes! After all, babies are supposed to keep us on our toes right??

Hunter started waking in the middle of the night again! Ah!!! There's nothing more nerve-racking then a baby who was sleeping through the night suddenly waking in the middle of it!

Was he sick? Wet? Hungry? Scared? Wide awake? Did something wake him? Who knows!!

So I took that as a cue to change some things around.

First, the dream feed. I figured it was time to drop it. He was always dead asleep when I went in to get him for his dream feed. It was a struggle to get him to stay awake long enough to get some type of "full" feeding out of him. At four months and age the dream feed was not necessary as far as extra calories go.  It was done more to keep my milk supply up instead of going 9 to 10 hours without breast-feeding.

So we stopped cold turkey. I figured the worst thing that could happen is he would wake up hungry in the middle of the night. But he was doing it anyway! So away the dream feed went! And guess what? He slept through the night, and so did I!! Wool!!

The next night...2:30am...he was up and crying. After waiting a bit to see if he would go back to sleep, I ended up having to feed him. He ate like he hadn't had a meal in years.

Time to reevaluate again!

At this age, Babywise suggests having five full feedings throughout the day rather than the six I was giving Hunter. This seems counterproductive right? Why would I drop a feeding and a dream feed if he was waking up hungry?

Two reasons:

1)  He was eating every two and half to three hours during the day. I would just automatically feed him if it was that three hour mark and he hadn't shown signs of hunger yet. But when I thought about it that didn't make much sense! What would end up happening is he would not take a full feeding. Full feedings are so crucial to the babies sleep! Why do I forget that?

2) Having six feedings a day meant he was having about five today! Sounds great right? No. He was having five "catnaps" a day. That's exhausting for baby and mom! Not to mention he was not getting his restorative sleep that's necessary for his growth! Moving to this new schedule would mean that he would have three solid nap today.

So yesterday we tried it!  It went really well except for the fact that he would only sleep for 30 to 40 minutes for his three naps.. So today I really tried to focus on getting a FULL feeding first thing in the morning, and at each feeding throughout the day. He fed really well this morning, and ended up sleeping 1 hour 20 minutes for his nap. WOO WHO!!!!! It had been weeks since he's done that. What another reminder of how important the feedings are to the little one's day!

Oh and you may be wondering how last night went after he switched to his new schedule? He made it through the night! Woo! 

Now...I am no fool, I know this could be a fluke but parenting is all about trial and error especially for a first-time mom.

I'll keep you posted! Xoxo-B

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Pumped up Pony

This is one of my favorite summer hairstyles. Well, it's good for anytime! Especially now since my little boy he is grabbing fistful's of hair!

Start by separating your hair into different sections. AND TEASE!

Gather the top layer of your hair in a twisting motion and Bobby pin that up. The twist helps it stay up and it looks cute too.

Gather the remaining hair with a hair tie and hide it under the top layer.
AND BAM! You're ready to go!


Tuesday, August 5, 2014

What I learned from my lactation consultation!

With my milk supply issues I decided it would be best to meet with a lactation consultant. Luckily, my pediatricians office has a lactation expert who is a medical doctor within the practice. This was such a blessing because that doctor sat down with Hunters primary care pediatrician so that he could give the lactation specialist Hunter's medical history (reflux, feeding issues etc).

I spent a lot of time researching breastfeeding and on how to boost milk supply. Most of the tips I came across I already had heard before: Be sure you are drinking enough water, getting plenty of rest, nursing frequently, making sure the baby is emptying the breast completely before switching, etc. 

But here are a few things that I was taught when I visited the lactation doctor:

1) A proper latch is crucial to a successful feed. Listen for baby swallows to ensure he is getting milk (this may take a minute or so for your milk to let down).

2) 3-5 months is a common time for moms milk supply to decrease because baby is starting to sleep longer or possibly sleeping through the night.

3) Hand expressing is much more effective at getting milk than using a pump (baby is best).. This is difficult for me but you may have better luck! 

4) The timing of pumping or hand expressing is important. If after baby finishes eating you pump and get some milk out, then that time frame should work for you. But if you are like me and are practically empty after baby eats, wait an hour before pumping or hand expressing. Do this only for 5-10 minutes, that way there can be a fuller supply when baby is ready to eat again at 2.5-3.5 hours. 

5) Progestogen only pill (POP) for birth control CAN affect milk supply. 

6) Fenugreek, mothers milk tea, mothers love all can help in increasing milk supply

7) Breast implants CAN affect milk supply, regardless of positioning. Although, if the surgery insertion was done around the nipple this can cause a bigger negative impact. 

8) Ovulation starting again can affect supply. 

This things are very eye-opening to me, so I made the necessary adjustments and I hope it works to increase my supply.

Please share any other tips you've learned on your breast feeding journey! Xoxo-B