Monday, December 24, 2012

Calling it

I'm officially calling it. After 17 months of breastfeeding, Agatha is weaned. Whew! I have not nursed her for two full weeks as of today. Aw, that actually makes me a little sad.

My original breastfeeding plan was to make it six weeks and see if I wanted to continue. When I made it to six weeks, I set a new goal of 12 weeks. Then six months. Then a year. Then I thought I would let her wean herself or wean her at two years.

However, I am now 15 weeks pregnant with Baby Number Two (yay!) and I was feeling very anxious about possibly breastfeeding for FOUR years straight (two with Agatha and two with the new baby). I decided for my own sanity, I needed to work on weaning Agatha. I had also heard that some pregnant women who are nursing an older child start having nursing aversions during the middle of pregnancy, and I did not want to experience that. Nursing aversions can be anything from feeling itchy or uncomfortable while your child is nursing, to feeling actual anger at them while they are nursing. It is not a reflection of how you feel about your child or anything like that, just another weird thing the human body does.

At the time I got pregnant, Agatha was only nursing 3 times a day. In the morning when she woke up, when I got home from work in the afternoon and before bed. After doing some research, I decided I did not want to cut off all nursing sessions at once, but wanted to take it gradually. I chose to eliminate the afternoon nursing session first.

The first few days were tough. I wasn't even able to sit down, because she would come up and sit on my lap and immediately ask to nurse. And by "ask to nurse" I mean paw at my shirt and cry. I would tell her, "No, we aren't doing that now." I learned to have a snack ready for her as soon as we walked in the door and to have plenty of other distractions readily available (such as books to read together or toys to play with on the floor). After about a week, she showed no interest in nursing when we got home.

I wanted to give Agatha plenty of time before eliminating the next session and I wasn't sure which I wanted to tackle next. I thought the night one would be easiest, since sometimes she only nursed for a minute or two, but I really wanted to get rid of her long, leisurely morning session, which usually took place while she laid on top of me in my bed. I knew the morning one would be the hardest for her to give up, so I decided to stop offering the night session next.

Eliminating the night session was extremely easy, I don't think Agatha even noticed. She may have turned to me the first night and asked to nurse, but after that she never tried again. We just read extra books and went on with our bedtime routine.

The morning session has been the hardest to stop. She would not nurse for a few days and then nurse for three days straight, then skip a day. She seemed extremely crabby the days she didn't nurse and I just wanted the mornings to go smoothly. Agatha has also been an early riser, and Chris and I have kind of let her be our alarm clock. Chris would normally start his day while I laid in bed nursing Agatha for however long she decided to that day. I wanted to start a more regular morning routine (and hopefully get her to sleep longer) but I didn't want to make the rest of the day harder.

A few weeks ago my parents came to stay with us for the weekend and Chris and I slept on an air mattress in our living room. In the morning, Chris brought Agatha out to me and I nursed her for a few minutes and then laid her between us and gave her a pacifier. Agatha stopped using pacifiers (except for car trips) about 4 or 5 months ago, but I thought it might give her some comfort.

That was the last time I breastfed her. Our routine now is to bring her in our room and let her cuddle with me (usually laying on top of me (and usually with her hand down my shirt, to be honest)) while she sucks on a pacifier. After about five minutes of cuddling, I roll her over between us, where she usually sleeps for another hour or so. She doesn't get the pacifier at any other time of the day. I have tried to not give her the pacifier in the morning, and after about 60 seconds, she goes for the breast. So we are not at the stage where I can cut out the pacifier yet.

I do think in another few weeks, she will outgrow the need to cuddle in the morning and will sleep longer in her room, but for now, I am happy.

With that said, I am a little sad that our breastfeeding relationship is over and I do feel a bit guilty that it was my decision instead of letting her self-wean or waiting until she was two. I know plenty of people will say that I breastfed her for an incredibly long time, but I did think I would do it a little longer. However, I did need a break and needed to have my body back to myself for a while. Or at least, as much to myself as I can, since I am currently growing another human inside me.

So....Yay, me! Yay, Agatha! Yay, boobies!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Pain, worry, joy

The pants I am wearing today are making me feel very thin, even though I am at my heaviest weight (not counting the nine months I was pregnant with Agatha). I think it is because the pants I was wearing yesterday were much too TIGHT, to the point of being painful. There is some residual pain today from the pants cutting into me, actually. Probably a good time to start exercising, huh?

My family had quite a health scare last week. My older brother was experiencing very bad pain in his abdomen and went to the ER, thinking it was his appendix. After some x-rays and CT scans, they told him they found a large mass in his small intestine. The next day, he had surgery to remove a GRAPEFRUIT sized TUMOR and about 10 inches of his small intestine. Thankfully, we found out that the tumor was benign and he is now out of the hospital. It was a very scary situation, though and I am so thankful for everyone’s health.

In way behind news, Halloween was fun. Agatha dressed up as a fox, in a costume made by her extremely talented grandma Bonnie. Our brother-in-law, John came and took photos of her playing outside in her costume. It was adorable.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Let it be

I'm feeling very overwhelmed today and this song felt appropriate.

Monday, October 22, 2012

October Goals: How am I doing?

So October is almost over. Let's see how I am doing on my goal list.

1. Make homemade laundry detergent. I haven't done this yet. To be fair, I haven't needed to, we still have a few loads worth of Method concentrated laundry detergent left. But as soon as that is gone, I will be mixing up a batch!
2. Repaint the dining room. Currently a purple-gray, I was looking for a traditional light gray. Nope. Too lazy.
3. Get rid of several boxes of books that I purged. hopefully, this will help me with my years-long goal of buying new bookshelves. They just aren't that high on my priority list, though. Yes! Chris and I headed to Half-Price books and sold 6 diaper boxes of books for a sad amount of cash. I also took a bag of baby clothes to Once Upon a Child. Go, me!
4. Print and organize pictures into albums. I've been okay at printing pictures but none are organized. Hmm. I forgot this was a goal. I did print some more pictures but have not even THOUGHT about organizing them. Are we sure I wrote that goal? It doesn't sound like me.

All in all, that's pretty sad. BUT maybe if I do lots of laundry in the next 8 days, I will run out of detergent and have to make my own. Then I would be done with 2/4. Which is still pretty sad.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Goals for October

I know October is a few weeks away (already?!), but I need something to motivate me to do the things I've been meaning to do for a while. So here are the things I want to do in October (or before!):

1. Make homemade laundry detergent.
2. Repaint the dining room. Currently a purple-gray, I was looking for a traditional light gray.
3. Get rid of several boxes of books that I purged. hopefully, this will help me with my years-long goal of buying new bookshelves. They just aren't that high on my priority list, though.
4. Print and organize pictures into albums. I've been okay at printing pictures but none are organized.

Very exciting, I know. I am definitely a planner, and I like to have lists of goals and tasks. It makes me feel good to see a bunch of things checked off. When you are busy running around after a little one, it's easy to feel like you never get anything accomplished. These lists (however big or small) help fight that feeling.

Friday, August 31, 2012

Tips for Husbands

1. If the item was not refrigerated in the grocery store, it does not need to be put in the fridge upon arrival at home. I kept wondering where all the pasta sauce was. Oh, in the FRIDGE! Of course!

2. The hamper I bought for $39.99 is not a decorative item. It is not a stand for you to display clean and/or dirty clothes on like some kind of art piece. It does not need a layer of boxer briefs and dress shirts strewn around it to protect it. Simply lift the lid and place your dirty clothes inside. 

3. If the direction that the toilet paper unrolls matters to you, you may place it whichever way you like. I am going to just throw it on the holder, because I am not a weirdo who MUST have my toilet paper unroll a certain way. It is not magically fused to the holder, you can turn it around. I don't mind.

4. Look with your eyes before you ask me where that thing is. It is probably right in front of you.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

The Pressure of Perfect Parenting

Hey, friends. Let's be honest. Parenting is hard. It isn't sunshine and giggle fests all the time. Especially bringing home a newborn. Especially being a mother and being home with said newborn 24 hours a day.

But I've noticed among my friends who are new parents (like I am old hat at this game) that more and more of them are putting on a "Everything is GREAT! I love it! SO MUCH FUN! So easy!" face that is leaving me depressed and a little self-conscious/squirmy about my own "parent of a newborn" experiences, and tales thereof.

I think that when Agatha was born, I was honest about my struggles. The first days and weeks at home were spent being exhausted, worried and panicked that I had changed my life forever and tied myself to this other human being. A human being that was making me sore and crabby with every feeding. It was hard. I didn't sleep. I cried a lot. I thought, "I never want to do this again." Nevertheless, I loved her. So much. And grew to love her even more every day, even when I didn’t think it was possible. (And for the record, I do want to do it again.)

However, my love for her did not mean that it wasn’t hard or that I wasn’t afraid of making the wrong choices or even that I didn’t find parenting a little boring and I just wanted TIME for MYSELF. You are up all night with them, bouncing them, feeding them, having poo squirt directly at your face if you are unlucky, watching them, worrying about them and desperately wishing for thirty minutes to take a shower and eat chocolate.

Am I alone in this? Or is everyone else just trying to put on a front that they are the perfect parents?
That their baby makes them perfectly content and they KNOW this is what they were MEANT for and it’s all been so easy and la di da. Dream come true.

And I am happy for them. If that is the case. But if it is NOT the case, don’t be afraid to say it. You are just going to make the next friend anxious and paranoid that her perfectly normal feelings are all wrong and SHE IS THE WORST. You don’t have to pretend with me. I’ve been there. I’ve had a baby spit up IN MY MOUTH, for Pete’s sake.

Let’s all just agree that we won’t try to out-Super Mom each other in the future, okay?

Thursday, August 23, 2012


This is actual post I saw on someone's Facebook account today:

Will I am so existed we finely whent and talk to the paster and seat a day for ower wedding it so cool I was happy excited that he sad lets got talk to the paster a bout it :)

My head hurts just LOOKING at that mess. Pick up a book, America.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Thought for Thursday

"I have sometimes been wildly, despairingly, acutely miserable, racked with sorrow, but through it all I still know quite certainly that just to be alive is a grand thing." -Agatha Christie

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Birthday Party!

So, we successfully threw Agatha her first birthday party. I should say I successfully threw it. Chris helped with cleaning the house (an important step) and blowing up balloons (also important).

There ended up being more people and less room in our house than I anticipated, but it was a good time and everyone had fun. And cake.

Obviously, Agatha did not really know what was going on but there were plenty of little people for her to play with (children, not dwarves). So, I think she had a good time. She got tired of sitting on my lap during present opening, but she was a trooper. Does anyone like opening presents in front of dozens of people? I certainly don't.

Anyway, I spent a lot of time putting little details for the party together and wanted to share them here. I didn't really have a theme for the party, just a color scheme in mind from an image I saw on Pinterest. So, I tried to stick with orange, pink and yellow hues for the party. They just felt summery and fresh to me. And bonus - Target had a whole line of cheap dishes and serving ware in these shades this summer. I only ended up buying one thing, but it fit in well.

 Chris and stayed up late blowing up balloons and fashioning them into large banners. We made one for the outside and one for the inside. It stopped raining about 20 minutes before the party started, so I was writing this birthday message on the sidewalk as some guests arrived. "Goose" is our nickname for Agatha, and I hadn't even realized I was writing it until I finished. We call her that about 75% of the time.
 This picture did not turn out very well, but these garlands were the inspiration for the color palette of the party. I used food coloring to dye paper doilies and used double stick tape to affix them to ribbon, then hung. They looked really cute in person.

 I was so nervous about decorating the cake. I had seen a watercolor effect frosted cake online and decided I wanted to try. A few days before the party, I made a mini cake using a tin can and practiced on that. It turned out pretty well, so I felt a little more confident about decorating the big cake. I like the way it turned out. The cake was a three layer dark chocolate with buttercream frosting. Yum. I also sewed the bunting myself, using fabrics from the neighborhood sewing shop, Sewtropolis.
You gotta have forks to eat cake, right? I bought these bamboo forks online and dyed them using food coloring. It was so easy, as only the bottoms of the forks needed to be immersed in liquid, and then it traveled up using capillary action. They all turned out different. It was a nice little touch that maybe didn't get noticed, but I liked it.
I stole the paint chip banner idea from Lara at A Girl Named Carrots (which you should read, for realz). Easy peasy project that got lots of compliments. It was fun to see her grow up month by month. I also used additional paint chips to make another banner, but that didn't photograph well. I just used a circle cutter to cut out circles (duh) and sewed them together in a banner and hung.

Flowers from the local flower shop, Spruce. The orange and pink snapdragons were my favorite, but I wanted a mix of a lot of different ones. I stuck them in some mason jars and called it a day.

 Here's the happy family. The second balloon banner is in the background and Agatha is wearing a birthday hat I made her using one of the fabrics from the cake bunting, a Cheerios box, a yarn pom pom and a headband. My plan is to make her a new hat every year until she starts protesting. I want to keep them all for her. Sniff.
And finally, I just wanted to give a shout out to Chris' brother, Jeremy, for making this beautiful quilt for Agatha. He had each of Chris' siblings, their spouses, and his parents sew one of the Sunbonnet Sue silhouettes and choose a book that was meaningful to them. You can't see it in the picture, but each girl is holding a book (actual images of the book covers on fabric) and has the maker's signature underneath. Then he stitched it all together, with amazing detail (the font on the book in the middle is the same font used on her birth announcement! The toile fabric is Mother Goose!). And each family member also gave Agatha a copy of the book they chose and included beautiful inscriptions to her on the inside covers. It was so touching and amazing.We're big on books around here, in case you didn't know. We got married in a library, after all.

I definitely won't be doing this big of a party every year, but for her first birthday (we made it!) I wanted to do something special.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

On my plate

Here's what I've been making over an over again lately:

For lunch (when I am at home), I love Swistle's simple salad recipe.
1/3 of a turkey kielbasa, cut into half moons and warmed in frying pan
1/2 bag of spring green mix
Yellow pepper rings and yellow pepper ring brine, to taste
I also add olive oil, salt and pepper, to taste
Just mix it all together and enjoy. So fast, so filling!

I have been making the Spicy Roasted Broccolini Quinoa Salad from Design Sponge at least once a week for the last six months. Seriously, guys. You have to try it. The only bad part is I can never find the quinoa or broccolini at Target, so I always have to make a side trip to Kowalski's.
 Photo courtesy of Design Sponge

For a fun treat, I recently made these Avocado and Pear Pops I spied on Pinterest. They were super easy to make and Agatha nommed the whole thing down in minutes. What an awesome way to get her some much needed healthy fats and soothe her sore baby gums.
Photo courtesy of The Spunky Coconut

What have you been eating lately?

Monday, July 16, 2012

a little of this

The summer has just been flying by. I guess that is what happens when you work full time and have a child. I don't know how those suckers with more than one kid do it.

We have got to do a lot of fun things so far this summer. We went up to the lake place once or twice, and down to Omaha for our annual 4th of July vacation at Chris' parents' house. I love going there. It's all donuts, pool time, Fernando's and relaxation. Maybe a little less relaxation this year than in the past, since I had to make sure Agatha didn't crawl into the pool, but still. Fun was had. I even got to reconnect with an old friend while I was down there. She had a baby boy just a few months after me and came over to have some baby pool time. And I am sorry to say, she was in a bikini. And looked awesome. I was ashamed of my pale, doughy sad sack body.

But that experience has pushed me to start actually working out again. I am running, and took a kettlebells class that I think I will start attending regularly. I do enjoy exercising,I just lack the motivation to do it. And since I am back to my pre-pregnancy weight, I never really thought I needed to. But the reality is, my pre-pregnancy weight is still about 20 pounds over my wedding weight, and about 13 pounds over my "ideal" weight. So, on the elliptical machine it is.

Another fun thing we did in Omaha was go to the Henry Doorly zoo. I hadn't been for a few years, and it was obviously Agatha's first time. I don't know how much she got out of it, although she did pet a goat and eat some animal crackers. The big thing she enjoyed was riding the carousel. Pure joy.

Speaking of Agatha, she is turning ONE in THREE days. I can't believe it. I am so glad I have been keeping a paper journal of the past year for her, because the days have gone so quickly. Every day we are amazed at what an awesome daughter we were blessed with and every day she somehow gets better and better. Oh!

Party planning is under way. I will hopefully post some pictures after the big shindig this weekend. I admittedly am going a little crazy with decorations. It is a family and a few friends, so I don't know who I think I am going to impress.  

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Sunday, March 4, 2012


Life with a baby certainly leaves you with little to no spare time. Especially if said baby does not like to go to sleep until 11:00 PM. (Or if new parents are too tired to recognize that baby is ALSO tired and would like to be PUT TO BED now, Please.)

Luckily, we have recently overcome that problem and now everyone is getting more sleep. Thank you.

I am excited for Agatha's First Plane Ride at the end of March, also, I am nervous. In general, she is a very calm, easy baby ,but recently she has been a little grumpy and harder to please. I keep saying I think she is teething, but no teeth have appeared. So I hope she is well behaved on the flight. I will be sure to pack my magic boobs to calm her. (They're just my regular boobs. Heh, boobs.)

In ADULT news, Chris got a new job (Yay!) and is no longer a record store employee. His level of stress has been greatly reduced and our household level of happiness has greatly increased.

I got a promotion at work, and things are going good there. I still spend a seemingly large portion of my day walking back and forth to the mothers' room to pump, but it is important to me, so I don't mind. I have pumped over 1000 ounces to date.

Now that Agatha is almost 8 months old, we have started to talk about having another baby. I am so so so so in love with Agatha and I know I would love another baby just as much, but it is a hard decision. Well, not really a hard decision, because I am sure we will try. But it is a scary decision because one kid is a lot of work - is TWO kids TWICE as much work? I hope not.

A lot of my friends have recently bought houses and I am very jealous. I love our house, I just wish we would have bought our forever home, instead of a started home. If we do have two kids, they will have to share a tiny room for several years. Then I assume we would try to sell our house, but if that didn't work, we would have to figure something else out. Why am I stressing out about a possible scenario YEARS in the future? Because that is what I do. For now, I just window shop houses online.