Long-Overdue Update!

It’s been over four months since I last posted on this blog.  Life has been hectic, but I wanted to do an update- even if it’s just for me to read again years from now.

The last time I posted we were in the thick of sleeping troubles with Cora.  We sleep-trained her back in May and she was sleeping through the night most nights.  But then she started teething.  And we took her to Florida.  And she got sick.  And the sleep training went out the window.

We spent several months waking up multiple times every night.  It took 30 minutes- 1 hour to get her to sleep every time she woke up.  She would only fall asleep when nursing which meant Tom couldn’t help me out much.  We were all exhausted.

In November, I randomly connected with a man on Facebook (through a local Facebook family group page) who was completing his sleep-coach training and needed a child Cora’s age to work with.  For free!  We started working with him around Thanksgiving and within a few nights, Cora was sleeping through the night (10-11 hours), or only waking once.  She no longer needs to be nursed to sleep, and she is on a consistent schedule.  Life-changing!

Cora started walking the day before her first birthday.  Once she started, she really took off!  We can’t contain her now!

Photos by Bree Kehler Photography

What I’m Into – September 2016

This post contains affiliate links.  You can see my full disclosure here.

What I'm Into-min

I’m linking up with Leigh Kramer and sharing some of my favorite things this month.

Wearing Clothes That Fit

I’m 9 months postpartum and finally feeling like my body has reached the point where it’s not going to change anymore. That means I can finally buy some clothes that fit. When you add together my fertility treatments, pregnancy, and postpartum, I feel like I’ve been wearing uncomfortable, unflattering clothes for the last two years. I splurged and ordered a Stitch Fix box. I’d had so-so results with the last 3 boxes I ordered, but this one was amazing. I ended up keeping all five pieces! Hopefully I can do a round-up post soon and share what I got.

But I still needed a few more pieces, and I didn’t want to break the bank. My friend suggested Swap.com to me, and I’m so glad I tried it. I got three great tops for under $20 total. I’ll try to do a round-up post for this soon, too.

Zheng Gypsy Tea Chai Tea Sampler

I picked this up at Cost Plus World Market and I’m obsessed. I’m going back to buy another one as soon as I finish the one I have. Each of the teas are soon delicious, and they all pair well with chocolate. I love the little tin, too. I’m going to keep it and re-purposed it. Bonus points that the tea is Fair Trade and organic.

Amazon has it, too.

Baby Einstein You Tube Channel

Before I had kids, I always told myself, “I’ll never use the TV to babysit my kid.” Well, never say never. I want to laugh at my former self for being so naive! Sometimes turning on the TV for a few minutes is the only way I can use the bathroom without CJ screaming or take five minutes to eat a sandwich. I discovered the Baby Einstein You Tube Channel, and if I’m going to let her watch TV, I don’t feel too bad about letting her watch this. They don’t have flashy, high-speed animated videos. Instead, music set to videos of children’s toys and colorful shapes. I’ll put one of the shorter, 5-10 minute videos on, and CJ is mesmerized. It gives me a quick minutes to eat, load the dishwasher, or just have some peace!

Sacred Ordinary Days Podcast

I’m taking a break from all the blogging / business podcasts I’d been obsessed with for the last two years. They were all starting to sound the same to me. I forgot how I found it, but the Sacred Ordinary Days Podcast is like honey to my ears. I love the emphasis on slowing down and incorporating the liturgical calendar into everyday life. Also, I want their planner so bad! Such a brilliant idea.

On my Blogs

On the library blog, I shared some free social media images I made for Library Card Sign-Up Month.

On my infertility blog, I shared a quote and some thoughts about God’s timing.

 

Photo courtesy of UnSplash

Fed is Best {World Breastfeeding Week}

This post originally appeared as a guest post on Minimalist Nutrition as part of a World Breastfeeding Week series, but is no longer available there.  

“I just wanted to let you know that what you’re doing is beautiful and courageous if anyone ever gives you a hard time for doing it in public, you shouldn’t let them,” our waiter declared.

I smiled awkwardly and said, “Thanks,” as the young man placed my food on the table in front of me.

He continued on, “I mean, I just don’t understand why people get so upset. It’s only natural and it’s beautiful. I hope no one ever makes a big deal about it to you.”

I was sitting in the back of the restaurant, facing a wall, and nursing my daughter while using a cover. I’m pretty sure no one had even noticed I was doing it before our server loudly proclaimed his approval. He didn’t seem to notice the irony of the fact that he was making a big deal out of it.

Don’t get me wrong. I appreciated the kindness he was trying to show me. I agree that breastfeeding is natural and beautiful. I believe women should be able to nurse in public (without covers, if they so choose) shame-free. I follow people whose social media posts are peppered with tags like #normalizebreastfeeding and #breastfeedingisbeautiful. I’m proud of the fact that I’ve been able to exclusively nurse my daughter for over seven months now.

But I’m also friends with women who, for various reasons, have been unable to nurse their babies. Some have medical conditions that left them with an inadequate milk supply. Others struggled with babies who never could latch properly. A few have had to bottle-feed because the medication they require for their own physical or mental health could be harmful to their baby when passed on in breastmilk. The sadness they feel at not being able to nurse has only been compounded by the guilt our “breast is best” society has placed upon them.

Would the server have gushed about how beautiful and courageous I was for feeding my child in public if I had been using a bottle? I doubt it.

Many of my bottle-feeding friends have shed tears over not being able to breastfeed. Some endured weeks or months of painful, futile attempts to do so. They’re spent a lot of money and countless time on visits to doulas, doctors, and lactation consultants. They’ve been lectured and guilt-tripped by their pediatricians, their families, strangers in the grocery store, and strangers on the internet. But ultimately, it came down to the fact that if they wanted their child to eat they needed to bottle-feed.

Don’t these mothers deserve our applause and support, too? Aren’t they just as courageous (or even more so) as those of us who nurse?

After all, it seems to me that feeding your child by whatever means necessary is the most natural thing for a mother to do.

So let’s continue to advocate for breastfeeding rights and normalization. But let’s also advocate for the mothers who bottle-feed, both by necessity or by choice. As long as our babies are well-fed and well-loved, that’s really all that matters.

#normalizeallfeeding #ALLfeedingisbeautiful

8 Items to Make Breastfeeding More Convenient

This post contains affiliate links. You can see my full disclosure here.

breastfeeding more convenient

Before CJ was born, I naively thought breastfeeding meant blissful hours of holding my baby in my arms and easily feeding her. The truth is that it took a few weeks to get the hang of it. And once I got the hang of it, I was still sore, leaky, and feeling frumpy. Here are a few items I found that made breastfeeding more convenient for me.

An Inexpensive, Non-Wire Nursing Sleep Bra

Before I actually started nursing, I didn’t understand why I’d want to wear a bra at night. It sounded uncomfortable to me. But once my milk came in, I realized I needed the sleep bra to hold the breast pads I had to wear to absorb leaks! (See below). I like this one from Basics Brand at Target.

Breast Pads

How come no one told me about leakage?! I spent the first few weeks with washcloths stuffed in my bra. I finally wised up and bought some Bamboobies breast pads. I use the regular ones during the day and the overnight ones at night.

breastfeeding-more-convenient
Men’s T-Shirts

Even with the breast pads, I still experience the occasional leaks at night and during the day. I bought a package of men’s moisture-wicking T-shirts to wear at night and around the house during the day. They’re roomier than women’s shirts and I don’t have to worry about my favorite women’s shirt fading from multiple washings.

Nipple Shells

I had no idea these existed until I was researching what to do about raw nipples. I wore these Medela Soft Shells for a few days and they really helped. Make sure you read the directions because there are a few instances where they’re not recommended.


Button-Down Shirts

My daughter was born in December, so I the first few months nursing in cold weather. I hated having to lift my shirt and expose my back and stomach in order to nurse. I had a nursing T-shirt and a nursing sweatshirt, but they were expensive! Then I realized that wearing a nursing tank with a button-down shirt would allow me to keep my stomach and back covered. If you’re on a budget, ThredUp is a great place to buy inexpensive button-downs.

Easy-Open Water Bottle

Breastfeeding makes me thirsty. All the time. I like to keep water by the chair where I nurse. It’s a good idea to get a water bottle that can be opened with one hand. You don’t want to have to let go of your baby to open your water bottle.

breastfeeding-more-convenient
Nursing Pillow

Some people can feed their babies simply by holding them in their arms. Not me. I was blessed with a C-section and a nearly 10-pound baby. It was impossible for me to place her on my stomach or hold her very long. I have both the Boppy and The Brest Friend and could not have breastfed without them.

breastfeeding-more-convenient

Nursing Supply Box / Bin

It’s a good idea to have a bin, box, or small bag to corral all the supplies you might need while nursing- especially during the early days when feeds can last a long time. I use a small canvas bin to hold items like the TV remote, lip balm, granola bars, my breast pads, burp cloths, and water bottle.

What items made nursing more convenient for you?  Feel free to share in the comments below.

Photo courtesy of Pixabay. This post is linked up at Imparting Grace // Shine Blog Hop // Hearts for Home

What I’m Into {April 2016}

This post contains affiliate links. You can see my full disclaimer here.

what-im-into-april-2016
Each month I link up with Leigh Kramer to share some of my favorite things and what I’ve been into this past month. Enjoy!

Read & Reading

I still haven’t been able to get much reading in. It requires two hands to hold a Kindle or book, and my hands are pretty full these days! I have been able to get about halfway through Michael Hyatt’s Living Forward by listening to the audio book.  I love its message that you don’t get to where you want to go in life my drifting.  You have to be intentional.

TV

  • Twinsters.  I watched documentary this on Netflix a few weeks ago and was captivated by it. It’s the true story of identical twin sisters, separated at birth and adopted by different families. They grew up without knowing the other existed and discovered each other randomly via YouTube. It’s an unbelievable and extremely endearing story.
  • Grand Hotel. Think Downtown Abbey meets murder mystery. En español. I’m slowly working my way through the series and quite proud of myself for not turning on the English subtitles. (I do turn on the Spanish subtitles, though!)
  • Long Lost Family.  This is a show for research geeks like me. It helps adoptees find their biological families. Love it!

Things I Love

  • My S’well water bottle.   Breastfeeding has made me extremely thirsty, all the time. So I don’t go anywhere without my S’well bottle. It keeps cold liquid cold for 12 hours- even when you leave it in the hot car!
  • Burt’s Bees Squeezeable Lip Balm.  I’ve been using Burt’s Bees Lip Balm almost exclusively for fifteen years.  I LOOOOVE the new squeezeable format because now I can keep a tube in the car without it worrying about melting and causing a mess!


On My Blog

I wrote a piece about infertility awareness in the Church for National Infertility Awareness Week.

niaw-start-asking-church

 

 

What I'm Into

Photo courtesy of UnSplash