Thursday, August 22, 2013

Countdown to THREE! {A look back}

In a month my first baby will officially lose her toddler status.

Where in the heck has the time gone? 

{August 2010} 34 weeks pregnant with Leila 

{September 2010} 1 week old

{September 2011} 1 year old

{September 2012} 2 years old

{August 2013} Almost 3 years old

The countdown to THREE has officially begun...

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

The numbers are in! {Carson's weight update}

All of my hard work has paid off. Carson gained a pound in the past nine days!

Gained like a champ this week! 
After discovering Carson had close to seven weeks with very little weight gain, we started offering him a bottle after each nursing session. On average he has been drinking an additional 15 ounces in addition to nursing 5-6 times in a 24 hour period. That's a lot! It sure made me wonder how much he is getting when he nurses.

Today I took him to a breastfeeding support group for his weigh in. At these meetings you weigh your baby naked, then with clothes and a diaper. After nursing you weigh in again to see about how many ounces your baby drank. Today, after relentlessly boosting my supply, Carson drank 4.2 ounces. Certainly not enough for this growing boy!

So what does that mean? Today's weigh in proved he CAN gain weight (and quickly!). It also means he still needs to be offered a bottle after nursing. More personally, it means I have to decide if I am going to continue pumping 4 times a day. Oh wait...I already decided I'm not.

I will continue to pump on a schedule (in the morning and before I go to bed) to get as much milk as I can. I cannot be hooked to a pump any more than that. Besides the fact that it is just about the worst thing ever, I am pumping out milk that Carson could be drinking from the source a couple hours later.

Want to know the BEST THING EVER?! I am leaving tomorrow for a weekend away with some girlfriends. Couldn't have come at a better time. Good-bye stress, hello champagne! Feels good already.

Friday, August 16, 2013

The Great List {8.16.13}

This week flew by! With the Carson-lack-of-weight-gain ordeal it was more difficult to write this list than most weeks, BUT these are the kind of weeks I need this list the most!

It wasn't all bad, or bad at all, really.

1. I have been waiting for Leila to be ready for board games! We tried playing Candy Land twice so far and she lasted a total of 10 minutes each time. It's a start! She likes to choose which card she gets and doesn't quite understand how to follow the "road". She did great with taking turns though! It will only get better from here.

2. Carson has been only waking up one time at night since we started supplementing after nursing sessions. Awesome for me, I love to sleep!

3. We celebrated my mother in law's birthday on Sunday at a new restaurant by the harbor. Everything about the experience was enjoyable. It's going to be great having her live on this coast.

4. Leila and I had a pool day today while Jeff was home with Carson. She played in the kiddie pool with her friends while I got to sit in the sun and relax. What a way to kick off the weekend!

Not a bad week! Looking forward to dinner plans tomorrow night and just relaxing with the family.
Come back each week for my newest list and don't forget to check out Betsy's list each week too.  Warning...positive thinking is addicting!

Want to write your own list?  

Just grab the button, add it to your post, and come back to tell us about it.

Share some joy...


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Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Numbers don't lie {Carson's weight update}

Two weeks ago I found out that Carson (4.5 months old) was not even on the charts for his weight. After spending the last two weeks boosting my supply Carson has gained only 1.5 ounces, and for perspective's sake, only 7 ounces in the last 7 weeks.

Weight gain FAIL. 

Those numbers don't lie...but Carson's charming personality, gummy grim, and the fact that he's meeting all of his milestones, makes me wonder about those numbers.

Everyone who meets him thinks he looks as healthy as can be. One of my friends was surprised he was as slim as I said he was. Another said he looked heavier after just a few days of diligently boosting my supply. (I have very nice friends!) Today at our play date I expressed the concerns with Carson's weight gain and it seemed half of the parents had the same issue with their own child or knew someone who did. This was very reassuring!  

We do have a new plan to prove that he CAN gain weight. In addition to keeping up with the fenugreek and pumping, I will offer Carson a bottle after each nursing session. Breast milk until my freezer stash dwindles, then breast milk mixed with formula to eventually transition his tummy to formula bottles.  

Even with all the reassurance I have gotten from parents, I still can't help but wonder why my milk isn't helping Carson pack on the pounds. Unlike my nursing experience with Leila, nursing Carson has been a breeze.

Carson's next "weigh in" is Wednesday the 21st. I am trying not to go there with the "what ifs..." but of course I have a plan just in case.

The best words of assurance I have received thus far, "You will tackle this challenge like you do every other in your life." I told you I have awesome friends!

Care to share your tiny baby stories and what worked for you?

Monday, August 12, 2013

A successful first haircut

A month before her third birthday, Leila finally had enough hair to warrant her first haircut. (Remember when I cut her femullet? That doesn't count.)

Look at all that hair on the black cover!
Leila's curly wings were out-of-control and needed a professional's attention. I've seen way too many photos of kids crying in the chair as their hair is getting cut for the first time. I knew I had to prepare Leila in order for a smooth and successful haircut. 

Because I also needed a haircut, I chose to take her to my hair stylist instead of a kid's salon. I scheduled my cut right before Leila's so she could watch how it was done and what was expected of her.

The day before Leila's scheduled haircut we practiced and talked about how Rachel would spray her hair and use the comb and scissors. I also prepared her by giving her an arm tattoo, just like Rachel, and I showed her pictures from Rachel's Facebook page. By the time Leila met Rachel she hugged her like they were old friends!

All of our preparations worked! Their were no tears, no struggles, and no fears. Leila was excited about her haircut because we made it a big and exciting deal (and the ice cream bribe didn't hurt either!).

Seriously adorable! I am surprised at what a difference the haircut makes. She looks older with all those thin baby wisps gone.

My dream of Leila wearing pigtails at her third birthday isn't happening. Someday...

 How was your child's first haircut experience? 

Friday, August 9, 2013

The BIRTHDAY Great List [8.09.13}

This week was especially great because it was my BIRTHDAY! I have always loved celebrating my birthday, actually any birthday, I don't discriminate. But this year's number was BIG. Something about thirty-six seems so much scarier than thirty-five. Thirty-five was a novelty, thirty-six is just old.

The positive side is that I am happy to have lived 36 years, and plan on living many more great ones. This week's Great List is dedicated to sharing all the great things I did with my family and friends that helped make thirty-six a whole lot easier to welcome.

Sea World trip with my favorite girl. Not really birthday related, but still great to have some time with just Leila this week.
1. I started my birthday celebration with a trip to the mall to get my free Sephora birthday gift. This year one of the items was my favorite mascara from Benefit (They're Real!). Score!

2. Lauren surprised me by treating me (and Leila) to a pre-birthday dinner at California Pizza Kitchen after our shopping trip. During my pregnancy with Carson I wanted a Mojito so badly. I kicked off my birthday celebration with a drink that I haven't had in over a year.

3. Running is one of my favorite hobbies, but finding time to run isn't easy. After sleeping in a bit, (thanks, Jeff!) my sister and I went for run. I love that I can knock out three miles again now just 5ish months after having Carson. This exercise turned out to be more than necessary (see below).

4. Betsy always makes dessert for all our birthday celebrations. This year I got two varieties...the best Lemon Squares she's ever made, and a classic favorite, Coconut cookies. To top it off, Amy's dad made me my very own batch of his Almond Crescent cookies. When Amy and I were roommates I would ask her to hide these cookies from me because I can easily eat fifteen (don't judge) in one sitting (okay, standing).

5. Jeff and I decided not to exchange birthday gifts this year but I did get the gift of ME time. I spent three hours at the pool with my girlfriends. No kids, no strange Ergo tan lines, lots of champagne. Best gift ever.

6. I had one too many glasses of wine with a group of my mom-friends that evening at the Catamaran Hotel and Spa. I love that Lauren celebrated with me like it was her birthday too!

7. To end the BIG 3-6 celebration, Jeff and I went to Rocky's for dinner date on Monday night. I chose Rocky's for the beer and burgers, but mostly because it's a bar that we can't go to with the kids.

What a great birthday! 

Thirty-six, get your fix. Thirty-six, get in the mix. Thirty-six, take some pics. I need good  rhyme for this year...  

Come back each week for my newest list and don't forget to check out Betsy's list each week too.  Warning...positive thinking is addicting!

Want to write your own list?  

Just grab the button, add it to your post, and come back to tell us about it.

Share some joy...


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Thursday, August 1, 2013

Boosting my supply...again

We went to Carson's four month doctor appointment this week. I was very anxious to get his stats.  There's something exciting about learning how big and tall your child is and where they fall on the growth chart!

I knew Carson was a tiny guy, but can see him growing out of his clothes. I see him meeting milestones like rolling over, laughing, consolidating his sleep, etc. I was aware that he is much smaller than other babies his age, but really had no reason to be worried. 

Until now.

Carson IS growing...he has grown 3 inches (25 1/4 inches = 37%) in the past two months and his head continues to grow at an average rate too.  But his weight is low, like not-even-on-the-growth-chart low. At four months and 2 weeks old, Carson weighs under 12 pounds, 11 lbs 14 oz to be exact. Slim boy!

Having a tiny baby is not new to me. At four months old, Leila was 10 lbs 15 oz, although unlike Carson, actually made it on the growth chart. Barely. I was working full time at this point in Leila's life and not able to pump enough breast milk for her while I was at work. She started on formula, in addition to my milk, at the four month mark. By seven months our breastfeeding days were over and she had formula until she was one. She gained weight rapidly after being on formula. By ten months she weighed 19 lbs and was in the 50th percentile on the weight growth chart. Two years later...she only weighs 26 lbs. Slim girl!

Jeff and I make tiny children. That is a fact. Carson is showing the same growing patterns as Leila did this early in life. So on one hand, logic tells me not to worry, he will gain weight on his own time. On the other hand, I cannot help but wonder if there is another issue.

Can being TOO happy be an issue?
The nurse practitioner Carson saw on Monday (who also happens to be a certified lactation consultant) recommended that I supplement with formula or find a breast milk donor. Ummm, no and no. I made it clear that I wanted to continue exclusively breastfeeding Carson for as long as possible. She was on board, shared the story of her own slim son, and made some recommendations on how I could boost my milk supply.

So that's where we are today, working on boosting my supply. I am taking fenugreek and blessed thistle to increase my milk. I am feeling confident this will work after our earlier experience with no weight gain (from five days old until two weeks old) was successful. In addition, I am pumping between most feedings and storing it for a later time. (For some reason she doesn't want me to feed it to him.) I was also directed to eat oatmeal two times a day. I have taken it upon myself to make Betsylife's No Bake Peanut Butter Energy Bites and Milkin' Mamas Lactation Cookies. Both are delicious and have milk boosting ingredients.

I made a few changes to the cookie recipe. Comment if you want to know more!
We have a follow-up weight check on Monday, August 12th. Until then I am doing my best to boost my supply. I am not naive to the fact that I may have to supplement, but at this point I am taking it one recommendation at a time.

Any recommendations for boosting my milk supply?
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