Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Mmmmmmm..... cookies

I mentioned in my previous post that I had hit my 200 ounces of milk goal this past weekend. I'm pretty excited about that.  It's going to be nice to know that I have an emergency reserve in case something happens and my supply takes a hit. Or if going back to the office and having to pump instead of nurse hurts it.  I did a couple trial runs with the frozen milk and Elliot never batted an eye, so I am hoping that means when the time comes he will drink it with no problems (unlike Andrew who staunchly refused any previously frozen milk - my first hint that he'd be the picky eater he is today!).

I haven't had any supply worries yet, but I have already been taking measures to make sure that doesn't happen. I've been drinking Mother's Milk Tea on a regular basis and recently I've tried some different recipes for lactation cookies. My first go at making them didn't pan out too well. They were really dry and way too malty tasting.  I still ate them because I refused to waste any ingredients since that stuff isn't exactly cheap (especially when you go to Whole Foods).  My second batch was much better. I used a different recipe and made a couple tweaks to it. These once were much less dry and not as malty.

My third batch has been the best one yet.  I used this recipe, but made a couple changes.

Instead of 1 cup butter I used 1/2 cup coconut oil and 1/2 cut unsweetened applesauce
I used 1/2 cup sugar instead of 1 cup
I used 4 tablespoons of flax instead of 2
I used 4 tablespoons brewers yeast
I added a teaspoon of cinnamon
I used steel cut oats in mine (the recipe doesn't specify what to use)
I added in a heaping spoonful of almond butter and one of peanut butter
I used mini chocolate chips and a big handful of white chocolate chips

These ones are delicious. They are nice and moist and to me don't taste malty at all, even though I used the max amount of brewers yeast that the recipe calls for. I made about 4 dozen, but could have made more if I didn't make some of them so big.

I think they are helping because I have been able to easily pump and extra 5-10 oz per day. I've even leaked a couple times recently, which hasn't happened since the very beginning.  I'm hoping that they will help me continue to be able to pump plenty starting next week when I'm back at the office.  I know Elliot's appetite is only going to continue to increase so I'm going to have my work cut out for me. At least I have something delicious to help me out!

Monday, November 25, 2013

3 Months

Wow. That went by in the blink of an eye.

Elliot turned 3 months yesterday even though I swear it was just a few days ago that we brought him home from the hospital.  And this is my last week of being home with him before I return to the office starting next Monday.  I stupidly thought it would be easier this time. That since I've gotten used to dropping Andrew off every morning that it wouldn't bother me as much to hand Elliot off, too.

Yeah, I was wrong.

Every time I am rocking him to put him down for his nap I can't help but think about how I won't get to do that next week.  How it will be Andrea who gets to hear is adorable baby gurgles and see his sweet smile all day. How I won't get to watch him playing on the playmat or chewing his little hands while grinning at me.

Every time I think about these things I tear up.  I know he will be in good hands. Andrea and Marc have done a phenomenal job with Andrew- he's learned so much and is so smart.  Even though I am completely confident that he will be well taken care of, it doesn't make it any easier.


I love these kids so much that it hurts sometimes.  My fears of not being able to love Elliot as much as Andrew have been completely unfounded.  He is a sweet baby and I can't help but smile every time I look at his chubby little cheeks. He's definitely a different baby than Andrew was, though. Andrew was pretty laid back about bedtime, but Elliot demands to be put to bed by 8:00.  Andrew was sleeping 11-12 hours at night consistently at this point, but Elliot's nighttime sleep ranges from 6 to 11 hours on any given night.  I think Andrew was a fussier baby than Elliot is, though.  As long as he isn't tired or hungry he is a pretty laid back baby.  He's also a very patient baby:

This weekend Andrew was trying to pick him up and said he wanted to hold him.  The look on Elliot's face in that video is priceless and I crack up every time I watch it.  It makes me look forward to when he is bigger and able to actually play with Andrew (but I don't want that day to come too soon - I need him to be my baby a while longer).

I don't know how big Elliot is since he hasn't been to the pedi in a month, but he's definitely filling out.  I have absolutely no fears about him not growing - he's plumped up nicely.  He's mostly wearing 3 month or 3-6 month clothes. I had to buy some more long sleeved onesies since he is the opposite season as Andrew so I didn't have many.  He's been living in little footie sleepers the last few weeks.  I'm not sure how much he eats when he nurses, but he will eat a 5 oz bottle before bedtime most nights.  Oh, and I hit my goal of 200 oz in the freezer yesterday, so I'm pretty happy about that.

As for me, I'm not shrinking, either. I'm holding steady at 10-12 lbs to lose. I have a feeling after I start back to the office it might be a little easier to take some weight off since I won't have constant access to snacks. Plus I'll be walking up and down the stairs there to take my pumped milk all the way down to the fridge downstairs (I am SO not looking forward to pumping at work.  13 weeks down and 39 to go to get to one year).  I've started running some, but my left hip kills me afterward. I don't know if that will go away with time or if my hips are permanently jacked up after pushing out two kids.  Only time will tell.  At least it's cold outside and I don't have to worry about fitting into a swimsuit for another 5 or 6 months.  I just really need to tone up and tighten some stuff up. And I know I won't lose a couple of those pounds until I'm done breastfeeding because those pounds are pretty much right there in my bra.

Ignore my hair, I didn't feel like beautifying myself this morning.

So there we are at 3 months. It's been more amazing than I had even imagined and I know it's only going to get better  :)

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Oh Toddlers...

This past weekend we went and had a mini session with my favorite photographer (Selena Stoney) in the hopes of getting some Christmas card worthy photos.  All week leading up to Saturday I had been asking Andrew if he was going to pose with his baby brother and smile for the camera.  Every time I asked he would nod and say "Yeah!".  He even said this on the way to Selena's house for our session.  I was feeling somewhat confident that he would cooperate and we would breeze right through our sitting.

Um, yeah. Not so much.

As soon as she got Elliot positioned and we asked Andrew to sit by him he starting whining "No!" and putting up a fuss.  Awesome.

We finally got him to sit by Elliot (somewhat) willingly, but then when we asked him to smile we got this:

or this:

Eventually we got a little bit of a real smile out of him - of course not looking at the camera:

She moved on to trying to get some pictures of just Andrew.  I was in the background begging him to cooperate and smile.  She was trying to entice him with a candy cane, so then of course he wanted the candy cane:

We moved outside to attempt some family shots.  Getting a 2 1/2 year old and an infant to simultaneously look at the camera and look happy was kind of an exercise in futility:

By the end Elliot was done:

I did manage to make a Christmas card with some of the pictures and was happy that we at least got some pictures of all four of us as a family.  My hopes of getting some sweet pictures of Andrew loving on Elliot were kind of dashed, but I did learn one important lesson:

Never trust a toddler.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Another Year Older

You know how when you were a kid you couldn't wait for your birthday to roll around and it seemed to take forever to get here?  Yeah, that's not the case anymore.  They seem to be coming fast and furiously these days.  This past Sunday ticked off yet another one. I'm now officially moving towards the tail end of my 30's.  Damn.

It wasn't a terrible way to mark off growing yet another year older. Saturday J and I got all gussied up and headed out for a nice (kid-free) dinner at O-Ku, a fancy sushi restaurant downtown.  It was nice to be able to eat a meal on our own time and not have to worry about keeping the toddler entertained or rush through trying to finish before the baby woke up. We had some edamame, some delicious sushi rolls, and a yummy green tea cheesecake for dessert. I washed it all down with a couple fruity liquor drinks while sitting back and relaxing.

After finishing up there we headed a few blocks down King Street to a bar to grab a couple beers and watch some football. Back in the day we would have headed out for some dancing or something, but both of us would rather sit and relax some.  We got home close to midnight, I pumped and we headed to bed. Unfortunately I didn't fall asleep until almost 3:00 - what the hell, body???

Fortunately for me, J let me sleep until 9:30 on my birthday.  Then he came upstairs with Andrew bearing a card and gift.  He and the boys got me two more cute charms for my knock-off Pandora bracelet - a cute little frog and a little clam shell (it even opens and has a little pearl inside).  We hung out and played before getting ready for my parents to come down to visit. My dad hadn't seen Elliot since we came home from the hospital so he was excited to see him.  We hung out on the porch for a while watching Andrew play and catching up.  Then we headed out for lunch at a sports bar so we could watch football.  My parents stayed until about 4:30 and then wanted to get on the road so they didn't have to drive the entire way in the dark. I relaxed with all my boys the rest of the day and tried not to be too bummed about hitting 37.

All in all it was a very nice birthday weekend spent with some of my favorite people.    I won't be too sad if 38 takes it's time getting here, though  ;)

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Two and Through

That's where we stand.  We weren't one of those 'one and done' families.  After having Andrew I knew I wanted him to have a sibling so I knew that we would be having another baby.  Of course all throughout my pregnancy with Elliot I was stressing out about being able to love him as much as I love Andrew (I do) and my ability to be a good enough mom to two kids (I hope that I am).

Now that Elliot is here and we are relatively settled into our life as a family of four we are getting the inevitable "Are you going to try for a girl?" question. (Seriously people - Elliot's only 2 months old!)

While I know that J would love a little girl it's just not in the cards.  I do feel a twinge of sadness that he won't get his daddy's girl, but when I look at our boys I feel complete. I don't feel that I am missing out by not having a daughter. That might sound strange, but I've always been a bit of a tomboy.  I just relate better to boys. My mom seemed a little taken aback when I commented about not being sad about not having a daughter - probably because I'm one of three girls and she thought I would want one.

Even though I feel that our family is complete, we didn't want to take any permanent measures just in case.  So this past Tuesday I went in to get my Mirena. I was a little nervous heading into it, but in all honesty it was no worse than an annual exam. Some mild cramping that afternoon, but nothing that even warranted taking some Motrin.  It's a relief to not have to worry about taking a pill every day (I kind of sucked at remembering all the time) and it's such a low dose of progestin that it should have no impact whatsoever on my supply so nursing Elliot should be fine.  It is a little weird knowing there is a little foreign body down there, but it's nice to not have to think about it on a daily basis.

So yeah, I'm 99.999999999% sure that we are two and through.  As it stands, they're a pretty awesome two:

Friday, November 1, 2013

Trick-or-Treating Fun

As I posted about yesterday, Halloween kind of started out with a bang with both kiddos melting down when I put their costumes on them.  I didn't have overly high hopes for trick-or-treating last night based on the morning's fiasco, but we decided to give it a whirl anyway.

J and I got Elliot dressed back in his Robin costume and put him in the stroller so we could walk over to daycare to pick up Andrew. We figured we could just go trick-or-treating on the way home.  When we got there Andrew was in other clothes so we needed to put him back in his pajamas costume so we could go.  When I got out the cape and asked if he wanted to put it on I was pleasantly surprised when he said "Yes!" and turned so I could put it on him.  Excellent!

We got him in the stroller and headed out in search of houses that were giving out candy. It was only 5:30 and still light out so we couldn't just base it on houses with their outside lights on. We took a roundabout route towards our house and stopped at a couple houses where the owners were sitting outside with their candy bowls. For the first couple houses Andrew was very shy. He didn't want to walk up to the people and was hesitant to even hold out his pumpkin.  At one of those houses he got a mini tootsie pop and as soon as he did he held it up to me saying "Open for you!" (He mixes up his pronouns and says 'you' instead of 'me' all the time).  I relented and opened the lollipop for him. He sucked on it pretty much the entire rest of the time that we were out there.

Before we headed home we swung by the neighborhood next to ours because we know there are a lot of kids in that neighborhood so we figured there would be lots of people handing out candy (our own neighborhood is lame and no one bothers to come to it for trick-or-treating).  Once we got into the neighborhood we let him back out of the stroller and headed to the first house.  Pretty soon he started to get the idea and would run up to the next house with his little pumpkin.  I was trying to keep up with him and steer him in the right direction and would walk up to the doors with him.

He would never actually say "Trick or Treat!", but he's shy around people he doesn't know, so I'm not surprised.  Everyone thought he was a cute little Batman, even without his mask.

Going to that neighborhood turned out to be a great idea. Most houses had tables at the end of their driveways where the person was handing out candy. Parents were walking their kids around, many with beers or glasses of wine in their hands (the parents, not the kids).  It was a nice festive atmosphere and Andrew was really enjoying himself.

He did great about walking up to the candy givers and looking cute. If they had tables set up he would normally walk up and put his pumpkin up on the table.

If the person held out the candy bowl to him he never grabbed a handful. He would look at it carefully and then select the one thing he wanted (he apparently has an affinity for lollipops).  It was so much fun and I loved seeing how excited he was getting.

We kept going until almost 7:00 and then decided to head home. Elliot was starting to get riled up (he demands that we start the bedtime routine around 7:00 and last night was no exception).  We headed for home just in time for it to start raining. Luckily it didn't last long and Andrew didn't seem to mind.  We got home, got both kids in the bath, and got them off to bed.  Everyone was tired from the night out so we all wanted to hit the sack. So what started out as a rough morning ended up being a successful Halloween.  I hope you all had a wonderful time as well!