Monday, January 27, 2014

5 Months Old!

Bud,

You're 5 months old!

5 Months

I seriously cannot believe it has been this long. When people ask how old you are and I respond with 5 months they're shocked. They expect me to say 3. 5 months to me is almost 6 months and 6 months means you might as well be a year old, that's just how fast time has gone by.

This month brought us so much change. You grew so much and have learned so much. It was a tough one because you were learning so much and therefore not sleeping. While I miss my teeny tiny baby I do enjoy that you sleep more now. You're weighing in around 17 pounds and are 28 inches long. You're wearing 6 month clothes and I won't be surprised if you're out of the footed jammies soon. You're also wearing a size 3 diapers. You are such a big boy.

Just when I thought you were never going to roll, and I'd have to write another update about you almost being able to roll, you started rolling back to front and front to back all like, "no big deal mom! I've got this! I don't know what the big deal was."

5 Months

You're almost sitting up on your own. We can leave you propped up in some places, but other times you do this really low lean when you're sitting and you're able to hold your balance.

You are also grabbing everything you can possibly get your chubby little hands on. If it's near you you will grab it. You've gotten really good and seeing something and reaching for it, but you're still a little surprised when it's not there anymore. You haven't really realized that you're the one that is letting go.

If you are able to pick something up it immediately goes into your mouth. I'm sure I'm going to have to be more careful about where I put you in case you grab something that shouldn't go in your mouth. Daddy says it's like you're trying to figure out your world with all five senses. That's why you've got to taste everything!

You love playing on your play mat, but your favorite thing is your bouncer you got at Christmas. You can't really bounce in it yet, but you love playing with all the toys and making the light buttons light up and play music. You'll laugh at it and yes, you'll even try to put the buttons in your mouth.

5 Months

You think it's hilarious when we make faces at you. You'll sometimes mimic us back, but mostly you just giggle and laugh at as. You also have this little high pitched coo that you do. I often call you little dove because that's what you sound like. When you really get going you'll coo back at us. It's so much fun to watch you try to talk to us and figure out how to make sounds.

You still love when we blow raspberries on you. It can be on your cheek, on your belly, it doesn't matter. It will always get a laugh and a smile from you. You also still love to stand and for us to play superman with you. You're getting so heavy I'm going to have to start working out so I can hold you up!

You're also able to kind of scoot yourself around a bit. I'll lay you down one way only to find that you were somehow able to turn yourself sideways. You do it a lot at night when you're sleeping. I've even found you trying to pull yourself into our bed a few times.

You figured out how to grab your feet this month and it's probably one of your favorite things to do. You'll roll up in your car seat, on the changing pad, in your bouncer, on the floor, you pretty much try to do it anywhere. It makes diaper changes a little difficult or changing your clothes, but you think it's all just great fun. I can't wait until it's warmer so I don't have to worry about you pulling your socks off all the time!

Love you Bud.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Breastfeeding and Going Back to Work

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I dreaded going back to work. You can read about it here. A month and a half later I can tell you it has gotten a little easier, but just a bit. My friend Sarah wrote an awesome post to a friend when she went back to work and it helped a lot (and will probably make you cry, but I didn't need much help with the whole crying thing).

As I prepped to go back to work I hung out at my daycare. I played with my baby and got to watch how the teachers interacted with the kids. I recommend going at least twice and if you can do it around drop off and pick up times so you can see how these are handled. It really helped me to see all the babies need all the things at once. I felt so much better about leaving my baby in their care after witnessing that.

Your daycare may be different, but one thing that helped was that mine takes frozen milk. I found during my search that a lot don't. I don't take a lot of frozen, usually just one feeding. The rest is fresh that I pumped the day before. I just fill up a big bottle (or two) and take that each day. I then freeze whatever was left over.

This is totally up to how comfortable you are - there can be milk wastage. You worked HARD for that liquid gold! My daycare's policy is to toss after 1 hour. Sometimes Bud doesn't drink a whole 4 ounces (that's about what he eats right now at 4 months), but they have to toss after an hour. Sometimes that's 2 or more ounces down the drain! I provided them with information from KellyMom to back up my request for them to hold it. What's great about the info provided here is that there are almost several to choose from - just highlight the section you're comfortable with and print out that selection. Because my milk is fresh I'm even more ok with it. You need to decide on your own, watch the milk handling at the facility, know how you're handling your milk, is baby healthy, etc. Again, it's all what you're comfortable with as most milk storage guidelines tell you to toss unfinished milk.

I've been asked a few times about what I took to daycare that first day. I recommend taking all the supplies the week before if you can so that all you have to worry about the day of is milk, bottles, baby. Be sure to label everything with a sharpie and for bottles I bought these. They have REALLY held up.
  • 2 extra pairs of clothes in a ziploc with his name on it
  • Diaper Rash Cream - big fans of Earth Mama Angel Baby though we didn't have to use it until he started day care
  • Wipes
  • Diapers (I just take a sleeve of them)
  • Boogie Wipes
  • Kleenex (they'll use your good ones as opposed to the rough industrial type ones)
  • Gas Drops
  • Infant Saline and a Bulb - this was a recent addition due to allergy season. Again it's another "are you ok with them sucking boogers from your kid's nose?" They also required that the saline say Infant on it
  • Bottles - I take a ton at once and replenish as needed
  • Pacifiers if your kid takes them - my daycare only gives them for sleep
Pumping while at work. Ugh. It does become a drag. Be sure to get a good quality pump because it'll be your best friend. Insurance is required to provide you a pump for free so check with your insurance company. I have heard that Tricare does not (grandfathered plan) and some will only do a manual. I of course have no first hand experience or knowledge so please correct me if I am wrong. If yours only does a manual find out about purchasing it under your durable medical equipment plan. Sometimes there are loopholes and you'll probably get different answers from different people so take notes when you call.

The HR person in me also wants to let you know that your employer is required to give you breaks to express milk in a private space that is not a bathroom. NOT A BATHROOM people! Though I personally don't think a storage closet is acceptable either, but the law wasn't written that way. They don't have to pay you (but if they provide paid breaks they sure do or if they expect you to do any kind of work while pumping), and there is no limit to the amount of breaks you may take. There are some very rare instances in which a company may not be required under the law, but even then hopefully your boss is a decent human being and will allow you to pump. Or just keep talking about breast pain and engorgement in front of the men in the office. In case you don't trust my 13 years experience in HR, my PHR certification, or my 2 degrees in this area, here is a lovely print out you can give to your employer and the FAQs from the Department of Labor.

I'm lucky to have my own office with a door that locks. Unfortunately, this door has a giant window so that even when I'm busy and have my door closed people can still see that I'm present. At least this is the BS answer I was given during my first week of employment. I really have no idea why our doors have windows. I covered that giant window with wrapping paper (that now needs to be changed since it is no longer Christmas. I had the front desk laminate a sign for me and it appears 3 times a day on my door.

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I thought I'd be polite with Do Not Disturb, but am thinking of switching to Pumping in Progress, because you'd be surprised the amount of people that want to disturb you.

I keep a supply of gallon ziplocs in my desk. After each pumping session I rinse my pump parts, put them in a bag, and throw them in the fridge. Again, I'm blessed to have a minifridge in my office (my own, not work provided) so my coworkers don't have to find my pump parts in the break room fridge. I've actually thought of switching to a wet bag or something similar to not go through a box of ziplocs a month. Maybe that's an option if you have a community fridge. It just saves you having to wash and dry your pump parts 3 times a day.

Also, the first time you walk to the sink (I have to walk the full length of our building from my office to the break room) with your pump parts in tow it will feel like you're smuggling a tampon half in half out of your pocket or whatever embarrassing thing that may be similar to you. A month in, I don't really care anymore, and I think most of my coworkers are used to seeing me rinsing out my parts by now.

The next best thing you can do for yourself is get a handsfree pumping bra. This is the one I have and I love it. I recommend 2 because halfway though the week you're going to wonder where that sour milk smell is coming from and it's going to be your bra.

I have a big tote bag that I keep my pump, pump parts, little cooler (I transfer to the cooler when I leave. It's great if I need to run errands or something after work), nipple butter, handsfree bra, and breastfeeding cover (in case I have to pump in the car which has happened on occasion). Nothing will make you feel like more of a bag lady than being a working and pumping mom.

I would recommend having a manual pump in your desk in case something happens to your pump or you forget one of the 50 parts that go to your pump. My 2nd day at work my pump suddenly went out, (Ameda customer service is the bomb by the way) and I have forgotten pieces before. Another option is to buy back ups of everything, but sometimes it's more affordable to buy a $20 manual pump.

I'll end this post with my favorite website KellyMom's section on pumping at work. It's full of great info.

What are your tricks to pumping at work?

Monday, January 13, 2014

Evologie Clear Skin Kit Giveaway

Disclosure: I received a sample of Evologie to try. All opinions are my own. 
 
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Monday, January 06, 2014

4 Months Old!

Bud,

You're 4 months old!

4 Months

We're so overdue on this post, but you are such an active, happy little boy who keeps this mommy very busy. Plus you turned 4 months on Christmas Eve and we had a house full of people. You loved your first Christmas though. The tree was one of your favorite things and you could just look at the lights all day.

4 month

This month I went back to work and you started daycare. You know what? We both survived, though you did get the flu your second week there. It was so incredibly hard to leave you and honestly doesn't get any easier. I know you're well cared for and loved, but it still breaks my heart to be away from you all day. I start back full-time next week and it really feels like I'm going back to work all over again. I'm sure we'll survive this as well.

You are getting so big. You're in size 2 diapers, wearing some 3-6 and some 6 month old clothes. You weigh 15 pounds 5 ounces and are 26 1/2 inches tall! That's 98th percentile in height buddy! No doubt you are going to be tall just like mommy and daddy.

4 Months

You're little personality has really come through this month. You smile and laugh all the time, and you're such a happy boy. You usually will greet everyone you meet with a smile. I think because I wear you so often you're used to being at the same level with adults and love to smile and look around. You are also what we call Danger Baby. You love when I play Superman with you or when we "toss" you in the air. (No true tossing just yet, but you like the up and down feeling) You just laugh and laugh when we do this. You also can't get enough of raspberries being blown on your belly. You've even started making the raspberry sound back at us.

You're getting great at sitting up and I know soon you'll be doing it on your own. You're head and neck control are getting so good that we can usually prop you up on something and you do just fine. You still love to stand more than anything though. You're also getting so close to rolling over. You're about three quarters of the way there from back to tummy. You just can't get your big old noggin to go with you. You're about halfway there from tummy to back and you do this really cute thing where you push off with your face.my pure favorite the to do is stand though. You are an upright baby for sure. Considering you were born looking up it doesn't surprise me that you prefer to have the best view to check things out.

4 Months

You have really started to notice more things around you. You have always been a very alert baby though. It's so much fun to see you recognizing things and taking in the world around you. You're getting awesome at grabbing things, and pretty much everything you grab must go into your mouth. You got so upset when I took away a plastic bag you had managed to grab while I was putting together your bouncer. Your favorite thing to play with or to chew on is a burp cloth. You're usually content to just suck on it and toss it around. Getting you dressed and undressed is always a feat because everything that goes near your mouth must go in it. Shirts are great to chew on in your mind.

Bud, I love watching you grown and learn every day. Each day brings something new and different.

Love you Bud.

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