Adelaide Blue Turns 1

This little girl has changed my life and today we celebrate it.

I am so proud to be her mama.
Adelaide Blue Falber
5.28.13
1:52pm
7lbs 12oz 19 1/4in

Happy Birthday Girlfriend!

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I’ll love you forever,
I’ll like you for always,
As long as I’m living,
My baby you’ll be.

I have to share these with you!

Pardon me for a few, but I need to brag on Jaxsyn.

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Jaxsyn built these all by himself on Minecraft. He didn’t have any model to follow, just the pictures in his head. That’s Steve the Minecraft guy and Slender Man the guy who sucks children’s brains. Isn’t he good?!?

I love his imagination!

Memories and Moments

Last night I was watching some old videos of Jaxsyn and I was watching some videos of Adelaide and Jaxsyn together. There was a good chance that I was, in fact, sobbing like a baby at around 11:00pm last night, realizing just how fast time passes. It’s heartbreaking. And it made me feel guilty.

Thankfully, I have been able to stay home with my kids for 2 years now. Even when I was working, I was still able to spend a lot of time with Jaxsyn, but it never seems like I have enough time with them. Ever.

So I started thinking, last night, I started thinking about all the moments that I have taken for granted. All the times I have brushed them off or told them to hold on or “just give me a minute”. It’s a simple enough phrase, but it that simple sentence, I am basically asking for something that is so valuable and so hard for us to get our hands on, but yet, I just casually throw it out to my kids, day after day, sometimes (most times) multiple times a day.

So Jaxsyn says ‘okay’, but what he should say, what he needs to say is, “I can’t do that, mom.” Because he can’t. The minutes we have, the seconds we have are not renewable. They don’t get replenished and when they run out, they’re out for good.

This suddenly became very serious to me. Had I been blowing off too many minutes with my kids? I am busy. I am always very busy. I know a lot of people think that when women choose to stay home that they are choosing the easier life, but being someone who has worked with kids, who has gone to school with kids, I think I can safely tell you that me staying home, no, this is not the easier choice.

It’s hard. It’s demanding. It’s scary. But more than that, it’s rewarding. It’s happiness. It’s love. So I love that I can I stay home, but unfortunately just because I stay home doesn’t mean that all of my focus can be on my kids. There are a lot of days when I can’t seem to catch a break just to sit with them or watch them play. There are days when I don’t get to hold them enough. There are days when, to be honest, I feel like a pretty crappy mother who just can’t do anything right.

And so last night, after sobbing, and thinking and reflecting, I prayed. I prayed that God would give me more patience and more time with my children. I prayed that I would learn to appreciate the little things, and for me not to take anything for granted. I prayed that I would learn to put off the cleaning, the writing, the reading, the sewing, the crafting. I prayed that I would be reminded that they won’t be this little for that long.

I always instantly feel better after praying and so I went to bed with a happy heart and I was okay. Everything would be okay.

So to my surprise this morning, I woke up to a hectic mess. You see, I am a firm believer that God has quite the sense of humor and so this morning when I woke up refreshed and centered, right on track, I was surprised to find that nothing was going as I thought it should be.

I woke up and then saw 4 little eyes peering out at me before I could even get both feet on the ground. I had a to-do list a mile long. The dog was whining. The kids were wanting, and needing, and demanding. The phone was ringing. The coffee was not brewing. I stopped, looked up, and asked, “seriously?”

And then I realized that He was answering my prayer from last night. It may not have been in the form or fashion that I had wanted, but He answered.

Because, you see, life isn’t simple. And it’s not easy. And it’s not routine. There are days when I am going to be busy and things are going to be wild. Things are going to be overwhelming and most times it’s going to be ‘sink or swim’, but even though my morning didn’t begin how I wanted it to, I was thankful for those 4 little eyes peering up at me. I appreciated being able to wake up together. I was grateful that a minute was not wasted this morning by them sleeping. (Touche’ Lord!)

But the most important lesson He taught me today was that there is never ever ever enough time with our kids. This is what makes the time we do have with them so precious. And that’s what makes them so special to us. So while we may not be able to add years, weeks, days, hours, minutes or even seconds to their childhood, we can add memories and moments.

 

Operation: Increase Supply!

I am so mad at myself. Like really, really, really mad at myself.

As a first-time-momma with Jax, I gave up after 2 months, telling myself that I wasn’t producing enough milk and he was always hungry and it seemed like I could never keep him satisfied, not to mention the rest of  life you have to pay attention to besides nursing, and so, the bottle became a good friend.

I told myself that with Adelaide things would be different. This time around I knew better. I knew it was going to be hard and it was going to be time consuming, but I thought that since I stayed at home now, maybe it would be easier. WRONG. So very wrong. Nothing, I repeat, nothing is easier when you have two kids.

At first, I fought hard, I really did, but then Blue had a heart murmur, and a bad case of jaundice and she wasn’t gaining weight and so I fell to the pressure and I began to supplement. I supplemented for about 2 months when I finally decided that I wanted to try and EBF again. And I did for 7 weeks. It was nothing but me sustaining my little girl and I was so proud of myself, but still, she wasn’t gaining a ton of weight and the doctors put pressure back on me to supplement. The husband encouraged me. Everyone encouraged me to supplement. And when I thought about my daughter and the slight chance that she was still hungry and never satisfied, well, I began to see the upside to supplementing, and so I did, again.

At first, I only supplemented when I was unable to nurse, i.e. the car or when grandma and grandpa watched her and I couldn’t pump enough to make sure they weren’t left high and dry. But it seemed as time passed, she got more and more bottles. I wasn’t worried about it though. She was still nursing frequently and all through the night, I had nothing to worry about.

It wasn’t until last week when we went out to dinner on Tuesday that I noticed a problem.

I am a huge fan of pumping in the car and then giving the pumped bottle to Adelaide to tie her over for the car ride. (she loathes riding in the car.) So I began to pump. Nothing was unusual. I felt the same, looked the same, pumped the same. Everything was the same. But when I got done pumping after 15 minutes, I only had about an ounce. Crap. My supply was decreasing.

I’m not ready to stop breastfeeding yet. I am not ready to commit to formula/bottle feeding full time yet. There is something so perfect about nursing your newborn baby and I’m determined to keep going for as long as I can. (Fingers crossed we make it to 1 year!) So now I am in “Get My Supply Back” mode. I am trying anything and everything I can to build my supply back up with the hopes that I will, once again, be able to get rid of formula/bottles completely.

First, I began taking Fenugreek again. I am taking roughly 4500mgs a day, I’ve had good success in the past with Fenugreek, so here’s hoping! I am also beginning to take Brewer’s Yeast and Flaxseed Oil supplements. I’ve read and researched that both aid in increasing milk supply.

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Then I made myself some lactation cookies. I plan on doing an entire blog about lactation cookies because A) I really love baking and B) I really love sweet things and C) I love it when you can fix problems with cookies. However, I plan on doing more than just cookies. I want to make lactation cakes, lactation muffins, lactation cupcakes. Perhaps, if I get good enough with creating lactation treats then I will have my own lactation bakery and I will call it “The Lactation Station” (I will copyright this if it’s not already taken as of today!) But I made my first batch of Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies and they are delicious!

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And what doesn’t go great with cookies, but some Mother’s Milk Tea. I used to hate this stuff, but with enough honey or sugar, it has actually become something that I look forward too. I drink about 3 cups a day with 2 teabags in each cup.

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When I’m not eating sweets, I’ve decided to increase, and by increase I mean, start, eating rolled oats. Oats in the morning. Oats in the afternoon. Oats late at night. I figure that between the oats and the cookies that I should be increasing my calorie intake by 700 calories or so which will also help with my milk supply!

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Next, since I am without a car and can’t really do anything I am having all day/all week/all weekend nursing sessions better known as nursing vacations. She gets it whenever she wants it. Jaxsyn has been very patient with me and my nursing times so I am blessed, but I want to let her know that it’s hers whenever she wants. I also make sure to offer it to her after she eats her other food so she knows it’s available.

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I am only drinking water. Lots and lots of water. For those who know me, you know how important this must be to me for me to give up my coke, but water it is.

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And finally, I keep Adelaide with me or by me as much as possible. Meaning? I wear her everywhere. I wear her when I’m writing a blog, when I’m cleaning the house, when I’m hanging the laundry on the line. I wear her when I eat lunch sometimes. If I’m not wearing her, I’m holding her, I’m laying with her. We have skin to skin time as often as we can. Our bodies are pretty spectacular and so I want my body to remember that I have a baby who is a hungry girl!

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I’ve only been doing these things for a couple days now and while I’m not rushing to any conclusions, I do notice that I have decreased the number of bottles for Adelaide. I am not trying to pump right now because I want my body to know to make milk for my baby, but I already think we are moving in the right direction and I’m excited to see what happens in the next week/month!

How about you guys? Any nursing mama’s out there who have some advice to share!? What about recipes for lactation cookies? I’m all ears!

Slow Down!

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I don’t know what it is about time lately, but it just seems to be going faster and faster. Maybe it only goes faster when you fall in love, or you have kids, or life is good. I don’t know what the reason is, but I hate it.

You guys! I seriously have a 4 1/2 month old now!?! What?!?! How did this happen? One minute I was bringing her home from the hospital and now she’s 4 1/2 months old. She is sitting up, rolling over, eating food. She is getting bigger and bigger each day and I know she won’t be my baby forever because I’ve seen what happens. Don’t even get me started on Jaxsyn. I’m still scratching my head.

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Don’t get me wrong, I love watching my children grow up. Jaxsyn is always telling me how he can’t wait to get “big and strong” and how he wants me to be old so he can do whatever he wants. (Ultimately he means buy things and cross the street on his own.) But it breaks my heart because I know this won’t last forever, I won’t last forever.

Not to get all ‘Debbie Downer’ but as parents there is so much that we are going to miss out on once our kids do get older. I hate that too. But with our busy lives and our constant going and doing and being, I know that I’ve missed out on a lot already and I enough is enough, I’m ready to slow down.

It’s hard to really appreciate every single moment with your kids. I know after having Adelaide and trying to watch her do things that I’m constantly telling Jaxsyn to hold on or give mommy a minute and vice versa. There is never enough time in the day for me to pay enough attention to everyone and it’s just not fair.

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So what do we do? What can we do? What should we do?

  • Hold your babies. Even your big babies. Hold them often and for as long as they will let you because one day your arms will be too small and too tired.
  • Kiss and hug often. You don’t have to have a reason, just do it.
  • Spend days in laying in bed together putting everything else on hold. Life can wait, I promise.
  • Talk everyday about what’s going on in each other’s lives. If you missed something at least you can hear about it.
  • Take pictures. Take a lot of pictures. Don’t wait for an opportunity for a picture, just take pictures because every moment with your kids is worth remembering.
  • Forget about a clean house, or clean laundry, or chores, or responsibility. Those things can wait too. If you must do those things, do them together.
  • And finally, love like it all ends today.

Cherish every second with your kids! Never take a minute for granted. I know when life gets hard that my first instinct is to wish it away-Don’t. Realize that this is another story to add to the books. This is something you will remember when you get old and find yourself reflecting. These are the times your children will remember when they have children of their own. Time does a good enough job of passing quickly on its own,that it doesn’t need our help.

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Cloth Diapers

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There was nothing I hated more when Jaxsyn was a baby then to go to change a diaper and realize that I only had 2 or 3 left in my pack. I hated it. I hated having to run to the store to buy more and that was if I had enough money in the bank account to afford a pack. It wasn’t too bad in the beginning and I even remember asking Justin why people complained at the cost of diapers. Jaxsyn either wore the Luvs brand or the Target equivalent and at less than $7 a package it wasn’t too bad. I mean size 1 diapers (because Jaxsyn was too fat for NB size) came 50 in a package. Now I’m no math whiz, but I felt like I was definitely getting a good deal. I didn’t realize how quickly we were flying through a package because I was so caught up in my new baby boy that I didn’t have time to even notice I hadn’t showered in 3 days. But as time went on, and as Jaxsyn got bigger (which he did rather quickly) I started to notice just how much of a drain buying diapers really was. I never added up how much money I spent and I couldn’t even come up with a fair guess, but all i know is that it was a lot. a lot, a lot. And so when I found out I was pregnant with Adelaide I knew that I would be exploring different options. Luckily for me my best friend had already started exploring for herself and had become quite educated on cloth diapers. She gave me the pros and the cons and I knew that it was a strong contender. I wanted to talk it over with Justin because he would be changing diapers too and so I wanted to make sure that he was okay with whatever choice we made. I mentioned it to him and at first I got the look. To anyone who has ever cloth diapered before you know what look I am talking about. It’s not so much letting your baby wear cloth diapers, but it is the look when people start thinking about what goes in those diapers and how those diapers get clean. I explained to my husband that all he would have to do is instead of putting the diaper in the trash, he would simply put the diaper in a trash can with a pail liner. I would do the rest. I could tell he still wasn’t convinced and so I started talking numbers. Fathers, or soon-to-be-fathers often cringe at the thought of cost and its association with a baby. New baby=money sucker. My husband felt no differently. he was already worried about how we were going to afford our sweet daughter and so I had to hit him with how much diapers cost. I explained to him that we would just be throwing our money away on disposables. I reminded him how often we had to buy diapers and how sometimes we just didn’t have the money and what would we do? I could tell that he was starting to get on board, and so I had to strike while the iron was hot. “How much do cloth diapers cost?” I dreaded that question. I knew it would be coming, but I dreaded it because the upfront answer does nothing to ease the precious mind of the father-to-be. Each mother is different and if you ever find yourself researching cloth diapers, you learn that they vary a lot. They vary in sizes and styles. You have one size diapers, diapers that can adjust from the time your baby is a newborn up until your baby is a potty trained champ. You have all-in-ones, pockets, prefolds, covers. You have organic, indian, hemp. You have WAHM diapers (Work at home mom). I have never experienced so many choices than when I started searching for the right diaper/combination. Thankfully, my friend helped me along the way and aided me in making my choice. I explained to my husband that the initial cost would be $350. I could see the panic in his eyes. I knew it sounded like a lot of money, but then I asked him how long he thought it would take to spend that same amount on disposables. He knew I was right and so he gave me the okay. Luckily we had our money from our tax return and so shelling out $350 wasn’t that terrible, don’t get me wrong, it hurt, but it only stung for a minute.

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Adelaide is now 4 months old, am I happy with my choice to cloth diaper?  Absolutely. I kept my stash simple and I haven’t purchased any more diapers since my first initial purchase. I decided to start Adelaide with 6  Newborn Kissaluvs and 6 Thirsties covers. I also bought 12 Bum Genius 4.0. And then I bought 12 flour sack towels from Walmart to use as cheap prefolds. I thought since I had such a small stash that I would be doing laundry every single day of my already busy life, but I haven’t. I usually wash diapers every 3 days and that’s without me running out. Not only do I always have diapers on hand, but I noticed that when I used disposables with Adelaide in the beginning (she was so tiny) she got terrible diaper rash, once I put her in cloth, rash was gone. I haven’t noticed any tremendous leaking, especially overnight where she will have a diaper on for 12 hours and she sleeps with me and so it’s important that she doesn’t leak. There are still days (and poops) where I wish I could just throw them away, but I’m still really happy with my choice and there is nothing cuter than teeny tiny fluff butt, I promise!

Baby What-ing?

October 7th began the 2013 International Babywearing week. I never really knew too much about babywearing, but since Adelaide was just days old I began learning how awesome it is.

Wear your baby!

There is so much to talk about when discussing babywearing. There are tons of different wraps and carriers. There are different ways to wear your baby. There’s even ways to wear multiple babies. It can be very overwhelming if you just start to look at it via the internet, and often times it takes a good friend to sit down and talk to you so you can fully comprehend it all. I was thankful that I had such a friend.

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I am by no means a babywearing pro. In fact, there’s more about babywearing that I don’t know then what I do know. But what I do know is the basics and I feel like it is enough to convince anyone to at least try babywearing for youself.

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Things I know about babywearing:

1. Babywearing allows you to be hands free while tending to a cranky, sleepy, curious baby. Adelaide loves attention. She loves being held. She loves being involved. It was very difficult for me to take care of Jaxsyn, and the house, and myself while holding Adelaide, but when I finally realized that I could wear her, well, I was then able to do anything I needed to do from giving Jaxsyn a bath, to folding laundry. I literally can do anything now.

2. Babywearing calms and usually puts to sleep babies. Adelaide is a light sleeper. I have no problem getting Adelaide to fall asleep. Usually I have to lay down with her and then try to sneak away, and if I make it away quietly it is  only minutes before she realizes that she is by herself thus causing her to wake up. But with babywearing I can get her to sleep and keep her asleep sometimes for hours at a time. It has got to be comforting to her to know that I am right here and she can even hear my breathing and my heartbeat. Babywearing has provided some of the best sleep for her, hands down.

3. It is much easier packing a wrap or a carrier in the car to take on trips, day trips or to run errands, then it is to pack and use a stroller. Don’t get me wrong, sometimes I really love using a stroller. Especially down here in Texas when it has been so hot, too hot, to wear Adelaide. And I was blessed to have someone lend me their stroller because I opted not to buy one this time around because of cost. But there is nothing more frustrating, especially when you have more than one kid, to have to drag a stroller out, load and unload said stroller before being able to do anything. And sometimes strollers like to stick, or not open. or not close. Strollers, frankly, can be very finicky, but not a wrap or a carrier. They are nothing but convenient. They are easy to pack, load and unload, they are lightweight and they are cost efficient.

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There are so many other reasons to wear your babies. Reasons why it benefits the parents and reasons it benefits the children. I know what works for me and what doesn’t. i encourage you to ask questions, visit websites, talk to other mothers and just give it a chance!

For more information check out babywearinginternational.org