1.31.2013

4 Months of FUN!

I don't think I will ever get over how fast time is passing. Time: please.slow.down! Autumn is (un-officially) 4 months old! I say un-officially because February 6th is her actual 4 month birthday, but January 26 was 16 weeks from the day she was born. So in my mind she's 4 months. Boom.
It took about a billion shots to get a non-blurry pic of her looking at the camera!
Next week is the much anticipated 4 month checkup with her doctor where she will get more shots (boo!), weighed and height checked. I have no clue how much she weighs now but I'm guessing it's a lot because this girl has grown soooo much! And she is tall too! Fingers crossed she gets her daddy's tall-skinny genes and not mama's humpdy-dumpdy genes! So far, I think she's on the right track. I am beyond excited to see if the doctor say's she can start eating rice cereal! We've been 'practicing' with her baby spoons (I know, total nerd!) but she mostly just spits the spoon out and gives me a look like 'what the hell are you putting into my mouth Mama?!'. I have a feeling she may not be ready for cereal yet but that means I can just anticipate it for that much longer, and that is A-OK.
You want to feed me what?!
Autumn's likes at this point are: Mama and Daddy! Seriously, if anyone else is holding her and one of us walks into a room she wants nothing to do with anyone else but us. I love that feeling! She absolutely LOVES splashing mama taking a bath!!! She gets the most adorable determined look and even sticks out her tongue then just kicks and flails her arms like she's swimming across the English Channel and her life depends on it. She loves gabbing to her stuffed animals, watching TV (uh-oh!), reading books, screaming, squealing, flailing her arms, kicking as hard as she can, putting anything within a 6" radius into her mouth, pulling the fur off her poor stuffed puppy (at least it's not Jack...yet), sitting in her Bumbo, taking rides around the house in the stroller and giving big open mouthed slobbery kisses.
She love Sophie!
The calm before the 'storm' aka her wild woman splashing
 Dislikes: Clothes! She will be happy as can be but the second a shirt goes over her head she goes ape-shit. She loves being a nakey baby. That one comes from her dear old Dad. He didn't get the nickname 'Nature Boy' for nothing! HA! Autumn has become quite the big girl and if she's being held too much she screams and stiffens her body straight until you put her down! Oi, this girl....we're going to have our hands full as she gets older! Still hates a wet diapy, especially cloth ones (who likes to be wet though?!). Those are pretty much her dislikes, but mostly she is just a hap-hap-happy baby!
We put some new black socks on her and this is what her feet looked like after. You could make a blanket with all that lint!
Autumn's pretty much sleeping through the night. She goes down around 8 after a bath, book and bottle. Then she'll be fast asleep with help from her swaddle and two (yes, two) sound machines until anywhere from 1:30-5:30. She'll wake up to eat then will go back down pretty quickly but is pretty much up for the day by 5:30 or 6. Unless we have a day like today where she was wide awake at 4:30am. 'Baby, the birds aren't even up yet- for f's sake, please go back to sleep!' But nope, it's a Venti (decaf) coffee kind of day. Placebo effect. And then she fell back asleep before I could get her dressed. Go figure.

How can you not love this face at 4am?!
In other news, this past weekend I was asked to make some cupcakes as a giveaway for the NM Wedding Guide Bridal Show. I had so much fun making some custom flags with sparkly letters, grapefruit cupcakes with champagne buttercream and cute little boxes for the cupcakes with a special note to the bride. Check out more of my cakes here (this is a work in progress site as I move from my original site). Hopefully this will generate some business for me! Autumn even helped me bake and decorate by being such a good girl!
Custom made flags with glitter lettering

jem cakes

Mmmmmm

Well we are so looking forward to her 4 month appointment, hopefully a Valentines photoshoot (if everything I ordered shows up), our first night few hours going out without baby for Stacy's 30th, and watching the 49ers at the Superbowl! Wootwoot!

P.S. At what point do we stop listening to Lil Wayne in the car with her?! :/






















1.28.2013

Burn the Breast Pump!

I've had this post written for a while now but have been hesitant about posting it. I don't want this to be a ranting, bitching blog. But I think it's an important topic and one that's seldom talked about (exclusive pumping). So I thought I'd share my journey, here goes...

I'm just about ready to do as the title says and burn my breast pump! Seriously. As I mentioned in the previous ranting post, I've been exclusively pumping for about 3 months and pumping from the get go. I've had a hard time finding much info from other mama's who've had to exclusively breast pump so I thought I'd share my story. Now before I begin, this post is probably going to be TMI so if you don't want to hear it, feel free to fast-forward past this post because there is going to be a whole lot of boob talk.

I started the breasfeeding journey with childlike enthusiasm. I went to the classes, read a bunch of stuff and even watching some educational videos. I really thought 'why do women make such a big deal about breastfeeding?! It's how nature intended you to raise your baby! Nature will take care of it. I got this- NO problem!' HA! Joke was on me!
I'm adding in completely non-relevant pictures to make this post a little lighter, ha!
My bf journey was rocky from the start...thanks to a very swollen post c-section body, way too many hospital visitors, not enough bf time, some nipple weirdness and a very high pallet in Autumn's mouth. In recovery, the doula helped baby A latch right away and actually got some good stuff in her (so we thought) but that was the first and last time we really did well in the nursing department. I had the lactation consultants come in several times while we were still in the hospital. They busted out all their big guns: nipple shields, formula to help get her latched, every position in the book...you name it, we tried it! My milk hadn't come in at this point either and Autumn was starting to lose weight. They had me feeding her every hour to two hours which meant she was at the breast constantly! For all I knew she was getting what she needed. She was latching (or at least it felt like it) and then she'd stay there for a while. We went home with the same instructions to feed her round the clock and I did just that.

At Autumn's first post-birth doctor's visit, we discovered she had lost a pound+ since birth. I stressed the importance of breastfeeding so they told me to nurse her, supplement with formula (boo!), and then pump. Prior to finding out she had lost so much weight, we had the.crankiest.baby.on.earth. We thought she hated us. But nope, she was just a huuuunnnnnggggrrrryyy gurl! Now, when she starts crying like she did in those wee baby hours, we tell her 'we're sorry we were starving you those first few days, but we promise we won't do it again!'. LOL. Seriously, how are you supposed to know how much food they're getting?!



I was determined to stop the 1-1/2 hour insanity of nursing, bottle feeding then pumping, having a half hour break then doing it all over again. It was Exhausting (with a capital 'E') on top of recovering from a c-section and taking care of a newborn. I remember just crying those first days because I was so frustrated, exhausted and in pain. Anyways, so we went to the lactation consultants (yet again!) and we went through this whole process of discovering Autumn was only expressing 1oz of milk from me (insert: supply issues). They told me to stay on the same track because she was at least gaining weight, mostly from the formula.They told me to take this nasty ass Mother's Milk. Which tastes nothing like milk, or anything a human should even ingest. I had to make shots of it by mixing it with apple juice. But it gave me an excuse to use our shot glasses again! Long story short, we did this pattern of nursing, bottle feeding then pumping for about a month and a half. The bottle feeding and pumping was ok, but nursing was beyond hard. Autumn would just get so frustrated and started screaming or she'd get so annoyed she'd just fall asleep at the boob. So after much internal debating I made the tough decision to stop nursing and just pump exclusive. I figured she would still be getting the benefit of breasmilk without the frustration we were both feeling with nursing. Let me tell you, I debated this for weeks before I finally made the decision. I was afraid I would lose that closeness and bond that comes with nursing, that somehow I would screw her up and that I was a failure at the most basic mother-baby function. I realize now this thinking was a little more than crazy.



Fast forward 4 months...I'm still pumping. Autumn is still getting every ounce of breastmilk I can produce (which isn't a lot but it's better than nothing, right?!). I always swore I would not be one of those mom's who gave their child formula, bleh. But you know what? Shit happens. I wasn't about to let my baby starve and these boobies just ain't producing as much as her little growing body needs. She still gets mostly bm and we supplement with Enfamil Soy (we discovered she has a minor milk allergy after what we thought was colic and a bad rash, but the doctor is confident she'll grow out of it).

I pump about 5-6 times a day which equals out to every 3 hours or so. I dropped the middle of the night pump simply because it would take me 20 minutes to pump then I'd be wide awake for at least an hour leaving me very sleepy and cranky. Pumping at work is nothing less than awkward. I know, I know, it's a perfectly normal fact of life. But, it doesn't make dragging my oh-so-descreet little black bag to the ladies locker room where I remain for 20 minutes any less awkward. It does give me a chance to catch up on Emily Owen's MD (my favorite show!) and just have a break from work. But it's been increasingly hard to pump as I get busier and my boss relies on me more now that he knows I'm not going to drop a baby at any given second. But I keep pumping.



Now, supply issues. I typically produce a total of 2oz (except the first pump where I get about 3-4oz). My right boob works it's ass off and the left boob is just a lazy bastard. It's basically worthless at doing it's job of being a boob and usually doesn't even make a measurable amount of milk. Jerk. You can see from the beginning of this post where the supply issues began. Although, I'm not sure I wouldn't have had these problems even without all our other issues. Everyone kept asking 'did your milk come in' and proceeded to tell me about the tidal wave gush they felt when their milk came in. I never felt anything remotely like that. I really wasn't sure when my milk came in. To try getting my supply up we went to the lactation consultant, I read numerous articles and books on how to increase, did super pumps (pumping every hour), took Mother's Milk, Fenugreek pills, drank Nursing Tea, made lactation cookies (taste great, not certain they work), eat lots of oatmeal, I even got a prescription from my doctor (which helped while I was on the meds but went back low right after) etc. etc. etc. Seriously- you name it, I've tried it, twice. To no avail. Oh, and the 'myth' that breastfeeding will make you lose all your baby weight plus some, bullshit! I did lose the majority of my weight right away, mostly because I barely had time to eat. Ten+ baby pounds are still uncomfortably sticking to me. I recently started Weight Watchers to try shedding some more weight. The first week on WW, my already low supply was cut in half! I freaked and upped my points (according to WW guidelines) which got my milk back to it's norm. But now I've started to actually gain weight! Frustration Central! That's a whole other post.

Despite this roller coaster ride of breastfeeding, I continue to pump for Autumn. Some days (today!) I want to burn my breast pump and all it's annoying little parts and just be done with it. But I continue, because I'm her mom, it's my job, and I know it's the best thing for her. Even if she isn't getting bm exclusively, I figure it's gotta be better than nothing. Maybe if I was making more it'd feel easier. So there you have it. My exhausting breastfeeding story. I hope maybe it'll help someone in the same boat some day. It's not easy, but it's the best thing for the babe and that is THE only thing that matters!
One of my favorites! She's just too cute!
P.S. on a much lighter note...I am absolutely, positively OBSESSED with Baskin-Robbins Love Potion #31 ice cream! It has chocolate, raspberry and little raspberry chocolate filled hearts. I die! It's only around for the Valentines season and good thing or I'd eat it year round. I could seriously eat the stuff for breakfast, lunch and dinner! Oh and of course I couldn't just have it alone because it's best with a scoop of fudge ice cream, whip cream, nuts and a cherry (cue weight issues.) I've only had it once this year...maybe that's why I'm drooling thinking about it now. Sigh.




1.25.2013

15 Week Lil Bunny

Some days I think Autumn may grow up thinking her name is 'Bunny' because I call her that 10:1. Or 'baby' because that's all Ernest calls her. I'm a huge fan of nicknames but Bunny seems to be a regular. My other nicknames for Autumn are: babe, baby, booboo, coocoo, bebe, honey, cupcake, my little cougar (I have no clue why?!), love bug, lovey, or any combination of these...love-cake-honey-baby-booboo if I'm really excited.

She loves her little Bumbo seat!
This little girl is so silly. It's hard to believe how much personality she has at such a young age. She's been waking up around 5 or 6am for the day so we'll get up and she watches me get ready. I'll do my makeup and watch TV (right now an OC marathon, boom!) while trying to keep her entertained. But if I'm too interested in the Seth-Summer-Anna triangle, she goes bat crazy and starts to grunt. As soon as I look at her and start making funny faces again she is ALL smiles! If she hears a noise she doesn't like, or if she's not happy she pouts out her lip and it cracks me up every.single.time and I just bust out laughing and she'll start laughing too. Then remembers she's mad and will pout it out again. OMG too funny!

Early morning play time
She loves to be walked around the house in her little stroller and just looks around, but if you stop that stroller you better bet you'll hear a scream. We think she might have a foot like David Beckham because this girl LOVES to kick! It's hilarious! When changing her, you have to wrestle her legs down because she's just so busy kick, kick, kicking away! Autumn takes after mama and loves some yoga (must have been all that pre-natal yoga I did, ha!). She has perfected the 'Supta Badda Konasana' or as Ernest likes to call it 'the butterfly'. She also does a combo move where she picks up her stuffed animals with her feet! Soooo funny watching this little monkey! I think we spent half an hour just watching her wiggling around on her changing table the other night.

Baby yoga
This silly girl on her changing table.
Our life this week...The 49er's are going to the Superbowl! Wootwoot! We're big 49er fans in our house and after 12 years of rooting for them and seeing them lose many a times, our little lucky charm Autumn brought them some good luck, as Ernest says. Autumn has been having some wicked tantrums which we can only attribute to teething. Seriously, teething at a week shy of 4 months?! Where did my newborn go? I think this officially pushes her into the big girl category. She's been drooling lots, vigorously rubbing her hand in her mouth and just having bouts of crying and nothing makes her happy. Poor booboo, I hate seeing her like that! We're keeping lots of chew toys (the dog owner in me), teething rings and kisses around for her. We can even see white on her lower row of her mouth!
She just finished having a teething induced scream fest
                              
I swear- capturing a smile is soooo difficult! Her smiles are like unicorns...you know they exist but capturing one on camera rarely happens!
                                                  

In other news, Autumn's hair is getting Rapunzel long! But rather than flowing down, it sticks up. Straight up. My dad thinks she has troll hair (you remember those trolls from the 90s!). She's also starting to actually realize Jack is a real life moving thing and has been way more interested in him. He, on the other hand, would rather not have anything to do with her. I sincerely hope that changes. Maybe once she starts eating and dropping food for him he'll be more interested.


                            

                                    


FINALLY- Captured a smile!







1.17.2013

Truth Bombs

I am all about baby 24/7 as are most of the blogs I read. But I rarely see much about postpartum for the Mama. Or if it is I usually see these amazing stories how they lost all their baby weight before they left the hospital, how their house is spotless and a 3 course dinner is on the table by 7pm every night, the dog gets walked everyday, blah blah blah...you get my point. Well maybe I'm the only one, but I'm lucky if one of the above things gets done in a day! Don't get me wrong, motherhood is by far THE best thing that has ever happened to me and I would not change it for the world! And all these things are completely worth the precious baby girl I get to hold in my arms everyday. I'm just putting down some truth bombs and saying that shit gets real after having a baby...our house is messy 24/7 even after I clean, the dog gets walked maybe once a week, dinner consists of anything I can shove into a Crock Pot, I'm having more 'natural' hair days- aka no energy to straighten my hair, oh and I still have 10 pounds that are sticking to me like white on rice! OH, and breastfeeding has been a bitch! I've been exclusively pumping for almost 3 months and that is no easy task. But the benefit far out-weighs the pain in the ass it is for me. I still have raging hormones (hello, Wicked Witch of the West). Not to mention the large amounts of hair I am currently shedding. Apparently it's a lovely side effect of post-pregnancy hormones, thank you Mother Nature! I must now invest in an industrial grade dog shedding vacuum, a Costco size box of lint rollers and a wig from the Raquel Welch line.



So much of what you read in baby books, etc. doesn't really prepare you for life after baby. I'm not talking about the 'how to feed and swaddle your baby' or 'nap when the baby naps'. I'm getting used to less sleep and I think I"m actually doing a pretty amazing job in the Mom department. It's those other departments I feel I'm lacking (being a spokeswoman for Garnier, cooking and being the next Brooke Burke with a line of workout videos, being a great fiance, etc). But I've pretty much decided these things don't matter (except for the fiance one). At all. Both Ernest and I working full time jobs away from the babe doesn't leave us much time to spend with her so the last thing I feel like doing when I get home is busting out the mop and bucket. I'd rather spend my time giving baby A sweet kisses, playing with her and listening to her talk up a storm. And by that time it's already snooze hour for her, dinner time then bed time. OH and the fiance and Jack need some quality time in there too. I guess it's just all about prioritizing and a spotless kitchen comes in last to spending time with my family.



I guess this is my testament that life with an infant, a full time job, a fiancé, a house and dog is no easy task. BUT I'm incredibly blessed for the life I have. I need to give myself a break, stop comparing myself and others because at the end of the day a 'perfect' life is not about having a house Martha Stewart would envy, it's about the people inside it. I may workout only once a week, we may eat takeout more than once twice a week, Jack may gain a few puppy pounds, our house may be on the next episode of Hoarders, I may be plumper than Humpty Dumpty and have to rock a sassy blonde wig but...it's OKAY! We are only 3-1/2 months in and are still adjusting and learning everyday. We will find our balance someday (hopefully sooner than later) but until then, all the petty shit doesn't matter. So to all those Mama's out there who are feeling the same way (please don't let me be the only one!) it's ok to not be perfect! Being a Mom and a fiance is the #1 priority right now! Whew, now I need a nap with a side of Chipotle! HA!

Family pictures at Ernest's Aunt's house. Note: these are clip in hair extensions! HA!





1.16.2013

Giving creds...

It occurred to me as I was looking at other blogs that I have not done a good job (at all) of giving credit where credit is deserved. I started this blog as a way for me to document my pregnancy and now Miss A's journey. I'm horrible at writing things down but am on the computer often and decided a blog would be the best way to document. It never really occurred to me that other people would also be reading this blog and I do not want to come across as taking someone's idea as my own. I had read and seen several blogs and found (on Pinterest, of course) this really cute way of documenting weekly pregnancy changes on a chalkboard. I started reading Jessica Garvin's blog, Little Baby Garvin and quickly fell in love with it. She has great tips for mom, baby, decorating, etc. I especially loved her chalkboard and the way she did this questionnaire each week of her pregnancy. In my prego brain blur and the blur of being a new mother, I failed to give credit to her idea of both the chalkboard and the questionnaire she did. SO my chalkboard journey through pregnancy and the questionnaire were entirely borrowed from my favorite blog, Little Baby Garvin. I hope to continue getting inspiration from others through this new journey of motherhood and will be sure to give FULL credit to those who deserve it!

1.14.2013

3 Months Plus Some

This whole blogging thing is not really my forte. And I'm doing it really just for myself, and for a special project I have planned for Miss A's first birthday as a way to document her first year. But still, I feel like I'm slacking. Oh well!

Always the fashionista

Anyways, so her 3 month mark has come and gone and we're at the 3-1/2 month mark! She is growing so much and changing everyday. Recently, she started to giggle, talks up a storm, sitting in her Bumbo, and generally sitting up pretty well (not totally alone yet but close). Most days she is all toothless grins, except this weekend. She gave us a run for our money in the grumpy-sleepless-whiney baby department. She fought her naps all Saturday and was just super grumpy. I kept telling Ernest it sounded like she was cussing us out in baby talk! HA! She pulled out every baby goo she knows in the cutest meanest combination she could pull out. I had to stop myself from just laughing at her! Poor babe, I think maybe she is beginning to sprout some teeth! Seriously?! Already?! That's the only thing we could think of. Other than her hating us already but I think we have a few more years until she's a teenager for that. So we'll keep telling ourselves she's just teething, or another growth spurt- or both! Scary!
Her eyelashes are so gorgeous!

Gettin her herrrr did! Aka putting my extensions on, haha


She LOVES bathtime! Even though her face doesn't show it here
Anyways, we'll get through this little hump and get back to those cute baby giggles soon (we hope!). She is just the cutest thing ever. I seriously can't get over how adorable she is. Especially when she gets ready with me in the morning. I put her in the Nap Nanny (yes, we know of the recall) and she just goos and giggles at me all morning. She especially likes when I brush my blush brush (say that 10x fast!) over her face and likes talking to the baby in the mirror. So sweet!
From our family photo shoot

I swear we're much happier than we look in pics
In other news, we have been looking for a house for an eternity a few months, to no avail. I keep reminding myself the perfect house is just waiting for us! Plus, who likes to go house hunting in single digit weather?! Not this gal! I used to LOVE the cold and getting all decked out in cute snow gear but these days I'd rather be by the fire with a cup-o-joe, my favorite cuddle bunnies and a blankie. We have become quite the hermit family this year. We just hate taking Autumn out when it's so cold and I guess the flu has kind of scared us into hunkering down indoors. We are also scared of being 'those people' with the screaming baby. Autumn loves to scream- loud. Very loud. Not just when she's mad, if she's just playing she has the most hilarious screams and squeaks! So we may just stay hermits for a little while longer.
Getting ready with me in the morning, all smiles at 5:30am!


Jack was more enthused than she was

I wish this picture had sound because she was making the funniest noises here

Her Zoolander face while getting ready

Her 4 month visit (holy H-bomb!) is coming up very soon! We'll see where this funny girl measures in and hopefully get the clear to start giving her some solid foods! I have no idea why, but I am beyond excited to start feeding her cereal and even better to start making her baby food. Time to bust out the Baby Brezza! Ahhhhh, I can't wait! I just love watching this little girl grow up!
Rough night=nap time

Growing up so fast!

Autumn's official first snow! Brrrrrr

Cheeseball and a grumpo