Friday, July 18, 2014

Momma & Son Date

I've had a couple of extra days off this week and they've been great. I'm certain I'd be great at being a stay at home momma. I mean, I only work a few hours a day, so I'm a little bit of both, but it would be great to stay home with Henry all of the time. Which is a far cry from what I would've said about 5 months ago. I wasn't ready to go back to work, but I didn't know how H and I would make it through all of the long days at home. He has such a personality now and we can actually "play" together. We can even go out in public together. HA. Today Henry and I went out to lunch, ALONE. Just the two of us. I had the diaper bag ready, I made sure I packed snacks and toys and I had a bottle ready just incase. When we got there I put the diaper bag around me, I grabbed the high chair cover and I unloaded Henry. I went to the counter and ordered (Five Guys, nothing too fancy), put our stuff down, walked over and grabbed a high chair, covered it, grabbed my cup and filled my drink. We came back to the table and I put Henry in the high chair. I pulled out a few puffs for him and got my straw in my drink. By the time I finished all of this, they called our number. I grabbed H, we grabbed the food and we came back to the table. I ate my burger and Henry looked all around, stuffing as many puffs as he could into his mouth. I watched him, as he looked around, grinning at anyone who would grin back at him. I couldn't help but smile. I was proud. I am proud. I'm proud of the mother I'm growing into, even if it took me a little while to get the hang of things. I'm proud of the son that we're raising. I'm proud that he is so happy and content. I'm proud that grabbing a burger and fries with my babe no longer feels like a major feat. I know it all seems so simple, and really it is...now, but toting a child around by yourself out in public can be daunting. All my fear is gone these days. Well as far as worrying about other people goes, all of those fears are gone. Henry has taught me to relax. To let go. Not to sweat the small stuff. He brings a peace to my soul that is so refreshing. I'm thankful for him. I'm learning from him every day. It's amazing to me how happy something as simple as a date with my son can make me. Our date was absolute perfection. I hope Henry will always go on "dates" with his momma. <3
Love you, toots.
xx,
Melissa Loren

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

8 Months Must Haves


It has taken me something like 8 days to get this post written. Why, you ask?? I really have no idea! Henry is even more mobile these days, work has been crazy and at night I really just want to spend time with my hubbs. Priorities, people. I love this blog, but family first, always, don't you agree? Anyway here's my post in all it's glory, better late than never, eh?
For the 8 month milestone there isn't really anything extraordinary or unique, but there are items that prove there are major changes happening in Henry's development!
First up, Henry's new convertible car seat. It was a bit nerve-wrecking at first. It's so big and such an expense, is H ready, am I ready? Here's the scoop though, it fits 5-45 pounds rear facing, 20-80 pounds forward-facing and up to 120 pounds in the booster. It will last us a very long time, so the price seemed worth it. Especially since Buy Buy Baby price matches to Amazon. Hello $359.99 car seat for $249.99! That was awesome news. It seems silly now, but I was so worried that not having his car seat to tote him around in would be tough, but I haven't even looked back. He loves sitting in his stroller or the shopping cart. It was a great change.
Since I stopped breastfeeding, we've started introducing some solids. This is where the high chair has come into play. Henry eats puffs (which are also on our must-haves!) like they're going out of style and some pureed fruits and veggies. It's nice to have the high chair so H can sit with us during meals. This one converts into a booster as well, so it'll grow with us.
Seriously on the puffs though, this kid LOVES them. He has even learned to feed them to himself. We recently discovered the target brand and that's what we've switched to.
I have always said that I think Henry would be an early walker and I still stand by that. He is so strong and he already moves from one piece of furniture to another. We don't personally have this walker, but I'd love to get something similar as soon as possible. If you have any recommendations, please share! 
And I just added this blanket buddy, because Henry recently discovered his and his loves the silky part. We always take that and his singing puppy along in the car.
If you're at this point, or past it, what am I missing? What were your must-haves? 
Eight months is such a fun age. I can't get over it. 
PS- We're 3 "friends" away from doing a giveaway on our FACEBOOK page!!
PSS- Is there anything you guys are missing here? Anything you'd really like to read about??
xx,
Melissa Loren

Monday, July 14, 2014

{WEEKEND FUN}

HOLY WEEKEND! If you follow me on Instagram, you might have noticed that Kory's brother and sister in law invited us back down for another weekend at their amazing house on Grand Lake. For the first time ever I didn't stress about taking Henry with us. I'm learning to just go with the flow and let things happened. Last trip he struggled just a little bit sleeping in his pack n play, so we ordered a pack n play mattress from amazon to make it easier on him this time. It was perfect! This kid continued sleeping through the night and even took a THREE hour nap Saturday morning. Cray. He was awake nearly the entire time on the ride down there and on the ride home, but you'd never know it. He just hung out and played with his rings and his puppy dog. It is so crazy to have a babe that is old enough to push buttons on his favorite puppy dog and entertain himself in the back seat. It blows my mind. He is growing up so fast. I loved randomly hearing "If you're happy and you know it..." ring out from the back seat. 
Henry loved the lake. We were actually able to get him in the water this time. He wasn't sure about the life vest, but as long as he was in the water he was fine with it. No one thinks life jackets are comfortable, Henry, but safety first! It was so fun to see the fam and have all of the cousins together. The big kids cannot get enough of Henry, they LOVE him. It's the most heartwarming thing ever.
Momma even got to enjoy a few moments alone and with the girls. Put me on a raft and beer me. And Dad got to enjoy a few boat rides and surf! Happy family, happy life. ;)
The only trouble we had with Henry all weekend was on the way home. Our sweets hadn't pooped all weekend and it finally happened on our drive home. He struggled a little bit and he was really needed some momma lovens. We pulled over to change him and and squeeze in some snuggles. Afterwards, we were back on the road and he was back to being his happy self! :)
Sorry about the picture overload, it was just an epic weekend. How was yours?
xx,
Melissa Loren
















Wednesday, July 9, 2014

On Weaning (for real this time):

So as you'll notice, it took me a while to write this post. It took a lot to bring this here and to be ok with my decision. Also, I'll try not to bounce around too much. Breastfeeding is just so many things for me...

Henry turned 7 months a couple of weeks ago. And that was the point where I decided I would start thinking about weaning.

Before I get too deep into this I want to say a couple of things.

1.) I'm not sharing this to discourage OR encourage breastfeeding in anyway. You should do what is best for YOU and your little one.

2.) I would like nothing but support in my decision. If you have any negative thoughts or opinions keep them to yourself or take them elsewhere. Please and thank you. :)

I always knew I would breastfeed. I knew it before I even knew I wanted children. I didn't have any expectations though. I never knew what it would entail or all that it would take. Breastfeeding for me is such a bittersweet gig. I'll be honest, sometimes I question if I could do it again...if there's ever a baby #2. Sometimes I think there's no way I'm ever doing that all over again, but then there's times where I [REALLY] hope I'll be able to breastfeed longer with the next one.

This time around, however, 7 months was enough for me. 

Breastfeeding is such a selfless act. I know that it's natural and many, many, many women have done it and that's what our bodies were meant to do, but in this day and age it can be tough. As women, as mommas, as wives, our plates are so full. We're always on the go, some of us our working mommas, many of us our homemakers, a lot of us have multiple children, the point is, we're wearing many hats. Throw breastfeeding into the mix and you have a baby attached to you damn near 24/7, making it hard on a first time momma. Making it even harder are the people who criticize and don't understand breastfeeding. Making a mom terrified to take her baby outside of the home for fear she might actually have to feed her baby and make someone else uneasy.

IT'S NORMAL, PEOPLE!!! Breastfeeding is normal! Do you know how many things I see out and about that I don't want to see?? Turn and look the other way!

Our bodies are also coming home after immense and sudden change, and in some cases immense pain, and after 36 hours or so of practice and recovery, we're walking the plank to find out if we'll sink or swim. A breastfeeding class will never be able to prepare you for all that you will encounter. Henry latched on right away in the hospital and I thought to myself "What on earth is all the fuss about?" I thought we were naturals, pros even. Then I came home and the recovery pains really kicked in and I wondered how I would take care of another human being while I myself was in tremendous pain. When they tell you the baby will eat every two hours in the first few weeks, there is ZERO exaggeration and you will never know how quickly two hours passes, until you're breastfeeding. I would swear that I just handed him off to Kory and he was already crying again and ready to eat and suckle again. It was a tough gig in the beginning. There was pain and there were tears. Just when I thought we had pushed through and made it to the surface, the pain would kick in again. I will say that I should've gone to a lactation nurse. I never did and maybe that would have helped my pain. Eventually the pain flatlined and the engorgement leveled out and things became semi-natural. I'd say this didn't happen until the 4.5 month point, though.

At first I wanted to breastfeed for the health and well-being of my son. Then I wanted to do it for me, to be able to say that I did it and I accomplished something incredible. But, after several difficult months it was no longer for my son or for myself. It became about other people. I didn't want to let anyone down. I didn't want anyone to think I was selfish for giving up. I didn't want my husband to think I couldn't handle the simple things that made a mother a mother. My competitive nature had kicked in and I didn't want to give up because I wanted to be able to say, "I EBF FOR A YEAR, I AM WOMAN, HEAR ME ROAR!" Then I realized I was no longer breastfeeding for the right reasons. We had made it out of cold season, so we had pushed through sickness(one of my initial reasons for BF). So why was I still doing this? I felt stressed, I felt like I couldn't go anywhere, I felt like I wasn't being the mom that I always imagined myself to be.

So with hesitation, I finally decided it was time to wean. Of course it wasn't easy! I'd say, "this is my last session(!)" and then as soon as he was ready I'd say "just one more!" Eventually, I slowly started dropping nursing sessions and we slowly introduced formula.

Again, I would never discourage breastfeeding, I will try again, but it felt like a house had been lifted off of me. I felt like a new woman. I felt like I could live again and really be a good momma to Henry. Breastfeeding was taking so much out of me, physically, mentally and emotionally. I needed to feel normal again and I needed to love on Henry in different ways.

Just a few afterthoughts...

I never pumped to feed Henry. I only nursed. I pumped here and there to relieve myself in the am and pm. Perhaps I should have more, so that we could've gone places. but, 1) In the beginning I could literally never put H down, so it was impossible to pump and 2) When I went back to work he ended up refusing my frozen breast milk. I'm positive that both of these factored into my stopping early.

I started this post nearly two months ago and I've come to the conclusion the BF can be like labor, you'll swear it off just like you swore off more children, but after time you'll come back around. :)

The cost of formula is insane and will make you rethink weaning. :) Another reason to EBF for as long as possible with baby #2.

I will never, ever forget all of the incredible and intimate moments with my babe. The look of 100% happiness and contentment in a baby is life-changing. Those post-feeding snuggles are irreplaceable. The way he'd always fall asleep on me during feedings is forever in my memory. I will never regret nursing him.
Breastfeeding for me, truly was bittersweet and although I threw the towel in early, I'm still proud of myself and grateful for our experience.
xx,
Melissa Loren

Monday, July 7, 2014

{WEEKEND FUN}

This weekend was one to add to the books. Who doesn't love a 3-day weekend? Weekends are just so much more exciting these days, and I've really come to loathe Mondays. Even though I'm still off, we hate seeing dad go to work.
I was really nervous about the 4th this year. I hate fireworks, I love the 4th of July and I love to watch fireworks, but I like to keep a good distance between us. I was more nervous that they would disrupt Henry's naps and nighttime routine. It just happened that most of our neighbors took off for the fourth, so the neighborhood was actually eerily quiet. Henry slept straight through the fireworks that did go off-woo hoo! We spent most of the day hanging out at home, taking it easy. We went to the pool just for a bit and then we went to a fun shindig at our neighbors. How nice is it to have GOOD neighbors? Especially when you have a baby! It makes hanging out a little easier and more relaxed, because if there's a problem or a sleepy baby, you can just run home real quick! :)
Saturday we headed out to a new shopping area called Prairie Fire. It's a cool area that has a new Natural History museum, fun places to eat and a lot of boutique-style shops. The museum was so cool, is it not a legit piece of art? 
We have this ongoing joke that Kory doesn't know how to NOT chug anything that he drinks. Be it water or a beer, it'll be gone in 2.5 seconds. In this pic we are maybe 7 minutes from the Starbucks. My latte vs. his frappuccino. Nuts, rights?
 How about that face in the first pool pic?? The notorious crinkle nose that I hope never goes away. :) Also, don't worry, I'm retiring those awful neon sunnies-I never realized how unflattering they are. Bleh. Sunday we spent the day at the pool, after Kory cooked us breakfast of course! H LOVES the water. We need to get him in swim lessons, asap! 
It was an epic weekend indeed and I'm already looking forward to next weekend!
What was the best part of your weekend??
xx,
Melissa Loren

















Wednesday, July 2, 2014

{Henry is 8 Months!}

I want to take 8 months, wrap it up in safe, cozy place, and keep it forever. I know I've said things like this before, but this is undeniably my favorite stage. 
  • We have some MAJOR separation anxiety problems. Henry will only willing stay with myself, my husband or my mom. Anyone else and they're chopped liver.
  • We've introduced some solids, including puffs. It seems silly, but it melts my heart to watch him learn how to get the puffs into his mouth. He uses his left hand and his right, but he's definitely better with his right. He opens his mouth like a baby bird stretching for a worm, while he fumbles to get his fingers around the puff and bring it to his little teefers.-it's the cutest thing ever.
  • He crawls like crazy, but he's been doing that since a few days before he turned 6 months. The funny part is when he bear crawls on the hardwood floors because they're not as soft as the carpet. This kid is so smart and so hilarious.
  • He isn't walking or taking any steps on his own yet (that would be crazy), but he is pulling up on everything (you can't leave him alone with his high chair) and he can walk around things that he's holding onto. The coffee table is his favorite to pull up and walk around.
  • He's becoming more comfortable and learning how to put himself to sleep even when he's not at home. This is just incredible to me for some reason. It's a little bit of a relief.
  • Henry has the fattest, chunky monkey feet EVER!!! His piggies are the cutest though.
  • I can't say that he has officially said momma, yet, but it sure sounds like he's saying it sometimes! Mostly when he's upset, is when I think I hear it. I swear I hear it sometimes.
  • He has 2 teeth (and golly are they sharp!) and he is working on a third.
  • He's officially in 9 month clothes, which is absolutely heartbreaking. 
  • Henry has always loved his daddy, but he has really taken to him in the last month or so, begging for his attention and demanding that he play with him. I just love to watch those two together.
  • He still goes to town with his crinkly nose, I'll be totally content if that sticks around forever.
  • Henry has started "dancing." When music is playing he bobs up and down and rocks back and forth, while he grins and giggles.
  • He has the sweetest dovetails, a sure sign that he's going to have some curly/wavy hair like both of his parents.
  • He loves to be outside. He loves the sun. He loves the water. He loves the hose. He hates the grass, but otherwise he loves to be outdoors.
  • He is my little sunshine. I just love spending our days together.
Also, he's basically a toddler now...
He's getting SO big!
Happy day, friends.
xx,
Melissa Loren


Monday, June 30, 2014

{Weekend Fun}

You guys, we did basically nothing this weekend, so I don't have a million super awesome photos or a lot to say, but I wanted to pop in anyway. We are still working on the house like mad, so I spent most of my weekend catching up on things between Henry's naps. It rained most of the weekend, but we managed to sneak out for a hike through Kory's favorite archery range. Other than the mosquitos, it was an awesome trail, lots of actual hiking and streams, all of the good outdoorsy stuff. Henry is working on his third tooth, but you'd never know. All he wants to do is crawl around and hangout. He's such a happy baby and we just can't get enough of him. He has been working on feeding himself, which is probably the cutest thing ever. Notice the puff that didn't quite make it to his chompers...
What was your favorite part of the weekend?
Happy Monday, friends!
xx,
Melissa Loren





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