Thursday, April 21, 2011

Fifty Weeks

Oh my goodness....50 WEEKS? That means we just have 2 to's a little bittersweet.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Adventures in Breastfeeding

So, I figured I'd write up a little post about my experiences with breastfeeding. As some of you may remember, I was a little weirded out about the idea of breastfeeding and I wasn't sure if I was going to be able to handle it. I was determined to try though, and my goal was to stick it out for at least 6 months, then 9 months, then one year. From the beginning I was pretty certain that after a year I would want to stop nursing.

Here's a little recap of how things went for us:

At day one, Sam latched on like a pro and got the nursing thing down right away. Strangely enough, it didn't bother me to have a little person sucking on my boob. Other than a couple of rough nights and days when my milk first came in, we really had no problems at all. Things were working out great!

Around 7 months, I decided that I wanted to start weaning her for some personal reasons. We decided that after the holidays we would start slowly switching her to formula. My plan was to drop one feeding a day and replace it with a bottle of formula. This worked well for a week or two - she took the formula with no issues at all. I never got past one or two formula feedings a day though. I found that nursing is just SO much more convenient. When we were out and about I would bring a bottle of formula and I could just give her that in the stroller, so that was nice. But at home the boob was just much easier. Sam and I had gotten into the routine of nursing her to sleep for naps, so we ended up sticking with that routine. And then we ended up cutting back on the formula too. And then she got sick, so I wanted her to have nothing but breastmilk so she could get healthy faster.

So, there we were a few months later, and we had made no more progress towards weaning. I think that part of it is just the fact that I wasn't as ready as I thought I was. I had heard from so many of my friends that their babies just weaned themselves around 10 months, so I was hoping that Sam would be the same. But no, this girl is addicted to the boob. Her bottom teeth came in, and I was a little scared about how that would feel. I could kind of feel the pressure from them but it wasn't enough to be uncomfortable. Well, now her top teeth are coming in, and OH BOY does it hurt. Almost every time I nurse her, the discomfort is almost unbearable. Add that to the fact that I am sick of my crappy nursing bras and longing to wear normal ones again, and I am SO ready to wean her. Mike and I will be going on our first overnight trip away from Sam in just a few weeks, so we really need to start getting her used to not having boob all day and night. Since her birthday is coming up in just a couple weeks, we went ahead and let her start drinking cow's milk. We give her organic whole milk, and she loves it! She's been drinking it in her sippy cup with meals, and (other than letting it drip out of the corners of her mouth, down her neck, and all over her shirt and hair) she is doing great with it.

Now for the hard part: cutting out the nursing to sleep routine for naps. I still nurse her at night most nights and I'm okay with that - I'm not ready to quit nursing cold turkey, I just want to cut out the daytime nursing for now. Mike is able to put her to bed some nights without her needing me to nurse, but if I put her to bed? Forget it. The boobs are right there, and she wants it. So this week I've decided to start attempting to put her down for a nap without nursing her. Yesterday I tried to give her a bottle of milk in the rocking chair, keeping the rest of our nap routine the same as always. She was not having it. She drank an ounce or two, and then she was UP and running around. Today I tried to give her the bottle again. She took a couple of sips and then had a complete meltdown: screaming, clawing at my shirt and trying to pull my boobs out. I felt awful. I hate withholding something from her that is so important to her. It's our special bond, and it's heartbreaking to have to end it. She eventually cried herself to sleep in my arms, and now she's napping peacefully. I'm hoping this episode won't be repeated too many times before she starts accepting the new routine. I hope she understands that just because I'm not nursing her to sleep, we can still snuggle together in the rocking chair and share the same closeness we've always had.

Does anyone who has been through this have any suggestions on making weaning easier? I want it to be as minimally traumatizing to us both as possible!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Eleven Months

Dear Samantha,

Today you are 11 months old. I can't believe that in just one, short, little month, you will have been a part of our lives for ONE WHOLE YEAR. The months seem to go by faster and faster! This month was a big one for you. At just over 10 months, you started WALKING. Every day you walk further and further and you are getting better and better at balancing. Last week you started pushing yourself up to standing without holding onto anything!

Once you figured out how to walk, you suddenly started using hand gestures. You now wave and point as if you've been doing it all along. You're always pointing at things, wanting to know what they are. You wave hello and goodbye, and you also sign "all done" when you are finished eating.

You have definitely been perfecting the high-pitched squeal when you giggle. (Mommy may or may not have encouraged that!) You LOVE to laugh, and you often imitate our laughter, or instigate some fake-sounding laughter of your own. We like to echo each other's laughter back and forth, until we both erupt into giggles. You are such a little goofball! You started wrinkling your nose and making a squinty face when you laugh now, just like Mommy. You also make the funniest squinty faces when you are mad or when you are confused.

You are looking more and more like Mommy now. Your mad or serious faces still look like Daddy, but all your goofy and excited faces are very much like Mommy's. Your hair is getting lighter and lighter, and it's about the same color as Mommy's now.

You are also learning how to express different emotions. Aside from all your funny facial expressions, you are showing your disgust, anger, or indifference. It's fun to see you learning how to show different emotions, but sometimes it can be frustrating when you start acting like a little grump. Most of the time you are happy and full of giggles though.

This month you have had back-to-back colds, and you were sick most of the month of March. Thankfully you're pretty happy when you are sick! You came down with your first ear infection - in both ears. You topped it off by vomiting twice on the morning of your 11-month birthday! We were so sad for you, but you handled it like a trooper. You got your very first prescription and managed to knock out the infection pretty quickly. Since your sickness you haven't been sleeping well (again), so we are having to start back on sleep training so that Mommy and Daddy can get some sleep. After one night, you are already doing better again. Hopefully you'll be sleeping through the night regularly very soon!

Mommy is very busy this month planning your birthday party. In less than a month your grandparents will be here to celebrate with you! I'm sure this month will fly by even faster than the last. You are SO much fun now, and you constantly have us in giggles!
We love you very very much!

Love, Mommy

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Agoo Apparel Leggings Review

Move over, Baby Legs...there's a new kid in town! I was thrilled when I was offered a chance to review a pair of Agoo Leggings for Samantha. These things are SO nice! I received a pair of the "Very Baby" girls leggings.

When Sam was younger I loved putting her in the Baby Legs leggings. They have such cute designs! For the last several months though, I haven't been able to put them on her because they are just too small and they squeeze her poor chunky little thighs! I figured our leggings days were over until I discovered these Agoo leggings. They are a bit larger and will fit her for a long time to come.

Agoo is a Canadian company that makes stylish active wear for urban kids. These are so fashionable that Sam can still enjoy them after she grows out of the cutesy baby phase. The leggings are made from 70% bamboo, and are super soft and comfy. (I'd even wear these things!) Plus, they are breathable, antibacterial, UV protective, and odor resistant. How can you go wrong with that?

What is Agoo? As they say on their website, "Agoo" is "joy from experiencing something for the first time." I will have to say that I definitely experienced an Agoo when I got these great leggings in the mail! Go check them out. They have so much more than just leggings; they have baby clothes, kids clothes, head bands, and other accessories. If you see something you like, they have kindly offered a 50% off discount for my readers. Just use the discount code "meetup50". It's good for everything on their site, and it's good for both American and Canadian shoppers.