Monday, July 24, 2017

Dear Lucia, (Seven Months)

Dear Lucia,

You are seven months old and I can hardly believe it.



I guess I can sum things up by saying...

You are a ton of fun. You love life and the glimmer in your eyes tells us so. You are full of spunk and personality.

I have said it before and I will say it again we are so blessed to have you in our lives. Your smile is contagious and any inkling of a bad day can be remedied with a smile from you.

You have begun sleeping in your own crib. You love your own space and more often than not we have to retrieve you when you have woken because you do not cry, but instead babble or play with your paci or toes.

You have begun eating solids. You have tried mashed/pureed avocado, green beans, carrots, sweet potatoes, egg yolk, broccoli and pears. Your favorite being sweet potato mixed with egg yolk.  You also love drinking a bit of water from your Hello Kitty sippy. Your reaction when you get a drop or two of water is priceless.

You love to play both independently and with others.  You love to hear us sing with your favorite songs being, "Itsy Bitsy Spider" and "If Your're Happy and You Know It..."

We had your six month pictures taken and here are a couple of our favorites.



We love you so very much Lucia. 

Love, 
Mommy

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Exclusive Pumping

Not everyone has a 'journey' to exclusively pumping there can be more than one reason others may 'choose' to exclusively pump.  I think its important to note this because in the beginning I was completely naive to this concept. I just assumed ALL mothers wanted to either formula feed or breastfeed their babies. This is not the case.  There are also mothers out there who want to feed their babies breast milk without breastfeeding. 

My journey to EPing was not an easy one.  Lucia had issues latching. We worked with numerous lactation consultants. She did not have a lip or tongue tie.  She had a small mouth, was very eager to eat and lacked some coordination to do so.  The thing is breastfeeding isn't as natural of a process for some as society may lead us to believe.  


I began hand expressing colostrum and spoon feeding her and she would have an occasional latch for a very short period of time. On the second day I began pumping. I continued attempting to feed her from my breast. I was constantly ringing the LC's for assistance.  


We left the hospital two days after Lucia's birth. The pediatrician was a little reluctant to release us as she lost a little bit more than the acceptable 10% weight loss but agreed to do so after we agreed to a weigh-in two days later.  


My milk came in on the third day just as we had hoped. This was huge as I had a few risk factors in issues with delayed lactation including a long induction, cesarean section and large amount of blood loss after delivery.  It was at this point I came to grips with the fact that my heart was set on breastfeeding, but in the end my heart and mind were truly set on feeding Lucia my milk or breast milk (I would have considered donor milk) until she was one year old.


I continued to try and breastfeed Lucia for a couple of weeks after we were home, but also continued to pump every 2.5 hours to maintain and grow my supply. When I was not pumping I was practicing skin to skin and attempting to have Lucia latch. 


After many sleepless nights and numerous lactation consultant visits I decided to exclusively pump.  

Was I disappointed? I was and still am a bit sad, but I am also thrilled I have had enough milk to feed Lucia from day 1. 

I have been exclusively pumping for 6 months and 18 days and have been blessed to be able to feed Lucia solely my breast milk. It has not been easy, but it hasn't been extremely difficult neither. The pros outweigh the cons. When I see her thriving and enjoying mamas milk it makes me beam with happiness. 

Do you have any questions regarding exclusively pumping?   

  

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Dear Lucia, (Six Months)

Today is your 1/2 birthday! We did not celebrate with cake, but instead your very first taste of food other than mama's milk. Avocado was a hit.  Proof.  


You are such a sweetheart.  You melt the hearts of so many around you. Your personality has continued to blossom.  You continue to be very curious and are always smiling and/or laughing. We have been stopped on more than one occasion by someone commenting on what a happy baby you are. 


The pediatrician called you a 'little firecracker' this afternoon and you really are.  Your facial expressions say it all. You have no qualms about letting us know what you want. You have also began to fuss if a toy is taken from you.  You can see the motivation in your eyes when trying to reach for an object or move around. 

You sat up in the shopping cart for the first time, and absolutely loved it. You looked so proud and giggled all the way through our shopping trip at Trader Joe's.  I am pretty sure Saturday morning grocery trips will become a thing for us through the years. 
You still fit into most of your 3-6 month clothing but that is not a surprise as you are quite petite. You make the 10th percentile look fabulous.  Your Nonna and Nonno are quite certain you will grow to be taller than both myself and your Daddy, but your pediatrician begs to differ. 

Lucia I wish I could remember every second and detail of the days that pass. 

Love you lots & lots, 

Mommy  





Thursday, June 1, 2017

Baby Must Haves {First 6 Months}

I have kept a running list of my baby must haves with Lucia to share with my sister-in-law and brother who are going through infertility treatments.  They recently had a very successful retrieval with excellent PGS results - okay, perfect PGS results! 

I figured I could share my baby must haves with you! These are my must haves for the first 6 months and also some honorable mentions. 


Cloud B Sleep Sheep - Lucia needs white noise to sleep, and that is not a bad thing. There are several advantages of sleeping with white noise.  The white noise is a cue for Lucia to sleep.  When she hears the noise she almost instantaneously closes her eyes and drifts off into a peaceful slumber. Are sleeping babies not the sweetest thing? Anyhow, there is also this study which shows that babies who sleep with a fan in their room are at a lower risk for SIDS. It could be the air circulation, but could also be the white noise.  The white noise reduces active sleep and active sleep is the sleep state where SIDS is most likely to occur.  White noise is also a tremendous help for when she is overstimulated. Again, it has a calming cue. We have several white noise machines around the house in the areas she sleeps and then also the White Noise app for on the go. 

Fisher Price Kick and Play Piano - This was the first toy that Lucia was interested in and still finds interesting. I can see her playing with this for months to come as it 'grows with her'. The music stimulates her and she loves to kick the keys to set off the music.  She found this much more interesting than her $80 play mat especially in the younger months. This is a great toy to introduce to your little one around the 2 month mark. 

Fisher Price Rock n Play - This has been the single most necessary baby item for us.  The only thing I would change is I would purchase two seeing we have a two story house. Lucia suffered from some nasty acid reflux and this little contraption has been her saving grace. We do not use the vibrate or auto rock functions but Lucia has been sleeping in this contraption since she refused to sleep in her expensive bassinet and crib.  As much as I love it, I know that this is going to be a very hard habit to break and need to begin transitioning Lucia to sleeping in her crib. I should have begun this like yesterday (months ago). I plan on beginning the transition tomorrow evening. Wish me luck - I am going to need it. 

Lifefactory Silicone Teethers - I feel as if I have purchased every teether known to man, but these were clearly the winners with our sweet Lucia. The different textures, ease of bending and overall design have been key in helping with the pain associated with teething.  They are also made in the USA! 

Hanna Andersson Pajamas - If you follow me on Instagram then you know I have a slight infatuation with these pajamas, but seriously these are the best pajamas. Lucia has been wearing a few pairs of HA jammies since she was born and is just now outgrowing them (size 50) She could not wear 0-3 month (too big) clothing when she was born, but was able to wear the HA (size 50) with obviously months to grow! They are made with organic cotton, no flame retardants, and are super soft (and get softer after each wash). In addition, these suckers wear well. They look almost brand new. The zippered long johns have been my favorite for all of the midnight diaper changes. 

Munchkin Waterproof Changing Pad Liners - We use these suckers everywhere there may be a mess (bouncer, changing pad, pack & play) etc. We also used them during the newborn stage when we would change her on our bed because let me tell you even girls get a bit wild when they pee. 




Monday, May 8, 2017

Dear Lucia, (Five Months)

You are one short month away from being with us for HALF of a year.  You are full of so much curiosity.  You have grown so much in this last month - physically and developmentally.


We have not weighed you, but you are definitely filling out your 3-6 month clothing and ready to move up to size 1 diapers.

You are talking up a storm! You love to be told stories and now respond with some of your own.  You are also blowing raspberries and drooling at an alarming rate. It is very evident that these two bottom teeth of yours will be here before we know it.

You love this bunny!

You are also undeniably curious. You stare at objects with such curiosity and even fuss until we help you satisfy your curiosity.  Just recently we had to put you in arms reach of a bag of Saltines. You were fascinated by the crinkle it made when you touched it.

You have begun rolling over more often than than before and wiggle yourself out of the Boppy.  You grab at your toys on the toy bar above your piano play-mat as leverage for you to attempt to lift yourself up.  You do not like to be stationary and do everything in your power to wiggle elsewhere. Time to baby-proof the house!

We celebrated your baptism a couple of days before you turned five months.  It was a joyous occasion and you were celebrated by everyone that loves you and prayed for you before you were even born. The ceremony was longer than most and you were a trooper in your big white gown.  I am sure it was less comfortable than your usual attire.  One of the highlights of the day was definitely the part when you dropped your favorite teether in the baptismal fountain!


I cannot wait to see what month six brings!

Love you to the moon and back!

Mommy

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Dear Lucia, (Four Months)

This last month has been a month full of exciting changes.  You are full of smiles and giggles. Lucia, you make me happy every - single - day. Truly.  There is nothing I enjoy more than returning home to you after a day of work.  The truth is I don't always let you sleep if I come home and you are sleeping. I cant help myself, and you do not seem to mind.



You have continued to roll over from belly to back. You don't do it often, but its enough to make us worry about where we lay you down. Your dislike for tummy time has not changed much.  You prefer to be sitting on one of our laps or in one of your chairs and observing all of the sights and sounds that surround you.  You can see the curiosity in your eyes.  You have also begun turning when your name is called. It has been one of my favorite milestones thus far. You have also found your toes and are eager to explore them when your feet are bare.  Just this morning you fussed at your feet until I
uncovered them from your sleeper.

You have been in good hands while I have been working.  You have been able to spend time with your Uncle David and Auntie Fay and also your Auntie Rita. Nonna has spent so much time teaching you new tricks.  You now give "five" when someone prompts you with their hand.  You have also mouthed the sounds of "I love you" on different occasions with Nonna repeatedly prompting you. I am not going to lie I didn't believe her at first that is until I saw the video. You love to mimic us!

You continue to love being out and about whether its a stroll around the neighborhood, a trip to the car wash with Daddy or a trip to Target with Mommy.

You are sleeping through the night and using that time to grow! The majority of your clothes are in the 3-6 month range and you are quickly outgrowing size one diapers. You were 24 inches and 12lb 5oz at your 4 month checkup (4 month & 4 days)

I am so thankful to call you my daughter.









Monday, March 20, 2017

Working Mama Routine

I am back at work, and feeling like I can handle this new gig as a working mama.  I experienced lots of anxiety about returning back to work, and it is quite possible that you found this blog post because you are having some major anxiety returning to work after maternity leave...


YOU'VE GOT THIS MAMA!


My transition has thus far has been fairly smooth, but I do understand that I have a lot on my side with the big one being in home care for Lucia.   


I wanted to share a few things that I did in order to make the transition a little smoother.

  • Communicate with your caregiver; I drafted a 4 page document (excessive? perhaps) sharing Lucia's general schedule and everything I thought would be helpful to my mother-in-law. It was also therapeutic to me. I felt a gazillion times better after writing it out on paper. I also went a little crazy with the label maker by labeling all of Lucia's necessities.  If I was going the daycare route I would probably have had a trial day. 
  • I am exclusively pumping so I was no stranger to the pump, but if you are not it would be worth while to begin pumping before going back to work to become acquainted with the pump and to stash some breast milk in the freezer.  I also put a work pumping schedule into effect. A couple of weeks prior to returning to work, I began pumping on the schedule I planned to use when returning to work. I plan on posting all about my pumping journey and tips and tricks I have found along the way. 
  • If possible, outsource.  Hire a cleaning service, utilize Amazon Prime for household necessities and use grocery delivery services like Peapod.    
  • Stock your desk drawer full of healthy-ish snacks if you are pumping. Also, invest in a nice water bottle for after pump sessions when you are in need of ALL OF THE WATER.
  • Plan meals and also realize you are not necessarily going to have the time to prepare the meals you did before baby. I was famous for running to the grocery story numerous times a week, and now I am religiously meal planning. I plan at least two crock pot meals, one convenience meal (think... Trader Joe's Orange Chicken or frozen pizza), one dining out/carry out meal and a simple meal for during the week.  The weekends are up in the air.
  • Use your lunch break to meal plan, run errands, appointments, exercise, meet friends for lunch, etc.
  • Challenge yourself to at least one household task before work and one household task after work. 
  • Spend 45 minutes of uninterrupted time with your child immediately after returning home from work.  This is so important to me. It allows me to disconnect from work and reconnect to Lucia.  I am also much more adamant about 'disconnecting' on the weekends. I allow myself to blog, interact on social media and check e-mails during the time she is napping or the time that I am pumping.  It's all about the quality of the time being spent with your child!
  • Talk to your boss about changing your schedule to something a bit more flexible. I have arranged for 2-3 early days and a more flexible start time in the morning. The ability to avoid rush hour traffic will be a big lifesaver! Get creative.