NO FUN | Hand Foot and Mouth Disease

Last month we flew to San Diego for my cousin’s wedding. We made it a quick trip – in Friday night and out Sunday morning. Traveling with two to a hotel is enough for another post, so I’ll spend this one on the souvenir I brought home with me – Hand Foot and Mouth Disease.

Technically we had it before we got there. The Tuesday prior my daughter had a fever. Friday on the flight my son had a fever. My son had a rash that Saturday and one small mouth sore. My daughter and son were blessed with about 10 “blisters” a piece, so I got the brunt of the virus.

I’m writing this because while I was suffering through this I found solace in personal posts about people’s experiences. While the medical websites helped, they didn’t give me a specific idea of what might happen day in and day out. Hopefully this will help you if you’re searching for some answers.

Continue reading

BABY | Fed Is Best

When my daughter was born, we quickly and relatively easily began a long and enjoyable breastfeeding relationship.

When my son was born, I expected it to be the same way.

Turns out it’s true what everyone has told me – no two babies are the same.

While my son latched decently at the start, it quickly turned into a fight to get him to latch and stay latched. I was pumping like mad right when he was born because I wanted to be able to store my excess milk to donate, but it turned out that milk went directly to my son since breastfeeeing was a struggle.

I was keeping up relatively well with his hunger level (which was very high in my opinion), though sometimes I was only one bag of milk away from not having anything either in my breasts or in the fridge. I knew formula was an option, but since I never used formula with my daughter I was trying not to use it with my son. I kept some on hand though just in case (and did the same with my daughter until we were almost done breastfeeding).

One night, a few weeks in, he was screaming bloody murder and would not latch. I had no more pumped milk. I had to give him formula.

I knew it was ok to do so, but it still upset me. Moreso that I wasn’t able to provide him breastmilk, but I still had a prejudice against formula. As much as I had told myself and others that “Fed Is Best!” I didn’t fully believe it.

After that night we supplemented with formula for a month or so while he got a better hang of breastfeeding. Now I pump about once a day and if he needs additional food he’ll get that. And since I still can’t guarantee he will latch when he needs to eat, I always bring formula powder and water when we go out.

I no longer have the stigma I used to have about formula because I’m simply grateful I can feed my baby whenever he needs to be fed. I know some mothers can’t do that. I saw a video of a child in Aleppo and the mother said she could only give her child milk every week or so. I can’t fathom their situation, and know I am blessed to have access to a surplus of food.

It turns out that first night I gave him formula he was screaming because he needed to suck something to soothe himself, not because he needed more food. As soon as he had a few sips he was asleep. But it broke down my barrier on using formula and allowed me to fully believe the mantra of Fed Is Best, regardless of formula or breast.

Toddler | Books We Love 2YO – Q2

I can’t believe the year is almost over. That means my daughter is two and a half years old. 2.5 years since this little (now much bigger) child entered our lives. It’s even more of a striking difference between her starting size and her current size now that we have a newborn in the house, too. My daughter seems enormous!

What else is enormous is her choice in this quarter’s books. Most of these books are age appropriate, but some are big. And long. And I have to find a way to read them FAST because I can’t handle yet another repetition of a 30 page child-novel.

I will say, however, that reading her these enormous books must be helping her vocabulary and sentence structure because this little girl of mine speaks so darn well and clearly for her age. It helps me, as well, to speak more clearly and properly after I read these books aloud. It’s almost as if I can still learn a thing or two…

All right. Onto the books.

Continue reading

TODDLER | Books We Love 2yo – Q1

My daughter turned 2 in June, so this is the first “Toddler” book post, seeing as she’s definitely not a baby anymore. It’s amazing to see her grow and learn, and really difficult to think of how she used to be when she was an infant – even with pictures and video. I say, “Is this the same kid?!” Turns out it is. Who knew.

This quarter we have been focusing a lot on counting and the alphabet, as well as some shapes. However, the stories she likes don’t always have a counting or alphabet theme, so we may use physical books to count, or look at a page in a book and see what we can count. She points out the letters she knows by heart and I remind her of some others she knows but isn’t quite sure of yet.

Her storytime has expanded from before bedtime to also before naptime, however sometimes she doesn’t want to do any reading. I try to read a story and she’ll tear it out of my hands, insisting that she read it. Then once she realizes she can’t exactly read, I’ll get it back, or we’ll move on. So, sometimes storytime really only gets us one or two stories instead of the 5-10+ in months past.

Here are the ones that she at least lets me read, and usually asks for by name:

Continue reading

BABY | Inconsistent Clothing Sizes

Before my daughter was born, we were gifted a lot of hand-me-down clothing from a local friend. I was ecstatic. Tons of great clothes in tons of different brands that we didn’t have to buy, all ready for the wearing.

I organized based on tag size because, I assumed, children’s clothing was like most adult clothing in which the size was pretty standard across the board. I washed and folded onesies and pants and tee shirts and was quite happy with my setup – all organized how I like it.

Then she was born. And then she started to wear these clothes. And that’s when the problem started.

Continue reading

BE | Best Advice Ever

Five and a half years ago, I was in the throes of wedding planning. I am a planner and organizer at heart, plus a crafter and doer and an “I can do it all myself-er.” That makes for a bit of a stressful time when putting everything together for your big day.

In one of the hundreds of blogs I visited during those planning days, I came across a bit of advice I have not yet forgotten. It’s changed my perspective and the way I handle new situations. It’s short, simple, easy to remember, and something I keep in my back pocket as a mantra that I’ve used handfuls of times since I first read it.

“You are not the first person to ______.”

Continue reading

BABY | On Knowing Baby’s Gender

When I was pregnant with my daughter, I was anxious and excited to have the 20 week anatomy scan. While the major purpose of this scan is to determine that your growing baby has all of the proper bits and parts (fingers, toes, arms, legs, spine, yada yada), the level of amniotic fluid, the placement of placenta, etcetera, many people know this scan as the one when you learn the gender.

Continue reading