The Difference a Week Makes

Last week, I wrote here about my struggle with wanting to be done nursing, but feeling like Jude still wanted/needed to keep going, and I made the decision to keep plowing ahead, but to take one day at a time and not making a wide-sweeping goals of how long I wanted to continue.  What a difference this last week has made.

On Thursday I went back to work, and we were back to needing to get up and out the door by a certain time (7:10 to be exact).  Jude had been waking up pretty consistently by 6:15-6:30, so the timing wasn’t a problem, but as any mom knows, the logistics can be tricky.  To make a 7:10 departure work, I have to be completely ready to go before Jude gets up.  I wasn’t really thinking about how my wardrobe might effect our nursing rituals, but I spent most of the summer in loose fitting t-shirts and after some self-esteem/weight/needing to feel good about myself moments I bought some new clothes for the new school year and they are decidedly not nursing friendly.  Thursday morning was okay, but Friday morning Jude was a very unhappy camper when he was desperately trying to nurse and I couldn’t quite get my clothing to cooperate.  In addition to my clothing changes, he immediately eliminated his morning nap when he went back to daycare.  I guess he didn’t want to be the only one napping and not playing =)  This led to something I hadn’t seen since he was born-sleeping in!  After 2 days with no morning nap, he slept from 8 PM Friday night until 8 AM Saturday morning, and when he did wake up, he was happy, didn’t seem to be starving, and happily talked to me while I changed him, clothed him, and took him out to the living room where he had a sippy cup of milk with his dad.  People, these are developments I could get used to!  I kept him up Saturday morning as well, and Saturday night/Sunday morning looked just like the previous day, and we had our first 2 day stretch without nursing-without any tears, bad behavior, asking to nurse or any other clues that Jude was struggling with this turn of events.

But I have to say that the greatest difference is probably in me.  I think part of my struggle last week was because I felt like I wasn’t ready for Jude not to be a baby anymore.  Not that there aren’t any great benefits to nurse after a child’s first birthday, but I think for me because this was the goal I had set for myself I just maybe wasn’t ready to admit that we had reached the goal and were moving on?  Maybe I didn’t want to admit that Jude didn’t need me in that way anymore?  At any rate, I spent a lot of time thinking this week about all the things I love about this stage we are in.  I love love love that we can sorta communicate now (nothing cracks me up more than when I tell him it is time for bed and I get a chorus of “oh no…oh no…oh no…”).  Dinner time is a lot more fun now that he is eating what we are eating.  I can get a few things done while he is awake, which is a far cry to when I pretty much held him whether he was awake or napping and I got nothing done all day.  He gets excited to see us, and he just cracks me up with the things he things are fun or funny like stashing his toys on shelves or becoming obsessed with anything that has a handle on it.  He is taking tiny steps and I’m sure he will be running around before I know it.  He recognizes other kids and has a few dear little friends =)

On top of all that, dare I say it, the beginning of the school year was a lot more stressful than I was anticipating.  Not unbearable, but definitely stressful.  Lots and lots of changes.  I’m hoping it will get better, especially once my students arrive and the music begins, but in a way, I think being done with nursing will be one less thing for me to worry about as the tempo of my life has shifted into high gear.  If I didn’t need to work, I’m sure my nursing journey would be a lot different.  And really, I do feel good about all the pumping I did last school year and for nursing a year.  I just think it is time for me to have different priorities for my time with Jude.

All that to say, I think we are done nursing, and I think we are okay with it.  It’s hard to believe we have reached that point, but I’m kinda into it.  Bring on toddler hood (says the mom who has never lived with a toddler!)

Have a great week everyone!

True Confessions

Confession: Part of me is ready to be done nursing.  It kind of hit me suddenly-there haven’t been any problems, and we are only nursing once a day but I hit a wall of feeling like I was tired of leaking, nursing bras, and being the only one that can get him out of bed in the morning, all of which made me feel selfish, but the feelings were there none the less.  I was digging through some boxes 2 days ago and came across my copy of The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding, and thought I would read what they had to say about weaning.  It became clear that this was not the book to read if I was looking for permission to stop nursing =)  In the end I was just left with a lot of conflicting feelings.  My goal had always been to nurse until Jude was one and I never really thought much beyond that.  I really didn’t have a desire to nurse a toddler, or to tandem nurse once we have another child.  However, Jude has not stopped nursing on his own and I really didn’t know if he happily nursed in the mornings because he was just hungry and that was the first food source offered to him, or if there was more to it.  I talked to Dustin about it and he really felt that Jude will be fine no matter what I decided.  So Sunday morning Dustin got Jude out of bed, gave him a sippy cup of milk, and for the first time since Jude was born I went all day without nursing him, and I was kind of miserable…I’m not really sure why, but I was.  I think it was a combination of feeling guilty for not nursing him and being sad that this time might really be ending.  This morning I knew that I would be the one getting him up in the morning, and I just didn’t know what to do-continue to give him a sippy cup, or offer him the chance to nurse?  As I was praying about the whole thing I decided that I would take a sippy cup of milk with me, offer it to Jude, and if he drank it happily without requesting to nurse, that would be my signal that it was okay not to nurse.  If he really wanted to nurse, that would be my signal to hang in there.  So I offered him the cup which he drank two sips of and then threw it on the floor and “asked” in no uncertain terms to be nursed…so we nursed.  And honestly, I felt better.  I don’t really know why, but I did.

I read a quote that someone posted yesterday that said something along the lines of motherhood is not a battle against others mothers-it’s Your walk through life with Your child, which I needed to hear, because I think it is really easy for me to focus on what other moms have done with their kiddos instead of just figuring out what is really best for us.  I still do not know how long we will keep nursing, and we obviously won’t nurse forever, but I think that for right now this is what I need to keep doing for him and we will see what happens.

Blessings!

Our first zoo

Last week Jude and I traveled with my parents to visit my sister and bro-in-law in the great state of Indiana.  The 10 hour drive was difficult for Jude, but I’m really glad that we went because we had a great time!  One of my favorite things that we did was visit the Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo, which was the first zoo that we have visited with Jude.  I could not believe how visible the animals were, and the zoo had a lot of attractions to keep the kiddos entertained.  If you find yourself near Ft. Wayne, Indiana, it is a must see for your children!

The entrance to the zoo-we arrived a little after 9:00 AM to try and beat the heat.

My teacher-self loved that the animals were grouped by the geographic regions where they would be found in the wild. Our first stop was the African Journey.

oooo….ahhhhh…ambiance

Jude and I climbed in a Land Rover.

One of our favorite attractions was a Giraffe feeding platform. It was crazy to be so close to such a huge animal!

Pappy and Jude took a turn feeding the giraffe a piece of lettuce.

Getting our drum on in an African village.

Next we took a train ride!

Beside the real train that had a train for the kids to play in.

Next we went on an Australian Adventure.

Jude is a Joey!!

I have to admit that I didn’t think he would like being a joey, but I was wrong!

Auntie Trista took a turn as well =)

The Australian area featured a flume ride through the kangaroo habitat. I’m not sure why the ride attendant allowed all 6 of us in the same flume…it was a slooooow ride =) Unfortunately Jude thought all that water meant it was bath time, and he was quite indignant that he couldn’t get in the water.

The Kangaroos! If you look really closely, the kangaroo that is standing up in the middle has a joey in her pouch!

Jude couldn’t take it any more and had to grab a quick nap in the stroller.

Yikes

Last but not least, we visited the Indonesian Rain Forest.

It isn’t a trip to the zoo without a picture with a statue.

The Orangutan was huge!

We had such a good time, and I look forward to taking Jude back when he is a little older.  I hope you enjoyed the photos from our trip =)

My Chicken Salad

This is my new house:

It is wonderful in so many ways, but one of the things I love about it is that I have a dishwasher! I know it probably doesn’t sound like the biggest deal, but prior to our move I was really beginning to dread cooking because I just didn’t want to deal with doing the dishes after a day at work and a little guy to take care of.  Now that I have a dishwasher, I’m really falling in love with cooking again.  I am not a cook that creates many of my own recipes, but I have created a chicken salad recipe that I love which was based on a chicken salad that is served at Cafe d’Italia on the square of Chambersburg.  I have made this a few times recently and I have had some requests for the recipe so I hope you enjoy!  I haven’t spent a lot of time testing this, so my measurements are approximate-feel free to add or take away what you don’t want.

Golden Chicken Salad-serves 3 or 4
1 cup diced cooked chicken breast (you can roast it, grill it, poach it…I have even used the Perdue Shortcut precooked chicken when I have been in a hurry)
1 stalk of celery, finely diced
1/4 cup golden raisins
1/4 cup toasted sliced almonds

Dressing:
1 cup mayo
1/2 cup sour cream
juice of 1/2 lemon
big pinch of salt

Combine the chicken, celery, raisins and almonds in a big bowl.  Stir the dressing ingredients together in a separate bowl.  Add about 3/4 of the dressing to the other ingredients and stir to combine-add more dressing if it seems dry.  Enjoy!

I’m sure you could easily substitute low-fat mayo and sour cream if you desire.  The recipe is super easy to double (or triple) and it’s great to serve at a baby shower or for an expectant mama that is avoiding deli meat.  Even my son likes the chicken mixed with the dressing.

This is terrible, but if you put mayo on meat, he is much more likely to eat it (bad mommy!)

Have a great Tuesday!

 

 

Pump it Up!

I realized over the weekend that my school year actually begins next Thursday-it was not a sad or stressful realization, but it definitely snuck up on me!  Since I missed the beginning of the school year due to my maternity leave last year, I’m really looking forward to being in my domain from the get-go.  I’m also more than a little excited that I won’t be pumping breast milk this year.  As I’ve said many times, I’m glad pumps exist because it is the only way working mamas can keep nursing, but it is neither easy or convenient, so I will relish a little time off so I can be ready to pump again whenever it’s time for Baby #2.

In honor of the school year starting again, I thought I would share my tips for pumping at work just in case there are any mamas out there going back to work that could use some encouragement for their pumping careers.  I certainly am not an expert, but I was successful in pumping enough milk for all of Jude’s day-care bottles AND to mix in all of his cereal from October through June, so I figure there might be something I learned that is worth sharing.  Feel free to share with me any tips you have!

Tip #1-Start pumping a few bottles before you go back to work.  Pumping is not hard, but for me, it took a few sessions before I really felt like I knew what I was doing, and since going back to work it stressful enough, having the stress of also figuring out pumping was not what I wanted to do.  I think it is also a good idea to make sure that your baby will drink well from a bottle before you send them to day-care, just for their own happiness.  When I was still on maternity leave I would have Dustin give Jude a bottle while I was cooking dinner-I loved the small break, Dustin had a chance to feed him, and I could feel confident that Jude would eat from his bottles at day-care.  I don’t know when the perfect time to start pumping a bottle or two is, but I started when Jude was about 4-5 weeks old, and I didn’t have any problems.  I assume that you wouldn’t want to start too much before that.

Tip #2-Anytime the Baby Has a Bottle, Mom Pumps.  There were times when Jude would have a bottle of expressed milk that I had pumped the day before, and I was really tempted just to enjoy the break, but I had a hard and fast rule that I would always pump when Jude ate so that my body could get used to his eating schedule for days that I wasn’t pumping. Once I was at work I went by how many bottles he drank at day-care.  He usually drank 3, so I would pump once when I first got to work (later I started pumping at home before we left), once at lunch time, and once at the end of the school day.

Tip #3-Invest in a double, electric Breastpump.  While I’m sure there are many great hand pumps, or single electric breastpumps on the market, a working mama needs the big guns.  At work it took me an average of 15 minutes to pump, and that even seemed at times to take too long, so you really want to have the most efficient machine possible.  I have a Medela Pump In Style Advanced Breast Pump w/ Backpack and have been really happy with it.

Tip #4-Find a comfortable place to pump at work.  This is easier said than done, but since you will be pumping at work 2 or 3 times everyday you want to make sure you are comfortable, or it will be easy to give up.  You will need an electrical outlet-the Medela pump that I have does have a battery pack with it, which I only used once, and it does not work as powerfully.  A sink would be nice, but Medela makes Quick Clean Breastpump and Accessory Wipes for the pump parts, which I used with no problems.  I needed a lock on the door so that I felt comfortable, but I know lots of mamas that just positioned their desk and chair so that they faced away from the door and could call out if they heard someone come in.  Whatever makes you comfy.

Tip #5-Use every opportunity to freeze extra milk.  Throughout my pumping career I froze somewhere around 300 ounces of milk, and to make it to the bitter end I used all of it except one 6 ounce bag.  I kept pumping three times a day to the end of the school year, but once I started adding my milk to his cereal, it was a little harder to make sure that I had enough for the next day-some days I would even pump once before bed just to get a few more ounces.  All that to say it was comforting to know that there was milk in the freezer if I just couldn’t pump enough that day.

When I first started pumping Jude would drink maybe 3 ounces at a time, but I would usually pump 6-8 ounces (or sometimes more!) at a time, so I would separate 3 ounces into a bottle for him and keep the rest separate so it wouldn’t be contaminated.  I would usually keep it in the fridge for a day just to see if we needed it, and if not, I would store it in the freezer.  When Jude was about 4 months old I stopped making more than what he ate, so the next time around, I will try to freeze more.

Tip #6-Make sure all your parts and bottles are clean and packed the night before.  Oh did we have issues getting out the door in the morning!  My strategy to keep from forgetting an important pump part at home, which would necessitate a drive home, I cleaned and packed everything the night before so I just had to grab an ice pack and I was good to go in the morning.

Tip #7-Exclusively nurse over the weekend.  I truly believe that for me nursing made my milk supply go up, and pumping tended to make it go down slightly.  I always took advantage of the time I wasn’t at work to nurse nurse nurse.  As much as I enjoyed Dustin giving Jude a suppertime bottle while I was on maternity leave, once I was back at work that stopped-I took every advantage to nurse (if for no other reason that to not need to pump!-see Rule 2)

Tip #8-Try to have a sense of humor about the whole thing.  Yes, you are milking yourself at a professional work place…people will wonder why you are always locked in your storage closet…you may even have a conversation with your school’s 70 year old, male guidance counselor through the door WHILE pumping (true story) because he doesn’t know what you are doing….or you may hear “where does she go-I can never find her!!!” being said by your colleagues as you are pumping. You will probably spill milk on yourself at some point.  At the end of the day you are doing this for that sweet baby at home and it is worth all the hassle.  Hopefully you will have friends at work that will encourage you, support you, and make excuses for you if you are late to a staff meeting so that no one sends out a search party looking for you.  In the grand scheme of things this season of your life will only last for a short while, and you may even miss it once it is over.

So those are my thoughts on pumping and many blessings to all those pumping mamas out there!

For the record, Jude is now 12 1/2 months old, and yes, we are still nursing once a day when he first wakes up.  Because I knew I wasn’t going to pump this school year, I started giving Jude sippy cups of milk during the day and was nursing first thing in the morning, and right before bed, but he started biting me every time I nursed him at night, so we scaled back to just first thing in the morning.  I don’t know how long we will keep going, but we are sticking with it for now.

Happy school year everyone!

One Year!!

How on earth is my baby one??  I mean seriously-wasn’t I just at the hospital waiting around to have him?  I remember so vividly that morning-my water broke at 2 AM, we were at the hospital by 3AM…I kept thinking how awesome it was that my water broke on my mom’s birthday, and I was really hoping he would be born before the end of the day so that they could share a birthday…I wasn’t having any contractions so I was induced…by 7 PM I had only made it to 3 cm dilated, and then I began to swell back shut we we decided it was time to get this baby out, although Jude wasn’t under any stress so the doctor took her time.  At 8:02 Jude entered the world and I have never been so happy to hear a baby cry!  After suffering a miscarriage before Jude, I was just so relieved that my pregnancy was over and that we had both made it!  A few minutes later they brought him around for me to see him.  I was nauseous and soooo sleepy, but seeing him was one of the coolest moments of my life.

The first couple hours after his birth were pretty interesting, because when they applied the anesthesia for my surgery, they didn’t take my short stature into consideration, so I ended up being numb from the neck down, which is a little higher than they intended =)  But they propped Jude up in my arm and we nursed and it was wonderful.  I had read and heard so much about how C-section mamas and babies don’t bond as well, and c-section babies can be poor nursers, but that was NOT my experience at all!  Dustin was so amazing through the whole thing-he changed every diaper at the hospital, and he got up each time Jude fussed in the middle of the night and brought him to me.  He also spent a fair amount of time helping to keep Jude awake to nurse.  What a blessing my husband is to me!  All his help allowed me to do what I enjoyed best-just gazing at my little miracle.

We then experienced the blessing of so many dear friends and family that visited us, brought us meals, and offered encouragement.  Our parents cleaned, cooked, and held the baby when I needed to handle things or catch a cat-nap.  Before I was ready it was time to go back to work, but again, the Lord blessed us in so many ways, and we were so fortunate to have found a great daycare, and Jude made his first friend!

In the days since then he has learned to smile, roll over, sit-up, eat off a spoon, crawl, eat with his hands, master the sippy-cup, cut 4 teeth, pull himself up, say a few words, empty my kitchen cabinets (and my bookshelves!), and charm just about everyone he meets.  I love it that when we go to the grocery store or Lowe’s and Jude flashes perfect strangers his toothy grin and they can’t help but smile =)

Over the past year I have learned so much about love, compassion, generosity, and friendship.  We have been overwhelmed by the love we feel for this boy, and for the love and support we have received from our family, our church family, and all our friends.  I didn’t realize one’s life could be so very full =)

So I guess a year must really have gone by if all these things have occurred.  I think I finally understand this verse at the end of the story of Jesus’s birth: But Mary treasured up these things and pondered them in her heart-Luke 2:19.  I guess no mama ever forgets the moment she meets her baby =)

Moving Day is Coming…

I’m feeling a little stressed about our upcoming move.  I never want to be guilty of complaining about a blessing, and our new home is definitely a blessing.  I decided to make a list of some of the things I love about our new home, in hopes that it will distract me from the pile of boxes in my living room…and kitchen…and bedroom…

  • First and foremost, it will the first place we live in that will be OURS.  Walls can be painted, floor plans can be changed, and gardens can be planted.  We will not need to worry that our landlords will decide to sell the house we are living in, or be forced to leave because the landlords want to give the place to a close family member that is going through a hard time (which has happened to us!!)  We can turn this house into a home that will be efficient and comfortable for our family.
  • Let there be light!! Our current home has front and back porches that block all light from entering the house, which has honestly effected my mood since we have lived here.  Our new home has big, beautiful windows in the living room, sliding glass doors in the dining room, and a large window in the kitchen-all of which should get plenty of sunlight
  • There is not an outhouse in the backyard, which can not be said of our current home.  This one is pretty self-explanatory =)
  • The new home has a dishwasher and a garbage disposal, luxuries I have never had before (Except in one apartment I lived in during college-unfortunately the two were somehow connected, and whatever went through the garbage disposal ended up in the dishwasher.  We had a maintenance guy look at it, but it was never fixed.  Needless to say, we never used either one.)
  • We will have a master bathroom in our new house.  I never really cared about this before, but now that I’m a mom, I think I will appreciate having one room of the house I can relax in without a mound of toys present.  Our current home only has one full bathroom, which shares a wall with Jude’s room, which means that every morning he is woken up when one of uses the bathroom-our bathroom will now be far away from Jude’s room, and we might even get a few more minutes to get ready in the morning before Jude joins us.
  • Our yard is a blank slate.  I have always been interested in gardening and landscaping, and I’m anxious to “decorate” our yard.

I’m sure once we move I will find many other things I love about our new place, but for now these are my favorite things.  I promise to share pictures once we close.

Have a happy, happy Tuesday evening!

 

D-O-N-E!!

The 2011-2012 school year is officially in the history books for this chorus teacher, and I am happy to report that I survived my first year as a working mom!  In retrospect, it went really fast and I had to make a lot of adjustments throughout the school year with my attitude, expectations and schedule.  It also occurred to me today that I pumped at least 3 times a day for the 150 school days that remained after my maternity leave…and I’m so glad that I’m done with that stage!!! I am so thrilled that I can be a stay at home mom for the next two and half months with this cute boy.

I absolutely love my job, but I’m also looking forward to a few weeks of being addressed by my first name and being able to finish a sentence without someone asking me to go to the bathroom =)  Who knows, I might even start blogging on a more consistent basis!

A few weeks ago I wrote that we were beginning to look for a house, and I’m happy to report that we are moving at some point during this month!  We found a great 3 bedroom, 2 1/2 bath home in our hometown of Chambersburg with a very motivated seller so my goal of hosting Jude’s 1st birthday party in our home will turn out to be a reality (isn’t it cool when God orchestrates things so that even our unimportant desires are met?)  The house was not the seller’s primary dwelling and it is currently vacant, so we can settle as soon as all the paperwork is finished, which we are hoping will be in the middle of June.

My house is currently filled with boxes and I’m constantly surfing through Pinterest to figure out what color to paint my walls as we are hoping to settle in time to paint before we move in.  We started packing super early (even though we probably won’t move until the end of the month), but after 5 years of living here, there has been quite a lot to go through and donate, throw away, or sell.  If you want to be convinced that your current home is just fine, come see my house in its current state-it might make you think twice about moving =)

Jude quite enjoys having all of the boxes around-the trick is keeping him from emptying the boxes =)

Any packing/moving tips out there??

 

Crazy Week

It has been a crazy week over here at Casa Martin-as I think back over everything that has occurred, I’m actually shocked that it has all transpired in the last 4-5 days.

For starters, we have been working very hard for a few years now to be in a position to buy a home and this week we finally decided to take the plunge.   I was really hoping to move this summer, but I thought that we may be starting the process to late to make that happen, because I had always thought that buying a house was a very long, painstaking process. However, we decided on Sunday that we were officially ready to start the process, Wednesday we were preapproved for a mortgage, Thursday we met with our realtor and toured one house, and we have 3 houses to see next Tuesday.  I’m starting to think that if we find the right home quickly, we really could be moving this summer, which makes me very excited, yet overwhelmed by the thought of moving (In full disclosure, I actually dug out our tape gun this afternoon and started packing a few things that I know we won’t need anytime soon).

In other news, Jude had his 9 month appointment on Wednesday and unfortunately I left feeling very frustrated.  Jude is a little guy, and they have given me a hard time about his weight ever since he was born, and this time around the doctor feels that his weight has plateaued and she wants a weight check in one month, with possible bloodwork in the future if he hasn’t gained whatever they determine to be the right amount.  I find this all very frustrating for a few reasons.  First of all, babies that are nursed do not necessarily put on weight as quickly, and my doctor does not seem knowledgeable in the differences.  In fact, she even said that the WHO has a growth chart for breastfed babies that is different, but that they didn’t have one at the office.  Second, I asked her what I could do get him to eat more, because Jude will scream bloody murder if I try and feed him more when he is full.  Her response was that there really is nothing I can do but things like putting more butter on his mashed potatoes.  Having been a very small child that could eat whatever I wanted that became a college student that realized too late that I couldn’t still eat that way, I’m pretty opposed to this thinking (especially since we have never even given Jude butter!)  Not to mention that Jude is currently teething AND has a stuffy nose, neither of which is making eating or nursing one of his top desires at the moment.  For those of you wondering why I haven’t found a new doctor, I should explain that the practice I take Jude to has about 10 physicians, and I’m slowly taking Jude to different ones to find a doctor that is a good fit.  So far, I haven’t been blown away by anyone, but maybe they are fabulous doctors after we are out of the nursing stage….

And as I mentioned above, Jude’s top front teeth are erupting, and he has been one miserable little boy this week.  When his bottom teeth came in a few months ago he had a runny nose, but I do not remember him having a fever, but this time around he had a low-grade fever Tuesday night and Wednesday morning that was a full blown fever Wednesday night and Thursday, that finally broke on Friday.  Today Jude still has a constant runny nose, but the fever is gone.  While these past few days were miserable, I was reminded of how blessed I am that Dustin is my partner in parenthood.  Dustin has way more sick time at this point than I do, and since we hope that more babies are in our future we’re trying not to use all of the sick time I still have, so Dustin stayed home with Jude on Thursday and Friday.  However, to do so, he actually got up at 3:30 so that he could get to work by 5, take care of some responsibilities there, and come back home by 7:45 so that I could leave for work.  Fatherhood has been so natural for Dustin, and he willingly changes diapers, gives bottles, feeds him solids, administers pain meds, take temperatures, and monitors nap times.  He has never once acted like caring for Jude is only my responsibility, and I know without a doubt that Jude loves his daddy!

So that was our crazy week.  I’m hoping for a slightly calmer week, but I have a feeling that life is only going to get crazier while we hunt for a home and get ready to move.  It’s a good thing summer is coming!

9 Months of Nursing

My sweet boy is now 9 months of old, and we are still plugging away in the nursing department.  Nursing at this stage has a few new perks-specifically my son knows what to do!  It is such a far cry from when he was a newborn and it seemed like such a struggle to get in the right position and I had to help him out a lot, not to mention keep him awake to finish eating.  Now he knows what to do and it goes much faster, which is another bonus.  Now that Jude is creeping and almost crawling, I can tell already that he is not going to be a little boy that stays still, so I’m thankful for this time that we have to cuddle.

On the flip side, I am so.tired.of.pumping.  I have decided that I need a support group…something along the lines of “Mothers who want to breastfeed, but have to go to work, and after pumping 3 or 4 times every weekday want to through their Medela breastpump out the window”…or something like that =)  I know that the obvious answer is La Leche League, but unfortunately the only LLL group in my area that has meetings meets at 10 AM during the week which a working mama like myself can not attend.  Believe me, deep down I am so grateful for my pump because without it I would have dried up long ago, and because I pump all week long, I am able to nurse all weekend.  Jude has still not had any formula, and I am still mixing all his cereal with my milk and to make this happen I have had to start pumping once before bed in addition to my morning, lunchtime, and afternoon pumping sessions.  As I mentioned before, I nurse all weekend, but on those days (or a day I have off) I do still pump one time before bed to get enough milk to make his cereal the next day.  There are definitely fluctuations day to day in the amount that I am able to pump, but thankfully I had a supply of milk in the freezer that I have been able to utilize on days that I am short. I am still aiming for that one year mark, and it’s hard to believe that I only have 3 more months of pumping (cue the Hallelujah Chorus!)

I have decided that once I meet the one year mark that I’m no longer going to pump.  I will actually be off work for the summer when he meets this goal, so I plan to keep nursing at least in the morning and before bed, but we will start introducing cow’s milk.

I am overall really pleased with my first nursing experience, but I can’t help but take note of a two things I would like to differently with any other children God blesses me with.  First, I absolutely must teach my child to nurse under a cover! There have been a few times that I really needed to nurse him in public and have instead had the joy of trying to juggle my child and try to be modest as he claws at the cover so that he can see outside!  I also need to stockpile more milk during the first four months.  I discovered that when Jude was about 4 months old I no longer made more milk that what he needed to eat at day care during the day, and I have been pulling from my first four months stockpile every since.

I plan on posting about Easter tomorrow, but since you have read this far, I’m going to share a picture of Jude on Easter morning…isn’t he dreamy???

Happy (almost) Friday!!