Thursday, July 30, 2015

Thoughts about Breastfeeding

Alright beware, this is one of my "tell it like it is posts." I have noticed something when I read people's monthly baby updates on their blogs. When they talk about feeding there seem to be 3 categories:
1. They are nursing and loving it.
2. They had been nursing but had some sort of issue so they stopped.
3. There is no mention of feeding at all, which I would assume to mean they are using formula and are just terrified to mention it on their blog because someone will most likely rake them over the coals for it.
We have been very fortunate that I have been able to exclusively nurse with Mark. However, guess what? I am not "above"  giving him formula if I need to. In fact, when I go back to work I may have to. I have heard several comments lately from breastfeeding moms about formula moms that are just not nice. Things like "I would never give my child formula." (Umm...formula is not poison, it actually has a lot of vitamins in it ) and "She just was too selfish to breastfeed, she barely even tried." (Ummm that's not being selfish, it is a personal choice) and my favorite one "She will never be able to bond with her baby." (UMMM BULLSHIT!)
With Kennedy, I had supply issues. I just wasn't making enough milk and Kennedy was miserable. The lactation consultant made me feel like a terrible mother for suggesting supplementing with formula. She wanted me to take Fenugreek and do all these other things. I called my pediatrician in tears. My pediatrician said "it's really okay, give that poor baby some formula so you can rest." And that's what we did. Kennedy is a perfectly healthy, intelligent 2 and a half year old.
Look, I am not saying breastmilk isn't the healthier choice of the two. I have seen the research, I know it is.  I guess I just don't like people acting like formula is UNhealthy. I think it's also hard for me because I have never been one of those moms who has had that passion for breastfeeding. When I stopped nursing Kennedy at 6 months, I was so relieved. People told me I would cry after the last feeding and I was just like "okay, moving on! Thank goodness I don't have to worry about pumping, and leaky and sore boobs."
I am not saying it's not okay to have that passion for breastfeeding. I think it's great to have a passion for something.I just wish people would have their passion in a respectful way. Child rearing is not a competition. Being a mom is a hard enough job as it is, why can't we all support each other and the choices we make as moms?  Giving your baby formula is not dangerous so there is really no need to comment on a mother's choice to give it to her baby. I know judgment can go either way and I hope this doesn't seem like I am judging people who do have that passion for breastfeeding. I honestly do think that's great! I just have a problem with people who think breastfeeding is the only way to have a healthy baby and bond with your baby. We need to be cheerleaders for each other as moms and respect everyone's choices. Let's support each other on this amazing journey called motherhood!

Friday, July 24, 2015

5 on Friday

Yay for blogging for two days in a row! Linking up today for "Oh hey Friday" and "5 on Friday" fun.
Here's what's been on my mind this week:
1. I love making new friends and so does Kennedy! Kennedy and her new friend Charlotte totally clicked during gymnastics camp.

Charlotte is on the left

Charlotte's mom Jenna and I had fun talking and getting to know each other during the camp and she invited us to come swimming at their neighborhood pool. The girls had a total blast! They came with us to the library later this week to meet Doc McStuffins (more on that later) and we are going back to swim with them next week.

2. Can ya'll believe that Clueless came out in theaters 20 years ago??? Who else feels really old??? Love this movie! I am such a 90's girl. :)

3. Last week I participated in the "blow the whistle challenge" for domestic violence. It's a little bit similar to the ALS ice bucket challenge except not as crazy as dumping ice cold water on your head. You make a video of yourself blowing a whistle which signifies that you are breaking the silence of domestic violence and challenge 3 other people to do the same. You also have to donate to the Break the Silence fund at
I was in a very abuse relationship when I was in my early 20's. For awhile I was very ashamed and embarrased about it but I finally decided to share my story and post my video on Facebook. The response was overwhelming. I challenged my sister and 2 other friends that have also been affected by domestic violence. However, you are allowed to challenge bystanders as well. If you are challenged as a bystander you are making the pledge that if you know domestic violence is happening to someone, you will not stay silent about it. I am so glad I got the courage to finally speak up and am proud to be a survivor, not a victim.
You can read about how I finally left the relationship here and found Jesus again here.

4. I love to find healthy substitutes to foods I am craving that are not so healthy. Anyone else a fan of the peach milkshake at Chick Fila? These are almost as good!

5. So what have Kennedy and Mark been up to this week?

You can read Mark's 2 month update here. He had a great report from the pediatrician at his 2 month check up. The shots were awful and I cried almost as much as he did, just like I did with Kennedy. However he slept them off and was fine a few hours later.

Kennedy's big event this week was going to meet Doc McStuffins at the library this week with her friends Brooklyn, Caroline, Janna,  Charlotte and Ella. She had a ball even though the moms were dying laughing at the library's version of Doc McStuffins. ;) Let's just say this woman was the "geriatic" version of Doc. The kids all got to bring a stuffed animal to get a checkup from Doc and Kennedy was so proud that Pinky the monkey got a great checkup.

Ella's mom, Becky is a good friend and co-worker of mine. I taught her oldest son Jakob and Ella and her twin brother Luke were in my class last year. Becky and Ella come over to babysit a lot. Kennedy absolutely adores Ella and looks up to her so much. Ella is such a sweet girl and I am so glad Kennedy has such a good role model.

Kennedy is continuing to love dance and we already have her signed up for class this fall. My friends Brandi and Kari and their daughters Evie and Paisley are also going to start coming to class too which Kennedy is super excited about. This past Tuesday I guess everyone was on vacation because Kennedy was the only one in class, which she loved. Her teachers Miss Rachel and Miss Haley are so good with little ones. Kennedy refused to take her sunglasses off and they just let it go. That's my kind of teacher...pick your battles wisely. ;)

Only 2 more weeks until I go back to work. Savoring every second at home with my sweet babies!

Have a great weekend everyone! Thanks for reading!

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Mark is 2 months old!

Happy 2 months to our adorable baby boy! Here are some things to remember about Mark at 2 months old:
*You wear 0-3 month or 3 month clothing and a size 1 diaper. You weigh 10 pounds, 6 oz.
*You love to watch your big sister and smile at her.
*You love your play mat!
*You are a great sleeper! Mommy nurses you before she goes to bed around 8:30-9:00ish. Daddy gives you a bottle of pumped milk around midnight and then you go back back to sleep until around 6:00. However, we want to try and adjust your nightime schedule for when Mommy and Daddy go back to work on August 10th. We would like you to go down for the night just a little bit earlier. Daddy is fine going to bed around 12:30-1:00 during the summer but is usually in bed around 11 during the school year.
*You are sleeping in the rock and play sleeper in Mommy and Daddy's room. You nap all over the place, in the car seat, swing, rock and play and sometimes on Mommy's chest (my favorite!)You absolutely love to snuggle!
*You are different from your sister in that you are a very content baby. I can set you down in your swing or rock and play while I go to the bathroom, make your sister lunch, etc... and you are fine and rarely ever fuss. Your sister wanted to be held all.the.time.
*You are only eating breast milk either from Mommy or from pumped bottles. You eat around 4 oz from a pumped bottle. We are hoping to continue exclusively breastfeeding when Mommy goes back to work next month. Will be a bit of a challenge since Mommy is a teacher but we are hopeful she can get enough milk if she pumps during her planning time and right after school.
*You have started getting a little restless in church so now that you have had your 2 months vaccinations, we think we will try and see how you do in the church nursery this Sunday. Our church allows babies to start at 6 weeks old so Miss Ashton and Miss Ann have already been bugging us about bringing you!
We love you so much Mark! You have brought so much joy to our lives and have truly made our family complete.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Friday Fun!

Linking up for the 5 on Friday fun today! Being a teacher, Fridays don't mean as much to me in the summer as they do during the school year. The days all kind of run together but I still love this linkup nonetheless. It allows me to be completely random, which I love! That's my kind of blogging folks! :)
1. Anybody doing any summer reading? I just finished this:
It was one of the best books I have read in a long time. Highly reccomend! I want to read more Kristin Hannah books. I am now reading this:
I love Wally Lamb! I have read all of his books and enjoyed every single one. This one was pretty slow to start and didn't pull me in as much as his other books but I am enjoying it.
2. I know Mark is only 7 and a half weeks old but boy has it been harder to shed the baby weight this time around. With Kennedy a lot of it just fell off naturally and due to nursing. This time around, I am embarrassed to say I am only 13 pounds lighter than I was the day I went into the hospital to have him, yikes. It also feels like I am hungry allll the time due to nursing. With Kennedy I had to suppliment with formula but this time around I have had no supplyissues. These Yoplait Greek Whips have been an awesome healthy snack. I love them because they aren't watery like yogurt tends to get sometimes. They are super yummy. My favorite flavors are the vanilla cupcake, strawberry cheesecake and black cherry.

3. My friend Cassie is going in Wednesday to be induced with her first child, a little girl. She and her husband Cardell have opted not to reveal the name. All we know is her initials are LEM. The suspense is killing me! Cassie texting me the other day saying that all the lists for packing a hospital bag on pinterest were giving her anxiety and that she felt like they were more for a vacation, lol. I gave her my short and sweet list: nightgowns, full bottom underwear and shower stuff. Praying for a healthy delivery and healthy baby girl!
4. How was your 4th of July? Ours was very low key as it usually is every year. Pool time at my in-laws house (Paw-Paw and Grandma's) and some fireworks. Our friends Adam and Jessica and their boys Payton and Grayson joined us. Kennedy and Grayson were attached at the hip the whole time. They had a ton of fun playing with sparklers and playing in the pool together.

As you can see, Mark was clearly thrilled about his first 4th of July, hehe. He stayed inside with his grandma most of the time. He did come out for the big fireworks show and amazingly slept through the whole thing. I still covered his little ears though because I was so paranoid.
5. Thanks for everyone's kind words on my last post about Kennedy's adjustments to being a big sister. She started gymnastics this week in addition to dance, which she started last month. She absolutely loved it! She kept checking to see if Nick and I were watching and she would get so excited to show us what she could do. I think the extra-curricular activities are really helping with her adjustment issues.
We also met up with Jessica, Janna and Brooklyn (my friend Laurie Anne's daughter) to see a puppet show at the library and then went to Chick Fil-a for lunch this week. The puppet show was super cute and the girls had a ton of fun eating and playing at Chick Fil-a.
Also this was a couple of weeks ago, but it's too cute not to share. They have water day at Kennedy's daycare once a month during the summer. Kennedy had sooooo much fun. We bring her to daycare one day a week during the summer and every time we take her she asks if it's water day. She can't wait for the one at the end of this month and in August. She was also so excited that her and her friend Finley had the same swimsuit.

Mark has been doing awesome. I can't believe that in a little over a week, I will be writing his 2 month old post. We go to the pediatrician on the 21st for his check up and shots so I will try to post after that. Today when I was dropping Kennedy off at daycare, the assistant director handed me the paperwork for him to start in the infant room. His first official day will be August 10th, only a month away! I can't believe it.
 He continues to be a relaxed and chill baby. His favorite things are snuggling and hanging out on his playmat. If he's not sleeping, eating or cuddling with Mommy the playmat is where you can find him.
Hope everyone has a great weekend! Thanks for reading!



Monday, July 6, 2015

Big Sister Woes

Last week was a rough week. Kennedy really started acting out, lots of temper tantrums and a very hard time listening and following directions. We have tried our best to make her feel special and spend time with her but sometimes it can be hard. Especially since I am nursing and it seems like every time Kennedy is DYING for my attention it's when I am nursing Mark. By the end of the week I was about ready to pull my hair out. Everything was a battle with her. We had been invited to Jessica and Joe's for dinner and I was so nervous that Kennedy was going to have a hard time. Surprisingly though, she did great. She shared toys well with Janna and when we told the girls to clean up, she cleaned up. She listened and followed directions very well. Nick and I realized that it was obviously just us that she was acting out against because of her baby brother.
We decided to take her on a "big sister date" to see a fireworks show. My friend Becky came over to watch Mark. Unfortunately, it rained that night. We decided to take her to Chuck E Cheese instead which was great. It wasn't very crowded because it was a weeknight. Kennedy had a great time. I think the one on one time was much needed so we are going to try to do that with her more often. She kept saying over and over again on the way to Chuck E Cheese, "Baby Mark is too little to go to Chuck E. Cheese, just Kennedy gets to go!" :) I know it really made her feel special. We are going to try to do a big sister date at least once a month even if it's something simple. Last night we watched Beauty and the Beast in Mommy and Daddy's bed which she loved.

Potty training also continues to be a battle for us. I don't remember the last time she had an accident as far as going tinkle but pooping is a different story. She absolutely refuses to poop in the potty for us. We have tried everything it seems like in the form of positive reinforcement. I let her pick out some new Frozen panties in hopes that she wouldn't want to ruin them. She has already pooped in 3 pairs. I know it sounds harsh but last time I made her throw away the pair she pooped in. It still didn't faze her. My friend Becky was saying that I shouldn't stress because in her opinion, Kennedy is still pretty young. She said all three of her kids were not potty trained until they were 3. I guess it's just frustrating because she is trained as far as going tinkle so I just want her to be all the way trained. When we go out somewhere it's a constant struggle of whether to put her in a pullup or panties. With the panties, I worry she's going to poop in them. We were at the mall the other day and she was in panties. She pooped in them and it was not fun to clean up in a public bathroom. With the pullups, she will sometimes use them as a diaper because she doesn't want to stop whatever she's doing to go to the bathroom and I feel like in some ways that's just regressing backwards. I know at some point it will just click but it's hard because she usually does awesome with transitions. In a way I just kind of wish we had waited longer to get started.  
Beside all the "woes," she still continues to absolutely love her baby brother. This is all that matters to me. I would much rather her take out her frustrations on me and Nick than resent her baby brother and thankfully we have not had that issue. She still loves to help with him, sing to him and hold him.

Despite all the woes, my heart has been so full lately. I love seeing these two together. Mark loves to watch Kennedy and always stares at her so intently when she talks to him. We are so blessed.

Friday, June 26, 2015

5 on Friday!

Two posts in one week for me, yay! Happy Friday!
Here's what's been on my mind this week:
1. Being a South Carolinian, the tragedy in Charleston has really weighed heavily on my heart. I am continuing to pray daily for the families affected by it. This picture of Senator Clementa Pinckney's wife and daughters at his service yesterday just breaks my heart.

2. I am a total reality tv junkie. I think the only tv shows I really watch that are scripted are Nashville and Law and Order SVU. Until now...
Anyone else been watching Unreal? Of course I would get addicted to a scripted show that is about reality tv lol.

3. Kennedy and I are absolutely addicted to making frozen jello grapes. They are the perfect summer snack! All you do is take grapes, rinse them with water, coat with dry jello and put them in the freezer. I cut mine because I am paranoid about Kennedy choking. Our favorite flavors of jello so far have been cherry and strawberry banana. Kennedy loves to help pick the grapes off the vine and "do the sprinkles." So yummy!

4. Who's your favorite on The Bachelorette? I am totally Team Shawn! Love how he looks like Ryan Gosling and love his yankee accent! I know a lot of people aren't enjoying this season but I am. Hate to break it to people but Kaitlyn is not the first person to have sex on the show. Yes, the way it was filmed was tasteless and she probably could have gone about it a different way. However, she's real and I have respect for that. Various sources have reported that Bachelor Bob had sex with 6 out of the 25 women on his season and he didn't get slammed in the media for it. Just my opinion!

Oh and another reason I am loving this season? Kaitlyn's bird phobia! I am absolutely terrified of birds as well! It's real people! I can totally relate!

5. Leaving you with this picture that just makes my heart swell with happiness. These two love each other so much already! I can't wait to watch this brother and sister bond over the years. Love them so much!

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Let's Catch Up!

Life has been so busy lately! Let's catch up!
School is out! I was on maternity leave the last couple of weeks but I was able to come back for the end of the year awards program and say goodbye to my sweet third graders. I enjoyed celebrating their accomplishments with them.

One of my students gave me this in a frame:
I must say these are my favorite kind of teacher gifts to receive, so unique and personal!
My parents left at the end of May to go back to Oregon. Very sad to see them go. They were such a big help with the kids. It's really hard to be so far away from them and only see them 2-3 times a year. :( Kennedy sure does love Nana and Spike!
I love the fact that Nick and I are both teachers because we are both home in the summer. Even though we have a newborn, we have been having lots of fun just hanging out at home. Mark pretty much just goes with the flow. We have spent a lot of time in the backyard in Kennedy's little pool and in the sprinkler.

Kennedy got invited by her bff Janna to go to Sesame Street Live. She doesn't watch Sesame Street very much but she loves to dance and loves music so she had a blast! She danced almost the entire show!

I was going to wait until Kennedy was 3 to sign her up for dance but then my friend Brandi told me about a local dance studio that has a class called "Bitty Ballet" for 2 and 3 year olds. You can go to the first class for free and see if you like it. We took Kennedy and she LOVED it so we signed up for the summer session. She goes every Tuesday and she has such a blast. Her teacher, Ms. Rachel, and her teen assistant are both soooo patient and the class is just right for her age group. We also have her signed up for a 2 week gymnastics camp that starts in July.

We have been amazed at what a big help Kennedy has been with Mark. She has always loved to help but we thought it would get old after a week or two. We are on week 5 and she still loves to help change Mark, fetch us burp cloths and help us give him a bath. We are still working on supporting that head though...:)
Mark is 5 weeks old! We still continue to be amazed at what a relaxed baby he is. He really only cries when he's hungry or just really tired. He is only waking up 1-2 times a night to eat which is so different from Kennedy. However, he is very similar to Kennedy in the fact that he is very wide eyed and alert!

We made it to church for the first time last week! Mark did great! We have contemporary worship at our church and I think it's something about that loud praise and worship music that puts a baby to sleep. :) We kept him in his infant carrier the whole time covered so people wouldn't touch him but we had to move the canopy a few times so people could take a peek. :) It was great to be back!
My dad's side of the family came to meet Mark which included my Uncle Karl, Aunt Gail, my dad and my sister Augusta and brother Bubba. Kennedy loves having visitors and Great Uncle Karl and Uncle Bubba had lots of fun playing with her and Pinky the monkey. ;) Both my dad and my Aunt Gail have a lot of health issues so it's always good to spend time with them.

We had a great but low key Father's Day weekend. Nick absolutely loved this craft that Kennedy made for him at school.

This was the best we could get picture wise but this still makes my heart very happy!

I am also blessed to have my biological father and my step-father in my lives. Love them very much!