Friday, December 13, 2013

For the Pumping & Working Mama

I've been working and pumping for almost 4 months now since returning to work in August. The first two months really were a huge learning curve as we struggled with a nursing strike, weight gain, and using the wrong-sized flanges. I thought I'd list out what has worked for me as a pumping mama. I hate it and I think I always will, BUT...I love that my baby girl is still getting my breast milk and that my supply has been great since day one. Things I've learned in the process...

  • Prep the night before: I have to make sure that I am washing and drying my parts every night otherwise my morning is totally rushed trying to get everything cleaned and organized.
  • Keep your pump in the same spot: Like mos mamas, I am super forgetful especially when I have so many other things I'm trying to think of as we leave the house. I always put my pump in the same spot on the kitchen counter ready to go so that I won't forget it in the morning.
  • Don't forget anything! I did this once--thought I had the little white filters in and nope...weren't there. Thankfully I work in a hospital and was able to find some!
  • Do things while you pump: I like to watch you tube videos. I catch up on Ellen and Conan, two shows I don't get to watch regularly. I also like playing a game or updating Instagram. This all distracts me from what I'm doing.
  • Make a few videos of you nursing your babe: I love watching some videos of Evie nursing while I pump. It helps the let down, it makes me smile and releases more oxytocin. This too makes the pumping process more enjoyable.
  • Eat and drink: I often have to pump on a regular break so I make sure to have a full water bottle and something to at least snack on. You need those extra calories and hydration for all the pumping you're doing.
  • Don't pump at home...unless you have to. I keep the pumping just for work and have rarely had to pump at home. This makes nursing more intimate and helps me only associate pumping with work. Then I dislike it less. :)
  • Lastly...just keep reminding yourself that you're doing a great job! It's tough work pumping and working. It can be exhausting and interrupts your day. So much of my time is dictated by when I need to pump but I'm totally used to the routine now. It takes time to get comfortable with it all so just keep hanging in there if you're still trying to figure it all out. I does get easier! 

Year in Review 2013

This year has been both wonderfully fulfilling while also challenging. I don't really make New Year's resolutions but I am always aiming to somehow help my physical, mental and spiritual health grow in some way or another. Being pregnant for the first half of the year really was physical and mentally challenging. I was in pain 80% of the time. But once I delivered our baby girl, I recovered quickly and started to feel much better.

I'm going to let the photos and captions within sum up the year.

January 2013

  • We hunkered down most of the month, staying close to home. 
  • We did head to the new children's museum a few times which Logan loves.
  • He went to a few birthday parties, including one at Pump It Up where he had a blast bouncing around!
  • I started 3 online classes and ended up only finishing's hard being pregnant and doing school work! ;)
  • I stocked up on pregnancy items like a pregnancy belt and exercise ball.
  • I had an ultrasound of the baby and learned the placenta previa had corrected itself.
February 2013

  • Logan finally had a good haircut in which he did not cry the entire time.
  • I rounded the 3rd trimester mark at the end of the month.
  • I took newborn photos for a dear friend whose baby was in the NICU. 
  • Logan turned THREE years old while also sporting pink eye and bronchitis in which we had to reschedule his party.
  • I made the switch back to blogger from wordpress. So glad I did!
March 2013

  • We started the month off with an ultrasound.
  • Then a heat wave! We played outside in tee-shirts!
  • Our little town just north of us had a pretty bad fire start off a bit early in the season.
  • We celebrated Easter with my parents where Logan participated in his first Communion.
  • I was in horrible pain from pelvic issues...started to seek out some PT and looked into water fitness.
  • Celebrated St. Patty's Day on a cold spring morning, then got into a little fender bender.
  • Logan got all his daycare buddies (boys) on the potty training band wagon.
  • B and I went to Sipping and Painting downtown Denver and painted for a lovely date night!
  • Logan had another successful haircut.
  • I started having a ton of braxton hicks contractions so on the monitors I went a few times.
  • B had his art up in a local brewery for the entire month and sold a few pieces.
April 2013

  • We enjoyed more nice spring days...and then had some crazy spring snow storms!
  • I was LOVING my water fitness class...and love all the ladies from it! 
  • My mama had a little baby blessing for me where we had some friends and fam come over for some food and they brought me freezer meals for when the baby came. It was lovely!
  • Fell in love with my midwife after we talked about our birth plan.
  • Contractions kept up but never did anything productive, though were very exhausting!
May 2013

  • The month started out with continuous contractions that literally drove us both crazy!
  • We picked out colors and painted the nursery.
  • We got new carpet in the nursery.
  • Logan went to the eye doc for the first time where he had his eyes dilated and we learned that he probably has a stigmatism in both eyes just like his parents. Lucky guy! 
  • B painted my belly, as he did last time with Logan, three days before labor started.
  • Then, well, you know...WE HAD A BABY GIRL! Pretty much the greatest day of the year so far!
  • Celebrated my 3rd Mother's Day.
June 2013

  • Our first month as a family of four!
  • We took a trip up to the mountains to see family and just get away from our city life.
  • Logan had swim class a few times a week and loved it!
  • I met up with my water fitness mamas and the pic above is of the three birthday buddy babies--all born on the same day!
  • We finished the nursery with decorations, the crib and other personal touches.
  • Evie turned 1 month old!
  • And we made it 6 weeks breastfeeding!
July 2013

  • We blew a tire on our way home from the mountains and the first pic is of Evie and I waiting for our new tires.
  • We celebrated the 4th at home with just our little family of four.
  • Evelyn learned how to smile and showed off her Angelina Jolie lips.
  • I started my shop Evelyn's Armoire.
  • Evie had a trip to the ER and was perfectly fine thankfully!
  • I spent Sundays alone with both kids when B went back to work--tough stuff getting used to!
  • B and Logan spent an afternoon in the river digging up bugs.
  • We celebrated 1 year in our home!
  • Evelyn was baptized.
August 2013

  • I turned 29...last year in my 20s!!
  • I donated 162 ounces of breast milk to a of the most amazing things I've ever been able to give someone!!
  • B and I celebrated 5 years of marriage.
  • I had my first "caronarita" was awesome!!
  • Made it 3 months breastfeeding!!
  • Returned to work...BOO! :(
  • Started my 2nd year of school.
  • Evelyn actually slept through the night a few times! HA...teaser.
September 2013

  • Logan started preschool! And he absolutely loves it!
  • We had a massive flood rip through our area. It was pretty scary! We were trapped from the North side of town for over 24 hours.
  • Evie had a nursing strike and stopped sleeping her longer stretches.
October 2013

  • Started off the month with a trip to the farm to play and stock up on fresh veggies.
  • I finished my in class work towards becoming a CNA.
  • Evie had another trip to the ER when she went 3 days of non-stop crying...clearly in pain. Turns out it was her two bottom teeth. Girlfriend clearly has no pain tolerance (like her mama pre-natural birth) in I have an extremely high pain tolerance now. ;)
  • Celebrated my dad's birthday with a movie, which is tradition at this point! Saw Gravity in 3D and it as amazing!
  • I spent some time with a home birth midwife who urged me to go the CNM route. Very encouraging!
November 2013

  • Celebrated with my parents and B by brewery hopping around town... over finishing my clinicals for my CNA and finally becoming certified in the state of CO!!
  • Evie turned 6 months old.
  • We took a trip to Michigan, our first vacation as a family of four!
  • We had our first snow at home and then sunk into a deep freeze of -0 temps!
December 2013

  • We are only 13 days into the month...
  • So far things have been rough with lack of sleep and some neck issues I'm dealing with. More posts to come on I will leave you with...
HAPPY CHRISTMAS AND MERRY NEW YEARS!! Thanks for stinking around the ol blog.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

currently...I'm going to complain a lot

I am currently...


Buying...craft supplies and nothing else.

Forgetting...what feeling rested feels like.

Drinking...everyone else under the table...I mean I wish I was drinking everyone under the table. two sale days this weekend. Hoping selling some headbands and making some extra money and doing what I really love with my girl on my hip will cheer me up.

Ohhhh so you want to know why I'm Mr. Grinch? Well I will tell you why.

Everything going on right now is pretty shitty. We are super tight on money, hence making some extra would be nice. I am dealing with occipital neuropathy, where the nerves at the base of my skull are causing a tremendous amount of pain and numbness on the right side of my face, jaw and inner ear. It sucks.

Then there's my precious little love Evie who just will.not.sleep. At all. She goes maybe 45-90 mins at night without fussing, then needs to nurse, then cries out because she's cutting her top two teeth, then cries because she just wants to be held, and cries because she....just cries. I'm not sleeping so that is just making me a big fat, sobby cranky mess.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

bad blogger/6 months

I'm a bad blogger and it is all because I get next to no sleep almost every single night. Then I go to work, do school work, come home and just about collapse as I say goodnight to my little man, nurse my babe and try to hang out with B without falling asleep!

It's not THAT bad every single day, but I have a baby who would much rather not sleep. She wakes up every 2 hours...sometimes more than that and rarely less. I think her longest stretch has been 3 hours and that is usually in the very wee hours of the morning. Regardless, I'm exhausted. And so writing is exhausting. But the term is over so I am going to try to spend more time here updating.

Evie will be 7 months old in 10 days so I think it's time for her 6 month update!


  • 26 1/2 inches tall (28%)
  • 13.12 pounds (8%) Teeny little peanut!!
  • 2 teeth (bottom)
  • Lighter center color to her beautiful blue eyes
  • Sitting up
  • Says "Mamamama"
  • Tasting solids every so often

  • Being held
  • Being awake
  • Dancing
  • Eating her toes
  • Bath time
  • Nursing and playing with my hair
  • Playing with Logan
  • Getting kisses from the dogs
  • Watching Logan play with the dogs
  • Watching the dogs run around
  • Her daddy (can you say SMITTIN?!)

  • Sleeping
  • Being put into her car seat, but likes car rides
  • Laying on her tummy
  • Having anything put into her mouth for her (spoons, medicine,
  • When we leave the room
  • Rolling over...she's just not into it
Fun stuff:
  • She took her first plane ride over Thanksgiving to Michigan where she also had her first ride in an RV, learned to sit up alone, and tried some mashed potatoes and turkey
  • She loves wearing headbands
  • She learned to like sleeping on me face down after spending a lot of time in the Boba

  • Her best friend is Logan
  • Her favorite toy is a tie between a pink stuffed giraff with huge eyes or her little book of babies. Oh and anything with a tag on it.