Saturday, July 23, 2011

"Just let me get my head right- where the hell am I?"

Welcome to
A Bunch of Random Thoughts Because It's
Too Friggin' Hot Outside To Really Concentrate On Any One Topic!
{cue game show-type music}

Seriously. My brain is fried.

PJ and I had been cooped up for two day because it was just too hot to take him outside. We finally ventured out today for some time with friends and then a trip to the (very crowded) mall to get a birthday gift! Nothing to really write home about blog-wise, but it's what went down.

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Amy Winehouse was found dead today. I am a huge, huge fan of her music and think that Back to Black was brilliant, but the fact is that we've all been watching her die for years. It wasn't a shock at all, just a huge disappointment. I used to say that it made me so angry that God allowed Amy Winehouse to live when she was trying so hard to die and had my brother-in-law Greg die when he was trying to hard to live. Now that she's passed, it doesn't feel like the playing field is leveled at all. It just seems like a gigantic fucking waste all across the board.

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I went to a La Leche League meeting for the first time this past Monday! I know, dumb, right, since my son has weaned himself (sob!). But, I figured that since I had such an amazingly positive breastfeeding experience that maybe I could be a support system to other moms. The meeting was great! The women were all warm and funny and I found that I had something to offer with my story and even though my son is not nursing anymore, still had things to learn! I'm looking forward to going to more meetings and becoming more involved!

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Pete and I really need to go on a date. Weddings do not count (and we've only been to two of those since PJ has been born anyway!). We need to go out simply to be together and for no other reason. We haven't done that since before PJ was born and we are way overdue. I am still not very good with leaving PJ with someone that's not myself or Pete (I hardly ever do) but for the sake of my marriage I need to get over it. It doesn't have to be often, but it does need to happen.

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It's late and I am sleepy. It's time for bed.

Friday, July 22, 2011

"What have you done for me lately?"

Grab your sports bra and hop, hop, hop!

It's the Breastfeeding Blog Hop!
Whee!


You can get all the details on how to join in by visiting Jen at Life With Levi! While you're at it, take come time to check out her fun mama blog!

This weeks topic is...
 The Benefits of Breastfeeding

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We all talked a few weeks ago about the changes in your body that breastfeeding brings. There were a few pluses (no periods, weight loss) in a long litany of minuses (saggy boobs, sore nipples).

All of that aside, we've all heard it: Breast is Best. While I don't think that formula feeding makes a woman less of a mother or gives her child less of a shot then a mother who does breastfeed, it was indeed the right thing for us and for a number of reasons.

"Waahh! I haz no boobeez!"
In all honesty, the number one reason we wanted to breastfeed is because it's free. FREE! We weren't laying out money for formula or bottles except for a few I kept for pumping. Until PJ was almost 6 months he ate for free! FREE! When PJ was born, Pete had been looking for a nursing job for months and wouldn't find one for months after that. If we had needed to formula feed we would have made it work, but thankfully, PJ and I both took well to breastfeeding and likely saved $700-$1000 dollars doing so!

For PJ, the benefits were plentiful! Breast milk provided him with nutrients and antibodies and helped him to fight illness (via womanshealth.com). Breastfeeding has been found to reduce incidence of ear infection and can be easier on baby's teeny little tummy then formula. Even when it seems like your milk hasn't come in and your boobs are useless, there's colostrum, baby!!!! It's all chock-full-o-goodness for your brand-new babes tiny digestive parts! Breastfeeding your child can even reduce chances of SIDS.

SpongePete SquareBaby
Breastfeeding was the perfect fit for PJ and I. He went from a very tiny, fragile, jaundiced newborn (born 2.5 weeks early at a hefty 6 lbs even) to being strong, healthy, and so chunky he was practically square! Except for a brief bout of congestion he wasn't sick once during his entire first year (of course, he saved his first real illness for his 1st birthday party, but whatev!)!

For me, the benefits were amazing. It made me feel so alive, so useful to be able to provide nutrition for my son. Nursing was time that was just for us and allowed me to sit down and relax whenever he needed to eat! Breastfeeding even forced me to take better care of myself, making sure I drank enough water and ate enough healthy foods! I didn't have to fuss with mixing formula or cleaning bottles, all I had to do when PJ was hungry was whip out a boob. Heck, that's pretty much how I got pregnant in the first place! (Har, har.) I didn't need to pack anything special in my diaper bag as long as my bra was packin'! (Double har. Okay. No more boob jokes)

Studies have shown that breastfeeding can reduce the risk of postpartum depression, ovarian cancer, diabetes, and breast cancer, the last being extremely important to me as my family has a complex history of breast cancer. Back to work? Pump away, because breastfeeding mamas miss less work thanks to those healthy babies having fun at daycare! Want to be a green mama? Boobies don't result in any waste, don't need water to clean them (well, extra water, since I assume you shower), and don't need to use any energy to warm them- it's served right off the tap!

Do you want even more resources to help you learn more about the benefits of breastfeeding? Click here to be taken to the US Department of Health and Human Services Office on Women's Health to find tons of information!

Got something to say about the benefits of breastfeeding?
LINK UP!



Wednesday, July 20, 2011

"I've gone to look for America..."


Handsome.


Happy.


Patriotic.


PJ and I at the Oaklyn 4th of July Parade, watching Pete march with the fire department! PJ loved the parade and had so much fun even though it was superduperhot!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

"It's you and me in the summetime..."

Ugh.

It. Is. Friggin'. Hot.

It's super hot, so of course my poor PJ is super melty! The kid just can not hang with the heat, so he's been a bit out of sorts, even in the air conditioning. There's been a lot of Emergency Blue's Clues up in here, that's all I'm sayin'!

We finally got around to joining the neighborhood pool, so that offers us a cool way to get some of PJ's energy out! He loves the water and he loves running around the (very large, lovely) grounds! My cousin-in-law Jen and her brood are also members, so we have family to spend time with while he splash! Jen and the kids will soon be off to her husbands next assignment in N. Carolina (he a high-ranking officer in the Army) so it is wonderful to have some time with her and the kids.

The summer is almost halfway over, and it's gone by so fast! It's been so much fun being able to do so much with PJ- trips to the shore and the Pocanos, afternoons at the pool, story hours and music circles, playdates with friends and time with family. I know it's not likely he'll remember any of it, so I just hope he's having a good time and is happy in each moment! Even when he's throwing a tantrum!

For now, I'm off to bed- we had a busy day and this mama is tired! :-)

How has your summer been so far????

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

"Waves crash, baby don't look back..."

Pete just came off a seventeen-day long vacation, which is partially the reason I have been on a blog-cation. Having Pete home for so long was such a treat that blogging just wasn't a priority! He's gone back to work and we are back in our "normal routine" around here, which is both good and bad. Good because it's easier on PJ when we're following our usual timetables, and bad because we got back to Pete sleeping during the day and working at night. Bah.

Eager to do things with PJ during Pete's time off we headed to Margate for some time down the shore! (For those of you not from NJ, the phrase "down the shore" is the proper way to express going "to the beach".) Margate is a really nice area, between Ocean City and Atlantic City, filled with fun bars, surf shops, and home to Lucy the Elephant!

Daddy buried him in the sand! He loved it!
On our first full day we were joined by some of our favorite friends and their very excited littles! Within a half hour of their arrival at the house we were headed to the beach! PJ clearly remembered the ocean from his first visit because as soon as he had the water in his sights he took off to dip his toes in! His buddy Ezra...not so much. That handsome little dude, upon feeling the waves on his feet, promptly ran back to his stroller and climbed in! (Hi. Lar. I. Ous!) Despite the differences in opinion about the ocean, all of the kids had a great time splashing, digging, catching (sand crabs!), screeching and laughing! It was a perfect beach day...for someone with a translucent child like I have! The sky was overcast and the air was warm, so there was no searing sun to directly penetrate the NINETY GAZILLION layers of sunscreen I put on PJ. I forgot to put sunscreen on myself and burned. Fail.

We packed up and headed back to the shore house for some lunch and after everyone ate, the most amazing thing happened. Every. Single. Kid. Took. A. Nap. It was kind of the most awesome thing that's ever happened. The kids snoozed and the grown ups had a relaxing afternoon together, chatting and enjoying the quiet! After a pizza party for dinner, our friends headed home. Pete, PJ and I walked around the corner to Rita's Water Ice for some dessert. PJ got his very own ice cream cone and messily devoured the entire thing! We headed back home and after we bathed our sandy, ice-cream-y son, we tucked him into bed after his first full day at Margate!
yum!

PJ slept like a rock that night (yay!) and the next morning it was back to the beach for more fun! After his nap, we headed to the boardwalk in Ocean City! PJ's not really at an age yet where we can just grab a few slices of pizza and grab a bench to sit and eat, so we found a sit-down place to have dinner. It was delicious and once our bellies were full, we headed to Wonderland Pier so PJ could enjoy his first boardwalk ride!

There are not a lot of rides that are safe/appropriate for a 19-month-old, so we settled on the merry-go-round. We saddled PJ up on a magical carousel horse and began our ride. The music played and the horses whirled and PJ loved it! He bounced and laughed and screeched with joy and his expression was priceless! The look on his face will be in my heart forever! It was so exciting to see PJ embark on a tradition that was also a part of my and Pete's childhood- the magic and excitement of the boardwalk!

Look. At. That. Face.

On the morning of our fourth day, PJ was starting to show signs of wear and tear! He was tired and a little cranky and had an "I miss my bed" vibe. It was time to go home. So off we went.

It was a wonderful mini-vacation and such fun to see PJ really enjoy the shore and the Margate home his family shares. We are so, so lucky to have such an asset to our family, a place for all of us to enjoy and make/share memories! Seeing PJ splash in the ocean and dig in the sand and sleep soundly at night meant to much to Pete and I. We don't want PJ to be spoiled, but we do want him to have as much magic as possible, even if just for a little while!










Monday, July 11, 2011

"Change the voices in your head, make them like you instead..."

Things...

Things I am
...generous
...stubborn
...moody
...talkative

Things I am not
...patient
...religious
...fit
...neat

Things I love
...my son
...my husband
...my family
...my friends

Things I do not love
...when PJ gets a shot
...the Matrix trilogy
...bad drivers
...mean people

Things I like to eat
...enchiladas
...pancakes
...bagels and lox
...fried matzo

Things I do not like to eat
...tomato
...mushrooms
...lamb
...Quiznos

Things I have
...an amazing, wonderful son
...a patient, knowing husband
...an apartment in an awesome part of town
...many, many flip flops

Things I still want
...a house
...to be organized and neat
...to have better balance to my marriage
...to be a better me

Things I want to do tomorrow
...get PJ's bloodwork done
...wash our bedsheets
make our grocery list
...keep PJ cool and entertained on a hot day

Things I want to do in a year
...get pregnant
...make a career change
...buy a home
...become anew

Things I wished for and received
...my son
...good friends
...my husband
...my family and friends

Things I keep wishing for
...motivation
...beauty
...patience
...a maid

<---- Tell me a few things about you ---->

Friday, July 8, 2011

"Oh, you gonna let it all hang out?"

It's the Breastfeeding Blog Hop!
Whee!


You can get all the details on how to join in by visiting Jen at Life With Levi! While you're at it, take come time to check out her fun mama blog!

This weeks topic is...
 Breastfeeding Body Changes
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When my son PJ was born and I began my journey into breastfeeding, I didn't take into consideration the changes, if any, that I would see in my own body. I just wanted to get this kid fed! I figured fleetingly that I would nurse for a year, lose 20 lbs within a month from all those calories I would burn, and still have firm, perky breastestes!

Oh, did you hear that thud? That was me. Falling back to earth.

Breastfeeding is kind of a big deal. Your body is producing a substance that keeps another human being alive! It's much more complex then when my body is firing synapses to absorb this weeks episode of Gossip Girl. With all of that body complexity, it's to be expected that there will be body change.

I nursed my son for 19 months- in fact, we have fully weaned and he's no longer nursing as of two days ago (waaaaaahhhhh!!!!). In that time, the size and shape of my breasts changed dramatically! Pre-pregnancy, I was a relatively average C cup, with very little change during the pregnancy itself. When PJ was born and my milk came in -WHAM!- I grew some BIG OL' TITTAYS! They. Were. Huge. And they were hard! They were super sore and just full of weirdness in general. Thankfully, as PJ and I got into a groove with nursing, all of the weirdness settled down. My breasts were soft to the touch again and they didn't hurt.

My breasts have certainly lost some of their pre-pregnancy fullness and firmness. My tummy is also softer and my feet got wider. Things change when you have a baby- I don't know how Michelle Duggar hasn't completely fallen apart (have I ever mentioned that I lovelovelove the Duggars? Seriously.)! I guess it's because that when these changes come with your own child, it's not such a biggie. The outward changes in my body (although I could be much more fit) don't bother me in the slightest.

Inside, my body went through changes, too. My period returned quickly, when PJ was only 3 months old and still exclusively nursing (WTF!!!). I was NOT happy about that change, since I truly loved not getting my period, but come it did and there was little I could do except be thankful it didn't affect my supply. Pre-pregnancy my menstrual cycle was ridiculously regular- every 28 days by the clock! Since it's triumphant return, it's been a bit less regular, sometimes coming early, sometimes a day or two late. I have less cramping with my periods which is wonderful, but also feel a little more cranky then I used to, so I guess it's a wash. With PJ being fully weaned now (waaaaahhhh!!!!) I wonder if there will be more changes as my body gets used to not producing breast milk again.

Right now, the biggest change is in my little mama brain and my giant mama heart as I deal with PJ being weaned! It's been an emotional time for me. I know that much of that is brought on by the weaning itself and that it's physical, but I truly enjoyed nursing my son. It was the only thing in the world that only I could do for him, and it was a promise of some Mama/PJ time, every single day for just over 19 months. PJ weaned himself, he had truly lost interest in nursing, and it's both exciting to see my son become such a big, independent boy and sad to really say goodbye to PJ the infant.

Sore boobs, squirting milk accidents, bigger feet, smooshy fun bags- I'll take it all! It's my breastfeeding badge of honor!

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Want to take part in the Breastfeeding Blog Hop?
LINK UP!! LINK UP, I SAY!!!