Saturday, August 31, 2013

Such a girly girl

I love shoes... apparently that love is genetic, because this girl is constantly putting on all the shoes she can find.

I'm so proud.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Win $100 to spend on

Where on the internet can you find skydiving, chocolate tours, and glassblowing all in one place? This site seriously has gift certificates for every type of adventure or experience you can think of. Now usually, when I look on sites like this, I can't find anything in or around Maine. I mean, I get it, we're tiny and tucked away right there next to Canada. But seriously, we like to do cool stuff too. Like skydiving, whitewater rafting, or less adventurous activities like a culinary class (just because I don't cook, doesn't mean I can't!). They have sweet experiences all over the country for just about anything you can think of.

Now, I could have been selfish and gone an experience myself and just told you all about it, but I decided to be nice and giveaway the experience to one lucky reader. That's right, don't you love me? Okay okay, a big part of the reason I decided to host the giveaway is that things are crazy right now with school just starting, grad school starting next week, and the general nuts-ness that goes along with having a 14 month old. But I digress. 

The point of this is that one awesome reader gets to win $100 to XperienceDays. This can be used to pay for an entire experience or be put towards a more expensive option. It's totally up to you. This gift card is good for 12 months from the date issued, which means you have a ton of time to decide what experience you want, and go do something awesome. Want to win? Obviously. Enter below using Rafflecopter!

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Thursday, August 29, 2013

Thursday Thoughts

  • I don't know why this is on my mind, but it is. The Special K commercials, you know, the ones that promise if you eat their protein bars/shakes/whatever you'll be so full you'll be able to resist cupcakes and other junk food. I don't get these. Never once in my life I have I eaten junk food because I'm hungry. I eat it because I'm a fatty and I like junk food. No matter how full I am, I will find room for a cupcake. Trust me.

  • Along the lines of cupcakes. Why is it that the foods that taste better, are always the ones that are bad for us. Why, with all our technology, can't we just make all our veggies taste like chocolate? 
  • I'm feeling like this school year is really going to be my year. I'm feeling confident and prepared in a way I haven't in the past. I've got an interesting group (with some really interesting names) but I think I'm going to rock it.
  • Speaking of rocking it, I'm rocking my Couch 2 5K runs lately. Yesterday I did week 6 day 2 and I kicked its butt. Which made me feel like a rockstar
  • Drew and I are signing up to run our first ever 5K on his birthday, September 15th... this is either going to make or break me... I really hope it doesn't break me. Seriously... this could be bad!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

So What Wednesday

It's Wednesday, hump day, and I'm linking up to say "So What"

  • if I'm sticking with selling ads through Passionfruit because I'm too lazy busy to figure something else out right now.
  • if my classroom still isn't ready, but my kids show up today... I guess I'm winging it!
  • if I'm going to be 27 in a week. EEEK!
  • if I'm almost 27 and I still can't sleep the night before the first day of school. Seriously? I'm the teacher and I still get all worked up.
  • if I don't really like anyone on Big Brother right now... everyone on there is annoying me and acting all stupid. I kinda like Elyssa right now, at least I like how she's playing the game... but her voice bugs the crap out of me.
  • If Drew and I just pounded a bag of chocolate covered almonds while I was writing this post. Nights like this are the reason why I have to run... otherwise I'll be 600 pounds
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Monday, August 26, 2013

August Sponsors and Giveaway

Check out my awesome August sponsors and their giveaway for the month! 

Baby Bound
Blog                     Twitter                          Instagram                Pinterest
 Hello! My name is Eliza and I blog over at BabyBound. When I started blogging, I had no idea what it would become or how long it would last. Fast forward almost two and half years and BabyBound has become a safe place for me to document our life as a family – my husband, my son and myself. Maybe one day I’ll be a popular blogger with tons of readers, but for now, I’m just happy to have my little corner of the web to just be myself. I can’t wait to look back on these moments, the moments that were important enough for me to type and publish.

Be A Warrior Queen

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I'm one of those people who is always doing -- filled with passion. I've got a loud voice and a lot of love and I'm basically always happy.  I live and breathe the Warrior Queen movement - where it's all about being true to ourselves! 

Gilded Sunflower

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Hi!, I'm Rebecca, a beauty blogger/esthetician over the blog Gilded Sunflower. Needless to say, I love all things beauty related and want to share it with the world!  Posts you can find on my blog pertain to makeup, hair, nails, and skincare, with a little random thrown in. Stop on over and say hi! :)

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Sunday, August 25, 2013

Quitting my Diet Pepsi

I'm addicted to Diet Pepsi. As in I crave the stuff. I know it's bad for me. I have a really good friend who constantly reminds me how bad it is... but I.Just.Can't.Stop. I stupidly (or smartly) read the ingredients list a couple of weeks ago... and realized that there is actually nothing real in it. Nothing. I also read some scary things about aspartame which has me giving up my Equal in my DD iced tea too. I've decided to give it up... again.

I didn't drink any the first trimester of my pregnancy because I was super paranoid about everything then... but as soon as the second trimester came around I got lax and ended up drinking it occasionally  By the time Fynn was born I was drinking it daily just for the caffeine fix (coffee makes me sick, so this was my replacement). 

Fast forward a year... and I'm back to my old ways. Until a few weeks ago I was drinking 2-3 cups a day. Then I came to the startling realization that the caffeine in my beloved DP could be affecting Fynn's sleep (DUH!) so I stopped drinking it after 2pm, just in case. Because of that, I was down to 2 cups a day with an occasional glass after she went to bed for the night.

It needs to stop! 

I know that. I know how bad it is for me. I know that I need to make better choices and this should be an easy one. So, I'm giving it up. Currently I'm weaning myself off of it (seriously, it's that much of an addiction!). When I first started cutting back two weeks ago, I let myself have one a day but I kept wanting to have another one later on in the day. Last week on vacation I purposely didn't buy any, just so I wouldn't be tempted. I wanted it soooo bad, but it wasn't there, so I was okay. We had Diet Coke there, and twice I grabbed one thinking it would do the trick (it so didn't) and ended up pouring it down the drain after a couple of sips. Now that school's starting back up (tomorrow, eek!) I'm not sure how good my will power will be. On one hand, it's easy not to drink it at work because it's freaking $1.05 to buy a can (an can!) in the vending machine at work, but at the same time I always majorly want one after work when I'm tired and looking to chug some caffine goodness along with some salt snacks... a major weakness of mine. I'm planning on continuing my "if it's not in my house, I can't drink it" theory... we'll see how that goes. 

Hopefully I can stay on my self-imposed bandwagon this time and find better beverages to enjoy.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

BA Star Stardust Mineral Eye Shadow Review

Disclaimer: I received a free product sample in exchange

for my honest opinion. No other compensation was received. 

I love eye shadow. While I don't wear it on a daily basis, I always wear it when I want to dress up a bit or am going some place special. When I got my sample of BA Star's Stardust Mineral Eyeshadow I was intrequed to see that it was a little kit. There was a body shimmer base and then the actual eye shadow. 

I tried them out on my hand... because I didn't have anyplace to go where shimmery eye shadow would be appropriate  The first time I tried it, I used WAY too much. This is something to use with a light hand. Luckily, it washes off easily with soap and water, and I was able to start over again. The second time I was more reasonable and it looked really cute. I left it on to see how long it would last. About 5 hours later I went to wash my hands and it was still going strong, so I have a feeling it would last a long time on eyelids (unless you routinely use soap and water on your face throughout the day, then you may be out of luck). After it washed off, there was no sticky residue which I was leery of considering the body shimmer base is referred to as a "glue base" on their website. 

This eyeshadow seems to be great, and for $2.99 for the shadow and the base, it seems like a great deal too. I got it in Diamond, but there are severeal great shades you can choose from on their site. Right now through September 30th you can save 50% off by using the code BBDUST when checking out, which makes it an even better deal. 

Couch 2 5K. Weeks 3-6

Remember back at the end of June when I started the C25K running plan? I was awesome. Running three times a week, feeling good. And then the ish hit the fan.

I was awesome with week three, then week four came along it it was hella hot. The only thing this girl does in 90 degree weather is sit in A) air conditioning or B) the pool. That's it. I sweat like crazy when running anyway, no way was I adding in heat and humidity. Yuck. Combine that with Fynn's first birthday, and I was a crappy runner for about two weeks. I ran like once a week, and they were not great runs.

But then I got my but back in gear. I've been really good the last three weeks and running consistently three days a week. I just finished week 6 and I'm running about 3 miles each time I go out. It doesn't sound like much, but trust me, it's huge for me.

Here's my thing. I love how I feel after I run. I love how I currently weigh what I weighed my freshman year of college (before I gained the infamous freshman 15). I love that my clothes fit better than they have for awhile... but really? I hate running. The entire time I run I'm counting down the minutes, distracting myself by counting how many steps I'm taking. I play little games like counting trees, sing in my head... sometimes I even text or play on my phone, anything to avoid thinking about what I'm doing at the moment.

Logically I know that I should probably find a form of exercise that doesn't make me curse myself and wish I had just stayed home on the couch. My only problem is that this is actually the most convient form of exercise for me right now. I can run after Fynn's in bed. I don't have to pay a gym fee or find time to go to the gym. I don't have to worry about being late for class or any of that other junk that goes along with some other forms of exercise.

Above all, I actually feel good about being able to run like this. I'm getting better at it. I'm able to go further, feel better and I no longer feel like I'm being stabbed in the chest when I finish up a run. I also really like the C25K app on my phone because it gives me the motivation and encouragement I need to stick to it. It also increases gradually, which has been helpful because I tend to be the type that pushes myself too hard too fast.

So here's to me keeping it up. Those of you who have done the C25K, does it get easier when you get to the second half? Anyone have any good (free) workout videos/apps to suggest to mix it up a bit?

Friday, August 23, 2013

To The Playground

Spontaneous trip to the playground? Don't mind if we do! 

Trying to climb the rock wall like the big kids


Climbing on everything
I'm LOVING this age. She is so much fun and is able to do so much more. Every day is a new adventure and it's a blast to see her explore. That said, I'm exhausted! 

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

TBD: Inverted Nipples

I so never thought I would write about something as personal as my nipples in a public forum. That said, it was one topic of breastfeeding that I couldn't find a ton of information on, and a topic I desperately needed to learn more about BEFORE she was here. 

To start at the very beginning. When I was pregnant, I think about 20 weeks or so, the nurse at my OB's office gave me this info sheet about how to tell if you have flat/inverted nipples and what to do if you're planning on breastfeeding. I checked mine out, thought that one of them might be inverted, and proceeded to follow their tips. It said to try using nipple shields to gently apply pressure. I went out and bought a set. I chose to go with the Tommee Tippee brand shields because they were 1)cheaper and 2) said they fit all sizes... since I didn't know what "size" my nipples were, I thought it was the best option.

I diligently wore my shield every day for the last couple of weeks of my pregnancy, sure that I had "fixed" things and was all set. Then Fynn was born and I tried to nurse. One side (the "good side") was great. She nursed well and was happy. Then I tried to switch to the other side... and I couldn't get her to latch. I met with a couple of lactation consultant in the hospital to find the best techniques and positions to help Fynn latch. These ladies were great, and helped her nurse... but they didn't help me do it on my own. Not once in the hospital did I get her to latch onto the bad side. Somehow, I was convinced that things would be fine when we got home. Call me naive, call me over confident, call me stupid... but I thought things would be fine.

Once we got home, things obviously didn't change. She could only nurse well on one side. Once my milk came in, I got really engorged and uncomfortable (this eventually led to mastitis... but that's a whole other post). I took to pumping my left side and feeding that to Fynn through a syringe just to make sure she was getting enough to eat. I tried using my nipple shield while nursing on that side to help her get a good latch. Nothing worked. We went to Fynn's weight check when she was a week old and were told that she was losing weight.

My heart broke. Here I was trying to do my best for my baby... and she was losing weight. I almost threw in the towel right then. I remember sobbing to Drew in the parking lot of the doctor's office that I was the worst mom ever because I couldn't even feed my baby. We talked about stopping to get formula on the way home.

But my husband, he is the most amazing man in the world. He knew how much breastfeeding meant to me, and he wasn't going to let me quit just yet. He reminded me of the breastfeeding support group that was being held that afternoon. He encouraged me to go, try it out, see if it helped. If not, then we would get formula on the way home. 

So I went. One week postpartum. And sobbed to all the women there about what an awful person I was and how I couldn't take care of my baby. The lactation consultant who ran the group, came over and watched while I attempted to nurse. She showed me how, because my nipple was inverted, it wasn't hitting the roof of Fynn's mouth when she went to latch. Newborns need that stimulation. She showed me ways to pinch my nipple to help get started and also informed me that my "one size fits all" shield... didn't fit. Which is why it wasn't helping.

On the way home we stopped at the store and got a new shield, one that actually fit. We went home and nursed successfully on that side for the first time! I actually cried I was so happy. We used the new shield for about a week until all the successful nursing fixed my nipple and we were able to nurse without it. 

Though an inverted nipple wasn't the last of our nursing issues, it was the one that impacted, and almost ended, our nursing relationship right from beginning. I discovered that I needed to be a better advocate for myself. I knew in the hospital that I wasn't learning what I needed to be successful at this. The lactation consultants were great, but they we're showing me what I needed and I didn't know enough to ask. It took an amazing LC, who works with new moms every day, to get the help we needed. I'm so grateful to her for all her help, and to Drew for not letting me be a quitter.

Monday, August 19, 2013

When did my baby become a kid?

I think the title of this post says it all... when did this happen? How did this happen? How did she get so big?

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Sunday Social

1. What is something you’ve always wanted to do but are afraid of?
Something daring and adventurous. Skydive or snorkel are two things that come to mind first. 

2. Where do you see yourself in five years?
Weird. As soon as I saw this question I realized that in 5 years Fynn will be 6. Eek. I can't even go there. In 5 years I hope to have a younger sibling for Fynn, a new house, my Master's degree in education and to still be teaching in the school I'm in now, because I love this place (not the actual building, but our current building is being demolished next summer when we move in to our sweet new digs. I so can't wait!) 

3. What are you looking forward to before the end of 2013?
I'm looking forward/dreading starting grad school in a few weeks. I'm excited, but scared that I've taken on too much. I'm also looking forward to all the holidays and events coming up. While they're not "Fynn's Firsts" they are the firsts that she can really engage and be a part of, which will make them exhausting. 

4. What are your hopes for your blog?
I'm loving where it's at right now. I have some amazing readers, a layout I love and a level of comfort in what I'm doing. Right now I just want to keep on keeping on. Of course, I would never say no to more growth and opportunities!

5. Do you always see yourself living in your current town/city?
Nope. We're looking to move in the next year... not sure yet where specifically, we could even stay in this town, but I have a feeling we're going to end up someplace else. This house was our starter house. Our remodel/flip house. We've lived here for 4 years now... it's time to peace out. 

6. What is your morning routine?
Nothing to do with our morning, just cute.
My current summer morning routine is hear Fynn get up around 5:30, mentally curse her. Pull her into bed with me on the off chance she'll go back to sleep when in reality she'll just fuss and pull at me for half an hour until the alarm goes off and Drew gets in the shower to get ready for work. I stay in bed while Fynn toddles around our bedroom and pulls half my clothes out of my dresser and/or attacks the dog. Once Drew's dressed, we all go downstairs. I take the dog for a walk while he gets stuff ready for work and feeds Fynn breakfast. When I get back from our walk, it's time for Drew to leave which means I have to entertain Fynn until morning nap time while all I really want is to crawl back into bed. 

I like my summer routine... I'm dreading the first day of school in two weeks where I actually have to get my butt up and dressed for work in the morning... that's going to be a harsh reality to face.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Bosley Goes to the Beach

*Disclaimer: I was provided a free digital copy of the 
book in exchange for my honest opinion. 
No other compensation was received.

When the opportunity arose to review a dual language children's book, I was all over it. I was interested in seeing how it would be set up, not to mention I thought it would be fun to read a book in another language with the translation right there. I used to attempt to read books in French when I was in high school... but that was pretty much a fail.

I was sent the book Bosley Goes to the Beach. The digital copy of the book was great to open on my iPad. It didn't take long to load, which surprised me because it's a picture book, so I thought it would take awhile. The book is $2.99 on Amazon, but you can also get it in print version by paying a little more. The pictures are adorable and fun. The book is set up with the pictures on one page, and the words on the next. Each page of words includes the English on one side, and the Spanish on the other.

I did notice that the best way to read this (in the digital format) is to hold my iPad horizontally. Otherwise you can only see the pictures and then the words, instead of looking at the pictures while you read. Not a major issue, but just something that I noticed when reading it. 

The pictures are great, the story is cute. I love how there are pages that label different items in Spanish. The only thing I don't love about it? Um... I don't know how to pronounce a lot of the words in Spanish! So I would feel like a fool reading this aloud to someone. That said, that's clearly a personal issue, and nothing to do with the book. 

Friday, August 16, 2013

Actually no, it's not Halloween yet

I was at Babies R Us the other day* to try to find a new reusable swim diaper for Fynn. We loved the one she had, but she has started to outgrow it and we wanted a new one for our vacation. I had already looked at Walmart and Target and online, but couldn't find anything affordable that wasn't junk. Anywho. That so isn't the point of this post. So back to the topic at hand. I was at BRU, turned the corner, and discovered that apparently it's Halloween.

They had all their costumes, clothes, accessories  etc for that holiday that falls on October 31st. Um... did I miss something here? Are we skipping the next 2 1/2 months? Because last time I checked it was mid-August.

What is with this? Why do stores always do this now? I feel like Christmas season starts in September and there's this huge rush, rush, rush on all the holidays. Why can't we just enjoy the season that it actually is, instead of just pushing forward? 

*yes, unfortunately I still go there every now and then after our awful happens to be the only baby store in the area. Which sucks. Anyone want to open a baby store in my area? Target is cool and all, but they don't have everything we need.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Thursday Thoughts

  • I noticed the other day that whenever I blog or write about Fynn, I refer to her as Fynn... but in real life, I hardly ever call her that. I always introduce her to people as Fynnleigh, and when I'm talking to her I either call her Fynnleigh, Fynnie, Boo, baby, or Bonchito (which is her current nickname of the moment). I wonder why I do this... anyone else notice that they use different forms of their kids name in different situations?
  • Speaking of that kid (since I speak about her all the time), she was napping in the car the other day, like this:

       How do you sleep like that? How do you keep a hold of your foot once              you're asleep? I don't get it. 
  • I'm heading to the library today to get some good books to read these last two weeks of summer vacation. I've got some ideas based on books I've seen other bloggers write about, but I'm looking for some other ideas. Any suggestions? I love just about any genre, but I'm not looking for anything too deep right now, just some fun reads to end the summer on a high note. 

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

August Ipsy Glam Bag

As usual, I got really excited about my Ipsy bag this month... and I peeked again because I wanted to know what I would be getting. 

I'm only meh about this months bag. It's okay, but not my fav. I'll probably use it for something though. I've been using my bags each month to organize my make up and hair accessories. This month also came with a note that you can apply to host a mascara party sponsored by Benefit Cosmetics and Ipsy. Kinda cool.

($10- I got a 1 oz sample, the regular 3.4 oz bottle is $34)

I love masks, and this one smells amazing, like pumpkin pie. I can't wait to try this one. I've never heard of Michael Todd before, but it's an all organic brand. 

Love love love lip balm, so this is perfect for me. I liked that it's a clear cherry lip balm, I feel like a lot of cherry lip balms are that fake red color that makes your lips look like you just sucked down a red Popsicle. This lip balm felt great on my lips and has a great fruity scent to it. A little strong, but not over powering.  

Pixi Lash Booster Mascara- ($17... maybe. I can't find anything about product size, but it's selling for $17 on Pixi's website)

Okay, this was the product in my glam bag that I was most excited about. Mascara is my one must have make up item, and I wear it almost every day... but I was a little disappointed. It's small, quite a bit smaller than my normal mascara. Maybe that is Pixi's "full size" but is seemed tiny to me. 

($5.33- $16 for 1oz, my bottle is .34 oz)
I love my Olay Fresh Effects BB cream that I got in my Influenster box last month, so I'm curious to see how this compares. It doesn't come in a particular shade, so I don't think it will add much coverage, but maybe I'm wrong about that. The Almay Smart Shade foundation that I wear in the winter comes out white but ends up matching my skin perfectly, so who knows. 

I love this color, absolutely perfect for me and something I could wear lightly on a daily basis and add a bit more for a night out (if I ever actually have one of those again). It's got a lot of shimmer in it, but not so much that it looks gaudy or overdone. 

Overall, this months bag was worth about $51.21, way higher than the $10 I pay per month for it. I really liked this month's bag because everything in it is something I will actually use.

So What Wednesday

Yay for Wednesday! I guess... kinda. Whatever. This week I'm saying "So What" if:

  • I'm not addicted to Black is the New Orange. Several people recommended it to me when I was looking for a new Netflix show to obsess over... and now I watch it every moment I get.
  • I tried to teach Fynn to color with crayons, and she ended up trying to eat them instead. 
  • I've spent almost every day this week in my pjs until like 4 pm. Hello, not working = not getting dressed. All you SAHM's who get dressed and ::shudder:: put on makeup. You're doing it wrong! 
  • I'm both sad and excited that school starts in a week and a half. I'm excited because I'm that geek that always looks forward to the first day of school and because I love teaching... but I'm sad that Baby Boo and I can't hang out all the time anymore. She may exhaust me and often drive me nuts... but I love all the extra time I've gotten with her lately. 
  • My kid enthralled by the UPS guy. He'll be delivering at the house across the street and Fynn AND Zoey will both climb up in the window to watch and Fynn usually ends up banging on the window to get his attention.

  • Yesterday my alarm didn't go off, so Drew was woken up an hour and forty five minutes late. Okay, so this isn't a "so what", I actually feel really bad about it. Bad Amanda! 

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

TBD: Sasha's Story

This week on The Breastfeeding Diaries, I'm featuring Sasha, a new mama who is just starting her breastfeeding journey. 

Breastfeeding. Oh how do we begin to discuss this beautiful, wonderful and exhausting gift that us women all share? For me, it's simple. I truly love it. I truly cherish it. And I want nothing else than to provide the best nourishment I can for my daughter.

This past May my husband and I had our first child. A gorgeous little girl that is about to be three months old (time flies by). From the day I found out I was pregnant I knew I wanted to breastfeed. I knew that no matter what, I'd do whatever it took to breastfeed and I knew that my goal was to breastfeed for a year. I prayed every night to have a good milk supply to nourish my baby and to have success with breastfeeding. 

Immediately after having a grueling twenty six hour natural labor, I did skin to skin contact with my daughter followed by breastfeeding. I wanted to breastfeed her before visitors came in because I wanted to have that immediate bond and I think it made her a better latcher with all of the nurses there to help us. In the beginning our only battle was engorgement and then an over abundant supply (block feeding helps with this). Other than some exhausting evenings of cluster feedings and some growth spurts, things were going great. 

Things were so regulated with my block feeding (feeding on one side only for a certain time frame) that I decided to stop block feeding and try traditional nursing. Soon after, we started noticing some bad diapers with strings of blood and mucus. After a few trips to her doctor, they diagnosed her with a possible milk protein allergy meaning that I would have to eliminate dairy from my diet. 

Do you know how hard that is? I drink milk like water. Yikes. And dairy is in everything!

In a way I was confused as to how this could all be dairy because she had no other symptoms commonly associated with food allergies. I began my dairy free and soy free diet 3.5 weeks ago; however someone in my breastfeeding support group mentioned that these issues could be because of a possible fore milk // hind milk imbalance. After reading about all of the symptoms associated with this, I came to believe that this could definitely be our problem since she had most of the symptoms. And since I had stopped block feeding, I had begun to notice a lot of fore milk when I pumped. 

The fix for imbalance issues? To block feed. Well looka there...I should have NEVER stopped. We are now 3.5 weeks dairy/soy free and 2 weeks back block feeding. I've had emotional days dealing with all of this because going dairy free isn't easy; cooking for a husband becomes very hard on a dairy free diet. Finding food to eat and things to snack on is near impossible. I've had emotional moments where I wonder what really is the culprit and even moments where I have doubted my ability to do this. 

Thankfully her diapers are much better now and things are looking up. This past week we had a day where my block feeding got off a bit, and in a rush I gave her a breast that was full. The next day her diapers were back to being bad again. This recent episode has led me to believe that it really may be the imbalance issue and not the dairy. In my heart, I've felt it was this for the last two weeks. Meaning that I may could indulge in a glass of milk and boy, I sure could go for a cold glass of milk right now. 

So why do this to myself? Why sit here and eliminate foods that I don't even know for sure are hurting her? Why do all these things to find a solution that I may never find or may find three months from now? It's because I don't want to stop. I don't want to give up. Breastfeeding is the best and most beautiful thing that I could have ever done for my daughter. It's a bond that I don't want to end any time soon. 

Please, never give up. If you're not ready to stop breastfeeding and you believe in your heart that you can fix the issues you are having, never give up. Even if your doctor recommends you switch to formula -- mommy knows best and as long as your little one is healthy and happy, then you have the flexibility to try different things to fix your breastfeeding issues. Hopefully I can try some dairy soon and see what happens. Hopefully I can fix my imbalance issue and get things good again. I'm so ready to have things back on track. 

Passing up a bowl of ice cream right now is hard, but not being able to breastfeed my daughter would be even harder. 

Thanks so much to Amanda for featuring me on her blog today. I loved sharing my story with you guys. I hope you check out my blog, The Mushy Mommy, where I blog about all things wife and mommy. Happy breastfeeding!!! xoxo, Sasha

Monday, August 12, 2013

Baby Love

What's a million times better then loving all over your baby? When they can start to love back!

Fynn has reached the level of development where she can show affection. She wraps her arms around our necks and snuggles in. She gives nasty, slimy open mouth kisses that involve a lot of drool and an awkward amount of eye contact as though she's daring me to comment on how wet the kiss is. One of the funniest things she does to show affection is give a bear hug. Which involved the usual full-body, enthusiastic hug... and some growling. I credit Drew with that one. 

For the past year, we have hugged, kissed, snuggles and loved on Fynn. It's been amazing and sweet... but having her initiate those little signs of affection just makes me all warm and fuzzy on the inside. 

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Sunday Social

1. When you were little what did you want to be when you grew up?
I wanted to be a teacher... I know, I'm weird. But I've always loved school and bossing people around. 

2. What was your favorite way to kill time as a kid?
Reading or watching tv... preferably both at the same time... actually I still love doing that. 

3. When did you get your first cell phone?
When I was 16. I was so excited... now I see kids who are 6 with their own phones. Seriously? I don't get it. I'd like to say Fynn won't get one until she's like 14... but I'll probably end up eating my own words. 

4. What is your favorite magazine to read?
I don't really read magazines. I Parent magazine and Women's Health in the mail... but only because I got free subscriptions, so I read those (or at least skim them), but there aren't any magazines that I feel like I have to have... mostly I just read stuff for free online. 

5. What is the one random object people would be surprised to find in your purse?
I actually had to dig into my purse to see if I had something unusual in it. Then I found this:
My grandfather died two years ago, and this is the reading I did at his funeral... for some reason I just keep it in my purse. Every time I find it I debate about taking it out... but end up just sticking it back in. I had mints from the funeral home in there too up until a few weeks ago, but they melted so I took them out.

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Saturday, August 10, 2013

Parents These Days

I feel like lately I hear a lot about "parents these days". How we don't pay attention to our kids, how we're too focused on our phones and social media, how our kids are suffering because we're not present in the moment.

Not going to lie, I take great offense to that.

I hear this a lot at work. Because yes, some of the parents we work with are awful. I see kids who get dropped off at the before school program the second it opens in the morning and don't get picked up until it closes that night. I see kids whose parents have no idea what is going on in their lives, and no desire to learn. I see kids who desperately need an adult in their lives to just love on them... but that doesn't mean that all parents suck these days.

This really came to light for me two weeks ago, when I was working at my summer tutoring program. A bunch of the other people there were going on and on about how kids can't read these days because their parents don't talk to them enough, don't read with them, don't do anything with them... and while for some of the kids we work with this is absolutely true... plenty more of them have parents who are dedicated to doing all these things and more, and their kid still struggles. 

I don't have the heart to tell her that
her books are often upside-down
I do the best that I can with Fynn. I'm nowhere near perfect. I have little to no patience, I get frustrated easily. Sometimes I get upset with her, or just need her to play by herself so I can sit on the couch and relax a bit. I in no way think this makes me a bad mom. I read to her, I talk to her all day, we play, we learn, we laugh... but there's still that possibility that school and learning  will be hard for her. 

I look at Drew, whose parents are the most amazing people I've ever met. They've giving their kids their hearts and souls to help them succeed in life. That said, Drew struggled with reading. I'm convinced he had undiagnosed dyslexia, but that's beside the point. The point is that his parents were present. They were with their kids, and they still ended up with a son who struggled with reading. I guess I just hate the stigma... oh, you're kid is struggling? It must be because you're not doing enough with them, weren't giving them enough opportunities. Um... no, not really.

I guess this all fits into the category of judging parents. For some bizarre reason, we all feel the need to judge others for what they do or don't do*... if we could only focus some of that energy on ourselves. 

*so not lecturing here, I'm as guilty of judging others as the next person... probably more so. 

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Friday, August 9, 2013

My Day at the Pool

One day last week I went to my in-laws pool to relax and get some sun. I was psyched because Fynn was still at daycare, I had a good book to read, and it was just me time... sometime I was in great need of. I laid in the sun, got all nice and toasty and was ready to jump in the pool... when I saw this:

Yeah... nasty. So I called my MIL and asked her if, hypothetically  there were a rather large rodent floating in the pool, where she would like his body disposed of. I ended up chucking him in the woods along with his friend Mr. Frog who was floating in the opposite end of the pool.

Not exactly the nice relaxing time i was looking for... so gross! Once they were gone though, I did get in the pool and enjoy my time there. 

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Thursday, August 8, 2013

Thursday Thoughts

  • Fynn messed with us this weekend. She basically slept through the night both Friday and Saturday nights going to bed around 7:30 and not getting up until 4:30/5... she then went back to sleep both mornings until around 7:30. Best sleep I've had in the past 1 1/2 years... alas, it was not meant to be. We're back to our usual 1-3 wake ups a night. I try letting her cry, but she gets herself so worked up that she ends up not going back to sleep. Anyone have suggestions?
  • I'm looking for some guest posters if anyone is interested. We're going on vacation in a couple of weeks and I want to have posts lined up for that time. They can be about pretty much anything... e-mail me at if you're interested. 
  • I've mentioned it before, but we have a wood stove that we use in the winter as our main heat source (we have a furnace too as a back up). Thus, our summer is spent getting our winter wood together. Drew was stacking the last of the wood the other day, and I just had to snap a picture. Do you think we have enough? Drew claims it's only a little more then we had last year... but it seems like a LOT more then before to me. 

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Wednesday, August 7, 2013

So What Wednesday

It's Wednesday, and I'm saying "So What" if;

  •  Fynn was driving me nuts the other day... so I started playing fetch with her. No, she didn't want to play fetch. She wanted to play with the tennis ball and be all in my face. She she kept bringing it back to me... and I kept throwing it across the yard. Mom of the Year. Right here.
  •  I've been a crappy blog reader lately. I swear, I'm trying to get caught up on reading all the blogs I love, but I've got a limited window (aka naptime) to get stuff done and lately I've been focusing on keeping the house cleaner. I know, shocking!
  • We don't go on our vacation to the lake for another week and a half, but I'm already making tons of lists and figuring out what we need to bring with us. This whole going away for the week with a baby thing is rough! Last year when we went she was 8 weeks old... we really didn't need much to keep her happy. This year it's a whole new ball game. 

  • This week, when Fynn goes down for her morning nap... I do too. I've got to say, it makes me a much more patient Mama when I get that extra hour of sleep in the morning... it just contributes to my aforementioned lack of productivity. 

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Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Lost in Translation

*Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post brought to you 

I remember in high school I was always using BabbleFish  or Google Translate to help me with my French homework (no, I wasn't cheating, just checking to see if I was doing things right!) except it didn't really help me. The problem with programs like that is that there isn't a real person doing the translations. It’s an automatic program that translates literally… except language isn't like that! There are subtleties and nuances of language that an automated program can’t take into account.

I remember one time when I was trying to write about being excited about an upcoming dance recital for a homework assignment. I stupidly trusted the online translation and just wrote down the words it gave me… and then I looked like an idiot because apparently I had instead mildly insulted myself… Oops! I felt like an idiot there and had to explain how I had used the online translation instead of doing it myself. Not exactly the impression I wanted my teacher to have of me. That’s why it’s important to use a translation service if what you’re translating really matters. 

Obviously checking my high school French homework wasn't critical… well, except for my grade, but if you’re doing something important where grammar counts in your translation, then it’s essential to get a quality translation. These days it seems like just about every business has become international thanks to the good old internet. With that type of growth comes interactions with other cultures and languages… and you don’t want to inadvertently be insulting potential clients with your inaccurate translation! 

The Breastfeeding Diaries: Nursing at 1 year

My goal when it came to breastfeeding was to make it to a year. For that whole first year, that was my motivator, my driving force when things got hard...We've made it to that goal, with no thoughts of slowing down.

That said, nursing a toddler is WAY different than nursing a newborn.

A toddler has opinions of their own. Fynn let's me know when she wants to nurse. Not by fussing or acting hungry, but by grabbing at my shirt, trying to pull my breast out or making a specific sound that she reserves for nursing. Obviously, every baby is different, but these are the nursing cues we have developed as she's gotten older.

Not only does she let me know when she wants to nurse, but she lets me know which side she wants. Maybe this is just her, but she often has a definite opinion about which side she wants to be on, and when she wants to switch sides. 

Then there are the positions. Long gone are the days when I just cradled her in my arms and she quietly laid there eating. Those days were easy. Most of the time now she sits on my lap facing me to nurse while I sit or lie down, but sometimes... sometimes we go into what I call acrobatic nursing. These are the times when she wants to lay upside down, stand on my stomach while eating, dance or watch tv. Honestly, most of the time it's cute when she tries to do other things while nursing... but sometimes it's just plain painful as I often get an elbow, foot or even butt in my face as she squirms around and finds her place.

Of course, when we talk about nursing a one year old, we can't forget the teeth. In terms of nursing, I'm lucky that Fynn only has two teeth... because these bad boys can do some damage. When teething she will sometimes accidentally bite me, or catch her teeth on me funny as she's trying to latch because she's not used to having the new tooth. Surprisingly, most of the time, I can't feel her teeth at all when she's nursing. 

Nursing in public is pretty much non-existent these days for several reasons. The first being  that when we're out someplace, she doesn't usually want to nurse. She wants to play or look around. She prefers real food or sippy cups at these times. Which is a blessing because of the other reason nursing in public is non-existent; it's impossible to be discreet. When she was little I could throw on a nursing cover or even just tuck her under my shirt a bit and no one was the wiser. With her new acrobats and easy distraction... discretion is just not possible. I would just end up flashing the whole world. Not really my style. 

One part I truly love about nursing an older baby? The lack of stress. We're at the point where I don't have to worry about my supply or pumping enough for when we're apart. She gets what she gets and the rest of her food comes from solids. I'm loving this part because I had struggled with supply issues several times when she was younger. Added to that, I don't have to worry about making sure she has enough breastmilk for when we're apart. If she's hungry, and there's no milk... she just eats real food. Easy! 

The other major part I love? Is that connection. She's so go-go-go all day long. Busy exploring, running around, learning... but we still have our time. Several times a day it's just her and me. Connecting, bonding, snuggling. While sometimes I think about how nice it would be to just be done... I know I'm going to miss this part of nursing. So I'm in no rush. My favorite nursing session of the day is right before she goes to bed. When she's tired and happy and just wants to snuggle while she nurses. It's the perfect wind down.

I get asked all the time how long I'm planning to nurse for, but the truth is, I have no idea. It's working for us right now. When it stops working, then we will think about stopping. Obviously I'm not going to nurse her until she's 8 (check out this YouTube video of a woman who IS doing that), but I have no plans to stop. Ideally, I'll wait until she's ready to self wean... I'm just hoping that's before she's two, because two years seems like a really long time to me, but who knows. 

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