Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Pumping at work when you're super stressed

I know I eluded to how hard going back to work was last month. While a big part was being sad about leaving my babies, the hardest part was pumping. I love my job, I love teaching and my students and how crazy busy fun it can all be. But, the end of the school year is it's own brand of crazy-busy and trying to find the time to pump 4 times a day at the end of the school year is like trying to find a needle in a haystack. 

Due to the stress, I was having a hard time pumping. While I was used to getting 4-7 ounces at a time when pumping (and that was between feedings during long naps!), I was getting 2-3 ounces at a time when pumping in place of feedings. I needed 12-16 ounces a day to send to daycare... see the math there? It was a nightmare. I felt like all day every day was just a mad scramble to pump enough milk. I pumped in the car on the way to work, during my AM prep period, during lunch, at the end of the school day, and on the way home and I still was just barely scraping by. 

I dipped into my frozen milk to get me through a couple of days there, but I couldn't do that much as breastfeeding is a supply-demand system... if I didn't demand the full amount I needed each day, then my system wouldn't create it. It was seriously such a relief that last day of school to know I wouldn't be pumping more than once a day (if that) for a while. 

Something's got to give. While it's great to have the summer off to not worry about pumping, September is going to come awfully quickly and I'll be in the same boat again. Hopefully at that point I wont be quite as stressed (yeah, right. Combine the beginning of the school year with my second to last grad school class? Yeah, that won't be stressful). Or maybe I'll figured out a way to be more effective with pumping... I don't know. I'm not ready to even entertain the idea of weaning or supplementing, but I know pumping so often increased my stress which decreased my output, so I'll have to find a way to relax and let it all happen.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Summer Workout Plan 2015- The Postpartum, fit into my clothes edition

Nothing like summer clothes to make you feel all hells to the no about your body 4 months postpartum. Yeah, it's a buzzkill. So, like last summer, I'm aiming to keep myself motivated and accountable my posting my workout and weight shame all over the internet. You're welcome.

Let's start with numbers. Because if I'm going to shame myself all over the internet, I might as well do so with the actual digits. Prepregnancy this time around I was back to my pre-Fynn weight of 140lbs and fitting into size 6.  It felt good to finally be back at a comfortable weight. This pregnancy I gained 35 pounds, which had me clocking in at a whopping 175 lbs the day before B was born... now keep in mind, I'm 5' 2. 175 was a lot for this short stature. A week after B's birth I was at 165 and excited that 10 pounds had dropped like that. During my maternity leave I lost another 10 pounds which I can attribute to chasing after a 3 year old, nursing, and occasional "I feel fat"-fueled workouts. I also used the MyFitnessPal app for about a month which did wonders for my mindless eating problem.

That brings us to the end of May where I weighed in at 155 lbs and decided I needed to be more consistent about working out. I know I may hold onto 5-10 pounds extra because I'm nursing, but I want to be back to feeling comfortable with my body and having a little bit of tone.

Today I stepped on the scale for the first time in a month and I was down to 150 lbs... but my clothes still don't fit! Even my size 10 jeans from when I was my heaviest don't fit. Yes, I keep those around. Mainly for early/post pregnancy, but also as a reminder of how far I have come in taking care of my body. 

Here's my summer plan. Like last year, I want to hold myself to working out 5 times a week. Ideally this will be during the day while both kids nap, but let's be honest and admit that often it will be done at 8pm after they go to bed for the night and that there will be nights where someone needs me until I'm too tired to stand up straight, let alone exercise... I'm a realist after all. But I'll do weekly updates over the summer of what I've done for workouts and hopefully keep myself on track. I also want to be better about tracking in MyFitnessPal as I've fallen back into my mindless eating habit and I want to kick that again. 

Friday, June 26, 2015

Happy Anniversary

Six years ago today I said "I will" to the love of my life, my high school sweetheart, and best friend. In the past 6 years we've gone through countless ups and downs, added 1 dog, 2 kids, and 2 houses to the mix. We've moved, go on vacations, changed jobs, fought like crazy and still I wouldn't change a moment of it. Happy anniversary to the one man crazy enough to put up with my crazy. 

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Bentley is 4 Months!

Be still my heart. Everyday this little boy blows me away with how happy and laid back he is. He is truly making me a happier and more patient mother as I focus more on the joy in both my babies. Sorry to get so sappy, but after a month back at work, I really am relishing every moment at home with my kids. I know it's nothing to complain about. I was so blessed to have a 14 week long maternity leave and even more blessed that after going back to work for just 16 days of work, I now get another 10 weeks off with them. I didn't go into teaching for summer vacations, but now that I have kids I really appreciate it and couldn't imagine working a job all summer long.

Now on to Bentley, who turned 4 months old over the weekend. This month was a busy one for all of us, but especially this little boy. This month he;

  • Learned to roll. Both ways. About a week after he turned 3 months, he just started going. He loves being on his belly, so he actually rolled back to belly first even though it usually goes the other way. Since then, whenever you lay him down on his back, he immediately rolls over onto his belly. I had a couple of sleepless nights there when he first started sleeping on his belly. I'm not going to lie, it still makes me a bit nervous!
  • Moved up to size 2 diapers. Is still wearing 0-3 and 3 month clothing, though I think we're ready to try out a few 3-6 month outfits. At 4 months he weighs 12 lbs, 5 ozs. Still my little peanut, but growing well and gaining fast!
  • Sleep is good most of the time, but we're having a rough week that I'm hoping is just a phase. Prior to this last week, he was only waking to nurse 1-2 times a night and going right back to sleep after eating. 
  • May be getting a tooth soon. I wasn't sure about including this, as we thought for months that Fynn was getting a tooth starting at 3 months, and she didn't get her first until 11 months! However, he's been gnawing on everything, nipping when he nurses and drooling a storm. There's a small bump on his lower gum that feels like it might be a tooth, so we'll see soon enough
  • Loves being worn! The ring sling is still getting some use, but the Ergo has been feeling the love this month. He is big enough now not to need the entire infant insert (just the cushion part under his butt) which makes the Ergo super easy to use and he LOVES it. We use the Ergo for walks, around the house, and just about any time we go somewhere. I'm trying to convince Drew that we need a Tula, since the Ergo is so beloved, but he's not feeling it... which makes me sad, because those bad boys are gorgeous. I REALLY want Prepster... but I have a feeling it's not going to happen. 

  • Loves watching TV. Seriously, we can't get him to stop. If the TV is on, he will find a way to watch it.
  • Still nurses like a champ. I love how easy nursing has become for us. I especially loved it after pumping all day at work last month and then coming home to snuggle and nurse with him in the evening. 

  • is so, so happy. I just can't get over what a happy baby he is. Nothing phases him, nothing much bothers him. I can count on both hands the number of times he has actually cried. Yes, he fusses, and sometimes he gets upset... but he hardly every screams or cries full out. 

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Purple to Blue: Getting the house painted

One of the biggest projects that our new house needed done was paint. The house was a funky purplish color that drove us nuts. Last month (as my maternity leave came to a rapid end) we had the house painted by a bunch of college guys. They were hilarious. Fynn loved chatting with them and even sat with them to eat pizza one night when we bought them dinner. That wasn't our intention, but when I asked Fynn where she wanted to eat her pizza, she replied "with the guys". We are going to be in so much trouble when she's a teenager.
Hard to tell the actual color in this, but this is
 how the back looked while they painted. 
My house felt like a crime scene when all of the windows
and doors were covered with plastic.

We had the hardest time picking a paint color. Everything was too bright, or too baby blue, or too no house color. We finally settled on a color called Navel and thought we were all set. Until I came home after the first day of painting to a bright blue house. I freaked out a bit. But the guy assured me that it would dry darker and the second coat would make it even darker. Fast forward to day four of painting and I was feeling a lot better about the color... but Drew wasn't. Saturday afternoon, as the guys were almost done, he starting ranting about how ugly it looked and how bright the color still was. Now I was a little afraid that it was going to be one of those house colors that people laugh at a mock as they drive by.

Now that it's been a few weeks though, the color is growing on me. I still worry sometimes that it's a little bright, but we also painted the garage doors a cream color and that made the whole house look a lot better. 

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

OMG We're Back Again

Are you currently singing this song in your head?

No? Just me?

Going back to work for that last month was overwhelmingly overwhelming (this is the Department of Redundancy Department) and blogging just fell to the wayside as I just tried to keep my ish together for those weeks. As you can tell from this post so far, I've lost my damn mind.

Actually, that's just the past 5 days of being up 6-9 times a night with either Bentley or Fynn...  or both; most nights it has been both. Alas, I'm determined to get back into blogging because the lack of writing the last couple of weeks has led to my current state of mental overload and I need to unload, document, and let the words flow. 

Enjoy :) 

Monday, June 8, 2015

An Update: In list form

Because lists are all I have energy for these days.

  • Work sucks. Working while your 3 month old and 3 year old are at daycare sucks even worse. Working while trying to find the time to pump 3-4 times a days, dealing with the end of school year hectic schedules AND having your 3 month old and 3 year old are at daycare is pretty much miserable. I am mostly there in body only. 9 more days.
  • Last week we got the house painted... there will be a whole post about that some day... in about 9 school days to be precise
  • The house is a complete and utter disaster these days and I really just don't have the time or energy to care.
  • Drew wants to talk about getting another dog and I'm all "yeah, that would be super cute except I cant handle being home alone 12 hours a day all summer long with a toddler, a baby and TWO dogs.
  • Also, my little girl is going to be 3 in less than a month... it's so true what they say about the days being long and the years short- having kids makes you so painfully aware of this fact
  • The last point reminds me... we should probably start figuring out what we want to do for Fynn's birthday party. She absolutely want one; with balloons, pink, and a Dora cake. I'm thinking it needs to be small; immediate family and close friends only. None of the random relatives/kids from daycare/ other random people we guilt-invite
  • Season 5 of Parenthood made me bawl my eyes out multiple times... I'm 4 episodes into Season 6 and it's just not having the same impact. Please tell me it's going to get better.
  • My little sister is moving out of state soon, and while I knew it was coming, I'm just bummed.
  • 9 more days of work. I can do this

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Back to work: My pumping routines

Going back to work this time around is a lot easier than last time because I actually know what I'm doing. I mean, the whole leaving my baby deal is no easier, but figuring out how to work pumping into my work schedule was a lot easier this time because I know when/how often/ what I need to make pumping successful.

What I need:
  1. pump (duh)
  2. spare pump parts-you never know
  3. 4 bottles- my goal for how many bottles I'm trying to make a day
  4. bottle cooler bags- I store the bottles full of milk in the staff fridge, but it put them in these bags so that everyone at work doesn't have to look at my breast milk, and to keep them cool in the car on the way home
  5. pump cooler bag- I don't wash my pump between sessions at work, so I keep them in the cooler bag to stay cold.
  6. ice pack- to keep cooler bag cold

        Not pictured, but still needed:

7. spare shirt- because leaks happen
8. a burp cloth/receiving blanket- I spread this over my shirt/lap in case of spills/leaks
9. nursing pads-same as the spare shirt
10. snacks-pumping is hard work. Also I tend to not eat enough at work, so having snacks in my pump bag reminds me to eat
11. my phone- pumping is the perfect time to read a book, catch up on Facebook, or respond to e-mails

Pumping schedule:

7:30 AM- Arrive at work. Depending on when baby ate last, I will pump. If not, it's an extra 20 minutes to get stuff done!

9:30 AM- Prep period- pump for 20 minutes with bottles 1 & 2. Make sure there is 4 oz in bottle 1 (that's one full bottle for B). Wipe out pump quickly with burp cloth and put into the cooler bag with ice pack. Put both bottles in fridge at work in the bottle bags.

12:15 PM- Recess/Lunch break. Pump for 20 minutes with bottles 3 & 4. Pour enough milk into bottle 2 (from earlier) to make it a full 4 ounces. Then fill bottle # 3 with (hopefully) another 4 ounces. Put all 4 bottles in the fridge. Put pump back into cooler bag to keep cold.

3 PM- If I haven't pumped my goal of 16 ounces in the earlier sessions, I'll pump at this time to get the last couple of ounces I need for the next day of bottles. If he didn't eat all 4 the day before, then I may skip this pump session.

Making it work:

It's hard sometime to spend so much of my work day pumping. I'm lucky this time around in that I don't have to schedule ed techs to cover my classroom while I pump, since my schedule of breaks fit in with when I needed to pump. The other part that helps is how supportive and amazing my coworkers are. They're understanding when I can't meet at those times

It also helps that I know what I'm doing, how my body works for pumping, and what I need to make it successful.

Sounds like  a lot of work, right? I know. But actually It's so familiar to me at this point that I don't think about it much. The biggest thing is making sure I have everything I need with me every day. When I get home I have to make sure to take the bottles out and put them in the fridge and wash my pump parts, so they'll be ready to go for the next day.

Monday, June 1, 2015

April/May Reads

I realized the other day that I never wrote my books read in April down, so I'm combining it with May for my book list. My 30 book challenge for the school year ends mid-June, so I need to read 3 more books in the next two weeks along with actually being back at work with two kids... no problem. I hope. 

23. An Echo in the Bone by Diane Gabaldon

I'm so glad I continued reading the Outlander series because this book was awesome. I'm loving the Brianna and Roger story line more and more, but I found all the story lines in this book were strong. This is what I love and hate about series... I love that the characters grow and change and that you get to see the multiple dimensions of them over time. But then I also hate it because I become way too invested in the characters just as the series ends and find myself frustrated that there are no more books coming.

24. The Next Always by Nora Roberts
With all the 1,000 page Gabaldon novels I've been reading lately, this was a nice, light, fun read. It follows typical Nora Roberts format; couple gets together, falls in love, almost lose each other, get married. It's predictable, but really no less enjoyable. I thought the main characters in this book were cute, especially the hardworking handyman, Beckett. It did have a strange element of a perceived ghost that looks out for some of the characters. I could have done without her. Regardless, I'm still looking to read the second book in the trilogy since, as I mentioned above, I tend to get too invested in characters in books :)

25. Written in my Own Heart' Blood by Diane Gabaldon
This was my second favorite book in the Outlander series (Voyager is still my favorite, something about two people making their way back to each other after 20 years apart just melts my heart). This one brought the series back home in so many ways, it was nice to see things settle down a bit and feel less chaotic. I was really worried at the end though that things were TOO wrapped up and it would be the last book, but after stalking checking out Diana Gabaldon's website I was reassured to see that she has promised at least one more book... now I just have to wait because it will probably be about 2 more years. So sad.

26. Flowers in the Attic by V.C. Andrews
I was disappointed in this book; I expected so much more. This book ended up being rather boring and unemotional which perplexed me. It's the story of four children locked in an attic by their mother and grandmother with the understanding that they will be let out as soon as their mother is written back into their grandfather's will. As time goes on and the children are left more and more to their own devices, you would think that they would become very emotional and upset about the situation. Perhaps lament the loss of their childhood or seek to find an escape. Nope. These kids just let it happen, the two oldest even leave at one point AND COME BACK. What the heck? It just make no sense. After reading this, I found out that there are a couple of more books in the series and I'm kind of curious to read, but hesitant because I think it will be boring. We'll see.

27. Don't You Dare Read This, Mrs. Dunphrey
I love Margaret Peterson Haddix books; they never fail. She has such a down to earth, relatable style of writing that I always enjoy. Maybe it's because her books are young adult, or maybe it's just the way she develops characters. This one is written in the journal entries of a high school student who's personal life is falling apart as she deals with dysfunctional parents and too much responsibility falling on her. She's writing as a school assignment, but it becomes a release for her as it's the only place she can be real and honest since her teacher (Mrs. Dunphrey) promises not to read any entry she's asked not to.

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