Words for Wednesday

“Mama”

“Dada”

“Cracker”

“More”

“All done”

“Ball”

“Hi”

“Bye”

“Baaa” (Bar)

“Brinnn” (Brynn, our dog)

“Doog”

“Babeeeey” (Baby)

“Bubbbbllleeee” (Bubbles)

“Aubeee” (Aubrey from his class at daycare)

“Emeee” (Emmett from his class at daycare)

“NOOOOORRROOO” (Nora from his class at daycare)

“Ti” (Tiff, his teacher at daycare)

And his favorite one of all….. “EMMMOO” (Elmo)

Among a few other words those are the main ones Grayson says….a lot. He likes to really accentuate certain letters in a word. He also does LOTS of animal sounds. He knows a lot more and is just working on saying words. I tell you it is so stinking cute to hear him talk. When did my babbling little baby turn into a talking machine? It’s amazing that even though he doesn’t enunciate very well we can still understand him so well. We do a lot of repeating back and asking him to say words after us.

So this Words for Wednesday post is dedicated to him and his increasing vocabulary.

Not only is he talking…LOTS, he is quite a little character…case in point see his picture wearing sunglasses we got for him when he was an infant, which were too big then and now they are a tad to small. Enjoy your day friends!

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Sunday Coffee

**Our son has turned us into lepers (that or we just have way to many preggo friends ;))….let me explain. A couple weeks ago we planned a BBQ with some friends, one of which is pregnant and the other with a 4 month old. Well, two days before we were to have everyone over chicken pox was in Grayson’s daycare…I didn’t think too much of it but I did call and ask his Pediatrician about it and to tell him about the pregnant friend coming over and the 4 month old. Apparently, being exposed to chicken pox while pregnant can cause MAJOR issues to the fetus. So to be safe we cancelled. Then this weekend we were supposed to go to another friends baby shower….well now Grayson has been exposed to hand, foot and mouth….again didn’t think much of it but apparently a no, no again to be around a pregnant lady and a bunch of other kids. SO we stayed home. I’m sorry friends!!! I hope to see you all say in about two years! 😉

**All jokes aside, I’m so glad I called my doc and had my friends call their OB. Luckily, Grayson never did get chicken pox and two weeks ago he got his vaccine for it…so hopefully we dodged that bullet. I’m still wondering about hand, foot and mouth. I know how contagious that can be and Grayson has been off this week….so let’s hope it’s just teething or a cold and he dodges that bullet too!

**Do your kids go to daycare? All I know is this kid better not miss ANY days of school! 😉

**I never thought I’d learn so much by having a boy…I mean aside from the new parent type stuff. I’m talking like educational…I can’t tell you how much I’ve learned about trucks, dinosaurs and reptiles lately. Grayson LOVES reading and he LOVES reading the same books over and over. So far we are stuck on one all about trucks…So I know all about giant excavators, different kinds of tractors and how to build a road. 🙂 I’m learning so much!

**As I mentioned earlier I know several people that are pregnant right now. I know 3 people that have the same due date!!! Needless, to say we will be busy the next couple months with showers galore. I’m so excited for them all! One friend is having a baby girl, another is having a boy and another doesn’t know!!! All this new baby talks make me a little baby feverish….. 😉

**Do you have big 4th of July plans? I have this Thursday and Friday off which I’m PUMPED about. We will go to a carnival for a bit and there is a free eye screening for little ones I want to try and hit up then a BBQ. Should be a nice time!

Well, I’m off to enjoy my Sunday. I hope you all have a wonderful week!!

 

A working mom….

I was recently asked how I know was feeling with daycare and being a working mom now that it’s been EXACTLY a year (he started on May 28th 2013, a day before my 27th birthday) that Grayson has been in daycare. He didn’t start daycare until he was just shy of 3 months old, as I was very fortunate to enjoy 12 weeks of blissful maternity leave. It’s no secret (or maybe it is on here) that I had/have a hard time adjusting to the fact that he goes to daycare for about 9 hours a day. I work 7.5 hours but when you factor in drop off and pick up he is there from 7:15 to about 4:15 five days a week, that’s 45 hours a week that someone else is with my child. I’m not going into the reasons as to why he goes to daycare and I work, it’s just something that we need for our family right now. It is what it is, is my motto. So has it gotten easier? What do I think? How am I adjusting now? How is he? So many questions with not so easy answers. So before I answer the BIG questions on how I’m doing…a few comments/issues on what I have experienced in society the past year….the following are thing that I have encountered either through social media, in person etc. I don’t think people think about what they are saying or how it will affect me it’s their opinion but these are my opinions and thoughts. Please do not take offense.

  1. I absolutely hate it when people say things like it must have gotten easier, or don’t worry it will get easier. It never gets easier….it just IS. You deal with it. YOU learn to live it and adjust.
  2. Another comment that I have received from a variety of people is “I would hate to have someone else raise my children….or I don’t get how people would rather have other’s raise their own children.” I’ve gotten this even in a passing conversation where I don’t think the person meant it to infuriate me. Do I think the daycare workers are “raising” my child?? NO! Do I think they have a part in his life… YES! But in the end Curt and I are the ones that set the rules, we are the ones the get him up, put him to bed, play with him, feed him, clothe him, bathe him, set limits etc. We decide about vaccinations, we decide what he will eat, we decide! WE are RAISING HIM.
  3. Or some comments about working mom’s vs SAHM mom’s vs single moms etc. The big MOMMY WARS on what is better for your child. I do not want this to turn into an argument so all I will say on this matter is that I think every parent/caregiver out there is trying to do what’s best for your child and what works for your family.  It’s a hard, hard job but a very rewarding job. What you choose to do in the manner of raising your child is up to you as long as they are healthy, happy and safe I think you are doing a great job!  PEOPLE…. life is hard, parenting is hard, we judge ourselves so much already that we don’t need other’s judging us all the time too! Let’s respect each other and what we do (as long as it’s good things and not hurting your child or others).

So now that I’ve said that piece…to the matter at hand. How has it been going?? I would say to the innocent person that asks…fine. It’s going fine. This is our life and it’s working. The older Grayson gets the more and more I get to see just how daycare is affecting him. I think he LOVES it. I think he loves seeing all his little friends every day. I think he is so stimulated there. Much more stimulated then I am on the weekends ha! They are so structured at this daycare and I love it. When I drop him off he smiles and reaches for his friends. He hugs them and kisses them, he is learning to share and play and be patient. It’s fun to see him learn and grow and play in another environment then our own house. Now, he does have a little stranger danger/separation anxiety but not to the point and it has been hard to drop him off when he cries…but it doesn’t last long and he is soon running around playing with his friends. Seeing him grow and have fun makes me feel better. My work helps a lot, it’s a very flexible position and they really understand a good work/life balance and I SO appreciative of that as I know I’m very lucky. My husband has been so supportive and patient with me adjusting to this new way of life too. We make it work and our child is happy, healthy and growing. We have a house, two great jobs, we can provide healthy organic meals, we have health insurance…we are indeed lucky. So almost a year to the day since he has started daycare and I’m surviving. 🙂

And just because….here are some pictures of him at daycare a few weeks back.

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Coming soon: 5 things I love about Daycare and 5 things I hate about Daycare.

A day in the life of…..

It’s time for another “Day in the Life” Post! Today my post is “Day in the Life of a Working Mom!” I actually documented this day on Saint Patricks Day…so let’s begin. I have no idea WHY I decided to do this and take photos on a MONDAY, but I did.

5am: I wake up bright and early and jump in the shower. I’m usually up before my alarm as Grayson is usually moving around/talking/who knows what but I’m awake. Sometime I’ll take my chances and get up at 5:15! 😉

5:45: It takes me about 45 minutes to get ready…that’s shower, dry hair, straighten hair, make-up etc. Around this time Curt is getting up…around this time Grayson is probably getting up. HOPEFULLY, though he is actually sleeping in! Either way, I get dressed and head downstairs to get Grayson’s food ready for daycare.

6:00: At this point Grayson is probably a talking machine in his crib. I’m still downstairs making his food to take to daycare. I get his breakfast ready, lunch, and snacks ready. I also initial his milk and get a sheet for his mat at daycare and a blanket all ready in the bag. At this point we are weaning him from bottles, so I make three bottles with only a few ounces of formula. At daycare they add additional ounces of Whole Milk. It doesn’t take long and he in about a week he transitions to only one bottle and then soon to no bottles.

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6:15: I try hard to make it to 630 before getting him, and some days we are lucky and he sleeps until 630 or even 645 (which is the latest I can let him sleep before I HAVE to get him up to get him ready for daycare).Anyways, I go upstairs to get Grayson, he has now thrown out all pacis and standing in his crib. I’m so thankful he is a morning person.

6:20: After diaper change I feed him a bottle right away….this is is main bottle he still wants immediately at this point…however in about a week he will be done with this bottle too.

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6:25: I take his PJ’s off and let him roam like this….

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.I put him in this outfit….remember what day it is?!

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6:30ish: We go brush our teeth! Well he plays with the toothbrush and I snap some photos for this post;

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6:30ish: We go down to play and I finish getting anything else I need ready…that might be finishing getting his food, diaper bag etc. If he seems hungry right away, I’ll either feed him some breakfast to get him to daycare.

6:45: Grayson is hopefully playing in the living room, or running around the kitchen.

6:50: Curt makes our coffee every morning and he usually takes out ALL my bags to the car (what a nice guy), that includes…diaper bag, bag of sheet and blanket for daycare, lunch bag for Grayson and myself, my laptop bag for work and my purse! THEN he has to back the car out for me! HAHA, I know what you are thinking. But right now his side of the garage is full of renovation type stuff, and I don’t have the BEST track record of backing out of a garage when another car is parked in the driveway…even when it’s on the opposite side.

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7:00: Grayson and I hang out and play for a few more minutes, read books etc.

7:05: Time to leave for daycare and work! We say goodbye to daddy, and I load him into the car. We leave.

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Almost EVERY day I call my mom on the way to daycare…today when I called she pointed out it was St. Patty’s Day! And what do you HAVE to wear on this day….GREEN!!!! Well, if you remember from earlier…Grayson was NOT wearing green!! I HAD to go home and change him!! Hahaha, don’t judge!!

7:07: I turn around and go home, I run inside. Curt thinks I’m INSANE for coming home to change him. But we live close and I couldn’t let him be the only kid without green!!! C’mon mom’s tell me you that you understand!

7:15: I frantically search for something for green…throw it on Grayson (BUT I still have time to snap a photo for you!and head out )…for the 2nd time!

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7:23: A little late arriving to daycare (it takes about 7 minutes to get to his daycare so I usually arrive at 7:15)…I put him in the high chair and put his stuff away. I talk to his teacher and say goodbye to my sweet boy. I take some photos of him eating breakfast for you guys!

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7:40: I arrive at work and…WORK! For the next 7.5 hours. I used to go visit Grayson often during my lunch hour, but he is usually getting ready for nap…or in his new room he is already sleeping by noon. So I can’t visit him anymore. 😦 So let’s jump forward to the end of the day…Now during lunch, if I have time I’ll run and get groceries or run errands.

4:00: Time to go get my little man!! YAY!

4:10: I get to his daycare and go get him! He has had a good day, and I’m glad I changed him as everyone was wearing green! 🙂

4:28: Yes, that is almost ALWAYS the time I get home….Curt is also home and has already let the dog out. Some days Grayson still needs/wants another snack so I might feed him some crackers or something. Today he gets some of these puffs.

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4:45ish: It’s too cold to go on a walk or be outside for too long, but we do bundle him up and go out for a bit in the backyard.

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5:00ish: We head inside and I start dinner…tonight we are having pasta…which means we will all eat together. I try very hard to make dinners that he will also eat so we can eat together. This is how our kitchen looks when I make dinner for everyone. I’m a MESSY cook, but I’m trying to get it all done and served before a meltdown happens by a hungry little boy. Curt is playing with Grayson in the living room during this time.

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5:30: We eat!! Early!! Curt and I are used to eating after he goes to bed, but since we are trying to incorporate more family meals with him we eat earlier for him.

6:00: The kitchen stays a disaster, and we head upstairs. We clean up/bath night is every other night unless he is unusally messy. Tonight we didn’t give him a bath, but we do wipe him down and always put lotion on. We will play in his room for a little bit to get closer to 6:30. Unless he is sick or really fussy my goal is to get him to bed sometime between 6:30/7.

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6:25: Time to brush teeth!

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6:30: Time to read books. Curt and I usually rotate nights of reading and we read about 3-4 books.  My turn tonight. I LOVE reading to him, and I LOVE that he seems to enjoy it.

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6:40: Time for bed, he lays right now and usually goes right to sleep!! We are LUCKY!

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6:45: Curt and I plop down on our bed and pass out…until we remember what a mess the kitchen is, how many dishes I have to wash for the next day etc.

7:30: We finally sit down and rest! And get ready for the next day!!

So that’s it!! A day in the life of a working mom…at least that’s my day. Usually, it’s not as frantic as a Monday, and usually I don’t run home and change Grayson’s outfit! When I was pumping you need to add about 30 more minutes onto this schedule, as I pumped first thing in the morning, cleaned all the parts and pumped at 9, 12, and 3 at work! Like I’ve mentioned before I’m very lucky in the fact that my work has a great work/life balance. But it is still hard to take him to daycare.

And yes, my child really does go to bed that early! I’m happy we got him to at least 630 most nights. Before he was going to bed around 545 or 6. We tried everything…pushing his bedtime back 10 min, we used to wake him up when he was really little around 630 to get him to like 8pm and he would have a TERRIBLE night! So we finally realized ya know what…I would rather have him sleep well and get the sleep he needs even if that means our time at night is shortened by bedtime. So he sleeps about 11-12 hours straight through and about a two nap during the day. Boy likes his sleep!

Anyways, I hope you liked this post!

 

Daycare Update II

A few times on the blog I’ve talked about my concern for Grayson moving to the one year old room. In that room he goes from two scheduled naps (9:30 and 1:30) to one scheduled nap (11:50/12 to 2:30), he also sleeps on a mat. I worked with the owner and like I stated before she worked with me on his transition. So he visited that room some and actually didn’t move over until three weeks after he turned one. I’m so thankful for that! So I thought since he has been in there about two weeks, I wanted to share how it was going….has he transitioned well? Is he exhausted?? Does he just roll all over and never sleep on the mat??

I’m here to tell you the move has gone GREAT! I don’t want to jinx anything but I’m SHOCKED at how well he has adjusted. I know I shouldn’t be as kids adjust much more easily than adults. But I really do think the three-week transition helped A LOT. I just don’t think he was ready to go down to one nap when he first turned one, I think visiting helped so much.

Grayson is still tired in the morning and I think if given the option he would go down for an early nap, but when he gets to daycare it’s like he gets a second wind. There is just SO MUCH going on….he is really into looking and watching other babies right now (all the books we read have real babies in them), so he is interested in his friends, the teachers in the room are great. They are pretty structured in that room and there doesn’t seem to be a moment of rest for them! Props to you ladies! They go from breakfast, to play, to snack, to art/music project, to free play, to lunch, to nap, to play/activity, snack and pick up. A lot of times they also do educational activities with flash cards, lots of story time etc. I think he is learning a lot. He is a walking machine now and seeing his other friends walk all the time has helped with that too.

So what about the dreaded nap on a mat….so far it sounds like it’s going fine! They have told me they just rub his back for a few minutes and he goes right to sleep. I trust them as there is a camera and I watch around that time too and he does seem to go right to sleep. Yesterday they said they didn’t even need to rub his back, they just put him on the mat and he falls asleep. I think it helps he is probably exhausted! He still is getting up around 545 and is just so tired in the morning! We are going to try and push his bedtime back 15 min for a couple of days to get to 7 and see if he will sleep until 630 am. Right now he goes to bed around 630 and gets up around 530. So 11 hours seems to do the trick for him at night. AND he is still sleeping just fine in his crib. I was really nervous he would want to sleep on a mat all the time, but it doesn’t seem to phase him to go from one to the other. Again, much more adaptable than adults.

Finally…eating. So I’m still bringing the majority of his food and definitely his dairy products. However, I’ve noticed it’s getting harder to keep him on my own menu at daycare. The only reason is that now he is sitting at a table with all his friends and he wants what they have. He is just at that age, he isn’t at an age where I can explain it to him. So I’ve talked to his teachers about it and they are still to offer his home food first but I’m fine if he eats some of the menu items. It’s not the end of the world if he grabs a bit of pop-tart from his friend sitting right next to him. I get it. I’m adaptable too. 😉 At home he still gets almost 100% organic and I try to get GMO free as well. I was also worried about his bottle to sippy cup transition and not getting enough milk there. But again I talked to his teachers and he is to get a sippy of his milk at every meal/snack time and through out the day. They have been great about that too.

So all in all he has done very well and I’m so happy I spoke up and talked to the Director and teachers about my concern. I may seem like a helicopter parent to some of you but for right now I’m my child’s biggest advocate (as is my husband) in our eyes.

I’m hoping to do a post soon on 5 things I love about daycare, 5 things I hate and his transition to a sippy and no more bottles! So stay tuned!

Enjoying a breakfast full of bananas (or nanas as he says) at daycare!

Enjoying a breakfast full of bananas (or nanas as he says) at daycare!

 

Checking out all the other rooms!

Checking out all the other rooms!

Breastfeeding Woes Part III

You can check out Part I and Part II here.

When we last left off I was getting ready to go back to work. Going back to work was stressful enough, add in trying to keep up with his need and pump at least three times a day at work away from my baby and I was a basket case. My work was GREAT and so supportive, they set up a room for me and allowed me time to pump as needed through out the day.

I had been working on building up my frozen stash but like I said I RARELY pumped anymore and if I did I was only getting 2-3 oz at a time!! When Grayson started daycare I think he was at about 3 or 4 oz every three hours. I scheduled my pumping times at work to be at 9, 12 and 3 to stay in line with his feeding schedule. However, my supply PLUMMETED!! I was not even getting enough in one session for what he would need during that time. So a lot of the times 2 sessions would make up one bottle! So I constantly had to use my frozen milk.

I usually nursed in the morning but would supplement with some milk from the day before or something. Then I would try and nurse when we got home but at the end of the day my supply seemed even lower so would have to feed him milk I pumped that day that was supposed to be for the next day.

I talked to my lactation lady and she suggested things like Fenugreek and Mother’s Milk Tea. I never tried the tea but did try the Fenugreek. I think I tried it to late though, it was probably something I should have started weeks ago! It never increased my supply and I thought Grayson had a reaction to it (he didn’t and couldn’t), so I didn’t take as much as I probably should have.

So at four months I FINALLY had to supplement with formula. I was so sad. I felt like I failed. Curt was so supportive but I felt like he just couldn’t understand how I was feeling. Then came the issue of what formula to use. I knew I wanted to give him only organic and found Earth’s Best. There aren’t that many options. He had a TERRIBLE reaction to it and we immediately switched him to a lactose free one. Which just happened to be Simliac…not organic. But I just wanted him to eat and grow and thrive. I wasn’t about to try and change his formula on him again when it was working. So I supplemented with Similac until he was about 6 months old when I was done. My goal was to nurse to at least 6 months, then when that didn’t pan out my goal was to pump for 6 months, then when that didn’t pan out it was to at least make it to 6 months where at least ONE bottle a day would be breast milk. I made it to about 5 months 3 weeks….just shy of my 6 month goal. I just couldn’t do it anymore. I was still pumping several times a day and only getting  about 6 oz ALL TOGETHER, at that time it wasn’t even enough to make one bottle. Our big guy was drinking about 8oz every 3-4 hours. So I finally decided enough is enough.

I didn’t have any problems stopping like the feeling I needed to pump or anything like that. I never had issues with leaking it was like my breasts were like thank goodness that’s over! HA.

So that’s about it! That’s my breastfeeding story….long I know but I wanted to share. That article hit home on so many levels I felt that I should share my story.

As I said 1, 2 and 5 really stood out for me. I had so many people tell me how important nursing was, or I encountered so many on social media. Breast is best! I heard that all the time and read about it all the time!! I dislike that saying now, it should be “do what works for you and your baby to be happy and healthy.”  I remember seeing a post on social media an article on formula and how it was recalled and that’s why people should nurse. I wanted to yell at her through the computer!!! Some people can’t nurse because of various reasons, some just choose not to nurse, whatever the reason let’s not judge or look down on others if they do not nurse or pump.  I think it’s wonderful if you can nurse, and I think it’s wonderful if you use formula. Whatever you use to feed your baby is your choice, as long as it’s not beer I’m ok with it. 😉

So that’s my story, I’ve come to terms with my situation. Grayson is a healthy, growing boy. Breast milk or formula it didn’t matter he got and gets what he needs to thrive. What’s important is that we raise healthy and happy children. That’s what we are doing.

Will I try nursing again for our next child when the time comes? ABSOLUTELY. I have learned so much and can’t wait to try a few things I should have done the first time. Will I kill myself and stress and cry about it if it doesn’t work like the first time? NO!! There is NOTHING wrong with giving your baby formula, you are the parent and you do what is right for you and your child. Will I be sad if nursing doesn’t work out? Probably. Will I survive? YES!

To all you mommas out there….whether you are nursing, pumping only, formula feeding whatever you are choosing to do….all I have to say is you are amazing!

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Daycare Update

Have you been wondering how Grayson has been doing since transitioning to one nap at daycare? Well, good news! I talked to our Daycare Provider and she totally understood where I was coming from…so he hasn’t moved yet! He is visiting this week and will probably start full-time in the one nap a day room next week. I’m so thankful he has gotten two weeks of two naps a day still!! I do think he is SLOWLY transitioning to one nap, he sometimes skips his afternoon nap at daycare at least.

So this has been a great lesson for us and one that I want to share with all you working moms and dads out there with kids in daycare or soon to be ones.

You are your child’s advocate, if you have concerns about something please share that with your provider. They SHOULD listen to you, understand and work with you on trying to solve whatever problem you have. If they are not willing to work with you I suggest finding a new place. 🙂 It is VERY, VERY hard for me to drop my son off for 7.5 hours a day but it is so nice to know that I have a great daycare and I trust them. I’m so glad I voiced my concern and she worked with me to give him more time to transition to that room. I know he will transition GREAT but still I’m thankful for these weeks with two naps.

Plus, I’m thankful they put up with me as I think I’m a needy mom….but hey like I said you are child’s advocate someone has to talk for them might as well be you! 🙂

Ready to go play with his friends at school!

Ready to go play with his friends at school!