Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Pregnancy and PostPartum Q&A

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I want to first thank all of you for your support on last week's Baby Blues post. That was so hard for me to write and share and your comments and emails have meant so much to me. I've read all of them over and over again. Each one strikes a chord with me and so many had me choked up. I'm so blessed to have such thoughtful and loving readers. Motherhood is hard, but so enjoyable at the same time. Ellie is honestly the best thing that has ever happened in our lives and an absolute joy. Her smiles and cuddles help make those baby blue days a far memory.

When I was pregnant, I had a ton of questions for my doctor, for myself, and for others. I wanted to educate myself as much as I could so my husband and I could make the best decisions for our family, to know what options were available, and to know what to expect.

Now, postpartum, I still have a ton of questions. How often do you pump and for how long? How do I increase my milk supply? What toys are the best to buy? The questions are endless once your little bundle arrives.

I get asked a lot of questions from weight loss, toy preference, diaper size, etc from friends, family, and readers and thought it would be a good idea to see what questions people had for me and post them altogether. I'm not a doctor or mother of seven, or an expert, but I always enjoy talking to other mommies to see what answers and knowledge they can share. Please feel free to ask away, I will always be honest in my answer. I wanted just an open forum for anything you guys had questions or comments about. Please ask away and feel free to email me anytime!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Blushing OOTD

Thank you so much for all the suggestions and support on yesterday's post about Daycare Needs. We packed everything up and Matt, Ellie, and I all went together there yesterday so we could meet the other little girls that will be there and go over Ellie's "routine". The two little girls that will be there were so adorable and just warmed right up to "baby Owie" (that's how it sounds when they say Ellie, and they always say "baby" before her name, just like our niece!). I'm so happy that we have found such a great place where I know Ellie will be taken care of. On our way out we met one of the mothers in the street and she couldn't say enough of how well the daycare is, how her daughter just loves it there, and how sweet the woman who runs it is. She truly is, I just adore her and I'm thrilled to find someone so loving and nurturing to watch over our little one while we're at away at work. Eleanor starts there next Monday and Matt will be with her today through Friday.

Today will be my first day back and I'm happy that I was able to come back mid-week. I think it will help be an easier transition since the weekend will be so close and I'll have two whole uninterrupted days to love and cuddle Ellie. Since Matt is with her, I'll be getting lots of pictures and videos which will help me get through my withdrawals. Friday and last night I cried several ugly cries just thinking about missing her. It breaks my heart having to leave her, but it's what is best for our family at this time. Maybe I'll eventually be able to stay home with her (which is our goal in a few years), but until then I'll have to just ugly cry it in the shower. I'm hoping it will get easier as the days go by, although I'm preparing myself to cry every Monday for the next several months.

This past Monday, Matt and I had our very first date night since Ellie's birth. We were so excited to have some time alone and eat dinner together. Our plan was to go to the sushi restaurant we went to the night before Ellie's birth since I didn't get to have any of the sashimi or certain rolls. Afterwards we planned on going to a movie, but after dinner we missed Eleanor so much we raced home to pick her up. Instead of the movies, we got Slurpees instead as a little treat on our way back.

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His and Hers Slurpees

How long did you have before your first date night? 
How often do you and the hubs get to have date nights?

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Kiki La'Rue is away in Vegas and EVERYTHING is on sale! Hurry over and get your favorite pieces before they sell out!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Day Care Must Haves?

Next week Ellie will start going to an in-home daycare while Matt and I are at work. I absolutely love where she is going and feel like she is going to get all the attention and care she needs while I'm away. I'm busy packing a box to send with her to keep there. I've been going over everything I think we will need, but wanted to know what works for your children while they are gone. I want her to have anything that will keep her content, comfortable, and make life a bit easier on the caregiver. Below is my list of what I've packed so far, am I missing anything else?

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Rash Cream- Aquaphor

What did your little one need while they're at daycare? I know some of these items might never be used, but at least they would be there and smell of home. I'll also add in extra toys that Ellie enjoys like her Oball, but I'm sure that will change all the time.

PS I start work tomorrow! Ugh. I'm spending every single minute today loving and kissing on Ellie! Any tips from Mom's on going back to work?

Monday, August 19, 2013

Spice Up Your Life- Delish Recipe!

So we all know around here that I'm a one trick pony when it comes to cooking good food. Salmon is my specialty! Now I can cook other things that are edible and good, but fish is my dish. If you come over for dinner that's what I'll make you. It's quick, easy, and I always get compliments on it. However, once you've had my fish I can't invite you over for dinner anymore because it's kind of embarrassing to always serve the same thing. I mean, I cook fish all different kinds of ways, but still, salmon EVERY TIME? So I took to Pinterest to find a good chicken dish for the hubs and any future dinner guests. I found this pin for Honey-Lime Chicken Skewers from Kitchen Meets Girl and tried it right away.

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Here's what you need, directly from her site:
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • juice of one lime
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1-2 teaspoon Siracha
  • red pepper flakes, to taste (I left this out of my dish only because we didn't have any)
  • 2 tablespoon cilantro
  • 1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breasts (I used two frozen chicken breasts)

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This is with fish- more on that below
Now, Ashley made hers into kabobs that look amazing in the picture, but I hate kabobs. I feel like the meat always gets dried out. So I mixed together the ingredients into a square dish and plopped my thawed chicken breasts in. Then I cut up some red, yellow, and orange peppers for fun and added that to it. I let the food marinade on each side for one hour. The above ingredients did not make enough for my chicken to be completely covered in my dish so that's why I had to flip them. I did an hour marinade on each side because I had the time, but I think 30 minutes would also work.

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Then I put the entire mixture into a pan with the lid on the stovetop set to Medium. The chicken cooked really fast and I flipped them over at around 7 minutes. With the lid on, all the moisture was held inside and the meat was so juicy! Matt and I absolutely loved this dish! He even asked me to make the marinade for his hunting trip next week. It was delicious and so tasty, the peppers were an amazing addition! I'm not a big chicken person so to have a good marinade under my belt will help spice up plain boring chicken.

Since we loved the marinade so much, I had to try it on salmon right (first pic above)? Well, it was okay. It's so dang good on chicken I thought it would be good on everything. Salmon has enough flavor by itself, the marinade didn't compliment it very well. Hey, I tried it right? Now you know too.

So if you're bored with chicken, I couldn't recommend this enough- it is so dang good! I've made it each week since I first tried the recipe. Yummmmmy!

What are some of your favorite Pinterest recipes? Isn't is the best when they turn out well?

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Feeling Minty OOTD

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The Bella Dress- Mint
Beautiful Bay Necklace- White
Monogram Necklace- MonoArtian
Becka's Shades- Black
Sandals- Old Navy  

This time next week I'll be back to work and probably crying my eyes out in the bathroom. Until then I'm loving every minute home with Ellie and wearing all of my not-appropriate-for-work-but-finally-out-of-pjs clothes.  I wore this dress out to a party my SIL had over the weekend. I've had this little number in my closet just burning away and waiting to be worn. I knew it would be the perfect LMD (Little Mint Dress) for girls time. I can't wait to wear it again! Maybe for the hubby and I's first date night next week?

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

The Baby Blues

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I'm still writing my birth story and hope to share it with you all soon. I had a really wonderful experience, but writing everything down is still emotional. Ellie's birth was the best day of my life- the day that all my dreams had come true. I would finally have everything I wanted in life- a wonderful and loving husband, and a family that was my own. The days and weeks after Ellie joined us were wonderful, I felt great, I was recovering from the c-section well, and Ellie was such an easy baby. Don't get me wrong, motherhood was hard, but it wasn't harder than I had expected.

Around week 3 is where it got really tough for me. I got the baby blues. Actually, I had it for a while, but didn't realize it had found me until I was through the storm. I cried a lot. A lot. Often times if Ellie cried, I would cry. If someone made a joke, I cried. I felt alone, even though Matt is so hands on and I had tons of family who came over to help when Matt went back to work. My mother and grandmother would come and clean, cook, and help with Ellie. I would go to my mother in laws home and spend time there, socializing and running errands. But, I worried all the time. Is she sleeping enough? Am I playing and cuddling with her enough? Is she eating enough? Am I producing enough milk? Is she too hot or too cold? If there was something to worry about, I worried about it.

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At this point, I had just stopped sleeping upright on our couch (our bed was too hard to get in and out of after the surgery), and Ellie was nursing nearly 24/7 and she wanted to be held all day long. I was tired. I was still sore from the c-section, and I was cranky. We could get her to sleep in her swing a lot, but not every time she was down. There were so many changes and I didn't know if I could keep up emotionally.

I doubted myself and everything I was doing. I felt like I had set this bar so high and had just failed. I loved this beautiful little being with all my heart and did everything I could to keep her happy, nourished, and healthy.  I am responsible for this little girl and I want to give her so much love and parent her in the way that she needs, to bring her up to be loving, thoughtful, generous, responsible, to be herself and so much more.

I poured over Baby Center, What to Expect- any baby website- to gain as much knowledge as I could about how to be the best mother. Hold her this way, burp her that way, buy these toys. Honestly, I just overwhelmed myself without even knowing it. The internet is such a wonderful resource, but man is there so much out there.

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At night I would check myself to see how my thoughts were. I never resented Eleanor and I didn't have dark thoughts about myself. I knew I didn't have postpartum depression, but I wanted to keep myself in check so I could get help for it right away if I felt it got worse or if my feelings of  emotional overload didn't go away. My body had just been through the ringer, my hormones were all across the board, if my feelings kept on or worsened I knew I would need to talk to someone.The feelings I had weren't there all day long, it didn't consume me 24/7, but they were there and came on in huge waves. My feelings included guilt, being judged by everyone, exhaustion, I could cry at the drop of a hat, resentment to others, and insomnia. Then on top of it, I was embarrassed and ashamed I felt this way.

I had two days/nights in a row where I was by myself and Ellie was waking up every.single.hour. She was crying a lot, she cried during nursing, and I was exhausted. My sweet, sweet sister-in-laws came and stayed one night with me each and helped take care of Ellie so I could get a full night's rest. It was the most thoughtful and helpful thing they could have done. I talked to them about my feelings and how I was just beating myself up. They told me how I was doing such a great job, that every mother feels like this, and it's just the baby blues- it will pass. They talked to me about trusting my instincts and to keep doing what I was doing. What I was doing was the right and best thing for Eleanor. After getting more than 2 hours of sleep in a row and talking to someone who knew exactly what I was feeling, I felt like a new woman. I felt like I could conquer the world. I felt like myself again.

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The next few days was like a whole new world. Some days were still tough, some days I was still exhausted. Having my family, a supportive husband, and finally realizing that I was making the right choices for Ellie and what I was doing was perfect for our family. It's been so hard for me to write this post and I cried so many times remembering that awful feeling I had. Not wanting to tell anyone or talk about it with my husband because I felt so guilty and ashamed. I wanted to write this post share my story with you that it's OK to have moments like this postpartum and to talk it out with your spouses and other moms without feeling guilty or alone. These feelings are normal and will pass once your body balances out and you get the hang of being a new mom. You, your husband, and your little one are all adjusting and learning together. No one is Super Mom from the get go, you're going to make mistakes, you're going to have long cries in the shower, and it's OK. Cry it out and talk about it, love on your new baby and your husband, and get some sleep. These things can be the life raft you've been waiting for.

If you're going through the baby blues, know that you're doing fine, you're not alone, and you are loved. If I was next to you, I'd give you the big hug you need and the shoulder to cry it out. Please, if you have any questions or want to talk, please feel free to email me at lovelipstickandpearls@ymail.com.