Personal Best

How is your week going so far? My dragons and I are doing well. (Any GOT fans out there?) Monday was fantastic, and though today started off on the wrong foot, it got better as the day progressed. (Thanks for the good naps boys!)

There are two mommy questions I’ve been asked a few times by IRL friends, and I thought it might be insightful to address them here. No answers are right or wrong; it’s just each mommy’s individual personal best option!

bearC-Section vs VBAC (vag birth after cesarean)

Not everyone has the opportunity to do both, so I’m happy to share my thoughts. I preferred the vaginal delivery, though both have their pros and cons.

The c-section was there when I needed it; I’m so glad that option is available to save the lives of mommies and babies in need. That’s an obvious pro. In addition, there are no labor pains (unless you’re one of those lucky ladies who labors for hours before finally being wheeled into the operating room.) Though the doctor slices through 7 layers of tissue, there shouldn’t be any extra tearing going on.

However… there is a much longer recovery time, which would have been particularly challenging with a toddler at home too. Some folks report more trouble with breastfeeding. There’s a scar. (Frankly, my scar doesn’t bother me.) There’s still a lot of bleeding. I didn’t feel like I got to participate.

Labor hurt. Like… a lot. So I’m not trying to say the alternative is peachy, but it was best for me. I wanted to experience what it was like, and I really wanted a shorter recovery time.

Not all woman who have a c-section first get the option for a VBAC (vag birth after cesarean); it depends on why you had the first c-section, your health, your age, time between pregnancies, etc. My dr wasn’t crazy about the idea for me, but she agreed that it wasn’t tooooo risky. (VBACs do carry additional risks that regular vag births don’t have, particularly risk of uterine rupture.)

The important part here is that your amazing body gave you a beautiful baby no matter the path taken.

smileFormula vs Breastfeeding

I don’t get asked this one as often, but it has come up a couple times. I prefer breastfeeding.

It’s hard – much harder than I thought it would be before having kids. But I’m glad it worked out this time. (It didn’t go so well for Ethan and I.)

Sure sure, pediatricians say it’s best for baby and all that good stuff. There’s an obvious pro. However, additional pros include fewer bottles to clean, extra calorie burn, no expense of formula, no chance of forgetting to bring food if you leave the house, extra soothing tool for mom. (The last one is a biggie!)

I burn so many calories feeding Adam that I think we spend as much or more on extra food for me than we would on formula, but I’m just happy to keep my ice cream habit going a while longer. As for the soothing tool, it really helps put Adam down for a nap or quiet him in public, etc. Just give him some boob! Ha. I try not to abuse this since I don’t want him to need to nurse to be happy or to take naps, but it has really come in handy. Having that tool would have been really helpful with baby Ethan.

Some say the extra bond with baby is a bonus, but I felt like I bonded whenever I bottle-fed Ethan. If you’re bottle feeding, don’t feel like your baby is missing out on bonding with you. Baby knows who mama is, and he/she loooooves any time spent in your arms!!!

Of course, this is not to say breastfeeding is easy. Adam’s early feedings took a little over an hour for the first month or so. (He’s now down to 10 minutes!) He also used to cluster feed regularly, which means mama can’t get up to do anything for a looooong time.

And it hurts!! Despite having a great latch, it was still incredibly painful for about 3 weeks or so at every.single.feeding. If you’re a new mom dealing with the stabbing feeling, it does get better!

Lastly, he won’t take a bottle, so I’ve been with him for every single feeding. We’re virtually inseparable.

**Unique cons with Ethan can be found here.

Even with the cons, I prefer BF. It just works for me now and seems easier. I am super glad formula exists though, especially because Ethan needed it. BF vs formula is a feeding decision, not a parenting decision. There are great parents with different answers.

Wow… that was long… I’m done. :)

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It’s A Plan

Planning anything lately has been a joke. Babies have their own schedule, as do toddlers, and even the weather has been throwing us some curve balls. (The picture below kind of sums up life lately. Sorry Ethan, but it also kind of makes me laugh.)

adamI’m ready to get into a more solid routine though, so I’m sharing a few of our plans here. Adam just started sleeping a little better at night (please please please let me not be jinxing it), which has helped him drop a nap during the day. He’s normally at 3 naps (sometimes 4), and Ethan is still going strong with 1.

ethanI actually prefer that they don’t nap at exactly the same time because I like having time with both of them separately. Putting Adam down for naps hasn’t been easy lately. Here’s one of reasons why:

  • Me: I’m going to go put your brother down for a nap, okay? I’ll be back in just a few minutes. Keep watching this tv show, and we’ll play when I return.
  • I go upstairs with Adam.
  • 30 seconds later…
  • Ethan: Heeeeey Mom…. Heeeey Mom…. Where are youuuuuuu? Heeeeeeey Mooooooommmmmm…
  • Me: ::rolls eyes and face-plants forehead into palm::

adam babyBut other plans include these awesome dinner plans:

And I’m trying to find to work out too. Now that Adam is only getting me up twice at night, I have a little more energy.

  • Weekends: Goal is to squeeze in two runs… ummm… starting next weekend
  • Gym: two days/week I want to run a quick mile then do weights (upper or lower body)
  • Home: one day/week I hope to do a pilates video or some other ab workout

Frankly, I’m not too concerned about workouts since the boys keep me so busy. However, it would be really nice to tone up a little bit. Plus, it’s kind of my thing, and I miss it.

  • Got any plans you want to share? (workout, meal plans, weekend plans, other?)
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Indoor Toddler Activities

Hi friends! It snowed here in Charlotte today!!! We have absolutely nothing to show for it since all 12 flakes melted on contact with the wet ground, but it was still kind of exciting.

Given the wet, cold weather, I’ve been getting more creative with indoor play. Actually, before Ethan’s nap about 15 minutes ago, we just gave his Little People a bubble bath in bowls on the kitchen floor with dish soap. Whatever keeps them entertained!

We generally go out to play in the morning, so here’s a little more of what we’ve been up to in the afternoons:

1 – Floor Shapes: I call out a shape, color, or number, and he has to walk over and stand on it. Getting a two year-old to sit through flashcards is usually not so fun, but he really likes this “game.”

shapes2 – Potato Stamps: A recent episode of  Curious George showed George making Valentine’s Day cards with a heart stamp. This inspired me to make cheap and easy stamps of my own with a potato. We did a yellow square and a red heart, with washable paint of course!

toddler3 –  Books! Okay, I know that books aren’t much of a creative activity, but we keep it fresh by getting new ones from the library once or twice a week when we go to story time. He gets really upset if there’s not a truck book in the house!

book4 – Animal Outta’ The Bag:  I threw big and small stuffed animals in a pillowcase. When he pulled one out, we acted out that animal. This was a big winner!

animal5 – Play Dates: During the week, play dates often happen in the mornings. We actually have one tomorrow since the library is closed for MLK Day. On weekends, however, we try to get full-family play dates going so daddies can play too. Kevin and I started a neighborhood potluck group recently, so we attended that this past Saturday. Ethan had a blast since there were about 9 kids there.

playWe also do some sensory play, but I may write a post on it separately soon. Ethan’s not very into getting his hands icky, so the traditional sensory activities are never a success in this house.

All this fun makes mommy ready for 5pm… or at least close enough…

wineWhat have you been up to lately?

Do you have cabin fever yet?

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We Survived

We survived our first week together! (Actually the boys and I had time alone on my maternity leave, but this was our first full week with me being an official stay-at-home mama again.) Not only did we survive it, but we had a blast!

adam My week went even better than expected. We made it to a toddler story time at the library one day, the gym two days, Adam’s doctor check-up one day, and met friends at the children’s science museum on Friday. Winning!

0193a6507aab75d46236a7ab4fd528186c7b2d2adbOf course, being an at-home mom also means you do actually have to be at home some of the time too.

I try to clean a little and play with Ethan during Adam’s morning nap. Ethan gets anxious for this and has been asking me to put Adam down as soon as we finish breakfast, “Brother down nap?” ha Then when both boys are awake, we get out of the house until about lunch time. We’re always home for lunch and afternoon naps. One day last week we ventured to the park in the late afternoon, but that’s not a daily thing.

ethanI lost the baby weight, but it’s certainly not from dieting. These boys keep me busy!!!

I have two more things to mention before I go:

1 – What might readers like to see more of on the blog? Recipes, mom stuff, workouts, day-in-the-life, or the same random assortment that’s been coming at ya for quite some time now?

2 – Go Tigers!! Clemson is playing in the national championship game tonight, and I’m so excited. I wish I could be there. Geeze, I wish I could just stay up for the whole game! Adam is still waking at 2 or 3 hour intervals, so I’m not sure I’ll even make it to half time.

clemsonKevin and I at Clemson – such babies we were!

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4 Months!

Hi Friends! I hope you all enjoyed a wonderful holiday season. We have now officially entered my least favorite time of year. That isn’t to say I’m down in the dumps. Things are going quite well on this end. I wrapped up my last month of work, so it’s just me and my boys! (Well, and sometimes my mom comes to play, and Kevin is obviously still in the picture, but you get the idea…)

santaThis picture cracks me up. LOL

Today Adam turned 4 months old. Can you believe it?!? Ask me at night, and I’ll tell you it’s dragging. Ask me during the day, and I’ll say it’s flying by.

Adam

adam  baby

  • He has rolled from tummy to back, but he doesn’t do it regularly. The first time was actually at just 8 weeks old.
  • He grabs items with his hands, and he pulls them to his mouth. However, he also tries to grab with is feet. #monkeybaby
  • Adam smiles a lot and has started giggling recently.
  • He takes most of his naps in his car seat or swing, and he hasn’t gotten into a night routine yet. A few times he has only woken me once at night, but other times he’ll get up every 2 or 3 hours. Mama needs sleep!

Ethan

brosEthan is keepin’ on keepin’ on. He is talking more and more, and it’s fun to see how his play has expanded, especially with make believe. I try to get him to story time twice per week and the gym childcare three times per week, but a play date can be a good substitute for either of those things. His tantrums aren’t quite as crazy as they were when brother was born, but he’s still the typical two-year old. #MrIndependent

Mommy

boysI’m doing well. I’m tired but happy, which is to be expected. I’ve had a bit of a mid-life crisis (1/3-life crisis?) recently. We’re officially done having kids, so packing up all that newborn baby stuff gets me a little sad. Also, this is the year I turn the big 3-0, so that feels weird (though not sad). I cut my hair shorter than it has ever been and resolve to actually start using something on my face at night… moisturizer… cream… something. I’m not in a rush to go buy a minivan, but I think you see my point.

So that’s us in a nutshell. How have you been? Do you have any resolutions?

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