Monday, October 29, 2012

weekend & some recipes

weekend:
Team Flip is still battling these colds. I was feeling much better this weekend (although as of this morning it has returned) but our little guy didn't fare as well. Our weekend was filled with bulb syringing (aka boogie sucking), cuddles, and soothing vapor bubble baths. Jon and I also took some time once Elden was in bed to reconnect over dutch apple pie and hot cocoa. We had to miss the wedding of our friends, Maryann and Ralph (congrats you two!), because of Little's condition, but I saw pictures and it looked like a beautiful wedding.
Trying to persuade the boogies down

& some recipes:
As you know, I am in the midst of a steamy love affair with my slow cooker. I have a bit of a tradition these days--every weekend I make a meal in our crockpot that lasts us most of (if not the entire) week as leftovers. I'm a huge fan of this method because I usually put it together Saturday morning before Jon leaves for work so that he can attend to Elden if he wakes prematurely and then I can leave it the rest of the day. Not to mention I'm really only cooking one big meal per week...

Here are a few of the recipes I've tried lately:
Olive Garden Copy-Cat Chicken Gnocchi Soup (loved this!)

Chicken Noodle Casserole (not so much a fan of this one, but Jon liked it. I think it was missing dill or something like that)

Enchilada Casserole (this one was pretty good and made a TON)

Italian Beef Sandwiches (our friend, Jessica, made this for us when Elden was born and I had to get the recipe I loved it so much):
1 boneless beef chuck roast (3.5-4 lbs)
1/4 c. water
1 3/4 tsp. basil
1 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1 1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 large onion, sliced and quartered
Cut roast into large chunks and place in a 5 qt. slow cooker. Add water. In a small bowl, combine seasonings. Sprinkle seasonings and 1/2 of the onion over the beef. Top with remaining onion. Cover and cook on low for 8-9 hours or until tender. Shred with a fork, serve with a slotted spoon on sandwich rolls with provolone cheese and mild banana pepper slices.

I'm not sure what I'm going to make this weekend. Since I made the chicken gnocchi soup on Saturday I want to use a different meat than chicken. However, given that the only meat I generally eat is chicken and beef, this could pose a problem after a while...

Have any delicious slow cooker recipes you want to share?

Friday, October 26, 2012

twelve

Elden Charlie Brown has his first ever Halloween party at daycare today! At 12 weeks old, he weighs more than 14 pounds, is all about the little characters that dangle above his play mat, and is the happiest baby alive first thing in the morning after he's slept through the night. In battling his cold, we've discovered he doesn't mind the boogie sucker one bit, and is in fact so grateful for your assistance that he smiles at you the whole time you're removing them. Bath time is still his favorite part of the day and he actually fell asleep in the tub for the first time two nights ago. He has fully discovered his fist and will go to town on it at almost any opportunity, but has yet to single out his thumb. Love our little booger.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

down&out

An ugly cold has taken down 2/3 of Team Flip (and the remaining 1/3 had his last week). Between work, housework, mommying, and now battling this bug, I am drained. I hope to be back to 100% by the weekend and will therefore be able to blog more easily again. But for now, healing is our priority!

Monday, October 22, 2012

2-car garage

Date day on Friday rocked my face off. We slept in a hair, took little mister to daycare, and cleaned out the garage. Our house was advertised as having a 2-car garage but we didn't buy it for one second, at least not with our wagons. We haven't actually parked in the garage (consistently) since we got the house because it was either filled with a wardrobe, power tools/parts for our kitchen and bathroom remodels, or just generally disorganized. We knew our only chance at having a home for both cars for the dreaded Ohio winter was to remove everything from the two side walls of the garage. Luckily, our basement is mostly empty so we have plenty of space down there to take things. It only took us about an hour to reorganize/move things downstairs, and then the moment of truth...

Glory! To say I'm thrilled is an understatement. Now neither one of us will have to scrape cars off come (probably) November.

After we finished, we took out our bedroom window AC and covered up the massive downstairs window AC. Following much-needed showers, I put away laundry that I had thrown in earlier in the morning, got Jon's car an E-Check, and went to PF Chang's for lunch with a gift card in hand. Jon got dim sum, I got kung pao chicken. It was delicious. We walked around the mall to see if we could get Jon a case for his new phone (he's a first time smart phone convert now too!) and to pick up my free birthday gift from Sephora. Naturally, we found ourselves in a Crazy 8 with two hats for Elden (a winter hat for $2.99 and the hat I always said I wanted if we had a little boy) and DQ soft serve cones in hand. Following probably too much time at the mall we squeezed in our weekly Aldi trip, dropped the groceries off at home, and went and got our boy a few hours early. It felt amazing to have a few hours to get stuff done and to reconnect with Jon. I am so grateful for that day.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

all things nursing (with lists)

Here we are at 2.5 months and I finally feel like I have this nursing thing down to a frickin' science. I can (and have) walked around the house attending to various chores (whattup dusting) with Elden on one boob. Protalk.

Here's the thing: nursing is easily one of the most difficult things I had to learn. That's right, ladies... as much as you want to think it comes 'naturally,' for me (and for a lot of my mama friends I've spoken with) it doesn't. I had heard there was somewhat of a learning curve involved but boy was there ever, and not just for me. Elden had to figure this whole thing out, too.

Overshare alert: I'mma be talking about nipples.

Here's kind of what our nursing experience looked like:
-In the hospital: it was awkward (the positioning, the latch, etc.) and slightly uncomfortable, but not hardcore painful in the nip area. However, those first few days that you nurse your uterus contracts. This contributes to returning you to your pre-baby body, but since they're contractions that hurts quite a bit.
-The first few days post-hospital: ohmygosh, shoot me now, this hurts more than childbirth, iwannadie, let'sjustgivehimformula, wahh wahh jonyouaresomeanformakingmedothis.*
-Weeks 1-3: Not going to lie, there were times where I literally screamed out in pain/bit my fist when Elden latched. I think a big function of this was because he had a terrible latch. His terrible latch also contributed to his gassiness (he swallowed a lot of air) and hours-long bouts of crying since he was the most difficult baby ever to get burps out of. I had cracked nipples. I had bleeding nipples. I had clogged ducts. I had engorgement that would put a cantaloupe to shame. But I would be doing you a disservice if I acted like it was no big thing. I know every woman and baby is different, but those early weeks of nursing were one of the most painful and emotionally difficult things I have ever experienced.

Things that I will tell you that others told me that you won't want to hear if you are currently experiencing weeks 0-3:
-It will hurt less, I promise
-It will be so worth it to you in the end, I promise
-It will be easier and you won't even realize you're doing it, I promise

Disclaimer: I know I was one of the fortunate ones. Not every woman who wants to breastfeed can produce milk for various medical reasons. Not every woman can endure the pain those early weeks. Not every woman's body can keep up with her baby's demand. I know breastfeeding isn't always for everyone, but we knew before we had Elden that it was the route we were going to go for both financial reasons (no need to buy formula) and for his health (the World Health Organization recommends exclusive breastfeeding until at least 6 months of age).

Things that helped me stick with it:
-Jon encouraging me, helping position Elden, and acting as a general support partner by looking up information that might be helpful (that article I linked to was INCREDIBLY helpful in fixing Elden's latch)
-Earth Mama Angel Baby nipple butter - all natural and lanolin-free, something Jon and I preferred
-Earth Mama Angel Baby booby tubes
-An angled nursing pillow. Many recommend nursing at a 45-degree angle, something the popular Boppy pillow doesn't accommodate. I adore my Gia nursing pillow and use it for almost all of his feedings.

Things that didn't help me at all that I thought would:
-nipple shields... Elden had no idea what to do with it so we couldn't even use it

Personal Pros of Breastfeeding:
-no need to warm up/make bottles for the middle of the night feedings--just grab baby and stick on boob (although if you are like me it will take a solid 3 minutes to find a comfortable position)
-it's free
-it provides Elden with my immunities that he couldn't get from formula
-the bonding experience with Elden (truthfully this was also helpful when I would get overwhelmed by visitors--no one wants to see you nurse amiright?)
-I was back to a lower-than-pre-baby weight within about 2 weeks of giving birth. Hello, best diet ever. Apparently you burn about 20 calories per ounce of breastmilk produced. Since Elden drinks about 5 ounces per feeding, I burn at least 700 calories a day nursing alone (~7 feedings * 5 oz per feeding * 20 cals). You do realize this means I eat whatever I want (within reason) and have no extra poundage to show for it, right?

Disadvantages of Breastfeeding:
-we didn't want him to try a bottle until he was at least 4 weeks old to avoid nipple confusion--that meant I couldn't really go anywhere without him
-the pain and frustration in those early weeks
-I was solely responsible for his feedings. This was particularly hard those early nights because I felt so alone and trapped(?) I guess
-we also didn't want him on a pacifier those early weeks to avoid nipple confusion and now he won't take one, which can be frustrating when he clearly just wants to suck to soothe himself to sleep

Things I recommend for dads/support partners:
-if you know your partner really wants to nurse, be firm (but loving in your firmness) with her... that might be the push she needs to continue, even if she is snarky with you in the beginning*
-Wake up with her for all her nighttime feedings that first week or two. Jon woke up with me every. time. (bless him) to help me get Elden into position and to just rub my back (although there were times I yelled at him to just not touch me) and be physically there when I felt alone, stressed, and unable to figure out this nursing stuff. Those first weeks would have looked and felt much different if he had left me to my own devices or listened to me when I told him just to go back to sleep (he knew what I actually meant was "HALP!!!!").
-do some research about anything she might be struggling with and share it with her.

Things I recommend for new nursing moms/moms-to-be who want to nurse:
-seriously stick with it. Prepare yourself for unimaginable pain so you're not caught off guard when you experience it.
-cut yourself (and baby) some slack! Breastfeeding is hard.
-Consider buying the products I recommended (or ones like it) above if you're struggling.
-Ask for help! Before we left the hospital we met with a lactation consultant and she helped me with a few things that I just couldn't figure out/didn't feel comfortable with on my own
-If/when your baby starts sleeping through the night, invest in a manual hand pump you can keep on your nightstand for when you wake up inevitably engorged and in pain. I adore mine and I don't have to mess with hooking up all of my electric pump components/cleaning it at 4 am. This also allows me to take my hand pump places if I know I'll be missing a feeding to provide relief/keep my supply up, as well as leave my more efficient electric pump at work.

So those of you who have experienced this, what did you find that worked for you? Did your baby pick it up really quickly? Or if you attempted but didn't continue, what were your reasons? How did baby adjust to the switch to formula?

*I might note that if Jon had not been the firm hand ("we need to do what's best for him and we believe that's breastfeeding") those early days and even weeks, I most definitely would have given up on nursing because it was so incredibly painful. While I somewhat resented him for telling me formula wasn't really an option at the time, I am eternally grateful for his loving encouragement (and firmness) now. Jon, I'm sorry for the times I snapped at you and said "then YOU feed him!" and batted your hand away when you were just trying to love me.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

someecard saturday / call for guest posts

{Image Source}
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This season of life (particularly as we roll into this holiday season as family du trois), it is almost certain my posts will become slightly intermittent. I've also been the guest poster at some of my favourite blogs as of late and I want to extend the invite out to my readers to share their thoughts in my little space. So if you are interested in posting anything, send me an email! It can be about anything [personal] you want--family, parenting, your struggles, your dreams. I just ask that you use loving words. I will not be publishing anything that is derogatory towards any certain people group (that includes democrats or republicans! I'm so over politics), commercial posts, etc. I may also edit your posts for simple things such as grammar and spelling. If you are interested just shoot me an email at youngnotpowerless{at}gmail{dot}com.

Friday, October 19, 2012

eleven


11 weeks. Little mister is awake far more often during the day now than he was even just a week ago. He's getting better at holding his head up on his own each day and his hair is starting to grow in on the top/front and thicken up elsewhere. Bath time is still his fav, especially pooping in the tub. He also seems to have figured out that if he can wait to poop until after he's done eating at his morning feeding he won't be laying in it all night. By our estimates, he has surpassed 14 pounds and is now exclusively in size 2 diapers. He recently discovered his love of [daddy playing/singing] ukulele and being cuddled. I'm not complaining for one second!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

finding the balance

One of the things we've really struggled with is finding the balance between all of our priorities and other less urgent things around the house. I've always been type A personality who requires a clean/uncluttered space to really be able to relax. If I know there are things around the house that need done I can't just sit around and put it off til later because it will bug me. Jon is quite opposite. He thrives in chaos. There were several instances when we lived in Chicago that he would call me in a panic early in the morning because "my parents are going to be here in a few hours and there's no way I can get this place cleaned up by then... can you come help me please?" He is the type that literally left rotten food and spoiled milk in his fridge because they were 'contained' and he didn't see the need in pitching them. I am the type who flies around our house like an OCD cleaning tornado, sucking up all wayward socks, candy wrappers and cobwebs... most of which were left lying around by my better albeit messier half. We found our stride for a while because I fully understand Jon doesn't mind (or typically even notice) a mess. I had no issue being the primary house cleaner since it bugged me infinitely more than Jon, and Jon would pitch in when I was in a cleaning frenzy. It worked really well... until we had a baby and it didn't anymore.

Here's my dilemma. A typical weekday (just for me) looks like this:
-wake up between 5 and 6 to nurse Elden (this occurs when he wakes up)
-get ready for work when I'm done nursing him
-go back in to nurse him for a little bit right before I leave for work to hold him over until 9 am
-leave for work / be at work / drive home from work about 7:30 - 4:45
-take Elden off Jon's hands if he needs to do homework (he usually does) and try to eat dinner until 6
-nurse Elden / have "activity time" from about 6-7:15; put him down for a nap and pray he naps
-prepare Elden's bottles and make mine and Jon's lunches for the next day from 7:15-7:45 (or later if Elden keeps waking)
-miscellaneous urgent housework (typically laundry thanks to our spit-uppy little guy) 7:45-8
-try and relax for half an hour; usually interrupted by a little mister who wants to be where the action is
-Elden's bath and bedtime routine (which includes nursing) 8:30-9:30
-shower and get ready for bed 9:30-9:45
-talk to Jon and sleep
watching daddy shave
Jon is AMAZING with Elden. His weekdays are filled up with school, stay-at-home dad 2 full days a week (with school one of those nights as well), homework, and then working crazy hours on weekends. That being said I realize it sounds like he does nothing at all... this is quite untrue. He helps with Elden during weeknights if he's not sleeping so I can get the main stuff like making Elden's bottles done. He also does offer to help quite frequently. However, I know Jon gets stressed out with multiple commitments much easier than I tend to. This is not a negative thing by any means--I totally get it. It's my Type A that allowed me to work AND do classes full-time all through my undergrad and postgrad education. Where I struggle is I try not to ask him for any help on house stuff because I know he's already so overwhelmed by what he's got going on but then resentment sometimes creeps in where it feels like I do everything. The simple solution would be to hire a cleaning company once or twice a month so I wouldn't have to stress about as much such as cleaning the dang hardwood floors that are perpetually dirty. However, we recently redid our budget now that deferment is ending on my student loans we will barely be making ends meet.

On the whole I haven't had any major meltdowns over those darn dusty baseboards, but mostly because I don't have a choice. When forced to choose between dust-free baseboards and sleep I will choose sleep every. time. So where should the balance be? Should I give up all together on the stuff I'd like to have done around the house? The problem lies in my inability to relax when I have any items on my mental checklist, which is always. I don't know how to shut that part of my brain off, but I also don't want to miss out on Elden's childhood because I'm always off cleaning something. Any tips on how to handle this?
evening walk on an indian summer type of night

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

joy


Things have been moving along as expected on our end. Jon has fall break this Thursday and Friday so he won't be at school. I've been able to arrange the use of a vacation day on Friday. The game plan is to take Elden to daycare in the morning so we can get caught up on a few house projects (primarily just cleaning and taking out air conditioners) and then go on a lunch date with a gift card my sister gave me for my birthday. You know, low-key old people things that we are eternally grateful for because it means being able to spend a few quality hours together without needing to worry about Elden. I'm so joy-filled at this prospect.

The past few days have been great and productive. Jon's parents came over on Sunday and while his mom watched Elden his dad and I got some yardwork done (bulbs and flowers planted; buckeye spikey ball things raked; lawn moved). I made a delicious pulled beef meal in the crockpot that has been more than sustaining us over the last several days. Elden has been generally as content as ever. He is definitely awake a lot more during the day but that's fine with us because 98% of the time he is smiley and engaged with us. And now, here's a glimpse into what we've been up to:

Mama/Elden time

grabbing things!
scratching daddy's back
watching HIMYM as a family
One thing I'm curious about is what to purchase a baby that will be just over 4 months old for Christmas. We aren't planning on going nuts since he won't have any recollection of it, but we want to get him something. We were discussing buying him a few books because he seems to love it when we read to him. But at the same time, Jon's parents just brought over 2 boxes full of Jon's old books and I don't know if we have much room to buy any additional ones. Any tips?

Saturday, October 13, 2012

juicy little love note

Dear Slowcooker,

I'm sorry I neglected you for so long--I should have appreciated you and recognized your value long ago. Ever since bringing home baby I realized just how much you mean to me. Taking you for granted is easily one of the biggest mistakes I ever made. The ability to place gross, uncooked meat with very minimal preparation into your bowl and make you all hot and bothered until my house smells like a home and you make me dinner is one of the greatest gifts you could possibly give me. That delicious pulled beef you made me tonight certainly didn't hurt, either. This relationship we have where you tend to what will sustain us for the remainder of the week while still allowing me to go about my day is a nice one. The minimal cleanup required is definitely an added bonus. I guess what I'm trying to say is I really kind of love you. I daresay I'd be lost without you in this season of life. Thank you for being so good to me. I mean it. Feel free to slap me if I ever overlook your worth again.

xoxo
Danielle

--

Today was an amazing one in the land of parenting. I think it could actually go down in the record books as one of the best in the past 2 months. Elden slept from 9:30-6:30 last night and we ultimately went in to wake him because I felt like my boobs were going to explode. After he ate we hung out for about half an hour and put him back to bed, where he slept until 9:30 (when we again had to wake him). During that time Jon and I got to talk (uninterrupted!!) and I did laundry, dishes, prepared dinner in the slowcooker, picked up downstairs with Jon's help, and ate breakfast. After Elden ate at 9:30 the three of us hung out in our room for about half an hour and then Elden went to sleep until around 12:30. After eating he and I headed off to Lube Stop to get my car an oil change that was overdue by about 3,000 miles and an E-Check. Elden only cried for about ten minutes during that process although I did have to sit in the back and take him out of his seat while they changed the oil to help keep him occupied. Following Lube Stop we went and visited Jon at work for about half an hour then headed home to eat again. Since Elden hadn't slept since 12:30 he was zonked and went right to bed after he nursed. Then guess what I did. I TOOK A NAP. Bliss. By the time I woke up dinner was ready in the slowcooker so I made myself a sandwich. Elden stirred right when I finished because he kicked his bare leg out of his swaddle and got chilly. I brought him downstairs where I nursed him and we played for about 45 minutes. He is now tucked peacefully in bed and I'm about to hop in the shower. Today was both productive and restful and also a good one with regard to bonding with the little man. Case in point by the trillion Instagram pictures I took of him today. Here's one of my faves:

Friday, October 12, 2012

ten


It didn't hit me until I was editing this picture that Elden is in the double digit weeks. I'm in denial. Elden is continuing to grow more engaged with us and his environment each day. He's been almost consistently sleeping through the night with less napping during the day--this has its advantages and disadvantages. By the morning he usually has both arms and legs out of his swaddle; just his tummy remains securely tucked. I believe our swaddling days are limited. Still no big belly laughs, just little giggles here and there. He is also eating much more and we're fairly certain he just had another growth spurt over the last few days. We always look forward to getting him from daycare because we both miss him terribly during the day. He's finally adjusted completely there, though, so that is a big relief. Still battling our first cold but smiley nonetheless!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

treat yo'self

I had told Jon that my goals for post-Elden were to go on Weight Watchers again to lose the baby weight and when I did to reward myself with some new clothes, probably funded through birthday and Christmas money.

Well, thanks to a 9-pound baby with a voracious appetite, I didn't need Weight Watchers. In fact, Mr. Hungry has put me at a lower weight than pre-pregnancy. Praise Jesus!

Anyway, I was gifted a TJ Maxx gift card as well as some birthday cash (oh yeah, I turned 24 on Tuesday. I feel old!) and last night we decided to go check things out.

I wavered at first. Even though I weigh less than BEE (Before Elden Existed), I do have a pancake belly of stretched out skin (love that visual) so certain items I tried on were a far cry from flattering.



I ultimately walked away with a pair of red courds, two shirts, one sweater, and one winter headband/earmuff type deal. All for less than $70, all covered by gifts! Blessed.


As shallow as it may be, it's amazing what a few new clothing items can do for the self esteem. I've also made myself a rule that any time I bring new clothing items into my closet or dresser (which is, to be honest, a rarity these days) I have to get rid of the same number of items. I haven't done this yet but I'm planning on going through both my closet and wardrobe and donating most of my clothes this weekend anyway because I really only wear a handful of items.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

blogher 2013

Since I began blogging, I have always wanted to attend a blogging conference. Maybe it's because I want to learn more about engaging readers and improve my writing. Maybe it's because I am a total fangirl of several bloggers who I know attend these things and I really just want to meet them. Perhaps it's more the latter than the former.

I promise I'm not as big of a creep as I come off. Unless you're one of the aforementioned bloggers that I swoon over. Then yes, I am just as creepy as I sound. I was at least able to draw the creepy line in the sand and kept myself from emailing one of said bloggers (coughShannanMartincough) to ask her if she wants to share a hotel room even though I don't even know if she's going/have never met her. I just feel like she's my blogger 'person.' There's something about her blog that makes me feel like she's a long lost sister of mine, separated at birth. That doesn't even make sense, I know. See what I mean about being a fangirl? It does things to a person.

Anyway, Blogher 2013 is in Chicago July 25th-27th which means we'd probably have to leave Wednesday night and head back to Cleveland either Saturday night or Sunday morning. When I saw Chicago I obviously got super excited since my collegiate roots are there. Not to mention the fact that it's actually within driving distance. Registration is a bit expensive but my parents offered to contribute towards it as a Christmas gift. That just leaves a few things I need to worry about:

-the cost for gas and tolls from Cleveland to Chicago
-the cost of a hotel room for 3-4 nights

My hope is to find 3 other female bloggers within the next few weeks who would also be interested in attending the conference and would want to carpool from Cleveland and share a hotel room. The deadline for early registration is November 8th which is when registration increases by $200. So the moral of the story is if you're in the area (or want to come to this area and then head out with me--I have a guest room if necessary!) and interested in attending Blogher next year, please let me know ASAP! Just send me an email at youngnotpowerless {at} gmail {dot} com or leave your email address in a comment on this post and I will follow up with you.

Monday, October 8, 2012

big girl phone

I've had flip phones since my earliest cell phone ownership days. This also translates to just minutes/messaging plans mostly because a smartphone plan was just too expensive for me. A few months before I was eligible for my upgrade with Sprint I destroyed my phone. Related: I have yet to actually reach a free upgrade without having previously destroyed my phone/needing to use one of Jon's old phones. Anyway, we went to Sprint to transfer my contacts over and I was checking out the phones in anticipation of my upgrade. I quickly realized there were only about 2 non-smartphones and that things were obviously moving in the direction of every phone available requiring a data plan. We began researching our options because I was certain a data plan was pretty inevitable within the next few years. Jon recommended T-Mobile because they have a $50/month prepaid plan with unlimited calling, text, and data. We headed into their store about a week ago to get more information and were persuaded to consider a 2-year contract agreement to get better service for about the same price. We spent several days discussing it and researching phones (one of the reasons their plans are so cheap is that you pay full price for a phone if you buy through them). Jon found a Samsung Galaxy S on Ebay for a bit over $100 and we decided to go for it. The day after I received the phone in the mail we headed in and activated it. I opted for a plan with 500 anytime minutes, unlimited text/picture mail, 2 gigs of 4G data (after 2 gigs I have unlimited 2G/3G data), and insurance for just over $50/month. So far, so good. I've had so much fun in smartphoneland and immediately began downloading apps. You'll notice on my right sidebar I now have an Instagram feed displaying my photos (follow me @daniellefilipko; also on 'the  Tweeter'). I may be going a little app-happy. Can you blame me? It's just so convenient to have access to the internet in the palm of my hand / always. Also, I love having a cell phone camera that's not poor quality anymore:
swoon.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

perfect autumn day

Today we got together with a few friends for pumpkin carving, a fall potluck, and to unofficially celebrate the fourth birthday of a very cute little lady:
the two-month-old is as big as the four-year-old
we made a team flip pumpkin

From beer bread and spinach dip to pumpkin chili; apple cider to homemade pumpkin seeds; babies running and laughing to the grown-ups cackling over pumpkin guts. Today will go down in our personal history as one of the better days. We are abundantly blessed.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

elden's birth / biggest regret

I've been feeling very sentimental and reflective the past few days. I've been running Elden's birth over and over in my head almost nonstop. There's just one little problem: I hardly remember it.



Sure, I know the specific things that happened along the way as I wrote in our birth story (ha, although I just re-read this and realized I left out the painkiller/sleeping pill part I'm about to go into detail about. Man was I tired when I wrote that!). But when it boils down to what happened in the moments just before and just after his birth--what I was thinking, how I was feeling, the expression on Jon's face--I am completely clueless. I don't even remember the first time I nursed him. Yes, we were exhausted after having only slept an hour or two total in over 24 hours. But I know a big part of it is the sequence of events that led up to my epidural.

A certain someone was none too pleased to be out in the world.
Ladies, if you take the same stance I did going into your labor--that you are going to attempt to go naturally but you are not morally opposed to an epidural--I beg you not to repeat my mistakes. I have a dear friend who is a nurse anesthetist on a labor/delivery unit in Pennsylvania who had called me when we went in to be induced letting me know if I had any questions about pain management at all to give him a call, regardless of the time of day. When I first checked in and informed the nurse of my desire to attempt natural childbirth, she had informed me I would be able to take a sleeping pill and/or painkiller to help manage my labor. I immediately texted my friend and his recommendation to me was not to take oral pills because even though these medications had not negatively impacted babies in clinical studies, since we share blood they would ultimately be circulating in the baby's blood. He recommended I just go for the epidural if I thought I couldn't do it without some sort of pain intervention. I naively believed the 2 medications could adequately manage my pain while knocking me out long enough to get some rest in anticipation of ultimately pushing a baby out.


I'll let all you other women who have had the pleasure of experiencing labor take a moment to laugh at my expense here.


The sleeping pill/painkiller (which I don't even remember requesting but Jon said I took it) combo were a brutal memory cocktail that only provided me about 10-20 minutes of sleep. Though the sleeping pill was clearly trying to do its job, the pain was just unimaginable and outweighed the sleeping pill. When I ultimately got the epidural, I fell asleep instantly--actually, I don't even remember much of the epidural because I fell asleep while they were determining if it was placed correctly. I proceeded to sleep until they woke me to check my progress where they informed me I was complete. The problem is that I had taken the sleeping pill somewhere around 1 or 2 am (I think) and given it was only 7ish that bad boy was still rearing its ugly head. That combined with my existing sleep deprivation put me in a major fog. I remember bits and pieces of the rest of the morning, but not much. I literally was falling asleep between pushes. I vaguely remember Elden coming out for Jon to tell me he was a boy, and I slightly remember them putting him on me. But that's about it.


The moral of the story is, please consider not taking the painkiller/sleeping pill. Trust me when I tell you that if it comes to that and you think you need those but will be okay without the epidural that you've pretty much already surrendered to the medical intervention and just get the epidural. It's infinitely more effective (hello! you can't feel anything!) and it doesn't even go to your baby--it's restricted within your spine. Finally, at the end of the day you won't be in a drug-induced haze. You will hopefully be able to remember much more of your special day than I can.

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I'm sure this isn't the case for everyone. Since I was induced I'm not sure the protocol for women who go naturally. I'm guessing the protocol varies between hospitals, too. And hey, maybe you can manage your pain with a sleeping pill and painkiller. I'm just speaking from my experience of laboring through the night without any rest. Once I hit a certain level of tired I just couldn't focus on breathing through my contractions and I felt like the walls were caving in on me. That's when I ultimately asked for begged for demanded an epidural.

Friday, October 5, 2012

nine


Literally as I write, Elden nurses. He came down with his first cold and he's none too pleased. I am loving the cuddles, though, so I can't complain. I just wish I could do more to make him feel better.

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Today I am guest posting over at my friend and encourager, Suzannah's, blog about trying to make peace with my postpartum body, life, and marriage as we navigate the water of new parenthood. Fair warning to my readers: I share some details about struggles with our physical intimacy so if that's not something you care to know about then you probably don't want to click over. Thanks for having me, Suzannah!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

hunka chunka baby


Yesterday Elden hit the official 2-month mark. On Tuesday we had his two-month well visit at his doctor and he measures as follows:

-13 pounds 6 ounces (95th percentile)
-24.5 inches long (97th percentile)
-40.5 centimeters head circumference (75th percentile)


When I read blogs of moms who have babies older than Elden and they talk about how their kiddos are just now getting out of their newborn clothes I can't help but chuckle. Elden didn't even get to wear a lot of his newborn clothes because the little stinker was too big! We're just relieved he is developing normally and is healthy. Also, I'm personally excited that he just discovered the Menchie's baby mobile I made him and that he smiles when Jon spins it:

video

Meanwhile, I showed Jon the 'Gangnam Style' music video (he apparently lived under a pop culture rock and had never heard of it). This discovery has unleashed a tidal wave of Korean rap artists on his Youtube "recommended videos" feed and he can't. get. enough. It's an odd time in the Flip house these days.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

honest

A long while back (I think I was actually still in my first trimester) I purchased a coupon from Zulily for a month's supply of diapers (the diapers bundle) from Honest for half-price. Honest is a company co-founded by Jessica Alba that strives to provide non-toxic, ecofriendly and affordable disposable diapers. They have a diaper delivery service where you are mailed a month's supply of diapers (and wipes!) for just shy of $80/month. When we got the coupon, Jon actually did a bunch of research about big stores such as Target, Walmart, and even Costco/Sam's Club to see if the diapers were a good deal. The short of it is: they are. For a month's supply of diapers and wipes, you pay less by shopping through Honest than you would at a big box store like Target. Furthermore, given their sustainable and natural ingredients, I genuinely believe Honest is a great option for a health- and environment-conscience family who doesn't want to tackle cloth diapering.

Elden inherited my extremely sensitive skin. He got a pretty rough diaper rash within his first few weeks of life thanks to the baby wipes we had been using at the time. When we have him at home, we actually just use a damp washcloth to wipe him. However, we can't ask his daycare to do that so we've been sending the Honest wipes in with him instead of letting them use what they have on hand. He has yet to develop any type of irritation from these wipes--a huge step up compared to what we used at home those first few weeks. Moreover, their diaper designs are adorable and the fact that the diapers are delivered to your door each month (automatically at that) is super convenient. I highly recommend Honest diapers if you aren't cloth diapering.



Note: Honest didn't endorse this post in any way--I'm writing this because I genuinely love their products (although full disclosure: if you do click that first Honest link above and ultimately purchase any items, I will receive a $10 credit). I recently purchased their dishwasher detergent, dryer sheets, and laundry detergent to give a try. We used a dryer sheet yesterday and our clothes were definitely soft with no artificial scent. I'll update about the other products as I use them.

Monday, October 1, 2012

october bullets / delirium


  • I started today off with a pumpkin spice latte and a pumpkin scone courtesy of a livingsocial $5 for $10 worth of Starbucks deal to ring in October. Happy Monday to me!
  • My contract with Sprint is expired and I'm contemplating a switch to T Mobile. Thoughts from those with experience?
  • Elden's two-month checkup is tomorrow. Shots are in the cards. I'm more upset about this than he probably will be.
  • A certain someone fits wonderfully in his 6-12 month fall jacket...all whilst wearing newborn pants. What?:
  • The McDonalds we got dinner from tonight proudly displayed on their sign that "Monoply" was back. I'll pause so you can appreciate that in all of its spelling glory.
  • Moms, what's with us referring to ourselves in third person all the time? I know I've fallen prey to this diabolical scheme, and I'm repenting of my sins.... until I slip up and refer to myself as "this mama" in probably two hours.
  • Yesterday was a serious day in Colicville. Jon knew I was tired when he got home and I informed him that I had remembered to charge "the battery cameras."
  • Some girlfriends and I will be gathering in early November for a Pinterest-inspired Christmas decoration making party. I began looking at pins today. Now I'm ready to fast forward to December where there is general holiday merriment. Hey October: sorry I'm not sorry (love this post by my girl, Emma).
  • Except I'm not actually ready for October to be over yet.
  • A certain someone is waking from his nap an hour too early and I have yet to shower. Stay up late to bathe or turn up my nose at it and get a little extra (stinky) sleep? Apples and oranges, people. Apples and oranges. 
  • This is one delirious mama writing. SNAP. I knew I couldn't last more than a few minutes. That's what she said.