And How

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

More breastfeeding

I just thought this was funny. I had Karen take a picture of me at the zoo because I was so proud of how far I've come. I went from chasing down fitting rooms and finding places to sit comfortably when I was nursing Penn to walking through the zoo, not wanting to miss seeing anything. It's amazing what having a toddler and a newborn requires you to be able to do. Maybe I AM a breastfeeding snob, Karen:)


Oh and PS...that's my cute, super-simple nursing cloth that I bought when I was preggo with Penn...15 dollars very well spent!

Anyhoo...as "experienced" as I think I am, I'm definitely not an expert. Recently, I don't know if I've enabled Jude to develop a lazy latch or if something bigger is wrong, but for some reason, feeding him is soooo noisy lately! I'm not just talking about slurps, gulps, and sighs (that's always been noisy), but he's started clicking while he's eating almost the entire time! It's really driving me crazy because I know he's not nursing properly, but I can't figure out how to correct it.

One option I found out seems like it might be the root cause. I discovered early on that I had a very strong letdown ejaculation reflex that actually gags him while he's eating. Basically, when my milk lets down, it pretty much chokes him and causes him to gasp for air and even makes his little lips turn blue...scary! I tried some different nursing suggestions and positions and I figured that it corrected itself or that Jude just adjusted to it. Now I'm thinking that may not be the case. The clicking is him losing suction time after time after time... This in turn causes pretty sore nipples and aside from that, the noise is driving me crazy! Any advice?

Monday, June 29, 2009

All about lately...

So I was waiting to post until I knew something about Pack's interview, but guess what...NO NEWS! We still have no idea if he got it or not, but we are realistic in thinking he would have gotten a call already if he got the job. We're okay with that though because we figure that whatever happens will happen for a reason and we'll be fine.

On to other things...

We have had a blast lately with summer activities. Karen and I have been going to the Splash Pad at Lynches River once a week lately (with the kids, of course). I think I have a tan for the first time in like three years, thanks to my new favorite place! We also talked my parents into letting us put a cheap above-ground pool in their backyard for the kids to play in with us. I do realize that I'm an adult now and have my own house and yard, but we felt their house would be a central location and we wouldn't have to fight the redbugs there. We've also checked out the free movies at the Swamp Fox Theater once a week (Penn loved it....Jac, not so much!). Between those things and Library Story Time on Tuesdays, we are staying really busy!

This past weekend we celebrated a couple of things. First of all, Jude officially turned three months old. I can't believe it's been three months already! He's such a great baby, and I'm trying to soak up every minute of his babyhood. I love the simple smiles, bald head, and sweet smelling breath (don't take that for granted...it doesn't last long!). He's so precious and I'm such a lucky mom to have two beautiful, fun boys! Life doesn't get any better than that! And to document the day, here's my little precious pumpkin...couldn't you eat him up???


Our next celebration was my cousin (and one of my BFFs) Beth's surprise graduation party. Getting together with family is always fun, but especially so when we can surprise someone...and that's not difficult with our family. Beth just earned her master's degree and everyone wanted to do something special for her...I think the party did the trick. She really deserved it after working so hard!

Sunday was my church's annual Patriotic service and potluck. Absolutely one of my favorite services of the year. We start out in the yard with cannons and musket fire with re-enacters from previous wars and move inside for a time of worship and patriotic music. Probably my favorite part is when current and former servicemen are recognized. I get misty every year seeing uncles and other ordinary men from my church stand up and be recognized for the sacrifices they've made. My in-laws came this year and Pack's father was able to be recognized for his service in the Army. I kept thinking how strange it will be next year when Cam stands up as a veteran...so weird, but I'm definitely proud and thankful for him! After our service (which I was called out of to feed Jude), we enjoyed the biggest buffet lunch you've ever seen in your life! Seriously, that much food in one place is insane, but oh so good!

Pack sitting with Penn waiting for the cannons and muskets to start firing.

So anyway, that's what's been going on lately. I'll try to post some pictures later. I'm hoping that in one of my next posts I'll be able to tell everyone more on the job front, but for now, no news is no news...

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Just my boys...

These are a couple of videos that we've taken this week. The first one is my sweet little Jude who has been the social butterfly lately. He's been smiling for a while now, but it just keeps getting cuter.
The second video is Penn eating celery...yes...the child that will eat no other veggies will eat celery. This video is the second cut. The first one (I will spare you from) ends with him gagging because he kept talking with his mouth full. Manners are for a reason!

video

This second video is Penn eating celery...yes...the child that will eat no other veggies will eat celery. This video is the second cut. The first one (I will spare you from) ends with him gagging because he kept talking with his mouth full. Manners are for a reason!

video

Friday, June 12, 2009

Ahhhh!

What a great day! This is a pretty non-eventful post, but one of those days that I just might forget unless I write about it. Days like today help me get through afternoons like yesterday (which started out great, but had a rough few hours later).

Jude and I got up right as Pack was leaving for work and we left Penn snoozing in the bed. He wakes up in a much better mood when no one else is in the room. So he teetered to the living room about 30 minutes after we did with a chipper, "Hey Mommy...I waked up!" We sat around for a while and had breakfast then decided to call Karen and see if she and Jac were interested in going to the Y for a swim before lunch. Penn had a blast in the pool and I even had him putting his head under the water for a second or two. We went down the slide together twice and then decided we needed to split for lunch. Both Penn and Jac left the pool like champs! I took Penn to "Old McDonald's" drive-thru and we got our lunches and headed home.

At home, I realized that when you get apples and caramel in a kid's meal, the slices are already peeled...woo hoo! Five minutes saved and minus one throw-up fest! It was as I was noticing the apple slices and how well Penn was eating that I also realized that Penn hasn't thrown up in weeks! I guess the medicine is doing it's job...and Penn is getting an appetite again and actually eating some more veggies. A miracle! Penn ate ALL of his food, and then we took a bath and laid on his floor until he fell asleep for his nap. Wow!

Let me not forget to mention what an angel little Jude has been. I haven't heard him get really upset in almost a week (besides when he's hungry and I can't feed him immediately). I thought Penn was an easy baby (although he's giving me a run for my money now...), but Jude is a breeze! I can take him anywhere (like I did last week at work). He's so content to just sit or lay, kick his legs, and smile his face off. Much more independent than Penn was at that age (which is great because Penn still requires so much attention!). God sure knows how to put together families perfectly!

So I realize that it's just about 2:30 now and we have a lot of day left, but I'm hopeful. We did something right today and I'm actually at the point where I can fathom the thought of having a third child one day (not any time soon, but you know what I mean...). As a matter of fact, if every day were like this, I'd probably have a baseball team in a few more years (I realize that a cheerleading squad is probably not in our future). Oh well, thank God for days like this when I can really appreciate being a mommy! Life is good!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Summertime!!!

Today was my first "official" day as an unofficial stay at home mom. Woo hoo! This is what I always wanted to be when I grew up! Now let's see if I love it as much as I always hoped I would...

Now...about the goings on in our family. We've had some big things to think about lately and it's pretty exciting. Pack has an opportunity to take a job with ESAB in Richmond, Virginia soon. Nothing's definite yet (he still has to interview next Monday), but we're pretty stoked about the possibility. Basically, if he gets the job, that will mean more money and a definite on me getting to stay home indefinitely. If the job's not meant to be, then I'll probably be putting in applications come August (or sooner) and have to leave my precious boys for hours on end every day to work. We took a step of faith in agreeing to not signing my contract for the 2009-2010 school year and now District One is not hiring, so we've gone nothing else to do but wait on God to take care of us. So far, God is good (and his track record's not too bad either!).

In other news, Jude's baby dedication was this past Sunday. A lot of our family was out of town for the occasion, which was a bummer, but we still had a great day. Penn stood with us in front of the entire congregation and we were pretty nervous how that was going to go. Well, he was absolutely as perfect as any two-year-old could be and both my boys looked precious! Here's a glimpse of our little family after the service.

Thank you, God for my precious family and help me to cherish every day!!!

Liquid Gold

Note: If all you're interested in is the goings on of the Packard family, stop here. This post is about breastfeeding and reader discretion is advised. This is a fair warning!

Okay, so I've been thinking a lot lately about breastfeeding (considering I spend a good portion of my day and night doing it) and I've been doing some research on different and facinating things. I'm curious what some people I know think about the issues.

First of all, here's my background (my limited readership is probably already aware of this). Breastfeeding Penn had a rocky start. After feeling like he was pulling needles out of my breasts for three weeks, I finally visited the lacatation consultants at McLeod. They didn't know what the problem was (why I was hurting), but they gave me a recipe for a miracle cream that had me feeling totally normal after a little less than a week. I probably wouldn't have made it more than those three weeks without that cream (ask me if you're interested in the "recipe"). So, I breastfed and pumped with Penn for 6 months before I started supplementing with formula. After that, I continued to breastfeed when I was with him on the weekends and weekdays after work until he was a little over a year old and he decided to wean himself off his one or two feedings a day. I am now nursing my second son, Jude and plan on doing so exclusively with no formula for a year or more since I won't have to send him to a babysitter during the day and pump regularly...hopefully. Basically, I'm pretty experienced in the breastfeeding department.

My first issue I can't get off my mind is the issue of cross nursing. For those of you that don't know, that's the act of nursing a baby that isn't yours. Think of Salma Heyak breastfeeding the starving African baby. There's a lot of controversy over this. In the afore mentioned example, you're talking life or death (not so controversial), but in most cases, it's neighbors or family nursing one another's children for convenience sake or as a bonding/community ritual. I really can't decide how I feel about this issue. I can't honestly say that I would be a participant in it because I don't know how I would feel about someone else nursing my baby, but on the other hand, it doesn't sound so bad. An article in People magazine described a situation in which the mother of a baby had died during childbirth and the father wanted to keep the mother's wishes that her child be breastfed. He started buying frozen milk over the Internet, but then neighbors and friends of friends with babies started voluteering to actually breastfeed this baby for the first year. I think they said that there were about 25 women who rotated feeding the baby every three hours during the day and then the father gave bottles of frozen breastmilk at night. In a situation like that, I'm still not sure how I feel.

Here's another new tidbit I learned...from the Bible. I'm sure you all know the story of Ruth and Naomi. Ruth was Naomi's daughter in law, but after Ruth's husband (Naomi's son) died, Ruth had the choice to go back with her family. Instead of returning, she remained loyal to her mother-in-law and stayed with her. Ruth eventually remarried and had another son...that was breastfed by her mother-in-law! So this says to me there is nothing at all wrong with co-nursing, but then why am I still really weirded out when I hear about some other ordinary examples??? Thankfully, unless I happen to come across a starving baby, I doubt I'll ever breastfeed someone else's child!

This leads me to something else that I'm definitely a fan of. Selling breastmilk! Seriously, this stuff is a hot commodity on the Internet! If I weren't breastfeeding my own son right now, I would be totally on that! I would never take my child's milk, but women who sell their milk can make almost as much as I make teaching! So anyway, once Jude decides he's done, I may convince myself to live green and share the wealth. What a waste of resources if I don't because I could probably feed triplets on what Jude eats, lol. And here you can read about a philanthropic effort to get breast milk to AIDS orphans in Africa...what a unique opportunity to save lives!

Lastly, in my recent research, I have come across some high and mighty breastfeeders. Don't get me wrong, I'm really proud of breastfeeding and I'm thankful that I'm able to do it, but I don't judge anybody for stopping. My own mother tried to breastfeed her first baby and ended up with mastitis, which pretty much scared her from ever trying it again. After my minor "inexperienced nursing" pain, I can't imagine what that must feel like. I was ready to let that ball drop after a couple of weeks! I feel that the most important thing for babies is not what milk they are getting, but how confident their mothers are in caring for them. A women who breastfeeds and cries and dreads every feeding is not doing their child any favors!

To close, here are my top 10 tips or things I've learned about breastfeeding...

1. Breastfeeding is almost always convenient, but it takes a long time before it's easy!

2. You can't beat the calories you burn while nursing. Once I stopped, I gained 15 lbs in no time!

3. Breastfeeding sometimes hurts. Everyone I know that has breastfed has dealt with pain at some point. When you aren't used to it or aren't doing it perfectly, it does hurt! I say to give it a month or as long as you can. Usually, you and the baby will get the hang of it by then.

4. It takes a long time for milk to dry up when you stop nursing gradually and it won't happen overnight just because you aren't feeding regularly.

5. Nix nursing bras. They are a total waste of a lot of money, you can only wear them with granny shirts (and personally, I like to show off my curves...however temporary), and you're better off wearing built-in-bra camisoles under everything. If you double layer your clothing, you can nurse anywhere and you really don't even need a cover (although I LOVE my nursing cover and use it a lot anyway)!

6. Special nursing clothes or pj's are more trouble than they're worth...seriously. Wear v-necks and criss-cross necklines with stretchy fabrics and you're set!

7. Everyone expects you to answer the question, "Could he be hungry?" Sure he could! I finished feeding him 10 minutes ago, but anything's possible!

8. Buy Playtex nursing pads (if you need them). They have the best adhesives and they aren't quite as big as some others. They are thick though! While you're at it, buy Lansinoh breast milk storage bags. They don't get holes in them when you freeze the milk!

9. Always have a drink handy when you're feeding. Nothing makes me thirstier than when I sit down to start feeding. As a matter of fact, it's worth it to learn to breastfeed while standing, walking and any other position that keeps you from being trapped on a couch with pillows!

10. Very few people are bothered by breastfeeding. As a matter of fact, I think most people are interested in it or don't care at all! Don't assume people are disgusted by breastfeeding.

I guess that's it...it seems I have to stop here anyway, as I have a hungry baby to feed...

Monday, June 1, 2009

Back to reality...for a week at least

I'm typing up this quick post before I go back to work today...ugh! I can't believe I let Karen talk me into going back to work for one week! I'm at least hoping I don't cry leaving my babies today. My MIL is keeping Penn for the day and Karen volunteered to keep Jude...and to bring him to me to feed so I don't have to pump...I hate pumping! Hopefully they'll do great and I'll have a few little breaks during the day. I warned her that he may want to eat every 45 minutes to 4 hours...haha! Oh well, off to work I go!