Just another Minnesota Mom blog.

Crying over Spilled Milk

Posted: June 16th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Breastfeeding | Tags: #Judahthetank, Blog Hop, Breastfeeding, Lincoln, Lincolnton and Wy, Mom stuff, Nursing in Public, Wyatt | 13 Comments »

This post is a part of the weekly Breastfeeding Blog Hop hosted by Life with Levi and co-hosted by Diary of a Devil Dog Wife and myself. The hop runs every Thursday and Friday, we’d love it if you linked up your pertinent posts!

Those first few days home from the hospital are always so crazy at our house. The first time around it was because we had two babies and well, two babies is a bit crazy. The second time around it was because we had toddler twins and a newborn…I’m still going to blame the crazy on the twins. (Seriously, people who compare having “Irish” twins to having actual twins are kidding themselves. But that’s besides the point.)

Back to my story!

The first time I pumped at home after Judah was born and actually got something that was enough to get excited about…I accidentally dumped it all over my counter when I went to pour it into my little breast milk freezer bags. Awesome. When you have supply issues you never want to waste a drop, but there I was watching it drip onto the floor.

In my mind there was a slow motion scream like you’d see in the movies (Nooooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!) but in reality it was more like “mother effing blankity blank blank blank @##%#%^$^!!!!”. I get a little salty in real life.

As someone with low supply I vacillate between wanting to never waste a drop and feeling like it doesn’t really matter because tomorrow there might not be anything left anyways, so what’s the point. I know, it’s kind of a harsh reality, but there you go.

I suppose in the grand scheme of things, a few ounces of spilled milk is really nothing to cry over. I mean, I could have had a much bigger breastfeeding accident. Although I’m not sure what that might be…severed nipples?

What would you consider a breastfeeding “Ooops”?


BFBH Week 23: Back to Work!

Posted: June 9th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Breastfeeding | Tags: #Judahthetank, Blog Hop, Blogging, Breastfeeding, Family, Feelings, Lincoln, Lincolnton and Wy, Nursing in Public, Pumping, Wyatt | 8 Comments »

This post is part of the Breastfeeding Blog hop, hosted each Thursday and Friday by Life with Levi and co-hosted by myself and Diary of a Devil Dog Wife. The topic is new every week, join us!

During both of my pregnancies I knew that I would be going back to work at some point. For better or worse, that was the plan. Because of this I started pumping pretty much from day one. Maybe day two. I was always feed, pump, supplement or feed, pump, freeze. Always the pumping.

Of course I pumped at work as well. I was lucky in the fact that I had my own office where I could hole up and pump three times a night, but for the most part it wasn’t enough. Because of certain rules my company had in place, I was only afforded two 15-minute breaks and one 30-minute break. It would have been much better for my if I had been able to do three 20-minutes breaks, but it wasn’t an option. 15 minutes to set up, pump through 2 let-downs and clean-up and be back to work? It’s almost impossible. but, I suppose as long as I was given the option and the space to do it they don’t have to go out of their way to make it work for me.

Because of supply issues I was never able to build up any sort of stash for Judah. There were many mornings (I worked overnight) that my husband would frantically call and want to know if I could get home early because the milk was gone and Judah was going crazy. Of course I was a good little breastfeeding Mama and I didn’t dare let him have formula. It was so much better to torture him by not letting him eat! That’s sarcasm, in case you didn’t catch it. Eventually I did have to get formula because I couldn’t keep leaving work early and I was already pumping around the clock and nursing and it was never ever enough. He was like a bottomless pit.

In my experience, I really don’t know how you can sustain both breastfeeding and pumping while working. I could see exclusively pumping, because you aren’t feeding the baby and then trying to build up a stash with what is left, one or two ounces at a time. Judah could put down 8 ounces in a sitting at 3 months old. I could only pump between 2-6 ounces in a session. It just never equaled out.

Eventually I ended up staying home and although it wasn’t the only reason or even the main reason, a big reason we came to the decision was to salvage what was left of breastfeeding with Judah. I had to quit my job to make it work. In the months that followed I spent the better part of my day parked on the couch with Judah nursing and me tweeting on my Blackberry. A lot of things didn’t get done, but the most important thing was nursing Judah.

And that was enough for me.


BFBH Week 22: Breastfeeding and PPD

Posted: June 2nd, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Breastfeeding | Tags: #Judahthetank, Blog Hop, Breastfeeding, Day to Day, Feelings, Kids, Lincoln, Lincolnton and Wy, Wyatt | 2 Comments »

This post is part of the Breastfeeding Blog Hop hosted each Thursday and Friday by Life With Levi! Each week we focus on a different topic in the realm of breastfeeding. Please link up pertinent posts and join the conversation!

First, a little background…

I don’t do pregnancy well. When I was pregnant with the twins my midwife was pretty clear that she thought I might be high risk for PPD because it had been so rough for so long, she didn’t know if I’d be able to bounce back.

I was pretty worried about it myself. Yogi Dad was always on the lookout for signs. For the most part things were great. Immediately upon delivery I felt about a gazillion times better. I needed that. Of course as I’ve said in previous posts, breastfeeding has never come easy and with the twins it was kind of like my own personal hell.

But I’m not sure I would go so far as to say I had PPD.

Sure, it was frustrating beyond belief.
Yes, there were many, many tears.
I’m pretty sure I said some pretty crazy things about what I might do if I didn’t get a shower or some sleep or some time away from screaming babies.

But it all stemmed from something that I could have stopped if i had wanted to, if I had pulled myself away from everyone telling me I just needed to try harder. Once I finally did that things got better.

The frustration went away. The babies stopped crying. I stopped crying. Everyone got more sleep.

But there is the guilt in that. You know…taking the *easy* way out.

With Judah the frustration was always tempered by the fact that he wanted to nurse and nursed well, I just have supply issues. Once we got over the hump, things got better. We co-slept and bed-shared so sleep was never as big of an issue.

I am very aware that it could have gone differently. I think being aware of PPD and having my husband and family be aware of what to watch for was key to making sure if it did become an issue it would be taken care of right away.


Friday Favorites {Tea Collection} Giveaway Ends 5-27

Posted: May 13th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Reviews and Giveaways | Tags: #Judahthetank, Blogging, Day to Day, Family, Friday Favorites, Kids, Kids Clothes, Lincoln, Lincolnton and Wy, Mom stuff, Stuff You Need, Tea Collection, Wyatt | 114 Comments »

I have a confession to make.

I like to dress my boys in comfy clothes every day.  Comfy as in, if they could get away with head to toe knit from birth to age 5, I think I’d be a happy Mom.  Even better if we could get away with PJ’s 24 hours a day!  I know.  It’s so unacceptable.  There is just something about putting those skinny little limbs into stiff jeans and miniature copies of outfits you’d find on an adult.  Yes, the effect is adorable, but I just think they must on some level be…uncomfortable.

Because of this, I have a lot of your run of the mill brands hanging out in our drawers…Carters, Target, Gymboree and Gap…you get the picture.  In my 2+ years of mothering boys I have come across a few brands that fit my comfort requirements and ratchet up the style a bit.

Enter Tea Collection.

Tea Collection is a San Francisco based clothing company that’s designs are distinctly inspired by their travels around the globe.  They have style in spades and cottons to drool over. My first introduction to Tea came with an end of season layette sale and some undeniably cute sleepersthat I considered the boys “good” pajamas (mostly because of their modern styling and colors).  They were still itty bitty mind you, modern colors automatically kicked the 24-hour pajama-fest up a notch!

Each season the collections change based on Tea’s latest journy.  Their current destination is Catalonia, Spain.  I was recently given the opportunity to review this newest collection.

My Little Citizens of the World

Sunday in Tea Collection

I am so impressed with the boys clothes.  The colors and patterns were spot on and the fabrics as comfy as ever.

Tea Collection Barcelona Tee

Tea Collection el Masnou Tee

Tea Collection Playa Plaid Shirt

I suppose now I just need to find a little girl to spoil….who do I know that fits that bill?

Tea Collection is available on their website
or if you are local to Minneapolis, you can find Tea Collection at
one of the Midwest Destination Stores
Pacifier
310 East Hennepin Avenue
Minneapolis, MN 55414

Tea Collection is going to offer one of my lovely readers the opportunity to get their hands on a $50 Tea Collection giftcard!

Required Entry:
– Visit Tea Collection and tell me what you would spend your $50 on if you are the winner

Extra Entires:
– Follow me on GFC
– Follow me on Twitter
– Follow Tea Collection on Twitter
– “Like” Tea Collectionon Facebook
– “Like” The Slacker Momon Facebook
– Tweet this: Hey! @TheSlackrMom is having a giveaway! $50 to Tea Collection ends May 27th! http://wp.me/p14Qs6-4E (Pls RT)

This giveaway will end May 27th at 10pm, the winner will be drawn by Random.org.  I will contact the winner by email, if I do not get a response within 48 hours a new winner will be drawn.  Open to US residents only.

Disclosure: I was provided clothing from Tea Collection to write this review, some of which is pictured here.  All opinions are my own.


Kicking Autism’s Ass Since 2010

Posted: May 12th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Autism | Tags: Autism, Autism Awareness Month, Birth to Three, Day to Day, EI, Family, Feelings, FTW, Goals, Kids, Lincoln, Lincolnton and Wy, Wyatt | 5 Comments »

I kind of feel like we have been doing this for years, when in reality it’s only been a few short months.

In the past 2 weeks, it’s like we have a totally different kid.

Wyatt is engaged more than not.
He’s calling things by their names (even if it’s only the first syllabel of the word).
He’s “singing” the alphabet.
He’s pointing.
He’s pretending!

It’s just so awesome to see.

Yes, we still have a long way to go. Yes, he still has autism- that isn’t going away.

It’s just *so* encouraging to see such great progress. You get so mired in all the details of your day it’s like a slap in the face to say “This is what we are working towards and it’s happening!”

Lincoln is coming out of his shell a bit too. Today when his teacher and the speech therapist came for a home visit he met them at the door with a hug and spent a good part of the visit hanging off the speech therapist’s back (he’s really into piggy-back rides) and giggling. He’s making progress too, communicating in his own way. We are learning how to meet him at his level, which is probably the biggest obstacle! He knows just how to get what he wants, we just have to read his cues a bit better.

It’s happening!


My Arms Are Full

Posted: May 8th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Parenting | Tags: #Judahthetank, Family, Family Photos, Lincoln, Lincolnton and Wy, Mom stuff, Wyatt | 5 Comments »

But so is my Heart.

Full Arms on Mother's Day

Happy Mother’s Day.

To ALL of the Mother’s in my life.


Breastfeeding Blog Hop Week 17: Healthy Eating

Posted: April 28th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Breastfeeding | Tags: Blog Hop, Blogging, Breastfeeding, Day to Day, Feelings, Goals, Kids, Lincoln, Lincolnton and Wy, Mom stuff, Wyatt | 4 Comments »

This post is part of the Breastfeeding Blog hop hosted by Life with Levi and co-hosted by The Slacker Mom and Diary of a Devil Dog Wife. This hop runs every Thursday and Friday and features a different topic pertaining to breastfeeding each week. Please feel free to link up a post that pertains to the weeks topic and remember to leave comments! (We all love comments!)

You’re not doing it right!

When the twins were born I was so ready to breastfeed.  I had my nursing/ pumping station set up at the end of the couch.  I had a gift bag full of snacks that fell into the energizing and supply building variety and I *really* tried to eat fairly healthy.  I remember munching on wasabi almonds and various fancy flavored granola bars and bowls of oatmeal and Mother’s teas.  Feasting on delicious meals and generally doing it right.

I lost a lot of weight after the boys were born. I weighed less two weeks after givng birth than I did before I was pregnant. I slowly krept back up to my pre-pregnancy weight over the next year, by trying to eat healthy and the use of natural supplements like Kratom, that I got from different  sites such as http://kratommasters.com/red-vein-kratom/ .

Cut to two years later and I have two toddlers running around so there is no real nursing/ pumping station set up- parts would have been strewn from one end of the house to the other!  Bag of snacks?  Forget about it!  I was lucky if I was eating anything some days moreless almonds and granola bars.  No, after Judah was born I started drinking pop.  (Chocolate Cokes to be specific) Like it was going out of style.

Add to that meals that were more out of conveneince and I quickly gained back everythign I lost after he was born…after I had lost it!

How’s THAT for a punch in the teeth?

Looking back at the two different situations I know I did much better with the twins.  It was dare I say *easy* back then.  Being able to have a bag of healthy snacks right where you are going to be nursing is a lot easier than having them in the kitchen cupboards.  It may seem like no big deal, it’s just 10 feet away…right?  Yes and no.  10 feet is a long way when you’ve got a nursing baby attached to you and after 30-45 minutes of that, well, you sometimes forget about the almonds and just start eating the mac and cheese right out of the pot it was cooked in.

I’m trying to make healthier choices, but find myself stress eating like I’ve never done before. I know I’m doing it, but it’s like I can’t help myself. Take away all the extra running around I’d do when I was working and I’m just a mess over here.

I can’t wait for Spring to finally show up in Minnesota, because the beautiful days we’ve seen have made it so easy to get outside and *want* to be outside, but the days like today, where it’s SNOWING, well…they make me want to eat my weight in pie.

So, I suppose my big tip is to keep snacks where you can reach them in the spot you normally nurse in. Make them be something you like to eat, easy, packable, quick. Don’t get into a rut where you are caught without a break and nothing close enough to reach from your chair. We all get tot he point where we can walk around balancing a baby on the Boppy, but it’s easier if you can avoid that!


Just when we think we’ve hit our stride…

Posted: April 25th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Autism | Tags: Autism, Autism Awareness Month, Birth to Three, Feelings, Goals, Lincoln, Lincolnton and Wy, Twins, Wyatt | 2 Comments »

Today we had an appointment with our pediatrician for an “Autism Follow-up”.  At their 2 year appointment in December he had asked that we make an appointment to  touch base with him after we got all of our ducks in a row with school and services and were done with the initial testing etc.

That’s where we are and we want to keep him in the loop, so that’s what we did.  We had everything from the school forwarded to him so he could read up beforehand.

When we got there it was like he had no idea why we were there.  He had everything from the school but hadn’t read it.  Not a page.

?????

First of all, we’re moving forward with a lot of things at this moment.  A medical evaluation in a month, we are on wait lists for speech and OT evals, the boys are in school.  We live and breath their IFSP’s.

At the beginning of the meeting he seemed to be questioning whether they had autism or not.  “Language delays aren’t always autism….”  This is more than a language delay.  This is a LOSS of language combined with pretty much every other marker you can think of minus the scary tantrums.  I’m fairly certain that we’re not going to get a different answer at this point.

Now, I know we went ahead with evaluations before he gave the go ahead and I understand that he hadn’t had a chance to read the novella that had been sent over from the boys school, but you’ve got to trust that we’re not making this up.  Who would put themselves through this ringer if it weren’t real?

Anyone?

There were some good things, he has seen great things with ABA and also thinks our school district does a terrific job compared to some others he’s worked with.  We’ve got referrals for MRI’s but don’t need to be in a rush- he said we could wait until they can lay still on their own.  We may be waiting for years for that.  We know that an MRI isn’t going to change much so I’m not sure why we would do it now anyways.

We talked about their sleep habits and possible medications with the pros and cons and when they would be needed.  We’re thinking about adding a little Melatonin to the bedtime routine just to see if it makes a difference.  I know the 2-3 hours it takes them to wind down after they go to bed would be better spent sleeping. 

I think the worst part about today’s meeting was that it kind of put one more person in our path that made us question everything up to this point.  We moved out of the denial phase pretty quickly so it’s difficult to have people pull us back to that place. 

This is happening.  This is real.  We just keep moving forward, one foot in front of the other.

I’m not ready to switch docs just yet.  We won’t see him again until November and by then he should be fully aware of what’s going on so he’ll be able to see for himself.  He is a great pediatrician.  If we switched we’d just switch to Judah’s ped who is in the same practice.  Right now I’m just trying to not make any rash decisions.  Right now he’s kind of the smallest player in this whole *thing* compared to the teachers and therapists and social workers…I don’t see the point in switching  just yet.


Autism Awareness Month: Day number AWESOME!

Posted: April 20th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Autism | Tags: #Judahthetank, Autism, Autism Awareness Month, Birth to Three, FTW, Goals, Lincoln, Lincolnton and Wy, SAHM, Wyatt | 7 Comments »

Yesterday everyone woke up at 6am.

That might not sound early, but trust me, it’s early.

On school days I slowly roll out of bed trying not to disturb His Royal Highness Judah the Tank so I can get the coffee going before I wake up Lincoln and Wyatt at 7:00.

Yesterday it was three boys, all screaming and crying and whining and Yogidad running out the door as I tried to open my eyes and assess the situation, sans coffee.

Oh, and did I mention I was up until 1:30am nursing HRHJTT?

Yeah.

So we stumbled through the morning milk routine and slowly got breakfast going and then slowly got everyone dressed and then things started to happen.

Good things. Things that we don’t usually see in this house.

Exhibit A: Playing with a toy. Like actually taking a toy off of the toy shelf and bringing it over tot he coffee table and playing with it in the way it was intended. In this case it was the Leap Frog Cook and Play Potsy and they took the different foods out of the pot, put them back in, stirred the pot with the spoon and then put on the lid! I almost passed out from the awesomeness.

Not impressed? What about this?

Exhibit B: Lincoln dragging me by the hand to the door and putting my hand on the doorknob after I put on his coat. This might be no big thing to everyone else, but for Lincoln to drag me, to another room, to get me to do something? That’s communication folks! He knew it was almost time to go and he knew the next step was to go out the door and he knew we do that by using the doorknob. Brilliant.

Cloud. Nine.

Yesterday was a good day and today has kind of gone the same way. More playing with Potsy, this morning included Wyatt naming the veggies as he pulled them out of the pot, sure the Tomato was called “A” (he thinks it’s an apple) and the cheese is just “ch” but he’s getting it. Lincoln pulled me by the hand into the bedroom to read the alphabet to him off of a toy…this is progress!

And Judah? Well his new thing is to put his head on a pillow and “pretend” to go to sleep. Then he pops up and laughs. It’s cute, even after 10 or so times. Note to Judah: go to sleep!


Autism Awareness Month: Day 13

Posted: April 13th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Autism | Tags: Autism, Autism Awareness Month, Birth to Three, Blogging, Feelings, Kids, Lincoln, Lincolnton and Wy, Mom stuff, SAHM, Wyatt | 3 Comments »

I’m guessing with our upcoming crazy schedule I will probably skip more days- and that is OK!

So, Tuesday we had our meeting at the boys school to go over their ADOS (Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule) testing and get their new IFSP (Individualized Family Service Plan) which is basically an IEP for 2 year olds. The language of an IFSP focuses on what the family wants to see “The family would like to see Lincoln do _____.” Once they move to the 3 year class they’ll get an IEP. There was nothing new, nothing we hadn’t already heard, so it was a fairly easy meeting.

After everyone was in bed I read through both boys IFSP’s and looked at all of the things that were checked off that had them meeting the autism label and it kind of hit me. We’ve been operating under the premise that they are “high functioning” but what does that mean? No one outside of us or our family has used any label other than autism.

I know that the high and low functioning labels are not actual clinical labels. I also know that we’d all love to believe that we are dealing with something that is going to be relatively easy to keep under control.

But what if it’s not?

What if we are looking at low-functioning autism?

What does that change?

Who makes that distinction?

When is that distinction made?

I know a lot of this is wrapped up in the fact that they are only 2. I know we need to be patient and not dwell on labels. I know that those labels don’t make a difference because someone labeled low functioning may out-preform someone labeled high-functioning. I get it.

It’s difficult though. Everyone wants a label and I don’t know what to say. Everyone wants to believe they are in the best position here.

But what if we are all mistaking their happy, easy-going personalities for high-functioning?

————————————————-

So, after all of that heaviness on my brain today- I needed to do something fun, just me, out of the house and away from all of that.

So I went to a book reading/signing for Let’s Panic About Babiesby a couple of brilliant bloggers- Alice Bradley and Eden Kennedy. I got their early because all hell started to break loose after dinner and I just needed a break. I got some coffee, bought my book, found a comfy chair and started to read.

I was laughing out loud on the first page.

It was just what I needed.