oliva::2 months

Olivia is 2 months old today! 
The girl gets cuter everyday. I can't even handle it.


Jillian is especially obsessed with her these days. I'm blown away by how good she is to her! Sometimes she asks me things like, "Can I sit on Olivia?" or "Can I pull her arm?" Fortunately she asks instead of just doing it...haha. 

Before Olivia was born I thought, "How could I ever love another baby as much as I love Jillian?" I dunno how it happens, but it happens. And watching Jillian with Olivia makes me love her even more. 
There's just a whole lotta freakin' love over here.



For some reason I have to say that in a Boston accent every time.
I dunno.
Leave me alone. 

My mom is a fellow party-lover, it's where I got my obsession. So she and I together planning a wedding are like...dangerous. We have all kinds of things in the works. Es gonna be goooood.

August 23rd is going to be a good day!
Congrats seester! I LURVE YOU! 



olivia's blessing

Olivia was blessed at church today. It made Father's Day that much more special!

Her blessing dress was the same one that Jillian wore when she was blessed. My mom actually made it out of my wedding dress. The bow on it is from my baptism dress when I was 8, and the slip is the one I wore when I was blessed as a baby! Talk about sentimental. ;-)

(And seriously I still freak out every time I look at a picture of her and see all of that HAIR!)
We loved that so many of our friends and family members were able to come and participate- it's great having so many of them around! 

 (Everyone who participated- cousins, uncles, grandpa's...)

We are absolutely loving our new little girl!

father's day

This year was pretty awesome as far as Mother's/Father's Day goes since I got to spend BOTH holidays with my parents! This hasn't happened since I lived at home. Pretty great stuff. 

I love watching Jillian (and now Olivia) spend time with my Dad. He's such a goofball and I love it (so does Jillian, obviously).

It also never ceases to amaze me how James is rockin' the whole fatherhood sitch. He has a LOT on his plate right now, but being a Dad is always at the top of that list- I don't know if there is anything more attractive than that! 

Happy Father's Day!

birthday weekend

I'm twenty-freaking-six. 
That's quickly approaching 30.
I asked Jillian how old I was and she said "three", so at least I'm not quite an old hag yet in her eyes (...but she can't even count to 20, so her perception is probably skewed). ;-) 

Fortunately my WHOLE family got to Utah that day to celebrate with me (Michaela and Spencer via cross country road trip--because they just moved here- WOO!-- and my parents via airplane)!

Friday night my parents watched the girls while James and I stayed in Salt Lake to celebrate. It would've been super nice to actually get to sleep all night instead of waking up twice to feed Olivia, but I still had to get up to pump (blegh...the things we do). But it was definitely nice to sleep in the morning and get to be lazy sans toddler demanding Cheerios.

This magnet was on the fridge in the mini bar...I thought it was hilarious. HILARIOUS.

The next morning...well...I say morning loosely, it was like noon by the time we woke up and got out the door...we went to the cutest little bakery downtown, Eva's. I definitely recommend it. That lemon cream and blueberry stuffed french toast? Holy YUM.

(We look really tired...I'm aware...)

And of course we left with some more nom-noms. 
I could eat croissants until I died.

Last year I got a new chandelier for my birthday. This year I got a new patio umbrella. 
I don't know if other twenty-six year-olds are this boring...
Don't get me wrong, I totally love it. 
I mean...my patio umbrella TILTS TO FOLLOW THE SUN!
That's exciting stuff folks. 


everything is half-done.

Here's what I've learned so far about having two kids:
everything is half-done all the time.

I open instagram to find a picture I never finished posting.
I go to bed and remember that the clothes never got put into the dryer. 
I see a news article show up again that I've been meaning to read for days.
It takes me multiple days/sittings to watch a one-hour TV show. 
It takes me even longer to finish a blog post...

The other day I found myself wondering what the HECK I did with all of my time when I was married without kids, got done teaching school at 4pm and James didn't get home until 6:00...
How did I even have that many hobbies to fill all of that free time?!

Now my days consist of 3 things: making sure we're all fed, rested, and have clean bums (meaning Olivia's diaper, Jillian actually making it to the bathroom when the urge hits, and me taking a shower every day). We're barely through one cycle of that before it's lunch time and we start all over again. Hence why everything else is half-done until I remember/have time to finish it.
My mental to-do list is constantly getting erased when my thoughts are derailed by the never ending neediness of these two little people I live with...that I made...on purpose! 
(What every morning looks like- the 3 of us all piled up on my bed while Olivia and I try to catch a few extra zzz's before Jillian gets too impatient and wants us all to go downstairs).

My youngest brother moved out of the house this week, leaving my parents as empty nesters. My mom said she's going through a bit of an identity crisis- for the last 30 years that is what she did, and she did a heck of a job- making sure we were all fed, well rested, and had clean bums (you'd think the last one would improve with time...but seriously have you ever smelled a teenage boy?). 
And she already misses it. 

So since this will be my life for the foreseeable future (30 years?), I'm going to *try* to find a little more joy in the day-to-day grind. I'll try to laugh before I get mad when Jillian makes a HUGE mess but had a blast in doing so, I'll try to forget how much money diapers cost when Olivia goes through 5 in 10 minutes, I'll enjoy snuggles from both of them when they just want to be snuggled- even if it means dinner will be late getting done or not at all. 
Because this is the stuff that one day I'll miss doing- presumably. Sometimes I find myself thinking, "Ahh I can't wait until my kids are in school!" or "It will be so nice when they're older and we can ____." I gotta stop wishing the time away and live in the here and now. Not just live in it- but enjoy it. 
(I'm also typing this as both kids are asleep in the middle of the day and I'm sitting on the couch in yoga pants eating a big ole' piece of chocolate cake, so I'm feelin' especially good about the here and now). :-p 


an ode to boobies

I was debating if I wanted to post about this or not...some people may be weirded out by it (well, boys maybe...but I don't think many boys read this blog...eh, whatever) and my mom will probably say "why did you blog about that?", but it's happening. Sorry Mommers. ;-) 
Because breastfeeding...the struggle is REAL. And if you've struggled through it or are struggling through it, call me. We can be friends.  
The last 4 weeks I haven't thought/read/researched so much about boobs. Though I'm a second-time mom, I definitely don't consider myself a second-time breastfeeder. With Jillian I had one of the most awful times of my LIFE trying to get that mess figured out. Though it IS completely natural, it definitely doesn't COME naturally (for most). 

The problems with Jillian started from the get-go. In the hospital when the nurses were helping me figure out how to get her to "latch", one of them pipes up and says "you have flat nipples..."
What the heck are flat nipples? They're just there- they've always looked like this...other people's nipples look different?
Who knew? 
Turns out you realize rreeaalllyyy quickly why they can't be flat when you actually gotta use those suckers.
That was struggle numero uno. Because of this I had to use a "nipple shield", (which I affectionately nick-named my "boobie hat"). That did help, but it introduced problem number 2: yeast infections. 
I didn't know what yeast infections were, or that I was even having symptoms until I got problem #3: mastitis. When the mastitis was diagnosed, they also pointed out I had a yeast infection. That happens on boobs?
Who knew? 
 And if you've never known the torture of having mastitis- don't even talk to me about pain. They say to "nurse through it"...I want to slap anyone who says that without any hesitation, because if you've had it, you know you'd rather give birth again than nurse through a mastitis infection. I thought all of the pain I was experiencing from the yeast infection was just a normal part of getting used to nursing at the beginning. 
It wasn't.

Once the mastitis was cured, the milk on that side completely dried up. The lactation consultants I was working with wanted me to do everything short of jumping over the moon to try to get it back, but ultimately it was just too stressful on top of everything else (what I'd already been through and Jillian was also projectile vomiting after each feeding- the beginnings of reflux).

So all of this combined made me throw in the towel with breastfeeding. It was for the birds. 
I hated it.
I didn't understand how people said they "loved the experience" so much or that it was "so convenient" or a "great bonding experience" because what I experienced was horrific. 
It wasn't convenient, or a bonding experience, and it especially wasn't something I loved.

If you've been there or are there, high fives and fist bumps. I GET IT. It's TOTALLY OKAY to hate it. You're not a bad mom. Heck, there are days when I think I hate being a mom and THAT doesn't make you a bad mom either- it makes you a human being. I had to learn that I could still be a good mom, heck, a GREAT mom WHILE give my baby formula at the same time. I gave breastfeeding a heck of a noble effort, and it just didn't work out. It happens! The lactation consultants thought I was Lucifer himself for giving Jillian formula (or acted like it anyway)...*insert dramatic eye roll*...but OWN whatever approach you take to feeding your baby- it's your baby. Don't let others make you feel bad if you have to go the bottle/formula route (or want to even). We're blessed to live in a time where formula is incredibly great and there are so many options/types of formula available. 
Sorry for the soap box...but it took me a while to not feel like a complete failure of a mother (and WOMAN even- "darn you boobies- you had ONE job!") for not being a successfully breastfeed my baby. No mom should feel like that. Having a newborn is exhausting enough as it is. So don't feel like that...k? 

I digress.

Flash forward to Olivia.
 This time I was going in with eyes WIDE open. I knew what some of my struggles would be (heeyyy boobie hat) so I was prepared to confront them head-on. I really wanted it to work out this time. I'm not sure why I...Because I want my body to just do what it's freaking made to do? Because I'm a perfectionist? Because I want to vomit when I think of how much money we spent on formula for Jillian? Oh...and because I wanted Olivia to have the "best" food possible, yadda yadda. That too. I also think I was seeking validation that "Yes! I can do this!"

Before we left the hospital I could already tell the symptoms of the yeast infection was rearing it's ugly head again. I was able to get the prescriptions for that fairly quickly. Fortunately I had an awesome nurse before we left who helped get Olivia to latch sans boobie hat! YAY! (I hate the boobie hat...'tis neither fashionable nor comfortable). 
I was feeling good about where things were going. I was already light years ahead of where I was the first time around. 

I've Googled so many things with "breasts" in the search field I'm hoping my work doesn't flag me for something inappropriate (my computer is from the school district I work for)...
 How to get a good latch
How to get baby to open mouth wider
What is a nipple abrasion 
Treating sore nipples
What should a nipple look like when you're done breastfeeding
Symptoms of plugged milk duct
Why is my baby fussy while nursing
How long to nurse baby on each side
...and the list goes on...

 But KNOWLEDGE IS POWER! And an overabundance of knowledge can make you crazy and invent problems for yourself that never really existed.

I've called my mom so many times over the last couple of weeks and the conversation goes, "MOM! Did you know (insert random breastfeeding factoid)?!" And my mom will say, "Nope. We just did (insert random breastfeeding technique) back in my day and it worked just fine."

I've forced myself to stop the Google. I don't know that it was really helping much of anything but raising my stress level about how things were "supposed" to be going this time around. 

So where are we now? Things are going well, overall. I keep reminding myself that we're both pretty new at this- we gotta ride that learning curve together. We've overcome the latch issues and the yeast infection- wahoo! Points for us.
Just recently Olivia started showing signs of reflux (something I recognized right away) so we've been able to start her on Prevacid and I'm hoping that will take care of that. 
So it's not going perfectly, but it's going.

BUT I can say that I'm starting to see why women do say they love the experience- when it's 2am and the house is quiet, and the only ones awake are you and your sweet little babe that's cuddled up close to you in the rocker, as you're giving them something no one else can. I get it now. 
I think I'm glad to have experienced both sides of the fence, because I don't know I'd feel that way without experiencing the terrors of trying to feed Jillian. 

Moral of this story? I dunno, it was mostly a "If you have felt this way, I have too" kind of monologue. 
If you're having a hard time and want to throw in the towel? I get it.
If you love it and plan to do it for the rest of your babies? I get it now.
If you're trying incredibly hard to make it work but sometimes really hate sitting down to a feeding session? I especially get that one.
And it's okay- all of it. 
 Like I said, call me. We can be friends.

Momma on.