I had a bit of an epiphany last week, as Jer, Dylan and I were recovering from the bubonic plague (on the forreals, I’m pretty sure we had the norovirus…) and a horrible cold. This 2 week sickness got my “balance” all out of wack. You know what I’m talking about, right? That balance you feel when you’re giving work, home, the fam, friends, etc. just the right amount of yourself to keep everything and everyone chugging along and happy. Then when one gets way off it just all comes crashing down, leaving 6 piles of laundry, 100+ unread emails, no food in the house, and you taking your kid to daycare dressed for “wacky day” when it.isn’t.dress.wacky.day.yet. True story.
Ok, back to my epiphany. So as I started getting my life and house back in order, I realized that I’m just way too frumpy and unhappy when things aren’t “perfect”. I seem to not be able to relax at home these days unless everything is clean and in it’s place… which yes, means I never really relax, which yes, is extremely exhausting. So I’ve decided enough with that. I’m done. I’m throwing in the towel on perfection, because it’s just not obtainable and is something if I start chasing, I’ll always chase.
I absolutely still recommend putting in the hard work of getting yourself, your life and your home organized, because it will instantly make you feel lighter and happier but I guess what I’m saying here is let’s let go of pursing “spotless” and make a little room for the dust bunnies, dirty windows, frozen pizzas and blog typos. When we’re old women, will we remember our spotless homes or will we remember the times we spent tickling bellies to extract that oh-so-sweet baby giggle or the way their sweet baby breath smelled when they slept on our chests during their naptime, instead of their crib (so that we could get laundry or dusting done).
I still have a lot of work ahead of me to really master this way of thinking but recently came across a new book, “No More Perfect Moms” by Jill Savage, that I’m hoping with help me along this journey. I saw this quote on the review and was instantly hooked: “While we’re pursuing perfection, we’re missing out on the most precious parts of life: the laughter of silliness, the joy of spontaneity, the lessons found in failure, and the freedom found in grace.”
I also love that this book is faith based, since in “my book” (pun intended!) there is only one form of true perfection and it’s through Him that I have this amazing life.
As I always do, I’ve been collecting some inspiration on Pinterest to help me with this new state of mind. I’m thinking one of these might need some prime wall real estate to keep me honest:
I’ve been trying to think of a good excuse to give you guys for why I haven’t blogged and responded to comments in over 4 months, but then I realized that you probably already know why: I’m a new mama with absolutely no clue what I’m doing who also happens to work full time and then some. My “me-time” has consisted of scrubbing poop off baby clothes, cleaning bottles and pump parts and picking up toys from every square inch of my house. On the forreals though, you should’ve seen how grown out my highlights were… I literally had a thought the other day about many more months it would take for them to be considered “ombre”…. so sad. To my credit, I am learning to get out more and really dedicate some time to myself, but with working full time, I feel guilty when I don’t spend my time off with/around Dylan. I think every working mama can relate to this, so would love to hear how you guys have dealt with this.
OK, OK…enough sap story for one post. Although I’ve clearly still got some baby-mama-drama to work out, I have made great progress over the past few months in organizing all this craziness. I get a laugh at reading through my old posts as I was nesting and I’m guessing you experienced mama’s did too – I clearly had no clue what I was about to get into. Organizing everything pre-baby definitely, absolutely, totally helped me but instead of cleaning every closet in this joint, I should’ve spent more time doing nothing… because gone are those days, friends.
And although I tried to plan ahead and organize for the future, I soooo wasn’t prepared for the “morning marathon”. Hell, I’ve been back at work for over 4 months now and I’m still getting use to it. Getting me ready, getting D ready, feeding D, getting D ready again after he poops/pukes on himself, getting me ready again after D pukes on my outfit, making bottles, loading 6 bags in the car and then heading off to daycare and work… all before a cup of coffee is mother.truckin’.work.
So a couple Sundays ago, I declared that I’d spend 30 minutes “prepping” for the week. I thought about everything that slows me down in the morning and realized that it really revolved around outfits and getting both D and I ready. So while putting away laundry like I typically do on Sunday, I spent a few minutes picking out 5 outfits for both Dylan and I. Since Dylan doesn’t really wear shoes yet, I thought his hanging shoe organizer would be the perfect way to organize his outfits for the week as there is a cubby for each day of the work week, plus one for weekend outfits. Since I store his tops and bottoms in separate drawers of his dresser, this has been such a time saver. It has also really helped ensure Jer doesn’t dress Dylan like a freak. It happens…
So I applied the same system in my closet, but there was absolutely no way I could give up one inch of my shoe storage… gotta little problem in that department. Instead, I simply picked out 5 outfits and slipped a little cord tag that I labeled with the day of the week around the hangers. I LOVE these cord tags from Martha Stewart…that lady knows a thing or two.
Since I’ve started doing this, weekday mornings have been soooo much easier and it’s also been super helpful in ensuring that the outfits below never happen again… #dorks
PS: please excuse typos and sentences that don’t make any sense. Still working through post-baby-fuzziness.
It’s fall around here y’all and as soon as the pumpkin spice lattes and Yankee candles hit the shelves, I go goo goo about decorating with leaves, sticks, pumpkins and pretty much anything with an orangish, brownish, yellowish hue. However, we’ve had a lot of super colorful baby stuff laying around and I’ve recently learned that the only thing “baby” that goes with my beloved fall color scheme, is well… quite stinky. And yes… I totally understand that scattered colorful toys comes with all that sweet baby goodness but until our playroom is complete I’ve desperately needed a way to tame my inner OCD clean freak and somehow conceal the chaos unraveling in our living room.
So by looking at the picture below, would you guess I also have all of Dylan’s supplies and toys we keep downstairs somewhere?
Yep, it’s all neatly tucked away in that pie safe cabinet! I absolutely love this solution because it allows me to seasonally decorate the top of the cabinet, while using the drawers and shelves for oodles of storage. And you’re probably asking yourself “why is this crazy chick storing baby stuff in her dining room? but it actually makes perfect sense with our downstairs floor plan, which is almost completely open. The pack-in-play changing table separates the living room (where we play) from the kitchen/breakfast nook.
So in the left drawer I decided to make a home for all the small baby stuff – pacifiers, bibs (which Jer calls capes?!), extra mini bottles of hand sanitizers for his diaper bag, and misc. carseat/highchair parts.
In the right drawer, I have a few burp clothes, receiving blankets and a few outfits in case when we have a poopisodes downstairs.
I know the stuff in the top shelf bins will change as Dylan gets older but right now I’m storing his bath supplies, diapers and wipes in them. Again, since this cabinet is so close to the kitchen (where we bathe him) it’s perfect for storing his towels, soaps, etc. and since it’s also so close to where we change him while downstairs, it makes the perfect spot for extra diapers & wipes.
On the bottom shelf, I just have a few toys. Dylan is only 12 weeks, so I totally know this will overflow with toys in no time… but until he needs more than his hands for entertainment, it works!
So how are you guys storing/hiding all those toys and baby butt stuff?
And I just have to leave you with this. Happy Fall y’all from my punkin to yours!
Someday I will write a post detailing all the wonderful things about breastfeeding… but this my friends is not it. I could also use this post to tell you things you already know, like “it’s the best thing you can do for your baby”, “it helps you lose weight quick”, and “it’s very convenient”… but again you already know that stuff. So instead, I want to share my breastfeeding journey with you, which has been the hardest yet most rewarding experience of my life. There were countless towel throw-ins, tears and late night pump cleanings… but I’m now so very proud to tell you that I stuck with it and turned my underweight baby to a 10 week old baby who is completely off the growth charts for height and weight!
So my nursing troubles started at birth. Although Dylan initially latched beautifully, he developed Jaundice which caused him to sleep… A LOT. And there’s a lot to love about a super sleepy baby, but unfortunately they don’t eat a lot. It also didn’t help that he was put in the NICU for a day and given formula… so when we finally got home from the hospital 5 days later and his appetite started to increase, he got pissed when his milk machines were not giving him the goods. I mean, who wouldn’t be… right! Then the next day at his first dr. appointment, the worst happened… he hadn’t regained his birth weight and his doc gave us the option of starting formula or going to a lactation consultant to assess the situation. So off we went to whip out and talk about my boobs with a few more people (vanity is sooo out the window at this point). My LC’s recommendation was probably the suckiest (pun intended!) moment of my experience – since he didn’t transfer enough milk, she suggested that I nurse, pump and then supplement with at least 1 oz of pumped milk or formula. And yes, I did this for every feeding for 4 straight weeks = My. Personal. Hell.
So although this totally, 100% sucked…. it’s also really worked. Although the first week I was only able to express 1/2 an ounce after a feeding, that quickly increased and by 3 weeks I was pumping almost 2 oz and Dylan was quickly gaining weight. Aside from pumping, I also took Fenugreek to increase my milk supply for a few weeks but had to stop as I just couldn’t stand smelling like the waffle house. At our 4 week LC weight check-in, my LC happily told us that we had graduated and against her recommendation, I then completely stopped pumping. She suggested that I wean off the pump, but I was soooo sick of pumping and Dylan was eating every 2 hours so I desperately needed the break. Big Mistake. Within a few days, I developed a low grade fever and lump in my breast. Yep… that’s a sure sign of a clogged duct and a day or so away from Mastitis. Luckily I was aware of the symptoms and caught it fast. Although it was painful, I made Dylan nurse extra on the breast with the clogged duct and within a few days it cleared.
Needless to say, back to the pump I went! But only twice a day and now happily once a day. Since Dylan is transferring plenty (at 2 months he weighed 13 lbs!), I’ve been building a pretty nice supply of the liquid gold, and boy am I proud of that stuff when I open my freezer and see my stock pile! So after gathering tons of different ideas for how to store and organize my supply, I found the coolest idea from Roni at GreenLiteBites.com… and of course I had to copy it. What I love about her method is that it ensures you use your oldest milk first by dispensing it in the correct order.
- Here’s whatcha need:
- - A small gift bag
- - Scissors
- - Tape (to reinforce opening)
- - Milk storage bags
Simply cut a hole in the bag on one of it’s sides, making sure the opening is wide enough for your storage bags.
Store your oldest milk at the bottom and simply stack on your newer milk. Before placing the milk in the bag, I make sure it’s labeled with the date and volume. I also only store a 3-4 oz bottle worth of milk per bag.
I usually have a little treat sitting next to my bags, because after all, nursing allows us a few extra calories a day
- Oh and here are the LLLi guidelines I follow for storing breastmilk:
- - At room temperature (66-78°F, 19-26°C): for 4 hours (ideal), up to 6 hours (acceptable)
- - In a refrigerator (<39°F, <4°C): for 72 hours (ideal), up to 8 days
- - In a freezer (-0.4 to -4°F, -18 to -20°C): for 6 months (ideal) up to 12 months (acceptable)