Wednesday, July 31, 2013

A Sad and Thought Provoking Reconnect

This past weekend was the yearly festival that is held in my hometown. Every year, when we spend this weekend with my parents, family, and hometown friends, I run into people from my past that I haven't been able to keep in contact with. Sometimes it's a wonderful meeting, others are extremely uncomfortable. This time, I ran into a girl that I was casual friends with in high school. We were never close, but we hung out with the same people and tended to be invited to the same activities.
As I remember spending time with her years ago, I remember a smart, friendly, sweet, cute girl, with a not-so-great home life, but with a great attitude. She had a job from the moment she turned 16 and worked hard throughout high school. Although she had things going against her, I always admired her ability to rise above her circumstances, and still be the good person that I had observed.
My meeting with her, over the weekend, made me sad. She is no longer that cute, friendly, sweet girl. She is now someone who looks to be about 60, with no upper teeth, and in the 5 minute conversation we had, all she did was swear and complain about her horrible mom (who was the only reason she no longer has custody of her three children). The conversation was extremely uncomfortable.
When she tried to exchange phone numbers, I'm sad to say, I gave her a bogus one. When she tried to talk to my kids, all I could think was, "Please, don't scare them!" and "Could you take the cigarette out of your mouth first?" Hours later, I was still thinking about how, this once, lovely, smart, motivated girl could turn into the person that I met on the way to the festival?
This meeting made me really appreciate my life, my choices, and where my family is going. I didn't have the easiest upbringing (especially during my high school years), I hung out with the same kids, I also had a job almost immediately after being eligible to do so. So what was so different about her life? What had caused her to go down the path she is now on? Although I don't think there are many things that could have made her decisions mine, no one thinks they will end up where she is. Her life, is no one's goal.
I have to give my husband a lot of the credit. He, like me, had future plans/goals that got us on a good path. He is so responsible, respectful, and logically-minded. I know having his positive influence changed my future for the better in so many ways. Choosing to go off to college immediately after school helped as well. I became friends with people who had similar goals and were motivated in a positive way. My own life goals and plans didn't leave a great deal of time/opportunity for less than desirable influences either.
This meeting also made me think about my boys. I never want to see either of them in this poor girl's position. I want them to be happy, healthy, successful, and strong. I wish that I could sit down and dissect her life and those of the others around me who have had to struggle, so that I would know what to avoid, how to help, and what values to instill.
I have such a difficult time thinking about how we only get one shot at living a good and happy life, and her shot has been tainted (at least so far). There is always a chance to change your life, make it better, be who you want to be, but I don't want to waste a single minute. It's just sad to think about how many of them she has wasted.
If you can't tell, my conversation with the person that I once knew, has left a lasting impression on me, and has brought several things to light: How lucky I am, how amazing my husband is, how hard work and goal setting has shaped my life, to think about helping my boys through the tough times they will surely go through, and how anyone's life can be affected by negative/positive influences.
So sad.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Quotations of a Three Year Old

My three year old, is hilarious! He's bright, witty, and has a great vocabulary. After a particularly verbal day, I decided that I was going to take notes on what comes out of his mouth for a weekend. Before I share the weekend's worth of verbal gold, I want to share a few of my all-time favorite Liam-isms.

"Carrots freak me out."
"Dad, come hold my hand. This is going to be a big one!"- You can guess what he was doing when he said this one.
"I'm creepy. At night, I come into your room, and lay under your bed."
"This ball has elasticity."
"I need to stay hydrated!"
"There's a ________(insert random noun) on your head, and I don't know why!"

Now that you have a taste of the pure hilarity that I hear daily, here is what was said in a two-day span:

"Dad, next time when we go for a walk without Mom, you need to remember to bring water."
"I'm going to poke you with one finger!"
"Bugers are made out of Goldfish (crackers)! You eat them, then they go into your nose and make bugers."
"Dad you need to get me a snack, because I'm not good at waiting."
"I watered the grass......with my pee."
"I miss Olivia's big head!"
"What in the world!"
"How were your night-nights?"
"One, two, three...hit it!" (said while using his fork to drum his bowl)
"In the dark there is zombies, and monsters, and not-so-nice robots."
"Why won't anyone play Michael Jackson!?" (while watching the parade)
"Nice to meet'cha Mr. Brooks!" (while shaking his 6 month old brother's hand)

My little goof ball!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Post-Partum Weight Loss: 6 Months Later

This is an update to my post-partum weight loss journey. My son is now 6 months old, and I have hit the point when I was hoping to be back to my pre-pregnancy weight/shape. Although I am extremely happy with my progress, and have made a great deal of changes to aid in reaching my goal, I still have about 5 pounds to go. I have decided to blame the left over weight on nursing, as it tends to make your body hold on to a little poundage. It may be a lie I tell myself, but it makes me feel better about not being exactly where I wanted to be at this point. I continued to follow the tips that I accumulated to write Post-Partum Weight Loss Tips, as well as made running a constant part of my life, and it got me here!

1 Week Before Baby #2
9 Weeks After Baby #2
6 Months After Baby #2

Friday, July 12, 2013

Struggles with Supply

I consider myself a well-educated and veteran nursing mommy. I'm on my second round of exclusive nursing, with the first one lasting 14 months. I'm about 6 months in this time, and my milk supply is amazing in comparison to Liam's situation. I have way more milk, and can produce it far more often. It also helped that Nolan was a pro from the beginning, where Liam took weeks to get on track. You would think that everything having to do with feeding would be easier this time around. Nope.

When the summer began, I had a goal to focus on increasing my supply of frozen milk, so that I wouldn't feel as stressed out about pumping at work, as I did with Liam. Unfortunately for me, pumping extra milk is almost impossible! When Liam was an infant, I would pump before bed (after he had been asleep for a couple of hours), I would pump whenever he took a longer nap, and I would get up a little earlier to pump in the mornings. I was lucky that I had these times, because my supply was so low, that it took all of these extra pumping sessions, just to keep my little man feed. None of these times are options now.

My current frozen supply
Nolan takes short naps, usually wakes up a couple of hours into his night time sleep, wakes up with the sun, and eats CONSTANTLY (lately, every hour and a half, to two and a half hours), which means no option for pumping. My frozen milk supply has actually dwindled a bit since the beginning of the summer due to nights out with my hubby, and a couple of adult nights out with friends.

I'm a little stressed about going back to work with such a small supply built up, but have no idea how to increase it. At this point, I plan to cut back on situations that require using the frozen supply, but I really want to add some before the end of the summer. I have tried a lot of the usual milk supply aids, but if there is more milk produced, I wouldn't know it, because my son eats it before I can pump it. I have heard that fenugreek may help and am planning to try a couple of nursing cookie recipes, but if anyone has other tips or tricks that have worked for them, I would love to hear them!

I'm worried that my little eater is going to drain me dry no matter what I do, but anything is worth a try! If I can reduce my back-to-work-pumping stress, it would be amazing. So, bring on the advice!!

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Moving On

Why is it so hard to move on from people who are not good for your sanity, your family, and your overall quality of life? I wish that there was a switch that could be flipped that would erase these people from your life, emotional attachments and all. It's also difficult when these people are intertwined into a broader circle of people in your life. I, for one, could go without communication and contact, but they will always be there, connections have been made that can't be broken.
I have realized that my wishes for a better situation, do not change anything. That what I hoped would be our  future is no longer possible. I have learned that there are many things in life that can not be changed, the actions of others are at the top of this list. My actions, on the other hand, are completely controllable and I will move on. We all will.