To Do List

20140627_193516I am a very task-oriented, performance driven person.  So sometimes I have to write myself a “to do” list so that I have goals for the day and I can give myself a sense of achievement.  Sometimes I will even add things to the list that I already did, just so I can cross them off (see last three items on list).  Even so, I will still usually put off the most odious task (see only item left to be crossed off).

I felt pretty good about my day yesterday because I crossed most things off of the list, only to add a whole new sink full of dishes after I made hummus.  Oh, well.

Side note, I learned how to take a screen shot yesterday!  Thanks for teaching me, Katie and Brian!!

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Seasons of Tomorrow {A Review}

Seasons of Tomorrow by Cindy Woodsmall is the fourth and final installment in the Amish Vines and Orchards book series.  I read books two and three and absolutely loved them, so I was eagerly awaiting the publication of this book.  While it sometimes made for choppy reading, I loved that Woodsmall was able to wrap up so many intricate story lines in this volume.  We finally see resolution in the love triangle of Samuel, Rhoda, and Jacob, and ultimately forgiveness freely given in several characters’ lives.

You can read an excerpt of the book here, and learn more about Cindy Woodsmall here.  To grab a copy for yourself, check out Amazon!

BloggingForBooks-125x125I received a copy of this book for free through the Blogging for Books program in exchange for an honest review.  You can rate my review here.

Night Weaning

Tonight is the fourth night of our attempt at night weaning.  We are following Jay Gordon’s method, and so far it hasn’t been too awful.  The first night was definitely the worst so far, with Jane crying off and on  from about 4-5:30 AM.  She is still waking up several times each night, but she only really protests the changes we’ve made for about 5 minutes in the wee hours of the morning.  She actually gave us a four hour stretch of sleep last night, but then made up for it by waking up at 5:30, and only sleeping off and on for the next hour.  I expect the next few nights to be pretty rough, which is unfortunate timing since her birthday is on Saturday, but I’m sure the payoff will be worth it.  We are just so ready to have some uninterrupted sleep!!!

Birthday Thoughts

P1120023As Jane’s birthday approaches, my heart and mind are full, and I am both filled with joy and sadness.  This year has been simultaneously long and but a breath, yet I can scarcely remember my life before Jane entered it.  Recently, I was talking with a friend about how sad I was that Jane’s birthday is almost here and she replied, “Erin, you don’t have to give her back!”  And this is so true, but I do feel like I’m giving up a baby and exchanging her for a toddler.

To give myself some perspective, I looked up the infant mortality rates both in the United States (6.1 out of 1000, ranks us #169) and globally (35 out of 1000).  My heart breaks when I think about these numbers, especially since I have recently had to watch as a family struggled with the decision of removing their newborn from life support, and I have had to watch families grieve the loss of their infant.  It sucks.  But it made me feel so incredibly thankful for the health and safety of my baby.

I am so indescribably blessed by this precious child that God has entrusted to my care.  May I be ever growing and depending on my Lord for wisdom that I may point her to Him.

Care Package

In the early weeks after Jane was born, we were so blessed by family and friends who helped us in a number of ways.  They brought us meals, cleaned, and held Jane so that I could sleep, and I really could not have gotten through those first weeks without them.  And because those things were so helpful to me, I like to pass on the blessings to others if I can.  So if I had an unlimited supply of cash, I would make a care package for every new mom of my acquaintance which would include:

Motherlove nipple cream.  This stuff is the best.  Dry, cracked nipples are no match for this salve.  Can anyone say “Ahhh, sweet relief!!”?

A 1-Liter water bottle.  The nursing mom gets sooo thirsty and she needs water as her constant companion.

Gift cards to restaurants, or home cooked dinners with enough for leftovers, as well as some bagels for breakfast.

Gift certificate to come over and clean the house, or a professional maid service.  Dust bunnies and dirt were literally driving me crazy when I was too exhausted and sore to clean.  Next baby, I will definitely invest in a maid service, at least temporarily.

The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding by La Leche League.  I wish that I had started to read this before Jane was born, because it is just a wealth of information about what is normal, and I needed a shift in my perception of normal.

B-12 supplements.  They have made all the difference for this exhausted momma.

A hug and some encouragement.  I needed to know that “this too shall pass”.  Yes, it is wonderful to have a newborn, but it is also truly awful.  You are being pushed beyond your limits and learning how to care for a tiny human.  Every new mom needs to know that she is doing a great job, because every new mom thinks she isn’t.

Contact and meeting information for La Leche League.  This group of women saved my sanity.

Some good books for passing the time while nursing.

A mommy journal.  It’s not like you have a ton of free time, but it’s nice to be able to write down some memories to recall for later when you won’t remember a thing.

Lansinoh nursing pads.  These are very discreet and absorbant.  It’s great to have washable pads, but in the early weeks, who has time for more laundry?

On the subject of Lansinoh, their milk storage bags are the best.  They are less expensive than Medela, hold more milk, and are easier to store.

I would need a pretty big budget to provide all of these things for every new mom, so in the meantime, a hug, a meal, and LLL info are usually what gets passed on.  What were your “must haves” in the early post partum days?

Jane {Eleven Months}

With Poppy in Central Park

With Poppy in Central Park

20140427_150911This was a pretty busy month with a lot of firsts: first time at the beach, first Mothers’ Day, first time in New York City & Long Island, and first words!  We went to the beach this month for baptisms with our church and Jane was not impressed.  We tried dipping her toes in the water and she freaked out.  To be fair, the water was really cold, but I am now wondering how swimming lessons will go next month.

Height: 29 inches (75th %-ile)

Weight:

Shoe Size: 3

With Grammy in Glen Head.

With Grammy in Glen Head.

Diaper Size: Well, I bought a bunch more of 3 since she has thinned out and I figured I could get more bang for my buck… but the 4s definitely fit better.  I think I’ll end up storing a bunch of them and giving some away as gifts.

Clothing: Mostly 12 month, some 12-18 month

Jane and her doggie.  She LOVES him!

Jane and her doggie. She LOVES him!

Sleep: Every time we travel she regresses quite a bit; while we were in New York she started the night in the Pack & Play (usually around 6:45-7:15, which is earlier than at home), but ended up sharing our double bed within a few hours.  From the time that she joined us at night, she would wake up every 2 hours and then would be awake for the day much earlier than at home (between 5:30 & 6:45, versus 7-7:30 at home).  Our sleep has not improved since coming home, and putting her down at night has actually become more difficult.  I’ve gotten to the point where I’m considering night weaning because something’s gotta give.  She still takes two naps a day and they are usually around 1.5 hours each.  I love naptime!

Milestones: She now waves hello and good-bye on command and will give hugs/kisses.  She also can say a few words!!!  Right now she says doggie, daddy, bye bye, and mama.

Challenges: Sleep!  Although, to be quite honest, I have pretty much adapted to being sleep deprived.  Taking B12 helps a lot!

Not much longer until I have a ONE YEAR OLD!

Not much longer until I have a ONE YEAR OLD!

20140511_152135Successes: I was able to donate over 200 ounces of my milk since Jane isn’t a big fan of the bottle and all but refuses to drink when I’m gone.  As a result, we’ve freed up quite a bit of freezer space and helped to save some preemie’s lives!  Jane continues to bring us so much joy and we just love being her parents!  These last eleven months have just flown by, I can’t believe my baby is almost one.  Where is life’s pause button?!