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Winslow is 12 months!

21 August 2014

Guys!  Hubby and I survived the first year of parenthood! I need a bottle of wine!  This year has gone by faster than I even thought it could. I am so blessed and lucky to have the chance to parent my little boy.

Some days I thought I'd never make it out alive, and other days were a breeze.  That's the beauty of grace and parenthood.  You always get the chance to start over daily.  Thank you Lord.

Here's an update on our big boy!  I still can't believe he's one!



Weight: 23 pound 11 ounces
Height
31 inches
Nicknames
: W, Win, Monkey,
little man






Eating:Doesn't turn down anything.  We gave him a donut for his birthday and he gobbled it up. haha!  He loves grilled cheese, eggs, blueberries, goldfish, watermelon, chicken and turkey..anything really. I am lucky he's a great eater so far.  He still nurses 4 times a day with 1 (maybe 2) times at night.  Boy loves his milk.  




Sleeping: I hate traveling because that always throws him off. We went to Houston last weekend and he was up 5-6 times a night.  I felt like a zombie.  He is doing better, only getting up once, maybe twice a night now...but I feel like the past two months, he's not slept as well as usual.  From the time he was 1 month old to around 10 months, he would sleep from 7:30-4:30-5 in the morning and now he is waking up around 1-2 and sometimes between 5-6.  So, no sleep for me really.  As far as naps go, he still naps twice a day, around 10:30 and 3:30 and he sleeps for 1.5 hours or so.



Teething:Seven teeth!  He has four on the top, and three on the bottom.  I have started brushing them and he loves it. He actually laughs while I do it.. maybe it tickles. haha.  But overall, teething hasn't been horrible around here. #knockonwood
 
Milestones: Little boy is taking a couple steps here and there! I bet he will be walking by 13 months, but he's not there yet.  He will walk while holding my hand allllll the time, but by himself he can take 4-5 steps before falling.  He got his first pair of Stride Rite shoes from his grandparents and they are so so cute.  He's also pointing everywhere and when we say "Where's daddy or mommy" he will sometimes point to us.  He's precious.

Clothing: 18 months.  Still a few 12 month outfits, but not much.

Diapers: Cloth  or if we travel, a size four disposable.


Social: Waving at people, saying bye bye, whispering all the time..  He has his bag of tricks that include: waving hi and bye, clapping, high fives, doing "how big is Winslow", clicking his tongue, giving kisses, making tooting noises...he's got quite the list!  He has a little bit of stranger anxiety, but not much yet.  He is so happy and smiley all the time.  I am so blessed.


 
 
Likes: Eating, waking up from his naps, Darla,  being on daddy's shoulders, kisses from momma, giving kisses, opening cabinets, crawling as fast as he can, standing by himself, his cozy coupe, riding in the wagon, walks with Darla, getting into everything, plastic bowls and spoons, being naked,bathtime





Dislikes:  Diaper changes, being taken away from the dangerous cabinets, not getting his way, tomatoes, changing clothes, getting out of the bath







Can't believe you are ONE, little boy!  We love you so much! 



Our nursing journey

18 August 2014


***This post is all about breastfeeding.  If you are not interested in this topic, or maybe my dad or brother,  feel free to not read.***


So today is not only my babe's first birthday, it's our one year nursing anniversary too.  This may seem silly to some, but to me, it's a GREAT accomplishment.    Here's our story.




Long before I had Winslow, I knew I wanted to breastfeed.  I liked the idea of not paying for formula, that it was great for the baby, and that it helped with my health as well.  I didn't take any classes beforehand, didn't really ask anyone about what it was like..I just thought it was going to come natural for the both of us.

Wrong.

Nursing is NOT easy for most women.  If it's been easy for you from day one, consider yourself very lucky.  Many struggle with latching issues, engorgement, bruised or bleeding nipples, bad milk transfer, not enough milk, too much milk (yes, that's really a thing), mastitis, clogged ducts...yeah, it doesn't sound that fun. 



I was lucky to never get mastitis (yet), clogged ducts, or not enough milk.  We did however, struggle with latching issues.  Winslow could not figure out how to latch correctly and would take 20 minutes to get it down every single nursing session. For the first month of his life, our days were consumed with nursing.  He would eat for 20-30 minutes and then 1.5 hours later, start all over.

I started pumping at the hospital and would feed him my milk through a dropper.  Whatever he did not eat, I would put in the fridge until next time. I remember crying in my hospital bed while feeding him with the dropper because it was so hard to nurse.

 Nursing is NOT for the faint hearted.  It takes LOTS of work, dedication, perseverance, tears, determination and prayer.  I remember sitting on my bed just crying because it wasn't working the way I had pictured it. Winslow would cry the whole time because he wasn't getting anything, and in turn made my cry.  I felt like a failure because I couldn't give him what he needed.  I felt like my body was failing me.  But thanks to my mom ( I LOVE YOU MOM), she persevered with me and told me it would get easier.  I didn't believe her.  But sure enough, it did. 



One day, around a month old, it just clicked for Winslow.  He learned how to latch and things got easier with each session.  He would take only 10 minutes to eat and could go 2.5 hours between sessions.  I felt like I could breathe a little. 

Then when W was around 12 weeks old, I started back at work.  I had a freezer full of milk (around 200 ounces) and was ready for pumping at work.  Except that he refused a bottle after taking it just fine when he was smaller.  So that was very stressful for me and my mother-in-law (she was watching him while I worked) but after 2 weeks or so, he finally took on.  Thank you to my wonderful MIL for enduring his bottle strike and doing whatever it took to make sure he got milk. 

So I worked part time, pumped 1-2 times at work and he would take a bottle while I was gone. 

When he was 10 months, I was given the opportunity to stay at home.  About 3 weeks before that, my freezer stash was long gone and I was struggling to keep up with his demand.  Thankfully, we never had to supplement, but had I stayed at work we would have.  It's not a bad thing to supplement.  Please don't think I am not supportive of that.  However you feed your babe, know that the only thing that really matters is that you love them and teach them to be compassionate, loving, and, in our family, about God's love.




We made it to 12 months of nursing without formula and I am so proud of myself and my babe.  We endured bad latch, oversupply (which causes upset tummy and other minor problems for baby), and sore nips from biting (that was HORRIBLE for a few days when his teeth came in).  But it was all worth it.  I am forever grateful to God for allowing my body to provide the most perfect source of nourishement and bonding and I hope our journey doesn't end soon.  I am planning on letting him wean when he's ready. (Unless he goes to college, then I'll probably pull the plug) ;) 






If you are pregnant, thinking about getting pregnant, or just want some tips on breastfeeding, here's my two cents:

1.  Take a breastfeeding class.  DO IT.  I SO wish I would have. It is full of great information and tips to help you prepare. I would have taken this instead of the birthing class if I could do it over again.  and take your hubby too! Seth was such a GREAT support for me during this time.  That's the number one thing you need in your journey: support.  He was always helpful, would go get Winslow from his crib so I could sleep 5 more minutes, would run to the store for a nipple shield the first week he was born (yep) and would help me wash all my pump parts. 

2.  Have a good support system.  It's crucial those first few weeks to have girls to text/ call/ cry to when things are tough.  I had my mom, my best friend from college( Thank you Sarah!)  my cousin (You're the best, Halley!) and probaly a couple others I can't remember.  They really are what kept me going.  It's so important to get encouragement. Especially because your freakin' hormonse are out of whack too and you cry at ANYTHING and EVERTHING. 

3.  Stock up on breastpads, lanolin, coconut oil, burp cloths, supplies.  You can never have enough.

4.  If you nurse for one week, one month, or one year..that's great.  Don't beat yourself up about not nursing.  Being a momma is hard enough and feeling depressed because you couldn't nurse X months or years will not help. 

5.  Be patient.  For some, nursing is easy from day one.  For others, it never gets easy.  It's a huge committment but worth it.  You'll lose sleep.  LOTS and LOTS of sleep.  Winslow still wakes up 1-2 times at night to nurse.  I never get more than 4-5 hours at a time.  But it's worth it to me.  He depends on me completely and I find that to be so special. 


I plan to nurse all of my future children and am so thankful to God that he allowed me to experiecne the bond that I have with my son beceause of this.  It's not just for nourishment. It's a connection that no one else has in the world but him and I.   Nursing is beautiful. 

A letter to my son.


Dear Winslow,

One year ago today, your father and I received the most precious gift, one that has made us whole.  If I'm being completely honest, I was VERY pregnant and VERY ready to meet you.  You were a week and a half overdue, and boy was I anxious.  You arrived on your own time, but it was perfect. Just one day before your Uncle Grant's birthday.



I remember so vividly the very first time our eyes met.  It was true love.  So many emotions were running through my veins.  Happiness, exhaustion, excitement, confusion (like, now what?), and joy.  I remember the way you looked up at me with those eyes.  It was like you had been waiting for me to touch your soft baby skin.  When I did, you fell right asleep on my chest.  No crying, no whimpering.  It was magical.  I remember looking at your daddy and seeing a grin the size of Texas on his face.  He could not believe he had a son.  All I could say to you was "I love you, baby. I love you".  And I said a prayer of thankfulness to the Lord for your safety and your beautiful little body.






I thought you were going to be 9 or 10 pounds because you were so late, but you were 1 ounce over 8 pounds. Thank you, little one, for not being gigantic.  You had the LONGEST little fingers and toes and I laughed when daddy said "He has five fingers!" and I said back to him, "Only five?!?!"  It made us laugh.  I think your daddy was so nervous to see you in real life.  He sang to you and talked about our days when you were in my belly and now that you were here, he was just a little edgy because you were so fragile and tiny.     Your daddy and I just kept looking at you and saying to each other "He really is perfect. He is so perfect."

And we still say that to each other most nights before bed.



You inherited my eyes and most people that see you comment on how blue and beautiful they are. You have your daddy's stature and laidbackness (and I'm thankful for that).  He doesn't get in a hurry for anything and me, well...I sometimes consider myself "high strung".   I hope you'll keep that laid back trait because I sometimes worry too much...but that's what mom's do.  It's in our job description.

The way you learn so quickly and take everything in around you amazes me.  Just the other day, you saw a photo of yourself, crawled up to it, and kissed it.  It was the most precious thing in the world.  Your kisses are the best.  Especially in the morning after you've been up 2-3 times at night and I'm real sleepy.  You'll plant a big, slobbery, open mouthed kissed right on me, and it melts me.



You are almost walking, taking a couple steps here and there, but momma's not ready for that just yet.  I try to push you down when I can so that you won't ever grow up.  Do you believe me? 

This year has absolutely flown by.  You have made this year one of the best of my life and I am so thankful to the Lord for entrusting your daddy and I to be your parents.  We love you more than you could ever know and one day, when you have children,  you'll begin to understand just how much that is.

Happy First Birthday, my little monkey.

I love you to the moon and back.