Monday, February 28, 2011

The Guiltless Bottle

Here is a shout out to all moms who formula feed their children. Why you ask? Because I feel that there is just no love sent our way . I wish there was a pamphlet in the OB office that said “If Breastfeeding Doesn’t Work Out”. I needed this pamphlet. I had a ton of literature and books about how to breastfeed. None of them had any guidance on what to do if it didn’t work.

Regardless of WHY you are formula feeding, I feel there is little support . Society is full of literature about why you should breastfeed. Even on my daughters can of formula it says “Breastmilk is always best”. I’m sure that is on there due to legal reasons, but do I need to see that every single time I make a bottle? Now some people choose to go the formula route right from birth. It’s their choice. However, some people also TRY to breastfeed and cannot.

I tried to breastfeed both of my kids. I wanted that experience as a mother and knew that breast milk is full of essential things that a baby needs. Before my daughter Brooke was born I even went to a breastfeeding class. My husband came too. The woman was very informative and gave us great information to leave with. She did make a statement that threw me for a loop. She said “I only breastfed my oldest daughter and her IQ is 10 points higher than my younger daughter. That just supports that breasts milk helps the IQ”. WHAT? I get what she was trying to say, but is there really a way to prove that is why your older daughter was smarter? I know as a teacher I never looked at a student and said “Wow, Johnny must not have been breastfed. You can tell that Susie was though.”

With Brooke I tried to breastfeed her from birth. I even refused a bottle in the hospital because I was going to breastfeed. No pacifiers either (which would turn out to be ironic as she was in love with her pacifier for many years…) It was not going well. I requested lactation consultants come and visit and help me out. Before we left the hospital my milk had not come in and Brooke was still not latching. The woman showed us how to feed formula down a tube to simulate real breastfeeding. This was a lot. As we went home we had all of our supplies I was overwhelmed. I remember doing this at 1am the first night home with Curtis helping me and I looked at him and said “what are we doing???”. I started pumping immediately. Finally my milk came in but she still would not latch. She was so cranky and would not sleep at all (was up pretty much the entire time we were at the hospital. My husband finally convinced me to give her a bottle and she guzzled it down. I felt horrible. She was starving. I continued to see lactation consultants and by the time she was 3 weeks old I could feel myself feeling so guilty over it. I was crying and wondering why this wasn’t working for me. I realized at that point that I just needed to pump and bottle feed and be the best mother I could be.

The weeks that followed I felt SO GUILTY. Should I have tried harder? Why can my friends do it and I can’t? I would get jealous if I saw other moms breastfeeding in public. When Brooke had a check up they would ask if I was breastfeeding and it felt devastating to say “no”. I ended up pumping for 10-12 weeks until I went back to work. Brooke got formula from that point on. As the months passed I moved on. She was thriving and my guilt slowly faded.

With my second daughter Madeline, I decided to try again. I thought “I will have learned from my mistakes and get this right”. My husband was leery since he knew what had happened the last time. I went to see a lactation consultant before her birth to discuss my concerns and they reassured me it would be fine. Out pops Madeline and she tries to breastfeed right away. “How great” I thought. Already so much better than Brooke. Then the nurse takes her from me and feels inside her mouth and says “oh wow….super high palette. Let’s see how she does”. Of course. Of course there was an issue. The lactation consultants were great at the hospital. They got me a nipple shield (which I was familiar with) and Madeline was doing great. Then her latch changed and even the lactation people could not get her on right. When we got home I tried for about a week to get it right. Then I saw myself falling into the same pattern I did with Brooke. I had a really good cry with my husband about it and decided to bottle feed. I just knew it was right for me. I also had a second child at home so getting to the lactation person a few days a week would be impossible to manage. I felt relieved. I knew Brooke had formula and was totally fine. Madeline would be too. I would be a better mom if I was not stressed out and crying about breastfeeding every day.

I am in no way saying that breastfeeding is wrong. If it works for you that is fabulous. This was the right decision for ME.

As I have moved around and met other moms, I have heard tons of different stories. I have had friends that breastfed their children for a long period of time. Some friends were in the same position I was in. I had some friends that went straight to formula feeding. There are many stories. We may not hear about them but they are out there.

So here is a shout out to all of you formula feeders: It’s okay! There are a lot of us! You are not less of a mom because you didn’t breastfeed. Or less of a mom if you only breastfed for a short time. Your child will bond with you. They will be healthy and smart. Don’t feel guilty. When you child is 21 are you really going to be dwelling on it? I doubt it. Be the best mom you can be. That is what will matter in the end.

(Feel free to pass thing along to another mom who might need to hear it too!)

Meal Plans week of Feb 27th

Madeline was sick last week so some meals got bumped to this week :)

Sunday: Eat with friends (Lasagna! yum!)
Monday: Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup with Noodles
Tuesday: Garlic Lime Marinated Pork Chops
Wednesday: Butternut Squash Soup with French Bread
Thursday: Beef Stroganoff
Friday: Chicken Enchilads
Saturday: Steaks on the grill with grilled peppers and risotto cakes.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Baby Signs

With Brooke we were so gung ho with baby signing. Her daycare also worked on it and between 7 and 14 months she did great with signing. This came in quite handy when we learned she had a speech delay later on! I still catch her using signs for things. I don't even think she realizes it!

I can say that Madeline is totally experiencing second child syndrome. I would sign to her but not a lot and not at every meal, etc. So finally I decided to get more serious about it and also have Brooke help too! Well this week Madeline started signing "more" and "eat". YAY! I will try to get this on video but she hardly every does anything on command. Stubborn Girl!

I think we will introduce the signs for "milk" and "please" next. We will see how she does!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Meal plan for the week of Feb 20

This was a special request from Lauren :) Here is my meal plan for this week. I find meal planning really saves me a ton of money and time!

Sunday: Cheese Tortellini
Monday: Chicken Divan
Tuesday: Dinner out
Wednesday: Beef Stroganoff
Thursday: Leftovers
Friday: Grilled Steak and Veggies with Risotto cakes
Saturday: Chicken Enchiladas

Thursday, February 17, 2011

President's Day, Take 2

Tonight while Brooke was in the bath I asked her what she did at the Library today. She said they read a book about George Washington.

Me: So what did you learn about George Washington today?
Me: Yes he did do that. Did you learn about any other President's?
Brooke: Yes, we learned about a man named "Ham"
Me: Ham???
Brooke: Yes mom, Ham
Me: Do you mean Abraham Lincoln?
Brooke: yes that's him!

At least today's conversation was somewhat relevant!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Madeline is 10 months old!

Madeline is 10 months old! Time is flying! She is definitely looking older these days. She is into everything! Pulling up, cruising, and almost taking steps! She pretty much wants whatever Brooke has and gets very angry when she can't have it. For now she just has her two bottom teeth that are barely through, but we are counting them!

Foods she is eating:
veggie burgers
french toast

Fun things she does:
plays peek a boo
hits herself on the head while we sing Monkeys jumping on the bed
starting to dance and wave
hides her head when she is being shy
can get ANYTHING out of a snack trap (fine motor skills are awesome!)
pushes things around the room while walking behind them
crawls at lightening speed to get to the kitchen slider to pull the stickers off!

I can't believe in just two months she will be one!

Monday, February 14, 2011

In honor of President's Day next week.....another deep thought by Brooke

On the drive home from school today:

Brooke: Mom, I wish I could be just like George Washington.
Me (after chuckling in the front seat: You do? Why?
Brooke: Well you know what George Washington did.
Me: Please tell me what he did Brooke.
Brooke: He helps people WASH their hands. That's why he is George Washington.
Me: Wow I did not know that! How great!
Brooke: Yes, so if you got paint on your hands, George Washington will help you by washing them for you. That is why I need to be like him.

I would guess her teacher would not be pleased that other than knowing George Washington's name, that's about all she got out of the President's Day lesson today.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Deep Thoughts by Brooke

Tonight as I was carrying Brooke up to bed she said to me "Mommy, I'm going to Marry you when I grow up. I can wear the pretty white dress and you can wear the boy clothes. Black boy clothes. Ok? Then we will live happily ever after."

I guess she was inspired by the movie "Enchanted" we had just watched. Either way I thought it was a cute thing to say!

Monday, February 7, 2011


I have been trying to keep up with the 52 week project where we take a pic with the kids at least once a week. Well the first one was a few weeks ago as seen in my first blog post. We skipped a few weeks in between. I took one with the girls on Superbowl Sunday. I am impressed that Brooke is smiling in this pic!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Cleaning House

I love making lists. You can ask my husband how many lists I have floating around the house. There are a lot. Lists help me focus. I feel calmer when I write out a list. I make packing lists, trip lists, grocery lists, to do lists, cleaning lists, etc.

In an attempt to stay organized and on top of the house work in 2011, I decided to make a weekly list of what needs to be done. When I typed it all out, it was overwhelming. I decided to break it up by day and try to even things out a bit. I am on week two right now. The first week went great. This week we have been housebound a lot and well...the house is a wreck. It is helpful though to have this list to refer to. I hope once I get in the swing of things I won't feel so overwhelmed.

Here is what I came up with:
Before bed:
Lay out all clothes for kids and myself.
Pick up playroom and living room.

Morning list:
Prep dinner for the day.
Clean up dishes and kitchen

Strip master bed/wash sheets
Cut coupons and sort
Vacuum downstairs/mop

Grocery shop
Dust living room
Clean out fridge

Girls laundry
Sort through paperwork on desk
Dust/clean girls room

Wash towels
Wipe down kitchen

Dust and clean master bedroom
Vacuum upstairs/mop
Clean out pantry

Wipe down bathroom and clean tub
Dust/clean playroom
Our laundry

Strip kids beds and wash sheets
Meal plan
Clean out purse and diaper bag


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