Dreams To Do

September 2012 archive

Home Stretch

Well folks, September is just about over. In business terms, we’re about to enter 4th quarter – the home stretch. The thing about 4th quarter is that it doesn’t get the same amount of love as the other 3 quarters of the year. Once we hit 4th quarter, it becomes all about 1st quarter and the upcoming new year.

I’ve had a hectic week at work. We had a huge strategic planning meeting for 2013. It was all about making 2013 bigger and better than 2012. A lot of the boring business principles we talked about in that meeting got me thinking about my own life. How will I make 2013 top 2012? What steps will I take to achieve my goals?

But instead of looking that far ahead, I’m choosing to give 4th quarter 2012 the respect and attention it deserves. I plan to suck every good flavor out of the next 3 months that I can possibly get. 2012 isn’t over yet, even if we are already being encouraged to look towards the next year.

Here are some happy, little moments from my life lately. I love Instagram because it allows us to take note of the simple things – the tiny moments that make up the bigger picture of our lives.

Follow along with me… I’d love to follow you, too!  {{{ @dreamstodo }}}
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From left to right: Summer peaches . Snuggles with my puppy . Silly me . New purse . Sleepy babe . Fun at the children’s museam . Some “me time” journal writing at Starbucks . 1st pumpkin spice latte of the season . My little mommy with her babies

1 year

“The most authentic thing about us is our capacity to create, to overcome, to endure, to transform, to love and to be greater than our suffering” ~ Ben Okri

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I remember one year ago today just like it was yesterday. My belly was stretched to the max with 36 weeks of pregnancy and my heart felt like it was crumbling into a million pieces. I spent most of the day sobbing into our couch pillows after hearing the news that our dear friend Mike, my best friend’s hubby, had lost his 5 month battle with cancer.

I can’t believe it’s been one year.

It’s a crazy thing, life and death. It’s insane how someone so amazing, so full of love, so inspirational, with endless amounts of potential and zeal for life can be snatched away from us so quickly. And the craziest thing about it all is that while we feel like our world has shattered around us, life doesn’t stop.

The mail is still delivered.
Our favorite shows still air on TV.
The dog still needs to be fed.
The buzz of the city still exists.

I try to think of this in moments when I’m riding the back bumper of the car in front of me which is going 10 miles under the speed limit and I’m just about to lay on the horn. What if that person driving just suffered a loss? What if the speed limit is the last thing they’re thinking about because their world is crashing down around them? I think it’s good to seek an unselfish perspective on life whenever we feel our frustration kicking in over silly little things.

This is what Mike taught me. This is what grieving over his loss continues to remind me. It is SO not worth stressing out over little insignificant things. And watching Jessica, my BFF (love ya girl!), pick herself up and continue to ride the wave of life after losing her soul mate has been the most inspiring and encouraging thing of all. My petty little problems are NOTHING.

Life is a funny thing. We like to think we have all the answers, but we don’t. No one does. All we have to go off is faith. Faith in something bigger than all this. Personally, I have faith that Mike is in a better place – a place far exceeding even our wildest dreams.

If you feel like being inspired, read the CaringBridge journal update that my BFF Jessica just posted on Mike’s page. You can find it HERE.

Posy Lane

Wanna see something super cute? Well even if you don’t, I’m gonna show you anyway…

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That would be my oldest sporting her new footie PJs (she insisted), some fuggs (i.e. fake uggs), and her new favorite thing: a ridiculously cute personalized backpack from Posy Lane.

Have you heard of Posy Lane? If not, you should check it out. I’m pretty much obsessed with personalized things and they have the best selection of toddler backpacks, tote bags, towel wraps, nap mats, and a bazillion other items that you can get embroidered with whatever your heart desires. Love!

They sent us this owl backpack and it is seriously top-notch quality. They embroidered Leila’s name on it and it is impeccable. She’s been stuffing it with her baby dolls and blankies and I think there’s even some stale cereal at the bottom of it. 🙂

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Watching her run around our backyard with this cute lil bag on her back gave me flashes of her running down the street to catch the school bus in a few years. Honestly, it made me a little bit emotional! She’s so big now! Tear.

Disclaimer: The kind folks at Posy Lane sent us this awesome backpack free of charge in exchange for this review. The opinions contained within are 100% my own.

My adventures breastfeeding while working outside the home…

I have two kids and with each of them I returned to work full-time (meaning 45 hours away from them each week) when they were 12 weeks old. I was also blessed with a pair of boobs made for producing milk.

Oh wait, maybe I should start this with a disclaimer? 

If you have no interest in reading about breast milk, bottles, pumps, or sore boobs, feel free to leave and return another day. I swear this will be my last time talking about boob juice until my next kiddo comes along (who’s not even a twinkle in our eyes as of today). For those of you who can relate to me, or want some advice, or maybe just really like reading about breastfeeding, please stick around.

Landon Drew. The morning he decided to break up with my boobs.
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I always knew I wanted to breastfeed my children. I also knew I probably wasn’t going to be one of those parents who breastfed their kid through age three. I would have loved to make it until each of my kiddos turned one, but that didn’t happen. However, given the circumstances I am extremely proud of myself for trucking it out as long as I did. Here is my story with Leila and Landon…

Leila was my first child. I was a paranoid mess when she came along. I breastfed her every two hours on the dot those first few weeks – stressing out when she wouldn’t latch on, thinking she was going to starve to death if she missed a feeding. And it didn’t help that my supply was INSANE. I mean, seriously. I could pump 6 ounces in under 5 minutes. By the time the end of my maternity leave was approaching I was a mess over how I would handle my engorged boobs in the office and making sure that she didn’t have to have any formula for as long as possible.

Long story short, here’s the gist of how I kept up breastfeeding while Leila was an infant in daycare…

  • When she would wake up in the morning I would breastfeed her on one side while pumping the other.  I figured out how to rig the pump cone up to my nursing bra with a ponytail elastic so that I could go hands free – pretty sweet! That session would provide a whole bottle of breast milk for me to send to daycare with her. (She slept through the night very early, so I was always super FULL in the mornings.)
  • At work, I would take two pump breaks – one around 10am and one around 3pm. Even though I have my own office, it was always a little awkward because everyone knew what I was doing when I closed the door. I would pump for around 10-15 minutes and each session would provide me with 2-3 bottles worth of milk for the following day.
  • Over my lunch break around noon, I would go visit Leila and feed her straight from the boob. I am very blessed to work just 5 minutes from my kiddos’ daycare. This provided me with more bonding time with her each day and I think it really helped keep my supply up.
  • Every night after I put Leila down for bed, I would take the milk I pumped that day and put it into bags to send to daycare the next morning. I had a note taped on the door leading into our garage that reminded me to grab the milk and my pump so that I wouldn’t forget it each morning. 🙂
Leila was exclusively breastfed until she was 6 months old. At 6 months, I was exhausted. I couldn’t bare the thought of pumping anymore at work. So we introduced formula, but I continued to breastfeed her on my lunches and in the mornings and evenings. Pretty soon she was too busy and distracted to breastfeed at lunch so we dropped that feeding. Then, she didn’t want to do it at night. I hung on to the morning feeding until she was around 9 months old. She decided on her own that she’d just rather hold a bottle and do her own thing. I was sick of fighting with her. 
Everything with Landon has been different. For one thing, he’s my second baby and I’ve been WAY more relaxed than I ever was with Leila. I decided from the get-go that I wouldn’t stress out about exclusively breastfeeding him when I returned to work. In all honesty, I just couldn’t bare the thought of pumping at work again. I hate pumping! (But really, who likes it?) We introduced formula to Landon when he was around 10 weeks old and he took to it right away. I slowly took away breastfeeding sessions and “trained” my boobs to produce milk only in the mornings and at night over the course of a few weeks. For the first couple of months after I returned to work, I would come home at lunch and pump so he could have at least one bottle of breast milk at daycare each day. I didn’t go visit him like I did with Leila because, in all honesty again, something about it was just hard for me. And I didn’t want to risk Leila seeing me and having to deal with her emotions when I left again.
When Landon was around 5 months old, I stopped pumping at all and he only got breast milk straight off the tap first thing in the morning and throughout the night (remember, he JUST started sleeping through the night).  At 10 months he decided he would much rather hold a bottle and be able to “do his own thang” than have me smothering him, so we dropped the night time feeding. At almost 11 months (just last week), I couldn’t fight him any more on our morning session, so I gave up and got him a bottle. My boobs are pretty much deflated bean bags now. TMI?

The moral of this super long, and probably totally-boring-for-you story is that when it comes to breastfeeding your baby, there is no right or wrong way to do it… you just have to do what works for you! Yes, breastfeeding is GREAT for baby, but it is some seriously exhausting business when you’re the momma. Add pumping into the mix and it can become a full time job on it’s own. I have experienced two different breastfeeding journeys and I came to the conclusion that I have been so much happier with my experience with Landon. I haven’t been as hard on myself. Yes, he’s had formula since he was 10 weeks old, but he’s also super happy and healthy! It didn’t kill him! And it helped take some stress off me. At least he got the added benefits of SOME breast milk for as long as he did.
FYI… I left out TONS of details (hard to believe with the length of this, right?) on things like how I battled painful engorgment & borderline mastitus, so if any of you have ANY questions about pumping or breastfeeding or boob “training” please please PLEASE don’t hesitate to contact me. I’d love to share more of my experience and help you in your BFing journey. 🙂

11 Months

Every month I say how I can’t believe how fast the time is flying and I can’t believe how big and how old Landon is already. Well, I’m going to say it again. He’s friggin’ 11 months old!!! That means that next month I won’t be saying he’s 12 months old because he’ll be ONE! $#%*^#@^&!!!!!!

And look at how cute he is!

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All about Landon Drew at, sniff sniff, 11 months old…

  • Guess what? Big news! Landon is officially sleeping through the night! Dead serious! 7:30pm to around 6:30am without a peep! Okay, maybe sometimes he cries out in his sleep once or twice, but he doesn’t wake up. I had forgotten how amazing a full night of sleep is. 🙂
  • He’s still rockin’ the gummy look – no teeth yet for this guy! Ha!
  • Landon figured out how to crawl up stairs the other week. We didn’t even realize it until we were in the kitchen and the next thing we knew, he was gone. Where did we find him? At the top of the stairs.
  • His favorite things? Tastes of sissy’s chocolate milk, putting things in cups, bath time, banging toys against our living room window, chasing Billy, rolling around on our bed, peek-a-boo.
  • Bye, bye breast milk. Landon weaned himself last week. I’m glad that it was his choice, but I’m sad that it’s over. Mixed emotions here.
  • He’s still battling some pretty nasty eczema. I hate having to use the steroid cream on him, so we just try to keep him really moisturized. It’s so sad when he’s just itching away at himself.
  • I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, Landon is just the best baby! He’s still just so good at going with the flow. He’ll eat pretty much anything. He goes down to sleep like a champ. And now that he’s sleeping through the night, I can say that he’s pretty much perfection! Knocking on wood.


I love you baby boy! Even when you’re one, and even when you’re 41, you’ll always be my baby!
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