Breastes?

I previously wrote an article after my first daughter was born that was more or less my realization that breastfeeding was hard times. At that point, becoming a mother was so new to me and I just felt like I was running behind the struggle bus just trying to get on. Now that I’m two months postpartum with my second daughter, I’m captain of the struggle bus and here to give you all the tricks and trades of breastfeeding that I’ve learned in my nursing years.

Breastfeeding is like meditation, it’s something you have to work for incessantly to hopefully achieve the all and mighty great supply (I’m talking overstocked freezer-considering donating your stash, hindmilk rich supply milk). I haven’t gotten there myself, but it seems to me that it usually comes to the mother’s that a) don’t stress about it or b) don’t care about it, which I’m neither.

I.

The most important rule in breastfeeding is DIET. Oh gawd, I thought I’d get some slack with my second child since my first was super colicky, but nooope. Her intolerance was almost immediate. After two days of consecutive witching hours, I gave up dairy* I was stubborn and kept my splash of creamer in my morning coffee. However, the joke was on me–less than one ounce of creamer in my coffee caused about 2 hours of constant crying/screaming during the evening. Since eliminating these foods, I have given up caffeine, tomatoes (mostly cooked tomatoes like pasta sauce) and dairy (raw, not cooked-ie. milk, cheeses, etc). I’ve also tried to stick to whole foods and limit sugars as much as possible. Somehow I’m still one of the lucky ones to hold on to my pregnancy weight while breastfeeding even though my diet is on point (wahhh).

II.

Water. I can’t ever seem to keep myself hydrated so I try to cheat as often as possible. I started by hydration journey by adding Liquid IV to my water once a day but realized my sugar intake was high so I switched to Nunn tablets. Both are sold on Amazon, Nunn comes in tablet form and is 10 calories per tablet/5 grams of sugar where liquid IV is a powder form and has 50 calories./11 grams of sugar . Nunn is also gluten free and is made with plant based ingredients and has 13 flavors to chose from where Liquid IV comes with 3 flavors and has a new hydration technology that also includes daily vitamins. I order them subscription from Amazon for a discount. Liquid IV is also sold at Costco (major convenience).  Or you know, you can just drink water like a normal person. Momming two girls has me cutting every shortcut possible since I can never find where my water cup is or I’m stuck with a sleeping baby in my arms and don’t have access to any nearby water supply.

III.

Community. Sign up for a mom forum (Facebook has hundreds of groups) or get breast friends. Literally nothing has helped me more than bouncing my problems off another breast feeder. Am I producing enough? Why is her poop green this week? When and how much do I pump? Is birth control going to rid my supply? Do I have a clogged duct? Is this product worth it? Gah, the ladies who have shared their TMI stories, advice and problems-you rock. I whole heartedly thank you. My best, unsolicited advice is to find that breast friend, and if you don’t have one-I’m here for you.

IV.

Legendairy Milk. Thanks to my friend, Rebecca, for introducing them to me (hay girl). Can we talk about how amazing their product line is? I admit, it’s overwhelming at first, I lied, it’s still overwhelming to nail which product(s) are right for you, but there is nothing more gratifying than building a freezer stash. I have a 15 lb/2 month old child currently, for new moms out there, my second child is the same size as my first child was at her 4 month appointment. I can somehow continue to grow her AND produce enough for my freezer stash. I have about 60 oz from 10 minute pumping sessions 1-2 times a day from the past month. I started with their popular bundle (liquid gold, pump princess and milkapoolaza) then ordered their tea (tea-tas) when I was convinced my hormonal IUD was going to diminish my supply. I just got their Lecithin and I’m planning on ordering the pump princess and cash cow bundle and lactivist to bump up my hind milk supply (just take all my money). I’m determined to have a solid milk supply. Plus their orders come with a ton of helpful hints on breastfeeding and their Instagram handle is my absolute favorite right now. Promise me, you will at least follow them if you’re planning on nursing.

V.

 Haakaa. I wasn’t sure I needed this at first but then my friend told me how much she saved from her leaky boob in two months, and I had ordered it before she could finish the conversation. I don’t know if she would want to be named in this article considering I just told you she had a leaky boob, but I ordered this and I plop it on my other boob while I nurse if I begin to leak and I’ve saved up to 5 oz in one cluster feeding sesh alone. Best of all, it’s like $13 dollars on Amazon and is the perfect tool to help get out a clogged duct, if you end up getting one. I consider a clogged duct to be a breast feeding badge of honor, so better to plan ahead IMO.

VI.

Learn your pump. I got the Spectra and tbh I had no idea what I was doing. I finally got my groove down, apparently you’re supposed to change the suction and duration during the feedings? I had no idea. I also didn’t know that you can pay the difference from the health insurance covered Spectra for the cordless Spectra (which is like a difference of $30.00), wish I knew that earlier. I have the Medela pump from my first pregnancy but I heard the suction was better on the Spectra, and so far I’m a fan. The plan I follow for my pump sessions is what I got off Legendairy Milk’s IG:

70 cycle for 3 mins

54 cycle for 6-7 vacuum 

38 cycle for 7 vaccum for 3-4 minutes, or until milk runs out

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I also just ordered the Willow pump, so I’ll let you know how that pans out in a later post. I was stressed out about how I would find the time to pump before/during work and find time to take care of the kids, nurse and find time to work out since my maternity leave is running out. It’s a wireless pump that will allow me to pump in the car and at my desk and I’m hoping this will change my life, but as most baby products you buy, it’s like a 50/50 shot, ha. If I can pump 3x a day at work or during work hours plus work out on my lunch since I’m not leaving my desk 2x a day for 40 minutes, it should be a total game changer.

I also have researched formula, too. I supplemented with my first when I went back to work but managed to still breast feed for 15 months. I confuse myself on why I’m so determined to breast feed, truly, since it 100% consumes my life. I just know it’s a miracle milk and if I’m one of the lucky moms that can do it, no reason why I shouldn’t? I just figure I have an extra year of pregnancy, because I’m counting down the days until I can use retinal, inject Botox, and have endless margaritas by a beach. Until then-I’m just sharing what I’ve learned since it’s the absolute most confusing part of motherhood minus the actual baby part.

Moms, feel free to contribute. Thanks for reading.

xx

 

P is officially a 1.5 year old!

 

Once upon a time you have a baby & you think to yourself that you simply could not love her or him more & then, your heart explodes every day when your baby becomes a tiny little human. Now it seems like I’m in a constant state of this all consuming love.  This stage is amazing to watch and experience as a parent. I just fall again every time she says a new word or does a small gesture. I remember when she learned how to say “please,” hell, she could be asking for a steak knife and I’d give it to her as long as her tiny little voice said “please.”

With that said, I figured I’d celebrate this half birthday since I sort of stopped documenting her every move, milestone and stage. So let’s see if I can be a super mom & sum up the last six months.

Walking-I remember she wasn’t walking at her 1st birthday but she took steps here and there. She really started to walk around 13 months. Since then, it’s walking first. She doesn’t spend much time in her stroller, so basically,  if she’s not walking, I’m holding her.

Teeth-She got her molars in like 3 months ago and her incisors are peeking through now (just the tip). Her teeth came through early from the beginning, and in this moment she loves to bite. I mean, today–just today, she started to kiss instead of bite so I’m really hoping that sticks. Otherwise, I need help! I told the pediatrician today, and she thought it was due to frustration for not being able to communicate. I just think growing teeth sucks but she knows not to bite–she just thinks it’s funny to do so.

Traits- She now boycotts bows, headbands and any hair accessories. She refuses pony tails, pig tails, etc. I literally leave her with her wild curls, every day. She also tells me which shoes she’d like to wear, so no matter the outfit, she’s usually wearing her orange burkenstocks.

She can say words like: please, I love you, more, all done, no-no, and thank you. I got her to say apple and broccoli once, but never again :).

P loves books, she usually makes me read her about 56 books a night. I’m not kidding, I have to read at least 6 before I can call it a night. If I can’t find her, she’s usually in a corner in a pile of books. I think I’ve read Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? like 4,504,050 times. I actually know the sequential order of the animals by memory.

She eats about everything, we’re slowly introducing things I’ve held back from her like juices and chocolate milk, she still loves milk and water so I’m happy with that. She’s still weird about eggs, though.

She hates high chairs. She LOVES her bellybutton (as if it were her pacifier)

I read a quote, or several, from Ryan Reynolds, which sort of sums this all up:

“I used to say to [Blake], ‘I would take a bullet for you. I could never love anything as much as I love you.’ And then the second I looked in that baby’s eyes, I knew in that exact moment, if we were ever under attack, I would use my wife as a human shield to protect that baby.”

See more funnies here

11 months with P

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What She’s Wearing: Old Navy err’thing: Cord Dress (here), knee socks and boots (here)
Bow alert: @thevintagecrown on insta sells 40 bows for 25 dollarsbasically, it’s every color ever needed! You’re welcome.

Clothing Size:  18 months (as a mom, better to buy big than small). Half of her closet is filled to the rim with outgrown clothes. I swear I’m shipping it out to some expectant mamas and even though I’m not planning on having another tot anytimeeee soon, it’s still hard to part with them—denial my child is growing up? 

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Diaper Size:  4’s all the way. I’m basically constantly hunting a Costco or Target sale, I’ll take two if you know of a good sale! I have officially fell off the cloth diaper wagon and am trying to find diapers cheap because those things add up real quick! I keep telling myself I’ll come back for clothies, but September, I have failed you.

Milestones: She’s not walking, mostly because she has little to no interest in it. She’s all about pulling herself up on things and turning around like “hey mom, I’m going to walk over to you,”  and the sits to play mind games with me. But walking? Nope. Not happening anytime soon either. Oh, & my pediatrician told me to not invest in a walker but all my mom friends who used one? They have walking toddlers. I heard it was a blessing to have a non-walking child, so I’m letting go of it. She’s definitely a smart cookie. She fake sneezes and she has it down so good that I can’t tell if she’s pretending. My mornings will consist of her sneezing once in the carseat then she’ll fake sneeze for about 4 minutes after and I say “bless you, bless you, bless you.” My child is blessed, y’all. She’s silly & high fives unless I tell people she high fives and then she has no idea what I’m talking about. Other than that, she seems to be pretty happy, I love her & cannot believe she’s getting so big so fast. I’m like every other mom, but serrrrriouslllly!

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Sleeping:  Well, today she took a 4 hour nap so my plans were shot for the day. Her sleeping is not the best, but I hope switching to a normal schedule will help that. Also, cue controversial mom issue: I’ve co-slept with Presley, not because I meant to but because that was the only way I would have gotten sleep when P was born. Now, for the last 2 months I have tried to get her to sleep in her crib and it is not happening. Got a tempurpedic mattress cover, got a white noise machine, black out curtains and guess what? 2 ft toddler takes up more room than I do in bed & now I have permanent back issues.

Teeth:  Officially 8 teeth! Shoutout to my best amazon prime purchase ever because I LOVE her teething necklace. Never had one teething issue except her biting down while I nursed her. That was the opposite of fun. I flicked her once then felt like a jerk for 6 days after. I just made that about me, sorry.

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Talking:  Babbles, talks in a language that’s not English & when she’s not talking, he’s sticking something she probably shouldn’t be in her mouth.

Favorite Activities:  Playgrounds! Phoenix (Glendale) moms, this is heaven if you have a toddler & haven’t been!! She loves going places, I’m just so happy it’s finally cooling down & we can go on walks again.  Although she does love swimming, I bet she’ll be sad to see that go! She’s a handful, I love her vibrant personality. She seems easily entertained with anything that could possibly harm or kill her, ha.

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. . . .

Presley’s birthday is coming up & I just got invites labeled and ready to go out in the mail, I’ll post more on the party as it gets close on how I’m way too invested in throwing a Pinterest party and how I have spent the last 3 months planning a one year old’s birthday!

MCM: Man Crush Monday

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We’re all familiar with Monday & its  bad repuation, but there are some good things about Monday. Like, 3 day holiday weekends Monday (& getting paid to not work on Monday, Monday).

Or if you’re on Instagram, then chances are you’re familiar with  hastagMCM in your newsfeed. If you’re a lucky gent who gets a shout out on Man Crush Monday, then Monday can be a pretty good day. #MCM is a day where people declare their love for a man, attainable or not, mostly because of their exterior attributes and/or it’s their sigO showing some love online (or calling dibs–whatever). Today I’m declaring my MCM to be Keanu Reeves. While I admit,  he is pretty good looking on the outside (um, seriously does he age???!), but I’m actually crushing on what’s on the inside. In fact, I write this with hope that all women/men  declare Keanu Reeves as your #MCM, because we should promote what’s good in the world and KReeves is the good.

Okay, I get that this is random, but let me explain. You know that fuzzy feeling you get when you’re doing something good for someone else (someone that’s not in your immediate circle of family or friends)? That feeling should happen at least once a day. In fact, without getting preachy on you (alas, here I am), every person should do one nice thing for someone without an intent of them repaying you every. single. day. That’s cake compared to the 500 nice things Keanu has done for strangers, which is why my hat is tipped to him on this Monday morning.

Have you heard that saying a person’s true character is tested when no one is in the room to watch? Well, K Reeves is the guy you could 100% trust to do the right thing, every time. I recently came across a video on Chive.com that shows him giving up his seat in the subway to a fair lady (✔️chivalrous) and it reminded me of an article I read a couple months ago.

& this is why I heart Keanu ❤

He understands abandonment: His father left him at an early age, and as result, he had to overcome many growing pains from constantly switching schools & moving, that it eventually reflected his schooling (he has dyslexia) and friendships. He didn’t even graduate high school.

He’s all too familiar with death:  This is a tough one, because in my personal experiences, surviving death is the hardest obstacle to overcome in life. In 1993, his best friend River Phoenix died of a drug overdose. Five years later, Keanu and his love Jennifer Syme found out they’re expecting a baby girl, but at 8 months their child is a still born. Unfortunately, tragedy overcame their relationship and they broke up as a result & the following year Syme died in a car accident. On top of dealing with death, Keanu’s sister has fought leukemia for more than a decade. As someone who spent a year working with LLS patients & blood cancer, it’s definitely not a pretty disease–surviving or not.

These moments are such an important part of his story, because truth is, it’s moments like this that can shape you as a person. Some people will use experiences like this to encourage selfish behaviors–but in Keanu’s experience, these moments made him a better person.

Keanu is an avid philanthropist. He has donated to research centers, charities, and hospitals on behalf of his sister’s diagnosis. In addition, he has founded his own charity but decided against using his name on it. He is simply focused on giving.

In fact, rumor on the street is that Keanu is extremely generous with his money. In one urban legend (although confirmed by multiple sources), Keanu took an $80 million dollar pay cut on the Matrix Sequels in order to increase the pay of the makeup and special effect teams on set because he felt the film’s success was as a result of their work). That  story issn’t an outlier of his generous behavior, he’s actually notorious for taking pay cuts in order to bring on other big named actors on film.

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& on top of it all, he’s open to making a third installment of Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure. Let’s be honest, would I really have become a historian, if it weren’t for the magical experience with America’s greatest historical figures in those gem of movies?

At the end of the day–it’s not really about Keanu (but it sort of is), it’s more about being a good human. I’m sitting here watching my sweet-almost-one-year-old sleep and I think what qualities will she search for in a future person or better yet what person will she become? I just hope that we can look past washboard abs and a beard on #MCM, and find someone who is really attractive under it all (or score, both!). Someone that makes a positive impact on the world. Someone who will give their seat up on a subway. Someone that makes a constant effort to do good, because it’s the right thing to do. Because, newsflash, THAT’S THE SEXIEST THING IN THE WORLD. So for all you do good men, I love you and keep doing good in the world (It certainly doesn’t go unnoticed).

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The following “facts” come from this article.

9 MONTHS WITH P

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WEIGHT: 20.9 LBS 5 OZ HEIGHT: 27.5 IN

What She’s Wearing: Children’s Place Denim Vest (similar here), Old NayTop (here)  Old Navy Bottoms (similar here) & Headband (here) All of these items were on SALE 🙂

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Clothing Size:  Def only buying 12 months and up! It’s just easier to have clothes a tad bit bigger rather than  cutting off the circulation in her legs. As you can see, lil P has chubby thighs and we’ve had to say goodbye to a lot of her 9 month clothes for that very reason–and I’m a HUGE fan on spandex shorts so that’s what I’m stocking up on at the moment.

Diaper Size:  4’s. Changing a diaper on a 9 month old is challenging, there’s a lot of twisting, turning and grabbing on to anything in sight–so I’ve learned the bigger the diaper the easier! I still use cloth time from time,  to be honest, I’ve just gotten a little lazy with it. I’ve luckily just had diapers from the shower I’ve been using so once I run low I’ll probably go back to cloth.

Milestones: I just got back from her 9 month check up, and as confident as I was about where she was at with her milestones–it just took a huge dive when I was filling out the survey checking the no or sometimes boxes. Unlike other babies her age, Presley has only recently started crawling within the last couple of weeks. She got around by maneuvering crawls, rolls and standing up, but now she’s finally crawling pretty consistently. She has more interest in walking, so we’ll hope for that. However, when she’s on the move, she’s incredibly fast! If I leave her in one area of the house, she ends up 10 feet away in a matter of seconds. She can clap with objects, and she is starting to pull herself up on to things. I tried to get her to climb up our stairs and she was mildly freaked out by it (which is good because I cringe at the thought of her using them as she gets older). She talks non-stop, babbles, screams, and sings. She mimics things and people, and she is just FULL of personality. She sits up pretty well from a laying down position and she seems very strong (considering I’m kicked by her non-stop). She also wrecks havoc wherever she goes, especially when I carry her on my side (she recently took down hanging pictures in the hallway and knocked Sergio’s mug off the table). Honestly, she seems like she’s a different person every morning, and is definitely keeping our hands full.

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Sleeping:  This is hard to tell, girlfriend has 4 teeth coming in. Sleeping has been off. She’s currently taking her second nap of the day. She wakes up around 7:30 in the morning and naps 2-3 times a day (depending on the length of the nap), and because I work late (I work until 7), she goes to sleep later (around 7:30-8:30). She doesn’t sleep through the night, she wakes 1-2 times in the night to feed. #nursinggamestrong #thatsajokebecauseI’msooverofnursing

Teeth:  Her two bottom teeth are grown in, & she currently has 2 teeth about halfway out and two more coming in. The two that have popped through and midway grown in are her top right front tooth and her right incisor (which is super early for her–typically they come in around 16-18 months). The two that are shy under her gums are the matching left teeth. She has been itching her ears a lot and seems a little cranky today, safe to assume her teeth are bothering her. Also, the doctor I go to recommended using flouride toothpaste on her, which I’m still on the fence whether I should use it or not because most all infant toothpaste is fluoride free–do any parents have an opinion on this? I’m using natural toothpaste since she straight up swallows it. 

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Talking:  I swear she said Hi today! She babbles & she laughs when I mimic animal sounds. She seems to respond to conversation, especially when I tell her “excuse you,” or “bless you.” She seems fascinated by whistling and she talks, screams, sings almost always when she’s not being played with (like when she’s in the car or when I’m writing this blog). She is def talkative. She loves to use her tongue to make rolling L noises (if that makes sense), and when she cries she uses those sounds the most. She also knows how to use her hand in front of her mouth to manipulate sounds.

Favorite Activities:  Her grandmother takes her to the Science Museum, Children’s Museum, Water Park, PHX Zoo, Wildlife Zoo, Aquarium, and Natural History Museum on a weekly basis. I commend her, because I haven’t even been to all those places with her! She’s very lucky in that sense. Above all, she LOVES being in water! For her 9 month birthday, we went to the water park since it seems to be her favorite. We’ve also gone to classes held at the Children’s Museum that help give great ideas for toddler development (they’re pretty cheap, if not free–see here). Splash pads are a big hit with the AZ heat! She likes to be independent (obvs if you know me, you know she got that from me). She enjoys sitting with us at the dinner table, she likes to feed herself (poorly), and move around at her free will. I’m currently in the hunt for baby proof items for the house–feel free to throw out any advice because I’m sort of learning as I go which sucks because you often find out with tears from your baby. Worst. Feeling. Ever.

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Foods: She loves to eat! I’m still nursing and she still supplements with formula. She eats pretty much everything from chicken, tuna, fruits and veggies, noodles, cheese, yogurt. We definitely know to give her avocado and prunes sparingly (I’ll spare you the details), and she really hasn’t been too picky of an eater. I’m currently trying to get her to use a straw. It’s become an obsession.

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7 months with P

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What She’s Wearing: Koala Baby Top (here)  Bottoms (here) & Old Navy jellies (similar here)

Clothing Size:  Onesies and Jumpers are about all of the 6 month clothes she can still wear, and  I’m running out of room for her outgrown baby clothes.

Diaper Size:  Okay, first & foremost, THANK GOODNESS girlfriend poops less because breastfed poop is SO much easier to deal with than real food/formula poop. I’ve experienced a whole new world of blowouts, two times I pretty much threw her in the bathtub still strapped in her carseat (just kidding, CPS). One day was after avocados (never again) and I had just picked her up after work and we went to Sprouts to grab stuff for dinner. After shopping, I went to put her back in the carseat and there was a brown puddle in the carseat base. Which means I had been leaving a trail the entire time I was there (sorry)! Another time at Sprouts (I want to love you Sprouts, but you make it hard), I went to take her out of the carseat and my hand was covered in..well, you get it..It’s gross. Cloth diapering is much harder than before, but I’m staying strong.

Milestones: Still can’t flip front to back, but she can sit up, sit, and stand for short periods of time. She can grab things, pass them between hands and I’m hoping she claps soon. Her godmother is teaching her sign language, so I’m hoping to jump on that bandwagon and sign away with her.

Sleeping:  She sleeps pretty regularly. She’s sleeping on my arms as I type this, swoon. I know I’ll miss these moments the most.

Teeth:  One nub, it’s out completely but it’s yet to come up (it’s been like 3 weeks). It’s also huge.

Talking:  She has her consonants down, a whole lot of dada going on. Which if you ask me is rude, but whatever–haha. I just keep throwing the M’s at her.

Favorite Activities:  She loves dogs (apparently all animals), she giggles at them and when the wind blows on her face. She loves putting everything in her mouth and loves iPhones, iPads and even computers. She threw a tantrum today because I wouldn’t let her a) chew on the wire b) punch the keyboard or c) pull the power cord out of my laptop. Other than  that she loves being outdoors, and playing with her toys. She seems to enjoy her bath time and spending time with her family. She got a chance to go to the beach last month, and she loved that, too.

I’ll leave a behind the scenes on how hard it is to get one good picture, enjoy ❤

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Six Months with P

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WEIGHT: 17 LBS 5 OZ HEIGHT: 26.5 IN

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What she’s wearing: Baby Gucci (gift, sold here)

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Clothing Size: 6-9 months,  9 months still run a little big on her.
Diaper Size: 2/3. Using the 2’s we have left (again, she uses cloth most of the time).
Milestones: For her 6 month birthday, she got cereal! I gave her oatmeal made with my milk so she likes that (for obvious reasons). I bought two kinds, but she seems to like Earth’s Best more. I also give her a DHA supplement (Honest) and give her Vitamin D drops. Since I’ve gone back to work I used all my back up milk and now I have to supplement with formula (around 4-6 oz on the days I work). For formula, I bought Honest formula. I did research and it’s just a trustworthy company that I’m willing to give all my money to, ha.
Teeth: No teeth (but we found a nub somewhere between 6-7 months). I was told at my 6 month Dr. appt. to brush her teeth with fluoride toothpaste, but I’m not sure how I feel about that since ALL baby toothpastes are fluoride free and there’s pros/cons for both sides that leaves me somewhere in the middle, for now I brush 2x a day with a natural toothpaste (that she can swallow if she does).
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Routine:  She goes to bed around 7/8, I aim for 7 but depending on the night (and if she has a bath), she’s usually going to bed closer to 8. I wake her up around 6:45 to get her ready because I leave for work sometime early 7. She naps around 10 and again in the afternoon. She’s pretty consistent (as I type she has yet to take her second nap, ha).
Sleeping: She has yet to sleep through the night, and not in the nursery yet..
Eating/Feeding: She has tried cereal (oatmeal) and some veggies for now.

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Fun Moments: Pres went swimming for the first time, she’s also graduated to real baths where she likes to splash a lot. She spends a lot of time with her godmother (grandmother) and chews about everything. She grows so quickly, she’s like a new baby every day.

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