Friday, February 26, 2010


After an afternoon/evening filled with nursing (YEAH!), I couldn't get THE MONKEY to nurse before bed. I tried a few different things and after hearing him scream for more than an hour, I just didn't want to have to listen to it much longer. I felt bad for him. I created this issue and I just wanted to find something that would fix it quickly and easily for all parties involved. I feel horrible that I am making him go through this but it really is best for all of us, that I am sure of.

I even tried giving him a bath with his bath time soap to soothe him and calm him down a bit. He loved it. He's always loved his baths. Regardless, it didn't work. I was hoping that he'd calm down and want to nurse in the bath with me, but nope.

I finally thought of a solution.

THE MONKEY's problem is that he's developed a nipple preference (for the bottle) as the milk flows right away and now he doesn't want to wait for my letdown. My solution?! Have him latch on and when he does, insert an eye dropper into the corner of his mouth and add a TINY bit of expressed milk to make him patient enough to wait for let down.

Did it work?! YES!


Stephanie M.

Thursday, February 25, 2010


Whoever said parents know everything... they lied!

When I became pregnant with my son, I was pretty damned determined to breastfeed him till he was a year old. Regardless of what people said, I just had a *feeling* that he would be a good latch'er and that we'd make it through. I knew we could do it. Not only did I know, but my husband had faith in us. From the moment that our son was born, he would get up, get THE MONKEY, change him and bring him to me, ready to nurse. All through the night (in the hospital - not now.... *sad face*) and everything. He loved it.

Every time anyone asks if our son is breastfed, Senior raves about how healthy he is compared to his other four daughters who were formula fed. He talks about how much he loves that we do it and how proud he is of us. It's great to hear.

After 3 great and dare I say... easy months of breastfeeding... things seemed to be going downhill. THE MONKEY was refusing to nurse. He would scream and cry and have a general bad time, overall. I couldn't find the culprit. I tried everything from teething tabs, to motrin, to pumping and giving expressed milk. After about 4 days of it not helping I finally had to resort to formula due to my supply depleting. How it could diminish that much in that short of time, I have no idea... but it did. I was devastated. I wanted, so bad, to nurse. I missed the closeness, I missed the feeling of being needed. I wanted him to have the best and it may sound weird but I missed the sweet smell of his breath and the un-stinkiness of his diapers. I missed him having MY milk.

After spending the day bawling my eyes out and laying THE MONKEY down for the night (*NOTE: HE SLEPT IN BED WITHOUT ME!!!!!*) I went online and started searching for answers. After coming across a cool little site and posting my story, I think I've gotten the answers that I needed and better yet, they fit. Here's what I was told:

If you give him a bottle, you've taught him that all he has to do is fuss and you'll give him a bottle.
a bottle is MUCH MUCH easier to suck down milk from, and honestly babies are as lazy as the rest of us, and look forward to the easiest way to do thing.

If he didn't want to nurse at the breast, he wouldn't latch at all. Sucking one or two times means he's looking for the immediate flow of milk that happens with a bottle, and the breast just doesn't work that way. On the breast, he must work to get the milk out, the milk doesn't just flow as soon as he latches on and starts sucking.

I sincerely doubt it's pain enough that he won't nurse. Sure it's uncomfortable, but baby will be teething for the next year, so it's not a pull out all stops on pain medication type emergency. All babies teeth, and all babies get thru it continuing to nurse enough to grow and thrive. If they don't get the bottle, they will nurse.

To try to mitigate the bottle if you are going to give bottles while t work or other necessary times,

Milk is supply and demand. If you don't empty the breast, milk remaining in the breast signals the breast to make less milk. Unfortunately, while pumping is helpful at emptying the breast, it is not as good as a baby, so most women when pumping will find that their milk supply slowly dwindles unless they do something to make it work out like pumping more often than baby feeds, switch pumping, back and forth from one side to the other like a hungry baby, pumping longer, or using a different pump. It will be work to increase your supply in any manner using only a pump.

It also common after the 3 month growth spurt for milk supply to begin to more exactly match baby's requests for milk, as the hormones have settled down and supply is not as much hormone driven as it was right after birth and you made enough milk to feed the whole neighborhood

Also, it's actually NOT normal to pump 9 ounces or even 6 ounces at a pumping session. Breastfed babies only take in about 25 ounces of breastmilk a day, on average 2-3 ounces at a time, depending on how often they eat of course. So most women can pump about 3 ounces at a pumping session and that's normal and expected.

I honestly think you need to put the bottles and pump away and nurse your baby. If he complains, explain to him that mommy knows best and let him take a break and then try again.

Your milk supply is highest in the morning when your prolactin levels are highest. Milk supply drops over the course of the day, so yes, your milk is lowest at night, but is still sufficient for baby. Now if you are drinking EXCESS water, that can have the opposite result of what you expect, your body will retain the water and your milk supply will often drop. Drink only enough water to satisfy your thirst. If you are making 25 ounces of milk a day, then maybe you need 25 ounces of water over your normal intake, but that is again about 3 ounces 8 times a day, which is not a lot of water.

I think I hit most of your questions.

the biggest thing is put away the bottles and nurse.
And that's exactly what I did. I've nursed him about 6 times today and I'm loving it. He's fussed a few times but given up and latched on without much effort on my part.

Can anyone say, I'm in love?!? Yes. I can.
I'm in love all over again.

I didn't realize that 1: your supply will deminish when you're on your period... check. 2: I didn't realize that at 3ish months my body will regulate itself and my milk supply... check. ALL of which will make me FEEL like I have less milk. Not only that but I didn't realize that babies only *need* 2-3 ounces of milk per feeding up until 6 months of age... again this is approximate but made me realize that pumping 3 ounces is AWESOME and exactly what he needs.

I've since put the bottles and the pump away and have nursed exclusively. YAY me.

Stephanie M.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

TESTING, TESTING, 1. 2.. 3...

Lately, I've been looking for non-dairy recipes to try out and add to my repertoire. This all came about due to the fact that I am lactose intolerant and I've noticed that THE MONKEY seems to be constantly gassy, regardless of how much I burp him or how I feed him. I've decided that it's worth a shot to reduce and possibly eliminate my dairy consumption in effort to help my little monkey.

I came up with this recipe and though I would share it. It's pretty good for a first time recipe, from scratch.

Dairy Free Chocolate Fudge Cupcakes
2 cups flour (you choose the style!)
1 cup sugar
3/4 cups unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup applesauce
2 eggs
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
*i use organic, if and when I can!*
Pre-heat oven to 350°F and prepare your muffin tin by lining them with muffin cups; set aside.

In a medium mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

In a large mixing bowl, combine applesauce, eggs, oil, and vanilla.

Add flour mixture and stir just until combined.

Spoon batter into muffin cups.

Bake for 25 minutes or until center springs back when touched.

Immediately remove and cool on a wire rack. WARNING: Cupcakes will be HOT!


Dairy Free Chocolate Fudge Frosting

3 cups confectioner's sugar
3/4 cups unsweetened cocoa powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/3 cup vegetable (or soy!) margarine
5 tablespoons soy milk

Combine sugar, cocoa, salt, vanilla, margarine and soy milk. Beat until smooth and of a spreadable consistancy.
Place gallon zip top bag into a tall container, corner side down. Fold the top down over the edges on the container.

Pour the frosting into zip top bag.

Cut 1/4 inch off the tip of the zip top bag and pipe the frosting in a circular motion onto the top of the cupcake.


These cupcakes are quite dense but I may play with the recipe a bit to lighten it up a little. However, I do have to mention that I heart dense chocolate cake!

Monday, February 22, 2010


As I've mentioned before, THE MONKEY has been teething like something fierce, lately. Well, now it's getting so bad that he's refusing to nurse. He acts VERY hungry, to the point of screaming his poor little head off but when I put him to breast, he'll latch on for a good second and a half then unlatch and start crying again. It seems as if he goes to latch on and feels the pressure on his gums so then he changes his mind because it's so uncomfortable.

The problem is... he won't nurse, at all. No matter how hungry he gets, he just won't nurse. He went a good stretch of time, this evening, where he just wouldn't nurse and would get so tired from crying and fussing that he'd just pass out. I felt so bad. I had to do something so I unfroze my last 7 ounces of milk, out of the freezer, and gave that to him. He sucked down 5.5oz of it and passed out.

The problem now.. I'm engorged and he's still sleeping. It never ends, I swear. How can I convince him that he needs to nurse, instead of taking it from the bottle? I don't want my supply to dwindle or dry up because I'm exclusively pumping because his gums hurt? Speaking of.. anyone know how long it would take to dry up if you were exclusively pumped?

I'm nervous because he went through a day or two where he just wanted the bottle a while back and pumping for that long caused my let down reflex to stop completely. It took FOREVER to get my milk to let down, IF it even did. After a while, I couldn't get it to let down, at all. I was constantly engorged and it took him nursing the next couple days, every hour or two, to get my milk to come back like it was.

I'm afraid that it's going to affect it again.

I'm not really sure what I'm looking for or what I want you guys to say... I guess I'm just venting. Why can't breastfeeding be easy? Like.. instantly make milk, as much as baby needs, when baby needs it. WITHOUT ENGORGEMENT!!

Stephanie M.

Friday, February 19, 2010


There are times when motherhood is amazingly easy. Believe me, I can cuddle on the couch with a baby in my lap with the best of em. I can nurse for hours and hours on end and yet I'm still willing to give my baby the breast, first, before offering anything else. I can listen to my son fussing because his gums hurt and I absolutely won't hesitate to get up to offer some sort of relief or comfort. Even if it means missing my favorite show.

Then there are times when mothering is tough. Those times when your child is screaming because they're in pain and there's nothing you can do. Those times when your baby is sleepy but fighting it with everything they have. Why? I don't know. When you figure it out, tell me how to convince them that sleeping is so much more fun when you're THAT tired. Then... then there are times when you, as a mother, just want ONE second to yourself to accomplish one thing. ONE.THING. Times when your child simply needs you or wants you more than whatever it is that you're doing.

There are times when I think I could scream because I've been working at the same task for hours.. (H.O.U.R.S!) and haven't come anywhere close to finishing it, only to have my son screaming for my attention. I would hate these times.. if it wasn't for a face that I can't describe. If it wasn't for this face...

I simply can't refuse this face. I will drop ANYTHING for this face! (and I mean anything!)
I'm screwed when he's a teenager.


Thursday, February 18, 2010


 My dear boy,

This last month has flown by at a pace that is unimaginable. I have tried to find the time to sit down and enjoy each and every milestone that you accomplish but at the rate that you're going on a day to day basis, it's nearly impossible. You are my little rock star and you're learning things at an alarming rate. There are times that I feel like I'm 10 steps ahead of you, however, you are very good at making me realize that this is never the case. You figure things out MUCH sooner than I think you will and I love it because it keeps me on my toes.

You haven't learned how to roll over, just yet, but that isn't for your lack of trying. Mom just hasn't found the heart to leave you on the floor much. I would much rather hold you in my arms and interact with you. You're such a flirt. You'll learn soon, I'm sure, as you've already figured out how to lift your butt up in the air, all on your own. You can also roll to your side, just haven't figured out how to get that arm underneath you, yet.

You've got such a little personality on you. You love to flirt with any woman that gets within your line of vision but mom is still your number one, that's for sure and I better stay that way for a really long time. You love to talk to just about anyone but one of your many treasured past times is talking to your little buddy Dylan when he comes over. You guys have this super cute game where you'll start to fuss and he'll grab your "bink" and gently put it in your mouth for you. Then you'll spit it out and start fussing just to watch him as he puts it back in your mouth, ever so gently. It's the cutest thing to watch. You love to lay on the floor and watch him. I'm sure you'll both grow up to be such great buddies.

For the last three weeks, my poor boy, you've been teething up a storm. You've been drooling as if you're trying to fill the grand canyon all on your own. You love to chew on your hands, or my fingers, but aren't too interested in chewing on anything else. I've tried holding teething toys for you to chew on, but you're not too interested in those. They don't have the fleshy consistency that you like. So far you have both bottom front teeth coming in and they look to be about the same point. We'll see which one comes in first. Your little grin isn't going to be toothless for long.. you're well on your way to having a perfect little set of teeth.

My precious boy, you have been such an amazing addition to our family. Your dad and I love you so much more than we could tell you. It really feels like these last 3 months have been a lifetime with you and we couldn't imagine our life any other way. You truly make our life better, in so many ways.

You are our good morning and our good night. We love you so much, little man. With everything we have and more.

Your Mommy


Stephanie M.

Monday, February 15, 2010


Make sure you head on over to Sarah's and check out her review on me!

Stephanie M.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010


Two weeks ago I started to feel a sickness coming on. I wasn't quite sure what it was, but was pretty sure that it was just a cold. My throat got a little scratchy but after two days, that's as bad as it got. Then I had a good 12 hours where I was feeling great. One hundred percent back to normal. I spent the day down at the mall with my husband and felt fine. However, by the end of the day the scratchy throat was back and I was starting to ache all over. I spent the rest of that weekend napping and feeling crappy all over.

After two weeks of only getting worse, my husband decided enough was enough and that I needed to be taken to the doctor to see what the heck was up. I agreed due to the fact that THE MONKEY woke up a bit congested this morning as well.

We arrived at the doctor's office this morning and I immediately put my face mask on, hoping not to spread my germs anywhere in the office. After a few minutes of waiting, they asked me back. My doctor came into the room and asked me a few question after which point told me it was okay to remove my mask. His questioning was somewhere along the lines of:

Dr: "how long have you been sick?"
Me: "two weeks, today"
Dr: "Have you gotten any better?"
Me: "I had a sore throat for 2 days then it seemed to get better for a few hours, then BAM, it was back, full force... now I'm just getting worse."
Dr: "Do you feel any sinus pressure or is it all in your lungs?"
Me: "I'm having some sinus congestion but nothing that blowing my nose doesn't take care of."
Dr: "Okay.. you can take your mask off.. this is a you thing. I have a feeling that the same thing is happening that happened last year, when you got a cold that turned itself into bronchitis. I'm sure it's the same thing. Started out as a cold two weeks ago and now it's a late form of bronchitis, possibly an early form of pneumonia. You're not contagious, the cold would have been gone by day 10, at the latest and that was 4 days ago."

Walking pneumonia, he called it. Lovely.

Thankfully he faxed over a RX for an antibiotic to kick this in the butt and get me better. However, he did warn me that it was completely safe to take while nursing but there's a possibility of it changing the taste of my milk and I would need to watch THE MONKEY for signs of rejection. If he does reject it.. to just pump and dump for the next 5-6 days and give him formula. Sounds good to me. I did take my first 2 pills, as instructed, and he hasn't refused it yet, but it's only been 6 hours, or so.

We'll see what the next few days holds.

Stephanie M.

Friday, February 05, 2010



Today I feel like death on a stick.

Yes. I just said death on a stick.

The end.

Stephanie M.

Monday, February 01, 2010


Yesterday I blogged about a miracle product called Wellements® Organic Gripe Water. Please read the DAY 1 review, here.

Since he doesn't teeth much, (or should I say he doesn't show many signs of being in pain), during the day... I don't give him any Gripe Water during the day. The majority of our issue starts in the early evening so that's the only time that I give him any. Even if it is all natural and 100% organic, I don't want to give it to him if I don't have to. However, I don't want to see him in any amount of pain, either.

I continued and gave him another dose yesterday afternoon and another in the evening and I do have to say that DAY 2 was a success. No outbursts of crying, no fighting while nursing, no crying, at all, really. I'm one very happy mommy.

DAY 3 went just as well. If he starts to get a little fussy, I just pop some in his mouth and he's a happy little camper. It seems to work VERY quickly and seems to last a while. There isn't really anything that I'm not happy about, to tell you the truth!

I do have to mention, however, that I don't give him the full dose, as suggested, on the bottle. The box reads:

Babies 0-1 month of age: 2.5ml every 2 hours as needed.
Babies 1-6 months of age: 5ml every 2 hours as needed.
Children 6 months and older: 10ml every 2 hours as needed.
Adults: 30ml every 2 hours as needed.

I, however, do not follow this guideline. I give my 2.5 month old son 1ml every 4-5 hours and it seems to be enough for him. Sometimes, if he seems a little bit fussy then I will give him another 1ml dose 2 hours after the previous dose. To me, however, 5ml seems like a bit much for an infant to take.

I suggest talking to your doctor before using or giving your child ANY medication or herbal supplements. Even if it is over the counter.

Needless to say, I am very impressed with the product and I have tasted it myself and it isn't all that bad. It has a bit of tartness but pretty good, none the less.

Stephanie M.