Thursday, July 30, 2009


I never did a post on this. I have all these ideas swirling around in my head about it, but haven't written it down.

I was fortunate enough to breastfeed Jenna for just over a year. I stopped, because *I* wanted to, not because she wanted to... well, I say that, but I'm not entirely sure about it.

Breastfeeding has been something I was committed to from the very beginning. It was never easy. Never. Within 3 days of her birth we went to single sided feedings. I was feeding her too much and she'd spit up after every meal, a lot. She had reflux so we had to feed her less more frequently, we got thrush at 6 weeks. I'm convinced either I had the longest standing case of thrush or I had psoriasis on my nipples. I'm pretty sure it's psoriasis... it's finally getting better with psoriasis meds now that I've weaned I can use them. Jenna would feed quickly, ferociously but often thrash about trying to see what else is going on in the room, in the house, in China. She bit when teething. She was always teething. I would try to feed her at lunch at day care and she'd bite me because she wasn't hungry. I had many bouts of oversupply. I'd have my pump with me at all times to avoid quarter boobs (boobs so full and heavy you could bounce a quarter off of them).

Then, it came time to wean. For me. I want my body back. I want to be able to wear a shirt without worrying about leaking, being able to expose myself (the hooter hider only worked for about 4 months, after that Jenna wouldn't nurse if I was wearing it). Jenna never took the bottle really well, she'd only eat ~ 2 ounces from it at 9 am with Irma. This made things difficult. So, we became more consistent with the bottle at 10 months. I would pump, Nick would give a bottle. Slowly, she started to take it.

We started to add WCM in with the breast milk. She was doing great, actually, eating more. We dropped it down to the morning feeding and the night time nursing session. Then dropped the morning one and I would pump. We reduced feedings until I was only feeding her during the middle of the night. Then I quit. I stopped pumping and feeding her in hopes of drying up. 3 days later my poor boobs were literally square from being in a sports bra and felt like a bag of rocks. You could feel each duct swollen with milk. It hurt. I called the advice line and she told me to do warm heat and drain them. I did. my bra size changed drastically that day. I was back in pre pregnancy bras the following day. I still have to drain every now and then, but it's been over a month. Jenna's doing fab, I think she's even putting on more weight now than before (she can be distracted with a bottle as the bottle will travel with her mouth. Her sleeping's gotten a bit better since it's more difficult to prep a bottle than it is to just go nurse her.

I'm happy with the decision to wean. I think it's been good for Jenna, good for me and good for Nick. I do look back and wonder how things would've been different if I had stopped sooner. Would I have been happier? I look at my relationship with Jenna now, it's different. I appreciate her more now than I did when I was nursing. I know that sounds lame, but it's the honest truth. How would things have been different if I only nursed while on maternity leave? or until she was 6 months old? or 9 months? How would her sleeping patterns differ? Would they? I'm proud that we made it to a year, as that's what's recommended and all, but was it really worth it? I don't know. It doesn't really matter, I've got my beautiful girl, she's got me (but not my boobs) and we're all good.

Life is good. I'm happy the cows are getting the relief from pumping instead of me.

Looking forward, looking back.

Thinking about the profound changes that have happened in my life from 2007 until now makes my head spin. There are days I go to write the date and I have to hesitate before actually writing 2009. And it's July. Almost August. Nick and I's 4 year anniversary is coming up next month. To think of how much we've grown as individuals and as a couple since we got married or in the 11 years we've been together is mind boggling. We have the most beautiful, adorable daughter, one that is such a great combination of the two of us we really don't see each other in her face. I've never appreciated Nick more, and I likely don't tell him that enough. Having Jenna has so rocked our world in ways I can never explain. There just aren't enough words.

Jenna is amazing. She's either squealing with delight or crying out of frustration. There isn't much in between. She's a ball full of energy and rarely slows down enough to give us a hug or let us hold her. But I think that makes me that much more appreciative of the times I do get a hug, or when she goes to give me a kiss (which still resembles CPR). I love laying on the floor with her at the end of my work day and having her crawl all over me. Stand on me, sit on me, plop on my belly, try to bite my toes... I don't really like it when she sits on my head and tries to jump up and down, but at the same time, if it makes her happy, I can get a good laugh out of it. I love time right now, I'd love to stop it.

Then again, I see family portraits of little girls, 3 or 4 years old (sometimes older) and I swoon. I'm looking forward to seeing Jenna as a little girl. Knowing her personality now, she's going to be so much fun. I know she's strong willed, she's intense with her feelings, emotions, desires and I can't wait to see that in an older form. I'm looking forward to baking cookies with her, running through a grassy field, trying to catch crawdads at the local park... there's so much.

Motherhood is great right now. We're getting a bit more sleep (um, but the second I say anything it all goes to the pot so I won't say too much more about that), she's interacting, walking, 'talking' and becoming her own little person. It's amazing to watch, I can't wait to see more.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

13 months

Ahhh, Jenna's 13 months old. I'm no longer going to write the monthly letters because I want to keep them to the first year. I think now I'll write them every 6 months, but I do still plan to do a monthly pictures and note what's been new in her world.

My primary reason behind this is to ensure I can keep up with "What you do for the first, you won't do for the second". I hope to be able to write monthly letters to Jenna's sibling (not coming anytime soon for those that are thinking of asking) for their first year, just as I have for Jenna. That being said, I still want to keep track of her growth and development... so essentially I'll still be writing about her monthly, if for no other reason, to keep the blog up and refresh my memory (because Mommy amnesia is REAL people!)

13 months. Crazy town! As I write this, I think I can officially call her a walker. She chooses to walk more than crawl now, albeit if she's SUPER excited, she'll crawl, much faster, after all. AND! She's said the word Mama. She's still selective in it's use, but it has been muttered on more than one occasion. Her obsession with the word Doggie has now turned to an obsession with the word Daddy. So now every thing's Daddy.
Practicing walking with Poppie.
I can't get enough of those blue eyes. Have I mentioned I can't keep track of the number of teeth she has? Seriously, she's got all the incisors (you'll see visual evidence in the photos below) and is working on all 4 of her premolars, and I think a canine tooth or two will be making it's appearance soon. I think. Maybe.
Playing at Nanny & Poppie's over the 4th of July weekend. I never thought I'd see Nanny's fancy coffee tables be so beautifully decorated ;)
Nanny bought Jenna some Russian nesting dolls to play with while up at their house. She loved them :)
Jenna doesn't have access to stairs at home, or at day care... but at Nanny and Poppie's, she climbed them without skipping a beat... going down the stairs was more difficult and we'd have to help her otherwise she'd roll right down.
Waving to the participants at the parade.
Reading "Brown Bear"
Our little patriot. So cute.
Her most recent 'thing'. She tucks her lower lip over her lower teeth and gives this overly excited laugh. CRACKS.ME.UP. Her little nose wrinkles just a bit and she goes to town. Just looking at this picture makes my day better instantly. I love it.
We went to Berkeley with Grandma. "Little Farm" is in Berkeley and you can bring celery or lettuce to feed the Cows, Goats, Pigs and Chickens (I'm sure there's more, but I forget, it's that mommy amnesia thing again)
Walking with Grandma
Checking out the chickens. She would 'talk' to them, too. Have I mentioned she 'talks' in sentences? Something like this "Gebaba GO beba daddy ducky Gee go de DAW" Sort of. ;)
She's signing 'light' here. We've been playing with sign language and *this* is the one sign she's picked up and uses often. She uses it all the time. You know, it'd be more helpful if she signed hungry, milk, all done or more... but she likes the 'light' sign best. Eh, we'll keep practicing. At least we know she comprehends.
Swine flu!? What swine flu ;) She got along with the piggy just fine.
A little out of order but there's also a steam train in Berkeley. We went and Jenna loved it :)
Our little family, waiting to get started on the train...
A rare photo where I'm not behind the camera... on the train.
OK, back to the farm... did I mention there were COWS? And the cows have crazy tongues? Jenna was curious enough to get this close, but wise enough to pull her hand back off Daddy's when that tongue came out to grab the food.

The same day we went to little farm and the steam train, we got a little splash pool. Jenna played and played and played until her lips turned blue (oops!)
My little cutie.

ruffle butts are the cutest!

That's all I've got for now. She's doing well, growing like a weed. Next month is going to be crazy. We're going to Disneyland for the first time, going camping (kind of, details later) I think we might be skipping hot august nights this year but there's lots on the agenda.

Monday, July 13, 2009

I heard the magic word...

I'm behind on blogging, but had to stop tonight to note the following. Tonight Jenna said Mama (YAY!!)

She's also saying:
Doggie (duh)
Vinnie (our chinchilla)

All of these words popped up, out of no where. It's really cool and frightening to watch. Also, my unrational fear of not being able to understand toddler-speak is not coming to fruition. I've never been able to understand kids. But even though Ducky, doggie, kitty sound similar, I really can tell the difference between them.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Aquarium & Phil&Teds Event :)

Jenna and I were invited out to visit the Aquarium at San Francisco's Pier 39. I took the day off work and we made a day of it. It's too bad that the nap resulted in us leaving SF shortly after the event was over. I wish there was time to go and bark at the sea lions, but time ran short.

Here's a few pictures..... in no particular order:

Checking this whole thing out, cautiously.

They were beautiful to watch maneuver.
This fish had a magenta square. it was quite striking.
Jelly fish!
BIG Jelly fish!
Jenna, checking out the Phil & Teds goods. They sponsored the event. We got to go and check out their latest products, drool over strollers and play with a fun thing called the wriggle wrapper and have lunch. Jenna did great!
Sting rays will always remind me of our honeymoon on Grand Cayman.... sigh...
Jenna in the tunnel. The aquarium was more interesting to her than the zoo. Maybe because she can get up close and personal?

Smaller Jelly fish! These guys were cool!
All in all, a great day away from the office with just the bean.

Jenna's 1st Birthday Party

Ahhh, finally, I'm able to put together a post about her party. All in all the day turned out great. Everything worked out just great and there was only a couple hiccups, and even those were minor.

Here's the bottom of her 'high chair sign'. I made it, I'm pretty happy with the way it turned out. I think I'm going to hang this part on her nursery door.
The birthday girl! "Are you here for my party!?"
The table decor: photos of her throughout the year, sweet peas in matching vases, green table plastic (I'm not going to call it a table cloth!) and a white paper runner. It was windy, so we had to staple and tape everything down.
Here's her high chair sign. It says "Happy 1st Jenna"
Jenna's showing off her big number 1. you can see the pink floral chinese paper lanterns in the background, too (this is the only picture with them in it! There were five, they turned out super cute!)
This one's a bit out of order (wouldn't be a proper blog post if the photos were all in order, right?) We're trying to get her to blow out the candle and not grab for it.
Here's her beautiful cake! We got it from La Gateau Elegant... yummy! butter cream frosting, custard filling white cake (pretty much "as boring as you can make a cake for a girl that hasn't had sugar before").
Everyone singing happy birthday to the birthday girl!
Mom and Dad singing to our baby girl.
Trying to show Jenna the cake... "See that!? It's sugar. You haven't had it before. Whatever you don't eat, I will."
She decided to dive in.
And then proceeded to 'share' the cake with me (more frosting hit my face on this day than Nick was able to get me with on the wedding day!)
She followed suit so I wouldn't feel like the only one. Notice the finger marks? She put her hands up to her head and dragged them down. If you look in subsequent pictures, you'll see 8 tiny frosting finger trails down her forehead (and in her hair).
There are SO MANY CAKE pictures! And yet, I couldn't resist sharing them all with you :) I think that was my primary reason behind having a party! There's not much cuter than a baby covered in frosting and goo!

Time out! What happened to the rest of the cake?
Pop, is THIS how I eat cake!?
Ah, enough of this.... I'm outta here!
The day turned out great! We had plenty of friends and family able to make it and it was so good to be able to celebrate all that we've accomplished in the last year. Now, we tackle toddlerhood!