22 August 2016

Ten Little Things #139

1. Trying to take an eleven month old's picture is pretty comical
2. Great news about one of my teen students who is going through a very tough medical issue
3. Getting back to contributing on Pretty Providence!  Check out my post HERE.
4. Shopping for Ro's party
5. Finishing up Ro's lumberjack bash invite
6. Good news from, what felt like, a million doctor visits (ok...it was basically just two but with two kids, that's A LOT for one week!)
7. The FIRST POST for "The Blank Mom Series"
8. Funny conversations with Gav
9. Celebrating my mom's birthday!
10.  Sunday's message at church was definitely something I needed to hear

What brought YOU joy this past week?  Follow along on INSTAGRAM for more joyful moments.
XO, Kelly

19 August 2016

What Being a Formula Feeding Mom Means to Me

A couple of weeks ago, national breast feeding week/month kicked off.  I've seen tons (and TONS) of posts about normalizing breast feeding, "breast is best", and extended breast feeding.  These posts are all wonderful, but they kinda make me sad sometimes.  When Ro was just a month or two old, I wrote about my dislike for breastfeeding.  Not that I don't think people should do it, just that it was not an enjoyable, easy experience for me.  You can read the full post HERE.

Pretty soon after that, I wrote another post entitled "A Farewell to Breastfeeding".  It didn't last very long for me, just under a whopping three months, and I was ok with that.  But there was/is a small part of me that is not ok with it.  A small part of me that is sad about it.  How in the world am I sad, STILL sad about something I didn't enjoy in the first place?  I'm not sad that I don't have any documentation of breast feeding like some women.  But I guess I wonder if getting help from a lactation consultant would have made it better, easier.  I wonder if I gave up too soon.  I wonder if I didn't pump enough.  Maybe I should have just sucked up being too tired to clean the pump after and just pumped anyway because that's what was best for my baby.  I wonder if I should have said no to supplementing in the hospital, even if he was jaundiced.  Maybe he got used to a bottle too soon.  But he was sick, he needed more nourishment than I was able to give or he was able to get right from the start.  Why would I deny my baby his health, his best chance at getting better faster.  I am so blessed to live in such a privileged world where I can get food for my baby elsewhere.  That I live where my baby had every opportunity to thrive and didn't have to struggle daily to get milk.

So what does it mean to me to be a formula feeding mom?

 It means I did the best I personally could for my baby.  It means I chose to give him a better shot at nourishment than my body could give him. It means that I chose happiness and stress free feeding for my baby.  It means I tried hard for three months, whether the outside world knows that or not.  That I researched lactation and breastfeeding until I was blue in the face. That I ate everything I could to increase my supply and it just didn't work out for me.

It means that sometimes I'm embarrassed when I whip out a bottle and formula dispenser and start shaking.  That whether or not it's happening, I feel judged by other mothers.  Along with that, it also means that I'm probably getting the approval of boobie-phobes.  It means that I feel a little uncomfortable when I see breastfeeding pictures because a part of me is ashamed that I "gave up". Not that I think they shouldn't be posted because, by all means, go for it!  It means that I feel a little embarrassed when someone asks me if I'm still breastfeeding and I answer no.

It also means that I was able to bond better with my child because I wasn't stressed about latching or worried about him getting enough to eat.  That I could kiss him and breathe easier as he drank from a bottle.  It means he could calmly get nourishment rather than scream and scream hungrily while my body literally streamed milk in his face.  It means I choose try exclusively pumping to get the most breastmilk as I could for him.  It means I know that breastmilk will always be better than formula in my mind, not to mention cheaper, but I did what I could.  The first time around, with Gav, it meant that I chose to give him his best mommy by going on medication.  This time around, with Ro, it just means that my body couldn't keep up.  And that's ok because that is how God made me.  For my best friend, God made her to produce abundantly and that's awesome!  I even have another friend that has had more than enough for her children and has been able to donate ounces upon ounces.

Being a formula feeding mom, to me, means I accept that this is the way I was meant to feed my child.  It means that I am blessed to have this option.  It means that I still fully support breast feeding however, wherever, whenever it needs to be done.  It means that I'm doing MY best for MY baby and isn't that the point?

XO, Kelly

15 August 2016

Ten Little Things #138

1. Someone started pre-K!
2. Solo time with Ro
3. Start of the new dance year
4. Baby lumberjack
5. New products in the shop
6. Visiting one of my favorite places, our wedding venue!
7. Celebrating a successful first week of pre-K with froyo
8. Sweet bath time brothers
9. Getting back to reading
10. Awesome kick off party for high school ministry

What brought YOU joy this past week?  Follow along on INSTAGRAM for more joyful moments.
XO, Kelly

08 August 2016

Ten Little Things #137

1. A whole week off work and spent with my boys!
2. Serious baby face
3. My new DIY family board is working out great (see the post HERE)
4. A fun trip to Trader Joe's
5. Finding pre made cauliflower rice
6. Gav watering his plants all by himself
7. Pre K open house
8. Ro's first time on the rocking ship
9. Dinner with family
10. Prepping for Gav's first day of Pre K (which is today!)

What brought YOU joy this past week?
XO, Kelly

02 August 2016

Ready, Set, Craft Challenge // Family Photos

If you're anything like me, you love having pictures of your family all over your house.  We have so many wonderful photos around our house but they are, mainly, in frames.  Maybe one or two aren't but, for the most part, what else do you do with them to display them?  This is exactly what made this craft item so challenging for me.  And I loved it!

When I started just thinking about things we might need around the house, our dry erase board came to mind.  It was getting pretty dingy, it was small, and our little family was starting to get pretty busy with Gav going to Pre-K, all his actives, and my husband and I wanting to volunteer more at church.  My husband and I are always trying to keep up with the important dates and schedules and sometimes we just forget to tell the other or forget what the other told us.  (That happens ALOT!)  Then there is Roman's little feeding schedule which is pretty open, but when my parents or in-laws babysit, it's nice to have something for them to look at so they know what exactly he needs.  That's when I decided to chuck the old dry erase board and revamp a bigger one into a family info board.

What You'll Need: Large Magnetic Dry Erase Board, Picture of Each Family Member, Lamination sheet, Sticky Back Magnets, Thin Washi Tape, Exacto Knife

To get even sized pictures of each member of my family, I used Lipix (an app on my phone) to create one single image that I could cut up. This definitely works best if you have an even number of family members. Our printer is on the fritz so I sent it off to a store to be printed but you can use regular paper from your printer and save a $1.50.  I had mine printed as a 5x5.

Cut out each picture, I did a little extra trimming to allow for more room on the board, and laminate them.  I used a heat laminator but they also sell self-laminating sheets if you don't have one.  Cut the picture out of the lamination and place a small piece of magnet on the back.  My main reasons for using magnets instead of just taping/gluing them on are one, I didn't want to ruin the board in case I eventually want to reuse it and two, the boys are going to change so I want to be able to change their pictures to reflect them.

Using the washi tape, tape off a section for each picture and trim with an exacto knife.  Now you have a place for each member and all of their info!

I love how clean and simple this ended up looking.  It really helps soothe my OCD. Ha!  If you have any projects using your own fabulous family photos, come link up with us at the bottom of the post!

Want to join in next month?  Our craft item for September is:

Pre Made Paper Mache Shapes

Happy Crafting!
XO, Kelly