Christmas is in two days! TWO DAYS!! How did that even happen!? This year has gone by so quickly it’s hard to believe it’s already almost over. In some ways I am glad it’s over as it was one of the harder years I’ve personally experienced in a long time. It’s definitely had it’s blessings, but overall I have been struggling through mysterious health issues that I honestly have still not fully gotten to the bottom of. Lots of doctors appointments, lots of unanswered questions and lots of pain. It’s just been rough…and as a mom of three young kids and a full time job on top of that….when my health is struggling, it effects everyone. One thing that has helped my sleep + chronic neck pain lately has been my new Tempurpedic cloud pillow. I know it might sound silly but investing in a new (nice) mattress and pillows has done wonders for my sleep / body. If you think about it, one third of our lives are spent in bed sleeping (isn’t that crazy!), so I think a good mattress and pillow are more than worth the investment! We’ve switched out all of our pillows for the TEMPUR-Cloud pillows and today I am giving one away on my instagram (so head on over to my profile if you want to enter!) This pillow is made of soft memory foam and has a somewhat low profile and great neck and head support. My kids actually love it too.
Merry Christmas to you all! I hope you are able to slow down and really savor this holiday season with your family and loved ones!
I usually don’t decorate much for Fall but it’s been such a long hot summer that I just got the itch to get more into the season this year and least ‘pretend’ the air outside is crisp even though it might still be 85 degrees ;) Gosh darn San Diego seasons. I mean, 90% of the time I love it…..but when Fall rolls around I just don’t want to sweat anymore, you know? Anyway, I’m that classic San Diegan complaining about the weather now so I’ll stop and just talk about my mantle. I shared this little set up in my instagram stories the other day and got so many questions that I thought I’d just share here too with more images. If you’ve followed me for a bit you know I’m a neutral girl when it comes to decor. Bright orange and black just don’t do it for me, so I always have to get creative when it comes to Halloween decor. Usually it’s nothing at all (which is so lame) or all white pumpkins…which is also a little boring if there’s nothing else to it. So this is about as colorful as it gets for me, but I really love how it all turned out.
Everyone was asking for a tutorial on the wreath that I made, but honestly, it was so simple it doesn’t really need a tutorial. I bought a metal wreath hoop (like this) from michaels for $2 and spray painted it gold. I also bought some fake little mauve berry stems that I liked from there too. Then I went to the floral stand down the street from my house and got a bunch of eucalyptus. (I also used a bit of dried flowers I already had at home). Then I just started attaching the eucalyptus to the metal ring using floral wire and layered that with the fake berries and dried flowers until I liked what it looked like! I added the same eucalyptus and berries to my mantle in between the pumpkins to tie it all together. My pumpkins are a mix of real and fake. You can probably tell the mini light green and peach ones are painted, but they definitely helped bring the color palette together that I was wanting. The others we bought at trador joes for a steal (honestly, save your money at the pumpkin patch and just go to your local trador joes! SO much cheaper). The finishing touches were this moon cycle banner and these candleholders (which are 25% off right now!). Oh, and that cute little polar bear is my favorite of all ;)
Our baby girl is ONE!! I haven’t been on this blog in FOREVER, but Quincy’s first birthday needs documenting :) I had no theme but wanted it to be dainty and sweet and beautiful, just like our girl. We celebrated with a small family party at home with the best donuts in town (VG’s) and cake! My friend Esther of Wallflower Inspiration made the most beautiful flower arrangements for the table and she left me with some extras that I used to decorate the cakes! I made a tiny little cake just for Q that she barely ate, but oh my was it cute to watch :) And we got all the perfect paper goods and balloons from Witty Bash. It hit me after her party that this is the last first birthday party I’ll ever throw. It’s crazy how fast this season of life is going. The years keep passing by quicker and quicker and it honestly blows my mind that Quincy is already one! I feel like I blinked and here we are. Bitter sweet emotions for sure. But this girl….she has been such a joy in every way. She is honestly the happiest baby I have ever known. Always smiling and laughing and making everyone’s day. It’s been a tough year for me physically dealing with some health issues and I think God knew what he was doing when he gave me her. She brightens the day of everyone around her. She does this little thing when she is in a silly mood where she scrunches up her nose and purses her lips and I never ever want to forget it! I can’t wait to see all that God has in store for her life. We love you Quincy Mae! You are everything I could have ever wished for!
So I wanted to share a bit of my breastfeeding journey with you guys here, as personal as it may be, in case others of you out there are experiencing the same thing and to reassure you that you’re not alone. My experience with breastfeeding prior to Quincy had been amazing. I breast fed Rylee until she was around 8 months old and I breast fed Cru over a year. I loved bonding with my children in this way and also loved the fact that I was supplying them with the most complete form of nutrition I could give them. It was convenient, free of cost, and a way I could connect with my babies like no one else could. I loved breastfeeding….and then came Quincy.
The first day in the hospital after delivering her she latched on right away. I expected everything to be smooth sailing from there, but little did I know things would quickly get really difficult. I found out that I separated my pubic bone during her fast and furious delivery so that was challenge #1. If any of you have had that (pubic symphysis separation), you know it’s crazy painful and basically any movement hurts. Challenge #2 came when breastfeeding became super painful (bleeding nipples, scabs + blanching…the whole 9). After seeing a lactation consultant, I found out that Q had both tongue and lip tie and I decided to go ahead with the procedure to release both of them. All the doctors reassured me I would see immediate improvement. Quincy was still well under birth weight after 3 weeks and we were all starting to get a little worried. I was completely naive to the process of a frenotomy (tongue tie release) and expected relief from the pain after it was complete, but that never came. Not to mention the exercises I had to do with her every day were so brutal, for the both of us. Basically, I had to stretch the wound every 3 hours by pushing it down toward the back of her throat with a popsicle stick (you have to do that so it doesn’t heal back together again). She’d scream so hard she would turn purple and I would cry every time I did it because I hated hurting her. All of it was so much more awful than I had imagined and I thought for sure she would never want me to hold her again after torturing her for weeks in this way. (I’m being dramatic, I know, but with all the hormones and emotional up’s and downs that come after having a baby anyway, this is honestly how I felt). It would have been one thing if she was feeding better post procedure and the pain had subsided, but after everything was said and done, nothing had improved – neither her weight, or my pain. I was so discouraged. I later found out that I was having what is called vasospasms after and during feedings (sudden constriction of the blood vessel…in the nipples in my case….that is extremely painful). Another fun side effect of having an auto immune condition. And then came the mastitis. It just felt like one thing after another after another. I just couldn’t win.
After all of this, I decided the best thing for the both of us would be to supplement. I felt a little sad about it, like I had somehow failed her….but I had to keep reminding myself that I tried my best and that this is what we both needed to do to get healthy. I started out by pumping as much as possible and introducing her to a bottle. After trying almost every bottle out there, I came to love Philips Avent anti-colic bottle the most. It had one of the slowest milk flow options that I found and it left her with less gas bubbles in her tummy than some of the others did. I very slowly started mixing small amounts of formula into her breastmilk bottles….and wouldn’t you know it, she finally started gaining weight. I made the transition to formula super slow to make it a little easier on her tummy and to get her as much of the nutrients from my breastmilk as possible in those first few months. It took me about 2 months in total to make the full transition to formula.
After this whole experience, I am now a firm believer in all Philips Avent products. Not only did I use their breast pump and bottles….but I also still love and use their bottle warmer that quickly and easily warms the milk, and also their Microwave Steam Sterilizer that kills harmful germs and sterilizes everything in 2 minutes! I also swear by their pacifiers and my minimalistic self loves the fact that they are clear and white and not giant blue rubber ;) But more importantly, they support natural oral development and are BPA-free. I’d honestly recommend Philips Avent to anyone.
If you have gone through or are going through an experience similar to my own, I am with you. I would have never imagined not breastfeeding my third child after doing it successfully with my first two…but sometimes you just have to roll with the cards you are dealt. And sometimes choosing to formula feed your baby is the best choice in your situation, and don’t let other people make you feel otherwise. There is so much pressure on mother’s these days to do things a certain way….a myth that there is only one right way. But I think there are a lot of right ways, as long as you have the best interest of your child at heart. And moreover, we don’t know everyone’s story and what they are going through…..and in my opinion, it’s just best to support and encourage each other rather than criticize and critique (just some thoughts after having dealt with some criticism myself)…we are all in this together, after all.
My family is complete. It’s strange and a little sad to think we are done having children. That I wont ever be pregnant again, or feels those little kicks inside my belly again. It’s crazy that this stage of life is over for me….already. Some days it feels like the longest 6 years of my life and sometimes I wonder how we got here so quickly. Life is definitely funny that way. What I am excited about though is watching these beautiful kiddos grow up and looking into the future when there will be a day again when I can get a full night’s sleep! haha. It’s the little things :)
We had Whit Mcguire come over while she was in town and snap some photos of our new family of five in our home. If you would have asked me 11 years ago when I bought this house, I would have never ever imagine I would still be here married with 3 children! BUT, we love Encinitas and the community here so we are thankful….despite feeling a little crammed these days ;) We recently updated our living room with a fresh coat of white paint and some new furniture. I love the new tv stand and ladder we got from Rove Concepts. I know I have talked about them before (remember this rocking chair from Quincy’s room?) but if you are on the hunt for beautiful mid century or Scandinavian inspired furniture, check them out. I pretty much love every single piece. Anyway, on to baby cuteness :)
I believe in giving credit where credit is due. If you see any photos here without correct sources, please let me know and I will happily correct it. Likewise, if you wish to use any of my photos, I'd appreciate it if you properly credited back to my original post.