Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Breastfeeding vs. Formula Update

For those of you out there following my breastfeeding story, I thought I would give you an update.

I left off when Jared was roughly about 4 weeks old. We were struggling but on the right path. We continued breastfeeding and fighting the fight. However, the short nights of 3 hours or 4 hours of sleep was starting to take a toll on my body, and it didn't help we were PCSing (moving) to California a few short weeks after Jared was born. I was stressed A LOT of the time, and I heard stress can effect your breast milk, but I never believed it until now. I noticed my son went from breast feeding every 3 hours back to 2 hours and sometimes 2 1/2 hours. He was still spitting up a ton, and he wasn't sleeping much at all. The most sleep he would get was from around 11pm until 2 or 3 sometimes 4AM (if I was lucky).

We were back and forth with the doctors and we just kept getting the run around with the acid reflux. The amount of times we changed medicine and then the number of times we were suppose to give it to him changed, and then we had to buy some $80 pillow to help him sleep (Which I didn't buy, I made one, check HERE to see how). It all was just so frustrating. I felt so pissed off at myself for making this milk that was upsetting his stomach, and that his body was refusing my milk. I just felt so worthless and my spiral of depression just got worse and worse as Jareds reflux got worse as well. It was just a horrible downward spiral.

My husband finally said he couldn't take it anymore, seeing me tired, seeing me upset, and seeing me the way I was. I really was glad he was seeing it, and not just ignoring it; as thats what I felt for awhile, but he just didn't feel right saying anything. Once he did, we both discussed the formula that worked the best for our first son (who also had a VERY sensitive stomach). The formula is by Enfamil, its called Gentlease. This formula helps with gas, and fussiness. I was unsure about it at first, but we tried it once or twice a day and I was still breastfeeding him as well. He was getting a little of the formula throughout the day and a little of the breast milk as well. It was amazing how much the formula helped not only with his gas, but as with his acid reflux. He wasn't spitting up as much, and he was keeping down about half of what he was spitting up before.

Eventually we decided to just do breast milk with the formula so that way we could just have all the bottles ready to go and it made it easier on me during the day with my 1 year old and also at night because I wasn't sleeping well anyways. With the change I was pumping several times a day and I started out pumping about 8-10 oz a day. Which was perfect for the amount he was eating during the day. Then I had my 6 week check up, started my birth control and noticed a HUGE lack of supply. I was frustrated, so for a week or so I drank my mothers milk tea, the mothers milk drops, and the fenugreek to help my supply improve. After a week of attempting that I noticed my milk supply just kept dropping. By the 8 week mark I was pumping 3-4 times a day and only getting 1-2oz a day.

My heart was heavy, and I was (shockingly) sad that I wasn't producing anymore milk. In the end I came to terms with it and I was happy that my sons reflux was almost all gone, and he was completely gas free. We slowly used up all the milk we had on hand, and then we moved to California. When we moved we were on the road for two days and it was extremely easy to drive and feed a bottle vs stopping and having to breast feed. It made our trip a lot shorter and I was happier. I was sleeping 6-8 hours a night thanks to the formula which was now making Jared feel more satisfied, and I was even feeling a lot more joy again!

My sons reflux today (hes now 3 months old) is almost 90% gone. He still spits up here and there but it has been a major change in the amount he spits up. He also has absolutely no gas, and when he does have gas I am seriously shocked at it. He sleeps almost 12 hours each night, and yes this is more then likely due to the formula, but it helps me out a lot. Finally, he and I are bonding and so much happier together. We hangout and laugh together, and I feel so much closer to him then I have since he was born! I am a thousand times happier and its amazing how much I love my kids now.

Last time I talked about breastfeeding vs formula I had said that BF wasn't for everyone and it just wasn't for me. I still stand by that and I realize now that I am a happier mom being a bottle feeding formula mom! Its okay to feed your child the formula, especially if its going to help your child's reflux and gas issues. I am glad we made the change, even though it wasn't really our plan to go full formula, but I am still glad we did. I always said that you should do whats best for both of you. If your happy, and baby is happy then thats what matters!

Remember what makes you happy is all that matters,

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Quilters, Calling All Quilters!!!

I am a huge pinner on pinterest, and I am big on following as many quilt blogs, website, and or facebook pages I can find! I want to know all the new designs, and hip quilt patterns that are out. I find that sometimes I can get lost in the internet for hours just looking at new fabric and quilts, and even reading up on tutorials or magazines. I love to just dive into everything quilt and fabric related.

I found that it can be a little overwhelming or annoying at times. I even find that I will start with one tab open and end up two hours later with 12 or even 15 tabs open. Its so overwhelming and exciting, and I just wanted to find a group, page or something that helps get all the info into a one stop shop!

This is where facebook comes in. I decided why search and search and search; why not just make a quilting group page on facebook and let our voices be the ones to talk about whats hip, informational, new patterns, and whatever else! So, here it is, the group that will hopefully become a world wide hit, and help us all!

Quilters Unite!    The link is no longer available, but feel free to add yourself to this group: SEW CRAFTY!  Click on it, add yourself to the group, add your friends, tell your friends, and share the group. Help get the word out and then join in on the conversations, add your photos, ask questions, and so much more! Come join us!

Heres your chance to help others, or help yourself! I would love to get everyones input as to what they want to see in the group, and fun contests or games we could do on the page.

Hope to see you on the page,

Monday, October 7, 2013

While on Vacation...

While on vacation in southern California, I had a bad itch to sew! It didn't help we went to a quilt show down in San Diego. It was my first quilt show EVER and I was so excited! It was a lot of fun, and I can not thank my mother-in-law enough for taking me! My mother-in-law, my sister-in-law and myself all made the drive down to San Diego one afternoon and spent a long few hours away from our kids, away from our husbands, and away from life!

A quilt made by one of my mother-in-laws favorite local quilt shop.

Love the colors and the quilting on this quilt.

The show was larger then I thought it would be. There were TONS of quilts, and I could not believe the work some of these ladies (and a few gentleman) did! I was shocked to see that even CHILDREN were making quilts! Can you believe that? Teenagers and young adults were submitting quilts. How cool is that?

I lived in Japan for four years, so this felt like home!

Details of one of the blocks... amazing!

WWII military patches. This young man was collecting them!

Mother-in-law is part Hawaiian, so this reminded me of that.

Not only did they have quilts for the show, but they had a guest speaker, and a few vendors. I can't remember the guest speaker, but we did stop by her booth and she has done some amazing quilts. The vendors were fun to walk through, as they have quilts on display so that you can see the fabrics and patterns in a piece of work. The Halloween quilts were some of my favorite! I absolutely LOVE Halloween, its by far one of my favorite holidays! I just love the costumes, dressing up, the fun stories, and of course the decorations! I saw two or three Halloween quilts that blew my mind. My mother-in-law was kind enough to purchase one of the patterns for the Halloween quilt that I just could not get my eyes off of, again can not thank her enough for it!

This was one of my favorites!!!

Look at the detail, and quilting, amazing!

So cute right, look at the feet and the window details.

The witch, so simple yet so cute, and look at the candy corn border!
The pattern that my Mother-in-law bought for me.

In the end, the quilt show was a blast to go to (and this was all before my knee injury), so I could walk around and enjoy every second of it. However, after my knee injury I just was so bored just sitting around all the time, I asked my mother-in-law if I could do some sewing. She had a few pieces of fabric she let me have/use, and I started right in on designing the quilt. The following day I had a design for the quilt, now playmat, and I was cutting material!

this is my horrible drawing of what I wanted to do with the material.
 The alphabet pieces you see once was a panel, my mother-in-law had cut it up and was trying to make it work as a book. However, after putting it together the panels never fit well, so I took the "book" apart, and cut the alphabet squares into individual pieces. I made all the pieces even in size (with the help of a friend), and started to cut strips of the off white minky and the dark brown minky.

Putting the rows together.

Front is done.

Top, batting, and back all safety pinned, ready to quilt!
 Once everything was cut, I began to piece the quilt/playmat together. While I was piecing the rows together I began to add the taggies (ribbon and knots) along the way. It was a lot of fun to sew that minky, and it made for an interesting challenge but I really learned a lot about sewing minky when I was done. A quick note of advice when sewing minky, pin about every 3-5inches, double check as you sew (to make sure you are still on track), try not to pull or push the minky, and a walking foot helps a lot!

The knot, to clip toys on or for the little guy to chew on (when teething).

All the taggies.

Once the front of the playmat was done, my mother-in-law (again too the rescue) found some giraffe minky on sale and bought a ton of it! She then said I could use it for the back of the playmat!!! I was shocked, but totally thankful, because it was so soft, and heavy! I then layered the top, batting, and minky back all together, safety pinned and safety pinned some more. I just did a straight across quilt, from one side to the other. This helped keep the mink from shifting, bunching or pinching. The binding was tricky, as it was hard to sew with the minky facing up, but it turned out pretty well. I finished the entire thing off by hand stitching the other side of the binding to the front, and the end result was beautiful!



Front and back together.

I could pet this playmat for days! It was so soft! I also started in on some hand sewing projects (as it was about the only thing i could do while sitting on the couch with a bum knee), but I am yet to finish it up! I hope to use these once I am done with them, in my sewing room as inspiration!

Hand stitched this patch on. Mother-in-law has tons of these, they are so cool!
My hand sewn project/inspiration piece for my sewing room.
The second piece I started but am yet to finish.

Happy quilting,

Friday, October 4, 2013

Beale AFB

We have arrived!

We arrived Thursday morning and by noon we had our keys to our house in hand! We spent the night on cots and the boys were in the pack-n-plays. It was like camping in a nice clean brand new home. Yes I did say BRAND NEW HOME! They just built the homes and are slowly renting them out! We had snack food but not really anything to cook, and so of course, we just did drive through food (yet again).

Down Stairs, camping out with our crazy mess!
When we woke up Friday, we cleaned up and got ready for the day. Our TMO was arriving some time in the morning around 8am. We waited about 20 minutes after 8 and we received a phone call saying the driver and crew were lost on base. My husband jumped in the car and drove off to find them. Around 9am they all finally arrived and the long process began.

New dinning room and kitchen.

The largest garage yet!

My worst nightmare came true, stairs!!!
 We started out with the simple walk through of the house and where we wanted everything to go. Of course thats usually the important information for them because then they can make piles of boxes in the areas where your furniture wont be placed, right?!? I noticed they really could care less when I was telling them exactly where all the large furniture items were going to go, so I knew right then and there this was going to be a fun filled day. Then, the guys got to work unloading the crates. One by one our items came off the truck, loaded into the house, and checked off the long list.

Helping me check items off the list. He is in the swing, but the swing is not assembled, LOL!
As lunch started to approach the guys started to rush through the last crates. We noticed more and more damaged items. They also were placing random boxes all over the place (we didn't realize this until after they had left for the day). Our list was still not fully checked off and we were missing a ton of stuff. After all the crates were emptied, the head guy made a phone call and of course they found another crate that had our name on it.

The first crew then packed up: fast, very very fast, and headed out. Nothing was put together, none of the beds had all their pieces, and tons of stuff was still missing. We ate lunch, the boys took a nap, and about an hour maybe more, the second truck showed up. They started to unload items, and we realized even MORE stuff was broken. Not only that but the previous head guy with the first crew was telling us to check stuff off that he "knew" he brought in. When the items came of the second truck I was checking numbers off and of course they were already checked off. When all was said and done, ton of items and boxes were missing. We were pretty upset and again these guys were trying to rush off and not set up anything. I pretty much nagged them and begged them to put the items together so my two children (remember they are both under 2) could sleep in their beds. Finally, after the paper work was done, the beds were put together and a few large items were built.

When we started to unpack a few boxes and get the boys ready for bed we noticed their beds weren't put together the way they needed to be. So, we spent the next hour fixing their beds. Then finally the boys were in bed. We spent the weekend unpacking and putting stuff away. We were pretty upset as we started to notice A LOT of damage. Our large dresser is broken, our bed is broken, our recliner is broken, our fold out table is broken, tons of wood items have HUGE gashes of wood missing or scratched, shelves are broken, and theres extremely expensive military items missing as well. The moving company that packed our stuff in NM loaded it into a large truck, not crates. When it arrived in Cali it was taken off the truck and loaded into crates. That is when we feel the most damage happened. The moving company here in California was Colonial.

If your military and you are given an option to use Colonial or not, PLEASE do NOT use them! We are missing so much stuff, high priced items are broken or damaged, and even some of our Military items are missing. Please do everything you can to NOT use that company!

Our stuff was thrown everywhere and placed anywhere they wanted to put it. Stuff was down stairs that needed to be upstairs, and stuff was upstairs that needed to be down stairs. Boxes that were marked master bedroom were found in our dinning room. Items that were marked office were in the craft room when it should have been down stairs. We are still digging through stuff, and were still missing important items and half our stuff is just not in the right spot. Its more frustrating then ever. Also, the movers brought in our dryer through the front door and scratched the front door so bad. Did I mention this is a BRAND NEW HOME! Then after the guy comes out to my husband and asks him if he has paint or a pen to cover it up... SERIOUSLY?!?! No, we just moved in, the house is brand new and you think were just going to cover up the damage. I DO NOT THINK SO! We will be filling a claim against them as they not only damaged our door but they damaged our banister and walls as well!

Scratched side rail to one of the cribs! NOTE: I made teething guards for my kids, so this is NOT from chewing, as I made sure the cribs were fine when we left NM!
 Click HERE to see the teething guards I made.

The laminate was torn off almost every panel on this bookcase.

This is a book shelf... no longer can use it, its broken from one side to the other.

Same bookcase, another book shelf, damaged badly!
 This moving company did not care about us at all. They even unloaded stuff, called the numbers, leaned the items against their truck and then TOOK items with them! We noticed we marked our ladder as being here, and then we realized a week later its nowhere to be found. We know we saw it come off the truck, we saw it, we checked the item as here, but its nowhere in our home! I can't even believe how much stuff is gone. Its mind blowing. With three moves under our belt, we know what to expect, but this; this was just way too much!

How do you do this? This is mind blowing to me.

The back of this unit is pushed in, completely damaged! The drawers on the other side helped fix the back, we pushed the drawers in and the board moved somewhat back in place, still doesn't look nice!

End tables in our living room!

Because you know, this is how I pack photos... ass holes!

My thread holder was beat up pretty bad!

inside a box, these are cards and other items from my sons 1st year of life. They were all NICELY placed into a box and organized. He took them out of the box and chucked it into this box. Now the items are bent, and wrinkled, as well as no longer organized. I am pretty upset at this one!
 I hope tomorrow is a better day, but after a week of opening boxes with broken or damaged items, its getting exhausting!

Happy packing,

PS: Theres more damage photos, I just didn't want to post ALL of them! If you want to see more photos of our damaged items, let me know. I will gladly load them up on here for you all to see!