Thursday, December 18, 2014


A few months back I wrote about the prospect of IVF round 2. Since that time, we've had a phone consult with Dr. Sasson to discuss timelines/options. I was literally set to start this month. Normally, if something is on the calendar, it means it is happening. It means we are doing it.

However, a few weeks ago I just felt this need to pause. To wait. To chill. I don't get that feeling often. So why the hesitancy? IVF round two seems so detached from my life, from our family. It seems so distant and I just don't think I have the ambition or drive to reach for it at the moment or even in the next few months.

I wasn't sure if Chris felt the same. When I brought it up to him last week, he was surprisingly relaxed, stating that he too wanted a baby, but to do IVF right now, in the midst of the holidays and in the midst of a sweeter-but-more-stubborn-by-the-day toddler just didn't seem like the best timing.

So, we're pausing, and I've never been more okay with standing still.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Round Two?

Almost two months since my last post! How can this be?! Our days have been busy and jumbled, glorious and exhausting. But such is life in the Knipe house with a curious toddler running the joint.

I may be writing more posts in the coming weeks and months as Chris and I have decided to head back to fertility-ville (AKA Shady Grove) for round two. I don't know if I'm ready for it. I mean, I think I'm ready for another baby in this house, but I don't think I'm ready to face the potential disappointment and emotional stress of IVF and failed fertility cycles, again.

Last week, I called Shady Grove to schedule an appointment to talk about options and a timeline. Even while I heard myself calling and making the appointment, I couldn't believe we were doing this again. I'm not excited. I am kind of numb about it, which is a strange thing to feel about trying to add to our family.

For those of you whom have yet to conceive, whom are in the midst of your struggle, I know you are reading this with disdain thinking, Oh yeah. Must be SO hard to go back and try to have ANOTHER baby.

I know. I hated people who were writing about secondary infertility because it made me jealous because they ALREADY HAD ONE. Gosh. Be grateful already.

But then Gabe happened. I became a mom and I realized even more how precious and wonderful and draining and mesmerizing motherhood and parenthood can be; I want more of it. If that makes me selfish, then yes, I am. I am selfish. I want more. And I hope that you will one day find yourself in this exact place, secretly apologizing to first-time mothers in waiting.

Round two already seems to have so many obstacles before it. Finances, needed babysitters for Gabe, the schedule juggling at work... I'm just not looking forward to it. During round one, I really only needed to focus on me. Myself. Now, I have to worry about Gabe, trying to ensure that he is taken care of while I'm in stirrups or shooting myself up with hormones. Is it fair to him to have me not-so-present in his life for a few months? Conversely, doesn't he deserve a sibling to pal around with? Maybe deserve is a poor word choice. I don't know.

I am just not feeling it right now. I don't know if I can face this again.

 This post has sounded like a pity party from the lady who has a baby already. I know that. But you have to let me vent here, or else I'll just keep it bottled up and that's bad news all around.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Almost ONE

I swore that I would never create a post that reads more like a Hallmark card than a blog post. Unfortunately, today, I don't think I get get around it:

This Saturday is Gabe's first birthday. This time last year, I was impatiently awaiting the arrival of a baby, OUR baby. So much has changed in one year! On one hand, it feels like Gabe has always been with us, so to say he's only been here for a year, seems strange. On the other hand, there are still days when I enter his nursery and can't believe he's in it.

This past year has been incredible, euphoric, exhausting, exhilarating... It's been so many things. I can't even really put it, the past 365 days, into words. All I know is that my eyes well up each time I remember the day Gabe was born, the day when I became a mom and the day that Chris and I entered parenthood.

I have soaked up every minute of Gabe this past year. I know I've actually been selfish at times and I'm not sorry; I can't describe how much I love him, need him, need to see, hear, and touch him. I have soaked up Year One and intend to continue to love him up in Year Two.

I guess this motherhood thing really is all it's cracked up to be. And more.

Sweet Gabriel David-- you will never know how much we love you and are thrilled beyond words to call you our son. I relish being able to see more and more of your personality and spirit shine through in Year Two!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014


This week, I have to travel for work. I am not looking forward to it. I've literally woken up in the night in a panic just thinking about it.

I do have a great job that allows me to work from home almost year-round. Working-from-home the majority of the year does have its perks; I get to be home with Gabe and work at the same time. While that is also an obstacle a times (see Hybrid Mom post), I am certainly really fortunate to be able to work as an educational administrator from my own house.

The downside is that I do have to travel now and then. This week, I have to leave Gabe for three nights and four days. Who's counting, you ask? Me, that's who. I know the days will fly by, but the thought of not seeing my sweet boy for half a week makes me so sad and anxious.

For the past year + nine months, I've basically been with him around the clock. There is this unexplainable bond that exists between us--- I just am not ready to not be with him for multiple days at a time. I know in 18 years, he'll head to college and I'll have to be more ready to be separated from him. Who knows? Perhaps then I'll be shoving him out of the door.

But for now, I dread flying out of state and leaving him. Tonight, I put Gabe to bed and rocked him longer than normal. I'm not going to lie--- I also bawled my eyes out.

 I know he'll be fine. He will.

I wish someone would invent a Gabe-IV drip, so I could keep some of his chub, sweet smiles, and baby smell running through my veins from afar.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Everything You Do

My days as Gabe's Mom are spent cuddling, cleaning up messes, pureeing baby food, changing diapers, doing laundry, dancing to Sesame Street, saving Gabe from himself, lint-rolling dog hair, filling bottles, emptying bottles, laughing.... It's a redundant mix of the same thing on repeat, interspersed with moments when I honestly think my heart could burst from pure joy one moment and then collapse from pure exhaustion the next.

Sometimes I feel like I'm a hamster on a wheel. I'm pretty much content, but I'm just spinning around and around, day by day, doing essentially the same thing, but not really seeing sizable results of my efforts.

You might not understand this, but I love to listen to music. Around the house, when I run, when I drive in the car... I love singing along to the radio or to Pandora. Sometimes, I pretend in my own mind that I am in a real-life musical, that my life is a musical, where total ordinary moments turn into a song and dance fest. It's the six-year-old silly girl in me.

This morning, I guess I was feeling particularly lame, not particularly animated. There I was, sitting in my PJs (with Gabe snot-marks on each shoulder), hair a mess, attempting to get some work done yet trying to watch Gabe at the same time.

Type a paragraph or two... wait.. change a diaper... type another paragraph... wait Stuart don't lick the baby... type type type... Gabe don't pull the lamp over... 

Not glamourous. Not very stay-at-home-momish, not very working-momish either. I stopped and thought... Wow.  I do feel like a hamster. I realized I was doing the same thing that I did yesterday morning, and the morning before that.

Then, (like something out of a movie... or more likely, straight from the Lord) this song came on. The first few lines really caught my attention:

You're picking up toys on the living room floor for the fifteenth time today
Matching up socks
Sweeping up lost cheerios that got away

You put a baby on your hip
Color on your lips and head out the door

While I may not know you, 
I bet I know you
Wonder sometimes, does it matter at all?

And then the chorus:

Well let me remind you, it all matters just as long
As you do everything you do to the glory of the One who made you, 
Cause he made you, 
To do
Every little thing that you do 
To bring a smile to His face
Tell the story of grace
With every move that you make
And every little thing you do

My seemingly NON-GLORIOUS life as quasi-working woman yet full-time Gabe-momma can be GLORIFYING to the Lord. Even in the little things. Everything we do can be glorifying to Him when we do it in His name.

I picked up Gabe, danced around until the rest of the song ended, and then went back to my hamster wheel. Happy, content. To glorify my God in the little things I do.

Be encouraged today, friend...You don't have to pretend your life is a musical, though I do encourage you to try it now and then. If anything, take a listen and be encouraged too!

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Bucky Beaver

Wondering where this post is going? :)

Well, it appears that Gabe's new front teeth are serving a purpose beyond his time in the highchair. He clearly chews on anything, and I mean anything. A few days ago, Chris entered the nursery only to meet Gabe, standing tall, chewing on his crib. White paint chips were splattered across his face. He legitimately took notches out of the crib.... I don't know if Gabe is trying to tell us he needs more fiber, or perhaps we should start letting him chew on Stuart's dog toys?

To reduce the beaver tooth action, I folded some towels and taped them around the crib rails. It looked awful and it was only a few days until Gabe had figured out how to pull/distort the towels, which made the crib, believe it or not, look even worse.

Yesterday, I broke down and bought crib rail teething-pad-thingys, as pictured below. They tie and fit all different types of cribs. They are machine washable and don't look too shabby either.

The little stinker, smiling for the camera.

It's only been 24 hours, but they are holding up well! Gabe's once angelic nursery is now switching into survival mode---- Can the nursery survive this kid?!

Sunday, May 11, 2014

First Mother's Day

I used to dread Mother's Day. It was just one more day for me to feel left out of the motherhood club. Emotionally raw, I would see picturesque families stroll into church in their matching outfits, mothers staring longingly at their adorably chubby, smiling infants. On Mother's Day, children seem to multiply. They are everywhere. And they are all behaving. They smell great too. Rainbows and butterflies swarm mini-vans full of families driven by smiling, content parents. Pregnant bellies appear around every corner.... Needless to say, Mother's Day for an infertile woman is R.O.U.G.H.

So what about this year? On this, my very first Mother's Day as a momma, I felt myself torn between wanting to squeeze Gabe and soak up his sweetness every two seconds, and wanting to cry just thinking about how painful some past Mother's Days have been.

I think infertility is an experience that never really leaves you. It's like a death, kind of. It's a time period when you've been emotionally devastated month after month, year after year.... You can't just forget that. Even with a perfect baby, you don't forget it.

Tonight Gabe woke up after only twenty minutes of sleep, a rare occurrence. Usually, he goes to bed for the night, down for the count until morning.

I went upstairs, picked him up, and took a seat in the rocking chair, the same chair that I sat in last Mother's Day, with my pregnant belly. The same chair that I sat in in an empty nursery only a year ago, a room that I previously never entered because I was too emotionally unstable to do it.

As I began to hum quietly, he stopped crying and laid his head on my chest. His eyes were open and he just snuggled against me, rocking back and forth. Normally, he falls to sleep quickly. Tonight he just laid there, wanting to cuddle, humming back to me as I sang to him. It was almost like he wanted to give me a Mother's Day present, Gabe-style.

The feeling of your son, actually hugging you back, holding on to you is one that I can't quite describe, kind of like how I can't quite describe my feelings on this, my first Mother's Day.

For those couples still on the journey to parenthood, know you're not forgotten, not by me, but more importantly not by God. His plans are a mystery to us, but you know what? His plans are always better, always right.

Had we been given Gabe from the start, had we not gone through disappointment, pain and struggle, we would not fully appreciate the tremendous gift and opportunity given to us in Gabe.

So how was my Mother's Day? It was a bit of a roller coaster of emotions, but even more, it was a day when I more fully understood God's grace, and that friends, is a good day.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Things I don't want to forget

He's almost nine months old. I feel like I already forget what it was like to hold and nurse a newborn baby, and I just had one nine months ago. Seeing Gabe now (he is huge, as in, almost 28 pounds), I see some toddler on its way. Today, before the last of my baby's baby-ness leaves, I need to write down a few characteristics I never want to forget:

  • He smells like new diapers, sweet milk, and Johnson and Johnson baby shampoo. That combo could melt anyone's heart for life.  (His diapers however, sometimes smell bad. Like really bad. Sometimes I dry heave. Not kidding.)
  • When he wakes up from sleep, I savor opening his nursery door-- His smile when he sees me takes up his entire face. I could live on his big mouth smiles forever. Then, when I pick him up from the crib, he squeezes his chubby arms around me and cuddles into my neck. Absolute perfection.
  • When he nurses before bed, he rubs his little fingers up and down my arm/back. 
  • The amount of chub on his thighs and arms causes me to laugh and cry at the same time.
  • I love that he loves my voice, my songs. 
  • Dimples on baby hands should never become extinct. I find myself sucking on his chubby dimpled hands because I just can't help myself.

Theses are only a few things I never want to forget.... What a gift you are, sweet Gabe!

Monday, April 14, 2014

Turning the nap corner?

For about the past three months, Gabe has been consistently sleeping through the night. Bedtime is between 7 or 7:30 PM and the morning wake up is generally around 6:30 AM.

Naps though, were another story. Gabe has not been the best napper. However, beginning about a month ago, he started to really take good naps. He takes at least two naps a day, one in the morning, and one in the afternoon. Sometimes he needs a late afternoon quick cat nap, but not every day.

So how did he turn the nap corner? How did this glorious schedule unfold?

I don't think there is any one thing that helped him settle into his current routine. I noticed that he could stay up for about two and a half hours at a clip, needing a nap after each period of wakefulness. Here are a few things that have helped get him to sleep (and stay asleep)!

1) KEEP ACTIVE: When he is awake, we play! I try to encourage him to be as active as possible-- He can't walk or even crawl, but I try to give him different toys and move him from room to room where he can access some new activities. We practice rolling, jumping, sitting up etc.

2) CREATE A ROUTINE: I do the same basic routine each time Gabe goes down for a nap. We read a few books (Gabe chews on them or likes turning the pages) and then I sing a song and put him in his crib.

3) PUT DOWN "DROWSEY BUT AWAKE": I finally understand the advice, "Put baby down drowsy but awake." Before, I would rock or sway Gabe to sleep and then try to put him gingerly in his crib. Sometimes it worked. Other times, I was held captive by him. If he woke up because he was startled by being put down, or hearing a creaking floor board, we had to start all over again. It was AWFUL.

Now, I look for signs that Gabe is getting tired. I watch the clock. I watch him. I take him up to his room--- we close the blinds and do the books/song routine. Then, even if he's not asleep, I put him in his crib.

He had to learn to put himself to sleep. This was not a quick venture, but now, IT IS HEAVEN. It took a few weeks of this routine, and a few weeks of Gabe crying himself to sleep to get him to understand that once in the crib, it's sleep time.

4) LOVE THE LOVEYS: We got him "Gus", a sweet but flat "lovey" to keep in his crib. I liked it because it was comforting for him, but if he rolled on it, it would not wake him up (because it was flat as opposed to a huge stuffed animal).

I seriously read everything about trying to get your baby to take naps longer than 15 minutes. As you may remember, Gabe was either the anti-napper or the cat napper extraordinaire. Now, keeping him SUPER active while awake, watching for his cues, and giving him the skills to put himself to sleep without my help, he is able to sleep more regularly and for longer periods of time.

I am not an expert. I just had to experiment to find what worked for him....Now watch though---- Now that I actually wrote about this, he will totally change his sleep habits just to spite me. That kid! He's lucky he's cute!

Time Marches On.. Soak It Up!

I can't believe that I have an 8 month old baby living in this house. Everyone tells you that, "It goes by so fast!" and it does. Seeing Gabe start to do new things and discover the world around him brings me such joy....His first 8 months have certainly gone by quickly, yet at the same time, Chris and I feel like he's always been with us.

He's just getting so big! He is much harder to cuddle; he wants to move, to play, to explore. Breastfeeding is becoming quite the adventure. Gabe treats me like a jungle gym!

Monkey-Gabe aside, there are sweet glimmers of sweet baby left though. And I have been selfishly purposeful in spending time with Gabe and savoring his baby-ness. And I'm not done! I don't know when babies are officially considered toddlers, but I am not ready to change his title quite yet.

Friends of ours have a two-year old little boy and are expecting their second child any day now. Like literally any second. They came over for dinner last night and we chatted about what life might be like with another kiddo in the mix.

After dinner, I watched as Megan, pregnant 2nd time-momma-to-be,  sat and watched her son play and romp around the house. Her love for him is so evident. But, I can tell she's anxiously awaiting this next new addition too.

I remember the weeks leading up to delivery (See "Nothing Yet" post). Megan too has been hearing the common comments from the non-pregnant people peanut gallery:  

"When is that baby coming out?"
"Wow! You're STILL pregnant?!"
"Poor thing. I bet you can't wait to have that baby!"

Of course those people don't mean anything by their comments. They're excited too!

But you know what? Last night Megan said something that I really want to remember, should we be able to have baby number two:

"Today was such a great day. We went for a walk and spent time together, just the three of us. It was like God knew we just needed a little more time together, just us, before the new baby comes."

Instead of counting down the days, just wanting that baby out, Megan is savoring this time with her son Jackson--- singular, sweet, only-child for a wee bit longer.

Our lives change and progress so fast. Sometimes we don't even see it happening. Other times, all we need is someone's growing belly or growing toddler to remind us that time moves on and babies get bigger. Families get bigger. Love multiplies. And God... well, we learn He's even greater than we thought.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Hybrid Mom

In a world where everything and everyone must have a label, I don't really feel like I have a term that properly describes my days. When people ask what I "do" for a living, I usually spurt out something like: I am raising my son while working from home.

It's not a common concept, doing both. Most mommas are in a definitive camp--- stay-at-home, or working-outside-the-home. 

Yesterday I came across the term "hybrid mom"--- a combination of a stay-at-home mom, work-at-home mom, and work-outside the home mom. Sometimes I wish I had a definitive label--- either stay-at-home-mom or working-mom. That way, I might feel like my life were more balanced; people on the outside could understand my days a bit better if I were doing one or the other. But then I think, no way! I could not imagine doing just one or the other... at least right now anyway. Who knows how I'll feel if we are able to add more kids to this mix.

I found the hybrid-mom term in another blog I was reading. The author (Jamie Weitl) was able to communicate how I feel about being a hybrid-mom well. I highlighted the most true aspects for me below: 

There are definite positives to my hybrid mom life.  The flexibility is what makes it worth it.  If I don’t get my work done during the day, I can do it in the middle of the night.  If I want to attend my son’s preschool field trip or help with his school’s Thanksgiving dinner, that is always an option – I just pay for it later.  I also don’t have to pay full-time child care for my three children.  Currently, my son goes to preschool 5 mornings a week from 8:30 to 11:30 and my girls spend four of those mornings at a neighbors house which provides my work time.  Any work I don’t manage to accomplish while the kids are out of the house I attempt during nap or when they are sleeping.  This is difficult in many ways, but in my mind it’s still a positive because of the time I’m able to spend with my little ones.
One of the most difficult aspects for me is I never really fit in.  All of my mom friends seem to fit into one distinct category – either they stay home or they work outside the home.  I struggle to relate and empathize because for me the grass is always greener on the other side.  I’d love to be a traditional stay-at-home mom.  I dream about the cleaning and crafting I could accomplish if I didn’t need to work every second my children close their eyes.  I also feel like my stress level would be much lower – I actually do all of the things a stay-at-home mom does (including the crafting and the cooking) but I still work on top of those tasks.  My other friends, the working moms, give me those looks when I drop my son off for preschool in my sweatpants and ancient Crocs – those looks that say, “Wow, must be nice not to have to get dressed.”  But what they don’t realize is that I’m working just as many hours (if not more) than they are – only my job doesn’t fit neatly in a 40 hour work week.  I do paid work every day of the week – and there is no such thing as leaving work at work.  It all blends together into one big, never-ending to-do list.
This post is disjointed; I am not even fully done fleshing out this new term, hybrid mom. What do you think?

Perhaps I actually like it? I feel like I am never in one "camp" or the other (working mom or stay-at-home-mom) since I do both. Maybe I like finally having a label.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Car Shopping with Baby Gabe

Sometimes, having a baby in tow helps. Yes, carrying a baby in the grocery store or to church can often be a bit hairy. But... let me tell you... bringing your baby car shopping is the way to go!

Chris's Jeep finally took a dive, after fourteen solid years. We new we couldn't afford to go buy a brand new car, but we wanted a quality used SUV of sorts.

As Chris takes 99.3 million years to make a decision (even if only deciding on a blender), I knew we were in for some trouble. The fact that the Jeep's driver side car door was refusing to shut increased the need for a new vehicle, and fast.

So... what did we do? We brought Gabe with us car shopping.

I know how car dealers work. The whole back-and-forth about the price and the "let me check with my manager" crap. Come on! Give me the real price already!

When you have a baby in tow, things have no choice but to progress at a speed faster than light. Just the view of a squirming, screaming child scares male car dealers.

So here's how we played it:

Me: "Hi! We have a really small window here to look at cars today. We definitely need a car, and if we can get the right price, we are ready to purchase today."

Dealer: "Wow. Okay. Today?"

Me: "Yes, preferably before Gabe wakes up from his nap." (Dealer looks at innocent, chubby baby sleeping in car seat). 

We tell the dealer our specifics (having already researched online, knowing the dealership's inventory and list prices).

Dealer: "Well.. hmm... let me take a look and see what we can do."

Me: "Okay. But make it speedy! (I dramatically glance at Gabe, making it appear that I am looking at a literal ticking time bomb).

So the dealer comes back with some options, all of which are over our price range. We choose the car that we had researched online (checked the CarFax, compared the price to Kelly Blue Book etc.)

Chris: "Can I test drive that one?"

The dealer grabs the keys and pulls the car up. We brought an extra car seat base so all we had to do was transfer the car seat (with Gabe still sleeping in it) into the "new" car.

We set off for the test drive, asked questions while driving etc. I sat in the back next to Gabe, looking over everything in the back. Chris drove and checked out the front.

Ten minutes later, we were back at the dealership.

Chris: "So, what is your final asking price."

Dealer: "Well, ah, you can see it there on the sticker."

Gabe, as if on cue, miraculously starts waking up.

Chris: "Oh, well, if that is your final price, we thank you for the test drive, but we can't do that price."

Dealer: "Well, what price were you thinking?"

Chris lays out the specifics for him. Meanwhile, Gabe starts softly whimpering from the car seat. The dealer glances at Gabe, fear slowly starting to grab hold of him that this baby just might poop, cry, or spit in his direction.

Dealer: "Let me go talk to my boss."

Me: "Okay, but seriously, we have about a ten minute window here before we have to go. Gabe gets really mean, really fast! 

The dealer comes back with a price, miraculously two thousand below his earlier "final" price. Chris says not low enough. I grab the diaper bag and start to head for the door to leave.

Dealer: "So you don't think there is any way to make this work?" (He stares at the now fully crying Gabe)

Chris: "Well, not tonight. Thanks for the drive. Please give me a call if you can get closer to our price."

We leave. Drive home. I feed Gabe. About 45 minutes later, we get a call with a now even lower price. It's in our ballpark. We accept. Done deal.

Ahh.... that was the fastest, most efficient car shopping experience ever. Thanks, Gabe!

Side note: Knowing Chris's car was on its last legs, we had been researching cars for about six months. We knew what we wanted (type, mileage, price etc) and pounced when the time was right. Plus, Gabe clearly accelerated the process! 

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Breastfeeding and/or Formula Feeding

Please note that I didn't title this post, "Breastfeeding VS Formula Feeding."

Just as there are specifically defined "camps" on the stay-at-home-mom VS working mom issue, there are stern camps regarding how babies "should" be fed.

At six months post birth, I feel like I can actually write about this topic with some clarity. 

The women in my family (mother, sister-in-laws, aunts, cousins etc) have all been avid breastfeeding mothers. When I was pregnant with Gabe, I assumed I would have no issues breastfeeding and as such, would join the ranks of happy breastfeeding mothers, both past and present.

I've posted before about Gabe and his LOVE of eating. Even now, as he has started baby food, he cries when the food is gone. The kid likes to eat. He has the cheeks to prove it.

When I began breastfeeding, I did so every two hours, round the clock. Literally, Gabe could have camped out on my chest and been happy. For the first month or two, that was fine. I wasn't really needing to do anything else besides care for him, (and occasionally shower), so boob-camping was totally fine. But then, I got really, really tired of doing it myself. 

No one else can "help" you breastfeed. It is nothing that Chris can step up and do at 3 AM. Yes, there were moments were I felt so at peace, with my baby, peacefully eating in my arms. But then, there were other moments, where he frantically sucked away, acting like he hadn't been fed in four days. 

There is nothing worse, as a new mom, than feeling like you can't FEED YOUR BABY and SATISFY him. 

We used a pacifier between feedings to "trick" him into sucking on something other than me. He figured out quickly that the pacifier did not fill up his ever-groaning stomach. 

I tried to keep up to his demand by pumping on top of the every two to three hour feedings. Literally, my boobs were either occupied by Gabe or a pump 24-7. 

This, friends, was not sustainable for me. "They" (meaning all the books/websites I read) said that the more that is demanded from your breasts, the more they produce. I think that might be true for some, but it wasn't for me. I just always felt like Gabe wasn't satisfied or getting enough.

At one early visit to our pediatrician, I explained this. I explained that Gabe literally was an additional appendage growing from my chest, sucking the life out of me. Breastfeeding bliss? Yeah right.

My pediatrician looked at me with sweet, non-judgmental eyes. "Have you ever considered supplementing with formula? You could take "off" a feeding. Have Chris give the baby a bottle of formula and you and your breasts, take a breather."

Oh my gosh. Why had I not even entrained this idea? Because I am a perfectionist. I didn't want my family/friends/random stranger mothers to think I was not doing EVERYTHING "right." 

Guess what? I found out that taking a break from breastfeeding and supplementing with formula every night around the dinner hour was a necessity for my sanity. Chris could come home and feed Gabe while I chilled out and enjoyed some time AWAY from a sucking baby.

The other aspect of supplementing with a formula bottle occasionally was that it gave me peace of mind. Perhaps I wouldn't have extra breastmilk on hand or perhaps we would be traveling and I couldn't produce enough to satisfy Gabe. Bringing some formula in the diaper bag gave me PEACE of mind, something that I have now found to be PRICELESS.

There are other times when I breastfeed Gabe and I think he just needs to be "topped off," so I give him an additional few ounces of formula. This happens most often at bedtime, when my milk supply is at its lowest. The formula "topper" eases my mind and fills up Gabe's belly a bedtime.

I could count on more than two hands the number of times I've been asked if I breastfeed or formula feed. Why do people care so much? On multiple occasions, Chris's grandmother has asked me, "Is that (referring to a bottle) YOURS or is it formula? Why does it matter!?!

If someone has the answer to that question, please let me know. 

Sometimes, PEACE and a baby with a FULL tummy is more highly desired than worrying about the judgement that may come from women whom have nothing else to do but evaluate your milk production or lack thereof.

Even now, at six moths, I still supplement with formula, about one feeding per day. It gives me a break and it allows other people to feed Gabe. It is a win-win for everyone!

Whatever your choice, do what is best AND MOST PRACTICAL for you. Don't worry about women onlookers, who in all seriousness, need to get a life. 

Be confident in your choice. You're doing a GREAT job caring for your baby! 

**If you were wondering about my specific formula choice, the recommendation of my pediatrician, here it is: 

Friday, February 14, 2014


I know I haven't posted in a while. I'm sorry for that.

I know you know I've been busy with Gabe and work and Chris and life...

I was telling my mom the other day, "Wow, this is the most tired I've ever been in my life." And what's funny was that Gabe had actually slept through the night the night before. The tired of which I was speaking was not a sleep deprived tired, but more of a mentally drained, physically exhausted, need-to-sit-in-silence-for-at-least-ten-minutes tired.

This past week alone I lost my car keys and my cellphone. Yes, it appears I am 89 years old. After three days of using the spare car keys and getting into the house using the garage door opener, I found my keys. In the bottom of the diaper bag. The exact place I had looked thirteen times for them.

Two days later, when Gabe was down for his afternoon nap (YES- hello! He naps for at least 1 hour now!! Major breakthrough!) I realized I hadn't checked my phone all day. It wasn't on my nightstand. It wasn't on any visible surface around the house. Hmm. Where could it be? I called it using our house phone, hoping to hear it ringing or vibrating somewhere. And then... I remembered it was on silent.

The next afternoon, I found it. In Gabe's sock drawer. 

Whilst my brain cells may be deteriorating, my heart is full. I fall asleep each night before ten (not kidding) exhausted in a new way I've never experienced. 

The phone conversation with my mom about my exhaustion ended with her saying, "You know, I remember that feeling. I remember those YEARS. Looking back now, I see what a treasure they were."

Something for me to keep in mind. Hopefully I can remember do to so! 

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Making this sink in...

These words are so true, but the actual life application is difficult, one I'm working on. I'm thinking of printing out this quote and posting it all over my house this week.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Rough Day

It's been a long week. A cold, long week. With record low temps, Gabe and I have been inside for most of the week. Coupled with the cold temperature has been Gabe's cold (as in stuffy nose). Maybe it's not a cold. Teething? Who knows. Anyhow, he hasn't been himself. It's been a tough week for me, as he hasn't slept well and when he has been awake, he's only wanted to be held. It's hard to work from home when you're constantly holding a little insomniac.

I know I've written posts about the glorious days of motherhood, the ones where I simply can't believe I get the amazing opportunity to be a mother...

Today is not one of those posts. I'm allowed to vent here too. I'm just being honest.

Yesterday, I was feeling like the walls were caving in around us. Even my dog Stuart felt the same. So, I loaded Gabe and Stu into the car (layers and all) and decided to run some mindless errands. It was my hope that Gabe would fall asleep in the backseat, leaving Stu and I to enjoy the quiet.

False. No such luck.

I stopped at the recycling center, got gas for the car, and was on my way to the automatic car wash (My life of luxury, friends. Be jealous). As I pulled up to the car wash bay, I saw Gabe's eyes fall shut.


I pulled into the bay and the water began hitting the windshield. My quiet peace was ever so short-lived as Stu, in the backseat, began to flip out. Having forgotten that my neurotic boxer had yet to ride through an automatic car wash, I reached back to pet him to calm him (and to hopefully, keep him quiet so Gabe wouldn't wake up).

After a few failed attempts at curtailing psycho dog, things really went down hill. I'll spare you the details but please picture this: dog vomit on the interior of my car, a crying baby, and me, sitting in the front seat, driving home at warp speed to clean in inside of my now outwardly shining Subaru. Oh the irony.

Last night, after putting Gabe to sleep, I poured a large glass of wine and sat in the bathroom. Alone. After about twenty minutes, I was a new woman.

Today, I'm thankful for new mornings, Pinot Noir, carseat upholstery cleaner, and my God (not in that order).

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

"A nose only a mother could love"

Growing up, anytime I had a cold, I remember my mom looking at my snotty, wet nose saying, "Well, that is a nose only a mother could love!"

I totally get that now! Gabe has his first cold and is a snotty mess. He can't breathe when he's eating and has even woken himself from sleep through his own loud snores! Poor guy!

I used to look at little kids' snotty noses and think: Eww. Gross.

I look at Gabe's nose and love him more! Yep. A nose only a mother could love!