Saturday, January 25, 2014

First Time Playing in the Snow!

It was freeeezing so we didn't stay out long, but we took Jackson outside to play in the snow for the first time!

We actually don't have a snow suit in his current size  (He's still wearing some 12 mo and starting 18 mo clothes) so we dug around in our handmedown box of too-big stuff and found one-- a size 3T!  It was a little LOT too big on him but we made it work!

Haha ready to go!

He was pretty chill outside, just taking it all in!  I think he will love playing outside more when the weather is warm (and when he starts walking/running without help)  One of the many reasons I'm looking forward to SPRING!  Here's some pics I snapped while we were out...

There's about 5 inches or so out there now, It finally just stopped a few minutes ago!  Now we are warmed up inside and Jackson just went down for his afternoon nap.  It's a low key evening and a frozen pizza for dinner (definitely not going anywhere for now-- I guess the roads are really bad).

Hope everyone is staying warm!!!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Nursing Beyond One Year

We have passed my one year breastfeeding goal with flying colors.  As I am typing this Jackson is now 14 months old and we are still nursing.  I never really thought I would want to continue breastfeeding beyond the first year, but it's one of those things (there are several!) that I changed my mind about after becoming a mom.

So I already get some negative reactions about "STILL breastfeeding" and not "cutting him off" now.  I don't really get easily bothered by them-- I just either ignore it, avoid the topic, or simply state that the World Health Organization recommends breastfeeding until age 2 or beyond as long as mother and baby mutually still want to.  Some people though I think are just uneducated or genuinely curious about extended breastfeeding soooo I thought I'd address it and my thoughts and where we stand!

Firstly, I no longer pump and Jackson does drink cow's milk too.  When he turned 1 I wanted to be DONE pumping.  It was never particularly enjoyable but it became a stress for me from when 9-12 months my pumping output greatly decreased and so I had to pump on my short days and days off to get enough milk for Jackson when I was working.  It was a relief to wean myself off the pump and be able to give Jackson whole milk when I was away.  I also started giving it to him in the mornings before his first nap.  So during the day we are down to 2-3 nursing sessions.  First thing in the morning when he wakes up, before his afternoon nap sometimes, and then before bed.  Nighttime is another story and it's a crapshoot.  He can nurse anywhere from 1 to 4 or more times just depending on what kind of night we have sleep-wise.  I'll get to that in a minute...

I will say that the benefits of breastmilk don't end when the baby turns one year old.  It still gives Jackson plenty of antibodies and I don't worry so much when he goes through phases where he doesn't want to eat much because I know at least he is getting essential nutrients still (that cow's milk lacks). 

On the topic of weaning... many people who breastfeed beyond a year allow their child to self wean.  I'm not sure if that will happen for us on its own anytime soon.  Jackson very much likes to nurse still, especially before bed and during the night.  It's a source of comfort for him more than nutrition at this point.  I do have a sort of "plan" for weaning Jackson though.

Whenever I think about stopping breastfeeding completely it makes me sad.  In some ways it'll be nice-- to have my body completely back to myself all the time.  To not have Jackson so dependent on me for nighttime soothing.  To be able to have a couple drinks without trying to make sure I'm not going to need to nurse in the next however many hours.  But mostly, it's sad to think that this sweet time in our lives is coming to an end.  He's growing up sooo much and even if it brings more freedom for me, it is sad to think of my baby not "needing" me in that sense anymore.  It marks a transition from being a baby to a little boy.  I don't think either one of us is ready to stop right now, which is why we haven't made an effort to actively wean yet.  All good things must come to an end though and I do have a sort of "plan" to initiate weaning. 

My first step is to night-wean Jackson.  The only time I ever feel like I want to be done nursing it's those nights where he's not sleeping well, teething, etc. and wanting to nurse all stinkin' night which is exhausting (and my poor boobs just aren't up to that anymore!).  So naturally that's the time I want to cut out first!  We are planning on helping him learn to sleep in his own crib all night during Spring Break (last weekend in March).  Once he is successfully doing that, I have a feeling he will either naturally night wean himself or he will cut down to just one or two nursing sessions which I plan to cut out by having his Daddy soothe him back to sleep. After that we will just play it by ear.  When he turns 18 months old then I plan on gradually cutting out the remaining feedings until we are no longer nursing.

I'm super happy that we have made it beyond my original goal.  It's been an amazing journey I wouldn't trade for the world.  We aren't quite ready to give it up yet either!  

Monday, January 20, 2014

Baby on the loose!

Or should I say toddler on the loose cause that's what's happening around here!

Up until he turned 13 months old, Jackson wasn't very efficiently mobile.  That is, he could stand but usually needed help getting to a standing position-- and he hadn't truly figured out crawling.  He primarily got around by scooting/rolling.  And then he turned 13 months old and something in him clicked. 

He loves crawling around & in and out of his little car!

Emptying the kitchen drawers & cabinets is a new favorite activity!

His mobility has pretty much exploded in the last month (He's 14 months today, actually).  He can now crawl (full speed ahead too-- he's quick!)  and is pulling himself up and cruising along the furniture like a pro.  We have broken out the baby gates and put covers over the electrical outlets. 

He's even getting brave enough to hold on with one hand while standing and I've even tricked him into standing alone for a couple seconds.  I don't think it'll be much longer now before he is running through the house!

My little "jail bird"  Haha we have to use baby gates to keep him contained to the living room now!

Oh and one last exciting thing?  He's finally got enough hair for a bedhead! 
Haha love it-- when it's freshly washed he has little curls back there.  I'm holding off on cutting it though til I can get a good size lock to save.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Polar Vortex, nap transitions, & stomach bugs!

Whoo so this year has gotten off to an interesting start.

First of all we got a bit of a snowstorm here, not a ton but enough to cancel school after only one day back from Christmas break.  Then that was followed by a HUGE drop in temperature ("Polar Vortex" as some news person meteorologist called it).  I'm talking subzero, record lows, for most of the country.  Here the windchills got to be as much as 20 below zero (Fahrenheit).  So that in turn canceled school Monday and Tuesday of this week.  Today (Wednesday) it got a bit warmer, more seasonable for our area in the 20s.  But school was still canceled because many in the county had problems with frozen pipes and old boiler heaters which could NOT compete with that kind of cold.  So we got another glorious day off!

View out our front window

I've had so much fun though being home with my baby boy!

The only downside to this whole thing is that we also dealt with a stomach bug in this house!  Jackson woke us up at 4am on Tuesday by throwing up in our bed  (changing sheets at that ungodly hour while consoling a sleepy sick baby was no fun).  He then continued to throw up a few more times until the last time at 8:30am shortly after waking up for the day.   He didn't have a fever (thank goodness).  He was able to keep down some juice and then later that day was able to nurse some too.  Today he's been feeling better, except he still doesn't have much of an appetite.  But last night was MY turn to get it.  Around bedtime I was starting to feel a little blah but then around midnight I woke up and proceeded to lose all of MY dinner.  No fun at all!  After today I have felt ok, not 100% but functioning. 

My sick boy watching Toy Story from his wagon lol

Another thing on our days off we have been trying is seeing if Jackson is ready to transition to one nap from two.  I had been wondering because he was seeming to get tired later in the morning, and then fighting his afternoon nap.  He also hasn't been sleeping great at night so I didn't know if that had something to do with it or not.  We tried it yesterday and it went OK... he started getting tired around 11, I kept him up as long as I could, till about 11:45 when he went down for about an hour and 45 minutes.  NOT long enough for that being the only nap of the day.  So I knew the evening would be rough.  He started getting tired again around 4:30/5 but we tried to power through until bedtime.  Finally at 6:30 he was falling asleep on Brew after dinner (which is rare, he has to be DEAD tired to just fall asleep like that) so I put him to bed, a little worried about whether he'd think it was another nap but he slept decently well (woke up about the same amount of times as usual) and he woke up a little earlier than normal the next day.   Sooo, that said I'm not convinced he is ready yet.  Four hours of awake time really seems like his max he can handle, and unless that changes soon or he starts taking a three plus hour nap, I don't think it'll work.  We don't want to have to put him to bed at 6 or 6:30 every night, so the next week or two we are going to just try and pay attention to his cues and reset his schedule to what he needs and see what happens!  He has been on this napping schedule for several months now so we'll see how it goes!