April 30, 2012

playing parrot

As Malcolm becomes more verbal, I've come to the realization that I need to watch what I say around him.

Just the other afternoon, we were both in the master bedroom as I got dressed for the day.  I pulled out a (non-maternity) shirt from my dresser and proceeded to put it on.

"Ugh.  Too tight!"  I said to my reflection in the mirror as I removed the shirt and put it away.  I guess I'm not quite "there" yet when it comes to getting back into some of my old wardrobe options ...  Being between sizes stinks!

Jump ahead a couple days to when my husband, Malcolm, and I were all in the master bedroom together (Pearl was sleeping in her room, just so you don't think we intentionally left her out!).  We weren't doing anything specific ...  I think I was putting laundry away and my husband was cleaning up from work.  Malcolm was just hanging out with us, milling around and climbing on and off of the bed.

"Too tight!"  He exclaimed out of nowhere.  "Green ...  Too tight!"

My husband, not knowing what he was talking about, looked puzzled.

I, however, had to smile.

Someone was paying attention to my clothing dilemma!

While (obviously) no big deal, I can see that this is just the start of something much, much greater in our household.  All too soon, we'll have a parrot on our hands.  A little person repeating anything and everything that we say.

It's just another reminder that Malcolm is growing every day.

He is not the baby of the house anymore (both literally and figuratively).  He is turning into a "big boy" through and through, and, before I know it, I'll be having conversations with him.

What a crazy thought!

It's almost as crazy as me thinking I'd fit into one of my "normal" shirts less than two months after giving birth ...

April 27, 2012

snuggly cuddler

At six weeks old, this is how she prefers to spend her time ...

Attached to me.

And, although I talked a big game about "clingy babies" and how I wouldn't accommodate them all the time,  I have to say that I don't mind one bit.

April 26, 2012

sous chef

It doesn't matter where he is, or who he is with ...  At two-and-a-half, Malcolm always wants to "help."

So, when my husband takes residence in the kitchen to prepare our family a delicious meal, Malcolm grabs his little stool and is right there along side him.

Long-sleeved tee-shirt: Old Navy (thrifted for $0.50)
Sweatpants: Jumping Beans (thrifted for $1.50)  
Socks: Old Navy (gift)

Using the food processor or coffee bean grinder?

Malcolm wants to push the buttons.

Using dried spices?

Malcolm wants to shake the containers.

Peeling garlic?

Malcolm wants to roll the garlic peeling device.

Need a cookbook?

Malcolm will happily bring it over.

I'm sure he'd also be happy to help cut, or chop, or any of the other cooking tasks that are more appropriate for adults, but, for now, he seems satisfied with a front row seat.

I wonder how old he should be before we really put him to work ...

April 25, 2012

milking it

About a month ago, Lauren posed some questions about breastfeeding on her blog.

Being caught up in the hustle and bustle of having a new baby around (and doing a lot of breastfeeding myself!), I didn't find the time to respond via comments, so I thought I'd describe my own experiences in a post.

This is a mommyblog, afterall!

First, I should preface by saying that choosing to breastfeed my children was an easy choice for me. Not only would it be cheap (no formula to buy!), but it would also eliminate any middle-of-the-night, half asleep, bottle preparations ... And, it would be good for my baby.

What's better than that, really?

I also had a lot of support from many of the women in my family ...  Cousins, mothers, aunts, sisters-in-law ... Some may have been a little too supportive, to the point of giving me (outdated?) "exercises" that I could do to make my breasts feeding-ready when my baby arrived, but, overall, every little bit of information I could glean from their experiences (with the exception of those "exercises") was helpful.

Next, I should add that, in addition to being an easy choice, breastfeeding is also a very easy practice for me.  I am a human milk machine.  Without doing anything special, I produce more than enough for my babies ... And then some!  In the first week alone, I end up with a freezer-full of pumped milk (just to alleviate some of the pain and discomfort of the ridiculous engorgement that results from my milk coming in) ...  And, even when the engorgement period is over and things have scaled back a bit, I still make too much milk (often causing coughing and near-choking once it really starts letting down).  I guess it's a good problem to have ...

When Malcolm was an infant, and as a breastfeeding beginner, I tried my best to be discreet and careful about how I fed him.  I got a cute little "modesty cover" at my baby shower and often used it, even when I was at home ...  But as soon as he hit about three months old and became aware of his surroundings, all bets were off.  It didn't help that Malcolm was a bit of an over-enthusiastic latcher ...  He'd root around spastically, barely grabbing on before my milk would let down, then sometimes letting go and then having to root some more.  A flurry of breast pads and receiving blankets helped to keep things under control (most of the time), but did not aid in my hopes of being discreet ...  And, even if he had a quick and successful latch, Malcolm could easily be overwhelmed by the sheer quantity of milk that would flow out as he was nursing.

In the full year that he nursed, I think I found a pretty happy medium of feeding him comfortably, and remaining somewhat covered up (although I didn't use anything more than the shirt I was wearing, and, of course, had access to a receiving blanket that was there to mop up any mess).  I never nursed in overly-crowded, public places (restaurants, shopping centers etc.), but I felt just fine feeding him in the living room at a friend's house, or even at the beach while on vacation.  And, having such a plentiful supply, I could easily pump a bottle to bring along whenever we left the house (a much less-stressful and less messy alternative).

With Pearl, it's more of the same.  She is equally, if not more over-enthusiastic, when it comes to latching on, so there are many moments where milk is flowing everywhere.  That means that everything is pretty much "out there" when she is eating, so that I can get her back in place more easily should the need arise.

Overall, while I feel like I'm much more well-versed (today) in the whole breastfeeding experience that I was three years ago, I'd have to say that I'm no more likely to go out and nurse in public. 

I guess, like Lauren in her post, I don't want to make other people feel uncomfortable, and I certainly don't want to make a spectacle of myself when my baby inadvertently or intentionally lets go and milk starts flying everywhere (which is not an exaggeration) ...  Seriously. 

Nothing screams "look at me and my exposed boob!" more than a woman scrambling to help her choking baby and reduce the flow of milk (which caused said choking) at the same time. So, until I get a bit of control over my milk supply and things tone themselves down a bit (around the six month old mark), it is just easier for me to nurse in the comfort of my own home and to bring a bottle along for any feedings that may pop up when I'm out in public. 

As natural and normal as I think breastfeeding is, I don't feel the need to be the "face" of breastfeeding when I am out of my house ...  Especially since things can go so comically wrong sometimes!

April 20, 2012

testing the waters

Malcolm's been showing a tiny bit more interest in Pearl lately ...

To say I'm overwhelmed by the cuteness would be an understatement!

April 19, 2012

heart pants

I'm pretty sure the average person has heard of "hot pants."

I can't say that I own a pair myself ... I have some jeans that (prior to my most recent pregnancy) fit nice and snugly, but I wouldn't say that they are particularly "hot."

"Flattering" would probably be a better term for them.

Anyway, having another girl in the house has made my mind jump fifteen years into the future and caused me to prematurely worry (or just plain think about) some of the issues I may have to face with my daughter ...

Gender biases.

Self esteem.


Mean girls.

Overtly sexual clothing.

Luckily, for now, these things are of little consequence and I can easily pull the strings and make the decisions for Pearl. I've got a couple of years before she starts to develop preferences and exert her independence as a toddler ...

Good practice for when she is a teenager?

(God, help me!)

Which brings me back to the "hot pants" I spoke of earlier ... I want to go on record as saying that I plan on banning (and definitely will not spend my own money to purchase) any sort of pants with writing across the backside.

Be it completely benign or provocative innuendo ... My sweet little girl doesn't need a billboard on her butt!

People can find their reading material elsewhere!

Yet, despite these strong feelings for attention-grabbing fashions, I can make a small exception for the "heart pants" (definitely not "hot pants") pictured in today's post.

Onesie: Carter's (hand-me-down)
Pants: Carter's (hand-me-down)
Socks: Walmart (pack of ten for $6.00)

As you can see, they are cute (instead of questionable).

April 16, 2012

pearl: one month

On Sunday, Pearl turned one month old.

It is hard to believe that it has (already) been that long ...

Or short ...

(I can't seem to make up my mind!)

At any rate, I thought I'd document her first year of growth on this here blog.

Height: 20.5 inches
Weight: 9 pounds

It will be fun (if not a bit depressing) to look back after a year to see how much she has changed!

April 13, 2012

totally typical

Put these two together and you're bound to see at least a few shenanigans ...

Even on (an otherwise subdued) Easter Sunday!

April 12, 2012

coordinated cuties

This Easter was our first big chance to step out as a family of four, so I did what any (normal) mother would do ...

I pieced together (somewhat) coordinating outfits for my children!

Dress shirt:
Old Navy (thrifted for $0.75)
Khaki pants: Cherokee (hand-me-down)
Socks: Circo ($1.00)
Shoes: Converse (thrifted for $1.00)

Polka-dot jacket: Circo (part of three piece set for $11.00)
Long-sleeved undershirt: Gerber (pack of three for $6.00)
Onesie: Circo (part of three piece set for $11.00)
Stretch pants: Circo (part of three piece set for $11.00)
Socks: Walmart (pack of ten for $6.00)

The only thing that would have made my creations better (children and outfits!) is if I could have snapped a coveted "sibling photo" of the two of them snuggling together.

Unfortunately, Malcolm wasn't feeling it.

Maybe we'll get lucky next time we have an excuse to "dress up" ...

April 11, 2012


It's been about four weeks as a family of four.

As seems to be the case with children (new babies in particular), it has seemed like a blink of an eye, but also an eternity at the exact same time.

Pearl has worked her way into our family quite well ... She's a little more "clingy" and "cuddly" than Malcolm was at her age, but she is just as laid-back and easy going. She sleeps pretty well, giving me stretches of 3-3.5 hours between feedings at night, and is already filling out from said feedings ... Her cheeks are starting to get adorably puffy! I can't wait for the rest of her to plump up a bit, too! There's nothing cuter than a chubby baby!

While Malcolm hasn't really embraced having a sister (he mostly just ignores her), there haven't been any sibling-related meltdowns. I'm sure he'll warm up eventually, but, until then, I enjoy having him as "my little helper." He likes grabbing things for me when I'm "stuck" feeding the baby, and he has helped to burp and bathe her on occasion. He's even "shared" his blanket, Spot, for short spurts of time ... As predicted, he is shaping up to be quite the big brother!

But, probably the most unexpected thing about our expansion to a family of four, is how effortless (and I'm probably jinxing myself with this) and easy everything has been so far.

I'm getting a decent amount of sleep (not nearly as much as I would like, but I am able to function) ... And, sometimes, we all go down for naps at the same time in the afternoon!

I've been able to run errands and go to multiple doctor's appointments with both kids in tow, without any major disturbances.

We've survived our first holiday (Easter).

Our day-to-day routine has become pretty established.

Having two, easy-going (and well rested!) kids is definitely part of the formula for success ... But, I certainly can't discount our wonderful families and friends and all of the support we have been given over this past month. Meals, nights alone with the baby (while Malcolm enjoys some overnight grandparent time), and even simple "I'm thinking of you" phone calls ...

We are so lucky!

In addition, I also have to give lots of credit to my partner through everything ... My wonderful husband. He is truly a natural and has really jumped into the "father of two" role head first. One moment he is occupying Malcolm with rambunctious games in the backyard, and the next he is quietly soothing Pearl to sleep ...

I knew I had a "keeper" a long time ago, and I often thought about how things would be once we had kids of our own, but it is so rewarding to actually see these moments materialize and become real.

To really live them.


So, yes, these past four weeks have been good to us ...

Full of lots of living, and growing, and loving.

I only hope that the next four (and the four after that, and the four after that ...) are just as wonderful!

April 6, 2012

small resemblance

Most of the time, when I look at her, I can't tell who she looks like.

(A little like Malcolm, maybe?)

Other times, though, I see a little bit myself in her tiny features ...

And I wonder if this is what having a daughter is all about.

April 5, 2012

my little dough boy

Keeping Malcolm occupied isn't (usually) all that difficult. He's so easygoing that even tired, everyday toys can be turned into hours of fun (if you play your cards right).

Even so, the introduction of a new toy can add a bit of fun for both of us.

With Pearl being at the stage where all she wants to do is eat and sleep in two hour increments, we are more or less trapped at home ... So, today, I was excited to pull out the bucket of "Play Doh" that Malcolm received as a Christmas gift.

Needless to say, he loved it.

Tee-shirt: Mimo & Co (thrifted for $0.50)
Long sleeved tee-shirt: The Children's Place (thrifted for $1.00)
Sweatpants: Jumping Beans (thrifted for $1.50)
Socks: Old Navy (gift)

Although he thought he was making cookies at first (and almost consumed a blob of neon pink dough), he quickly caught on that it wasn't real food.

Ultimately, I'm not sure which I enjoyed more ... Watching him work or hearing him exclaim "No eat!" over and over again!

April 4, 2012

malcolm and me

It's nice to know that I can still have a bit of quality time with my biggest baby, now that the new baby has arrived ...

All it takes is a little thing called "nap time."