Monday, May 30, 2011


Breastfeeding has officially become effortless. (*And the crowd cheers*) I now prefer to breastfeed over giving the baby a bottle of breast milk. Much like the baby blues, the scariest part of breastfeeding was not knowing when it would get better.

It seems to be much more common than I thought and I've noticed that many of my large-breasted friends have this problem. I went from a large D to a G overnight. My new gargantuan breasts were cracked and bleeding around the clock, and it felt as if I was carrying around throbbing boulders.

It took me almost 3 months and 5 lactation consultants to get comfortable with breastfeeding. It didn't hurt that long, but that's when I started feeling confident with breastfeeding. I realize now that all I really needed to do was relax. I almost gave up a hundred times. I kept telling myself, "I just have to get to two months". Once I was there, it felt easier so I stuck it out a little longer. Now my goal is to get to 6 months and with the way things are going, we will probably get the once seemingly unobtainable goal of a year.

Now, I nurse Cooper all day and try to only give him a bottle of breast milk if we're out and about, or right before bed (he gets full fast and sleeps through the night). Since I have large breasts, I don't always feel comfortable whipping out a boob when in public, even with the feeding cover I have. It's rather difficult for me to situate and I usually end up flashing someone some titty.

I am so happy I stuck it out. I have so much respect for nursing mothers now. It's easy to feel hopeless when it comes to breastfeeding and there is a saddening sense of guilt associated with not being a master breast feeder; both from inside and from people who don't know what you're going through and are quick to judge.

So, bravo new mommies, bravo.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Unwinding the Tightly Wound

My son Cooper will be three months a few days from now and I can just now feel myself begin to chill out. I didn't realize until now how tightly wound up and frazzled I was for the first couple months after Cooper was born. I am still learning to take it easy and not get frustrated with certain things.

A very important role model gave me the best advice, and it was simple. "Go with the flow" she said. "Don't stress about the little things because the time goes by fast". I have been repeating "go with the flow" to myself when I start to get stressed, if something doesn't go as planned, or if Cooper has a meltdown (which is rare). It's easier said than done, especially if you're as anal as I am. But I'm getting better.

Breastfeeding has gotten easier. I was feeling so hopeless, but now I realize how proud of myself I am for sticking it out. My son has gotten the best head-start possible because I wouldn't give up. I made it work, even if I had to do it differently.

We're sleeping again. Cooper recently started sleeping through the night, just when I thought I'd never sleep a full night again.

It all gets easier, even when it starts to feel like you're a sucky mommy for complaining so much.

It truly brings tears to my eyes when I think about the last three months, from the day I was induced until now. It saddens me to see how fast the time has gone. On the other hand, it brings me more joy than I could ever describe to see Cooper change and grow. I was listening to the children's radio station yesterday with Cooper and dancing with him. "What a wonderful world" came on and we slow danced while I sang along, teary eyed. At that exact moment I realized how precious life really is.

Now I just need to focus on my health so I can be strong and active for my little bruiser. The most important thing about this condition is to relax. Stress has been a major contributor to my condition in the past and I need to do whatever I can to make my life less stressful and enjoy every second possible. I know what steps I need to take and what changes in my life need to happen.

Life is good. Very good.

Friday, May 13, 2011

We're Growing!!

I'm pretty enamoured with my garden. I love seeing hard work pay off. In the raised bed we have a lot going on! Below, we have cilantro, spinach, arugula, butter lettuce, Italian parsley, zucchini, basil, and jalapeno.

My Bay Friendly garden is coming along as well. I am so proud of it. I have only drought-resistant plants and California natives. Below, we have Lupin, Nemesia, Monkey Flower, Heuchera, Australian tea tree and Beard Tongue. I also sprinkled California Golden Poppy seed around, we'll see if it grows. I can't wait for the plants to get bigger. Next, I'm going to dig a small trench and put in a brick border. I am so excited for my garden!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Barley and Black Bean Salad

My dinner was amazing tonight and I thought I'd share it with you all. It was super easy to make.

Tonights tasty Barley and Black Bean Salad includes:

3 cups cooked pearl barley
1 cup cooled black beans
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1/2 cup unsalted, roasted sunflower seeds
1/4 cup sliced almonds
2 chopped scallions
1 can Trader Joes artichoke hearts (in water), chopped
Sea salt to taste
Two cap fulls of Newman's Lite Sundried Tomato Vinaigrette (or your choice of vinaigrette)

Damn that was good.

Big Jet Plane

I'm in love with this song, even if it is on a Maybelline commercial.

Angus and Julia Stone - Big Jet Plane from kirill dolmatov on Vimeo.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Spin Spin Sugar!

I'm back!

I went to my first spin class in over a year last week and it felt amazing to be back. I thought I would have a horrible time, like I did my very first spin class... but I did really well. I didn't hold back once and was very proud of myself when it was all done. I actually thought about not going and then coincidentally ran into my spin instructor that day.

Now that my butt bones no longer feel bruised, I'll back in spin class tomorrow. I can wait to get rid of this flab!!

How Does Your Garden Grow??

One of my favorite hobbies is gardening. I love to garden. When I moved in with Jory, I left behind a 300 sq. foot garden that took many, many hours of labor to perfect. When we moved into our new home I was very pregnant and couldn't wait until I would be able to garden again.

And now, I'm gardening again!

I knew I wanted to build another raised plant bed again, but I didn't want to buy redwood. Redwood is rot resistant, making it perfect for plant beds, but you never know if it's old growth or not when you buy it from somewhere like Home Depot. Thankfully, I was able to find this redwood from an old deck. It was going to be thrown away and I was able to recycle it. It made me feel good to use reclaimed wood, especially if it is precious redwood.

I made a design and started building.

My cheerleaders:

Lots and lots o' dirt:

Once the bed was complete, it needed to be placed. The corner posts protrude 6 inches from the bottom and go into the ground to stabilize the bed. Once it was placed, I filled it with dirt.

Oh, precious dirt:

My plant bed was complete. It is to be filled with organic veggies and herbs. But where would my flowers go? I would have to tear up some grass and make a flower area.

I tore up the grass and filled it in with mulch, which holds moisture and in turn saves water. The first plants in the flower bed are gardenia and Australian tea tree. Eventually I will fill it in with native California plants and other perennials.

In the raised bed I am germinating arugula, broccoli, spinach and California golden poppies (which will go in the flower bed). I also have a sweet basil and jalapeno plant, which will be planted tomorrow:

To help keep my organic garden pest free, I lined the raised bed with copper tape, which repels snails and slugs.

And that concludes the first chapter of my gardening saga. I am hoping to complete my checklist of Bay Friendly gardening criteria and get my Bay Friendly Garden plaque from the Bay Friendly coalition. Next, I'll be looking for a bird bath. Anyone have one they're tossing???