Happy 2nd Birthday Jo! + 12 Things I love about her right now

dsc02771Hello readers!

February 12 was a very special day ♡ My little girl turns the big 2! I cannot believe it! I remember the day she turned 1 like it was yesterday, where has the year gone? No matter how old she gets, she will always be my little 6lb 11oz baby! Since Jo is born on the 12th of February, I decided to write 12 things I love about her right now!

  1. When I walk into the room, she looks at me and says, “Hi boo!”
  2. Her favorite fruit is apples, I can never keep them in the house!
  3. She is a fashionista! She loves to pick out her own outfits!
  4. She loves to be helpful, especially since mama can’t pick up anything from the floor anymore (Pregnant people problems).
  5. Bath time is her favorite time of day!
  6. She is becoming a little clean freak (like daddy!)
  7. Whenever we are out in public, she likes to say Hi and Bye to everyone.
  8. Her eyes light up whenever we say the word, “playground.”
  9. She has a genuine love for all animals! I think her favorite animal are cats right now.
  10. She is scared of all things insects, especially spiders! Just like mama.
  11. I love how she calls broccoli, “green candy” whoops!
  12. She loves to laugh, dance, and soaks up knowledge like a sponge!

Thank you all for reading as always, everyone have a great day! xoxo

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Over the weekend

We had a pretty quick weekend visiting family in San Francisco.

On Saturday it was our nieces Crystal’s 4th birthday (Jovie’s favorite cousin and best friend) and we had so much fun, and ate so much food! Chicken and fish katsu, pork curry, lumpia, samosas, chow mein, and all the dessert and candy you can ask for. It was definitely a gluttonous day when it came to food! Then we spent the night binge watching some more Bates Motel!

Jovie saw all of her extended family at the party, and I totally forgot that Chinese New Year of the Rooster was last weekend, so everyone is handing her red envelopes! Now this girl has more luck and more money than me ♡

Sunday we came back to Plumas Lake to watch the Super Bowl and to get ready for the new week! And seriously, how about that game!? Falcons were in the lead by 25! WOWZERZ!!! Any who, it’s more fun to watch when your teams are not playing hehe. And how about that Gaga performance? LOVED!

Now to get all of this baby stuff out of storage, do lots of laundry since all of this stuff haven’t been touched in a year, and organize for little girls arrival! I am guessing 3-5 weeks for her to make her debut.

And still, no baby name yet! Eek

xoxo

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Monday Motivation (Feb 6, 2017)

If someone came up to you and told you they don’t like you, who has the problem here? Not you!

You are not going to please everyone in life that you approach. You can be the same exact person to two different people, but one may like you, and the other may not. But that’s ok, that’s life. Everyone will view you differently, everyone has different views, that’s what makes all of us different.

Just be yourself, don’t try too hard, and ignore the unnecessary bull. That will make you a stronger person at the end of the day.

xoxo

Why my husband and I don’t buy each other Valentines day gifts

valday-1I questioned whether or not to write this blog post, but I figured, hey! This is our life, and it’s our truth.

I follow a lot of other blogs on social media and I have happened to see a pattern of “Valentines day gifts ideas for him or her” and I almost wanted to create one, just because I thought it was a cute idea. But then I thought, wait a minute, Jack and I don’t even buy each other anything for Valentines day, so why bother. That wouldn’t be true to myself.

The main reason we don’t buy each other gifts is simple: minimalism.

I am not against Valentines Day at all, I love celebrating all holidays. I will have two girls who I would want to embrace and celebrate each holiday when they grow up. I guess what I am trying to say is, we are just bad for the economy when it comes to gifts lol.

Jack and I have been married for almost 10 years. We’ve been through our fair share of fancy Valentines days, with the big expensive gifts involved. But come spring time, while we are doing our yearly spring cleaning, these things just end up getting donated. They are either collecting dust or just never being used. And that money we spent, we could have saved.

It really makes you think. So over the years, we realized, we don’t need to prove our love for each other with gifts. A nice simple dinner is fine with us, nothing special.

Jack and I learned to just appreciate each other, appreciate the things we have, and make smart money choices while doing so. We learned to not care about material items, and focus on not having any clutter in the house. This is what brings Jack and I together lol sounds silly I know. We just love not buying each other gifts.

It is very easy to get caught up with social media and get influenced by how everyone else is celebrating a certain holiday with their loved ones. And I’m not knocking anyone down for how they celebrate it with each other, you do you. It’s just not our thing anymore.

Just wanted to share since the thought was fresh on my mind. Thanks for reading as always!

xoxo

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Pregnancy Fatigue

pfGrowing a tiny human is exhausting!

Pregnancy fatigue is currently my struggle in life right now. It is the one thing I can count on, not only in the first trimester, but also in the third (35 weeks).

Last night, I could barely cook dinner. I just wanted to lay on the couch and not move an ounce of my body. My lovely husband Jack offered to go out to grab take out, but I just couldn’t let him. I told him, “wait until baby comes, I am going to have you grab dinner every night.” So I pushed through the fatigue to cook for my family.

But in pregnancy, the fatigue is inevitable, thats for sure. With your hormone levels changing, and baby is now putting on lots of weight, I find myself beat! It is a struggle.

So here are some things that I find helped with my fatigue that I wanted to share:

More iron

I talked to my doctor about my fatigue and iron levels, and he approved an additional iron tablet. So that helped. Baby is stealing all of my nutrients!

Make better food choices

Choose high energy foods like: salmon, meat, oatmeal, apples, bananas, eggs, leafy greens, iron fortified cereal, nuts, and beans. Good thing I have been craving lots of these lately.

Don’t skip meals

I noticed when I skip or take too long to eat, my energy plummets and I am finding myself eating the first thing I can get my hands on, which is a no no. And I reach for the bad stuff! Keep track of your meals, it will help with avoiding crap and keep low energy at bay.

Get more rest

Sometimes, this may not be possible for every mama out there, but do whatever you can to get an extra nap in. It’s not going to make the fatigue go away, but it will help for the moment. Naps are always good, I don’t know anyone who hates naps ♡ Do whatever you gotta do!

5 more weeks (more or less) until this baby girl makes her world debut, and I am counting down the weeks because I am starting to feel very pregnant! 9 months is too long lol.

Thanks ya’ll for reading as always. Good luck to any mamas out there dealing with pregnancy fatigue! Please like, share, or repin. See you all next time! xoxo

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Exclusively Pumping for 1 year: My experience + tips & tricks

pinphoto1Ah, exclusively pumping…if you’ve done it, you know it’s not easy, but it is possible! I wasn’t planning on exclusively pumping with Jo when she was born, it kind of just happened by accident. I honestly didn’t know pumping full time was even an option! I didn’t find much info on this topic either, so I created this post, to help any mamas out there struggling with breastfeeding/pumping, plus shared my experience at the end of this post.

That first month is always tough, baby has to eat every 3 hours, and you have to keep up with pumping at the same rate to keep your supply up to baby’s rate. I was a walking zombie that first month, so sleep deprived! It is not going to be easy at first, but it does get better.

My typical pumping schedule for that first month (0-1 month) looked like this:

  • Pumped every 3 hours round the clock (15 min each breast)
  • 8 pumping sessions a day
  • Baby ate 2-3 oz bottles 8 times a day

At first, your supply will be colostrum, a thick yellowy liquid full of amazing nutrients for baby! It will also start out in a tiny amount, but thats okay! A teaspoon of colostrum is highly concentrated. But keep pumping like usual and your milk supply should come in in 2-3 days.

Your baby will also go through something called growth spurts, meaning baby will eat more frequently. I would try to establish a little stash of stored milk, it’s always good to have a little extra on hand.

Also, have a reliable pumping station dedicated to your pumping sessions. Some things you’ll need for your pumping station:

My typical pumping schedule for 2-12 months looked like this:

  • Pumped every 4 hours round the clock
  • 6 pumping sessions a day
  • 2 -6 month old baby ate 4-5 oz bottles 6 times a day
  • 6-9 month old baby ate 5-6 oz bottles 4 times a day
  • 9-12 month old baby ate 8 oz bottle 3 times a day

Yup, thats right, for the rest of the year my schedule didn’t change much. I was so use to it, it worked for me, it worked for us! And I had a hefty stash growing in my freezer.

By this time, your supply will grow and baby will eat higher volumes of breastmilk. I was a full-time stay at home mom so I got use to getting up once or twice a night to pump to keep my supply up. But if you notice your supply decreasing, this article I found on how to increase your supply can help.

One pet peeve I had about pumping was the endless dishes! Washing pumping parts and bottles all day long was exhausting! My husband’s least favorite part as well haha. But I learned some tricks to make it easier:

  • Reuse your pumping parts a few times before washing! After I was done pumping, I wiped the nipple shields and put the pumping parts in a ziplock bag and sticked it in the fridge until next use. Saved me so much time on washing dishes! I just washed them once at the end of each day.
  • Also, if you have a dish washer. There are Dishwasher baskets to hold all your little pumping and bottle parts in place so you can wash with ease. Only down side about this is you would need extra parts just incase you didn’t decided to turn on the dish washer that day (we use our dish washer every 2 days).

Do and don’ts about breastmilk:

  • Frozen milk can be left in the freezer for 6-12 months.
  • Thawed milk can be in the fridge up to 24 hrs.
  • Never refreeze milk.
  • Don’t shake bottles of breastmilk, rather STIR! Shaking will create bubbles and leave your baby gassy.
  • Don’t microwave bottles! Use a bottle warmer or hold it under warm running water for 5 minutes.

Finally, my favorite bottles were the Dr Browns bottles, they are amazing!

My experience:

When Jo was born Feb 12th, 2015, I wanted to exclusively breastfeed. I did not invest in any bottles or electric pump, I just thought, how hard can it be? I was a stay at home mom, so figured, I can do this. But let me tell you, it is difficult! My nipples were flat, Jo was not latching, then my nipples became cracked/sore, I seen a lactation consultant numerous times, I was in pain from just giving birth, my neck/back was in so much pain no matter what position I tried to nurse her, and I ended up in the emergency room with Mastitis. It was just miserable that first 2 weeks, but I did not want to quit, I was determined! I did not want to give up.

So I was fed up and needed to do something, I looked at Jack, all sleep deprived and stressed out, and told him to just go to Target, and to buy a Electric Breast Pump. He got back home, and I hooked it up right away to use it. It felt right, it felt a lot easier, and not painful at all. When I gave Jo her first bottle of that tiny 1 oz of milk, she was happy! So it became the new normal for us, I ended up exclusively pumping her for 1 year and 2 days and I have no regrets!

Oh the places I pumped in: airplanes, airport bathrooms, Disneyland, in a moving car during road trips, in closets, hotel rooms, restaurants, the list goes on. But you get use to it.

Sometimes I do wish I could have breastfed her exclusively, but I had to think about mama’s health as well. So in the end, it worked well for us. Mamas don’t feel beat if you cannot breastfeed, everyone is different, every situation is different, do what works best for you and focus on your health as well.

I am due in a couple months with our 2nd girl, and I am going to try to breastfeed her directly, but exclusively pumping is an option that I now know of.

And finally, reach out for support if you are still struggling. There are lots of helpful resources out there, or you can just shoot me an email.

Thank you for ready, please like and share, see you all on my next post! xoxo

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