Thursday, October 31, 2013

mommy confessions: breastfeeding

random person: "How old is Charlotte now?"
me: "Almost 14 months"
random person: "OH. So, when are you going to stop breastfeeding????"

This is a conversation I, unfortunately, have often. And as I began to answer I get nervous, because I have no idea if this person is pro breastfeeding a child over 12 months or not. I get worried about their reaction, even though it isn't any of their business. Our pediatrician and the World Health Organization (and UNICEF and LLL and AAP) recommends breastfeeding long after the one year mark. Haven't we all heard the saying, "breast is best".....that's because it is.  From the moment you become pregnant people are constantly telling you to breastfeed. There is a big market in consultants to help you get that perfect latch once the baby arrives. Why? Because it's challenging. And because people make you feel guilty if you don't breastfeed. How dare you even consider giving your child formula! But all of a sudden at the one year mark the tables turn and it's frowned upon to keep it up. (and by then you have it down to a science!) What gives? Breastfeeding provides so many benefits to both Charlotte and I. Not to mention it contributes to her health, intellectual development, and social development, and not just for the first either!!  

So why oh why once Charlotte turned one I was constantly getting the third degree over continuing to breastfeed her. Especially from family. I feel like I need to defend myself all the time. Hello, can I have a lawyer present please??? Or maybe just my pediatrician!! I know, I know, I shouldn't care what other people think or say....and I can pretend that I don't, but we all hate to be silently judged and critiqued.

So to answer that random person, YES I still breastfeed my 13 month old, and (cringe) I don't know when I plan to stop.  She loves the boobie and just can't get enough of it. I hear at some point the child will self wean, and if so, that day hasn't happened for us yet. Do I wish we could reduce the breastfeeding? Yes of course. But only because she uses me as a buffet!! Pulling on my shirt and getting upset if I don't oblige. Designated meal times would be so much more acceptable, or at least convenient. And now that she is night weaned I may try and set up some more boundaries so that eventually, when she and I are ready, we can cut down the feedings and eventually drop them all together. 

As inconvenient as it can be at times, I am grateful I am able to breastfeed her at all. If I had to go back to work I would have weaned her and switched to formula a while ago. Pumping is HARD work!! Thankfully, because I'm a SAHM, I can continue to feed her on demand as long as we choose

But until that time comes, stop asking! It won't last forever. And hey, IT'S FREE!!!!!!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Just Jack

Last week we had to say goodbye to a very special family member.....our wonderful golden retriever Jack. It was shocking to have to let him go so soon. Nobody was prepared for it. Just two months ago he was fine. In good health. No issues. And then all of a sudden his vision started to deteriorate. He had high blood pressure, but no other problems. They tried to get the blood pressure under control but it didn't help with the blindness. And then he just started getting worse and worse. By the end he was barely able to stand and didn't seem to know who we were. He couldn't enjoy life anymore. He wasn't able to play in the water and chase tennis balls, two of his favorite things. So it was time to let him go to heaven where there was a pile of tennis balls and a few other fur family members waiting for him. 

I put together this little video, including some pictures and videos I had of Jack. I was having a hard time expressing my sadness and loss of him in words, and this seemed to work better. I was a soppy mess putting this together, so sorry if it makes you cry too.

11 years just wasn't long enough Jack. We miss you every single day. We love you sweet boy! 

Monday, October 21, 2013

well that sure was an adventure for the books

For our next move, most likely to the east coast, we plan to rent an RV and drive across the country, checking out a lot of the national parks along the way. We want to make a little family vacation out of it. But before we fully commit, make reservations, and the whole nine yards, we wanted to have a little trial run. Matt had never been in an RV, only a trailer, and needed practice driving one of these beasts. Plus I really wanted to take him to my favorite campsite as a kid: Bridgeport. So during his week long break in September we took our very first RV trip and went "camping". Grandma and Rachel joined in on the fun too. And as great as it was spending time with family in the outdoors, anything and everything that could have gone wrong with the RV did.

We picked up the RV on Saturday in Dublin at El Monte RV. It was pouring down rain. Not the ideal situation. Especially driving. Thankfully we had Rachel do the driving since she had experience driving big rigs like this. After getting it back to Stockton it was time to load it up with all our stuff and get on the road asap. That was not easy. It took forever and the rain was no help at all. We wanted to leave the area by 2pm but didn't leave til almost 5! We were hoping to get to Carson City, our first stop, before dark but unfortunately that wasn't going to happen. So we just tried to enjoy the ride. About half way to Carson City Matt took over the driving. I'm glad I wasn't sitting up front because it was dark, we were on a winding road, and it was snowing!!!! Thankfully we arrived safely, pulled in the RV and settled in for the night. 

the RV

setting up all the electrical and hoses

mmmm rocks
After breakfast we got on the road. We didn't want to spend any extra time in a concrete campsite than we had to. On our way out of town we stopped by my Grandparent's old house. The views were unbelievable. Wish they still had this beauty. 

Matt driving

After a quick lunch we were off and on our way to Bridgeport!! We used to go camping here every single year when I was growing up. We used to "camp" in my grandparents RV, play outside and enjoy ice creams in town. I have a lot of good memories and I was so excited to take Charlotte here and share it with her. And Matt too. :)

our campsite

the creek

taking a little hike

the deer

pointing at the deer behind daddy

we have a visitor!
 Every night the deer would come into the campsite and get carrots and apples from the people. They would take them right out of your hand if you let them. We watched from afar. Ticks. Parasites. Diseases. Yucky no thanks.

On our second day there we loaded up the RV and took a short little drive to Twin Lakes. My Mom and her family used to go camping here when she was little and they had some great hiking we wanted to check out. Grandma, Rachel, and Harley stayed in the RV while Matt, Charlotte and I went on a little adventure.

look who's driving!!

the lake


passed out
After two night in Bridgeport we were due to check out and be on our way to Yosemite for two nights. The morning we were supposed to leave we could not get the leveling jacks to come up. Apparently a cup of water spilled on the equipment and caused it to short circuit. We tried to dry it out with a blow dryer only to blow all the fuses in the the RV. We finally got it up and running but it didn't work. So we had to call El Monte RV and ask for help. They called and called and tried to get someone to come out and fix it. The only guy they could find had to drive from Tahoe so he couldn't get there until the next day. Bummer. They only good thing: at least we were in a beautiful spot with full hookups! There are a lot worse spots to be stranded. 

beautiful day

taking a walk

the lodge
goodbye Bridgeport!

24 hours and $400 later the jacks were up and we were on our way to Yosemite. Even though it looked like there was a crazy storm over the pass, we made it through without any issues. I really wish we could have stayed in Yosemite for an extra night. It was so beautiful there. And it wasn't crowded at all! Maybe thats because we were there on the very last day of the season. haha. But it was nice. Matt and I went to a group campfire and a really nice hike through Tuolumne meadows. 

And Charlotte got to walk around outside a lot!! All bundled up and enjoying the outdoors!

We drove through all of Yosemite on our way home and enjoyed the beautiful scenery....until we got to the part burned by the fires. Sad. We spent our last night with the RV in Rachel's front yard in Stockton. Classy, I know. But since we had to get it back early in the morning, and we didn't want to leave Yosemite at the butt crack of dawn, that's how it had to be. 

The next morning we unloaded and tidied up the RV in a hurry. And as we went to pull in the slides......they wouldn't come in. Apparently the headlights had been left on and the generator was dead. The RV started up no problem, but you can't drive down the road with the slides out. Thankfully Rachel was able to jump start the generator and we got them in. At the very last minute. We were on a tight schedule and needed to have the RV back by 11am. We cut it close. 

It seemed that everything that could have gone wrong did.....we also spent an entire day trying to figure out the DVD player (poor instructions), a drawer broke, the toilet got backed up....twice, and we may or may not have taken out the satellite dish when we drove under a low hanging tree. But apparently Rachel is a jack-of-all-trades because she managed to fix almost every single issue....including the potty. Thank god because I sure didn't want to deal with that! And somehow we all made it out alive, and are now certified RV professionals.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

My 1st Liebster Award!!

When I got back from our little mini RV trip I saw the most wonderful email in my inbox....Samantha over at a modern navy wife, nominated me for a Liebster award! Honestly, I had no idea what it meant, but I was excited. Award = awesome! So I read her blog post and looked around on the internet to learn more about it. Basically, it is a great way for blogs to get a little exposure and gain more readers. And an even better way for all of you to get to know me a little better. So, let's get started!

Random facts about me:

~ I am not very flexible, never have been.
~ My teeth are super sensitive, so I have never been a big ice cream fan
~ I prefer a super hot shower over a bath 
~ tequila and I haven't been on speaking terms for years
~ I still sleep with my maternity pillow! It is so snuggly!!
~ Abraham Lincoln is my 8th (or 9th?) cousin. For reals.
~ I want to cage dive with great white sharks in South Africa. And my bestie Jessica.
~ I love country music and line dancing. I am actually pretty coordinated in the dancing dept.
~ I actually hated English in school. And somehow I blog. Doesn't feel quite the same tho :)
~ I'm not allergic to anything.
~ I love to wind down at night by reading a book in bed. Helps me relax and sleep better. 

1. What are the hopes and dreams you have for your blog? It's funny, I started this blog for my hubby and my family. Being a military wife we move around a lot and I wanted a way for all of them to see what we were up to. And during deployment it was easier for Matt to get online and check the blog than to make a phone call! But since that time (almost two years ago!) the blog has grown in its following and evolved a lot. I would like to keep it going (hopefully for a long time) and gain even more followers. And someday, I want to be able to show it to my kids. It is basically a journal of our lives and I hope they will enjoy reading it when they get older. 

2. What is the one piece in your closet that you cannot live without? My Ugg slippers. I wear them all the time. When it's warm, but especially when it's cold. I HATE cold feet!! And I love the soft cozy feeling of a good pair of Uggs. I can easily wear out a pair within a year. 

3. What is the best book you have ever read? Why is it your favorite? Dragon Tattoo series. Could not put those books down. I was obsessed! It wasn't predictable, had a lot of action, and fabulous characters. They need to hurry up and make the other movies already!

4. What is your favorite comfort food? Pastries. Pies. Croissants. Mmmmm. No surprise here, pretty much all my pregnancy posts included some reference to pastries. haha.

5. If you could live anywhere in the world where would it be? Lake Tahoe. Close to family, great skiing, on a beautiful lake, fun summer activities, and lots and lots of trees! Plus we could build a real log cabin type of house. We hope to retire here someday, on the Nevada side of the lake, specifically Incline Village. Now we just need to start saving our pennies! 

6. If you could have any job what would it be? A Veterinarian long as I didn't have to do the surgeries or put any animals down. I love animals, and I would love to work with them every single day! But I really don't think I could put one down. Just soooo sad!

7. Who is your celebrity crush? Jon Hamm from Mad Men. Tall, Dark and Handsome. Delicious. 

8. iPhone or Android? iPhone!

9. Are you a purger or a pack rat? If you ask my husband he would say pack rat. I would say I am happily somewhere in the middle. I will willingly purge things we don't need. Our house is clean and organized, and while our storage shed is full, it is all stuff we use. BUT, I am a terrible pack rat when it comes to sentimental items. Cards people send me, pictures, little mementos from trips, stuffed animals (as a kid). I just can't bear to throw any of them away!! I have shoe boxes full of cards!

10. What did you want to be when you were little? A firefighter. Both my Papa and my Dad were firefighters and once I was old enough to go on ride alongs I was hooked! It was so thrilling to ride in the truck with the lights and sirens, speeding down the highway, not sure what awaits us. And being able to help people in their time of need. The adrenaline rush is like no other. 

11. If they were going to make a movie about your life, who would you want to play you? Jennifer Anniston. I love her. Needless to say, Angelina Jolie is not my favorite (altho her movies are awesome). Team Aniston!!

Now it's time to nominate a few of my favorite bloggers:

Meredith @ The Green Life
Kim @ a little bit of this
Katie @ Moore from Katie
Tracy @ just grow with it
Sarah @ A Lovely Little Life

Your questions....

1. What is your very first memory?
2. Favorite guilty pleasure show?
3. All time favorite band?
4. What is your most treasured possession?
5. Vanilla ice cream or Chocolate ice cream?
6. If money was no object, where would be your next vacation spot?
7. What is your favorite holiday? Why?
8. Tell us the story of how you met your hubby.
9. Cat or Dog? Why?
10. Morning person or night person?
11. What do you love most about blogging? 

Info about Liebster Award

Have fun!!

Monday, October 7, 2013

thank you cards

Since I really wanted to use pictures from Charlotte's party for the thank you cards, I decided to order them online. In the past I have used Tiny Prints, but this time I went with Costco for two reasons: the cost, and I need to get some larger prints done from them in the future, so I wanted to check out the quality.

They came out pretty darn good if I do say so myself....

I do wish Costco had more choices, the border wasn't my favorite, but the quality of the card and images came out great. We were very pleased, and it cost half the price!

Note: yes Charlotte is doing a keg stand in that picture, but obviously she isn't really drinking it. It's just a really awesome, and in my opinion HILARIOUS photo!!