Hello, 2017!

Holy smokes, I haven't updated in MORE than a year! I keep trying to get back into blogging, but life is crazy.

Cooper is now FIVE and in preschool. It's a 2.5 hour program and he's doing great in it, so glad it worked out for him to attend - he rides the bus to school and gets dropped off at our babysitter's house, it's really the perfect setup.

Baby Jacob is now 19 months old. Chubby Bubby weighs 33 lbs. (!) and is a happy kid, but a bruiser just like his big brother, haha.

I've taken a promotion at work and am working 1164313547 hours a week. Haha.

Instagram (michelle1761) is my posting place of choice these days, but when I was making my photo book this year, I totally missed having the blog to look back on, so I'm really hoping to get back in some sort of groove to document life. 

Until then ... is anyone still around?

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JD: Six Months

Jacob Daniel turned 6 months old on Nov. 27! In this cruel, cruel world my baby turned half a year a mere 4 days after my first baby turned 4, and it was like my heart was breaking at these sweet boys growing up.

At six months he was busting the seams of his 6-9 month clothing, and measured 28.25 inches and weighed 19 lbs., 5 oz. Big boy, 98th percentile on height and 80th for his weight.

In the couple weeks leading up to his six month day he was sleeping like crap, and I knew it was because the little piggy was hungry but I felt like since we were so close to six months, it was worth it to wake up a couple times a night to nurse since there was definitely an end in sight. On his six month birthday he got to try green beans and loved them. I mostly followed the four days rule, but could already tell he was going to need lots of food, so also started oatmeal that weekend, and he was eating breakfast and dinner on top of his milk for awhile. But at least he started sleeping through the night again.


He's so big he can twist out of his Bumbo, so we put it away. Actually sold it

Hair started coming back in, and it's definitely lighter. I see similarities and lots of differences between these brothers. JD is definitely more fair-skinned and looks a bit more like his mama than big brother.

He loves to laugh and is super ticklish. Hates being left alone. Can sit up unassisted for quite awhile and is already getting up on all fours. He scoots a bit and can roll over to get where he wants, but no full-on crawling yet, although I know it won't be long!

We celebrated our first Thanksgiving with JD this month and it was so fun.

He also got to partake in his first Halloween. I'm typically not big on dressing up babies (Cooper was 3 before he did anything for Halloween) but since we would be getting out I caved. But went super simple, say hello to Jake from State Farm, hehehehe.

We also celebrated brother's birthday and he got to play in the indoor pool at our local YMCA for Cooper's party.


He loves his brother so much!

This guy has my heart, he's such a snuggler and sweet baby. I wish I could bottle up this perfect little phase <3

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JD: Five months!

I'm playing catch up so bear with me for the next couple weeks :)

Jacob Daniel turned five months old on Tuesday, Oct. 27. I can't believe he's already almost half a year ... it seems like I just blinked and he went from a squishy, helpless little thing to a squishy kid who can hold up his head, move a bit and so much more.

My little man is a champ at rolling from back to belly. Once he gets to his belly, he kind of gets stuck (so backwards!) and either gets upset or really works on lifting up his head, working that strong neck! Since he began flipping, I took away the swaddle just after 4 months and dreaded it, but he's been a great sleeper without!

We went through another few days of hell when he went through a growth spurt and wanted to eat all.the.time, but bumping up bottles again and giving my body a few days to adjust helped. I've found that I really need to stay on a pumping schedule similar to his eating schedule so we stay on track for the weekends.

So right now we are up to nursing in the morning, 3 7 oz. bottles at daycare, and like 1.5 nursing sessions in the evening. I'm still producing enough to feed you and freeze extra. You want to eat so bad, but this mean mom is waiting until you hit 6 months. Sorry, buddy, but I really think it's best for you.

You typically wake up around 6:30 and lots of mornings just chill in your bed until I come to get you. We nurse and then I get you dressed. I brought up your exersaucer this month and you really love it! You like to watch TV and hang out with Big Brother while I pump and get ready. You are also a fan of the Bumbo ... you like to be up and around people! Mrs. Robin says that you are happy in your swing at daycare, but once all the kids are sitting down eating, you get fussy because you want to be in the kitchen with all of them, too! My cute little social baby.

Right before you turned five months, I started being about to get you to sit up for about 10 seconds unassisted. You've gotten to try out the swing at Ms. Robin's. Strong, strong boy.

You weigh about 18 lbs. and are in 6-9 month clothes and shoes. We just bumped you up to a size 3 diaper - the same size one of the 2 year olds at daycare is in!

Your hair is coming back in and is light, so I think it may be more blonde. Eyes are still blue and I believe they will stay blue <3

You've really found your voice this month. You are a bit ticklish and I LOVE to hear your giggle.

This month your Aunt Laura got married and you were the best baby at her wedding/reception.

You like to look at books and "read" with Dad and Brother. (Big Brother story: every time he flips the page, he says "Once 'pon a time...")

We are all so in love with you my sweet, sweet little boy. I can't believe you are already almost half a year old <3

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Hello ... It's Me

Is anyone still out there?

I've been thinking about the 'ole blog lately. Life has gotten so busy and Instagram is so easy to add little snippets to ... but I miss the "release" I get from blogging. So I'm coming back to a corner of the Internet near you!

Life has been so busy lately but I feel a little like a crap mom for not posting JD updates like I did Cooper, so that and a catch-up from the holidays are first on the list. From there, I know I won't be a regular poster at all, but will try to use this as more of a scrapbook. Making our holiday book this year was tough without the blog, and I will have a baby/first year book to do for JD in just 4 ish months, so I need to log those memories.

Until then, happy weekend!

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JD: Four months!

Time sure is flying, I've had the notes for this but just now figured I best get it posted since we are closer to four months than five - what?!?! I'm a bit shocked because I thought there was a deal that my little man isn't supposed to grow up :)

At his checkup, JD weighed 16 lbs. 14 oz. and was 26 inches. I think that was 74th percentile on weight and 96th on height. He's a tall baby, already the same height Cooper was at 6 months and in a lot of 9 month clothing for the height.

About a week before he turned 4 months, JD started rolling from back to belly. He's so silly ... typically babies roll belly to back first, but he rolls to his belly, gets stuck and then cries. Ha.

JD has impressive neck strength. We put him in the bumbo quite a bit and he does well.

He is up to 6 oz. bottles and nurses 2-4 times at home on a typical work day. Anytime he is around me, he seems to want to eat every two hours (other than night time, haha). JD still isn't the world's greatest napper, but he sleeps from around 8:30/9 p.m. until about 6:45 a.m. Great sleeper.

His eyes are still blue and beautiful. He has fair skin and the roundest little head. I say he and Cooper look so alike, yet so different at the same time.

During his third month he attended his first Benton Neighbor Days and got to help his PaPa combine corn.

This month, JD also started smiling and "talking" a lot more.

Our little man really loves being outside and watching the TV. Always likes to cuddle and be around others. JD lights up when he sees his big brother. Cooper does so many annoying things but JD just basks in the attention.

Haha. Poor baby had shots that day and wasn't feeling it.

He really is the happiest, sweetest guy and we love him so much. We will keep him forever :)

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Breastfeeding Round Two

Now that I'm more than a quarter of the way through breastfeeding this time around (how is that even possible?) I thought it would be a good time to do an update on how things are going, what's different, etc.

First off, my supply is out of this world! I had read it typically is for the second baby, and I'm sure that my knowing what I'm doing this time helps quite a bit as well. Both my boys were born on Wednesdays, and my milk came in on Saturday with Cooper but Friday with JD. I used the manual pump at the hospital following feedings to help take the edge off and that helped tremendously.

I remember my n*pples really hurting those first couple weeks with Cooper, but not so much with JD. It was more of a discomfort if you will but nothing horrible. Honestly the worst pain for me this time was the contractions, especially combined with healing from a C-section.

So as of now, with JD being about 3.5 months, I have approximately 1500 oz. frozen. Which sounds like a ton, but if I suddenly dried up, would only feed him for about two months. I'm essentially pumping enough every day right now to not only feed him, but freeze 15-18 oz. daily. I suppose it's a good problem to have, and he's growing well.

I obviously credit being home with him for a longer maternity leave for a big part of my great supply. I also knew what I was doing and am still a bit terrified of my supply tanking around 9 months like it did with Coop so this gives me a much better cushion!

While on maternity leave, I would obviously feed on demand. Then once he started sleeping in better blocks of time, I pumped before bed. Like most women, I produce a lot overnight while sleeping, so I would pump after any night/morning feeds. Once he started sleeping through the night (and now) I still pump before I go to bed, and after his first two morning feeds. On days that I work, it's typically just once that I get to nurse him in the morning. I send about 16.5 oz in bottles to daycare and he typically finishes them.

At work, I try to pump three times - around 9/9:30, 1 and again at 3:30 - approximately the same time he takes his bottles. He actually doesn't typically take his last bottle until 4:15 or so - which would have bothered me with Cooper but since I have a healthy supply is OK in this case. When I went back to work, he typically wanted to nurse almost immediately once we got home, but now he gives me until about 6 - long enough to get bottles made and supper prepped.

He usually nurses 2-3 times total before bed. It just depends and since JD began sleeping 9-10 hour stretches pretty early on I don't worry too much about it.

We aren't on a real schedule as he definitely wants to eat more often when I'm around :) But he's growing and my body is keeping up with the demand so I figure we are good!

I did try to cut back on my pumping a couple weeks ago and was dropping the night pump. But I ended up with mastitis because we had a busy day and I skipped two pumps, so I've picked it up again. Once I'm done with the antibiotics I'll probably try to drop it again. I would like to continue adding to my freezer stash, but honestly, I'd be happy with just an extra 9-12 oz. a day at this point. I've been doing some reading on WHO and am leaning toward continuing with breastmilk past the age of 1 - I'll definitely drop my pumping at or before then, but may continue bedtime nursing, as well as stretch out the frozen stash, to help my little guy continue to get his mommy milk daily for as long as possible. But right now, the goal is to make it to a year, and fingers crossed, we will get there and then figure things out!

In terms of eating/drinking, I don't have any real limitations other than being very conservative with alcohol. I did pump and dump one night and it was sad but vital :) I do still drink occasionally, but try to do so immediately after feeding and only one beverage every few hours, based on my weight. I drink a ton of water (80+ oz. daily) and have nuts or a nutty granola bar at least once a day.

I was concerned that working out/running again would hurt my supply but that hasn't been the case! I have to schedule things around feeding times and wear good bras, but that's it. I actually felt like I started producing MORE once I began increasing activity, so that was good. I do feel like my body is holding on to more flab and I'm starving ALL THE TIME but I also weigh 20 lbs. less than I did postpartum with Coop.

So basically, it is easier the second time around, and in my experience, there's a much better supply! We are just cruising right through and I'm glad - 3 bottles, etc. a day is more than enough to wash.

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Weekend rewind

Just like that, another weekend is over. Time sure is flying. I can't believe September is practically halfway over, and I sure can't believe I've already been back to work more than five weeks! Next thing I know I'll be enrolling my kids in college!

Don't you wish you had a muffin top cute as this one?

It was a pretty typical weekend in our hood. I had plans to do a chicken/rice bake on Friday, but Cooper requested pizza and obviously that's 10X easier so of course we went with that. I haven't cleaned house in about three weeks and needed to do that but instead decided to just chill and we watched a movie.

Saturday morning JD woke up around 6:30 and was the first in the house to stir. So after feeding him and pumping, I decided to hit the pavement for a run. The weather was in the 50s and it was absolutely gorgeous. It's really hard for me to get in a good run any day other than the weekend because mornings are so hectic and I can't get up early or I'd have to pump first, so I always try to run both Saturday morning and Sunday evening. I've been wanting to take the plunge and do the 5K distance for a few weeks but have been chicken shit ... and let's face it, it's been hot. I started out strong and feeling good, and about a half mile in decided to go for it, not to worry about pace, just run. I ended up doing 3.3 miles and felt great!

After I got home we got to cleaning, my FIL's birthday was last week and we had intended to go to their house (about an hour away) to visit, but they were planning to come through, so we just told them we would grill. So we got the kitchen/living room tidy and Cooper and I made a cake. Once again, the weather was gorgeous so wen just chilled outside. After they left, we changed clothes and went up to my parents'. My dad farms and is in the middle of corn harvest. My cousin used to help him, but changed jobs and actually works for a farm now, so of course he can't help, and my dad needed help running the grain cart from the field to the grain bins again. It was a shorter day since we didn't make it up there until around 4, but helped free up my dad a bit. After that, we went to Cape to look at a used deep freeze - my milk supply is great, but mine and my parents' freezers are now filled with it, so I needed some extra storage space. This is an older model but works great and I got a good deal on it so I don't feel bad that we will likely just use it for a year and then I will resell it.

Sunday morning after breakfast, hubs went outside to do some bush hogging while I worked on laundry and more house work. We needed more groceries and he was planning to help my dad again, but there was a couple hours before he needed to leave, so I fed JD, put him down for a nap and hightailed it. Poor little JD didn't have the best weekend (growth spurt?) and hubby actually ended up giving him a bottle in the 1.5 hours I was gone! Thankfully that seemed to make things a bit better for the rest of the day.

After a quick lunch, hubs went up north while I stayed back with the boys, since Cooper needed a nap and I needed to clean. Once we got to my parents' house, I helped them do a few things while the guys finished up in the field and moved the equipment! I was getting changed for a run when they got home. I'd rather pound the pavement but decided to just run the field row across from my parents, as well as a little on the highway to make for a two mile run. Running in the grass sure is a challenge, my calves/ankles were sore this morning! But it was a great run and I enjoyed it.

Since we didn't know how late they would work, my mom planned supper for all of us, which definitely helped me in the cooking/dishes department :) Then once we got home it was time for some Big Brother, baths and bed. All in time for another Monday!

I've gotten back into meal planning and actually did a little prep yesterday (I'm sooo ready to lose the last 2 lbs. of pregnancy weight) so thought I would share :)

Sunday: Pizza and chips
Monday: Pinto beans in the crock pot, cornbread muffins
Tuesday: Chicken, rice, black beans and corn casserole, tomatoes (eat plain or burrito-style)
Wednesday: Leftovers
Thursday: Leftovers
Friday: Baked salmon, rice, salad
Saturday: Leftovers/TBA

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