Thursday, March 5, 2015

Lactation Energy Bites for Nursing Mamas

A while back (as in November last year), I asked the Instagram world for a good lactation cookie recipe, and I ended up trying one that someone had suggested. While it didn't taste bad, it was literally like eating a regular cookie - with the addition of Brewer's yeast. I try to eat a pretty healthy diet...which means I didn't want to snack on unhealthy cookies all day as an excuse to 'boost my milk supply.'

After several rounds of trial and error with lactation cookies, I finally found a recipe with Brewer's yeast that actually A) tastes good and B) really does help produce more milk. I was looking for something a little more wholesome - and without butter! Enter these energy bites - I'm sure they could be healthier (maybe without chocolate chips...but that would be lame) - but they actually taste good and really boost your milk production!

Here's the original recipe, but I adapted it slightly...because for some reason, I have trouble following recipes. :)
  • 1 to 1.5 cups of oatmeal (I would've done old-fashioned, but I didn't have quick oats it was)
  • 1/2 cup of peanut butter 
  • 1/3 cup of flax seeds (I didn't have ground flaxseed, but the actual seeds are just fine)
  • 1/3 cup of honey (I almost used raw agave syrup...I'm going to do that next time!)
  • 1/2 tablespoon of Brewer's yeast (you might could add a little more, but be careful about adding too much. This is where I made my mistake with past recipes!)
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla
  • 1/2 cup of chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup of dried cranberries
  • Splash of almond milk (this made it easier to mix)
*Note: I omitted the coconut that the original recipe called for because I didn't have any and I'm honestly not a huge fan. I'm sure it would be good with the coconut, though!

How to make the energy bites:

1. Combine the dry ingredients (oatmeal, flax seeds, Brewer's yeast, chocolate chips, and dried cranberries)
2. Add the peanut butter, honey and vanilla. You can use your mixer for this, but I ended up mixing by hand because my mixer bowl needed to be cleaned (as usual - we use it all the time!) - and it worked fine. 
3. Refrigerate the mixture for 30 minutes to an hour.
4. Roll the mixture into small round balls and store in the fridge. 

I eat a few as a snack during the day, and I definitely noticed an increase in milk production. I also take fenugreek regularly, but I think Brewer's yeast is more potent and has a more dramatic impact on how much milk I produce when I pump at work. I still don't ever really overproduce, it's more like just enough, but I do get more milk when I pump between nursing sessions. Breastfeeding/pumping is hard work - but so worth it!

Monday, February 2, 2015

Blair {Three & Four Months Old}

I feel like a bad mama...I never found the time to write a 3-month post and she's already halfway through 4 months and I haven't sat down to write anything until now! Partially to blame for that is the fact that I accepted a NEW JOB back in December and started there literally the week of Christmas. Whew - needless to say, the past month and a half has been crazy! Let's start with a brief three-month recap :)

{Three Months}
Blair's personality really started to shine at three months - we quickly learned what her different cries meant - and she started to learn how to get her way! ;) She started smiling a ton and always had her hands in her mouth. She started rolling a lot from her belly to her back, and started trying to sit up. During her third month, we celebrated her first Christmas and New Year's. It's so much fun introducing Christmas to your baby, and I know next year's Christmas is going to be even more fun! We also settled into a pretty good routine when I went back to work, and for the most part, it continues to go smoothly. Luckily, Blair adapts well, so that made it easier!

{Four Months} 
It's hard to believe four months have gone by so quickly! Blair is such a joy to be around, and she has the sweetest personality. She smiles ALL the time and even giggles from time to time. It's as adorable as you'd imagine. :) She LOVES to sit up and stand with our assistance, and Daddy even helps her 'walk'. She's really good at taking steps, so she's probably going to learn to walk before she can even crawl at this rate! 

It took months, but we finally found a pacifier that she loves and that keeps her from crying - a Wubbanub. I never considered buying one of those because she hated the Soothie pacifier we got from the hospital, so I figured it was a lost cause. Well, after literally NO other type would work, I decided to give the Soothie another try - and to our surprise, she loved it. So I ordered a Wubbanub that same night via Amazon Prime and we've never looked back. It's a lifesaver at times!

At her four-month appointment, Blair weighed 13.6 pounds, she's 25 inches long, and her head is still in the 90th percentile(!) She definitely got that from her daddy. ;)

She loves:
  • Her kitty Wubbanub
  • Bathtime
  • Getting her diaper changed
  • Sophie the Giraffe
  • Smiling
  • Giggling 
  • Kicking her socks off ALL.THE.TIME.
  • Being swaddled
  • Not taking naps for Mama & Daddy...but she does for everyone else.
  • Being held 
  • Standing and sitting up
  • Rolling on her side
  • Riding in the car
She dislikes:
  • Being cold after bathtime
  • Being hungry
  • Having a wet diaper...she lets us know as soon as it's wet!
  • Getting in her carseat
  • Her crib.......... :/
  • Sitting still. She's always on the move!

This age has been so much fun, and I know it's going to get even more fun the more mobile she is and the more she learns! It also means that we need to seriously start figuring out how to babyproof our house. We probably have the least baby-friendly house ever - stairs, a coffee table with sharp corners, glass decor at baby height, cords, etc. We have a lot of work to do over the next few months!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Blair {Two Months Old}

Two months! I can't believe she's been here that seems like it was just yesterday when we were terrified we were going to 'break' her when we tried to change her clothes and I was anxious every time she cried. I feel like her personality really started to shine through around 5 or 6 weeks...and now, I feel like she's changed SO much from month one. 

She was really fussy that first month, and it felt like no matter what we did, we couldn't really calm the fussiness. Things have changed a LOT since then! She's so much happier and we got our first big smile from her in her second month - and now we know just what to do to get a works just about every time! 

Blair has already become a little traveler - we went to the mountains in October for the weekend and just got back from a weekend at the beach yesterday. She's done so well with riding in the car for longer distances and she actually sleeps longer when we're on vacation, it seems like. Always a good thing ;)

Speaking of sleep, she consistently sleeps a solid 6-7 hour stretch every night, waking up at 6:30 or 7am to eat. She then goes back to sleep until 9-9:30am every morning. She likes her sleep...which makes us super happy!

Her two-month doctor visit is the week of Thanksgiving, so she'll actually be 10 weeks when that happens...and she has to get her shots, so that's no fun! Also, we weighed her at my parents' house because it seemed like she had a major growth spurt all of the sudden - and it looks like she weighs 12.6 pounds! Once she caught up to her birth weight, she started growing like crazy, apparently. So...all of the newborn clothes have been packed away and she's comfortably in 3-month clothes. :(

Two-Month Likes:
  • Sitting in her swing looking all around the room
  • Bathtime!
  • Holding up her head like a pro
  • Watching TV :( We found this out a few weeks ago...we definitely don't encourage it, but it's pretty funny when you realize she's watching TV and you turn her away...she starts whining. At least she prefers to watch How I Met Your Mother. 
  • Smiling
  • Her activity mat. She can roll from her stomach to her back, but not quite from her back to her stomach. She likes laying on her side but won't roll any farther ;)
  • Being held
  • Sleeping
Two-Month Dislikes:
  • Her pacifier...still. I think the pacifier isn't going to happen at this point. ;)
  • Being strapped into her car seat. She screams bloody murder when we're putting her in there...but once she's content, she'll sleep for a long long as we're moving (in the car, with the stroller, rocking the car seat, etc.)
  • Having her arms swaddled
  • Getting out of the bathtub and drying off. I think she hates being cold...wonder where she got that from ;)
  • Putting on onesies and shirts...she absolutely hates when we pull the outfit over her head!

Monday, November 17, 2014

A Day in the Life...with a Baby.

I've never really written one of these posts before, but now that I have a baby to take care of throughout the day, there's a lot more 'routine' in my day!

6:30am - Usually this is when Blair wakes up hungry...her last feeding was around 11pm, so she slept a pretty decent stretch. I can't complain! M changes her and hands her to me to feed her, while I'm still in bed.

7am - I burp her and she falls back asleep, so back to bed she goes. So do I!

8:30am - I wake up and go downstairs to make coffee and breakfast. I usually try to straighten up the living room, kitchen and do some laundry (there's tons of baby laundry these days...) while I have the chance. 

9:15-9:30am - I wake Blair up. We are (somewhat loosely) following Moms on Call, and one of the principle rules is to never skip the 9am feeding. For whatever reason, it works well! I take her out of her Halo Swaddle (she sleeps in this every night), change her diaper and take her downstairs to feed her. We usually watch the Today Show while she's eating. :)

10am - I get some work done for the next hour or two while she's content (usually). Sometimes she naps on my chest while I'm on the laptop, or I put her in her swing, which she loves 99% of the time.

11am-12pm - Sometimes she gets fussy around this time, so I try everything to calm her down. If nothing is working, I'll feed her again. This week, she's only been going 2-2.5 hours between feedings during the early part of the day. I think it's a growth spurt!

12pm - I usually try to grab something for lunch while I can. While I used to just eat whenever I felt like it (and that meant skipping lunch sometimes), I try to make sure I eat at least something nutritious since I'm breastfeeding. If she's not screaming, I'll take my time and eat a real lunch, but if she's fussing, sometimes I'm holding her and trying to eat something quick at the same time. 

12:30-1:30pm - She's usually pretty content around this time, and I'm either holding her or she's watching the mobile and listening to the music in her swing. It's also been a good time to get more work done most days.

1:30-2pm - It's time for Blair to eat again. She doesn't eat much at this time of day it seems like, and then she falls asleep in my arms most days. 

2-4pm - I usually get work done during this time of day. There's a lot of diaper changing, bouncing her on my legs to entertain her, and such, but I have my laptop beside me and find it pretty easy to multitask!

4-4:30pm - Even if she's napping, I usually wake her by 4:30 to feed her again, because when M gets home, we all go for a run with the BOB stroller. 

5-5:45pm - She's usually happy around this time, and we play on her activity mat while we wait for M to get home.

6:30pm - We change her diaper, strap her in the car seat, and put her in the BOB to go for a run. She screams at the beginning (hates getting in the car seat), but she falls asleep as we're running.

7:30pm - We get back home and I feed her while M cooks dinner. If she's not screaming when we get home, I try to take a shower first, but that doesn't always work out. When she's hungry, she means business. ;)

8-8:30pm - We eat dinner while trying to entertain her - sometimes she's fussy during this time of night for no apparent we just do what we can to calm her down! 

8:30-9pm - We give her a bath, then I rub her down with some baby lotion, which she doesn't love! We swaddle her for bedtime afterwards.

9pm - She usually sleeps for 30 minutes to an hour. If not, one of us tries to entertain her while the other cleans the kitchen and straightens up the living room (it's necessary multiple times in a day these days).

10-10:30pm - We go upstairs and I feed her in bed. She usually drifts off to sleep after a little while.

11-11:30pm - Blair finishes eating, we change her diaper and put her to bed. She usually sleeps all night, until 6:30 or 7am!

As you can see, I don't nap at all. I think I've napped twice since we brought her home from the hospital...whoever said 'nap when the baby naps' is crazy, just FYI ;) Maybe it's just me...but I find that when she sleeps, I can actually get some things done around the house. And I do like a clean no naps, it is!