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Thru-Hiking the Florida Trail How-To
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Every week that goes by I get just a teensy bit more sad. The dude continues to grow like a weed, making me wonder just when these leaps and bounds of poundage are going to slow down. This morning at my final Wednesday morning breastfeeding group that I will attend before heading back to work next week, I weighed Forest before feeding him and he was 13 lbs 7.6 ounces, which is about a pound more than he was last week! He has his 8 week pediatrician appointment tomorrow and I was expecting him to just be near 13 lbs, not over and beyond it! We keep telling Leo that he’s not going to be the ‘big’ brother much longer, that Forest is going to outgrow him weight wise very soon. All of this growth makes me happy that he’s getting enough to eat, that some of the frustrating aspects of breastfeeding as worthwhile. I’m actually getting sad to not be breastfeeding him during the day when I go back to work because I’ll be missing that time with him, seeing his cute, sleepy smiles when he gets drowsy, or the wide blue eyes he gives me when he first latches, the ‘Yum, Mom’ look!

Yesterday I did a test bottle day with him. I don’t know if I will do another day or not before Chris’ mom arrives next Monday, because he took the bottle from me like a champ and it actually made me sad not to be breastfeeding him. I knew going into that the bottle during the day test was only going to work on the bottle aspect of things and not on the comfort/getting to sleep aspect, because giving him a pacifier when I’m right there really only works for me if we’re in the car. If there’s a boob available he wants me, usually. Everyone at the breastfeeding group says that other methods of comfort will work for other caretakers when I’m not around and not to stress over it. I’m just worried I’ll be getting calls from my MIL and my mom about what to do when he’s in a state of crying that nothing seems to soothe. Luckily that doesn’t happen frequently but it does happen. Usually it’s a: check diaper, b: feed baby, c: re-check diaper, or d: overly tired and he needs distracted until he can figure out to go to sleep.

The one big thing that happened this week was he choked in his sleep. It almost put me off breastfeeding, it was that scary. It was early evening and Chris had ran out to do an errand so I was home alone. Forest had a meal and had put himself to sleep while eating, delatching and giving me his happy and full face while settling into my arm. I looked at him and he was happy and chilled out, breathing and all. I went back to watching tv for a few minutes and then looked back down at his stomach and waited for him to breathe. When he’s sleeping, as most people do, his respiration slows. I thought I had caught him in a lull and noticed he was taking a awhile to breathe and then looked at his face. Just as I did that he woke himself up choking. Immediately I threw him on shoulders and gave him a couple of hard pats on the back, pulled him back off so I could see his face and he was panicked and trying to cough. Instead of his usual going back to breathing fairly easily he went into several lapses of not breathing and then me patting him and getting him to cough, then I got up and starting walking with him and repeated this for much longer than I normally do. Finally he started breathing consistently but it just took a lot longer to get to that consistent breathing than his normal choking while eating issues. Needless to say for a few days I watched him like a hawk and then I tried to unlatch him myself when I noticed he slowed his sucking while dozing off. This was hard because he would often wake up when I did this and I’d have to relatch him and repeat getting him back to sleep. Right now I’m letting him doze a little bit more and making sure he swallows when I see him unlatch. I also returned to my leaning back while breastfeeding him technique. I’d eased up on that because he hadn’t seemed to choke as much.

Anyway, I did some reading about babies choking on breastmilk while sleeping and there just isn’t a ton of information about it. I saw tons of stuff about bottles and formula fed babies but not as much on breastmilk. However, one thing that I did see mentioned was reflux and when I talked to the lacatation consultant and the other ladies at the breastfeeding group this morning, they echoed that it could be silent reflux. I was planning on mentioning the choking issue to the pediatrician tomorrow anyway but I will definitely be asking about it being reflux as well. Gah, it was awful, y’all.

(Edit later ’cause I can never get a post up on a time these days: Pediatrician agreed that it sounded like reflux and as we continued talking and telling her how he doesn’t breathe for a few seconds during his episodes she gave us a prescription for Zantac and I’m also avoiding dairy for awhile. I hope we can straighten this out! Poor kid also had his two month shots this morning—boy, that was awful! Medicine and shots…it’ll be a sleepy day or two for him!)

Let’s see, what other big things for this week that didn’t involve choking….we went out last Wednesday as it is our usual eating out night, and I successfully breastfed him in public at Olive Garden while eating. Luckily I’d chowed on most of my food before he whined to eat, but I was able to feed him discreetly and still shove a few more bites in my mouth while I was at it. Another day we went out for a grocery trip and he woke up midway through so I had to change him and of course he wanted food so he ate half of his meal at the Starbucks area in the front of Kroger, finishing up the other half in the car a bit later.

Oh, I guess I do have something to ask of other parents….so, Forest goes to bed somewhere between 9:30 and 11 on any given day. I see on some blogs/forums people getting their baby’s to sleep at 7 or 8 pm every night with them waking up for their first feeding anywhere from 11pm to midnight. Part of me likes this idea of an earlier bedtime because I could have some ‘me’ time in the evening but the other part of me likes the going to bed right around when I do because his first feeding isn’t until 1 or 2am, and if he sleeps well after that he might wake up again only around 5:30 or 6am which would be ok for a work schedule perspective. (This doesn’t always happen, sometime he wakes up an hour after I put him down at his 1 or 2 am feeding and then again two hours later.) I also see people talking about ‘dream feeding’ (feeding them while still sleeping—don’t think my kid would do this!) their kid at 11pm to get them through the night better. Anyway, if Forest takes an evening nap he isn’t down but an hour, maybe two max—so, how are people getting their baby’s to sleep from 7-midnight straight? Honestly, I’d much prefer the long sleep to be right after I get to bed. I mean, I don’t plan on changing this routine up at the moment, but as he gets older I just wondered how much easier it would be to move his bed time back an hour. As it is right now he can take 30 minutes to an hour to put to sleep every night. It isn’t bothersome at the moment, but I know Chris and I both are going to want some downtime in the evenings when we’re both back at work. I guess we’ll just see how to adapt to a new schedule next week.

I have some other stuff that pertains to him but is more about me that I will write about on my postpartum review here in a few days. I’ve started writing it up but it will take a few more days to write it all out. As usual, here’s photos from this week:

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He’s starting to hold things a little bit better—he definitely knows how to grab hair!

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Because he is not always happy!

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I was thrilled that this year the roselle plants (Hibiscus sabdariffa) grew enthusiastically, almost too much so. Frankly, and I knew it at the time, they were planted too close to a few other plants and ended up shading those plants out. Next year I’m thinking that maybe they deserve to be in the perennial herb beds instead, just to give them more room and sun.

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Last weekend I decided to trim back the branches that had fallen over and were heavily shading out our variegated hydrangea. I clipped off most of the calyces, the red pods on the stalks, and they lingered there for several days until I could coordinate with Forest for some time to finish processing them.

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A sweet snail friend I encountered. After I clipped off all of the calyces I chopped up the stems and put them in the compost pile.

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When I got the time I clipped off more calyces from the stalks that were still on the plant, leaving plenty of others to finish ripening in order to produce seed for next year. I’m actually curious if the roselle will come back from the roots this year since it has grown so well. Last year the two small plants I had died over winter but I’m wondering if now there’s an established root system for them to return next season. We’ll see!

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Next I pulled off the red calyces around the rest of the unripened pods and put these green pods into the compost bin. I threw out any pods that were past their peak, browning and decaying, too.

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This is what I was left with before putting them in my dehydrator to dry. I put the dehydrator on a low setting, just a bit higher than what is recommended for herbs, and left it on for about 12-14 hours overnight.

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The dried calyces looked pretty much like the hibiscus flowers I’ve bought at the grocery store for making tea. This made me happy!

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As you see it didn’t make nearly as much as I was thinking it would. It was a great first experiment, though! I haven’t had a chance to make tea out of it yet but will try soon.

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The area where the brug’s are has turned into a complete jungle. The brug’s themselves were over 10′ tall at one point this summer, but the weight of the stems has caused them to lean over to the ground. I really need to clean up this area of the garden—and forget looking near the bees, it is absolutely overgrown with weeds. I avoided going over there while pregnant and Chris was too busy working on the guest room and Forest’s room this summer to get over there and weed. Perhaps it is time to dig out the bee suit and clean up over there!

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The bottle gourd in the vegetable garden took too long to start thriving to last long enough before a freeze to finish fruiting, but just seeing the flowers makes me happy!

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One good thing about Chris finishing up the perimeter herb/perennial beds in the veg garden is being able to move the dividing onions over to that bed so they can have a permanent home. I pulled a few over last weekend to use in some fajitas we had for dinner! These onions originally came from my mom who had been pining for this type of onions that my grandmother used to grow and found them online and ordered them. They will be nice to have year-round!

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When Chris was cleaning up the veg garden he took down the okra stalk and left them in the walkway. There’s now a bunch of okra seedlings chilling in the walkway!

Hopefully this weekend I can spend a few more hours outside during Forest’s naptime—or maybe he can hang out in his stroller on the porch for a nap—while I do more weeding and yard beautification! Trying to balance that time outside right now is difficult.

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Forest is slowly morphing out of the newborn stage and into the general baby stage. At somewhere near 12.5 lbs I’m pretty sure most people wouldn’t think he was only six weeks old just by looking at him. He’s now far more engaged with his surroundings and has started doing more smiling and light laughing, though it is more like cooing with a smile. His cooing and talking has picked up more, too.

Last week I meant to mention one big milestone that I started working on but didn’t get around to writing about here. I started elimination communication around the middle of 4.5 weeks. It was mostly on a whim. I was about to change Forest’s diaper and as little boys typically do, he made it very noticeable that he needed to pee. So, instead of putting on a diaper and having him whine five minutes later for me to change it I headed to the bathroom and tested this EC thing out. I made the ‘pisssss’ sound that is suggested by the book and internet articles I read and very quickly got a result! Pee in the toilet! I immediately told Forest that he was a good boy, gave him kisses, and then had to figure out the best way to clean him up. It was pretty insane and amazing at the same time!

At first the biggest struggle was figuring out how to hold him over the toilet. We also have a small infant potty that I tried a couple of times but it was too awkward to hold him on it since he can’t really hold his head up or sit up yet, and he didn’t like it himself. The position I’ve found best so far is to kneel behind the front of the toilet and hold him under his thighs with his back leaning up against me. He leans a bit and looks at me while I’m making the signal and generally looks calm and happy. This is not always, of course, sometimes there’s crying involved. (other potty positions)

Since this initial attempt, except for a few days after that initial attempt, I’ve generally been taking him to the potty at least once a day. That was the goal I set for myself, to catch one pee or poo a day. Some days I do more than that. My high number so far is 5 times in a day. First off, the pees are the easiest to catch right now, especially because he is a boy. I know some of you are wondering how I can even do this, but just as you know when your kid is hungry if you are around your kid enough you know his potty habits too, or you should. Soon after I started ECing Forest I realized his initial whining before his real whining for a diaper change is often him telling us/being upset that he has to eliminate. I don’t know how I didn’t catch onto this sooner, and of course there’s always a deviation, but those initial whines we would check his diaper and there wouldn’t be anything going on, only for a few minutes later the first whine turns into an all out meltdown and the diaper is full of pee, poo, or both. I finally realized that those initial whines, usually, is him letting us know what was about to happen.

With that, I will sometimes try to potty him at those first inital whines. Of course he’s upset so he sometimes stays upset when I potty him and I typically don’t want to stress him out too much so I won’t cue and wait too long if I don’t get a result. If nothing happens I’ll put the diaper back on and within a few minutes he gives a nice meltdown whine and I’ll check the diaper and he’ll have gone. Sometimes he isn’t stressed out and will go and all is right with the world, at least for that moment in time.

Usually though, I will potty him when I change his diaper and see that he might need to pee. He may have already gone in his diaper but like I said about little boys, he gives me a clue that more pee is coming my way. I’ll throw a clean diaper under his butt and then carry him to the potty and give a few ‘pissssss’ noises and wa-la, he goes! A few times I’ve been rewarded with a poo, too. In fact, the first time I pottied him he did both. I was completely surprised! I’ve caught far more pees than poos, maybe four or five poos total, and I just call that luck. He’s poos are often when I’m nursing him and I haven’t quite figured out how to transition to potty him during a feeding, though usually he delatches and does his business there. Other good times that I’ve learned I can potty him are first thing in the morning and right before putting him in the car seat. He loves to get a clean diaper on, get buckled up in the car seat and whine three minutes later. Sometimes I do that routine a few times before we finally get all peeing and pooing done and can actually get in the car, which is why I like the idea of pottying him first as an attempt to bypass the multiple diaper changes or false start whines.

Anyway, I realize this is a weird thing to be writing about, but IT WORKS! I dug out my Diaper Free Baby book to revisit it since I last read it over the summer and it has reassured me that I’m doing EC the right way and to take it one day at a time. I’m still on the one-a-day goal but will often try a couple of times a day. It really isn’t time consuming at all and if it doesn’t work one time then no problem, we tried, and I’m getting him used to going on the toilet. But I can tell he really does like it when he goes…it’s the strangest thing. As proof I showed my parents his ‘potty trick’ while they were here over the weekend and they were impressed, though my dad made some jokes about it. It *is* different and not what one would usually see, but if it can help cut down on diaper changes as well as get Forest potty trained earlier than the average, then I’m all for it. I’ll keep y’all posted as time goes on to any ups and downs we have with it, but I’m really thrilled that it works!

That’s really all I have to write about today. Forest is still growing like a weed and we’re doing good on the breastfeeding still. I’m thinking of writing an 8-weeks postpartum review here over the next week to go over some contemplations from this crazy new life I’ve got now.

Here’s the rest of the photos from this week!

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giantswallowtail
Over the weekend Chris was out in the yard and came inside to tell me that I had to go out and check something that was on the citrus with him. It didn’t take me but a few seconds to decide he was probably showing me a caterpillar that was munching on the citrus. At the time I couldn’t remember which caterpillar used citrus as its host plant and I had to look it up later. Sure enough my hunch was correct! There were several small caterpillar nibbling on our citrus trees.

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I’m sure that in a citrus grove this would be considered a pest, but considering that the caterpillar metamorphs into a beautiful butterfly and pollinator, we’re friends with our guests. Papilio cresphontes is the scientific name for the giant swallowtail. I’ll have to check back over the next few days to see the new instars of the caterpillars as they make their way to becoming a butterfly.

More information on this awesome species!

(I may have gotten a huge nature high just by seeing something other than diapers while photographing the caterpillar!)

WEEDS

My parents were down for the weekend which meant that Forest had two people who wanted to give him attention so yesterday I was able to spend almost two hours piddling in the garden. I first took some time to trim up the roselle bush that had fallen over and started shading out our variegated hydrangea. I clipped off all of the red calyxes from the branches I trimmed back so I could make hibiscus tea from them—more on that later this week. Then I began weeding and trimming the flower bed directly in front of the house, which was/is still quite overgrown. I’ll try to get out more this week and see if I can wrap up some of the weeding. It felt ridiculously good to do some gardening for an extended period of time!

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The daturas have really grown well out on the side garden this year. We purchased several small containers of them from a nursery just outside of Nacogdoches back in February. The plants have already set seed this year and I suspect we’ll have a lot of volunteer daturas next year. Chris wants to get some more varieties as I think these were the double or triple purple variety. The plants themselves are probably 4′ tall and have survived being barreled over by the armadillos earlier this summer. I love seeing them when I take something to the compost bin.

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So, last week you remember I wrote about those 15-20 minute nighttime feedings?? Well, of course that got switched up this week. I think it was Saturday night/Sunday morning there was a lovely 3 hour stretch of a not sleepy baby from 12:30am until 3:30 am. The first hour was spent feeding him, with the second 30 minutes of that hour being needed because he’d fallen asleep after feeding one side and then woke up as soon as I put him down. So I picked him back up and we went back out into the living area outside our bedroom and I fed him on the other side. Same thing happened—fell asleep only to wake back up. This time I got Chris up since it was the weekend and told him he had baby duty for a bit so I could go back to sleep. This had worked a few nights before—or one morning, I don’t remember which, everything is running together—and Forest went back to sleep easily. Well, 45 minutes later of fussing, to which I didn’t sleep one wink while listening to him out there, I got back up and got Forest and knew that he’d run the course of the original feeding and wanted to eat again. So, we repeated the first hour of the night—eating, sleeping, waking up in the cradle, repeating it all again to make that last hour—and then I decided that we were just going to sleep on the couch that night. I wasn’t going to play another hour of this dozing/eating game. So he nursed for a few minutes and then promptly went to sleep and stayed cradled on my chest for the next three or four hours. I got to sleep, he got to sleep, all was good.

Then we had a few decent nights again but last night, which part of this was our mistake, he didn’t get to sleep until after midnight and then played the same sleep/wake game again at 4:30am. I decided to sleep on the couch yet again. The midnight issue was probably due to him having a 7-9pm nap while we watched a movie…yeah, not doing that one again anytime soon.

Other than that we’re both getting a bit better with a semi-routine. There’s really nothing routine about breastfeeding on demand, however there is definitely a flow during the day when I know he’s going to want to eat and when he typically wants to nap. Not every day is the same, of course, but there’s a bit of a pattern. I try to go out and do something 2-3 times a week, even if I just run one errand. There’s multiple reasons for doing this—a: I get out of the house for a few hours, b: he gets used to being out and about, c: he gets used to his car seat more—he loves to fuss about it at times and really hates the shoulder pads on the straps.

Other than breastfeeding at the hospital a few weeks ago, I hadn’t needed to do it in public until one day I’d gone out to Hobby Lobby to buy some scrapbooking supplies. I’d pulled into the parking lot and he was asleep, but the bumpiness of the parking lot and the rattling of the cart woke him up. I got to the scrapbooking supplies when he started fussing so I took him to the bathroom to change him. Yay for places with changing tables (more on that in a moment)! And of course that wasn’t totally satisfying and he needed to nurse. Luckily there was a bench just outside of the bathroom in the little lobby area to the bathroom entrance so I sat down and fed him for about 15-20 minutes. It wasn’t the most quiet place since people were coming in and out of the bathroom, but we got the job done. No one really said anything, a few kids made cute comments about the baby eating and one lady said something about “Feed that baby, momma”, but that was it. I could have gone out to the car but wasn’t interested in carting a screaming baby through the store just to do it. It all worked out. I’m definitely realizing that breastfeeding in public isn’t nearly as intimidating as I’d imagined and it doesn’t bother me so much. Just as long as I can find a place to sit down and give him what he needs while being a bit discreet, then all is good.

I think the biggest problem is him not liking a dirty diaper. So far it seems to have happened when Chris and I are both together and we’ll just get on the road and he’ll have a screaming fit. We’ll pull into a gas station or parking lot and have to change him. Then I’ll get in the back seat and have to soothe him and stick a pacifier in him, if I can, to get him to calm down. This happens even if we just left with a clean, dry diaper on him. The other day we ventured out on the weekend to the new Pollo Tropical restaurant that had opened. It’s a semi-fast food restaurant chain that we went to in Florida that has expanded its range and opened one up about 30 minutes from our house. *They* did not have a changing table in their bathroom despite their very shiny and new building. I was very disappointed with this and had to lay out a burp cloth on the floor so I could change him…I had left my portable changing pad in the stroller from one of our walks. If he hadn’t been fussy I would have just taken him out to the car. Anyway, it’s definitely a go-with-the-flow type thing with a baby. On this same outing I ended up staying in the car twice for two other errands, one of which I had wanted to go in myself (Sprouts supermarket) in order to feed him. This is one of the issues with breastfeeding on demand—he’ll take an ounce here and there and want to nurse again a short time later. Which is totally fine…just not always convenient. But it’s about adapting and changing, so here we are…adapting and changing.

Forest himself is growing quite a bit, getting close to 12 pounds already. By next week I think he’ll be there. He’s getting used to baths now and seems to enjoy them a little bit. He started cooing a bit late last week and it took me a few times popping my head out of the kitchen while I was making my breakfast to check on him as I thought he was about to erupt into a scream for a diaper change. Instead I found him just talking to the framed sycamore leaf we have on the wall. He’s also been kissing me back in his own little way, but he’s been doing that for a few weeks. I’ll kiss his lips and go “mmmmuah” and he gets wide eyes and makes a big “O” with his mouth back at me.

There’s definitely more smiling but we’re not to laughing yet. I’m thinking by 2 months he’ll be strong enough to hold his head completely. We’re not there yet but we’re definitely not bobbling nearly as much. I have not been that great about doing tummy time, mostly because I think of it after he just ate and I don’t think he’s going want to be on his belly right after, so I delay it and then he’s sleeping so I end up forgetting about it. But he gets some tummy time when he’s laying on me on his belly and lifts his head up to look around then.

We’re still working on the choking issue while feeding. He doesn’t always have this problem but I’ve been trying to feed him in the laid-back position as much as possible and put him where he’s laying directly over me instead of coming up from below. It seems to help quite a bit but he also tends to fall asleep more in this position, which equals a longer feeding time.

Let’s see, what else? We’re still loving the cloth diapers. Chris ended up buying more since there were days that we had shortages due to the ones from the previous day still being line dried outside and not ready to use. There’s only been a few times we’ve had leaks and that’s usually on me while he’s feeding and it is due to the position he’s sitting in, with the pee or poo coming out the side gap of his legs. It’s not frequent at all and really is due to the position he’s in. I’m trying to start using the baby carriers more often. In my last update I had written about the Moby wrap but he hasn’t really enjoyed it when I’ve put him in it. Maybe I need to try a new position or only when it is cooler out? I don’t know. I wanted to go to a babywearing meetup last week but ended up not going. I finally watched enough You Tube videos to figure out the Ergo carrier and tried it out for the first time over the weekend. I had Chris take a photo, see below, and realized he was sitting too high. I rectified that and put him in it this morning to carry him into the hospital for the breastfeeding group. It worked out much better and he seemed to like it more. The newborn insert is hot, though, and one of the women there told me that I could also fold up a receiving blanket to put at the bottom of the carrier instead of using the insert for hot days. I’ll have to play around with it…she seemed to know what she was talking about because she always wears her baby who is almost a year old. (Later edit: Played around with it and it worked great!) The reason I wanted to use the Ergo was that last time I schlepped him through the hospital in the car seat and it was heavy! The car seat works great for places that have a shopping cart to put him in but not for places you need to walk a decent distance.

I go back to work in 3 weeks and am trying to come to terms with that. We’ve managed to postpone taking him to daycare by having my MIL come during the week for November to watch him. Currently I have about a day’s worth of breastmilk in the freezer—not enough of stash for my comfort. I’d really like to figure out how to save 3oz a day, if not more, and it looks like I may need to pump once in the morning before he wakes up since milk flow is higher in the morning. I’m also looking into lactation cookies. One of the lady’s at the group mentioned that they had really worked for her so I’m willing to give it a try.

Well, this is long as it is, so here’s more photos from today’s photoshoot and a cute video I shot this afternoon!

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(He’s got a little baby mullet going on! Lots of hair in the back and a bit skimpy up front!)

Chris has been working hard the last few weeks getting the vegtable garden up and going for fall and winter. You may remember, if you read Sprout Dispatch, that we spent some time this spring building the perimeter herb beds but stopped when we needed to switch to work on Forest’s room. Chris was amped up to finish those beds these last few weeks and he’s done just that! He’s even hooked up the water to work out there, albeit on the hose and not through the trench that we’ll have to dig sometime later, but the plumbing in the garden is set up and he has it working through the hose currently.

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For the last year and a half we have had a pile of dirt in this spot used for building all of our flower and vegetable beds. Finally this space is cleared and will eventually be cleaned up a bit more. We’ll use it for guest parking.

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I should have taken a few more photos inside the garden but I was babywearing Forest and was doing my best to take photos as it was. Chris finished digging out the beds on the south side of the garden, layered in wood and compost from our yard, added in composted horse manure he picked up for free, and then topped it off with the dirt from the pile. Looks great and now Chris keeps getting excited about all the space we have to grow food!

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The sweet potatoes are still growing well on half of this bed with the other half taken up by the Casaba Bidwell melons. Apparently there are three melons growing there now instead of just the one I saw a week or so ago. I’m still stunned that the vines survived my neglect.

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A few potatoes that were missed from the harvest back in June.

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Also doing well is the loofa vine…

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producing several fruits along the fence.

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When I took down the collard greens late last spring they had already set seed. When I took them down some seeds were sprinkled out and they started coming up back in July. Chris thinned them out and transplanted the seedlings that had sprouted in the pathway.

The garden will be hopping here in a few weeks. Chris has gone crazy with fall/winter greens, carrots, and who knows what else—I’ve lost track!

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Forest is growing up! Where did September go? I swear it just began and now here we are in October. I know where September went, the first half was spent in a muddied haze of trying to navigate parenthood and the second half was spent trying to continue working out those kinks within the confines of the house. Every afternoon I look at the clock and wonder where my day went. The most productive things I do come in spurts and I rarely accomplish much off of any to-do list. Maybe I get to sweeping the floor. One day I managed to dye my hair. I’ve been wanting to finish his scrapbook for days, no over a weeek, but never get to. I have to get the diapers hung, that’s a given, but most days the biggest things I do are change diapers and sit on the couch and feed the little dude. And find time to feed myself…somehow.

Some days I might get a few hours of respite when he takes a nap and some days I end up continually tethered to the couch in a maze of feeding, dozing, moving to the crib or MamaRoo—where depending on his mood I get 10 minutes or 30 minutes to myself, another diaper change followed by more feeding…wash, rinse, repeat. And sometimes nothing gets done other than keeping the baby happy. It’s those moments that I wish just for a few hours of adult time, of wishing that I wasn’t breastfeeding. Wishing instead for that bottle of formula that takes longer to digest so I can actually get three hours between feedings instead of 1-3 hours depending on how much he felt like taking off of me at any given feeding. And then there are the other moments where I stare down at him, and he’s so adorable and hilarious as he’s searching to latch, with the cute faces he makes as he’s desperately looking for that thing that gives him milk. I told Chris he’s like a drug sniffing dog, he can sniff out that there’s milk in some proximity to his face if he’s laying on me. I really need to get a video (don’t worry, not showing that here!) of him latching on when he’s really hungry because it is hilarious. He’s like a magnet, drawn in completely and quickly, and then instantly happy once the milk flows.

So, I have a love/hate relationship with breastfeeding. I love it because I love seeing him so happy when he’s eating and he’s so adorable when he’s milk drunk and falling asleep, but I hate it because it tethers me down and is incredibly frustrating that I can’t share in the feeding with anyone else. Yes, I could pump and bottle feed, which is what we’re going to be doing eventually for during the day when he goes to daycare, but for now we felt it was best to strictly breastfeed (though we try to give him one bottle a day of pumped milk so that he doesn’t forget how to latch to a bottle for daycare in a few weeks). It’s frustrating since I’m the one who gets up at night to feed him, and since Chris is back at work now I am usually the one who stays up with him if he’s being difficult to get to sleep. The night time feeds are a little easier now that I stopped pumping at night (though I might bring it back here in a few weeks to built my stash up a bit more) and since he typically only feeds from one side at a time at night. However, sometimes I wish he’d drink from both sides so he would sleep a little longer and also to ease up on the pain of the other breast he doesn’t drink from. Now that I eliminated the pumping in exchange for more sleep I can get his diaper changed when he wakes and his feeding done in about 15-20 minutes, unless he’s being particularly difficult and falling asleep on me but waking up when I put him in his cradle, then sometimes we battle for 30 minutes to an hour. Sometimes he also needs some comfort nursing and no one else can do that. We introduced the pacifier a week or so ago to work on that comfort nursing and that helps but only in certain circumstances and he doesn’t always like it. I know all of the frustrating times will be forgotten when I go back to work and am missing him and missing being able to feed him throughout the day, but it still doesn’t make it any easier when the frustrating times are happening in the present.

One thing I’ve been trying to figure out with him is a choking issue he seems to have at times when feeding. It scares the crap out of me when it happens, and I flip him up to my shoulder and pat his back and try to get him to cough and breathe. I did some reading on the issue and it seems likely that my let-down is more forceful than he can handle at times. It makes sense, as I can hear the milk enter his mouth and he just gulps it as fast as he can. From my reading it seemed that the laid-back position is best for trying to ease up on the flow, letting gravity taper off some of the force. That position seems to help a lot when I need it but I don’t always need to use it.

I didn’t really mean for this to be focused on breastfeeding, but since that seems to be what defines me these days that’s what I’m writing about. I actually had a lot of other things to write about but I’ve forgotten what they were between starting this post and dealing with Forest throughout the day. So, here’s some more photos from today’s photo shoot and from the week.

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I’m figuring out this Moby wrap thing, mostly so I can carry him out when I go to hang the diapers. It’s really too hot to carry him in at the moment. It’s probably good for indoors but I haven’t found the need to use it inside yet and he’s usually sleeping in the car seat/carrier when I am out and about. I need to try our Ergo carrier soon.

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The only way I was going to eat breakfast one morning.

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FYI: Overalls aren’t really that great for changing diapers.

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