Monday, December 31, 2018

2018 A Year in Review

Oh my this year was a fast one. Looking back on it, I think I say this every year. The days are long, but the years are short. This statement may be cliche and overused, but it couldn't be more true. There are days I have wondered how we'll make it to the next, and yet we always do. Then here we are another year later with so many more memories. More fits of laughter, more tears of sorrow, more magical moments, more countries visited, more memories made.

One of my favorite things to do at the end of the year is look back on the year and remember all we've done. This year was a busy one for us! We spent two weeks in The Netherlands and France, traveled to Chicago twice, JP started a new role at his work, I grew a human and gave birth to our baby boy and we became a family of four! But let's take it month by month to see all of the adventures.

We rang in the New Year with my family and wound down from the holidays. We celebrated my father-in-law's 60th birthday with a surprise party in College Station. Chloe started her second "semester" of school. We made it through a hard freeze in Houston. We heard the baby's heartbeat and saw him for the first time. JP went to Singapore and the Philippines for work. I ran the Hot Chocolate 15K with my friend Rachael!

Chloe and I road tripped to North Dallas to see Julie and Baby Alexandria. We had a mommy and me Valentine's Day. We did a family photo shoot and found out we were having a baby BOY! I rescued my sister from a flat tire on the side of the highway and we almost managed to change the tire ourselves. (Yes, this is noteworthy for me. It was a hilarious and unforgettable experience.) I went on my annual girl's Disney trip and completed the 5K, 10K and Princess Half Marathon

We remembered and celebrated the life of JP's Mimi who I had the privilege of knowing longer than both of my own grandmothers. We went to a lot of parks enjoying the Spring weather in Texas. We showered and celebrated our friend's Corley and Elissa wedding. We moved into my parents' house for 2 weeks while we had our entire house painted. JP went to London for work. We found out that my sister was expecting and due just 9.5 weeks after me!

We celebrated Easter in Houston and did lots of Easter egg hunts. Chloe and I tagged along on JP's work trip to Amsterdam. 9 days in The Netherlands and 4 days at Disneyland Paris. We saw the famous Keukenhof tulips, the windmills in Leiden, walked all over Amsterdam, took a train to Paris and dined with the Disney Princesses in one amazing family trip!  

We bought a new car for my Mother's Day present! We started swimming every weekend at my parents' house. JP turned 32, so we did one of his favorite things, GOLF. (My pregnant self drove the golf cart all around.( We took our final plane trip as a family of 3 to visit our best friends at their new home in Chicago. Chloe finished her first year of preschool. We celebrated Memorial Day with all of our neighbors.

We found out that my sister was also having a baby BOY. We spent a day at Schlitterbahn and floated the river in New Braunfels with both of our families. We took a family day trip to the beach in Galveston. We spent a lot of time at splash pads and pools. We went to an Astros game where I got to consume my favorite pregnancy craving...chili cheese fries. We celebrated our friends' (Meena and Greg) engagement! My family and friends showered me and Brody with so much love!

We celebrated the 4th at our neighbors. Chloe saw her first movie at the theater. We went to a Sugar Land Skeeters baseball game for my sister's birthday. We spent a lot of time in the pool. I was a core team member for VBS at our church for the second year. Chloe was a part of VBS for the first time. We got Brody's nursery put together. We celebrated Chloe's 3rd birthday at one of her favorite places...gymnastics!

I helped my mom with her Annual Community Baby Shower at her hospital during World Breastfeeding Week. (This was my 4th year to help her! Prep work starts in January.) I did an impromptu maternity shoot in my parents' backyard. My dad and JP built Chloe a swing set. My sister in law got engaged! I walked and walked and walked and walked trying to get that baby out! I went past my due date. I had prodromal labor for 12 hours and went to the hospital just to be sent home. I FINALLY gave birth to my wonderful, precious baby boy.

I got very little sleep. Chloe started her second year of preschool. We found a rhythm and our new normal as a family of four. We enjoyed having JP at home on paternity leave. We celebrated Emily and baby Gabe at her shower. Brody had his newborn photoshoot. We went on our first family trip to College Station to see my in laws and watch Aggie Football. JP took me on a shopping trip and we had Mexican food and margs to celebrate my 31st birthday. 

We spent another weekend in College Station. Brody had his first pool day. We continued to enjoy JP being home on paternity leave. We went to pumpkin patches, farms and fall festivals. I slowly started to run and workout again. We celebrated baby Alex's first birthday up in The Woodlands. We went to a Houston Texans football game. We went trick-or-treating as two Elsas and two jack-o-lanterns.

We welcomed Baby Gabe into the world and I became an Auntie! I picked up my running game and officially started training for my first post-baby half marathon. I started to figure out how to be a mom to two kids after JP went back to work. JP started a new role at the same company. We decorated for Christmas. We took cousin pictures during Gabe's newborn photoshoot. We spent Thanksgiving in College Station and saw in person the epic game where Texas A&M beat LSU!  

I started Invisalign. We took countless cousin pictures. Chloe leveled up again at swim lessons. We took our first flight as a family of four. We explored Chicago and visited with our best friends. We went on hay rides, looked at lights, drank hot chocolate, decorated cookies and met Santa. Chloe actually sang at her Christmas performance. We enjoyed holiday parties and hosted Christmas dinner at our house for the first time. We enjoyed a lazy week at home with just the four of us between Christmas and New Years Day!

2018 was so good to us and we're looking forward to everything that 2019 has to bring. I know that this year wasn't easy for everyone. I pray that 2019 is better than the year before for all of you. I know that a new year can't take away loss, sorrow, depression or longing, but it can bring a new outlook and hopefully joy along with it. Here's to new year and another chance to get it right!

What was your favorite month this year and why?!

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Something New - Invisalign Series Part 1

Well I did a thing. As you can see from the title of this post, I started something new, Invisalign! It’s new and weird and a little bit painful (sometimes a lot a bit painful). I'm only 6 days in and I'm not entirely sure what I think about it, but I thought I'd share my initial thoughts. Then I can continue to share my thoughts and tips as I go along in case anyone out there is thinking about starting Invisalign!

Why I started Invisalign
I didn't actually start Invisalign because I didn't like my smile. In fact, I felt completely happy and confident in my smile and how my teeth looked. Yes I had a couple of rotated teeth on the bottom and my front teeth were a little crooked after shifting over the past couple of years, but it didn't bother me. It was my dentist that actually recommended that I go to an orthodontist because my bite was off and my gums started receding on a few teeth because of it. Not only that, but my shifted front top teeth were now rubbing against my lower front teeth causing me to grind them in my sleep. This could result in short, stubby bottom teeth later in life. Not exactly something you want to hear. After talking to my dentist, I decided to go to the orthodontist to see what they had to say. The dentist's fears were confirmed and I decided to go ahead with it. The Invisalign would fix my bite to keep my gums from receding and my teeth from grinding, plus I'd get a beautiful straight smile in the process. An 18-20 month process I might add.

Left picture without Invisalign and Right picture with it in. I can already see a little difference. I hope I remember to keep taking these pictures to see the progression over time! So my story begins here at the beginning of December 2018. It'll likely continue until at least June 2020, and since I'm paying for it, you better believe I'm sticking to it!

*Side note: I have never had braces or a retainer before, so this is completely new to me!

I wanted to share some of my initial thoughts, feelings and agitations about the Invisalign after just having them in for a few days.

My teeth hurt.
When I first put them in, I noticed that they felt tight but after just an hour or so, my teeth felt achy and painful. It's not just in one place, but all over. Not only that, the ache is truly painful at times! They say that the first couple of days with a new tray will hurt, but as your teeth shift and get used to that tray, the pain and ache lessens. At this point, I'm hoping that's the case! This time around, day 5 is when the pain started to subside. They're still tender when I take them out to eat, but hopefully that will get better too.

The edges feel weird against my upper lip.
Another thing that I'll likely just have to get used to, but the edges of the tray feel weird against my upper lip. It's actually rubbing a little sore on one side which I plan to bring up with the orthodontist if it doesn't go away.

I feel like I have a lisp.
When I first put them in, I felt like I was talking so funny. My entire mouth felt out of whack. My sister and husband both said that I sounded fine, but every sound I made just felt off. Luckily I don't actually have a lisp and talking is easier as I have them in longer. But seriously, I feel like I have a lisp.

How am I going to eat. I may wither away.
You're expected to wear your trays for 22 hours a day. They're only supposed to come out when you're eating. That's it! That only leaves 2 hours a day for me to eat and drink my morning coffee! Anyone that knows me, knows how important food and especially snacks are to me. I'm interested to see how Invisalign will change my eating habits. I may need to learn to snack a little less. Maybe 4 meals a day instead of 6? I'm not sure how that will go for this grazer. I'll be sure to keep y'all updated.

I have to brush my teeth a lot.
Pretty much after I eat anything, I have to brush my teeth. Now I'm not saying this is a bad thing. It's actually a good thing and I know it will improve my dental health, but it's time consuming and just one more thing I have to do. It's not easy when I'm trying to finish eating so I can get my trays back in before nursing the baby. He's not to keen on waiting. Again, something I'll get used to and in 6 months, I won't even realize the extra time it takes me to brush my teeth after each time I eat.

I can tell they're going to change my habits more than I initially expected. Eating in public and drinking anything that isn't water are already more complicated than they used to be. Taking the trays out and putting them in isn't a hard process, but it is a nuisance and is kind of gross. It's not something you want to do over and over again, especially when your teeth are sore. I have to think about when I want to eat a meal and snacking is likely a thing of the past. That's going to be hard for this breastfeeding momma. It looks like I'll just be brushing my teeth a lot!

Right now I'm just trying to figure things out with my new mouth. I know it will take time and eventually it will just be normal. For now, I'll quietly complain to myself and remember that it's all for a good cause! I'm hoping that in a week or so my initial thoughts and fears will be a thing of the past. Stay tuned to see how the process goes!

Have you have Invisalign or adult braces?
How did it change your lifestyle or habits?

Monday, December 3, 2018

James Brody: Three Months Old

I think I blinked and another month passed by. More than a month in fact because my baby turned 3 months old last Tuesday! I may have forgotten because I thought he would be 3 months on the 29th. Nope. He was born on the 27th and Chloe on the 29th. He's clearly a second child. At least I have a bit of an excuse! But I haven't been blogging nearly as regularly as I would like, so here I am finally posting about my sweet 3 month old boy!

Month 3 Firsts:

First Halloween
Originally Chloe was supposed to be a unicorn and Brody a dragon. Last minute, Chloe changed everyone's costumes, and for some reason, I decided to go with it. She wanted to be Elsa with me and have JP and Brody be pumpkins. And the cutest pumpkins they were!

First time to be a cousin
On November 1st, my sister had her baby boy, Gabriel. Chloe and Brody became instant cousins and I finally became and Auntie! Chloe is smitten with both of them. Brody and Gabe are pretty much built in best friends and we can't stop taking pictures of them!

First giggle
Pretty much the sweetest sound in the world. Baby giggles never get old! I got a video that I'll post on Instagram of him giggling while we were at Chloe's gymnastics. He doesn't do it every day, but I can tell he's on the verge of being a little giggle monster!

First Bridal Shower
Brody came with me to my dear friend Meena's bridal shower! Now he's been to a baby shower and a bridal shower. Next up, Meena's wedding in February!

First trip to the zoo
We finally made it out to the zoo the week of Thanksgiving! Brody loved it so much that he slept right through the almost 3 hours we were there. He woke up now and again so that we knew he was there, but he mostly enjoyed snuggling in the stroller. On the plus side, it was the perfect day, all the animals were out and his sister had the best time!

First Thanksgiving
Two holiday firsts in one month! Brody's first Thanksgiving was spent in College Station at his Jojo and Pops' house. He enjoyed his first Thanksgiving buffet of his favorite food...breastmilk! We had a blast with JP's family for the long weekend. It involved way too much food, Aggie football and lots of fun family time.

 Brody loves...
  • chewing on his tongue.
  • playing with his big sister.
  • napping in his car seat whenever we go places.
  • sitting up and standing.
  • sleeping through the night in his Dock-a-Tot.
  • eating. Always wants the boobie!
  • talking and smiling at anyone who will pay attention.

Brody doesn't like...

  • changing clothes.
  • getting out of the bathtub.
  • having to wait too long when he's already been patient.
Honestly, he's the happiest baby. He's so calm and easy going that there isn't much that he truly doesn't like! He's made being a mom to two kids so much easier than it could have been. I'm so obsessed with him and his sweet, calm demeanor. 

My sweet Brody boy,

Another month has come and gone and you have made our hearts grow more than we could ever imagine. You make your mommy and daddy so happy. Your smile lights up a room and your coos melt our hearts. You continue to be the easiest, sweetest baby we could ever imagine. How did we get so lucky?

This month has been a big one! You experienced two holidays and became a cousin in just 31 days. You rocked the pumpkin costume your little sister picked out for you, and you loved laying in the wagon as we went trick-or-treating around the street. You did opt out of treats on Halloween and turkey on Thanksgiving since you prefer the boobie. Who needs anything else when you have that?You and Gabe are already little besties, and we can't wait to watch you grow up and get into trouble together. We started imagining what we'll be dealing with in 3 years, and we're glad that you both can't move around quite yet.

Everything about you brings me so much joy! You smile when you hear my voice and look around for me. If that doesn't melt a momma's heart, then I don't know what does. You're my little boyfriend and I hope you'll let me kiss you forever. For now, I'll just soak up all the snuggles and the smile you give me because for now, I'm the center of your world and I wouldn't have it any other way.

I love you without wax,

Friday, November 16, 2018

What's in a Name: James Brody

Years ago I wrote a post about the reason I chose the name for this blog and that spiraled into the meaning of Chloe's name and how we chose it. I thought it would be fun to do the same thing for our Brody boy! {Take a look at Chloe's name post if you're interested!}

First let's look at the origin of his name.

From Baby Name Wizard: From the Ecclesiastic Late Latin Iacomus, an evolution of Iacobus, a cognate of the Hebrew Yaakov. The name has its root in ya`aqob (supplanting, seizing by the heel). Some say Iacomus arises from an error in the transcription of manuscripts from the Greek to the Latin by an early monk. Short: Jim. Pet: Jamie, Jimmy.

Meaning: Of Hebrew origin, meaning "He who Supplants".

From Baby Name Wizard: Transferred use of the surname meaning “from Brodie.” Brodie is a place-name believed to be derived from the Gaelic broth (a ditch). Var: Brody.

Meaning: Of Scottish origin, meaning "Second son; Ditch". 

Second son seems quite fitting because he is our second child and a son. Of course he's technically our first son, but we'll just look right over that. Now for the fun part. The story behind how we chose James Brody Gougler to be our son's name.

I have loved the name Brody for a very long time. In fact, I told JP when we were in college that I was going to name our son Brody. {Yes, I was that obnoxious girl who assumed JP and I were going to get married even though we started dating when I was 19. But hey, it happened!} For some reason the name spoke to me. In fact, I wanted to name my future son Brody James, but that changed for several reasons.
  1. My mom reminded me that my Aunt Ginny {one of my mom's childhood best friends} named her dog Brody James. Yes, that exact name. What are the odds? Did I really want to name my son after a dog?
  2. A good friend of mine mentioned that his initials would be BJ. Need I say more?
There are other more positive reasons that we decided to switch the order of the names to James Brody.
  1. My husband, Dad and JP's grandfather are all named James and none of them go by James. Husband: JP; Dad: Jim; Grandfather: JB
  2. JB are the initials for JP's deceased maternal grandfather and the only grandparent of JP's that I never met because he passed when we had been dating for less than a year. By switching the order of his names to James Brody they have the same first name and same initials.
James is obviously an important name in our families. Not only is my dad's name James, but my brother's middle name is James. JP has a grandfather, uncle and cousin named James. Again, none of them go by James. 

It only seemed fitting to stick with the trend. James would be our son's first name after many men that we love and admire, and Brody would be his middle name but the name he goes by. Of course he's always welcome to choose the name James in the future if that's what he prefers, but this momma will always call him Brody!

There you have it! Our sweet boy James Brody Gougler.

Again, if you're interested in finding out the meaning behind Chloe's name, take a peek here!

What are your kids names?
Is there a special meaning behind it? Or did you just like it? {Spoiler: I just loved Chloe's name. No special meaning!}

Friday, November 9, 2018

Life Lately + #Last90Days Update

Man, it's been hard for me to get a blog up lately. I've been starting and stopping posts and then never getting back to finish them until I feel like it's too late to post. Life as a mom of two is wonderful, but it's way busier than one! I finally sat down with some time to blog this week and thought I'd give a life lately update!

Lately I've been...

...reading my book club books! Here are some of my favorites:

  • The Outsider by Stephen King (highly recommend!)
  • The Cuckoo's Calling by Robert Galbraith (aka JK Rowling!)
  • What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty (great easy read)
  • This month we're reading The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah, but I haven't started it yet! I'm planning on reading some while we drive to and from College Station this weekend. 
  • I also started reading Girl, Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis here and there when I have a few minutes or when I'm in the bathtub. I definitely recommend all of these books I've read! 
If you're into series, The Cuckoo's Calling is a private investigator series with the same characters. I started reading the second one, but stopped when the next month's book club book came up. I try to read my book club book first so I can contribute to the discussion each month!

...listening to Up and Vanished Season 2, Someone Knows Something Season 5, Dr. Death, Escaping NXIUM, The Birth Hour and My Dad Wrote a Porno Season 4! Podcasts are my jam y'all. I'm actually looking for some new ones. I'm always up for a good true crime podcast, but I'm also interested in some parenting or just uplifting, better yourself type podcasts. Any suggestions?


  • Unexpected and 90 Day Fiance on TLC {I love a good TLC show that I can run in the background while I do things around the house!}
  • Sherlock {We just finished the show and I'm so sad. It was amazing!}
  • Call the Midwife {I just started season 6!}
  • Outlander {Season 4 just started. I loved the books and the TV series does a really good job of sticking to the story for the most part!}

...thinking about how my babies are growing up so fast. Once Gabe, my nephew, was born last week, my tiny baby seems so big already! He's only two months old, so he's supposed to be my itty, bitty infant. Also, since Brody was born, Chloe has seemed so big to me. Physically for her age, she's actually quite petite, but mentally and emotionally, she's grown leaps and bounds over the past two months alone. She's maturing right before my eyes!

...looking forward to going to College Station this weekend! We're in College Station for most home games to spend time with JP's parents and their friends that come in for the game. We honestly look forward to these weekends so much, but there hasn't been a home game in a month! Instead we have three back to back to back weekends starting now. This weekend my sister-in-love and her fiance will be there too, so I know we'll have the best time!

...working out I finally decided to give BeachBody a try! Since I'm not going back to work teaching classes for a while, I wanted something I could do at home that I would stick to. I joined a team with a girl that I actually met through Instagram! And by joined, I don't mean that I'm a BeachBody coach, just a client going along for the ride! We're doing the SHIFT SHOP: Proving Grounds challenge and I really like it. Since I'm only two months postpartum, I'm listening to my body and modifying when I need to. I feel like it's really helping me with strengthening my core and pelvic floor which is also helping my running. We're at the end of week 3 of a 4 week program. I've still been running but only 2 times a week and 1 longer walk. I plan to stick with BeachBody when this group does their next challenge, but I may be choosing to skip some workouts for runs instead since I need to get into training with my first half marathon coming up in January!

...wishing JP was still on paternity leave! It was magical having him here for 8 weeks. The past two weeks without him have been just fine, but it feels like something is missing. He was the greatest partner during his time off and really took charge and let me rest and heal. Literally the first month I didn't cook or take Chloe anywhere. He did it all! The second month we took the time to do things as a family. We would all go to Chloe's gymnastics followed by lunch somewhere. It was nice being able to do special things like that. I'm excited for him to be off the whole week of Thanksgiving!

...ready for Thanksgiving and Christmas! This is my absolute favorite time of year and I can't wait to decorate my home for Christmas! I know some people are vehemently against decorating before Thanksgiving, but I usually do it the week/weekend before. I can't help it! We're always gone and busy with family over Thanksgiving, so I do mine a bit before. It doesn't mean that I don't love Thanksgiving because I have a great appreciation for food and this girl loves carbs. Also, I am obsessed with family events and traditions! I just don't mind a Thanksgiving with Christmas decorations :)

I mean how could you not love this mantle full of stockings at my parents' house? My sister and I  always help my mom decorate the weekend after Thanksgiving. This year we'll be adding two more stockings to this collection!

...happy that I've been sticking to my #Last90Days challenge. I wrote about the challenge early last month to get some more awesome people on board and to note how I was going to modify the challenge to fit my current life situation! Here's my update. I've been doing so awesome!

  1. Get up an hour earlier than normal. Only a couple of days when I just needed to sleep in and rest! I'm really enjoying this because I'm getting some time to myself in the mornings before Chloe gets up. Sometimes Brody even sleeps after his 5-6am feed, so my time is really just me and the pups!
  2. Workout for at least 30 minutes a day. I'm proud to say that only ONE DAY did I not workout since October 1. Even when I was sick, I still got outside and walked. Now those days my walks were slower, but I still did something and that counts in my book. My BeachBody challenge is definitely helping me on this because the program has 6 workouts a week!
  3. Drink 80oz of water a day. I upped my number from half your body weight to 80oz and I do this every day. Most days I drink even more! It helps that I'm breastfeeding and super thirsty most of the time.
  4. Eat dessert only once a day. Another one I modified. I've had a few bad food days where I ate more sweets than my one dessert allotment for the day, but I can count those days on one hand. I'm definitely more aware of what I'm eating and I've been choosing healthier snacks, so it's a win in my book.
  5. Write down ten things you're grateful for every single day. This one has been easy for me. I love writing down my gratitude for the day. I usually do it in the morning during my quiet time reflecting on the day before. I have a special notebook where I write everything down, and I plan to continue this after the challenge is over come the New Year.

Lately things have been pretty good around here. We're starting to get the hang of being a family of four and just molding Brody to fit into our busy lives. Good thing he's so flexible! But seriously, he's such a great baby.

Happy Friday y'all!

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

James Brody: Two Months Old

Another month has flown by with this sweet boy! I did monthly updates with Chloe and I want to make sure I do them for Brody as well for a couple of reasons. First of all, I want to look back and have a way to remember everything about his first year of life! It's such a blur some days, so this is a way for me to look back and remember the joy that he brings to our lives. I also don't want to shift into second child syndrome and not document and take the time to remember the little things. {Totally not a jab at moms who don't do everything for the second baby! I'm guilty too. I just don't want to for this aspect!

That being said, let's look back on Brody's second month of life!

First real smile
First you get the gas or sleepy grins, then you get the full on smiles that completely melt your heart. I live for these y'all! Seeing him smile makes me so happy. I also love to hear Chloe ask, "Why is he smiling at me?" Then I tell her it's because he loves her, and she tells me how much she loves him too.

First snuggle in the ring sling
Those that know me know how much I love wearing my babies. I didn't have a ring sling with Chloe and I'm now a big believer in them! It's so easy to get baby in and out once you figure out how to work the contraption. It's also very easy to breastfeed in!
Fun fact: Moby will video chat with you to help you figure out how to configure and wear your baby safely. After posting on Instagram that I figured it out, Moby sent me a message to let me know about the video chat feature. I thought that was really neat and awesome customer service!

First birthday celebration
I'm a lucky momma because the first birthday he got to celebrate was mine! What are the odds since there are so many people in our family? It was pretty low key with our family, but it involved fajitas and ice cream cake. Winning.

First time to meet Uncle Ben
My brother lives in Dallas and hadn't had the opportunity to make it down to meet Brody. We actually didn't think he'd be here until Thanksgiving, but a Houston interview brought him down here and he decided to stay for the weekend! I'm so thankful that he was able to come and bond with his first nephew. We love you Benny!

First cold
Yes you read that right. At only 5 weeks old, my precious baby caught his first cold. I felt like a horrible mom since my newborn got sick! Our doctor was wonderful and let me know that it is normal with second + children because the older kids are bringing more germs into the house. After Brody had it, Chloe caught it and finally it made it's way to me. I'm happy to report that we're all healthy now.

First pool day
Up until recently it was too hot, too rainy or too buggy for us to be outside for long periods of time. After the first cool front that rolled in early October, we were able to spend more time outside. We even managed to get a sunny, warm day that wasn't too hot or too humid, so the whole family was outside for a fun pool day and BBQ. Brody dipped his feet in the water and he wasn't too sure about it. I think he'll love it by next summer!

First time to roll over {belly to back}
Our little guy loves to roll over. Tummy time is a joke these days since he only does it when he wants to. At just 5 weeks old, he rolled over for the first time! I was shocked since he kept doing it over and over again. I wasn't sure if it was a fluke at first. Then he started doing it every time I put him down on his play mat for tummy time! Silly boy.

Brody loves...

  • his big sister. She makes him smile every day!
  • morning coffee convos with mom. After his morning milk, he loves to lay on the couch so he can kick and smile and try to talk to me. It's quite possibly my favorite time of the day.
  • bath time. He loves it! It's very soothing for him...until he has to get out!
  • breastfeeding. Another boobie baby, what can I say? I'm glad that my children have breastfed so well!
  • pacing around the house with dad. This usually happens in the evenings when nothing else soothes him. It doesn't happen every night, but on fussy nights, it's his daddy that makes him feel the best.
  • staring at mobiles, fans and blinds. Still a fan fave.
  • sleeping through the night. Thank you Jesus! We've gone a full week and a half with him sleeping from about 10pm to 5 or 6am. It's life changing.
  • going to girls' nights with mom. He has been in regular attendance to my dinners out with lady friends. I think he likes being the only guy there. Everyone gives him all the love and attention!

Brody dislikes...
  • diaper changes.
  • getting dressed or changing cloths.
  • drying off after bath time.
  • waiting to eat when he's decided that he's hungry right now.
Pretty much the same as last month. He's such an easy going baby. He rarely cries or screams.

At his 2 month pediatrician appointment we found out that he is 12lbs 13oz and 24 inches long. Much bigger than Chloe at this age!

My sweet Brody Boy,

Another month with you in the books and it feels like you were meant for us more and more. God truly knows what he's doing when he creates life and adds to a family! You are exactly what we needed and felt like we were missing.

You are the best baby I could have asked for. You love to cuddle your momma during the day and sleep at night! For the most part, you are incredibly chill and laid back like your daddy. This is pretty great since you're the second child, so you're constantly being toted around to big sisters activities. We spend quite a bit of time in the car and you don't care 95% of the time. It makes me feel a lot better about all of the business of our lives! Thank goodness for carriers and babywearing or you would spend a lot of time in your car seat. We love to be close, so wearing you is the best when we're out and about.

Having a son is a dream come true. A dream I didn't even know that I was dreaming until you were born. The bond we share is so deep and beautiful that I can't explain it. I love you and your sister equally, but differently. As I watch you grow, learn and become more aware, my love for you grows greater. It's cheesy, but I really do love you more every day. I thank God every day for giving you to your daddy and me. You belong here sweet boy. I can't wait to see what adventures and first this next month gives us. No matter what, I know it will be great!

I love you without wax,

Just for fun, look at the difference a month makes!

Friday, October 26, 2018

2 Months Postpartum + Breastfeeding Journey

Oh hey! It's been a minute since I've blogged. (Remember you can keep up with us on Instagram or Facebook.) I did the same thing after having Chloe. I told myself that I'd have more time to blog, but let's be honest, that's not the case. Now I have two little crazies running around! And I wouldn't have it any other way.

Today I wanted to touch based on how I'm doing about 2 months into the 4th trimester mentally, physically and emotionally as well as how my breastfeeding journey is going.

Mental Health
Mentally I feel like I've got this! Up until this week, I've had JP at home with me during his paternity leave. Having him home helped me mentally because I had him here helping with everything. He is the true definition of a partner. He obviously can't breastfeed Brody, but he made up for that in diaper changes and getting up with him in the early hours so I could sleep. It also helped me mentally because I always had an adult to have conversation with! It sounds silly, but being around small children without regular adult conversation throughout the day can really get to you. Now that he's gone, I have plans to keep this up. My sister is due any day now and will have the next couple of months off. I plan to help her as much as possible plus I always have my mom and aunt close by whenever I need them!

Physical Health
Nutrition and Weight Loss
I feel great! I'm slowly losing the baby weight, but I've hit a plateau. I'm still down 20-22 lbs with a little less than 15 lbs until I'm back at my pre-pregnancy weight. I'm perfectly okay with this since I'm breastfeeding and keeping this little boy fed and happy is one of the most important things in my life right now. I was indulging my sweet tooth quite a bit in the early weeks, but I've been making better choices since the beginning of the month. Don't get me wrong, I believe in balance! I love dessert and still have a little something every day, but I'm not snacking on cookies or having cake for breakfast anymore. Participating in Rachel Hollis' Last 90 Days challenge has helped me to curb my sweet tooth, drink more water and focus on myself.

As far as fitness goes, I'm back at it. I've started running and I've gotten up to 4 miles without stopping. That being said, I'm officially in half marathon training mode! I plan to ramp up my mileage every weekend by 1 mile, so that means I'm tackling 5 miles on Saturday! The cooler weather definitely helps with motivation. Aside from my weekend runs, I'm also trying to fit in 2 weekday runs or run/walks. I'm still aware that I'm not quite what I once was and giving myself grace. Some days will not be all out runs and I'm okay with that!

I'm also participating in a BeachBody boot camp to work on strength and agility while I train for my races. Since I'm not going back to work, I wanted something to help me with strength and cross training. I'll miss teaching my classes, but I know I'll get back to it one day. I'm definitely making sure not to overdo it and to keep my calories up for breastfeeding purposes. I've learned to listen to my body over the last couple of years and it's paying off!

Emotional Health
While I struggled a little bit the first few weeks after Brody was born, it wasn't severe. More than anything it was postpartum hormones taking over my body and mind. I was very emotional about mine and Chloe's relationship and the thought of being a good enough mom for both of my babies. It had been Chloe and I against the world for so long, and just before Brody arrived we were struggling. She was incredibly emotional and always clinging to her daddy, telling me that she didn't love me anymore and just didn't want to have much to do with me. This continued until a few weeks after Brody was born. Now she's back to being my girl with a little deeper bond with her daddy. I'm okay with that! She's still a little fussy, but she is 3 after all. She's become the best helper and just loves her little brother. As for being a good enough mom for both of them, I like to think I'm doing good on that front. I love and adore these children more than I could ever imagine, and I'm starting to get the hang of dividing my time and focusing on the most important things.

These days I'm less emotional. I'm crying less and laughing more. My hormones have definitely leveled out and I'm feeling like myself again! I'm still trying to get the hang of getting places with two kids and shopping with two kids and getting two kids ready for the day, but the more I do it, the less stressful it will seem.

My breastfeeding journey with Brody has been a breeze! He is a very laid back baby and makes me look good at this whole mom-ing thing. From hour one he had an amazing latch and he loved the boob. That very first feed felt a little awkward for me. It was like I barely knew what I was doing even though I nursed Chloe for 18 months. I think the rush of adrenaline and all the post birth feel good hormones had me a little shaky and out of sorts. Thank goodness for my mom though! She pretty much got him latched and ready to go before we had thought to take our first family picture.

Look at that little guy going to town! Yay for colostrum! I mention that the first feed felt off and awkward just to let all the moms out there know that it's okay if it feels weird at first. Whether its your first baby or fifth, each baby is different and there is usually a gap in breastfeeding time. Don't feel bad if it feels off at first because you'll get the hang of it. In fact, by the time his next feeding rolled around, it was as if we had been doing it forever. I knew how to hold him, how to get comfortable and what to do! I'm glad for that because by then everyone had left the hospital since it was nearing midnight!

Our postpartum time in the hospital was a breeze and I didn't need any help for the lactation consultants on staff. Once we got home, we kept on going strong. My milk came in around day 3-4 and was painful, but manageable. One thing I did notice is that his upper lip was a little tight and didn't always flip out the way it should. It occasionally caused some tenderness on my nipple while he was nursing. It turns out he has a slight lip tie, but it isn't that bad and he still has some flexibility and movement. That being said, he doesn't need to have it reversed, but about every other feed, I have to flip his upper lip manually. Since we've been going at it for almost two months now, I can feel when his lip is tucked in.

We introduced the pacifier around 3 weeks to see if he liked it and to give my nipples a break. Good news, he loves it unlike his sister who used me for a paci! I also started pumping in the morning around 3 weeks. It's recommended to wait a few weeks before pumping so you don't mess with your supply regulation. Usually 6 weeks is what people are told, but since I have an over supply, my mom suggested I do it in the morning after his feed to relieve the pressure and to avoid clogged ducts. It's definitely helped immensely.

Speaking of pumping, let's talk pumps. I'm usually a really big fan of my Medela Hand Pump and the Haaka, but I was recently introduced to a pump that has been a game changer for me. Take a look at the Motif Duo Double Electric Pump.

I received this pump from Aeroflow Breast Pumps. {Which I highly recommend you use to get your free or discounted pump through insurance! It's so easy and they do all of the middle man work for you. It was so much easier to get my pump this time around!} Since I'm not going back to work this time, I didn't really need a big electric pump. This time around I needed something small and battery operated to take on the go! Now that I'm a mom of two, I'm constantly going places. Pretty much I'm Chloe's chauffeur. Since this pump has a rechargeable battery, I can take it around with me to pump if needed. For example, if I know that we'll be constantly going all day, I can pump in the car. With a good pumping bra, I can do it while driving! Just set it up before you leave and turn it off when you get where you're going. Long car trip? Pump on the go and feed at the next pit stop! And that's just one way you can use it on the go!

Since it's football season, this is where I've used it the most! My mother-in-love is a saint and offers to watch my kiddos so that JP and I can go to the Aggie football games while we're in town. This pump allows me to pump easily while I'm at the game! It gets better. Since it's battery operated, I don't need a plug so I can pump in my seat. IN MY SEAT! I don't have to leave the game and hole up in the bathroom to pump when I'm away from my baby.

For this game, I just doubled up my shirts with a nursing cami underneath my tank top. It allowed full coverage without the need for a cover! Seriously a life saver since it was in the mid-90's even at 6:30pm. This pump has been a game changer for me and I highly recommend it for busy moms that probably don't have to pump that often! It would also be great for working moms to have as a second pump. Keep the bigger one at work and this one in the car. Just a thought!

Now that we're two months into this two kid thing, I'm starting to get the hang of it. That probably means that some big change is going to come and shake things up right? As for now, I'm just going to soak up these little ones as we enter the holiday season!

What were your biggest postpartum struggles?
Do you have a good breastpump or breastfeeding must have?

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