21 April 2017

Only The Best Food For My Babies

Our Decision to Breastfeed

Looking back it was one of those decisions that just felt right.  It was free, it was all natural, and it would help to speed along any weight gained through pregnancy so for me it was a win win for the both of us!  I decided to breast feed Julia even before she was the size of a golf ball.  All natural seemed like such a no-brainer decision.  Why didn't everyone breastfeed?

I found the reason out the minute Julia was a few days old. Perhaps not all moms chose to breast feed because of the intense pain they experienced while doing so!  It hurt so bad those first few weeks and no I was not doing it wrong!  It just plain hurt.  I can still remember being in agony every time she latched on.  I would literally see stars.  Once we got into our rhythm of breast feeding and pumping during the day so John could feed Julia bottles at night (so I could sleep for a few uninterrupted hours) the pain subsided and we breastfed like a champ until 10 months.  Julia started weaning herself off and I didn't realize why, until I took a pregnancy test and discovered we were pregnant with baby #2!

Mark Ciro

When Mark was born everything about his birth and his feeding was different.  His birth was by far my favorite.  It was quick, easy and done in the water.  Having a water birth the second time around was so relaxing.  Mark latched on quickly and our breastfeeding story was easy and I can't ever being in pain.  We stopped breast feeding right around 13 months and Mark started drinking soy milk.  

Micah Justice
Four years went by and we had our second son Micah, my feeding situation with Micah was rough!  He couldn't latch properly.  I bled a lot in the beginning when I nursed him which made it so painful and I would try to pump but that hurt too.  Then I would get mastitis.  I was a hot mess.  We stuck with it and I had a lactation consultant come over to the house to help me, within an hour we figured out the problem and he was fine.  I nursed Micah until is first birthday and then we stopped just like that!  (I was also 3 months pregnant at the time with Amelia)

Prenatal Vitamins Link

Julia 6, Mark 5, Micah 1, Amelia (in the belly)

Amelia was born into a very busy little family.  Julia was 6 1/2, Mark was 5, Micah was 17 months when she joined us.  We were so thankful to add another girl to the mix!  Julia was praying for a baby sister since she already had two brothers.  And she just knew we would have a girl!  She was completely right.

We breastfed Miss Amelia Susanna without any problems, and at 5 months old we started introducing barley cereal and then baby food.  Vegetables first and then fruit.  We breastfed until Amelia was 10 months old and then we went straight to almond milk which she LOVED and drank it straight from a sippy cup.  I would've nursed her forever because she was such a dreamy easy going baby but I had dental work and the meds they put me on were too strong for her to have while breast feeding and she was starting to be so mobile and breastfeeding less and less anyway so it seemed like perfect timing.

I am thankful I listened to my body each time and did what I felt was right for our kids instead of just doing what everyone else was doing at the time.  I stopped breastfeeding when I was ready and when I felt my child was ready.  In my opinion once they were walking and talking it was probably time for them to start a sippy cup.  That was just what was best for us.  

I have learned that the way you feed your child is your choice!  No one can make you feel guilty or tell you that are doing it wrong.  You and your doctor can make those big decisions together.  I always started solids once my babies were 5-6 months old.  I had BIG BABIES.  Both Julia and Mark were 8lbs babies and Micah and Amelia were 9lbs.  In my opinion they were completely able to wait until 5-6 months for solids.  I started their first "meal" of rice cereal or barley cereal at night time.  We would do that for a week or two.  Then we would start trying out all the veggies and then the fruits.  I loved giving them baby food!  And none of my kids had any allergies.  We started peanut butter and jelly sandwiches right around 9-10 months old and they LOVED peanut butter!

Micah had a slight allergy to strawberries, but he loved eating them so much that we would keep trying them and after a few weeks he would no longer get a rash and I figured he wasn't allergic anymore.  If you know Micah you know of his deep love for fruits and veggies and PASTA!

That is our feeding history with our kids.  I have got to tell you something.  Feeding them and watching them grow has been the joy of my life.  There has been no greater moments for me in motherhood than breastfeeding my babies and holding their hands and looking into their eyes and holding them close.  And sitting them in a high chair and feeding them something new and watching their facial expressions has been so fun and hilarious.  Especially when serving them peas!  In my opinion it's best to start with the veggies first because it will broaden their palate and then they will truly enjoy the fruits that much more!  But either way you do it, formula, breastfed, rice cereal, barley, whatever you choose will be perfect for you and your baby.  That's just how it works.  They all even out in the end!  It has to be what is best for you and your situation...it just does!

Check out this links if organic formula is something that is best for your family!

Honest Baby Formula


20 April 2017

Thirty Something...

My beautiful 30 year old (YOUNGER) sister Sara

"You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream." --C. S. Lewis

I have loved being in my thirties.  

In your twenties you have so many doubts and insecurities. At least I did.  But in your thirties you start to feel grounded, comfortable, confident.

It's the first time I felt truly happy and I don't care what other people think.

I spent a lot of my teen years and 20's comparing myself to other people and wanting what other people had and wishing I was different.

Now I spend more of my time being thankful to God for His timing, for where He has placed me, and with whom I am surrounded and for my purposes in life.

I appreciate people more.  All people.  All ages.

I listen more.

I genuinely feel people who are older and wiser than me have a lot to teach me and want to hear how they have done things, why they have done things a certain way, and take as many tips and advice as I can.

I enjoy learning new things.  Always have but now it's thrilling to learn something new and pass it on.

I talk more! I finally have found my "voice".  My husband will tell you I have always had a voice, and never struggled to tell him exactly how I feel.  But that's because I have always felt comfortable with him.  Finding my voice and speaking my truth took a long time.  He has helped me to believe in myself and trust my instincts because he has always trusted and listened to me and since he thinks I am the "expert" in our house he makes me feel so valuable and important it makes me feel like I have the right to be myself and say how I feel.

I have come to realize that the people I surround myself with truly does impact the way I view and feel about myself.  And therefore I choose friends that I admire and people who inspire me, not people who bring me down or are negative all the time.

I am less defensive.  I want to work out issues and resolve things instead of being passive aggressive. I much rather peace than drama!

I appreciate my parents more and realize that some of what they did was not necessarily to hurt me but maybe they truly did have my best interest at heart.

I am less selfish because I realize the universe does NOT revolve around me and my family.  I realize that putting others first does in fact feel good and in turn blesses me in the long run.

Having children has helped me to see that I need less than I thought I did and has taught me that I could survive on very little sleep and still conquer the world the next day (Thanks to Jesus and coffee.)

I am more confident.

And it has nothing to do with me per se I just feel more comfortable in my skin.

I can remember growing up wishing my skin were darker, wishing I didn't have curly hair, wishing I was taller, wishing all the things young people wish when they don't appreciate who they are.

But once you are older, and you realize who created you, and why you were put on earth, and how much value and worth you have because of Him, you are like, okay God, let's do this!

It's the first time in life I have felt like I know what the heck I am doing.  I have some street cred and it's all thanks to experience, marriage and motherhood.

The thirties have been awesome! I get to share this awesome decade for a few years with my sister Sara before leaving it for the 40s...something tells me if the thirties have been this good and eye opening the 40s will only be better :)

"In the end it's not the years in your life that count, it's the life in your years."  Abraham Lincoln

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