Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Our big boy is THREE

Soon enough I will be back in a regular blogging groove, but for now, I want to try to stay on top of our kids' monthly and yearly posts. I don't want to forget these sweet early days and want each of them to have memories to look back on when they're older. And I'm going to try my hardest to make sure they each get the same "coverage" at each milestone. ;)

So here is my post for our big boy, who turned 3 on July 28th.

I have said this so much lately, especially since Emily joined our family, but Ryan is like a 3 year old going on 30 in so many ways.

He is so aware and mature for his age. He helps me around the house, he looks out for his sisters, he "babysits" Emily when I need to run into a different room for a minute, he reminds me of things that we need to bring places and then asks if I have them once we're in the car. At his party, when the first guests had to leave, he told them all on his own, "Don't forget to grab a goodie bag" as he was splashing in the pool with his friends. And in these moments, he just makes me laugh, because I forgot about the goodie bags, but he was on top of it. All barely 3 years of him. 

He is sensitive, kind, organized, content, determined, chatty, tough, silly, and careful. He is a rule follower, observer, early riser, and book lover.

He is hands down the best big brother around.

His favorite things right now are: anything with a ball, swimming, painting, crafting, working on puzzles, making up silly jokes and words, reading and practicing sounds of letters, playing with bubbles, searching for bugs, and playing hide-and-go-seek and chase. He just recently stopped calling chase, "let's run each other" and also recently stopped telling us where he was going to hide.

Whenever he grows out of saying things that are so cute and young-sounding, I have that bitter-sweet mama moment where I'm sad that he's less little but love watching him grow all at the same time. 

I love how his "L's" are still "W's" like when he says, "weh-whoa chickwing" for yellow chickling, or when I tried to help him fall back asleep in his bed until his light turned green and he told me he didn't "wike the smewl of my sweepin breaf." (translation: like the smell of my sleepin' breath)

Matt and I went to his preschool for the parent meeting last night, and I fought back tears several times. Because things like backpacks and packed lunches and carpool drop-off are totally tear worthy right now. 

He is growing up so fast.

He starts school next Monday, and I'm trying hard to remind myself that this is 3-day preschool, not college. But every time I picture him walking into that classroom on the first day and me not seeing him for the next four hours, I fight back tears. Yep, there they are again. I know he will do great and is ready for the change, but I don't know if I am yet!

Right now, when Matt and I take him to a birthday party, or the playground, or an organized kid activity where he doesn't know the other kids, he often invites us to play with him. And it really doesn't seem like he doesn't want to play with the other kids because he'll join in with them too, but more that he likes having us a part of what he's doing because that's what he's used to. So I know that the first time he runs into a group of kids he doesn't know and starts playing with them and we stand on the sidelines and watch will be a mixed-emotions moment. But I'm sure that's what's coming once he starts school, and I know it's a good thing!

Watching him grow up these last 3 years has been the greatest joy for us as parents. 

Here are a few of my favorites of him over the years. :)

First pair of shoes

He thought he was hiding :)


Tuesday, August 1, 2017

3 Favorite Products for Breastfeeding (Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Lactation Cookie Recipe Included!)

It is World Breastfeeding Week, so I thought what better time to share 3 of my favorite breastfeeding snacks and products than now?!

Milkful Bars
(found here)

I started using these bars with Natalie when I was having trouble with my milk supply. They come in 3 different flavors and are a healthy, tasty, and filling snack that help increase your milk supply! And now, Ryan and Natalie ask if they can have some when I'm eating my daily bar for Emily, so the taste is kid tested and approved. ;)

Order here and use code BAHEATHER10 at checkout to save 10% on your order!

NatureBond Milk Saver
(found here)

I feel like Oprah when I talk about this product. I seriously want to walk through the labor & delivery ward at the hospital and throw one if every nursing mama's room shouting, "And you get one, and you get one, and you get one!"

I so wish I knew about this product with Ryan and Natalie!

You suction it to the opposite side while you nurse and it catches all of the milk that would otherwise leak into a nursing pad. GEN-IUS, right?! And then I use it to manually pump whatever is left after each feed to help my body continue to produce a good supply for each feed.

So get this. Between the Milkful Bars and this product, I stored over 130 ounces of milk in Emily's first TWO WEEKS of life! Crazy!

For a mama who was able to nurse my first (Ryan) to 16.5 months (another story for another day, but I had to work hard at weaning him and did so successfully 6 weeks before Natalie was born... the sweet love would probably still be nursing if I let him- hah!), and then struggled to get milk for even one bottle/day at 6 months with Natalie, saving that much milk in such a short amount of time felt HUGE!

I have gifted this product to 3 new mamas in the past month and want to give one away to one of you! So check out my Instagram account today and make sure you tag a new mama or mama-to-be for a chance to win!

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Lactation Cookies

Disclosure- the Milkful Bars are totally the healthier option, but nursing mamas need some yummy fats too (straight out of the mouth of my pediatrician, btw) in order to produce that good thick milk that fills up our babies in between feeds and helps give better stretches at night. But honestly, do we even need an excuse to eat chocolate chip cookies?!

And I'm totally tooting my own horn, but I gotta say, these cookies are SO good!

Hope you enjoy!

2T flax seed meal
4T water
1 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 cups flour
2T brewer's yeast
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp baking powder
3 cups oats
2 cups chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350°.
Mix the flaxseed meal and water and let sit for 3-5 minutes.
Beat butter, sugar, and brown sugar well.
Add eggs and mix well.
Add flaxseed mix and vanilla, beat well.
Sift together flour, brewers yeast, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and baking powder.
Add dry ingredients to butter mix.
Stir in oats and chips.
Scoop onto greased baking sheet.
Bake for 12 minutes.
Let set for a couple minutes then remove from tray.

This recipe yields about 4 dozen cookies.

And don't forget to check out my Instagram account to enter the giveaway!
Winner will be announced on my account Friday.