Sunday, December 28, 2014

Christmas (Part 2)

This year we spent Christmas with Leland's family, at his sister's house. We had a lot of fun and Esther especially enjoyed it. I was so happy that it was a white Christmas!

Waking up on Christmas morning:

Opening presents:

She loves her little ride on car. 

Hanging with Daddy:

Being held by Granny with cousin Evelyn:


Being pushed my cousin Noah:

Her sleep position of choice these days, crazy girl:

We had a great Christmas! Next we will be going down to celebrate with my family where it's warm.

Christmas (Part 1)

Our Christmas activites started the weekend before Christmas with a visit to our nearby pioneer village which was set up for Christmas. Complete with actors dressed as pioneers, and Father Christmas. Sadly this blurry pic was the only one I got. 

On Sunday we made Christmas cookies. 

Esther had fun playing with Daddy while I made them. 

On Monday Leland's mom came to stay with us, and on Tuesday we went to temple square with her and Leland's brother, Kent. 

Esther was the warmest one in the carrier. 

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Mobile Baby

Esther is in to everything these days! She loves crawling and she can pull up to stand on almost anything, whether or not it is stable haha. Since I've been trying to study for finals for the past little while she has had a little more free time on her hands than normal, and she has been finding all the funnest things in our house. She is always so cute and proud of herself when she finds something new. Luckily our house is pretty baby proof, as long as I remember to close doors, so I don't have to worry about her having free range. Here is some photo evidence of all her explorations just from one morning.

She loves playing with the video games and the controllers. 

She loves trying to flush the toilet, actually just playing with anything in the bathroom. 

Tearing her books off the bookshelf, her favorite pastime. 

Trying to grab the camera once she noticed I was taking pictures. 

Playing in the bathroom after her bath. Her little rolls kill me ;)

Discovering the closet and trying to squeeze inside.
This is such a fun age, even though she is into everything, at least she can entertain herself for long periods of time so Mama can get things done!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

5 Tips for Successful Breastfeeding

I'm no expert on breastfeeding, but I always love reading blog posts about different breastfeeding experiences. I feel like it's something that not many people talk about, and a lot of moms are left to just figure it out on there own. So here are some things that I've learned in the past 9 months, hopefully someone else can benefit from these tips. :)

1. Learn: I know everyone says that breastfeeding is natural, which is true, but it really is a learning process for both mom and baby. I took a breastfeeding class through WIC when I was pregnant and it helped both me and Leland learn so much. I learned what the correct latch looked like, how to position the baby, and what to expect. They also gave me a book to refer back to later. Even though I felt pretty prepared I also had the lactation consultant at the hospital come in almost everyday to help me figure things out. Most the time she told me that everything looked great, but she did have some great tips on how to help Esther latch. Learning these things right at the beginning really helped us in the long term.

2. Get your Husband on Board: I've heard that one of the biggest factor's for determining if your successful with breastfeeding is the amount of support you have. I was glad that my mom and other family were supportive of me breastfeeding, but I am so grateful for how supportive Leland has been. Once he learned about the health benefits and found out how much money breastfeeding saves, he was 100% for it. From the beginning he has been great about getting water and snacks for me when I was nursing, as well as being totally comfortable with me nursing in public. He's also been so amazing with feeding Esther breast milk in a bottle whenever I'm at work.

3. Don't Freak Out About Formula: A lot of pro-breastfeeding info will tell you how horrible formula is. A few hours after she was born the pediatrician recommended she have a bottle of formula because her blood sugar was low. I was really worried about nipple confusion, but it turned out to not be a big deal. Later while we were still in the hospital, she was loosing a lot of weight, and was super hungry because my milk hadn't come in yet. I felt so bad because she was very fussy, so the nurse suggested we give her formula with a supplementary nursing system. This turned out to be a huge help because she learned how to nurse correctly while still getting the nutrition she needed. It was also so much easier to feed her once she was no longer starving.  Luckily we only had to use it for a few feedings a day for about a week and then I had more than enough milk for her. I wish I had worried less about her having formula because it was only for a short while and she's never needed it since.

4. Learn How to Side Nurse as Soon as Possible: When we first brought Esther home from the hospital I would feed her by sitting up in the bed with a boppy (a must have for us!) on my lap. This was so uncomfortable, especially since I was recovering from a C-section. My mom encouraged me to try to nurse her in the bed, lying down on my side, so that I could get some rest while Esther had her sometimes 40 minute nursing sessions. I was pretty skeptical at first but as soon as I learned how my life was so much easier. It took some practice but by about 6 weeks it was my go-to position for night feedings. I would doze off a little, but I would almost always wake up and put her back in her bassinet as soon as she unlatched. Even now this is the way I almost always nurse Esther ever since she outgrew her boppy. Sometimes when she is being a little stinker it's the only way she'll fall asleep!

5. Expect the Unexpected: Just as we would get the hang of breastfeeding, something else would change, a growth spurt, a baby that suddenly becomes dis tractable, or a nursing strike. My advice is to just keep on keeping-on. Realize that these hard phases are usually pretty short, and sometimes you have to change things up, but don't give up! There have been so many times where Esther has refused to breastfeed and I had all but given up on ever nursing her again. But even though she's sometimes had to have a few bottles of pumped milk. she's eventually always come back to breastfeeding. And as soon as she does I am so glad that I kept trying. The website has been a huge help for us. It's always the first place I go when I have questions.

 Breastfeeding is such a great bonding experience and I am so glad that it's been able to work for us. Once we hit 12 months I'll let her decide when to be done, but until then I'm soaking up all the snuggle time I get with her.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

9 Months Old

This little cutie has officially been out longer than she was in! 

Here is a little tbt for you: 
36-ish weeks pregnant

Actually since this little stinker was a week late, next week she will be out longer than she was in.

My camera has been taking super blurry pictures lately, but I was still able to get a few good ones. This month Esther is standing and pulling up all over the place! She still has no teeth, but that doesn't stop her from eating tons of finger foods. She loves yogurt bites, puffs, cheerios, corn, peas and bits of meat. She really liked the pieces of turkey on Thanksgiving.

She still nurses about 5 times during the day and 1-2 times at night. She has been so happy and smiley lately. She is usually always happy, even when she is tired or hungry she is easily distracted. 

She weighs about 22 pounds and is about 28 inches long. She wears 12 and 18 month clothes. It is crazy to be buying her 2T clothes for the spring.  

At 9 months she likes:
-going outside
-watching the tv for 5-10 mintues at a time
-songs like "patty cake" "if you're happy and you know it" and "the wheels on the bus"
-watching older babies/toddlers and trying to follow them
-toys with lights and songs
- banging her hands on any surface
-destroying the house

At 9 months she doesn't like:
-being in her carseat
-nursing anywhere other than laying in bed
-strangers, especially men
-things being taken away from her

Doing one of her classic happy screams

She is getting to be such a big girl. I can't believe that soon she will be 1!

I do love the times that she falls asleep when I am nursing her,to remind me that she still is just a baby. I hope she doesn't stop anytime soon. 

More pictures: 

We love our little Esther :)

Images by Freepik