Total Basset Case

Jan 17, 2017

Precious

Even though we have approximately 100 million photos of Little Mister, we knew we still wanted professional photos taken.
Thankfully, one of our good friends takes fabulous photos.

Janie has taken photos for almost all of the big events in our life. 
She secretly shot our engagement (Mister set that up and gave me the photos right before our wedding ceremony #tears), our engagement/save the date photos and maybe most importantly, all of Floyd's puppy photos.  
We knew from the beginning we wanted her to take Little Mister's newborn photos once he was home.
She was sweet enough to come to us from out of town and worked her magic!
I am obsessed with every last one of these.
Now I just need to decide which ones to print, blow up to an obnoxious size and frame all over our home.
These were taken about a month ago and he is already so much bigger!
Would monthly professional photos be too crazy...?
This one is my FAVORITE
Cheeks!!
I was not quite ready to have my photo taken but me oh my do I treasure this photo of us.

Jan 11, 2017

Milk Maid : Part 2

First of all, thank you everyone for your sweet comments and encouragement on my previous pumping post!!  You guys are the best!

I will admit when I began this pumping journey I had NO idea it would entail so much and that so much goes into it.  Thankfully (praise God) I am blessed with a decent supply and that helps encourage me to keep going.  I know some ladies are not as lucky.  With that, I am not above trying all the tips, foods and techniques to help bump up that supply as much as I can.

I have done a lot of googling and question asking regarding supply, how/when to pump, what to eat and drink to help supply and the pumping process.  I thought I would corral that information for you here if anyone needs it!  There is PLENTY more online (and some good Facebook groups) and plenty I still don't know but here are the things that have helped me.

FOOD/DRINK:
Simply, what you put in your body directly effects a lot of your milk output.
To increase and keep up my supply I eat and drink a combination of the following on any given day/week:
Almonds
Avocado
WATER
Whole grain cereals
Oatmeal (not instant)
WATER
Gatorade (some say the blue specifically but I don't think the color matters much)
Mothers Milk Tea
Hummus
Leafy greens
Smart Water
MORE WATER
Carrots

and generally just eating more helps as well.  They say you need to consume about 500-600 extra calories a day to keep up.  Honestly I have to remind myself of that most days.  
I make these bars literally every week to snack on (I add flax seeds) and also eat a few handfuls of trail mix during the day.
I also take Fenugreek 3x a day.  I just started this recently and I am pretty sure it's helping.

TIME:
I mentioned in my original post that I spend about 2 hours a day pumping.  I do my best to pump every 3 hours during the day and every 4 at night.  It's exhausting but worth it to get Little Mister the milk he needs.
The time of day can definitely effect your amounts. I get the most in the middle of the night (which keeps me going when I don't want to get up) and first thing in the morning.  I tend to not get as much in the early evening but sometimes that is due to not drinking enough water around that time.

So much of pumping is supply and demand.  The more you body thinks you need, the more it will make.  To help this, I have started pumping on one side and nursing on the other for a few sessions a day if I can.  It is a juggling act but I think it helps plus then I don't have to spend an additional 15 minutes pumping.

TIPS:
There are a couple of different apps out there that track your milk and nursing.  When Little Mister was in the NICU I used Milk Maid to track how much milk I took in each day and was really pleased with it.  It was the best one I could find that only tracked pumping amounts (not nursing times).

Did you know you that you don't have to wash your pump parts every time you pump?  They can be put in the fridge until your next session and be perfectly fine! This is such a time saver.  You should wash them at least once a day though.

Nursing tanks and bras are real lifesavers.
Here are the pieces I've been living in:
Tanks
Sleep bra
 Bra

Again, I could talk about this all day so let me know if you have any questions!
Chelsea also recently wrote a very helpful guide to pumping that is worth checking out! 

Jan 9, 2017

Cleaning Up the Holiday Mess

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone.  #WipeAwayHolidayMess  #CollectiveBias

I am, by nature, a VERY messy cook.  I somehow manage to get every single bowl, measuring cup, 74 knives and utensil we have out and dirty whenever I am cooking anything.  It drives Mister nuts but I am not really sure it is changing anytime soon.  Plus he gets yummy meals and treats out of it so its a win for him!

Ironically, I HATE a sink full of dishes.  It is one of the things in life that gives me severe anxiety.  I can basically do nothing until my sink is clear of dishes.  A clear and clean sink really makes my heart pitter patter.

It is my tendency to throw whatever will go, into the dishwasher.  However there are times when this just isn't an option. Maybe the dishwasher is already running or you're working with nonstick pots and pans that can't go in there or maybe you are in the midst of a cooking spree and there isn't time for the dishwasher.
This seems to always be the case during holiday cooking and baking.  It is the time I seem to be using the most utensils and bowls while also needing them clean immediately for the next dish I am whipping up.
This sure was the case when my mom and I were cooking our Christmas brunch feast.  Thankfully my mama was here to help clean up behind me when I was throwing flour and butter everywhere making biscuits.  Mamas are the best ;)
I also had another helpful hand in the kitchen to help me clean up.

On one of my million trips to Kroger for ingredients to prepare for Christmas brunch I spotted these Scotch-Brite® Scrubbing Dish Cloth and snatched a couple up.
 I already knew that we would be making a mess with all the extra cooking we were doing and need a little extra help cleaning up.  It seems like holiday feasts manage to create the biggest messes. Or is that just me?
  The Scotch-Brite® Scrubbing Dish Cloth was a true lifesaver for my messiness!  Mama and I both gave them double thumbs up for saving the kitchen and cleaning up our holiday messes.

Along with keeping our dishes and sink area clean, it is imperative that all areas and surfaces of our kitchen are 100% clean and sanitary at all times.  Little Mister's immune system is not quite what other babies is and we are constantly on a mission to keep things very clean and sanitary in order to keep him healthy.  We are always washing up bottles and bottling up milk and the surfaces and items we work with have to be in tip top cleanliness at all times.  Whether we are in the midst of a holiday cooking/baking spree or not.  

To keep our kitchen, dishes and surfaces as clean as possible I have religiously adopted a few easy steps:

1.  Throw it all in the sink.  I know I know I said I HATE dishes in the sink but the first step for me is to corral everything that needs washed together.  Nothing is more frustrating than thinking you're done washing, empty out your soapy water to find 2 more bowls sitting out.

2.  Use a dish soap you trust.  I love using Method dish soap because I feel it works very well, its not full of a bunch of junk and the bottle is cute :)

3.  Use a dish cloth that really gets the grime off.  For me, that's Scotch-Brite® Scrubbing Dish Cloth.  These dish cloths have the power of a high quality dish cloth combined with Scotch-Brite® scrubbing dots. Win win.

4.  Wash and dry.  Thankfully the Scotch-Brite® Scrubbing Dish Clothcome in packs of 2 so you can use one cloth to easily wash away the grime and stuck on messes and then use the other to dry so your dishes are ready for when you need them next.

These steps in combination with cleaning up during and after cooking, means we are doing a lot of dishes and wiping our counters down frequently.  The scrubbing dots on one side really allow me to scrub dishes clean in the sink and also clean the counters all in one.  And if they could get any better, they are also fully washable and reusable.  Those are the things in life that I need to make my day easier! 

The Scotch-Brite® Scrubbing Dish Cloth really fits the bill for this and I am so glad I picked them up Kroger.  Lucky for you, you can pick them up too and utilize the In-Store Clip Strip Offer for $1.50 off 2-pack promo starting in January!  
To learn more about these amazing dish cloths, check them out here! You can also check out on Facebook and Twitter

Jan 4, 2017

Currently : January

Along with a yearly list, I love a good 'currently' list to look back on.

Let's start this year with the following:

Gathering: All the sweet baby toys Little Mister received for Christmas.  I picked up a few small baskets to gather all the little things so they did not start over taking the living room and his room.  

Making: Everything from this cookbook.  I love Chrissy and now I love her even more because there is literally not one item in this cookbook that doesn't look delicious.
I made sure to start this week off by putting together a meal plan for a least the next two weeks.  A blog goal of mine this year is to share meal more meal plans.  I love putting them together and reading them on other peoples blog, I think it is such a helpful tool we can all share.
Sipping:  About a million things throughout the day.
Mother's milk tea, coconut seltzer water, Diet Coke and my rediscovered love of Cherry Coke Zero.
And about once a week, a small glass of red wine.

Following:  I blame Casey and Kait but I am recently obsessed with Living with Landyn.  Am I totally late to the ballgame on this or what?! I love how white and neutral her house and also how she seems like she could be your best friend.  And her hair.  Give me that hair. 

Resolving:  I will have our big list up later this week or next but I think my overall theme for the year is to be present.  I have a feeling this year may go VERY quickly and I don't want to miss a second of it.

Linking up with Anne and Jessica

Jan 3, 2017

2016 List Accomplishments

Ideally I would have gotten this together before the end of the year but I am going to use the baby card ;)
I love looking back at these types of posts every year and seeing what we actually did.
We are working on our 2017 goals list that we do every year so I will have that up soon but first let's look at what we crossed off this year.
Admittedly it wasn't as much as previous years but we did birth and are raising a chid so I think that counts for something, right?!
Looking back, ironically, 'have a baby' was not on our list BUT it was on our radar so there's that.
I like looking back at this list because it helps me focus on what this years goals should be and if anything worked really well that we should repeat.
I know it's the norm to start January 1 with new goals and resolutions but for me, anyway, with the craziness of the holidays by the time my birthday and new year's eve rolls around I haven't given a single thought to what I want the next year to look like.  We usually think and work on our list for a few days before nailing anything down.

With that, let's see what we did manage to accomplish in 2016!
Not too bad!!
I'm giving us a 13.25/19

Here are the highlights:

1.  I have definitely increased my water intake.  Pregnancy and breastfeeding/pumping have really helped that.  Mostly because I am legit thirsty 90% of the day.  Our investment in Kroger's version of La Croix has greatly increased.

2.  Mister did a good job going through his closet and we found out through our church they have a donation program that provides business attire clothing to men going to their first interviews so we are more than happy to take his things to them!

4.  We swapped out the light in what was Floyd's room so we get .5 for this.

5.  We had our fair share of cheap (fun!) date nights at home and this is one we will continue this year.  We often make a homemade pizza and watch one of the 19 shows we are engrossed in.

6.  I read 41 books and Mister read 6.  I'm giving us a .75 on this one.

8.  We did make it to Columbus! Right before Little Mister arrived.  I loved our day trip there and hoping we can go back when it's warmer.

12.  I ran until I was about 6 months pregnant and then picked it back up a little when Little Mister was still in the NICU.  I do know one goal for this year is to always enjoy running.  I often put too much pressure on myself when I run and I want to stop doing that.

14.  We bought salt 3 (!!) times this year and for us that was a major accomplishment.  Mister also worked on our water softener so I think that counts as well.

15.  Cable is still around but maybe once I'm done with leave we can be done with it.  In the meantime, I love my Real Housewives during the day.

16.  I am VERY happy to report I paid off the end of my loan. WHOOOOO!

17.  This has been a big, BIG year of trust and remembering we love one another because there were days that that was the only thing that got us through.  Now we have one more person to say I love you too a million times a day ;)

So that's our year, what did you accomplish in 2016?