Goodbye Breast Pump

I’m free! That’s how I feel now, no more lugging my pump and supplies to work daily, washing parts daily, keeping up with enough clean bottles daily. I’ve done it, I ditched my pump. I can’t begin to tell you how much stress just vanished.

This wasn’t exactly planned this soon. We haven’t quite made it to the one year mark. However, the past few months what I’ve been able to pump each day has dwindled down to just 2 ounces total. We have been supplementing with formula on the days I work for 2 or all 3 bottles but seem to have no problems nursing Morning, night and weekends.

This week started by drop from 3 pumping sessions while at work down to 2. Monday went as expected, I got very little milk. Monday night I was tired and decided to take advantage of pumping less and decided to just use the one pump set twice rather than wash both sets I used out of laziness. Tuesday rolls around and my first time to pump comes. I close and lock my office door, get my Medela pump in style tote bag out (I am so glad I went with this set) and start to get set up. That’s when it hits me, I have enough of the valves, membranes and connectors, but only 2 shields. Those 2 shields are sitting at home.

My first thought is to get them, then I start to plan out a day without pumping. It’s like a day dream, I’m not spending time to pump such a small amount then get stressed because I can’t seem to build my supply up even a little no matter what I try. I think this is a blessing forgetting I needed those shields. I decide to see how the day goes without pumping.

There was a little discomfort but since the next day I had a huge offsite meeting I decided to see how day 2 went. I still nursed in the morning, was able to not worry about sneaking off and finding a private space to pump, and nursed again at night. Again I had some slight discomfort but this was working.

It is now morning of day 4 and I’m loving being pump free. Especially since Little Man is back to waking during the night, having less to remember to wash, pack and haul to work has been nice. I’m a little worried about how this weekend will go as I hope to continue to only nurse and not give formula. Since I’ve only been nursing Morning and night will that lead to having to give formula during the day on the weekends even though I’m with him? I hope not, I have just a little over a month I hope to continue to nurse when I’m with him. With the cost of formula it would be nice not to have to make 6 more bottles a week of it, but time will tell.

The plan was to wean off the pump dropping one session every few weeks, that plan has officially gone out the window!

To those who pumped I applaud you. If it was just for a short time, or long term it isn’t easy. No matter how you have chosen to feed your baby we all have our battles. We all are doing amazing even when we don’t see it ourselves.

Are you a pumping momma? How do you plan to ditch the pump?

Already ditched the pump? Did it go as planned?

Never pumped? What plan do you or did you have to wean off of strictly nursing or formula?

*Please do not leave rude comments or opinions on those who choose to feed their baby different than you.

Christmas Traditions

It’s that time of year again, December has arrived. I love Christmas time, the decorating, baking, gift exchanges and the family time. I am not a fan of shopping but I do love trying to be somewhat creative at picking out and designing gifts.

Holiday baking, who doesn’t love some fresh sweets?

Every year as a tradition I make Puppy Chow and cookies. I try and make a new recipe each year as well as a few I’ve done before. This year I will be adding one or two fudge recipes to the mix, my normal puppy chow, a couple cookies and maybe Christmas tree brownies again. What sweets do you make each year? Do you have one must do recipe?

As a couple, we have a few small traditions we do. Orange danish Christmas morning, we do stockings for each other, watch A Christmas Story typically more than once Christmas Day and each year I put together a date night gift from Santa. Yes, we are adults and I write from Santa on the gift. Putting to us from me just doesn’t seem as appropriate to me.

This year with it being Little Man’s first Christmas I want to start a few new traditions. Christmas Eve I would like to do a gift with PJ’s, a Christmas movie, hot cocoa when he gets older, and maybe a book. Last year during the after Christmas sales we bought a countdown pillow we will use. I’m not sure I want to jump on the Elf on a Shelf train, but I have seen some great ideas if we ever do.

What Christmas traditions do you have? I would love to hear them and might even make some of your traditions ours!

I wish you would ask

I see you staring at my sons head. I can only imagine what must be running through yours as you look at the bulge and accompanying scar on the back of his head. Rather than guess why don’t you just ask? Honestly, I wish you would.

I would love to share with you. To tell you he has a medical condition called Hydrocephalus. That bulge you see, that’s his shunt. It’s a valve with 2 catheters, one goes from his ventricles to the shunt the other from the shunt to his stomach. This helps to drain the excess fluid in his brain. This device is saving my baby boy.

Why do I want to share this with you? Many reasons, but mainly for awareness. Until I was told it was possible he had this condition I had never heard of it. He might have been diagnosed sooner if I had and known the symptoms.

Awareness goes a long ways. Take for example breast cancer. How many people are aware of it? Better yet, how many people aren’t. When October rolls around how likely are you to donate to breast cancer fundraising? My guess is highly likely. Breast cancer is unfortunately a fairly common thing. You most likely know someone who is going through it or has in the past. It hits home for you.

What about Hydrocephalus? If asked to donate would you think something like I don’t know what that is, or maybe that doesn’t effect me. If given the question to donate to either would you choose breast cancer because you can relate to it more?

I know I’m now going on a fundraising tangent. Sorry, it lead to that. Back to you asking instead of wondering…..

Awareness can not only help this condition to be diagnosed sooner if the symptoms are better known, but can also help people understand what we as parents of children with Hydrocephalus or adults with Hydrocephalus may be going through. Even in the best situations like with my son where there are no other complications there is always the concern of when his shunt will fail. As our neurosurgeon put it, it is mechanical, it is not a matter of if it will fail but when. The only way to know it has failed is to be lucky enough for the timing to allow it to be caught on his annual MRI or once he is showing symptoms.

What are the symptoms? It varies but most common are headaches, nausea and vomiting, fever, sunset eyes (eyes stay looking in a downward direction) and sometimes loss of appetite. Symptoms won’t present themselves until there is already pressure on the brain.

So what I’m getting at here is please ask. Who knows, maybe one day you will be glad you did.

Do you have anything you wish people would ask you about rather than just stare?


I’m a few days late writing this post but things have been crazy. It seems sleepless nights are the new norm for now and with Little Man starting physical therapy and having exercises to stay on top of at home I’m feeling a little overwhelmed.

Ok, enough complaining…. Thanksgiving, the time of year when it seems you get more family time and lots of cooking. We have two family recipes that are a must for the holidays. Either both are made or at least one. We made both last week. My wonderful husband seems to have taken over making the oh so delicious chocolate mint pie (recipe to follow) and I made my Grandmothers homemade Mac ‘N Cheese recipe (not sure I’m ready to share this one just yet, maybe for Christmas).

I love holiday family get togethers. There’s always great food and a chance to catch up with everyone. Having a little one takes up some time and we seem to be making it to less family get togethers so having the time off for the holidays is nice. Back to the food, I love eating but I must admit I’m a picky eater. Having such a spread of options for me to find some I like is great. The turkey, mashed potatoes and of course my homemade Mac ‘N Cheese are a must on my plate. Those seem to be my thanksgiving favorites. What are some of the foods you like during the holidays?

Back to dessert…. chocolate mint pie!!! Being new to the blog scene I’m not yet sure how to create a page just to link it with the recipe so I’m posting it below for now.

Chocolate Mint Pie

what you need:

1 1/2 sticks margarine or butter, softened

1 1/2 cups powdered sugar, packed

3 eggs

4 (1 ounce) squares unsweetened baking chocolate

1 teaspoon pure mint or peppermint extract

1 graham cracker pie crust

Combine the softened butter with the powdered sugar. Once combined mix in the eggs one at a time. Mixing well before adding the next egg.

Melt the chocolate using a double broiler.

Add the melted chocolate mix well then add the mint extract mixing completely.

Pour the mixture into the pie crust.

Chill in the fridge for several hours. About an hour before serving remove from the fridge.

You can also freeze if making ahead of time, be sure to move to the fridge the morning of serving or the night before.

Carrying a Rainbow Baby (Past)

Remember that Loss, I am 1 in 4 post? After two miscarriages we needed a break. No more trying for awhile. I needed time. Then, my period was late. I attributed it to stress, my lack of a decent sleep, anything, but I couldn’t be pregnant. Wasn’t possible. A few days went by, I finally decided to take a test to prove to myself that I wasn’t pregnant. To be honest we had had sex once. One time. After everything I wasn’t really in the mood much.

That test I took to prove to myself I wasn’t pregnant, you guessed it, it was positive. I was home alone, my husband already at work. I stared in disbelief for a moment. Then my thoughts ran every which way. How? Well I know how but after one time! We weren’t even trying. Why? Why now, why when I had temporarily given up? When will it end this time? How long before I start bleeding? I CAN’T DO THIS AGAIN! I just can’t.

I got my thoughts to slow, sat on the bathroom floor and called my husband. I called him, crying and scared, to tell him I was pregnant, again. Looking back I should have taken that test when he was home. Home to comfort me, home so I wasn’t scared and alone. But I didn’t.

I called the doctor to let them know and they sent me a prescription for progesterone and scheduled an appointment. I dreaded that appointment. I thought about the outcome of what it would be and prepared as much as I could for the worst news. I was wrong, I hadn’t lost the baby.

After each appointment I had hope, then as the past appointment faded and the next approached my hope turned to worry, to stressing that we would get bad news. Each appointment I had an ultrasound. Each time I left happy, but as time passed I dreaded the next appointment. 

Once I could feel our baby boy kicking it was easier. I didn’t have to wait until the next appointment to know he was ok. I worried less and finally started to enjoy my pregnancy. 

Our First Pumpkin

Today we carved our first pumpkin. Our first pumpkin as a couple, and baby Jax’s first pumpkin. I hadn’t carved a pumpkin since I was a kid, and even then I don’t recall how much of the carving I actually did. 

We decided to carve out Mike from Monsters Inc. Jax has a set of footie pj’s and a cap that are Mike so they sort of turned into his Halloween costume since we won’t be going trick or treating with him this year. 

Hubby started the adventure with carving the top off and cleaning out the guts. Jax got to play with the lid and what guts and seeds were hanging from it. He enjoyed it and even enjoyed the munching on his hands covered in the pumpkin juice. 

The final product I think turned out pretty darn good for our first pumpkin. Maybe next year we will take on 2!

Our first Hydrocephalus Walk

Today was our first year attending the Walk to End Hydrocephalus. I am so glad I found this walk and look forward to attending yearly. 

The weather was great for the walk, not too hot and the rain is holding off until tonight. 

There was a bunch going on with the walk. They had a handful of character appearances including Snow White, Belle, a Storm Trooper, Maui, Wonder Woman and more. There was a T-Shirt contest which I am proud to say our team won. Mainly due to the phrase on the back below the shoes “because I give a shunt”. They had coffee and breakfast for us. A DJ that did a great job, a few vendors giving away goodies such as stress balls, frisbees and cups. The fire department was there and even did a CPR class. 

I met another Hydro Warrior and it was nice to hear her story. There was also another warrior around Jax’s age, unfortunately I didn’t gets chance to meet with her or her parents but my mother in law did and heard her story. I hope to be able to meet them at some point in the near future. It would be nice to have someone around Jax’s age that also has Hydro for him to hang out with. 

Can’t wait for the walk next year! Until then I will continue to raise awareness for Hydrocephalus and do whatever I can to help.