Work Style :: October

Hi Loves! Happy Friday!
It's hard to believe the month of October is coming to an end today. Two more months and the 2014 is gone. Make the rest of the year worthwhile and have a great weekend.
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Let's Talk BFing

FINALLY!I know a couple of you have asked in the past to share my motherhood experience and I promised to. Coming full circle after a year, I think I can say I have some experience and tips under my belt to share. As we all know, motherhood is a different experience for everybody. In my opinion, the nature of your baby somewhat determines the type of mother you'll be and the type of experience you'll have. I wanted to wait before writing about any topic on motherhood, so instead of just sharing my experience, I can offer some advice also.

I've definitely learnt a lot in the past year. From Google (yes, I Google-d everything and self-diagnosed pending scheduled doctors visits) , my sisters, my personal experiences and reading (blogs and books).

The first topic I'll like to talk about is BreastFeeding. Yes, you read that right. While I'm a bit conservative on this blog on the topics I write about, I just feel like this is a very crucial part of becoming a new mom if you're going that route. There are books and blogs and other materials you can read for guidance. What I'm going to share is just a bit of my experience and my takeaways. I know the value of the information I got and will like to share with anyone interested.

A little background about my experience. I was enormously blessed not to say otherwise when it comes to breast milk (Hyper-lactation).  Eliana didn't breastfeed directly so I pumped the entire one year. Reason stated above, in summary, too much milk and as a tiny infant she couldn't handle the rate of milk flow and would get upset and pull away and start crying. She would  take it from time to time but was unpredictable. After production became regulated , she didn't care much for it. She preferred her bottle and when she started growing teeth, well it was just completely out of the question because then, she just thought it was a rubbery chewy thing to chew on and didn't have the patience to suck a few seconds before the milk starts flowing. Opposite of when she was a newborn. Granted the journey of breast feeding may not be the easiest, speaking for myself. The rewards and feeling is well worth it. Eliana was on 100% breast milk for 12months.

My Pumping frequency:
  •  Newborn - every 3 at most 4 hours. Like I said I was blessed.
  • 3+ months (returned to work) - 4 times a day. When I wake up, lunch break, as soon as I get home from work and before going to bed.
  • 5-6 months - 3 times a day. Before work, lunch break, before going to bed
  • 10+ months (purposely slowing it down for stoppage) - 2 times a day. Before work and before going to bed
  • 12 months - Once a day. Before going to bed.
  • 12 month and 2 weeks - stoppage
So now that you know a bit of my experience. Here are some tips for new mommy's and mommy's to be or anyone interested.
  • First off and most important, for breast pump, check with your insurance provided before splurging on one. Chances are it's cover by your medical insurance. It is after all a medical device. Best kept secret my sister revealed to me.
  • If you're like me (hyper-lactating) or not, even if your baby is nursing, pump pump pump at the very early stage (few couple of weeks). This will be the most you'll lactate and stash it in the freezer. You'll need it for later and be grateful you did. Freezer reserves was how I was able to be away from Eliana for a whole week at 8 months old.
  • If you notice you're producing less milk than usually at any point, it's probably because you're stressed. So, time to rest, relax and think only happy thoughts about your baby while pumping. Works like a magic.
  • If you have a crack nipple that's taking longer than usual to heal. Do not ignore it. Go to the doctor. I had so many that I ignored one until it turned into something else (yeast infection). Didn't even know that's possible. Although it's more common for nursing moms than pumping moms to get it.
  • If you get clogged duct or mastitis, again resting is your best friend and nurse/pump a little more than usual. It may be painful but will resolve with time. Pumping right after a hot shower helps also. I had several mastitis, never used the antibiotic, just pain killer for fever, rest and pump.
  • Stash away any extras even if you think you have enough. My mistake after my freezer got full and I got frustrated with pumping so much was that I started throwing the milk out. Don't be like me. Save them, you can never have too much reserve and you'll need them later when you production/supply decreases.
  • If you are hyper-lactating like I did. Consider it a blessing. Took me a minute to realize that so in the beginning, I did a lot of complaining before it dawned on me.  With time, it will get regulated, only producing what your baby needs and everyone will be happy.
  • Lactation is demand and supply. The more you nurse/pump the more you produce.
  • At around 6 months, supply will generally/ naturally decrease.
  • Stoppage is a process. The thought of it at the beginning scared me to death but not anymore. If you can, don't go cold turkey unless you need to. Do it gradually. For me I gradually decreased the frequency and time I spend pumping. from 3 to 2 to 1 to 0 times a day over a period of months. This definitely makes the process easier and the felling of fullness/pain bearable. 
I have to say the thing I was looking forward to the most was more sleep. That extra 15 to 30 minutes pumping in the morning and night...well, it's over.  I'm thankful I had enough supply to last a whole year because I've heard stories otherwise. Now my little girl is enjoying her whole milk. We did half and half (half breast milk, half whole milk mixture) for about a week before fully switching .
Below are some of my must haves for pumping/nursing. I hope someone finds this helpful. Let me know if you have any questions.

Blast From The Past :: Peach & Grey

 Hi Loves!
Hope you've been having a great week thus far. Mine has been a bit hectic with 7:30 and 8am meetings. That means less sleep for all of us and super early daycare drop off for Eliana.
On a bright note, we had Eliana's 1st birthday party over the weekend. I'm glad everything turned out well and it was a success. Let's just say Eliana didn't care too much for the party but was game for the after party (less people around, pajamas on). She was super clingy to mommy and didn't want anyone near her. She even managed to sneak in a nap during the party.  After her nap, dinner, less people around and a change into her pajama she was ready to party. I shared some pictures of the décor on Instagram earlier this week. Will be sharing photos from the party on the blog once we receive the professional pictures.
Another Blast from the Past post. Really rocking my short hair here. This was back in the days when I used to really pose for pictures. Lol.
Will be rounding up the Blast From the Blast series next week. Can't wait to start sharing new outfit post with you.
Enjoy the rest of the week.
Last edited 4/10/13
Top: Target
Pants: H&M
Necklace: the Limited
Bag: Steve Madden
Shoes: Aldo

Letter To My 12 Months Old Sweet Eliana

My dear Eliana you are one year and a week old!!!
It's hard to believe the day you turn one finally arrived and passed. 
The past year has been the most excitingly crazy year of my life and I wouldn't trade it for anything.
Even though a year doesn't seem like a long time in the grand scheme of things, for a first-time mom like me, well, it is. During this past year, the only constant thing I was sure to expect was change. From feeding patterns, to physical features, to characters and even care givers; from mommy, to grandma, to daycare and another daycare. You my dear have handle all these changes very well without an ounce of complaint. I remember the day you were born just like yesterday (read birth story here) and now I have this little toddler running around the house. 
At 1 year,  
You're sleeping through the night.
You're standing and taking a couple of steps.
You attempt to wear your socks and shoes by yourself.
You're saying Daddy, No and Stay. I'm sure you're saying some other things that I just haven't picked up on yet.
You take less and shorter naps.
You have a second tooth emerging.
You like to make loud noises.
You love yogurt.
You're drinking whole milk. I don't even think you noticed the difference when we switched from breast milk.
You love cheerios.
You're very attached to mommy.
You love rolling around in mommy and daddy's bed.
You loveeeee books and reading
You are a shinning start!
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Blast From The Past :: Teal Pleated Maxi

Hi Loves!
Hope you had a great weekend. Attended a wedding on Saturday and I really enjoyed myself.
Eliana Turned 1 yesterday and her birthday party is coming up this weekend. Can't wait!
 Enjoy today's Blast from the Past post featuring this pleated maxi skirt also seen here. Paired with a white shirt and black sandals.  
Enjoy the rest of your day.
Top: H&M
Skirt: The Limited
Necklace: F21
Shoes: Aldo
Bag: Steve Madden

Eliana Turns One!!!

The many faces of Eliana. 
Yay, she's ONE!!!
Happy Birthday my sweet little girl.

Blast From The Past :: Hunter Green & Stripes

Hi Loves! Hope your week is going well.
Today's Blast from the Post features two pieces that I've probably worn one too many times but surprisingly don't think have ever appeared on the blog. I guess this post draft dated January last year was when they should have made their debut but that never happened. Well, now it is.
I love this skirt. It was one of my go-to during my pregnancy for work. In fact it is one of my go-to any day; pre-pregnancy, during and post. The skirt just has amazing fit and stretch and the style will never disappoint with bold black side panels and stripped middle. You know I love black &white and stripes, so this is definitely a winner.
Last edited 1/7/13
Looking forward to the weekend. We have a wedding to attend and this time, it's for friends, people I know. So I guess I wouldn't feel so out of place. And it's going to be without Eliana. Yes, I love my baby and she has been to every event/outing with us. But, this time, I'm ready to have some fun without her hanging from my hips :) 

Top: F21
Skirt: Asos
Shoes: VS
Bag: Aldo
Bracelets: F21 / Express
Ring: F21

Blast From The Past :: Mint Green & Gold

Hello beauts! Happy Tuesday!
Hope you had a great weekend and your week is off to a great start. I spent my weekend relaxing, did a little prep work for Eliana's birthday and we attended a 1 year old birthday party. Speaking of birthdays, can't believe this little girl of mine will be celebrating her first in just 6 days. How time flies.

Oh, remember when I had short hair with bangs? Currently wearing braids but I think it might be time to do something different with my hair again. Not sure what to do this time.
Enjoy today's Blast from the Past post.
Last edited 6/17/12

Blazer: H&M
Pants: H&M
Necklace: F21
Watch: Hubby's
Bracelet: F21
Earrings: The Limited
Shoes: VS
Clutch: The Limited

Blast From The Past :: Brown on Blue

Hi lovelies! Happy Friday!!!
Like I mentioned in my last post. I was going through my draft box when I found the 3months letter I wrote to Eliana. Along with that, I discovered a lot of outfits post all ready to go and just sitting In my draft box. I'm sure I had a pretty good reason for not publishing them back then such as picture quality, not feeling the outfit, forgot about it, etc. But, I look at the pictures/posts now and I think why not. This should be fun, plus I really can't find a reason compelling enough not to post them now. So, for the month of October, I'm making it a Blast From The Past month on the blog.  Even though it's not that far in the past. I'll be featuring outfit post currently sitting in my draft box and have never seen the light of day. Hope you enjoy as we go back in time!
Drafted / Last edited 7/23/12
Top: Zara
Skirt: H&M
Bag: Steve Madden
Shoes: VS

Letter to My 3 Months Old Sweet Eliana

Oh, look what I found sitting in my draft inbox. I knew I wrote something to you before your 6th month which was my first published Letters To Eliana on the blog. Turns out I did better than I thought. Seems like I captured month 0 to 3 here. This is the original version drafted months ago when you were 3 months old. Only edited for grammar.
Now let me go through my draft inbox  and see what other goodies i'll find :)
Seems just like yesterday we came home with you, Eliana. A lot has transpired in the short 3 months you've been in our lives. You've given us a new found joy. You're the perfect gift from God and the sweetest baby ever. No, really, you are the sweetest and most peaceful baby. Staying at home with you and watching you grow at this very early stage was a great joy.
You love to smile and laugh in your sleep from day one, so you were smiling back at us in no time. You've always been on the quiet side. You cue every now and then and when you get really excited and playful. I strongly believe you absolutely don't like to cry. You try to cry with your mouth closed for as long as you can before exploding and that rarely happens. You give us a lot of warning signs before it even gets to that. You cry in stages. Starting with your cry cue, letting out one every few seconds for a couple of minutes. When you get no response, you move to stage 2, your soft cry with your mouth closed for another few minutes. When that doesn't do it, you move to stage 3, the full blown cry. Stage 3 only happens under certain circumstances such as waking up hungry, when mommy is stuck in the shower or when we feel like it's good for your, as you barely make any loud noise.
DSCN3134 Shower time with you is such as pleasure. You make this stinking cute face when you I lay you on the shower tub, but once the first wave of warm water hits your body, you're an angel all through. You even fell asleep once during shower time.
Which brings me to sleep. You love your sleep time. In fact anytime is sleep time, bath time turns into sleep time, play time turns into sleep time, feeding time turns into sleep time. I love that you love sleep because it lets me get a lot of things done around the house. Even when you're not sleeping, as long as you have a clean diaper and you're well feed, you can keep yourself entertained for 45minutes to an hour.
You are just one perfect baby that makes motherhood a thing of joy and so enjoyable for me.
You have performed outstandingly in every area from day one, Your delivery was truly a pleasant one, your AGAP score was close to perfect at 9.5, you smiled when you were supposed to, made eye contact when you were supposed to, grew and gained weight as you were supposed to. You've truly been an exceptional baby in all areas.

I pray you continue to be this great baby you are, not giving daddy and mommy any hard time. I pray as you grow, you continue to grow strong and the eyes of God will not depart from you. I pray that you continue to be a source of joy to daddy and mommy. I pray as you grow, your light will shine through and even at your tender age, you impact, bless and touch someone.