Behind the Camera and Dreaming

Catch the Moment 365 | Week 42

We've had our ups and downs over the past week. From a doctors appointment that didn't go as expected to celebrating our big boy turning three! There is so much I want to write about but for now.. A glimpse into this roller coaster ride! 


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An InLinkz Link-up


Breastfeeding: Round Two + Ameda Purely Yours Review and GIVEAWAY!

    Aahhh breastfeeding. The most natural and occasionally controversial subject among mothers of newborns. Are you? Aren't you? How's it going? How often does he eat? What do you do if...? Are you supplementing? The conversation can go on and on and trust me it's been a daily subject of conversation for me since September 29th. Jonah and I didn't have the best nursing relationship.  So, this time I felt it'd be a little easier as long as things were "normal" when Ezra was born. I was surprised right after his birth at how much I'd forgotten and how natural it felt at the same time. 


From day one, Ezra has fought latching. This has just now started to improved over the last week. He's very aggressive (because I can't think of another way to describe it) and cannot figure out how to get his hands out of the way. The first week, every time I fed him, my husband had to hold his hands. This somehow led to my breasts becoming VERY sore, cracking, splitting, and bleeding. I have cried more tears over this pain and frustration than I expected. Thankfully though, my milk came in quickly and I found myself able to grit my teeth and make it through each feeding. I am here to say that breastfeeding is NOT easy. Yes, for most, it gets easier but I would never expect there not to be challenges in the beginning. So, I just wanted to share some things that have helped me over the past few weeks, tell you how much I like my new pump, and provide some support for new nursing moms. 


Must haves for breastfeeding


1. A comfy place to sit where most nursing needs are within your reach. I set up our glider to me my go-to nursing spot for those first weeks and have most of the following within reach when I'm sitting there.

2. A water jug. I always have to have something to drink within reach. 


3. A nursing pillow. I love My Brest Friend for these early days. Breastfeeding can kill your back and neck. It really supports your back and puts baby in a good position. I still use my Boppy in certain settings too though and love having it around. 

4. A note pad to track intake and output. This is hard to track and not necessary for some nursing moms, but in the beginning it really helps, especially when those challenges arise. Ezra began to lose weight after he was a week old, so this was very valuable for me.

5. Comfort products such as lanolin, hot and cold packs and  ComfortGel Pads which have been a life saver for me due to the cracking I mentioned earlier. They are a bit pricey but worth it. They have really kept me from re-injuring between feedings. 

6. A good electric double pump, like the Ameda Purely Yours pump. 


When my milk first came in, having a pump was invaluable to me, an over supply can be very painful, BUT I can't stand the thought of that milk going to waste! After a few more days, I got a plugged duct (which can turn into mastitis pretty easily) and was able to nurse and pump through it. On the plus side it gives you a little extra while you are working on regulating your supply. We've been up and down a lot! So, I haven't incorporated a regular pumping time to work on my stash for when I go back to work just yet, but have been pumping here and there. 

The Purely Yours Pump by Ameda works really well. It's quiet for an electric pump and smaller than the pump I used in the past. The suction is great. I've only barely turned it up at this point - not even close to the half way point. I love how it has dials to increase suction and speed, so they can both be increased gradually. 



My favorite part of this pump is that it holds the bottles. No juggling bottles or risking spills. You can simply set each bottle down right into the pump without losing a drop of that liquid gold.


I will be using this baby for hopefully months to come! PLUS Ameda has been nice enough to offer a pump to a Behind the Camera and Dreaming reader. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

oh and one more thing on my list..

7. Someone to talk to about struggles that come about when starting to breast feed your baby! Please reach out if there's no one in your life that has been through the experience resently. I'd love to cheer you on or just commiserate in our struggles.


Ameda sent me this pump for review. I was not otherwise compensated for this post. 
Remember to check your insurance plans for coverage of pumps.


Things I wish I knew a year ago | A Guest Post


Hi Everyone! My name is Krista and I blog over at The Quinntessential Mommy. I'm a wife and a mom of 2 kids. By day I'm an adjunct professor and by night I'm a blogger and a writer. Before I dive in to my post today, I want to thank Stephanie for sharing her space with me today and letting me connect with you. I hope Stephanie is at home enjoying those precious early moments with her new baby boy.

My own baby boy is about to turn one and this has brought up so many emotions for me. A year ago I was waiting and wishing and dreaming about the little person inside me. And now here we are, almost 12 months later, and he's no longer an infant who needs me for everything. He's figuring out the world around him and he's loving every moment of it. He's crawling and cruising his way toward toddlerhood and I'm relishing every bit of it.
The Quinntessential Mommy

Before Nicholas was born, I thought I was ready for a second baby. And I was. And I also wasn't. Because how can you really prepare to meet the new love of your life? The one who has spent 9 whole months as a part of your body but is about to become a real live human being. The one who kept you awake, kicking and rolling around in your belly, but who is, really, still a stranger.

So in honor of Baby Clark #2's arrival, here are a few things I wish I knew a year ago.

When baby number two comes along you'll simultaneously feel like an old pro at motherhood and a complete newbie. All newborns require the same thing: food, clean diapers, a safe place sleep and love. And since you have one already, you'll be good at learning what this second one needs a little more quickly. You'll probably be more relaxed about things too. But, then there's the problem that this baby is not the same as the other baby. So if your first was a great sleeper, the second may or may not be. If the first cried a lot, the second might be more willing to go with the flow (which is usually the case with the second baby because they have no choice. They're often at the mercy of their older sibling's schedule). I was--and continue to be--so surprised to see where my two are alike and where they are vastly different. It's like watching my own little science experiments :) At 4 years old and 11 months, I can already see the huge differences in their personalities and I can't wait to watch them grow and see how this manifests itself in the future.

Your older child will adjust. Sure there will be hard times, but you will all be fine. Better than fine. You'll all be happier and there will be more love. I remember a year ago I was so scared that the arrival of a sibling was going to ruin my daughter Gia's happy little life. And then I'd feel guilty for thinking of the new baby as anything but a major blessing for all of us. It turns out that Gia loves her brother more than we could have ever imagined. She is sweet to him in ways I never expected and he just adores her. In fact, that's one of the things that has surprised me most about having two children. The love these two have for each other is just beautiful to watch.

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Another thing that surprised me? My day to day life is quite different now than it used to be. You can't really know what it's like to have two little people depending on you until it happens. You thought you were busy with just one child, but #2 brings it to a whole other level. For a long time I kept thinking "Wow that was a busy week. Next week will be less crazy." And then the following week would come and it wouldn't be any less busy. It took me a while to realize that no.time.for.anything was the new normal. By the time both kids were in bed at night -- which used to be my time to do a quick tidy up around then house and then spend time writing or blogging-- I'd be too tired to more than stare at the TV. I quickly learned to just go with it. Do what you can and don't beat yourself up about what doesn't get done. Messy playroom? Dishes perpetually in the sink? Laundry piled everywhere? Not a big deal. If everyone is fed and generally happy, you've done your job and you've done it well.

And, really, that's been the name of the game around here since our little Nicholas arrived on the scene. Go with the flow. And be happy. We laugh a lot and have fun doing the most mundane things. Sure we do dishes and laundry and carpool to gymnastics and figure out which kid needs to be where at what time. But we also hug and snuggle and spend time together whenever we can. Because the number one thing I've learned this year is that these moments with my kids -- just as they are now -- are fleeting. Forget "time flies"...time positively disappears into thin air when you have a second child. Before I know it this stage of will be over. And I want to make sure I've stored up as many memories of these precious days as I can.

Catch the Moment 365 | Week 41


What can I say? Life with a newborn and a toddler is not for the weak. Many days I don't even feel like picking up my camera, so thank goodness for my phone. Some days I know all I'll get is an out-of-focus snapshot and I'm okay with that. I'm not giving up. I've taken thousands of photos of the boys in the last three weeks and hope to share more with you as I am able. Right now though, we are working on getting Mr. Ezra fattened back up and celebrating Jonah's 3rd birthday. 

Every day is different. Some are awesome and over the top filled with happy squishy love but others have been so trying I'm left with nothing but a feeling of defeat. Even with that feeling of defeat though - we get up and make the most of our days. Even if that means movies on the couch and toys all over the floor. 

281|365 Exhibit A- blurry photo, hungry baby, nursing tank, and always the center of attention toddler... check!

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284|365 This was an especially trying day, but looking at this boy I can't even count my blessing they are so great!
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Thanks as always for being a part of this journey with us.

Every Friday Sarah, Mindi, and I host a place for photographers of all kinds to share, explore, grow and connect. Our common goal: one photo, every day, for three hundred and sixty five days. Whether you are using a fancy smancy professional camera, your first DSLR, a point and shoot, or your ever-so-handy phone camera, we want to see your photos! We want to see the moments you caught each day. How amazing will it be to see each of us accomplish something that seems so big? For more info on how to join in start here.

An InLinkz Link-up


Easy to make desserts | Chocolate Pumpkin Pudding Pie

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

We are still adjusting to life with two kiddos around here and are still working on a good routine (which will then change - right?). As Fall really rolls in, I have been craving everything pumpkin and spice and apple etc etc. Unfortunately, my time at the grocery store and in the kitchen have been very limited so far - maybe we'll be in the swing of things by Thanksgiving. Anyway, I wanted to put together a super easy recipe with a little pumpkin flair and using simple ingredients. What's easier than pudding cups? So, I'm going to show you an easy version of pumpkin pie that literally takes minutes to whip together. 

 

Shopping List/Ingredients

  • Chocolate Snack Pack Pudding cups
  • Vanilla Snack Pack Pudding cups
  • 1 can Pumpkin Puree
  • Pumpkin Pie Spice
  • 1 Pie Crust (I used Graham Cracker)
  • Oreos
  • Reddi Whip



Instructions

  1. Mix 4 Cups of Vanilla Pudding, Pumpkin Puree, and Pumpkin Pie Spice to taste (1-2 tablespoons) in a mixing bowl. Chill for 5-10 minutes
  2. Pour 2 Chocolate Pudding cups into pie crust. Spread evenly with spoon or spatula
  3. Add Pumpkin mixture to fill pie crust.
  4. Optional; Crush Oreos for topping
  5. Add Reddi Whip and a touch of pumpkin pie spice

Using the short cuts here like Snack Pack Pudding makes this even more simple. We found Snack Pack at Walmart, it tastes great and contains the same amount of calcium as an 8 oz glass of milk. Score! Check out more Fall recipes below! 






Catch the Moment 365 | Weeks 38, 39 & 40

I have officially missed THREE whole weeks of posting 365 photos. I couldn't quite get it together the week before Ezra arrived but I'm giving myself a pass and just catch up as I can! So, today I'm just going to show you guys the highlights!

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Thanks as always for being a part of this journey with us.

Every Friday Sarah, Mindi, and I host a place for photographers of all kinds to share, explore, grow and connect. Our common goal: one photo, every day, for three hundred and sixty five days. Whether you are using a fancy smancy professional camera, your first DSLR, a point and shoot, or your ever-so-handy phone camera, we want to see your photos! We want to see the moments you caught each day. How amazing will it be to see each of us accomplish something that seems so big? For more info on how to join in start here.