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Breastfeeding Archives - Kohler Created

Weaning - Kohler Created

Weaning

By | Breastfeeding, Jessica, MK, Postpartum, Pregnancy | 2 Comments

Stroller Walk - 6 months

So as I alluded to in a recent post, we’ve been weaning. It’s certainly not what I thought we’d be doing at 8 months, but as I’ve learned with most everything in parenthood, you can only go with your gut and best intentions.

How did we end up here?

I still don’t know exactly. Supply has always been an issue from the beginning, but I had a pretty rigid 2-3 hour pump schedule and was doing about 28-30 ounces a day. As the weather started to get nicer, I still managed to pump the schedule, but once and a while would miss one pump session on Saturday/Sunday. I might dip for a day, but usually rebounded once I returned to work.

Right around the 7-month mark, I noticed over the course of a week that I was pumping about 5 oz. less than normal. I made an effort to check the normal things (water, protein, food, sleep, stress). Nothing was different. So I just kept on.

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Day by day I kept losing ounces. Around 2 weeks later, I was at around half the normal amount. What did I do wrong!? I wish I could say that I was frantic, but I found myself somewhat resigned. I didn’t even consider consulting a lactation consultant. After struggling to build, maintain and feed Kaitlan exclusively with breastmilk (via pumping) for close to 5 months, I just felt burnt out. I didn’t want to fight anymore. I didn’t want to pump every two hours anymore. I wanted to live and enjoy my baby, my husband, the weather and life unattached to the box.

So I started reducing pumpings and have been pumping 3 times a day as my supply continues to drop off (currently at about 6 oz a day). It’s definitely an emotional roller coaster. Some days I have the urge to get my supply back, to not give up. Other days I relish my old bras fitting and finally not feeling like a dairy cow. Kaitlan’s been supplemented with formula on-and-off since I went back to work, so she’s oblivious to any of this.

This isn’t where I thought I’d be a year ago. A year ago I was reading Ina May and thinking I’d be breastfeeding and pumping at work for a year or more. Instead, I ended up exclusively pumping by 10 weeks and weaning at nearly 9 months.

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I’ve come away feeling okay with my experience but with the opinion that there are some major holes in educating women about breastfeeding. Obviously breast is best, but most of us end up pumping, and a lot of us exclusively. Nothing in the major books or classes I took (and I wasn’t lazy in research) really talked about low supply (common), supplementing with formula (common), or exclusively pumping (common). Instead, we continue to romanticize the issue and tell women that it’s as easy as establishing a good latch within the first hour of birth and filling a few breast milk bags before you return to work.

I still plan to write a little more about how I build and maintained my supply for as long as I did, because if I can save some Googling for at least one person, it will have all paid off.

 

De Quervain’s tendonitis "mommy thumb" - Kohler Created

Mommy Thumb

By | Breastfeeding, CrossFit, Jessica, MK, Postpartum, Pregnancy | 2 Comments

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So apparently that’s a thing. After waiting months to feel 100% again after spraining my wrist back in November, I decided to make a follow-up visit to the doctor. While I haven’t been in crippling pain, and every other part of my hand and wrist feel fine again, the tendons around the base of my thumb are still swollen and painful. I’ve completely avoided any heavy snatches and overhead lifts or holds, and life with a heavy squirmy baby has definitely been tough at times.

I was under the impression that maybe my sprain hadn’t healed, that I’d somehow managed to overdo it at the gym, but my follow-up revealed a completely different diagnosis.

After a battery of little movement and touch tests, the doctor and another colleague both confirmed I have something called De Quervain Tenosynovitis, or “Mommy Thumb.” They say they see it in over 50% of breastfeeding new mothers. De Quervain’s tendonitis is not the same as carpal tunnel, but it is an overuse/repeat-use injury. Rather than on the inside of the wrist, De Quervain’s tendonitis involves just the thumb tendon, which runs through a canal at the base of the thumb at the back of the hand. The delicate but very protective synovium sheath to the tendon becomes inflamed.

So the good news, the sprain is definitely healed. The De Quervain Tenosynovitis isn’t awesome news, but it’s not serious, and can be treated. Additionally, it just feels good to pinpoint the cause of the pain, rather than when it was a sprain, and we didn’t really know what had been hurt so specifically.

I closed out the appointment by passing out during the injection I opted for and had to lay on a table for 30 minutes before they let me leave. The sight of the fluid puffing up my thumb was apparently too much.

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You’re cute kid, but mommy’s body is taking a beating. I guess my next post will discuss the process of weaning, which was already underway. I can definitely say that my breastfeeding journey turned out much differently than I had envisioned.

Returning to Work and Pumping - Kohler Created

Preparing to return to work and pumping

By | Breastfeeding, Postpartum, Pregnancy | 2 Comments

Returning to Work and Pumping - Kohler Created

Continuing with my breastfeeding series with my experiences breastfeeding, returning to work and ultimately deciding to and transitioning to exclusively pumping! If you are just catching up, here is Part 1: What do I need for breastfeeding and pumping?

Background/Update:

It was my goal to continue breastfeeding for a year. I knew Kaitlan would be bottlefed at daycare, and before returning to work, I planned out how I could produce enough bottles for the next day and still breastfeed in the evening. However, soon after returning to work, and trying to reincorporate other activities and commitments, like CrossFit, coaching, friends, or basically do anything, it became pretty difficult to manage. So I made the difficult choice to move to exclusive pumping. It was really hard at the time, but honestly I’m so happy I made the choice, it’s been so much easier!

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Kaitlan took easily to bottles right around 3 weeks, and we noticed immediately that she seemed much happier than when she tried to latch. It was nice to share feeding duties with Neil and she was so much happier because she was actually getting full. It’s been great for us.

Ultimately, as long as she continues to receive breastmilk, that is what is important — more so than what I had hoped to achieve for myself. That being said, here are my tips:

Before returning to work:
  1. Start formulating what your morning and daily pumping schedule might look like and practice ahead of time. I calculated that to wake-up, pump, get ready, pack bags, and get Kaitlan ready would require me to wake up at 5 am each morning. Yeah, ouch. But it’s doable. I pump for 20 minutes, grab a quick snack, hop in the shower, get ready, take her from Neil and get everything packed up.At work, I knew I’d have to pump every 2-3 hours, so I decided that 8, 10, 12:30, 2, and 4 would be best. Obviously with meetings and daily commitments, this can vary slightly, but my coworkers understand and I’ve been able to prioritize both my work and maintaining supply.
  2. Stockpile milk. I highly recommend pumping and freezing whatever you can while on leave. I pumped after each of my AM nursing sessions with the most success, but every little bit helps!
  3. Identify formula for supplementation (optional). We not only stockpiled milk, but identified a formula that agreed with her as a back-up. Each provider was given a box, which ended up being a mistake because we had NO idea how fast it expired ($$$). So now, we just keep these awesome little Similac packets in the diaper bag. This way if she is extra hungry, or there is bad weather, we have something that works in a pinch.
  4. Check in at work. Make sure your boss and relevant coworkers know your plans and that you know where your pump place is. This is not an easy conversation to have. While many states/employers are making great strides in realizing how important breastfeeding/breast milk is, not everyone agrees or has caught up yet.
What you’ll need to pump at work:

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This might vary from person-to-person, but I keep a pretty stocked back at all times. You can piece together all your equipment or start with a set like this one. Regardless of what you end up with, you’ll need:

  1. Breast pump. I highly recommend a double electric pump. Cuts time and gets you back to work fairly quickly (15-20 minutes for me typically). I have the Medela Pump in Style Advanced. You can learn more about how I obtained my breast pump here.
  2. Bottles and storage bags. You’ll obviously need bottles made for whatever pump you choose, but the bags you choose are kind of up to you. While I like the sturdiness of the Medela bags, the generic Target Up & Up bags are seriously the best bang for buck.
  3. Wipes, soap and bottle brushes. I store my flange in the fridge throughout the day, rinsing it after each use. But at the end of the day, I wash it out before leaving work. I highly recommend these brushes and wipes to clean the tiny pieces. I also love these steam bags.
  4. Cooler and ice pack. You can sometimes get these as part of the package with your pump, but you can also make your own with a lunch bag and extra cooler packs.
  5. Permanent marker. Marking bags with dates and amount pumped.
Some optional things I like having around:

  • Book weights: I’ve been doing a lot of reading while pumping and while I love my Nook, I also love physical books. I’ve got two different types of weights and they reading while pumping in a variety of locations super easy. Thanks mom for the help!
  • Podcasts: I’m a total podcast junkie — here are a few of my favorites (need to make an updated list).

Hopefully this isn’t all too overwhelming. Returning to work is stressful, and I know from experience that there is so much going through your mind as you prepare, especially if you end up going back fairly early like I did. All I can say is that going into pumping with an open mind is important, and knowing it will get better is critical. Your body may need some coercing and time to adapt, but it will happen, and some days are better than others, but just keep plugging — and pumping!

Kaitlan 5 month update! - Kohler Created

5 Month Update

By | Postpartum, Pregnancy | 2 Comments

Yup, officially dropping the postpartum, these updates are all about Beeb! Here is her 5 month update:

FINALLY rolled from back to belly -- of course while no one was looking.

Month 5 has probably been the most significant month developmentally yet. She hit this week about halfway through where it felt like she became a completely different person. She rolled over, started using syllables, gained a neck, and started rocking solids like a champ.

Baby Gainz

The biggest development by far was rolling over. I mentioned in her 4 month post that I thought she was trolling us, and I still think that. She also decided to roll over for the first time when NO ONE was looking! I had set her on her play mat while I was drying my hair, and was looking in the mirror, and when I looked down, she was wedged against the side on her belly. She quickly realized she did not want to be on her belly and roll back, and that seem to be the extent she’s taken rolling over ever since.

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She also solidified sitting up with assistance. Still a little rocky, but that’s mostly because she’s typically smashing toys around and goes a little too HAM.

Solids

Second to rolling over, the introduction of solids was another big happening during 5 months.

Kaitlan started showing interest in food around Christmas/New Year’s. If we had food or drink in our hands she would thrust her whole face at it. So obligingly (but sparingly) we’d give her a taste, or let her put her mouth on our glasses to “drink.”

Second day of solids (banana) from Kohler Created on Vimeo.

We opted to wait until getting “official” clearance in her 5 month check-up. Her first food was bananas mixed with breast milk, strained and mashed into almost a liquid, but we soon added sweet potatoes, avocado and applesauce.

She’s quickly progressed mashed solids with no breast milk whatsoever. She eats like a champ, and has loved everything she tried. I raided the library and am ready to start the next stage of baby food. Yup, #dorkout.

Out and About

Having a little baby in the winter months is hard. As much as you don’t want to let paranoia and worry turn your new family into a collective hermit, it does. Between the measles outbreak, mystery tick-born viruses, the flu season, and just generally being surrounded by sick or recently sick people at work, you end up try to protect your baby wherever you can because they literally have no defense. For us, that meant almost complete seclusion.

Kaitlan on a walk - 5 months

But we’re slowly getting out a little more. Warm days mean some walks in the stroller (her first front-facing ride!), and some trips to the grocery store. Kaitlan is absolutely great out and about if you are wearing her, or she doesn’t have to sit in the car seat. She looks around and babbles at everything she sees. I can’t wait until Spring when she can finally be outside on a regular basis. I feel horribly guilty when she reacts like a vampire every time we take her outside.

Confession

On that note, I am so happy to be at the half-year mark. I was having a conversation with one of my friends at the gym the other day. Her kids are older, and she described the first few months perfectly. Trauma.

Yes, new parenthood has a lot of amazing moments, but early on, they are interspersed with some of the hardest of your life, and you are just too clueless and overwhelmed to be anything but terrified, and functioning on what can barely be considered a nap. Life really becomes a triage of trying to maintain a pulse on far too many things, poorly. People can say that “everything else can wait,” and sometimes it can, but most of the time it can’t.

So in all honesty, I didn’t like the first 10 or so weeks, I really didn’t. Sure you have your victories, your sweet moments, and randomly you get a good night of sleep or a couple of hours to yourself to recoup your optimism but compared to now? No comparison.

We fall more in love with her every day, and the best part of that is that we think she is beginning to realize it. I don’t care if she loves me back, but just that she understands that she is safe and loved by us.

kaitlan eating cauliflower - Kohler Created

Week 3: Whole30/Nutrition Challenge

By | Food, MK, Paleo, Whole30 | No Comments

Let's brighten up this winter day...

I ate my weight in salad and meat last week — and loved every minute of it.

For me, being half-way through any challenge marks a shift in mindset from survival to planning ahead. I hit a rough patch about midway through the week, but when I came out on the other side (despite a little nutritional stumble), I became even more resolved to start thinking ahead to after the challenge and how I want our nutrition, habits, and traditions as a family to evolve.

A little background on why this is so oddly important to me. I grew up in a big German family steeped in food and tradition, and it was something I took HUGE pride in as a child. I was always bragging about our food-filled family holidays, my aunties, and my cousins. It also made me feel really secure growing up — which as a small, quiet kid I really needed.

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Because my extended family is now bigger, more distant, and hundreds of miles away, I feel like Neil and I have a blank slate to kind of forge our own traditions with Kaitlan, especially when it comes to food. And while we strive to eat clean and make our meals fast and efficient through the week, I definitely still want it to be fun and memorable for her. It feels like a daunting thing to approach, especially since she’s on the doorstep of solid meals already and the time to make some of these things habit and attempt new traditions is quickly approaching (maybe that’s just me though).

There isn’t some magical conclusion to this post wherein I figure it all out and have a bullet-point plan to share, just lots of thinking and dreaming at this point. Of weekend cast-iron pizza movie nights, and cookie jars with my mom’s peanut butter chocolate chip cookie recipe, but also plenty of garden veggies, homemade breadmaking and healthy meal prep on Sundays. I definitely envision a balance of health and fun, but most of all togetherness and enjoyment when it comes to our collective relationship with food.

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Thankfully she’s also with my awesomely food-centric parents twice a week, so she’ll have double-duty on the good eats and traditions — and probably cookies.

For the moment though, I’m feeling really good mentally, and confident about how I look. I always wondered how eating similarly to how I did during my pregnancy would look on the “postpartum me,” and I’m definitely keeping it — it’s worth it.

We are currently in the last week, so next week will have some fun comparisons and concluding thoughts!

How do you balance your weekly eats to be both healthy and fun?

bacon-wrapped pineapple - Kohler Created

Week 2: Whole30/Nutrition Challenge

By | Food, Paleo, Whole30 | No Comments

Week 2 feels much calmer than week 1, isn’t that always the case? While it still wasn’t perfect, I feel more motivated because I’m feeling the results. And I think I know why. We were having a discussion on our Challenge Facebook group and one of our members hit my biggest issue on the head:

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Mindless eating. I went from hugely pregnant and barely able to finish a dinner salad to breastfeeding and always hungry in the span of two weeks. And with all the contradictory information out there about what really affects breast milk supply, I did what I do best — over-prepare, or in this case, over-eat.

Now, the negative effects weren’t by any means staggering, but I did feel bad and my mid-section was actually starting to look worse than it did when I returned to CrossFit at 6 weeks postpartum. Not good.

So while the cause was genuine (breastfeeding), it quickly spiraled out of control into eating almost whatever and whenever because I’d justify to myself that I’d likely be hungry again soon anyway. Or, in total “new parent” fashion, I’d reward myself for surviving something or getting out of the house. So while I was mostly eating healthy, it definitely wasn’t in check, and I had quite a bit of room for improvement. Optimally, I’d like to get back to something a little closer to what I maintained during pregnancy. Because in truth, what I eat is about to matter more than ever because she’s starting solids, and watching EVERYTHING we eat. While she might not have a great understanding now, that’s going to change very quickly — and I want to model the right relationship to food and wellness for her.

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Excuse my finger in the shot…

As far as meals for the week, we again stayed pretty simple. We made a huge pot roast that lasted us through Wednesday for dinners (we beefed up the meal on day 3 by serving over cauli-mash, which made it taste like pot pie — yum!), and Thursday and Friday were an easy pork and veggie stir fry. I ate egg sammiches and salads for lunch and oatmeal and bananas for breakfast.

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We also had our “halfway” potluck this week, which was a welcome diversion and special treat as we definitely miss eating out.

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Oh, and I finally got to make bacon-wrapped pineapple. Definitely lives up to hype!

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While things are manageable because we’ve kept them pretty simple, I hope next year we can do more fun meals because Kaitlan will be a bit bigger and eating right alongside us!

How was your week in food/eating?

Whole30/Nutrition Challenge: Week 1 - Kohler Created

Week 1: Whole30/Nutrition Challenge

By | Food, Paleo, Whole30 | One Comment

Crazy busy week, eating whatever is cleanest and easiest... #outliernutrition #crossfitfringe #crossfitmom

Well — it didn’t go as I hoped, but I’ve managed to do okay, mostly thanks to Neil’s cooking. We kind of went into this week on the fly because we are finally fixing the storm damage to our ceiling and as a result didn’t get a lot of planning/prep in. Additionally Kaitlan and I are fighting some sinus bug, and she’s been going through some sleep regression. Yep, fun week for us.

Breakfasts this week involved a lot of oatmeal (one of my exceptions for the challenge), bananas and almond butter. Lunches were egg and breakfast sausage sammiches on sourdough, and dinners were chicken with veggies. I had two lunches out that were Chipotle and grocery store salad bar and today I think we’re going to get some Pho to try to kick this sinus bug. So — definitely not as hoped, but with breastfeeding, I still consider this a success and I already feel so much better and less inflamed.

I think for most, the first week is a lot of impulse control, and that is especially frustrating at the grocery store. I remember doing Whole30 last year and walking through the grocery store almost in tears because it felt like a huge box of things I couldn’t eat.

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Last night was the first night I tackled grocery shopping (usually Neil’s task) and I definitely felt those old feelings creep up. So, I got myself an apple, and munched on it while I walked through the store. Totally not weird, right? I think I ate the sticker…

So since it’s Friday, let’s go through the highs and lows of the first week:

High: I already feel so much less inflamed and swollen. After having eaten so clean during pregnancy, I didn’t realize how much I’d strayed (especially during the holidays), and how much better I feel — not only physically, but mentally as well.

Low: Grocery shopping has again become a little depressing. Hopefully that’s temporary, but either way it’s for the best. I do get a bit of a rush ever time I stick to my guns in those types of situations, so I’m going to try to chase that feeling

High: With Kaitlan starting solids and showing an IMMENSE interest in everything we eat and drink, I feel like this is the perfect time to recommit to a better way of eating to model to her. Plus, we both apparently love bananas and sweet potatoes.

Low: Taking on a nutrition challenge and trying to be more mindful while breastfeeding is so hard. Since having Kaitlan, I’ve rarely felt the feeling of being full after meals, and it’s harder than ever now.

High: In taking this challenge on with a group, it’s been so nice to dust off our Facebook groups and reconnect throughout the day, sharing recipes and experiences. I hope this continues after the challenge!

Our goals for eating next week:
  • More planning and prep on Sunday
  • Trying one new recipe
  • Make something in advance for breakfast

What were your highs/lows for the week?

Preparing for your Whole30/Nutrition Challenge

By | Food, Paleo, Whole30 | No Comments

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Hey everyone! So last week I wrote about our Whole30 Challenge coming up at the gym, and I wanted to give you a little bit of an update!

After writing my post, I talked to a few more members and they were in kind of a similar “life” place that I was with Whole30. They wanted to participate in a challenge, but the reality of life: having kids, big projects at work, or other training circumstances made it improbable.

So being that I help organize this challenge, I thought, “well couldn’t we adapt this slightly, so that everyone who wanted to participate could, and feel comfortable starting from a place that is challenging, but doable?” It’s the very definition of CrossFit itself: begin where you are.

So we’re piloting this idea, a sort-of “declare your own” challenge.

Participants agree to adopt the Whole30/whole foods diet base, and are allowed to add no more than three exceptions. For most, the contested areas seem to be quinoa/rice, beans, butter, and oatmeal. They write down their exceptions, along with their goals. They write this all down as a “declaration,” and that is their commitment for 30 days.

“While a significant challenge like Whole30 is an incredible feat, we feel it is important to recognize your commitment to improving your life, no matter where you are in your journey.”

So very much the truth.

So I’m trying my best to get everything ready for day 1 on Monday and I’m doing a lot of thinking back to last year and what helped make the challenge a success for Neil and I.

Here are my “top tips” for starting out so to speak:
  1. Don’t overwhelm yourself by trying to plan a months worth of meals. Plan week-by-week, and base your meal breakdown around your schedule. For us, Monday-Wednesdays are the busiest days, so those are the days where it’s critical we have everything prepped or in the crockpot.
  2. Research some ways to get out about town and still stay on track ahead of time. There is nothing worse than not having some ideas or go-to’s up front. My big “outs” were Chipotle (RIP carnitas) and the grocery store salad bar. There were also a few restaurants around town that had salads that weren’t heavily reliant on cheese, croutons or dressing. Now that it’s winter, investigate the “warm salad.” You’ll thank me.
  3. Find Whole30 compliant foods that feel like a cheat. I’m talking bacon-wrapped pineapple, Whole30 “nachos,” and dates with almond butter in them. This game is largely mental, so keep your noggin’ excited!
  4. Plan now to eat more. The biggest truth of Whole30 survival is that you have to eat A LOT of food, especially if you are active. Plan now to batch cook everything, so that if you end up being extra hungry, or a meal didn’t go as far as you thought, to not be left without food.
  5. Seek out support. The best support you have is that friend who never seems to need a cookie, and those who have done the challenge before. Also, I highly recommend signing up for the Whole30 Daily newsletter, checking out their forums, and find some bloggers and podcasts that cover the topic well. Need some ideas? Drop me a line, I have dozens.

So, exciting, right? Since curriculum is what I do for a living, I hope this takes off! Stay tuned for more updates, now I’m off to plan my week.

4 months postpartum

By | Postpartum, Pregnancy | One Comment

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We were in her 4-month doctor’s appointment yesterday when I realized she was going to be 5 months old this week and that I hadn’t done her 4-month update yet. I’m not late, but it’d be nice to not get caught up and end up several weeks behind…again.

If you’re a parent, you no doubt have heard of Wonder Weeks. It’s a methodology for tracking major physical and cognitive leaps in a baby’s development. It’s relatively accurate, more so than a lot of the other predictor/experts out there. It comes with the huge disclaimer of all the things it’s subject to (birth date vs. due date, etc), but the context of the leaps have been pretty accurate.

Anyhow, if you follow the app (don’t waste your time with the book), babies go through a leap called “world of events” in weeks 14-19. The major markers for this stage are the use of all the senses when it comes to interaction. This has very much been the case.

  • She has discovered the dogs, and LOVES them. Fussy baby? Call in the dogs and feed them peanut butter. As a result, Matilda has gained three pounds — oops!
  • She went from kind of grabbing at toys with a repetitive open and close grip to gripping things with both hands and pulling HARD. She’s almost pulled the activity mat down on herself several times.
  • Everything goes in the mouth. Reversely, all sorts of noise comes out, and in a range of sounds and volume. She is especially vocal during car rides when she will just look out the window and talk to herself.
  • She is figuring out her body. She likes to rub and scratch her head when she stretches, and if she’s naked, she constantly grabs at her legs and chubby tummy.
  • We still call her “Beeb,” but she’s also acquired “The Dictator” (from my brothers) and “Troll” from us because she feigns being upset and will smile when you go to attend to her needs.
  • Still not rolling over, but with her demonstrative strength in other areas, I really think she’s trolling us. She has assisted sitting up down pat, and when she doesn’t want you to take the bottle from her hands, you are NOT getting it.

She has outgrown about 90% of her 3-month sizes, and is slowly creeping into a few 9-month items, which doesn’t say much because NOTHING is standardized. At her appointment, she had just crossed the 14-pound mark and was measuring 24 inches. She measures petite like me, but has my appetite.

Kaitlan - 18 weeks

Overall, we’re definitely seeing some independence and self-soothing, which I think have been the biggest relief about 4 months. Whereas before she wanted to be attached to us, carried, and held at all times, we’ve been able to put her down on her play mat and have her being okay for 10-20 minutes while we change/switch laundry or throw together a quick meal for the crock pot. I think we are most looking forward to the major milestones of rolling over and sitting up, more opportunities for her to kind of entertain and explore her world and hopefully not be frustrated so easily.

Solids

The words I have seriously been waiting for since the beginning. We have been given clearance to begin introducing “solids.”

She hit this point late last month where she started waking up in the middle of the night and tanking a whole 5-oz bottle. While she’s always gotten up roughly every 2-3 hours for 1-2 ounces, her increased hunger during the day (+1 bottle) and now taking anywhere from 5-8 ounces overnight is indicative that it’s something we can slowly start playing with.

Our plan is to prepare a few different stage 1 foods, and introduce them on a weekend. She started showing an interest and watching us eat over Christmas break, so I’m excited to see her reaction when she can actually begin to taste flavors.

Vacation

We’ve started planning our first major trip with her this summer to Colorado. While you know we are typically backpackers and tent campers, we’ll be opting for a cabin or a situation with more amenities this round. Still feeling out all the details, but we wanted to take her to our favorite place first, and we’re excited to see what all she’ll be doing and thinking at 11 months when we make the trip!

Concessions

I think the biggest point of thought/reflection this month is how many things we’ve ended up doing that we thought we weren’t, but now that we’re on this side of the fence totally make sense. Here are a few examples:

  • Blackout curtains: Our kid was going to be able to sleep anywhere! She will, but she does it better when it’s pitch black, and frankly I don’t blame her.
  • Co-sleeping: Especially now that it’s so cold — I’m such an enabler.
  • Disinfecting everything: Enough said. Buy me stock in Clorox wipes…
  • Going to bed early: It’s a concession, but it’s growing on me. Then again, when you have to wake up at 5am to pump, more sleep = sanity.
  • Isolation: I realize she’s getting exposed to the flu no matter what, but I’ll cut our chances if I can.

I won’t go so far as to say we’re hypocrites and that we were blissfully ignorant before she came, but you definitely get a crash course in patience and fast-track adaption in some of these areas — mostly when it comes to both you and the baby getting enough sleep and being able to function. This post by one of my favorite bloggers Kathleen hits it right on the nose.

Well then...

This all being said, I had no idea how absolutely in love with her I’d be. Not Facebook humble-bragging kind of love, but like this intense protective desire to have my face against hers all day sort of love. The kind of love that makes all the sacrifice and inability to do pretty much everything else I used to do okay. For now anyway haha.

2015 Kind-of Whole30 - Kohler Created

The 2015 Kind-of Whole30

By | Food, Whole30 | 4 Comments

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Above: Paleo Beef and Winter Veggie Stew

Is there such a thing as a diet challenge cop out?

Every year, CrossFit Fringe undertakes the Whole30 Challenge. I help orchestrate, so of course it seems only fitting that I too step up to the plate — literally. (Here are a few of our adventures in Whole30 from last year.)

Last year, I was brave (or insane) and undertook the challenge in my first trimester of pregnancy. You know, when all you want is 7-UP and crackers, and the idea of any kind of meat puts your stomach over the edge. But I did okay and only supplemented some whole fat organic dairy to boost my daily intake of fats/protein. While I didn’t continue the Whole30 way of eating after the challenge, I did go on to maintain a ridiculously clean diet. I will probably never eat that clean again.

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Above: CrossFit at the start of 2nd trimester, after doing Whole30

And it’s not that I don’t eat well now, but I do like my weekly pizza date with Neil, and coupled with being Kaitlan’s sole food source and trying to return to competitive CrossFit, I am eating nearly all the time, and often find myself never full and hungry at really random and often unpredictable times. Conditions that would make a traditional Whole30 challenge next to impossible or downright inconceivable to attempt.

But I still want to do it. I love a challenge, and I love the community aspect of sharing the highs and lows of the challenge.

So where does this leave me?

This has been on my mind for about a month. Even though I know I could adhere to the guidelines if I really tried, I also know my current life doesn’t lend itself to predictability and the ability to plan everything as well as I’d like. It’s not defeatist, I’m realistic. And my priority right now is to maintain my breastmilk supply and be as consistent and low-stress with that as possible.

So I was relieved to see that Jessica Quirk of What I Wore (also a breastfeeding mom) is accepting the challenge from where she is in her life. She’s making some adjustments to the challenge rules, but she’s also still willing to do without in the areas that she knows she can do without. I like that — so in true blogger fashion, I’m going to steal the idea and do it as well.

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Above: No-Knead Sourdough Cinnamon-Raisin Swirl Bread

So I’m going to keep oatmeal, rice and quinoa, as well as the sourdough bread I make and organic butter. Just the things I need to make life as a new mom and active athlete a little more palatable. At least I know alcohol won’t be too hard to do without!

So is this a cop-out? I’m not sure. I think this all speaks to my seemingly recurring mantra of progress over perfection and doing your best from where you are. Our challenge starts the 18th, so stay tuned for more!