Owen: Month, Four

Jul 29, 2016

Biggest Milestone: This was your first time in the water and on sand. Neither phased you one bit. And seeing you in your swimsuit? Eek.

Hardest Challenge: You buck like a bronco when you have had enough of one position. Which makes holding you super easy in those moments. Not.

Most Memorable: Sitting so proud in your exersaucer. It's the cutest to see you enjoy your newfound freedom.

Favorite Photo:

Longest Stretch of Sleep: Same as month three. Same zero complaints.

-- Journal --

Everything goes into your mouth. See also, DROOL.

We pulled out the exersaucer a bit early and you love it!

First time to the (man made) beach!

Daddy went away on his first business trip.

The enormous smile you wake up with each day explodes my mama heart into a million pieces.

Milk and (Lactation) Cookies

Jul 27, 2016

 Guys. Breastfeeding is HARD. Never in a million years would I have thought breastfeeding would be such an "emotional rollercoaster" as my pal Christine so eloquently put it. In the back of mind I knew there would be a chance breastfeeding may not happen for me due to having a breast reduction about ten years ago. Having said that, my plastic surgeon assured me that it shouldn't be a problem down the line, noting if I regained nipple sensation there was a good chance I'd be able to nurse.  So, cautiously optimistic was the name of the game. I researched both breast + formula, not getting my hopes up too high, choosing a formula and buying nursing accessories {gown, pads, lanolin}. About a week and a half after Owen was born he still hadn't goten back to birth weight so our pediatrician suggested I pump, and if I yielded less than an ounce I'd need to supplement. So I pumped (most insurances now give you a free pump, holla!), got maybe a half ounce, told Mark to go get formula and gave Owen his first bottle (the hospital sent us home with some just in case, which was a godsend) and sobbed as he ate. 

I tried fenugreek. Gor a prescription for Reglan. Owen and I went to occupational therapy (Elisa is the best) and I was put on a nurse/pump schedule which was rigid, to say the least. I would nurse for as long as he'd like on both sides, pass the baby off to Mark to supplement the rest with formula and I would pump. Repeat for every feeding. I was eager to try anything, clearly. After three visits and despite medication (horrid side effects, horrid) + fenugreek cocktail, my supply just wasn't enough to exclusively breastfeed, so I dropped the pumping -- nursing on both sides then supplementing the rest. And that worked for us. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't devastated, but amidst my pity party, I realized I had the best of both worlds. A baby who would latch and feed without issue and the ability for my husband to assist in feedings which he happily accepted. Gradually the sadness faded, due to the constant and unwavering support of my family/friends/physicians and mostly, because I finally gave myself the grace, thanking God for the ability to even do so, coming to the realization that I did everything I could within my power, be at peace with not breastfeeding exclusively, and stopping to savor those sweet moments we did bond while he nursed (for three month, praise Jesus!!).

Enough real talk. 

Onto the (lactation) cookies

Every recipe I've tried of Jessica's hasn't disappointed and these cookies were no exception. I whipped these babies up and froze them making it super easy to bake on demand, sourcing the ingredients on a delirious sleep deprived trip to Whole Foods because, bulk bins are the bees knees. They didn't have brewers yeast (added 7 TBSP that didn't sacrifice the flavors at all!) so I had to fork over $$ for a canister. Bought my favorite chocolate chips, and used home made vanilla extract.

Photo Diary: SB --> SD --> LAS (Part One)

Jul 26, 2016

Last fall we went on holiday to celebrate our first wedding anniversary and getaway together before the baby arrived. We dreamed up the perfect trip: Santa Barbara, rent a car and drive to Del Mar to hang out with Mark's aunt + uncle who had recently remodeled their home {featured in San Diego Magazine!} and invited us out. Lastly, we'd road trip with them to Vegas before heading home. 

Travelling in my second trimester proved to be a breeze (thankfully) and we had an incredible holiday spending quality time together before parenthood. 

We stayed at the Wayfarer in the heart of the Funk Zone and within walking distance to East Beach. We enjoyed breakfast in their massive community kitchen, played giant jenga in the common space, biked (I gave up on a hill just like in Santa Fe) to the Santa Barbara Mission, explored State Street on foot, worked out on the beach and took ascenic drive up Gibraltar Road. We also rented surf boards (after a mad dash to buy suits as we thought it'd be too cold) so we could try SUP. Mark did awesome, I stood up, got back down and promptly exchanged my board for a kayak. 

Memorable Eats + Drinks:

The Lark -- one of the most incredible dining experiences to date. Gorgeous presentation, delicious (mock)tails and the food was subperb. And we'd know because we ordered half the menu. No regrets.

D'angelos Bakery -- yummy breakfast spot on State Street. Bonus points if you dine outside.

Four Seasons Resort at the Biltmore-- perfect for sunset drinks al fresco overlooking the ocean. Lavender Soda for me, Gin + Tonic Cura for him. If you enjoy G+T get the cura, its an experience and plates beautifully.

McConnell's Fine  Ice Cream -- No explanation needed.

Enterprise Fish Company -- Lobster. Bisque.

Next Stop, Del Mar!
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