NESHEAHOLIC

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Our Breastfeeding Story

The end of our nursing journey


Our breastfeeding story

My original breastfeeding goal was six months. Three or four months in I loved breastfeeding and decided I would likely nurse at least a  year. As the months continued I intended to make it to at least 14 months, weaning before my 30th birthday.

Three months to eight months breastfeeding


My daughter started daycare at three months old when my maternity leave was up. At that point I began pumping while at work to produce her daycare bottles. I envied all the breast milk stash shots I saw online. Moms who had freezers full of breast milk for a rainy day. I was not so lucky. My pump output was usually exactly what my daughter needed for the following day, with little to no surplus for a stash.  At around 8 months my pump output started to decline so I had to increase my number of pumping sessions to keep up with what she needed during the day at daycare. Although my pump output went down, when she nursed directly from me she was satisfied.

Beginning to supplement


Around 9 months my pump output became so low that we had to begin supplementing with formula at daycare pretty regularly, usually one bottle a day.  At this point she was still satisfied nursing directly. 

By 10.5 months my pump output was so low that I no longer wanted to take the time at work to do it for just a few ounces. I was still nursing her mornings, nights, and weekends. Because breastfeeding is completely a game of supply and demand, I knew that no longer pumping would decrease demand, and therefore further decrease my supply. 

At about 11.5 months she was no longer satisfied from nursing sessions, and I knew our nursing journey was coming to an end. It was time to wean.

The end of our breastfeeding journey


Weaning was extremely easy for us. She had been off bottles for months and was already drinking from sippy cups. Because she'd been having formula at daycare already she had no problem continuing. She also began transitioning to almond milk and cows milk shortly after weaning and began eating table food regularly so her milk intake in general decreased in favor of solids.

When I stopped nursing I was very fortunate to not get engorged or have any pain, I didn't even leak! My supply waned very easily, thankfully. 

Emotionally, I was sad for a few days. I really enjoyed breastfeeding, and I had hoped to make it a few more months. Initially I felt like a failure for not making it as long as I wanted to, but then I had to congratulate myself for making it as far as I did. The commitment to breastfeeding is not always easy, and I made it 11 months. I'm proud of me. 


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Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Ham and Cheese Quesadilla Recipe

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

I wish I had the time to create extravagant meals every day for my family. The reality is on week nights there is a short window between when we get home and bedtime. I don't want to spend all that time at the stove. I love creating simple, quick, and filling recipes for week nights, especially during seasons when we have a lot of extracurricular activities going on. One of these quick and simple recipes is a ham and cheddar quesadilla.

ham and cheddar quesadilla

Three simple ingredients: 


Eckrich Honey Cured Ham
Shredded mild cheddar cheese
Whole wheat tortillas

Eckrich is making it easy to get your deli meat at your local Walmart - enter for a chance to win a $100 Walmart gift card!

#EckrichFlavor #Sweepstakes (7/11 to 8/18)

Eckrich Deli Meats is about tradition, flavor, and affordability. Their hams are specially trimmed for consistent quality and feature a wide selection of flavors. Their products are gluten free, and they have a full line of quality natural smoked and natural juice hams.

I love shopping the deli counter at Walmart for recipe ingredients. One of my favorite memories as a child was visiting the deli counter with my grandfather and being able to test the first slice of cheese or meat the deli attendant sliced to check the thickness. It was a tradition with me and my grandfather, and now I get to share that with my daughter, who happily dances in the deli section eating her ham or cheese.

How to make a ham and cheddar quesadilla

ham and cheddar quesadilla recipe

Spray your skillet with non-stick cooking spray and warm to medium-high heat. Place one of your tortillas on the warmed skillet. Layer cheese on top of the tortilla. Place slices of ham on top of your cheese and then sprinkle with just a little more cheese on top of your ham, and place your second tortilla on top. The second layer of cheese acts as glue between the ham and your top tortilla. Because of the water in the ham the tortilla and ham won't stick without a little bit of cheese!

Plated ham and cheddar quesadilla


Cook your quesadilla for two minutes on each side until brown. Pro-tip: the best way to cut your quesadilla neatly is using a pizza cutter.

I serve this to my daughter with chips, veggies, or fruit. Ham and cheddar quesadillas are great warm, but they are also good room temperature - a great choice for school lunch boxes!

quesadilla with grapes

Visit the Ask for Eckrich site for more back-to-school recipe inspiration. 

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Wednesday, July 12, 2017

How to Prepare for a Road Trip with a Toddler

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


5 ways to prepare for a road trip with a toddler


We are headed on a road trip to Virginia Beach at the end of the month. This will be our longest road trip with a toddler! Road trips with a toddler can definitely cause a bit of trepidation so we're planning early to make the trip go as smooth as possible.

5 Ways to Prepare for a Road Trip with a Toddler

Prepare Your Car

bmw

Make sure your car is in good working order. No matter how much you plan, an unexpected detour to the side of the road can throw all of your preparation out of the window. Make sure your car is in tip-top shape. I took my car to Walmart's Automotive Care Center to get my oil changed with Pennzoil® High Mileage Vehicle® motor oil. The great thing about dropping your car at Walmart's Automotive Care Center is that you can get your road trip shopping done while your car is being worked on. Definitely a time saver.

walmart auto care center

back of walmart auto care center

The mileage on my car just passed 75,000 miles so opted for the Pennzoil® High Mileage Vehicle® motor oil which is specifically designed for vehicles with over 75,000 miles, with the mission of keeping engines running clean and going strong.

Visit the Walmart Automotive Care Center Rollback page for the current discount.

Walmart Automotive Care Center Rollback page


Grab new small toys

A great trick for keeping your toddler entertained on long trips is having a stash of new small toys that you can pull out when you feel their patience is getting low. Choose toys of their favorite characters or with a mechanic that you know they like. You don't want something with many pieces that your child could drop in the back seat. Great choices are a small doll with a brush so you child can brush their hair, small coloring books with just a few crayons, toys that function with magnets so they stay together well, etc.

Stock Up the iPad

toddler with ipad

If there is ever an occasion for screen time it is when you're on a road trip with a toddler. Stock up the iPad or similar device with their favorite games and if possible new episodes of their favorite shows. If there aren't new episodes choose their favorite episodes and episodes that deal with travel, road trips, waiting, and patience. You can also choose episodes that relate to where you are headed. Going to a beach destination? Choose the beach episodes of their favorite shows. Headed to an amusement park? Find the episode where their favorite character rides a roller-coaster. This way you can engage them in conversation about where they're headed.

Pack Snacks

Snacks are essential on a road trip. Something about sitting still makes toddlers more hungry than usual. Pack your child's favorite snacks, but nothing that is too messy. We love pouches and beanie snacks. To make snack distribution easier pre-pack one serving portions so that you can easily hand your child their food at snack time. Also included in packing snacks is making sure you have mess free cups on hand, at least two, one for water and one for another beverage. Of course, if you bring beverages into the equation you'll have more frequent bathroom stops so give beverages sparingly.

Plan Your Stops Strategically 

mother and daughter in back of bmw

We have a five hour ride ahead of us and we know there is very little chance that we'll be able to go straight through without giving our toddler a break to run around a bit. Research rest stops ahead of time but also be flexible to your child's disposition and possible naps. We're planning for a stop at rest stops that offers picnic tables and space to run around or a restaurant with an indoor play space. Knowing where these stops are ahead of time gives you some options to choose from when you make your stop, which you should plan for after your child wakes up from a nap, or after around two and a half hours for us on this five hour trip.

I don't want to feel like I can't travel until my daughter is older. With these strategies on how to prepare for a road trip with a toddler I feel like we'll have a great road trip and a fun time together once we reach our destination.
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Tuesday, June 27, 2017

4 Ways to Get the Most out of Your Wardrobe


You own more clothes than you wear. You get comfortable wearing your favorite pieces from week to week. Here are some steps to help your look be more diverse, make your clothes last longer, and help you purge yourself of unneeded/unwanted clothes. 

Four ways to get the most out of your wardrobe: 


Turn Your Hangers Around

Once you've worn a piece that hangs up, turn the hanger backwards, to signify that it's been worn. Try to go through your clothes until all items have been worn. You'll find gems that you forgot you had. 

Clean out a Drawer

For your folded clothes, have a cleaned out drawer that items go to once you've worn them. This leaves clothes you need to wear in your other drawers. When is the last time you've made it to the bottom of your drawer? Use this opportunity to really see what's been sitting in your dresser. 

Start Your Outfit with an Unworn Item 

Start your outfit planning with a clothing item that hasn't been worn yet in order to insure you get at least one thing you haven't worn recently into your clothing rotation. 

Sell, Giveaway and Throw Away

Through this process you will undoubtedly come across things you know you don't want or need any more. Get rid of them instead of taking up valuable space. If it's in bad shape, throw it away or turn it into a rag for cleaning. If it's in good shape but no longer your style or fit, sell it or donate it. I usually donate to Purple Heart. You can set up the donation online and they come to your house and pick up the items.  

This process really makes me think outside my usual box when creating outfits. It's also helped me find pieces I forgot I even had, and to get rid of things I know I'll never wear again. 

How are YOU getting the most out of your wardrobe?
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Monday, June 26, 2017

Why you should get pregnant in January

This post contains affiliate links. 
why you should get pregnant in January

My husband and I are avid planners. There aren't many decisions we make that aren't planned out and we have spreadsheets for most parts of our lives. When we decided to have a child we aimed to knock me up at the beginning of the year. I purposely got pregnant in January. Starting your pregnancy in January means: 

You'll be the most pregnant in summer.  

On the surface this sounds like a horrible thing, but being the biggest in the summer means spending way less money on maternity clothes than you would in the winter. Maternity clothes are expensive, and the more fabric you need to clothe yourself, the more expensive they're going to be. There is no need to buy maternity outerwear or sweaters when you're pregnant in the summer. I was able to stretch many of my summer dresses into maternity dresses. Also, flip flops. By the end of my pregnancy the only shoes I could fit were my Nike flip flops, I don't know what I would have done if I needed to wear closed shoes. 

You'll start breastfeeding in colder months. 

This is going to come in handy because you can get away with draped and heavy fabrics in the cooler months which can help you cover up while feeding if needed, and hide those wacky breast pads or surprise leaks.

You'll still be bundled up while you lose the baby weight. 

 I was glad to have a few months before I had to be in a tank top again. The fall/winter months gave me a chance to shed some of the baby weight before less clothes and thinner fabrics were a must. 

No matter what month you get pregnant in, you get a baby at the end, and that is spectacular. 



When did you get pregnant? What were the advantages of the time frame?
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Sunday, June 11, 2017

3 Ways to Keep Kids Interested in Their Toys


It used to feel like BabyCakes had a boatload of toys but we still found ourselves trying to figure out ways to entertain her. We do have a lot of toys, but they weren't keeping her interest. I stopped buying new toys and tried three things have that proven to keep her playing with the toys she does have.

3 Ways to Keep Kids Interested in Their Toys

Rotate Toys 

A great way to keep kids interested in their toys is to rotate them. Don't have all your toys out at once. Have a group of toys out and rotate them occasionally. Because BabyCakes is at school during the day and doesn't play with much during the week we rotate toys about once a month. If there is a long stretch of time when we are stuck in the house I may rotate them more often. Most people suggest 6 weeks as a good amount of time between rotations. This makes kids re-engage with items they haven't played with in a while and it's like they have a new toy!

how to keep kids interested in their toys


Use Toys in a New Way

If your child doesn't seem interested in a toy anymore try using it in a new way. If they are tired of building with blocks try having them sort blocks by color. Create a homemade ramp to race toy vehicles down. Hook vehicles together with pipe cleaners and create a long train of vehicles to push around. Think outside the box!

Play in Different Spaces

Playing with a toy in a different area can be all a child needs to get excited about the toy again. If it's warm bring some toys outside for play. Set up a play space in the kitchen or any other room where your child doesn't normally play. This will give them the opportunity to interact with the toys in a new way!

Even with trying these techniques there may be toys that your child is just not into any more. Check out my tips for decreasing toy clutter.

How do you keep your child interested in their toys?

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Sunday, June 4, 2017

Corner Bakery Cafe Giveaway

Corner Bakery Cafe was gracious enough to send me $30 in gift cards and I'd like to gift them to one of the lovely Working Motherhood readers!



Corner Bakery Cafe started in downtown Chicago creating artisan breads and freshly baked sweets. Neighbors began to ask for sandwiches made with that fabulous bread, followed by homemade soups and salads. As guests' requests grew so did their menu and business.

Today they are serving ingredient-inspired, prepared-to-order food in 26 has states. Their menu includes salads, sandwiches, breakfast items, soups, chili, bakery goodies and more. Their kids menu is also very diverse.

Credit: Corner Bakery Cafe Facebook Page

If you live near a Corner Bakery Cafe enter to win $30 in gift cards below!
Giveaway closes midnight June 11, 2017. 

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