Monday, September 30, 2013

Moose: 5 Months

How Big?: Mooseroo is a big boy! He is at least 17 pounds, and it's pretty much impossible to get him still long enough to see how tall he is. He will get checked again at his 6 month doctors appointment.
Clothing Size?: Baby clothes are crazy. They have sizes on them, but the sizes are not very standard from what I can tell. Sometimes he fits into 3 month clothes. Other things have to be 12 months.  His socks have to be at least 12 months... my big footed boy!
What/When is he eating?: Woohoo!! This is the biggest Milestone of the month. Baby Moose started rice cereal (at the doctor's direction). He eats it once or twice a day, and I'm still a pumping momma. He gets breast milk (approximately 35 ounces a day... crazy hungry baby!) Today for the very first time Moose ate peas. He loved them!! Starting solids is an adventure in and of itself.  I am working on a post about it, so stay tuned. Read about Moose's first foods here.
Sleep?: We are some highly blessed parents! Our son is not a huge napper, but little man sleeps through the night pretty consistently.
Movement?:  We are very soon to have a crawler on our hands.  Moose scoots around, rolls all over, and never wants to just lay down anymore.
Milestones?: First food. First Football game. First time wearing pants. First time roaring!!!! It's one of my favorite things he does... Grrrrr.
Hardest Moment(s) of the Month: This month has been very full.  Starting back to school has been very very tough! Having to leave our little guy each day, and momma having to be gone with football is hard!!!!
Best Moment(s) of the Month: Every single day is a blessing. I cannot even explain how many awesome moments we get with this guy. I have loved him coming to football games. I love watching him figure new things out. Just yesterday I watched him grab onto his Daddy's full glass. I know it means we are in for all the grabbing, but it's truly awesome to see him growing.
Looking Forward to: I know it's a double edged sword, but I am looking forward to a crawling little moose! I also know how much fun we are going to have this holiday season!!!!

Lots of love, 
The Rileys

Moose: Starting Solids

Please keep in mind that I am certainly not a doctor, and about half the time I don't really know what I'm doing either.  Enjoy the experience of a new momma. :)
Signs of Readiness:
Moose went to his 4th month doctor's appointment with Grandma and a list full of questions sent by a nervous mommy.  My biggest concern was when should he start eating and what to feed him

Our very awesome doctor explained to my mom the signs of readiness.
 - assisted sitting up
 - watching us eat 
 - hungry after a bottle 

My chunky baby showed readiness at 4 and a half months, so according to doctors orders we started little man on rice cereal. In hindsight, I probably would have just added some to his bottles for a bit, but the mommy in me just couldn't wait to try the spoon.  

He wasn't very sure of what we were doing the first time, and he kept using his tongue backwards.  He would shove the bite of food back out of his mouth. 

When to add new foods:
Our doctor suggested letting the baby eat rice cereal for two weeks before introducing new foods, but after the first two weeks we decided to give him three weeks with it.  We had only occasionally been using the spoon, and we wanted to get him a little more used to that. 

I am really glad we waited because the extra week made a difference for him.

We are just now on his first veggie.  The doctor encouraged us to start with veggies and save the sweet fruits for after.  We started with peas. (Gerber's stage one) I would like to make his baby food, but we haven't had the chance with football season going on.

We are doing three day rotations, but day two of peas caused Moose a little tummy trouble. He had the runniest, messiest, all-over the stroller-iest poop ever! Momma decided to give his belly a break, and we will try two more days of peas before we move on. 

 Our plan is to try spinach after peas. (Grandma says she will make him some.) Then, we will try green beans.  It's quite an adventure, but we are loving it!!!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Postpartum: Exclusively Pumping at Work

I originally posted about my experience exclusively pumping.  I wrote my first blog about pumping because I found it difficult to get information about scheduling and how to store the milk, especially for the exclusive pumper.  (Read it here.) Now, I bring you an update of how it is going pumping at work.  

I am an exclusively pumping teacher. 

Pumping is its own beast, but pumping while teaching high school and coaching cheerleading during football season in Texas... Whew!!!! (Sorry for all the prepositions there!) Three weeks into the school year, I have already learned a lot.

My current schedule:
Pump 1 - 5:50am
Drive to School
Pump 2 - 7:40am
School Starts at 8:00am
Pump 3 - 12:00pm
(My lunch which is really only 20 minutes long)
Pump 4 - 2:30pm
(My conference period) 
Pump 5 - 6:00pm
Pump 6 - 9:30pm LONG PUMP (I pump as long as it takes to feel totally empty before bed.)

My schedule has little to nothing to do with my choice at this point. It is all based my assigned lunch and my assigned conference. I pump after I get home from practice, so really I make do with what I can. Sometimes that happens, and if you want to pump long term (anything longer than 6 weeks) you really have to be flexible and committed to using every single spare minute of the day.   I mean for real. There are times when I feel like I don't have one second of spare time.

This schedule is soon to be on the change again because I simply cannot keep up and have energy each day.  My goal is to drop two pumps in the next month.  (That is if I can keep it up!)

Changing schedules has been really hard on my body, and while I never fought engorgement in the summer, I now deal with some sort of achy boob almost daily.  :/ As a friend told me, "yes, it hurts, but it's temporary." Some days are easier than others.  

Milk Production:
In the summer, I was able to be on my own schedule.  I created an oversupply by pumping so frequently for so long, and I consistently made 60 ounces a day.  When I started back to school, I noticed a reduction in my supply almost immediately.  Now a month into the school year, I am down to 40 ounces a day.  This is fine for us because I am just maintaining. Each day I pump no longer gets us ahead, but each day means another day that the baby gets breast milk. 

I am still vigilant about drinking water, and I will say the days I eat more I can tell a difference in my milk output.  My milk output is never spot on and varies a bit from day to day. (I can vary anywhere from 1 to 10 ounces.)

Storing Milk on the Go:
I am a secondary teacher, and there aren't too many inconspicuous ways to carry bottles full of milk to a faculty fridge. (A faculty fridge that you never know who is in, and you're never sure what the smell is!!) I decided that it wasn't worth the walk down the hall, since I am already so pressed for time when I am pumping at work.  I could keep a mini fridge in my room, but there isn't much room... So, I use a cooler back pack. It works for me! I pack my pack every morning for pumping all day. 

I already told you what I keep in my pump bag here.

In my cooler, I take:
    - two of the tall skinny ice packs
    - two extra bottles 
    - two extra lids 
    - a cup towel for extra milk
    - ziploc baggies just in case 

Personal Experience:
Pumping at school is terrifying initially.  During our summer in service week, one of my male principals accidentally come into one of my fellow pumping teachers classrooms.  Poor things the both of them!!! I made a sticky note that says "do not enter" and taped black construction paper together to make a makeshift sign.  Each time I pump, I place these things on the window.  I don't keep them up all the time, so that my janitors and principals know the difference.  It seems to work so far.  I have had to yell at a janitor putting keys in the door once, and I have had a technology guy waiting on me outside my door.  These are not comfortable situations, but you just make do.

Honestly, the worst is students outside the door waiting to be let it.  The talk and laugh and jiggle the door handle and FREAK you out.  

My cheerleaders know that I pump, but they know because it's been a necessity to tell them.  I have to leave another coach in charge for 20 or so minutes on game nights.  Plus, they are with me so much more. 

I will say that I thought pumping was tough before school started... but now, I cannot even explain what a commitment it is.  I worry about leaking through my shirt all the time. I hurt more often than I don't.  I think about quitting all the time.  I feel guilty for thinking about quitting.  It's a lot more emotional than I ever knew.  

I think my time as an exclusive pumper is drawing closer to it's end.  I always said that I would do what was best for my family, and as long as it worked we would do it.  I find more and more that stopping to pump isn't working.  It is limiting.

But, even with all of that... I am so proud that Moose still hasn't had formula.  I also think it has played a big part in my loosing all the baby weight so quickly.

I really appreciate all of you guys keeping up with the blog.  It's been quite a journey! Leave a comment and share your pumping questions or your pumping experience.

Other Postpartum Posts: 

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Teaching: Sketchnotes

I am an avid Pinterest user, which as most people know can get dangerously addicting.  I have tried lately to channel my Pinterest addiction into something useful, so I have been scouring teaching pins.  Lesson planning at the beginning of the school year with a four month old can be a little bit scary, but I think I stumbled onto something AWESOME!

Sketchnotes are all the rage in tech land.  (BUT It's crazy hard to find examples that aren't done by insane artists or about conference type things.) Being a high school English teacher, I see that not all students are bullet and list note-takers.  This year I wanted to provide more options for notes, instead of just showing the same PowerPoint over and over.  That used to be tech savvy and hip... now the kids are bored of it! So I took last year's version of the notes and voila, I transformed them!

This is my teacher version of the notes we took today.  

These are the pre-reading notes that we discuss before reading "The Lottery" by Shirley Jackson.  They are fairly short notes (3 literary terms and 3 "buzz words"), so I thought they would be ideal to try this new strategy with.

I began the lesson by showing the students some google image examples of sketch notes. I explained to them that sketchnotes were just a technique in lieu of traditional note-taking.  I allowed those linear thinkers to take notes in traditional bullets. 
I drew the sections on the board for them and actually sketched the notes out along with them.  (I modeled them this time, and I think I will the next couple of times I use this technique.) Eventually, I think my sophomores could do this without my guidance (and my terrible art skills). 

We took these notes in our interactive notebooks (composition books). 

Below is an actual student copy.  I think it was a successful day of notes! 
Our notes covered:
Irony: dramatic, situational, and verbal
Buzz words: tradition, community, lottery

PS Yes, I used Buffy as an example of situational irony!

Tell me, have you used this technique before? Would you be willing to try it in class?