Monday, August 26, 2013


So I started wrting this post months ago and was unsure if I wanted to post it.  I wanted to remember what I went through and was just going to save it as a draft, but I figured maybe another mom out there would want to read it or could relate in some way.  So here it goes.  My battle with...duh duh duhhhh... breastfeeding. If you don't care to hear about boobs, babies, and breast milk, i'd stop here :)

Breast feeding was by far one of my biggest challenges when it came to being a mom.  That may sound silly to some of you, but it took a toll on me.  Let me begin by saying that I loved breastfeeding... when it went smoothly.  Which was like 34% of the time.  It was so emotionally taxing on me.  But knowing the amazing health benefits that come from it, it is what I wanted so badly for my boy.  I pushed through the hard days and exclusively breast fed for six months.

I remember after having Parker, the nurses put him on my chest and we got to watch him inch his way over to my breast.  It was such a beautiful thing to experience and to see God's creations in action.  

The first few days of feeding went well.  I remember not knowing if Parker was getting enough because the instant he would start feeding, he would konk out.  It was a battle to keep the kid awake, which meant a 30 minute feeding turned in to an hour.  I felt like breastfeeding was my life, which I am sure many nursing mom's feel at that time.  He was eating every 2 hours and it took him an hour to eat.  It was a little overwhelming, but I knew that it would get better over time.  After about day 3, we went to the hospital for Parker's check-up and I sat with a lactation consultant who gave me advice on feeding.  I hadn't realized it at this point, but my nipples were (sorry if this is TMI) starting to scab over.  I guess Parkers latch was way was I supposed to know?  Well it ruined my ta ta's.  I was in SO much pain...I remember every time he would latch I would get so tense and cry until they just went numb.  I tried everything the consultant told me.  He was latching correctly, I put lanolin cream on after every feeding, I wore gel pads, and NOTHING helped them heal.  After about 2 weeks I had a consultant come to my house again.  The pain was unbearable and my nipples resembled the rocky mountains (once again, sorry if this is TMI..I warned you). It was not pretty and oh so painful.  The nurse gave us a nipple shield to use until they healed.  I had heard not to use these because they can decrease your milk supply and it causes the baby to have trouble latching once you transition off of it.  At this point I honestly had no other option.  It was either this or stop breastfeeding and I did NOT want to do the latter.  So I used the shield until Parker was about 2 1/2 months old.  Once I started to finally heal, I started to ween him off of it.  That was not fun...he would get so confused and just start screaming.  It was a long process, but we eventually got him off the shield and used to my breast again.  Mind you at this point Parker was still taking about 30-40 minutes to eat {he would still doze off EVERY time} and was still eating every 2- 2 1/2 hours.  We introduced a bottle around this time as well.  The bottle we used was the one that came with our pump.  Little did we know that that bottle was a fast flow.  Uh...I didn't even know that their were different size nipples.  We should have known when Parker would finish his bottle in like 10 minutes.  We were pretty excited to have found a trick in getting the kid to eat a full feeding in about a third of the time and didn't even have time to fall asleep.

Bad. Idea.

After only a few sessions of pumping and giving him a bottle, I quickly regreted it.  All of a sudden, Parker was refusing to breastfeed.  He would latch on for about a minute and then would come off crying.  I had no clue what was wrong.  We thought he was allergic to something I was eating or that his reflux was affecting him.  (He did have reflux until about 7 months and would spit up a ton, but it never seemed to bother I found out later on).  I drastically changed my diet and cut out dairy, chocolate and even gluten.  I did that for two weeks and didn't see much of a change.  To get him to breast feed I literally had to make him super sleepy just to get him to latch.  Not to mention I started becoming SO tense and stressed out at every feeding which did not help the situation one bit.  I'm sure he sensed it.  Anyways, as I was still convinced that it HAD to be some sort of allergy, we took Parker in to get tested.  Waste of money. The kid wasn't allergic to a thing.
Back to square one.  
I was so frustrated and unsure of what to do at that point.

A little later on I realized that it had to do with my let down.  When we started giving him his bottle was when the problems began with his unlatching, screaming, etc.  He never started to scream when drinking from a bottle, but would cry every time at the breast.  Light bulb on!  He loved the fast flow nipple because he got milk instantly.  I don't exactly have a fast let-down, so that frustrated Parker.  And that's when the breastfeeding just became a constant battle.  Even if we didn't give him a bottle for a while, he had already associated my breast with becoming upset and the problem just got worse.  That is when I decided to exclusivley pump.  I had no idea how long I would be able to keep up my supply, but I had faith that I could and knew that I would have to be incredibly consistent.

(I should also add that he despised formula.  I'm sure he would have gotten used to it, but the fact that I nearly gagged when I tasted a tiny drop of it made me more sure I wanted to pump. I mean seriously, the stuff smells and tastes like cardboard. Yuck!)

Well, Parker is now almost 10 months and I have been exclusively pumping for about 4 months.  I plan to do so until he is at least a year old.  I pump five times a day for 20 minutes and that seems to be enough to get him through the day.  It's not the most convenient thing, but we make it work.  It has just become part of my daily routine.  I'm so excited for the day that I can say farewell to that annoying pump.  Cleaning that thing with all the different parts after every use is so tedious.  BUT I'm doing it for my little P-man.  And I'm so glad he has gotten the nutrition that he needs and that I have been able to provide enough for him.   I don't think I could ever exclusively pump again.  With more than one kid I just don't see it being possible.  But hopefully by round two I will have learned from my mistakes and breast feeding will go smoothly.  Let's hope and pray!

Saturday, August 24, 2013

JK's baptism.

I briefly stated in a previous post that one of Branson's recruits from Los Angeles, Jonathan Kim, decided to get baptized.  He started attending church with the single guys every Sunday which led him  to take the discussions with the missionaries.  One thing led to another and he is now a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Whoop whoop!

Yesterday was a special day.  Jon asked Branson to speak on the Holy Ghost and his talk was amazing.  It brought back so many memories of my own baptism and I am grateful I was able to be a part of it.  The spirit testified to me yet again that this church is true and I am so thankful for that decision I made just five years ago.

When JK came out of the water he gave us all a big thumbs up, 
so naturally we had to take a picture the same way. ^^
It was spiritual and hilarious all at the same time.

^^ What is left of our little office here in Texas. 


Thursday, August 22, 2013

catching up.

This post should have happened long ago, 
but it's little odds and ends of our summer here in Texas.  


The office won a competition so Vivint paid for everyone to go paintballing.  The guys loved it!  It was a hot day, even at 9 a.m., so we sat Parker in the cooler to keep him from overheating.  
He seemed pretty happy about it!

-Britney's Farewell-

Stephanie, Shawanna, Melanie, Emily, Britney, Me. Oh and little Carter and Parks of course.
All the girls after a dinner at BJ's.  
Brit was heading back to Beaumont with some of the office so we had a little farewell dinner.
Great bunch of gals!

-Vivint Gives Back-

The pictures above are of the whole office doing some service.  We went to a local park and cleaned it up.  I love that Steph and I just have our babies strapped to our chest.  I mean, I love picking up trash and all, but kinda hard to do with a human attached to me ;)

Vivint also started this thing called Vivint Gives Back.  All the wives get together and think of a service opportunity that we can participate in locally.  We found an orphanage not too far from where we are living, so we called them to see if they were in need of anything.  They needed school supplies, so we all went to Walmart and stocked up and donated them to the Children's Haven.

-South Padre Island-

Once we got to South Texas, all the wives went to South Padre for a day of fun in the sun.  As you can tell my pasty white skin hadn't seen the sun much.  Thank goodness i've worked on that since...

Oh and is that not the most hilarious picture of Parker? Hello buddha belly.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

a little bit of this and that.

I have been majorly slacking on blogging these days.  To be honest I get on here often with the intentions of posting something, but then I realize I've got nothin'.  Our lives have been quite uneventful the past couple months considering Branson works 10 hour days, 6 days a week.  And not to mention the fact that there is N-O-T-H-I-N-G to do around here.  We are living in Mission, Texas.  If you look it up on the map you will see we are literally ON the border.  We live about two minutes away from Mexico.  Luckily we are living in a new development and we were the first ones to live in our apartment.  Yay for clean carpet.

Our days pretty much go like this...
[For anyone who cares]

7:00-8:00 am -- Wake up to Parker jabbering away and letting us know he is huuuuuuungryyy!
8:00-8:30 am -- Branson plays with Parks, feeds him a bottle, then leaves for the gym.
8:30-9:45 am -- I pump, Parks plays and eats breakfast.
10:00-11:15 am -- B and I go to gym (two-a-days for this guy) while our friends play with Parker.
11:30ish -- Parker goes down for nap. B and I hang out.
Noon -- B gets ready for the day/plans meeting/makes calls.
12:30 pm -- Bye Bye Branson.
12:30-7:00 pm -- Parker and I play, swim in the pool, run errands, nap, eat, pump, and play some more.
7:00-8:00 pm -- Night night Parker.
8:00-10:00 pm -- My alone time.  Read, take a bath, make dinner, watch my shows, etc.
10:00 pm -- My lover boy comes home. Eat, talk, bed.


There are a couple of awesome wives out here, but they are slowly dwindling away and there are now only three of us.  We would watch Bach together every Monday (sad that's over) and we still go out to dinner once a week.  That's been fun and definitely breaks up the week a bit.  We only have 16 days left out here and it's nice to know we are almost done.

Here are some things I like and dislike about our time here in South Texas...

- Great Mexican food.  Even the gas stations have great tacos!
- We live next to a BJ's which means weekly pazookies.
- Learning about a whole new culture.
- HEB.  Best grocery store ever with tons of fresh organic produce.
- Welcoming ward with great people.
- B gets to use his Spanish. He LOVES it!
- Beautiful flowers all around our complex.
- Shipley's donuts.
- Gold's Gym, Walmart, Target and HEB all right down the street.
- Our pools complex has a little shallow area where Parker can crawl and play in the water.

- Crazzzzy, idiot drivers.  Ugh, don't even get me started.
- Bugs, bugs and more bugs.
- HOT and HUMID.  My poor baby sweats every time we get in the car because it is 100+ degrees outside.
- Living on the third story with no elevator.  My baby is not a baby anymore and bringing groceries up along with him is tiring.
- No good shopping.  I'm sure B would consider this a "like" ;)
- My family sticks out like a sore thumb.  Verrrry few blonde people around these parts.
- Not much to see or do. 

I feel like I could go on and on, but let's just say I'm anxious to be done here.

Don't get me wrong, it has been a fun summer and a very successful one for Branson.
One of the guys B recruited is actually getting baptized!  We have seen so many blessings this summer and are grateful for the memories made.  But with that said we are so excited to be back with our friends and family in Utah.  Not to mention we have a fun-filled Fall planned and we are beyond excited.

Here are some photos taken around our complex, just for kicks.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Nine months.

This little man is 9 months old.
Holy crap time is flying.

*Walks and runs with help from others.
*Can stand by himself for a few seconds before falling down.
*Loves to bring his favorite toy with him when he crawls.
*Gives kisses, usually open mouth. Yum.
*Says all done and hi!
*Waves to EVERYONE.  On a recent flight to California he would wave to people- even the guy asleep next to us- and wouldn't stop until they waved back.  Then he would grin, or do his scrunchy nose face at them.  This kid loves the attention.
*Starting to eat thicker foods.  Still hasn't grasped feeding himself yet, but I'm sure we will get there soon.
*Laughs and giggles constantly at dogs and other babies/kids.
*Seriously the happiest camper i've ever seen.
*Loves to drum on tables and make noise. Such a boy.
*Squirms like a fish in the pool.  He loves to swim!
*Incredibly loved by everyone he meets.

His parents love him most though.