Friday, December 23, 2011

Our Christmas Card 2011

Double digits, baby! Lila is 10 months old!

Lila is 10 months today! Her 9th month of life was a pretty fun one! It really flew by since it is the holiday season and everything. I just can't believe her first birthday is coming up! It's so crazy how fast time goes by when you have a child. I really am trying to enjoy this stage of life as much as I can. I'm so thankful for my little family. Neil is an awesome husband and daddy and we are just obsessed with this little girl! I've never loved anyone so much in my life!

Gotta love this little toothy grin! Still just 3 teeth! Two on bottom and one on top. Almost 2.

So yeah, my baby girl resembles a toddler more than a baby these days. She's practically walking. I'm pretty sure she will take her first steps before 2012! Maybe even before Christmas. She has been holding on to the tv stand or ottoman and looks like she wants to take that first tentative step... but so far she hasn't actually done it.

She is incredibly mobile, loves to play and talks ALL the time! It's really crazy how verbal she is. She actually says real words now! It blows my mind. She loves to clap, play peek-a-boo with anyone who will look at her, she loves people (well, not really Santa or men) and is just wonderfully pleasant to be around! Of course like every mother I think she is the cutest, smartest, most amazing little girl there is!

What she looks like when she's thinking about letting go and walking!

We don't go in for her 10 month checkup until Dec. 30th, so I don't really know her stats but I think she weighs around 19.5 lbs.

Sizes: Same as last month. 12 months in pretty much everything. 9 month onesies still work. Size 3 shoe. Size 3 diaper. We use Pampers Cruisers because they are the best deal on Amazon and I like how thin but absorbant they are. She wears Size 4 Huggies overnights at night. For size reference, sizes in the shot below: shirt and jeans are Old Navy 12-18 months. Socks are Robeez 12-24 months. My baby is so big!

Eating: We still feed her on the same schedule as we have for the last few months ~ 7:30, 11:30, 3:30 and 7ish. She still gets 4 bottles a day, usually around 6 oz. Of course we don't stick exactly to that schedule all the time but that gives us a good guideline for the day. I like the ease and structure of the schedule and she seems to like it to.

She does great with table foods but still eats a lot of purees because its easier and faster for me. But anytime I can give her table foods, I do. She eats 3 "meals" a day. She loves to drink water from her sippy cup but so far hasn't drank any milk from it. I tried once and she threw a fit!

Her typical eating schedule (food and formula):

7:30 - 6 oz and yogurt and/or fruit (applesauce or pears or pieces of banana)
11:30 - after morning nap, some kind of veggie for lunch (usually squash or mixed veggies) and then 6 oz
3:30 - after afternoon nap, 6 oz and a snack: puffs or cheerios or baby Mum mums
6 - dinner is whatever we are eating or an Earth's Best baby food that has chicken or turkey in it
7:15 - 6 oz bottle then bed!

New things she's eaten this month: lightly toasted bread with cream cheese, chicken noodle soup (she picked up noodles, chicken and veggies with fingers and I spoon fed her the broth), ravioli, small pieces of broccoli and other cooked veggies, spaghetti, multigrain Cheerios, teething cookies which are basically like a Girl Scout shortbread cookie (given sparingly, obviously!), and a bunch of other things I can't recall.

We are planning on getting her moved to the cup and to table foods only in the next couple months! I've been thinking about strategies to get some of her feedings over to the cup. I'm thinking of giving her the 3:30 feeding in a cup instead of a bottle with her snack. Then over time probably reducing that one and cutting it out, then working on the lunchtime bottle. Planning on leaving the morning and bedtime bottles alone right now...

Sleeping: She's still doing very well with her sleep. She naps better at daycare than at home - typically 9:30-11 and 1:30-3:30 with some off days in there. She has been testing us lately on the weekends! We'll lay her down for naps and she will just stand in her crib and yell for us or kick the crib or rake her pacifier along the bars! She also like to throw her pacis out of the crib and wait for us to come up and get them for her. Ugh!!

Lila with her Christmas pj's and a cream cheese mustache

I've found that I really need to just lay her down for her naps and leave for 10-15 minutes for her to really go to sleep. She doesn't always cry, she just plays in her crib and talks/yells until she falls asleep. Because I'm not with her during the week, the last thing I want to do on the weekends is have her cry in her crib... so of course I go up and rock her which usually perpetuates the problem.

Sometimes I lay her down at say 9:30, and go up a few minutes later and she's asleep. Other days it's like an hour long battle. This past Sunday she didn't take an afternoon nap at all! She was up from noon until 6! I think that is the longest she's ever been awake at a stretch and after I gave up on the nap and got her up... she played her little heart out. I ended up just making her bedtime 6pm and she slept 13 hours that night!

Lila only takes a pacifier for naps and bedtime. Not sure if they give her one for naps at daycare. She definitely likes her paci but hopefully we will be able to take it away when we're ready.

Stuffing a whole cookie in her mouth

Talking: Lila says lots of babbling sounds and some actual words. She seems to understand a lot of words and will repeat things back to us or say them when she sees an object. So far here are words that she is saying:

baby (when she sees any baby doll or stuffed animal. This is her most clear and consistant word)
Lila (when she sees herself in the mirror or repeats it sometimes)
uh-oh (really just uh, uh!)
bye (sounds like die, kind of creepy)
yay (when clapping)
also says mmm or yum when eating

Motion: Crazy fast crawler. Cruises, pulls up on everything, stands on her own momentarily, can get down from standing easily (not always gracefully), can climb all the way up the stairs, getting pretty good at bending down to pick up something while holding on with one hand. No steps yet!

Good shot of her new hair growth... my blondie baby! She loves these blocks. I have since moved them because she kept banging them on the glass table

Favorite Toys and Games

Tiny, her baby doll that is ambiguous in both race and gender... haha. She loves chewing on his/her hands and feet. She gets so excited to see Tiny and keeps saying "baby! baby!". Best $3.50 I ever spent.

Still loves the jumperoo and the exersaucer entertains and contains her while we get ready

Loves to crawl into her hamper and roll around in it... I'm thinking of getting her one of these for her birthday:

Loves to read books, especially ones with textures she can feel

Loves to rip paper! She could probably do that all day if we'd let her

Push walker and music table of course

Little People. Mostly just the people, not the bigger toys that go with it

Loves getting tickled, being "chased" by mommy or daddy, dancing, playing peekaboo

Anything with wheels - especially the airplane and helicopter (below)

Lila is a fun and funny little girl. She has such a good personality and is getting so big on us! I can't believe she will be ONE in two short months! Amazing!

We are really looking forward to Lila's first Christmas! She doesn't know what's coming but I know she'll love opening gifts, playing with her cousins and grandparents and seeing all the Christmas decorations. We don't even have a tree up this year! Yep, this mommy is a slacker. Well, have a Happy Holiday everyone! I'm so excited to have a whole work week off with my girl!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Meeting Santa and a festive weekend

My mom was here this weekend for a short visit and we had a great time. We got some Christmas shopping done, saw White Christmas at the movie theater (love me some Bing) and took Lila to see Santa! It was actually Lila's second Santa visit. We went a few weeks ago to the mall and since that Santa was a bit creepy and the picture was not so good, we thought we'd try again!

This time was a lot more pleasant - and free! This Santa was actually at the branch campus where Neil got his MBA. It was very low key! But still no smile from Lila. I'll take it though - at least she didn't cry!

After mom left on Saturday afternoon we went to Neil's work Christmas party. We had a great time and Lila did great even though we had her out past her bedtime! She had fun and didn't act sleepy until we got in the car. She ended up not getting to sleep until 9!

I guess Christmas is here even though I'm just not in the holiday spirit for some reason. I haven't listened to Christmas music and we barely have any decorations up! Hopefully it will hit me soon that Christmas is actually here already!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Lila's many faces

Lila at this age is incredibly fun, but she is extremely hard to photograph! Actually, most of my recent pictures look like this:

She is so active and aware of everything and is just all over the place! She also makes the most hilarious faces. I still haven't been able to capture her squinty toothy smile - but I did manage to get a pic with all three teeth in it!

Here are some more of her goofy faces... she makes her daddy and I laugh every day!!

Well, hello there Lila bean!

Loves her YoBaby yogurt!

Lila, what is this face...? I'm almost deleted it, but it makes me laugh so much!

Good shot of the bottom two teeth!

"Do I have something on my face?"

We are SO in love with our smart, sweet, crazy & gorgeous baby girl!

We went to see Santa Claus on Wednesday... and she definitely freaked! We did get one decent picture but we may try again with a different Santa soon. Photos to come once I get them scanned.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Lila is 9 months old!

Lila turned 9 months old yesterday, Nov. 23! She is still a happy, funny, crazy little girl. She has changed so much this month. She has three teeth now. She has two on the bottom and one on top. She can crawl so much faster, is in to everything and wants to walk so badly! She loves to dance and stand up and pull things out of drawers. She loves books now and is still very analytical and curious about everything.

Weight: I think around 19 lbs
Length: not sure
Head: not sure

Sizes: 12 month in pretty much everything. 9 month onesies still work. Size 2-3 shoe. Size 3 diaper.

Eating: Same as last month: She eats around 7:30, 11:30, 3:30 and 7. Usually 8 oz for the first and last feedings and 6oz for the other. We feed her baby food and some table foods (when I have time and something appropriate to give her) 3 times a day. She eats anywhere from a few bites to a whole jar of baby food.

She's doing much better with a cup but is only drinking water from it for now. I want to really start giving her milk in a cup in the next month and more table foods. She is ready for them but baby food is so much easier and faster.

Sleeping: Still sleeping great! Mostly 7:30-7:30. Naps are usually 1.5 hrs in the morning and 2 hrs in the afternoon at daycare - but she usually won't sleep that well for me on the weekends.

Talking: She is still talking up a storm. She will sometimes mimic what we are saying. Just today she said "Lila" when we said her name. It also sounds like she says "bath" and "bed" sometimes, but who knows. It's mostly just crazy Lila sounds, which are mostly loud enthusiastic yells and hollers! She is going to be a talker, that's for sure.

Motion: Crawling SO fast. Pulls up to stand (even in the crib). Walks with her walker push toy. Cruises with furniture. Can sit back down from standing.

Funnies, Firsts and Memories:

- Dances to music now!

- Falls backward on purpose so we catch her. She loves that game!

- Loves books now!!! Will let me read to her and looks at the pages and turns them. She grabs books to play with on her own.

- Has started to throw little mini tantrums if we take something away or do something she doesn't want to do

- Neil and I went to the Bahamas for 4 nights and she did great with our parents! I missed her so much but it was a great time to get away and relax!

- She is scared of the vacuum and the hair dryer

- She loves toys! Her favorites are books, her music table, push toys and blocks!

Happy 9 months little girl!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Still here, but barely!

I can't believe it's been so long since I've posted anything. We've had a very busy two weeks. Neil, Lila and I have all had a stomach bug! It's been pretty terrible. We are all starting to feel better now I think. I just got it yesterday, but luckily it's a pretty quick bug - 12 to 24 hours.

So now we are getting ready for the Thanksgiving holiday! Very excited about the next couple weeks. I can't wait to celebrate the holidays with Lila - not that she'll know what is going on! We are also going on vacation soon! Lots to be excited about and lots to do!

In Lila news, she has her two bottom teeth now! She is also cruising like crazy and looks like she wants to walk! We've also noticed some "words" that she is saying... not sure exactly what they are yet, but she definitely has some sounds that she says over and over. We *think* she is saying bath and book - but honestly, she is probably just babbling!

I'll leave you with some recent photos of our baby girl. I find myself not taking as many pictures lately because she is just into everything and always moving and it's hard to get a pic that isn't blurry.

Lila looking like a little boy in her ballcap and UK Wildcats outfit

With her new music table!

On a walk with Emmett

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Halloween 2011

So I'm a little late with my Halloween post, but since this blog is my baby scrapbook I thought I'd still do a quick post even though no one really cares about Halloween on Nov. 2!

We just passed out candy this year. I figure if the child can't walk then they can't trick or treat! Next year will be an adventure I'm sure. Lila was a witch for her first Halloween. She was kind of acting like a baby witch when we got home and I was trying to get everything ready to pass out candy and get her dressed. She was throwing a fit!!

But as soon as her daddy came home she was all smiles! Figures. :) Somedays she's just daddy's girl. We only sat outside with Lila for about 45 minutes or so. It started to get dark and too cold for her. So we packed it in around 6:45 to get her in the bath and in bed! I think she enjoyed looking at all the ghouls and goblins!

I loved seeing all the kids in costumes. Hope everyone had a great Halloween! Now that it's November the holiday season is officially here!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Eight Months!

Lila is 8 months old today! She is so big and is just growing up before our eyes. She remains an absolute joy and the center of our lives! I really can't believe she is 8 months old. The last week of her 7th month has been kind of a crazy one...

Early in the week she had a fever and was just whiny, not eating much and just not herself... we took her to the pediatrician but at that point her temp was only 99 and she seemed a little better. She went back to daycare Wednesday and Thursday but on Thursday night she developed a rash! At the pediatrician on Friday they told us she had roseola which is a pretty harmless virus and is no longer contagious.

She's also teething (bottom teeth are almost through!) and doing a whole bunch of new things developmentally right now which on top of the illness has been affecting her sleep. This week she woke up a couple times overnight but seems to be back to normal now. She is feeling much better and was in a great mood today!

They went ahead and gave her two shots at her appointment on Friday. She seems to be doing really well. Her weight has moved down to 50th percentile probably because she's been sick and a lot more mobile. They said she is a healthy girl and right on track! The pediatrician wants us to start emphasizing solid foods more and trying to get her on the sippy cup. Other than that I think we are all good!

Weight: 18 lb 1 oz, 50th percentile
Length: 27 7/8 in, 75th percentile
Head: 17 in, 50th percentile

Sizes: Same sizes as last month pretty much. 6-9 months in mostly everything, some 12 month pants, jackets and sleepers. She is wearing a size 2 shoe, but some 3s work. Her Robeez shoes are 6-12 months. Size 3 diapers.

Eating: Well the biggest change this month is the move to 100% formula. I'm happy to report that it is working out wonderfully for both baby and mommy! I love my newfound freedom and Lila loves her bottle! She eats 4 times a day and normally has 6-8oz per feeding. She eats around 7:30, 11:30, 3:30 and 7. We are on a great schedule now and she seems to love the predictability.

We are still trying to figure out solids. She definitely likes baby food better now, but seems to want something to chew on. She moves her mouth up and down like she's chewing even if its pureed. I really think she is ready to move to table foods and chunkier baby foods, but I'm just terrified of her gagging and choking. I guess I need to get over it because baby's got to learn to eat!

We are very unpredictable with her solid food meals. Sometimes I offer 2 meals a day and she'll eat anywhere from a few bites to 1/2 the jar. Other days she doesn't get any solids and doesn't seem to care either way.

Her favorite foods: Mashed potatoes, cheese, Puffs, any baby food with turkey or chicken in it, pears, squash, sweet potatoes

This month I'm going to really try to get her closer to three meals a day. The pediatrician said this is a critical time to introduce her to different tastes and textures. If anyone has any good suggestions for meals, menus or what to feed an 8 month old, I'd love to hear it!

Sleeping: This month was a great one for sleep. She's been sick or teething the few nights, but with that exception, she sleeps over 12 hours a night from 7-7:30 or so. She's doing really well at going to sleep on her own and puts herself back to sleep in the middle of the night. She loves sleeping on her belly, prefers to be in warm footed pjs and loves her crib soother and glow seahorse. She still takes a pacifier at bedtime but usually spits it out at some point. If she wakes up at night she will find it and put it back in and that usually soothes her.

We just got a video monitor and I love it! She is all over the crib and it's so nice to be able to watch her if she fusses at night to make sure she's okay. She usually puts herself back to sleep within a few minutes. Without the monitor we'd probably go up and get her up when we didn't need to.

Her naps are still very good. She normally sleeps from 9-11 and 1-3 during the week. I'm hoping to make that second nap more like 2-4 so she can be awake more in the evening. Some days she will sleep from 1-2:30 and then she is in bed at 6:30! That's just too early for us since Neil doesn't get home til 6. I'd love for her bedtime to be closer to 7:30. During the weekend her schedule is a little different.. she usually sleeps until 8 and her naps are shorter. She still goes to bed around 7 though.

Talking: Lila loves to talk! She babbles all day long. She is so funny. She loves to say Da-da and ma-ma and ba-ba of course. She is experimenting with pitch and usually grunts when she is crawling. It will be so fun when she starts really talking!

Motion: She gets up on her knees and is just now starting to make some real crawling moves. She will usually crawl a bit on her knees and then give up and revert to the army crawl. She can cover serious ground! She can go from sitting to crawling very easily. I don't give her a ton of standing/cruising practice, but I was home with her one day this week and she is actually doing very well. She can stand for a long time holding on to the ottoman or TV stand. She totally shocked me when she moved from the TV stand to her walker toy the other day!! I guess that's cruising? She can walk a few steps with her walker but I'm very careful. I'm so scared she will fall on her face or straight backwards. I know she has to learn on her own but she has no fear and she scares me!

Developmental milestones:

- Waving and clapping a lot!

- Starting to cruise with furniture, walks a little with her walker toy

- Reaches out and up more for us

- I think she is giving us hugs now! I'm trying to teach her how to give kisses

- The other day it seemed like she purposefully said Mama to me.. but can't be sure

- Really responds well to her name, sometimes even reacts and stops when we say "no"

- Can open drawers and cabinets! Eek

- Trying to pull up...

- Paying more attention to books, seems to enjoy reading with me

- Is really enjoying music now! We love listening to Raffi songs on Youtube

Funnies, Firsts and Memories:

She loves sticking her tongue out. She sticks it out to the side when she's playing or examining something. It's hilarious, because Neil does that sometimes.

She loves to use people as a human jumperoo.. She will jump on your hip if you are holding her or on your lap. It's pretty cute.

Speaking of her jumperoo we put it on the tallest setting

Lowered her crib to the middle setting just in case she decides to pull up

Started using a big girl car seat in Neil's car

Had roseola and first real fever this month

One funny thing this month is when she saw baby Emmett who is 3 months younger.. it sounded like she said "Hey Boy"

Went to two pumpkin patches this month, saw all the grandparents and had some playdates

Here's to another great month with my amazing little girl!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Beautiful Blue Eyes

My beloved babysitter Dot (basically another grandmother to me) used to sing this song to me all the time as a child. Unfortunately, Dot passed away when I was 18 and missed meeting Lila and seeing me as a mommy. I love sharing things with Lila that Dot shared with me. The original song is "Beautiful Beautiful Brown Eyes" but Dot, and now me, change the lyrics to honor those beautiful blues!

Beautiful, Beautiful blue eyes
Beautiful, Beautiful blue eyes
Beautiful, Beautiful blue eyes
I'll never love brown eyes again!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Lila's favorite sleeping position

I've been hoping to get a photo of Lila's favorite way to sleep, and I finally got the shot this morning. Face down, butt up!

She's obviously very comfortable! She sleeps like this for most of the night. It's hard to believe just a few months ago she was sleeping swaddled in a bassinet! She keeps her pacifier close by but doesn't really keep it in her mouth the whole night. I should probably just take it away now!

Oh, and don't you love the cow print sleeper?!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Our Breastfeeding Journey Ends...

** Okay, so this post is about nursing and well, boobs. If you have a problem with that or you are a dude, you might want to stop right here... **

Lila will be 8 months next week and as of now we are totally done nursing! My pump is now in the top of the closet for baby #2. Breastfeeding has been quite an experience for me and I wanted to share some thoughts as I reflect back!

My pre-baby expectations/goals/mindset:

I knew all along that I wanted to nurse. I'd read all the books and statistics and knew I wanted to try. I also knew that formula is fine too, but I wanted to breastfeed if it was possible and my goal was 6 months. My secret goal was one year, but since I knew I was going back to work I didn't know how pumping would go.

Trouble in the beginning:

Even though I talked to the lactation consultants multiple times a day in the hospital, we had a lot of issues with getting Lila to latch in the beginning. She was losing too much weight so we supplemented with formula in the hospital and then I started pumping with a rented pump as soon as I got home. We fed her with a syringe with pumped milk until a nurse came to the house and told me about nipple shields. We used a shield for every nursing session until Lila was 3 months old. They were super inconvenient but I'm so glad I had them so we could nurse. Each feeding session was 30-45 mins total with the shield. One day, I tried without the shield and she did just fine! We stopped using them cold turkey and feedings went down to 10 minutes or so.

Pump it up:

I pumped and we gave Lila bottles occasionally starting when she was a month old or so. She did well with bottles for the most part unless we stopped for a while. My first day back to work when she was 4 months old she did not like the bottle and didn't eat very much when I was gone. She slowly did better and over the next few months had 2-3 bottles of pumped milk a day at daycare. Luckily I respond VERY well to the pump and when I pumped 2-3x a day I would make more than enough for her to eat the next day.

Pumping multiple times a day at work was becoming too much so I eventually got down to once a day. I would pump about 5 oz which was enough for one feeding. So we started doing one breastmilk bottle and one formula bottle per day at daycare. Lila will NOT drink frozen then thawed breastmilk, so anytime we had to supplement and I had no fresh milk we used formula. She did fine with it and didn't really seem to care either way. I was nursing for every feeding I was with her including full time on the weekends.

Pumping essentials and favorites:

- A good pump. I used the Medela Pump in Style Advanced.

- A pumping bra. I cut slits in a sports bra at first but for work I invested in a good bra to use with the pump. This is the Simple Wishes Hands Free Pumping Bra. It was great. This is not a picture of me, as you can tell by the lack of stretch marks.

- Medela and Lansinoh pads are fine but use SO much packaging. I really like Johnson's nursing pads. They are easy to grab and use while running out the door and you don't need two hands to open them.

- For a quick supply boost I ate a bowl of oatmeal or drank Mother's Milk Tea.

- Pacifer wipes are good to use to wipe down pump parts in between uses.

- Other essentials included a supportive workplace and boss, curtains for my office and my handy dandy sign. You can click to see it larger but it says.. "Privacy Please. Pumping in Progress. I'm still working and available on email, IM or phone or will be free in 15 minutes."

The decision to wean:

There were many reasons we decided to stop nursing and pumping.

1. I hated pumping. It was annoying, time consuming and very distracting to my workday. I was tired of being late to meetings because I had to pump or eating lunch while pumping. The worst was dealing with engorgement if I couldn't find 15 minutes to pump or those wonderful days when I forgot my pump parts or the pump itself.

2. Lila was becoming super distracted while nursing, even in a dark quiet room. It would take her forever to get her to focus and eat. She was fine with a bottle but with nursing she just wanted to look around and play (ie pull my hair and grab my face).

3. Supply issues. Because we started supplementing more with formula and I was pumping less, of course my supply went down. The bedtime feeding especially I could tell that I was not satisfying her. Neil would feed her after I did and sometimes she would eat 6 oz! It was like I had no milk by the end of the day. A few weeks ago I had a cold and I was taking a ton of Sudafed. This KILLED my supply. I didn't know it could do that, but that helped make the decision easier. I went from pumping 5 oz to 1-2oz per session.

The weaning process:

Weaning was physically and emotionally SO much easier than I ever thought. I imagined a crying baby who wanted to nurse, painful engorgement or worse - mastitis or a breast infection. None of these things happened! When we finally decided to move to just formula I pumped just enough to relieve pressure when I needed to. One day the pump just didn't seem to be helping much so I came home and breastfed her. Within a few days I stopped pumping completely and breastfed her once a day or so just to relieve pressure. She didn't mind a few minutes of nursing and it didn't interfere with her normal bottle feedings.

Last week I realized that I wasn't feeling "full" anymore so I didn't even take my pump to work. I haven't nursed her or pumped in like 3 days. So I think we can safely say we are DONE.

Formula and bottle preferences:
Lila loves her bottle! She uses Avent bottles now, but she also likes the Medela ones that you can use with the pump but 5 oz bottles are too small now. We've also tried The First Years Breast Flow and Playtex nursers. Avent bottles are the best! She started with the lowest flow nipple and we've found that a 2 is still good for her. We have some 4s and she makes the biggest mess. 2s are good. The first time I ever bottle-fed her was like 2 weeks ago! I never wanted to make her confused when I was nursing so I always had someone else do it.

Lila eats 4 times a day around 7:30, 11:30, 3:30 and 7 right before bed. She eats 6-8 oz each feeding.

We started with Enfamil formula (because we had free samples) and now we've moved to Up&up Target brand formula. It's half the price of Enfamil! She does fine with it with no belly issues at all - no gas or spitting up. A big reason we wanted to breastfeed as long as possible was financial - so I'm fine with a cheap formula since she seems to like it and it's perfectly safe and healthy.

Final thoughts on breastfeeding:

Well, I'm super proud to have breastfed Lila for 7 months. I gave her the best nutrition possible for the first part of her life and I'm so glad I stuck it out. It was hard at times, but for the most part I found it easier than bottles. Especially when she was eating like 8 times per day (including overnight). I can't imagine making and cleaning that many bottles or dealing with formula in the middle of the night. It was so easy to just breastfeed her when I was home with her on maternity leave or to just put her in bed with me and nurse her lying down. If I was a stay at home mom I would definitely keep breastfeeding until a year or beyond because it is so much easier and I really hate washing bottles.

As far as breastfeeding being a bonding thing, I didn't really "get" that. I bonded with her of course, but so did Neil! Lila looks up at me more now when I feed her a bottle than she ever did when nursing. I really don't think she even knew there was someone connected to the boob. When she was done, she'd often look up at me like "Oh, you're here too!" So I liked breastfeeding, but not because it made me feel particularly "bonded" to her. I guess I did like in the beginning that I could give her something that no one else could.

But now, I love that Neil and I are total equals in this parenting thing. We are all about equality and fairness in our marriage - so I like that he and I have equal responsibility now that I'm not the sole source of food. He can feed her a bottle and put her to bed or we can *gasp* leave her overnight!

Speaking of leaving her overnight... we have a 4 day trip coming up to the Bahamas and the grandparents are taking care of her when we are gone - my parents for 2 nights and his parents for 2. I love the freedom of not having to worry about pumping! I also love that I can have caffeine if I want, or go on a REAL diet or have a drink or whatever! It's so freeing!

So, that's it. We are done breastfeeding! It was great and it was hard and now it's done!