Finding a Stroller for London

You may remember how I was trying to figure out a double umbrella stroller for Europe last time, and how unsatisfied we were with the Maclaren Twin Techno? Well, when we started doing our research again we realized that in the last year nothing in the American double umbrella stroller industry market has changed (Please, Uppababy make me a double umbrella stroller!). We were in the exact same boat and ended up buying another Maclaren off Craigslist.

It was a newer model so we had hope it would go more smoothly, however, there was one big thing that plagued me. I would have to put Adaira in the carrier the whole time or have Wellington walk. Neither of those options appealed to me for exploring an unfamiliar city alone. Well, I kept searching Craigslist and behold a Baby Jogger City Mini Double stroller was listed for a price too good to be true. Even though it is an older version, we snatched that stroller up the next day since we had already tried it in the stores. This stroller has an amazingly quick and easy fold, important when I will be carrying it up and down the stairs (did I mention we were on the third floor?). The most important feature is that the glider board from our City Select fits on the stroller, which means I won’t always have to carry Adaira and Wells will be able to ride at the same time!

While this stroller is not perfect for living in 700 sq. ft, mainly because it is a bit bulky when folded, it is the best option that we have here in America. It seems that Europe has many more options for double umbrella strollers and I am excited to explore those options, maybe even getting something that will be a more permanent solution than buying and selling on Craigslist.

I feel more confident going forward and that is half the battle of motherhood. I will keep you updated on how I enjoy the City Mini Double.

London is Calling

What an odd title to a post, huh? Well not if you are about to depart on a 6 week trip to London. Yes, the woman who said no more international travel with three young children is about to do just that! Isn’t it funny how life works? We are going to London for my husband’s job so in actuality this will be less vacation and more of a work trip, for both of us!

I will be traipsing around London with my wild bunch and instagramming and blogging throughout so if you start seeing a lot of pictures around London then do not be alarmed that I have been hacked, I will just be an international blogger documenting my adventure as I go.

Taking London by storm!

Taking London by storm!

This will be great practice for if we decide to move there, give us a feel for living internationally. I am under no illusions this will be easy. I fully expect this will be the most difficult time of my life. Adaira was just getting into a routine and sleeping more through the night, life with her was becoming easier (finally). My biggest worry is that the jet lag will completely throw her off.

It won’t be all work, we are planning two weekend trips, one to Brussels and then to Paris for Isla’s 2nd birthday. What a lucky girl to turn 2 in Paris, I am thinking she won’t really care but will love eating everything out of the amazing bakeries found in every corner. After my husband concludes his work we will then be heading up to Scotland and over to Ireland for 2 weeks of vacation. We will then fly out of Dublin and be home in time for Wellington to start preschool.

Lots of train travel in our future, luckily these two love trains!

Lots of train travel in our future, luckily these two love trains!

Stay tuned for our grand adventure. The kids and I definitely plan to explore everything London has to offer. If you have been to London then feel free to provide suggestions, especially on beating the heat, since it is going to be in the 80’s when we arrive!

Nursing Pillows

After three kids my boppy that I bought used is on its last leg. It is terribly flat and on the verge of being utterly useless. This got me thinking about researching new ones and thus a new post and topic was born. Don’t get me wrong, I love the boppy but the baby industry has exploded since Wellington was born and there is now a variety of choices.

Option 1, the Boppy. After having a daughter with reflux this is a great option for me as I can tilt the boppy at an angle, ideal for feeding a baby with reflux. Also, this is great to use as a bolster for tummy time, something we have been doing a lot of with Adaira. However, there are some restrictions with it. From the beginning the boppy has not been at chest level for me. I have almost always needed a pillow underneath the boppy to make it useable for me. I think the options for colors are great and the multi-use feature of it is a definite bonus.

Option 2, My Brest Friend. This was an option I was considering after Wellington was born. It was between this and the boppy. I liked using this one during my 5 day check-up with a nurse. I loved the firmness of it and the level it fell at on my chest. I thought the stiffness was great at the time especially when handling squishy little newborns. It gave you all the support you needed to nurse comfortable and for an extended period of time. However, now that I am nursing a baby with reflux this is not an option for me as I need something with more flexibility in how I position the baby (angle). Another downside as I have a hard time seeing you be able to use this as a bolster during tummy time. It seems expressly designed for nursing.

Option 3, Nook Niche Feeding pillow. This is a newer option. I love Nook products, their design mixed with their use of organic material is something I appreciate. The Nook pledges breathability with their products. I believe it would work similar to the boppy and function as a nursing pillow and bolster for tummy time. However, this is a newer product and one I have never used before so I cannot vouch for the effectiveness. At $100 it is a definite investment. I imagine it would also be ideal for a baby with reflux.

Option 4, ERGObaby Natural Curve Nursing Pillow. Now Ergo makes one awesome baby carrier so I imagine when they set out to make a nursing pillow it is probably just as fabulous. In the description it says that it allows for tummy to tummy contact. I must say the contour of it looks comfortable. There are not many reviews on Amazon as it has just come to market, but given ERGObaby’s design sense, I’m sure it will be a hit.

Which of these pillows do you use? I would love to have some opinions before I make a decision!

Silent Reflux

I had been looking forward to that peaceful newborn phase when welcoming Adaira. However, from the beginning it was unlike anything I was prepared for. I had a feeling we were in for a rough ride when the nurses took her for the night and she would not rest in her bassinet.

Nursing her did not come as naturally as it did with my other two. It was difficult from the onset with her latch being problematic mixed with a clicking while she was nursing. I thought this was creating gas problems and her pain and screaming after nursing. We noticed that she had a lip tie and took her to see a doctor known for dealing with this issue in Seattle. However, when we took her the doctor thought the main concern was her tongue tie which she promptly cut. While this did help her nursing (she still had the clicking) she was still arching her back and screaming after nursing.

I was reading one night and typed into the search her symptoms and I found my answer, silent reflux. It never occurred to me that it could be reflux because she was not throwing up, however, silent reflux fit perfectly. There is something about finding an answer that gave me a sigh of relief and empowered me to search for solutions.

I began to feed her at an upward angle to help digestions and hopefully prevent the acid from rising. One of the biggest things that helped was making an appointment with a chiropractor that specializes in infant care. We found out Adaira has torticolis. After she came home from her appointment she was a different baby, less tense and more relaxed. We had one of our best feedings after that.

I made an appointment with a lactation consultant. She helped me to improve my breastfeeding technique while also giving me several ideas to help with Adaira’s silent reflux. We have her on an infant probiotic. Also, she wanted us to get Adaira’s lip tie cut because she believed it was causing the clicking and would improve our feeding. Our doctor was about to retire so we made an appointment and were able to get in right away. It has helped the clicking and latch.

One of the most important things that I learned from the lactation consultant was the importance of tummy time. The sooner they can sit up on their own the earlier this will go away. Also, apparently laying on your stomach makes you feel better.

During particularly difficult moments we use gripe water. However, I learned that we cannot give it to her too close to feedings at it causes her to throw up her whole stomach.

We have tried a lot of things and some have worked and some have not so I have no idea if these will work for your children. Adaira still has struggles during the day. There are still difficult days but overall it is better. I see an end in sight to this struggle, finally. I have no idea if any of these things will work for you but if you are struggling like I am then know you are not alone.

The biggest thing I learned through this is to trust your instinct. I had succesfully nursed two children before this and with Adaira something was different from the beginning. There were multiple issues in our case but I had to search for answers and become her advocate. While she is by no means cured of her reflux I can better manage it. Also, in between the screams I see her personality beginning to shine through and those smiles she gives me are beyond precious. The smiles offer hope and I know this phase will not last forever.

We have many appointments for Adaira and her care requires more of our time and emotions than any of our previous children. She is worth it.

Any advice for dealing with silent reflux? We are always searching for answers.

This little lady is 2 months! Be sure to head to my blog to read all about her birth story. #newborn #birthstory

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Adaira’s Birth Story

To say life has been chaotic since Adaira has been born is an understatement. We were not prepared to go from a family of four to five. I apologize for the long delay but I was planning to have a stock of blog posts all ready to go before she was born. However, it seems she had other plans and wanted to meet us a week early. So here begins her birth story.

I started having contractions on Monday the 13th but I thought they were more false contractions. I mean there was no way she would come early, right?! My mother-in-law wasn’t arriving into town till the 18th and my husband and I were planning a weekend away just the two of us before we would welcome her somewhere after the 21st (her due date). Well, that goes to show what happens when I make plans! My friend had been spending the night here in case we went into labor before my mother-in-law came and I am so thankful she insisted on it (thank you Lindsey!). I tried to sleep that night but was in so much pain, my husband did not think I was in labor and was counting contractions. I finally convinced him to call the midwife and she insisted we come in and informed my husband what I had been telling him for hours, that the third baby doesn’t follow a strict script of contractions every few minutes apart.

We packed a bag quickly and we were off. Luckily, at 2 a.m. the highway is clear and we made excellent time to the hospital which is a good thing because I was in very intense pain. I could barely stand or walk. I was admitted straight to a room without even being checked because of the pain and I had a struggle even putting on the hospital gown because the contractions were coming so close together! After that I was checked and I was already 6 centimeters. The doctor came and brought me my epidural. At that point I was shaking so bad due to the pain and definitely needed something.

Like her siblings, Adaira didn’t seem to want to be born by my midwife and was instead delivered by the midwife on call. It was disappointing because I had a plan, but God often disrupts our best laid plans. Luckily, two hours later Adaira was born after a couple minutes of pushing. It was my easiest and fastest delivery by far. She was also the tiniest baby we’ve ever had weighing in at 7 lbs. 12 oz. I guess that is what happens when they come a week early. She was beautiful and had a full head of hair.

Adaira Vesperia, surprised us all!

Adaira Vesperia, surprised us all!

We were able to change my mother-in-law’s ticket so she would arrive that night and my amazing friend (seriously so grateful for her help) was able to take my kids to her house to spend the day with her kids. Adaira proved to be our most difficult baby from the beginning with having a few choking incidences due to her speedy delivery while pushing.

It was not the birth story I had planned but it is completely and uniquely Adaira’s and I would not have it any other way. We are blessed to have her in our lives. I have been tested in ways I didn’t know I could be while learning to care for her but she is teaching me a different way of life.

I love these three so much!

I love these three so much!

In a later post I will be detailing some of the issues we have been dealing with in transitioning to a family of five and how to care for the silent reflux that Adaira has. I hope you will forgive the sporadic posts that will be occurring until I have this mother of three thing down and we are past the many appointments trying to get Adaira and us better equipped to deal with her silent reflux.

Now a daddy to two girls!

Now a daddy to two girls!

I hope you are all enjoying your summer. Keep checking out my instagram for pictures of our family enjoying summer and stay tuned for some good and exciting news I have to share!

Adaira Vesperia, surprised us all!

Meet Adaira!

Meet Adaira Vesperia (uh-DARE-ah ves-PARE-ee-ah)! She surprised us by coming a week early, and was born April 14th, after being at the hospital for less than three hours! So, if you were wondering why there haven’t been many posts lately, now you know! I was planning to write my stockpile this weekend, but Adaira had other plans. My first two kids were late and just on time, so at no point was I expecting an early baby. But, she is here and healthy, and that is all that matters. Enjoy some pictures of our first moments together as a family!

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My Baby Shower

I have an amazing group of friends out here in Washington. I feel incredibly blessed to have them as we have no family out here (most is in Wisconsin). That is why when one of my friends offered to throw me a shower I was incredibly touched. I love doing nice things for others but when someone wants to do something nice for me it is extremely hard for me to accept the gestures. This is something I am working on. As moms our time is limited and precious, so I was honored that someone would go out of their way for me. I find it an incredible gesture, one that speaks highly of the people I know.

I generally do not like being the center of attention so this shower was perfectly suited to me. It was more of a girls night complete with yummy desserts and pink lemonade. There were no games but just mom’s hanging out and sharing stories. Also, my sister-in-law was in town that week and was able to come so I was able to have a family member there.

The women all blessed me with wonderful gifts for baby. The friend that threw it for me is from Sweden and introduced me to the Polarn O Pyret brand. While she was there for Christmas she picked out another outfit for baby girl. The onesie is similar to this one found on their website. I love the kimono style for when they are so young. It is so much easier to get them dressed. They really do make the softest outfits that hold up over time and washing. I couldn’t find anything similar to the pants that she gave me on their website. They look more like jeggings.

Polarrn O. Pyret - Signature Stripe Wrap Bodysuit

Polarrn O. Pyret – Signature Stripe Wrap Bodysuit

Have I mentioned that I have lost 2 nursing covers and 2 pacifier clips? Yeah, I am not sure how that has happened to me so much. I guess pregnancy brain just turns into mom brain. However, another good friend gifted me with a Bébé Au Lait nursing cover.  The style and color are similar to this one. I have never tried this brand for nursing covers but I am excited to try this one in a few short weeks. I will not lose this one!

Also, I have some very crafty friends. One blessed me with a glass jar filled with things for baby and to pamper me. I am excited to try this Burt’s Bees’ Coconut foot creme. I think I should be able to convince the husband for a foot massage before and after baby is born.

Thank you to my amazing friend who threw me such a shower. I am so thankful for you. Only three more weeks till my due date. Here is to becoming a mom of three!