Showing posts with label maternity. Show all posts
Showing posts with label maternity. Show all posts

breast pumps and happy Danes

Happy (almost) weekend! I'm in a slow slide into the a long holiday weekend today. 

This week I've finally started baby prepping. I feel really behind the ball lately on this third kid, but this was the week to make some progress. I finally ordered a new breast pump through my insurance company. I was able to use the same Medela model for both Chloe and Elinor (20 months of pumping, up to four times a day). The pump eventually gave up at the end with Elinor so this time around I needed a new one. Which, if you haven't read much about it, the basic technology of breast pumps hasn't progressed much AT ALL throughout history. But thankfully, because of the Affordable Care Act, breast pumps are now subsidized by the federal government. As with all things however, they will only buy you the most basic/crude device on the market. I'm thankful I have a good enough job that paying a little extra to get what I actually need isn't a problem. However, for most folks out there, spending an extra $200 is nearly impossible.

I read The Year of Living Danishly earlier this year and learned a lot of about subsidized medicine and childcare. While the book was sometimes a little slow, it did give a good argument for why the Danes are consistently some of the happiest people in the world. Taking care of your citizens health and helping families makes people happier and seemingly willing to pay the crazy high tax rates. 

FYI, I am documenting all the books I'm reading in 2018 over on my Instagram account. It's been great for me to remember what I read (haha) and also gets me to read more than usual. We'll see if I hit my goal of 21 books this year... Having a tiny infant might slow me down a bit in the latter half of the year.

Have a wonderful weekend!

paint mines

Today I wanted to share a few pictures from our Mother's Day weekend trip to Paint Mines Interpretative Park. I know it's more than a week late at this point, but tis the season lately on this blog of mine.

So true story, while some people thing social media is ruining the world, I actually found this park from following a photographer on Instagram. It looked like a really cool park to explore and as it turns out it was about a 2 hour drive from our house. Ordinarily that kind of driving commitment is hard to get approved in my house, but since it was Mother's Day, I won the day.

The park mainly centers around these rocks with alternating and multi-colored clay layers. As a part-time hobby geologist I really enjoyed the park but I do wish they did a bit more to explain why the layers were colored. The more science you can throw in, the better (in my opinion).

There is a loop trail system that we attempted to complete but got caught up in exploring the rocks that we abandoned the latter half of the loop.

It was a busy weekend, so getting out on the trail to start was kind of a nice way to avoid the crowds for a while. Also, there is basically no shade out there, so be aware if you aren't heat tolerant you should avoid the summer season.

Oh hey there, 30 week pregnant bump!

spring and other random thoughts

Happy Friday everyone. We're within spitting distance of the weekend and I couldn't be happier!! We're going on an adventure next week and I'm really excited to see some different sites and relax as a family.  

That picture up above was from last weekend. I'm 23 weeks today and just starting to feel really heavy and achy. I am not one of those pregnant ladies who skip through pregnancy and have very little to complain about. This week I've been dealing with some serious round ligament pain. What the heck is a round ligament? Well, I had to do some googling to figure out what was bothering me so much. If anyone has some miracle cure (besides delivering a baby), let me know!

The first day of spring slipped by this week. The weather has been pretty awesome here in Colorado and it has me wishing the grass was green and the trees were blooming already. So far we've been super dry all winter, so this summer will be tough for farmers and for my lawn! I'm thinking I am going to have to get creative with all of my flowers this year and only plant what I really plan on watering. I also am going to setup some automatic sprinkler system so it's Johanna-is-being-lazy proof. 

Well, I've got to do a little work and then get to packing. We bought the girls their own luggage this time around. I am trying to get all four of us into our own carry-on. I bought some Samsonite luggage from Amazon and so far I'm impressed with the quality. The girls were super excited about it and I'm hoping that means they'll be hauling it all over the airport by themselves without help. I don't think we'll get that lucky however. :)

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend. Check over on my Instagram to follow along on our trip next week. I'm hoping to take some really cool pictures to share!

things and stuff

Hello, friends! Aren't these trees dreamy? I'm savoring this picture while I wait until we actually get to go and see them! We have a trip planned at the end of the month to northern California. I'm super excited to take a break and get away. I think it will be nice to spend time together as a family and see something vastly different than Colorado (like the ocean and precipitation).

Last Friday I had my 20 week ultrasound. We found out we are having another girl! Also, everything looks to be growing right and she's on target for a July due date. It was very happy news. The girls came with us and were only mildly interested in all the parts and pieces of the baby. They were however very excited to hear they were getting a sister. Every doll we have in our house is a girl, so it fits right in with their view of what babies should be. Haha.

I've been struggling this pregnancy with what in the heck to wear over this growing baby bump. I've been trying Le Tote, but so far haven't been really loving the service. It's a subscription box where you get to wear 3-4 pieces of clothing for as long as you want, then you either buy them or return them for a new box. So far I haven't bought anything. I don't love their suggestions, but I'm going to try it for a while longer. The hope is I won't have to buy any more maternity clothes, I can just rent them while I need them. They also have many more clothes besides maternity. I think it might be better suited to regular clothing and not just maternity.

Anyway, I hope you are having a good week. Just wanted to check-in and say hi!

getting real about maternity leave and the year after

There is a lot of talk these days (and this election cycle) about maternity leave and the role of mothers at work. It's a tricky subject with some real polarizing views on the issue. The two nominees for president of the United States have some different views on what should be paid for and what shouldn't be paid for by the employer. 

I'm obviously a working mother, that's who I identify with and understand these issues. I'll also tell you that becoming a mother for the first or even fourth time takes a toll on you. Even if you can have your baby and go back to work at two weeks, you are not really fully back at work. You're barely getting more than 2-3 hours of continuous sleep a night. It's awfully hard to sit through a meeting when all you're thinking about is when you can get back to your office (or the bathroom) to pump. All your clothes you once wore to work don't fit. And most likely your hormones aren't allowing you to think much beyond how your baby is doing back at home.

For me, I was kind of a mess for a good 6 months at work. Then to truly get back to firing on all cylinders at work, it took about 12 months. To be honest, my worst reviews at work were always the year after I had just had a baby. You're just not all there, half of your head and your heart are at home with your little baby. Read this post I shared while I was in the thick of it here.

But after that brief period, I think that mothers (and fathers for that matter) have an amazing insight and drive at work. Knowing that you are working to take care of your children and provide a good life for them will make many a hardworking employee. Plus having children makes you change your perspective on life a little bit. 

Here is a quote from a recent Washington Post article:

"The link between women’s participation in the workforce and economic growth is well-documented: Across OECD countries, eliminating the gender gap in the labor force could increase overall GDP 12 percent by 2030."

I've talked about the importance of paid leave before, but I also want to warn new or pregnant mothers also. Somehow Marissa Mayer (CEO of Yahoo) can run a multi-billion dollar company after two weeks off, but for me, it took a good 12 months before I was my old self again. Take the time you need to bond with your baby and try not to take new and demanding projects at work, or at home, after you have a baby.