Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas eve in pictures

{& captions}

Christmas eve bub.

Christmas eve bath
{with an early Christmas gift}

Can we all take a moment to take in the amazing-ness of Maisie's curls? Thanks.
I am so in love with them.

Our "Virginia slim" Christmas tree. We are still very much lacking in the ornament department because this is only our third Christmas together. Trust me, we are working on it.

Oh as for the presents, I have tried to keep them neatly organized under the tree, but to Maisie's satisfaction they are left in disarray. I finally gave up, now I just scoot them back under with my foot. hah.

Maisie's letter to Santa complete with milk and cookies.

We have just a few more presents to wrap tonight and then it's smooth sailing to Christmas morning. I can smell the cinnamon rolls already...

Wishing you and yours a very Merry Christmas,
love me & mine.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Christmas Cookies

The first time Austin and I ever made Christmas cookies together was in our Senior year of High school. Austin and I baked and frosted 3 or 4 batches to ding dong ditch all of our friends with. Each friend received 4 of my Grandma's famous cookies. It was hard to get away in the Falcon because it was so loud. Everyone knew it was us, but that's ok. Yes, Austin and I were that "old" couple making our friends cookies for Christmas. We were cool, we know.

Fast forward 3 years...

I wasn't up for the task when I was pregnant with Maisie because I was still having bouts of morning sickness and as amazing as these smell while they are baking, I just couldn't take it when I was prego. So we skipped our first married Christmas, sad.

Last year I made a batch and we carried them down a flight of stairs where we decorated them with our darling friends who conveniently were our downstairs neighbors. We sat in front of a crackling fire and licked our fingers as we had a secret competition on who made the best looking cookie. It's so weird to think that was a year ago. In some aspects it seems like it was just last month, but then again it seems like forever ago. Have you ever had that feeling? It's strange.

Then there is this year. I wasn't feeling too great on Sunday because of a sinus infection, but we decided to make cookies any way. It's nice to have them the week leading up to Christmas don't you think? They turned out great and Maisie had so much fun smearing the frosting all over her high chair, body and face. She even ate her first little Christmas cookie and trust me there were a lot of excited noises coming out of our child. Lots of wows, oohs and num nums. Oh and yes a yummy food dance.

Here are some pictures of this years Christmas cookie extravaganza:




Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Stopping to smell the flowers

Before Austin started work this afternoon we took a long stroll through
 a nearby park. As you can see, Maisie felt all too comfortable among the ducks. 















Saturday, December 17, 2011

Global Winter Wonderland

Last night we made our way over to Great America (an amusement park) for the "Global Winter Wonderland" they set up during the Christmas season.  Overall it was very fun. Maisie was completely bundled up in the stroller and would ooh and aw, wow and woah as we walked through all of the colorful lights. We didn't eat dinner before hand, so Austin and I decided to eat there because we were starving. We couldn't find prices anywhere (which should have been the first clue) so when the man gave us the total we were a little taken back.  So if you go and decide to eat there know that 2 gyros, a side of rice, side of Greek salad and a bottle of sprite costs an arm and a leg. It was good, but man was it expensive.














Look at this bundled beauty.
 (That dang plug. Pretty sure it's time to say adieu to the pacifier. Pray for us? haha)

Friday, December 16, 2011

Post partum depression after weaning?

As explained in my earlier post about weaning Maisie over a month ago, I was having a hard time letting go. I was emotional and rightfully so. Breast feeding has been the foundation of so many loving, bonding memories for little Maisie and me.

As the days passed after Maisie self-weaned, I felt more and more emotionally off kilter. Austin would leave to work and Maisie would be down for her nap and I would cry for hours straight, no joke. Nothing particular was upsetting me, but I just felt overwhelmingly sad. All day long I was fighting back my emotions. I tried to keep everything to myself, but any moment tears were going to escape from the safety of my tear ducts and expose my sadness to my daughter and husband. The thing is I wasn't terribly sad about any thing in particular. My heart felt heavy, I felt worn down, shut down and not like myself. This went on for a week before I told Austin I needed his help. "Something is wrong with me" I said.

Sure enough after a quick google search "depression after weaning" instantly tons of information populates,  explaining that post partum depression can occur after weaning (because of the hormone crash) and it's not super uncommon. After reading page after page at least I had confirmation that at least I wasn't alone. My hormones were crashing drastically and it was causing a lack of appetite, troubles sleeping, horrible once a day headaches and overall my whole body to ache with sadness. I thought that by weaning, things would return to normal (you know the joys of having your body to yourself again) but it seemed by weaning, it further complicated matters. I was so confused.

I'm a reader. When I first got pregnant I read every book I could get my hands on. I even had a huge book just on breastfeeding, but never once did it mention this possibility. I mean it makes sense I guess, my body still in nursing mode is completely different than not. Hormones are allowing me to produce milk and oxytocin floods my body creating the loving, bonding connections as it also aids in the excretion of milk. I just never imagined that not having those hormones or when those hormones declined, that I would be so depressed. I wish some one or some book would have told me this was a possibility. When it first started happening, I felt alone and scared because I thought that something was seriously wrong.

I don't do well with hormonal changes.

1)When my Auto-immune disorder was at it's worst, doctors had me pumped full of prednisone (corticosteroid used to suppress the immune system) and for those few months they had me on and off "the prednisone diet", I was completely bipolar. Happy and then sad with the ever so frequent crying fits. I made a promise to myself I would never go back on the stuff again {plus it's highly addictive} and I haven't since.

2) Not as extreme, but a couple of months before Austin and I married, I started birth control (like that worked anyway... haha) but the same thing. I found myself being upset over the smallest things.

3) Then my pregnancy, in the whole first three months (1st trimester)  I ate MAYBE a small bowl of fruit a day. I don't know how Maisie kept growing, because I lost a ton of weight. By the time I went to the doctor {a few weeks into the second trimester} when my appetite came back full force (carbo loading big time) and I started to gain weight back, I was still 15 pounds down off of my pre-pregnancy weight. I had headaches that would last over a week, had absolutely no appetite and around the clock nauseousness.

So obviously hormones are not my friend.

It has now been over a month since Maisie weaned and while at times I still get down, {mainly when I am alone} it's much much better {no longer crying}. I am open and communicative with how I am feeling. I have my sister and husband at my disposal and plus things are just starting to level out. My tension headaches are less frequent and my body is beginning to feel like my own again.

As you become a parent you come across situations and you think to yourself "why didn't anybody tell me this!?" I think I could dedicate a post just to "things nobody told me about pregnancy/birth/motherhood/babies&breastfeeding". I might have to work on the title a little bit, but was there anything that you stopped and thought to yourself "why didn't I know about this?" until it was in front of you? I am sure we could come up with a pretty fascinating list.

Post partum depression occurring after weaning may sound crazy, believe me I had no idea this could even happen, but if you do a little research it happens more frequently than you may think. I just don't want anybody else to feel alone or crazy just because they didn't have warning from a book or a friend. So that's my motive behind this post, plus it helps getting it off my chest as well.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Monterey Bay Aquarium





{Lunch break}



{This girl LOVES lemons}

{sour face}


{Austin in front of Austino's}


{Back to the Aquarium}

Who knew this is what Sand dollars look like in the wild?


Throughout the day, hundreds of dolphins made their way in and out of the bay. Since living in California {for almost 2 months} I have seen whales and dolphins, 
but in my whole life in Oregon, never once.


The weekend after Thanksgiving the Lee crew took a day trip to visit the famous Monterey Bay Aquarium. It was a beautiful, low 70's and perfectly sunny day. We had lunch on a balcony overlooking the whole bay and watched sailboats drift by while enjoying fresh chowder. The aquarium was so nice, I loved how it incorporated the real bay and bay life into the set up exhibits. Maisie had so much fun playing in the kid zone, watching the penguins and standing under the wave/tide simulator {her favorite}. I apologize for the lack of pictures of the more exciting animals {sharks, turtles, penguins} but as anyone knows, trying to take a picture behind glass, of swift moving creatures is hard. So we took tons of video instead, but unfortunately I can't post all of that on here. We just have to make do with the slow/non moving creatures.