Rose & Co Blog

9 months in, 9 months out

I am pretty certain no one loves these posts as much as I do, but I absolutely love going back in time to read about the milestones in Sawyers life and the new things he has started doing and loving each month. I accidentally missed 8 months with how crazy June was, but I’m here to make up for it in one doozy of a 9 month update.

This sweet kid has been out as long as he was in. Can you believe that? We could have grown another Sawyer in the amount of time we’ve loved him! He is hands down the happiest baby I’ve ever met. Everyone and I mean everyone tells us that. We started having a nanny come to the house once a week to give my mom a break, and she even said that she has worked with a lot of babies, and never met one as happy and silly as our little guy!

I believe it too. He literally wakes up clapping and laughing. The only time this child is unhappy is when he gets his nose wiped or face cleaned off after dinner. Then he screams like you’re torturing him ;)

This month he started crawling and holy cow, parenting definitely just got real. I have to lock him with me in the closet while I get ready in the morning or he will crawl himself right down the stairs! He finds himself in highchair-jail quite often so I can keep an eye on his busy little body ;) I think his favorite thing ever is trying to keep up with Axl. He will see him across the room and try with all of his might to crawl over before Axl hides! We also finally have 2 teeth! They haven’t grown in completely yet, but he did cut 2 teeth on the bottom just last week and that little goofy grin just kills me! Although I am now terrified for my nipples every time he eats.

let me at 'em! let me at 'em!

Speaking of eating, he eats everything. It’s like all of a sudden he just became the hungriest little hippo! If he shows interest in something, we let him try it. His favorites are cheese, scrambled eggs, chicken, and his #1 peas and carrots. I still make all of his baby food and he usually gets a puree at lunch and dinner and then I try to pair it with a protein and some finger food to fill him up! When my breastmilk supply dropped drastically, I knew I had to keep up with other calories if he was going to stay full! Good news is, I don't think he is hungry...little man is 23 pounds and in the 94th percentile for weight and 96 for height!

I shared more in my breastfeeding journey post, but we’re still going strong with no plans to stop until he reaches a year. I pump 3 times a day at work, and he nurses in the morning when he wakes up, before dinner, when he goes to bed, and then I recently added a 4th pump time around 10:00 when I go to bed. I absolutely detest pumping at 10:00 but it has helped increase my supply and if I’m really serious about not formula feeding I think it’s our only option. Only a few more months, I can do it!

He is in to everything these days. I don’t even know where to start. He loves musical toys, water bottles (his #1 favorite toy), and these little toy marracas he plays with at Grandma’s house. Lately I’ve noticed him loving being sung to. I was singing Jeremy Riddle’s “More than a friend” to him the other day trying to get him down for a nap, and he had his eyes absolutely locked on mine the entire time with the biggest grin. This morning I was singing “I love you a bushel and a peck” and every time I’d stop he’d let out a little yell to say “keep singing!” It melts me.

Sawyer recently started making this "sour face" and it absolutely KILLS US! Whenever we do something he doesn't like or if he sees the face is making us laugh he goes right to it, and it's hilarious.

He is sleeping like a champ! I am so grateful for it. We usually put him down between 7:00-7:30 and he’ll sleep until about 6:00 occasionally waking up in the middle of the night for a feeding. Try as I might to get him to sleep on his back, it’s not happening. The first thing he does when we set him in his crib is flip over onto his tummy. He puts his little booty in the air and sleeps like a stink bug and it might be the cutest thing ever.

Last weekend we survived our first tummy bug which was pretty much hell on earth. I heard him coughing on the monitor, followed by hysterical screams and I went down to check on him and there was vomit everywhere.  Like, his stomach is the size of a clementine. How could one tiny tummy make so much vomit?! It was up the walls, dripping down his crib, in his eyes and ears and hair. I yelled for Jake and we quickly got him into the sink (which resulted in my all-time favorite picture of him ever) and I bathed him while Jake cleaned up the carnage in his bedroom.

I was far too paranoid after that fiasco to put him back in his room, so we laid towels down and decided he would sleep with us. After he ruined his third set of Jammies with puke, we decided we’d just let him sleep naked for faster clean up. I had a total first-time-mom panic attack after watching him throw up (Its terrible, you guys. He had no idea what was happening and he would just cry and there was nothing I could do to help!) and I called his pediatrician who is incredible and answered her phone at 11:00 PM on a Saturday and walked me through what to look for and how to best care for him. Luckily his tummy settled and he slept the rest of the night after about 1:00 and was right as rain the next day!

I guess I’ll wrap this up by thinking of a few things I never want to forget. Truth be told, I don’t want to forget a single thing, but I know it’s inevitable. I love his smiles in the morning. How playful and excited he is for a new day. I never want to forget the way he kicks excitedly when I pick him up after work and when his dad walks in the door. The way he locks eyes with me while I rock him almost like “it’s me and you mama” is my favorite time of the day and I hope the image lasts in my head forever. I always want to remember every ounce of baby chub and he determination in his eye when he sees something he wants and crawls on over to get it.

I know it goes without saying, but there is no way to understand the depth of love for someone until you have a child. I’ve never been so deeply in love with anything or anyone in my life, and he has made it so much more wonderful in every single way. I love you Sawyer Bear! 9 months in, 9 months out. :)

Thanks so much for reading, friends, you can read all about Sawyer Rose Grows: here!

Until Next Time,

Main Floor Guest Bath Remodel

 Happy Hump Day, all!

If you follow me on Snap @absolutelykylie you saw my little “before” rant about our upstairs guest bath. This is the only bathroom on the main floor of the house, and it’s used constantly, but unfortunately, its in rough shape.

I don’t know if it’s the gorgeous seashell sink, wobbly toilet that only flushes when it feels like it, or the ‘retro” popcorn ceiling that gives it it’s flair, but I do know…it’s gotta go.

We start demo this weekend so I as promised I wanted to pop in with a moodboard and our plan to make it fabulous.  We’re trying to do the entire project with a budget of $1000.00, and in a one-month time frame because we both work full time and like to spend our evenings soaking up Sawyer instead of working on grout.

Thanks to Jojo Gains and fixer upper, there is a crazy trend of “farmhouse chic” right now, and we’ll be pulling some of those elements into the room like we’ve done the rest of our house (because lets be honest, who doesn’t love it?!), but more than anything, I want to create a classic, timeless room that wont go out of style when distressed furniture does, if that makes sense. I'm super inspired by these half baths and they're totally surving as my vision for the end result in our bathroom.

We’re retiling with this classic white penny tile, and I picked out a new, more modern pedestal sink. We had originally planned on a vanity in the room, but it is small, and the extra storage isn’t needed since it’s just a half bath. So we decided to save on money by going with a sleek, classic pedestal design that matches our new Kohler Toilet. The moen faucet is a clean, modern design as well and I just fell in love with it! We sort of decided to splurge on a toilet. Although it’s certainly the least fun item to buy, it does see the most action, so we wanted one with super flushing power!

We’re going to install tall, white wainscotting around the room, and paint the rest of the space a deep, charcoal grey. We plan to paint our kitchen cabinets deep charcoal when we renovate in the Spring, so I’m hoping this will tie in.

We’re picked out all chrome accents. From a new chrome toilet paper holder , to towel ring and light fixture, I’m hoping the pretty shiny finish makes the space feel a bit more refined. Stop rolling your eyes at me fellow parents…I know they will be covered in little Sawyer finger prints before I know it! J

The mirror we picked is definitely my favorite of all. It’s a frameless oval mirror that I think is going to look amazing! It was the first thing I picked when deciding on the design and it’s definitely my favorite so far.

Above the toilet, we want to do some exposed open shelving, but I’m not sure what that is going to look like yet.I don’t want to do white shelving because of the wainscotting, but I’m afraid with all of the chrome that anything to rustic will look out of place. I think we’re going to try a gray-wash similar to that on our dining table on some floating shelves Jake will build.

So that’s the plan! Make sure you’re following along on snapchat @absolutelykylie, as I promise to film the progress as we go! And if that’s not your thing, I’ll definitely pop in each week with progress updates J

We’d like to completely wrap up the bathroom by September. Our schedule is as follows:

July 30th-31st Demo (rip up tile, donate sink, toilet, and current cabinets, scrape popcorn ceiling)
August 6th-7th Tile/Texture Ceiling
August 13th-14th Install Wainscotting/Paint
August 20th-21st All fixtures installed (toilet, sink, mirror, shelving, light fixture)
August 27th-28th Clean, decorate, photograph
August 29th reveal on the blog! J

Ambitious? We’ll see!  Thanks for following along.

Until Next Time,

Our Breastfeeding Journey-Tips and Tricks!

One of my all time favorite pictures Jake snapped when Sawyer was 8 weeks old.

After sharing all of the medical drama I was faced with last month, I had several readers reach out asking if I would share some of our breastfeeding journey, specifically how it has been since returning to work full time. I thought I would share some of our struggles, tips for pumping mamas, and why I feel so passionate about it in general.

I guess I’ll start by saying breastfeeding kind of freaked me out before I was the one doing it. I don’t know why, I know it’s natural and we’ve all heard “breast is best” but for some reason the whole thing just gave me the shivers. However, as soon as I became pregnant I had no doubts that is what I was going to do for our baby, although I didn’t have any problem considering formula feeding if breastfeeding wasn’t working. Afterall, I am a firm believer that “fed is best.”

That little guy latched right on within 15 minutes of being brought into the world. We did have to use a nipple shield for 3 or 4 days at first, but one day I was just too lazy to get up and wash it out, and he transitioned fine, so we threw that sucker in the trash! My milk didn’t come in until day 5, and when it did, holy cow (literally) it came in with a  vengence. Engorgement is so incredibly painful mixed with raw, bloody nipples and sleep deprivation, it’s no wonder many new mamas go a different route! However, I was determined to make it work. Before giving birth, I researched everything I could get my hands on in regards to breastfeeding. I became a woman obsessed with doing it and come hell or high water, this baby was going to be exclusively breastfed.

I made so much darn milk in the beginning I would have to pump using a hand pump for 2-3 minutes just to relieve some of the pressure so that Sawyer could latch on. When you’re that engorged, it’s like trying to make your baby suck on a wall and then its frustrating for baby and painful for mama and no one is happy. My hand pump was a lifesaver for weeks! That’s my first tip. Invest in a handpump for those early days. If your engorgement feels unbearable or you think your baby is unable to latch, give it a try! I ended up with Mastitis on day 12 of Sawyer’s life, and nursing him on that side was excrutiating, so the hand pump helped during that as well.

To be honest, the first 6 weeks of Sawyer’s life he was just attached to me 20 hours a day. We ended up co-sleeping at least half the night until he was 6 months old because it was just so much easier to nurse and sleep rather than getting up to nurse him in his room 20 times a night. Because of all that sucking, painful nipples are inevitable. Lanolin is your friend. Buy it in bulk. Slather it on after every feeding, every shower, every time you are hurting. Be generous with the lanolin. I stopped using it after 8 weeks because I just didn’t need it anymore, but I probably wouldn’t have made it this far without it!

When I returned to work after 12 weeks of maternity leave, I was nervous about pumping full-time and if I would be able to continue, but luckily I work at an amazing company that is incredibly supportive of breastfeeding mamas, and I would (and still do!) pump 3 times a day. Our schedule is something like: 6 AM-Nurse Sawyer and getting ready for work. 9:00 Pump (he gets a bottle at my moms) 12:00 pump (bottle) 3:00: pump (bottle) and when I pick him up I usually nurse once before dinner and once before bed.

I’ll be honest, when I first started pumping, it was horrible. It’s uncomfortable, you feel like a dairy cow, and I was always worried about making enough. It really faded into some of my favorite time of the day, though! Being a working mom is so hard because you are leaving your heart and soul with someone else for the day, and that makes you feel crummy. I hated not being there for every single feeding, every smile and giggle. Pumping and making Sawyer’s food with my own body gave me a feeling that I was doing what I could to care for him even if I wasn’t around. I also felt comforted that I was doing something for him that literally no one else could. It’s nice to be needed that way. J

I also discovered Perfect Latch Nipple Cushions that you insert into your pump and they make it so much more comfortable. I highly recommend investing in a set if you’re planning on pumping when returning to work! I didn’t start using them until a few months ago and I wish I had them from the beginning. Perfect latch has been so sweet to offer a coupon code for ya’ll so you can use Rose15 for 15% off your first set.   

Until we started on solids, I was pumping 16-20 ounces in those 3 sessions. Around 7 months we hit the triple whammy of supply decrease. We night-weaned Sawyer so he was sleeping through, my period came back, AND he started eating solids. I quickly noticed a stressful supply decrease. I am still following the above schedule, pumping 3 times a day at work and nursing 3 times throughout the day, but I am lucky to get 12 ounces in a day, most days topping out around 6. Although Sawyer eats lunch and dinner now, Breastmilk is still his primary source of nutrition so he gets three 4 ounce bottles a day, and when I can’t make 12 ounces, we have to remove some from the freezer. That stash of “milk for a rainy day” is getting dangerously low, so although I desperately wanted to make it to a year without ever having to formula feed Sawyer, I do think we may have to give one formula bottle a day pretty soon here. A great friend of mine uses Sammy’s Milk organic goats milk formula and that is what I plan to purchase if it gets to that point.

Breastfeeding has been the hands down most rewarding and wonderful journey. We have no plans of stopping any time soon, however, I do believe once Sawyer reaches that 1 year mark, we’ll go ahead and wean him so I can have my body back for awhile before we start trying for baby #2. Breastfeeding is ya’ll. It is giving so much of yourself all of the time, but if you stick with it and really put your mind to it, you most certainly can be successful.

Like I said before, I wholeheartedly believe a fed baby is a happy baby, and if breastfeeding wasn’t for you or for some reason didn’t work out, that is okay too. I’d also like to remind you that it isn’t all or nothing! Breastfeeding even once or twice a day still gives amazing benefits to your babe, and even if you only breastfed for one day, you did something amazing for your little one.

Sawyer is eating lunch and dinner at this point, and nursing/drinking my pumped milk throughout the day. I will be happy to share our experience if we do end up supplementing with formula in the future. Would ya’ll be interested in hearing more about what Sawyer eats during the day? I’ve had a hard time finding meal plans for babies, and would be glad to share if you’d be interested! Let me know in the comments below.

Thanks for reading beautiful friends!