Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Isadora Update

I feel bad the last time I blogged about Izzy was in May.

3rd baby.

Adding another kid to the mix is a lot more work than I had anticipated. Also, the first few months of her life all she wanted to do was nurse. We spent a lot of time in a chair or on the couch with a nursing pillow and the remote controls. The big kids loved all the extra screen time though - so yea?

Baby sister is a little over 9 months now and, as of right before Christmas, crawling. She sat early (around 4 months) and has been experimenting with table food for a few months. Child loves to eat. LOVES. Sausage, pancakes, eggs, bagels, spaghetti, carnitas, rice, mashed potatoes... the only thing she doesn't seem to love is peas and spinach. Her favorite food right now is anything pumpkin flavored. And cheese. She loves cheese.

Here's a video of her being very vocal about her love for cheese:
A video posted by Jessica Black Rodgers (@1981sinatra) on

We got her first round of pictures done around 6 months (which is later than the older two, but hey - at least we got some done, right?) and she does feature prominently on my IG account, so there's that.

Here's one of my favorite of the three kids:

Other things:
1. We went to Disneyland with all three kids in June. The drive was horrific (Izzy is not the best traveler), but the bigs had fun.
A photo posted by Jessica Black Rodgers (@1981sinatra) on

2. Izz is daycare now and while it was a bit of a rough transition (she demanded to be held all the time) she now loves it there (no tears at drop off!). Things are easier for her day care provider now that she's crawling.
3. Sleep is... rough. I could say a lot about sleep but I won't because I don't have that kind of time right now. She has good nights (where she's up 3-4 times) and then nights like last night, where I know we were up 19 times because my shiny new FitBit tells me how many times I was "restless" at night. I'm very thankful for coffee.
4. We're still nursing (yea!) and we still get donated milk for daycare bottles. I do pump, but I don't pump enough for her daycare milk.
5. PPD/PPA comes and goes, but there are many more good days than bad days lately. I do want to eventually do a longer PPD/PPA post since it was so intense and so hard this time around, but like the sleep post - I just don't have time for that right now.
6. The bigs are adjusting well to having a baby in our lives. She LOVES them and they really love her.

All for now. Maybe more next week since I'll still be on winter break.

Good Heavens She's Seven

Alternate Title: It's been a literal age since I blogged

The sweet sissy had a birthday (also, hello - did you miss me?).

We have a tradition to ask 20 questions of the birthday child (see Penny's past answers here) and while posting them 3+ weeks post birthday, I did actually ask them on the morning of her birthday. Here are her answers:

1. What is your favorite color?   Green
2. What is your favorite toy?  Diana (her "new" American Girl doll... this cracks me up because she plays with this doll *maybe* twice a month).
3. What is your favorite fruit? Still tomatoes (as she reads last year's answers over my shoulder)
4. What is your favorite tv show?   Star Verses the Forces of Evil (this show is weird. Well, all kids shows are weird, but this one is extra odd).
5. What is your favorite thing to eat for lunch?   Grapes (which is a  lie. It's peanut butter & jelly, same as last year. We buy grapes a handful of times each year, and while she does enjoy grapes, she has a PB&J every day during the week. No lie. Child eats PB&J like it's going out of style).
6. What is your favorite outfit?   My new Christmas dress (which she had, at the time, not yet worn).
7. What is your favorite game? Tag
8. What is your favorite snack? Goldfish (year 2 of this answer, I would have guessed an apple, since the house is littered with her discarded apple cores).
9. What is your favorite animal?  Parrot (ok, I'm recording this because she did say it, but I don't think it's true [note: I may be sad that giraffes aren't her favorite anymore]. We don't have any parrot things, she doesn't request parrot themed clothes or toys or anything. I have no idea when she started liking parrots).
10. What is your favorite song? Bad Blood (Taylor Swift). This is totally true - although now, 3 weeks after her birthday it may have changed to Hello by Adele or Exs & Ohs by whats-her-face.
11. What is your favorite book?   Harry Potter (2nd year in a row, which makes my geek heart happy but I don't really think it's true. She's been glued to her Star Wars Encyclopedia for the last month).
12. Who is your best friend?  Astarta
13. What is your favorite cereal? Cheerios (note: Honey Nut Cheerios)  
14. What is your favorite thing to do outside?   Jump on the trampoline
15. What is your favorite drink? Lemonade
16. What is your favorite holiday?  Christmas
17. What do you like to take to bed with you at night?   Stuffed animals (we've reached the point where there's barely any room for her on her bed with all the stuffed animals).
18. What is your favorite thing to eat for breakfast?  Didn't you already ask me that? (It's Cheerios, ftr)
19. What do you want for dinner on your birthday?  Spaghetti (she didn't get it, I can't remember what we had but it wasn't a spaghetti night)

20. What do you want to be when you grow up?   An scientist (score!) side note: she's really interested in being a zoologist lately.

Here's her favorite thing to wear:
A photo posted by Jessica Black Rodgers (@1981sinatra) on

Monday, June 1, 2015

Izzy at Graduation

Last week was SHS's 2015 Graduation ceremony. Since this class was my class, I had to make it to gradation to see my babies all dressed up.

I consider this group extra special because they were Freshmen the year I started at Salinas... I've been their faculty adviser all 4 years and I had a good portion of them in one or more of my classes. They'll always have a special place in my heart.

Izzy is still too little to be left sans Mommy for long stretches, so she came with me. She actually did really well - although she got a wicked sunburn on her nose that still isn't fully healed (poor baby). I got burned as well, and while mine is still lobster red, it didn't blister like poor Iz's burn. Hers will heal faster than mine though, babies have amazing healing (plus I've been squirting breastmilk on it - don't knock it, it works!). I bought sunscreen and hats the day after graduation so we hopefully won't have a sunburn repeat.

Anyway, here are some pics of me & Izzy with my kids (I don't have all the pics that were taken that day, but I'm happy to have these).

Some of my yearbook seniors (Guiselle, Michelle, Jocelyn, Jacky, & Diana)
Hosea, arguably the biggest PITA of them all :)
Elena - I had her Freshmen year and she was my TA last year
If you notice I have on my FitBit. I walked over 6 miles that day. My feet STILL hurt.

Car Conversations

Griffin's car conversations, when they don't drive me absolutely crazy, are the best ever.


G - "Mommy, why don't I have six fingers?"
Me - "Because humans have five fingers."
G - "But why not six?"
Me - "Evolution. Apparently 5 fingers was the most evolutionary advantageous number of fingers."
G - "But six fingers would be cool."
Me - "Then you'd have to buy new gloves."
G - "Yeah, I guess five is ok."

A few days ago:

G - "Mommy, why is the air up and the street on the bottom?"
Me - "That's a complicated question with a complicated answer. Let's just say it has to do with mass."
G - "What's mass?"
Me - "(sigh) Mass is kinda like weight, the more mass an object has, the more it weighs. Objects that have greater mass attract other objects."
G - "Oh, you mean gravity."
Me - "Well if you knew the answer why did you ask the question?"
G - "Because." (pause) "Gravity keeps us down, right? That's why we don't float into outer space."
Me - "Yes. Exactly."
G - "Can you turn off the gravity?"
Me - "Me personally? No. And well, no one can actually. Gravity is a constant."
G - "(sigh) That's too bad."

Also a few days ago:

G - "Mommy, why didn't your borned a boy baby?"
Me - "Because your sister is a girl and she's the last baby mommy and daddy will have."
G - "But I want another baby."
Me - "Sorry dude, but until you have a partner & the two of you decide to have a child, this baby is the only one you're going to get."
G - "Well you should have had two, I want one to take care of."
Me - "You help me take care of baby sister already."
G - "Moooooom (sigh) that's not the same."
Me - "I know dude, I know."

The Conversationalist

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

The 4th Trimester

I was over at a friend's house this afternoon making lactation cookies, when I realized that I have blogged very little about Izzy's first few months (aka the 4th trimester). Technically she has another month left of this, my least favorite trimester, but if I wait to blog when it's over I'll: 1. likely forget to blog entirely or 2. forget something.

It's still likely I'll forget something, but here goes.

If you Google the 4th trimester, you get a lot of websites and advise on how to survive this period of time. Most of the time these articles end with something like "don't lose hope, it gets better!" (true) or "one day you will look back on this fondly" (false) or "don't forget to sleep when the baby sleeps" (a bad joke).

Usually the 4th trimester is characterized as the newborn stage - so around 0-3 months.

It's also characterized as being the most sucktacular of time periods, tying teething, in a young child's life. Which is pretty much true.

Izzy is an adorable baby. See exhibit A.
Exhibit A
But she is also challenging in all the ways babies can be and in all the ways I forgot about because of what I like to call parental amnesia.

Parental amnesia is when you forget or romanticize all the shitty stuff about pregnancy and infancy in order to convince yourself to have another baby.

I had some serious parental amnesia going when we tried for a 3rd. Bryan did not. But since he's a good guy and we make beautiful babies he signed up for #3 in spite of remembering just how awful the 4th trimester (and teething!) really are.

This is not to say that Izzy is a hard baby, she's just a normal baby.


Child likes to nurse. Like, constantly. Which is something I forgot about breastfeeding. For all those "10 things I love about breastfeeding" posts I see everywhere, I could write a "10 things I loathe about breastfeeding." I could also write a "10 things I loathe about bottle feeding" too, because regardless of how you slice it, feeding a newborn is labor and time intensive.

Iz started off with a great latch, and she was slowly gaining so I was really hopeful we'd be able to EBF (exclusively breastfeed, for those not well versed in parenting lingo). Alas, she dropped too much weight like her brother and sister and we had to supplement.

I was lucky to have a friend who had extra milk, so Iz got breastmilk supplement and some formula. It was really only at night and occasionally during the day that she'd need the extra milk - we were only supplementing 4-10oz a day, which was hard for me (PPD and PPA this time around, which probably merit posts of their own but will have to wait another day).

After a long and annoying battle with pharmacies I was finally able to get a script for Domperidone filled (long story short: local compounding pharmacy could no longer fill, had to get a script from a Dr. in Monterey and get it through a Canadian pharmacy - alls well that ends well, I have my script and it helps my supply).

Anyway, before I was able to get my script filled, Izzy started refusing formula bottles. That was rough. We had run out of donor milk and I wasn't making enough for her, so we needed her to take the bottle but she just would.not.drink formula. Luckily another friend of mine who had recently had twins and who has an amazing oversupply has been our new breastmilk supplier. And with the DP script I'm making more and needing to supplement less (although I do still give her a bottle at night because my supply dips before bed).

I lost my train of though... where was I going with this?

Oh, yes. Izzy loves to nurse. All this to say that Izzy would happily spend 90% of her day on the breast if she could. It's exhausting. And contrary to most nursing websites, it is NOT helping me lose any baby weight.

You may be asking yourself, if 90% of her day is nursing, when does she sleep? The answer, she sleeps while she nurses.
Shh. I'm sleeping. And eating.


I basically spend the whole day nursing her or listening to her scream in the car if I have to drive somewhere. We do take walks, and she will occasionally sleep in the stroller, but if she's napping and NOT nursing she prefers to be in the Moby. Which means I don't sleep (not that I could anyway) and the things I'm able to do during the day are rather limited.

She will give us (and by us, I mean me - another "benefit" of breastfeeding is that night time is all for Mommy... which is fine now because I'm not working and I do better on sleep dep. than B, but sharing the night time feeding with P & G was great for me). Crap, that sentence was an incomplete run-on. ANYWAY, she gives me 4-6 hours at night depending on where she's sleeping. This is awesome! Only the 6 hour stretch is if she's in bed with us with her body as close to me as she can get (she's like an inchworm, I move and she manages to inch up next to me).

During the day, I get 45 minutes to an hour of nap before she demands to nurse again.

She fell asleep nursing... when I tried to move her, she woke up and demanded to nurse.

Which is about how long it took for me to write this much, and now she's waking up and demanding to be fed. Maybe I'll finish this blog post later...

Back. 2 hours later. I hate shots. She got hers today and has wanted to nurse even more than usual.

Speaking of her visit, here are her stats.

10.8lbs, 23.25 inches

She is my peanut. While 78th percentile for height and 50-something percentile for weight, she's both shorter and lighter than her siblings at this age. Both older kids were in the 12 pound range and both over 24 inches. Baby Dora is the runt (thus far). Although she's still probably going to be taller than me when all is said and done. Oh well.
Mommy's peanut I am.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

The G-Man is 5

It's that time again! Birthday questions! Here are G's 4th birthday questions, and his 3rd.

Without further ado, here are his 5th birthday questions:

1. What is your favorite color? Blue

2. What is your favorite toy? Um... my Mashables (he got them from my parents for his birthday, they're pretty awesome)

3. What is your favorite fruit? Bananas

4. What is your favorite TV show? Gravity Falls

5. What is your favorite thing to eat for lunch? Cheese and mustard sandwich

6. What is your favorite outfit? A long sleeved shirt and pants

7. What is your favorite game? Lego Batman 3 (pretty much the same as last year, just a new version of the game)

8. What is your favorite snack? Oatmeal bar (same as last year) 

9. What is your favorite animal? Lions (same as last year, interestingly enough)

10. What is your favorite song? The Imperial March from Star Wars (he actually said "like Darth Vader")

He's a Sith Lord
11. What is your favorite book? My 5-minute Marvel (a book with a collection of Marvel character stories)

12. Who is your best friend? Brandon, Rafa, and Dylan

13. What is your favorite cereal? Fruit Loops (same as last year)

14. What is your favorite thing to do outside? Jump on the trampoline

15. What is your favorite drink? Gatorade (which he was introduced to when he was sick earlier this year, he's now become slightly obsessed with it).

16. What is your favorite holiday? Christmas

17. What do you like to take to bed with you at night? My A's Monkey

18. What is your favorite thing to eat for breakfast? Um, fruit loops?! Why did we do breakfast again?

19. What do you want for dinner on your birthday? Pizza!

20. What do you want to be when you grow up? A police officer

My big 5 year old, just lounging
And here he was at 5 minutes old:

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Isadora Claire's Birth Story

Little sissy is 14 days old, so I guess it's time I wrote out her birth story.

She was due 3.14.15 and I had been having intermittent contractions for about a week before her due date. Her due date came and went, just like my contractions. It was frustrating to say the least. At 40 weeks 5 days I visited an acupuncturist to try and get things to start up for realsies. While it was very relaxing, it didn't jump start active labor like I had hoped. At 41 weeks 1 day I opted for some interventions - a membrane sweep, pressure points, and some other things.

At 41 weeks 2 days I was having contractions (painful ones) every 10 minutes. I figured it was more of the same - I had been having irregular contractions for 2 weeks and painful irregular contractions for for a few days. Bryan and I took the kids to a park, went out for lunch, and then headed home to hang out. I had planned to take a walk around the block, but at 2:30ish I felt a pop and a gush.

My water had broken - the first time in all three pregnancies/labors that I had actually felt my water break.

Bryan called the midwives and they advised him to fill up the tub and, if I had the baby before they got there, to keep the baby low until they could be there. I think that freaked him out a little.

Luckily for him, they got there in plenty of time. They arrived, set up, and I got in the tub as quickly as I could as my contractions ramped up in terms of spacing and intensity.

And it was intense. This was not my first rodeo, so I thought I knew what I was in for... but this was the only labor that caused me to curse - more than once - and in which I felt like I had to be done soon because I was having a hard time tolerating the contractions. I have been told I "sing" my babies out, but this one was more of a yelling this baby out.

From water breaking to baby's exit was 3.5 hours. It felt like this labor took the entirety of Penelope's 8 hour labor and squeezed it into 3.5 hours. It.Hurt.A.Lot.

But it was over pretty quickly.

And then she was here. The big kids were able to be in the room to see her birth (they were there on and off for the labor), and I pulled her out. Although owing to some crossed legs, exhaustion post labor, and swollen girly-bits, I actually thought she was a boy at first.

We were discussing names (and my mom started calling relatives) when I decided to re-check and discovered my error. Oops!

After that, names were easy. She looks so much more like an Isadora than a Gwendolyn.

Breastfeeding was good at first, then rocky, and now we seem to be back on track. I'm on domperidone, we have some donated milk, and she's gaining again after losing slightly over 10% of her birth weight. She has a pediatrician appt tomorrow, so hopefully we continue to see gains.

At this point she's our best sleeper (knock on wood) and I usually get a few 3 hour stretches at night before we settle in for a nurse-a-thon.

The big kids adore her and have adjusted well so far. They fight over who gets to refill my water or bring me my nursing pillow and they both like to read to her or snuggle up with us while she nurses.

I'm still doing most things one handed since she still insists on being held and won't sleep well unless she's close to someone. But that's to be expected, she's only 2 weeks old.

I'll try and post pictures soon, there are a lot on Facebook and even more on Instagram... but here's one to tide y'all over.

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Penelope's Growth

6 years: 50 inches, 47 lbs
5 years: 48 inches, 42 lbs
4 years: 43.5 inches, 41.0 lbs
28 months: 39 inches, 33.1 lbs
26 months: 38.5 inches, 32.1 lbs
21 months: 37 inches, 31.8 lbs
18 months: 35 inches, 30 lbs
15 months: 34.25 inches, 28.8 lbs
12 months: 32 inches, 27.1 lbs
9 months: 30.5 inches, 25.1 lbs
6 months: 29 inches, 21.2 lbs
4 months: 28.5 inches, 17.13 lbs
2 months: 24.75 inches, 12.12 lbs
At birth: 20.75 inches, 7.15 lbs

Griffin's Growth

5 years - 3 feet 11.25 inches (47.25 inches), 51 lbs
3 years - 3 feet 5.25 inches, 40lbs
18 months - 34.5 inches, 27.13lbs
12 months - 32 inches, 26.5lbs*
10 months - 31.75 inches, 23.4 lbs
7 months - 29.25 inches, 21.4 lbs
5 months - 28.5 inches, 17.9 lbs*
4 months - 28 inches, 15.5 lbs
3 months - 27 inches, 13.10 lbs
2 months - 25.125 inches, ?? lbs
1 month - 24 inches, 10.13 lbs
At birth - 22.5 inches, 9.1 lbs
*with diaper

Izzy's Growth

2 months: 23.25 inches, 10.8 lbs
At Birth: 22 inches, 8.11 lbs