Weaning. Glorious Weaning.

Committing to breastfeeding Little Man to 1 year was huge. If I’m being honest, time has flown by. I mean, I can not believe he turns 1 in less than 2 weeks. It’s been a whirlwind of a year and I’m beyond grateful that I was blessed with the ability and time to be able to breastfeed him this long. I had to start supplementing with formula around 9.5 months old when my freezer stash ran out. But, even still, the vast majority of his liquid intake has been mommy milk and I’m proud of that accomplishment.

But, let’s be real, I’m so ready to be done. About a month ago I started to develop a love/hate relationship with nursing. It was very similar to the love/hate relationship I had with nursing in the early weeks of his life. But this time was different. I loved giving him this precious milk but nursing had grown a bit uncomfortable – 4 teeth equals nursing challenges (ouch!).

As of last week, the weaning process has begun. I am now down to nursing only in the morning when he wakes up and then pumping before I go to bed. That morning nursing session will be the last to go, but still, I’m looking forward to that first morning where I can continue sleeping while The Husband gets up and gives Little Man breakfast – I can’t even fathom what freedom I will feel on that beautiful day!

It’s been a journey. I’ve learned A LOT!!! Ultimately, I’ve determined that breastfeeding is one of the hardest and most rewarding things I’ve ever done. But, I am sad to tell all of you first-time-moms-to-be, NOBODY prepares you for the challenge of breastfeeding. I did my research before Little Man was born. I read books. I read blogs. Still, breastfeeding ended up being 1000000000x harder than I expected it to be and I began to fully understand why so many women give up in those first 2-3 months (or less!). While there is no shame in formula-feeding, I do wholeheartedly believe that so many women give up too soon on breastfeeding simply because they aren’t adequately prepared for the challenge and reality of it all.

So, if you’re reading this and you are a first-time-mom-to-be, I want to encourage you: YOU CAN DO IT!! Power through those first 3 months and I promise you it gets easier. And when I say easier I mean SOOOOO MUCH EASIER!!! Between 3months and 10months old, I absolutely LOVED nursing. And, by that time, I was so close to my 1 year goal that I just pressed on even when it began to get uncomfortable.

I wish there was more honesty out there about the challenge of breastfeeding. I could go on but I don’t have all night. I have to pump and then I’m hitting the sack early!

Until next time Mommas 🙂

~entrepreneurmomma

World’s Okayest Mom

This is how I felt for the past 2 weeks. I’ve been so busy keeping up with clients that I felt like I was barely keeping up with motherhood. And forget about domestic responsibilities – thankfully The Husband managed several loads of laundry last weekend while I was working a big wedding.

Last week was so busy with drop-ins at the wedding venue that I was unable to plan them or estimate how long they’d take, thereby, planning for childcare was next to impossible. So, I deemed it simplest to just take Little Man along. The venue staff came to know me as the lady with the baby on her chest because I was wearing him in the Ergo for hours on end while I was there.

And, now that Little Man is officially mobile, he has limited interest in being confined to his playpen or the jumper while I’m working in the office. So, much of my time in the office last week looked like this…

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This is what “Mom, I’m done bouncing up and down in the same spot…Okay, son, for the love, I just need to finish this email so sit here on the ground and play with some toys that are not age appropriate as long as it keeps you quiet for 2 more minutes!!” looks like.

I survived and this week is much less chaotic so I’m trying to earn back some momma points by getting in a lot more Momma + Little Man quality time.

For fun here’s a pic from my wedding last weekend. The groom is one of the coaches for the Philadelphia Eagles so the mascot partied with the guests at the reception. This picture was moments before Swoop entered the reception and surprised the guests! My job really IS fun even though it keeps my plate full!!

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Until next time Mommas 🙂

~entrepreneurmomma

Sing-a-Long Time

My head is currently about to explode. For many reasons really. But primarily because A) I’m working feverishly to finish up my timeline for my very large wedding this weekend while ensuring that the TWO additional weddings we have going on this weekend are taken care of by my staff and B) because Little Man is currently sitting in his playpen next to me in my office and has all three of his musical toys playing at once. Yes, I’m simultaneously listening to the ABC’s sung by a stuffed dog, a Mozart classical piece playing on a music box and a song about squares being sung by a stuffed lion.

I mean, I love that my kid loves music. But, please son!

I wish I had more time for a thoughtful blog post this week but it’s just not in the cards right now.

Until next time Mommas 🙂

~entrepreneurmomma

When The Husband’s Away…

It took me a few days but I think I’ve finally recovered from my first wedding back this past weekend! It was as long of a day as I remembered from my pre-baby wedding days. The proof is in the leg work (I think it’s obvious which day was the wedding day)…

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But, it did feel good to be back. Except for the part where I forgot the boob attachment pieces for my pump so I couldn’t pump. Yyyeeeaaaahhhh…no bueno. I went over 12 hours between feedings/pumps that day. Never again. Never. Again.

Moving on.

Little Man and I did get in a really good nap time together on Sunday afternoon which was refreshing especially since he doesn’t usually sleep well when he’s not in his crib. But he actually snuggled with me for a nap in my bed for 1.5 hours!!! Then we all got up and had a wedding to attend for one of The Husband’s co-workers. It’s not often I get to be a guest at a wedding.

I don’t think I’ve introduced you to The Husband yet…

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The Husband was out of town on business yesterday and overnight last night so it was Little Man and I on our own. I already had plans to head down the highway for a few site visits I had scheduled for an out-of-state of bride. So, Little Man and I had a little road trip together. I know I won’t have the freedom to let him tag along with me to meetings much longer since he’s probably just a matter of weeks away from crawling. I guess I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it.

It is nice, on occasion, to have an evening completely to myself. It’s just in my DNA – I absolutely LOVE alone time!! So I got Little Man down for bed and then I had some pizza, diet coke and I veg’d on the couch while eating a really-bad-for-you dessert. Because sometimes you just have to, right? It was glorious indeed.

Today, back to the daily grind.

Until next time Mommas 🙂

~entrepreneurmomma

Embracing Imperfections

You know what really sucks about coming home from a vacation? Catching up on….well, everything!

Unpacking turns into 27 loads of laundry. Groceries are either non-existent or everything has expired. All that work that I said could wait until I got back now haunts my every waking moment.

All of my imperfections are slapping me in the face as I try to keep this household, this family and this business afloat.

Just breathe. Prioritize.

Side Note: Yesterday afternoon I realized that I hadn’t showered since Saturday. SATURDAY, people!!!  Immediate priority #1: personal hygiene. Sometimes us busy moms need to be reminded of this basic need.

It definitely takes good prioritization when you’re a working mom. But, I feel like a Stay-At-Home-Mompreneur requires prioritization to the maximum amount. And, despite my momentary lapse, I’ve always felt like I’ve done a pretty good job of prioritizing my life…at least when it comes to the big things.

The big picture of priorities in my life looks like this:

  1. God
  2. Husband
  3. Son
  4. Work

Now, within each of those pieces falls about a million tiny little tasks to accomplish on a daily basis. But, I’ve found that when I keep the big picture in focus, all the tiny pieces fall into place much easier.

The true struggle for Entrepreneurs is that we deal with the blessed curse of allowing our work to define us. It’s so easy for us to find our value and self-worth wrapped up in our businesses. Unfortunately, when this happens, everything suffers. Our familial and romantic relationships become secondary and, over time, can dwindle down to non-existent. Our health suffers due to lack of sleep and high amounts of stress. The list goes on. But what I realized a few years ago that was a game-changer for me is this:

Erica Weddings is what I do. Not who I am.

Who I am is an imperfect child of a perfect Savior, a wife and a mother. Just saying it is a weight lifted off of my shoulders.

Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely LOVE what I do and I’m blessed beyond measure to be able to do it. But if I let it take precedence over my God, my husband and my son, then I become tired, burnt out and resentful. I know this because, unfortunately, I’ve been there and I hope to never be there again.

So what does this prioritization tangibly look like day in and day out? For me, it’s waking up with my son around 7am and enjoying some time with him. The Husband may watch him for a bit before he goes to work and I’ll get a few things done around the house, reply to a few emails, etc. Once The Husband is gone then it’s Little Man and I against the world! When he is awake, I’m with him – soaking up every minute. When he naps, my butt kicks into high gear (showers, work, dishes, laundry, eating, cooking, etc.). And when The Husband gets home, work is done!!! He helps get us through our bedtime routine and Little Man goes down for bed around 7pm. Then The Husband and I have the whole evening to ourselves! We are usually just lazy couch bums but we like it that way!

You may look at everything I laid out above and see my priority list and wonder, “Where is God in all this?” I wonder that myself sometimes but I guess the answer is: God is IN everything I do, all day long! I squeeze in my quiet time whenever I can during the day and I’m singing praise & worship music pretty much all day every day. That’s one of the extraordinary things about Him: keeping Him #1 is so simple. All it takes is a genuine love and appreciation for who He is and what He’s done and you’re golden…you can’t help but meditate on His greatness.

No single day is perfect. Some days the laundry doesn’t get done. Some days my email inbox has one too many emails left unanswered at the end of the day. Some days (or 4 days in a row!!!) I forget to shower. Some days I get stuck on a phone call with a client and my son is stuck playing alone on the floor with his pacifier to keep him quiet.

Bottom line: I’m not perfect. But none of us are. So, we shouldn’t be too hard on ourselves. Thank God that His Son was perfect for us so we don’t have to be!

Until next time Mommas 🙂

~entrepreneurmomma

Houston…We Have Milk

I suppose the title should say Tulsa instead of Houston. I don’t live in Houston. I didn’t travel home through Houston. I’m getting off-track here…

I’ve returned home from our glorious 5-day vacation in Riviera Maya, Cancun with my breast milk 🙂

While I do believe the resort lost about 20 oz. of my milk, I’m not up in arms about it. I still came home with about 90 oz. of milk that is now stashed in my freezer and I’m confident my breastfeeding journey can continue for a few months to come because of it. For that, I am grateful.

It was a lot of work keeping up with pumping while enjoying an all-inclusive resort vacation. I mean, who wants to leave the beach to go pump in their hotel room? I didn’t want to, but I did.

Major props go to our personal concierge for being so nice about storing all of my pumped milk in the restaurant fridge for me. The mini-bar fridge, obviously, was not big enough so he came running whenever I called him so he could take it to the restaurant kitchen. God bless that sweet young man!!!!

Traveling home with 90 oz. of breast milk in tow was nerve-wracking to say the least. When I got all of my milk back from the restaurant as we were packing to leave I noticed they had stored it in the freezer instead of the fridge. So now I was faced with the task of keeping it frozen in transport. And, of course, the missing 20 oz.-ish was a little frustrating but, again, not the end of the world.

As I approached the security checkpoint in the Cancun Airport, my stomach was in knots. It was at least 100 times leading up to that spot that I read/heard (signs, intercom announcements, baggage check-in personnel, etc.) to discard of all liquids over the 3.4 oz. limit. While putting my belongings on the conveyor belt to be scanned I motioned for the security guard to come to me. As I read in the TSA instructions to do, I alerted him that the bag I was holding was full of pumped breast milk for my baby. Of course, he barely spoke English so we had a little difficulty back and forth before he understood. I think my hand gestures signifying “baby” (cradling arms) and “breast milk” (grabbing my boobs) really helped out here. Although, they may have looked a bit bizarre to any on-lookers.

I walked through the scanner and awaited the security team’s next move. The same guard came back to me and asked me where my baby was – another thing I had heard was a common question from security in traveling with pumped milk. I told him politely that my baby was home with grandma and grandpa.

My milk made it through the scanner and a different security guard brought the bag back to me and said he was going to have to look inside. Fine. I expected this. He dug around a bit – destroying my beautifully organized placement of milk to ice pack ratio but now wasn’t the time to throw a fit about that. LOL. He then called over the security supervisor. They spoke to each other back and forth in Spanish for a bit. I didn’t recognize a word of what they were saying except “leche”. But the supervisor gave me the go-ahead and I was on my way. WHEW!!! I’ve never been so relieved in my life!!!

I’m really thankful for this experience because it has given me full confidence in my option to travel in the years to come when I have a nursing baby at home. Something that I had previously thought would be impossible – or, at the very least, not worth the hassle.

On a related note, I’m so happy to be home with my little man! My heart ached for him while we were gone. Especially the last 2 days of our trip. I am at peace today. We’ve nursed. We’ve played. We’ve ran errands together. And he’s been all smiles the whole time.

Little Man
Little Man

Until next time Mommas 🙂

~entrepreneurmomma