World Breastfeeding Week: Keeping At It

Mom and Caden Swim

Having breastfed for one year with Rylan, and nine months in with Caden (doing all I can to survive my first strike experience), I totally and completely understand why the 3 – 6-month mark is the leading time when mothers decide to wean. Currently Caden hasn’t nursed in almost two weeks, so I am pumping every three to four hours as my schedule allows during the day with work and life.

In the early days, the sleep deprivation adds up. You can become resentful at your partner who isn’t tethered to the baby or a pump. You get busy and miss some pumping sessions and see an immediate impact in supply. Friends or family ask, “how long are you going to do that for,” or “you’re still nursing, wow,” and you feel self-conscious about your choice.

I’ve personally battled all of these feelings, reassessed my commitment (and sanity) each time, and continued forward.

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Caden: Four Months

Caden Four Months

It has been four months (and a few days) since Caden rounded out what I lovingly refer to as The Anderson Boys (Mike, Ry, Caden and even Kona). I forgot how much babies really start to change and mature right about now. It is so much fun and has reduced me to a puddle of mush.

I love this little one. From his Mr. Serious face to the throaty, body giggle when I tickle his neck and play peek-a-boo, he’s the sweetest soul.

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Hormones and “That Song”

Thirty-something week hormones + playing super old music on your iTunes is a recipe for some major emotions and tears. Good tears, but cue the solo “ugly cry” nonetheless.

On a recent 30+ minute drive back to the office from a client meeting I decided to listen to the first Dixie Chicks album. Their songs played on constant repeat in my car junior and senior year of high school. They sang about heartache, of which I knew nothing about, as well as great love…something I really had no clue about at the time either.


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A Surprise Sprinkle for Little Pint

Little Pint ~

Happy (expected) birthday month to you! Because of my scheduled 39 week induction on Oct. 30 we are watching the calendar closely for your anticipated Halloween arrival. If you do indeed follow “the schedule,” your birthday month will always be marked by gorgeous fall colors, pumpkin spice everything, candy corn, pumpkin patches and hay rides, cozy fall clothes, tricks and treats. What a wonderful birthday month for a little one that is already loved so much.

Speaking of how much you are loved, this weekend I was completely and utterly blindsided by family and friends at a surprise sprinkle celebration for you. I thought I was going to a pre-baby girls brunch with a few close friends. I raced to the restaurant, hair still damp, after watching Ry play soccer. Sunni, Paige and Kimbra had already arrived and were sitting at a small table while our table was being cleaned…or so I thought.

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Real Answers to 34 Week Questions

Alas, I’ve entered the final weeks of pregnancy. And I seem to have forgotten one detail about this stage since my pregnancy with Rylan. EVERYONE HAS AN OPINION.

Looking down at 34 weeks

Looking down at 34 weeks

I must have blocked from my mind all of the weird things people say to you at this stage. I get it. It looks like I swallowed a basketball, I am waddling and sometimes groaning, and you have questions. Let’s have some fun with the real answers rather than the ones I politely provide.

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How Are We Almost There?

Nearly two months ago I apologized to Pint in a blog post. And now, here we are. The “summer of Ry” has come and gone.


I am 32 weeks with seven to go until my scheduled Halloween induction. We have taken perhaps a handful of bump pictures and are skipping the professional maternity ones this time around to save money. Sometimes I wonder if I’ll even remember this pregnancy compared to the way I savored every moment of Ry’s.

Warp speed.

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Pint, I’m Already Sorry


Dearest “Pint…”

You’ve lived in my tummy for nearly 24 weeks. You are endlessly active and I believe you have learned how to roll, kick and punch simultaneously.

You are already quite different from your big brother.

You like to make me dizzy when I stand up too fast. You made me nauseous for the first 12 weeks, though luckily never fully sick, and still give me waves of it even today. You didn’t like a lot of foods, especially anything along the lines of ramen or Thai. There is still one specific dish that I used to love that makes me turn green just thinking about it. You haven’t let me sleep through the night more than once a week since we found out there was going to be a “Pint” in our lives. Do you sit on my bladder at night?

Despite all of these differences from my 39 weeks with Rylan, I am the one who should be apologizing. Already you are so clearly the second child. Of course we already adore and talk about you constantly. You do even have a secret Pinterest board where I sometimes aimlessly save ideas for redoing the room you two will share. Ha. HA HA.

By now Rylan had probably close to a dozen blog posts dedicated to him. I blogged for weeks in secret about the little “Sprout” in my belly, documenting the earliest of weeks. We took pictures every few weeks of my barely-there belly. We framed ultrasound pictures and shared every BabyCenter weekly email update with family. We signed up for baby classes and attended showers graciously thrown by family and friends. We sat at night, just Mike and me, and watched my belly wiggle and jump. I spent hours picking out every detail for the nursery.

I want to be completely honest with you sweet Pint. Your ultrasound pictures are laying on the desk downstairs. I have little to no plans to make any changes to the room unless you happen to be a girl, in which case I have a few little touches in mind. Maybe. We were so lucky to receive an incredible amount of stuff for Rylan that I am honestly a little relieved not to be the center of attention again at more baby showers. I am debating a CPR refresher class but may watch a few YouTube videos instead. I’ll be lucky if I blog a handful more times before your arrival.

But there is an up side to all of this. I am relaxed and confident that you are going to adjust just fine. Your big brother loves to talk about you, kiss my belly and throw toys in your empty crib so that you have plenty to play with when you get here. Your grandparents, aunts and uncles are anxiously counting the weeks until you join us, as we all believe you will be the last sweet baby for both sides of our family. Oh you will be so very spoiled little one. I want to hold you more, and for longer, rather than obsess about every sleep training rule. I cannot wait to sit alone with you for hours while I am on leave and Rylan is at daycare enjoying his “big boy” routine, knowing that all of your firsts will probably be our lasts as parents. I am going to be more selfish in your infancy. I just know I will. I think your dad will be too.

Pint, unless you have other plans we’ll meet you in about 15 weeks. Your home will be ready and waiting, in whatever state, full of love. Until then, grow strong. I simply cannot wait to hold you, get to know you and even more precious, introduce you to your incredible big brother.

We love you Pint.

2013 Reflections

It is hard to look back on 2013 and not focus 99% on our biggest life change to date – the birth of our son Rylan. I was lucky to enjoy a healthy and easy pregnancy and (feel free to roll your eyes) I loved almost every moment of the nine months. It was really neat to keep the sex a surprise and if/when we have Sprout #2 we plan to do the same. Staying active kept me sane and I feel very lucky that I was able to keep going strong until about 38 weeks. We took a short but incredible babymoon in Crested Butte and I surprised myself by patiently decorating a gender-neutral nursery that we absolutely love.


Life changed for the better on July 24 at 12:40 p.m. Mike excitedly announced, “it’s a boy,” and just like that, we became parents. The actual birth is a bit of a blur and to be honest, for those first few hours in our hospital room when it was just the three of us, I stared at Rylan and worried that I wasn’t actually ready to be a mom. I stressed that I wouldn’t know what to do when we got home and that I would never learn his cries or love him the way all other new moms gush about loving their infant from the second they are born. But day by day we figured it out. I came to enjoy our quiet, though exhausting, middle of the night feeds because I realized how powerful our bond was becoming. I found confidence with every solo trip out of the house and successful nap battles won. I learned to accept help, stopped holding in tears on the tough days and found the couple of moms that I could be 100% real with, knowing they wouldn’t judge me for anything I shared or asked. I cherish these women!


Unknown-2Rylan’s arrival changed a lot, but not everything. Mike and I took time for ourselves. He got back to band practice and played two shows. He traveled for work and I held down the fort alone. I got back to the gym, returned to work and found time to work on friendships – something I want to focus on more in 2014. We went on dates and found ways to divide and conquer the pressures of being a household of two, full-time working parents. Mike is the best father. The. Best.

photo (1)

2013 rounded out with Thanksgiving celebrations with Mike’s family here in Colorado followed by Rylan’s first plane ride and trip to California to be with my family for Christmas (notice the unmistakable LA traffic pictured above, and thanks to grandparents who pushed us to escape for a date night and enjoy some cocktails throughout the week). We plan to spend a quiet New Year’s Eve together in the mountains, surely reflecting on how blessed we have been this year. Health. Family. Fun. Love. None of this is lost on me.

For 2014 I don’t want to make the typical resolutions. Yes of course I want to work out more, eat cleaner, put more money in savings – blah blah. I hope I’ll just do all of those things regardless because they are good for me and my family. If I had to set one personal goal for the year ahead it would be to work on my friendships. Through moves, weddings, babies, work, etc., I have missed out on nourishing certain friendships that mean a great deal to me. I’ve gotten lazy, relying on texts and Facebook to sustain friendships that are worthy of calls, trips, mailed cards for no reason…all the things we used to do before technology made it acceptable to wish a friend since high school a belated happy birthday on a Facebook wall. I’m not proud of what I have let slip, even though many would say I have an excuse with becoming a mom and working full-time. I am happier when my core group of girlfriends is strong and thriving, and in 2014 I want to work on that — along with deepening new, really amazing friendships I have formed through becoming a mom.

In closing, I want to sincerely thank you (my readers) for your support, advice and excitement this year. As I continue to evolve Lex & Learn I hope you’ll still come along for the journey and stories of our family adventures, struggles and celebrations. Please know that I am wishing you a very safe, healthy and blessed 2014.

Maternity Photos

We are on the final countdown to my 39 week induction next Tuesday, July 23, at 10 p.m. (unless Sprout has earlier plans). Knowing that this initial journey into motherhood is almost over, I am thankful for the people who pushed me to get maternity photos done. I haven’t kept it a secret that embracing all the physical changes of pregnancy has not been easy for me, so naturally I was nervous to have dozens of photos at the 8+ month mark.

But this moment in time has been so special and surreal, and I know one day Sprout will think it is pretty neat – or so I hope – to see what mom and dad looked like when we were waiting for the big arrival of our precious little one.

A tremendous thank you to Sarah Hill of Sarah Hill Photography for her beautiful work. She made me feel at ease and I can’t say enough about how much I love what she captured. For all my Colorado friends, I highly recommend following Sarah on Facebook to see her fun and creative work–from maternity and babies to weddings and boudoir!

Sarah, I will be forever grateful. Thank you.


Credit: Sarah Hill Photography

Credit: Sarah Hill Photography

Credit: Sarah Hill Photography

Credit: Sarah Hill Photography

Credit: Sarah Hill Photography

Credit: Sarah Hill Photography

Credit: Sarah Hill Photography

Dear Sprout: T-Minus Three(ish) Weeks


Credit: Sarah Hill Photography

Some of the bloggers I admire most – Lindsay, Living Like the Kings, The Culinary Couple – all write beautiful letters to their children, usually on a monthly basis. Seeing that this will be our first time around the block I have no clue what I will and will not be able to maintain as we figure out life with baby. But I love the sentiment and imagine how neat their children will think it is to read those letters/blog posts when they are older. A glimpse into the details that are often forgotten…

So in the spirit of this I thought it would be fun to write my first letter to Sprout now. The plan is still for me to be induced at 39 weeks because of the Heparin I am on for Factor IV. That means we will check into the hospital on either July 23 or July 25 to begin the process of bringing him or her into the world. That’s just over three weeks away! Honestly, sometimes I feel like I took the pregnancy test that changed our lives forever just yesterday. This experience has flown by. Don’t shoot me for saying this, but I am going to miss being pregnant I think.

Here goes…

Dearest Sprout –

First of all, while we love this gender neutral nickname we can’t wait to meet you and find out if you are a girl or a boy! We have two girls names picked out and two or three boys names that we like a lot, though we still research boy names nightly because we want to make sure our favorites are just right. Your middle name will either be Lorraine or Joseph to honor my late maternal grandmother or late paternal grandfathers on both sides of the family.

Countless people tell me you are a boy because of how you make my belly pop out like a giant basketball. Your heart rate has also been on the lower end, around 130, which by old wives tales means you are a boy. However, others tell me not to believe that so all I try to focus on is you being a healthy baby who joins us with no complications. We don’t care what you are and will be overjoyed to introduce you to the world as our son or daughter. You are already so exciting and precious to us.

Your room and the house is all ready. The nursery has lots of safari animals but Grandpa Steve (my dad) says you will be scared of the zebra and giraffe heads above your cribs. I sure hope not because they are so fun! But if you are, we’ll gladly move them. I promise. Swings, bouncers, strollers and countless other pieces of furniture and stacks of toys are purposely stashed throughout the house so we can keep you entertained and comfortable wherever we are.

We know we can’t plan everything until we learn your personality but we are hoping that by reading a few books, like Babywise and Happiest Baby on the Block, that we’ll have a few tricks up our sleeves to make you feel safe and content. Please go easy on us when we get things wrong!

Sprout, unless you have plans of your own we expect to meet you in about three (ish) weeks. I get tears in my eyes when I try to imagine what my heart and soul will feel when they put you on my chest and I hear you cry for the first time. You’ve made this pregnancy so easy and I will miss feeling your kicks, punches and huge rolls–especially at nighttime. I will cherish all nine months but can’t wait for your dad and everyone else to share in the bond we already have. We love you so much.

Keep on growing into a healthy baby girl or boy until we meet you very soon.


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