Finding Time

I've been having a hard time fitting exercise back into my life.

Mostly because I'm a creature of habit and had difficulty finding a new routine.

Recently I decided to walk during my lunch break. It took me awhile to actually get outside and move because I really enjoyed my lunch breaks with my co-workers.

Lunch time is usually a fun way for us to let off some steam but even that has become almost as mundane as the work day itself.

I packed my duffel bag with a change of clothes and my old running shoes.  The first day I brought the bag to work I didn't end up walking.  I chose to take the full hour lunch break.

And I regretted it.

The next day I changed my clothes about 10 minutes before most co-workers started their break  I laced up my shoes and hit the pavement for a walk.

Let me tell ya- it felt soooooo good!

It was a beautiful day! The sun was shining and it was hot but we had some really decent trade winds blowing in for the day.  The plan was to walk as far as I can for 15 minutes and then turn around.  That way I'd still have time to eat my lunch.

You know what? It worked out perfectly!

As soon as I got back to the office I heated up my lunch and sat down with my co-workers as they finished up their break.  I only needed about 10 minutes to eat and still was able to get in some socializing =)

After lunch was over, I changed my clothes and felt recharged- ready to finish my day!

I felt so proud of myself for getting it done.



What's your favorite feeling in the world? 

For me, I love when pieces just fall together, like the universe is orchestrating some huge undertaking to make my life easier.

Like when I pull into a crowded parking lot knowing I'll be driving around for 30+ minutes looking for a spot and right then, someone pulls out of a spot right in front of me.

Or in college when my student loans and scholarships would be sent to the student accounts office and somehow I overpaid and received a refund check in the mail, just as I was coming up on my last $20 for the week.

Or at the grocery store when I'm at the cashier and watching the total go up and up and up and realize I miscalculated and it's going to cost more than the cash I have in my hand.  Then the cashier hits the total key and discounts I didn't even know about get applied, leaving me with enough cash to pay the bill and save for next week.

Or more recently?  When the Sunday paper arrived in front of my apartment door.  We spend $2 a week on the Sunday paper for the coupons.  But now?  The paper just appeared with a lovely letter explaining how our household was selected to receive the Sunday paper for FREE now until October.

Moments like these?  

I call them "Thank you, Jesus" moments.  

Maybe it's luck.  Or just a coincidence.

But I choose to look at them as "God"incidences.

I find comfort in knowing the Creator of the universe has His hand on my life.  


What We're Eating

A few of my new favorite blogs have been sharing what their families will be eating for dinner for the week.

I truly appreciate the peek into their family life because it gives me a few ideas for what I can cook for dinner.

I cook dinner about 4-5 nights a week.  One night we made order in some food and other night(s) we might just scrape together some leftovers.  All depends on my mood and how crazy work was that day.  I'm also trying to encourage my husband to cook more often so that I can get some quality time with Phillip after work. 

I'm also looking for new recipes.  My requirements?  They can't use too many ingredients and they have to be easy peasy. I don't have 2 hours to "whip up" a meal.  I get about an hour, tops.

So what are we eating this week?

Monday: Loco Mocos (no, not "crazy boogers" for my Spanish speaking readers).  Hamburger patties with a fried egg, gravy, and rice.  It's one of the most popular meals here in Hawaii.  Not the healthiest by any means but we do what we can (nix the gravy, add veggies (mushrooms, onions, zucchini), use brown rice).

Tuesday: Pasta. Usually this is Baked Spaghetti but this week I bought cheese ravioli.  I make my own sauce by pureeing tomatoes and simmering with  basil and oregano.  I may throw in some chopped onions for flavor as a bonus.  And a spinach salad for veggies!

Wednesday: Fish Tacos. Easy easy easy.  We use fish sticks, corn tortillas, black beans, salsa, cabbage, and I make my own chipotle cream sauce using plain Greek yogurt and avocado... yummmm!

Thursday: Baked Chicken. I use lemon infused olive oil, garlic salt, black pepper, and rosemary.  Served with brown rice and veggies.

Friday: Grilled cheese sandwiches and soup. Fridays are my "off" days.  Most of the other meals during the week are prepared for 4 servings: 2 for dinner, and 2 for lunch the next day.  Sometimes we have more leftovers than planned and sometimes we don't have enough.  But Fridays? I don't worry about Saturday lunches b/c most times we'll be running errands and pick something up while we're out.

Hiatus Shmiatus

That didn't last long...

Please say a prayer for my friend and fellow blogger Sara at Words To Run By.

She suffered a Pulmonary Embolism recently and is currently recovering.  Thank you!


The Inevitable

It was bound to happen.

I tried to fight it but have come to realize that this is necessary.

I'm trading a blogging hiatus for my sanity.

Sad day.  

But also good?

For months I have been trying to keep my head above water with my blog.  

I held high standards for myself: post consistent, thought-provoking, and fun posts that closely resembles my reality... and of course a few good pictures.

But I can't blog up to those standards.  

And it's driving me nuts.

I feel guilty when I haven't posted in a few days (hello, there have been WEEKS- almost months where I haven't posted) or when I post non-sense crap.

Most of the time that non-sense crap is posted because I want to remind my readers that I'm still here.

And why is that so important?  

Deep down (who am I kidding, it's on the surface!) I don't want to be forgotten.

I live this wonderful life as a mommy, wife, and friend and I want people to know how amazing it is for me!

Now I have come to realize that letting the world know that I love my life has now turned into a "not as enjoyable" experience. Blogging feels more like an obligation than a fun hobby.

And I'm afraid that I'm missing out on this amazing life that I initially sought out to document.

My life is heavily scheduled as it is... the only way I've been able to write for this blog is to have about an hour for myself every night.  After Phillip goes to bed, after I've cleaned up the kitchen, after I've taken a shower- I found time to blog.

But now? I'd really just want that time to unwind- to quiet my mind.

So along with my personal Facebook hiatus, I am now taking a blogging hiatus.

I'll still be around to read and comment on all the wonderful blogs I follow.

And hopefully my inspiration will reappear and I'll find time to write again.

But until then... I leave you with my favorite posts and memories:




Thank you for all of the love and support during this past year and a half.  I'm so happy to have found a wonderful community to share pieces of my life.

Aloha and God Bless!

How's Your Day Going?

Mine sucks.

It's only 8:10am:


10 Things Your Father Never Needs To Know

I stumbled across this article from Glamour and really enjoyed it.

While reading this article I found myself nodding my head in agreement and I'm sure you will, too.

Happy Father's Day to all those wonderful daddies out there!

10 Things Your Father Never Needs to Know

1. Where you really slept senior year.

2. That you could've installed the air conditioner yourself.  And the pickle jar? You didn't even try.

3. How many guys it turned out were really after one thing.

4. That your fiance might just have been, uh, advised, to ask him for your hand.

5. Plus: how much your wedding dress actually cost.

6. For that matter, how much anything cost. Like those buttery highlights!

7. How many of your secrets mom's been keeping.

8. That last year, for the first time, you earned more than he did.

9. That he told you that story already. Twice.

10. That sometimes just the sound of his voice on the phone is enough to make you cry in relief.  Well, you can tell him that one.  And you should. Happy Father's Day!


Fancy Free Friday

Geez, Friday- did you get lost getting here or what?

Seems like I've been waiting FOR-EVA for you to arrive!

Thank you for gracing me with your presence.

I know for some of my readers (*cough*Duckie*cough*) it's already Saturday and this post is kinda late in the game but whatever.

It's not even 4pm yet in Hawaii so don't even judge me.

In other news...

I've been really trying to focus on my blogging and post more consistently.  Lately I've been writing down ideas as soon as they pop into my head (well, except when driving, duh).

You know what I noticed?  I have a lot of random thoughts. Especially while driving.

And a lot of weird quirks.

Also? We're getting ready for a move next month.  I've been happily perusing the interwebs for apartment inspiration and have been falling in L-O-V-E with interior design and organizing.

le sigh

To help myself release all of this creative goodness I decided I'm going to share with my readers.

Lucky you.

So here are 10 random quirks about me- because anyone who's anyone is blogging about random facts about themselves.

1. I appreciate awesome alliteration attempts.

2. I think I use way to many smiley faces when writing blog posts and comments =)

3. I have always HATED  country music... that is, until about 2 years ago.  Now I listen to country music on the  radio and Pandora.  I have Taylor Swift and Carrie Underwood to thank for that.

4. I'm afraid of dogs.

5. I love lip gloss!

6. I don't use the eraser that comes with pencils.  It's weird but I don't like to get it "dirty" so I use a separate eraser instead so that my pencil top looks "clean".


7. I'm old school when it comes to drafting up writing pieces.  I use a pencil and paper and hand write my brainstorming ideas and outlines.  Once I have an outline, then I can type out my piece.  I tried to draft an outline on my computer but it didn't feel right.

8. Pet peeve? Waiting on people.  I can't stand it when people are unexpectedly late.  If you call me and let me know you're running a little behind, cool.  But 30+ minutes? No call? NOT COOL

9. I'm taking a Facebook hiatus.  I don't know how long it will last. I'm spending WAY to much time "doing" and not enough "being".  If I'm on the internet I'd rather be blogging than getting sucked into the time warp of Facebook.

10. Next week is my birthday =) (<--- See? Another smiley face.  Thought about deleting it, but hey- it's authentic)

Now your reward for reading through all of that:

Raych @ Marriage By Design- She recently moved from Houston to Manhattan (and will be moving again at the end of the year!) and adjusting from downgrading from 3000 sq. ft. to 400.  Love her fashion posts and apartment design.

IHeart Organizing- Found this blog via Pinterest (of course) and fell in love with a craft room she featured from one of her readers.  Of course I became a blog follower to keep up with all of her organizing tips!

And because I love to look at these pictures.... Apartment Therapy.

Have a fabulous Friday, friends!


Family Finances

Fun Fact: Accountants are not generally encouraged to be creative.

In our accounting world, creativity sometimes = illegal.

We are usually a "by the book" type of people, at least when it comes to accounting for company funds.

But for my personal financial life?  

I'm in desperate need for some creativity.

Our lease on our tiny one bedroom apartment is finito as of 7/31.  We currently have three options:
1. Renew our lease
2. Convert to month to month
3. Find a new apartment.

We have decided to find a new apartment! 

Don't get too excited.  We're staying in the same complex, just moving to a bigger apartment (2 bedrooms instead of 1).

Of course with more space there is also more rent to pay and a higher security deposit.

Our issues?  I crunched the numbers and with the higher rent, we can afford this apartment (YAY!)

However, this apartment will most likely be further from our main street where the husband currently parks his car for free.  We may need to rent another parking stall.

Extra parking stall = Extra rent to pay

Without the extra stall, husband may have to walk at least a quarter mile up a hill carrying a 20+ baby in his carseat. Or push him up the hill in a stroller. Not bad unless it's raining. Then it's horrible.

We also need to put down a deposit.  The problem is we'll have to pay the new deposit before we get the deposit back from the old apartment.  We need money before we get money. uggggghhhhhhhh.

Solutions? We stay in the current apartment.  This idea lasted for about 30 minutes.

The hubbs and I discussed turning the living room into a bedroom/living room/office space.

Like a fancy but tiny city life apartment.

The master bedroom would become Phillip's nursery/storage.

We'd move our clothes into the storage closet in the hall, move our computer desk into the coat closet, bring our bed to the living room, and somehow fit a couch and TV stand in there, too.

Not. Going. To. Happen.

We decided that the extra money spent on extra space will be well worth it.

We'd rather have extra space and have tighter wallets than stay in a smaller cramped space with a slightly less tighter wallet (not by much!)

To make this happen I have looked to our bills and weeded out the luxuries vs. necessities.

I'm calling our cable company today to downgrade our cable to the most basic available.  If that doesn't give us an acceptable decrease in price, we'll cancel our cable all together and just keep the internet service.

We signed up for Netflix with this cancellation in mind but I just didn't get around to doing it.

Canceling cable will cut our bill in half.

We're also downgrading our cell phone plans. I'm trading in my smart phone for a FREE phone when I renew my contract.  The hubs also qualifies for a free phone.  YAY!

Since most of our friends/family are in the same network, we're also going to downgrade our plan to the lowest possible.  We don't use a lot of minutes (since we're in the same network) and we don't text that much, either.

Other creative solutions? Back to basic budgeting (see that alliteration there? LOL).  It's not easy, but we're making it work!

It's also inspired me to browse cheap but pretty apartment decorating ideas =)


Not What I Expected!

What is the book that almost every single mama-to-be has in her arsenal?

What to Expect When You're Expecting


Confession: I have not read this book cover to cover.

In fact, I only read the interesting parts that related to moi.

Of all the interesting things I learned, what's truly relatable now is that post-pregnancy, NOTHING FITS!

Seriously, friends.

My body has taken on a whole new shape.  

Remember from this post when I cleaned out my closet?

Nothing fit.  I was down to one pair of pants.  

And not even real pants. Freakin' capris!

No jeans, no slacks.  No zip up pencil skirts.

Just stretchy flowly skirts and dresses.

And one pair of capris.

My point? 

I knew that this would happen.  I think that's why I'm OK with purging out so much of my clothes.

I knew my body would change and that it could get difficult to fit into my pre-pregnancy clothes right away.

So I'm working on it- watching what I eat and trying to be more active.

You want to know the one thing "they" don't tell you about?

Yeah, your body will change.  You know what else changes?


I swear, all my favorite heels/wedges that I couldn't wear during pregnancy don't fit!

I stopped wearing them when I was pregnant because my balance was all off and I didn't feel comfortable wearing anything higher than 2 inches.

Now I'm all excited to bring out those cute shoes again and lo and behold, they don't fit like they used to fit!

Example? Today I wore these tan wedges that I got from Target.  I remember I loved these babies because the material wasn't stiff and I loved how it felt like it molded to my foot.  

I remember feeling like running in these shoes!

But it's noon. And I'm ready to dump them in the trash.


(Please excuse the fugliness.  I'm in desperate need of a pedicure)

You can't really see too well, but there are blisters forming on my big toes.  

I'm so irritated! I loved these shoes and they barely lasted me till lunch.

I knew my jeans wouldn't fit, maybe a few tops wouldn't fit either.

But shoes? Shoes? My FREAKING SHOES?!
Seriously.... when does the craziness end?


Top 10 Tuesday

Aloha Friends!

It's time for...

1. Goals: I seriously need to revisit them.  Originally I planned to just use the same goals as last year but that's not working out.  See, I wanted to start running again and reach my goal of a sub 30 5K. 

But I've been slacking.  It may sound cliche, but I just don't have the time! If I thought I didn't have time to workout a year ago, I certainly don't have any spare time now. 

I do need to get serious about my goals.  I've realized that it's not just about not having enough time, it's about prioritizing my time.  We all get the same 24 hours to get live our life, so what's my problem?

2. Diet: Since coming home from the hospital I've lost and gained weight.  I'm now above my pre-pregnancy weight when a month after birth I was WAAAAAY below.  I'm just not taking it seriously as I should.  I need to adapt better eating habits or this is going to get way out of hand.  I'm just not motivated.  I can't look to anything else for motivation but myself.  I love my sweets and am a HUGE emotional eater.  I feel like I used to be in more control of my emotional eating when I was fresh out of college but I don't have that same control anymore.

I think that control is something that comes with practice.  Maybe I just have to keep practicing on making healthier food choices.

3. Blog: One thing that is always on my mind is to blog consistently.  I used to blog everyday but don't have time anymore (I'm sensing a pattern, here). 

Here's the thing: I can either sit at my laptop everyday and post just for the sake of consistency, only post on those days I have time (which are looking to be few and far between), or "prep" posts for future dates.

Now I always thought I was the type to "post as I go" but for the sake of keeping my blog alive, I have had to prepare some posts in advance. 

Most bloggers won't do this.  Of those who do, many won't admit it. 

But I will. 

I sometimes prepare advanced posts.

There.  I said it.  Moving on.

4. Link-Ups: One of the easiest ways to create a blog post is to participate in link-ups (like this one!).  A link-up is when a blogger will create a theme and invite other bloggers to write about the same theme and post their links to the original post. 

I love link-ups because they provide a template for me when I have writer's block.  They also facilitate some awesome creative writing pieces.

5. Creative Writing: I found this link to Creative Writing Prompts from fellow blogger Raising Roscoe. 

She has a list of 101 goals she'd like to complete in 1001 days and one of those goals is to complete 5 creative writing prompts.

Now, I may just be admitting how much of a nerd I am but I thought this was sooooo cool!

I loved my high school English classes where we wrote about random themes every day. They were always short (150 words) but most times I felt like I could write more.

I think I'm going to save this link for whenever I have writer's block =)

6. Wrong Major?: Often I wonder if I signed up for the wrong major in college.

Initially I wanted to major in bio-technology or some sort of biology studies.

That quickly changed when I realized that spending 4+ hours in a lab didn't sound like a good time to me.

Then I thought about political science.

My first class bored me to tears.

So I decided to major in Business Administration. At least there's job security, right? (LOL)

The course of study includes 2 semesters of Accounting.  Well, one of these classes gave extra credit for attending an Accounting professionals lecture.  During this lecture students were basically told that they need to major in Accounting to set themselves apart from every other business student. 

Or live in a cardboard box and never make any money.

At least that's what I heard.

So I majored in Accounting.

I was good at it, but can't say that I thoroughly enjoyed it.

I currently work in an accounting type position for a non-profit.

It can be stressful and chaotic at times, but I don't mind it.  Most days are enjoyable.

I like numbers.  We get along well.

But sometimes I wish I majored in English or Education.  Some days I have this tug on my heart that reminds me how much I enjoyed my English courses, especially my creative writing courses.  Or that the little girl in me always wanted to be a teacher- to not just have the coolest school supplies (because let's face it, that was the best part of school!) but to be a part of that school setting.

7.Dream Job: Safe to say I'm not working it, yet.  My dream job would most likely be an elementary school teacher.

But it's too difficult to return to school now... especially with Phillip.

8. Stay at home mom? I think I'd enjoy being a stay at home mom.

I know it's tough, but it seems like I run so much of the household anyway, I'd love to be able to dedicate more time to "house management".

And the thought of being able to stay home with Phillip all day makes me giddy.

I'm seriously contemplating taking a few days off to organize and clean our apartment.  Maybe then I'd get a real taste of what'd be like.

9. Travel: Oh how I miss traveling.

I haven't left the state in almost 2 years.


I'm excited to be visiting my uncles and grandma later this year.

Random fact? I love airports.  Even more so, the airports I visit for the first time =)

10. Family Vacations: When Phillip is older I can't wait to take some fun family vacations.

Top of our list is DisneyLand.  I love that place.

We also want to go on an Alaskan Cruise.

We went on a cruise for our honeymoon and it was, hands down, the BEST VACATION EVER.

It's been almost 2 years and we still talk about it from time to time.

Can't wait to have family vacations with our growing bunch!

Don't forget to link up below =)


Purge Purge Purge

Before Phillip was born we did what we wanted, whenever we wanted.  Sure, there were some boundaries but for the most part if we wanted to get frozen yogurt after dinner, we got frozen yogurt.  If I wanted to run after work, I ran after work!

But nowadays we need to plan, plan, and plan some more and schedule schedule schedule EVERYTHING.

I find myself getting frustrated because it’s hard to keep up with everything. 

Between taking care of Phillip and my husband, I have no time to take care of myself or our home!

My husband is a great help but there is so much to do, I can’t even imagine what it would be like on my own.

We’re moving at the end of July so I also have this huge "urge to purge" (it's only in quotation marks because it rhymes) a lot of our belongings. 

I recently got rid of some old clothes.  One afternoon I decided to clean out our coat closet (yes, we have one of those in Hawaii) and I ended up donating 20+ jackets/sweaters!!

How does one accumulate so much?


Well, for starters, I had multiple college sweatshirts.  And by multiple I mean at least 5.

I also had about 5 cardigans, 4 non college zip-ups and/or hoodies, 3 jackets (not in any other category) and 2 winter coats (don't judge me).

It was such an obscene amount of stuff I just did not need.

Seriously, why would I need that many jackets in Hawaii???


I also tossed out a lot of my pre-pregnancy clothes.  If it didn’t fit or I didn’t love it, out it went!

A lot of my clothes didn’t fit anymore but that’s OK.  I didn’t allow myself to sit and ponder about what “used to be”.  


Along with clothes we have also gotten rid of useless kitchen gadgets, piles of junk mail, old DVDs, and shoes.  We want to move into our new apartment with only the things we love, no room for junk!

Maybe I’ll make that my new life motto- “I only have room for things I love, no more room for junk!”

Do you think you have a lot of clutter in your home/life?

Or are you pretty good about "purging" and tossing things you've accumulated? Any tips you'd like to share?


Sunday Social

It's another link up with A Complete Waste of Makeup!

Sunday Social

How did you come up with your blog name?

Originally my blog was named "Island Style Running".  I had decided that my New Year's Resolution for 2011 was to run a 5K under 30 minutes.  I used my blog as a way to track my progress.  I'm an island girl (Hawaii) and I was learning to run.  Not very creative but it worked.

Then I found out that I was pregnant with Phillip in April 2011.  My running stopped and I haven't picked it up since.  I still wanted to blog but was writing more about my pregnancy and randomness in my life.  My blog evolved from being about my attempts at a new sport to being more of a "lifestyle" blog.

I didn't want to be limited to only write about running so I took it out of my blog name.  I replaced it with "living" so that I wouldn't feel obligated to only write about running.

Island morphed into "Isle" because it was too long for Twitter.

And voila!- Isle Style Living.

What is your favorite thing about blogging?

I love being able to just write about whatever is on my mind.

It's great to be able to relate to other bloggers and readers out there.

Unlike a diary or journal, this is open for everyone in the world to read.

Scary, huh?

But also empowering.

What is one thing you have discovered because of blogging and now cant live without?

My immediate response? Pinterest.

Silly, I know.  But I discovered Pinterest by reading about other bloggers who have become obsessed with "pinning".

When I dig a little deeper, (because let's be honest- I love Pinterest but when it comes down to it, I can definitely live without it, if I had to give it up), I would have to say all the running advice and encouragement.

I love reading about running gear reviews and other bloggers' experiences about what worked (or didn't) for them.

Often times I find myself checking back in with my favorite bloggers to see how they were able to improve their pace or form or just catch up on life.

Facebook or Twitter? and why?

Personally? Facebook.

For the blog? Twitter.

I have a hard time keeping up my personal Twitter relationships.  It's hard for me to stay updated on what my friends and family are up to on Twitter.  For some reason Facebook is easier for me, personally.

But for my blog I prefer to use Twitter.  I do have a Facebook page but most of what I post are blog updates.  And if someone is a follower or subscribes via email, they'd get those updates anyway.  Once in awhile I post a status update or article I found interesting.

I guess because I'm very active on my personal Facebook profile so I don't like to blend too much with my blog page.

I really don't have a good reason, though.  Just because is good enough, right?

If one celeb read your blog who would you want it to be?
I don't really know.  I'm not huge on celebrities and can't think of anyone I'd really really really want to read my blog.

Don't get me wrong, I'd be stoked to find out that someone famous stumbled across my humble page but I don't really have a preference as to who I would like that person to be.

What is something you want people to know about your blog?
It's a work in progress.  

I used to blog every day but now life is too hectic.

I try to blog when I have down time but my down time is so rare that I prefer to take a nap.  Or clean my perpetually messy apartment.  Or just cuddle with my son.

I love blogging so I'm working on a way to fit everything in my life: husband, son, work, cooking, cleaning, exercising, blogging...it's exhausting.

Someone once told me that a blog really should center around a specific theme or topic.  Um, yeah... that went out the window when I got tired of writing about running and trying to stay healthy.  

I like to write about my family, faith, hobbies, accomplishments, struggles, dreams, lessons learned, goals, and everything in between.

And that, my friends, is Isle Style Living.


Breast Feeding Hurdles Part 2

Aloha, Friends!

A while back I shared some of the hurdles I faced while learning to breast feed.  You can read about those hurdles right here.

I always knew I wanted to breast feed my child(ren).  It's the BEST nutrition for a baby during their first year of life.  The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends breast feeding for at least a year (exclusively for 6 months meaning no solids/cereal- breast milk only for 6 months!) and the WHO recommends two years

In our family, formula was only an option if medically necessary- meaning if I couldn't not nurse my son due to some kind of emergency or life threatening situation or he somehow could not nurse.

Formula isn't poison, but it wasn't an option for me to use formula to feed my son.  There are 100+ nutrients in breast milk that formula companies can not duplicate.  Not to mention the emotional and mental development that babies receive from nursing.  

But knowing all the benefits about breast feeding still doesn't make it any easier.

There were 3 hurdles I mentioned: Poor latch, nursing in public, and keeping up my supply.

Today I still struggle a little bit with 2 out of 3- nursing in public and keeping up my supply.

I don't think I'll ever be 100% comfortable nursing in public. I'm so awkward! We're working on it.  Of course if my son is hungry and we're out and about I'm going to feed him.  But it's just not as comfortable as it is at home.

Keeping up my supply will always be something I have to work on.  After about 3 months from birth, milk supply is no longer dependent on hormones but on demand.  The more often a mama nurses/pumps, the more milk comes in.  Conversely, if a mama misses a feeding or pumping session, her body thinks the baby doesn't need that feeding and will adjust milk production accordingly.

Which leads me to another struggle: pumping.

Since returning to work, I have to pump to 1) produce milk for Phillip for the next day and 2) to keep my supply from decreasing.

How often should I pump? Well, technically every 2-3 hours during the day, and every 4 at night.

But I love my sleep.  

And pumping is annoying.

Even though it's tough, I am keeping up with Phillip's demand. 

For now.

I wake up at 5am and pump about 5oz before Phillip is awake.  I nurse Phillip around 5:30 (it still takes us about 30 minutes for a nursing session.  Some babies become very efficient and only nurse for a few minutes but Phillip isn't there, yet) and get ready for work. We are out the door by 6:45am.

Once at work, I pump again around 8:30, 11:30, and 3pm.  On a good day.  

On a normal day it's more like 9am and 3pm.

A bad day? Once. 10am.

It all depends on how busy my workload is that day.

Did I mention how much labor is involved with my work pumping sessions?

I share an office.  We store our files in our office as well as a "community" typewriter, some snacks, and supplies.  We have people coming in and out of our space ALL. THE. TIME. 

We also have two doors.

Before each pumping session, I close the main door- leaving it open just a crack so if people really need something they can ask my co-worker.  

I put up a wooden screen and drape a cloth (like a curtain) to cover the gaps.  

I close the blinds on my window and lock our second door so no one sneaks in.

It takes me at least 10 minutes to pump 3-4oz.

After I'm done I store the milk in a cooler, wash the pumping equipment, break down the screen, put away my drape, unlock the doors.

It's a pain.

3X a day.

After work Phillip usually wants to nurse again, regardless if he just had a bottle or not.  We'll play for a little bit then it's bath time and he'll nurse again before bed.

I'll pump again before I go to bed.

Lather, rinse, repeat.

Sometime between all that I have to cook dinner and get our bags ready for the next day.

If you're keeping count, I pump 5X a day, most days.  On average I get about 4oz a session.  Phillip is currently drinking 20oz of milk when I'm at work.

I'm basically meeting his needs, but leave no room for error (spoiled or spilled milk, missed pumping sessions).

Sometimes I have to use some of the breast milk I have stored in our freezer.  But that's OK.  That's what it's there for, right?

It's definitely a labor of love- it's a lot of work and sometimes I think about how formula feeding is easier.  But I can't give up.  

Yes, it's difficult in the beginning.

But the benefits are amazing.  The best payout?  Seeing my son grow, knowing that I provided the best nutrition he could ever receive.

If you're thinking about breast feeding or if you're a new mom and are struggling, DON'T GIVE UP!

The early weeks are the toughest but you don't need to suffer in silence.

Seek help from a lactation consultant.  Ask your doctor or baby's pediatrician for resources.  

But the bottom line? You have to do what is best for you, your baby, and your family. A happy mama is a happy baby. Whether you choose to formula feed or breast feed, it really comes down to providing nutrition to your baby.  

How you choose to provide that nutrition is totally up to you.


"It's OK" Thursdays

Its Ok Thursdays
: To only complete the "mandatory" entries for blog giveaways:
:To leave the housework until a commercial break:
:To walk out of the lunch room when co-workers find it appropriate to watch a video of old ladies' reactions to the Kim Kardashian and Ray J sex tape (true story, by the way):
:To hide your chocolate and snacks in your office desk from co-workers with sticky fingers:
:To be temporarily unsure of your direction in life:
:To put away your wedding album that you spent months editing and waiting FOREVER to arrive in the mail because your husband comments 1) that the shoes in the picture are in fact NOT his, even though he was asked to "review" the photos multiple times before publishing and 2) that he thinks he looks soooooo much like his dad (because that's the image I want when lovingly reminscing over our wedding photos):
:To want to take a few vacation days to clean up the house.  This includes sending the husband to work and the baby to the sitter's house:
:To think that making your own baby food is a daunting task, better left to all the super mom's out there:
:To secretly (or not so much) really really really want to make your own baby food but when it comes down to it, not think you're up to the task:
:To be completely over the entire breastfeeding v. formula "debate" and the extended breastfeeding "controversy".   Seriously, just stop.  Mommies are already trying their best to do what is right for them and their families without the media getting involved.  If a mommy and baby want to nurse past the age of 2 or chooses to use formula instead of breast milk just because, mind your business:
:To eat your cake and have it, too. Especially if it's a Port Wine Cherry Chocolate cupcake.  Yummmmmmmm:


Top Ten Tuesday

Aloha, Readers!

Today is Top 10 Tuesday! Do you remember learning how to brainstorm ideas in school?  Well, that's a tool I use often when writing blog posts.  I give myself a time frame and jot down anything that comes to mind, no judgement about whether it's a good topic or not- everything gets listed.  

It's a great way to get those creative juices flowing!

Top 10 Tuesday is a way for me to purge some of the randomness that flows through my head.  I make a list numbered from 1 to 10 and then fill it in with whatever thoughts come to mind.  I don't skip a thought, either.  Just keep filling up the list.  

Once I have my list, I expand the topic with a little more detail, if necessary, to give my readers a bit more insight as to what is going on in my crazy head space.

Feel free to join in on the "head space clearing/purging" party! Grab my button on the left of your screen and link up below =)

1. We have GOT to get into a routine.  Slowly but surely we're starting to find our new "normalcy" but I'm not sure if we're completely settled, yet. I get an hour to myself after work and that's it.  An hour to blog/shower/exercise.  It's not like I get to do all 3, those are just my choices.  And for the most part watch TV/shower has been winning out (I don't like to give TV the opportunity but it is just sooo hard!)

2. I wish I could take a few days off to clean my house.  Seriously.  I have so much organizing/purging to do that I just can't get it all done!  See above.

3.  We're moving in July/August.  Part of me wants to find a completely different area to live but another part wants me to stay in the same complex.  We're moving because our lease is up and we would like to expand into a two bedroom.  Where we live is pretty central to everything.  If we moved futher west, where it's more affordable, we'd be closer to the husband's workplace.   But I'd have to drive in that horrendous traffic EVERY. MORNING. Didn't you know that Honolulu has the worst traffic in the US? Now you do....

4. My son is growing sooooo fast! He is now 5 months and wears 9 month size clothing.  He is so full of personality and love, I can't stand it! He brings so much joy to our lives =)


5. Bed Bath & Beyond is my Disneyland.  I cannot spend enough time in that store.  The only reason I leave is because I have a hungry baby to tend to or my husband throws a tantrum (not literally, but almost).

6. Speaking of Disneyland, I wish I went more often when I lived in California.  Now that I'm in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, I wish I took advantage of travel opportunities more often.  Don't get me wrong, living in Paradise is amazing but it's about $600+ just to get out of the state, at least!!

7.  We have bought our tickets to California for a family trip later this year.  I am so excited! I haven't left the state in almost 2 years! I used to visit California at least once a year but now the only flying we do is inter-island.

8.  We are contemplating moving out of state.  Scary.  But aren't all great adventures scary at first?

9.  I wish I got paid to browse Pinterest.

10.  We subscribed to Netflix thinking we would cancel our cable, you know, cut down on some bills.  Um... it's been a month.  We still have cable.

What are the Top 10 thoughts taking up real estate in your head?  Go ahead and share one or two (or all ten!)

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