Sunday, April 30, 2017

Spectra S2 Review

*Disclaimer!  This post is alllllll about pumping and breast milk and being a mom.  Not your cup’o’tea?!  Skip this post, mmmmkay?!

Did I get your attention with this?!! Thanks, as always, Scoots for being so cooperative in my photo antics.

I have written a few posts (here and here) in the past about my ‘extreme pumping’ routine with Patrick and Rosie.  This really isn't a 'routine' post, because I'm basically doing the same routine as I detailed in these posts; however, I am instead writing up a review for my mama and soon-to-be mama friends who are looking for a breast pump.

With Patrick and Rosie I used a Medela Pump in Style Advanced (PISA)...and at the hospital I used the hospital grade Ameda.  It did the job and I had zero complaints.  I've never had a supply issue (actually quite the opposite -- I have an oversupply!) so I wasn't necessarily looking for anything different than what I had.  I actually have 3 Medela PISAs so I had a travel one, one I left at school, and one that I left at home.  It was a good system and worked very well for my year+ pumping adventure after Rosie was born.

Well, fast-forward to summer 2016 -- pregnant again with Annie and looking ahead to another breastfeeding/pumping adventure after she was hatched.  I kept hearing on these mommy groups on Facebook about this "Spectra" pump so I decided to do a bit of research...

This Spectra S2 looked awesome -- and at a great price!  It is marketed as a hospital grade pump but at an affordable price.  I went with the S2 over the S1 -- the only difference is that the S1 has a built in rechargeable battery, which I didn't need because I had a battery pack and car adapter that worked with it from my Medela that I could use with the Spectra if needed (and save me a good $70 on the different versions!).  I was sold, especially since I could buy these $8 adapters and be able to use all of my Medela parts and bottles with this pump as well!  Woot!

I am a seasoned pumper and I feel like I have a good grasp on what's a good pump and what's a better pump.  When I rely on something other than my child to empty the girls multiple times a day (again, cause of my oversupply!) I want it to be GOOD and EFFICIENT.  And I've found that with the Spectra!


You know how much I love lists 'round these parts, and I thought I'd make a list of all of my favorite things I love about the Spectra.  I should add that I don't hate my Medela PISA pumps; I just feel like the Spectra is a superior pump and does a better job than the Medela!

  • One thing I really REALLY liked about this Spectra over the Medela is that it's a closed system -- meaning the tubing never comes into contact with the actual flange and that means there's NEVER a chance of moisture or liquid getting in your tubing.  With the Medela PISAs I would have to change the tubing ALL OF THE TIME because of water getting inside and causing suction issues.
  • You can control the speed and suction intensity.  This.is.awesome.  With the Medela you can just control the suction intensity but not the speed -- there a set "slow" speed and "fast" speed that you can trigger by a button but that's it.  With the Spectra there is a digital display that gives you options for how you want to control the speed AND suction.  
  • Digital display is HUGE.  With the PISA there is no display, which may not sound like a huge deal but now having one on the Spectra I realize just how much I was missing with the Medela.   It is SO NICE to be able to keep tabs on how long I'm pumping for without having to worry about starting my phone timer OR remember what time I started pumping at.  I usually do the fast setting for 3 minutes then hit the let-down button and do my slow setting for another 6-8 minutes before I'm done.  It's so easy to do that and keep tabs on it with this pump!
  • It's got a light on it.  Again, this may not seem like a big deal but it is HUGE.  I pump a lot at night and early in the morning before it's light out and not having to turn the overhead big bright light on is a game-changer so I can see the display.
  • There are 9 ounce bottles for this pump!  Medela bottles max out at 8oz, and these have an extra ounce which may not seem like a big deal but it is for someone who frequently pumps that much in one sitting from one side!  That bigger bottle does make a difference.
  • It is SO GENTLE on the girls.  This goes back to my point about being able to control the suction and speed -- you can really customize your pumping experience to make sure it's the most comfortable on your boobies, and I never once have had sore or tender boobs like I did in the early days with my Medela.  If something feels too intense I can turn down the suction or speed to accommodate and make my girls happy. 
  • The suction is much stronger than the Medela.  This may sound like it's more "painful" but quite the opposite -- this pump really mimics your baby's suckling and gets that milk out!  I used my Medela the other day when we were out and about (which this incident triggered me to buy a second Spectra so I wouldn't have to use a Medela at school) and I got FOUR OUNCES LESS than I do at the same time with my Spectra!  The Medela didn't empty my girls like the Spectra does.
Okay!  So those are my favorite features of the Spectra S2 breast pump.  I am hands-down recommending it to all of my mama and soon-to-be mama friends cause it is just amazing.  Like I said earlier, the Medela is a good pump, but the Spectra is a better one :)

*If you're also interested, you can read my review here about the Spectra S2 vs. Spectra 9 Plus pump!

Patrick's 4th Birthday Party

Today we celebrated Patrick's 4th birthday a couple days early and oh what fun it was!  It has been POURING all weekend long, so our plan was to have his party outside in the backyard but once we saw the forecast for this weekend that got quickly nixed and instead we did our usual party jam: inside in the basement.








We recently got a new addition to our basement -- a bouncy house -- so that was a HUGE hit at his party today as well!

We usually have parties in the morning before nap time, but since we had a wedding last night and what not, we decided to do a late afternoon Sunday party instead!  And it actually worked out really well and was a ton of fun!


There wasn't a theme for this party (oops) but Patrick did request a Mickey cake (even after I basically begged him to let me make him cupcakes! but nope, he wanted a cake!!), so that I guess was kinda the theme for his party??  Doesn't really matter, he had a blast regardless!

I literally had to wake everyone up at 3:30pm to get ready for the party!  Everyone, Mike included, fell asleep (probably because it was so rainy and just a perfect afternoon for a siesta!) so at 3:30 I decided it was time to get everyone up and get the party started!


Everyone started rolling in around 4pm and the kids had an absolute blast.  The basement was CHAOS with all of the kids but it was so much fun!  Between the ballpit and the bouncy house the kids were in toy heaven.  I can only imagine how great future parties will be!






After some play time we had dinner (yummy all beef hotdogs, chips, and fruit) and then it was time to cut the cake and sing happy birthday!



Patrick was beaming and SO EXCITED for his cake (that he picked out!).  He blew out all of the candles and everyone cheered, especially his biggest fan Rosie.  Haha!





After cake we did presents and then some more play time before everyone departed by 6pm!  Kids birthday parties are short and sweet, just how we like them!

All in all it was a great day -- Patrick got a ton of Mickey and the Roadster Racers toys, Transformers, and a bunch of art supplies.  I hope he likes what he gets from us on Tuesday too!

I cannot believe my little dude, my #1 main man is going to be FOUR on Tuesday!  Time sure flies.  I feel like this was just yesterday and now my dude is FOUR...has one year left of preschool before he's in kindergarten!  I cannot believe it.  Patrick, you're such a joy to have in our family -- we love you so much buddy and can't wait to continue watching you grow and turn into an amazing young man!

Annie at 3 Months


Holy cats.  It's happened -- Annie Banannie is 12 weeks old (13 on Tuesday!) and 3 months today!  I cannot believe it, and I know I sound like a broken record and say this every month but it truly has FLOWN by.  I need to stop blinking.


And 12 weeks in I'm doing pretty freaking amazing keeping up with my weekly pics (and new June & January outfit for each week too) so that's been nice.  I am going to have to start getting creative with my outfits cause I'm determined not to repeat myself!


We don't go back to the doc until 4 months so, lucky you, you just got a bunch of mom stats this month!
  • Annie is our peanut child (which to some she's probably still a giant but compared to her siblings at 3 months she is a petite tiny little thing).
  • Annie weighs 14 pounds and 6 ounces -- TWO WHOLE POUNDS less than Rosie weighed at 3 months old!  She is definitely our teeny little child. 
  • She wears some 0-6 month (June & January!) 3-6 month and 6 month clothes...although the regular 6 month clothes fit the best, the others are getting a bit tight.  We are getting a LOT of wear out of these clothes that Rosie seemed to blaze through and not wear very long. 
  • Girlfriend started sleeping AMAZINGLY AWESOME shortly after she turned 2 months old -- she was consistently sleeping 8-10 hours a night for a couple weeks...she was going down at 8:30pm and usually sleeps till 4:30 - 6:30am, eats for 10 minutes, and then back to sleep till 9:30am!  Then, this past week she's dropped her 4:30-6:30am feeding and has been sleeping like 8:30pm - 8:30/9:30am.  It.is.awesome.  I hope it keeps up!  She's given us 13+ hours of night sleep the past like 10 days.  WONDERFUL doesn't even describe it.  Andddddd this is what suckers us into more kids, when they sleep I'm like I CAN HANDLE EVERYTHING GIVE ME ALL THE BABIES!!
  • She takes one 'formal' nap a day from 1pm - 4pm in her crib.  She does doze off in the mornings and evenings, but I never put her in her crib for that -- she can doze wherever she is but lay her down in her crib cause I want to keep her on the one nap a day schedule that both of the older kids have been on...and thus far this is going really well!  Most days it's a solid 3 hour nap...sometimes 4!  Girlfriend loves her sleep!
  • Annie has really started to smile and show her personality this month!  She's doing a lot more intentional smiles (which is awesome!) and they just melt your heart!
  • She holds her head up super well and is really moving her arms and legs around like crazy!  I said this same thing at 3 months with Rosie so I'm hoping I'm not eating my words but I bet she'll be rolling over sooner than later...she seems like she's kinda close to be doing it!
  • FOUND HER THUMB!  I think this is a month earlier than Rosie did, but this has been a game changer and I think one of the reasons why she's been sleeping so much longer -- she can self-soothe!  She seems to only suck her thumb when she's tired and laying down, but I'm just so happy she found it and can put herself to sleep without any issues.
  • Doesn't really fuss or cry too much (especially when going down for bed/naps, cause we do put her down wide awake) but LOVES (and prefers!) to be held at all times!  She is most definitely a cuddly little thing!
  • Loves to be worn in the Tula/ring sling and seems to conch out immediately after being put in there.  That usually is an instant soother for her.
  • Bottles are still a struggle.  She seems to take them better when I am no where around and not home (or she's out and not at our home) but still most definitely prefers the boob.  She very much loves her mama's milk straight from the source and me going back to work in a week is going to be very interesting in how the bottle game goes :) As of late she seems to protest the bottle at first then just gives in, so hopefully she'll just accept the bottle sooner than later and be good to go with it when I'm not around and someone else is wanting to feed her. Prayers that it'll be fine!
  • Is an all-around happy and healthy little lady!  She is just the cutest and so chill and totally a third baby...she's happy and content most of the time; however, doesn't like to let me out of her sight too long or then she loses it.  She likes to keep her food source close.
And now, your favorite part, the comparison snaps! 


And my personal favorite, all 3 burritos at 3 months old!


So that's all I've got for Annie's 3 month post!  1/4th of a year down...I cannot believe it.  Lightning fast it's going!  We love our little gal so so so much and cannot imagine life without her!  We love you Annie girl and are loving watching you grow up!


Saturday, April 29, 2017

We Love Mitz!

It’s no secret around here I LOOOOOOVE clothing my children and finding adorable outfits for them to wear.  A couple years ago I saw a Kickstarter campaign for this ‘gender equal’ clothing and I fell in love with what I saw.  Since we don’t find out the genders of our kiddos before they’re born I am always hunting for “gender neutral” clothing and this company hit it out of the park!

I made a pledge to their campaign and they sent a shirt once their campaign was fully funded.




This ^^^ was the shirt that came and I loved it so much.  Not only the cooking pattern (so cute!) but the material it was made out of -- high quality, a little bit of a stretch to it, and so soft.  I also loved that a boy or girl could wear these clothes so they could be easily handed down to future kiddos no matter if the were little ladies or little dudes.










Obviously I LOVE taking pictures of my kids, and these clothes are just some of my FAVORITE to snap them in!  Plus, they pair SO WELL with the bright vibrant June & January surplus of clothes we have as well, so win win.










Patrick loves wearing his Mitz shirts -- it’s always the first ones he digs for in his drawer when he gets to pick out his own outfits.  I have started having him try and name the things that are on his shirt -- learning and lookin’ stylish!!























Rosie LOVES her Mitz dresses and shirts.  She has several shirts and then a couple dresses and gosh she looks so adorable wearing them.  I mean, I’m biased but I think she cannot look any cuter in them!  And I love that when she grows out of them Annie will be able to wear them too!







Annie doesn’t get left out of the equation either -- she’s got several Mitz outfits too and golly she looks so cute in them!  They’re great cause she matches her older siblings wearing them AND if we have another kiddo and it’s a boy he’ll be able to wear these too cause, GENDER NEUTRAL FOR THE WIN!

Anyways, I just had to give a shoutout to one of my favorite clothing companies.  I get giddy with excitement when they have a new style or design coming out cause I can’t wait to get it and put the kiddos in it!  I love the look and feel of these clothes and the kids do too.  If you’re looking for clothes for your kiddos OR a shower gift for a friend, check out Mitz!  I just love them so!  What a great company (and they have AMAZING customer service too!!)

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