blank'/> A LITTLE BIT OF LACQUER: June 2014

June 23, 2014

Returning to Clinical Life

Happy Monday all! I hope you all had great weekends! 

As many of you know, June marked the beginning of me heading back into clinical life - no more jeans in the research lab (at least for now), back to professional wear in the clinics and hospital at all times. Over on IG, the lovely Franziska asked what's it been like heading back to clinics, so I thought I'd do a quick post on that!

The first day back I naively expected some kind of orientation or refresher as to what we'd be doing during the rotation  (I'm doing my dermatology elective rotation). Instead it was more like - this is your hospital assignment, now go report for duty! I definitely felt out of it when I first got there - the hours and pace of clinical life, the jargon, the behavior - it's all different from the year of lab work. But just like riding a bike, it comes back to you quickly. 

I was a little nervous and took on more of a shadowing role at first, worried I wouldn't know what to do if I had to do it, but thankfully by the next day I remembered if you want to learn anything  you just have to dive in and do it! And as soon as I started seeing patients on my own, I felt better - "I got this," I thought to myself. I most definitely still keep a little notebook for things I learn or need to learn throughout the day and it's definitely getting filled up! 

I thought the hardest part would be getting used to the schedule, with the day starting much earlier than the normal 9am and ending whenever rounds are finished. Our new nanny started in June (our old nanny and friend moved to Chicago this month, which we knew was happening when we hired her), and she has been a lifesaver! She gets to our place around 6:45 everyday so we can get out of the house on time and can stay as late as we need her, which thankfully hasn't been past 6:30 or so. 

And then the dressing. This is a little tricky right now as I still don't have as much time in the morning as I used to to get ready, and most of my pre-baby professional clothes I can't find or I can't fit! (Weirdly enough I'm smaller now than I was pre-baby and working on gaining back some weight)! I'll do a post soon about building a professional wardrobe as that's essentially what I'm doing all over again! Here's a look from last week:

Forever 21 popover blouse (similar on sale 50% off here), Rainbow skirt (similar here), Marshall's flats (similar here), LITboutique initial necklace (exact here), Kate Spade patent tote (similar here)

{I'm also thinking about doing a post addressing some of the med school related questions I get that I don't feel knowledgeable enough to do entire posts on (ie, financing med school, MCAT, etc.) Leave your questions in the comments below and I'll quickly address my experience with them!}

June 19, 2014

Flower Power

An easy weekend look perfect for those early days of summer with hot afternoons and cool evenings. 

Forever 21 tank (similar here), Rainbow floral shorts (similar on sale here), Old Navy cardigan (similar here), Gap flip flops (similar here)

June 13, 2014

Sling Diaries: On Strength

Throughout the next six months I will be posting entries for the Sakura Bloom Sling Diaries Volume V - All the Love. I was so humbled and honored to be selected as a sling diarist and hope you all will enjoy these entries at least a sliver as much as I enjoy making them. Each month I'll write a letter to Liv on a certain topic - this month's topic is strength.

Dearest Liv, 

I write this letter to you as young woman who feels strong. A young woman who can't lift too much at the gym and still has to ask daddy for help to open jars, but still, I am strong. You see baby girl, strength can be a physical thing, and I do alright when it comes to that. But the strength I'm talking about is the strength of spirit. Empowerment that's built within us as we withstand hardships, persevere through the difficult days, and come out at the end of the tunnel smiling. 

This perseverance that develops our strength of spirit requires not that we stick the planned course - rigid in our dreams - no matter what, but instead, that we adapt and persevere in pursuit of our dreams. Just as the buildings that withstand earthquakes are able to bend and sway with the forces of the earth instead of cracking under pressure, so must we learn to bend and sway with the forces of our journey, through all its twists and unexpected turns. Those who are unhappy in this life are so because they can't adapt. They can't accept the changes in the course, and see defeat instead of a new path. They feel weak in this defeat instead of finding strength by choosing to keep going. My hope for you sweet girl, is that you can learn to go with the flow. Not to be complacent by any means, but to go with change and reach your goals in your own way. 

You have been the greatest lesson for me in going with the flow. You see, mommy has always been a bit of a planner. It's hard to get far without some skeleton of a plan. Now that you're along for the ride, my plans have simplified quite a bit. My large-scale goals are still the same - to become a doctor and have patients I can truly connect with and help, to be a loving a giving wife, to be a sacrificing mother and role model, but the day-to-day plans I usually throw out the window. No longer do I feel like a failure if everything on my to-do list wasn't crossed off, instead I focus on the positive and make plans for the next day, always aware that it may not get done then either. This isn't defeat, this is adapting, and by adapting we grow stronger. We gain new powers and abilities through each journey we take, and I hope you will find these as you go on your own journeys. 

I will always find my strength in you and I hope you will always know that you can find your strength in me. 

Love always,

I'm wearing Liv in my Sakura Bloom pure linen sling in Twilight, black tee and pants from Asos, and sandals from Target

June 9, 2014

Birthday Weekend!

Happy Monday everyone! I hope you all had great weekends! I definitely did - yesterday was my 26th birthday and I got spoiled for sure! N and Liv made me the most adorable mug with her handprints on it saying "Happy Birthday Mommy" (and bowl with her darling little footprint), got my mom and sister to Boston to watch Liv, and then stole me away to Cape Cod! It was the perfect little getaway. Thanks to all of you who wished me the sweetest birthday wishes on Instagram

Also - the Mrs. Patel's giveaway winner is Dana! Contact me with your mailing info so we could get your goodies out to you! Thanks so much to all of you for reading!

June 2, 2014

Keeping Your Supply Up (and Giveaway)

As natural and instinctual as breastfeeding is, nothing about it is easy, and there are way too many variables that have to go right to be successful. I've been lucky to have success with breastfeeding and I absolutely love it, but every now and then I still have concerns about one big thing - my supply. Now I'll say this - although most breastfeeding moms are concerned about their supply, most are just fine. If baby is gaining weight normally and has enough wet diapers, baby is getting enough milk! You can't rely on how "full" your breasts feel or how much you pump to tell you how much your little one is getting. With all that said, though, growth spurts definitely happen and always seem to leave me wondering if I'm getting Liv enough milk. Two other times I notice my supply take a bit of a dip? When Liv is in a "snacking" mood (ie, she's interested in everything else while she's nursing and so only snacks a bit) and when I'm stressed. Here are some tips for keeping that supply up! 

Pump! When I'm home and Liv is being a finicky nurser I have a handheld manual pump I use to pump a bottle. I'll usually only do one side and let her nurse on both sides (offering the side I pumped first) when she is finally interested. I'll also try to sneak in an extra pumping session before I go to bed. If I'm at work I'll try to do the same with the electric pump.

Eat! Make sure you're eating enough nutrient-rich foods so that your body can make enough milk. This is essential, and a lot of women trying to lose weight post-baby just aren't eating enough. One of my favorite snacks are Mrs. Patel's fenugreek bars; the peanut butter ones are my absolute favorite, but there are also original and chocolate. It's so hard to try and only eat one of these per day (the same way I can't eat only 2 gummy vitamins - they're so good)! I also love plain old oatmeal cookies although I think they boost supply just by making me happy :)

Drink! Another basic necessity, but drink plenty of water! And if you're like me, most of your "water" comes from coffee. I'm not sure where the myth came from that coffee decreases your milk supply, but it doesn't, and as long as you don't notice that it has any effect on baby's sleep or activity feel free to drink in moderation. Many women like lactation tea and if you're one of them, that's fine to drink too! I wasn't a fan of the black licorice taste to most teas, although I do really like the chai tea from Mrs. Patel's.

Relax! In school we always learned about the HPA axis and how stress affects us physiologically, but never is it more concrete then when it comes to breastfeeding (or at least pumping). On the days that are stressful and I only have a few minutes to pump in between failing experiments I can never pump much of anything, even if I did eat and drink enough. On the other hand, when I'm having a great day and watching videos of Liv as I pump, it all goes wonderfully! It's easy to say don't worry, but seriously, just try not to worry.

Try not to rely on supplementing. Let me clarify - there's absolutely nothing wrong with supplementing with formula to give baby a little extra if it really makes you feel better (or of course if they're not gaining weight appropriately, etc). Just make sure that you still try to pump when you're supplementing. Supply is all about the demand, and if you're supplementing without pumping your body won't know that you need to make more, and you'll only make the problem worse.

This week one lucky reader will be winning a combo package from Mrs. Patel's! This package includes a sampling of all three flavors of their fenugreek bars, their Chair milk water tea, and their munch crunch! Just leave a comment below for your chance to win!

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