Life, motherhood

Exclusively Pumping: Breastfeeding Journey Glimpse

To be honest, things have been hectic. Between little sleep and slowly trying to get back on schedule and keeping a routine with a toddler while feeding a newborn on demand. It’s…well demanding. Along with a part time job at home, school online, my son’s therapy (that’s another blog for another day) I think some days I reach peak of mental exhaustion. I’v been lucky to have my husband for five weeks to help me through this time cause it is not easy getting back to whatever we consider reality at this point.

All things considered I am okay. This time around I know more than I did the first time around with my son. I was new to breastfeeding and pumping. I was new to the experience of motherhood and everything it physically entailed. This time around I am a little less nervous and knew what I wanted which was to pump as much as I could for this baby.

The first time around I remember doing so much research and stressing about my output. I was only making about 20 ounces per day after two to three weeks and it wasn’t enough. I was able to supplement at night with formula but my goal was to strictly breastfeed. Eventually, by an increase of water intake, adding more pumps in my day, lactation supplements and lactation treats was I able to start reaching 30-35 oz a day. I was able to purchase a stand up freezer and store a lot of breast milk for when anytime my supply started to drop towards the end of my journey or started using breast milk in the solids I would give my son. I was proud of the hard work I put into it and couldn’t be happier that I had reached my goal of a year breast feeding. I was relieved once it ended. My mind at peace.

Now here I am once again. I struggle with the thought of doing this all over again for another now…49 weeks or longer depending. This time around I have a oversupply when I prepped for under supply in the beginning. I am proud and yet stressed to say I am at 50-60 oz per day! This time around I did maintain a good water intake, coconut eater from a company I found, lactation brownies, prenatals and pumping at least 6 times a day (its advised to do more like 8-12 so please don’t try this if you’re experiencing an under supply). This all isn’t easy since breast feeding and exclusively pumping has its pros and cons. Every situation is unique and I have my own personal struggles to overcome when it comes to pumping from the wash and sterilizing of bottles and pump part to planning each pump to make sure the kids are comfortable and in a safe place while I sit for 20-30 minutes.

To put this into perspective that’s 20-30 minutes for every pump and at the recommended 8-12 times a day for the first 6 weeks to establish supply. Pumping can actually be a full time job cause this doesn’t include the constant washing of parts and bottles. While taking care of a new baby and everything else of course. This is a glimpse of the struggle but I am proud of myself and those who keep their littles fed. Fed is best and even those who give their little ones formula its still its own struggle to afford formula in the first place. Whether you’re new to this journey or returning. Welcome (Welcome back) you’re not alone!

Life, motherhood

Growing from One to Two Earthside

It’s difficult when you’ve experienced loss of pregnancy. Every pregnancy after you’re stuck in a limbo of what ifs and worry for any news that’ll shake your wold. Every appointment you wonder if the doctors will tell you something a parent never wants to hear. It takes away some but not all of those little joys of being pregnant. The excitement of an ultrasound replaced by anxiety right before. It feels like you’re holding your breath and waiting until they’re in your arms. Even after a successful pregnancy. I still had those nerves being pregnant a fourth time.

Time went by quicker this time. I almost didn’t want the day to come from how unready I felt. Then I remembered that nothing prepares you 100 percent for motherhood. Whether it be the first time you’re becoming a mother or anytime after that. A toddler and a newborn? It was going to be surreal.

Now, that we have our second earth-side son here. I forget how small newborns are. How cuddly they can be all curled up in your chest and you don’t want to move cause you want the moment to last forever. To be their safe place a little while longer before they cry for a feeding or a change. I wasn’t sure how I would feel after having our first earth-side son for over 2 years. I was worried that I would feel too overwhelmed and have mixed emotions. It’s amazing what emotions will do. I honestly felt myself grow. Your heart and soul expands. It’s as if the world around you becomes bigger with love to welcome another child into your life. The pieces fall into place and soon it’s almost as if they were meant to be.

As of now I’m 2 weeks postpartum and to be honest this time around feels a bit easier with the jitters. I know as the weeks go by there will be easy days as there will be difficult days. Especially, once my husband returns to work from family leave. For now I want to soak up these moments while I heal. I’ll share my labor story and raw postpartum with time. I still have days where it feels surreal that I have two kids with me now. Somehow it feels so right and almost impossible based on what we went through. But, I think it was meant to be.

Life

Time is Flying

Looking back a year ago. I can almost remember what I was doing during this time of the month. I was mostly likely waking up rushing to get ready for work along side my husband. Getting out the house with a child and three cats to feed can be a bit difficult. But I always appreciated the team effort with my husband.

Once the cold air hit my face we were off with the stroller. I enjoyed the silence together in the morning. Husband and I wouldn’t talk until we dropped our son off to my mother and be on our way to work. We always have random chatters and he sees me off on my train stop. Only to text me he misses me right after. The day would commence and I thought things would continue in this routine. A routine I had contently settled into for the past three months before pandemic hit…

There’s been so much in between since then. Things that I both miss and yet there things I’m currently grateful for that occurred during pandemic. One of these days I’ll talk about it and open up about the details in between. The struggles, the losses and small accomplishments. I hope to come back and share myself again and what I’ve learned in this new chapter in our lives that is yet to end.

Life

New Normal: Staying Home

Adjusting has been difficult to say the least. There are days things aren’t difficult. You take things as they come. Unexpected turns are made and there’s so many thoughts in place. You’re just shocked you sleep through the night.

My life has been hectic. You’d think being at home meant being less busy. Not the case at all. Between decluttering the whole house and not working from home anymore with a now 2 year old. It’s impossible not to be busy! I’m also still cooking from home at least 2 times a week. I order out if possible. (Grubhub is tempting to say the least. We are so guilty of not passing up a good deal). I only go out maybe twice a month only for groceries or to step outside front for my plants and watch my husband run around with our son. Life’s been calmer and mentally hectic more than anything.

My cyber social life has skyrocketed. I’m back to playing video games mostly ps4 and animal crossing on the switch. Binge watching anime again with my husband. Things that got me through so much in life already. It’s starting to feel like there’s not enough time in a day for everything to be done. But, I value our health and how we’ve dealt through this quarantine. My husband comes home with stories of how the outside has been doing. I can’t help but weirdly realize how much things around us have changed. Few months ago we were planning with friends and family to gather for a picnics and going to Central Park. Now it’s animal crossing and group chats with memes and venting sessions. Daily face times to check in with each other.

Living in NYC with the virus it’s hard to see an end to this. Though there are many pros and cons. It feels unreal. To not be able to leave when you want. Questioning yourself as you get ready to run an errand if it’s absolutely necessary. Anyone else forget their mask while walking outside and turning around to run back to get it? (ME!) The amount of tension outside is thicker than the air itself. You feel it come off people in waves. The split second horror on people’s faces when someone clears their throat.

It’s hard to say “I’m okay” when things aren’t like they used to be. Change sometimes can come in increments. But this was thrown at everyone and it’s difficult to even handle it with grace. I hope we can all get through this.


I’ll try to post more as time goes. Probably lighter things and small successes I’ve had personally. But I just had to get this out of the way. Stay safe everyone. Much love always. I’m still active in my succulent insta @everlasting_echeverias

Life

Loving Myself

Some days are harder than others. My walls sometimes come down and I’m left vulnerable. I don’t even realize it sometimes until something happens. If someone talks to me a different way. When my son seems to only want to be with everyone else except me. If my husband is having a bad day. When someone at work gives a sharp tongue without meaning to. I feel it. They’re like paper cuts in my soul that sting throughout the day. I sense all the positivity and confidence leave me. It’s crazy how all the good takes so long to fill. Yet, it’s so quick to leave all the same. I’ve learned lately to build walls but to always leave a hole open. Others may see this as a weakness. But I see it as opportunity.

I know I will be hurt.

I know I’ll have low and high days.

I know my confidence will drain.

But I’ll take it easy. I’ll be kind to myself cause I’m not perfect. No one is. I’ll love myself even if in the moment I don’t feel loved. Self love is a beautiful thing. It’s not selfish. It’s hard to do everyday. But if I love myself a little more. I’ll be okay. Not always but one day.


Thanks for reading everyone and for those who like my posts. Thank you for doing so. I’m trying to be more active on here. For now enjoy a pic of my sleeping cat on the computer chair that my husband and him fight over every time. It’s almost a daily affair that makes us all laugh. Sometimes I wish I had his life for a day. His face is so peaceful.

Life, Succulent/Plants

Everlasting Echeverias

I did it! I made an instagram to start posting one succulent a day and seeing how long it takes me to finish going through them all! I swear I probably have more than 150 different ones. Mostly Echeverias if I’m honest. They’re my weakness especially pink ones.

Luckily, succulents don’t require much care to keep them happy. Especially smaller Echeverias that I’ve dealt with. I’ve been stressed a bit with my sea dragon and it’s leaves dropping. Seems like I can’t keep it happy unfortunately and that I might lose it. I recently planted it in better draining soil and giving it more light than all my others. It’s perking up but I’m wondering if the damage is done. Guess I’ll never know now.

It’s been hectic working, being a mother and wife. While trying to keep up with succulent care, blog, daily tasks and an almost non existent social life. Not that I’m upset about it. Personally I love how my friends and I are. Sometimes one night out is all we need to refresh and catch up on everything before going about our lives.

Anyway, that’s my update for now. Follow me and my succulents: @Everlasting_echeverias

Till next time my beloveds.

Life, Succulent/Plants

Why Succulents?

Sometimes it’s weird how we discover hobbies that we never thought we would be into. At first, I started off with a small terrarium plant. I realized it wasn’t happy at all in it and I researched how to take care of these new succulents of mine. One thing led to another and suddenly I was finding beautiful succulents all over online. Purchased some and I never turned back since then. It was therapeutic to wake up and go through my morning routine. Let my son unwind a bit and check on these beauties from time to time. I eventually started purchasing more and joined some Facebook groups to share the love about succulents. It’s amazing who you meet and talk to. Sharing tips and advice when needed. Sharing photos of the different types there are. I’ve met some amazing people through all this and I couldn’t be happier tending to my plants. I get to admire their beauty. Watch them grow and change in color from time to time. Recently I’ve been into pinks and peach colors lately. Sometimes purples, greens and blues (reminds me of mermaids). It’s nice to be kept busy. It’s weird to think I was/still a gamer. I use to play a lot before my son. I miss it sometimes but it’s nice to find something new and exciting to do. I have low and high days emotionally and get easily overwhelmed by things at times so having a hobby does help deal with a lot of the anxiety, stress and depression I tend to deal with. Although it’s not a cure. It’s something to help through those tough days. The days where I feel like I’m not enough as a mother or wife. Those days where I feel like my grief is lingering longer than usual. So why succulents? Well, cause they make me happy and appreciate the beauty of nature. Sharing that love with other people. You start to find yourself again. A little help sometimes goes a long way.


Thanks for reading if you reached this far. It’s hard to put into words how one hobby and a bunch of plants can help. It’s the strangest thing. Anyone else have a hobby they love? Comment below and share your passion.

Life, Succulent/Plants

Growing Succulent Collection

I started off with about 14 plants back in the beginning of October. I didn’t think much of it cause since I was never a “plant” person. Well…I was wrong. Since then, which only a month has passed, I’ve gotten over 100 succulents in over 80 varieties. Crazy right? They weren’t kidding when they said you’ll get addicted and still more pending to come. I have everything from common varieties to rare Korean imports in my collection. I eventually am looking to sell some of them in the future if they happen to have offsprings or if I run out of room and have to cut down. My top favorites at the moment are many but I’ll name three in the order of my favorites with photos down below and where/who I got them from. If you’re looking for anything different or similar I recommend joining Succulent Market Place on Facebook. There’s so many beautiful and different kinds of succulents sold. Thank you for reading and comment below if you’re a fellow succulent addict like myself! I’ll post more of my collection soon if anyone’s interested. Much love everyone!


Echeveria Sea Dragon from The Sacred Succulent


Echeveria Monroe from The Sacred Succulent


Echeveria Lingxue from Lynn Zou in Succulent Market Place


Grief, Life

Pets are more than just Animals

It’s odd how these little creatures leave the biggest impressions in our hearts. They can only live for so long and it’s heartbreaking to even think when they come to you at any point of your life or their lives. That one day they’ll leave you.

I used to be a dog person. Least I thought I was. I love them yet I wouldn’t want to have one since it doesn’t fit our lifestyle personally. I ended up with three cats somehow (I like to pretend they showed up here one day lol) and never looked back. Everyday they bring some kind of laughter and comfort to all of us while also being a pain. We wouldn’t have it any other way.

They’ve grounded me more than I can express words. My third cat I got after losing my daughter. The first two comforted me through some tough times. Simple things like being frustrated at work to sad days. But, nothing like trauma and grief. I’ve never seen them so anxious and smothering. Cats aren’t known to be as affectionate as dogs. Including my own. They enjoy our company but don’t find us holding them for a long period of time pleasant at all. It was the next morning after my loss that I woke up and there it was. That feeling of never wanting to get out of bed to fave the world ever again. A silence so deafening I could scream so I turned around to try and sleep to find my two fluff balls on the bed with me. Normally, they don’t get along or would of meowed for more food or at least looked up at me. Instead they decided to come closer to curl up near my body, their ears perked up as the tears came, the silence broken with the sobs. The sobs of a heartbroken soul. They pitted silently and I fell asleep. This happened for about a week straight. My husband would have to take them off the bed or wake them up to lay in bed with me. I found it sweet that they didn’t leave my side in the morning. It’s as if they were grieving with me…


I’m sure there’s so many stories like this one. Where these beautiful creatures help their humans more than they could ever comprehend. Most say “They’re just animals. They don’t know.” I beg to differ as I sit here with my son and mostly surrounded by at least one of them. Keeping an eye out always. Pets aren’t always just animals to people. They’re family.


Thank you for reading! Would love if anyone shared their stories related to their pets and the joy they bring you! Much love everyone. Till the next blog.

Succulent/Plants

Getting Started with Succulents: Beginner Tools and Essentials Guide

As an Amazon associate I do earn commission from qualifying purchases from the links I provide below


I promise you that you’ll be obsessed the moment you start. There’s so many kinds of succulents it’s hard to choose rom all the beautiful kinds that there are! From tiny to large ones. Common to unique there’s a succulent (or succulents) for anyone! You’d think that would be easy. Then there’s the pots you choose. You can choose from terra-cotta, cement, ceramic and even wood types! The soil types, tools, etc. It can be a bit overwhelming. I cannot begin to tell you all the amount of information there is out there. As an amateur myself (started August of this year) just wanted to share some things that got me started.


Of course you’ll need succulents! My favorite place to order from so far have been from Mountain Crest Gardens. They have a large variety of succulents to get you started and has in depth information about the type you’re getting, lighting and watering needs. How big it’ll grow (both height and length wise). They come packaged so well! There are some delicate succulents that no matter what it’s almost impossible to avoid bruising. Be aware. I can warn you though that you’ll love what you see. Once I was done scrolling through and adding different succulents into my cart. I had over 20 in there and no signs of finishing. Of course I settled for the ones I felt I could NOT leave behind. If you decide to check them out you can use my referral link and you’ll receive 10 percent off your order: Mountain Crest 10 percent off!


Succulents ordered? Check. Now what?

Where to put them? There’s so many pots to choose from it’s insane. It’s important that they have drainage holes to let the water drain out. If you’re looking for something affordable I recommend terra-cotta pots. They let your plants breathe, come in all kinds of sizes and you can get them almost anywhere (Home depot, Lowe’s, Amazon). Here are some that I’ve found to get you started:

Set of 16 terra-cotta clay pots 3x3inches

Set of 9 terra-cotta clay pot 3.5 inch

If ceramic are more of your thing I would definitely recommend these:

Set of 6 geometric white ceramic succulent pots with Bamboo tray

Set of 6 white ceramic plant pots with bamboo tray

There’s also cement pots:

Set of 2 Cement Pot With Tray

Set of 3 different size cement plant pot

Or maybe you want something out of the ordinary, cute, and overall different:

Set of 4 Blue Seashell Plant Pots

Set of 4 Groot Plant Pots

Set of 6 ceramic wood pattern pots

These are just a few out of the many that Amazon offers. Always make sure to check sizes and measure how big they are beforehand by reading the measurements. Sometimes pots are tinier than expected or bigger.


Okay, now to the important part of potting them. The soil and/or fertilizer. Succulents needs well draining soil. Personally I mix cactus soil with gritty mix to achieve better drainage. They only need to be fertilized once a month during their growing months (there’s winter dormant and summer dormant succulents).

Here’s some soil and gritty mix that I’ve used so far:

Hoffman Organic cactus succulent soil 2 pack

Organic succulent and cactus soil mix

Next Gardner succulent Gritty Mix

These can also be added to the soil or used as a top dressing:

Next Gardner Red Lava rocks

Next Gardner White Onyx Top dressing

Another place I like to order grit mix from is Bonsai Jack. I order their grit by the gallons (used 5 gallons myself and ordered some for others) since surprisingly it goes quickly every time!

Fertilizer I’m currently using once a month: Cute Farms Succulent, Cacti, Aloe Monthly Fertilizer Formula


Last but not least: Tools! For the most part the tools are mostly to help make potting and getting your succulent well put together easier. If you prefer to use your hands or things you have around the house. Feel free to do so! These are just some tools to get you started in case you don’t have any. Especially if it’s your first time getting succulents or cactuses (like me!)

Tools I’ve gotten and used so far:

13 piece Mini garden tools set

There’s many more with more pieces. Definitely check them out and see if it’s something you’ll need to get your succulent addiction started!


I’ll be posting more about succulents with tips or tricks and the things I add to my collection, where I get it from as time goes. Let me know below if this helped you or if there’s anything else I should add. This is what worked for me so far. I love sharing these beauties and giving advice. Feel free to comment below anything else that I missed. Much love and happy planting!

Some pics of my beauties *cover photo is part of my setup*


*Some links provided I do earn commission on qualifying purchases as an Amazon affiliate*