Tuesday, September 2, 2014

dang you boobies!

I hung in there and breastfeeding has gotten way better. I no longer hate it! I would read on the webs that around 6 weeks was the time when it would get easier and the net was right. She takes less time to eat, I'm not as sore in the nips, its just wayyyyy better.

The miss is not a good daytime napper. She will nap when being held or gloriously in her car seat be it in the car or in the stroller. Sometimes a swaddle, rocking, and some white noise in her room can convince her to nap in her crib. Sometimes I can get her to lay in her crib and she can get herself tired enough or soothed enough to nap for 1/2 hour max. It's a very deceptive nap because she looks like she is OUT for awhile but alas, looks are deceiving.

The wonderful BUT in this is that she is a pretty decent nighttime sleeper and Lord bless her. She can go for 3-4 hour stretches, wake up to feed, and go back to sleep with very little incident. The frustrating yet kinda miraculous thing is that I wake up about 5-10 minutes on my own before she does loaded with milk, often leaky, and uncomfortable. I lay in bed and wait for her to wake up so I can feed her and relieve the pressure and sure enough within minutes, she's up.

I am however, currently awake because of a strange occurrence. After a fun day of visiting friends where she was in her car seat a bit and had a good mix of awake and asleep she went to bed later than normal after midnight. We thought it was that I had too much caffeine that day and maybe so but she was way too awake and fussy and would not go to bed after we tried all our tricks. And while in the past this might have driven me insane I was high off a great day and feeling pretty patient. She was fed, changed, swaddled and Matt asked for any ideas. I shrugged, "Just stick her in her bassinet. She's still right now, just let her lay there." The freaking kid fell asleep on her own after a few minutes. We did nothing but continue to check on her for a few minutes and she remained asleep and so did we.

Without fail around 5am I woke up full of milk and with the holy crap is she still asleep let me check her breathing mini panic. Baby is fine and still out. Hmm. Surely she will wake up soon. Surely.

About 30 minutes passes by and still no awoken baby.

Now begins the frustrating dance of: I need to get rid of this milk. My boobs are hard. Should I pump? What if she wakes up and I just diminished her supply? Will the noise wake her? Agh!!

So I pumped enough to just alleviate the situation and waited for her to wake up. No dice. So I pump a little more and turn on the bedside light. Nada. I pick her up and put her on the nursing pillow and still no eyes opening. Minor stirring but not much. I finally get her awake enough to make her eat. She lazily eats, boob feels better, and goes right back to sleep when she's done. Now I am laying here typing at almost 7am not quite sleepy and thinking of game plans for the future.

I think I waste too much time deciding to pump when she's asleep and I should just do it. If she wakes up while I'm doing it then I can just stop and feed her and odds are she'll get full with what's in there and go back to sleep. Worst case: give her the stuff I just pumped via bottle. Right?

What happens when she starts sleeping for 6-8 hours and I'm full of milk? Will I be able to sleep that long? Will milk wake me up after 4 hours?

Why am I still awake now?!

- mobile blog post. spelling irrelevant.

Friday, August 29, 2014

smacked in the face with pretty things and color

You know I love me a pretty office space and this one is right up my alley. The girl is into bright white, color, gold, stationery, flamingos, and donuts. AKA: girl has good taste. Check out her studio:
A pink couch in the most perfect shade of pink.
I love pretty little things so it's no wonder where most of my money is spent. 

Have a wonderful end of summer weekend everybody. Where did my summer go?! Yikes.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

write that down in the baby book

On Tuesday it was a landmark day. A landmark day indeed.

Thanks to this lovely lady...
...Matt & I were able to pry ourselves away from this face...
...and have a meal just the two of us. Something that is known as a "date".
My in-laws watched our girl and we were able to enjoy each other as grown ups. It was short enough that I wasn't a neurotic new mom and actually enjoyed the break. I knew she was in good hands.

Thanks ma in-law, you're hired next month somewhere around the 22nd of September.

- mobile blog post. spelling irrelevant.

Friday, August 22, 2014

newborn motherhood: a life lived in 2-3 hour increments

I feel as if I should be better adjusted or falling into more of a groove or routine or something now that Alice has been ours for a month. But it's pretty hard to do any of that because my life is lived in 2-3 hour increments and its hard to get a groove on anything working with that.
What do I mean?

My entire purpose in life since oh, around October of last year has been: keep a human alive. Okay and me, so keep two humans alive. I've remarked to Matt how INCREDIBLE it is that all of her little bits, her human body parts used to be nothing, they did not exist, and inside of my belly they became something useful. She was once a gelatinous blob and out of that little blob grew skin, nails, feet, toes, eyes, nose, mouth, tongue, it's amazing! And after she spent all of that time on the inside growing, now she's out and I'm still responsible for everything that I eat going into her and helping her grow. The extra weight she has, the extra inch she is, that's me. I grew her in my tummy, now I grow her with my booby. Crazy right?
So she eats and eats. Every 2-3 hours, sometimes 4 if it's at night, I sit somewhere and feed her. Sometimes I can do nothing but hold and feed. Sometimes I watch something with Matt while holding and feeding. Sometimes I can wiggle a hand out to grab my phone to see what's new on Facebook (everybody but me was at the Paul McCartney concert). Most of the time after she eats and after some persuasion aka rocking and swaddling, she will fall asleep and that's when I get to live. Pee. Shower. Sleep. Eat. Poop. House Stuff. Blog Stuff. Walk to get food. How much living can one squeeze into those blocks of time before it's time to reset the clock and do it over again because that's my life.
As I was writing this post of course, Alice decided to screw 2-3 hour increments and just be fussy all day. She would nap for minutes at a time during the day and want to eat around the clock or be held. Sure she'd have some glorious smiling and laughter moments but she was not satisfied for long. We would work hard to get her to lay down for awhile singing, rocking, swaddling, and after much persuasion she would snooze for a few minutes and then be wide awake leading to a very tired baby and a very tired momma. I started to think of those 2-3 hour increments as the glory days. I should have been thankful for what I had! I'm not sure what's going on, hopefully just a growth spurt.
And the reality that makes me sad is knowing that I will go back to work and I will be leaving her for many hours a day so even those days when nothing gets done and she's nursing ALL day and I get no hours to rest will seem like such fond memories. I'm telling myself over and over that this is temporary and she won't be this little forever and time goes by so quickly and it's gonna get easier. But that doesn't make those times where I only get 10 minutes to scarf down some toast before I have to rush over to our friend with recently developed lungs and vocal cords that are SCREAMING for food any less frustrating. But that's motherhood I suppose. Sometimes, there are no breaks.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

i still think about decorating most of the time

I spend my in-between times nursing Alice on the internets browsing pretty things on my usual blogs and pinterest. I don't spend time looking at baby things, I spend time thinking about remodeling my bathroom. And other bathroom. And closet. And kitchen.
It's easy to look at prettier kitchens than mine and feed depressed or inspired to do something about ours. Sometimes I want to get proactive and bust out the measuring tape and play around with the online kitchen designing Ikea tool and plan out what I would do if I were to remodel our kitchen.
And then I think, "Dude, we're fine. We're blessed. If I didn't do a single thing to this house for the next 10 years, we'd be perfectly okay." You know why? 'Cause we OWN A HOUSE IN AMERICA! How many people can say that?! We have TWO bathrooms. We have central air conditioning. We have a room where our tiny child can have her own room and another EXTRA room where there's another TV and another couch and another coffee table where if we had friends or family visit, they could sleep there on a bed and not the couch in the living room. THAT'S AMAZING!!
Sometimes I take showers and I think about how nice it is that we have running water. That we can just turn on some knobs and have warm, clean water fall on our bodies to clean ourselves. It's a strange thought but there it is. We really are better off than the majority of the world and often better than a lot of the country. Roof over our heads. Food in our tummies. Love in our hearts.
It's easy, seeing as how I spend a lot of time at home walking from room to room and staring at walls, to think about what I could change to improve the place. It's easy to complain. It's easy to wish. But it's hard to just be happy where you are and be grateful for what you have. And man oh man, I am a very grateful human being. My family has had tough times with money and making end's meet so what right have I to complain about anything? Our life is good. Real good.
Someday we might redo the kitchen. Someday we might redo the guest bath. Heck, someday I might even get different nigh stands for the master bedroom. Today: I'm perfectly content.

Monday, August 18, 2014

new coffee table for the office

Check it out! I finally got a coffee table for the office!
If you're wondering why it looks so familiar its because it's the coffee table from the living room. I've been making mock ups of potential coffee tables for years and this coffee table has remained the one I've wanted for this room. So after knocking my head trying to find a different one for this room I went ahead and just took it from the living room and got a different one for that area.
I kept thinking I needed a coffee table that was a neutral color since it would be in a room with so many different colors, what's more neutral than clear? Now I have all the magazines I need to read on display and I still have a big surface to eat or drink a pot of tea. 
The office unfortunately suffers from the too much furniture syndrome. Other than the side table to the left of the coffee table, most everything is pretty necessary in this room since it has to do so much and it has to store so much stuff. 
Maybe I should try to do a big cleanse of things and therefore not need so much furniture in this room. I think about that weekly. Unfortunately I suffer from the boy scout syndrome of always wanting to be prepared. Sure, I may not have a use for 10 different tiny boxes now… but someday… 
The coffee table for the living room is a simple white Ikea one.
It didn't cost much, it's sturdy and made of metal and is on casters so we can roll it away once our little friend becomes mobile.
It's also cool that it's white in case I wanna switch it up with the one in the office and it's also two tiered for book display and still allowing an eating surface. Currently on display at the top is Alice's pacifier clip and some pistachios.
I would have cleaned it up but I had to take the pictures fast since I was holding someone that is refusing to nap again.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

she just wants mom

The past two days Alice has been nursing pretty much nonstop. Eating and eating and not sleeping longer than 10 minutes at a time. It's been incredibly frustrating for me since all I can do is sit there and feed her. No precious nap for a tired mommy.

Matt was at work yesterday and I spent the day alone with her trying everything to get her relaxed enough to sleep. She'd zonk out while eating and then I'd rock her and lay her somewhere and BOOP her eyes were suddenly wide open. She'd smile at me or just stare at me and I was going madder than a hatter. I couldn't wait for Matt to come home so he could help. As I finally got the miraculous text that he was packing up I was laying on the bed with Alice laying wide awake next to me fussing and moving. I got her and pulled her onto my chest and after an all day fight, within a minute, she was out.
And so I slept finally with my daughter on my chest. Matt came home and still we slept. It wasn't just food she wanted, it was me. She just wanted to be near her mom.

I'm typing this sitting up in bed. Alice wouldn't sleep much last night once again though she gave us a few hour or two stretches. Matt brought her in for her 2nd morning feeding and laid her on the pillow in front of me and as I prepared to feed her again she was out. She's asleep on a breastfeeding pillow that's in front of me and I'm sleeping sitting up in bed because my baby just wants me. And that just... kills me.

- mobile blog post. spelling irrelevant.

Monday, August 11, 2014

how do single moms do it?

I've been writing a lot about my life as a mom 'cause duh, my blog but before you think I'm some sort of hero, which I totally am (and totally kidding), I'm gonna remind you that it takes two to hero and my other half is often my hero. 
When I can confidently leave to take a shower and say "she's all yours" and not worry about her being okay, he's my hero. When it's 6am and I've tried for two hours to get her to sleep and I am losing my ish and he takes her to the living room with pacifier and swaddle and just tries to get her to sleep so I can get some sleep, he's my hero. When he wakes up from a nap and first thing he does is look for us and offers food, water, or to help, he's my hero. When he takes it upon himself to do the dishes every single day without question and mow the lawn and vacuum the house and do the grocery shopping, he's my hero. When he has a day of work and still wakes up with me at night even though I told him I'd take the night shift so he could sleep, he's my hero.

And now I have a serious appreciation for dads and especially single mothers. 'Cause holy crap, you need two people to make it and how do these women do it?!


This is my weekend. This is my life. I'm a fan most of the time.

The other times, we just hang on for dear life.

- mobile blog post. spelling irrelevant.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

breastfeeding sucks butt

I haven't quit but man, this crap is hard and I am so so tired.

I can't articulate it but for now, this girl kinda says it well:

- mobile blog post. spelling irrelevant.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

our queen of hearts: month 1

Well, we've survived the first four weeks and now we have a month old little lady.
I was gonna try to do those weekly progress things and I have taken PLENTY of pictures of the girl and honestly getting it together to stage her for a weekly photograph seemed like way too much work so instead I'll do monthlies. I got the idea to make a playing card template with whatever month she is on the card. Ce cute no?

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

oh and here's some alice

'Cause the last post lacked some A-ness:
It's cute when she's cute but its cute when she looks ridiculous too.

- mobile blog post. spelling irrelevant.

these dumb things

For some reason every Target in mine or my in-laws vicinity had run out of these guys:
I dunno why I feel the need to tell you about the triumph in the fact that my Target finally got some in stock and I bought 4 packs. And since I didn't know what Target officially called them I couldn't find them online to order them. Now that I know, I'm set.

See... I had received as gifts a few outfit type things that fit best in the nursery closet with these type of hangers that come with clips to keep the tops and bottoms together. I had a few already but they got used up quick and I needed more and could not find them anywhere!

Its one of those baby gifts no one ever gives a new mom that would be so appreciated. So as a hot tip, next baby shower you go to, gift a woman these and she will be so thankful. It may not be cutesy and fun but trust me, so practical.

This post may be the 4am delirium talking...

- mobile blog post. spelling irrelevant.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

so you have a newborn: my essentials list for baby and mom

One of my favorite things to research as I was pregnant was what every mom considered her "newborn essentials". I being obsessed with gadgetry and preparedness was curious and spent a lot of time reading people's lists and then adding things to my registry that fit my general qualifications for a baby item being worth it. It couldn't be expensive unless someone swore to me up and down that it was worth the dough (like the mamaroo and the ergo carrier), it should ideally serve two purposes, and it had to be clever in its execution or purpose. For the things that serve two purposes for example, the pack and play is good, the top becomes a bassinet you can have in your room while the baby is wee and when the baby is bigger it's a portable crib and baby jail.

spit up rags- At our Baby-Q Michelle had our friends decorate plain white cloth diapers and our friends made some very cute designs for Alice that we love seeing when we're cleaning up spit up, laying on the bed while I nurse her, and general all purpose-ness.
aden + anais swaddle blankets- I think these were on every mom's necessities list and they really are great. They're multipurpose and extra large and breathable which is great for our summer girl. We have them all around the house and Matt swaddles her in them and she likes it.
some sort of bouncy chair- we have the glorious mamaroo that does all the bouncing for you and the baby just chills in there happily but we also have a basic fisher price rocker that has gotten so much use, it's amazing and might I add that I totally called it? Matt kept saying we didn't need another one since we have the mamaroo and I said we did. We got the rocker as a registry gift and thank goodness because we move it from the living room to the bedroom at night and Miss Alice sleeps peacefully in it after we discovered that she HATES the bassinet part of the pack and play we were trying to get her to sleep in. We actually have the pack and play still set up and we put the swing in it and then she's at arm level and makes it easy to take her in and out of it. I think she likes sleeping at an angle to aid her digestion and the rocker feels more snug than a flat crib
nursing pillow- I have two. One, the mombo is double duty, one side is flat so you can nurse your baby easily and the other is soft so you can lean the baby on it for tummy time, to burp, or to lounge. I use this one in the nursery with the glider. The other one is my brest friend which was highly recommended by the lactation consultant and I'm gonna throw my hat in the ring and endorse it as well. It's just for nursing but it's really clever. It has a back support pad for mom and it snaps around you so it won't shift and move and right where the baby's head goes there's a slight elevation so she lays with her head nipple height. If you're planning on breastfeeding, get this pillow.
 a baby carrier- I also have two. I honestly haven't used them much but when I did try the moby wrap, she enjoyed being so close and I enjoyed being able to have both my hands available. The other one is mostly so Matt won't be embarrassed wearing the moby since the Ergo is more like a backpack (which is one of the ways you can carry your kid when they get old enough). She's a little too floppy headed for the Ergo but we have big plans to use it. Big! I know this whole "baby wearing" thing is all on trend and whatnot but ugh that term is stupid. People have been carrying their babies on their bodies all over the world for centuries. America, we did not invent this, we just made better tools to do it so get off your high horse and just do it.
a car seat and stroller easy snap thing/travel system- You can't leave the hospital without a car seat! I'm really happy with our stroller and car seat thing. We have the Britax B-Agile travel system. The fact that you can just snap her out of the car seat and onto the stroller without waking her is amazing and the ease of snapping her back into the car by just clicking it in: genius. When they're teeny they hang in the car seat that snaps easily onto the top part of the stroller and once they get bigger they will go in just the stroller part. I HATE how 90% of strollers look and this one is all mod and very light. I chose the all black because Matt would be pushing her around in it and want him to stylin' like the cool dad he is.
pacifiers- Oh yeah, I gave in. It wasn't as if I had anything against them but I resisted for awhile because we wanted to establish breastfeeding. I think it's safe to say we're getting the hang of it and she's going back and forth between paci and boob no problem. It keeps her quiet when we're trying to get some much needed sleep or when we're out and I can't nurse just yet and for that, I'd just about do anything. Matt is a big fan since it means he can help soothe her while I get much needed rest. We're using the Mam ones but we also have a WubbaNub to help out.
double electric pump- I don't know if you moms know this but a breast pump is covered by your insurance. I KNOW! I chose the Medela one even though I had other options because it's the most popular brand and knew the accessories were readily available at Target. I'm glad I did because the few days in the hospital they wanted me to pump since Miss Alice lost a little more weight than they wanted (she was fine BTW) and they used the Medela hospital grade one and they let us keep the extra pieces for it! When I go back to work I'm planning on leaving a hearty stash for Matt to feed our daughter but right now it's helping me out because I have one boob that particularly fills up and it comes at Alice so fast that I'm getting in the habit of pumping that side for a few minutes to alleviate the rush and she takes that side much better now. It also helps when she's sleeping for that extra hour and I'm so full and heavy that I can just let out the milk a little and let her keep sleeping and I feel much better. We stash the milk in the fridge and then if we never have to resort to the bottle after a few days, I put it in a freezer bag and watch our stash grow.

snap PJs- They're also known as 'sleep n plays' or footed one pieces and there's various combos but my favorite are the ones that cover the feet and have snaps or a zipper. We've learned that Miss Alice likes to soothe herself with sucking on her hand or thumb (yay!) so we make sure her hands are always accessible to her and keep her little tiny feet warm with these. We only had 0-3 sized ones and they were a smidge too big on her so we got a few newborn sized ones to rotate for the next few weeks. I think we go through two of these a night due to spit up and pee/poop situations. 
As far as other clothing I mean, to each their own. I just put whatever people got her on her and try to dress her up in "outfits" when we have guests coming over that way we use up all the clothing we've been gifted before she outgrows it. 

FOR THE NURSERY (aside from the obvious things)
a digital clock/sound machine- We actually have an old iPod loaded with a white noise cd on it that we can just put on loop to help Alice sleep and it has a big digital clock face on it which is super helpful when I'm sitting there timing how long she's been nursing on each side (which is something you do in the beginning to make sure she's eating and pooping enough). Plus we have a little playlist of songs we like on it so we can play music in there during the day.

a comfortable glider chair- I LOVE my chair and ottoman. I nurse my baby in it for hours, I rock her to sleep in it, hang out in it while she's falling asleep, and I sleep in it. It's the perfect height for laying in and the arms are the perfect height for resting your arms that probably have a baby in them.

a fan- A ceiling fan and a dimmer has been really helpful for us. The fan is very refreshing while I'm sitting there nursing and schvitzing. Also, thank heaven we installed the Nest system before we had this babe because I can sit there and control the air conditioning system from my phone without breaking Alice's latch.

waterproof changing pad liner- Boy has this thing saved our bacon. We'd have had to wash that changing pad cover about 10 times already but thanks to these guys we just swap them out when Alice decides that she wants to pee on us while we're changing her or spits up on them. We bought 3 and we bought 3 more. Definitely get them.
side table nursing station- The side table next to the glider is loaded with supplies like chapstick, snacks,  nipple balm, and is a surface for my water bottle, iPad, and magazines.

FOR MOM (nursing particulars highlighted in pink)
an insulated water bottle- You have no idea how hot and sweaty you get while nursing. Your hormones really do a number on you so keep some nice icy water nearby that actually stays cold for hours.
nursing camisoles- I have four of them and actually thinking about getting more. They're incredibly comfy and it's so easy to feed your baby you just unsnap and pop baby on boob. I haven't set foot outside of my house for the past week and since I left the hospital I've been rotating these four shirts the entire time.
nursing sleep bra- I labored my entire time in this bra, was wearing it during the surgery, and wore it when I nursed Alice for the first time and during most of my recovery in the hospital. It's like a comfy sports bra but with the bonus of easy boob access. They recommend you wear a bra to bed for support and this one definitely fits the bill.
yoga pants with the band that goes up- Again, comfort and support.
non-glamorous items- snacks at the ready everywhere, pre-natal vitamins, maxi pads/panti-liners

to help with pooping- prune juice, milk of magnesia, stool softeners: to get things going. medicated wipes/tuck wipes, preparation H: once things get going its gonna be a little painful, have these nearby.

breastfeeding supplies- nipple balm, disposable nursing pads

comfortable flip flops- ain't nobody got time for socks in the summer!