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Archive for October, 2012

I know I usually touch a little on how I’m feeling at the end of D’s monthly updates, but I have a few more thoughts on this that I think warrant their own post.

Like the fact that suddenly, all of my hair seems to be falling out. Now I know the average human head loses about 100 hairs a day. Pre-pregnancy, I would’ve considered myself normal in this area. During the first tri-mester, I went through a hair loss phase, but it didn’t last long. The rest of my pregnancy and then the first almost-four months post-birth, I felt like I could count on one hand the number of hair strands I lost per day. It was awesome. Not just for my hair’s sake, but for the sake of the floor, my countertops, the shower, the entire bathroom, my bed, my clothes… there’s hair everywhere! I’m shedding worse than a husky in hades. (I don’t even know what that means but it sounded good.)

My boobs have taken on a personality all their own. And I think they might be schizophrenic. They’re just all over the place with how they look, how they feel, how much milk they make, how much they leak, etc. Miraculously, I’ve kept up with pumping. It’s not enough to call it “exclusive pumping” anymore, since D eats about 8 oz of formula each day (one bottle/meal), but I do what I can. I’m going to lie though – it’s hard work and I will be REALLY glad when my boobs are my own again.

Now let’s talk about my feet, and how I don’t think I can ever wear heels again. Um…I guess I just said everything there is to say about that. My feet. I don’t think I can ever wear heels again. Ugh.

The weight isn’t coming off easily. I’m about 12lbs away from my pre-pregnancy weight. I’m pasty-pale and about 35lbs overweight and I just…don’t feel good. And I’m JUST NOW starting to make changes to my diet. Before now, I’ve just been in survival mode. It took me close to 6 weeks to get into a groove with work and figure out what I need to do to get back to a routine. Now I’m finally in one but I’m making small changes at a time – drinking more water, reducing my carb/sugar intake, just making better food choices in general. I’m not counting calories yet (still breastfeeding) but I’m making smarter decisions. And after just 3 days of this new “diet”, I lost a half pound. Nothing to get crazy excited about, but just that little bit of movement was encouraging.

And I don’t know what this is about, but sometimes in the morning or when I’m just really tired, my body feels achey. The only way I can think to describe it is like I’m developing arthritis. Which, I guess I could be, but I’m pretty sure it’s an after-effect of pregnancy. It’s becoming less and less frequent, so that’s good. I’m still nowhere near ready to work out hardcore (nor do I have the time) but hopefully, eventually.

My c-section scar continues to heal. It itches from time to time; part of the healing process I suppose. I don’t notice it most of the time, but sometimes when I’m holding the baby and letting him stand on my belly or when I hold him in my lap, facing me, his feet will dig into that area and it doesn’t feel great. My OB said it would be about a year before I wouldn’t be sensitive there.

All in all though, things are improving every day. It’s a long, slow process, but I’m getting there. One step at a time.

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Mommy Crushes

Right after I found out I was pregnant, I subscribed to a bunch of new blogs. Some were on parenting, some were on nursery design, and some were just pure guilty pleasures, like Celebrity Baby Scoop and Celeb Baby Laundry. Thanks to those two sites, and my weekly subscription to US Weekly, I’ve developed a few “mommy crushes” on certain celebrities.

1. Reese Witherspoon – She’s been a mom for 13 years now and just gave birth to her third child. She’s been through a very public and nasty divorce, and yet the girl just always looks like a ray of sunshine. But not TOO perfect (like, Victoria Beckham fembot perfect). Her kids seem happy. She seems happy. And next time I’m pregnant, I want to borrow all of her maternity clothes.

2. Jennifer Garner – Have you ever seen a more “real” celebrity mom than Jennifer? Of course she may be one of the most photographed moms out there right now, which I’m sure she hates, but I just love seeing her out and about with her kiddos. I watched a recent interview with her on Ellen and you just gotta love how open and honest she is. Does she appear to have it all together? No way. She couldn’t possibly. But she seems loving and genuine and doesn’t seem to rely on a lot of paid help to nanny her kids. She’s a present parent, and I love that about her.

3. Camila Alves – Pregnant with her third, she always looks cool and flawless with a laid back attitude. And their babies are simply adorable! I’d never heard of her until she became an item with Matthew McConaughey but I can see why he married her. That girl can make a paper sack look good. I’m a little jealous of their life and how easy they make parenting seem, without being obnoxious about it.

4. Miranda Kerr – Ok, so I almost didn’t put her on here because she is just TOO perfect. A Victoria’s Secret model who is married to a handsome young actor with one of the most adorable babies I’ve ever seen. Not only was she gorgeous pre-pregnancy, but during her pregnancy and after, it’s like she became even MORE beautiful! So it’s hard not to hate her for those reasons. However, she was on the Ellen show too (can you tell what’s on my DVR every day?) and I have to say, after watching her and how effortless she is, I really like her. Her baby was huge (about 10lbs at birth) so for some reason I automatically feel connected to women who have birthed big babies, and while it’s incredibly unfair, it’s clear that she was just blessed with good genetics. She can go from doting mom to hottest woman in the room with just a quick wardrobe change and a pair of heels. She also wrote a book on self improvement directed toward young girls, and while I haven’t read it, the reviews are great and I would probably consider buying it for any young woman I know struggling with self-confidence.

While I know it’s a really bad idea to ever compare yourself and your life to that of a celebrity, with these particular women, I don’t necessarily compare as much as I look at them as inspiration. Proof that once you become a mom, your identity and your beauty is not lost. It’s just different. And in these cases, different is actually better. Do I identify with the exhausted mom, schlepping to the grocery store with bags under her eyes, hair in a pony tail wearing tattered sweat pants and her husband’s t-shirt from 1999? Absolutely. I am that mom most of the time, simply because I’m lazy and see no reason to get dressed up if I’m just going to Walmart. (And by dressed up, I mean wearing jeans, a little makeup and some jewelry. Not curling my hair or strapping on a mini skirt and heels here.) But would it kill me to spend an extra 5 or 10 minutes getting ready? Wouldn’t I feel better about myself if I put in a little extra effort? Isn’t it worth it? Aren’t I worth it? These ladies do it, and most of them have more than one kid AND a career, so why can’t I?

And then I remember that I really only have one pair of jeans that fit and they’re usually dirty, so sweat pants it is!

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4 Months

Four months old!! Such an exciting month of developments.

Weight/Length:  We had baby D’s four month pediatrician appointment this week and he weighs 15lbs 10 oz and is 26 inches long putting him in the 90th percentile for both height and weight. Looks like he’s taking after his 6’1 daddy!

Sleep: Still pretty good, most of the time, sleeping from about 9pm-8am. Bedtime routine starts around 8pm, usually with a bath but not every night. Then it’s lights down low, jammies, a bottle, a reading or two of Goodnight Moon, sound machine on and within 5 minutes or less, he’s out. Some nights he wakes us up by kicking his feet or yelling out from a dream, but a diaper change or paci is usually all it takes.

Naps are about the same as last month. Morning nap lasts anywhere from 1-2 hours. Then another hour long nap after lunch. And another nap in the evening, but that one is usually the shortest, lasting about a half hour.

Feeding: Surprisingly, I’m still pumping. My goal is 6 months, as long as my supply is there. I wasn’t sure how tough it would be when things picked up at work, but I’m fortunate enough to have an office with a door that locks. Also, that hands-free bra is a lifesaver. It only takes a minute for me to put that puppy on and then I can get right back to work or hop on a conference call if I need to and no one is the wiser.

D is eating between 7 and 8 oz each feeding now, but for most of the month he was eating only 6 oz at each feeding, for a total of 5 feedings a day. We used to only supplement once a week, if that, but now we’re supplementing a couple of ounces every other day. Maybe it will even back out once we start solids, though the pediatrician told us not to hold our breath.

Firsts This Month:  No real personal firsts, but a lot of experiential firsts, like his first overnight in a hotel (for my BFF’s wedding rehearsal), his first overnight without us (when my mom came up to watch him so we could go to the wedding & reception), his first time watching fireworks (at the STL Balloon Glow event), his first Oktoberfest, his first dinner at a restaurant for daddy’s birthday (Longhorn Steakhouse), and his first time being babysat by someone other than family when he spent a few hours with our friend Jen and her son last Friday.

Of course, just two days after his official 4 month mark, he rolled over from back to belly – twice! It happened within five minutes after the hubs had left the house. I failed to get video of it, but here’s an “after” shot!

 

Developments:  D’s eye-hand coordination is getting so much better. He’s starting to play with rattles, pull on toys hanging from his activity mat, squeeze Sophie the giraffe, grab his feet, hold his own bottle, and with his wubbanub paci, he can even put it back in his mouth when it falls out.

His latest favorite thing though, is sucking on his toes.

Enjoy the flexibility while you can, little man.

He absolutely LOVES to stand. I have to hold him, of course, but he loves putting all his weight on his legs and trying to straighten his back to a standing position. I tell him what a big boy he is and he smiles so big.

Likes: Eating, bathtime, Goodnight Moon, going places, the bug toy on his playmat, Sophie the Giraffe, music – especially when mommy sings Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star, his hands and feet, mommy & daddy – especially if one of us is holding him and the other one is making faces at him, the mirror, being naked, belly kisses, neck kisses on his right side (I guess that side is ticklish?), meeting new people – especially little kids

Dislikes:  Same as last time: Being hungry, tired, or bored. Having his clothes changed. Putting on clothes after his bath (REALLY hates that one). Sleeping in a dirty diaper. Being held like a baby (he prefers to be held upright, or looking over the shoulder). Being in his car seat when it’s not moving. Being too hot, being swaddled, or too much tummy time.

What I’m Thankful For: I know I said it last month, but sleeping through the night is still something to be thankful for. Especially when our pediatrician told us that most babies his age are sleeping from about 10pm – 5am, so his 9pm-8am schedule really impressed her. She was also impressed that he puts himself to sleep every night, meaning we place him in his crib still wide awake so that he has to fall asleep on his own.

Also thankful that our current childcare situation seems to be working out. I was so worried that the hubs would hate being home with him all day, especially since it means he’s really only working part-time, but I think he really loves it most days. He’s definitely the best daddy I’ve ever seen.

What I’m Looking Forward To:  We start solid foods this weekend and I’m both nervous and excited. Nervous because it means more messes, dirtier diapers, and more work on our part, but excited to see him try and eventually master a new skill.

How Mommy’s Doing: Good, I think. Work was super stressful this past month but it’s calming down now. Only I know it will pick back up when I have to go to Chicago at the end of the month.

I do have a general feeling of always being behind on things though. Not so much at work, but at home. Behind on laundry, house work, dishes, grocery shopping, visiting my grandma, cooking, putting out the fall decorations, mailing things to people, returning items that need to be returned, working out, doctors appointments, hair appointments (haven’t had a haircut in 6 months!), DVR watching, magazine reading, blog reading, blog writing, baby book updates, photo editing, etc. I always tell myself, “This weekend, I’ll get all caught up!” and then the weekend comes and I try to be Super Mom by handling all the feedings/diaper changes/playing with baby so I can give the hubs a break and let him focus on work things. Then, inevitably, we all get cabin fever and want to get out of the house for awhile. So almost nothing on my mental to-do list gets done. Except maybe laundry. I’m pretty good about that on the weekends.

But man oh man do I look forward to my weekends. When I can wake up with the baby and enjoy those morning smiles without being rushed out the door. When I can sip a cup of coffee and watch Ellen while feeding the baby. When I can wear sweat pants and t-shirts and not give a darn about what I look like. (Except when baby and I play with the mirror and I’m almost frightened by my own reflection! Then we step away from the mirror and play something else.) It’s all the little things that each weekend is made of that add up to some pretty big, happy things. So while I know I can’t do it all, I do feel like I’m doing just enough. And I’m okay with that.

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