Confessions Round 5 (Baby Edition).

Confessions.

1.) One of my least favorite baby activities is bath time. I’ll give bath time two things: one – she loves it and two – naked, splashing babies are adorable. Other than that? It’s a total pain. Crouching over the tub, trying to clean her baby rolls while she thrashes about… you get the picture. I secretly dread it.

2.) I feel a little sad that she’s starting solids. My baby feels less like a baby now that she’s on the verge of eating grown up food. You would think I’d be ecstatic at having the chance to supplement her exclusively breast fed diet, but I’m actually sad that it’s the start of her not being so reliant on me for all her needs. They grow so fast, sob.

3.) After being terrified of cutting her nails as a newborn… I secretly love doing it. Cutting newborn nails is THE WORST. But, cutting off the exceedingly fast growing velociraptor claws? VINDICATION. Oh, and I’ve switched from the nail clippers to the little infant scissors and they’re a total game changer.

4.) I can’t stand the whine scream. She can cry all day if it means that it would stop the occasional whine scream. The noise she makes is a mix between a frustrated warthog and the screaming Mandrake plant from Harry Potter and it makes me want to pull my hair out. Christian is the exact opposite which works out really well, I take the crying baby and he takes the whine screamer.

5.) I love my dogs less. It’s true. I was so afraid of this happening and it absolutely did. Don’t get me wrong, I like them and enjoy my daily puppy snuggles. However, they drive me crazy much more often and my patience for their shenanigans has dropped significantly.

Have any confessions you feel like unloading? If so, please share!

Want to see my past confessions? You can check them all out over here.

Finally Friday.

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It’s Friday! Hooray!

This was my third week of work and things feel like they may be starting to settle into a bit of a grove. I’m enjoying the challenge of working but also enjoying the benefit of being home with sweet Eleanor at the same time. I love it when life feels like it’s falling into place (at least sort of).

There’s nothing officially planned for this weekend so we’re just going to wing it! The weather is supposed to be in the 70’s (whaaaat?) and I plan on enjoying every darn minute of it. Eleanor better get ready for some long walks because I’m going to make it happen!

Hope you have a great one and enjoy my finds from around the interwebs:

Have you seen the shampoo prank video? I might be the last person on the internet to see it, but I couldn’t stop laughing. If you need a bit of a pick me up, this will certainly do the trick.

I’m not sure I can adequately express my love for this French Vinaigrette recipe. It’s simple, delicious and turns regular old lettuce into something you’ll crave every. single. day. Make it, now. You won’t regret it.

The last time I bought shoes that weren’t tennis shoes was… um… a very long time ago. I’m talking years here. That’s why nobody is more surprised than me that I can’t stop thinking about these sandals for summer. It’s March which means it’s almost summer and I can wear sandals, right?

Every time someone brings up Donald Trump or I catch a glimpse of that terrible haircut, I feel mildly nauseous. This post by Max Lucado on Decency For President really struck a cord with me. And, while we’re on that note, Cape Breton making it easy to move there if ‘ol Donald is elected.

Would you ever try making your own watercolors? This video makes it look so easy (damn you Facebook videos) that I sort of, kind of, maybe want to try it.

If you’ve ever talked to me about maternity leave or anything having to do with that, you know that it makes me incredibly angry. INCREDIBLY ANGRY. I couldn’t help but relate to this article and I totally agree that “Having It All Kind Of Sucks“.

I know so many people that are pregnant… which means they’ll be needed a name for that little bebe. This baby name app is tops and I’m thinking it might have saved us from the naming conundrum we found ourselves in. I’m book marking this for baby #2.

Hope you have a good one!

A Day In The Life – 3 Months

I’ve loved reading day in the life posts by some of my favorite blogger that have had children! Just as well, I thought it might be fun to look back in a few months to see what our days were like at 3 months! Here we go!

2:30 AM – I hear Eleanor whimpering/crying out in her sleep so I pull back the (warm, warm) covers and head over to re-insert her pacifier. I head to the bathroom since I’m up and double check that she’s good before going back to bed.

5:30 AM – Christian gets up to get ready for work. Eleanor starts to stir, so I get up and re-insert the pacifier and turn on the sound machine and auto-rock feature on her rock ‘n play. I cross my fingers that this will buy me a couple more hours of sleep and head back to bed. [A few minutes later Christian kisses me goodbye and heads downstairs]

7:30 AM – I hear a distinct squawking coming from the rock ‘n play. Little E’s eyes are wide open and she’s ready to roll. I drag myself out of bed, head to the bathroom and go grab her. She gets a diaper change before we settle in for her first nursing session of the day.

8:00 AM – She’s finished eating and burping. I settle her into her rock ‘n play for a few minutes so that I can pump. I’ve been pumping every morning (after her first feeding) since she was 2 weeks old which has allowed me to really build a freezer stash!

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8:30 AM – It’s bath time! I gather all the necessities (towel, wash cloths, clothes, a cloth diaper) and get the bath all set up. Eleanor pees twice during her bath which means we have to drain the water and refill twice. Once she’s squeaky clean, I dry her off, lotion her up and get her dressed. Her outfit is a bit big, but I wanted to make sure that whatever I put her in would hold her cloth diaper since it was our first attempt!

9:00 AM – Nap time! I can tell that E is getting tired by a few yawns and a few cranky bouts of shouting. I wrap her in her halo swaddle sleep sack, give her a pacifier and turn on her sound machine. She’s out in a matter of minutes.

I head downstairs to put my milk in the freezer, eat breakfast (a chia pudding, coconut milk and spinach smoothie), do a quick scan of my online blog feed and check email. Today, I also put on the ending key note from Alt Summit (a recommendation from The Small Things Blog) to listen to while I get things done.

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10:55 AM – Eleanor is up! I see her moving around on the monitor moments before she starts crying. I head upstairs to get her. This was a longer nap than usual, she usually sleeps for about an hour before wanting to be freed from her crib. I feed her, change her diaper and we play. She spits up multiple times (also not the norm) and I end up needing an outfit change and so does she.

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We spend time looking in the mirror, playing on our tummy, dancing to some hip hop and play with some soft rattles. She’s pretty spent and starts to baby shout her disapproval.

12:30 PM – Nap time! I put her in her crib (same routine as her earlier nap) and head downstairs for some lunch (gluten-free chicken noodle soup). I’ve been texting with my friend Kelly, so I get re-caught up on the texts I hadn’t read and respond. The kitchen is a mess, so after lunch I do a few dishes and just generally pick up.

I, also, start writing this post and talk to Christian for a while during his lunch break. In between all of this, I run upstairs three different times to re-insert her pacifier. It doesn’t usually happen that many times in one nap, but today’s all about breaking the norm.

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2:30 PM – She’s awake and ready to party! I head upstairs to get her. She’s awake but I can tell she’s wavering on whether she’ll stay up for good. After two bouts of falling asleep while nursing, I throw in the towel. We change her diaper and back downstairs. She plays with her little kick and play piano and we do a bit of tummy time as well as walk to the mailbox to drop off some mail. The rest of the time I listen to her tell me stories and we dance around the family room.

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4:00 PM – Nap time! I take her and put her in her crib (same routine as her earlier naps) and head back downstairs. I carry some things to the basement, start a load of laundry and begin thinking about dinner (honey dijon chicken with broccoli and quinoa)… I better get a head start before she wakes up and needs to eat!

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5:15 PM – She’s up! I spend 15 minutes trying to get her back to sleep, no go. Time for a diaper change and feeding. We head downstairs so that I can turn the stove on and put the broccoli in the oven. Once she’s done eating I put her on her play mat so I can finish dinner!

6:05 PM – Christian is home! He takes Eleanor with him to get changed while I finish dinner. She’s pretty happy for a few minutes, but starts squawking around 6:15. We put her in the swing while we sit down to have some dinner.

6:45 PM – Eleanor is dozing in her swing and we’re watching the latest episode of Castle. During a commercial break we pause to get Rick Krispy treat. The dogs take big time advantage of snuggling their parents while Eleanor takes a nap. We try to give them a little extra love at night to make up for giving their sister more attention these days.

7:15 PM – I give Eleanor a little snack while Christian and I watch TV. I play with her for a bit and hope that she’ll doze a little more before we head upstairs for the night. No go. We end up dancing with her, swaying around the room and trying all manner of activities to keep her happy rather than crying.

8:30 PM – We start wrapping things up downstairs – packing up leftovers, getting Christian’s lunch ready for the next day and doing dishes. We wash all the pump parts and head upstairs.

8:45 PM – Christian and I brush our teeth and I wash my face. Eleanor gets a diaper change and we put her in some footie pajamas. She usually plays with us for a bit before we give her a final feeding.

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9:15 – Time for her last feed of the day! I fill up her tummy, burp her and then wrap her in her swaddle sack before putting her in the rock ‘n play for the night.

9:45 PM – I get in bed and read and do a final scan of my email I’m trying to stop checking email at bed time, but its a hard habit to break! After a few minutes of that I pick up my book. I’m currently ready the Josephine B. trilology — I’m a sucker for historical fiction and this is no different.

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10:45 PM – Lights out! So we can start all over again tomorrow!

Each day is different. Her napping schedule and temperament will seem consistent until it’s not — tis the way of babies! We also usually have a few outings during the week and definitely some visitors, we just happened to be on our own yesterday!

I sure love every minute at home with Ms. E and couldn’t be more grateful to have her as my girl.

 

 

 

Finally Friday.

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It’s Friday!! And, it’s been just under two years since I did a finally friday post. Whhaaaaaat?!? How in the world has it been that long? When I dug back through my past posts I was certain that it would have only been a year, but nope, it’s been two. Crazy!

This was my last full week-ish of maternity leave and I spent it feeling anxious about the dreaded return to work. We have a pretty low-key weekend planned and I’m going to do my best to enjoy every last second that I have with my little lady before I don’t get to see her every second of every day.

Here are a few of my favorite finds from around the web – some new, some not so new:

I’m still just the teensiest bit obsessed with pregnancy, birth and babies — I’m not sure this obsession will ever end… which is why I DEVOURED this article. Two moms, two pregnancies, two babies at the same time. And, I thought one was hard. Holy Smokes!

I’m going to be 30 this year. In my mind that’s an age where you have your shit together… it’s an age where you’re really a grownup and not just pretending to be one. Turns out, I don’t feel like I’m about to be 30 and I certainly don’t feel like a grown up. Maybe these 50 healthy habits for women will help me get it together? I already do #’s 27 and 32, but need to be better at 45 and 48.

Little E has food allergies so I’ve been off a number of foods since before Christmas (that’s right, I had to forgo all the holiday deliciousness and you better believe that I cried about it more than once. Let’s blame it on postpartum hormones and not my overindulgent love of rum cake, mmmk?). In my efforts to find delicious foods that fit into my limitations, I came across this dark chocolate coconut oil fudge recipe. It looks delicious, which means I’m going to have to make it ASAP.

Since dairy is one of the food categories I’ve been avoiding, real pizza is right at the top of the list of foods I’m craving. Do you think this adorable sweatshirt would suffice until I can be reunited with a cheesy slice of pepperoni?

I happen to be someone who really, REALLY enjoys free stuff. I especially enjoy it when it is quality free stuff. Are you a free stuff lover too? If so, this list of 12 of the best free products on the internet will make your little heart flutter with joy.

I love food. In college, long before the food network was as popular as it is today, I would watch it for hours and hours on end. Maybe, just maybe, that’s why this article appealed to me so much. I first read about this man’s encounter with Jacques Pépin last summer and I haven’t stopped thinking about it since.

That’s a wrap! Hope you have a wonderful weekend!

 

Preggo Reads.

Pregnancy Reads

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When I found out I was pregnant with Eleanor, I couldn’t wait to get reading on all things pregnancy, birth and babies. BUT… I was scared that I was going to jinx things by delving too far into believing I was pregnant. It’s crazy, but it’s true. I had serious pregnancy anxiety!

Over the course of my pregnancy (especially once I could feel her kick) my fears subsided and I dove head first into any and all reading material I could get my hands on. This list contains some of my favorite pregnancy related reads!

Lucie’s List – You guys, this site and the email newsletter (based on where you are in pregnancy/postpartum) rocked my socks. I was on here all the time and actually looked forward to every email I received — which is not something I can say about pretty much any other newsletter I get. There is a wealth of information here on anything and everything pregnancy/baby/birth. (Just a note: the newsletter gets EVEN BETTER during postpartum. She’s got tips, notes on baby milestones and all sorts of other good stuff to help you feel like you’re on the right parenting path.)

The Wise Baby – As much as I loved the newsletter from Lucie’s List, my all-time favorite site was The Wise Baby. I was on this page multiple times per week looking at product reviews and absorbing the new mom favorites post. They took a bit of a hiatus over the winter, but they’re starting to post again. If you do only two things it’s look at this site and sign up for the Lucie’s List newsletter.

Bringing Up Bebe – This was one of the first books I read because I could rationalize that it wasn’t totally a pregnancy/baby book. I love reading about the way different people/cultures do things and this book was no different. The author was very relatable and did an excellent job comparing and contrasting pregnancy, birth and child rearing in the US vs. France. I liked this book so much that I had a hard time putting it down and it made me want to move to France for reasons other than croissants. It had a lot of good information on parenting in general with more philosophies to remember than hard and fast rules to follow. Read this, I promise you won’t be disappointed.

The Pregnancy Bible – I ordered this book from Amazon after seeing it on a list of “best pregnancy books”. It’s really comprehensive and covers just about anything you’d want to know about pregnancy as well as what comes after. It was really interesting to see/read about how the body changes as well as go in depth about what is happening at each step along the way. My only critique of this book is that it didn’t go as deep into some topics as I would have liked. Overall, it was just a great general guide.

Natural Hospital Birth – I was hoping to have a natural birth, in a hospital… hence the purchase of this book. I really like the approach the author took in respecting the expertise of the medical staff, but also trusting in your body and standing up for what you want. It was the perfect mix for me since I’m neither 100% crunchy mama nor 100% I believe medicine is king. There were some really great helpful tips as well as practical applications to help make a natural hospital birth a reality. I would definitely recommend this if that’s the approach you’re wanting to take.

Ina May’s Guild To Childbirth – This is the quintessential natural child birth book. Ina May is the country’s most renowned midwife and this books spares no detail in what natural child birth looks like — however, it does it in an empowering way. I think you’d be hard pressed not to believe you’re capable of natural labor after reading this book, though being capable and willing are different things entirely! If natural childbirth is the path you’re planning to take this book is a MUST READ.

During the course of my pregnancy, I also read Birthing From Within. It was WAY too crunchy mama for me and I ended up scanning the pages and wishing I hadn’t spent the money on it. I can definitely see how some people would enjoy this approach, but it wasn’t for me. To each their own.

Introducing…

I suppose the three month mark is an appropriate time to introduce our newest addition. I’m not terribly on top of my timing here, but before I launch further into her birth story and more of my favorites, I thought it best to showcase the newest member of our family.

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She’s even better than anything we could have ever dreamed up and we feel so blessed to call her ours.

The (First) Lose-Lose of Motherhood.

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My twelve weeks are almost up.

My baby isn’t old enough to sit up, she’s exclusively breast fed and has eaten from a bottle only four times in her little life. She’s just starting to laugh and really chat it up with the goo goo gaga business. I’m mostly healed from pushing a 10 lb baby out of my nether regions and feeling almost back to myself.

All of which seems to mean I’m about to face one of the infamous lose-lose moments of motherhood.

Going back to work or staying home.

Either way, the moral of this story is that you lose.

Looking back 3 years ago, Christian and I decided to start trying for a family. Over the course of our journey to get pregnant we would discover I have PCOS, endure all sorts of hormone treatments (which weren’t a walk in the park), suffer a miscarriage and weather through the tears each month when my period showed up instead of those two little lines.

The day I found out I was pregnant with Eleanor I was ecstatic while also feeling an equal measure of fear. Nonetheless, my pregnancy progressed pretty normally and being pregnant was even better than I had imagined it to be (most of the time). Throughout each day I’d be met with questions about my pregnancy, about the baby – each holding a air of excitement and wonder. Everyone is excited about pregnancy, everyone is excited about babies.

Fast forward to the present. No one is excited about a 3 month old (well except me, her dad and probably her grand parents). My profession tells me it’s time to give up the goat. Go back to work. Leave my baby – the baby I fought so hard for. The baby that believes I’m her entire world.

And if I do? If I go back to work full-time?

I’m a bad mother.

In fact, I’m giving up precious time with my child, I’m leaving my child at her most vulnerable stage, I’m leaving her when she needs me the most. I’ve been asked “do you want her to be bonded to you or to a nanny”? Isn’t the answer clear and more importantly why is this even a question in the first place?

On the flip side of this argument, I can stay home.

When you check out the other side of the highly judgmental Mommy wars – this is what is supposed to happen. This is nature’s way. I can breastfeed on command, I can snuggle that sweet little baby when she needs me and clearly she will be bonded to me… and not a nanny.

But… but…

What do I lose in the process?

I lose the last 8.5 years of work, I lose the salary I worked so hard to earn and I mostly lose any future job prospects once I’m out of the work force for a couple of years. I went to college, I’ve worked hard, I have dreams.

I’m not special, this story isn’t unique and neither are the anxious feelings I’ve been fighting. The problem is bigger than me. It’s bigger than the atrocious maternity benefits my company offers. It’s systemic and it’s a shame.

Right now, I don’t know what to do. The only thing I do know is that either way I lose.