Monday, May 11, 2015

My first Mother's Day


Mother's Day of course took on new meaning for me this year and I must admit it was the most wonderful weekend! I kicked the weekend off right on Friday night by hosting a Moms Gone Wild party for my mom and her friends at my house. When I thought about what my mom needed for Mother's Day realized that the best thing to give her was a night off. She has been through so much this year. First a pipe burst in her house, requiring my parents to live in a hotel for 3 weeks. Not long after that I had Charlotte and she came to stay with me. Then my sister moved. My brother got engaged. There were showers and parties and weddings that she was a part of. Plus she teaches AP chemistry and is the SGA sponsor at her school. Needless to say she needed a time to unwind so I made it happen. I have relied on my mother so much over the years but never as much as I do now. Mom is always there to calm me down, come over at a moments notice, or offer her assistance without being asked. Becoming a mother really highlights the sacrifices that she made for us. I mean you recognize that being a mother is hard but you don't really "get" it until you are one yourself. I honestly don't know what I would do without my mom these days. She is an invaluable component of the village we have assembled to help raise our child. What is the most incredible thing to me is that she didn't have her mom near by when raising the three of us. I really don't know how people that live away from family manage it. I know I am beyond blessed to have her here and willing to help! She is the best mom to me and momsie to Charlotte so we wanted to celebrate her!!


Fun centerpiece for a great group of fun moms!


On Saturday Charlotte was so clingy and needy. Poor thing just wanted her mama. While that gets very tedious I also secretly kind of love that sometimes I'm the only person that can make her happy. True to form, Mom came to give Forrest and I a little break so we were able to go hang out with some and listen to Jay play for a while. That night, I assume since it was Mother's Day and she knew it, Charlotte gave me 7 straight hours of sleep!! She has never done that before so I woke up in a panic but I was so proud of her! I doubt it will become a habit quickly but I'm glad to know she can do it! On the other hand that makes me sad because it means she is growing up! 
I have to admit that my first Mother's Day is a day I will cherish forever. There was just a feeling of pride and joy that I don't think can ever be recreated. I was so proud of myself for growing this sweet baby, for pushing her out of my body, and catering to her every need for 11 weeks now. I was also just so joyful that I have been able to experience this gift of motherhood. Every day is new with Charlotte and I love being able to see the world through her eyes. She has taught me to be selfless, something I am not good at at all, and to live a little bit slower. I've learned that life isn't so black and white all the time; that there are areas of light and shade and that life really requires flexibility and spontaneity. She has taught me that even though I didn't think I had them, my mommy instincts are there and they are strong and that I should always listen to them. She has helped me to see even more than I already did exactly how much I love her daddy and maybe even more so, how much he loves me. We would be so lost without him. Celebrating all of these feelings made Mother's Day truly special. Yes the new purse and bracelet were fantastic and unexpected, brunch at my favorite restaurant was delicious, but I think my favorite part of the day was strolling our girl around our neighborhood, talking, laughing, and just reveling in the fact that we are now parents and what that means for the rest of our lives. I hope every other mother out there felt the same exact way--be proud of yourselves moms!


My precious one!

Momsie and Charlotte

Monday, May 4, 2015

Baby Must Haves

Every baby is different and every mom has their own opinions but I thought I would share with you my list of baby must haves according to Charlotte. 

1.  Diapers--duh, but you need so so so many more than you think. Like 10 a day. Seriously. The annoying thing is you don't know what size your baby will need when born or how fast they will grow out of each size. Charlotte is already in size 2 and has been for several weeks. 

2. Baby nail clippers--Charlotte's nails grow quickly and those suckers are sharp!! She constantly swipes at her face so I try to give her a mani every other day. It's hard but it's better than her scratching her face. And she throws those little mittens off immediately so they are no help. 

3. Musical play mat with blinky lights
Charlotte loves looking at lights so her fisher price snuggabunny play mat has been perfect. At first she would just watch the lights but she is really starting to track the birds on the mobile as they go around and we have hung some of the toys from the mobile so she can seat at them as they move. It also comes with a mirror and boy does she like to stare at herself! 
I will be giving this as a baby shower gift for years to come after the success we have had with it. 

4. Swing 
We have the matching snuggabunny swing, which I actually found at the service guild rummage sale in perfect condition for $20. It is a life saver. When baby c gets the night time fusses we strap her in and let it soar. She loves it and it seems to calm her down. I have never had to get her out because she's gotten "over it" like she does with the mamaroo. Plus it has songs, the same bird mobile as the play mat, and a mirror for her to look at. 


5. Night light 
You are going to have to get up at night with a baby that's just all there is to it. It's someone quite protective of their sleep I try to be the least amount of awake needed to function and turns out that amount isn't very high when feeding and changing a baby at 3 am. However the best way to wake yourself is is to turn on the lights. Therefore, I have these great night lights plugged in that automatically turn on when it gets dark. You definitely do need some light on to change a diaper and you by no means want to be wandering around in the darkness while carrying a baby and these provide enough light for you to do what you need to do but not enough to make your body want to wake up. 

6. Something portable for baby to sleep in/play in
Sometimes you need to get stuff done, plain and simple. However sometimes you cannot do said things while holding a baby. We have the snuggabunny bouncy seat (yes we have the whole line including the rock n play) and it is perfect for carrying around the house. It has music and the same little birdies only this time they bounce. It's also fabulous because it vibrates and she loves vibrations when she sleeps. I like this seat because she can be entertained in it and fall asleep in it too. She can sleep quite comfortably in it so I don't have to worry about moving her. 
She fell asleep in it while I was making banana bread--I guess my reading of the recipe and overly dramatic mixing of ingredients was just too much. 

It's also light enough to be picked up while baby is sleeping and moved to a different room. See? 
After getting the bread in the oven we moved to the den so brownie and I could catch up on some dancing with the stars. We actually just ordered a moby wrap and borrowed a baby bjorn from a friend so we will see how those help in portability as she gets more and more able to go places. 
What is this contraption daddy?? 

7. 100 burp cloths 
We go through so many of these a day, not necessarily because they get burped on. We leave them in different rooms, lose them under the covers in our bed, drop them on the floor, etc. Just make sure to have plenty on hand, and that should be easy because people like to give cute ones as shower gifts! 

8. Baby sized hangers
How can you hang your tiny baby clothes without tiny baby hangers? You can't. Also spring fur several storage containers, boxes, etc. there is so much stuff and it will be overwhelming if you don't get yourself organized. 

9. Amazon prime (seriously) 
I'm not getting paid to promote prime at all but I don't think I would have survived thus far without the lifesaver that is 2 day shipping. I have no desire to run to Walmart or lowes or hobby lobby every day let alone take a newborn with me, but babies require stuff and that stuff must be purchased. Anything I needed that wasn't an immediate necessity was ordered and delivered in 2 days right to my doorstep. Easy peasy. 

I'm sure there are more but these are the main ones we can't currently live without! What are your must haves??? 

Saturday, May 2, 2015

2 months

My sweet little one is 2 months old and has changed so much. On one hand I can't wait to watch her learn new things and develop new skills but I'm also going to miss the teeny baby days! 

At her check up at 9 weeks she weighed 12 lb 8 oz which is exactly 6 pounds more than her birth weight. That's right, 6 pounds in 9 weeks---bonus points if you remember that she got down to 5 lb 12 oz at first. The doctors are so proud of how she is packing on the poundage and I'm loving her squishy little baby rolls!! 

Can you even?? 

She also had grown 2 whole inches since birth and is now 22.5 and in the 50 percentile. Her weight was 75th! She was no fan of the shots and screamed so much when we got home I got my mom to leave work and help me. Charlotte is not a screamer and I was so worried. I honestly don't know how people without help close by manage. You guys are rock stars in my eyes. I'm so lucky to have family near by that can come at a moments notice and I most definitely take full advantage. 
As for her "baby skills", she has mastered smiling and is really working on cooing. Sometimes, usually in the evenings, she gets on a roll and just oooos and Ahhhhs at us. I can't wait for her to start laughing!! She is also very good at holding her head up and her daddy is convinced she is ready to roll over but I think we are a short way off from that yet. She still loves looking at lights and bright patterns and is happiest on the play may or her swing.

 She sleeps typically from 11-3, then to 6 and then to 8 or 9. She does not care to be woken up, much like me, so for now I'm just letting her sleep when she wants. So far it hasn't affected her night time routine but I will encourage her awake if she's taking a really long nap late in the evening. She still gets mad when you pull clothes over her head but over all she is a very content little lady, although she usually has a fussy spell around 9 pm that requires a lot of snuggles and food and visits to the swing. 
As for me, I've still got a few baby pounds to shed and I'm mourning my pre baby stomach. I am starting to work out more and more so hopefully I can tune everything back up but at the same time I'm trying to be realistic and manage expectations. I know I might never fit into my old clothes in the same way again especially if my hips have widened so I'm trying to be ok with that since there really isn't much to be done. The body changes were definitely my biggest challenge while pregnant and I might be more worked up about them now since I want everything to just go back to normal but I suppose I will get over it. A little retail therapy should hopefully do the trick! My stretch marks are still there although the line down my belly is continuously fading. I have also started back to work part time and it is going really well. Charlotte has the best nanny, Rachel, who I have known my whole life. Forrest also is able to keep her 3 mornings a week when he starts his day at noon so I know when she isn't with me she is getting the best care. I love being able to get out for a bit, put on my work clothes (those that I can currently squeeze into that is) and do something different for a little while. Getting out also let's me do errands that I otherwise would neglect of I was home all day as I do quite enjoy laying around in my pajamas with my snuggly baby. I have been trying to cook more too! I used to cook so often but I lost the energy and desire to do so while pregnant. Thank goodness for the freezer meal workshop I went to about a month before Charlotte was born! We have had some wonderful meals that were already prepped because of it which were kind of my gateway meals into cooking again. I also  tried a new healthy recipe last night that made me anxious to cook more and more. I spend a lot of time online now when she is napping on me or when she is eating at night so I've been able to find lots of new meals to try (and I probably buy something from Amazon every day too...)
Baked organic veggies and chicken sausage--healthy and delicious! 

Whew well that was a lot of info in one post! Thanks for checking in on us!! We are still here, despite the lack of frequent posts, and doing just fine! 

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Mommy Life

I would of course be lying to say that my life hasn't changed since becoming a mommy. For one thing I'm writing this one handed at 6 am while she tries to fall back asleep on my shoulder. However, as she has grown these 8 weeks I have noticed that as our days become more and more routine, they are also starting to feel a lot like our old life, just with an added bonus of baby. For example, 2 weekends ago we were congratulating ourselves for what felt like a weekend from our BC (before Charlotte) days. We got dressed up and went to the Regency Ball on Friday night.

On Saturday morning I went to Pilates, then Forrest went to lowes and worked in the yard while C and I napped, then I went to church and that evening Forrest played tennis. 
Quick visit to the tennis court (which we can see from our house) to watch daddy play. 

The next day we even had lunch with Forrests family. However, while that seemed to look and feel like a typical weekend of the past, there were things that just simply were impossible to accomplish because we now had a child; namely, we had to miss my cousin's wedding in Atlanta. It was just too hard to take an almost 6 week old breastfed baby into the whirlwind that is a wedding weekend. For one thing the 2 hour drive scared me because she had never been in her car seat that long and then it could have taken much much longer than 2 hours if she had a poopy diaper or wanted to eat. Also, and this is the main issue, she hasn't had her shots I am not ok with her being around lots of people and then I'm really not ok with the thought of an infant at a wedding anyway. No bride wants that ticking time bomb sitting in her ceremony waiting to get hungry or poop or cry for no good reason. And of course, it wouldn't be safe to take her to a noisy reception. I could have left her with Forrest or a sitter in the hotel but since none of the wedding events were in the hotel I would have either had to drive back and forth several times through Atlanta to feed her or if I left her bottles I would have had to pump 2 or three times during the merriment. I just couldn't figure out how all that would come together so we had to opt out and nothing disappointed me more. I hate missing any wedding in general but I was especially down over missing my sweet cousins big day and not getting to share it with my big fat Italian family. It just goes to show that there is give and take in this new life I am  leading. Mommy life requies doing what you can do, or what you need to do, or what you have to do, despite what other things you may want to do. On the flip side, you don't totally have to give up all of your activities or interests so long as you have some helpful people in your corner and a little foresight and planning ability. I hope new mommies or those who are expecting can take a little comfort from this post because most of the stuff you read online is all scary and negative and all "you lose your life when you have a baby."  It may take a while to be able to see it, and some days you may actually not see it at all, but your old life is still there, waiting to be reorganized and rearranged into your wonderful new one. 
She really got the hang of smiling that weekend!! Her smile is the most beautiful sight! There is nothing like it when she looks right at you and smiles. Nothing in the world. 

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Mumsie

Not to be mistaken with what Charlotte will call my mom (Momsie), Mumsie is a brand of all natural skin care products for pregnant and post partum women. I was contacted by the company to test out their products and review them while I was pregnant. I was SO excited because I have terrible skin and of course during pregnancy I couldn't use any of my super intense washes and creams so I was kind of floundering around in the skin care aisle every months googling ingredients and reviews of "all natural" products that turned out not to be so natural after all. The only problem was that I ended up having Charlotte before the products arrived. No matter, since I'm breastfeeding I still need to stick with an all natural regimen. Enter Mumsie.
I received all 3 of Mumsie's all natural products--the face wash, stretch mark cream, and stretch mark calming oil. I started using the face wash right away and I really love it. It smells great, which is more than I can say about most "all natural" products. My skin was a hot mess after I had Charlotte and I really feel like this product cuts down on the oil, which is my number one facial issue. However, I don't feel like my face is over dried either.
The stretch mark cream is very thick and goes on so smoothly and again smells great. I used cocoa butter lotion during pregnancy and I didn't really enjoy wandering around smelling like melted chocolate ice cream all day, so I wish I had this before. However, I really haven't used this very much since I've already had the baby so I'm going to pass it on to a newly pregnant friend.
I have, however, been using the heck out of the stretch mark relief oil. Somehow I got stretch marks during labor--yes that's the truth. I was shocked to discover them when I came home from the hospital because they were not there when I went to the hospital. Luckily they are hidden by clothes but I'm hopeful that they will go away, even though I kind of view them as battle wounds from pregnancy and labor and feel a weird since of pride about them. The oil is actually oil and so I was worried about it getting in my clothes and staining but it actually absorbs quite quickly but leaves the skin silky smooth. I kind of would like to take a bath in this stuff because it feels so good but I don't have enough for that. I haven't seen results quite yet but I'm hopeful that with continued use, the marks will vanish!
You can find Mumsie at Walmart currently and if you have a store and you would like to carry the products, you can contact them to set something up! I really am enjoying the brand and will most definitely continue to use it while I'm breastfeeding and probably after as well. I really appreciate quality products that use all natural ingredients that do the same job as harsh chemicals. Comment below if you have any questions!
I think the bottles are really cute too!!
*while I did receive the products for free in exchange for a review, the opinions are honest and my own! *

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Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Post Bump Update, 5 weeks

Remind me never to think I have it all figured out, because that's the time baby karma slaps you right in the face. Let me preface by saying I'm very aware that Charlotte is a very easy baby. I had prepared myself for the absolute worst so anything better than my imagined idea of life with a newborn would seem that much better. That probably sounds loony but it worked in my case. I'm pretty sure the good Lord knew that if my experience with Charlotte was too difficult I most certainly would have been ok with her being an only child. Anyway I digress. I was just telling my mother how I was so excited because I could finally interpret Charlotte's cries. You read all these things that say good moms know what the cries mean and I was now one of them. (Let me add that it's easy to say you know what they mean when the person doing the crying can't talk to prove how wrong you are.) Then I was saying how I figured out how to get her to sleep and it just took a little patience blah blah. Enter a growth spurt or karma spurt. For the past nearly 3 days (or really I have no idea because I have lost concept of time) charlotte has been eating round the clock. Like every two hours. She takes maybe a 45 min nap and hasn't slept over 2 hours at night in a while. She was doing 4 and 5 hour stretches between night time feedings consistently just this last week and into the weekend!! I was so used to her fairly consistent schedule I have been reluctant to go back to that brand new newborn routine of round the clock eating. Who wouldn't be!? She also has been super fussy which is hard for me because she usually is so chill and she has been difficult to get to go down to sleep which is exhausting. Oh did I mention she will only go to sleep while being held, usually by me. That's fun at night. To top it all off, the vibrating unit on her pack n play where she sleeps every night literally melted. This is probably because I had been running it all the time but it's designed to do that so its not my fault. Since the bed is not vibrating she really doesn't like to sleep in it for long. I called the company to ask for a replacement part and they kindly offered to ship me one except it would be 6-8 weeks because it is on back order. Um, no. She will have outgrown the thing by then and I will most likely be a basket case. I told the lady that wouldn't work and so she offered a new pack n play. Yes! I accept!! The catch was I had to send the old one back first...again these people must not realize they sell baby products because what mother calling about her child's bed would do that? At that exact moment charlotte woke up and started screaming and I had to tell the lady no thank you and hang up. I guess she heard desperation because she called back saying she found a unit and would ship it to me second day air. Graco for the win!! Hopefully this little spurt will pass and my chunky monkey will go back to her usual charing self. 
Yes you read that right, I said chunky monkey. The little lady who had to go in the hospital for jaundice because she was on a hunger strike is now over 10 pounds! She gained 25 ounces in 11 days!! She was in the 50 percentile for weight and 75 percentile for height at her one month check up last week. Hooray! 
At my appointment I had lost 20 pounds but that means I have 20 to go. I was cleared to work out but don't have time for the gym quite yet so on nice days I've been taking charlotte for a long stroll. I haven't lost much more though because our fantastic friends have brought food every other night since she came home from the hospital. I'm most definitely not complaining about this in the least. As are more than grateful!!  I've feasted with reckless abandon and only feel a teensy bit bad about it. After easter I think I will tighten that up too since I will be cooking for us again. The only other interesting thing I'd like to remember for the future is that the line down my belly is starting to fade from the outside in, meaning areas covered by a bikini are now gone but it's loud and proud still down my tummy. That's opposite of what I would like but I'm really just glad it's going away. Also my rings still are tight some days and that's annoying. Oh and at first my eyes seemed messed up but that's gone now too. It's a crazy ride, this mom business, but it's so much fun. My mom keeps telling me to chill and not worry about figuring everything out because the minute I do, it will change. Nothing has been further from the truth this week note to self: listen to your mother!! 


Here is her one month picture!

Friday, March 20, 2015

I thought..

I thought so many things before I had Charlotte and I'm here to tell you all that motherhood is nothing like I thought it would be.

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 I thought I would be exhausted--the awful, jet lag exhaustion complete with stinging eyes and puffy cheeks. I can't tell you that I'm not ever tired but not in the way that I imagined. I'm a girl who LOVES her sleep. Usually when I would wake up in the morning I  would figure out how long it would be until I could go back to sleep. I would look at my calendar every week to figure out when I could fit in a "sleep late day" during the work week, and I tried my hardest every week to go to 4pm Mass on Saturday so I didn't have to get up and be at church Sunday mornings. Now I sleep for about an hour and a half to 2 hours max at a time, but turns out if you string enough of those bits of sleeps together, you feel pretty good. And I can't deny that waking up to a sweet little baby face isn't all that bad. I don't mind waking up to feed her because I know I'm the only one that can do it. I've put 3 pounds on this baby in three weeks and I could not be more proud of myself. Will I be happy when she can take a bottle and I can get a few more consecutive hours? Yes. But for the time being, I'm loving where we are.

I thought I might have a hard time feeling like Charlotte was mine. Some friends told me that they had a little trouble connecting with their baby right away and warned me that that was  normal so not to freak out if that happened to me. I was prepared for that feeling and it made sense to me. I understood how it might be hard to feel completely in love with someone that you've just met and know nothing about. I'm a practical girl. However, I had just the opposite feeling. As soon as Charlotte was out of me and on my chest, I knew she was mine. I did know her--I grew her for 37 weeks and so it wasn't even love at first sight because I loved her from the moment I saw the plus sign on the pregnancy test. I was immediately connected to the little miracle that was wriggling in my arms and I've never stopped feeling that way. I never really had any "magical" feelings during pregnancy like you hear some people talk about. I didn't know I was pregnant the minute it happened--I actually was sobbing the night before I found out because I thought I wasn't. I didn't have a 6th sense that let me know she was a girl--Forrest told me she was a boy and I believed him so when they told me she was a girl I was in complete shock. However, I did know that she was my baby, whom I would do anything for, the minute she was born.

I thought I might be super grossed out. Poop, throw up--no way. That's not my game. Forrest cleans up any pet accidents because I'm not good at nasty things like that. However, when it's your child, and they are depending on you, you just get over yourself and deal with whatever nasty comes your way. I've been thrown up on, like for real thrown up on, not  just a little bit of spit up, tinkled on, and nearly pooped on. It really doesn't matter--you just clean it up and get on with your life (and throw in another load of laundry).

I thought I would be so antsy to get back to work. I have actually been doing lots of work from home so as not to fall behind, but that makes me just want to stay here with her even more. Plus, I'm super amazing at wearing pajamas and watching movies all day long too. Mainly, I love being here with my sweet girl all day long. I hate thinking about returning to work and missing these precious hours with her during the day. I don't feel stir crazy or bored like I thought I would and I don't resent Forrest for getting to "leave" every day like some people suggested I might. I'm just happy and content to sit here and hold my little one all day long. I know my time to do so is almost up so I'm savoring every precious moment.

I thought I would feel "chained" to the baby and that I might resent her or regret giving up my regular life. I've yet to feel that way. Yes, it's hard to go somewhere when I am responsible for feeding her every three hours but you just plan well and make it happen. Or your don't make it happen and let people deal with the fact that you created a human and that human needs to eat. It won't be this way for long and I don't want to rush a single second of her needing me like this. I'm not worried about the fact that I need to get my nails done or that I could really use a massage and a trip to the gym because there will be plenty of time for that later.

Lastly, I thought I might look at Forrest and ask "what have we done" when things got rough. I have never ever once thought that. Of course, I think we are pretty lucky because Charlotte seems pretty easy and good natured, and we have both had a very positive attitude about everything, but I've never regretted having her not for one single second. I have no idea what we did or how we lived without this little love in our lives and I can't wait to see how her life, that we gave her, unfolds before our eyes.
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