Family

Riley is 8 Months

8.

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Weight: 20 lbs? Not sure since we haven’t been to the doctor since his 6 month check up. He’s heavier and longer for sure. Wearing 18 – 24 month outfits. We’ve switched to t-shirts and bottoms since most onesie/rompers are too short. I’ve started just carrying him to and from the car to put him into his carseat since it’s so awkward to carry. I think we’ll be switching to the convertible seat soon. On our past few longer car rides he’s not super happy, I’m thinking he might be uncomfortable in the chair but he’s still under the weight limit – closer to outgrowing it height wise soon though.

Health: Healthy! We’ve still had some digestive issues, but I think we’re on the downside. We’ve done lots of reading – Dr Sears is my go-to…and we’ve talked to several friends and apparently it’s not uncommon for babies to have trouble with poo. Especially when starting solids. It’s a repetitive cycle: it hurts to go, so baby doesn’t want to go, the longer baby waits the harder it is to go – and it hurts. Over and over. We’ve tried it all: pears, peaches, prunes, apples, water, long baths, tummy rubs, q-tips and glycerin. Finally we shared our frustrations with some friends who’ve had similar issues with their baby – and they found an all natural herbal tea (blue lavender leaves and alfalfa) that helps!!! So I drink the tea, and things get rolling. Whooo! Seriously – most of this month has been spent talking about poo. But, that’s like the deal with parenting, right? How much, how often, color, consistency, frequency…Overall though, he’s super healthy and happy. I totally get that he’s fussy when his tummy is bothering him, wouldn’t you be fussy too?
Sleep:  This month was a little all over the place for sleep – not his fault, ours. We took a family trip to Vegas as the last second and all 3 of us shared a room. That was tough. He was too big for the little bassinet the hotel provided so I made him a little nest/bed thing on the floor. We ended up nursing to sleep just to help him settle and stay quiet. We would all be in bed at 8:30pm to avoid him waking up hearing us. Naps were on the go in the car/stroller/Ergo or 40min tops in the hotel room while we huddled in the corner. We had a fun time, but for our future trips we need to make sure to get a separate area/room for him to sleep. We’re all much happier that way. He’s woken up a few times in the middle of the night in the past few weeks,
Nursing: Yep! He does get distracted. Especially when Daddy’s around. He LOVES to see Daddy. So if he’s not really hungry it’s hard to keep his focus. Typically, if he’s eaten for 5 min that’s enough to take the edge off and he’s all about seeing what everyone else is into. I’m still nursing him before he has his solid meals. This helps make sure he’s not starving and frustrated that the food on his tray isn’t making it’s way into his mouth and filling him up. I’ve relaxed on the 4 hour schedule. Since he went through a BIG growth spurt (holy hangy mama – seriously, give me alllll the foods) and started nursing more often and for MUCH longer periods…going from 20min to 45min+ was major!! Now, with teething he’s wanting to nurse every 2.5 – 3.5hr. I’m not worried. I know he’ll get back on track in a little while. On a related note – when he was on the 4 hour schedule we’d feed at 7am, 11am, 3pm and 7pm. Only 4 feedings a day. I asked my OB and she suggested I pump before bed at 10pm. Can I say how thankful I am that I’m with my baby daily and I don’t have to pump often? Major huge props for Mamas that pump regularly, or exclusively. Heroes. Oh – and on another related, related note – on Instagram I read a comment from a women that’s been nursing for 10 years. A DECADE of nursing. Can you imagine?! She said it was 4 kids, overlapping.  Whoa.

What Riley is up to: This kid wants to crawl – look out! He’s rolling around, scooting backwards, getting his legs stuck under the couch, playing with his toys and laughing like crazy at the dogs. Even if he wakes up cranky from a nap, as soon as he sees one of the dogs he starts giggling and laughing. He’s sitting in the stroller and shopping cart like a big boy, and trying out highchairs and sitting up on his own.



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Swim!
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Current Favorite Picture – all the things I love together in one place.
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First Desert Trip
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Wait – is that Riley or ME?!

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He is looking more like a little boy and less like a baby. Whawww!

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PostPartum: I made working out a priority this month and I’m starting to feel stronger. I tried some new recipes to add in more fruit and veggies in my diet. My eating is pretty good, 80/20 probably most days and 60/40 on others. I do weigh more than I did before I was pregnant but that doesn’t bother me. It’s more about feeling good in a bathing suit. I’m almost there. My stretch marks are fading and my Mommy Tummy is flattening out – I’ll probably never look like pre-baby me again, but that’s not a bad thing. I just want to feel like the best version of myself now. Emotionally, I’m good. I did have some funny feelings at the 6 month mark but I’m thankful that passed quickly. I didn’t realize that you’re still susceptible to PP Depression until 12 months. I think at 6 months he went through a huge growth spurt and it was taking a toll on me physically which then affected my mood.

Baby Gear: Kitchen tools are the best toys ever. Spatula, measuring cups, bowls. So much cooler than “real” toys. I’m trying to gather more books too. I bought him a 50th anniversary edition of the Giving Tree. Probably my favorite book from childhood. It still makes me tear up.

Thoughts: Oh man. SO many thoughts. I’ve been working on simplifying life, and I’m really trying to make that happen. I don’t want to be a crazy, stressed out Mom. I don’t want people to start a conversation with me by saying “I know you’re SO busy, but….” No way. I have time for my people. I want to soak up this brief time in our lives. Now. When our baby is about to crawl and still thinks we’re the coolest and funniest people ever. People tell you having a baby goes by fast – it does. But so does life. Having a baby just gives you something to measure it by with milestones and passing monthly celebrations. Sure I have a busy life, and there are lots of things about my job I can’t control. There are also lots of things I can control. And those are the ones I’m working on. Less stuff, less clutter, less stress. More space, more room to breathe, more time to soak up life. I really think that less is so much more.

Family

Riley is 7 Months

We have a 7 month old. Cray-cray.

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Weight: 19lbs as of his 6 month check up. Buddy is heavy. I was just thinking today that we might need to upgrade to the convertible car seat. I need to check the safety info – but he’s so tall he’s close to outgrowing the bucket seat. He’s still 100% + for height and 75% for weight. Long and thin.

Health: We started solids – yay! Well, sort of. It was going really well. We’re doing Baby Led Weaning and he’s interested in all kinds of new foods and had a good amount of control for getting the food off the tray and into his mouth. What I wasn’t prepared for is the digestive troubles. We had one very hard day with both of us in tears. Riley’s not a crier. Sure – he cries. But he doesn’t sob hysterically. So when he wouldn’t calm down, and refused to nurse I got concerned. He’d been a “regular” guy so I thought that might be the issue. The pediatrician confirmed and gave us some suggestions. Which thankfully worked and all was well. A week later and we found ourselves in the same situation, but we knew how to make it better. I hated seeing him so upset and uncomfortable – finally realizing that the foods he’s been eating lately – bananas, toast, cooked carrots – are all know to cause constipation. Can you say Mommy Fail? We took a day off from solids for his system to adjust and we’re being more selective about his menu options. So, a day goes by and he’s still fussy pants. Like grumpy-cat city. What.is.the.deal? And then I realized it…teething. Round 2. Then – this past weekend we ended up at Urgent Care. Riley started throwing up at 8pm right before bed and kept throwing up for an hour. He’s never thrown up, maybe spit up less than 5 times in his whole life. We called the Pediatrician and left a message for the on-call doctor, and after several more episodes we decided to take him in – just to be safe. We noticed a rash on his arm, thought it could be a bug bite. We arrived at UC and made it though into a bed pretty quickly. After a few more episodes they gave him something to stop the throwing up. It worked and we fed him a little, he kept it down. Fed him a little more and were sent home. He was so happy the whole time (minus when they had to take his temp) and smiled at all the nurses and doctors. We got home at midnight – all very tired and had Riley sleep in the pack n play in our room to keep an eye on him. Kelly was off to work a few hours later :( So – we might have been “those” parents….worrying about something minor and running to the doctor, but I slept much better knowing he was ok. I put my trust in doctors and medicine to help us, and they did. I’m thankful we have a healthy baby – I know many families do not and I can’t imagine the heartbreak as a parent watching your child in pain and discomfort. 
 
Sleep:  Until this week sleeping had been great. Bed at 8pm, sleeping until 8:30am, 2 naps a day, 1.5 – 2 hours with a cat nap at 5pm. Then it all gets wonky this week. Shorter naps. Waking up cranky. Constantly wanting to nurse. Today when he woke up only 40 min into his nap and was hysterical it hit me – something else was up. I started doing the math. His first 2 teeth came in at 5 months (to the day), a month ahead. The uppers are due at 8 months, so that would mean…ohhhh. That’s what’s up! Now that I’m aware we can keep him comfortable, knowing that in a little while the teeth will be here and the routine will come back.
 
Nursing: Yep! He does get distracted. Especially when Daddy’s around. He LOVES to see Daddy. So if he’s not really hungry it’s hard to keep his focus. Typically, if he’s eaten for 5 min that’s enough to take the edge off and he’s all about seeing what everyone else is into. I’m still nursing him before he has his solid meals. This helps make sure he’s not starving and frustrated that the food on his tray isn’t making it’s way into his mouth and filling him up. I’ve relaxed on the 4 hour schedule. Since he went through a BIG growth spurt (holy hangy mama – seriously, give me alllll the foods) and started nursing more often and for MUCH longer periods…going from 20min to 45min+ was major!! Now, with teething he’s wanting to nurse every 2.5 – 3.5hr. I’m not worried. I know he’ll get back on track in a little while. On a related note – when he was on the 4 hour schedule we’d feed at 7am, 11am, 3pm and 7pm. Only 4 feedings a day. I asked my OB and she suggested I pump before bed at 10pm. Can I say how thankful I am that I’m with my baby daily and I don’t have to pump often? Major huge props for Mamas that pump regularly, or exclusively. Heroes. Oh – and on another related, related note – on Instagram I read a comment from a women that’s been nursing for 10 years. A DECADE of nursing. Can you imagine?! She said it was 4 kids, overlapping.  Whoa.

What Riley is up to: This kid wants to crawl – look out! He’s rolling around, scooting backwards, getting his legs stuck under the couch, playing with his toys and laughing like crazy at the dogs. Even if he wakes up cranky from a nap, as soon as he sees one of the dogs he starts giggling and laughing. He’s sitting in the stroller and shopping cart like a big boy, and trying out highchairs and sitting up on his own.

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PostPartum: I’m making exercising a priority this month. I know I feel better emotionally and physically when I’m in an exercise routine. And honestly – if we’re thinking about baby #2 (yes – SOMEDAY) I’d like to get my body to a happy place before putting it through another pregnancy. Emotionally, I was a little down earlier this month. I think it had to do with the physical changes Riley went through after turning 6 months. He was nursing so much more, and for much longer and that took a toll on me. I was wiped out. I’m really trying to take the time to recharge every now and then. I read a book, or take a bath after he’s in bed and it’s so nice to have a little quiet time to myself. 

Baby Gear: Thinking about getting one of those circle-jumper activity things. I try to rotate his toys and just give him a few at a time since he seems to get bored with the same few. Fave new toy? Measuring cups! He LOVES playing with them. We’re also going to try to toy-swap with our other baby friends. 

Thoughts: Hm. Nothing super major on my mind right now. Just trying to focus on keeping it simple. I did a closet purge a few days ago, and I’d like to keep working my way through the house. I feel more calm when there’s less stuff piled up and crammed in every little place. I know that reflects on my attitude throughout the day, and how I interact with Riley. Calm Mama = clam baby. 

Family

Day 2 – Stripes. Earned.

Having a baby is a big deal, yea? Emotionally, financially and physically.

Let’s start with the physical today.

Once upon a time in a land called Orange County…I was a NCAA water polo player.

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The game where my jaw got dislocated.
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Possibly the best shape I’ve ever been in. Also, hi Hannah!

Playing sports in college allowed for a unique meal plan. Basically you burned a billion calories, rarely had time to cook meals, and ended up eating a bagel and bowl of Cheerios for dinner when you got home at 10pm <–been there, ate that. Mmmm, carbs.

I’ve never been a small girl. I’m 5’12” and proud of it. From years of swimming I have manshoulders. I’m cool with it. I don’t worry about my weight, heck, I don’t even own a scale. I’ve always held a healthy body image of myself. Sure, there’s been times I’ve wished this or that was different, but I’m me and I like my body.

Pregnancy and body image is a strange thing. Your body is no longer just yours. It’s this very important vessel, and it’s GROWING a human. As you grow, your baby grows. Things, um, get larger. But, it’s good, right?! Your body is supporting this other life, signs of growth are to be celebrated!

My pregnancy mirrored the very public pregnancies of Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge (formal title, yo!) and Kim Kardashian. It was sort of exciting to follow their pregnancy as I was going through my own. What saddened me was the constant scrutiny and commentary on their weight gain and image during pregnancy. Kim was often compared to Kate, criticized for her weight, clothing choices…eating habits. I got the “weight talk” from my OB, I know steady weight gain is ideal and healthy eating is encouraged. Gotta keep that growing bun in the oven well-fed with balanced meals!

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But pregnancy isn’t this one-size-fits-all deal. We’re all unique, each of our bodies look and react differently to the massive change that is growing a human. I don’t think it’s a time we should be bodyhating, but hey, it still happens. You hear a story about your neighbor’s sister’s coworker that gained 20lbs, never got a single stretch-mark and dropped all her baby-weight and more by just breastfeeding. More power to her, but that’s not the common case.

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So, here I am in this  2 month post-baby body, and it’s strange. I know it’s me in the mirror, but I look so different from the girl I was a year ago. 10 months preggo + 2 months post = whoa, a year since I had my body all to myself. You know what? I’m okay with it, most days. It takes some positive self-talk, but I’m 90% good with how I look.

There’s a mama tummy, and some serious stretch marks. Um, can we please talk about the stretch marks that come AFTER you give birth?! No one warns you about those! You think you’re in the clear when, BAM! You turn around one morning in the bathroom and there they are, in all their red glory, ha!

It’s been said many times, but stretch marks are like a badge of honor. The outward symbol of what your body accomplished. GROWING a human. I know they will fade to a less obvious color, and things will firm up, or maybe they won’t?

I do know that I’m trying to give myself a lot of grace, and plenty of time. I feel like I’m growing into my new role as a mama, while my body is taking on a new role as well.