Riley is 4 Months!

I feel like this past month really flew by, but I’m so excited for the holiday season with the tiny human!!

Weight: So…I broke down and bought the word’s cheapest scale. Yea, like you can hardly see what the number is, and when you lean one way or the other it changes. Besides the point – I think he’s between 18 and 19lbs? We’ll get the official weight (and shots. boo.) at his 4 month check up in a few weeks.

Health: Healthy, PTL. I’m a little nervous about the number of people around us that are sick with colds, but I’m trying to be careful and keep myself healthy. I took some Emergen-C this morning and I’ll take a few more to prep for our upcoming travel. Since I’m breastfeeding all the good antibodies get passed along to Riley, so I’m doing my best to keep myself germ free in hopes that we’ll skate through flu and cold season. I know he’s going to get sick at some point, I just hope to avoid it as much as possible. We’ve entered the teething zone. No signs of them breaking through, but man are some days fussy. We’ve come to find and LOVE the Hayland’s Teething Tablets, seriously – they are magical. We’ve done some Tylenol, but I’m a much bigger fan (and so is Riley) of the tablets.
Sleep: Much more consistent this month. We’re normally up around 7:30am, but sometimes he’ll sleep until 8:30am or decide 6:30am is a good wake up time. He always wakes up happy in the morning, usually just talking to himself in his crib and wiggling around. We get ready for the day, short power nap on the ride to work. Three 45 – 1 hour naps at the office, then another power nap on the drive home. Extra awake time until bedtime at 8:30pm. I’ve been dream feeding him at 10:00pm and he’ll sleep until 3:00am or 4:00am. Since he’s waking up at different times in the middle of the night I know he’s still hungry, and not waking from habit. The past few nights he’s going until 5:00am. I think technically, he’s “sleeping through the night” since that’s 8 hours, from the time I put him down to the time he wakes himself up. I nurse him at his one nightly wake up and he goes right back to sleep until morning. The time change was rough a few weeks ago, but we’ve adjusted now. It’s also nice that he’s sleeping well, so I can stay up for a little while after he goes to bed. Gives me a little solo time to get things done or just relax.
Nursing: Finally feel like we’re really getting it. Each month I’m more confident and comfortable. I’m also getting to be proud that I can breastfeed. I was always determined, but I’m also so thankful. It was hard to get to this point, and I’m so proud that we stuck with it. Feeding out and about it getting easier too. I’ve got the hang of the crossed-leg arm cradle hold thing. Riley is MUCH more aware now, which can be hard when he gets distracted. He also likes to pop off and give me a few grins and some “goos” mid-feed. It’s adorable, but I’m always trying to coax him to get back to business ;)

What Riley is up to: Teething! Growing! Flirting! Smiling! I told Kelly the other night how as much as some of the teething days can be rough, he’s so much fun right now. I love how his personality is growing. He’s such a social baby, and loves to watch people. He’s happy to be held by anyone and chats up a storm when we’re out to dinner. He knows how to work the grin+smile+eyelashes and get goofy reactions from people. It’s so funny. He LOVES bathtime. He’s also much more comfortable with dressing and diaper changes. He hardly ever cries any more. The morning is his happiest/most chatty time of day. Last Friday we went to visit Santa. Riley is happy to be held by anyone – bearded men included. I work in an office with mostly guys…all of them have facial hair. So, we thought our chances with Santa were pretty good. If not – it’s still a funny “someday” story to tell him. So we waiting in line at our bank, since they were hosting Santa. When it was finally time for our turn Kelly handed him over – to which Santa replied “I’ve been doing this a long time – I know he’ll cry.” But Riley was Perfect!

First Time Meeting Santa
We Met Grumpy Cat!
Rolling Over
Tummy Timing
Family Adventures

PostPartum: So I decided to postpone my Sprint Tri – I’m now doing a race in February. I knew I could fake my way through the race, but I want to finish strong – not a big mess. I’m also doing a 6 week work out program which I’m really liking. Lots of new workouts and different moves I’m not used to. We also ordered a jogging stroller, so I can get my runs in with Riley. Child care is my biggest challenge. I can do my strength workouts at home after he’s asleep, but cardio is another challenge. I’m dreaming of getting a Spin Bike…I’m also seriously considering canceling my gym membership. I feel like I can’t get to any of the classes (like spin) I want. So I’d rather save that $40 a month and maybe put it into a Spin Bike both Merfman and I could use.

Baby Gear: Lots of winter clothing! Columbia Snow Suit. The Hoot hat from Krochet Kids. Hylands Teething Tablets. Wonder Weeks App. Activity Mat. Soothie stuffed animal toys. Bumbo Chair.

Thoughts: My show is starting to wind down, but it’s been a really busy past few weeks. I find that it’s a challenge to balance work and home stuff. Keeping the house clean (and I’ve totally lowered my OCD standards) is a challenge. Between cleaning, meal prep, family stuff and workouts over the weekend I’m exhausted. I’m also noticing that I have little patience for certain things. Not with Riley or Kelly – just with stuff. My time is limited and valuable so I have little interest in wasting it. Sometimes I daydream about what it would be like to work from home – which is still a possibility for me on some days…but overall I do like to get out of the house and go into work. I’m so thankful that Riley can tag along, and he really is good. The teething stuff can be a challenge, but he’s still really happy and easy going. I think it’s this lifelong quest to find balance. Figuring out what’s priority and just living each day as much as you can. One thing that’s been on my mind a lot is time. Slowing down time. I never want to wish that we’d be onto the next thing…the next phase..the next milestone. On the hard days you wish it over – but there are so many people trying to slow time down. Cancer patients with little children, families with their spouses home from deployment, grandchildren soaking up precious time with their grandparents. Why rush? We only get this life once, might as well enjoy the ride – rocky as it may be sometimes.


Day 10 – Fashion Genes

I’ve never been much of a fashion gal. I just didn’t get that gene you know?

Part of the reason could be because I’m not your “average” sized lady…5’12”, size 11 shoe, manshoulders…see what I’m working with?

I’ve always thought it funny that most supermodels are tall, right? So they probably have size 10+ feet, riiighhht? So where are all the things for tall girls?! I realize that if you’re on the other end of the measuring stick it’s equally frustrating. I think the world was made for a girl that’s 5’8″ with a size 6 shoe. Sigh. More power to you if you’re that girl. Wear it proud.

So I’ve always struggled in the fashion department. Merfman is a wayyy better shopper than me, and he’s happy to tag along when I’m on a clothing quest. I get easily frustrated and discouraged. So I give up. Quick. One pair of jeans is too short? A top that doesn’t make it over my shoulders and chest. Game over. I’m out.

He’s encouraging and gently suggests other options. So I face the dressing room again and eventually leave feeling successful.

5 weeks post baby I hit the fashion wall. I was sick of my maternity clothes. I was still too big for my pre-prego stuff so I was upset. We’ve all been there, right Mama’s? I’m not a fan of spending money, especially on myself, and especially on clothing. But I was on the verge of tears. I so badly wanted to feel good about myself. I didn’t want to be hard on my body or wish it was different, I just wanted to wear a pair of jeans with a zipper. Too much to ask?

So with Merfbaby in tow, Merfman and I ventured out to the stores. I braved the dressing room with his encouragement and found 2 pairs of jeans and a few v-neck tee’s that fit. Did I look like the version of me from a year ago, before pregnancy? Nope. But I felt like a million bucks. It was a huge confidence boost. Ignore the size on the tag, and focus on how you feel.

Jeans. WITH zipper. Winning.
Jeans. WITH zipper. Winning.

Shortly after my confidence boost I did something maybe a little crazy. I cleaned out my closet. Like major. It might sound nuts but it was cleansing and a little therapeutic. It was long overdue. I wanted to free myself of anything that I felt was staring me in the face, taunting “you’ll never look good in this again…you’ll never fit in these” so I donated 6 bags of things I’d had since pre-college. Things that I wasn’t even wearing pre-prego. It felt good. Really good.

But now I’m going to say that thing every girl says…I’ve really got nothing to wear. Ha!

I’m going to focus on being more intentional with my clothing. Making purchases that will last and make me feel good.

I’m following The Tiny Twig’s No Brainer Wardrobe series and it’s so encouraging. Seriously.

Something else I’m trying out: StitchFix. I know. Everyone in lady blogland drank the Kool-Aid. But it’s awesome, really. I’ve always dreamed that when I “make it” someday I’m going to hire a personal shopper. Heck, I’ll pay you in baked goods right this second if you can help me find a dress for a bridal shower high tea I’m attending later this month. Please Jesus help me with that one.

Keeping it real: If you click through my StitchFix link and get yourself a “fix” I get a credit for the referral. But you can get one too if you refer people. Clothing. Fun. Moneyz. Everyone wins!


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.