I can’t believe that this year went by in a whim! So many new and great things went by and I cannot be thankful enough for not just the love & laughter, but also for the tears as they have made me stronger in this pursuit to life. I’m really glad to share my life with a wonderful & loving partner, and now with our beautiful son- It seems like life cannot get any better than this and I hope we continue to flourish to the end of time.
I feel like I’ve been slacking these past few weeks. My house is not nearly as spotless as it usually is and to top it off, my hair is falling in chunks! Welcome to the glamorous postpartum life.
I also feel like I am not doing this mom thing as great as other mothers are doing it. My baby still co-sleeps with me and as much as I love it, I don’t love it too. I want him to sleep in his pack and play SO badly but he just doesn’t seem to like it, or maybe I don’t like it because I don’t get much sleep when he sleeps in there.
This past week, I have been putting him in his pack & play to sleep in at nights and he doesn’t do too bad in it. He still doesn’t sleep through the night but that’s the thing with breastfed babies, they wake sometimes not out of hunger, but just because they want to comfort nurse. I remember the two nights he slept in his own bed, I was zombified the next day at work. But, I’ll need to push through because actually, I feel bad that I am not teaching him to be more independent. He would probably even love it too if he sleeps on his own.
When I was on maternity leave, as much as I was obsessed with breast milk, I was obsessed with sleep training too. And, when babies are that small, it really is hard to train them or to feel like you have to put them on a schedule because they are still so very small. I read a book on instilling healthy sleep habits with baby and I remember thinking to myself, “Ok – This should be a piece of cake”. I was wrong.
However, I need to be dedicated to doing this right for him and for all of us. He has such a beautiful nursery which our friends and family help contribute to setting it up, it will be a waste if it doesn’t get used. Also, we need to transition from postpartum life as quickly as we can to regular life (now with baby) for the structured family we are.
Wish us luck!
My weekdays are usually very busy and I find myself often tired from the hustle bustle, but I think I’ve gotten it down to the most optimal schedule as possible. I don’t know how I do it sometimes and it may seem like not a lot but if you knew the old me, I was never a structured person, so this is far-fetched for a type-b personality like me.
I live with a pretty OCD person too, (Sorry R but you are) and on top of all that craziness, I have to make sure I don’t leave my trail around, which I do because… I just do. LOL I have to admit though that even though I wake up early everyday (5 AM wake up calls), I still don’t get to make my bed in the mornings because soon as I am ready to leave the house, Alden is awake and he wants to be nursed or held because he is cranky from being woken up – so I try to not wake him up. This morning he was a champ though. I nursed him as soon as I woke up and he fell right back to sleep which gives me time to get ready in the bathroom in peace. Soon as I went back to our room, his eyes were wide open just looking around in the darkness. My sweet baby. Anyways, I hope to one day get on the make-bed-every-morning wagon but I am not quite there yet.
I try to do as much as I can on Sunday before the week starts. For instance, I try to pack extra clothes, socks & blankets in his diaper bag so I don’t have to do it every night. I still look through the bag to pull his dirty clothes out and to make sure we aren’t out of wipes and my mom is good at telling me what we’re out of, so I can take note of it and replenish for the next few days. I am so, so, so thankful that my mom is helping me out with Alden and she too is very committed to making this work for me. God bless her beautiful soul. On Sundays too, I try to get all our laundry done and stored away, and I iron all our work clothes for the week ahead.
Every day, I get up around 5:15 AM and I leave the house by 6:15 AM to avoid traffic and I meet my mom at a Starbucks halfway from the both of us. Normally we meet around 6:45 AM, sometimes 7 AM, and we do the switcheroo. She takes Alden and heads back to her house and I head to work. While I’m at work, I pump every 3 hours and I stress about getting enough milk for Alden the next day. The past few days I’ve noticed my supply in the right boob decreasing and it’s worrying the heck out of me! So, when I get home these days, I will let Alden nurse from that side more than my left.
After I leave work, I head back up to a gym in the same area I meet my mom for morning pick-ups, and I try to squeeze in at least a 35 – 45 minute workout. By the time I am done working out, my mom is already there waiting to pass Alden back to me. Soon as I get home, I tend to Alden – Whatever he needs me to do. Sometimes I can sense him missing me so much so he likes to be held and nursed, which I don’t mind at all because I miss him when he’s not around!! But as soon as I am done, I put him down and I start cooking or prepping us dinner. Last night, I didn’t eat because I was too tired and just went to bed at 9 PM. While I make dinner, I am also cleaning up my lunch from earlier in the day and packing for tomorrow. I try to clean as much as I can because by the time I am done cooking, Alden is fussing because it’s been about an hour of him sitting there by himself and he wants to be picked up again. I don’t babywear him in the kitchen for safety reasons but at times I do when he is just not having it.
After dinner, we both head upstairs and I turn the water on to start giving Alden a bath. He LOVES bath time, so I try to give him a bath every day. Once he is done, if he is still full, he will be okay in the car seat for about 20 minutes until he wants to be nursed again– So there he goes in it and both we go to my bathroom so I can take a shower. He watches me shower and I watch him while I shower J Normally after showering, I will empty and replenish my gym bag for the next day. If Ryan is at home, I will pass Alden to him so I can finish cleaning up in the kitchen where I wash and sterilize my pump parts and clean the stove or whatever. By this time, it is 10 PM, and I am now rushing back upstairs so we can both call it a day to do it all over again the next day!
Those daily night cuddles with Alden is the BEST feeling in the world. We are both exhausted and we don’t get that much time with each other at all but when we go to sleep, we wake up together and that is enough to make me happy. I feel so bad for not being able to play with him as much during weekdays and sometimes I wonder if he will love me even if I don’t play with him. I hope he does. I know that he is my motivation to getting things right because everything is manageable. In no time, everything will be second nature to us.
When do I get time to myself or time to blog? – I blog in the mornings while waiting for my mom in the car on my phone or on my laptop at Starbucks. I make a breakfast casserole on weekends or make eggs and bacon and Tupperware it so I can eat it in the parking lot – Sometimes I just get a croissant from the store because.. it’s convenient. At times, I blog on my lunch but I haven’t done that as much because I work through lunch most days. The time at the gym is nice to have for me and thanks to my mom for allowing me to do that every day and also before I go to bed, after my shower and nursing Alden, I get up to paint my nails and read a book. I try to sleep at 10:30 but 11:30 is the latest for me.
Alden doesn’t sleep through the night yet, so he wakes me up to be nursed at least twice during the night. Thank god for co-sleeping, I can still get my sleep but I want to train him to sleep in his crib/bassinet soon, but I am actually very reluctant about it. I miss him so much in the day that I want to sleep with him next to me. I love my baby more than anything in the world. One day he won’t want to sleep with me again and I will miss kissing the fuzz on his head to sleep every night.
We all know that Labor Day weekend in the US is technically the last weekend in the summer before fall season begins. In Georgia however, it still feels like summer for at least a few more weeks even after Labor Day weekend, so with that, I still get to take advantage of it as much as I can seeing that I didn’t get to spend a lot of time outdoors with being pregnant and then giving birth at the start of the season. My mom actually commented me on how pale I am now compared to the usual tanned version of me; I love staying out and laying out basking in the sun for hours. She loves that I am not tanned because she is against tanning but I love it, contrary to her liking.
Over the last couple of weekends I have been spending some time outdoors. I managed to go to the pool once, and even though I went at a later time during the day (6 or 7 PM) where the sun wasn’t as bright as it usually is, I did get to lay out in it for a little bit. I was happy. Actually, speaking of the pool, I did have another pool day with my friends a few weekends ago too and we stayed out for hours, come to think of it, so that was fun! I’ve started going back to the gym also and even though my tummy is still flabby from being stretched out, I still wear my two-piece nonetheless. Haha. Who cares, right? I hope to transform my body back to it’s previous shape or even better. I am not doing kickboxing anymore just because I can’t find the time to go to the classes in my packed schedule, so the gym it is until things change.
Last weekend, the fam and I went to the park together for our friend’s son’s 1st birthday. Yes, this is the first birthday party Alden attended and he had such a fun time! Just kidding. He slept the entire time..maybe woke up for a full 10 minutes for pictures and then back to sleep. I was very happy I got to spend time with my sister. She’s been so busy and I have too, and in all honesty, I do miss her a lot. Last few nights, I went through our old pictures and videos together and I am glad that we have had the chance to really bond and be there for each other that way. I may not be perfect and she too, but we love each other very much and are extremely protective of one another.
So, I realize there isn’t a structure to this post but I wanted to write to tell you how I love summer and really just as an excuse to share these cute pics! I can’t wait for this weekend. It’s my mom’s birthday and we are celebrating her for sure – And another reason for celebrating too but will let you know in a separate post..
I can’t believe it’s been three weeks since I started work again! I am starting to finally get in sync with my new schedule and I can’t help but feel really productive these days. I used to question how the working moms at work manage their times with a full time career and still balance being a dedicated mother and wife at their homes. I actually learned from observation and also from talking to my peers and it all comes down to time management and not procrastinating – which comes to no surprise but it requires practice to say the least. I will talk about how I manage my time in a later post, but today I wanted to review my maternity leave just because it is a memory to me now – Until the second kid comes around. I kid, I kid.
As much as I loved being at home with my baby, I am actually really glad to be at work. I love that I can be a very hands-on partner (it gets down to ironing and making lunches and dinners for the next day) and a very hands-on mom. I feel like I am made to do this. But in all honesty too, the phrase “It takes a village” really means everything to me. R & my mother are the two angels that I have helping me go about my days and I cannot thank them enough.
I spent most of my time on my ML getting to know what it means and takes “to mother” my baby or in other words, what “mothering” really means. I’ve made some milestones in the process of mothering that I think surely deserves a post on its own so here goes my highlights in no particular order:
Pumping & Feeding
I am quite obsessed with breast milk you guys. I am part of many mom groups on Facebook now but one of my favorites is a private group called “Working Moms Who Make BF Work”. I love this group so much not only is it because it is a great resource for all things breastfeeding or non-breastfeeding related topics, but because I find that the mamas on this page are super supportive and super non-judgmental. Through this group, I learned a lot of tricks, I read a lot of happy and sad moments – happy because someone managed to pump 2 ounces of milk instead of the usual 1 ounce, or sad because they just pumped their last milk – Either way, I find myself connecting with these women because all in all, we have one goal in mind, and that is to feed our babies. I learned that keeping up with your milk supply is crucial and each time I get a huge yield one day, I will share it with my virtual friends. Thanks to them, I am still going strong with breastfeeding and I am glad to make the statistics for being the 13 percent of working women who exclusively breastfeeds in the United States per year.
I am pretty sure all new and seasoned parents will attest with me on this one. The one thing we all struggle as parents to newborn babies is the logistical nightmare! It used to be a breeze going to the drugstore to grab a box of Q-tips but now, how I wish there is a drive-through for everything. I get that some parents choose to do their shopping online with a baby, but I actually find joy in going out and picking stuff out myself versus having them delivered to my doorstep. Plus, it gives me a reason to step out of the house. I have gone to the grocery store with a stroller, which is great because you can just push baby around, but it doesn’t help when you have a huge grocery list and your stroller basket becomes too small for all of it, or the other time I went to Home Goods and placed the infant car seat in the shopping cart, only to realize that there isn’t enough space for anything at all other than the car seat itself! I’ve resulted to baby wearing; the best and most convenient way to shop hands down! I still love just bringing my car seat around because Alden sits very well in it. I use his car seat a lot actually – especially when I am eating. Being on ML really helped me learn the ways of traveling with my baby – Be it via stroller, car seat or a baby carrier so now I can safely say that it is still a logistical nightmare, but nothing R & I can’t manage.
Taking Care of Yourself with a Baby
As I mentioned above, being a mom requires ninja time management skills. It is very exhausting to be on your toes all the time but it really pays off. So far, I haven’t yet gotten around to coming up with excuses like, “But I am too tired to even shower” kinda thing because this is not true. You make yourself do the things you want to do. Babies sleep and they sleep a lot. So, I find myself just using that time to do things for myself. It is very important because a lot of moms are plain exhausted all the time and basic things like showering becomes a chore for most of them. I feel that in life, there should be balance and becoming a parent is one of them. Unfortunately, balancing is synonymous with management and with management comes work. When I was on ML, i worked really hard to get into that maintenance mode but I was just enjoying my time not having to do anything other than house chores and blogging (hehe) or watching Chopped marathon on TV. I miss those easy, laid back days at home, but all fun comes to an end. I think that all new mamas should enjoy their babies and sleep as much as you get the time to do it, but also take the time to do things for yourself. Be it that morning coffee on your back porch or a couple of pages into a paragraph of a new novel – Do what is right and what is best for you.
In light of this post, I feel extremely grateful to our family and friends for the kind love & support we received along the way. We have enjoyed every hospital and house visit and we are so happy to know that such love exist around us especially during this special time. Being a mom really is life-changing and so worth it, you guys!
So, my Facebook timeline has been spammed with the “Love your Spouse” challenge and I think that it is such a cute idea, to stop and appreciate your husbands and keeping the love alive but it’s so freaking cheesy AND cute at the same time – so much that it inspired this post of mine. Can you believe that no one has nominated me yet? Gasp! Just kidding.
Anyways, in relation to that.. R and i haven’t gone out just the two of us for a long time since the birth of our babe! So, my mom and sister offered up to babysit while we both enjoy a night out on the town and we took them up on it. I was the one who planned this date night and I picked last Friday for us to go out as R started back at work this Monday. We had so many things that were delayed on celebrating and I really wanted to take the time to tell R how much he means to me and just to celebrate for being together.
I actually made a Facebook event and invited him to it (corny I know). In the description I wrote the reasons why I think we should go out; some of it are personal but one of it was to celebrate us as new parents! And, he replied “Maybe” at first, and then “No” on the day of event just to irk me. That guy.
We went out to dinner at The Southern Gentleman in Buckhead. The last time we tried having dinner there, it was packed, so this time around I made sure we had reservations. On the day itself, the restaurant was actually not that busy, or maybe they had additional seating spaces added to the main floor plan?? It actually seemed a little more spacious than previously. We shared the mussels as an appetizer, the 22oz steak for our dinner and the peach puff for dessert. The food was really good and we both really enjoyed it. Over dinner we talked a lot about everything; work, dreams, goals, our past. As we were talking, I was quickly reminded of how I fell in love with him in the beginning, other than shallow reasons, it was because of our conversations.
After dinner, we wanted to get some hookah but it was still kind of early, so we went to Havana club. It was pretty cool, we treated that as our pregame spot. We called a couple of our friends to come join us for the remainder of the night and we ended up at Halo Lounge in Midtown for the rest of the night. We were able to let lose and dance and just have pure fun with our friends. It was a great night.
The next day, we spent it with my mom and the three kiddos. We haven’t had gone out like that in forever so we sort of treated that day as our recovery day. It was much needed.
R, if you are reading this, I am so thankful for you and I don’t need no stupid social media thing to prove to you how much I love you. Last Friday was a great reminder of how and why I fell in love with you. You really are my soulmate and I am so glad to see how far we’ve come. Thank you for all that you do.
I’m glad to say that I am feeling a little bit more human these days. The babe still wakes me up for his night feedings but he is getting a whole lot better! Furthermore,since I am on still on maternity leave, I still get to sleep in and nap throughout the day if I need to, which means I am no longer sleep deprived. Yay to small victories!
Aside from that, my incision doesn’t hurt as much anymore. At times it does, especially when the babe is nursing and he kicks in the area, but it’s getting less and less painful. I think I can start working out if I wanted to but slow workouts for sure, nothing intense. I can’t wait to get the complete go ahead from my ob because Kourtney and Khloe Kardashians workout snaps are so inspiring!
So, it is safe to say that my postpartum journey is going smoothly, which means I get to spend all this sweet time with my babe and with R. But all fun and games come to an end and here I am getting panic and anxious over going back to work. I feel really sad to be leaving the babe at home but we know he will be in good hands.The things we do as mothers and wives to our loved ones. 😦
R is going back to work next week and boy, I am going to miss him so much when he’s not around but I am really excited for him as well. He has been so great at co-parenting with me and I cannot be thankful enough. We have both been doing a lot of things around the house and really have been enjoying our house together. It’s slowly and slowly looking like where we want it to be but of course, nothing stops and nothing ever ends.