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Monday, June 20, 2011

Norah Grows: 8 Weeks Old

Baby, you're already 8 weeks old, and even though I couldn't have imagined it on the day you were born, my love for you has multiplied way more than 8 times since that day! You are truly the love of our lives, and while we're probably a little biased, we think you are one pretty amazing child!

What can you do at 8 weeks old?  You can hold up your head and look around you, taking in the sights of this big old world.  You can "stand" on our laps and stretch your legs - you love to push and kick and you are getting so strong! You are "social smiling" for real now, and you flash those dimples at us several times a day.  In the past week, you have really taken an interest in looking at objects and toys, and we set up the play mat for you to lie on.  You LOVE it! See?

You also took a bottle from your Daddy for the first time yesterday, on Father's Day.  As much as I cherish our time together while you are nursing, I think it's special for Daddy to be able to be a part of feeding you, too.  You seemed so happy to be gazing at him and smiled all the way through the feeding! I think we are going to be lucky that you will take your milk any way you can get it, and going back to work will not be as tricky for me that way.  Of course it will still be very hard to do, but at least you won't likely be on a hunger strike every day while I'm away.  You and your Daddy already have a special bond, and I am so in love with both of you!

You are sleeping longer stretches at a time, both at night and during the day.  Night time is pretty predictable, and you usually go to bed around 11:00 PM and wake up to eat anywhere from 2:00-4:00 AM to eat and go back to sleep.  Then, up again about 7:00 AM to eat again, and back to sleep! You like to sleep in, and we usually get up for the day around 8:30.  Day time naps are still all over the place, but you usually sleep best and longest when I'm wearing you in the Moby wrap.  Sometimes you will sleep all by yourself in bed, but usually those naps are much shorter if we're not right there next to you.

You and Lainey are starting to develop a relationship, too.  She spends more time now sitting by your side, and you seem to be interested in looking at her when she is nearby.  I hope that you will love her the way that we do, and she will be a good companion to you as you grow up.  

Love you, baby girl.  Looking forward to the next 8 weeks, and the 8 weeks after that, and....

Thursday, June 16, 2011

G-L-A-M-O-R-O-U-S (The Glamorous Life)

Thank you for the introduction, Fergie.  Why yes, my life is indeed quite glamorous.   I have quite the night life lately, and frequently see hours such as 2:48 or 4:37 on the clock.  I'm toting all sorts of name brand, expensive gear.  I recently got a brand new ride.  Yeah...motherhood has some kinda glamorous thing goin on! Maybe not the traditional definition, but its own variation.  Things I may or may not have done in the past 24 hours that are not actually so glamorous include:

  • Smell my own pits to see if I needed to shower, since I wasn't sure if it was yesterday or the day before that I last took one.
  • Put my kid's (*clean) cloth diapers riiiight up to my nose and sniffed deeply to see if the wash really was getting the pee smell alllll the way out
  • Thought about changing my shirt/pants after being spit up on, and decided it was only a matter of time before it happened again, so I just left them on all day.
  • Used a stack of DQ napkins from the glove box instead of nursing pads when I realized I forgot to put some in my shirt before being out and about all day...decided it was better than wet spots on my top!
Some days I do actually get cleaned up enough for a photo, but more often than not it's dirty pj's....and I wouldn't trade any of it for the time I get to be home with my baby.  She's amazing, and I am so lucky to be able to have this time with her.  One thing I do have to spend some time working on is finding ways to maintain the person I am that came before being Norah's Mama.  The first step in that was taking a Zumba class this week.  I do plan to resume teaching this September, and before that rolls around I need to get back in teaching shape.  I have an instructor friend who's letting me drop in to her class this summer, and it felt so good to move again after so many months.  I seem to have a bit of post-partum plantar fascitis going on, but other than that it was really great shake it like I used to without a pregnant belly to dance around with! Looking forward to getting my own songs ready this summer...just have to make some time to practice!

Norah's ready to dance in her first tutu

Even if she looks a little worried about it, she loves it. 

I had my first moment of true parental guilt this week, as well.  Norah is now stronger than I would have guessed, and she's getting close to rolling over.  I laid her down asleep snuggled into her Boppy pillow in the corner of the arm chair while I went into the kitchen to grab something to eat, and the next thing I knew I heard a thud and that silence before the cry...Norah somehow managed to push herself out of the chair and fell onto the floor.  She was totally alright physically, but I was a mess. Matt was home, and scooped her up so that I could collect myself.  It's my job to protect her, to make sure that avoidable accidents don't happen, and I know I won't be able to save her from every bonk and bruise, but at 7 weeks old I should be able to do a pretty good job of that! I felt so guilty that the first bonk in her life was something that would have never happened if I'd just put her on the floor, or in the crib/co-sleeper, instead of doing what was convenient and putting her where I'd been sitting.  Lesson learned for week 7 - Norah is too strong and too big to leave unattended anywhere at this point unless she's safely buckled in! We're all fine, and I think the one of us with the biggest bruise is me.  Welcome to motherhood.  

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Hitting Our Stride; 6 Weeks

Norah is 6 weeks old, and she's changing from a squishy newborn into an alert little baby more and more every day.  Every night when we tuck ourselves in bed and kiss our girl goodnight, I wonder what tomorrow's developments will be. In the span of her lifetime, each day is so vast and monumental with regard to her capacity for growth, and it's truly amazing to see her doing things she didn't do the day before.  She has started to smile at us for real, and it is just about the most precious thing ever! It's not 100% of the time, but we definitely get to see those dimples on demand more and more! 

She is starting to develop a daytime routine, and although we're definitely still nursing on demand (read: free-for-all buffet around here!) she does have a few periods when she'll eat a bigger amount and it holds her over long enough to take a 2-3 hour nap...oh the glory! 

We are doing short tummy time sessions when she'll tolerate it.  She loves hanging out on the changing table, so we spend a lot of time there lately!

She will occasionally hang out happily in the bouncer, but these are fleeting times still!

She is in constant motion...kicking her legs, moving her arms, looking around.  It's hard to catch a still shot without a blurred hand in there!


A friend of mine did a post about her favorite baby finds since becoming a mama, and I thought it was such a good idea that I'm going to share my favorites here, too.  It's so true that what is one mama's saving grace will sit entirely unused in a drawer for another.  It will be so interesting to see what Norah's future siblings like in terms of baby items, because I'm sure that some of the things I can't live without now will be totally useless with a different child! Specialty swaddling blankets (SwaddleMe, Miracle blanket, Sleep Sack Swaddler)? Norah hates having her arms restrained, so all of these have been virtually untouched.  Soothies pacifiers that are supposedly the only ones baby wants?  Hates! But, for me, here are a few things that at least I can't live without :) 

Baby Wraps: Moby and Infantino EcoSash
I don't have photos of us using these yet, but wearing Norah is truly a lifesaver sometimes! She's generally pretty content to snuggle up next to me in the wrap, and will often sleep while she's in there.  It's not only nice to have my hands free, but it saves my back when the only thing that will do is to walk, and walk, and walk...

The Moby is a free form wrap that is about 5 yards of knit fabric, and you can do a number of different carries.  I'm planning to make my own in a summer weight bubble gauze pics of that to come soon! 

The Ecosash is a Mei Tai style carrier, and really easy to use.  Norah likes it because it supports her enough that she can stretch her legs and look around when she wants to. I also like that it comes with a detachable snap on hood/sun shade. 

Moby Wrap


Night Light: Oxo Candela Tooli
This little guy is great - it's a rechargeable cordless portable night light that lasts about 8 hours.  It's perfect to keep in bed or in the co-sleeper next to us at night for nighttime feedings, and the glow it gives is a nice soft light, not too bright to keep us awake.  I just discovered that there are replacement covers that you can get to swap out for a change of color, and I'm overly excited about this! Can't wait to have pink/green/turquoise light in our room instead of only yellow! 

Cloth diapers: Thirsties Duo Wrap covers
So far we've only used one type of cloth diaper, and it's been working great! The Thirsties Duo Wrap covers are seriously leak proof, and we've used both their "Stay-Dry" inserts and Cotton Babies unbleached prefolds as liners, and both catch pee/poop just fine :) We have a few with the Aplix and a few with snap closures, and honestly I don't think I really prefer one over the other at this point.  Norah is about 13 pounds now (according to weighing her on a regular bathroom scale) and she's in the size 1 unsnapped all the way.  The size 1 says they fit to 18 lbs, but we'll see how long these fit our big girl! And, they come in adorable colors and prints :) 

Speaking of Prefolds: Cotton Babies Indian Unbleached Prefolds

Not only do we use these as actual cloth diapers, but they are the perfect burp cloth, mess wiper, changing pad liner, and all purpose baby workhorse! They are soft, absorbent, and cheap! We have them in 3 sizes; preemie (good for a quick wipe or face cloth), Infant (what we use in her Duo Wrap), and Premium (large, and most used as a burp cloth).  I'd say that's a pretty good $40 spent! 

Handmade burp cloths

Shameless plug for myself, here, but the chenille and flannel burpies that I sewed before Norah was born really are my favorite.  They absorb well, look nice (well, what with all the barf on them and such), and feel soft. I have a feeling Norah might end up thinking of these as little blankies later, because when she nurses she snuggles up and ends up curling her pudgy fingers onto these when they are nestled between us. So cute!

Nursing Tanks: Motherhood Maternity

I have several nursing tops from Motherhood that I have come to love.  I discovered after a few weeks of nursing that I don't really care if my entire breast is exposed whilst nursing, but I'm totally self conscious of my soft, stretch-marked post-partum belly hanging out every time I pick up my shirt.  Nursing tanks have totally solved that problem for me, and I now pretty much layer one under everything! The one above is nice because it also doubles as sort of a tummy shaper, without feeling too tight or pinchy anywhere.  I have 3 colors of their basic clip down tanks, too.  I also discovered that for me, the ones with the full opening work better than the ones with the weird cut-outs that I got pre-baby at Target...maybe it's just that my specific parts didn't exactly fit in the holes, leading to uncomfy binding and bulging, but I've decided I don't like those Gilligan & O'Malley ones nearly as much.  

Baby Smell...if I could bottle it, wait, they did!

This is it...the best smelling baby stuff made!  I LOVE the way she smells after a bath so much I want to give her 3 a day!  Which, she'd probably love, since bathtime has become a huge hit, but I'm sure even with super sensitive baby wash all those baths would become a bit drying to her skin.  But anyway, I love this stuff, and glad we're stocked up for a while! The buttermilk lotion and baby powder smell just as amazing, too. 

Well, that's enough for now.  Any of my mama friends have favorites to add to this list?  I'd love to know what you love, too :)