Friday, October 23, 2015

Addison 3 Months

I say this on every update but time is just flying by. I cannot believe it has been three months since I held my newborn girl in my arms. Every day is a new adventure and I love being her mom. Recently she has started to roll from her stomach to her back, she has started chatting it up constantly, and she LOVES sitting up like an adult on our couch. Yes, I have a Bumbo. Yes she would still rather sit on the couch. She understands comfort just like her mother, who would want to sit in a weird plastic seat when you can relax on the couch with your mom?

Sleeping & Eating 
Addi is still eating like a champ. She gets hangry (hungry/angry) at night starting around 6ish and constantly wants to be fed or held and only by me. Although she does always love when her dad gives her a bath. That tends to perk her right up! She is also more cranky and hungry on Tuesday and Thursday nights because she hasn't seen me all day. She needs some serious snuggling when I get home from work on those days but I am totally ok with that!
Addison has been waking up more at night. Sometimes 2 (or on a rare occasions 3 times!). I blame it on the fact that she is teething. She doesn't really use her binky like a normal kids, she chews on it to help her teeth. She drools like a maniac, and I see some swelling where those teeth look like they are coming in. On top of that, she has been a tad more fussy. She is still my happy little girl the majority of the day (except for the hangry witching hour in our home as listed above). 
Yesterday Eric said "I always knew I wanted to be a dad but I never thought I would like it this much." That pretty much sums up parenthood. There is know way to prepare yourself for how much love you have for your child. I prepared myself to love her with all of my being, and still it is deeper than that. It is just unexplainable and you can't know it until you feel it yourself.

Advice: What I have learned 
Parenting is fun and exhausting. It's amazing and gross. It can go from 0 to 100 in the blink of an eye. Overall it goes to fast. So I am trying to soak up all the moments, the good and the bad (because I am allowed to say some moments aren't great).

PS- Phoebe and Addison are such great friends. I love watching them together and Phoebe is never too far behind Addison wherever she goes. She was insistent that she should be in this photo below AGAIN!

Thursday, September 24, 2015

The Truth Is

The truth is there was a point in my life where I blogged every week day. It was cool because Eric and I were on a brand new adventure. We were engaged and then married. We were just living life and taking it one day at a time. I always had something a tad snarky to say and I couldn't help but document our lives to look back on. It was fun to be a "blogger" and I had a direction. I commented on other blogs and did giveaways. I gained a "following" and I use all of these terms very loosely, but people were coming to the blog and I was making some blog friends.

It is a weird world, the world of blogging. You get paid to sponsor things like Pop-Tarts and Kleenex, and then you take that money and use it to pay for giveaways so people come and read your content. So basically you are paying for people to come read about your life. Once I realized this, which took far too long by the way, I decided to end sponsorships and any form of money transactions. Mostly because I didn't want to write about Kleenex and Pop-Tarts anymore. Well, I actually don't mind writing about Pop-Tarts because they are amazing, but I don't need to be paid to say that. S'more Pop-Tarts are where it is at by the way, check them out.

I wanted to have the freedom to write when I wanted and how I wanted. Which turns out to be almost never, and mainly about my daughter. To me this is perfect though, because my life is taking a new direction. I can write about how coconut oil has been my #1 product as a mom! Which is probably lame to some people, but is super helpful to those moms who just CANNOT UNDERSTAND WHY THEIR BABY HAS SKIN PEELING OFF THIER HEAD!... like me.

Over the past few weeks I have spent some time pondering how I plan to use this space. Honestly? I am still pondering. As the seasons of my life change I want this space to change with me as well. I want to look back and see where I was in my life and when. I want to look back and remember all of Addison's monthly milestones and the smell of her gorgeous baby head.

So I don't know where we will be going in the coming weeks, or even the coming year. I know this space will be filled with way too many baby photos and updates, and I understand if that isn't your "kinda thing". I also know that I don't really have to care if it is your "kinda thing" because I am writing this for me. I am writing this for those who care about our family and our baby. I am writing for other people out there who can relate to where I am on my life journey. So I hope you want to continue on with us, but if not that is ok too because Pop-Tarts aren't paying me to keep you here.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

How To Cure Cradle Cap and Baby Acne

Today I am going to share a new mom secret with you. As I scroll through my Instagram feed I can't help but notice a lot of you are pregnant and/or a brand new mom! Crazy right? Soon you are going to be snuggling all over your little cutie and I want to share a little secret so you are more prepared than me when cradle cap and baby acne hit out of nowhere. (Like seriously. I didn't realize these were things until I saw them on my own baby and I freaked out).

So here it is, the magical secret: Coconut oil. Go buy some right now and put it on your changing table. You can thank me later.

Using coconut oil on cradle cap:
Take a giant glob of coconut oil and rub it all over your sweet little baby's head. Put a hat on (because if you are anything like me the greasy hair will drive you bonkers) and then let it sit for 30 minutes. Then put baby in the bathtub and wash it off. I typically do this before bath time every night but you could obviously do it any time of day.

Using coconut oil for baby acne:
I just rub it all over Addison's face in the morning when I am getting her dressed and after her bath at night. She LOVES it. It healed all of her baby acne in just 36 hours! Now I just use it for her dry skin.

Bonus info: If you drop a tablespoon of coconut oil in the bathwater, it helps with dry skin. Addison had dry flakey skin for a few weeks after she was born and this cleared it right up in two days!

Addison approves this message.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Addison 2 Months

These past two months have flown by. Eric and I are constantly talking about how fast Addison is growing. I wish time would slow down. There doesn't seem to be enough hours in the day for me to snuggle my little girl. Her personality is developing fast and I love the tiny little sass she is. She might look a lot like her dad but she is full of personality like me. 
Sleeping & Eating 
Addison has hit a growth spurt. She eats like it is going out of style. Once she hit seven weeks she was just starving all of the sudden. I can't keep up with her. She has probably doubled her food intake and it is exhausting for the both of us. 

Addison sleeps from 9pm-4:30am. I feed her and then she is straight back to sleep until between 7-8. This has been happening for about 4 weeks and even when she had a cold she stayed extremely consistent with her schedule. I am thrilled with how she is sleeping, and even a stranger told me I looked like the most well rested mom he had ever seen. I thank God everyday that I am blessed with a sleepy baby. Even as I type this she is napping right by me.
Being a parent is the coolest thing I have ever done. Eric and I love this little girl more than words can even explain. We happily give up our nights out for evenings in with our little one. From the moment we brought her home we started making sure Addison adapted around us. So Eric has used power tools in our basement since the day we came home. She goes where ever we go including on errands like the grocery store and the mall. If I want to go clothes shopping, she is with me. If Eric and I want to go out for dinner, Addison comes with us. She works around our schedule and it has made life easy.

Advice: What I have learned 
Being consistent is the most important part of parenting. We keep Addison on a schedule. She knows what to expect everyday and she isn't hit with surprises. She probably knows her schedule better than we do and if she isn't in the bathtub between 730-8pm at night she starts fussing at us to remind us it is time.  When she knows what is going on, she is happy! We love our happy baby!

PS- Phoebe and Addison are such great friends. I love watching them together and Phoebe is never too far behind Addison wherever she goes. She was insistent that she should be in this photo below. 

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Life Right Now

Addison has her first cold. 
Addison is just shy of 8 weeks old and she has her first cold. I am traumatized and she seems to be taking it way better than me. The doctor says there isn't much we can do besides use the nose sucker, some saline nose drops, and a humidifier to help get her through the worst of it. My heart breaks every time I look at her tiny sniffly face. It doesn't help that it was the worst on a day I had to be at work. Thankfully her dad was already off and he spent the day taking care of her and running to get all the things she needed to make her comfortable during this very uncomfortable time.

This photo is of her at her most sick. I wish I could look this good when I am sick. Heck, I wish I could look this good now. I am a hot mess from taking care of her!

Today I am home with her and she seems to be doing a bit better. She isn't our normally happy and relaxed baby, but she is taking it better than I would.

Addison is smiling.
Even through the sniffles, Addison is smiling. I worked so hard to get that first smile and man oh man was it worth the wait! Now she loves to share her big grin in the mornings when I go get her from her crib. There truthfully are few things in this world that are better than your child smiling at you.

I am back at work.
Two days a week I am in the office and 3 days a week I work from home until we find someone to take over some of my work. It has actually been pretty easy, besides Addison being sick. I will think of a LONG list of tasks I need to get done at work and then spend the day keeping myself insanely busy. I recently passed my Google Adwords certification which was a lot harder than I thought, and I am now officially a Google Partner. See? I am keeping myself plenty busy and only try and call home once or twice a day to check on the little one.

I thank God that one of the days that I work each week Eric is at home to watch her. Then the other day of the week that I work either my mom or his mom will watch her. I am so happy that Eric gets to spend time bonding with her alone and I love watching their father/daughter relationship grow. He is so great with her.

We are finally cooking meals again.
After the baby was born we stopped cooking and started staring at our baby in our free time. Our kitchen became the place we went to when we needed a paper plate to put our takeout on. I have started to cook dinners again! It might not be every night, but some is better than none.

Addison is officially on a schedule.
Yes my friends, my 8 week old has slept through the night for just about 3 weeks now. IN. HER. CRIB. Whhhhhat? I know right? I plan to make a blog post on how we made this magical thing happen but I can tell you it was a lot harder for me than her because she could care less that we put her in her own room at 3 weeks, while I handled it by crying every night and complaining about how she's growing up too fast.
  • Bath at 7:30pm
  • Feeding at 8:00pm
  • Cuddling with mom and dad till 8:45pm
  • In her crib by 9:00pm
She sleeps till between 4-5am, I feed her again, and she is down till about 8am. Staying consistent with her schedule has helped so much. She knows her schedule better than we do!
We are happier than ever.
People always tell you that a newborn can really test your relationship. If we were tested then we must have missed it. Eric and I immediately took on this new adventure without struggling. We enjoy every moment we get to spend as a family, and we have even gone on some dates by ourselves! I think we have had three baby free dates since she arrived 8 weeks ago. We typically go out for 3-4 hours, enjoy some adult beverages, and really enjoy it. Obviously I miss our baby the entire time but making sure Eric and I have time together actually makes us better parents.

This has been the craziest ride of my life. I am loving every second of it.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

How Can I Go Back To Work?

It is Thursday afternoon and I am watching my six week old daughter sleep. As her chest rises and falls and I see how peaceful she is my emotions start to creep in. Next week I go back to work. How can I possibly do this? We have spent every single moment of the past 9 months + 6 weeks together. I have carried her inside of me. I have rocked her to sleep. My chest is her favorite place in the world to sleep when nothing else can soothe her. How am I going to walk away from that and in to a place of business. How am I going to miss the smiles, snuggles, and afternoon naps and replace them with meetings and endless hours of work on the computer?
The answers to these questions are simple: I don't know. The moment I gave birth to this beautiful human I knew that my #1 purpose in life is to raise her to be a kind, happy, independent woman. I knew I need to meet every basic need she has and then some. I need to kiss her chubby cheeks and sing her silly kids songs. I need to give her enough space to do things on her own, but be there when she needs me the most. To me it is the most important job I have.

I also have another job. One that might not focus all of its attention directly on my beautiful baby girl, but it effects her just the same. A job in an office, with people who don't need me on the personal level my child does, but do need me on a professional level. While I don't need my job to survive, I need my job because it makes me a better person. It challenges me. It makes me think outside the box. It is a different experience from wiping the spit-up and changing the diapers. Although I love my time with my daughter way more than I will ever love my job, I still need to work.
I need to work because I need my daughter to see me go to work. I need her to see me thinking, solving problems, using the degree I earned with endless amounts of hard work. I need her to see me helping provide for our family. I need her to know that being a working mom is an option. So on Tuesdays and Thursdays I will hand her off to one of her grandmas, I will get in the car and cry my eyes out, and then I will wipe my face off and go to work.

The rest of the days of the week, I want my daughter to see me at home. I want her to watch me cook dinner in time for her dad to get home. I want her to learn to help clean-up after herself. I want to take endless trips to the park and watch as she becomes more daring and adventurous than I will ever be comfortable with. I want to be available for field trips and classroom parties. I want to spend time as our little family of three as much as I can. I want her to see that being a stay at home mom is an option.
When I found out I was pregnant I started to realize that there is a lot of hostility between moms. Everyone thinks they have it figured out. Like there is one magical answer to parenting. Is staying at home better than working? Does being a working mother make you a lazy mom? There is no right answer. It is just a bunch of women, full of hormones, trying to do what they think is best.

The minute Addison was born my life changed. I wanted to quit my job that exact second and spend every waking moment soaking up that baby smell. The past 6 weeks have been the best 6 weeks of my life, but one day Addison is going to get on the school bus. She is going to wave to me from the window and spend 5 days a week learning and being independent. When that time comes I want to have something to keep me occupied. I want to have something that pushes me to learn and continue to be independent.

I am just trying to do what I think it best.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Addison 1 Month

Is it possible that I am a mom to a one month old baby already? Wasn't it just yesterday I was begging the doctor to get her out of my body? Wasn't I just basking in the joy of a 6lb 10oz chubby cheeked little girl? I kind of still am because she is only around 8 pounds now, but still. Where did the days go? Somewhere between laying her on my chest and soaking in all the amazing baby smells and feeding her non-stop all day I just completely lost track of time. So here is an update on my growing girl!

Sleeping & Eating 
Addison is a good sleeper. On our second night home I was worried about her because she slept for 6.5 hours without making a sound. The hospital kept trying to enforce this 3 hour eating rule while we were there and she just wasn't interested. So future moms, it is totally ok to let them go without eating for longer than 3 hours. I wouldn't do it all the time, but on occasion they need it. Addison was still recovering from a whirlwind fast delivery and she was exhausted. Eating wasn't on her mind all of the time. Her doctor confirmed that as long as she is having dirty diapers and is gaining weight then she is perfectly ok.

Since coming home from the hospital she is on a 3ish hour eating schedule during the day and a 4-4.5 hour eating schedule at night. There have been a few nights and days where she has slept through feedings or needed to eat more often but typically I have an idea of when she will wake up and need to eat. It took me about 2 weeks to finally get her schedule straight in my head. 

Addison sleeps in her bassinet in her room. She still looks so small in her crib so I haven't transitioned her yet, though that is on the agenda soon. The bassinet is smaller and it rocks so she she seems to like it better than the crib right now. I just point her video monitor on it at night and she sleeps great!

We have a system at night. She gets a bath, a fresh diaper, I turn on her sound machine, I feed her until she is super full while rocking her in the glider,  then I swaddle her, rock her for a few more minutes until she is almost asleep, then I put her down in her bassinet. It usually takes her about 3-5 minutes to fall asleep but she never cries. She lays in there and is able to self soothe until she falls asleep. I watch her on the monitor obsessively until her eyes close and I know she is asleep. We all sleep way better at night! 

I should point out that just because this works for us doesn't mean it is for everyone. I know some people love co-sleeping or having their baby in the room. I am totally cool with whatever decision any mother makes. We are all just doing our best!

It took a bit for me to get used to but now it just comes pretty easy. Sometimes I feel like I am only alive to feed this child like a milk machine or something. I know I am not alone in this though, and I am slowly adapting. On occasion I will pump breast milk right before I know she is going to wake up so Eric can feed her and so she can get used to drinking from a bottle, but overall I love the quality time we get from her nursing. She always has the best facial expressions around feeding times. 

I pump an extra feeding a day, and I have been since I got home from the hospital. This has helped make sure I always have a supply available. Plus when I go back to work it will give me some leeway to adjust to pumping during the days I am away from her. I also plan on enjoying a drink or two on our date night on Wednesday and thats a good reason to have some extra milk hanging around. 

We are slowly figuring things out. We are finally giving her baths without her screaming bloody murder. We are great at timing her naps/feedings and knowing when we can get out of the house to do things. We are able to identify all of her cries and know exactly what they mean and what we can do to fix them. We aren't perfect but we are learning how to do the best we can. Eric has been busy at work this month so I have been alone with Addison a lot and I have been using her stroller/travel system and our Baby Bjorn to get routine things done by myself, like going to the grocery store. 

Advice: What I have learned 
 I cannot stress this enough: take a shower every single day. I mean it. It is so easy to get wrapped up in your baby and forget about yourself. Nothing makes me feel better everyday then taking 10 minutes and focusing on myself. Plus, the hormones make you smell weird. So really I am suggesting this as a favor to you and all the people who come visit you.  

You don't have to do your hair or your makeup (though I do). Just take ten minutes. Give the baby to your husband or your mom or let the dog watch her (jk). I don't care. Just breathe and clean yourself up. Put on mew clothes because chances are you won't be able to recognize whatever stain that is on your shirt. Fresh hair and clean clothes make all of the difference. Just believe me.