Monday, September 23, 2013

10 Things I have learned about about motherhood

(Hanging out with Mom in bed right after Dad went to work, we love our little morning cuddle sessions in bed)

1.    I do more laundry now than I ever have in my LIFE!!!
I have never been one to enjoy doing laundry (who does?!) but in the past 6 weeks, we have done more laundry than I ever thought I would in my life! Josh and I usually could get away with doing laundry once a week for the two of us, now we are lucky to get through a day without throwing a load of laundry in, whether it be our clothes, Bennett’s clothes, Baby bedding, or our bedding (baby poop and spit up-side note, I no longer change diapers on our bed….it took me two blow outs to learn that lesson)

2.  Showers are a luxury
I am lucky to take a shower once a day, let alone put on makeup or do my hair (ponytails are the norm around here). Something about a screaming baby just takes the relaxation right out of a shower….Weekend showers are my favorite, Josh can take care of Bennett, I don’t hear him screaming, or have to run out, soaking wet, mid shower to pop his binkie back in his mouthJ

3.  Nap time=productivity
I know they say sleep when baby sleeps, but I am not a napper, never have been. And I really am not that tired during the day. I try to catch up on housework (and blogging!) while Bennett naps. He has been taking one really good nap a day (about 2 hours), otherwise, he cat naps the rest of the day and that is usually in my arms because by the time I put him down, he wakes right back up.

4.  Breastfeeding is hard, really hard…..but so worth it!
I have always wanted to breastfeed, and have been very adamant on doing it for as long as I can. That is until we started having issues…..This week in particular, I have been wrestling with the idea of introducing formula into Bennett’s daily intake. Sometimes I just don’t feel like he is eating enough. He thrashes around so hard, claws at my chest, screams at the top of his lungs, and is so squirmy I can hardly hold him still. He has had gas issues too and I have a feeling formula will just take that worse, so I really can’t decide what to do. But on the flip side, I love nursing him, I have such a bond with him and when he is cooperative, it really is relaxing for me. I want to give him a bottle of formula so badly when we are frustrated, but when it comes down to it, it just makes me sad the thought of my little guy getting bigger and eventually not needing me solely for his nourishment.

5.  The internet is a blessing and a curse
I read/research EVERYTHING, and I know this drives Josh crazy. I love seeing how other mothers resolve their issues and get advice, but at the same time I read things and immediately think this is the issue my baby has. At one point during the last 6 weeks Bennett has “potentially” had the following: Colic, Silent Reflux, Thrush, Lactose Intolerance, Gas issues from taking in milk too quickly (which is still the best and most logical answer).

6.  Pee, Poop, and Spit up….oh my!
I have been peed on, pooped on, spit up on and I don’t care in the least. Refer to point #1 on why we do so much laundry.

7.   Babies will eventually create their own schedule
Again, using the internet as a crutch, I have done quite a bit of research on starting Bennett on a schedule. However, little guy is developing a pretty good routine on his own and I am very pleased with how things are going (it’s actually getting easier day by day!). Now, if we could just stretch his feeding schedule out from eating every 2 hours to every 3 to 4 hours life would get a lot easier, but until then, I am just fine with how things are going. No need to ruin a good thing.  

8.  Get to know your neighbors (or move on the same block as your relatives)
I know that not everyone has this luxury, but I never knew how beneficial and how much I would LOVE living next to Nate and Emily until we had Bennett. Luckily for me, Emily is home 3-4 days a week and loves to help out when she can! So showers, housework, etc can be done while her and Grace come hang out with Bennett, or I take him over there. Not only that, but we go on walks, we play together, and she is just another adult to talk to when I feel like I need some adult interaction. Word of advice, if you know of any stay at home moms in your neighborhood, get to know them…WELL!!!! It is a blessing down the road when they want to help you outJ

9.  Babies don’t always sleep
I always thought newborn babies slept all the time, and I thought I would have all this time to bake, do crafts, catch up on tv shows, do housework, etc while I was on my maternity leave. FYI-Bennett is NOT a sleeper that is for sure. He doesn’t nap very much during the day. Little catnaps throughout the day, and (sometimes) 1 longer nap (usually 2-3 hours). Furthermore, he doesn’t stay asleep when I put him down when he is in catnap mode… I have bought myself a Baby K’tan and have started “wearing” him around the house so I can get some things done. He loves it, and almost instantly falls asleepJ although he doesn’t sleep very much during the day, it took me a couple weeks to relax and make myself sit and hang out with him while he wants to nap on me, holding him. These moments are fleeting, and he is going to be too big soon to WANT to nap on me anymore. I have forced myself to relax and cherish these moments as a newborn and I hold him as much as he wantsJ

10. Cherish every moment
It only took me a couple of sleepless nights, a few bad nursing sessions, and the catnap/”wanting to be held all the time” issue to force myself to realize how important and precious these moments are with him. He isn’t going to be a baby forever, and I am already amazed at how big he has gotten. Soon, I will have to go back to work and I will regret not holding him for that extra nap, or getting up with him in the middle of the night to nurse him and spend quality quiet time with him. I love him so much and I am sad to see him get bigger by the day. Now instead of grumbling and getting frustrated, I have tried to remind myself: “He loves you and needs you right now, his only way of communicating with you is by crying, and he isn’t going to be this little forever and you will look back and want your little precious baby back.” He is our life, and we thank God every day for giving us him and trusting us to be his parents. Yes, we get frustrated and sometimes live by the “can’t wait” motto (Can’t wait until he’s big enough to sit up and play, Can’t wait for him to sleep through the night, Can’t wait to not have to rock him to sleep every night, etc. etc.) but we will look back and miss these moments, so it is best to cherish them now and savor every last second he is our little baby boy.

(Baby smiles are hard to capture! They happen so fast, here are a couple of good ones I got this past week!!!)

(PS, doesn't Bennett look EXACTLY like Josh as a baby?!?!
I am BLOWN away by the resemblance!)

Taking Baby to Church

(Bennett's first time at church-August 25th)
Article a friend of mine posted a little over a week ago....
I really enjoyed reading it. Little man has gone to church with us a few times now, and luckily he is pretty good (pending he is fed, changed, and being held! haha) But I know these days are limited and reading something like this really made me feel like taking Bennett to church is meaningful, and not EVERYONE is staring at us when he squawks or decides he's hungry right in the middle of a prayer:)

Sunday, September 15, 2013

1 Month Update

WOW!!! Where has the last month gone? I apologize for not giving better blog updates, but this little guy definitely keeps me busy all day (and he doesn’t even do anything!!) I decided I would do monthly updates and if anything else comes up in between I can do separate blog posts about that.

Update:  Bennett is doing so great! We love him so much, I cannot believe the amount of love I have for him, and I know Josh feels the same way. We are slowly developing a schedule around here. I have done some research on starting a more structured schedule for him, but it ended up just stressing me out too much, so I am just going to let him run the show here for a little while longer. He isn’t too difficult at all-and besides he is showing signs of developing a pretty good routine on his own anyways. 

·         Movement-car, boat, swing, rocking, bouncing, walking, vibrating-if it moves, Bennett is calm

·         Bath time-very content during bath time, loves the warm water

·         Tummy Time

·         Cuddling


·         Nap time-Bennett has a hard time staying asleep after being held to fall asleep, he startles himself easily-which is why I started swaddling more

·         Gas/Fussiness-Bennett is a gassy baby! He passes gas and burps like a grown man, we have had some issues with his gassiness, which has led us to try gas drops and gripe water. The gripe water is a miracle worker, he is immediately calm after we give him some!

Stats: Bennett’s birth weight was 7 lbs. 8 oz. When we took Bennett home he weighed 7 lbs. 1 oz. At his 1 week appointment he was up to 7 lbs. 11 oz. AND at his two week appointment he was up to 8 lbs. 6 oz. So to say the least, he is growing….very well!! It has been two weeks since his two week appointment, so I know this kid has probably packed on another pound, plus he looks visibly chunkier!
Until our two month appointment, I won’t know how much he weighs or how long he is. But, we KNOW he is getting bigger and longer-his newborn clothes are quickly getting smaller/more snug and we are fitting into more 0-3 month clothing every day. He also only lasted in newborn diapers for about 2 weeks until we upgraded to size 1. Little man was peeing out of the newborn diapers and we were changing clothes and sheets multiple times a day. Since going to size 1, he has slowed down on peeing on us and out his diaper.

Features: Beautiful grey eyes!! Definitely has his daddy’s eyes. They are getting lighter and lighter every day. Everyone says little guy looks exactly like Josh, and I agree. He has great color and I know he will tan well, like Josh and I do, when he gets older. He also was born with dark blonde-ish hair, which has since started to fall out. I knew this would happen, but he looks like a little old man with a receding hairline! He isn’t losing it on the sides or back, but directly on top, above his forehead

Sleep: Ever since the first night we brought Bennett home he has been a great night sleeper. I consider myself SOOOO lucky! Yes, we have bad nights, but for the most part, he does really well at night. Typically, we will put him in his crib around 9 or 9:30 PM and he will sleep 4-6 hours on his own. Around 2:30-3:30 AM he wakes up for a feeding, and then he will sleep another 2-3 hours after that. We are usually awake for the day by 6:30-7 AM. After a week of having him in our room, we decided to transition him to his crib. Mom and Dad were not sleeping well since he tends to make a lot of noise while he sleeps, I guess it is little baby dreams and he is a noisy little sleeper. We also thought that Bennett hated being swaddled, but after a few restless nights we tried swaddling him again, and ever since then he has slept really well.

Daytime sleep is a little different. And since he sleeps so well at night, I try not to complain about this too much. He takes little catnaps all day, usually 20-30 minutes at a time. This past week he has started to take one longer nap in the afternoon, usually 2 hours.

Eating: Little guy loves to eat! I have been nursing, and it has been such a great bonding experience for us, but it is so exhausting! When he is awake, it is almost as though he cannot get enough. I am always feeding him, usually once every hour, he just loves to snack. He also started taking a bottle of breast milk about 2 weeks after he was born.  So that has been a lot easier for getting out of the house. He takes both really well!

Diapering: Like I mentioned before, Bennett lasted in newborn diapers for about 2 weeks, and he was peeing through them pretty quickly. He has been in size 1 diapers since then. We especially like Luvs and Pampers Swaddlers. Huggies were not our favorite, in the newborn size, as those were the ones he was peeing through the most.
We always knew having a boy would mean possibly getting peed on at timesJ luckily for us, Bennett does not pee without his diaper on very often. We haven’t had too many pee fountains to deal with yet!

Clothes: The week Bennett was born the weather was a beautiful 75 degrees, but starting the day we came home up until this last week, the average temp has been 150 degreesJ So Bennett has used the heck out of his onesies…..most days I haven’t even bothered to put pants on him. But now that fall is upon us and the temp has gone down, we have worn a few more of the cute newborn outfits with pants and long sleeves.
He has mostly only worn newborn sized clothes for the first month. He won’t be in his newborn clothes much longer, in fact I was going to wash his 3 month clothes this week since he will probably outgrow the rest of the newborn clothes he has been wearing shortly.

Social: Bennett’s best time of day is morning. He is so smiley and happy in the morning. Overall, he is very alert and focuses very well on objects moving, lights, faces, and responds quickly to noises. He has started to “test” his vocal cords, and we have noticed him starting to make “cooing” noises this past week. He also started to smile this past week, and not due to gas or falling asleep faces, REAL smiles! Just melted our hearts!

Mama: The first two weeks were rough on mama, I knew recovery would be tough, but I never imagined how tough. The recovery weeks were worse than the actual laboring part in my opinion! Around week 3 I really started to feel good again. I am loving being Bennett’s mom! We have our moments, but Josh and I are learning more things daily about Bennett and being parents. Being a mother has truly changed my life. Most days, I smell like spit up and sour milk, and hardly have time to take a shower, let alone do my hair or make-up. Things that used to matter no longer take up space in my mind...they have been replaced with a whole new set of fears and concerns.

Bennett and I spend our days playing with his cousin, Grace, going on walks with his Aunt Emily and Grace, playing, singing, cooing, and napping. I love spending my days with Bennett and I have a bittersweet feeling about going back to work. I don’t want to leave my little man, but at the same time I have a whole new attitude towards going to work every day and having adult interaction. I could not do this stay at home mom thing forever

My day progresses during nap time and pauses every moment in between. Some days are harder than others but each day I count my blessings and thank God. I thank Him for an amazing family, friends, a sweet and adorable son, and a great father and man for my son and me. I can no longer make plans like I used to because I can no longer see past today...maybe this is a good thing. My need for control has been mellowed very much. This is all still so new to me...and I'm doing the best I can.

Daddy: Josh was able to work from home and take some additional time off the two weeks after Bennett was born. It was so nice to have him home during the most difficult time of my recovery. I was really sad to see him go back to workL Josh has embraced fatherhood so well. I love watching him play and interact with Bennett. I warms my heart to see him so proud of his son, and I can only imagine the hopes and dreams he has for him. I know Josh cannot wait for Bennett to be big enough to run around and play ball with him. Since I am nursing Bennett, Josh hasn’t had the opportunity to help as much as I know he would like to, but we have adjusted and found other ways he can help out. Josh enjoys rocking Bennett to sleep after I get done feeding him each night before bed. Josh bathes Bennett while I watch. He loves to help out when he can, and comes home every day for lunch to spend time with us, and the moment he gets home from work he scoops Bennett up into his arms.
 First Family Photo
 First Day at Home from the Hospital
 Loves being outside
 Love those big eyes!
 First walk outside
 First boat ride-11 days old!
 All smiles!!
 Loves the vibrating chair and looking outside
 First Hawkeye tailgate at 2 and half weeks old
 Favorite way to sleep, on our chests
 Cousin Grace and Bennett
 First weekend away, at the lake in Illinois
 Daddy and Bennett love boating!
 Bright eyed and happy in the morning with mom!

We get more smiles everyday

Daddy and Bennett love watching tv together (don't let this fool you, it doesn't last that long!)

Bath time isn't so bad!