Tuesday, September 24, 2013

I Miss My Bump

This post semi-kills me to write. When I was pregnant, I just wanted to be done. For a lot of reasons, but there were two big ones. The first, I am horrible at being the slightest bit uncomfortable, which meant the first trimester was hell due to my body adjusting to it's new occupant and the third trimester was not fun either due to the bowling ball growing in my belly and putting pressure on all of my organs.

The second - and bigger of the two - I just wanted to fast forward and have Henrik HERE and safe. I've said it many times - I would give anything to be 22 and clueless on how life works. Unfortunately, I know bad things can happen and just because you're pregnant, does not guarantee you a baby. I am generally just a worry-wart and every time Henrik would go more than 10 minutes without kicking, I would start to panic. Of course, it always turned out fine and now that he is here, I worry about new things.
So now that I'm not pregnant, it kills me to admit that I miss it a little. I was looking back at my belly pictures today and was feeling a little nostalgic. I look at each picture and recall the events going on around each week. From how excited I was when the tiniest pouch started to form to when there was an actual bump to when I was unmistakably pregnant, each picture shows my baby boy growing and gaining strength. I wasn't the best at taking pictures each week, but I am so glad I took them on a semi-regular basis. Even though I was miserable in 2/3 of the pictures, they already remind me of how incredibly HAPPY Bryan and I were to finally be expecting our first child.

The thing I miss the most is feeling his movements. It's amazing to see him moving in front of my eyes, but every once in awhile I'll catch myself waiting for the next kick to come from within me. I also miss my bump for silly reasons - like, being able to balance my drink on top of it and not worrying if my gut was sticking out or not.

For as short of a time as my bump was apart of me, it's amazing how fast I got used to it. Towards the end of my pregnancy, I could not turn a shopping car around in the middle of an aisle without moving out of the way of it. The other day, I went to turn a car around and found myself stepping to the side before I realized, I was skinny again and no longer needed to move out of the way. For 30 years I did not have to move for it and the two months in which my belly was too big, I trained myself to step out of the way. It just goes to show how aware of your belly you are 24/7 when you're pregnant.

There are a lot of things you cannot fully appreciate until you're able to look back. I now know how incredibly special your first pregnancy is. While all pregnancies are special, with the first one, everything is new and exciting. When people find out this is your first, they give you an extra special smile and that knowing nod as if to say "you're about to find out what everyone is talking about". The first one means baby showers and shopping for all things baby for the first time. Researching everything from diaper cream to strollers to baby furniture.
While we are definitely not ready to start trying for number two yet, it does make me smile to know that I will get to experience this at least one more time. Maybe even two more times (wink, wink). I know the second time around will be just as special, but in a different way. And judging by how fast time seems to go now that we have a baby, the time will be here before I know it.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Little Man: Two Months Old

Another month is in the books for our little man and as the pictures will show - he's growing like a weed! I hadn't looked back at his one month picture since we took it until today, and when it's right next to his two month picture, you can really see how much he's changed in a month!

We were told by our doctors that since he was so early, once he hit his due date, we would see a major change in his sleeping. As in, he wouldn't be sleeping for six hour stretches and would be acting like more of baby. Boy did we ever! He is awake anywhere from six to ten hours a day now, depending on the day. There has been a day here and there where we've been able to get four to five hour stretches out of him at night, but mostly it's still three hour stretches.

We also made it through Bryan's first overnight business trip since Henrik's arrival. I should say overnights - as in an entire week. Yeah, we didn't even attempt that by ourselves, I packed up Henrik, the two dogs and myself and moved in with my parents for the week. Kudos to all you single parents out there - I have NO clue how you do it! Bryan has another trip next week, but that one is only a one-nighter, so we'll be doing that one solo (but with dinner at my parent's house.)

We also survived Henrik's two-month appointment which included FIVE shots! (Normally, there are only three shots as certain vaccines are mixed. However, there is a nation-wide shortage on some vaccines right now, so little man got five pokes.) We learned during this that our son has got a set of LUNGS on him and can deliver some very high-pitched screams. Good to know the lungs are in good shape.

Weight: He weighed in at 11 pounds, 8 ounces at his two month, which puts him in the 28th percentile - definitely following in mommy and daddy's footsteps of being a string bean!

Height: 23.5" - 66th percentile

Clothing Size: Officially retired the newborn outfits this month and is in 3 months. Sleepers and rompers with legs are in the 3 month size are actually a little short on him, but onesies and things with waists are a little big. I have a feeling this is going to be an ongoing battle for awhile. 

Favorites: LOVES being on his back, whether it's in the pack 'n play, crib or floor, he really likes to stretch out. He also does pretty good at tummy-time, but I wouldn't say it's a favorite. He's still a big fan of the Rock 'n Play and now likes the swing again, as long as it's going back and forth and not side to side. No longer a fan of the bouncer - at all. 

Oh - then there is his friend the ceiling fan. Those two are pretty tight. 

Milestones: As I mentioned above, first shots. He also had his first smile around five weeks and now give them regularly. He is holding his head up a lot better and making lots of eye-contact and focusing in on things. He is also coo-ing at us and moves his mouth a lot like he's going to talk. 

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Power Smoothie for Breast Feeding Mamas

I posted my go-to smoothie recipe a long time ago, but wanted to post an updated recipe. Now that it has been seven weeks since Henrik's arrival, I am focusing in on losing the baby weight. Back after I got out of college, I followed Weight Watchers to shed some beer and pizza weight, and it was pretty easy to follow. So I decided to follow it again to get these last ten pounds off. Additionally, I am very conscious about what I am eating, making sure I am getting enough of the right food groups to both keep my energy up and keep Henrik full of the right nutrients. This recipe is 7 PointsPlus and also contains a serving of dairy, two servings of vegetables and three servings of fruit. That's FIVE servings of fruits and vegetables before you even leave the house. Plus, it keeps me very full - I can barely finish it and I don't need anything else until lunch.

This recipe contains oatmeal, which is good for milk supply when your breast feeding. If you're not breast feeding, you could cut out the oatmeal and the smoothie would only be 3 PointsPlus.

  • 2 cups organic spinach
  • 1/4c milk/almond milk/water
  • 2 cups frozen or fresh berries (I buy the big bag of frozen Target brand berries)
  • 1 banana
  • 3/4 c vanilla greek yogurt (You can omit this and substitute a scoop of vanilla protein powder)
  • Hand full of ice
In a blender, put the spinach in as well as the milk or almond milk or water and blend. This will ensure you don't have any chunks of spinach in your smoothie. Add the rest of the ingredients, blend until smooth and enjoy! (I have figured out that my smoothie is smoother if I add everything one at a time and blend, but if I'm in a hurry, I shove it all in and blend.)

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Must Have Baby Products for the First Month

When we were shopping for Henrik (prior to his arrival), I tried to keep everything in perspective and not buy every baby item imaginable. Being the shop-a-holic that I am, I think I succeeded and failed at the same time. (Is that possible?) We have a lot of baby items we haven't used yet as he is not big enough, but here is a list of things we found useful the first month.

{Please note, I am not getting paid or receiving anything for free - I really just like these products.}
  • Fisher Price Rock n Play: Henrik has actually been sleeping in this since we brought him home. I have been trying to figure out why he likes it so much, I think it's because it creates this cozy pocket for him and combined with a swaddle, he sleeps like, well, a baby (in three to four hour increments). This picture doesn't do it a lot of justice (except for the cute little boy sleeping in it), but it is currently in our bedroom where little man is napping and you never do anything that might wake a sleeping baby.
  • Graco DuetSoothe Swing & Rocker: For some reason, when registering for a swing, I was really stressed about it and did a ton of research. We settled on this swing and have been very happy with it. You can switch which way it swings (back and forth or side to side), it has a vibrate function and you can take the seat off and it turns into a rocker that you can take anywhere in your house. I also like that it plugs in so we don't have to rely on batteries. Henrik has really responded well to the vibrate function and so it's been nice we can take the seat anywhere in the house with us. My one complaint is the vibrate function is rather loud, thus the yellow vice grip my husband implemented to quiet it. 
  • Aden and Anais blankets: I big-fat-puffy heart these blankets. They're light weight, warm and don't take up much space in the diaper bag. Plus, they come in some really stinkin cute prints!
  • Boon Lawn: One of my friends told me to get the Boon Lawn vs. the Boon Grass and I am really glad I took her advice. It's larger than the grass, which has been nice for putting bottles on. I also love the twig and flower attachments for holding lids and nipples - even my husband said this thing was the "coolest thing he's ever seen". 
  • Carter's Clothes: I have found I am partial to anything Carter's for our little guy. Their clothes are so soft and cute, I find myself reaching for those outfits the most. 
  • Halo Sleep Sack : I never even attempted to learn to swaddle with an actual blanket. Instead we have been using Halo sleep sacks and love them. We put him in a long sleeve half onesie and then swaddle him up in the sack and he does really well. I love that it has an inverted zipper (zips down, rather than up). This combined with a half onesie makes 3 am diaper changes a lot more manageable. So far I have accumulated four of these sleep sacks - two newborn (which he is almost too long for) and two smalls (which should last him awhile longer.)
  • California Baby bath products: Bath products were something else I stressed about. I wanted something that smelled good that was good for his skin. I started with Johnson & Johnson (despite all their recent negative press), but his skin was super dry and he kept breaking out. So I switched to California Baby and his baby acne cleared up in a snap and his skin stopped flaking immediately. Their products are a little on the pricy side, but I rarely have to use lotion on him now and I love the smell. 
  • Skip-Hop Studio Diaper bag: Besides being cute and roomy, this diaper bag is super functional. Nice big bottle pockets on each side are great for Camelback water bottles (Since I'm breast feeding, no bottles on the go for little man yet) and lots of pockets for both Henrik and I's miscellaneous items such as pacies and chapstick. The thing I have liked most so far are the stroller straps, which creates more room in the basket below the stroller. In addition to cute and functional, the price tag won't break the bank either. 
  • UppaBaby Vista Stroller: This was my splurge when I found out we were expecting. There are three things about this stroller I absolutely LOVE: 1.) The push bar extends up three inches. Three inches doesn't sound like a lot, but when both you and your husband are tall, it makes a BIG difference. 2.) It rides like a dream - this thing has better shock absorbers than our relatively new car. 3.) It comes with a regular seat or a bassinet and you can buy a car seat attachment. So far we have used the car seat attachment - which is great when I know he won't be in it for long - and the bassinet attachment - which is great for him to stretch out in... On a side note, while getting the stroller in and out of the car is annoying at times, my husband and I both love always having cup holders and something to hold our purchases. 

We are half way through month #2 already (not sure how that is possible) and are using different baby items already and some of the things listed above, not as much. I'll be sure to update you next month on our latest must-haves.