Lions, duc(t)s and lip-ties…oh my! [Part I]

1395856_663167180369761_2135331921_n

IMG_3530

1395969_10100690360623587_1150493012_n

1377058_663168137036332_1052661393_n

IMG_3591

Man, it’s been a while!  I’ll start with the cute and cuddly part of what’s been keeping us busy these last few weeks 🙂  Stay tuned for the less glamorous side of nursing and motherhood in parts II and III of this thrilling trilogy…

Obviously it’s Halloween tomorrow and I have to say, it takes on a slightly new meaning now that I’m a mom.  Meaning, it’s no longer an excuse to wear something otherwise inappropriate and drink too much and act otherwise inappropriate…darn.  That used to be so much fun…

This year, as such, I’ve channeled my already limited Halloween spirit into home decor, instead.  Out front I have two mums that I haven’t killed yet (I’ll consider this an early Christmas miracle…) and a pumpkin that hasn’t rotted yet (mostly because I haven’t carved it yet…)  In the kitchen I have a pumpkin with W’s name painted on it (gifted by his Gamma) and a Halloween floral arrangement (I totally bought it at the supermarket).  In the bathroom I have a Halloween Yankee Candle along with hand soap in a pumpkin dispenser and a Halloween themed hand towel (all three also gifted by Gamma. She’s good at decorating for the holidays. I think she knows I’m usually too lazy busy.)  One thing I do have totally figured out is the candy situation.  I’ve already taste tested all of the candy.  Several times.  I feel confident that the one Milky Way bar we’ll have left will be delicious.  If I don’t eat it before then.  No promises.

Ok, but onto the lion bit of this whole story.

My sister-in-law let us borrow an adorable lion costume that my nephew wore two years ago.  (He’s an April baby and W is a February baby so for the most part, thankfully, W has been able to fit into his clothes at the right time of year.)  So I was obviously looking for more than one occasion to put my little pumpkin in this cute suite!  It was perfect that one of my mommy friends suggested we run a Wicked 5K in beautiful Kennebunkport, ME to benefit the Center for Grieving Children (where one of my good friends works!)  What a great way to dress the kiddos up, finally meet each others husbands, participate in some Halloween fun at a time of day that the babes are awake for, AND benefit a good cause.

I was sold and the hubby was in, too.  He’s super fit and active, but running is not in his repertoire.  I was worried I’d have to do some arm twisting…but I guess he couldn’t resist a challenge 🙂  I wrote it on my lovely white board in my kitchen and had grand visions of training.  We even borrowed a jogger from a neighbor.  Welp, per usual, I was mistaken.  My post-baby-body just wasn’t having the whole running thing – it was killer on all of my joints.

Sigh.

Nonetheless, I’m a sucker for doing anything with my hubby and it was pretty sweet to see him lace up his running shoes and push the jogger.

Swoon.

So, on race day we got all dressed up and took a lovely little Sunday drive down the coast to meet my friend, her hubby and Baby G.  Did I mention that I was really nervous before the race?  I guess it’s just the competitive spirit in me…

The day and the location along the water at the Nonatum could not have been more perfect.  The air was super crisp, the sun was shining and the 200 participants (many of them families with little ones) were dressed in festive gear.  W was pretty entertained by all of the costumes and colors and attention he was getting.  We were a tad nervous to see how W would do in his majorly furry costume, strapped in a stroller for 30+ minutes, approaching nap time…and, low and behold, minutes before the race was about to begin he was screaming.  Oh boy, we thought.  This is going to be a LONG race!  

But, as usual, W pulled himself together.  We huffed and puffed our way up, down and around the beautiful neighborhoods…peeking at our little lion who was just taking in the scenery and having a blast.  His amazingly thick costume came in handy as we rounded the final mile with the sparkling ocean flanking our left side and a stiff breeze blowing in our face.  We finished in 34 minutes, and though we didn’t get in under 30 minutes as the hubby had hoped, we crossed the finish line as a family and with a smile 🙂  It was perfect!

The after-party, as with most races I’ve run, is pretty much the reason I sign up in the first place…free food and free beer.  So, my friend and I left the babies with the guys and grabbed ourselves a plate of food and a yummy Allagash White before returning to our precious little families, sitting on picnic tables and Adirondack chairs along the ocean.

Ah.  Life is good.  And Wyatt even fell asleep on the car ride home.  Life is really good…minus the major clogged duct that was brewing.  Now, though, it’s time for the Red Sox!

Still sore,

MomME

Advertisements

Bumper sticker fist-bump

Bumper sticker fist bump

I pulled into a sweet parking spot at Target, giddy to be so close to the entrance and right next to the cart return. As I put the car in park, about to gather my ErgoBaby and grab W, I looked up and smirked. It really was the perfect spot. The bumper stickers on the van in front of me read:

“Breastmilk: it’s never been recalled”
“Cloth, Love & Wear” and
“Wearing is caring”

I liked this mom already, and I didn’t even know her. During the rest of our Target outing (during which, of course, W pooped on my nice chambray shirt) I smiled at the other moms we passed…imagining each of them as the breastfeeding, baby-wearing and loving wonders they are.

As I drove off, I gave a little nod of agreement and raised a fist-bump towards those bumper sticker truths.

10 New Baby Must Haves

Bringing Home Baby: New Baby Must-Haves
Our neighbors and our best friends both welcomed baby girls this past week!  So exciting.  I couldn’t help but reminisce about W’s arrival and the terror excitement we felt about bringing him home.  And, of course, the few items that we relied upon to get us through the first sleep-deprived, adrenaline-fuled and bursting-at-the-seams-with-joy weeks.
Simply put, new babies eat, sleep, poop and cry.  As a nursing mom, here is what made my world go ’round…what I actually used…every hour, every day…after bringing W home.
[Oh, and also.  These would make for one heck-of-a-baby-shower gift.  Toss some of these items in a cute storage bin or basket along with a bottle, pacifier or diaper she didn’t register for (see below for why!) and she’ll be calling you Week 1 thanking you for the most-used-baby-shower-gifts.  Ever.]
  1. Nipple cream: the LC  (mommy-blog-o-nym for Lactation Consultant) recommended I nurse, then rub expressed milk on my nipples, let ’em air dry, then apply the nipple cream…and procede to let the boobs hang freely in the open.  My cracked bloody nipples finally healed at about Week 3!  I used Lansinoh or the Medela brand, but I hear that MotherLove is awesome, too!  I used their More Milk pills to help with milk production.
  2. Hydrogel pads – these felt OH SO GOOD.  They were about the only thing I let touch my nipples in the first three weeks.  See my hospital bag must-haves for other medicine-cabinet needs post-baby.
  3. Snacks – Remembering to eat is harder than you think in the first few weeks, but if you’re nursing, it’s critical.  I lived on Larabars (super healthy, fill you up, minimal/whole ingredients and delicious flavors like Cherry Pie and Coconut Cream Pie), bananas, cheese sticks and the meals my neighborhood made for me!  I made little snack baggies and kept them beside my bed to munch on while I was nursing in the middle of the night…I was always STARVING (and I still am…)
  4. Water bottle Camel Pack: the second W latched on to nurse I was ravenously thirsty.  Instantaneously.  And obviously, I’d forgotten to get water before getting set up amidst pillows and the boppy.  Next baby, I’m forgoing the water bottle and just wearing a camel pack.  Sounds easier 🙂
  5. Boppy: in my first two weeks with W, I was nursing 9-12 times a day for about 30 minutes a session.  That’s a lot of time sitting and nursing.  The more comfortable you are, the better for you and baby.  So, find something like a boppy that works for you!
  6. Nursing/Cozy Tanks:  see above.  You’re pretty much nursing all the time, so find some tanks that are fuss-free and comfortable (even with nursing bras, I never used the snap function – I just wore bras and tanks and shirts with a stretchy enough neck that I could just yank it down over my boob…still do).  My nipples were pretty sore, so super-soft material was a must.  I usually just wore my underwear, a comfy tank and a cozy robe from Brookstone…it seemed to go well with the bags under my eyes…and made snagging a quick nap less of hassle since I was already in my PJs 🙂
  7. Plain onesies: you can never have too many white onesies.  At the rate W pooped through his diapers and clothes, we were changing these things a few times a day.  I was all about easy, and this is where that started.
  8. Zippered, footed sleepers or elastic bottomed dress thingys: add a cute footed onesie (with an adorable face on the butt and feet) to a white onesie and we were dressed and ready to go.  Why they EVEN make baby clothes with buttons baffles me.  There’s nothing worse than trying to change a diaper at 3am, bleary eyed and sleep deprived, and trying to line up 12 teeny-tiny buttons over teeny-tiny squirming arms and legs.  Nope.  Zippers are the best.  And, W didn’t just sleep in these.  He wore them 24/7.
  9. Something to wear baby with – Ergobaby / Moby:  in the 4th trimester we spent most of our time cuddled together, both day and night.  But, for the few hours here or there where my arms needed a break, the Moby I borrowed from my neighbor was a perfect way to keep W close, snuggled and have my hands free.  We now use the Ergo, and in hind sight I probably would have used the baby insert much earlier.  Because it’s so versatile it can be your carrier from birth to 45lbs.
  10. Something to put baby in – Rock N Sleep:  For an off-the-body place to let the little one sleep, the Fisher-Price Rock ‘n Play Sleeper was AMAZING.  It’s SO simple, but the slight incline and deep seat really hugged W when I wasn’t, and he spent a ton of time checking out the scenes from this little yellow seat, napping and sleeping.  Before he transitioned into his crib, this was the only place he’d sleep!

Enjoy your precious new baby, mama!  And remember, keep it simple 🙂

Yours truly,

MomME

PS – I didn’t include things like a carseat, diapers/wipes, bottles, pacifiers or crib/co-sleeper/basinette because those are either obvious, optional or a personal preference.  You might choose to do disposable diapers or cloth…or co-sleep or put your baby in a basinette for the night…or give your baby a pacifier or not…or try a bottle at three weeks…or earlier…or later.

For what it’s worth, here’s my two cents on all of the above: before you invest in a whole bunch of anything, try them out and make sure you and your baby like them.  We made the mistake of registering for a bunch of bottles that, in the end, W didn’t take to.  Same with pacifiers.  It took some trial and error (and swapping with my other mommy friend) to find the right fit.  We also bought a co-sleeper that we used once and hated, which seemed like a waste.  If you have the chance to borrow from a friend to try it out, do it.  If you can live with baby for a bit and then decide what you really need and want, you’ll save some money!

Fall Bucket List: Update

Another weekend has come and gone already…sigh.  But, we enjoyed it to the fullest and dropped a few more adventures in the fall bucket list 🙂  Sure, it was a bit cloudy and chilly…but that’s nothing a good bottle of wine, a 5th birthday party, pumpkin picking, apple picking, FaceTime with Auntie Wink, football, pulled pork and apple crisp didn’t fix!

Here’s what we’ve dropped in the bucket so far:

Pick out mums

IMG_1839

Pick a pumpkin

image
Go apple picking

image

image

image

image

Bake an apple pie apple crisp

image

Stay tuned!  More fall bucket list adventures to come next weekend 🙂

Yours truly,

MomME

One revision “To My Post-Partum Self”

To My Post-Partum Self: Things I Wish I’d Known has been blowing up my Facebook newsfeed, so during W’s nap yesterday I finally sat down and read it.  And, she got it (almost) all right.  At first I found myself nodding along: boobs, do what works, you’re not alone, take a time out, ask for help, don’t clean, find your tribe…and then I got uneasy.  Be a hater?  This is where the “almost” comes in.  Yeah, she got it (almost) all right…except for being a hater.

Ick.  Ugh.  Shift in my chair.  Not sure I like that.

After digesting it all, I get that the overall message of the article is not to hate on other moms.  It’s acknowledgement of the crazy and reassurance to new moms they’re doing a great job and all will be OK.  I just don’t think being a hater (even a little bit, even jokingly) is what I want to tell my post-partum self…or my friends who just had babies…and are about to have babies.  Of course I’ve done it.  We all have.  And I think Shattuck means to encourage you to forgive yourself if you do get a bit judgy-pants (which I agree with).  But making ourselves “feel better” at the expense of others – of new moms – it’s just not very productive.  Or supportive.  Or kind.  Parenting is hard enough as it is, and if you’re anything like me, you probably already second guess every decision you make when it comes to your baby. Do we really want to wonder if every other new mother out there is “hating” on us?  Nope.  Not me.

Women already face too much sexism (along with every other ism) for us to fear that the one group of people who are supposed to be our “tribe” are secretly – or not so secretly – judging our choices.  The truth of the matter is that all moms want the best for their children.  All moms do the best with what they have.  All moms make the best decisions they can for their children.  Even if that means breastfeeding in public.  Even if that means formula.  Even if that means WIC.  Even if that means homemade baby food.  Even if that means “big designer diaper bags brimming with healthy snacks and water and sunscreen and extra outfits and hand sanitizer.”

So here’s my revision, Shattuck…from one mom in Maine to another:

Be a hater Be kind to yourself.

When the doubt creeps in and you’re comparing yourself to other mamas…be kind to yourself and know you’re doing the best you can, mama.  Your baby doesn’t care whether you’re size 6 or 16.  There’s only one you and you’re perfect for your baby.  Always and in all ways.  So when you find yourself in yuck-ville, take a deep breath and: take a break, ask for help, know you’re not alone and spend time with your tribe.  You are on your way. 

Thankfully 99% of Shattuck’s article follows this philosophy, which I loved.  A few other readers, and Shattuck herself, reflected that this section could have been a bit more thoughtful.  I appreciate her owning that!  We all have the right to change our minds 🙂  No shame in that.  So come on, ladies.  Let’s stick together.  If we can’t count on each other to support our, albeit different, parenting choices…then who can we count on?

Your tribe-mama,

MomME