Sunday, September 21, 2014

As a New Mama: Five Items Helping Me Out

Hi there!

For starters, I wrote this post over a week ago but never actually posted it.  Oops!  That's how quickly time is flying.  I can't believe how much my baby boy has grown since these pictures were taken.

We have now been living with baby Sage for six weeks (tomorrow!) and there are certain things that have greatly helped me over the last month and a half and continue to be very beneficial.  There is so much baby stuff that can be bought.  I found that as a new mama it's hard to know what you really need before you're in the moment.  Also, I do not like to fill my house with unnecessary stuff.  

The items below have made a big difference for me and our baby boy, so much so that I would recommend these items to other mamas (or dads!). Below I explain their importance to me and how they help each day.  

1. Rock n' Play:  I posted on Facebook that we were having trouble with our baby boy sleeping in his bassinet (which we returned) due to his reflux, and I got several responses saying great things about the Rock n' Play.  Thank you! It basically cradles Sage as he sleeps and has his body on a slight incline.  Without this, I'm not sure we be getting any sleep.  Sage still likes to sleep in our arms more, but he's been doing a great job sleeping more in the Rock n' Play at night.  Further, it's lightweight, folds up, and fits nicely next to our bed.  I'm not sure how long we'll have Sage sleep in it, but I read that the weight limit is 25 pounds.

2. Cloth Diapers:  I knew I wanted to use cloth diapers when I found out I was pregnant. I love the green aspect of it as well as the money savings.  Plus they are adorable and I think more comfortable for Sage.  One other bonus is we've only had one leak with the cloth whereas for the first two weeks with disposables we had many leaks.  We now have 18 BumGenius 4.0 diapers and so far I'm very happy with them.  I'll do a whole post on this eventually.  We ran out of disposables quick and I'm so glad we had our cloth diapers available.  It's really no big deal to me having to wash them each night.  

Sage goes through a lot of diapers and I feel much better covering his bum in a soft comforting cloth.

3. Bibs: When we received a lot of bibs at my shower, I thought we're going to need to return some.  I was so wrong! We go through a bib an hour some days.  Sage doesn't spit up a lot at once often, but little amounts, and bibs save me from having to change his outfit after each feeding.  Maybe not all babies need them, but I know they have been so helpful with my baby boy!

4. Nursing bras and tanks:  Right now I am home on maternity leave and nursing every 1-4 hours.  These make life so much easier.  I got a bunch of comfortable bras and tanks at Target and they are all I wear right now with a pair of leggings.  Cute, comfortable, and practical!

5. Jogger Stroller:  Sage and I started going for walks at three weeks old.  This jogger is fantastic.  It's so easy to use and high quality in my opinion. We originally had another jogger picked out, but then at the store a mom walking by recommended this one. I am so glad she did.  I know I'll use it for years to come.  Right now Sage is in the car seat that snaps in, but eventually he'll just sit in the jogger itself.  Also, getting out of the house for our morning stroll is really good for both of us.  I'm so happy to get moving!

I hope this was helpful.  Let me know if I can answer any questions regarding these items.  

What items helped you most with your baby?

Friday, September 19, 2014

My Week in 10 Sentences

Hi there!

I disappeared for a bit because I've been feeling very much under the weather since Saturday.  So has my husband and Sage was a bit congested yesterday.  No fun!  Sage got lots of sleep last night (slept 6.5 hours straight!), so hopefully that will help along with lots of rest today.  Onto my 10 sentence week description.

It has been very challenging caring for a newborn when I felt terrible (1) because I was sick and (2) because I wanted to do everything in my power not to get baby boy sick.  

I washed my hands about a million times each day and did countless loads of laundry.  

I snuggled with my baby boy every day and gave him lots of love.

I drank buckets of ginger tea and kukicha tea and had miso soup a few days.

We finally got our new car (2015 Subaru Outback) which I haven't yet enjoyed, but hopefully this weekend.

My husband and my first date out in the new car was to the doctor at 8pm on Tuesday (huge thanks to my mom for watching Sage!).

I cried when I realized Sage was congested because I tried so hard to keep him germ free.

I took many deep breaths and told myself I'm a great mama and I'm doing the best I can.

Sage went to the doctor Thursday and we found out he now weighs 10 lbs. 6 oz. which is almost three pounds more than his birth weight! 

It's Friday and I'm starting to feel better and hoping to fully recover from my sinus infection this weekend.

It's been a heck of a week but it's shown me how strong I really am even when I feel horrible.

How was your week?

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Sage: Month One Baby Update


Sage officially turned one month old on Monday.  Happy one month birthday to Sage!  He dressed up for the occasion.  The past month flew by.  He is growing and developing before our eyes.  We are having the best time getting to know him.  I hold him in my arms and feel so blessed that he's my son.  

The first month has been incredible and a huge learning experience.  The best experience.  I am much more confident as a mama than I was just weeks ago.  Everyday I gain confidence as I spend more time with baby boy.  Sage and I teach one another.  

I'd say around week three I really started to get into a rhythm with things.  I began to anticipate Sage's needs and just feel more comfortable caring for him in general.  

Here are some specifics on his likes, dislikes, eating and sleeping.

Likes:  Sage loves to sleep in our arms.  He's a cuddler.  He likes to look into our eyes.  Also, he likes when we hold him and walk around.  The swaying is comforting to him.  I've made countless laps around the kitchen island singing to him.  He likes music.  My husband walks around the house holding Sage with an assortment of music playing from his phone and Sage enjoys it all from classical to hip hop.  He likes starring at lights, bright colored toys and fans catch his attention.  He loves to lay on his changing table with a blanket on him and flall his arms and legs playing with the blanket.  It's entertaining to watch and it calms him down every time I put the little blanket on him while I change his diaper.  Sage likes to go on walks with his mama.  I started walking last week and I try to go just after Sage has fallen asleep.  At bathtime his daddy puts a warm towel on his body and Sage loves it.  

Dislikes:  He doesn't always like bathtime particularly when we're trying to dry him off at the end.  He gets frustrated when he's getting his diaper changed and he's hungry.  He hates to wait to eat.  He does not like being overtired which I can tell immediately if he's been up a while and starts to get fussy and isn't calmed by eating.  

Sleeping:  Sage sleeps for 1-4 hours every 1-3 hours.  I get about 2 hour chunks of sleep at night, sometimes a little more or less.  Again, he loves sleeping on my or my husband's chest or in our arms.  He's getting much better about sleeping in his rock n' play, although, sometimes he wakes up soon after we set him down.  He's been sleeping more at night, but wakes up to eat.  He is a very active and noisy sleeper!  He moves his arms a lot and makes grunting and cooing noises.  My husband and I often think he's awake when we hear him, but then check on him and see he's fast asleep.

Eating:  He has been a great eater from day one.  In the beginning it was more difficult because of his reflux, but really I just had to learn the proper way to hold him when breastfeeding so that he is more upright.  Sage eats every 1-4 hours and always is hungry and eager to eat.  He signals that he's hungry with his mouth motions.  I feel really lucky that he took to breastfeeding so easily.  In week three we introduced a bottle after dinner so I could get a break at one feeding and nap.  

He has taken every bottle so far, but was a little confused at first (says my hubby).  

Playing:  He loves his mobile!  As of week three he started going in the pack n' play daily for 10-20 minute chunks of time and is completely entertained by the dangling toys.  He tries to swat at the toys too.  This development was amazing to watch.  

Sage, we love you more than words can say!  You are a wonderful baby and bring so much happiness to our lives.  We love every minute with you and can't wait to continue to watch you learn and grow.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Three Miles / One Month Postpartum / Running Chat

Hi there!

This morning Sage and I went on a three mile power walk.  Yay!  That's the longest I've done in ages.  We're talking like a year ago.  I didn't plan on not running during pregnancy, but I found out I was pregnant just after Thanksgiving, and then I felt not so great the first trimester, and then the weather turned to snow, and by the time the weather was nice again I was in my third trimester and it didn't seem smart to start running then.  It's been a long time since I've covered some distance and man did it feel fantastic.  Total bonus is that Sage slept the whole time.  

Have I mentioned how much I love this time of year?  I'm not really a summer girl.  I enjoy the sunshine, but I don't dig humidity, and running in 50 to 60 degree weather is so much more enjoyable to me.  I even love 40 degree weather when fall really starts coming around.  Heck I'll run in the dead of winter if the snow doesn't make it impossible.  

I'm in the market for a treadmill this year though.  We own an elliptical and it's definitely a good workout, but it doesn't get my adrenaline pumping the way a good treadmill session does.  I need to checkout craigslist or maybe for Christmas we'll buy a new one if we can find a good deal.  Any treadmill brand suggestions, please let me know!  I'm just looking for something basic.  If it folds up, that would be even better.  I'm also looking to buy a new pair of sneakers this week.  I have been running in Nike Lunarglide +3 sneakers for the past few years.  I did all my marathon training in 2013 in them but I think I might want a change.  Maybe.  I'm going to go to Fleet Feet and get some suggestions for a fresh sneaker start.  What are you running in right now?

 Sage is one month old today!  I'll have a post of that coming later this week.  That means I am officially one month postpartum.  Yesterday we went out into the world for the first time as a family with baby Sage (aside from doctor's appointment at two weeks).  We went to Barnes & Noble since it's one of my husband and my favorite places to hangout.  Later in the day we went to Chipotle with my mother-in-law.  Another one of our favorite places.  Sage doesn't know how much we love Chipotle yet, but hopefully he too will love burritos and guacamole!

My body is bouncing back better than I could have expected.  I definitely am not my pre-pregnancy size yet, but I didn't expect to be.  I'd guess I'm 5-10 pounds heavier, but I really don't know.  We don't own a scale and that's not how I like to judge my health anyways.  My midsection is where things have changed.  Just a little softer on the front and sides.  I need to do core workouts and hopefully walking and running will help tone.  All in good time.  My focus is just eating healthy, getting some exercise, and resting (when possible). 

Any suggestions on a treadmill or new sneakers, please let me know!  

Are you a Chipotle fan?

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Five Things I'm Loving

Hi there!

How's your weekend going? Sage and I just got back from our morning power walk.  Well, baby boy slept and I got my walk on.  Beautiful morning out there.  I love that there was a slight chill in the air.  The neighborhoods were still so quiet.  Nice and peaceful.  Also, Sage slept like a champ last night from 1AM to 6AM so I was actually feeling rather energetic this morning.  Thank you baby boy!  Onto things I'm loving lately...

1. Cuddling with my baby boy.  We are working on putting Sage down in his Rock n' Play more to sleep so that he won't only sleep in our arms, but I cherish these cuddling moments.  He's such a sweetheart.  He loves sleeping on his daddy too.  Most evenings after dinner he naps in my husband's arms while I take a nap too so I have some energy for the night.

2.  Morning walks.  I've started morning power walking with Sage in his jogger.  I know I mentioned this before, but I really look forward to these walks now.  I'm on a roll going three days in a row.  It's great for me to get out of the house and moving.  

3.  Eating organic.  Along with getting some exercise, I've really been focusing on clean eating.  Yesterday I grocery shopped while my husband and Sage hung out at the house together.  I really like to grocery shop, probably because I love to eat good food!  Have you seen the documentary GMO OMG yet?  It further opened my eyes to all the chemicals in food and I've been trying to eat mainly organic.  Yes, it's more expensive, but in my opinion it's worth it. 

Also, with breastfeeding it provides me more peace of mind if I'm eating as clean as possible.  

4. Planning dinners.  I made a point to meal plan this week, and yesterday I made two new recipes: Red Lentil Coconut Soup and Curried Peanut Sauce Bowl.  The soup was a little spicy for my taste but still delicious.  The  Curried Peanut Sauce Bowl (from Isa Does It - GREAT cookbook!) was amazing.  It is definitely going on the menu weekly from now on.  I think I could just dump that sauce on everything.

5. Family time.  And last, but certainly not least, I'm loving time with family.  My husband had a busy week at work last week with the school year starting up again so having the weekend together has been wonderful.  Also, my aunt and uncle visited yesterday and got to meet baby boy.  My mother-in-law is visiting today and then midweek my brother and mom are coming to visit.  Yay for family visits! 

What are some things that you're loving lately?

Friday, September 5, 2014

First Morning Walk and Meal Planning

Good morning!

This morning was the first time that Sage and I went out into the world.  It felt amazing.  It was wonderful to get some exercise and fresh air.  I think Sage agrees.  We strolled along for just under two miles.  I love my neighborhood with all the paths and trees.  I haven't been out in it for so long that it really just gave me a major adrenaline boost to be out in nature.  I have such happy memories of running the streets and trails last year and just power walking for starters felt fantastic.  Another few weeks and I plan to start running again too.  I think power walking is a good way to ease back into things considering I took a long break from running during my pregnancy.

In other news, I'm trying to do a better job with meal planning.  I used to grocery shop and have dinner makings on hand without planning specific meals for each night, and my husband and I would kind of wing it making what we felt like for dinner.  However, I think now with a newborn in the picture it will be much easier if I actually plan a few dinners each week (with leftovers).  I'm already planning on making this soup over the weekend.

Here are some upcoming dinners I'm planning.  These recipes are from Isa Does It.  

Peanut Dragon Noodle
Red Lentil Thai Chili
Curried Peanut Sauce Bowl
Cozy Hummus Bowl

I have been doing a decent job with breakfast and lunch.  I make a shake everyday, try to eat a salad sometime throughout the day, and have had plenty of So Delicious coconut milk yogurt with trail mix.  We've been going through a lot of grapes lately and I made some Banana Everything cookies (packed with oats, whole wheat flour, walnuts, banana, and chocolate chips) that are addictive.  I basically eat all throughout the day because I'm hungry.

Sage will be a month old on Monday!  He's so much more alert and awake for longer periods.  When I went to put him in his car seat yesterday I realized he'd outgrown the setting from when we brought him home from the hospital!  Had to make the straps bigger for growing baby boy.  He is fascinated by the hanging toys and loves when the mobile moves around as of this week.  He even swatted at one of the toys with his hand and it blew my mind.  Of course it could have been pure coincidence that he touched the toy, but I was still a proud mama.  

It's Friday which is awesome.  The week flew by... I have a feeling the weeks are going to do that.  We are entering my favorite time of the year.  I adore autumn.  I love the cold air, the changing leaves, the foods, the colors, the way it makes me feel.  Today it still feels like summer out there, but I know fall is right around the corner.  

Do you meal plan?  How was your week?

Sunday, August 31, 2014

The New Me (Postpartum)


Sage was getting fussy so I tried putting him in the Moby Wrap and he settled right down.  This is the first time I had a big success with the wrap and I think it's because Sage was already really tired.  He cried for a minute then snuggled up against me and fell asleep.  Time to do a post.  Here I go!

Just three weeks ago I was still pregnant with baby boy.  Over the course of 40 weeks my body changed before my eyes and I embraced my growing midsection.  And then, like magic, I have my body back and baby Sage in my arms.

Of course my body has changed though.  My midsection has shrunk down significantly over the past few weeks, but it's still softer than it used to be.  I've got a little extra cushion on my belly and hips.  The same way that I embraced my pregnant body, I plan to do the same with my postpartum body.  

I have no plans of stepping on a scale.  I know I'll get weighed at my six week doctor appointment.  A number doesn't interest me.  Yes, I'd like to fit into my regular clothes by the time I go back to work after my maternity leave, but that doesn't mean I expect my body to ever be exactly the same as it was.

I'm so proud of the work my body did and I want to honor that.  Therefore, I take a lot of care with the food I eat.  Whole food. Plant-based food.  Grains, veggies, fruit, nuts, seeds, and organic as much as possible.  I'm home all day with Sage so having the house stocked with all these good eats is really important to me.  This interest in clean eating isn't something new since getting pregnant and having a baby, but it means more to me now.  I want to provide the best nutrition possible for Sage and when he's old enough to notice I want to set a good example.

Am I different from the woman that I was last November before I found out I was pregnant?  Of course!  I don't think you can go through the experience of having a child and not be changed by it.  I'm still me though.  The same woman with a passion for a healthy life filled with love and happiness, only now I'm more inspired because I'm a role model for my boy.  

I'll never be the quite the same and for that I am eternally grateful.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Naps, Playtime & Cookies

Hey hey hey!

I woke up this morning super tired.  Ironically I got the most sleep that I've had in weeks.  Sage slept from 1-6AM. Holy cow!  I slept then too but woke up sporadically to check on him.  Maybe I got too much sleep?  Doubtful.  I'm thinking my body is just catching up since I didn't get in a nap yesterday and was busy with errands.

Sage woke us up, but then really just wanted to cuddle in bed with his parents.  He doesn't like being in his crib (yet), but enjoyed laying on our bed.  He sleeps in his Rock n' Play for now.

After a few minutes we all decided to get up for the day.  The morning consisted of diaper changes, napping, and playing.  I even snuck in a little nap in the hopes that it would boost my energy.  

Sage is much more alert than he was just a week ago.  He's up a lot more too.  He still sleeps way more than he's up, however, he's up for two to three hour chunks of time now.  I can tell when he needs to go back to sleep because he starts to get super fussy.  He was mesmerized by the toy that my husband brought out for him.  That helped his mood.  (Jax is supervising in the background)

My husband and I snuck in a quick lunch together while Sage slept. Faux turkey sandwich with lettuce, tomato and vegenaise on wheat for me and then a cup of So Delicious coconut milk chocolate ice cream for dessert.  My appetite is back for sure!  At the end of my pregnancy sometimes food just didn't sound all that appealing, but let me tell you, food is wonderful now. And I'm hungry round-the-clock.  I assume my increased appetite is from breastfeeding.

Check out that awesome clothesline that my husband put up so that the cloth diapers can dry.  Perfecto!  We have now accumulated 16 cloth diapers and I'm really happy about that.  I didn't plan on using the cloth diapers this early on, but we ran out of disposables sooner than expected, and we ended up liking the cloth much better anyways.  We were having leaking issues with the disposables, but we don't have any issues like that with the cloth ones.  Woohoo!  I will definitely do a post on our cloth diapering system because I am really happy with it so far.

I read that we should start doing some tummy time with Sage, so my husband spent a few minutes with him on it.  He can't quite lift his head yet.  

Eventually Sage fell asleep again on my husband's chest and I took the opportunity to make some chocolate chip cookies.  We may be having a low key holiday weekend, but we definitely are going to enjoy some good eats.  Chocolate chip cookies fresh out of the oven are truly the best.

Sage woke up as I was finishing baking the cookies so my husband took over. We've just fed and he is now sleeping my chest.  Moments like this are the most rewarding.  I can't believe our little boy is almost three weeks old!

I plan to start running again in another week.  I wanted to give myself a month of recovery after labor, but I am now getting antsy to get out there.  I want to go get a new pair of sneakers for a fresh start.  I'm excited to share my running journey after pregnancy.  

Look out for some upcoming posts on:

*Running after pregnancy

*Healthy simple eats (while caring for newborn)

*Pregnancy reflection and how it changed me 

How's your weekend?  Enjoy the sunshine!