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Friday, September 7, 2012

Big Boy Crib!

Oh my goodness, I am sorry that it has been so awfully long since the last posting. I have been busy setting up and getting acquainted with my new work-from-home gig of writing articles about Veganism in Orange County ... no, I am not a vegan, but I appreciate the lifestyle and want to tell people about it ... opening up a whole new world to those who may not know about it.  :)   Anyway, enough about me for now. Let me update you on my baby boy :)

James is growing fast! He is almost (if not already) 17 pounds. He will be 5 months on Monday ... can you believe it?! As you know, James has been making noises and sounds for a while now, but over the past month he has gone from vowels and high pitched fun screams to adding the consonants of 'G' and 'H' and he also likes to gurgle :)  He rolled over for the first time last week. I had him on the floor on his stomach and he really wanted to see the TV and so rolled over to do so! He hasn't done it since, but I know he will when he is ready.
James had his first bite of solid food. It wasn't much, just to taste. It was the rice cereal by Gerber baby and he seemed to like it. After the next doctor visit, we look forward to him trying avocado, bananas, carrots etc ... it will be a very exciting time for James! (the appointment is in 2 weeks).

I swear he got some food in his mouth!
James got to try the swimming pool for the first time last Sunday. He was with me, Josh and my dad. Josh brought him into the water and James started crying almost immediately. But the water was cold, so I understand since I want to cry trying to get into the water sometimes too. We have ordered a floaty for him so that we can all be in the water and James will be safer and happier. Hopefully that will go better!

Not a happy chappy  :-/
Perhaps the most exciting news over the past month is that James no longer sleeps in our room. On Monday of this week he moved into his own room into his big boy crib :)  Tonight is night number 5. He took to it the very first night. He really likes his crib and sleeps a lot better in there. Probably because there is more space, and less noise (snoring, talking etc). The second night he slept for 8 hours straight! When I woke up at 3am and realized it had been 8 hours, I jumped out of bed to check on him. It freaked me out, but he was sleeping peacefully  :)  The next night he slept 8.5 hours. So we will hopefully get a full night soon (babies sleep up to 12 hours without waking ... so from 7:30pm - 7:30am). I'm so proud of my baby boy! <3

I, myself, have been substitute coaching, writing articles and secret shopping when I can. I get some exercise when I can (I know Shelly ... I know). I also try to get out of the house in the evening for a walk with James and Brutus and out of the apartment complex once or twice a week for fun and to see other people. Life is good :)
Hopefully it wont be forever before I write again ... but time does fly when you're having fun and have a baby :)

Friday, August 10, 2012

Who needs teeth?!

There is nothing worse than seeing your baby in pain. Nothing worse than him screaming at the top of his lungs because his mouth hurts and there is nothing you can do to help.
My poor baby boy started teething about a week ago. I knew by the red cheeks, the extra drool and the fact that he kept chewing on his own fingers. Some babies aren't bothered by teething where as some suffer horribly. James has maybe 2 bad days a week and is fine for the other days. So I guess that puts him somewhere in the middle.

We bought some teething gel but I am very weary about medicating him at such a young age. I have used it on him once ... when the screaming was becoming unbearable. I don't want him to be in pain, but I also don't want to overwhelm his little system with anything other than milk. So fingers crossed that he continues to have more good days than bad.

Other than the teething, James is doing great. His motor skills are increasing. He now picks up his Binky, passes it from hand to hand. He also picks up a ball pretty well and can shake the rattle. Much to my dad's surprise on Sunday, he also loves to grab hair with a death grip, hahahaha! (If you don't know my dad, he has a very long beard). I am so proud of my little guy and love him more than words could ever describe.  :)   He is also giggling a lot more which makes my heart sing!

Mommy update: After having some issues with my knees, I took a break from running. I have also decided not to do the upcoming mud run. I may have tried to do too much too soon. So now that my knees are feeling much better, I have started the road to fitness a lot slower. I had lost 2 pounds in a week, but having the slow down I gained 1 pound back the following week. So I have decided not to worry about that right now. As long as I am not gaining weight it's all good.
When I can, I like to strap James into his stroller and walk around the apartment complex. I walked 2 miles last time and it felt awesome. This week, however, it has been too warm, so I've been keeping the little guy inside in the air-conditioned apartment.
Other than that I, too, am doing fabulous  :)

We have a doctor's appointment next week, so I will try to update you all after that :)

With Opa at 14 weeks and 6 days old (Aug 5th, 2012).

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Where does the time go?!

I just realized that it has been weeks since I have posted anything! Time really has been just flying by. So let me try to update you on everything. :)

James has been amazing. He is as vocal as ever and has been throwing giggles at us from time to time though not consistently yet. It seems the more I try to make him laugh, the less he laughs out loud ... so I try to be patient, but it is the best sound in the whole wide world! Before I know it he will be giggling non stop :)
He is also starting to sit up by himself. Even if I sit him in his swing he is lifting up his chest and head to try and get into an upright position. So I pulled out the highchair today and strapped him in. He absolutely loved it! He loved being tall and in an upright position, not to mention that it was the perfect height for him to watch his Baby Einstein DVDs in the TV. He loves the music and changing colors on the screen. Those DVDs keep him occupied for at least 25 minutes or so :)
On the bummer side of things, he has started teething. We can feel his top teeth coming through the gums. This explains all of the drooling! So far he hasn't been too fussy. He has just been feeling a little warmer than usual and shows a little more fussiness than usual. But we are just starting this journey, so we'll see how it plays out. Hopefully it wont cause him too much pain.
Back on the positive end, James is on a sleeping schedule (kind of). He goes to bed somewhere between 8pm-9pm. Sometimes he wants to go earlier and he lets me know. He still wakes up quite a bit during the night but at least he is not getting more quality sleep rather than semi-sleeping on me in front of the TV until 11pm or 12am! He usually wakes up for the day somewhere between 7am-9am. Now if we can just get him sleeping through the night! :)

I am loving being a mom more than I have loved being anything in the world. Yes it can be hard some days, but that's all a part of it and I wouldn't change anything. He is the light of my life.
I have been hitting the gym pretty regularly for about three weeks now. My dad, Josh and I are hoping to do a mud run at the end of September so I am trying to get back into shape for that. I have hit a snag though ... my knees. This past week both knees have just ached. It doesn't matter if I am walking, running, using the stairs, carrying James, they just ache. I cannot tell if they are stiff or if its an injury pain, either way I have backed off for a little bit. It is very possible that I lost the muscle mass that I had in my legs protecting my knees. In which case I just need to build that back up carefully and over time.
In the meantime I have been trying to remain patient. I have been hard on myself but this is because exercise is my stress release. Running is what I do to feel like me is we've had a few hard days. I love the sweat, the runners high and the results that I get from running ... so yeah, not being able to run has been very difficult.

I have kind of started working again. Because child care is too expensive I have set it up so that I will work on some of the days that Josh has off. I will be a substitute coach for a while, offering my services on days that Josh will be home to care for James. It gives me the opportunity of a few hours per week to make a little extra money and get out of the house.
I have also applied to be an amature journalist of sorts. It would give me the opportunity to get paid to write and we know I love to write. If I am accepted I will pass on the link :)  

Anyway, life is busy. Life is good :) I will try to write again soon!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Back in the Gym

The title of my blog is "From Running Shoes to Baby Socks." --- From here on out I am retitling it to "From Running Shoes to Baby Socks and Back Again."

I am getting back into a workout grove. I have been using some of my workout DVDs, the gym in my apartment complex and the also the complex pool (junior Olympic size). My workouts were very sporadic at first, but starting today I am planning my (and Josh's) workout schedule a week in advance. I feel that if we don't have a set schedule that it will leave room for excuses. Today, for example, I had decided I was going to do yoga, but as I was feeling last night's lack of sleep I could feel myself starting to make excuses ... so before one stuck I hopped up and did my 35 minute Jillian Michael's Yoga Meltdown DVD. That was when I decided that every Sunday I will plan the whole week's workouts based on Josh's days off and other events.

If you can read it (I know it's kind of small) you see that there are '1 mile jog' days where both Josh and I run a mile on the treadmill (taking turns so that James is entertained). In a week or two I will up it to 1.5-2 miles. There are two days that say 'swim/off'. Those are on Josh's days off. So one of the days we will swim and the other day we will both have off from working out. There is one day in the week with yoga. That will be another day off for Josh while I work on getting my core strength back because I have lost a lot of that after giving birth. And of course there is just one more day off to make sure that we are getting enough rest/recovery time!

I am excited to get into a schedule. I know it will be hard to start out, but I cannot keep using sleep deprivation as an excuse to not get moving because that is how many new moms pack on more pounds and lose themselves. I want to make sure that I am healthy because a happy, healthy me will make a happy, healthy James (and Josh too, of course). Now if I could just control those cravings for junk food!

Just incase I start to lose motivation, we (Josh, my dad and I) are signing up for a mud run. It will be at the end of September and will be my first race since having James. I absolutely love to run and race, so that will keep me in the gym. The mud run will be 3.37 miles with 16+ obstacles, so I know that in order to finish it I will need to get into shape and regain my strength. I want to run the whole thing and not skip a single obstacle!

So in the next few months we'll be saying good-bye to the last 10-15 pounds and hopefully hello to my old muscle mass  :)  Wish me luck and send me strong vibes ... I'm going to need them!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Baby Babble

Over the last week or two James has become very vocal. It sounds like he is singing to himself and I love it! It's all oooo's and aaaaah's right now but I could listen to it all day long (sometimes I have to haha!). He doesn't just make the sounds, he makes all these funny faces too. Some of them are serious looking and others are happy. He often does it while staring at the TV, like he is chiming in with whatever is going on.

My favorite babble moment happened today. I was breastfeeding him and while he often nurses with his eyes closed, sometimes he stares at me. Today he was staring at me and after just a few minutes he unlatched and stared softly ooo-ing and aaaah-ing at me. It was softer and quieter than usual and his eyes were just so loving. Not only that, but he was smiling and staring straight into my eyes. I have no idea what he was saying, but I could feel a deep connection and a lot of love. I couldnt stop smiling at him as he kept babbling as if telling me something very important. After a few minutes he stopped and just continued feeding  :)  I love little moments like that!

He also loves to talk to Sheepy Sheepy, who lives on the changing table and Mr. Bear who he plays with when I have a few things to do around the house. He often chats with and sings to himself in the morning when he wakes up. Even when he does it at 6am, there is no way I could ever get mad. I love listening to him. His voice is so sweet and almost angelic :)

I read that it can be entertaining for him if I mimic him, so I do it all the time. It also encourages him to continue babbling so he can work on those vocal skills. I have no doubt that during the day, anyone who walks past our apartment must think we are insane. On days when Josh is working I speak very little English ... I just speak James-ish  ;-p  Even Brutus (the dog) gives me funny looks from time to time.
When I am folding laundry etc I love to have James in the room with me. I describe almost everything as I'm hanging it up (this is daddys blue shirt). Right from birth babies take in a lot of vocal/vocab information for when they start talking so I want to load him up with lots of words to help with that process. That and he loves to stare at the colorful clothes as I fold them.

Anyway, I love all these firsts and I love to watch him as he starts to explore the world around him. I love my little boy so much <3

Saturday, June 30, 2012

It's time we had a little talk.

There is a subject I havnt really touched on yet, but I feel that now is the time. That subject is the 'baby blues'. The baby blues are basically a less serious/intense version of postpartum depression.The reason I am bringing it up is because for the first two months post partum, I had the baby blues. Of course I didnt want to talk about it at the time because I didnt want to admit to it. But now that I am past it, I think it's time to be honest. After all, that was the idea behind this blog ... honesty.

The baby blues started pretty much right away. I think it was really a continuation from the heightened hormones that I was already dealing with at the end of my pregnancy. I was aware that it was common to feel very hormonal right after delivery, but I wasnt prepared for it to continue past that.
It started with feelings of being overwhelmed because I was learning so much in just a few days and was trying to recover at the same time. The thoughts of going home were scary because I was afraid I wouldnt know what to do. These are all normal for a new mom.
The first few weeks I had a lot of help with the house and with James, but despite that I was still feeling overwhelmed and often cried at night. The tears would build and build during the day but not wanting anyone to worry about me, I would hold it all in. Some days I found myself watching the clock, waiting until it was an acceptable bed time so I could turn off the lights and let it out.

I started feeling guilty about the way I was feeling. I felt that if James saw me crying that he would think it was because I didnt love him, which couldnt be further from the truth! I would feel anxious and thought there was something wrong with me because this was supposed to be the happiest time of my life. I started thinking about how some mothers have depression so bad that they hurt their kids. I started feeling guilty about that too, even though I could never harm a hair on his head. In other words I was feeling guilty for things that I hadnt even done and would never do! I thought I was going insane!

Then the guilt turned towards my relationship with Josh. Because I was spending so much time caring for James and hiding my baby blues, I felt that I wasnt paying enough attention to him and was afraid he would think I didnt love him when the truth was that I needed him more than I ever had. But of course I didnt want him to see me sad, because I knew it would make him sad and make him worry. I was a mess.

I also avoided friends and came up with excuses as to why they couldnt visit because I didnt have the energy to entertain anyone. I just wanted to be left alone with my little baby. Who knew that letting them in would be the key to feeling better.

I did eventually open up about it. I told Josh and my mom how I'd been feeling and they both immediately started making me feel better. I became more honest about where I was each day and started feeling less alone, less isolated.
It was when we hit the 2 month mark that I really started feeling like myself again. I started inviting people over more, going out more and started having more motivation to do stuff :)  Of course I still have my moments, but being a new mom is a tough job so it's to be expected and I am learning to be more patient with myself.

This is all normal and women shouldnt feel ashamed the way I did. I am very happy to be past it and now can just enjoy each day with my little boy! :)

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

A few of my favourite things!

Two months have gone by and I have learned so much! Some of my favorite things so far are James's smiles and giggles, his little toes and the way he holds on to my finger. I love how he lays his head on my shoulder when he is sleepy and the faces he makes as he figures out the world around him. I love the sounds he makes as he is falling asleep and way he stretches first thing in the morning. His baby breath and soft skin. His little nose and the way he kicks his legs constantly as if dancing and the way he has started to sound his voice. And that list doesn't even begin to describe all the things I love about my baby boy :)

Of course I also love how he has started to sleep through the night (3 nights of 6 straight hours and last night was 7.5 straight hours!). And one of my most favorite things of all is watching the interactions between James and Josh. Their father/son bond is already so strong and continues to grow. Nobody makes my baby smile like Josh does ... perhaps it's how he sings every action they are doing or the faces I didn't even know he could make haha!   :)

I don't even mind that James likes to pee or poop in his new diaper before I even take him off the changing table or how he will puke on me right next to the burping cloth.

The only thing that makes me sad is when he cries and I cannot seem to soothe him. When he screams due to painful gas and tears are running down his little cheeks and there is nothing I can do except hold him until it passes. And the most recent thing that I dislike is watch him get frustrated because I am not producing enough milk for him.

James has been going through quite the growth spurt to where he is wanting to nurse every 30-45 minutes or less! First thing in the morning I have plenty of milk for him because it has been 6+ hours. But as the day goes on he is getting less and less because he is constantly attached to me. It's tough for a new mom to feel she is not meeting her baby's needs. But all you can do (before supplementing formula) is to keep nursing and pray that your body catches on soon and starts producing more milk due to high demand.
James and I have been struggling back and forth for over a week now. Some days we seem to do very well and other days it's tears all around. I know formula makes for healthy babies also, but I love that the breast milk is 100% natural. There are so many wonderful benefits to him drinking only breast milk for the first 6 months and so I really want to try doing it that way. But if it comes down to it then of course I will do what is best for my baby boy and choose the best formula that I can.

Today, so far, he has slept a lot which could indicate an end to the growth spurt. He also seems more content. So hopefully it means that my milk production has caught up to his demand and we will have a few days (or more!) of smooth sailing :)