It’s Been 6 Weeks Already? Hallelujah.

Clark, 6 weeks old, visiting his great-grandparents

Clark, 6 weeks old, visiting his great-grandparents

Weighing in at nearly 16 pounds, the scale makes it easier to believe how quickly Clark is growing. At 6 weeks old, he is a pretty large baby. He’s almost doubled his birth weight in less than two months. And, while my muscles ache from carrying this lug, I feel great.

And I felt even better after my 6 week follow up appointment.

“No evidence,” said my doctor. “You can’t tell that you’ve ever had a baby.”

WOO HOO. Also, I only have 7 pounds left to reach my pre-pregnancy weight. Of course, I want to get in even better shape. But, I’m pretty happy with the fact that I’ve lost most of the baby weight. To be fair, I only gained a little over 30 pounds by the end of my pregnancy. Most of it was, indeed, my 8lb 6oz chunker.

For me, the most exciting thing about my 6 week follow up was that it finally feels like my pregnancy is over.

Don’t get me wrong, I love my OB. She’s fantastic. But, I am sick of going to her office every couple weeks. I am over getting pricked with needles. I am over peeing in a cup. I am so over it. And, finally, I’m done!

Until the next baby. Next year. If I feel like it.

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Things I Look Forward to Doing While Clark is Sleeping

My KitchenAid!

My KitchenAid!

Since Clark has been born, I used my KitchenAid once. I made meatballs. While delicious, that adventure in cooking did not satiate my desire to bake. I don’t like cupcakes, at all. I don’t like cake either. In fact, I don’t really like dessert. It’s not my thing. But I really enjoy making cupcakes. And I think I enjoy it because I’m really good at making baked goods look, well, delicious.

One of these days, I will have both the ambition and the time to dedicate an entire afternoon (or evening. Or, hell, early morning. I’m not picky) to baking.

Here are a couple things I want to make again:

Chocolate Salted Caramel Cupcakes. I got the recipe from Brown Eyed Baker. You can find it here. Coming from someone who doesn’t have a sweet tooth, these cupcakes were fantastic.

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins. My love for all things pumpkin does not stop at the breakfast table. No. Pumpkin cream cheese muffins are a seasonal MUST. I’m currently recovering from the heart attack I suffered last week, after discovering that the supermarket is COMPLETELY OUT of pumpkin spice coffee. Such a disappointment. The worst part about my desire to make pumpkin cream cheese muffins is knowing that I have everything necessary to make these treasures – except time.

In true mom-fashion, I can’t even finish this post (or my coffee) properly because Clark is currently staring at me like I’m an asshole. Okay, I’m probably inferring that emotional outburst. But he is staring at me. But he seems content. So, I face the hourly dilemma, do I pick him up? Or do I leave him be?

My funny baby in his Carter's Fox PJs

My funny baby in his Carter’s Fox PJs

I’m going to let him chill. For the moment.

Okay, I lied, he’s too cute to leave hanging. 🙂

Chocolate Salted Caramel Cupcakes. I miss baking!

Chocolate Salted Caramel Cupcakes. I miss baking!

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The Little Things…Like Feeding Yourself

One pumped bottle, one happy baby

One pumped bottle, one happy baby

While I’m sure there’s nothing extraordinary about my lack of free time as a new mom, it certainly is unfamiliar to me. When I was a student, and when I held a professional job, I always found a way to make my morning coffee and leisurely breakfast into my routine. Now that I have tiny human in my life, it seems like there’s never time for basic things, like breakfast.

In the past 24 hours, I have enjoyed only half a cup of coffee, and I can’t remember the last time I showered (actually, it was Sunday. I think.). Up until this week, I had been relatively good at juggling showers, meals, and down time for myself during Clark’s 3-4 hour naps. But, that all changed when Clark figured out that he, indeed, could interact with the world.

For the first few days, it was really exciting and adorable that Clark would stay awake during the daylight hours. I’ve spent an embarrassing amount of time just watching his big, unknown-color eyes inspect our apartment. He looks at everything. Always. Constantly.

It was also particularly satisfying to see him start smiling socially. And, by socially, I mean any time he sees my face, hears my voice, or sees his daddy, Brian. If either of us are around, his little face lights up, and he starts cooing.

He really is adorable. And he’s a great baby. He never cries. So where does all the time go?

Well, the second Clark sits in his swing or lounger, I also sit down. Like the time spent lost in his cherub cheeks, so disappears the hours that could have been spent cleaning, eating, showering or napping. All because I sat down.

Once I sit down, I feel immobilized. Insomniac. Inhuman. Before I know it, a little grunt and the slight twitch of a lip disturb my stare down with the wall (which, for the record, I was totally winning).

And repeat.

I’m constantly exhausted. But it’s worth every aching moment for the little things, like a subtle cuddle or a playful bath. And, while you sit there amazed by the little things, you learn to appreciate the small things – like half a cup of coffee, a four-minute shower, and two bites of a breakfast sandwich.

My happy little boy :)

My happy little boy 🙂

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The Mayo Clinic Said It’s Okay

This morning, Brian (my husband) had to leave early for class. I must admit, I’ve gotten very comfortable with Brian being home 24/7, but the paternity-leave-fantasy-world I’ve been living in has come to an end. Boo.

So, without any pumped milk, in a panic to feed a fussy baby, I grabbed some ready-made formula from the fridge, poured it into a bottle, and fed it to Clark.

Yes, you read that correctly. I fed my baby cold formula. I fed Clark formula. And he made this face:

Mayo Clinic

 

And I freaked out. Was it okay to feed a baby cold formula?

Dr. Google to the rescue. The Mayo Clinic said it’s perfectly fine. Heart attack averted.

It’s funny how being  a parent will make you second guess the smallest things. Like giving a human being milk that isn’t warm.  Because no one ever drinks cold liquid. And babies are not people. Wait, what?

Yes, there are things you can’t feed an infant. But, breast milk and formula are safe. Whether hot or cold. For the most part. As long as you don’t go to a keg-er, then feed your baby. Or leave formula at room temperature for two hours. And I’m pretty sure the list goes on and on.

There’s a reason the paranoid parent stereotype suits the majority of new moms and dads. And, while our intentions are good, being full of anxiety can actually hinder your parenting abilities. If you’re not able to relax and think clearly, you could end up doing crazy things. Or being an insomniac. When it comes to parenting in the 21st century, there’s an app for that. And a baby monitor to soothe your maniac mind.

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Bitch Wars: Mommy Shaming

I’ll admit it: I have a love-hate relationship with the mommy message boards of the world. At times, these boards can be helpful, empowering, and entertaining. But more often, these boards become a slippery slope where the high and mighty gang up against the lowly “bad moms”.

Give me a break.

I would avoid the mommy message boards if real life mommy-shaming did not exist, but it does. Even among your “friends”, you’ll find the self-righteous mom who does everything by the book. The issue is, there are no rules. Yes, size 3 diapers say 16-23 pounds. No, my 5 week old son is not 16 pounds. Yes, the size 3 diapers fit him better than the size 2’s. No, I am not going to force him into smaller diapers because the package says so. I’m going to appropriately diaper my baby to avoid embarrassing, gross diaper blow outs. Calm down, diaper police.

Also, there’s an obsession with percentiles. Clark has gained a pound a week for the past 5 weeks. Normal? No. Healthy? Yes. Percentiles? I don’t give a fuck.

I’m too busy enjoying the time I spend with my baby and my husband to worry about milestones or medical graphs. Clark’s gaining weight. He’s a happy, non-fussy baby. I love him, and my husband, more every day. And I know I’m lucky. I know there are parents who need to worry about the little things to make sure their child is healthy. But that’s not me. That’s not my situation, and I refuse to be shamed into neurotic obsession over the “rules” of parenting.

According to “the rules”, I do everything wrong. I supplement with formula. My son wears newborn onesies with size 3 diapers. And there is zero routine going on in our apartment.

Clark stays up past midnight almost every night. Some days, we sleep until noon.

I’m not worried about a “routine” now, because pre-school is 3-4 years away, and I’m no expert, but I think sleeping and eating are more developmentally advantageous than a rigid schedule of awake time, bath time, sleep time, tummy time, and whatever daily insistence you force on a child.

It’s idiotic to suggest that if I don’t establish a routine with my 5 week old, he’s doomed to be a lazy shit in the future. But that’s what mommy-shamers do. And, really, it’s quite fun to read the hysteria when you have the soundness of mind to recognize the nonsense of it all.

Mommy-shamers prey on weak, well-intentioned women by proudly shouting, “You’re doing it wrong!” at anyone who will listen. Here are a few, paraphrased, examples of mommy-shaming at its finest:

  • You had sex before your 6 week well-visit? You’re going to get a uterine infection. And die.
  • You pumped and dumped? Milk from a drunk mom is better than formula! Formula should be punishable by law. The death penalty, to be exact.
  • Your baby is 4 weeks old and sleeps through the night? He’s ignoring his survival instincts! (I must be the worst mom on earth, because if that’s the case, I hope Clark keeps ignoring his “survival instincts”)
  • You’re going back to work? Daycare is evil. Quit your job, move to a mud hut, and breastfeed your baby and significant other. Breast is best!

I’ll stick with my “slacker” mommy approach. Maybe I’m doing it wrong. But you know what? Everyone is happy. Isn’t that what life and having babies should be all about?

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