Three Months of Motherhood

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Happy September! Before I had Leo I kept saying that I felt like June was the perfect time to have a baby because I got to enjoy the summer. In retrospect I think maybe March or April would be the perfect time. I finally feel like I’m just sort of starting to get a bit more sleep and finding some comfortability in my role as a new mom and…summer is over? Ah well. Life is becoming so much more fun with our little guy and every day is something new.

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Although we weren’t able to do a bunch of the traditional summer things like camping or beaching we did several road trips to visit family, grilled a ton and ate our fair share of ice cream. I learned to bake pie and became obsessed with trying new ones (next up, French Silk). We went for a ton of walks around our neighbourhood and just worked on adjusting to life as a family of four.

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Leo is doing great. His tummy issues seem to be resolved mostly due to my cutting a few things out of my diet, onion being the one he absolutely can’t seem to tolerate. Breastfeeding is still going well and we’ve even gotten him down to one nighttime feed a few times recently which makes me feel like a million bucks with a bit more sleep under my belt. He is growing like crazy and every time we see the doctor she is always shocked at how quickly he’s jumped up. He’s now over fourteen pounds after coming home from the hospital at six. His first vaccinations came and went and were heartbreaking of course. He’s smiling a ton, chatting more and more and loves being sung to.

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Some things I’ve found really helpful as a new mom:

– forcing myself to get out of the house once a day even if for a minor errand (unless baby is having an off day of course)

 
– handing over bathtime and a bedtime bottle to Tommy so I can have some time to myself if desired. This has become an awesome bonding time for them.

 
– meal prep at the beginning of each week. I prep overnight oat bowls for the week’s breakfasts as well as some sort of a healthy lunch. Some of my favourites: Quinoa Glow Bowls, Italian Pasta Salad and Curry Chicken Salad. This is especially helpful on those crazy fussy days.

 
– also, making a batch of something healthy to snack on each week, like granola bars or energy bites. This keeps me from eating junk when sleep deprived. Bonus points that these recipes in particular are good for lactation.

 
– just being honest when I’m having a hard time and could use some help. After a long string of sleepless nights I confessed to my family how much I was struggling and they have made regular trips to visit since then. It’s been a huge weight lifted for me.

 
– the new Tim Horton’s iced lattes. Have you tried them yet?

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Things I’d like to prioritize for fall: look into some sort of mommy and me activity with Leo, get in as many walks as we can before it gets cold and start reading again! I’ve totally slacked off on that front. I’d also like to fit in a date with my husband, and wear something other than sweatpants in front of him, although he’d never complain. He’s a good sport, that guy.

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I had grand plans to blog a ton on maternity leave but I keep reminding myself that these days are fleeting and I just want to soak up all I can. I also fear that this is coming across as a bit of a mommy blog these days, but it’s always been a reflection of my current life and nowadays it’s all about the baby over here! I do have several posts in the works, like our current fave baby products, a cloth diaper update and a healthed-up chocolate chip cookie recipe I’ve had in the works forever but still need to share. How was your summer?

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A Month of Motherhood

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Hello from newborn-land! I can’t believe it’s been almost a month since I last posted here. I’ll start with echoing some often-used phrases about being a mom that I now understand completely. This is by far the most challenging, and at the same time, most rewarding thing I’ve ever done. Just when I think I can’t get any more exhausted (see photo above), this boy wraps his tiny hand around my finger or starts snoring on my shoulder and my heart feels like it’s going to explode.

Some things we’ve learned about Leo:

He loves to eat. He eats every hour some days and I genuinely fear that I won’t be able to keep up with his demand.

He is a super light sleeper. He needs a lot of encouragement to nap and the right environment or else it doesn’t happen and he becomes desperately overtired. I’ve learned this the hard way.

He loves car rides and being carted around in his stroller. We took our first mini road trip and he did awesome, sleeping almost the entire way, which we were excited about.

He’s got a fiery personality. If he’s hungry, or hot, or needs a nap, he lets you KNOW. He also has the craziest range of facial expressions I’ve ever seen.

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To be completely honest, the first couple of weeks were rough on us. By the time we came home from the hospital we were running on about day five of no sleep. My parents left after our first day home and we were in complete survival mode. I’ll say it now, I have no idea how people do this without a supportive partner. We were as prepared as we could be, and our world was totally rocked by this little guy’s arrival. You always hear about babies not sleeping but living it yourself is a whole other thing. We slept in super short shifts for the first two weeks. I texted a friend about feeling overwhelmed by it all and she had said that becoming a new mother is so much obligation so fast, which resonated with me and made me feel a bit less incompetent. The good news is that I’ve learned to exist on very little sleep and now that it’s my new normal I’m in a much better place.

I had some super emotional moments here and there although I think sleep deprivation was as much to blame as hormones. I was tearing up at everything. One moment I’d be crying with gratitude over how healthy and perfect our baby was and the next it would be guilt over neglecting the dog or nostalgia because I missed quality time with Tommy and just our old life in general. I’m someone who’s never done well without sleep and of course everything felt harder without it.

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Physically I felt great right after giving birth except for my stitches. They took what felt like forever to heal and I feel like I’m finally reaching the home stretch with that. I often felt frustrated at how long this process was taking and Tommy was quick to remind me that he had watched the whole event and that, “it’s not going to heal overnight, trust me”.

Tommy just went back to work last week and I was petrified for him to go. Luckily it hasn’t been half as bad as I’d feared, although we miss him terribly. I’ve found to have a successful day that I need either a nap or a coffee, and fitting in an errand, a walk outside or something else productive is key to my feeling good. If I spend the day cooped up at home I never feel quite as happy so just packing the baby up and going out even when I have no idea what I’m doing has kept me sane.

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I’ve had some worries regarding my capability as a mom. Leo has had a few really awful fussy days with terrible gas pain and I have never felt so helpless in my life, watching my little baby scream in pain, and feeling like nothing I did was helping. “I should be better at this”, I’d think as I tried desperately to console him. I’d wanted to be a mom my whole life. I’m the oldest child, the oldest of all of my cousins, a babysitter as soon as I was old enough, and the “maternal one” in many friend groups throughout my life. But my own baby, the one I grew in my body, was a mystery to me, like a code I had to crack. I’ve really had to learn to read him and not always just knowing instinctively what he needs caught me off guard a bit. I’m trying to manage my expectations, and to give myself some grace in this area.

We’ve been meeting friends and family often and Leo got a new cousin when he was two weeks old, my niece Harper. Now that the babies are here safe and sound there is so much joy in our family. I can’t wait to watch the cousins grow up like best friends.

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I’ve been trying to savour these days as much as I can and I keep reminding myself in the harder moments that the days are long but the years are short. I don’t want to miss a moment with Leo. I totally understand what parents mean when they say that the love hurts. It is intense!

I do have lots to share blog wise and am hoping to get into the groove with that soon. Until then, thanks for reading! I appreciate your support so much.

 

 

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Spring 2017 Capsule Wardrobe

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Let’s talk capsules! I haven’t shared one here since last spring/summer. Last fall, I had just purchased a few new things and then realized that much of it wouldn’t fit for long because I was expecting. I returned what I had purchased as none of it would be pregnancy friendly and cobbled together a little capsule with my existing clothing that had room to grow. Then I did a small shop at Thyme Maternity at the end of 2016 and that has gotten me through until this point.

As I am due at the beginning of June I knew that I needed a few easy warm weather pieces that are still work friendly to get me through until I deliver. My plan was to choose things that fit well now, can transition me through the end of my pregnancy and then into the postpartum period. I understand that this post will not apply to everyone but I think it’s important to show how useful a capsule wardrobe can be no matter where you are in life. This is a really different capsule for me to put together and I’m excited about the challenge. I’m also looking forward to the simplicity of using a capsule when I’m way too tired/overwhelmed to think about outfits with a new baby. I always feel my best when I feel put together so I’m hoping if I plan some easy options now that will help me through the shock of new motherhood.

A different approach this time around; this capsule will include three very different components:

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Core Closet

  • Casual Dresses
  • Leggings
  • Super Stretchy Jeans
  • Tunic Tops
  • A Light Cardigan
  • My Fave Jean Jacket

In short: things I’ve always loved and know I will wear, that wash well and are unfussy. With an ever-changing body this is not the time to take fashion risks. I do need these pieces to get me through my last month or so of work before maternity leave starts so that had to be considered also. Example: that midi dress above is a non-maternity one but I just wore it to our Easter gathering over my third trimester bump and it worked great.

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Lounge Wear

  • House Dresses
  • Light Robes
  • Pajama Sets

Nothing groundbreaking, just things that will be comfortable and easy for nursing at home but will also be semi-presentable in front of guests if necessary. I haven’t ever focused on these items as part of a capsule but I know I’ll be glad to have them in this new season of life. Example: Tom bought me that beautiful (non-maternity) robe above and I’ve been wearing it since earlier in my pregnancy. I’m hoping it will help inject some glam into things when I haven’t washed my hair in a week and am covered in spit up.

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Active Wear

  • Compression Capris
  • Basic Tanks
  • Printed Leggings
  • A Hoodie or Sweatshirt

This is a component that I plan to finalize when I’m a month or two postpartum; a fun little active wear capsule so I can feel put together while casually dressed. I am also hoping this motivates me to get outside with baby. I’m giving birth at the beginning of summer and I want to take full advantage of that. Example: this distressed blue sweatshirt was a recent Minot find (also non-maternity) and I’ve been wearing it a TON. I know it will work well post-baby and can be worn so many ways.

Some key traits in all of the pieces I looked for:

  • Ease of wash and wear
  • Flattering and forgiving on my changing body
  • Nursing friendly
  • Silhouettes that will work with a bump and without

The biggest thing I’ve learned when dressing for pregnancy is that you probably don’t need to invest in an entire maternity wardrobe. Obviously this will depend on your style, size and shape pre-pregnancy but I’ve found that because I wore a lot of flow-y silhouettes and empire waist dresses those things have been easier to make work throughout. I also love knowing that I can keep wearing my new favourites after baby comes. All the items pictured above are non-maternity and I’ve been wearing them at eight months pregnant so I hope that encourages you if you find traditional maternity clothes lacking, as I did.

That’s about it! I’ve been doing capsules for two years now and I’m still amazed at how much I’ve learned from this practice. It has simplified my life, streamlined my closet and ended my impulsive shopping habits.  I don’t remember the last time I made a clothing purchase I’ve regretted because I truly know what I will wear and what I won’t and that feels like a huge win to me.

Do you capsule? I’d love to hear your tips!

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