Summer Check In

Is everyone staying cool out there?  This is the hottest summer I can remember!  I just got  back from a brief stroll around the neighborhood with Soy Bean and I’m exhausted.

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Found this on one of our walks…

I can’t believe it’s already August!  I feel as though the summer has flown by yet we’ve been out of school forever.  I’m torn because there are parts about going back to work that I am looking forward to, but I love the casual routine of summer and my time with the boy.

Soy Bean and I have walked a ton this summer, well I’m the one doing the walking he’s in the stroller…We’ve enjoyed trekking around our neighborhood as well as the waterfront in Plymouth.

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Beautiful morning in Plymouth.

Yesterday we celebrated my hubby’s 39th birthday.  Last birthday in his thirties…I’m going to have to plan something substantial for next year…

Manly gift...

We still have about three and a half weeks left until I go back to work.  It’s weird to starting thinking about school again.  This is my third year at my school and I already know what my goals are for this year.  Organization!  I’m already a fairly organized person, but now that I’ve been at this job for awhile I want to strive to be as efficient as possible.  As a special education teacher, I balance a lot of paper work, and it will make my job so much easier to have a structured system in place.

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He’s getting so big!

Besides plenty of walking around Plymouth we really have no big plans for the remainder of this summer.  I haven’t told my husband yet, but I want to plan a little couples weekend for the fall.  We’ll see if he reads this…

3 Years…

I just wanted to write a quick post.  A few days ago the hubby and I celebrated 3 years of marriage.  I can’t believe how much has changed over the last few years.  We had a baby, bought a house, adopted a dog…the list goes on.

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Marriage is certainly not easy because life is not easy.  When you’re married, everything that happens to your spouse happens to you.  That goes for the good and bad.

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We’ve been fortunate that we’ve been able to experience lots of happy events together so far and are looking forward to many more.

Love you honey buns.

 

Year One: Working Mom Edition

Well first I want to talk about Soy Bean’s first birthday.  Success!  For his party we kept it simple.  I order a few jungle themed decorations, matching shirts, and we had pizzas delivered and made salads.  We kept the party small with just family and my husband made this amazing cake.  I think he should consider a career change!

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I can hardly believe this school year is almost over.  When I think about my life in the fall it’s hard to grasp how quickly things change in such a short period of time.  When I first went back to work I felt completely overwhelmed.  Even with all the help I have, every day I faced seemed impossible.

Over time things became easier for me.  I established routines and figured out what worked best for me.  I think the biggest change was creating a consistent bedtime routine for the baby.  I have to admit, it’s nice to know my husband and I will have some alone time every night.  I was saying to him last evening as we sat on the couch, that months ago it felt like we would never be able to relax at night without worrying about the baby.  Now he goes to bed so easily (most of the time!) and sleeps at least a solid 10 hours.

I also cannot be more thankful for the fact that Soy Bean goes to my parents’ house everyday.  When I drop him off  I know that he is loved all day.  I know they enjoy him as well, but I’m sure my mom is looking forward to some baby-free time this summer!

My other savior this year has been my friends at work.  I have to admit, while I’m looking forward to summer, I’m a little bummed I won’t see these wonderful ladies everyday.  After leaving college, I had to adjust to not being around my friends all the time.  When you’re in college you get to eat dinner with your friends every night. Now, I can say I eat lunch every day with friends.  How lucky am I?

I’m sure we’ll have plenty of time to get together with the kids this summer, along with some ladies sangria evenings, but it’s not the same.  I guess that gives me something to look forward to in the fall.

For now, I’m excited to have the entire summer with my baby.  I want to inducement to the beach and splash pads and hopefully fit some long walks in there as well.  I’ll keep you posted.

Year One

My husband reminded me today that our son will be a year old in one week.  I have to say this has been the fastest year of my life.  I literally feel like we brought him home from the hospital yesterday, yet I cannot imagine life before him.

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I’m a little sad I won’t have a “baby” baby anymore, but he’ll always be my baby right?  I have to remind myself that I love the stage he’s in now.  As adorable as a newborn is, having a tiny baby was terrifying for me.  Plus my hormones were all over the place, I was recovering from delivery, and I didn’t really “know” him yet.  Now I get smiles and snuggles and it’s the best thing in the world.  I know what he likes and doesn’t like, and I also can anticipate I’ll get a decent night’s sleep every evening.

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Since I have so many friends that are either pregnant or have newborns I thought I’d make a post about some new mom do’s and don’ts…you know now that I’m such a “seasoned” mother.

Don’t feel bad about changing your mind.

I had so many rules in place before Soy Bean was born.  He was never going to have a pacifier or a bottle, he wasn’t going to start solids until six months, and so on.  Well I went against so many of these “rules” and it all worked out for the best.  Plus, I can’t imagine life without a pacifier, especially in those early months.

Do ask for help.

Other moms are your best resource here.  They’ve been there.  Whether it’s your mom or other mom friends they are going to know what you need help with.  Husbands might need a little more guidance here…just tell them what to do…

Don’t lie to your doctor (or yourself).

This is one of my biggest regrets.  Honestly, we don’t do enough for new moms when it comes to healthcare.  When you’re pregnant everyone is looking out for you and the baby.  Once the baby is born, all the attention is off of you.  After Soy Bean and I left the hospital I had a visit with my doctor two days later to check my incision and then saw him six weeks later.  At my six week appointment I was given a survey to screen for postpartum depression.  I scored rather high on it, but when I was asked about it I dismissed the results.  I said I was feeling better and I attributed my high score to being tired and having a new baby at home.  Months later I found myself sitting at my desk at work considering driving myself to the ER because I have dealing with such crushing anxiety and depression.  Instead I called my doctor and they saw me as soon as I could get in.  Since then I’ve been receiving treatment for postpartum anxiety and OCD and honestly, when I talk to other mothers about this I realize I am in good company.  It’s nothing to be ashamed of, don’t lie to yourself and get help.

Do have a date night.

Marriage certainly changes after you have a baby.  While my relationship with my husband has always involved a child, life with a baby is quite different.  It’s important to make time for you as a couple.  I know there’s a lot of guilt about going out without your baby but it’s important to have time with your spouse.  My husband and I are lucky to have parents who babysit for us.  We’ve had a few date nights and even a night away!  Anytime you can make for the two of you is sacred when you have a little one.  Even if it’s just dinner on the deck after the baby is asleep.  Having an adult conversation while eating with both hands free is pretty refreshing!

Don’t be afraid to take the baby outside.

My PPA probably did not help with this, but I used to be terrified to drive with the baby in the car and take him into a store.  Now it’s one of my favorite things to do.  Soy Bean and I love Target!  If you stay home all day you’ll develop some major cabin fever.  I encourage moms to get out there, plus once you get used to taking the baby out it does get easier.

Do go shopping for yourself.

Most likely, unless you’re very lucky, your pre baby clothes are not going to fit for awhile and who wants to wear maternity clothes after you’ve had a baby?  (Well except for the jeans, God I love my maternity jeans) Go shopping, get some comfortable outfits that make you feel good.  Chances are it’s going to take awhile for you to feel like yourself again (I’m still working on it for sure), but having a new outfit can really lift your spirits.  Get your nails done while you’re at it, because that beautiful pregnancy hair is going to start falling out and you’ll need the distraction.

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Well I hope I didn’t scare anyone away from having kids.  It’s been the most amazing experience so far.  My husband and I marvel at Soy Bean and can’t believe we actually made him.  It’s amazing to watch him grow and see his personality shine.  Year one has been an experience for sure!

He’s Here!

So let’s see, I have an almost eight week old which means I’ve been wanting to write a post for about oh let’s say eight weeks!

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Subway subs at 10 pm…sure why not?

As well as I tried to prepare for motherhood, I don’t think I could have ever have grasped the complete fog that encompasses your life when you bring a new baby home.  Days of the week and times of day are completely irrelevant.  We no longer have breakfast, lunch and dinner just (easy) meals at various times of day.

Breastfeeding is hard, like really hard.

Nothing will shoot down your confidence more than being the food source for another human and being told they’re not gaining enough weight.  I think I cried after the baby’s first four doctor’s appointments/weight checks.  The conclusion was he’s a lazy baby and likes to fall asleep when he’s eating. I figured he must be full if he’s asleep.  I’ve learned a few tricks to keep him awake and perk him up but it’s still not easy.  Between the physical demands on your body, pumping, figuring out outfits you can nurse in etc. is a job.  I give props to moms that do this for any amount of time.

80% of what I read in baby books has gone out the window.

Being on bed rest a month before the baby was born allowed me plenty of time to read up on motherhood.  I made a list of all the do’s and don’t’s I felt were important for my baby.  Well let’s just say most of that has been a wash already, and it’s all ok.  Every book I read said to avoid bottles for the first six weeks of life if you plan on nursing.  If a baby has a bottle he will apparently never want to nurse again.  Well my boy had a bottle in the hospital (and believe it or not I cried) and he’s absolutely fine nursing.  It also allows me some freedom to have my husband feed the baby as well as have a date night (well a few hours out more like it).  I was also dead set against giving our baby a pacifier.  Again, he’ll never nurse if he has a pacifier.  Our first night back from the hospital was a nightmare, and I felt that if we used a pacifier it might have alleviated some of our problems.  I of course had to ask our pediatrician and she gave us the green light to use one.  Again he’s fine and he’s been a wonderful sleeper!

I needed more help than I anticipated.  

Don’t get me started about paternity leave.  Dads need way more than five days home with the baby.  Three days of my husband’s paternity leave were spent at the hospital, so I only had two days home with him before he went back to work.  I’m so thankful my mom was able to come and help me.  I had to have a C section so I not only was recovering from major surgery but was also taking care of a tiny human as well.  Without help it would have been impossible for me to take the baby to his appointments or even shower and eat.

Terror out weighed joy at first.  

The baby blues are very real, and I’m finally starting to feel more like myself.  I never could have anticipated the amount of love I experience when I first saw my son.  However, at first that love I felt manifested itself into pure anxiety after we left the hospital.  I questioned my abilities to be a good mom and worried about anything and everything that could possibility happen to him.  Add hormones on top of that and I was terrified.  I would literally cry when the sun started to go down because night time seemed so scary.   I felt so guilty that I was experiencing this joyful life event with a beautiful healthy baby but yet I felt the way I did.

Getting out of the house is complicated but worth it.  

Between bed rest and recovering after delivery I felt pretty isolated.  About a week after the baby was born my husband dropped me off at Trader Joe’s and I had never imaged I could feel so happy picking out lettuce.  We’ve pushed ourselves to do things with the baby whether it’s a walk outside or a trip to see friends.  Knowing I can take him out and he can go places has helped me so much mentally.  Of course he comes with a lot of accessories but still worth it!

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Sophie feeling a little isolated like her mom.

Even the most insignificant tasks are complicated.

I feel pretty impressed by the fact my toe nails are painted.  I don’t remember when I painted them but they’re done!  With a baby the simplest things are really accomplishments!  Taking a shower, making a meal, blowdrying my hair… I make a to do lists for myself every days and I’m lucky if I get to half of what I want/need to do even if my list is just to pay a bill, go for a walk with Sophie and do some laundry.  Having a newborn has tested my time management skills for sure.

Trader Joe is new BFF.

Don’t worry I haven’t forgotten my roots as a vegan blogger, we are just in survival mode over here.  Between the nausea of pregnancy and having a baby I haven’t put in too much time in the kitchen but I’m getting back into it.  Stay tuned…

 

Checking In…

I can’t believe I survived March (without wine I might add).  In Teacher World March is one of the longest months of the year.  No vacations, no days off (though we did manage to sneak in a snow day), grades closing, and for some reason tons of meeting for us special ed teachers.

I also can’t believe I’m finally in my third trimester.  I’ll be 30 weeks tomorrow and I can hardly believe it.  10 or so more weeks until I get to meet Soy Bean.  It’s so exciting/terrifying!

Knock on wood, I’ve been pretty lucky with this pregnancy.  I’ve been feeling great besides occasionally getting dizzy, at tiny bit of heartburn and sometimes having trouble getting up from the couch (it’s not a pretty sight).  I haven’t had any random strangers try to touch my stomach and no one has preached to me about drinking caffeine.  I’ve been lucky enough to have my mom take me clothes shopping and have found some nice deals myself.  My sister-in-law advised me when I was first pregnant that I should make an investment in some good maternity clothes.  I have to say I totally agree. When you enjoy what you’re wearing it can make your day, especially when your body is changing daily.

Now back to food.  I was scrolling though the pictures of my phone I realize my husband and I have hit up some great vegan places since the last time I posted so I guess I have plenty to write about.  Date nights will be few and far between once this baby comes so we are taking advantage now 🙂