Thursday, June 30, 2011

My Little Shark

I saw this shirt in Target yesterday and thought of Parker, as it perfectly describes him (Sometimes I even call him my little piranha). I think the shirt speaks for itself:

Workin' on My Fitness

Going for a walk isn't as easy as it used to be. This morning, Ric was at the gym (Crossfit--he loves it!) and so I was home alone with Parker and Jack. I'm trying to walk every morning for at least half an hour. The routine so far:

Feed Parker at 6:00 (usually when he wakes up for breakfast) and then change his diaper. He's usually happy when he's on the changing table, so after a diaper change I get him dressed. Today he was EXTRA cute in his teddy bear hoody:

Then we load up the stroller...

Then we're off!

Today was my first day walking both Parker and Jack by myself. I'd say it was a total success!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

~* Smiles*~

This morning, Parker decided to start smiling. He's had smiles before, but not like this. This morning he seemed to be smiling "on purpose"--smiling because he was happy (where as before it was usually because of gas).

This morning, he just kept smiling at me and Ric for like 5 minutes straight.

** So cute **

Photo Shoot

In honor of Parker turning one month old, I--being the dutiful mommy that I am--wanted to take some pictures. I dressed him in a 0-3 month size onesie (instead of newborn size), and a cute little blue hat. I was excited to take some pics!

Parker, however, was not so excited.

cute blue hat ==> fail

His "excitement" continues...

Daddy was able to hold him still for at least one picture.

Picture of my babies

Yes, that's my phone in my shirt. It's playing music in a failed attempt to calm Parker down.

Finally relaxing. Their favorite pastime... looking out the front window. :o)

One Month Old!!

I'm two days late with this post, but...

On June 26th, our little man is one month old! He has already grown so much and he's doing new things every day. We are so excited to continue to watch him grow. We love you, Parker!

<3 Mommy & Daddy

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Mommy Must-haves

On this journey as a new Mommy, I've learned what works (swaddling the baby!) and what doesn't (trying to reason with my baby at 3am, explaining to him why he should stop crying and go to sleep). Here's a list of things (in no particular order) that I consider "must-haves" as a new parent:

1. White Noise iPhone App

Babies like white noise--it reminds them of all the constant noise they heard while in their mommy's belly (heartbeat, tummy rumbling, mommy's voice, etc.). This app has a lot of different sounds (white noise, ocean waves, airplane humming) that have soothed Parker to sleep many times. Because it's on our phone, we can use it at home or in his car seat on the go. Nice.

2. Baby Swing

Parker wasn't a fan of his swing at first, but he's come to really like it. Sometimes he'll nap in his swing for hours, giving us time to get a few things done around the house... or take a nap.

3. Swaddle Me

I know it looks kind of funny... but it's a proven fact that babies like to be swaddled (another thing that reminds them of being in the womb), which can be done with a blanket, but the Swaddle Me makes it a LOT easier because it's shaped like a little baby-sized pea-pod that can be wrapped together with velcro. This is extra convenient when you're trying to re-swaddle baby at two in the morning.

4. The Pacifier

We waited a few weeks to start using the "paci" (we heard some breastfed babies can get "nipple confusion" between the pacifier and Mommy, but Parker didn't have trouble going back and forth) but we were happy when we did. Because Parker doesn't know how to calm himself down yet (though he's learning) the pacifier helps him to self-sooth.

5. Lansinoh Nursing Pads

When I was still pregnant, I'd heard of these, but I thought they would be an "extravagance" that I wouldn't really need. Without going into detail... let's just say after a few milk-drenched shirts, these became a life-saver!

6. Lansinoh Nipple Cream

Don't think this needs much explanation... I was given a small sample of this in the hospital and it helped immensely. Luckily, I was given this as a gift so I have a good supply on hand.

7. "Happiest Baby on the Block" DVD

Just trust me, this is a must-watch dvd for new parents! There's also a book, but of course it's much faster to just watch the dvd, which you can get from Netflix. Dr. Harvey Karp is the master of how to calm a crying baby, and he teaches you all the "tricks" and why they work (they simulate a womb-like experience for a newborn).

8. Boppy Pillow

This pillow has been great for adding much-needed arm support during Parker's feedings. Also, it's great for just holding him. He can also sit up in it for short periods. As he gets older, he can use it for "tummy time." It's definitely worth the money!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Weeks 2 and 3--A list of firsts

At first glance, it seems like newborns don't do much. I feel like Ric and I spend our entire day feeding, burping, cleaning, clothing and soothing Parker in hopes that he'll fall asleep long enough for mom or dad to catch a nap, shower or food break.

However, I've realized that when I really think about it, a newborn is actually doing quite a bit--growing and learning hundreds of new things every day. In the past few weeks, Parker has done SO many new things for the first time. Here's a list of just some of his "firsts:"

1st walk in the stroller (success!)

1st pacifier (success!)

1st Father's Day (success?)

1st Bottle Feeding (success!)

Book--The Tales of Peter Rabbit (success!)

1st Baby Bjorn Carrier Experience (success TBD)

Bath (He is NOT a fan... just look at his little face! So funny.)

Friday, June 17, 2011

The First Few (Overwhelmingly Exhausting) Nights

Everyone tried to warn us.

When I was still pregnant, people would tell us...

"Your life will never be the same."

"Sleep now. You're going to need it."

"Parenting is HARD."

Still, we had NO IDEA we would be working THIS hard, sleeping so little, and be so in love and overwhelmed at the same time.

In some ways, our first few nights home were the hardest because we were in transition to this new life of parenthood. Parker was hungry every hour it seemed. He wouldn't sleep in his crib (yet) which meant he slept in our arms all night. As much as I so enjoyed having my son sleep in my arms, it meant that I wasn't sleeping well. Also, breastfeeding wasn't going too well at this point. It hurt. A lot (thankfully, this would get better in time, but I of course didn't know that yet).

But somehow we made it. In a sleepless stupor, we stumbled our way through soothing, swaddling, feeding, burping, and diapering our son. And then, after a few days, without realizing it, we became mommy and daddy. And the all-consuming chaos of taking care of a newborn actually became our life’s new normal.

Going Home

I don't care what anyone tells you, going home from the hospital is scary. After three days of having doctors and nurses with you around the clock helping you with your baby, suddenly there you are with just you and your spouse and this tiny human being who's only a few days old and YOU are responsible for taking care of it. You are already exhausted and so unsure about everything. Don't get me wrong, Ric and I were totally on a high the first few days of parenthood. We were (and still are) so in love with our little guy. Still, the idea of going home to be the sole care providers for keeping this new little being alive is a BIG and daunting responsibility.

But there we were, with Parker man in his car seat, on our way home. We only live a few minutes from the hospital, so after stopping at Walgreens to pick up Mommy’s pain prescriptions, we were home in less than 20 minutes.

From then on, our house has never been the same...

In the Hospital

We had a great welcoming committee to greet Parker, which included: Ric's mom, my mom, dad and sister, and of course Ric and myself. We even had tshirts made that identified our relationship to Parker (so, example: mine said 'Parker's Mommy'). Super cute.

We were in the hospital for three days. Just FYI for you Elk Grovians, we were at Methodist Hospital and it was a fantastic experience. We loved our doctors and all the nurses. Our postpartum room felt more like a hotel room. I had a reclining bed, nurses on call, and three meals a day delivered to my bedside. Not too bad. I made sure I got my medicine regularly, so the pain was never bad.

As for new life with Parker… wow, it felt like our lives were flipped upside down. We were on a total “baby high”—we were so in love and in awe of our little guy. But we were also exhausted as he woke up to feed about once every hour. Since I’m exclusively breastfeeding, that meant I was up at least once every hour and since I couldn’t get out of bed the first few days, Ric had to get Parker every time he cried in his bassinet and bring him to me. It was definitely teamwork. I'm so lucky to have such a supportive and caring hubby! He's been a lifesaver!

On our last day at the hospital, we received a "Celebration Lunch" which included appetizers, sparkling cider, and desserts for me, Ric and the whole family. It was so fun! What a great send off for our family.

The Birth Day

5. 26. 2011

Because baby boy Parker was in breech position in my belly, he had to come out via C-Section. My surgery appointment was scheduled for 9:00am, but we had to arrive two hours early so that I could get "prepped" which included hooking me up to an IV, monitoring my vital signs, and giving me a spinal to numb me from the waist down. Once I was fully prepped, Ric put on his hospital scrubs and joined me and a crowd of doctors and nurses in the Operating Room.

The actaul surgery was kind of a weird experience. I didn't much like the feeling of my boyyom half being numb, but of course I was glad of it for the sake of the surgery. There was a blue sheet hanging in front of my face so that I coldn't see anything that the doctors were doing (don't think I'd want to see!). As the doctors worked, I could feel pressure on my abdomen but couldn't feel pain (thankfully!). Imagine how weird it was when they reached in to pull Parker out. I could feel them doing it, but it didn't hurt. Turns out Parker was wedged in a weird position--one leg up, the other bent behind him, like he was jumping over a hurdle. No wonder he wasn't able to turn to the head-down position!

Finally, after a few minutes that seemed like hours, I heard my guy little crying so I knew he was out. I turnd my head to see him being cleaned off and placed on the scale to be weighed. Ric was with him (as I couldn't get up, obviously) as the nursed swaddled baby P and stuck a blue and pink beanie on his tiny head. Then Ric brought Parker over to me so I could see him and kiss his cute little cheeks. What a happy moment for this mommy!