work/mom/baby/flow

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Hi guys,

I know, I’ve been absent far too long. Truth is, finding this working/living/breathing mommy flow is harder than I thought it would be. I find myself simultaneously wanting to work, relax, punch something, sleep, clean and cry all day, but also wanting to laugh, play and have lots of one on one time with the little guy who is just growing so fast. I have not found the balance yet.

I feel like there is always a strive for balance…a sweet spot if you will. A place where everyone is chill and in sync, like a school of fish just swimming along…baby is chill, dad is chill, and mom is chill. I have come to realized this place may not exist. We are not chill (and I’m positive many families aren’t). My husband and I have no idea what we are doing, or how to schedule anything in relation to work, life and our child. Our “routine” changes almost every week. Then there is our little offspring. A 5 month old who has decided he’s just going to blast through infancy and sloth like movements and instead focus on the higher levels of sitting up and crawling and shit. This is tough because we went from like 2 to 10 in a blink and now I can’t put him down and expect him to stay in one place. I wonder my eye around the room for one second, look back and he has scooted across the floor with the corner of the rug shoved in his mouth. This makes it hard to focus on anything but him. Smart little chub monkey. He wins.

The thing is, I thought all of these mobile milestones were supposed to happen MONTHS from now?! WHY. NOW? Just give me one more month of being a burrito baby and I’ll be fine. But the crawling and the shoving anything and everything into his mouth has created yet another state of existence. Besides focusing on working, cleaning, eating, sleeping and all that jazz, I also have to keep my child alive, unharmed and in clean clothes. The only thing I can think of is how much more intense it would be with TWO. oof. All you mama’s with more than one little nugget to watch, you are my hero’s.

The little bean is also in this wonderful phase where he cries if he sees me, and cries if he doesn’t. I know it’s totally normal, but sometimes I find myself on the verge of an emotional breakdown because I don’t know how to make him happy…he cries when he sees my face no matter what. No win in that. I constantly find myself wanting to cope with this wonderful phase by shoving large amounts of cake in my face, and I don’t even like cake!

Ugh. The balance.

All of us are trying to find the balance. Some days I wish it was back to when my only role was to recover from birth and feed my baby, because now, those days feel so simple and perfect.

Some days I wish my adorable, smart, ever growing little poop nugget didn’t want so much stimulation or need to be mobile and active so we could just chill the F*** out.

But then I REALLY think about it, and even though I complain and the stress is real, each day is my new favorite. He’s learning and doing something different every day, and so am I…so I will keep searching for the balance. Some day I’ll get there.

 

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time really does fly, and I can’t stop it.

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People always tell you, “time flies, so enjoy it” and as rookie parents we always seem to brush it off with a yeah yeah…that’s what they all say. Well now I’m eating my words because somehow within this last week or two it’s hit me like a ton of bricks that time really is flying by, so fast that I’ve barely been able to notice. It seem like just a day ago I was still pregnant, large and swollen, just waiting to meet my son, and now he’s 10 weeks old and I can’t even think of where the time has gone. It doesn’t help that he was born in October, the beginning of the holiday season.

The other day my husband said, “Some day he’s going to find someone that he connects with better than us.” That killed me, because all of the sudden it made me feel like time really is so fleeting and I can’t do a damn thing to stop it. Today, I feel like before I know it I’m going to have a teenager who doesn’t want to cuddle or need me for anything anymore. I suddenly have these mixed emotions of both excitement and sadness for Harland to grow up. I can’t wait to see the person he turns into, but at the same time it makes me so sad to know that all of this will be a distant memory some day preserved through pictures and videos and maybe this blog. Suddenly I feel like I need to document everything from a burp, to a stretch, to a smile and a coo, because some day it will be hard to remember, and I really want to remember.

Today my little boy is 10 weeks old and it breaks my heart a little. Obviously I’m more excited and in awe to be the lucky mama who gets to watch him grow, but I’m not going to lie that some days it’s harder to handle the reality of time.

At 10 weeks so much has happened, so much has changed, and I feel like a new little switch has turn on in Harland’s brain. He’s fixated on his hands and fingers, staring at them and watching them..when he’s not shoving them in his mouth. He’s talking so much I’m having a hard time even remembering when it all started because it feels like he’s always been able to coo and caa and gurgle. The changing table is his favorite place for a conversation and we could be there for hours just talking to each other in his little language with an occasional smile breaking free and stretching from ear to ear. Those SMILES. he’s been teasing us with a few here and there for a while, but we were still unsure if it was gas or not until recently and now each morning we are greeted with the best smiles and babbles from Harland. He makes every morning better now that he can actually look into our eyes, smile and say “Good morning” in his own little language. It’s amazing. A month ago he could barely hold his head up or see us, and now he’s looking from side to side, trying to sit up, and tracking our every moves with those big beautiful eyes.

Not until a few days ago when I watched him fixate on a pillow with cacti on it and try to touch them did I realize the progress he’s made, and now I can’t stop seeing all of his little subtle changes. His pinching with his fingers, his deep stares into my eyes.. or for some reason the ceiling fan, his vocal stylings letting me know what he needs or if he’s upset, and his newest addition…teething and chewing on everything he can get his chubby hands on. It’s amazing. Now I look back at pictures from the week he was born vs. now and the differences make me want to freeze time so that I can carefully observe and enjoy it all, but alas time keeps moving, and I can’t do a damn thing to stop it.

Even though I feel like this post is a little more on the sad side, it still comes from a place of happiness and excitement to be a mom and be able to watch an newborn become a real little tiny person with his own personality to match. The smiles are melting my heart and I can’t wait for those giggles to start!

Two months looks good on you little bub!

the holiday hurricane

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The holiday’s have always made me feel like I’ve been hit by a train..a large train with relatives and presents piled up and falling out. This time of year is crazy and overstimulating for most of us I think? But this year doing it with a kid…I’ve realized the whole game has changed. It’s no longer about buying myself those shoes on sale, or that jacket I’ve been eyeing while I shop for gifts. It isn’t about going to the movies on a whim, or drinking every day to cope with the constant interactions with distant family members and hilariously inappropriate creepy uncles. All of this has changed because now it’s about selflessly and gladly throwing myself in front of the train so my tiny human creation doesn’t get hit. The holiday parties and family gatherings consist of three thoughts now:

1. Where is my child?

2. Is he alive?

3. Is he in distress?

That’s it.

No more, where’s the wine to feel that nice buzz as long as possible? or staying up until the wee hours of the morning carelessly. Now my only focus is on a bed time and LOTS of sleep so that demon baby stays away, preparing for diaper explosion damage control, keeping a hungry little tummy full, and recognizing when mama’s soothing touch is needed in the midst of all of the craziness and continuous game of pass the baby, BUT… I wouldn’t have it any other way.

I love this time of year for a different reason now.

As a fresh off the boat mom with an infant, the holiday’s hold a new kind of magical chaos and less of the consumeristic variety that’s previously trapped so much of my time (and money). I’m sure by next year when my son is older this will all be different yet again, because he’ll want toys and such, but for now I’m enjoying that the chaos of this holiday season is built around making sure my little booger bug is happy as a clam as he stares at the christmas lights or into the eyes of his family members he’s meeting for the first time. Suddenly this time of year is about creating traditions and memories with my crazy little family unit that we will be able to share for years to come instead of past traditions such as excessive consumption of alcohol and food as a key holiday survival tactic.

Things are different this year, and I love it. Not to mention the amazing photos that come out of the tired, happy, sleepy life that is the holiday season with a new born.

 

Now for New Years…Goal is to see if we stay awake past 10, the odds are not in our favor.

Happy holiday’s everyone!

Playing dress up

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Oh man, I never thought I would be one of those parents who couldn’t wait to put their baby in one adorable outfit after another, but here I am, totally that person, and totally obsessed. I always thought I’d just take the lazy route because I assumed everything would either be pooped on, thrown up on or both so why bother trying to make the kid look nice, right? Oh wrong. Every time my little guy explodes out of his clothes, or spits up enough to make the room smell like baby vomit I happily sing, “what to put you in next?” I get so excited to change him and put another adorable outfit on it almost makes me sick. But I can’t help it. I’m sure I’m not alone in this either, please tell me I’m not.

I’ve also noticed a bit of a theme going on here. I can’t resist stripes. None of them. I love them all, fat ones, thin ones, colorful ones, vertical ones, horizontal ones. On shirts, on pants, on socks on hats…it’s becoming a bit of a problem. Maybe it’s because I love wearing them too, so I’m subconsciously forcing my offspring into the same obsession as me, or at least trying to enjoy dressing him up in what I like before he’s big enough to decide he wants to wear his underwear over his pants and 3 layers of shirts and socks on his hands? (which will also be adorable).

The other thing about this dress up obsession is I can’t stop taking pictures. Every time I put him in a new outfit I’m climbing on the bed or moving furniture to get the best angle of my BABY. Clearly too much time on my hands, because I’m also constantly trying to outdo myself. Best part is, my husband has joined in and now we have these competitions to outdo each others adorable picture taking skills. It’s insane, and part of me is super embarrassed to admit any of this, but like I said, there is no way I’m alone, right??

All in all I’ve come to realize I am surprising myself with the parent I am/becoming, but I’m also totally ok with it. I am no longer taking any possible strange obsessions or quirks off of the table, because I honestly don’t know when another one will strike. For now I am going to completely enjoy it, and eventually embarrass my son with all of my “baby model” pictures I’ve started collecting.

 

boob, baby and bottle

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It’s been suggested to start the bottle feeding transition (if you are going back to work or want to have some freedom while solely breastfeeding) within 3-5 weeks after birth. This is apparently the best time because you have formed a solid and respectable relationship between boob and baby, but also because your little one is still to small to understand they’re being tricked into drinking from a fake nipple.

A little over a week ago, I realized Harland’s bottle introduction was upon us if we wanted the relationship between the two of them to be a positive one. With that in mind my husband and I decided to start the introduction in our son’s 4th week of life, because that’s when I felt solid with breastfeeding and (honestly) coped enough with the idea of not being the only one who gets to feed my baby boy. I say cope because there were definitely some unwanted feelings that surfaced once I realized the time had come. I don’t know if it was because I thought that Harland would want me less, or that our special moments would be taken by someone else, or that I would no longer be the sole provider for his survival, or a combo of all of the above. For me, those feelings were actually surprising, and the first time I watched my husband feed our son with a bottle I cried. Now, of course the cry was a combination of things: it was my own previously admitted insecurities obviously, but they were mixed with the love and deep connection I saw my husband and son share that they hadn’t engaged in before. I realized in a moment that it must be so hard for him to not be able to share that kind of bonding, the moments I get so often throughout the day and totally take for granted. When I watched how happy my husband was to be able to stare into our son’s eyes while he ate and talk to him and bond with him, I felt a huge rush of love and emotions I’d never felt before, and it was very unexpected.

Those unwanted feelings I talked about are still sometimes there, but I’m understanding there are bigger, greater and more powerful new feelings I get to experience. I love the feeling I get when I watch my two favorite dudes be able to share such a special time together, and it warms my heart every time.

Now, of course breastfeeding is still going to be our son’s primary source of food, but on those mornings when I want to go work out a little longer, or that one night my husband and I want to enjoy a meal together or with friends I know that our child won’t starve or scream because he’s hungry and that feels amazing.

Going to the grocery store used to be a stressful experience for me because the whole time all I could think about was how long I was gone, or if he woke up. It’s totally a shitty double edged sword and that feeling of being wanted and needed is wonderful and fulfilling, but it’s also a stressful full time job, a job that’s actually kind of nice to give to someone else every once in a while.

Relinquishing control and allowing Harland to feed from a bottle every so often has given me a greater appreciation for breastfeeding as well as a better understanding for the emotional connection it provides, not to mention the occasional freedoms I’ll get to enjoy.  🙂

4 weeks young

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My little love Harland Hawk Blackstock is 4 weeks old today!

Warning: This post contains excessive photos and sappiness.

Today Harland is 4 weeks old, and I feel like the time has flown by. It seems like just yesterday I was gazing into his eyes in awe that I created this special little human. Every day I feel more blessed than the last. It hasn’t been easy, there were many times I’ve felt overwhelmed or second guessed my methods, but in the end I am so proud of my little family for having made it through these weeks with grace and lots of love.

Since this time seems to be passing by faster than I can digest, I figured it might be fun to look back and acknowledge the milestones achieved.

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Oct. 25th 2016 born at 2:46 am

Biggest achievement yet- actually making it through labor, and bringing this sweet boy into the world.

weight: 7lb 11oz

length: 19 in

 

Week one:

img_1775-1Mama’s milk came in after 3 days and we learned how to nurse, slowly and painfully but we did it and now it’s such an amazing and intimate bonding experience.

We started having tummy time and realized Harland has a neck of steel…making head butts a frequent occurrence.

He loves the swaddle, but mom and dad still suck at making him look like a little cozy burrito boy.

We went to our first appt: He was within normal range with a 7% weight loss, which we had no problem making up for in the next few days when the milk came pouring in and nipple leaking became a fashion statement.

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 Week two:

He lost his belly button stem, and we are oh so proud of his dainty little innie!

Took his first bath after being sponged for a week. It’s amazing how quickly babies go from clean to crusty. Good news is he loves the water, so dodged that unpleasantry.

We enjoy lots of skin to skin time, which is so precious and so important.

He makes the cutest gas smiles that I pretend are for me, because he’s obviously mature for his age.

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We noticed he really likes to blow spit bubbles too.

Sometimes he rocks the little mittens because he found his face and likes to slice it (and my neck) with his sharp little fingernails.

Loves being wrapped in the boba, I’m assuming it feels a lot like the coziness of the womb.

We have taken a vote (my immediate family) and determined he has the softest little head.

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He may be tiny and unable to see far or clearly, but when he gazes up it’s like he’s looking into our soul and somehow seems older and wiser than me.

 

 

 

Week Three:img_2012

Had his 3 week checkup!

Weight: 8lbs 15oz (55th percentile)

Height: 21in (90th percentile)

Happy healthy baby

We went to the park for the first time and slept.

Stared using a paci so moms boobs won’t fall off.

Began the tradition of morning walks because that’s the only way he takes a morning nap.

 

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Week four:

He is getting too big for newborn clothes and I can’t handle it!

When he’s screaming he’s soothed by the changing table and makes pensive expressions.

We took him out to dinner for the first time and we survived without a break down or a broken dish!

He’s stared to make little adorable sounds and mimicking our expressions. It makes me want to just smoosh and kiss his little perfect face.

 

 

I can’t believe how big my little guy has gotten, but I couldn’t feel more honored to be his mother and help guide him through this world with love and compassion. I can’t wait to see him evolve each month and for the rest of his life!

And now the many faces of Harland:

slugging back into shape postpartum.

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Let’s just admit it, trying to get back in shape after months of moving like a sloth is so hard to find motivation to do no matter how athletic you claim to be. Before getting pregnant I was an avid boxer and runner with a pretty disciplined schedule, but as soon as that morning sickness and fatigue kicked in and the nesting and comfort food cravings arrived my exercise routine quickly dwindled. I didn’t beat myself up about it though, after all I was creating a tiny human, which is hard and exhausting work in itself.

Now that I am no longer carrying a large sack of potatoes in front of me and can once again see my toes, I have been trying to find the motivation to get back to working out. However, I do think it’s important for all mama’s (myself included) to remember that you did just pop out a human and it’s completely normal for your body to be exhausted. It’s also ok for it to take a while to get back to a full workout routine, or even have the strength and energy to do so. There are days I get up and don’t even know if I slept…night time is a blur and that morning cup o’ joe is my only true friend I look forward to seeing. So, there should be ZERO expectation for any of us to hit the ground running after waddling around for so many months.

Those celebrities who are running around a week after giving birth and looking like they never even carried a child is not a reality most of us have the luxury of experiencing. Hence, I have decided to block that shit out and start out slow, with small goals to achieve–the first one being to just get my ass on a walk. Not setting any expectation as to how long or far to go, just get out and go, that’s the only expectation.

I figured slowly as time goes on I would walk farther, longer, and more strenuously.

Easy enough.

This week was my first week back at it, and it’s been challenging to say the least. Some mornings the very idea of moving my body makes me want to throw a tantrum, so I stand there staring at the ground trying to convince myself that sitting on the couch breastfeeding all day and watching HGTV burns calories and builds muscle too. Then I realize my lazy attitude could easily become a pattern and a year from now I could still be staring at my feet and having the same daily internal battle–so, I finally get up and put on my running shoes.

So far each day I have walked a little bit farther and longer and have felt great doing it. The routine feels like it is sinking in. So, yesterday morning I decided I would try to run a bit. Once again not setting any expectation, just running as much as I felt comfortable with while pushing a baby in a stroller, it couldn’t be too hard I thought–HA!

Note to any new moms out there with the same naive ambitions as me: running with a jogging stroller is not the same as running by yourself and for me it requires mental and physical strength and determination to get through it without breaking down.

To every mom out there who can jog a stroller up a hill and make it look like it’s a skip in the park, I envy/loath/admire you. I felt like I was DYING. Huffing and puffing, panting and sweating, dodging curbs, cars and obstacles while a senior citizen walked passed me. I had no idea what I had gotten myself into and I quickly retracted my cocky attitude and replaced it with passive defeat…none the less I pushed through and survived, but realized I have some work to do and it is going to take me a while to do it, which secretly sucks.

This morning physically hurt, but the good kind of hurt where you actually consider putting yourself through the pain again. Hopefully the pain will morph into gain and eventually I’ll be one of those cool moms who can effortlessly jog with their baby…or not we’ll see how these next few days ago.

They say it takes 3 months to make a habit a lifestyle..so here’s to a long, painful three months of kicking my ass back into gear.

 

Good luck to all my fellow mama’s out there busting their butts to get back into shape. It is no easy task.

Please feel free to share successes or failures you’ve experienced so that I don’t feel so alone in this transition back to reality. Also if anyone has any tips or suggestions about how to run with a stroller I would love to hear them, because right now it terrifies me.