TGIF

First off, thank you to Leigh for this wonderful Christmas ornament for the Canadian Bloggers Christmas Swap. What a perfect ornament to add to our tree this year 🙂

The high of my week was I feel like this is a kind of sad SAHM type thing to say… but my high of the week was watching episode after episode of Life in Pieces on Netflix yesterday. I just cuddled up on the couch with my sweet girl on my chest and binged Netflix. Life in Pieces is SO FUNNY and the perfect mindless show for me to be watching right now. Also, ALL the newborn cuddles was a high of my week. I seriously love the snuggles at this age and I am soaking them up.

The low of my week was Eric going back to work on Tuesday. Luckily he only works until the 22nd and then he has 9 days off for the Christmas holidays. But then in the New Year he goes back on night shift. I can’t even think about it, it makes me too sad.

A podcast episode I loved was The Mom Hour episode on Newborn Attachment. Obviously very relevant to where I am in my life right now considering I spend all day with a newborn – who is 3 weeks old today!

For my workouts, I completed walks. Still just doing short walks of 15 – 20 minutes right now. Today I am going to go for my first slightly longer walk at the walking track. I’m 3 weeks postpartum today and plan to wait the full recommended 6 weeks until I start actual workouts again, but I do want to continue walking daily and keep slowly adding time to my walks so I can build back up to walking for a full hour. I am feeling pretty great and on my way to healed at 3 weeks postpartum, which is great! Also yesterday was my first walk with Olivia in one of my carriers. I will have to do a full blog post on the carriers we are using at some point. It went pretty well but I didn’t have it quite tight enough so felt like I had to have one hand under her bum for extra support the whole time.

The best money I spent was on mailing our Christmas cards! We don’t always do Christmas cards but this year I wanted to because we took some adorable Christmas-y photos during our newborn photo shoot. I kind of combined them into a birth announcement for Olivia too. So excited for everyone to get them!

My plans this weekend include going for lunch with a friend on Saturday and that’s about all I have in the way of actual ‘plans’, You just never know what each day is going to look like right now because my boss is only 3 weeks old. Plus with Eric working through the weekends and me on maternity leave weekends don’t really feel ‘special’ at all. They are just two more days of the week! So no real plans this weekend other than lunch with a friend, going for walks, hanging out with my baby 🙂

What was the high and low of your week? What are your plans this weekend? 

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Podcasts, workouts, books and looks of November!

November is a bit of a blur honestly. My maternity leave started on November 1 at 38 weeks + 3 days pregnant and then 24 longgggg days later we finally welcomed our beautiful baby into the world. Time since then has absolutely flown by.

But I will attempt to recap November as best as I can!

Podcasts

I basically listened to podcasts non stop the first couple weeks of November because I was on maternity leave and doing a bunch of organizing, cleaning and cooking around the house. I really enjoyed the ‘It’s a Real Mother’ series on the Longest Shortest Time. Man did it ever make me feel extremely grateful for my 12-month paid maternity leave! Though a disclaimer to that is that it is not fully paid, for me it works out to about 1/3 of my normal salary.

Workouts

Walking, walking and more walking. I walked at the track with my mom for 30 – 60 minutes almost every day in November. I went to 3 prenatal yoga classes in November and 1 or 2 beginner yoga classes. I also swam 2 or 3 times. But, for the most part, walking was my go to in those last few weeks of pregnancy.

Books

I read 3 books before going into labour and then it took me like 14 days to finish a book post baby being born. I am hoping that once we get more established with breastfeeding I will be able to read books on my kindle while feeding Olivia. Right now I need both hands to adjust her / help her latch etc. but I have recently started listening to podcasts while feeding her because otherwise I was just mindlessly scrolling my phone (when I could use my hand) or watching whatever Eric had on TV, which has been Smallville as of late 🙂

Anyways… in November I only read 3 books but 2 of the 3 were 5 star books for me!

  

Two by Two was our family book club pick for the month. It was a typical Nicholas Sparks book. Kind of mindless and not terrible, but way way too long. Also it was written in the first person and the main character really annoyed me. 3 stars.

The Heart’s Invisible Furies is probably going to be my favourite book of 2017. I loved this book so much. It follows the life of Cyril, a gay man in Ireland in the 50’s and 60’s. The dialogue between the characters is amazing and Cyril’s wry sense of humour is fantastic. I can’t recommend this book enough. These are the exact kind of books I love – it’s long, it follows a character for their entire life so you really get to know them well and it covers some incredibly deep and complex topics while also having some lighter and more humorous parts. I would recommend this for fans of A Little Life, though it’s not nearly as depressing as A Little Life.

This is How it Always Is was also an excellent book that got 5 stars from me. It’s very well written and includes some quirky, interesting and lovable characters. It also tackles some very relevant and current societal issues around raising a transgender child and what it even means to be transgender as a child.

Looks

I did get my hair cut in November – one last pre-baby do. Other than the day I got it cut I’m pretty sure it was in a ponytail for the majority of the month.

I basically lived in stretchy workout clothes in November. Here is a picture taken at 41 weeks – still 4 days before Miss Olivia would make her appearance. Remember when I had a 10 lb baby in my belly?? Yikes. I do NOT miss being pregnant.

November 2017 is one for the books for sure since we welcomed our sweet daughter on November 24th! And life will never be the same again, but in the best way 🙂

What were your podcasts, books, workouts and looks for November? 

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2 weeks of Olivia!

Today Olivia Mabelynn is 2 weeks old!

Side note, Olivia’s middle name is a combination of her two Grandma’s names. My mother-in-law’s name is Mabel and my mom’s name is Lynn. So we combined them to get Mabelynn!

I really wanted to get something down on the blog to remember the last two weeks, as things have changed so so much already with Olivia and I don’t want to forget these early days.

Since Olivia was born super early (3:30am) in the morning of Friday, November 24 we ended up spending 2.5 days in the hospital. We spent all day on the 24th, all day on the 25th and half the day on the 26th there. Those early days were tough. I was in quite a bit of pain from my episiotomy and getting in and out of bed was hard. Both Olivia and I were trying to learn how to breastfeed and she was cluster feeding. Basically for those first few nights Eric would get up when she did, wake me up, I would feed her and then Eric would burp her, change her and put her back to sleep. During those nights in the hospital Eric would head back to our house to sleep during the day because he would basically be up all night. Luckily we had SO much family visiting us that I was never alone during the day while he was gone and I’m very grateful for all the support.

This photo was taken on her 2nd night. 

I am also so very thankful for the Labour & Delivery nurses who would come and help us with breastfeeding. I knew it would be very hard at the beginning but I didn’t realize that I would literally need an additional person to help with latching and about 5,000 cushions/pillows propped around me. Luckily Eric learned well from the L&D nurses and was an incredible help with latching once we left the hospital. I honestly don’t know what I would have done without Eric those first 5 days. He basically did everything except actually feed her. Ha ha!

We are pretty sure for the first few days Olivia had her days and nights mixed up, so she was asleep most of the day and awake most of the night. The second night after we got home from the hospital was our hardest night yet. Olivia was cluster feeding and basically did not sleep from 1am – 8:30am. Eric and I were so so tired and wondering how we could possibly do that night after night. Luckily her sleep has improved immensely and that was our only really bad night with her.

She sleeps in the Halo Bassinet beside our bed at night and during the day she naps on the coffee table downstairs in a baby nest my Grandma made for us – crafty grandma strikes again as these baby nests sell for $150+! And yes, we do attempt to swaddle her at night but she almost always breaks free and puts up quite the fuss if we swaddle her too tight. She likes to have her hands out!

I can’t remember when but at about night 3 or 4 at home Olivia got her days and nights straightened out and started sleeping amazingly well. We are SO LUCKY. She will sleep for a 4 hour stretch at night easily, and I usually have to wake her up to feed at the 4 hour mark or she would sleep even longer. I have been told this is a benefit of having a bigger baby – she comes out already being a good sleeper. I am so grateful!

The night before she hit 2 weeks she slept from midnight – 4:30am and again from 5:30 – 8:30am. She is also really good about sleeping in her bassinet and in her nest as long as she is asleep when we put her in there. She does not like being laid down awake which is a challenge as sometimes it takes lots of rocking to get her back to sleep after a feed, which is not always fun when you are just so so desperate to go to sleep yourself!

Breastfeeding is going quite well and her and I can now feed on our own and with only one pillow for support instead of 5,000! A huge win. I am pumping to store some milk in the freezer but we have not attempted to introduce the bottle yet as we want to make sure we get well established with breastfeeding before doing so.

Chloe seems to be doing well with her. This is a topic for a separate blog post, but a few months ago Chloe went completely blind. She had slowly been losing her eyesight since the spring, and she lost it completely this fall. We are so sad Chloe never got to see Olivia, but she is definitely aware that she is there and has carefully sniffed her a couple of times. When Chloe first came back to our house (she was at my dad’s while we were in the hospital) she would whimper on her bed whenever Olivia cried. Sympathy crying!

Webster has gone to live at my dad’s house for the first few months. This is again a topic for another blog post, but we were having some issues with him and Chloe since Chloe went blind and Webster is a very ornery cat. We weren’t totally sure how he would act with the baby and we weren’t ready to risk it, especially since he’d been attacking Chloe a lot since she went blind because she would get too close to him or run into him. My brother and dad send me daily pictures of Webster and he has settled in nicely with them and gets tons of cuddles. I’ll be going out to visit him soon and slowly introducing him to Olivia over the next few months and hopefully we can bring him home in the spring when she is older. It was a super hard decision, and I sobbed the day my brother picked him up, but I know it was the right decision for our little family right now.

I should also note that I could never have given Webster away completely and I am so grateful my brother and dad were willing to take him in and have been taking such great care of him and of course sending me daily photos and snapchats. I trade Olivia photos for Webster photos now 🙂

The weather warmed up immensely last week so we were able to get outside for our first outdoor walk. It was so nice to get some sunshine and fresh air!! Speaking of going for a walk, I am doing 100x better physically in week 2 than I was in week 1. I was very very sore for a few days and couldn’t spend too much time on my feet or go up and down the stairs too much as it would really intensify my bleeding. I’m also pretty sure I ripped / popped a stitch on our 2nd night at home getting up from the chair after feeding her, so that was very sore for a few days. I couldn’t even *think* about going for a walk for awhile.

All of a sudden in week 2 I started to feel a lot better and could be on my feet more and even took Chloe for a couple of slow walks around the block. I still get pretty tuckered out and need to sit and rest after a 10-15 minute walk, but I am definitely feeling better.

On the hormones / emotions level, they really are no joke post partum. The tears will come so so easily these days. The other night I was sitting on the couch snuggling Olivia and I just started crying. It was part exhaustion and part gratefulness / happy tears. I never used to cry happy tears but I definitely am in these PP days. I also would start crying anytime I even *thought* about Eric going back to work those first few days but now that I’m feeling so much better and have a better handle on breastfeeding I am feeling OK about him going back to work next week, though Olivia and I will miss him so so much.

Soaking up those newborn cuddles. 

This newborn stage is really hard. We are lucky to have an amazing sleeper on our hands, and it’s still hard. But it is also so amazing. This little person is just so darn cute and perfect in every way and you literally cannot beat those newborn snuggles. There is nothing better. Also, why do they smell SO good??

I already know the time is going to pass way too quickly so I’m really focusing on being in the moment and enjoying this time with our sweet and cuddly newborn.

At 2 weeks old Olivia loves…

  • The mamaroo swing
  • Sleeping on mommy or daddy’s chest

She hates…

  • Diaper changes
  • Baths (see below photo for how she feels about them…)
  • Being hungry for even 3 seconds

Things I haven’t felt like doing at all are cooking or cleaning. I am very grateful that Eric has taken over pretty much all cleaning the last couple of weeks. My amazing BFF Jen also flew up to spend 3 nights with us and scrubbed our house top to bottom while here and my mom has been amazing with helping clean as well. I’ve also had sooo many family members drop off food, which I am so appreciative for. Just tonight I enjoyed some amazing homemade chicken soup and homemade bread that my cousin dropped off.

I think that pretty much sums up the first 2 weeks of life with a baby. We don’t really do much, but the days pass by so quickly. I still can hardly believe it’s already been 2 weeks since she entered our lives. I am sad about Eric going back to work next week but happy that he will have some more time off with us at Christmas.

Perhaps my next blog post will not be baby related, but don’t count on it 😉

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