motherhood

i have no idea what day it is.

the title of this post is one of the weirdest things that’s happened to me since becoming a mom. when everyone else is saying, “so happy tomorrow is friday!”, i’m sitting here going, “wait, it’s october and a whole week has gone by?” it’s a really bizarre phenomenon.

i have a lot of posts that are in draft mode right now, mostly because i start to write them, and then amelia wakes up. and then maybe the next day i don’t have any laundry to do so i start to edit and add photos, then amelia wakes up. so later that same day i try to finish the post, only amelia never actually goes back to sleep. you get the idea. so yes, they are all in draft mode. but i have some good ones coming up. for all you other bloggers out there who have babies, how on earth do your babies allow you so much time to write on a regular basis??

tonight i just felt like throwing a random post up, because Mister Man and Amelia are snuggled up watching the packers/vikings game, and i had a lot of random thoughts while walking around with a baby in my arms today.

baby tummy time fail

tummy time fail.

***

  • today i considered myself having gotten dressed by the mere fact that i put on “nice” sweatpants at 11am and a sweatshirt at 1:30pm. basically, if i end the day in different pajamas than the ones i started out in, i count it as a victory.
  • along those same lines, today i brushed my teeth, washed my face, and took my vitamins while wearing a sleeping baby in the sling carrier. MULTITASKING.
  • this week i’ve had some really crappy moments and been disappointed in myself as a mom (patience is most definitely a virtue i was not born with), but i’ve had some awesome moments where i really felt like myself again for the first time in six weeks; i took amelia on a spur-of-the-moment errand run and it didn’t feel like a huge undertaking // i got a latte for myself on that errand run, and it reminded me of a normal shopping day pre-baby // i went grocery shopping all by myself last night and it was as refreshing as getting a massage. the little things mean a lot now.
  • if it’s after 8pm in our house, the lights are dimmed and we talk in whispers.
  • the next time Mister Man travels for work, i’m going to try staying here at the house instead of going home to stay with my parents. i’m fairly confident that i can do three days by myself, but also i’m already a bit nervous.
  • since i’m only writing around two posts a week for the moment, i’ve spent a lot more time reading blogs than writing. here are some of my favorites from this week:

two wonderful bloggers in one post? thank you cassie!

i don’t just like this vlog from ashten because she mentions me, i also adore watching her face talk on a screen.

this post on brand new mom guilt from lisa at two martinis speaks ALL THE TRUTH.

okay, baby is due to wake up (she actually hasn’t stopped eating today, i believe this is what people were talking about when referring to the six-week growth spurt?) so i’m done with this random brain dump. thanks for still coming here to read my thoughts, even when they’re a little sporadic. i’m much better at instagram and twitter right now, so make sure you’re following me there (although you should follow me on bloglovin too if you aren’t already!). i post a lot of baby photos and my sleep-deprived blurbs are always entertaining (in my sleep-deprived brain anyway..)!

baby sling

the magic sling.

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must haves for the new mom.

now that i’m almost to the other side of the first six weeks of motherhood, i feel like i can look back with clear eyes (albeit tired eyes), and really see what were the things that helped me get through the most.

some of my recommendations are  for specific products, but mostly i just wanted to talk about the general things that are so helpful in those first, blurry weeks, and what makes life a little more enjoyable. also, if we’re being honest, i kind of hate when a must haves post includes only specific products, because i feel like it somehow tricks me into thinking that the specific product being talked about is the only product that you can get. and that’s just not the way it is. so this is my version of a must haves post instead.

not included in this list are my amazing family and friends, because we could not have gotten through the first six weeks without all their help, meals, love and support. and as always, i think everyone needs to get themselves their own Mister Man. he’s the best slash i would not be sane and thriving right now without him. that’s real.

***

1. all the coffee: yes, i drink coffee while i breastfeed. no, i don’t drink a whole pot of it. so keep the judginess in your pants. coffee helps wake me up so i can survive a day full of unknowns. will she cry all day? will she be an angel and nap and be awake in even proportion? will something entirely different happen? will the 5 hours of intermittent sleep be enough to survive? coffee helps with all those things. and because there is a loving, benevolent God above, five days after amelia was born i received a free keurig 2.0 from influenster to review*. the keurig 2.0 can make both k-cups and a 4-cup carafe of coffee, which is perfect for when Mister Man is traveling and i only have one hand to make coffee (going without is not an option). we used to be totally opposed to the idea of a keurig, but the 2.0 has been a lifesaver and we have been converted. don’t even get me started on the fact that i can make my pumpkin spice coffee without annoying my husband now too…

keurig 2.0

2. nursing tanks: all i wore the first few weeks with the little one were leggings, nursing tanks and either a cardigan or a flannel shirt. i didn’t even own a regular nursing bra, because it seemed too daunting for me. nursing tanks are amazing, because they give a bit of support while being super easy to unhook to feed the baby. and ease is SO IMPORTANT when you are learning those first weeks. my favorite are the nursing tanks from target, they fit well and since they’re inexpensive, you won’t mind getting milk and spit-up all over them.

nursing tank

3. nursing bras: i waited probably too long to get an actual nursing bra, but i’m really glad i did. i had no idea what size to get until about two weeks after the baby was born. to be honest, it’s hard to find a good one, especially when you’re top-heavy (what’s new?). my favorite one so far has been this one from destination maternity*. it’s big enough, it’s SO COMFORTABLE, and it’s really easy to clip in and out of. also, the size guide on the destination maternity website is the best i’ve seen. win all the way.

dmc

4. hulu/netflix/amazon prime: you will spend a lot of time feeding your baby, whether by bottle or breastfeeding. and as much fun as it is to just gaze lovingly on your child, you just can’t do that all day and night long. so i highly recommend having a queue of shows/movies lined up on your computer to pass the time. mindless shows like “real housewives” and “dance moms” are awesome because you barely need to pay attention.

5. bath salts: in the first few weeks, you will be a little sore, not only from giving birth but from constantly holding a decent sized human all the time. make time for yourself to take a bath every few days (everyday if possible). if you can add some soaking salts or epsom salts to it, even better. it’s amazing what a soak in the bath, even a short one, can do for your mood and energy levels, even on very little sleep. you can buy epsom salts from your local health food store, and i think target may even be carrying them now.

6. squirt bottle: i mentioned this in my “what to expect after baby” post, but i’ll say it again. the squirt bottle they give you at the hospital is going to be your best friend for a little while, because going to the bathroom is kind of a production and it will make you feel safe. and i’m not going to get into too much detail here, but your other best friends are going to be dulcolax, ibuprofen, and preparation-h pads. sorry about it.

7. yoga pants: i’ve talked before about my favorite athleta pants, but they have never been more amazing than in those first postpartum weeks. i’m not kidding; i live in these now. it feels like i’m living every single mom cliche, but i don’t care. i can throw on these pants with any top, and they’re nice enough that i can leave the house in them, but also comfortable enough that they feel like pajamas. highly recommend. (and now i think maybe i need one of the iwyp shirts to add to my outfit repertoire, what do you think?)

yoga pants

8. quick get-ready routine: if you didn’t have a get ready routine you could do in under ten minutes before you had the baby, this will be a tough one. if you haven’t had a baby yet, this is me warning you: figure out how to get ready and look presentable (whatever that means to you) in under ten minutes. i am really lazy so my normal routine is actually only about 10 minutes, but i need to do it if i’m going to see people, such is the curse of bad skin. trust me on this, you will feel so much better if you feel like you look like the pre-mom version of yourself; it really gives you energy! pro tip: include some good under-eye concealer in that routine…you’ll need it.

mamas out there: what saved your life in the first few weeks with a newborn? i’m still living them, so leave some suggestions in the comments!

*keurig 2.0 c/o influenster for the purpose of review, nursing bra c/o destination maternity

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i should be napping.

i just got the baby down for her first substantial nap of the day. is it stupid of me to be writing this right now instead of sleeping? probably. but i’m all wired up from the tension of a screaming infant, so nap time isn’t really calling to me.

instead, let’s talk about looking for the silver lining when you have the look of a crazed person on your face 24-7. here’s what is making me happy this week.

  • my darling, healthy baby: yes, she screams. yes, she decides 3 out of 7 days to not sleep all day. yes, she destroys diapers like it’s her job. but she is thriving, and healthy, and (i hope) happy, and that is what keeps me going during those trips up and down the stairs with her in tow.

amelia 5 weeks

  • weddings: two of my dearest, oldest friends got married over the weekend, and i was lucky enough to be part of the festivities. this wedding was one of the most special events i’ve been a part of in my life. the two of them love each other so much, and you can really feel it when you’re with them. and on top of that, they were so gracious with the flexibility that i needed with amelia around, it really touched me. thank you again for letting me be a part of your day and your lives lise and nick!

lise wedding

  • my breast pump: weird, right? but man, this thing saved us this weekend. after a particularly…let’s say “trying” morning on friday with attempting to have the baby with me at a wedding party event, we decided that i needed to get milk out of me and into a bottle so Mister Man could take care of the little one while i got ready the day of the wedding. can i just say HALLELUJAH PRAISE THE LORD that a) i have a lot of milk to give, and b) miss amelia took the bottle from her dad like a champ, thereby freeing me from 100% of the responsibility for feeding her. we are still going to breastfeed 99% of the time, but now Mister Man is going to take one feeding a day, and i will be pumping another time to build inventory for if we ever want a babysitter. i’ll say it again: HALLELUJAH!
  • our families: they are a constant help and support to us, and they always remind us what a gift we have in each other and in them. we would not want to live this life without them.
  • coffee: it’s keeping me going bro. i may have to drink my morning coffee throughout the day, and it might be cold by the time i get to it, but damn if it isn’t worth it.

coffee morning

what’s making you happy this week?

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things we never thought we’d say.

when you become a parent for the first time, you know things are going to change. you know there are sleepless nights ahead, and that your main focus is no longer on yourself. you even expect to become somewhat of a hermit as opposed to your normal, social self.

what you don’t expect is for the topics of all your conversations to revolve SO MUCH around your baby. and because all your baby does is eat, sleep and poop, you start talking about things that generally aren’t considered to be part of polite conversation. so that naturally leads to certain things being said between mom and dad that we never thought we would say. just for fun, here are a few things Mister Man and i have said to each other in the three weeks(!) that Amelia has been with us:

“i just got pooped on and i didn’t even yell. be proud of me!”

“did you hear how loud that fart was?? that was amazing!”

“those four hours of sleep felt SO GOOD. i can really tell the difference between three and four.”

“she’s so advanced, i can’t believe her umbilical cord fell off after just 7 days!”

“do you realize that our pillow talk now revolves around our daughter’s bowel movements?”

“should we use the natural gas drops or the regular ones?”

“it was so nice to go outside today…i haven’t been out of the house in three days.”

MM: (said in pinky’s voice from ‘pinky and the brain’) what should we do tonight erin? me: (said in brain’s voice from ‘pinky and the brain’) same thing we do every night pinky…bathe the child, try to get the child to sleep, watch an episode of ‘sleepy hollow’ and go to bed.”

so yea. that’s our life now. i’m sure it’ll get a little less ridiculous eventually, but for now we are the lamest. and we kind of love it if we’re being honest.

***

and now, i’d like to introduce you to one of my newest sponsors. meet martha kate, of leaving perfection, learning grace. i just started to read martha’s blog, and my goodness, if you want some thoughtful reading in your blogroll, hers is one you need to check out. i wanted martha kate to introduce herself to all of you in her own words, so here she is!

My blog is all about learning to live a life filled with grace and leaving perfection in the dust. It’s about my journey through eating disorder recovery and everything else in between. 

i  asked her to share her favorite part of my favorite season (fall!) with us to get to know her a little better too: I LOVE comfy sweaters, cozy scarfs, riding boots and mocha drinks, all which signal fall is here!!

leaving perfection learning grace

isn’t she ADORABLE?? you can find martha kate at her blog, leaving perfection, learning grace, and also on twitterfacebook, pinterest and instagram (personal and blog). head over to get to know her and tell her that erin sent you.

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what to expect after baby.

we’ve all heard of what to expect when you’re expecting, the quintessential “get ready for baby” book, right? well, where is the book that tells you what to expect once you’re done expecting? there are a lot of things that no one thinks to tell you about the dizzying time after baby is born, and things that you don’t believe until you get there, and a little manual might be helpful!

we all know to expect no sleep and to have your world revolve around the baby, but here are the most unexpected lessons i found out in the first few weeks of being a mom. it’s by no means a complete list, but i’m sleep deprived right now and these are the ones that stuck out to me, so you’ll look past that i’m sure.

for anyone that has had babies already/has a lot of experience with babies and new moms, what would you add to the list?

***

what to expect after

1. “sleep when the baby sleeps” is not just an urban legend.

you MUST take at least one nap when the baby naps, every day. i say this because it’s true, it’s not just something people say to be funny when you have a baby. keep in mind, you are only ever getting 2-4 hour chunks of sleep at a time for the first few months of your baby’s life. and sometimes the best hours of sleep are during your baby’s daytime napping hours. those extra two hours of sleep (even if it’s a light sleep) will serve you better than any load of laundry or sinkful of dishes.

2. you will cry for no reason at all.

i was talking to my mom about something funny she and Mister Man had talked about during one of the aforementioned naps, and all of a sudden, tears started pouring out of my eyes. i wasn’t feeling particularly happy or sad or emotional in any way, and yet there they were. same thing happened when i gave my husband a hug after dinner one night. waterworks every where. there are a lot of hormones running around in your body, and sometimes they need somewhere to go. tears happen to work well.

3. squirt bottles and ibuprofen will be your best friends.

if you have a vaginal birth, this is true. the squirt bottle and i have remained inseparable these past two weeks. trust me on this, it’s the best thing to happen to a bathroom since toilet paper. also, ibuprofen. i was lucky enough to not be very sore in the days following the birth, but i had a couple of stitches down there, and the ibuprofen helps you do things like sit down and get up with so much less annoyance.

4. you WILL learn your own baby’s needs.

one of the things i was terrified of the entire pregnancy was being able to know what my baby would need and when. for some reason the thought of knowing how much they should eat and being able to hear them when they cried at night seemed so daunting to me…i was more scared of that than the actual labor part! let me put you at ease right now: all of the instinct will just come to you the second that baby comes out. i used to be the heaviest sleeper in the world, like sleep through a hurricane heavy. now, if amelia squeaks in her sleep in her own room, i can hear it immediately and will wake from a dead sleep. and as far as the other stuff goes, give it two days and you will already be able to tell the difference between her “i’m gassy” cry and her “i’m wet” cry.

5. there will be too many people at your house.

they will all be people you love and it will be wonderful and terrible all at the same time. being surrounded by love and care and amazing people is the best, especially when you feel so full of feelings you could burst! but then the fatigue sets in, and you realize how much energy it takes to be around people all the time. so make sure that you take care of yourself and try to spread the visits out over the first few weeks. be especially protective of your weekends as you learn your new schedule.

6. you will want to hold your little one ALL.THE.TIME.

and you should hold them as much as your heart desires. but you also need to nap sometimes, and eat sometimes, and shower sometimes. so in the end, putting them down (especially when they’re asleep) can be good for both of you. letting them nap in their crib or bassinet helps them get used to being there at night, and it helps them learn to sleep outside of someone’s arms. so even if it’s just one nap a day, try to put them down for just a bit and take care of yourself in the process.

7. you will learn to eat as fast as humanly possible.

because the baby waits for no boob to be done eating. in the two weeks amelia has been here, i think that every single dinner Mister Man and i have sat down to eat together has been interrupted or postponed by her. and that’s totally okay, i am happier than happy to feed my little beauty, but it’s the new normal which is hard to get used to. and so whenever i sit down to eat now, i scarf my food down like there’s no tomorrow, because i never know when i’m going to get the chance to do it again!

amelia 3 days old

8. you will wonder how you ever found yourself in this situation.

this amazing, surreal, wonderful, awe-inspiring situation. i look at our daughter every day, multiple times a day, completely stunned by the fact that she is ours. she is ours to care for, to love, to cherish and to adore forever. and how can anybody possibly be this lucky? the only answer is that there is a God, and He is so much more generous than you ever knew was possible. so when you find yourself wondering how you got here, say a quick prayer of thanks for however it happened.

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