Sunday, October 30, 2011

Fall Favorites!

Here is a little blurb about my favorite things this fall. Enjoy!

1. Black and White: I got an amazing scarf for the fall, it's a large black and white hounds-tooth and it's AMAZING. I think it will be my go-to signature accessory this fall! Black and white hounds-tooth scarf...YES, those are pom-pom's!!

2. Animal Print: OMG, I have LOVED animal prints of all kind (and on anything under the sun) for as long as I can remember and I couldn't be happier that animal print is HUGE this fall/winter!

3. Starbucks Double Shot Lite Espresso and Cream: I am a new mom, and this is a must in the mornings. I buy in bulk at target! They are delicious and only 60 calories. AMAZE-Balls!

4. Boat Shoe: I know, I know- the boat shoe is notorious for the spring/summer season. I just happen to be obsessed with the boat shoe for all seasons. They have an amazing shape, look great on men and women (and kids for that matter), are relatively inexpensive, and make any jeans and white t-shirt outfit look polished...just add fabulous hounds-tooth scarf :)

these boat shoes are especially fabulous because they combine animal print (favorite #2 and boat!) Sperry,

5. Flared jeans. I think flared jeans are awesome, especially if they have a trouser bottome. I especially love Rachel Zoe' can grab them at Bloomingdale's!

6. Heirloom jewelry: it's dainty, it's classic, and it's beautifully understated. I'm not a huge jewelry person (I wish I was-because costume jewelry can make any outfit fabulous), but I do love to have nice pieces that can go with [most] outfits universally. I also like it to be good enough quality to put it on and forget about it for a month. (Sorry Tony, your wife does not do fake.... ;)

7. Forever 21: Yes it's a store. I have not spent a whole lot of time or money in that store over the years, however, I did just recently purchase a great sweater that is super trendy at the moment. It's an Aztek will be worn this fall and winter and then probably thrown in the goodwill bin. Thank you Forever 21 for making it so inexpensive to be trendy!

8. Late 1960's/Early 70's English country: I love riding boots, rusty colored cords, a crisp button down...this look makes me want to require my baby to call me Mummy and join me for tea in late afternoon. Basically, I want to hop into Tommy Hilfiger's ad campaign (which demonstrates this look to a tee) and run around with all the perfectly stylized models!

9.Vibram Five-Finger shoes: I know I'm a bit late in the game on these...but I bought them last month and LOVE them. They are perfect for running, hiking, and power walking :) Also, they encourage your feet and legs to work muscles you've never worked before, so the legs get noticeably toned in different places. SCORE!

10. Last but not least; Root Veggies: Yes, vegetables are on my Fall Favorites list. This is the perfect time of year to eat root veggies. Here is a fantastic recipe that I got from my mother-in-law. (Thanks Kath!!)
2 cups brussle sprouts (cut in half)
1 cup carrots
5 fingerling potatoes (cut them in half)
1 cup onion (cut in thick wedges)
garlic cloves (whole, you choose how many)
1 cup (more or less) parsnip
1 table spoon olive oil
1 table spoon balsamic vinegar
*coat these veggies in the balsamic vinegar and olive oil
*bake in oven at 375 for 40 min.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Mom to a newborn: Weeks # 4 & 5

I am getting more and more comfortable in my mom heels, so to speak. I've been in awe of watching Easton develop everyday. In week's four and five I've seen huge leaps in his growth. He is not only bigger and longer (in week four he grew out of his preemie clothes), he stays awake much longer, makes eye contact, and two days ago I got my first (non-gas) smile! Easton's eyes have become so blue and his hair is changing to a beautiful light red. He definitely looks more like my side of the family (at least right now) and he REALLY looks like my daddy, which makes me so happy- and makes me miss my dad during this time, all the more. Easton is so beautiful and I really am falling more in love with him everyday.

I had a big couple of weeks as well. I ventured to Valley Fair and the Great Mall with Easton, fed him in public (using a Hooter-Hider, of course), gave the last nightly feeding over to Tony, and took Easton on his first weekend get-away.

I made Easton try on his Halloween costume fits!!

Tony and I packed Easton- and a million other things, in the car and took off on the open road to Davis, CA. My sister and brother-in law very graciously welcomed the three of us for the weekend at their home, and the five of us had a great time!

The nights are still rather difficult. Easton wakes up at least 3 times in the middle of the night- but he seems to have created a little schedule: waking to feed around 11:30pm, 2:30am, and 4:30am. Tony has taken over the 11:30 feeding, so I go to sleep right after I feed him (around 9pm) and sleep until he wakes to eat at 2:30am. That has saved my life, as I was truly starting to go crazy of fatigue. Easton takes a long time to eat and a really long time to fall asleep, so I am awake with him in the middle of the night between an hour and two hours- but I'm a lot less cranky now that I have a little more sleep under my belt.
Easton, at the pumpkin patch- he slept the whole time!

These last five weeks have been incredible. I still can't believe that Tony and I have our own little baby, and I'm so grateful to God that we have a healthy one. Tony is an amazing father (of course) and I am getting my barrings and becoming more and more comfortable as a mom. I tend to be someone who is always waiting for the next big thing to happen- but I have made a huge effort in the last couple of weeks to be really focused on the the moment, enjoying Easton for who he is right now. I can't believe how much he has already changed since birth, and I want to soak up every moment of him, just as he is.

More next week!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Mom to a newborn: Week #3

Week number three. What can I say about week number three...well, it was the first week that we met Easton's REALLY evil twin. He only comes out after 7 p.m. at night and stays for a couple of hours. I'm a really polite person and can make anyone feel at home- but this guy...this guy, I'm just not that into.

The night seems to be the worst time for our little guy. He still doesn't totally understand day from night, even though I am trying my hardest to MAKE him understand (I draw the curtains first thing in the morning, keep it dim in the evening, talk softer at night, etc.). This baby seems to be his own person...and is not listening to me or my schedule the way I had assumed he would.

We did have do some really fun stuff in week three. We got to introduce baby boy to our good friends Jordan and Jenny Kellogg. Easton also got to meet his great-uncle Steven and Aunt Nicole, and was introduced to my dear friend Lisa McLaughlin and her cuter than life son, Donovan (6 months old)- who will inevitably be Easton's best friend.

My sanity is waning, as I am getting very little sleep and not drinking nearly enough coffee (I have to limit that because of breast feeding). I was planning on keeping Easton on the world's strictest schedule, and that has all but blown up in my face. I am realizing that he is, indeed, a human being- and I can't mold him as easily as I thought. He is having a "say" in his schedule development and I don't like that one bit. I will however, have to adjust my OCD just a little bit, and give him a little bit more room to be Easton. Night time screamer and all.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Mom to a newborn: Week #2

Tony went back to work on September 26th, and my sister came back to give me a hand sans Daddy. I slept on the couch on Sunday night to give Tony uninterupted sleep. He was not only going back to work as a tired new dad, he was going back to a new job at a new school. He accepted a position as the Principal of Sinnott Elementary at the same time that we were getting ready for our upcoming arival. Lots of change. But all good change. Anyway, I slept on the couch and gave Tony a gift that any new mom can give their working husband...SLEEP. He appriciated it. :)

The second week of Easton's life saw lots of action. His first outing was to Target- he loved it. His second adventure was to Harmony, a birthing center in Campbell where we attended a breast feeding group. This group is great, and answered all my BF questions and gave me the chance to meet new moms who have babies the same age as Easton. He has friends already!
Christine and Easton. The three of us went on his first walk around the hood :)

We also gave Easton a bath, which he loved- I was a water baby myself, and happy that he is enjoying water so early. I also introduced tummy time this week. He gets 10 minutes of tummy time up to three times a day- I can tell he is a natural at the "plank" position. I also took him grocery shopping while he was sleeping in his car seat- bad idea, as Whole Foods' shopping cart is small and his car seat was the only thing that fit in the cart. I had to push him and carry a basket for my food at the same time. AWKWARD and DIFFICULT. But I got it done.

Easton and Dad walked down Lincoln avenue in his baby carrier (thank you for the Biorne, Jamie). Tony has been looking forward to wearing that carrier since before Easton was born. They both loved it, and people gawked at how little he was. Strangers stopped to look at our little guy. I was very excited about that. Not gonna lie...

When the sun sets, my anxiety sets in. What kind of night will it be? Will he sleep three to four hours, or will he be up every hour? Will I be able to keep his crying under control, or will Tony grumpily wake up to his son's screams? Every night is different. I am doing my best to keep him on a two and a half to three hour feeding schedule during the day, but during the night anything goes. Two of the nights he slept close to four hours (those were amazing nights) and three of the nights he stayed true to his three hour feeding schedule. But the other two nights....he was up every hour, on the hour. I am very thankful for makeup.
Every morning, I draw the shades sing and talk to my little guy. I am trying to get him used to light and noise during the day and dark and quiet at night. I'm trying to give him a hint... NIGHT IS FOR SLEEP. I have to continue to remind myself that he is new to the world....and give Easton the leniency he deserves. For now. :)

I am not doing a whole lot of sleeping while he sleeps. I am usually cleaning, doing laundry, cooking dinner, and showering in-between feedings...and I am fine with that. Someone has to do it.

Week two proved to be much easier, and I have started to get used to being on call- 24 hours a day. I'm enjoying being a mom. At least right now...

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Mom to a newborn: Week #1

Well this is actually the beginning of week three with my little Easton, but I thought I would write a quick blog on how my first week went with my baby.

Tony and I pushed to be released after twenty four hours of Easton's birth, mostly because we had been in the hospital almost a week and were tired of being there. We ended up leaving the hospital in our car about 35 hours in to our baby's life. This was both a relief and probably a mistake. I was completely exhausted (as most new mothers are) but the exhaustion was made worse by four days in hospital prior to his birth. I was having a really hard time feeding, and probably could have used one more day with 24 hour access to a lactation consultant.

The first night was....super tiring. Tony and I were encouraged to supplement my breast feeding with formula because Easton had lost close to 10% of his body weight in the first 24 hours. Had he lost any more, he would have had to stay in the hospital. So I reluctantly put him on formula. The feeding schedule went like this: I would breast feed for 15 minutes then Tony would finger feed the baby with formula (the formula was in a syringe attached to a thin tube that would go in the baby's mouth on top of Tony's finger- when the baby sucked, Tony would slowly administer the formula), and while Dad was feeding I was pumping.
This was hard for two reasons: #1, I was devastated that I had to give my child formula- as every book, blog, and not to mention the American Pediatrics Association advocate EXCLUSIVE breast feeding. But, we had to do what we had to do. #2, I was JEALOUS. I was trying so hard to feed my baby and it was not working out well. I needed to learn how to breast feed and Easton needed to learn how to breast feed. I was impatient and crying. Easton was impatient and crying. Then Tony's turn to feed would come- Easton just ate. Easy. Well, I didn't like how easy feeding was for Tony. I wanted it to be that easy for me, and most importantly- I wanted to be the one providing food for the baby not Tony and not formula.
Breast feeding eventually started to work and the day that my milk came in, Easton started eating like a champ. I began to pray before feedings, asking God to come into our time and give us both patience and calm. Prayer (as usual) was so helpful and I truly began to feel God's presence while we worked on feeding.

My sister stayed over the first two nights post hospital and helped by giving us a break so we could sleep a couple of hours in between feedings. Thank goodness! That kept both Tony and I relatively sane.

We exposed Easton to the sun by recommendation of my mom's friend (who is a L&D nurse) to prevent jaundice. It was so cute to see his little body sunbathing.

Preventing jaundice by basking in the sun.

I have to admit- the first day home I literally walked around the house crying. ALL DAY. I could not get a grip. I believe the baby blues were in full swing. My poor Tony did not know how to handle me, but he was great and extremely patient.

This is what I learned in my first week. Babies cry and so do moms. I didn't feel that incredible bond that everyone talks about, right away. That feeling of bonding came as feeding became easier and I'm sure will continue to develop over the next 18+ years. The fear of losing my bond with Tony was far more overwhelming than having a newborn...I even got upset when Tony thanked God for his new job and Easton and didn't include me in the prayer. Yes. I said it. I was jealous of a prayer shout out. And the greatest lesson I learned in my first week- I have done and probably will continue to do many things that I swore I would never do with MY child.

Here are some of those tid-bits I was never going to do:

In the first few days I gave my child formula- before I had Easton, I believed that formula was possibly was made by the devil. I put a passifier in my child's mouth- I was NEVER going to use a passifier for a number of very well intentioned reasons, which all flew out the window the first night that he was wailing for NO APPARENT REASON. And finally, I let him fall asleep in the car seat. And my arms. And the bouncy chair. And a million other places other than his crib/bassinet. (That is something I am regretting a little bit, and starting today I'm putting him in the bassinet as soon as he falls asleep so he doesn't get used to sleeping in elevated positions. Obviously within reason, as he WILL fall asleep on those rare occasions when I'm not home and can't put him on his back.)

The final piece of experience that I will share: it is really, REALLY hard to go from pregnant to not pregnant. I'm gonna to keep it real. I liked the attention that I got from Tony and everyone else- especially at the end when I was put on bed rest. I got LOADS of attention. I wasn't expected to do laundry or dishes. I was not allowed to carry groceries or even go grocery shopping. I was given optimal attention 24 hours a day. As soon as I had the baby....the attention went straight to Easton. All of a sudden I was expected to not only carry the diaper bag, but the car seat and baby too. That was by far the greatest adjustment that I had to make. Just being honest. :)

That is my first week in a nut shell. Things have changed every day...and I'm trying to go with the flow, at least as much as this control freak can....

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