June 25, 2015

Secret Weapon

When you were little did you ever wish you could have super powers? I always wanted to fly.  I would watch birds and think about how amazing it would be to feel so free and light.  A lot of kids would say they would want an invisibility cloak, a secret weapon that is all their own.

After I had Charlie I lost 20 of the 30 pounds I had gained pretty quickly.  Breastfeeding was my best friend in that regards.  Everyone who would come and visit me would tell me how good I looked and how I must have lost all of the baby weight already.  Talk about a confidence boost! But even through all of this I still felt awful.  My clothes were snug,  I wore a post-pregnancy girdle to hold the newly formed muffin top in as I shoved my self into my old work clothes.  What was strange was that I barely bought any maternity clothes and lived in my old leggings and some stretchy dresses and now those same dresses didn't seem so forgiving.

My friend Kate had been telling me about the amazing superfood she had been using for the past 5 years and how it was the one thing that got her body back into shape after baby. I was skeptical because I've never had to use anything to lose weight before.  My metabolism and some moderate exercise always did the trick.

But I knew that between working full time and trying to spend my free time with Charlie that I would never get the gym as much as I needed to in order to lose those last 10 pounds.  So I bit the bullet and told Kate that I was ready to make a change.  And then Kate cried.  No seriously, she cried because she had been praying for this for me for a long time and knew it would change my life....

In my first 30 days using this nutritional re-balancing program, I lost 8 toxic pounds and numerous inches.  I stopped using caffeine to get me through the day; I didn't even need it.  But best of all, I gained back a sense of me!

I am now 3 months into using these products and I can say that it has changed my life. I have energy to come home and not just want to go to bed after Charlie does.  I can feel a change mentally too. I have this positive outlook that just can't be stopped.

And the little kid in me loves having a secret weapon all of my own.

May 7, 2015

Charlie | 4 Months

Height: 26" - 90th percentile

Weight: 14lbs 15ox- 75th percentile

Clothes:  Charlie is wearing some 3-6 month onesies but mostly 6 month clothes and pi's

Nicknames: Pudds. People ask if that's a family name. And then we tell them it's short for pudding. HA!

Milestones: Charlie has started to try and roll over. She can do it with assistance but now is very determined to do it. She gets in a ball and rolls to one side. Then she makes all sorts of crazy noises as she tries to get her body to do what she wants. It's hilarious. 

She has also started grabbing onto hanging objects. She will focus very intently and reach for them with both arms.  It's like she's giving them a big hug and tries to pull them towards her. 

Homegirl is always moving! She is always squirming and trying to almost walk it seems. I don't know if she will be much of a crawler. She is so strong and can pretty much stand when you are holding her.  She is going to be dangerous once she's mobile. 

She loves to find new sounds to make with her mouth and voice. From squealing to blowing raspberries, she's doing it all.  

Sleep: The last month she has finally started to regularly sleep through the night. I am worried about the 4 month sleep regression I hear so much about but so far, so good.  The past few nights she has been up at 4:30am but all she does is try and roll over and scoot all over her crib. It's so funny to watch on the monitor. 

She is typically asleep between 6:30pm-7pm and will get up again between 6:30am-6:45am. 

Charlie has also started sucking on her fingers.  She will do this when she is hungry but then she also does it when she's super tired and when she needs to be soothed.  She will not take a pacifier (which I am happy about) and I like that she can self soothe. Plus it's just freaking adorable. 

Best Moment:  Having such a happy and smiley baby and interacting with her. She loves to "talk" to us and it gives her the biggest smiles to have people pay attention to her. Diva in the making??

Also, getting to celebrate her first holiday, Easter, was really special. We went out to lunch with my Mom and spent the day together enjoying the weather. It was perfect!

Worst Moment: Mom made the mistake of switching her formula cold turkey. Charlie got super constipated and screamed and was inconsolable. After 2 different trips to the doctor, one suggestion of a spinal tap and lots of blood work later we learned she just was constipated. I felt awful but it was nothing a little pear juice/water combo couldn't fix. 

Likes:  Interacting with people, eating, bath time, playing under mat, blowing raspberries, seeing Mom, Dad and Pip whenever they enter a room. 

Dislikes: Getting dressed, being overly tired, being hungry, being gassy

Health: Charlie had her first cold a few weeks ago. It was nothing horrible, she was just a snot machine. She was still in good spirits which we were thankful for.   

Eating: Charlie is taking 4, 6 oz bottles of formula during the day and then a 7oz bottle before bed. We got the all clear to start her on solids so we are slowly introducing oatmeal but she just doesn't care yet. 

We are loving every day more and more with Miss C.  She is such a good baby and she sure loves us a lot too. Her smiles and giggles are just the best thing in the world. This 4th month has made me realize I can't wait to have another baby. I always knew I wanted more kids but after a rough pregnancy, rough delivery, and rough first few months I thought it would take me forever to say that. But we have seen how amazing this parenting journey is and Charlie makes every day worth living and I actually hate how fast she's growing now!  Can't wait to see what month 5 brings. 

April 4, 2015

A day in the life | Working Mommy

When I was pregnant I kept seeing other blog Mommy's going back to work and wondered how their transition was and how they were doing it.  But no one ever seemed to blog about their schedule or experience.  Probably because just being a Mom makes it hard to find time to blog, let alone a working mom. I get it.  So, here I am to share my experience.

How was the transition back?
The transition for me was actually pretty easy.  Having my Mom move here to help watch her was a huge blessing.  Knowing that Charlie was going to be with her on my first official day back to work was comforting.  The night before I was headed back after I put her to bed after an unusually fussy bed time I poured myself a giant glass of wine and cried.  The next morning I got ready early in order to spend as much time with Charlie as I could before leaving.  The drive into work I blasted Britney Spears pandora station and sang all the way through rush hour.  Upon arrival to my office I was greeted with a giant poster welcoming me back and a basket full of goodies from my thoughtful co-workers.  Not a tear was shed.  Nor was one shed the following day when I dropped her off at daycare.  I have good people watching my little girl and I know she is ok.

Working Mom : A day in the life

1:00am: Nighttime feeding. Spend 30 minutes cuddling and feeding C.

6:20am: I get up and get myself ready.

7:00am: C is up and ready for her day to begin.

7:00am-7:50am: Feed, change, play with C

7:50am: Drop baby off at daycare (Mon, Tues, Weds)
8:10am: Kiss baby goodbye and leave with Grandma (Thurs, Fri)

8:10-8:35am: Commute into Uptown. Talk with Sister or Dad or sing along with pandora

8:40am-4:50pm: Be the best manager I can be

4:50pm-5:35pm: Commute home. Talk to friends or sing along with pandora

5:36pm: Grab that baby and give tons of smooches

5:45pm-6:15pm: Take baby on walk around neighborhood

6:15pm-7:00pm: Give baby bath, bottle and bedtime story

7:00pm-8:30pm: Make dinner and catch up with Joe once he gets home

8:30pm: Shower

9:30pm: Jump into bed and cuddle with doggies and hubby

So there you have it.  Of course the times can change because C is not working by a clock but you get the gist.  I would love to stay home with our girl all the time but that's not in the cards for us at this time.  And I really am ok with that.  I am happy that my Mom will get to build a relationship with her and I like that she will get to socialize with other kids and learn to adapt to other environments.

And until the day I can stay home with her I will appreciate every damn second I get!

March 29, 2015

Charlie | 3 Months

Height: No official height this month

Weight: 12 lbs 15 oz at the last appointment a few weeks ago so thinking she's at 13lbs now!

Clothes:  Charlie is wearing 3 months clothes and 6 month pjs since she is so long. Baby girl's head has gotten so big that barely any  of our cute headbands fit her anymore. Wahh

Nicknames: Puds, Baby Bear, Le Charles, Chunk, JoeMar... Nothing has changed.

Milestones: Charlie has found her hands! Home girl loves to suck on them. She loves to use them to bat at toys hanging from her activity gym.  She has also found her voice and loves to use it to communicate with us.  The cooing and little birdie noises are like the greatest reward you could ever be given.  She seems to recognize her name a little and turns her head to look for Mom and Dad when they enter a room. 

Charlie took her first road trip to Ohio this month.  We left at 4am and this seemed to be perfect. She slept a majority of the time and when she was not sleeping she was just having girl talk with Mom in the back seat. 

Charlie has also started teething! We do not see any evidence of a tooth yet but she is drooling like crazy, hands always in mouth, grinding her gums and a few times woken up screaming bloody murder in the middle of the night. Thinking of one of those amber necklaces. Anyone with experience???

Sleep: At 11 weeks old Charlie started sleeping in her crib at night.  I wanted to get her transitioned before I went back to work.  She is going to bed around 6:30pm. Any later and she starts melting down. She then will be woken around 11pm for a feeding then is up again anywhere from 4-6am. Her day begins at 6:30-7am.  

**Moms- I think she wakes is not out of hunger but because she so often pees through her diaper. She is in size 2's (12-18lbs). There is no way she could need size 3 diapers could she?

Best Moment:  Getting to have "chats" with Charlie as she is finding her voice. It is just the best thing ever. And finally hearing her laugh for the first time. Melt this Momma into a puddle why don't ya!

Worst Moment: Going back to work.  While I love my job and my coworkers it was not easy to make the transition back into reality.  But thankfully Charlie gets to stay with my Mom 2 days a week and then a wonderful woman in our neighborhood the other 3 so I know she is in good hands. 

Likes:  Smiling back at Mom & Dad, playtime under the activity mat, car rides, stroller rides

Dislikes: Getting out of the bath, teething, being overly tired

Health: Charlie is one healthy girl. She is thriving and getting bigger everyday. I swear the first day I came home from work she looked bigger to me!  

Eating: Charlie is taking 4, 4oz bottles during the day with a tsp of rice cereal mixed in for her reflux and then 5oz bottles at night to keep her full longer.  In week 12 she started eating less during the day but this is a Wonder Week so they say it can be common during this time. She is still on the Gerber Good Start Soothe formula and it seems to be making a huge difference in her.  

3 months really was a turning point for Miss C.  She is SO much happier and such a joy to be around.  She is constantly smiling and sticking her tongue out at you and wanting you to engage her all the time.  I feel so lucky to be her Mommy! We are so glad the rough 4th trimester is over and we can now see the real C shine through. 

March 2, 2015

Charlie | 2 Months

Height: 23.75" -90th percentile

Weight: 11lbs 11oz- 75th percentile

Clothes:  Charlie is now finally all into 0-3 month clothes. In fact, she is starting to grow too long for her 3 month sleepers.  I switched out the dresser to add 3-6 month clothes which was actually a little sad. That is until I saw how many adorable 6 month items she has to wear once it's warm and my heart did a little flutter of girlie happiness. 

Nicknames: Puds, Baby Bear, Le Charles, Squirts, Chunk, JoeMar... Nothing has changed.

Milestones: Charlie has started smiling back at us and sticking her tongue out in response to our tongue out at her. It's so fun interacting with her now!  Charlie also has been spending awake time under the activity mat and she likes to swat at a bird that hangs from the top.  

Sleep: We are following the BabyWise schedule and Charlie seems to do very well with having some structure to her days.  While not every day is by the book, we are usually only off by 30 minutes or so.  

Here is the 0-3 month schedule we follow:

Usually Charlie goes to bed at the 7pm time and then we allow her to wake whenever she is hungry after that. That time can be anywhere from 10pm-1am.   A typical pattern lately is bed 7pm, feed 12:30am, feed 5:30am and then awake for day between 7am-7:30am. 

Best Moment:  Having Joe's parents, Uncle Mario and my parents come down to visit from Ohio. They all got good cuddle time with the baby.  Also, getting to a point where Charlie is smiling more and more.  That is just the best. 

Worst Moment: Realizing that we were probably doing more damage to Charlie by trying to self diagnose her symptoms.  She was so unhappy and seemed in pain for weeks.  It was the hardest thing to witness as a Mom, especially a new neurotic Mom.  Also, watching her get her first shots was heartbreaking. She screamed bloody murder and I cried in the corner while Dad held her. 

Likes:  Smiling back at Mom & Dad, playtime under the activity mat, car rides, baths, music

Dislikes: diaper changing, snot sucking, hiccups, anything digestive going on, burping in the middle of feeding, being too sleepy

Health: Baby girl is SO healthy! She went from being 1 month old and in the 40th percentile for everything, to jumping up to 75-90th percentiles in all categories.  Doc kept calling her "Mommy's pudgy ballerina" at our 2 month appointment today.  She has rolls for days and it makes Mom so proud that she is doing so well. 

Eating: I think we have finally figured out how to make our little girl happy.  After trying breast milk, Nutramigen (formula for milk protein allergies), combo of breast milk and a Similac Supplment formula we are now feeding Charlie exclusively Gerber Soothe formula.  This formula is designed for babies with colic and has a probiotic in it to help with digestion.  She takes this down like a champ and in the past week we have had her on it, it has made a world of a difference in her disposition.   She is taking 4 oz every 2.5-3 hours during the day.  It was a sad sad day when I put the pump away but I know it's what is now best for Charlie.  

The first months were tough but we are starting to see a change in Charlie and her little personality coming through and it is amazing to watch.  I am soaking up every moment with her as I head back to work on March 23rd.  We have our first road trip home to Ohio scheduled for the next two weeks so we will have many more 1st for Charlie coming up in the near future. 

February 16, 2015

Those Moms are Liars

If you are a Mom then you know those lying Moms.  The ones who LOVE the newborn stage. The Moms who can't wait to be pregnant again.  The Moms who posts a million instagram photos of their child smiling and showing what another "great day" they had.

I am calling BULLSHIT.  Sure, there are amazing days and moments as a Mom.  There were beautiful things about being pregnant.  And newborn snuggles are precious.  But, in all reality there is a lot about becoming a Mom that I didn't know and sometimes the truth hurts.

TRUTH:  Even if you didn't get hemorrhoids while pregnant, you can get them from labor.  Oh yes friends, 2 hours of pushing and now you have butt nuts (as my favorite no longer blogger used to say). So you not only get the gift of a newborn but then you get the gift of one more thing that needs to heal down there.  SEXY.

TRUTH: You may think you don't have stretch marks while pregnant and then all of a sudden you lose baby weight and there they are! And they make you look like a contestant on the biggest loser pre-skin surgery removal.  Damn you oils and big belly for being deceiving.

TRUTH: You may have to make the hard decision to stop breastfeeding/pumping earlier than you thought.  I have gone back and forth with this decision and after weeks of an unhappy baby I now am no longer giving my daughter breast milk.  This has been a really hard choice and I question it each and every day.  But to see Charlie  smile and not be in pain even for a few precious moments each day is SO worth it.

TRUTH:  When you make the decision to stop pumping you will need to prepare your milk to dry up.  AND THIS PAIN IS EXCRUCIATING!!!! I currently have cabbage in my sports bra, peppermint tea brewed and ice packs cooling in the freezer.  There have been tears shed not only because I am no longer giving my baby breast milk but also because I did not expect this process to hurt so bad.

TRUTH: When your baby cries in pain a majority of her awake time, you will wish her to sleep. You will wish away these precious first weeks at times because you have been told it gets better.  You may also say to your spouse that you aren't sure you will want to have more babies.  But people also tell you that you will forget these hard days and you will be excited for another child. And I have to believe them in order to keep some sort of sanity in those really hard moments.

TRUTH: You will be having a day that tries you and then your child will look up and give you a grin and a little coo and everything else will melt away.  And all the tears, butt nuts, stretch marks and lettuce on your boobs will be worth it.

This post sounds pretty harsh but these are things that I wish I knew before they happened so I was prepared for when they did.  But please don't take me pointing these things out as not loving being a Mom.  Because it truly is the greatest thing to ever happen to me.  It just shows how strong we are as women to not only go through pregnancy but then to transition into motherhood.  These first weeks have challenged me and I am really proud to be a part of this new club, to be a Mom.

New Mom Essentials

I know people do these posts all the time but thought I would put in my 2 cents on what items were crucial these first weeks as a new mom.  Every baby is different but here is what worked for Charlie and I.

Fisher Price Cradle 'n Swing


This swing has been a lifesaver for us.  Charlie sleeps in this swing and it keeps her safe and cozy.  I actually rarely use the actual swing feature but it rather acts as a cradle.  I like this one because it is high enough off the ground to keep the dogs out of her face and it can easily be used downstairs or at the side of my bed.  The swing has different sounds and speeds for any baby preference. 

Fisher Price Rock n' Play Sleeper


My sister swore by this sleeper and gave it to us since her kids are bigger. Charlie sometimes naps in this item as well.  The one we have is a manual rocker so you have to do the work but it has been great with Charlie's acid reflux and keeps her sleeping inclined.  This is easily portable so you can move from room to room if necessary (much easier than the swing above). 

Medela Pump In Style Pump Parts


I was able to order my Medela Pump In Style Breast Pump through my insurance. One good thing about ObamaCare I guess.  When I went to my lactation consultant she ended up having me pump in her office and gave me a second set of pump parts to take home.  Little did I know that she did me the greatest favor ever.  I went from exclusively breastfeeding to exclusively pumping within a few weeks of Charlie being born.  That meant that I was pumping every 3 hours.  This was great as Joe could help me with feedings since she was getting breast milk in a bottle but it was so annoying to wash the pump parts every time.  Having a second set of parts made things so much easier. 

Fenugreek Pills 


When I first started breastfeeding I had an issue with supply.  The lactation consultant (and lots of Moms on Instagram) told me about these pills.  They told me to take 3 pills 3 times a day and it would help boost my supply.  Apparently it also makes you smell like maple syrup but that did not happen to me, much to Joe's dismay.  



This is perhaps one of the grossest things I have ever bought.  If I hadn't heard the rave reviews on it I would never have even considered it. I mean, who thought to have parents literally suck the snot out of their children? GROSS.  But it works, and it's easy. 

Snuza Baby Monitor


I have an insane fear of SIDS. I knew I would be getting a Snuza Hero monitor for Charlie before she was born. I registered for one but was lucky enough to have my good friend Sara (Oh Hi Sara!!) give me hers as she never used it on her baby.  This little monitor clips onto the baby's diaper and it will stimulate the baby if they stop breathing and it will sound should the stimulation not work.  This alarm has sounded a few times on Charlie. I don't know if they are "false alarms" as Charlie does have labored breathing with her acid reflux.  It is scary as shit when this thing goes off but at least I know it is working.  And transitioning Charlie to her nursery is scary enough and having this monitor on her makes things easier for me. 

Gripe Water


Gripe Water has come into our lives just the past week or so and it has been a lifesaver.  I don't really see a difference in Charlie's fussiness or gas but due to the acid reflux she gets hiccups all the time.  The Gripe Water stops hiccups almost immediately.   It smells just like ginger ale and she really likes the taste.  Since poor girl is so uncomfortable all the time anyway, I don't want her to suffer through hiccups non-stop too. 

And when all else fails, grab a bottle of wine.