He is my Valentine!

Happy (very late) New Year. Happy belated Valentines’ Day. And of course, Happy anniversary to the blog. 

If you can even imagine, about 365 days ago I was pregnant with little Max and still in my first trimester. And flash forward to now, he is my “book-loving mohawk-wearing” six month old baby boy.

It is insane how fast this time has been flying by with him.

Jake and I also recently celebrated our four year anniversary so this has been a crazy way to start 2018.

We took Max for his first outing, to Cheesecake Factory for our celebration dinner. Then a couple weeks later, we followed up by having a nice evening home for Valentines’ Day. We also took some adorable pictures to add to Maxy’s “first-year” book.

There are so many things to look forward to this year; from starting my Nursing program to Max’s first birthday and vlogging and so much more. And as for the blog, I have made some updates so look around and tell me what you think.

I also added a section to shop with me! So now you will be able to find all the cool products I talk about. I’ll definitely create a post once the shop goes live.

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A Guide to Baby’s 1st Xmas

Happy Holidays to everyone out there. We hope you’re having an amazing holiday season.

Because a lot of people have no idea what to get for little ones, we thought this would be a great post!

Let’s jump right in…

Gift 1: Something you want.

Maxy is just a tiny little fella so he may not have “wants” in the traditional sense, so we went with toys. Below is a Burt’s Bees Baby toy. Best part is, he’s already had this, he’s just never played with it.

Gift 2: Something you need.

Babies always need a ton of stuff; from diapers and wipes to teethers and soap. So we wrapped up his wipes and teethers and other things that he needed. I mean, he needs it’s anyways, why not make it a gift? 🙂 Below is a teether set that we gave him.

Gift 3: Something to wear.

This goes without saying, babies grow like crazy so it’s always thoughtful to give a little one some clothes. Here is a cute little Cat & Jack clearance outfit from Target and a pack of adorable Gerber sleepers!

Gift 4: Something to read.

Here is something you may not have thought of: Books! We started reading to Maxy when he first came home from the hospital and you can really tell. When he sees books, his face lights up like nobody’s business. He smiles and even tries to turn the pages. We had no choice but to get him some awesome books. Pictured below are the 17 books we scored for under $15 from Marshall’s. Best part is, books are the gifts that keep giving.

New Mom Advice…

Is everywhere, literally, and it is absolutely annoying! People will always offer their unwanted advice and as a mom, you have to decide if you will take it or not.

Now, for starters, people need to understand that just because you are a mom, does NOT mean you are an expert… at anything. And beyond that, most of the advice you will get is either irrelevant (b/c every family/mom/baby is different), outdated, or just plain ‘ole bad!

So I have decided to share with you some “great” advice that we have decided to straight up ignore:

  • NEVER let baby sleep in your bed,   
    • So this is actually great advice, as it comes from the American Academy of Pediatrics for safe sleep. And honestly for that reason, I am 100% against cosleeping and bed sharing, however, I must admit, we are bed sharing. This was not by choice but let me tell you, if you have a c-section, it will likely happen. Here is why, after having major abdominal surgery, you will not be able to easily bend or twist to retrieve the baby from a bassinet and it will cause a lot of pain when you attempt it. When we first got home, he would sleep in a bassinet without any problems but it was too painful for me to lift him out. I pushed through and kept trying for about a week before giving up and I partially believe that was one reason my healing process took longer than expected.

 

  • Give your baby mashed potatoes or pet’s milk to help him gain weight,
    •  Oh HELL to the NAW! So quicky story, Maxy would vomit up to eight times per day due to some unknown GI issues, so he had (and still has) poor weight gain. So someone, who will remain nameless, thought it would be a good idea to give him some abnormal milk and table food. This is the dumbest thing I have ever heard, why would I give him something that could possibly upset his GI tract even more? *rolls eyes*

 

  • Do not give baby a pacifier,
    • This is what they tell you if you are breastfeeding since it could cause nipple confusion. However, we gave Maxy one for two reasons: 1. I never planned to breastfeed so I did not care about nipple confusion and 2. Thumbsucking is one ugly habit to break. I see it first hand with my nephew.

 

  • Do not put baby on a schedule, let him lead you, 
    • Nope! Growing up my mom was great – but she was an unorganized mess. (Lol, trust me, everyone would agree!) That actually drove me to (literally) be OCD  about planning and scheduling. So I firmly believe children crave and NEED structure from a young age. And I will say, Max is three months old and he is already on a schedule that he recognizes. I believe he is so comfortable with his schedule b/c it started the day he was born.
    • Lil’ backstory: at the hospital, we were told to feed him 1oz every two hours. So… this stuck, and as he grows and eats more, we just incorporate a few more things. For ex: He eats 3.5oz every 3 hours. At night, I massage or bathe him, feed him, then leave him to sleep. And get this – he puts himself to sleep. 😉

 

  • Do not read parenting books/articles b/c it will not teach you to be a parent, 
    • It could be b/c I love school or it could be that I love planning, but I read everything I could get my hands on! After all, I am not able to go to my mom to just ask for advice about everything so I am alone in all of this. I truly believe all the great things we read and the classes we took, has helped us to parent Max. And he is one little independent guy.

 

  • Be quiet when baby is napping,
    • Based on things I have read, this is bad for baby. If you are always quiet when baby is napping, baby will grow to only be able to sleep if everything is 100% quiet. This means every little noise will wake your little one. No one wants that! We have been doing this and guess what? Max will sleep through the tv, talking, and even the fire alarm. Literally. Disclaimer: at night, you should keep noises to a minimum b/c that helps baby distinguish between naps and bedtime.

 

Its A Boy!

Okay, as you can probably guess, the baby is here!

And he has been here for a little while now; 2 months and 20 days to be exact!

 

The Babe: arrived via c-section on August 14 at 12:25PM. He came in weighing 7lbs 10oz and 21 inches long. He was literally the most beautiful baby I have ever seen. I was put under so I did not get to meet him right away. I am not sure what his very first cry sounded like but I bet it was beautiful. He is the sweetest little boy, much like Jake.

The Mom: I am doing great! My recovery went really smooth and I was not in much pain at all. I was actually able to comfortably walk before leaving the hospital. I was even able to quit my pain meds before the prescription even ran out. S/o to my amazing DR.

The Dad: Jake has been a real trooper during this whole entire process. He is the best dad anyone could ever ask for. He stays up late after working long shifts. He makes bottles in the middle of the night. He changes tons of diapers. He does it all, lol.

The Life: I would actually say were killing it. No, really. We are very lucky this little guy sleeps through the night and rarely cries. He is the best! Whenever we go to appointments, the staff always comment on how great we look, how organized we are, and how intuitive we have been. They always tell us they have never seen new parents handling things the way we do. This makes me really happy b/c I believe it. But it really is b/c we have the best baby, so he makes everything very easy for us.

Since I have been away for so long, I have decided to do weekly posts on various topics. I just want to share some things I am thankful for, some things we are up to, etc. Now, although I have decided, it does not mean it will happen. But I am going to try extra hard to make it happen. 🙂 

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Max Steele, the babe. ❤

Not MY Delivery!

This is a long-ish post about the devastating news I recently received that changed my entire birth plan.

 

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Here is the beautiful drawing I created as my birth plan for delivering this August. Unfortunately, none of this will happen as I am not allowed to deliver vaginally. My DR thought it would be beneficial for me to have an MRI to test for a neurological disorder that runs in my family.

I had no worries b/c I knew it would come back negative. Right? WRONG! It came back positive; I was diagnosed with Chiari Malformation Type I. This means my cerebellar tonsils are herniating down through my magnum foramen.

Therefore pushing during labor could cause too much pressure, resulting in a seizure, deeper herniation, and even death. Although I was bummed about being scheduled for a c-section, it was not so bad b/c at least Jake and I could experience this wonderful time together. I later learned that I cannot receive neither an epidural or a spinal, as those also pose too many risks for my condition. So now I’m forced to get general anesthesia during my c-section, which means Jake cannot be present for the baby’s birth. He may not be able to cut the umbilical cord and I will not be able to nurse the baby, as a result of the anesthesia.

 

On to better news: 

We are officially hospital and baby ready! The bags are packed, clothes are washed, and the nursery is complete. All that is left is to sanitize bottles the week before baby arrives and install the car seat next week. We are also having our carpet professionally cleaned but that is not as exciting.

And How is that Little One?

Baby is doing great! Gaining so much weight; coming in at an astounding 6 lbs and 5 oz. This means the baby is measuring in the 85th percentile, 🙂

Pic 1 shows the baby’s adorable face, although s/he is blocking the view b/c s/he is obviously tired of taking photos. Or maybe the baby is just being dramatic. Pic 2 shows the “fat rolls” the baby accumulated over the past few weeks. We are so grateful this little one is doing well and gaining a lot.

 

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And here is the most beautiful 3D ultrasound of the baby at 35 weeks and 4 days old. One upside to the c-section is that we know the exact date the baby will come. We are now just 22 very short days away.

Arriving:

Saturday, August 12, 2017, in the AM.