Happy Anniversary Cheese!

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Last weekend kicked my butt. I was so, so sick! I even had a fever. I can’t remember the last time I had a fever; I must have been a kid. I’m really lucky. I have my family 5 minutes away, and Matt took Jack to my mom’s to take care of him in case I was contagious. By Tuesday I was healthy enough to go to work, but I really miss my Mister Man! I only saw him in the morning and at night, and I made sure to nurse him to help protect him from getting sick too. I hope it worked. I’d rather be sick a thousand times than him being sick. It’s funny how easily that kind of preference happens.

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I actually wasn’t sick the whole weekend. Friday was our 5 year wedding anniversary. I loved getting married. I was so excited when the Deccan declared us husband and wife that I didn’t even go in for the kiss. I just started jumping up and down like an idiot. I had a plan this weekend to finally make a shadowbox of our invitations, my hair piece, Matt’s tie, our flowers, and a little tribute to our wedding song (“I Wanna Grow Old with You”) for the occasion. That obviously didn’t happen. So, instead, here are some adorable pictures of us on what was, up until that point, the happiest of days.

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We were together for nearly 10 years before our wedding. People are often surprised when they find out how long we’ve been together; someone even called us creepy. I could never really understand that surprise either. Matt’s my best friend. It was only natural for us to be together. You don’t leave your best friend; you grow with your best friend. I don’t have many friends, but I hold onto the good ones, so why would I let my best friend go?

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People would always say “you’ve been together so long, it’s like you’re married anyway. There isn’t much of a difference.” I didn’t feel that way at all. There was a big difference; being married is so much better than when we were just dating. Who you chose as your spouse is the reflection of the person you are as the person you want to be. That’s one reason I think our wedding day, while it’s now 2nd for happiest day, it is still probably the most important day of our lives.

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It’s the day we declared to our family, friends, the world, and God that we will always be a team.  We lean on each other so neither of us falls.

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And, of course, if I never married Matt I wouldn’t have my Giacomo.

Us

Oh I’m tired!

I am soooo sosososo sooo tired! I know, babies do that to you. But really I haven’t been this tired since Jack’s colic. The stupid thing about though is it’s my own fault. I’ve been trying to transition Jack into his own room. He’s too big for his co-sleeper. He’s been sleeping in bed with us, but he is starting to move around too much, and I’m afraid he’ll get caught under a pillow or blanket or something. So all week I’ve put Jack down in his crib. He always wakes up between 11-12 and that’s when I’d usually take him out of the co-sleeper and into my bed. In his crib, he’s been sleeping longer, not waking up until after 12:30 even.

Now here’s the “I’m-the-stupid-one” part. I sit up and wait for him to wake up. After worrying that he wouldn’t sleep in his crib, it turns out that I’m the one who can’t sleep without him! He cries for a few minutes and I jump up and bring him back into my room. It always feels like he’s crying forever, but I timed it, I last about 2 to 3 minutes but I think he’s been crying for 15. I’m also tired because my sleep training came after being super busy. This past weekend, we met Giacomo’s newest friend, saw an awesome concert, celebrated a bridal and baby shower, and explored the Summer Fancy Food Show in NYC.

Jack and Quinn

Friday we went up to meet Quinn Daniel, my cousins newest addition. The little precious just turned one month this past weekend. He is so tiny and sweet. I’ve already forgotten when Jack was so small. Quinn’s brother Brodie is one year older than Jack, and he’s just starting to talk more and really showcase his personality. It was so cute watching the little ones interact. Jack was so curious about Quinn. He just wanted to touch and look at him. I’m so happy that they all have each other, built-in friends for years to come. My cousins were my closest friends growing up, and I’m so lucky that they are these constant rocks in my life, friends I know I will always have and count on.

Matt also finally got to use his birthday gift this weekend. He cashed in his tickets to see his favorite band, Rush. You may or may not have heard of Rush. They are very polarizing, and people either really love or really hate them. I usually explain them by referencing I Love You, Man. Rush is the band the guys are obsessed with in that movie. I used to be pretty indifferent to them, but after so many years of listening I actually like them quite a bit now. They are three of the most talented musicians, and their drummer is indisputably one of, if not the best drummer of all time. They’ve been around forever and this could supposedly be their farewell tour, so I’m happy we got to see their concert one more time. Rainy tailgating and classic rock made for a very late, but very fun night.

I’d have loved to sleep in the next day, but weddings and babies were to be celebrated. For the baby shower, I was not able to make my baby wardrobe or book bird house, but I did make a diaper bouquet. The bouquet is very easy and a little different from the traditional diaper cake. I used a mason jar as a vase, mainly because I saw these beautiful purple hard and wanted a reason to buy a case, but the jars actually hold the diaper roses beautifully. This is so simple to make and looks beautiful, all you need is a jar or vase, wooden skewers, green and pink tissue paper, diapers, and rubber bands. I’ll post the super easy how-to later.

Follow all that up that with walking over through the Javits Center for the Summer Fancy Food Show. I go every year to see what’s new and to make new connections with people.  Most vendors at the show are looking to sell their product to retailers, but they’ve always been super nice and excited to showcase their products. Except this year. Not all, but a lot wanted nothing to do with me and my co-workers once they saw we were suppliers and not retailers. I’m not sure why. I get that I couldn’t buy cases of their products, but I can certainly buy them off the shelf as a consumer. Oh well. I’ll stick to buying nice people’s products.

So busy weekends and lots of sleepless nights means I am exhausted. I’m glad it’s a 3 day weekend. Maybe by Monday I’ll be able to let Jack sleep in his room without running to check on him every 10 minutes.

Giacomo Loves Food

My Jack is a big boy. Unlike his super short mom, Jack is in the 99th percentile for height, and thus in the 78th for weight. I still nurse him, but the boy has one big appetite. He always seemed hungry, so we got the OK from his pediatrician to start on solids at 4 months.

Jack Eating at 4 Months

Jack Eating at 4 Months

I started making some of  Jack’s baby food as soon as I started feeding him solids. I want to do my best to make sure that Jack isn’t a picky eater, although I’m not sure how much of that I can control.

I was a picky eater as a kid, but I was the good kind of picky. I was a food snob.  My grandmother raised me homemade food and vegetables straight from our garden. I turned my nose up at canned tomato sauce and ready-made meals and openly called foods gross (which is an interesting trait, considering my line of work now). It got to a point where I was embarrassing my mother when she took me to non-family members houses who didn’t cook up to my standards. Then I became a novelty to her friends. I must have been between 4 and 5, but I clearly remember a few different occasions when I’d be at one of my mom’s friends’ house with a plate of pasta before me and a group of adults standing around waiting for the tiny critic’s review. If I liked the food, I’d keep eating and the host would wear a proud smile, sighing of relief. If I didn’t like the food, I’d scrunch up my nose, grunt a little, and say I wasn’t hungry. Mom would then smile and say “told you” to her friend. She told me she’d only let me eat at someone’s whose food she already tasted and thought I’d like, and the times I didn’t eat the food were times when people didn’t believe her that a kid could really know the difference between homemade and jarred sauce. They basically put me in blind taste test with homemade sauces vs jarred sauces, and I could always tell the difference. I’m sure sauces are a million times better now than they were when I was a kid, but I haven’t tried any to be sure.

Mama's Homemade Cavatelli and Sauce

Mama’s Homemade Cavatelli and Sauce

I’ll never be the chefs my grandmother and mother are. My garden outside is not nearly as abundant as Mama’s (whose is though. You should see the stuff she grows!), and I do take advantage of frozen vegetables, especially when it’s not the season for fresh veggies. Even still, I think I fair pretty well in the kitchen. I know that if I expose Jack to different things now, he’ll have a wider palate and enjoy more foods. That’s really important to me because, hey, I AM Italian, and to us food is love. If I can nourish him and make him healthy and strong with what I feed him, it’s just another way of showing him how much I love him.

That’s part of why I’m so glad I’ve been able to nurse as long as I have. My goal was 6 months, and I made it! Jack is a healthy 6 month old baby! Now everything else is a bonus. I try to eat as healthily as I can and a wide variety of foods. Some flavors do transfer to breast milk, so I’m hoping that Jack will develop a taste for lots of foods.

What a wonderful 6 months it has been!

What a wonderful 6 months it has been!

Jack loves his oatmeal and fruits (especially bananas), but he’s not too keen on green vegetables. I have to mix his peas with carrots or his green beans with sweet potatoes or fruit for him to eat it without a fuss, but he’s getting there.

Now that I know he’s not allergic to a lot of foods, I’m making his meals more interesting. I started playing around with spicing up his food choices this weekend.. Yesterday I added garlic to his green beans and guess what? He liked it! I didn’t have to mix any sweet fruits or veggies in with them. So my persistence paid off! Today, he had some oatmeal mixed with sweet potatoes, apples, and cinnamon. Yum!

He's becoming a much neater eater!

He’s becoming a much neater eater!

I don’t solely use homemade baby food. I just don’t have time for that, but I do make foods in bulk and freeze it. Along with the green beans and garlic and sweet potatoes with apples and cinnamon, I also made carrots with peas amd butternut squash with peaches, bananas, and ginger. So far he likes them all! My freezer is now filled with baby food and breast milk. My how life has changed.

Lots of baby food!

My Poor Baby’s Been Sick

My birthday was 2 weeks ago. It was a big one. 30. I thought about blogging on being 30, but the truth is there really isn’t anything exciting about it. I didn’t have any long awaited epiphanies about entering a new decade. I don’t feel old, and I don’t feel like I should miss my 20’s or anything like that. So I decided instead that  I’d blog about the joint party I threw for myself and my niece Olivia. Her birthday is just 2 days before mine, and she turned 10 this year.  I also wanted to blog about last week,  my first Mother’s Day, and how I felt being a new mom.  But something came up that stopped me from doing anything productive. Jack got sick. It will be the first of many times, I know, but that doesn’t mean I wasn’t scared.

It started on a Saturday night with a slight fever that got higher and higher. I called the Dr in the middle of the night, and she assured us that he’d be worse at night but some Tylenol would bring down the fever. I had already taken Tuesday and Wednesday off work, so Matt was going to take the baby to the Dr on Monday. I felt so guilty going in to work. My baby was fussy and sad, and I was leaving him. After arguing with myself I finally went in, only to turn right around and go back home. I made it back in time for his appointment, and I don’t think I put him down for the rest of the day. Even though the little guy was coughing, feverish,  and swollen, he still gave me his sweet smile every now and then.

Poor Sick Baby

As much as I hate him being sick, he was still adorable. He would yell and grunt at himself whenever he would cough too much frustrated that he couldn’t stop.

Jack’s fever broke Tuesday and he had no symptoms Wednesday, but by Thursday night he was feverish again. On Sunday morning, Mother’s Day, he broke out in a rash all over his body, and we found out that he had roseola, a very common virus in babies. My Mister Man is back to his healthy self. I hope he stays that way for a while!

Jack’s Christening

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Since going back to work, I really have been working for the weekend. I always thought I was busy all week, until I had someone else to care for everyday. I can’t imagine how people with more than one child do it, let alone people with twins! We christened Jack 2 weeks ago, and I figured that I did a lot of baking and crafting for all my nieces’ and nephew’s parties, I should at least make some favors for my own baby’s party. In order to do any of it I had my nieces come over and entertain him. (Something I never thought about needing to do before). The girls were great. Jack loves them. They played and danced with him while I filled chocolate molds and baked and decorated cookies.

Jack and Nancy_Christening

Our family’s tradition is to have the baby’s godmother bathe and dress the baby before church, so Nancy came over and immediately started yelling at me and Matt because we weren’t ready either. I’m no fool. If she was going to get the baby ready that meant I’d have more time for myself. 🙂

Christening_1

At our church, they christen several babies at once. Jack was the loudest baby there. He DID NOT like being so hot in his outfit, or the fact that his bottle wasn’t warm enough the whole time. Surprisingly, he didn’t cry at all when he was being baptized. He loves baths, and I think he was expecting to be allowed to jump into the water. It was a lovely ceremony and my niece was picked to help the Deccan.  We were so happy to celebrate afterwards.

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For his party I wanted a lamb theme. It was so close to Easter, so there was a lot of lamb baby things around, and it’s a nice, neutral baptism theme. The girls were able to help me make the centerpiece for the favors (apothecary jar filled with yarn balls), and they made the centerpieces for everyone’s dining tables. These cute lambs doubled as a kid craft and a party piece. The girls were entertained and knew they helped with the party. A win-win!

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For favors, everyone helped themselves to a variety of treats. I Made lots of chocolate crosses and a tall jar of white and blue sprees and whoppers for people’s treat bags, and I made 3 different kinds of cookies. I decorated chocolate covered Oreos with a blue chocolate cross. The lamb cookies were basic cream cheese cookies iced white (royal icing) with some white edible pearls. I added cinnamon, nutmeg, and some black pepper (just a touch)to the cream cheese dough to make the cross cookies.  I decorated them with royal icing and a lamb chocolate mold.

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The non-edible favor was tiny finger rosaries. They were so sweet! Instead of a cross, they have an angel. I twice the amount needed so everyone could take more than one (which everyone did). I put a set on my car’s emergency brake for luck. I ordered them from this Etsy shop. I love them!

It was Also Angelina’s Birthday. She’s 14!!!!!!!!! I can’t believe how time flies!!IMG_7710

What to Say, and What NOT to Say to the New Mom at Work

I finished my 4th week back to work, and I’m pretty proud of myself for not losing it on a regular basis. Surprisingly, my first day back was not bad at all. People were welcoming me back, taking time to catch up with me, and eager to see the tons and tons of pictures I had. Day #2 was a bit harder, but really the first week was so filled with getting settled back into work and catching up with people that I really didn’t have time to get upset about missing Jack. Leaving him in the morning was hard, but I distracted myself on the car ride up with the radio.

Meeting Dziadek

It was the 2nd week back that was really tough. There was more downtime, and I didn’t have any more welcome back visitors. More than once I hid in the bathroom and cried. Two different people caught me in the act of crying, one mom and one woman who never had children. There was a noticeable difference in reaction. Mrs. Mom just gave me a kind smile and assured me it’d get better. Mrs. Not-Mom tried to be comforting, but she got very anxious, awkward, and ran away as soon as she could. Both women were very sweet, and I’m lucky they were the ones who “caught” me.  I haven’t cried at work since that 2nd week, so I must be doing better.

Everyone was so welcoming and sweet to me. I know everyone had good intentions, but the whole experience taught me what to say, and what not to say to a mom returning to work.

Selfies with Mama

Say: How are you feeling?
Don’t Say: You must be glad to get back to life with adults.

Going back to work is very emotional, and I really appreciated people who were concerned about me. While I don’t think asking about time spent with adults is meant to be hurtful, being at work was really the last place I wanted to be. Don’t get me wrong, I love my job, but it’s nothing to being a mom. Don’t assume that the new mom prefers adult company over her baby’s. I’m sure I’d eventually miss going to work, but for me the 12 weeks was not early enough time to miss it.

I also think this is kind of degrading to SAHMs. I have wanted to be a SAHM since forever. That surprises a lot of people because I took the time to earn a Master’s degree and start a career, but I don’t believe in the whole working mom vs stay at home mom mentalities. Babies are exhausting work, and my mind didn’t “turn to mush” from being home with baby. It’s just a different set of skills.

Happy Birthday Mama!

Say: I understand how you feel.
Don’t say: You should feel lucky; I only had half that much time off.

I shouldn’t be made to feel guilty about missing my son. I stayed home with Jack for 11 weeks. I only received disability pay for 8 weeks (I didn’t get paid family leave), and I didn’t even get any of the disability money until week 10. It wasn’t an easy situation, and I can understand why people have to go back to work sooner. But the fact is, we in the US have THE WORST maternity leave policies IN THE WORLD, especially for a developed country. I’m glad I was able to take the 11 weeks I had, but it was nowhere near enough time. Don’t make a mom feel guilty or ungrateful when in reality you both have been treated unfairly. I could go on and on about this topic, but instead, just look at this infographic to see what I mean. It is a topic that absolutely disgusts me and an issue I had no idea about until I became pregnant.

Say: Let me see pictures!
Don’t Say: Did you want a boy/girl?

I can’t imagine wanting anyone other than Jack! Although, I feel like if I did wish he were a girl, I would feel incredibly guilty about it. Post-partum depression is a real and serious condition some women go through. It was one of my biggest fears while I was pregnant, and I’m lucky that I’m not suffering, but you never know what the next woman is suffering. Don’t make anyone feel bad about how they feel. Ask to see pictures instead. All mommies love to show off their babies!

My Family

Say: How are the pets doing?
Don’t Say: I hate babies.

Basically, don’t ever say that kind of stuff at work. Ok, so no one actually said they hate babies to me…at least not after I had my baby. It’s your prerogative to not have or like kids, but either way you shouldn’t push your ideals on someone else, or make yourself seem superior to people who don’t share your feelings. Prior to Jack, Lilu and Buschkii were my babies. I even have a picture of them on my desk. That didn’t mean I didn’t want a human baby. Some people assumed that because I loved my pets so much I was not a baby person, but that obviously wasn’t the case. Don’t think that I forgot about who went on about thinking babies are gross.  It took us a long time to have our Jack, and not without struggles.  You never know if the person you’re saying this to can’t have kids, is having trouble having kids, or just isn’t ready for them yet. But it was nice when people asked about my pets. Cats, dogs, and babies? It’s like cuteness overload!! Ask away!!

Jack & Lilu

Again, I don’t say any of this out of anger, nor do I think anyone had any ill intent, and I took nothing personally or was offended. The whole experience just made me become more conscious of what I say to people. It also made me think about how a hormonal and emotional returning mom could get upset while she was already missing her baby.

The idea of having to leave him every day still sucks. The feeling is almost physical, like a bungee cord attached to my throat that gets stretched and pulled and gags me as I leave him.  But the cord seems to be stretching, and coming home has never been so great. When I finally see him it’s like relief. I’ve always wanted to stay home because when I was a kid, I had terrible separation anxiety. I still do actually. There’s no doubt in my mind that the pulling in my throat and the instant relief when I leave and return to Jack is part of my anxiety. So I’m trying to be positive and look at the bright side again. My personal anxiety is one thing, but if I go back to work now, when Jack won’t really have any memory of it, I can prevent any lasting anxiety when he gets older and has to go to school. I don’t know how true that is, but it helps me deal with leaving him.

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Now he’s starting to smile and laugh when I come to pick him up. The other day he was having a bottle when I walked in, and he immediately stopped eating, turned his face away from his bottle and to me, and gave me a huge smile and giggle. It was so awesome. I haven’t done much else then soaking up time with him. All I want to do when I get home and on the weekends is hug and play with Jack. I think the feeling is mutual. I know I’m spoiling him, but he doesn’t like to let me put him down when I’m home. I have to get cracking at some projects because his christening is coming up, and I have lots of cute DIY ideas for decorations and favors!

Happy Birthday Daddy!

Jack has also celebrated a lot lately: meeting his great-grandpa (Dziadek), his 3 month birthday, his first St. Patrick’s Day, his Daddy’s birthday, and his Mama’s birthday. He’s also figuring out how great Lilu is and how nice her soft ears are for touching.

On another adorable note, Buschk ran out after Lilu yesterday, and they immediately started playing peek-a-boo. What’d I say about cuteness overload!?

BFFS

Going Back to Work Monday Makes being a Mommy is Harder than I Thought

Soon I’ll be posting about the decor in Jack’s nursery, but it’s still a work in progress. Plus, I’ve been spending as much time as I can just being with my Mr. Man. I have to go back to work on Monday. I am dreading it. I should be happy to be returning to adult conversation and a fun job , but every time I think of leaving my little guy I start crying. Yesterday I was comparing these sad tears to my happy tears the night we brought him home.

I sat in his room with my pets at my feet, my husband at my side, and my baby in my arms. While I was sitting there, “Danny’s Song” popped into my head (I’d been watching a lot of Raising Hope), and even though I’ve heard that cheesy song a billion times before, I couldn’t stop crying. I felt so blessed.

The day we brought Jack home: Lilu meets Jack

The day we brought Jack home: Lilu meets Jack

There’s nothing I could possibly say about that moment that has never been said before. There are so many common sayings about mom and baby that we’ve heard a million times, like it’s an unbreakable bond, or my baby knows the sound of my heart from the inside. I’ve heard these so often it almost takes away from the beauty of being a mother. That’s because none of the cliché sayings can do justice for the pure happiness of having this new little gift in your life. It is indescribable. Giacomo really is the most amazing thing that ever happened to me.

Tummy Time!

Tummy Time!

If I ever wondered what my heart and soul would look like if they were embodied into something physical, I couldn’t have possibly imagined until I saw my child. He is my whole of everything. I’m still amazed that he is even here.   I spend the day taking care of him and soothing him. He is a crier who wants nothing to do with a pacifier, so I spend a lot of the day rocking him, walking him around, and nursing him.

And now I have to go back to work. Jack’s crying has gotten a lot better, but I wish I had more time at home to help soothe him more. I know he’ll be in good hands, he’ll be staying with family, but I’m still anxious about him. I’m worried that he’ll feel like I’ve abandoned him or like I got tired of his crying and just passed him off to someone else. I remember being a little kid and just wanting my mom. I didn’t know my mom was probably wanting me just as much, probably more. I know he’s just a baby and doesn’t have these complex thoughts, but how do I know how do I know he’s not feeling that way? I just hope that being with family who love him helps.

I get really embarrassed when people see me cry. Even during my happy crying I talked about earlier I hid my face.  I don’t know how I’m going to get through the day on Monday without embarrassing myself and crying. The idea is so stressful that I actually started to break out in hives. I’ve only gotten stress hives 4 times in my life: our best friend’s sudden passing, when my house burned down, When I took on my wedding, Master’s thesis, and buying a home all in the same 2 months, and when I broke my patella. I guess going back to work is the 5th major stress of my life that causes an ugly, weird hive rash.  Sounds awesome, right?

I asked my Facebook mommy friends how they handled going back to work and it was unanimous. There’s no way to avoid feeling sad and I should let myself cry. I also realized that this is just practice for the future. One of my friends, my former professor, told me that parenthood basically boils down to learning how to let your child go over and over again. So maybe this is a good thing. One day Jack will go off to kindergarten. He’ll travel for a sports team. He’ll head to high school and spend all his time with his friends and girlfriend. He’ll leave for college. He’ll move out forever. I’ll never want to leave him; I’ll always want to be there for him and make his life easier.  I’ll always have to. These small goodbyes will happen all throughout his life, and I’ll have to start getting used to the emotions of being a parent and the reality that I will be crying a bit more.

If you are a stay at home mom, know that I am incredibly jealous of you. I would love to stay at home and take care of Jack as my full-time job, but I have those stupid things called bills that need to be paid. I am trying to be positive by thinking things like now I can have a nice savings for Jack’s college, or now he will get a chance to look forward to seeing me and he’s so young he won’t remember the separation. It’s still so tough.

Do you know what else is making letting go a bit easier? Stepbrothers. It just came on. I don’t want Giacomo to turn out like Dale or Brennan. As much as I love laughing at the shenanigans, I will smack the sh*t out of Jack if he’s destroying my house, freezing my purse, and crashing my boat at 40 years old.

My babes

My babes

2 Months with Mr. Man: I’ve finally organized my Bump Pics!

Last week we celebrated Giacomo’s two month birthday, and on Valentine’s weekend he was 9 weeks old.  He’s so stinkin’ cute if I do say so myself.  His crying is getting better. Just look at one month compared to two months! He likes to be held upright so he can see what’s going on around him, so I think once he is able to sit up and hold his head up more he will be even better.

He's already grown so much!

He’s already grown so much!

I’ve only just met the little guy, but I feel like I’ve known him forever. It’s hard to think of life before him, even after only 9 weeks. Part of me can’t wait for him to play and talk and move around more, and the other part wants him to stay little and cuddly. Every coo and giggle he gives makes me so happy, and I’m trying to take in every one because I have to go back to work in 2 weeks. I should be happy about it because I got a promotion while I was out. I’ll be going back to adult conversation, creative work, and a reason to dress in something other than jeans and sweats.  I’m slowly becoming more optimistic, but that isn’t an easy task. I still haven’t been able to think about going back to work without shedding a tear or two, or a million. So I have to stop talking about it before my keyboard breaks from getting wet…

Mommy's favorite valentine! (Sorry Matt)

Mommy’s favorite valentine! (Sorry Matt)

I finally put together my baby bump pictures. I started taking the pictures around when I started telling people I was pregnant, and the later in my pregnancy the more consistent I was about taking the pictures. I really haven’t looked at them at all. I think I started to “pop” at 20 weeks. I got so huge so quickly; I gained 50 pounds while I was pregnant! I really wasn’t a binge eater or anything like that. They say you’re only supposed to gain like 20 pounds. If you can manage that, good for you! I was certainly not trying to gain so much but it happened anyway. I think I gained so much because I craved peanut butter and dairy like crazy, and that’s probably because my body was craving protein and I don’t like meat. Luckily for me I’m only 12 pounds away from my pre-baby weight after 9 weeks. I haven’t been able to exercise because of my c-section (although I don’t think I’d have had time to anyway). I think breastfeeding has helped a lot in combination with having to walk around and rock Giacomo to make him stop crying. Whoa! I just realized the benefit of a crying baby! 😉

Wow!

Wow!

Life with Jack

Oh wow; babies are exhausting! I know you’re supposed to know that, but I don’t think the fact can ever be truly appreciated until you actually have your own baby. See I have plenty of baby experience thanks to my nieces and nephew, but I was always able to return them at the end of the night. This new parent thing is totally different.

Jack's first bath

I never in a million years thought that I’d be unfazed by someone peeing, pooping, and/or puking on me, but I haven’t thought twice about cupping my hands to catch whatever might get squirted at me. Sure I’ve changed some gross diapers, but it was always gross. To really not care that my shoulder smells like spit-up, my hand has been pooped on, and my baby just peed across the room is an Angela who never occurred to me would exist even just two months ago.

Mr. Man

In my head, babies slept all the time. So I’d change and feed him, but I’d have time to clean my house or rest or maybe even read a magazine. Oh what a fool I was! Babies are more than a full time job. Especially colic babies. Many nights he’s up for hours crying. It’s a pretty helpless feeling when he’s crying and nothing at all makes him feel better. What works one night doesn’t necessarily work the next. I’ve even altered my own diet to see if that eases some discomfort for him. So far, it hasn’t. I think he has reflux too. My poor baby!

The weirdest thing about being a new mom isn’t the all-nighters or the sloppy clean-ups. It’s how much those things don’t bother me at all. I love it. I always loved kids, but babies were too much for me. The fussing, the helplessness, the fragility, it was all too intimidating. How would I even know what to do? But I love that I know how to soothe him, that I am responsible for taking care of him, that he is safe in my arms. It all came second nature.

People tell you “sleep while baby is sleeping.” Instead I often just watch him sleep.  I’m told I shouldn’t spoil him by holding him too much or rocking him too much or letting him fall asleep in my arms. But there’s part of my head that panics because I know that in a few years it’ll be a fight to get a hug from him. So I let him snuggle and I dance around with him in my arms.

 

This little man has also made a change in Matt. To see him dote over our baby has made me fall in love with him all over again. He can calm Jack when no one else can, not even me. Sometimes Jack will stop crying the second he is in Matt’s arms. I think every woman finds nothing more attractive than a man loving his child.

Matt and Jack

I’m trying to enjoy my baby now while I’m home. Even though I still have some time off, I get myself upset thinking of going back to work. I guess every mom goes through the feeling. It doesn’t make the feeling any easier. I’m hoping that by the time I have to go back I’ll at least be more comfortable with leaving him.

In the meantime, I’ll be trying to finish his nursery, start his scrapbook, and get as much snuggle time in as possible!

Giacomo’s First Photo Shoot with Moments by Marie

Giacomo's Christmas Card Giacomo's Announcement

Anyone that knows me knows I love taking pictures and scrapbooking. I may not be the best photographer, but I try. Giacomo already has been photographed like crazy. Matt and I were both 3rd children (so not as new and exciting as first born children) who were born waaaaay before taking photos was as easy as pulling out your cell phone. So neither of us have many newborn baby pictures. In fact, the few I have of myself my face is obscured by a giant pacifier. I wanted lots of pictures of my baby, so I’ve been snapping away.

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As much as I pretend I’m a great photographer, I enlisted a professional for Giacomo’s birth announcement. I hired my friend Marie to take Giacomo’s birth announcement photos. For two years, Marie has been photographing newborns, infants, children, and families, and she’s AMAZING at what she does! I always stalk out her Facebook page to OoOo and AhHhHh at her work. I especially love her newborn photography, so she was the first person who came to mind when we wanted to make Giacomo’s announcement.

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Marie generally takes newborn photos between 6 and 10 days after the baby is born, when babies are at their snuggliest.  The baby photo shoot was in our home, and Marie came armed with blankets, backdrops, swaddlers, hats, and props galore.  My baby was always comfortable and looked adorable.

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I could not be happier with Giacomos newborn pictures. Marie is such a talented photographer, and her work will give my family memories of such a fleeting time in our baby’s life. He has already changed so much since the photoshoot, but now we will always have these tangible, beautiful reminders of how tiny, sweet, and new he was.

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I can’t get over how great these pictures are, and I think the photos speak for themselves!

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Be sure to like Marie on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/MarieShimonisPhotography if you’re interested in booking Marie, or if you just want to oogle at some adorable baby photos.

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