The way we were …

Every morning I make the same unfulfilled resolution “tonight I will spend some quality time with hubby” I miss the way we were… The moment he got home it was US time! I would run to him as if I haven’t seen him in ages and the simplest plans made us extremely happy as long as we were together.

The spark is definitely there! When he walks in my heart flutters and a glimpse of his green eyes makes me want to run to him and just sink in his arms! But I always stop myself to give the honors to our beautiful bundle of joy who seems just as eager to greet daddy.

The night goes on as we feed, play, and bath baby Amir all the while exchanging a smile here and there or an ” I miss you look”. Before I go in to start Amirs bedtime routine I make a silent promise that tonight is the night when things will be back to normal I will put my baby to sleep and go back to my hubby, sink in his arms, let go of all my worries and my self caused anxiety.

He was always good at making me relax, being with him felt like an escape…nothing can go wrong with me in his arms. BUT my plan always goes unfulfilled! By the time I’m done from putting the baby to sleep and drag my exhausted self to the living room my date looks just as drained, his eyes sunken and red, his loving smile is faint. As I reach for my pump he gets ready to leave the room in an attempt to put the baby back to sleep (yes he is still teething!)

I miss the way we were, but I love the parents that we are today and as long as I still catch a sparkle in his beautiful eyes when he first sees me and my heart flutters when I hear him walk in, I’m still holding on to the promise that we will have our quality time again.

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I miss blogging

I have been away for a while trying to keep up with my New Years Resolution … some major de-stressing has been going on, I’m just enjoying life with my baby, hubby and little monster puppy (who is ironically called Angel … more about that later).

Of course some crazy does surface every once in a while … like today when I got upset because my hubby said that if I wanted to exercise so badly I should try to skip a pumping session … needless to say it upset me, I mean pumping becomes a religion  if you want to exclusively breastfeed your baby who would only take the bottle. You try your best to use your pump every two hours, otherwise all your hard work is lost when your milk supply goes down… Thank God again and again for my hands free pump ( I should really make time to write a review about that).

But other than that Life has been good, my bundle of joy is growing so fast, he had his first taste of baby cookies yesterday it was the cutest thing to watch! he would tap on the milk cup when he needed to wash it down.  Just seeing his little mouth moving in a chewing motion yesterday made my day and reminded me again that my baby is growing too fast! We have been introducing sign language recently but it seems like he established his own signs right around the same time. He finds a way to point and reach for the things he wants and its very exciting!

Daddy introducing the cookie

Eating his cookie like a pro!

I’ve been meaning to write a post since I got my hands on my new Christmas gift … my Macbook Pro … I’ve been taking my time to get acquainted with it since I’m new to Mac, hence the delay in posting anything new. I didn’t realize how important blogging has become to me, its my outlet to the outside world, my  way to breath, to be myself, to get my thoughts down and make sense of my new life and my new role in this world. I was worried today that I have a few minutes to spare and I couldn’t think of something to write about, I do have some reviews that I would like to get out there but I wanted to post something more personal and I decided to just start typing and just like that I started to feel the tension in my shoulders disappear … I think this blogging thing is becoming a part of me and I have to say I LOVE it!

How my New Year’s resolution found me

I really didn’t give it much thought this year, the last thing on my mind was what I needed to improve in myself during 2012 cause apparently I was going through what most new mothers suffered from last week … Sheer holiday exhaustion! I thought it was depression at first then I started hearing from fellow mommies how last week was emotionally and physically straining, read at least three posts by mommy bloggers describing the same situation, two of which Spoke directly to me Moments of Exhilaration and Life love and Baby. So it just hit me today … I’m not going crazy! Almost all the other mommies I know of felt the same way! Maybe it’s the holidays and the fact that I went out of my way and stayed up on several nights cooking, baking, decorating, and crafting to make sure my precious baby’s first holiday is a special one and stressing about every little thing that didn’t go my way. Somehow I turned into a “Stepford wife” wanna be and strived to get everything perfect which can be extremely stressful cause everything was far from it! Because I’m only human and the goal of unattainable perfection was … Well … Unattainable.
I came back to earth yesterday when my blood pressure spiked for the 2nd night in a row. The last time this happened I was 34 weeks pregnant and was forced on bed rest followed by an emergency C-Section a few days later. My husband and I were very worried last night since we don’t have proper care in Liberia so I did some research on home remedies and that is how my New Years resolution found me:

“Persons suffering from hypertension must get at least eight hours of good sleep, because proper rest is a vital aspect of the treatment.” I’ve been barely getting three or four hours of sleep! ” Most important of all, the patient must avoid over strain, worries, tension, anger, and haste. He or she must develop a calm and cheerful attitude and develop a contented frame of mind “ guilty of all the above! I’ve stressed about the silliest things like my milk supply, getting in shape before my sister’s wedding, are my plants thriving, is the house squeaky clean, all the meals just HAVE to be made from scratch!! I freaked out because I wanted to blog and didn’t get a chance to for a few days, then freaked out again because my blog is still not as organized as I want it to be, stressed about organizing the baby pictures, ordering in his first baby book, designing and printing out the bedtime story I wrote him, stayed up till 3 am one night to finish organizing the guest bedroom in preparation for my mom’s visit (she didn’t even buy a ticket or set a date or even confirm if she is coming at all) … like I said the silliest things to worry about!

So this will be my New Year’s resolution, apparently stress finally got a hold of my body and some changes need to be made, besides I owe it to my amazingly patient hubby and precious baby to be happy and healthy. Happy New Year everyone and to the mothers who blogged about their feelings and their challenges last week thank you for having the courage to share your thoughts they have made a huge difference to me and taught me not to be so hard on myself because the truth is that I’m less than perfect and that’s ok.
P.S. For more information on dealing with hypertension click here

Have a wonderful holiday!

Orange rays where stroking my baby’s face as he drifted off to sleep this evening. I looked out of the window of my bedroom to the most beautiful tropical Liberian sunset and then gratefully looked back at my baby who seemed so peaceful in my arms after having another tearful day (when will his teething be over I feel so bad for him).

We won’t have snow for his first Christmas, and our only guests for dinner tomorrow (his birthday twin and her parents) had to regrettably cancel at the last-minute, I’m still in PJs from this morning, riots are filling the city so shopping for tomorrows dinner will be postponed till last-minute, hubby is racked out at the sofa (poor thing works too hard and then I hand the baby to him as soon as he walks in the door), and I’m pretty sure Amir’s teething pain will still be with us throughout the holiday (unless he gives mommy a little pearly white for Christmas!)… But somehow with all that is going on I’m pretty content (not taking into account the few pissy remarks that slip out sometimes in a conversation with hubby but that’s normal with sleep deprivation right?)… back to being content … I truly feel happy, tired yes but mostly thankful and very blessed … I am living the happiest days of my life just being here for my baby and enjoying motherhood … I’m glad that I am aware of it and can remind myself of that when things get a bit hectic.

Hope you all have a wonderful holiday even if it doesn’t go according to your plans and I hope you are surrounded by loved ones so they can remind you of the things that are truly worth celebrating … Happy Holidays everyone! have you been checking my Christmas Advent Calendar?

I’m taking the night off

While playing with my baby this morning I was as usual mentally thinking of my to-do-list for the night. Motherhood is definitely a full-time job that interlaps with another that starts after my boss’s baby’s bedtime. Usually baby falls asleep between 8 and 9 p.m. and then the marathon starts … Cook dinner, pump, gallop food while pumping, tidy up kitchen, manage my long and evergrowing to do list, cleaning Dog pee off floor, pump again attempt to blog, Rock baby back to sleep, pump again .,.. You get the drift. So while organizing my mental to do list, planning the Christmas Eve last-minute dinner menu, and attempting to occupy my precious (still aggressively teething) baby I decided that I’m taking tonight off. I even texted “date night” to hubby…. I don’t want to do a thing tonight just relax, of course I still have to pump but I’m sitting my post pregnancy oversized derrière down on the sofa (not the computer desk) and watching a movie with hubby. The world can wait till tomorrow, friends will still be on Facebook in the morning and my to do list will still be as long whether I check two things off or none! And there will be no picture with this post either cause I’m publishing from Shaun’s iPod so I won’t be accessing Picassa or making any pictures beautiful on Picnik … Good night I know I will have a great one!

I’m still here!

It’s been a while since I blogged because Hubby has held the computer hostage to do his extensive homework (its OK I forgive him since it’s for school not to mention he is getting me a laptop for Xmas!) so just a couple more weeks of computer sharing and then I’ll be the master of my own!

So much happened in just a few days, I’m so relaxed now that baby Amir sleeps around eight p.m. every night! you wanna know my baby sleep secret? It’s not in any of the many baby books I bought and downloaded … all I had to do was follow Amir’s lead, I didn’t force him back to sleep every time he woke up from his nap, I let him do his thing whether he took a 10 min nap or a two-hour one I didn’t interfere and I let him stay up to play instead of spending the day rocking him back to sleep every time he woke up from a half an hour nap! now by eightish he is fast asleep and we are both happier for it. He seems more energised and confident. We even ventured out of the house today and dropped off some Christmas and thank you cards at the mail office, visited daddy at work and walked around compound to say hello to some friends.

It seems that we have more quality time now and he seems to have acquired so many new skills in just a few days! At nights I’ve been on an organizing campaign I really didn’t know where to start but I checked many tasks off of my to-do-list already and it feels great at the end of the day!

Amir still patiently poses for me everyday for the Christmas Advent Calendar you can see all the pictures here. Many of our friends have asked me if I have a studio set up at home cause they like them so much. All I  really did was lay him on a piece of fabric put some accessories around and snap a whole bunch of pictures in a row until I found one I liked and then I edited the colors and added some Christmas stickers using Picnik it’s very easy!

below are some random pictures from this week, enjoy

Why so defensive?

I have been super defensive towards comments people say about my baby, like “ Oh he’s a BIG baby” or the eyebrow lift from one of the parents when I told her that my six month old needs to take a nap every two hours!  And my ultimate favorite is when somebody tries to convince me that my baby doesn’t need a nap when he is obviously rubbing his eyes, yawning, and getting fussy!

I think I need to post a sign on my door or maybe around my neck that says “beware of mommy if you say the following”:

–          DO NOT and I repeat DO NOT say “He is a BIG baby” followed by “HOW much do you EXACTLY feed him?”. I feed my baby as much as he wants when he wants! So enough of that! He weighed 5 lbs. at birth! In my opinion the fact that he is 20 Lbs. at 6 months is amazing and an achievement in itself!

–          When baby is taking a nap in my sling DON’T hover over his head and shout “IS HE SLEEPING??”

–          When you walk in and I calmly gesture and say “SSHHHHH…” don’t point out loudly that his eyes are still open! Do people have any idea how long it takes to get a fussy baby drowsy and that if they wake up from their drowsiness it takes forever to get them to sleep again!

–          When I’m getting ready to feed my baby DON’T say “he is probably not hungry yet”

–          DON’T compare my baby to other babies his age, it is true he is taking his time to sit and roll over (he threatens to do them both all the time so any minute now) but he was a premie for god’s sake do your research he will take longer to develop those skills.

–          DON’T go around making jokes about how I keep my baby locked in the house. He is still a baby he needs his sleep and after seven p.m. the mosquitos come out to play! WE ARE IN AFRICA….MALARIA ANYONE! ! ! If a gathering happens around his nap time guess what! I’m not attending! I called the grocery store today to ask if they had a certain product and the guy on the phone said “word on the street is that you don’t like to take your baby out of the house” …….what the….!!!!!!!!

That said I do believe that I’m overly defensive at times. My hubby would be casually bringing up a conversation about baby’s routine or about his development skills in comparison to babies his age and I actually can feel my blood boiling! I guess it’s part of the process of realizing that I really don’t know everything about parenting (even though before I became a mother I thought I did!) and all the available books and research out there can be helpful at times, but in general they truly made things even more confusing for me which resulted in stressing me out and second doubting my decisions as a mommy.  A very stressful situation when you want to do your best for the baby and want to take the best approach when it comes to parenting. During my pregnancy I would spend my days reading parenting books, every time my mom would walk in she would exclaim “ I’m going to burn all those books one day, just go with your instincts!” and now I finally confess that she was right! (Another example of how mothers always know best!) I’m not going to burn them all just yet, but for now I will put them aside and go with my instincts, I have so many conflicting theories and strategies in my head that I’m starting to get them all confused! So many articles and books on how to be as a parent and how to respond to your baby and what could be going wrong! I’m putting a stop to all that chaos in my head and concentrating on my common sense and just addressing my baby’s needs as they come, after all I understand him more than any book!

The picture on this post was today’s Advent Calendar addition you can see all the previous days here

Information for Breastfeeding mothers: How to know if baby is getting enough milk

Dec 6: Baby Christmas Advent Calendar

It’s starting to look a lot like Christmas in our house, and I can actually see two small boxes with my name on them under the tree :).  I can’t believe its been a year since I was just a few weeks pregnant and on bed rest! This time last year the idea of celebrating the holidays with my new baby was all I could think about to get me through the boring bed ridden days …. so happy that stage is over and I can finally enjoy my baby, looking back I remember what every other mother before me said ” It’s all worth it in the end”!

I’m about to get my exhausted self to bed so I can rest before another day starts. I’m looking forward to our daily routine now (Yes! we finally have a routine!) until then I want to share some info I came across today that I think would be very beneficial for breastfeeding mothers. I wish I knew this when I first gave birth! I can’t count how many nights I stressed over whether baby is content with breastfeeding, if he is getting enough milk, or too much. This link to mobimotherhood.org actually explains your baby’s body language when breastfeeding so you can understand his or her needs… I think every new mother should  read this I wish I found it earlier.

 

 

Another Monday ….

… and baby Amir is still teething, which is messing with his nap time. But amazingly enough he still manages to throw a few smiles my way… I just read Moments of exhilaration’s post about how difficult Mondays are sometimes and she explains it pretty darn well …. what a relief it is to know that someone out there is going through the same challenges and an eye opener that it will be this way for a while (her baby just turned one and mine is just 6 months old)…  I wouldn’t trade being a full-time mom for anything in the world … I can honestly say that I’m currently living the happiest days of my life, but sometimes too little sleep and no contact with adults for hours at a time can get to you!

The main reason I dread Mondays the most is because Shaun (hubby) has to go to work after a weekend with us, he helps a lot with Amir when he is home and life is not as chaotic as it is during the week. When Mondays come I have to get used to doing it all by myself again: feeding, entertaining, or soothing a teething baby who won’t take his nap and is glued to your hip while pumping milk every two hours and getting errands done! How did our mothers do it??? sometimes I wish we had more than two arms!

That said, today I felt like my baby grew overnight! he looks like a young man now! above is a picture when he was one week old and another taken this week! I can’t believe how much he changed he doesn’t even look like the same baby … so I’ll take intolerable exhausting Mondays in exchange for more time with him …  before I know it he will be teenager who runs away from my hugs and kisses.

I’m still updating my projects page:

Below is today’s addition to the Baby Christmas Advent Calender

Click here to see the progress of my little garden

click here to see how I’m doing with my post-pregnancy diet

 

Dec 4 Advent Calendar addition

 

I can’t believe its Dec 4 already! Yesterday my baby turned 6 months old! I’m such a lucky mommy to have this little angel in my life. We had a tough weekend with Amir he has been teething for months but no sight of pearly whites yet so it seems this will go on for a while, his acid reflux is back too I think it’s because I introduced solids. I also started adding formula to his diet so I can get him used to it in order to wean him before our extensive travel in May but he is in so much discomfort that I withdrew that plan altogether and I will pump (thank God for my Freestyle Medela pump and Mothers Milk tea) and breastfeed as long as it takes. I decided to make short-term goals, my first was to make it till he was 6 months old and we did! (yay!) so now my goal is to make it till he is one year old …. we’ve been through a lot him and me  when it comes to breastfeeding he refused to eat from me when he started teething (he still only directly breastfeeds when he is half asleep) and we have pulled through, had to re-lactate twice (long story) and we are still going strong so no reason we shouldn’t be able to do it for a few more months now that my milk supply is enough for him and I actually have a full freezer of expressed milk as back up … this is the best gift I can give him now, the nutrition he needs to build his immunity and I have the good health and willpower to do it for as long as he needs it… so here we go!

The above photo is from this morning you can see the rest of the pictures from the Christmas Advent Calendar here