Friday, July 8, 2011

My First Week Back At Work Was….

Not what I expected!

It was….

…..Plain Awesome!

I felt welcomed by my co-workers and even people who I just passed in the hallways.

I was greeted by my co-worker with flowers and chocolate.

In the bathroom, one lady even said to me, “We missed your singing”. (She was not a co-worker btw)

My boss took me out to lunch on my first day back.

My birthday was on July 4th, so in addition to being “welcome back” gestures, the flowers, chocolate and lunch were birthday gifts too!

Leaving Ezaias was hard, but I was able to handle it!

What helped is the fact that I don’t take him to the sitter, daddy does.

So I leave him home with daddy each morning.

I also mentally prepared myself for my return.

Reading “Milk Memos” helped as well! (Read it! It's great for all you moms and future moms who will return to work soon - or not so soon)

Waking up at 6:30 (to make it to work by 8 am) was not bad either.

Before Ezaias, I worked at 9:30 am. So it has been an adjustment.

I have been able to pump twice a day and while it seems a little inconvenient, it’s all worth it! (Medela Pump In Style Pump Rocks!!)

Ezaias is completely comfortable with his sitter and when I pick him up at the end of the day, he has the biggest smile on this face.

He and the sitter have a great relationship already!

I didn’t feel guilty for leaving him, rather I felt great about being able to help provide for him and make a great life for him!

I missed him like crazy, but thinking about him gave me great motivation to excel in all my tasks/responsibilities so that I make sure my boss never wants to let go of me so I can continue to provide for Ezaias!

This week has gone by pretty smoothly (and fast too) and I am really grateful for that!

Thanks to everyone who gave me advice and words of encouragement before my return to work and during this week!!

XOXO!

Please share with me some positive things you remember about your return to work.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Watch Ezaias Grow (4 months old)!!

Papa,

You are my pride and joy! You are a blessing and I thank God everyday for you!!

You are four months old today (6.27.11)! Here is a look at how you have changed and have grown this past month!




Clothes

You are still in your 0-3 month clothes. Midget! LOL

Diapers

You started the month off in size 1-2's. Now that that box is done (lol), you are wearing size 2.

Feeding

You are still mostly breastfed.  You only get bottles (of breastmilk) when mommy has to leave you home with daddy or someone else. 

Sleep

You are sleeping very well. Your naptimes and bedtimes are awesome. 


Other Highlights:

We started putting you in your bounce-a-bout. You love it! Although you don’t really play with the toys on it much yet, I think you just love that you’re able to stand on your own. 



You were christened.  Your grandfather (saba) had the pleasure of blessing you! 


You are now propping yourself up on your elbows – especially when you are put down for a nap and/or wake up from a nap. 



 You had your first few trips to the pool. You loved it! 


I love your face.


You celebrated your daddy's first Father’s Day with him




You are totally amazed with my singing.


You are perfecting your grabbing skills.

Your hands are ALWAYS in your mouth.

You have discovered that sometimes its more fun to play than to eat.

You are ACTUALLY laughing.

You are officially nosey! LOL. No-one can walk into your room without you looking around to see who it is or what’s going on.

Another note to your nosiness.  If other things are going on while I’m nursing you, you have to find out what it is.

At the beginning of the month, you were flipping from your tummy to your back in your sleep, startling yourself and waking up crying. NOW, you flip from your tummy to your back and laugh! 

You have discovered your ears and hair and you’re always pulling on them.

I am more interesting than most things (ie toys, food, the tv) because you are constantly staring in my face.

I took my braids out and got my hair relaxed (after four long months) and when I wrap and unwrap my hair, you do not to take your eyes off of me. I guess it really intrigues you!

Your smile continues to the completely amaze me and brighten up my day and my life!
  
Your daddy adores you. And so do I. 


What do you remember about your child's fourth month? Do any of the things I mentioned ring a bell? If your baby is younger than 4 months, what do you look forward to?

Monday, June 20, 2011

Back To Work Blues - Already!!!

This morning seemed to be a normal Monday morning as I got up to wake and feed Ezaias.

I brought him to our bed, fed him and then played with him while daddy slept next to us.


After changing him and a little more playtime, I put Ezaias down for a nap and went back to join hubby in bed to catch some more z's.

(On most mornings, I'm dashing out of the house to make it to a 9 o clock gym class and leave the changing duties, etc. to daddy. I am so glad this wasn't a gym morning though.)

It dawned on me that I had 2 more short weeks at home with my baby. 

I started to feel, well honestly, sad. 

As I lay there, I listened to Ezaias talk and play. 

I didn't feel tired anymore. 

I wanted to spend some time with him. 

I walked over to his room. 

He was laying on his tummy - babbling. 

When he sensed my presence, he looked up at me with most gorgeous puppy dog look ever.

 I would have loved to capture that moment with my camera, but I didn't want to move. 

He stared at me for a few seconds. 

Then I smiled at him and said "Hey Papa" and he flashed his usual big, bright smile. 

I felt my eyes start to water and as I wiped them away, he looked @ me with the most concerned look in his eyes. 

It was as if he knew. 

I wiped the tears away, smiled at him and he smiled back a smile that made me feel like he was saying "Its Going To Be Ok, Mommy". 

He then laid his head down.

*Written as I sat on the arm of the rocking chair in room, as I watched him toss and turn, find his finger (to suck) and then drift off to sleep.*

After he fell asleep, I went back into our room, where hubby was still sleeping.

I cuddled up next to him and he asked me if my nose was stuffy (lol).

I said "No. I'm just sad that I only have 2 more weeks at home with my baby".

He chuckled and  still half-asleep said "Just enjoy him."

When he realized that I was still crying, he held me real tight and rubbed my back until I drifted off to sleep.

(Lol, I guess there may be two babies in the house!)

I have enjoyed 16 lovely weeks at home with Ezaias and he will be 18 weeks when I return to work.

This is going to be HARD!

What feelings did you have before you went back to work and after you returned to work?  What advice can you give to a mom like me who is already experiencing the back to work blues?
                                                 
                                    

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: Nap Time


Apparently he moves a lot in his sleep - so much that he does a complete 180! LOL :)

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Maternity Leaving Coming To A Close

Sooo, my last day of work was February 18th and I return to work on July 5th.

I don't know where the time has gone. :(



July 5th is about a month away and while to some that may seem like a long time, I realize how time flies and I need to start my preparations from NOW!

So far:

*I have spoken to someone about childcare for Ezaias.

*I have started pumping daily (well I try to do it daily) to build my milk stash.

*I have started Ezaias on a more consistent schedule and actually established a "bedtime" for him.

*I have set up a time to speak with my boss about my return.

I will be meeting with my boss this Friday and I have an idea of what I want to talk to him about (Like me working half time, but getting paid for full time. No? Not gonna work?).  But I am also curious to hear about the changes in the company and the plans he has going forward.

What are some things I should consider when returning to work - that I might want to mention to my boss?  Can you share anything with me about your return to work? What were your challenges?

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Wordless Wednesday


My baby Ezaias & his god brother Isaiah :) 

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Watch Ezaias Grow (3 months Old)!!

I follow many blogs and I love how my mommy bloggers document their babies month-by-month progress.  I would like to jump on the bandwagon now,  and although I'm a little late, I think it's such a cute idea and a great way to remember the milestones in your baby's life.  Lord knows I can barely remember what happened in the first two months! LOL. My latest inspiration came from my blogger friend JeLisa over at ...And They Lived Blogging Ever After. Check her WONDERFUL blog out!

Here are pictures from the first two months:



-----------------------------------------------------------
Papa Lindo,


You are three months old today (5.27.11)! Here is a look at how you have changed and have grown this past month!




Clothes
You mostly wear 0-3 months.  Some are still big on you.


Diapers
You started the month off in size 1's. Now you 1-2's seem a little snug.  I hope you finish the box though because we have alot! LOL


Feeding
You are mostly breastfed.  You only get bottles when mommy has to leave you home with daddy or when we go out and I know it will be very inconvenient to breast feed you.  What started out as a challenge, has now become a pleasure. I love nursing you! :)


Sleep
You are sleeping very well. Your naptimes and bedtimes are awesome (well, when you're home in your own bed).  Mommy and Daddy are getting lots of rest too!


Other Highlights:


You now laugh, talk and smile with us.




You enjoy bath time.




You started to suck your thumb - mainly at nap and bed times.


We started you on "Your Baby Can Read".


We implemented some things from BabyWise into lives.


You laugh and smile when I read to you.


You enjoy playing by yourself and talking to yourself.


You are trying to sit up.


You have begun to smile at me while nursing.


Your hands are constantly in your mouth.


You started sleeping in your crib and you are doing a great job with that.


You are sleeping through the night!!! 8, sometimes 9 hours. It would probably be longer if I didn't wake you to eat. THIS is amazing!


Your daddy adores you. And so do I.



What do you remember about your child's third month? Do any of the things I mentioned ring a bell? If your baby is younger than 3 months, what do you look forward to?

[I'm not sure why there are so many spaces in my post. Annoying much? I'm going to try to work on it. Sorry :( ]


Monday, May 16, 2011

Benefits of Babywise

As mentioned in previous posts, I read the book "On Becoming Babywise" and have researched other parent direct schedule technique and have really benefited from the knowledge that I  have gained.  There have been many benefits, but I will just share five with you today.

We are able to assess Ezaias' needs much better.

Previously, when Ezaias cried or became fussy, it was always a guessing game. Maybe he's hungry, maybe he's tired, maybe he's hot, maybe he's cold, maybe he has gas and the list goes on.  Now since we're on a flexible schedule, I can look at the clock when he cries or fusses and assess his needs much better and quicker than before.  (For example) Is it time to eat? Is it time to nap?  By no means is everything perfect.  There are still times when we're just not  sure, but interpreting his cries is now MUCH easier.

We know what's coming next.

Previously, I would be on edge and not be able to relax or get things done because I just wasn't sure what Ezaias' next move would be. It was always like - Is he going to wake up soon? Is he going to be hungry soon? Do I have to do the dishes? Do I have time to workout?
Now I have an idea of how long he will be asleep, when he will need to eat and how long he will be awake so I can plan accordingly and go throughout my day more confidently and relaxed.



He goes down (sometimes) without a fuss.

When Ezaias starts to get fussy and we know it's naptime/bedtime.  we put him down so that he can go to sleep.  There are times that we put him down and he doesn't make a sound and drifts off to sleep, but there are also times where he'll do his sleepy cry (as I like to call it). You know the cry that sounds like a whimper? The cry where it sounds like they're just too tired to cry, but they're trying to anyway? LOL He does this sometimes for a minute or two and then drifts off. However, he does have his moments where he really really cries heavily when we put him down and I think this happens when his schedule has been thrown off throughout the day, so by this time he is just totally cranky and irritable.  In these moments we do take him out of his crib and comfort him, but after that he usually takes no time to fall asleep (once back in his crib).

I am not always offering the breast.

Now don't get me wrong, I love breastfeeding, especially now that we've gotten the hang of it.  But I also know that many mother's become overwhelmed with breastfeeding especially in the beginning because they feel that that's all they are doing - breastfeeding!  When Ezaias was just born and in the first two months of his life, I found myself nursing very often.  Every time he cried, I was nursing him in an effort to sooth him and comfort him. Now that I interpret his cries much better, I am not just popping the boob in his mouth to shut him up.  Instead, I am tending to his ACTUAL needs. (I believe having him sleep in his own bed has helped with this too, but that's for another post.)

He is sleeping through the night!!! Hallelujah!!!

Now this may or may not be attributable to Babywise or any of the other research I've done on parent directed schedules because I have also read that some babies are just great sleepers and some babies start sleeping through the night eventually no matter what you do. However, Ezaias has been sleeping 8-9 hours at night.  Sometimes, I have had to wake him up and I wonder how much longer he would have slept had I not woken him up! (I believe having him sleep in his own bed has helped with this too.)


**By no means do I judge or knock others for the things they do with their children and what may work for their families.  However, I am just sharing with you what has been working for us!**

If following a parent direct schedule, what benefits have you noticed? Do you know anyone who follows such a schedule?

Monday, May 9, 2011

A Belated Happy Mother's Day To You All

A Belated Happy Mother's Day to all mothers, soon to be mothers, hopeful mothers and mothers at heart! I hope you all had a blessed day.

My first Mother's Day was awesome! I attended a Mother's day brunch in my apartment complex, spent some time at my mom's house and then hubby cooked a very nice dinner that my friend, my god son and I enjoyed! Then, I ended my evening at the gym.

As a gift, from hubby, I received a camera (which is so necessary to capture Ezaias' precious moments) and a case for my Samsung Galaxy Tab!

I didn't take too many pictures on Mother's day, but I did want to share with you a few pictures from the weekend.





How was your mother's day?

Sunday, May 8, 2011

So What Is The Babywise Theory Exactly? (Part 2)



Let's face it - we ALL need help.  We can always use some advice and guidance from others.  Especially when we're doing something for the first time.  In my case, I am a first time mom.  



One thing you will learn (or may have already noticed if you're a mom) is that EVERYONE wants to put their two cents in on how you should raise your child.  Some people really mean well and they want to give you pointers on what may have worked for them.  Others are just plain annoying and pushy. [I hope I wont be that way with others].  So, it is important that you figure out how you want to raise your child, stick with it and not let others sway you or make you feel bad for your decisions.

What I have begun using as a guide for my husband and I is the book "On Becoming Babywise".  I decided to do this because I wanted to bring some order to our lives.  As I mentioned in my first Babywise post , with a newborn things can seem chaotic and you may not know whats coming next. I believe that schedules and routines help to keep things in order.  The Babywise Theory has gotten alot of negative feedback and I think this may be because people dont completely understand what it is.

I dont follow it exactly, but I have taken from it (and other websites) what I can and put it into use.


So What Is This Babywise Theory All About?

To begin Babywise, there is a certain  (2 1/2 - 3 hour) cycle that you follow throughout the day: 

Feeding Time - Wake Time - Nap Time

Essentially, you feed your baby, keep him/her awake, then put him/her down for a nap

Feeding Time

If you are breastfeeding, you were probably taught to feed on demand - whenever the baby is hungry.  No matter if it was five minutes ago, an hour ago or five hours ago. This is where some of the negative feedback comes in because  Babywise encourages parent directed feeding (PDF) and people assume that you starve  your baby.

This is not true.  Although you are adhering to a schedule, you feed your baby whenever he/she is hungry.

The idea is to make sure your baby gets a full feeding.  Babywise shys away from snacking.  You are encouraged to offer full feedings throughout the day so that your baby has had enough to eat and can sleep through the night.


Also, you should wake the baby if he/she is asleep during the time that a feeding is scheduled.  The book suggests that feeding on demand sometimes has its downfalls because newborns are so tired that they may sleep for hours on end and sleep right through the time they should be eating.  So you control this, not the baby.  Although, once again, if your baby gets hungry before 3 hours (if you are following a 3 hour cycle), you need to and should feed your baby.

Wake Time

You may notice that after (or while) your newborn eats, he/she drifts off to sleep - especially if breastfed.  I mean come on who wouldn't fall asleep. Food + Cushion = Sleep LOL! :)

Babywise discourages this because they don't want babies to become dependent on the breast (or bottle) to fall asleep. (*One of the main ideas behind Babywise is to get the baby to fall asleep on their own and not need "props" to fall asleep).

So after your baby eats, you are encouraged to do something to keep them awake. Change them, play with them, sing to them, read to them, take them for a walk, give them a bath or anything of this nature.  You can also allow them to play alone in their crib, swing or bouncer for example.  Keeping them awake during the day should help them to sleep through the night.

Nap Time

After they have eaten and been awake for a little while, it is then time for a nap.  This is another part of Babywise that people may not agree with because it is suggested that you "put the baby down for a nap".  Like literally, put them down for a nap (while they are awake) - not rock them to sleep - because once again we're trying to get the baby to fall asleep on their own and not depend on something/someone to put them to sleep.

If the baby is not used to this, they will probably cry when they are "put down".  It is suggested that you dont pick the baby up.  Instead you let them cry in an effort to teach them to self soothe.

The book states: 
"There may be a period of fussing or crying when you put the baby down for a nap.  Don't be deterred from doing what is best for the child.  Some crying is normal part of a baby's day and some babies will cry a few minutes in the process of settling themselves to sleep.  The future trade-off will be a baby who goes down for a nap without fussing and wakes up cooing."

**I must mention that before having a child of my own, I was so against letting a baby cry without running to them right away.  I could never imagine leaving my baby to cry without going to console him.  It is amazing how you say you will or wont do this or that, but when faced with the situation, you do something totally different**

The Hardest Part So Far:


Nap times and bedtime -_- Sigh






Babywise encourages you to put your baby down while he/she is still awake.  Sometimes we follow this, sometimes we dont.  Most times, we wait until he is falling asleep (still half awake) and then put him down.  What has been happening is, we put him down and he cries.  Luckily he cries for about 3-5 minutes and then drifts off to sleep and leaving him to cry hasnt been as hard as I imagine.  However, I dont like it. At all.


There are those occasions where he cries longer than this and we go in and rub his back to see if he will go back to sleep.  Most times he will. If not, we figure something must be wrong and feed him, comfort him, change him or do whatever we need to do to get him to go back to sleep comfortably.


Let me just say that I dont agree with every single word written in "On Becoming Babywise", but I have been able to take information from it and implement it into our lives.


In my next Babywise post, I will tell you how this theory has benefited us thus far.


What do you think of this theory? Have you ever tried anything like it?

Monday, May 2, 2011

On Becoming Babywise? (Part 1)

My Dilemma:




I consider myself to be a very organized person.  As many of you moms may know (and those of you who are not moms yet will soon find out) that having a baby can throw all of your organization out of the window.  The first few weeks after bringing Ezaias home was just pure chaos - I was like a zombie, I didn't know what was coming next, I had breastfeeding challenges and I had to deal with all the new mommy emotions and frustrations. 

Also in recent weeks, Ezaias has been sleeping in our bed and would be fussy almost every night around 2 am.  His fussiness would sometimes last an hour and NOTHING would calm him down. He would just stop crying and fall asleep when he was good and ready.

We needed to do something!

My Solution:




When he was nearing 2 months, I decided that I needed to get him on some sort of schedule, so that I could plan my day better and so that he would have some sort of routine to follow. Coincidentally, a friend of mine had told me that she had read "On Becoming Babywise" and has had success with her 4 month old. I was so curious about this book, so I researched it online.

What I Found:

I must admit that I came across so many negative reviews and comments on the Babywise theory, but I also came across positive ones. However, I dont make any judgement on anything unless I have tried it myself. I also came across Chronicles of a Baby Wise Mom which offers lots of support for people who want to become "Baby Wise".  

What intrigued me the most about the Baby Wise theory is that:
  • It is based on a schedule/routine.
  • Many people who used this method had babies sleeping through the night very early on (i.e. from 2 - 4 months old).
So, I decided to read the book and implemented it into our lives last week.  So we are on day 6 of becoming Baby Wise.  Let me also add that with all of the research I've done, I've used some pointers from "On Becoming Baby Wise" and from other sources.  The key to reading books of this nature is to take from it what you can and use your common sense and judgement.


So What Is The Babywise Theory Exactly?


Have you tried Babywise or anything similar? What was your experience? Would you recommend it to others?

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Guess Who's Two Months?

Yesterday, we took Ezaias for his 2 month check up! I must admit, I went to the appointment a little nervous because I knew he had to get some shots! The appointment went well though.  The nurse came in and weighed him and my little chunkster now weighs 10 lbs, 11 oz after being born 5 lbs, 8 oz (what a shrimp - as his daddy called him! lol).

Here are a few pics daddy snapped of him while we waited for the nurse to come back to give him his shots: 




Lol, no he hadn't gotten his shots yet - he was just fussy :(
However, after he received his shots, he did cry, but for just a minute or two and he was ok! And so was I! LOL. He didnt develop a fever, nor was he fussy for the entire day. He was just extremely tired. I feel like he slept ALL day!

What has your experience been with your children's shots? Have your children ever appeared sleepy afterwards?

15 By June! My Weight Loss Challenge

Hello My Loves!


So, yeah, about this baby weight. LOL.

I gained about 40 lbs when I was pregnant and  I didn't step on a scale until Ezaias was 4 weeks old. By that time I had lost 20 lbs. Since arriving home from the hospital, I could tell each day that my tummy was going down, but I was in no rush to get on a scale.

When I went for my 6 week check up, I had lost 5 more lbs - leaving me with 15 more lbs to lose to return to my pre-baby weight.

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Not too long after, I came across Mama Dweeb's Blog and her weight loss challenge. Coincidentally, I was telling a friend of mine that same week that I want to lose all (or most) of my baby weight by my birthday/the time I return to work. My birthday is July 4th and I return to work on July 5th.  Mama Dweeb's weight loss challenge encourages us to lose 15 lbs by June and I want to join that challenge!

Even before pregnancy and almost my entire life, I have had to work to have the body that I wanted - the type that I was comfortable in. So, this is nothing  new for me.  However, my body has changed so much that this may be more difficult that it has ever been for me.

How I Plan To Achieve This:
  • Since having Ezaias, I havent been too strict with my diet (I've read you're not really supposed to when breastfeeding anyway).  However, the way I ate when I was pregnant compared with how I eat now is totally different and I know that alone is helping me to shed pounds.
  • I am exclusively breastfeeding and as I've read (I read alot), breastfeeding burns quite a few calories. Although I have heard for some women their bodies seem to hold on to fat as they breastfeed. I am not sure how breastfeeding will be for me (yet).
  • I hopped back on my workout plan 2 weeks ago (after my 6 week check up).  My goal is to workout 4-5x a week (so far, so good).  I currently do Tae-Bo workouts, Jillian Michael workouts and other workout DVDs I have at home.  Also, ExerciseTV on Comcast's OnDemand has quite a few workouts I am interested in.  I also plan to get back into the gym so that I can have accountability partners (friends who will be able to work out with me).
Will you join the challenge? How long did it take you to shed your baby weight? How did you do it? Are you having any issues with it?