Three Things I Need To Start Doing

So I’m having a bit of a hard time keeping up with this fitness challenge.  I did the pushups and shoulder exercises on Monday, but I didn’t do yoga on Tuesday nor did I do yesterday’s exercises.

Not good.

But I’m trying not to be too hard on myself because:

  1. I have an 11 week old.  As amazing of a sleeper as she is, she’s only 11 weeks old and I’m still getting up in the night with her at least once.  Taking care of a baby (and a toddler) is also pretty time consuming and when I do have a moment to myself I’d honestly rather lay on the couch watching bad tv than do pushups.
  2. I just had a baby 11 weeks ago.  The last few weeks of pregnancy and the first few weeks I got very little sleep.  I feel like I have some major sleep catch up to do.  Plus, even though my postpartum recovery has been amazing, pretty sure my body is still recovering.

I know, excuses excuses.

The original plan was to do the exercises while they nap.  When I’m not tired from being up in the night I can totally do it during Isabel’s morning nap.  If that doesn’t work out, and the stars align and Nathan and Isabel nap at the same time, I can do it in the afternoon.

But then there’s days like today.  Nathan is home with me because he’s sick so I spent the morning with him.  Then he went for a nap just as Isabel was waking up.  I just put Isabel down for another nap and I can hear Nathan waking up now.

And then I think, I can just do it when they are awake.  But honestly, I’d rather play with my babies.

I guess the thing is if I really want to bring fitness back into my life, I need to do to things:

  1. I need to prioritize it.  I have the time.  I do.  I mean, it only takes 15 or 20 minutes – I can for sure find that somewhere in my day.
  2. I need to take it one day at a time.  If I miss a day, it’s ok.  One day missed does not have to mean the end of the whole thing – which is kind of how my mind works.  I need to be flexible and I need to be forgiving.
  3. I need to just start.  When I’m tired just the thought of doing exercises is exhausting.  But if I just start, it’s easy to go on.  If I tell myself: just do one pushup, there’s a good chance I’ll do more.

So today’s exercise is elliptical, which is too bad because that’s one that I really can’t do with the babies around today.  So instead, in the spirit of flexibility, I’m going to do some yoga – seeing as I skipped Tuesday.

I’m sure I can find a mom and toddler yoga routine on youtube…that should be interesting.

3 Months

I can’t believe Nathan is three months old today.  I was going to say *only* three months because these have honestly been three of the longest months of my life.

I wrote about some of the challenges about life with a newborn when he was three weeks old.  Some of these challenges still persist.  Namely the sleep deprivation and the fact that I’m not sleeping well.

Did I mention that I’m really tired?

I know, it’s something you kind of expect.  It’s what people say to you all. the. time. when you’re pregnant – “get your sleep in now while you can”.  Ya, like that even happened when I was pregnant!  I went from being physically uncomfortable for, oh I’d say the last month or so, to being kept awake with a little dinosaur in my bed.  The sounds that this child makes are like nothing I’ve ever heard before.

Yes, I cosleep.  This was not planned.  If I could go back I would have not gone down this road because it’s a hard one to get away from.

Yes, the cuddles are great and it’s incredibly reassuring to have him next to me and it makes those 4 am nursing sessions super convenient, but I can’t sleep with him next to me.  He’s my little flailing dinosaur – all arms and legs and grunts.  That and I’m not able to fall into a complete relaxed deep sleep.

So now that he’s three months I’m going to try to get him out of my bed and at least into the bassinet.  We’re going to aim for the crib at six months (I’m honestly  not ready to have him out of the room).  In his bassinet I’ll still be kept awake by the grunts, I’m sure, but at least I’ll be able to relax more in my sleep.  And it’s a start to getting him to sleep on his own.  It would also be nice if he could stop napping only in the Ergo carrier.

Sorry if this is really boring.  This is kind of ,my life right now.

The other challenge that is persisting is the worry (I’m sure the lack of sleep doesn’t help this).  It’s actually getting to be really annoying and I seriously need to step away from the Google.  Like right now he has a cough.  So naturally, I Googled it and babies under three months should not be coughing and it could mean there’s something wrong with their lungs and you should call your doctor.  So what about if he’s exactly three months?  My intuition tells me he’s ok – we turned the heat on again and it’s really dry in here so I think I just need to run the humidifier in our room.  My worry, on the other hand, is not as rational as my intuition and thinks there might be something wrong with his lungs.  Afterall, Google said there could be.

I was telling Danny about my worry last night while I was caressing Nathans adorable little noggin, which seemed kind of hot to me, so I said ‘does his head feel hot to you’ and Danny was like, ‘you’re joking, right?’  ‘No seriously, feel his head.’ (It didn’t feel hot to him.)

But ya, three months old!  Awww this guy.

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This has been a pretty awesome month in terms of his development.  These last two weeks in particular.  He’s super smiley, squeely, squirmy, observant and is now grasping at things.  And putting everything in his mouth.  He especially likes to eat his bunny. It’s super cute.

He’s grown from 5 lbs 12 oz (at his lowest weight) to over 14 lbs!!  He still looks pretty tiny, but I can feel that he’s a lot more solid.  A lot less breakable now 🙂

Clear the Clutter Challenge

I would love for every room in my home to feel calm and serene.  Especially now that I am home all the time with little Nathan.  And if there’s one thing that makes a house feel chaotic and messy it’s clutter.

We don’t have a ton of clutter – neither Danny or I like stuff and we try to live minimally.  OK, we don’t try that hard, but we would like to.  The clutter that we have in our home is really just stuff that hasn’t been put away or things that we’ve hung on to for whatever reason and it’s just hanging around.  Serving no purpose but to clutter up our home.

And so I have decided to embark on a clear the clutter challenge.

I’m going to approach this in the same way as the 21 day spring clean challenge.  Each day I’m going to pick a small area to declutter and devote 10 minutes (yes, 10 whole minutes) to clearing that space out.

Even though caring for my 9 week old can be rather demanding at times and time consuming, I’m sure I can find 10 minutes.  Especially since I wear him in the Ergo carrier for parts of the day.  It’s pretty much the only way he’ll nap, unfortunately.  Well, eithor that or face down in the crook of my arm…

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(Sorry couldn’t help putting in a random baby photo…love this guy so much!)

OK, back to the decluttering challenge….

I need a plan.

I need to know exactly what I’ll be decluttering and just do it.

And it needs to be simple.

I look around the room I’m in now (our bedroom) and I see clothes on my dresser, shoes piled up next to the closet, 4 books and 2 glasses and a bunch of other things on our bedside table, and I know that the bedside table drawers are just full of stuff. All these things can feel a bit overwhelming to tackle if I think in terms of having to clean the bedroom.

So to make the task of decluttering my home less daunting, each day I’ll do a small thing.  The hope is that by the end of the 21 days I’ll have, bit by bit, made my way through our home and got rid of all the crap we don’t need hanging around.

So today I’m going to make the plan.   I’m going to kind of take inventory of our home and decide on the 21 areas (or micro areas) that need clearing.

And then I’m going to tackle them, one day at a time, starting tomorrow.

Who’s with me?

You’re OK

Yesterday our little guy had his 8 week vaccinations.

As the nurse administered his two shots I stood near his head and held his little hands.  I didn’t have to see the needle to know when it went in.  Oh my heart just about broke!

As he’s wailing and gushing his poor little baby tears I found myself saying “it’s OK, you’re OK” and I only caught this as I heard the nurse say “that’s good, you tell us how it feels”.

And as he should.

He was not OK and he did not need me telling him otherwise.

Now I know he’s only 8 weeks only and he doesn’t really understand what I’m saying, but the more I say something, the more of a habit it will become.

When he’s hurting I don’t want to tell him he’s OK.  I want to tell him it’s OK to feel what he’s feeling.  To express himself and say, no mom, I’m not OK.

Having said that, I do think there is a time to put on a brave face.  When you know that the tears are more out of shock rather than pain.  To reassure them that they are, in fact, OK.

Getting two needles in the thigh is not the time.

Getting Back to Yoga

It’s been seven weeks since I gave birth to my precious little boy.

I was shocked how quickly my stomach went down after giving birth.  It was so strange.  I thought I’d feel empty inside (afterall there was crazy kicker in there for quite some time), but I didn’t at all.

I also didn’t feel like myself.

I’m actually only starting to feel like myself.

My recovery has been good, I guess.  I mean, I don’t really have anything to compare it to.  I did think I’d be able to more sooner, but I’ve been careful not to overdo it.

By the fourth week I was ready to get back to my yoga practice.  I was really missing it and feeling a bit (well, a lot) disconnected from myself so I gave it a go.

It felt strange.  Coming back to something that I know and trust with a body that I no longer knew or trusted.

It was too early.  I was too tired.  And far too vulnerable.

The biggest thing was that I couldn’t feel my core.  It’s much better now, but how strange to not be able to connect to this centre.  My legs were shaky and I couldn’t shake the new ache in my neck and shoulders. I second guessed my ability to do basic poses that were part of my regular practice.

It felt all wrong and awkward and to be honest it upset me a bit.

I’m now ready to give it another go.  I plan to tonight.  Only this time I’ll approach my mat with extra patience and compassion.  Because even though I feel better, I know my body is not quite where it was a year ago.

Life with a Newborn

Nathan is now three weeks old.  These past three weeks have been interesting – both wonderful and stressful.  I can’t believe it’s only been three weeks since I gave birth.  I also can’t believe he’s already three weeks old.  Time has definitely done a strange thing – my nights are no longer spent sleeping and my days are broken up into time spent feeding and not feeding my little love.

Life with a newborn is hard.  It’s not that I expected it to be easy, I mean I did read a little about babies before going into this (funny though, I read wayyyy more about pregnancy and birth than I did about actually raising a human being), but there were definitely a number of things I underestimated going into this.  Such as:

How little sleep I’d get.

You hear it all the time, how sleep deprived new parents are, and I always thought, ‘don’t newborns sleep, like, all the time?’.  And ya, they do – like up to 18 hours a day – but that sleep is in two or three hour spurts.  Which means I haven’t had more than three consecutive hours of sleep in three weeks.  That’s really hard to adjust to!!   Though I must admit (and Danny makes fun of me for this) sometimes I don’t sleep when Nathan’s sleeping because I’m too busy staring at him.  He just makes the cutest faces in his sleep!  Little smiles and angry faces and confused faces.  So yes, I watch my child sleep when I should be sleeping.

I feel like things are on the up and up on this front though.  He’s been sleeping longer through the night and my need to check if he’s breathing is subsiding.  Which leads me to….

How much anxiety I would feel.

This one caught me a little off guard.  The second day we brought him home I peeked into his bassinet to find him back arched, body rigid, and purple.  Mucus was coming out of his nose and mouth.  It was the most terrifying feeling and just thinking about it makes me cry.  He was OK, but holy shit, my nerves could not handle it.  Then just last week something similar happened, he was choking on breastmilk and turned purple.  I was inconsolable the rest of the day.  It’s episodes like these which cause me to worry.

I have never felt so much worry.

I know what I need to do here.  I need to get back to my yoga, meditation, and get outside!  I’ve been a bit cooped up in the house, which is never a good thing.  Here is a picture of us before we went out on an adventure today.   We plan to go out again tomorrow too!

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I also have been getting back to my meditation practice, which is huge for calming the nerves.  Lucky for me a new Oprah and Deepak Chopra 21 Day Meditation Challenge started yesterday and I’m happy to say that I am two for two!  My meditations suck right now as I’m having a hard time quieting my mind, but just taking time to sit quietly and breathe has been really good for me.

How much I would cry.

I blame this on points one and two and on a whole lot of crazy hormones.  I have never been so weepy in my life!  That first week – around day 4 or so – just looking at him would bring me to tears.  The love I feel is like nothing I’ve ever experienced and some days I just want to burst.  And I do.  I become a blubbery mess over how much I love my baby boy.  And sometimes it’s because of the next point.

How challenging breastfeeding would be.

I had been prepared for this one.  I had read it could be very painful and all that.  And for me, 80% of the time there isn’t any pain (and really, it shouldn’t be painful at all – that’s what lactation consultants are for), but oh man that 20% – let me just say I now understand the saying ‘chomping at the bit’.  When there’s a bad latch and it’s 4 am and I’m exhausted and he’s been up every hour and a half to feed because he’s going through yet another growth spurt it’s frustrating and painful and it makes me want to cry.  Luckily, this doesn’t happen every night.  Besides, as exhausting as it is to be up every three hours, I have to say, he wakes me up in the most adorable way.  He doesn’t really cry at night, he just grunts.  It’s so freaking cute.  I imagine he’s saying ‘ma, ma, ma, I’m hungry ma’.

How much help I’d need.

Danny was off work for the first two weeks, which was really wonderful and when he went back to work my parents came up to help out.  I am so grateful to have them here helping out.  How do women manage alone!?  Nathan doesn’t sleep in his bassinet (which apparently is very common for newborns) and being able to hand him over to my mom so that I can catch a few hours (or an hour) of shut eye, shower, or just take a moment to myself has been HUGE.  Not to mention, the other day I was feeding him in the nursery and my mom came in with freshly baked cookies and a cup of tea for me.  How spoiled am I!?  Also, I think they’re enjoying spending time with their first grandchild 🙂

So ya, life with a newborn is not easy.  But I’m also so happy.  And we’re all adjusting here to this new life.  I know that with a bit of time we’ll get the hang of it.  I’m just trying to enjoy and this stage as much as I can – even if I am sleep deprived and weepy – because I know it won’t last long.