Wednesday, October 22, 2014

the future of blogging

It seems like most of the bloggers I follow--especially those who don't make money off of it--have been writing about how blogging is changing/has changed. That or they've simply fallen off the radar. I confess that I am guilty of the latter! 

For me personally, it's simply that I don't have the luxury of much free time. The baby is in a very clingy stage, so nearly every waking minute is spent holding/touching/wearing her. She doesn't love any of the baby carriers we have, so when I can actually get her in one, I have to be strategic about my time. Even though she sleeps "through the night" (which means a 5-hour stretch), by the time I get to bed after my one pumping session, I normally get 2-3 hours of sleep before she is ready to eat. That feeding usually takes about an hour with her being half asleep, then she will usually sleep another 2-3 hours. After that, it's a toss up on any given day if she will go down for a decent nap or if she will decide to be up for the day. 

In the evenings, Hubs and I try to spend an hour of quality time together, usually catching up on a TV show and talking. Then I normally have 45 minutes-1 hour before I pump, and after that I might watch one of my shows on Netflix then crash for the night. So basically, I get maybe an hour a day to just do my own thing, and I have to be very selective about what gets done in that time. Unfortunately, blogging isn't often at the top of that list.

Since most of my time reading blogs now happens via iPhone, I am not as interactive as I once was. It's so annoying to comment via phone and even when I mark posts for later comment, I often run out of time to go back (see above). So, if I used to comment on your blog a lot and don't now, know that I'm still a loyal reader!

Then, of course, there is the praising/lamenting of Instagram. Honestly? I love it. I like following my favorite bloggers on that medium because I hate twitter, and I feel like it's so much more personal. The things that drew me to my favorites in the first place were their writing, their voice, their story. So to see snippets of daily life via Instagram feeds that interest/curiosity for me. Plus, it's easier for me to not feel so much of that inherent comparison--because you see more of people than simply the best, most polished posts. Also? Not as many sponsored ads, which is much more enjoyable as a reader.

Even though my priorities and free time have shifted for now, I don't anticipate dropping blogging completely. It's fun to look back on things sometimes, even if looking back is occasionally embarrassing. I like having this blog, in particular, as it has documented our family's experiences, my growth as a wife and mother, and there are a lot of treasured photos. I've maintained a blog in some form since early high school, and a journal for as long as I can remember, and I have always liked recording life as it happens. So, I'd love for you to keep reading! But even if the whole blogosphere dissolves, I'll still be here plugging away as often as I can.

Monday, October 20, 2014

4 months | baby

 
My little peanut is already 4 months old! Every day gets better and better and I love the time I have to be home with her. Seriously nothing better in the world. I ordered a baby book and I can't wait for it to get here. It's beautiful and while pricey, I know it will be so worth it to have when she's older. (Side note: I finally got her birth story finished but decided to save it for the baby book instead of the blog. I'll maybe get an abbreviated version up here one day, probably by the time she's a year old, haha.)

Four month stats--

Weight: 8 pounds 5 ounces
Length: 21.5 inches
Nicknames: Bug, Little Bug, Lady/Stink Bug (Dad), Buggie, Angel Girl
Sleep: Usually falls asleep between 7:30 and 8:00, and I try to lay her in bed at 8:00 when big sis's lights go out. She typically wakes up sometime between 1:30 and 5:00 to eat (sometimes twice), then will go back to sleep for a few hours. She still sleeps in the swaddle sleep sack and likely will until she can roll over. Daytime naps are usually on the shorter end, and still most likely to happen if she's being held. Eventually she will do naps in her crib, too, but for now I am enjoying getting to cuddle her.
Eating: Still exclusively breastfeeding, and usually getting in 8-10 sessions a day. Generally sitting down every two hours, but if she's happy or napping, she can go 3-4 hours between feedings.
Clothing: Has outgrown Gerber newborn onesies but still in all newborn Carter's clothes. We bought a pack of 0-3 month Gerber plain t-shirt onesies for bedtime and they have a lot of room to grow.
 
Mood: Generally happy as long as someone is around her! She will play on her mat or lie in her pack and play for short periods of time on her own, which is usually enough time for me to empty the dishwasher or make a quick lunch. She smiles a lot more and cries way less than in her colicky days and that is such a relief. 
Likes: 
- When we say "Good morning!" in a high-pitched voice when she wakes up
- Watching big sis dance around the house
- Nightly baby massages and "talking" to mama
- Being held either upright or facing out so she can see what's going on
- "Talking" to her fish friends on her playmat
- When Dad talks to her in a silly voice
- Going on walks
- Shopping at the Japanese grocery store/farmer's market
Dislikes: 
- Tummy time, still
- Being left alone for longer than a few minutes
- Daytime naps anywhere but in someone's arms
- Getting her shots! (I think I like this even less)
- When I take too long to feed her or switch sides during a nursing session
- Getting burped the traditional way (thinks you're making her do tummy time)
 
What I want to remember/Milestones: 
- This month she really started looking at people and smiling. It's so sweet!
- She loves watching moving things, and big sis loves dancing around for her. She finds this so amusing and has the biggest smiles. There have been a few chuckles--so close to laughing!
- Despite her hatred of tummy time, she is strong enough now to do a "mini push-up" when we put her on the floor or do tummy-to-tummy time. On her back she can pull up her legs and turn herself on her side. Rolling over is probably in the near(ish) future!
- She is starting to "talk" a lot more and I think it's the cutest thing. It's so awesome to see that the little wheels in her brain are definitely starting to turn when we talk to her now.
- I love the bedtime routine of her bedtime massage, kicking around/talking to get her last bit of energy out, and then nursing her to sleep. She can tell when it's time to start every night, and I love having special relaxing time with her, especially after a tiring day.
- We don't co-sleep anymore, but I love bringing her into our bed after a 5:00 or 6:00 feeding. She is just so cute to watch, and I love that she gets calmed by me cuddling her close. I know these are the days that will go so fast.
- How small she still is! She is still "newborn"-sized, but she is perfectly sized to me so I'm not at all worried about it. I love that I can still fit her on my lap and don't have to wrestle her too much during nursing sessions. When I look back at pictures from her first days in the world, she looks so huge to me!
What I'm looking forward to: 
Again, I'm really just looking forward to her growing. Every week, and sometimes every day, she is learning something new and it's fascinating. I can't wait to see what kind of personality she develops (I can see glimpses already) and I really can't wait to hear her first real laugh! Also exciting? The prospect of my post-partum hair loss finally coming to an end--it's making me crazy, haha.

Monday, October 6, 2014

currently | october

(current phone background / available here)

writing: a bunch of emails (i currently have 412 unread messages in my inbox, ugh), a new budget (income adjustments), must-haves and wish list items for our spring PCS. i also finally updated our "love story" page after way too long!

anticipating: getting back into a fitness groove, getting out to see the sights during our last japanese autumn

missing: baby napping at all during the day so i can workout, not being covered in baby bodily fluids ;)

wearing: sweatpants around the house and breaking out the long-sleeves with the recent cooler temps

craving: nourishing foods. made this soup for dinner last night and it was SO good!

what are you doing this month?

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

(f)unemployed!

Last Friday I officially signed all the paperwork, turned in my ID, and became a stay-at-home mama. Granted, I've been home since giving birth in June, but I didn't realize I'd been holding on to a bit of stress over the whole thing. Stress about not leaving my work the way I would have had the baby not come early. Stress about things at the office not transitioning smoothly (for multiple reasons, not just my abrupt absence). Stress about not officially being off the books, and knowing that it impacted getting a replacement in the door. A lot of random things really that I didn't need to think about. 

Now that I'm officially a SAHM, I can say it is the actual hardest job I have ever had. It was so easy to only worry about clocking 8 hours a day, then getting to go home and not think about work until the next day. But now? I'm on duty full-time! Even when my husband is here, I'm still never truly "off." I definitely did not anticipate how exhausting/challenging it would be. Despite that, I'm still so grateful that I can be home, because I know that many parents don't have that option. 

Plus? My little bug is the cutest. I know I'm biased, but she really is! ;)



(P.S. And in case you think I'm only having fun, my new best friends are GRE study books. Must get back into school mode!)

Monday, September 15, 2014

3 months | baby

 

Somehow, my baby is already THREE months old. I know that every mom says that every single month of their child's life, but seriously. How did that happen?

The past several months have been a total blur and I can honestly say that being home with a little baby is the hardest thing I have ever done. I told my husband the other day that while I don't miss work, I do miss how easy those days were. Going into the office, doing my 8 hours, coming home and leaving work at work? SO EASY.

Life with a newborn is challenging. You're exhausted, often feel like a human pacifier if you're breastfeeding, never seem to know what the baby wants, don't really know if you're coming or going most days. It feels like groundhog day and a whirlwind all at once. Plus colic? Terrible. Add in another kiddo to worry about and it's just that much trickier to manage.

Know a pregnant lady or new mom? Or stay/work-at-home mama with littles? Bring her a meal, offer to clean her kitchen/living room/bathrooms, watch her kiddos so she can take a shower or get in a workout or just take a nap. BE KIND. It's tough, tough work.

But also? There are moments it's just the best. Cliche? Maybe. It's true, though, especially when you finally wrangle a toothless smile out of a tiny squishy baby. Or when said baby curls up into you and falls asleep. <3

I haven't done this from the beginning so I'm probably a terrible blogger. However, I figure 3 months is as good a time as any to start recording things, right? Mostly because now I get more than 30 seconds between feedings/diaper changes/fake-out naps.

 

Three Month Stats--

Weight: She was 6lb, 6oz at her 2-month well baby, so hopefully around 8lb now! (Yes, I have a tiny baby, and yes she eats ALL the time.)

Length: 19.5" at her 2-month well baby, so hopefully a little taller now.

Nicknames: Nugget, Bug, Bean

Sleep: nighttime she usually falls asleep between 8:30 and 9 and sleeps until 2:30-4:30, eats, then sleeps again until 5:30-6:30 depending on when she woke up to nurse. Daytime? She barely naps! (Unfortunately.)

Eating: Exclusively breastfed, 8-12 times a day. Will take the occasional bottle from dad or big sis.

Clothing: Newborn! Even with the fluffy butt she gets from cloth diapers.

Mood: Went through what felt like a never-ending bout of colic, but fingers crossed we're over that hump. She "talks" quite a bit, loves to look around, and is mostly happy but stingy with smiles.

Likes: Blowing bubbles, bedtime massages, her "ocean friends" play mat, the swing, baths (usually)

Dislikes: Being left alone, the carrier and boba wrap (hoping she gets over that!), tummy time, things touching her feet (e.g., footie pajamas)

What I want to remember/Milestones: I want to remember the hard (hard) first days, and the breastfeeding struggles, and the complete exhaustion. I want to remember how hilarious it is that she hates tummy time and kicks herself over when we attempt it. I want to remember the first social smile and the first coo. I want to remember her baby smell and her wobbly head as she tries to hold it up. I want to remember how tiny she is right now, and how it felt to hold her the first time when she was like a little baby bird. I want to remember what it was like to introduce her to my family for the first time in person (nothing like it!).

What I'm looking forward to: Really just watching her grow! She has gotten so much bigger since the day we brought her home, and I can't wait to watch her learn all the things she will in this first year. I'm at the point where I would be going back to work if I hadn't decided to quit, and I can't imagine leaving her all day.  I feel so lucky (and know I am) to be able to stay home with her.
 
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