Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Life with a Newborn: Four Weeks In

Happy New Year's Eve!  I'm linking up with Jenn from Peas & Crayons on this last day of 2014 to share my eats annnnnd give you a peek into what one day in our new life with Baby O is like.  Mind you, no two days are alike.  But here's how our last Tuesday of 2014 went, and no surprise, alot of my day centered around food: making it, eating it, cleaning up after it.  Right now we have lots of help with the newborn, but in another two weeks, I'll be solo, so I'm enjoying home-cooked meals while I can!

Here's Baby O at four weeks, in her usual state: sleeping.  Unlike her older brother, she spends alot of time sleeping.  And occasionally eating.  But mostly sleeping.  She definitely takes after my side of the family:

Monday, December 29, 2014

2014 was a Good Year Indeed!

I like to end each year reflecting on all the great things that happened.  I'm less interested in making new year's resolutions.


I'd much rather celebrate all the wonderful things that have happened than spend too much time looking over my shoulder thinking about what could've been.  I do like to set goals -- I am a list maker after all -- but the usual set of resolutions: lose weight, eat better, pick up a new hobby, etc. just don't apply because in the last year or so, I have adopted a healthy way of eating (that is enjoyable for me) and I am naturally an active person.

So let's just appreciate all the good things that happened in 2014, shall we?

1. I revived my blog, SuperSmartMama.  If you look back through my archives, you'll see that I actually started this blog in the spring of 2013.  Unfortunately, life got in the way, and I stopped blogging before the summer even ended.  I'm glad I gave the whole blogging experiment another try because I've learned so many new things, made some great friends, and found an outlet for myself that constantly challenges me to be the best person I can possibly be.

Friday, December 26, 2014

Happy Holidays

Happy Friday!  To readers who celebrated Christmas yesterday, I hope you had a lovely celebration.  To readers who are celebrating other holidays besides Christmas this December/January, I hope you are enjoying your week!

Our Christmas Eve and Christmas Day was lovely and peaceful.  We stayed home (mostly) with the exception of a little grocery shopping on Christmas eve.  

With the newborn, I had to stay sidelined for most of the action and leave the cooking and directing to everyone else in the house.  Between nursing, sleeping, and an occasional house "chore" here and there, I tried to sneak in a moment with the camera during key events over the last two days.  Here's what I was able to capture.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

WIAW #29: More Postpartum Eats

Just like last Wednesday, I'm linking up with Jenn from Peas & Crayons!  Not only do I enjoy celebrating eating good food, but I also like to see what other people are eating... with this being a big holiday week, I'm sure people will be posting some delicious food ideas.

Come check out the link up!

If you're dropping by my blog for the first time, I should preface my WIAW post with the following facts:
1. I'm nursing a newborn, which means I'm hungry all the time.
2. My mother-in-law is staying with us for the entire month of December and she is cooking us some fabulous meals.
3. I love food, I love cooking, but I just don't have time to cook much so I'm very thankful for all the amazing meals my MIL is making.

Monday, December 22, 2014

A Holiday Weekend + Sleep!

What a holiday weekend!  In my last post, I hinted that the first two weeks at home with a newborn have been blissfully happy (sleep! lots of help! a predictable schedule!)...

Well, this weekend marked the end of the third week with Baby O and all predictability has gone out of our schedule.  I have a feeling that if I don't come up with a plan for blog posts, many of my future posts are going to go out late in the day... sigh.

That's not to say we didn't have some fun sprinkled through the weekend.  But Saturday I was not the nicest person in the world.

We'll get to that.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Meal Planning: December 21-27

It's the week of Christmas!  Unbelievable.  It feels like we were just putting out the Halloween decorations and the leaves were turning.  Now the tree is up and all the radio stations and stores are playing holiday music.

We won't be cooking anything extravagant for the holidays this year, but I do like to think about previous years where we gathered with family, either at our home or theirs.  In past years we've spent Christmas in the Bay Area (Oakland hills), Chapel Hill (North Carolina), and my favorite, Charleston (South Carolina).

The last time we had a newborn in the house, it was 2011 and we actually hosted Christmas dinner at our house, when we lived in California:

We also hosted a holiday party with new friends we'd made through having a baby.  We invited them and their babies over to our house for some light snacks.  So this week's meal plan is comprised of some of the recipes we made that year (at either the holiday party or the Christmas dinner) along with new finds that I might make this coming week...

Friday, December 19, 2014

Baby & Mama Postpartum: Weeks 1 & 2

Happy Friday!  If Baby O hadn't been born early (on December 1 instead of the planned December 19), I would have headed to the hospital for my planned C-section this lovely Friday morning.  I have no regrets; I'm super happy that Baby O arrived at 36 weeks, 4 days old.  My first child was born at 41 weeks, so the last three weeks have been a new kind of newborn education, as I've found that taking care of a late pre-term baby has its own challenges.

Last week I bragged about how happy I am these days, which is pretty cool, given that after baby #1, I had a little of the postpartum blues... Hopefully all that bragging celebrating won't come back to haunt me.  (Preview: in week 3 the honeymoon ends.)

For any readers who have had kids are about to have kids, or curious about what it's like to have kids (!), I thought it might be fun to start a postpartum journal and share on a weekly what's going on with newborn and mama.  I'm not sure how far out I'll carry out this experiment, but hey, let's go with it!  If nothing else, it might be a fun record to look back at when I've forgotten how it can be raising a newborn: some days are fun, some days are horrible, and some days one just might wonder if 4pm is too early to declare, "Bedtime!"

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

WIAW #28: Postpartum Eats

Happy What I Ate Wednesday!  It's been awhile since I linked up with Jenn from Peas and Crayons for my favorite link-up. Last Friday, I mentioned that my mother-in-law is in town for the entire month of December to help out with the new baby.  The first week or two, she did most of the cooking, but now that I'm feeling more like myself, I'm helping out with a little cooking here and there, mostly by preparing sides or salads.  If you're looking for ideas for sides, check out this week's meal plan.

I'm hungry all the time thanks to providing milk to Baby O, so I'm just going to show you a smattering of what I've eaten over the last two weeks or so.  I won't lie, I've been eating quite a bit.  Beyond breakfast, lunch, and dinner, there have been afternoon snacks and middle-of-the-night snacks...  I'll stick to sharing the main meals!

Monday, December 15, 2014

Breastfeeding: the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

It's been two weeks since Baby O came home from the hospital and we have settled into a routine (more or less) at home.  A big part of that routine is feeding our newborn and I've chosen to breastfeed instead of going with formula.

So I'll warn you now, today's post is going to talk about breastfeeding, which I'm sure is a subject that not everyone who reads my blog will be interested in.  If you're one of those people, you can drop off here and I won't be offended.  :-)

But before you leave, let me just share one piece of information: I don't care what anyone says, providing milk to a child is a TON of work and it requires a WHOLE lot of dedication.

OK, you can drop off now if you're still not intrigued. :-)

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Meal Planning: Sides

Life is really good right now!  Baby O will be two weeks old on Monday.  My husband has been home thanks to paternity leave.  We're less than two weeks away from Christmas.  And I've got a personal chef (of sorts) cooking meals for our family for the entire month of December.

Actually, the personal chef is my mother-in-law who modified her plane tickets when Baby O arrived on December 1 instead of December 19.  So instead of having her with us for two and a half weeks, we have her with us for the entire month!  We've eaten out a few times, but for the most part, we've been eating home cooked meals for dinner and sometimes lunch.  I can't complain.

Now that I'm starting to feel like myself again, I'm trying to pitch in when I can in the kitchen.  So for this week's meal plan, I'm going to feature recipes for sides that I might try to cook if they compliment whatever my mother-in-law is cooking.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Friday Favorites

It's Friday!  I've survived week two with our new baby and it's been quite a good week.  Let's kick off this weekend with a celebration of all the wonderful things that happened this week.

We hosted a potluck last Sunday.  We had the potluck scheduled weeks ago, before we knew that Baby O was going to arrive on December 1.  We waited until we got back from the hospital and had settled in at home and decided that with my MIL around, we could still host the potluck, since we were providing appetizers and drinks and everyone else was providing all the other food.  It was really great to see our friends and I know our son had fun playing with his friends.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Postpartum Happiness

With my first child, I suffered a bit of the postpartum blues.  This time around, with baby O, I've been pretty happy.  

It's been nine days since Baby O was born, and my husband commented, wow, mama, you're looking pretty happy these days...

Knock on wood.

What might be the reason for my postpartum happiness?  Let me deliberate and share my thoughts at Thursdays are for Thinking Out Loud, a link-up hosted by Amanda from Running with Spoons.  Thanks for hosting, Amanda!!

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

A Hospital Story Continued...

It's hard to believe that it was only a week ago that the newest member of our family was born.  Last Monday, I gave birth to a beautiful baby girl:
Baby "O"
Born: 6:35pm, December 1, 2014
Weight: 5 lbs, 8 oz
Length: 18 inches

I've shared the story of how quickly my day of contractions led to our little girl arriving on December 1st.  Baby O arrived three weeks early, and although we were a little surprised that she came early, in retrospect, I'm really glad she was born early.

One of the nicer things about this being pregnancy #2 is that I knew what to expect:

Monday, December 8, 2014

Arrival of Baby #2 - a Hospital Story

Happy Monday!  If you read my last post, you know that we got quite the surprise last week!

Baby #2 was scheduled to arrive via C-section on December 19.  In early November, I learned that I had polydramnios and that this condition could result in our baby girl arriving earlier than the 19th.

Well, it happened.

Last Monday morning, I woke up and felt uncomfortable -- much more than normal.  Not just the usual "Oh gosh I feel so big I can barely move around" to "Whoa, was that a contraction?  That was really uncomfortable."

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Christmas Just Arrived Three Weeks Early...

I've been hoping and praying that baby #2 would not come early.  A few weeks back, I shared a post regarding all the steps my care providers have taken to ensure that if I delivered pre-term, the baby would be as ready as possible.

Part of the preparation included making twice-a-week trips to the doctor to track the baby and my condition, polyhydramnios.  After multiple trips each week to the doctor through the entirety of November, my husband and I started to relax.  We were certain we were going to make it to December 19!!!

Original Due Date: Christmas Day
Scheduled date for C-Section: Friday, December 19

And just like that, we wrapped up our Thanksgiving weekend, and settled in to prepare for final preparations before December 19th.  There wasn't much left, really.

And just when we were breathing a sigh of relief, that's when the contractions started: Sunday night, during one of my regular pee breaks, I had a fairly strong contraction.  And they continued into Monday morning: they started coming more frequently and after lunch, they started getting much stronger.  By 2pm, I had hit several of the criteria for pre-term labor, so I called my doctor, and next thing I knew, we were checking into Labor & Delivery.  I was 5cm dilated.  It was time for baby #2 to come.

Baby "O"
Length of Pregnancy: 36 weeks, 3 days
Actual Delivery Date: Monday, December 1, 6:35pm
Baby stats: weight - 5 lbs, 8 oz.  length: 18 inches

We were in the hospital Monday through Wednesday.  Because baby O was just short of 37 weeks, we were considered "late" pre-term, and several precautions had to be taken.  We were ecstatic that they let us go home after 48 hours.  It was so nice to be back in our own home by Wednesday night.

I'll keep this brief, but highlights include:
- Baby O is eating and sleeping well
- Breastfeeding is going well (especially from mom's point of view)
- My husband and I have established a good schedule for the middle of the night feedings and changings
- Grandma was able to change her flight plans and has arrived from North Carolina to provide help and support (we are so glad she is here!!!)

As soon as the schedule allows, I'll provide more updates on how we're doing, but for now, thank you to all of your for your congratulations and love.  It's been great hearing from all of you!

Are you ready for Christmas?  Do you have any lovely holiday plans for this first weekend in December?

Monday, December 1, 2014

Things I Plan to Repeat with Baby #2

It's December!  Yikes!  I have three short weeks remaining until baby #2 is scheduled to arrive (12/19 is THE date for my c-section).  This past Thanksgiving weekend, my husband and I started to freak out just a little bit about how the due date has snuck up on us.  Although we had a good scare earlier in November, when we were told that the baby could come early, now that another month has passed and nothing traumatic has happened, we're now holding out hope that baby girl will stay put until the c-section.

With so few weeks left, nesting instincts have set in.  For me, that means lots of laundry, lots of organizing of baby things, and lots of thinking: what does taking care of a newborn involve again?!

I went through old photos of when we brought our first baby home and what a walk down memory lane!  Here's a list of all the things I we plan to repeat with baby #2...

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