Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Miko's Dry Erase Board

I decided to use one of the frames for Miko's Nursery as a dry erase board for the time being. It is a great way too keep track of what we've done each day.  I need all the help I can get when it comes to remembering things (sleep-deprivation!) so this has been very useful.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Fatherhood: My Amazing Husband!


Having a baby is a huge, life-changing experience.  One of the greatest benefits of having a child is the potential to use this change as a catalyst for self-discovery and self-improvement. There is no greater example of this than the amazing transformation that has taken place within my sweet husband.
Ever since Luke and I got married last summer, I am constantly amazed at how our relationship seems to deepen and become even more meaningful on a daily basis.  Of course, I though he was the most awesome man to begin with, but I had no idea he was capable of becoming even more amazing. The birth of our son has encouraged so many positive changes within him! Fatherhood suits him so much and I just melt watching him interact with our little Miko. I am so incredibly proud of him on so many levels.
Here are just a few of the positive lifestyle changes Luke has adopted since we became parents:
-He quit smoking a few weeks before Miko was born. He also went off the nicotine patch cold turkey while we were in the hospital.
-He has completely overhauled his attitude about spending money.  He has become so much more responsible in a financial sense that I can hardly believe it!
-He has taken over dish duty without even being asked
-He is constantly making us delicious meals, going grocery shopping and running errands
-He has started working out and is much more focused on improving his physical health
-He is eating a strict Primal diet again.
-He is such an involved father, he is constantly interacting with Miko and is always ready to help meet his needs. And he actually enjoys changing diapers ;)
Luke is the most loving and supportive husband and father!  I am so grateful for his presence in my life and for the role he fulfils within our family.  Thank you Luke for making me feel like the luckiest woman alive. We love you more than words could ever express! 

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Life With a Newborn - Dealing with Sleep Deprivation

As someone who 'needed' 8 hours of sleep a night to feel 'normal' I was a little worried about how I would deal with the inevitable lack of sleep.  I get very emotional and feel sad easily when I don't get my allotted 8 hours so I wasn't sure how I would cope with newborn sleep deprivation.

The first two weeks were astonishing, I had very little sleep but was obviously running off of adrenaline because I felt great!  After a few weeks of 6-8 hours of broken sleep a night I started to feel the effects. Now, at 6 weeks, I feel light-headed and exhausted during the day, I have a hard-time communicating and speaking in full coherent sentences and I lack any sort of creativity or enthusiasm that I had pre-baby. I turn into a zombie every evening around 6 or 7pm. This also happens to be Miko's fussy/cluster feeding time... 

Here are some positive things I have learned from this experience:
-I AM capable of surviving on much less than 8 hours of sleep a night
-When I am this tired I become much more true to myself.  I lack the energy to pretend to feel anything other than what I am experiencing moment-to-moment.
-I try not to put too much pressure on myself to 'sleep-when-the-baby-sleeps' because it actually ends up making me feel worse most of the time. I have a really hard time napping during the day and tend to get all anxious and stressed-out if I lay in bed and can't sleep (which still happens to me no matter how tired I am unfortunately...)

Here are some coping strategies I am going to try:
-I am not going to focus on how many hours I may or may not have slept during the night.  I am just going to sleep when I can and come to terms with the fact that I will most likely feel tired in the morning no matter what.
-I will try and nurse laying down more often.  I can't sleep in this position but at least I can let my body rest.
-I will remind myself that this will not last forever.  I will make a real effort to cherish this stage while I am living it.
-I will brew and enjoy some delicious coffee
-I will cuddle with Miko when I feel like I am at the end of my rope - there is no better way to remind myself that he is worth it!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Keepsake Ornaments

One of the things I am doing to keep in touch with extended family is to send special keepsakes through the mail.  Who doesn't like getting a surprise in their mailbox?
These dough prints were quite fun to experiment with.  I have to admit they weren't that easy to use so I'm not going to recommend the product on here...  We tried our best to make it work and I think they turned out nicely after all. I'm so glad I still have a bit of time to craft and be creative :)  There are so many things I'd like to make for Miko! Stay tuned for more crafty ideas (I hope)

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Family Rhythm : Figuring Out Life with a Newborn

Now that we have been home with our little one for over a month, I feel like we have developed  a bit of a family rhythm. However, we have had family visiting for 3 of the last 4 weeks so I'm sure things will feel a bit different after we settle down.

Here's what has been working for us so far:
-I wake up for night feedings and let Luke (attempt) to sleep.  He has to get up and work, while I get to stay home and rest/take a nap, so I try to let him get as much sleep as possible at night.
-Luke spends some time with Miko when he gets home which allows me some time to take a shower, do some stretching and perhaps work on a blog post.
-I've been eating more snacks and small meals, things that are quick and easy to eat.  I have also been cutting up lots of veggies and making huge salads so there is always something healthy to grab in the fridge.
-I read, journal or work on my to-do lists during night feedings so that I don't fall asleep!  This way I am able to ensure little Miko is actively feeding, and I avoid falling asleep in an uncomfortable position.
-After trying a few different methods, I have come to realize that I identify the closest with the beliefs of Dr Sears and attachment parenting. Baby-lead feeding has been working great for us, and I am surprised at how relaxed I am about it. Miko has developed a pretty consistent schedule on his own anyway.
-I treat night time feedings a little differently than feedings during the day.  At night, when Miko wakes up hungry, I undress him and feed him from one boob.  He usually falls asleep after feeding for 10-20 minutes. I change his diaper and put his clothes back on. This process wakes him up again. He then feeds from the second boob until he falls asleep.  At this point I ease him into his bassinet so he can (hopefully) continue sleeping without waking up.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Miko at One Month

How Miko is doing:
-Weighs 10 lbs now and has moved up to size 1 diapers. Has also started growing out of his 'newborn' clothes
-Absolutely loves his tub bath
-Started eating more frequently during the day (1.5-2.5 hour intervals) but sleeps longer at night time (3-4 hour intervals between feedings)
-Has a fussy/'I want to cuddle' time after his morning feeding and around dinner time
-Has an identifiable 'I'm pooing' face
-He is very strong and can hold his head up for relatively long periods
-His favourite place is against Mommy or Daddy's chest
-Studies objects with great interest (choco-cat, lights, our faces)

How I am doing:
- I weigh 121 pounds, 8 pounds away from my pre-pregnancy weight.  I still have quite a belly! I certainly can't wait to begin exercising after I get the go-ahead from my Doctor next week.
-I've been dealing with hemorrhoids that have been keeping me up at night (which is really frustrating when the baby is sleeping so well!)
-Pain from surgery is now non-existent :)  I have been massaging my scar and the surrounding tissue every day
-I get between 6 - 8 hours of broken sleep every night
-I have only had one blocked duct so far and haven't had to use my nipple cream at all yet!
-We both avoided catching Luke's flu somehow :)

Thursday, January 9, 2014


 I took these photos on Christmas morning.  I surprise Luke with a few 'toys' in his stocking every Christmas - it has become one of our first family traditions.  I think I have just as much fun watching him enjoy these presents as he does 'playing' with them.  
 I usually get him some sort of flying contraption and a brain teaser puzzle every year. Some past hits have been the remote control helicopter, tech deck, trick bolts, and puzzle cube.  
 Now that we have our little Miko to think about, we have a lot of decisions to make.  What type of toys are we going to provide him with?  How many gifts will we give him at Christmas time and for his birthday?  Will we buy toys that we enjoyed as kids or still enjoy playing with as adults? ;)
 Luke and I lead a pretty minimalist lifestyle, and we don't have a lot of storage space. I think we will have to be sure the toys we do chose have lots of play value, can be used in a variety of different ways and will inspire creativity and independent play.
 I think one of the best 'toys' for Miko will be the freedom to explore our huge yard and spend unstructured time outside.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

New Nursing Mom Haircut

 For some reason I didn't realize how annoying my long hair would be with a newborn!  I wish someone told me to get it cut before I gave birth...  As you can see from the above picture, my hair was long enough to get in the way while breastfeeding.  Also, Miko liked grabbing a hold of it and did not like letting go :)  I'm surprised I let my hair get this long in the first place as I usually get it cut way before it gets this long.
Luckily, I found the time to get it chopped off while Miko was napping one afternoon.  I love it! I usually always love getting my hair cut, I feel like such a huge weight gets lifted, literally and figuratively.
Plus, it cuts down on my morning prep time immensely, it takes about half the time to wash and blow-dry my hair now.