Wednesday, March 30, 2011

More Mobiles

April just loves her mobiles and I really love them too. We've stuck with the types that simply move with the air currents. It's so calming and lovely. I've been following the Montessori recommendations of changing them out every few weeks. In case you missed weeks 2-5 see them here.
Below are her current mobiles.

This is her newest mobile. It is made from old National Geographic magazines. This one in particular is made from an article on bird migration. I want her to love birds the way I do so I've been really drawn to bird things for her.
I've made almost all of her mobiles myself but it is a time consuming task, especially with a baby around, so this I bought from Horrorfemme.
I adore this mobile. I love how it moves, I love the colors, it is just a perfect spring mobile. This one was made from a kit and was fairly easy to make. April loves it because if she lies under it and kicks her legs a lot, she can make it spin.
Here is a little sneak peak at one of her new mobiles.
I'm making a series of these paper stars for one mobile. The other will likely be wet felted butterflies. I'm interested to try them after reading instructions fir making them in Heaven on Earth.
After the next round of visual mobiles, I'll be moving on to some grasping mobiles (like these but I will make them myself) . So many mobiles, so little time.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Meal Plan

I'm actually quite proud of how I managed to stick to last weeks meal plan. Things got a little out of order since we decided to have dinner with my parents one night and found a frozen lasagna in the freezer but we did not eat out once last week.
This week I'm planning on trying to use more veggies. Even if I don't use vegetarian recipes, I want more vegetables in my diet.

Monday: Yemir Curry Bowl with brown rice
Tuesday: N/A (eating at my parents house again)
Wednesday: Fish Tacos
Thursday: Leftovers (we have spaghetti sauce and chicken curry already in the freezer so by Thursday I'm sure we will be ready to take on some leftovers)
Friday: Roasted Turkey thighs with acorn squash and kale chips
Saturday: Shepherds pie
Sunday: Tofu Panang Curry with brown rice

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Mt. Doug with April

Last weekend we took April for a hike up Mt. Doug. Jon and I would often hike there before she was born and we had taken her for a brief walk around the base of the mountain when she was just new but we decided it was time to head up with April.
It wasn't a stellar day for weather but it was warm enough for us and there was no rain. I like the forest at this time of year. The air is moist and everything is so green.
I love this little lush green path. It leads to a beautiful Arbutus grove. I wore April in the Moby wrap on my front and I have to say, it's just like being pregnant again. I was out of breath and I couldn't really see my feet so I felt nervous about falling. Luckily we had no slips.
Like I said, it was a little grey so we didn't get the great views that we usually see up on Mt. Doug but it felt so good to be out in nature with my daughter. It really helps with postpartum blues to take some deep breaths of fresh clean air and get outside!
April slept most of the hike but I know one day she will be alert and running down the trail, learning all about nature as she goes. In the mean time she's just enjoying the ride.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Meal Plan

It was a couple weeks ago that we ran out of all those frozen meals that I made and since then there hasn't been a lot of cooking going on here. We've been doing Subway or Chinese take-out which is exactly what I didn't want to do. So here is the new meal plan and I'm making myself stick to it!

Monday: Spaghetti with Caesar Salad
Tuesday: Chicken curry with noodles
Wednesday: Bratwurst with zucchini and onions and brown rice
Thursday: Roast beef with baked potato and steamed asparagus
Friday: Yam and black bean burrito with corn
Saturday: Shepherds pie with steamed broccoli
Sunday: Beef and Veggie Stew with garlic toast

For lunches I usually have soup or a quick sandwich and for breakfasts (which I will admit I often skip) I'm going to try to do oatmeal or eggs. I think I need to commit to having breakfast (and one that will keep me going until lunch) so I get my blood sugar off to a good start for the day. Snacking is the worst for me right now but I think I'm going to try to do things like fruit, hummus, cheese sticks or muffins. Fingers crossed this meal plan doesn't fall apart by Wednesday.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

The Gift of Breastfeeding

Breast is best. It's true and it is best for more than just sustenance. I knew that I wanted to exclusively breastfeed and breastfeed for as long as possible and I wanted to do it for the benefit of my baby. However, breastfeeding has been such a gift for myself as well. I find it soothing to watch my baby find so much comfort at the breast. I love the intimate connection I feel when I am feeding my child from my own body.
Breastfeeding came easy to us both. April never struggled with latching or getting enough and I have never had a problem with supply or blocked ducts. The only issue that came up was sore nipples in the very beginning but I just grit my teeth and got past it (and occasionally I'm painfully engorged but that is easily remedied by a hungry baby). Sometimes I wonder if breastfeeding had not been so simple for us if we would have the same loving interaction when it comes to nursing.
I strongly believe that everyone woman should breastfeed her baby and if she cannot, seek a source of human breast milk. April has benefited hugely already. She never lost weight (she lost 1/2 oz right after she was born but quickly gained it back) and has consistently put on at least 1 oz per day since her birth. She rarely spits up (which is more common with formula feed babies) and it very well hydrated without supplementing with water (I was formula fed and often needed to be supplemented with water in order to stay hydrated). I suffer hugely with allergies so by breastfeeding exclusively I hope to curb that problem for her. She also hasn't really had much in the way of any illnesses so far. She's had a stuffy nose but that's it. I kind of expected her to get something by now since we frequently ride the bus and spend time in public places with all those coughing and sniffling folk but I believe because she is breastfed she has been able to fend off anything that's come her way so far.
Aside for those health benefits, I think our bond is so much stronger because we nurse. Sometimes if she is upset she doesn't even need to really nurse, I can just put her skin to skin near the breast and she calms down. When she was first born, she nursed skin to skin everytime she needed to eat. I just so love the feeling, I can't put it into words but if you have ever nursed your child you know that feeling.
Cheers to the boob!
April nursing just 4 hours after she was born.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011


People warned me against this but it happened anyways. Just as the fog of the baby blues has begun to lift, a different type of sadness has crept up on me. I'm starting to feel a real sense of sadness about the loneliness and isolation that accompanies new motherhood. Don't get me wrong, I love my new life with April. We have a great time together, she is getting more and more alert so we read together, listen to music together and go for walks together. But an infant can only offer so much. She is great for cuddles and lots of love but not so good at conversation. I miss adult interaction. My husband works 10 hour days so by the time he comes home he wants to shower, eat and go to bed. We don't get much time to really interact.
I was never really a social butterfly. I invest a lot in my friendships so I couldn't really find the time for more than just a couple good friends. I have some good friends with children but their children are older and they are on to different things than new mom type stuff. My other friends just don't seem to understand the exhaustion and frustration that are sometimes a major part of my day-to-day life.
I've tried going out into the world in such of new mommy friends but it's hard to find someone with similar interested. I like to wear my baby, cloth diaper and EC, breastfeed, co-sleep and all those other things that seem to be linked to that "hippie" mom perception. And that turns some people off and to be honest I feel sad hanging out with moms who formula feed, leave their babies in car seats or strollers and let their children "cry-it-out". I went to a couple new mom groups but the moms there were older than me, some were there with their second or third child and I just didn't make any connections.
Now I'm starting to feel the affects of this ongoing isolation. I used to savor my alone time; a bath, a chance to read a book or just fold the laundry in peace. But now that same alone time is just making the loneliness worse. The only thing that keeps me from becoming depressed is that my parents live close and offer some of that adult interaction that I crave. My mom has been awesome and April loves to spend time with her but I need friends to talk to you about things that I don't want to talk to my parents about.
Does this get better? How did other moms out there handle this feeling? How old were your children when you felt the isolation disappear?

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Just Smile

April has started smiling. Her first real smile was just after she turned 4 weeks.She has been smiling for her mommy, after baths and when she sees her reflection. Nothing makes me happier than to see her smile.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

One Month

It's been one month since April was born. I can't believe it. She already seems so different. She is getting rolls and doesn't have that wrinkly, squishy newborn face anymore. My baby is packing on the pounds, she's already outgrown her newborn size clothes and diapers.
Overall she's a really good baby. She has some digestive issues (we think she might have some reflux) that make her a bit fussy but other than that she's snuggly and easy to please. She's starting to really take in her surroundings. She smiles when she hears my voice, she loves listening to music and has taken a real interest in checking herself out in the mirror and watching her mobiles. She also loves to take baths. I use a jar to pour water over her and this is her favorite part. She's even fallen asleep sitting in her little tub chair. I hope this means she will love to swim (I love to swim and hope it's something we can do together).
One month postpartum and I'm starting to come out of the fog. We still have some tough nights in terms of sleeping so those days are hard but I'm really enjoying being her mom. I love the walks we take, I love watching her discover new things and I love just holding her and laying with her. I feel little sad that I was so out of it and unhappy her first week, I feel like I missed out a little bit. But she's only a month old, we have lots of time.
On the day she turned a month old we had professional pictures taken of her. We had the photographer from our wedding come to the house. I love these pictures. She is so ADORABLE! Thank you Jess for another job well done!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

I heart mobiles

Since April has been more alert and interested in her surroundings I've been starting a love affair with mobiles. So far I've made two, one to hang over her floor bed (which right now we use more as a movement mat) and one to hang over her bassinet. The one over her floor bed is black and white dragonflies cut from a magazine. It didn't turn out exactly the way I wanted it to but I still like it.
Right now she doesn't seem to look right up at it but instead watches it in the mirror. She is really enjoying the sensory experiences being offered to her these days.
 The second mobile is the Gobbi mobile from the Montessori side of things. I used this blog posting as inspiration and instruction. This was my first time wet felting and unfortunately my balls didn't turn out very smooth or uniform but I think it still works. I love the colors I used. I often find myself staring at it and feeling soothed by the lovely green. April seems to like it too.
I've also ordered this mobile that I'm planning on hanging over her bassinet when she's done with the Gobbi. The supplies for the Montessori bell mobile are waiting on my craft table and once assembled that mobile will hang over her change table. I'm loving mobiles and I have so many ideas for what I want to make for her. I see some more felting in my future (I would love to be able to make her something like this).