Tuesday, March 3, 2015

THE FIRST 2 MONTHS

Penelope, AKA Penny Pot Pie (there's an impressive song that has evolved over the last 2 months to go along with this nickname) and Pen-ep-ole, is 2 months old! It seems like she's been part of our family for so much longer. The first 2 weeks of her life were 50% magical and 50%...not so magical. For every sweet moment we had with her there was also NICU woes and postpartum hormones I was pretty sure I wouldn't survive. Future self: if you ever have another baby, you felt yourself again around 3 weeks. It was touch and go there for awhile, but you made it. You're a survivor. Congratulations. 

My mom was here the week Penny got discharged, AKA the Great Hormone Crash of 2015, and saw me at my lowest most dramatic points in life. She took care of me and my lil' fam and I love her for it, among many other reasons. We camped out on the couch all week watching Friends and eating amazing food and treats my mom made.
Our first walk around our complex. It lasted about maybe 2 minutes because we were afraid she'd get cold. It was no less than 65 degrees out...haha.

Ryan's mom came to take care of us more the next week! We had a lot of yummy dinners (the first few weeks after Penny was born were the best we've ever eaten) and a complete kitchen makeover thanks to her. Penny was 3 weeks old and I got my first real smile in the middle of the night while trying to get her back to sleep. She would wake up every 3 hours to eat, and there were the occasional nights where she was up every hour that were hard. Ryan and I were pretty tired the first couple weeks, but luckily Penny never did the up all night crying thing. I don't think I really felt that sleep deprivation all parents loved to scare me about. I'm sure that comes with having a newborn and other kids, but with just 1 baby I was able to sleep in and nap during the day. Especially when moms were there to make sure I did!
Tobias has had little to no interest in her, RELIEF! We were positive he'd try to eat her.
This picture, and every post-bath snuggle picture we have of her really, makes me laugh so hard. She looks like a baby corn dog!

In February my mom came out again, this time with my sister! It was so fun having Jaclyn meet Penny, and having them here on my birthday. Penny slept through the night on my birthday and has been going strong ever since! Bless her tiny sleepy soul. I have some theories as to why she's such a great sleeper, but I'm pretty sure it's pure luck. A lot of people told us staying in the NICU would make her a good sleeper too, so maybe it's that. My mom and Tis showed me the ropes of being out and about with a baby. Before they came I was so afraid to leave the house during any time she would need to eat, and my first time feeding her in public wasn't necessarily glamorous...
Oh you don't look like ghost when you nurse?!

She had a major blowout during this outing. I would have shriveled up in a stress ball if they hadn't been there to help! I'm so glad we got those 2 things out of the way while I had help so I didn't freak the freak out when it happened while I was on my own. It takes talent to do these things I tell ya! They also taught me great tricks and secrets for home. For example, did you know you can lay your child on a blanket? Yes it's true! Mind blowing, I know! Penelope was always either in our arms or in the Mamaroo and it honestly never occurred to me to lay her down just to chill on her own. She did some major full body stretching the first few times.
Pretty proud of herself for sleeping through the night, as she should be
 Out to eat, sans baby
hahaha

My mom made my favorite cake for my birthday (26!) and they surprised me in the morning with a decorated apartment. This is the 2nd time they've been in CA for my bday; I think it needs to be a yearly tradition, ahem.

It was hard having them leave knowing they were our last visitors. I was dreading being home alone all day, and there were some sad and lonely days in the beginning for sure. The biggest adjustment to being a mom for me hasn't been taking care of a baby as much as it has been a total shift in lifestyles. Ever since I turned 16 I've had at least one job and been in school or working full time, so to go from that to having no concrete schedule at all was really hard for me at first. The first month or so I really missed working. We were so nervous to take her out before the recommended 6 weeks (we lasted 3, and her pediatrician actually recommended 4 months which we found HILARIOUS) especially with all the measles flying around, so most days my only outing was a car ride or walk around the neighborhood just to get out. It usually ended in tears at the end of the day and venting to Ryan about wanting to live a "normal" life again. Things are so much better now that she's a little bit older and I'm more comfortable taking her out; it has been a night and day difference for my sanity. We're usually gone for the majority of the day which has allowed me to fully feel like myself again. We do a lot of perusing at the Spectrum and South Coast Plaza, going to our ward's baby group, meeting  up with friends and the occasional quiet movie if I'm feeling brave. We've gotten into a pretty solid routine based off her needs. She sleeps through the night, wakes up to eat, then goes right back to sleep for a morning nap. When she wakes up again we do some eating breakfast and Netflixing in bed, some smiles and talking, then she naps while I shower. I play Baby Mozart on Netflix for her to listen to and like to think it's making her a genius, but am fully aware this is such a "first time mom" thing to do. We get dressed and leave for the day, then head back home around 5 for one of my favorite parts of the day:
Penny eats and I catch up on my shows and we have a nice long snuggle until Ryan gets home. Nothing beats a baby sleeping on your chest! 
 Baby Moses
 Comparing her to Sawyer at the same age. An obsessed Aunt can dream, right?

There are so many things about motherhood that seemed so unappealing to me before I was a mom that I have a completely different opinion on now. The baby talk ("How old is your daughter? What size diapers is she in?) seemed so lame to me. I assumed moms had nothing "better" going on in their lives and thought it was so sad that was all they had to talk about. It's funny how you just can't understand it until you go through it. It's hard to tell someone without kids how fulfilling it actually is and how finding the right size diaper isn't a topic I choose to discuss because I have nothing else going on, but because my baby's comfort and well-being is the most important thing to me. Feeding and dressing Penny is so much more rewarding than my busiest, most successful day at work. I know that if I was reading this a year ago I'd be rolling my eyes and gagging, but now I kind of feel bad for my past self for not getting it. And for the record, newborn Pampers are too small, size 1 Pampers are too big, and Costco diapers fit but are just not as soft as Pampers. It's my greatest dilemma! 
 This tongue...it's her best friend.

We're so obsessed with Penny we miss her when she's been in her car seat for too long. Ryan doesn't like when I relate her to a delicious food I want to eat, but sometimes I just want to swallow my own child whole. She's such a happy baby and is so good on the go. She's super smiley, makes some pretty adorable noises and loves sticking out her tounge. She sneezes 2 to 3 times in a row every time, which is exactly what I've always made fun of Ryan for. I have always loved the toddler phase the most and have never been drawn to newborns as much, but now I wish Penny would stay in this phase forever! She's so tiny and snuggly but a little interactive at the same time. I never want her to grow up! Can someone work on a formula of some sort for that? I'll feed it to my child and an adorable puppy, and live in a life of happy cuddles forever.
We love you Penny pot! All 10 pounds 21 inches of your 2 month self.

What's that? Way more information on every hour of my day than you needed to hear, you say? Well I'm into details so there it is. I'm hoping to get better at blogging regularly so these novel length posts get shorter, but in the mean time I hope if you're reading it's in the middle of the night feeding your baby with nothing better to do. Text me in the morning and we'll discuss diaper sizes.