2015 in Review

IMG_75332015 felt Grand. Like not awesome-grand (which it was) but more so like vast-grand. If that makes sense? This post is going to be a thought dump, so hold on!

I stayed closer to home more this past year than I have in a long time, the farthest we traveled was Edmonton or Calgary. Seriously, I can’t think of a year in my entire adult life that I haven’t left the province. So that in itself is pretty impressive 😉

Matthias was also closer to home this year – he took a job in town and has been home every night since February. It’s been a good adjustment. Quinn absolutely loves him and he loves her and him being home every night has definitely helped them bond.

I also feel more disconnected from my Nursing, but I guess that is to be expected as I went off work at the start of February. That means I will be going back to work at the start of February… when Quinn is only 10.5 months old. But we won’t talk about that right now because hello, *DENIAL*. I remained active with CARNA, but not as much as I had in previous years, and I definitely found it harder to make it to meetings. It will be bittersweet when my term is over in September 2016. While part of me wonders “What’s Next?” a bigger part of me says “NOTHING UNTIL YOUR DONE HAVING BABYS” haha.

I lost all that baby weight I gained and then some, which feels good, and I suppose is noteworthy, but in the grand scheme doesn’t really matter. My relationship with food is peaceful. I eat if I want to, I eat what I want to, and I no longer have an emotional connection to eating.all.the.things. That feels really, really, good. I’m no longer at a place where I feel controlled by my caloric intake. I don’t beat myself up if I eat a box of Kraft Dinner (that was today’s lunch in fact 😉 and it was delish). I’m no longer tempted by the ice cream in my freezer. It’s just there. And when I really want some, I’ll have some, instead of obsessing about it.

I found a way to enjoy home workouts! That is also pretty rad. The connection of a Challenge Group has been pivotal to this one, and for that I’m grateful.

I’ve said it before but Beachbody Coaching has made a world of difference in my life. It’s given me that sense of “More Than Just a Mom” that I need.

I continued to teach spin until my 35th week of Pregnancy and then started again in September! I also stepped out of my comfort zone and started instructing yoga. It was both terrifying and humbling, and now its something I look forward to every week.

The pets are getting older, which makes me sad. Our oldest cat is 8 and our oldest dog is 6. How?! Tucker has been dealing with some health issues throughout the year – he’s been diagnosed with an autoimmune disorder that attacks his nails so he has had multiple infections from that. It sucks. He’s hopefully on the mend now but will be on TID meds for the rest of his life. *cha ching*

I still really would like to buy a different house, but I’ve come to terms that it won’t happen for a while. I sure hope it happens before baby #2 though, because I might lose my mind if it doesn’t haha.

We’ve really worked hard at getting our expenses more under control. And while we are ending the year in more debt than we started it, I feel confident that 2016 will be the year we can make some large strides in turning that around.

The grandest part of the year has been Motherhood. It’s been a ride. It’s also the hardest and greatest journey I’ve ever embarked on. It’s been profoundly transformative. It’s hard for me to even articulate how motherhood has impacted me, but that might also be because I have a cold and its 10pm at night. 😉

Did you make it this far? I know it doesn’t all seem that Grand, but my heart has never been bigger, or more overflowing with love, than it is right now. So cheers, 2015. You’ve been so good to me.

Quinn – 9 Months

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GROWTH

Weight

Not Measured (9 month appointment isn’t until January)

Height

Not Measured

Head

Not Measured

Clothing

Starting to move in to the 12 month stuff. 6 month stuff is too small, 6-12 month stuff stretches out to fit, and 9 month stuff is still good (but hardly any brand makes 9 month stuff haha).

ROUTINE

Eating

This last month I really noticed the need to start feeding more solids to Quinn. She has gotten really good at moving food to her mouth, chewing, and swallowing. I give her mostly little pieces of whatever I am eating. I found that I was kind of lazy about it all to be honest, breastfeeding is just so easy. It seemed like timing meals between napping and breastfeeding was annoying, but then I got over it and got better at it lol. She eats 3 meals a day and breastfeeding 5-7 times a day. I’m thinking this will start to slow down and be less often as we continue on. Anyone know when they are only supposed to be breastfeeding like 2 or 3 times a day? 1 year? More than that? Less? Does it depend on the baby? (I try to avoid googling baby things because of how conflicting the information is haha) She is also a champ with drinking water from the straw cup :)

Night Sleeping

Bed time remains 6:30-7:30pm, Dream feed at 10ish, sleeps until 6:30-7am. REALLY nice. She has the odd day where she wakes to eat at 5/5:30, but now she usually sleeps until Matthias wakes up to go to work and sometimes she even just lays quietly in her bed until closer to 7 despite waking up earlier. I’d like to look at cutting out the dream feed.. but I feel like 12 hours without food/milk is a long time. And I don’t want to mess up the 6:30/7am wake up time. And I also don’t want to keep her up later at night because she is already a little grump in the evenings.

Day Sleeping

2 naps a day. Morning name is usually 1 hour and afternoon nap ranges from 1 hour to 2.5 hours. Sometimes it is hard for her to wind down and fall asleep in the afternoons. The morning nap is her more consistent nap for sure! I feel like we finally have a routine (and now that I’ve typed that up it is going to implode on itself)

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HEALTH

Quinn had her second ever cold this last month. Snot Machine 2.0. Then she shared said cold with Me, Matthias, and Matthias’ entire work crew haha.

No Teeth yet!

DEVELOPMENT

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Quinn’s favorite noises are Mamama, Dadada, Nanana, Lalala, and Tatata. She chats when only mom and dad are around, and shes pretty quiet when warming up to strangers.

She’s definitely going through the whole “If I don’t know you don’t look at me or touch me or I will cry and cling to my mom/dad” phase. I actually don’t mind this at all.. because she isn’t cuddly normally so I’m secretly loving this stage!

IMG_7145She goes from laying to sitting on her own and she can pull herself up to standing but is SUPER unsteady. We had to lower the crib. Standing is now cooler than nap time haha. Her crawling has started to speed up now but she still takes her time. She’s just now starting to get in to things/explore more.

She started waving!! It’s the cutest thing ever. She also can clap, but she is really inconsistent with it.

PLAYING

She loves to bang toys together. Her favorite toys are her cups and her blocks and now that her activity table has its legs on it again she likes to try to pull herself to standing on that.

She likes looking at books sometimes, but IMG_7485she likes ripping library book pages more than anything 😉

I know I’m totally biased, but Quinn makes the FUNNIEST faces. And she knows just how to make Matthias and I crack up. She now does this thing where she constricts her wind pipe and breathes like an asthmatic. It’s hilarious. And she scrunches up her face and breathes all heavy. She is the biggest goof ball. She also loves yelling as loud as possible.     IMG_7490 LIKES

  • Mama
  • Dad (when Mom isn’t around)
  • Cuddle Kitty & Ruby (stuffed animals)
  • Crawling
  • Light Switches
  • The Thermostat
  • Heating Vents
  • Licking the floor (to my dismay)
  • The Pets (particularly Olivia)
  • Yogurt, Pumpkin Pancakes, Cheese, Black Beans, Chicken, Caesar Salad, Chili, Pretty much all food except Broccoli and Eggs
  • Remote Controls
  • Trying to Scratch off Mama’s Tattoos

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DISLIKES

  • Having her water cup taken away from her
  • Finishing all her food but wanting more (this mostly happens with yogurt haha)
  • When Mama passes her off to anyone else
  • Broccoli & Eggs 😉
  • Being in the Carseat for too long
  • Putting on her sleep sack at bedtime
  • Drying off after the bath
  • Diaper Changes

Quinn – 8 Months!

8months

Oops. I disappeared again. Sorry about that! 😉 How is maternity leave SO busy and yet at the same time days go by where I accomplish nothing on my to-do list?!

Anyways. Not like I have much maternity leave left anyways. Tear.

GROWTH

Weight

18lb 1oz – 59th percentile

Height

Not Measured

Head

Not Measured

Clothing

Mostly 9 month, some 12 month (Pekkle – of course).

Christmas Dress

Christmas Dress

ROUTINE

Breastfeeding

Going strong. Quinn usually eats 5-6ish times a day still. I think maybe she has dropped one feed? Honestly we are pretty feed on demand still over here and I try to make sure she is offered milk before any solids. I’ve had a few (maybe like 2 max) thoughts about weaning to formula.. but then I think about the dishes and the cost and the process of getting it ready and I am way too lazy for that. So we will continue on.

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Lol :)

BLW

Gah. So Quinn decided over the last month that she doesn’t know how to take Quinn-sized bites, or chew the large bites she takes. She will shove EVERYTHING on her tray into her mouth all at once. Even if her mouth is full. Then she gags and spits it all out. She’s made progress in that she can now bring small pieces of food to her mouth, so instead of stick shaped I am cutting up everything small enough so she won’t choker herself if she shoves 5 or 6 pieces of food into her mouth, but I still have to give her only a few pieces at a time.

I’ve also given her prunes a few times for constipation. She doesn’t mind eating off the spoon so if we are eating soup or chili I will serve her up a little bowl and spoon feed it to her (because girlfriend would go cray if I let her have liquid and a bowl and spoon).

She likes pretty much everything but is partial to carrots and broccoli. Her favorites are mashed potatoes, chicken, puffs, peas and black beans.

Thanks to Jen for the recommendation of the Playtex sippy cup! It only took Quinn a few minutes of gumming the straw and she picked it up right away. She now drinks water without choking (YAY! NO DRY DROWNING!) and she even tried my Jugo Juice smoothie the other day haha. Excited to start making her some smoothies at home as well!

Night Sleeping

I think this last month was the month where I can say with confidence that Quinn is “sleeping through the night.” She still gets her 10pm dream feed (which I am going to wean around 10 or 11 months), and then she eats again at 5am and is usually back down until 6:30/7am. If she sleeps till 6am she’s up for the day. Bedtime is 6:30/7pm.

Day Sleeping

2 Naps a day and they are lengthening out! *hallelujah* Morning nap is usually 8:30-9am and afternoon nap is 12-1pm. They range from an hour to 3 hours (and boy, the 3 hour naps are glorious). If we are out and about she doesn’t nap so that throws her off, but we try to be close to home for her naps so she isn’t a dragon.

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Pouty Lip On Point ;)

HEALTH

Aside from the 2 times she was constipated all is well in the health department!

Still toothless 😉

DEVELOPMENT

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Umm, you guys. Quinn is slowly crawling now. The sitting-up-but-staying-in-one-place stage was maybe like 3 days long. Then she started always getting herself forward on to her tummy or her hands and knees. Then she started to rock back and forth and pull herself along the carpet. And just the other day she successfully and slowly crawled across her room to get a toy. While I am so excited, I am also sad. She is going to eat a lot of dog hair and dirt. I can’t keep my floors clean enough. Why did I think it was a good idea to get 3 dogs?!

She recognizes books we read often and gets excited when we get to the end of the book (there’s a mirror).

She kisses herself if she looks in a mirror. She gave me a kiss *one time* it was the cutest thing ever.

Her “talking” has slowed a bit this month in favor of her learning to crawl.

Pincer grasp is getting better!

PLAYING

I think I officially have to baby proof my house/living room now. Sigh. Her favorite things to play with are her mobile, the thermostat, light switches, and heating vents. She also loves to lick the dog bones (UGH). Anything that makes noise will also do.

She met Santa for the first time ever. She was not a fan. She also met the Grinch. She was even less of a fan of him. 😉

10LIKES

  • Trying to Crawl
  • Eating Dog Hair
  • Licking the Dog Bones
  • Sleeping on her stomach
  • Mama
  • Cuddle Kitty
  • Playing Airplane with Dad
  • My Cell Phone
Mine?

Mine?

DISLIKES

  • Strangers
  • When Mom takes away something she wants (like the Dog Bones)
  • Being ignored
  • Having her face wiped
  • Santa

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Mind & Body After Baby – 6 Months

First off – please excuse my lack of posting/commenting as of late. I’m still trying to figure out this whole coaching/blogging/facebooking/instagraming/feedlying social media balance thing and I haven’t quite got it down yet! If you’re wanting to follow along on the Facebook Party CLICK HERE. I try to post there everyday!

6 Months. Holy smokes. It’s been (more than) 6 months since I last felt that little baby wiggle inside me. 6 months since her heart beat was still a part of my body. 6 months since I held her in my arms for the first time. 6 months since her NICU stay.

I’ll talk about my mind first. I struggled. For probably the first 3 months, I struggled hard. To have your little baby spend her first 6 days in the NICU… being poked, and prodded… not sleeping next to you… needing to be hooked up to monitors… having a different nurse every shift assess and find things wrong… I was tested and pushed to a limit I didn’t even know existed.

Being a brand new mother with limited family support and watching helplessly as your all of this is happening to your baby, while being a nurse and understanding to some extent why this is happening, but not always agreeing with the assessment of others is so hard. It is beyond difficult. Those 6 days were the hardest 6 days of my life. Hands down. I was told very conflicting information from the nurses. Quinn had a different nurse every single shift (even though they would come back the next day they would be assigned elsewhere so there was no consistency). Quinn was assessed by FIVE different doctors while she was there. I was told I was starving her (I wasn’t.) and I should give her formula. I was told I shouldn’t cuddle with her as she slept because she needed the restful sleep of being in the cot undistubred (WHAT!?) and that I didn’t need to do skin to skin with her. My hormones were raging uncontrollably meaning I felt all of this as extreme heartbreak. I was exhausted, worn down but on edge, hyper vigilant, protective, scared terrified.

Working in postpartum I felt like I “knew” baby’s for their first 3 days of life. I’ve worked with them a lot – I know that to look for, how they should be changing those first few days of life. I wasn’t worried at all about having a newborn. I thought the labor would be the hardest part for me. A vaginal delivery seemed unattainable, but caring for a newborn? Easy peasy. So when I got home on day 6 with a newborn I felt ripped off… like I was thrown into this newness without even getting to experience those first few precious days with my baby. Like I knew nothing. And most of all I was terrified I would miss something or mess something up and she would end up back in the hospital. That was the worst part of it all – the long lasting fear I had when she came home.

All of this impacted my initial bonding with Quinn. I loved her. I knew I needed to care for her and protect her and all of that. But I hadn’t yet fallen IN love with her because that is hard to do when you are being watched 24 hours a day by nurses and other health care professionals. I second guessed everything I did. I felt like I couldn’t be authentic with her. I get a lump in my throat just thinking about missing out on that precious time with her. I’m making up for it now though, don’t worry. I would say it took me a solid 6 weeks to feel bonded with her. My midwife would say “Amie, I can tell you are really fulfilled by being a mom” and I felt like such a sham. I was struggling and I didn’t know how to change it or ask for help or what help I even needed for that matter.

I felt resentful for all of my friends who had their own mothers come out and help for an extended period of time. Friends who are reading this who had their parents come and help – I’m sorry I felt this way. I hope I didn’t let it show and if I did I apologize. That wasn’t fair of me to do and I wish I could take that back. I felt angry at my own mother for being a shitty mother.

I also felt tremendous love and support from people I didn’t expect to feel supported by. I had an incredible outpouring of support from friends and other family members who came to visit and cuddle her and listen while I cried. I felt this constant mix of anger, love, resentment, happiness, sadness, fear, and joy. It was crushing.

Matthias went back to work 5 days after we got home. So I felt almost thrown to the wolves in a sense? I think I felt this way because of the crippling fear at the back of my mind that she was going to end up back in the hospital.

I struggled with resentment towards him… which was also undeserved, and I feel sorry for that. He was (and is!) the most amazing dad to Quinn, a loving and doting husband and partner, and my very best friend. I was mad at him because he could still play video games and I couldn’t do what I wanted to do. So petty. I’m glad I worked through that, it wasn’t fair to him.

I struggled with Quinn having colic. When that reared its lovely head I just about lost my marbles. My poor baby, who I had yet to fully bond with, seemed to dislike me. She cried and cried and cried some more. She wouldn’t sleep in my arms. She wasn’t soothed by me unless I fed her. This made me feel like an awful mother. And so I continued to feel like a sham.

I missed my independence. I missed working out. I missed being able to read a book and take a bath and relax without being interrupted by a crying baby. I missed feeling like I had a purpose besides being a mother. I yearned for bits and pieces of my old life. I wanted SOMETHING to make me feel like more than just a milk machine.

I grieved. For 3 long months, I grieved. Our NICU stay, not having a mother of my own, Quinn having colic, my changing identity and all of the things that I needed to give up/alter to fit my new life.

It was a process. And at the 3 month mark I was just emerging from the dark side of it. Quinn started to seem to hate me less (haha) 😉 I was able to find some time to do things for me, I felt like my hormones were finally level. I started to embrace motherhood. I really started to accept this new path I was on. I started to find more joy in my life, and instead of wallowing I sought out that joy.

So now, after that giant word vomit, I’ll talk about how I’m feeling mentally at 6 months. Have you made it this far? GREAT.

I’m feeling tremendous. I feel blessed beyond belief. I feel more love and joy than I ever thought possible. I feel insanely protective of my sweet little goose and insanely happy I get to watch her grow and learn and smile every day. She is so bright and full of life and love. I am so in love with my husband, for putting up with my shit, for being amazing with Quinn, and for being supportive with every en devour I take.

I am lucky. How did I get to be this lucky? I don’t fully know, but every day I am grateful for it.

Before I was a mother, I wasn’t sure I even wanted to be a mother. Then, when I decided I did, I wasn’t sure how I would be AS a mother. And now that I am a mother, I know that I was meant to be her mother.

Okay, BODY. Well, you all have read about me becoming a Beachbody Coach. I gained a ginormous amount of weight in my pregnancy (SIXTY FREAKING POUNDS.). Shoulda, Woulda, Coulda on that front. Shoulda eaten more vegetables and less bagels and blizzards, woulda worked out during my first trimester had I not been disgustingly sick for nearly 8 weeks, coulda toned down my eating in all trimesters instead of it being a free-for-all. Whatevs. It happened and I learned. I’m now 7lb above my pre-pregnancy weight and beyond that I’d like to lose a maximum of 10 more pounds. So I’m about 15lb away from where I want to be. Physically I feel great. I’m fitting into most of my clothes. Working out consistently. Doin’ my thang. Hah 😉

All in all, these last 6 months have been eye-opening, difficult, and rewarding beyond anything I could have hoped for, and I wouldn’t change it for a damn thing.

Here’s to a lifetime more of being your momma sweet girl.

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