A Day in the Life: Penny @ Two Months

Aloha and happy Wednesday! I’m comin’ at you today with a Day in the Life post all about what life with Penny is like right now. It probably goes without saying that every day is super different from the one before and the one after. Things are still very chaotic and unpredictable, since, well, she is only 10 weeks old (today!) and we are still on absolutely no real schedule whatsoever. So I’m basically just living my life in repeating 24-hour cycles.

Luckily, I’m still obsessively tracking her eats, sleeps, diapers, and basically just every minute of her life on my phone (I use the Hatch Baby app) so at least that makes it easy to look back on our day for a post just like this! And since yesterday was a pretty good day to report on, in my opinion, let’s go ahead and get started!

4:01 AM: Penny went down for the night around 10:30 last night, waking up around midnight but then not again until 4! This means I got a glorious 4-hours of sleep for the first time in a while! As she’s barely been giving us 2 hour stretches at a time since last week, it feels pretty great. I nurse her for 15 minutes and she goes right back to sleep.

5:20 AM: Alas, victory is short-lived as she wakes back up only an hour later. I try to get her to go back to sleep on her own by shhhhh-ing her and rhythmically patting her chest , but when that fails I go change her wet diaper, and cuddle her until she falls back asleep.

7:05 AM: She’s awake again, hungry this time. Another 15 minute nursing sesh and she’s back out. Sean’s leaving for work, so I get to say a sleepy goodbye as he’s heading out and then we fall back asleep for another hour and forty-five minutes.

9:20 AM: Snoozing’s been great, but it’s time to get up for real. Penny wakes up in an awesome mood — she’s super happy, smiley, and adorable… and then she lets out a gigantic poop and is even happier! Bahahaha. I change her diaper, get her dressed, quickly go brush my teeth and wash my face (leaving her in her DockATot on the bed), and then we go let the dogs out.

9:34 AM: Time to feed the dogs, then I queue up the latest episode of The Mindy Project and settle in for another 15 minute nursing session. Afterwards, I take in more of Penny’s continued great mood by enjoying her laughs and smiles on the couch (and recording them on my phone, of course!)

 
After a bit, we move to the floor and she hangs out in her floor seat (the Fisher-Price Sit Me Up Floor Seat) — she loves being in this thing! Her neck control is pretty great now, to the point that she can easily keep it held up and so she loves looking all around. She’s also content enough for me to take 90 seconds to throw some eyeliner on and brush through my eyebrows, heh.

10:29 AM: Mama needs coffee and sustenance, so I strap Penny into her carseat and pop her into the car. It’s a truly miserable day, weather-wise, 43-degrees and raining, so I go all the way to the drive-thru Starbucks… even though I have to go past like three other normal Starbucks to get there. I tell you, I never truly understood the value of drive-thru convenience until I had a baby.

Penny falls asleep as soon as we hit the road, and, incredibly, stays asleep even after we’ve returned home. She continues to nap for a total of 2 hours (!), so as she snoozes I️ go clean up a smidgen, give Daxter and Harry some love, empty the dishwasher, and say sayonara to her 0-3 month clothing…

… trading it out for her 3-6 month stuff instead because my baby is a giant. Hooray! New outfits to spam my Instagram with! 😉

12:24 PM: Penny wakes up and — you guessed it — it’s time to eat again. I change her diaper first, and take the opportunity to weigh her before this feeding so I can check how much she’s eating (I have the Hatch Baby Grow Smart Changing Pad + Scale, which makes it easy to do this.) She nurses for 17 minutes and takes in 3.5 ounces.

Then it’s more playtime for us – she lounges in the DockATot on my bed for a bit while I make silly faces at her… that she completely ignores in favor of the far more captivating ceiling fan.

We move to the living room and I throw Gilmore Girls on Netflix in the background while she chills on her Boppy. She’s still in an awesome mood, and it’s so much fun to actually be able to do things to get her to smile and laugh now! Today she is all about the nose boops and the cheek squishes. 🙂 She then proceeds to spit up all over her onesie, so it’s time for outfit #2 for the day!

1:46 PM: It’s Election Day, and while a normal person might have thought ahead and stopped by the polling place when she left the house earlier, I clearly don’t have the wherewithal to handle that kind of advanced planning these days. So we hop back in the car and drive on over to perform our civic duty and give Penny her first taste of the democratic process! Of course, she falls back to sleep as soon as the car starts moving, so she naps right through the experience. Hopefully she absorbed some of the democracy through osmosis?

 
2:30 PM: We return home, and she’s only been napping for 45 minutes so I try to move her into the swing to finish her nap. Unsurprisingly, I am supremely unsuccessful and she wakes right up. Oh well!

 
We go downstairs to force the dogs to go outside (they are very reluctant since it’s still raining) and spend some time on her playmat. She’s kicking with a lot more control, and starting to sort of seem like she’s sorta-kinda-maybe grasping at the toys? Well, her movements seem slightly more purposeful than they used to at any rate.

We also get in a bit of tummy time, which lately means she bobs her head up and down while whining the whole time and drooling over everything. ::shrug::

2:51 PM: I nurse her for 11 minutes, then go to change her diaper again aaaaaand she spits up all over herself again. Since I have to change her outfit anyway, I record her official (naked) weight on the baby scale. She’s over fourteen pounds now and has officially doubled her birthweight! My giant li’l girl, hehe.

Time for outfit #3!

3:50 PM: She’s getting fussy so I know it’s time for another nap. Unfortunately, she doesn’t agree and is really fighting falling asleep… even though I can tell she’s tired! I try putting her down in the DockATot, in her swing, and rocking her in my arms, but every time I think she’s finally down, she wakes right back up. This continues for about forty minutes, le sigh.

4:37 PM: Finally I hear her let out a big ol’ poop, so I change her and she promptly falls asleep in my arms. Guess she was feelin’ the downtown pushdowns and couldn’t get comfortable — I know the feeling.

She’s so adorable that I have a hard time putting her down when she’s (finally) sleeping so sweetly, but after about twenty minutes I set her down so I can start working on this very blog post! She sleeps for an hour and twenty minutes, and I’m able to draft up about half of this post as well as eat a snack.

6:10 PM: Daddy’s home! Penny wakes up shortly after Sean gets home, so I nurse her and she gets in a few snuggles with her papa.

7:00 PM: We have dinner with my family on Tuesdays, so the three of us head on over to my parents’ house. My uncle is in town for business, so it’s fun to get to introduce Penny to him for the first time!

  
My mom cooked up a total feast, and I successfully am able to eat half of my meal one-handed — with chopsticks no less! — before Penny falls asleep again (taking another mini nap for about 45 minutes.) I nurse her again around 9 PM before we head back home.

 
10 PM: We’re home, and Sean takes care of Penny, changing her diaper and putting her pajamas on.

While he’s tending to her, I work on assembling the replacement swing that I received from Amazon. The one we originally got is functional, clearly, as I have been using it for the past couple of weeks. However, I’m convinced it’s defective as I can barely see a difference between the speed settings — there are supposed to be six different speeds, but they all seem the same to me, and none of them are fast enough for Penny (unlike when we were at my sister’s house, where Penny first for to experience this same swing and loved it.)

I really wanted to see if I was being crazy about the swing speed thing, and so was determined to put the replacement swing together tonight so that I could compare them. I ran them side-by-side and I do think that the new swing is faster/the speeds actually are different, so yay!

Of course, now this means I’ll eventually have to disassemble the first swing and somehow fit it back in the box to send back. But that’s a problem for another day! It’s getting late, after all!

11:03 PM: Sean heads to bed, and I nurse Penny for what I hope is the final time before putting her down for the night. And because I haven’t already pushed my luck enough with her today, I try to clip her nails while she’s nursing. Alas, since she’s discovered her hands, she holds them up by her head even more than she used to these days, which has caused her to give herself a couple of unfortunate scratches on her beautiful little face. Her nails grow so fast, too! I feel like I just clipped and filed them, sigh.

I get through 6/10 of her nails before she gets annoyed with me, which is actually better than I thought I’d do, and resolve to finish the rest when she’s sleeping… which is what I try to get her to do now, with little success.

11:37 PM: Half an hour later, I’ve tried rocking her, walking her around, shhhhh-ing her, patting her, and doing all the other go-to-sleep things that used to work once upon a time, but she’s fighting sleep again. So I do what I know will work: plug her back onto the boob and nurse her to sleep.

I proceed to type out the rest of this post one-handed, and that’s our day! Goodnight!

My Brave Little Unicorn + Sean’s Birthday Weekend

Happy Monday, folks!

Hope everyone had a fun, sugar-filled Halloween last week! We got literally zero trick-or-treaters that night so that means that I SURE DID bahahahaha. My candy bowl literally overfloweth and I ain’t mad about it, guys.

As I mentioned before, Penny’s two-month pediatrician appointment was also on Halloween, so my I took my gorgeous little balloonicorn (yes, in costume, of course!) to the doctor’s office. She clocked in at 23-and-a-quarter inches and 13 pounds, 2.8 ounces — 83rd percentile for length and 88th percentile for weight! Unsurprising, given how many delicious little baby rolls she has going on, but it’s always fun to hear where she falls on the charts especially since she was an early bird at 37 weeks.

The two-month appointment also meant ::DUN DUN DUNNNN:: getting her vaccinations! Thankfully, my brave baby did amazingly with her shots! They gave her one oral vaccine which must have tasted pretty good because she seemed to like it, haha, and then one shot in each thigh, and she only cried for like 15 seconds afterwards (and it took me just slightly longer to stop crying myself.)

The aftermath of getting her shots outside of her immediate reaction was all right, but not great. She was mainly just very sleepy the rest of the day, but didn’t have any kind of adverse reaction or anything. However, the next day she did develop a very low fever (didn’t seem to bother her too much, but naturally I was wigging, lol), and after that first day, SOMEBUNNY has been having a LOT of trouble sleeping ever since.

She’s fighting naps like whoa right now, and only wants to nap for like a single sleep cycle (30 – 45 minutes), and then at night she won’t go down without being nursed to sleep.

We’re also back at 2 – 2.5 hour stretches of sleep at night… and just when she was starting to seem like she getting into a real groove of 3.5 – 4 hours between wakings, too! Womp womp. I’m just going to keep being optimistic that we will quickly be able to get back to where we were. I don’t even care about her sleeping through the night or anything, I just want that one four hour stretch back each night. I tell ya, that extra hour, hour and a half makes a ridonkulous amount of difference in my attitude, energy level, and the amount of coffee required to function, haha.

Anyway, despite the difficulties that nighttime has been bringing with her sleep setbacks and whatnot, the rest of last week and the weekend was super fun! We stayed very busy with lots of fun meetups with family and friends, and also happily celebrated Sean’s birthday.

We got to hang out with my friend Lara and her pups (she’s expecting Penny’s future BFF early next year!), and also had lunch with my coworkers, getting Penny used to the delicious smell of Korean BBQ — it IS the food of one-quarter of her people, after all! I’m really loving being on maternity leave, of course, but didn’t realize how much I missed my coworkers and talking about work stuff until we got together! Definitely have been missing my workfam. Maybe the transition to going back to work in December won’t be as sad as I was initially thinking, hehe.

On Friday, we met up for lunch with the glowing & gorgeous Anne, who is 37 weeks preggo herself and ready to welcome her baby girl super soon! Always so much fun to get together with her — especially now that we’re both in this whole kid-producing season of life! We commiserated over how uncomfortable these final weeks are, talked about how fun it will be when our girls are old enough to actually play together, and how weird it is to think that when I was at the same point in my pregnancy that she is currently, Penny was already here!

I was also able to hand off several packs of size 1 Honest Co. diapers to both Anne and Lara, since Penny definitely can’t use them anymore with that baby wagon she’s draggin’. I swear, I didn’t even buy that many diapers, I just couldn’t have predicted how rapidly she was going to grow between month 1 and month 2 (nor how much junk she’d be carrying in her trunk, hahahaha.) I’m all paranoid about buying too many diapers in larger sizes now too, bleh. I’ve actually always planned on incorporating cloth diapering into my routine (especially when at home — my sister has cloth diapered all three of her kids very successfully), but I wanted to make it through the excess size 1 disposables we had first, so I gotta be extra careful about not going overboard with the disposables now.

Butttttt my problem is that Honest Co. just released these adorable seasonal prints, including one with arctic foxes on them — I mean helloooooo! — and a friend also turned me onto Parasol brand diapers and how they’re eco-conscious, bleach/chlorine-free, and have adorable prints just like Honest Co, but are much softer. So obviously I had to pick a pack of those to try as well (and true story, they are SUPER soft!)

Basically I am just every single baby brand’s dream consumer because I’m 100% a sucker for anything pretty or cute or trendy or that will occupy her attention for more than 45 seconds… heh.

 
ANYWAY! Friday was also Sean’s birthday, so we spent the whole week celebrating my baby daddy in style! All three of us went out for a casual dinner Friday night, and then we ventured down to his parents’ place on Saturday for a birthday dinner with Grandma and Grandpa Fox!

 
And finally, on Sunday my parents babysat Penny so that Sean & I could have a baby-free evening together, just the two of us.

We went out to dinner and saw Thor: Ragnarok, which was AWESOME. Two thumbs way, way up — it was outrageously funny and Thor’s near hair gave me all kind of feelings. We had a great time and miraculously managed to talk about stuff other than Penny, but we still missed our little nugget, of course!

Anyway, that catches us on up to today! This week has lots more social fun, including more get-togethers with friends, meeting up with a couple of mommas that I met on a local new mom Facebook Group, and my friend’s daughter’s first birthday party — Penny’s first party invitation! And who knows, if the stars align and the universe is looking favorably upon us, perhaps this week might also include getting a modicum more sleep? Hey, a girl can dream!

Penny Takes Flight: Flying with an Infant

Hi there, folks! Penny and I just got back from Atlanta after great visit with my sister, her hubs, and their littles!

 
 
I gotta say, nothing really puts the struggles of mothering one baby into perspective like visiting a household with a baby PLUS a four-year-old AND two-year-old. My sister = #supermom for REAL.

Mia and Kira were soooo sweet with Penny, and I loved getting to see my new nephew Alex again — he’s already changed so much since he was up here with Jenny last month! He’s just three and a half weeks older than Penny, so it’s really cool getting to see a little glimpse into her developmental future.

 
I had a wonderful time visiting, as I always do (if you’ve been reading for any length of time, you probably know that my sister and I visit each other A LOT), but this trip obviously was a smidgen more stressful this time due to it being the first time I was traveling with, y’know, my new baby. Sean had to work as he sadly used up most of his PTO when Penny was born, so I was also flying solo (pun intended).

But I’m happy to report that we successfully survived both the flight there and back! We flew Southwest from DCA to ATL, and the process was pretty painless all the way through. Getting Penelope on my itinerary was super easy, I just called Southwest a couple days before our flight and they added her to my ticket as a lap infant.

Then, at the airport I just had to go to the ticket counter where they issued her a Boarding Verification Document — kind of like her very own boarding pass, hehe.

Everything from there on out was business as normal! Those of you who have flown Southwest before know that there are no assigned seats, just a boarding group order (A, B, or C) that’s determined when you check-in for your flight. I didn’t want to worry about having to check in exactly 24 hours before my flight, so I paid for Early Bird checkin (guarantees you an A group spot). In retrospect, however, I realize that I’m now able to do family boarding (in between A & B groups) so I won’t have to worry about checking in on time again for like the next 6 years! Gahahaha.

We sat in the window and lucked out with an empty middle seat on both flights (funny how holding up your baby makes people less inclined to sit with you, hahahaha. Penny did ooookay on the flight down to Atlanta — she didn’t fall asleep until a little after halfway through the flight and was a smidgen fussy, so I tried to nurse her on the plane but got really flustered (I still haven’t really mastered nursing in public and planes make for especially tight quarters.) But once she fell asleep she was out for the count (huzzah!), and fortunately even when she was fussing, her little cries were drowned out by the plane noise. The people seated behind us said they didn’t even realize there was a baby in front of them when we landed, hehe.

On the flight back home, she slept pretty much the entire time which was awesome. All in all, two successful flights — one slightly more successful than the other, hehe.

And now that I’ve gone through the process of traveling with an infant, I definitely feel way more confident about doing it more in the future. Sean and I are going to Texas to see his family for Thanksgiving, and even though the flight will be twice as long, it’s going to be twice as easy because just having an extra set of hands is going to be sooooooo helpful. The hardest part about flying with Penny by myself really wasn’t the actual flight, it was more getting through the airport and security and whatnot. It was kind of a challenge juggling her while breaking down the stroller + carseat at security and then again on the gangplank (to gate check them.)

I did bring my Baby K’Tan carrier and found it super helpful. It’s kind of like the cheater’s version of a baby sling/wrap — it’s made of two loops and you can kind of wear it like an infinity scarf when you’re not using it, making it incredibly convenient to travel with! I was able to pop her into it while waiting in line on the gangplank, which freed up my hands to deal with the stroller and carseat once I got to the plane door. Also if you don’t already have a backpack style diaper bag, I highly recommend getting one (I have the Ju-Ju-Be BFF, a gift from my amazing friend Jackie), as just having your hands free as much as possible is what you wanna go for if you’re traveling alone.

My other rather obvious tip is that you’re going to want to give yourself plenty of extra time at the airport. Depending on which airports you’re flying in/out of, you might be able to use the stroller lane to get through security more quickly (ATL offers this), but time still goes by crazy fast when you’re taking your baby in and out of her carseat, changing diapers, and waiting for the big stall to open up in the bathroom — not to mention if you’ve got to feed baby before takeoff!

 

Some of my other travel tips include:

  • Bring extra pacifiers — In a hilarious turn of events that would probably only happen to me, I dropped two of her pacifiers on the airplane floor in the span of like 3 minutes. Airplane floor + baby’s mouth = not gonna happen so I was really glad that I had so many extras.

  • Bring one or two little bottles of ready-made formula for emergencies. As mentioned, I nursed her on the flight there and nursed her in the airport before flying home, but snagged a couple 2oz bottles of ready-to-go formula just in case things had gotten hairy while on the plane. I ended up using one when she got hangry as we were waiting for Sean to pick us up from the airport.
  • Wear something with pockets – I can’t tell you how many times my phone slid off of my legs when I shifted Penny on my lap. Luckily I had very understanding people sitting in the aisle seat that kept picking it up for me, but just one flipping pocket would have made a world of difference, hahaha.
  • Get a PopSocket for your phone. Not only will it make your phone easier to hold (thus lessening the likelihood of dropping said phone on your child NOT THAT I’VE EVER DONE THAT) but you’ll be able to take all the unabashed sleeping-baby-plane-selfies your heart desires.
  • Bring a portable phone charger as well, because if you’re anything like me, you’ll put your diaper bag juuuuuust far enough under the seat that you’re unable to reach it once baby falls asleep, and all you’ll have within reach is your phone. So your only entertainment options during the flight are to browse social media thanks to Southwest’s $8 wifi, or stare at the back of the seat in front of you.

So yeah, I’d say that Penny’s jetsetting life is off to a good start! If you have any questions about my experience traveling with a baby, lay ’em on me — I’m sure I left tons out, heh. And until next time…!

Penny: One Month of Moments & Milestones

I had the below post scheduled prior to finding out about the shooting last night in Las Vegas, and I am simply despondent over what happened.

My heart would have broken and my tears would have fallen for those who lost their lives due to this senseless violence no matter what, but as a new mother every casualty feels more cutting, every incident like this is more terrifying.

I want nothing more than for warmth, love, and happiness to fill Penelope’s life. How can I keep her safe forever?

******

Happy one month to our little Foxlet!

I’ve learned a lot of things over the past month, one of the most glaring being that I now basically speak in nothing but cliches. So, given that fact, I’ll go ahead and get this out of the way: I can’t believe it’s been a month since our Lucky Penny was born! (And on a similar note: how is it already October?!?)

Penelope turned one month old this past Saturday, and it has truly been the best, most exhausting, most exhilarating, most phenomenal, and, above all, fastest month of our lives.

To celebrate, my parents came over for a little Naming Day celebration — part of a Chinese tradition where a child’s name is officially chosen on her one-month birthday. We had already been talking about her Chinese name options, but finally settled on Mei Ling (美玲), which translates to “Beautiful Bell.” My mom has already taken to calling her “Ling Ling” as a nickname. 🙂

Now, for those of you who have reluctantly stuck through me posting about absolutely nothing but my pregnancy and, now, new mom status, rest assured: I’m relatively sure that these 100% Penny-centric posts won’t continue forever. I mean, I recognize that with time, my life will indeed return to a level of normalcy and I’ll focus back on other aspects of my life. She’s been successfully kept alive for over a month now, so I am starting to at least think about returning to my blogging roots and talking about my health and weight loss goals at some point, heh.

But, that being said, Penny is my new normal now, and so I’m afraid the constant barrage of cuteness is not going to stop just yet. In fact, I thought that it’d be good to mention some of the ways that she’s crushing the whole growing thing, as well as toss up some of the baby items we’ve taken to over the past month.

Milestones & Developments: Penny seems to be growing in leaps and bounds every day! She’s gone from being a little potted plant that does nothing but eat, sleep, and poop, to a real, actual baby, lol. Her neck strength has gotten to the point where she can truly hold her head and even part of her upper body up for multiple seconds before going all floppy, heh. She’s sleeping slightly less and having longer periods of alertness, and definitely seems to recognize both Sean and me by sight and sound.

She can hold eye contact with me and has started cooing — the best little sound in the whole world!

It’s been so exciting to watch her change in front of our very eyes — her one month doctor’s appointment is tomorrow, so we don’t know her exact height + weight measurements just yet, but I can already tell she’s getting nice and hefty (yay!), and she seems really long — her legs are almost dangling off of her Boppy lounger already! It’ll be fun to see if she ends up nice and tall like her dad and me, or if she ends up petite (like her grandmothers) instead, heh.

Alas, what she is NOT doing is sleeping more than 2.5 to 3 hours at a time, even at night, but, hey, you can’t win at everything all at once, and I know that we’ve still gotten incredibly lucky with this little one so far. She has been having a bit more trouble with gas pains and has started spitting up a little more, too, which is definitely contributing to the sleep thing. But the good news is that she’s been going down much more easily in her bassinet (praise be!), and even thought her spurts of sleep are still short, she’s been getting better about going back to sleep right away after eating in the middle of the night, which makes the frequent waking so much easier to deal with.

And it doesn’t hurt that she’s so darn cute that, awake or asleep, I sometimes just can’t help but waste away the hours watching her anyway. 🙂

Things We’re Loving: Aden + Anais Super Soft Swaddles

I was incredibly fortunate to be gifted a bunch of goodies from Aden + Anais by an IG follower of mine who works for the company, including these Silky Soft Swaddles which I am loooooving. They’re so pretty (a soft pink print with metallic gold details woven throughout!) and really are incredibly soft, and also have the slightest amount of stretch to them which makes swaddling Penny nice and tight a total breeze.

Skip Hop Silver Lining Cloud Activity Gym

I really like the entire Skip Hop Cloud line, but am digging the activity gym in particular for Penny right now. I know that as she gets older she’ll be able to interact and play with the actual toys more, but for now it’s perfect for her daily tummy time sessions, as well as providing her with a few more interesting things to look at when she’s awake.

 
Boppy Newborn Lounger

The Boppy Newborn Lounger that I inherited from my sister has been a total godsend. It’s light and portable, provides a great place to hold Penny especially when we’re out in the living room and need to set her down, and she took to it right away. The only problem is that the dogs love it a little too much too, ahahaha. That, and the fact that because Penny’s getting so long, I fear she won’t really be able to use it for that much longer!

NatureBound Silicone Manual Pump

I found out about this silicone breast pump via my birth group on Facebook and am loving it as a breastfeeding aid. I don’t use it as a pump, but rather like a milk catcher – you suction it to your breast and it collects your milk while you’re nursing — feed your baby on one side, stick this thing on the other. Without any actual pumping effort at all, I’ve been able to get up to an ounce easily each time (and definitely still have plenty of milk left if she wants to nurse on both sides.) Since I’m trying to keep a small supply of milk in the fridge at all times for Sean (or whomever) to be able to give Penny a bottle, this has been a super handy little device. And as a bonus, this thing actually sticks to your boob and lets you use both hands, unlike a regular breast pump flange that you have to hold in place (or use a pumping bra.)

Monica & Andy

My colleague introduced me to this clothing and gift brand, and needless to say I am obsessed. They have the best prints (unicorns, rainbows, donuts, oh my!), design super cute and pretty unique styles, and the fabric just feels amazing (they use organic cotton if you care about that sort of thing). I got a really cute kimono-style romper (pictured above), a gorgeous little dress (that she’ll be able to wear around 6 months), and a blanket with her name embroidered on it. <3

Okay, okay, okay, that’s enough baby-ness for now, I suppose. I’ll give y’all a break, but hopefully seeing some smiley pics of my happy little girl brightened up this Monday for at least some of you?

For those of you who aren’t totally turned off from all this incessant cuteness, let me ask: are there any topics that you would like me to discuss with regard to my adventures in new mommydom? I’m obviously not an expert on anything, nor will I be anytime soon, but I do love talking and typing about my life, so let me know what most you might like to read about: dogs and babies, my feelings on my postpartum body, breastfeeding, how things have been emotionally, a day-in-the-life…? Let me know!

Penny: 4 Weeks Old

Sooooooo, I actually started this post as her three-week update, but as you can imagine, blogging has taken a bit of a backseat these days as my main priority is keeping my tiny human alive every day. And since she’s not actually four weeks until tomorrow, maybe we can look at it like I’m actually coming in early with this post… instead of almost a week late, yes? Either way you look at it, Penelope’s accomplished quite a lot in the first four weeks of her life!

You guys already know about the drama surrounding her first few days, but thankfully her jaundice issues have since totally resolved, and things have been progressing pretty normally (as far as I’m aware) since. Whoo-hoo for normal! We looooove normal.

Our little Penny is just, well, awesome. I don’t have much to compare it to, of course, aside from my experiences with my nieces (not quiiiiite the same), but I do think we’ve gotten pretty lucky in the baby department. She’s a good nurser, seemingly happy little girl when she’s awake, and a great sleeper. She can conk out no matter the noise or situation…

 
…during the day, at least. We’ve dubbed her our little milk vampire, both for her nocturnal nature and her very strong latch, haha. She’ll sleep pretty much all day long, save for a couple of stretches of being awake where we’re able to get in some tummy time or spend time talking to her. Her neck strength has been developing awesomely — she can legit hold her head up for what I consider a significant amount of time, especially when being burped over my shoulder or carried upright, and she’s a little tummy time champion.

 
Nights are, unsurprisingly, kinda rough — as I imagine they tend to be with a newborn, for both new parents and seasoned parents alike. I think it’s a combination of the fact that she does sleep so much during the day (we are working on trying to get her to stay awake more during the day… it’s a work in progress, but she’s already getting a bit better), and just the fact that for me, being woken up out of a sleep at night to tend to her is very challenging.

Having a newborn doesn’t really let you have days and nights in the traditional sense anymore — you’re basically just on a constant 24-hour cycle of sleeping, waking, and feeding. Which was all fine and dandy in the beginning while Sean was on paternity leave and our personal schedules didn’t really matter. But now that he’s back at work, I feel guilty waking him up in the middle of the night (even though he still tells me I should — he’s the best), and so it’s more isolating to be waking up every 2 hours to feed her, or dealing with her when she’ll just be awake for no reason from 1 to 4 AM.

 
The main difficulty is that it’s so hard to get her to go to sleep, and especially stay asleep, in her bassinet. She’ll fall asleep during or after nursing pretty much every time, lol, but the second either Sean or I go to transfer her to her bassinet, she wakes up and cries. It seems to be bassinet-specific, too. She’ll sleep away the hours in her Boppy lounger, or her Rock ‘n’ Play, or her Snuggle Nest napper in our bed, but the second her head touches her bassinet mattress?

My tendency to be a bit of an alarmist + what I think is probably pretty common first-time mom anxiety also makes me super paranoid about SIDs, and therefore I try to be a stringent follower of safe-sleep practices: on her back, in our room but in a separate crib, pack ‘n’ play, or bassinet, no loose blankets, etc. So while she’ll actually get pretty significant stretches of sleep — even at night! — in the aforementioned loungers and nappers, they aren’t approved for unsupervised/overnight sleeping (if we’re also sleeping = unsupervised). So basically my stellar solution right now is pretty much just not to sleep, lol.

All the sleep that she manages to get, however, is clearly working n her favor. Penny is growing like a weed — at her 2 week doctor’s appointment, she measured in at seven pounds, ten ounces and 20.25″ long, and I’ve weighed her at home a couple times since (with my kitchen scale + a mixing bowl, heh) and last time I checked she was already eight and a half pounds!

She’s really long, too — I haven’t been able to measure her length myself, but she’s definitely outgrown all her newborn clothing (as evidenced by the photo above, lol) and while most of the 0-3 and 3 month clothing I have for her is quite baggy around her middle, she’s already tall enough to fill them out length-wise (especially her footed sleepers!).

Some other exciting developments from the past few weeks include having her first real bath (and several subsequent ones) — she seems to really like being bathed, just not so much the part afterwards where she’s wet and cold, heh.

I’ve also successfully managed to take her out of the house on my own a few times now — just for very short little errands really, but each time I successfully leave and return to the house with her intact, I feel pretty proud of myself.

A big highlight of the past couple of weeks was my sister coming into town with my nephew Alex — he’s only 3.5 weeks older than Penny! It was so great going through our pregnancies together (even though Alex is Jenny’s third child, so our outlooks and perspectives are just a smiiiidge different, heh), and having a partner during this newborn stage has been crucial as well.

 
Naturally, we had to have a photoshoot to commemorate getting these two together. I can’t wait ’til they’re old enough to actually play with one another!

 
We tried to do a little shoot of the babes on their own, too, but funny thing — turns out thgat getting good shots of two newborns at the same time… not so easy! Newborn photographers, you have my respect and sympathy.

 
I also had my first nursing-in-public experience when my sister and I went out to lunch – I used a cover and was pleased that Penny was willing and able and willing to nurse under it (I’ve heard some babies hate doing so!), but it was hot as balls under there so maybe one day I’ll be comfortable enough to try nursing without it, lol. The other couple times we’ve taken her out with us to a restaurant, I brought a bottle of pumped milk for her instead.

So yeah! Things are generally running pretty smoothly so far! We’ve almost made it an entire month, which only goes to show how insanely fast time is flying! It seriously feels like I was just in the hospital. I feel very blessed that things have been going well, and despite all my complaints about nighttime and sleeping, all of that really has more to do with my issues, and I do recognize that she’s really a pretty easy baby. She isn’t colicky, doesn’t really fuss too much, barely ever spits up, has no issues with eating yet, is developing and growing well… is basically a little baby rockstar!

Best of all, she doesn’t seem to mind getting dressed up! (Not yet, least!) She doesn’t even cry out when her onesies go over her head and face, which brings the stage mom in me endless joy. Here’s to the next few weeks of life, and many more firsts, with this awesome baby girl!