7 weeks and chubby cheeks

One of these days I’ll have something to write about other than my baby, but she’s kind of my whole world right now. So you’ll just get more cute pictures!


My little cheerleader.

Actually today was the first day I thought I might be ready to open my shop again. I don’t have a lot of hands-free time to work, but I do have some. And I am starting to feel that itch to work again. In my moms group, most of the women are getting ready to go back to a job. And though it’s stressful, it’s also a break that I think some of them will relish.

Plus, I have bills, yo.

I think Harper is definitely in some kind of growth spurt because she goes back and forth between sleepy days and hungry/fussy days. And she is definitely growing! I love her little chubby fingers and toes, and of course those cheeks.

One of Mike’s co-workers loaned us this baby chair that vibrates. It is the best! Sometimes I just need a place to set the baby down for a few minutes and she seems to like it there better than anywhere else.

We also found that she doesn’t really like to be swaddled anymore, but a sleep sack is the perfect bedding for her at night. And we pretty much can’t live without a pacifier these days (although she would never take the Soothies we had originally).


We started cloth diapers this week. They make her pants look comically tight. 

I’m mulling a post about post-baby bodies. To be honest I haven’t had time to think about it much, but I do think it’s important to be at peace with the changes your body goes through. Between breastfeeding constantly and lifting/bouncing/toting a baby around all the time it shouldn’t be too hard to lose the extra weight…

Spring blooms

Spring sprung a while ago here, but I just now got a chance to take some photos of all the flowers in bloom. I hope someday to learn more about the names of flowers and flowering trees and bushes because there are so many cool ones around here.

Several of my neighbors have these bright purple bushes.

Isn’t this tree striking? I wish I knew what that was.

These tulips made me smile, thinking of midwestern springs.

Of course California poppies are everywhere.

Look, a little lemon!

These are the flowers that come out of our succulents in the front “yard.” I’ve never seen them get as big as they have this year.

The only thing blooming in my mini garden is, of course, mint. I’m hoping to get to the garden store at some point so I can refill my other pots.

Relief

I’m afraid to even type this, but I feel like I finally have my head above water. As we told a group of new parents the other night (we were there to tell our birth story), the first few weeks with a newborn are just gonna suck. You won’t sleep much. You might be in pain. You’ll realize you haven’t showered in way too long. But eventually you find your rhythm as a parent.

I’m still scared to be alone with the baby all day or to take her places, but I’m finding myself less so every day. At some point you realize that you can handle whatever happens because you’ve been handling it for weeks.

I don’t think we’re in a perfect place with breastfeeding, but we have made so much progress. At points I had really lost hope of it ever working out — and then I got mastitis, which is plain awful. But somehow we came out of that with the motivation to keep going. I’m not a person who gives up easily.

I’m starting to meet up with other moms and babies, which is definitely something you need if you’re home all day with a person who doesn’t talk back. It sounds terrible, but it made me feel so much better to hear that other people had struggles with breastfeeding or sleep or work schedules. I just needed to feel like I wasn’t alone in that.

I’m used to getting peed/pooped/spit up on now. I am so disappointed in the 7th Generation diapers we’ve been using until her cloth ones fit. We’ve had so many blowouts with them. Maybe she is just a super pooper. 😉


I die for those chubby thighs.

I’m trying to dress in something other than yoga pants everyday, but that only sometimes happens. I feel like my body has reshaped itself. The only regular jeans that fit are ones that didn’t fit well before. I wish I could say I didn’t have a jiggly belly full of stretch marks, but that’s what you get for having a baby! You also get a baby, which is pretty cool.

Harper is still pretty tiny, but growing like crazy. She wants to eat and eat all the time — so much like her parents. People always think she’s a boy because we dress her in neutral clothes, but I don’t care. They also think she’s a redhead, but I think her hair is more light brown with a reddish tint. Not sure where that came from, but it’s pretty adorable.

The other day I read this birth story that just cracked my heart right open. I realized I had been spending so much time frustrated and just trying to weather each day’s mini crisis that I hadn’t really gotten to appreciate what a gift my baby was. Of course she makes me crazy sometimes, but she is here, healthy and strong, with 10 fingers and 10 toes. And for that we are lucky indeed.

Looky what we got

I’m excited to say that we finally got a DSLR camera. We have been wanting one for years — me for better food photography and product shots, Mike for shooting birds at a distance. And of course just generally to improve the quality of our photos. (OF THE BABY)


Here she is.

We got a Canon Rebel T4i, which came highly recommended. We also got a 60 mm macro lens and 55-250 mm telephoto lens in addition to the one that came with the body.

I will need some lessons on how to use the camera — I’m a little intimidated, honestly — but I’m so glad we finally have it.

One month old

Miss Harper is one month old today. Every morning I think she looks a little bit different from the day before. I adore her soft fuzzy hair and her chubby little thighs. She seems like a pretty happy baby and she is settling into a nighttime routine that we can handle.

Of course we think she is a genius. When we put her on her stomach she can pick up her head and move it side to side and her little legs flail like they are just dying to figure out how to become mobile someday. Scary!

This has definitely been the most insane month of my life, full of so many ups and downs. So many times I have said, “I didn’t think it was going to be this hard.” Mainly because we have struggled so much with breastfeeding. Every step forward has come with a step back, so it’s slow progress. But progress nonetheless.

Mike had to go back to work, but thankfully my family is here to help for a few days. I don’t know how families without paternity leave make it happen. It should be just as long as maternity leave, in my opinion.

I’m sure this will change, but it’s like I have completely forgotten about my work. Knitting used to be central to my life on a daily basis, and it’s totally on hold right now. I’m glad to know it will always be there when I’m ready. I thought I would open the store within about 6 weeks of the baby coming, but now I’m not so sure. When I don’t have help anymore it will be a real challenge to balance the business with the baby, but I will have to find a way to make it work. Moms, how do you do it?

Baby must-haves


The many faces of Harper Corey.

I can’t believe we’re almost a month into having a baby. In these first weeks a few items have risen to the top as essentials. I know when you’re planning for a first baby you don’t know what you’ll really use, and everyone has different needs. But here’s what’s been great for us:

BabyJogger City Mini GT stroller


All strapped in just in case mama runs into a curb.

We’re kind of obsessed with our stroller. Mainly the feature it has where you pull up a handle and the whole giant thing collapses into a surprisingly small package. It’s a little awkward with the car seat attachment right now, but we still love it. It seems sturdy enough to handle a little off-road strolling. And I’m pretty much guaranteed to get in shape quickly because the baby always calms down or sleeps on a walk.

Diaper Dude messenger bag

Maybe this diaper bag is marketed to dudes, but I think it’s the perfect unisex bag for couples. It has umpteen compartments, a changing pad, an ergonomic strap and a little printed list inside of all the things you are probably forgetting. Plus it’s stylish.

Boon Grass drying rack with tree

Absolute essential! Since I have to pump milk until we’re through our breastfeeding woes, I am constantly hanging bottles and caps on this handy thing. Even if you don’t have a baby, you should totally get one.

• SwaddleMe sleep sacks

Though we have umpteen blankets that can be used for swaddling, I think it’s so much easier to plop the baby in this Velcro number instead. For our weather we don’t need anything heavyweight or fleece, so these sleep sacks are perfect. I found a 2-pack on clearance at Target, so I stocked up.

Harper also really loves to snuggle in this little fleece blanket we got from Mike’s mom.

• Diaper Dekor diaper pail

We ran into this random stranger at Buy Buy Baby who sung the praises of the Diaper Dekor pail, so we went ahead and got one. It’s cool because it has a locking mechanism that keeps our dogs from getting into it. And the bags inside are basically one long bag that you cut when it gets full, tie a knot and start another one. We found some refills on clearance at a local kids store, so we’re set for a while. (Or at least until Harper fits into her cloth diapers.)

• IKEA Poang chair

We actually bought this chair for the living room, but it works great as a gentle rocker for a baby. I don’t like to sit alone in the nursery very often, so it’s nice to have another option. This chair looks great, and the price ($149) is right.

• Plastic freezer containers

One of the best things we did before the baby came was to cook extra meals and freeze them in single-serve containers.

Failing that, just get some Amy’s frozen dinners. 😉

• Folding play mat

I think this came from a garage sale, but it is getting a second life with us. I didn’t count on having to entertain a very young baby, but Harper loves to play on this thingamabob in the mornings (mainly stare in the little mirror and vaguely swat at the hanging toys). When she gets a little older I’m sure she’ll like it even more. Best part — it folds up into a portable case with a handle.

• Grandparents

I’m sure this goes without saying, but you need a lot of help in the beginning. It’s a shame that we live so far from our parents, but we’ve been grateful to have them visit, and we have more coming this week!