Motherhood 6 Months Out

I may have said this before, but I really no longer feel like I just had a baby. In fact, it all seems like a distant blur that happened years ago!! And for the first time since Mazen was born I can imagine doing this all over again. We’re going to wait a few years, but still, the thought crossed my mind.


Some updates on the mom front:

M is so good at nursing now – he can latch on before I’m even settled. This can take one by surprise!! We are experiencing some of that older baby distraction frustration of popping on and off during nursing, but his nursing sessions are now mostly under 10 minutes, so that’s a huge drop since the days of 30+!


My sense of smell is stronger now than EVER! Stronger than when I was pregnant. I guess so I can detect harm with a little one around to protect?

My hair continues to fall out by the millions. So annoying. I don’t really notice a difference in thickness, which shocks me because I lose so many hairs per day! I’m really worried about our drain pipes…


I’ve been really bad about hydration. I know with breastfeeding it’s so important, but I no longer have that incredible thirst so it’s hard to remind myself to drink, drink, drink. I think I’ve been eating more than normal because my hunger and thirst cues are mixed up. Trying to do better this week!


I’ve found there is this sweet spot with sleep. There have been a few nights when I’ve gotten some really good sleep chunks when Matt has been on wake-up duty. (Since dropping a night feeding or two, 7-8 hour stretches of sleep are possible. Possible but not frequent). Anyway, after one particularly sleepfull night Matt and I both agreed that we felt extra groggy and tired all day. Yet when we’re up and down all night we feel fine. That totally puzzles me.


I’m not doing so well with weight loss. After getting sick I lost 4 pounds in 4 days (mostly water weight I’m sure). And then I felt like my appetite revved up 1,000 times more to try to compensate for those days of sick starvation. I had a few weeks of eating way more than I’m sure I needed (of the wrong kinds of foods too) and feel like I may have even gained weight. Just like you often read about with marathon training, when your appetite is increased because of an energy need, it’s so easy to overcompensate. I also have no idea if my cravings for chocolate and sweets are just bad habits or something hormonal that’s coming from within. It’s easy to blame breastfeeding needs even when I full out know I should be choosing something healthier than a handful of chocolate chips.


I have abs again! Not sayin’ you can see them AT ALL, but you can feel them under there. I may not be slimming down, but I’ve definitely gotten stronger. I’m lifting more for biceps in Pump than I ever have – and I thank my permanent weight below for that!


10 Days Till 6 Months!

Oh how I wish I had the time to write something here every single day! Mazen is changing so rapidly that I can barely keep up with him. There are two teeth that are definitely working their way up! His hair is growing in thicker by the day and our little chunk is over 20 pounds – and made of marshmallows he is so sweet!


Lately he has mastered rolling over and is working very hard on sitting up by himself. He can do it, but he falls over unexpectedly so I don’t leave him unattended. The Boppy has been so helpful for this too! I’m so excited for him to be able to sit on a blanket and play. He is over most of his seats and is still not into the GoPod. He doesn’t mind being on his back on his playmat, but I think he would be happier upright. He is happiest when we’re holding him and interacting with him in our arms.


He’s getting so big and strong that we’ve started to be able to roughhouse a little. Of course I’m very gentle, but we can roll on the floor together and he laughs and laughs. The laughing is the best!


He still loves reading and can turn the pages of his board books. I’m so impressed with that skill! He also has mastered holding toys, banging his hands on things, splashing in the bath tub, spitting, the letter B and laughing.

Dislikes: Getting bored, having his face wiped, nightime sleep.


He actually tolerates tummy time now, so I can actually imagine him learning to crawl in the future. I think we’re still very far off, but I’ve put ‘babyproof the house’ on my to-do list. I’d love some recommendations for equipment you guys love!


He is actually a pretty good napper. We do 2 hour wake times and then he sleeps in his crib (unless we’re out on a walk) for naps and goes down pretty easily with just a few cries and paci adjustments. Naps are anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours (although anything over an hour is rare). 30-40 minutes is most common.

We have started to drop a few night feedings. He used to nurse about every 3 hours at night because he would wake up crying and drink a full feeding, so we figured he was hungry. I began to experiment with not feeding him every time and much to my surprise he dropped two feedings very easily. I’m now doing a dream feed around 10/11 and then he doesn’t nurse again until 5/6. This means I have gotten to sleep 6-7 hours a few times [incredible!] but of course Matt has done all the parenting those nights, so Mazen has yet to sleep those hours himself. We’re going to sleep train any day now. Ferber comforting intervals. I’m just mentally preparing before all systems are go. I’m not looking forward to it. We have a very pacifier-addicted baby, and I think that might be why he can’t go back to sleep when he wakes. He seems SO close to self-soothing. He doesn’t really seem to need nursing or us – just his paci. Hopefully it’s an easy habit to break. I would do it all over again though because the paci has been a lifesaver for us with the small exception of broken night sleep.

Another first in the past few weeks: swinging! And stroller running (since he’s about the size of a 9 month old, our ped gave us the go-ahead!)


And guess what other first threshold we have passed through…..!!!


More on that in another post!

Motherhood: 4 Months

-I thought of a genius invention: a pacifier that is also a thermometer! It wouldn’t have to be super accurate (you could use a real thermometer if the paci indicated positive for fever) but it would just be a quick check. Luckily we haven’t had any fevers yet…


-I’m really surprised that Maze loves bath time so much. He seems to be such a firecracker in so many other things and lets us know when he’s done with a toy or nap with some loud crying, but he has yet to cry in a bath since that very, very first one we gave him. He has started splashing around and kicking. I actually took a bath with him in the big tub the other night and it was so fun to have him “swim” around!

-I found some Mac lip gloss I bought last year and was excited to put it in my lip rotation. Until I realized that you can’t kiss a baby with sticky lip gloss. It just got all in his hair. The gloss has since been tucked away for another era.


-Sometimes I read blogs on my phone while nursing and sometimes I watch a You Tube video of another baby (Cullen or Ada perhaps) and Mazen unlatches and looks around like “Mom, you’re supposed to be watching ME!” He has definitely entered the distracted nursing stage. Sometimes Matt comes home when he’s nursing and hovers over and says hi and Maze gives him the same look “Do not disturb!” He takes his food seriously.

-When Mazen is starting to get hungry if you go in to kiss him and your nose goes near his mouth, he might lick your nose. It’s the most hilarious thing ever!


-Something about this time of year is bringing back memories of one year ago and the horrors I felt before I got on some medicine. I normally can’t imagine what it’s like to be sick when I’m healthy, but I can sort of remember with this cold, dark weather what it was like to get waves of nausea all the time. I can also sort of conjure up memories of what contractions are like when I watch Call The Midwife on PBS. When those women moan, man I remember.

-I can’t believe there is any hair left on my head. I think I have lost a million strands since September. It seems about the same thickness though – puzzling!

-M has started rolling over, although mostly when he’s propped up a bit. When he’s flat on his tummy he doesn’t quite get how to get over his arms, although you can tell he’s trying!


Motherhood: 3.5 months

-At night I absolutely love these two items from Motherhood Maternity. The wrap sleep bra – I have about a week’s worth. It’s so nice not to have to fumble with clips in the dark. Just push to the side and go. And these tanks are not really marketed for sleeping, but they are awesome!! Same deal – just push aside from the top and your torso stays warm. I have 3 shirts and 3 tanks (they often go buy-3-get-one-free) and wear one every night. If only they came in long sleeves!!!


-My eyelashes seem longer. I’m not sure how that is possible considering every hair on my head has fallen out in the last few months, but I swear when I put on mascara they are longer. Hormones? Coincidence? Optical illusion? Jealous of my baby’s super long lashes!?

-Mazen has started to love sitting up so much more more than lying down. Here he is in his GoPod, a great canvas seat that is great for portability and flexible for any toys you want to clip on. I’m hoping this will become the “mom’s cooking dinner” entertainment in time.


-Sleeping is just going ok. We go from 3 hours to 5 hour stretches, with 4 being most days. And then it’s all downhill for the rest of the night – usually not more than a 2.5 hour stretch. The GOOD news is that he’s usually pretty easy to get back to sleep. Luckily he’s not up crying or wide awake. The BAD news is just that some night’s it’s up and down, up and down. We’ve moved bedtime up to 8pm, so he’s now eating around midnight, 3-4 and 6-7 with usually one or two other wakeups that a pacifier solves in an instant. {I know, I know, that might be the problem, but we’re working on other things like solid naps first, and he doesn’t use a paci to fall asleep 100% of the time}.

-M has really started to use his hands. He reaches for toys and my favorite – my face! He’ll study it with his little fingers (it’s nicer if they are not coated in saliva!) He also seems to recognize my voice – he has turned his head when someone else is holding him if I start talking. I think I need to start using his name more so he can learn that. I call him everything from Cutie to Pumpkin at home {I know, I know!}.

-It breaks my heart that we have some clothes that he only got to wear once or twice due to the changing seasons and his size. He’s solid in 3-6 month clothes now and grew out of  his 0-3s right around 3.5 months. Some of them I loved so much I was sad to see them be put away.

-His next doctor’s appointment is coming – I’m guessing well over 16 pounds!!


Motherhood: 3 months

-Sometimes M makes a face that reminds me of his newborn self. A little grimace or big yawn. His face has changed SO much, but his personality is still shining through.



-I’m really enjoying reading to him and remembering all the books of my childhood. My grandmother gave me a big selection she found used, and at my baby shower they gave me a handful of food-related books, so we’re starting off with a great base of picture books. Recent favorites: Green Eggs & Ham and The Polar Express. I do have one gripe with the Grouchy Ladybug: is all this “you wanna fight!?” stuff a little violent? I love the concept of the book (a grouchy ladybug encounters bigger and bigger animals) but couldn’t she have another mission than fighting them all!?

-I hate snaps. Why do so many baby things have snaps? Zippers and Velcro are great, but snaps are almost worse than buttons!


-I have an ongoing gamble with the clock. We have been putting M down around 8:30/9 and on a good night he sleeps 4-5 hours and on a not-so-good night he sleeps 3. When I hear him start to stir, the first thing I do is look at the clock since I never have any idea how long I have actually been asleep. I’m always hoping for a 1, 2 or 3 but occasionally I see an 11 or 12 and know it’s going to be a long night.

-He is soooo cute when he cries, although I never want it to last. But that little face!


-It amazes me that baby breath always smells good. I know it’s because they’re not eating bacteria-filled people food, but you’d still think after 5 hours of sleep….but no! My sweet baby is made of sugar plums.


-M has really started to talk more and he forms his lips so carefully and then lets out a really long “ohhhhhhh” or “ahhhhhhhh.” You can hear some in this video!


-In the movies, parents are always going into their children’s bedrooms to tussle their hair or kiss them while they are sleeping. While I would LOVE to do this, I wouldn’t want to risk waking up my lightly sleeping baby! Do older kids sleep more soundly than infants?


-Lord of the Rings!!!! Mazen’s favorite toy is his interlocking rings! Followed by his Octo-pirate


And his llama, which he actually hugs his arm around!


Motherhood Part 4

-You guys were totally right. Baby poop is most definitely NOT white. I think my misconception might be because the baby I cared for when I was in high school was formula fed. Is their poop different? I’m a bit surprised at not only how bright poop is but also how much it stains. I’ve learned to go hand-wash anything that gets pooped on right away or it might not come back out. Also, our pediatrician keeps warning me that “sometimes babies only poop once every 5 days so do not be alarmed.” Um, when will our baby do that? Because he poops like 5 times everyday.

SO glad we are past the point of babyhood that required white noise all the time. We haven’t been using it anymore and he seems fine. My ears have never been happier!


-There was a time when I wanted all of my clothes to be very tight. Not surprisingly, this was when I was my smallest. My mom used to complain that I wore everything too tight, and I hated shirts that were long and/or loose. Now – I’m quite the opposite! I would like my shirts to be as long and loose as possible. Oversized sweater shirts are my favorite pieces. My waistline is not something I’m wanting to highlight these days. I think this also has something to do with the fact that my boobs are huge so all of my old shirts feel extra short. {Although what was with the short shirt trend a few years ago anyway!?} I don’t want to buy too many things because I am hoping to get back to normal size sooner rather than later, but on the other hand, I’m wearing the same 5 shirts over and over :mrgreen:

-It’s too bad there isn’t some way to communicate a snooze button feature on a baby. I mean this in the most lovingly way possible. I breaks my heart when he cries out of hunger in the night and it takes me 3 whole minutes of crying to get all set up with my pillow, water bottle and things. Even worse if I really have to pee before we start!


-Women have told me over the years how as a mom you are often covered in poop, pee and spit up. It’s so weird how since Mazen is MY baby who came out of me, I’m not that grossed out by his accidents, boogers, spit-up and things. I’ve always said that the part of motherhood I am not looking forward to the most is when my child throws up, so we’ll see how I feel about that when it happens. My gut (haha) instinct is telling me that I will be so concerned by him being sick that I won’t notice the throw up as much as I think I will.

Note the wet spot!!!!


-I just added this Bravado! Bliss bra to my collection and LOVE it! The others I bought are great, but I needed something with more structure to go with my dressier clothes. This one fits the bill. Sidebar: I had to order a size larger than I normally wear in it. I also bought two new Moving Comfort Fiona sports bras in a size up. Much more comfortable than squeezing into my old ones, and great for nursing because they velcro down!


-After nursing, Maze always takes a 3 minute nap. He likes to trick me into thinking he’s taking a REAL nap, but he almost always rests and then wakes up wide awake to play.

Nursing is hard work, y’all!


Motherhood Part 3

-Matt declared one night at dinner: I love Carter’s! It took me a minute to realize what he meant, but he was referring to the baby clothes brand. He reports that their clothes fit Maze so well, and now that I’ve paid attention to his outfits, I have to agree. Our favorite pieces (that aren’t custom) are Carter’s.


-I am loving stroller walking so much, and according to the BOB manual, we are not too far off from being able to use it. It says with pediatrician permission upon head control evaluation (Mazen has had really good head control since birth) we can walk with the BOB at 8 weeks. I can’t wait to exercise with it! I only wish we didn’t have to wait for 8 months to run, although perhaps with ped permission that could come sooner too.

I don’t go shopping for myself very often. It’s hard for me to spend money on clothes when they seem so much to be wants more than needs (most of the time). However, baby clothes are very necessary, and since it’s getting cold fast, I don’t have time to wait for consignment sales. But moving forward, I need to be smart about stocking up for the following seasons/years.

Luckily these were all 30% off!


-I have given a cloth diaper or two a test run. Some prefolds + covers that I have (I only have 2-3 newborn size diapers). To be honest, I didn’t like it. The diaper was sopping wet when I took it off and hard to handle. The poop stained it (although I did not dry in the sun). I think I’m just going to have to jump into cloth 100% when our BumGenius diapers fit and give it a really good fair chance before I draw any real conclusions.

-The speech recognition feature on my phone always seemed to be more trouble than it was worth. It rarely gets my whole sentence right on the first try. However, now that I have lost the use of one hand, I’ve been using it a lot more and loving it!! So much faster than swype text or thumb typing – even if it takes two tries to get it right.

-When Matt uses the Baby Connect App at night, he often leaves me a surprise photo. They are so cute, and it’s a fun bit of entertainment in the lonely middle of the night!


-When I first nursed Maze at the gym, we had a pretty rough nursing session. I used to think, after getting all sweaty in a workout, that my poor future baby would have to breathe in my post-workout stink while he nursed. And now I’m doing it! Do you think this is what was bothering him? Another thought/concern was that some of you have mentioned lactic acid buildup in the milk, but since this hasn’t happened when I’ve been out running, I’m not sure if that’s what it could have been.


-Maze loves his pacifiers once he crosses moods from playtime to “I’m sleepy.” I have bought about 5 packs of 2 on Amazon so we can have a good stash. Of course a handful have already gone missing. He liked the Soothies at first, but these Avents are his favorite now because they actually stay in. He has a harder time keeping the Smoothie in his mouth. I needed a good place to store them all and when this sweet box came with Seamane’s birthday present, I thought it would be the perfect spot. Pretty to look at and functional too!

-The blackout curtains seem to be working well. We’ve had several crib naps and I do think the darkened room makes him sleepier and calmer. Keeping them as is for now!

-How on earth does Maze get lint between his fingers just hours after a bath!? It is always there and always black/navy blue in color. It’s like he secretly sticks his hands in a basket of yarn whenever I’m not looking. That and dirt under his fingernails. Where does it all come from!?

The First Weeks

How is motherhood going?

It’s been pretty much exactly what I expected, so far. Hard and frustrating at times and pure bliss at others. A roller coaster of ups and downs that changes by the minute. The selflessness that comes along with caring for this little baby of mine has manifested deep within me. And I swear just after breastfeeding I feel huge rushes of oxytocin in my veins – rushes of love and emotion like you’d feel during a wedding ceremony or when you watch a family reunite after a long time apart.

Some comments on how it’s going:

-The Baby Connect app has been wonderful. I love tracking feedings and sleeping, as it gives me an idea of timing. I’m feeding him on demand – whenever he cries or roots – but it’s been helpful to know that it’s been an hour and a half and he will probably want to wake up and nurse any minute or that I’ve been asleep for 53 minutes since we last woke up at night.

-My house has always been spotless and decluttered. Obsessively so. Now, it’s more lived in, and I don’t mind a bit. As cliché as it sounds, our house feels more like a home. Baby swing in the kitchen and all.

-We’ve been aiming for “12 hours of bedtime” a night. I put that in quotes because it’s not really all sleep. I’m up anywhere from 5-7 of those hours nursing, rocking, swaddling, diaper changing. But getting in bed early when Mazen does has really helped us out on the sleep schedule. And despite the fact that this is the least amount of sleep I’ve ever had in my whole life, I feel pretty darn good in the daytime. When the sun is out and I’m up and dressed for the day, I don’t really feel tired at all. It’s really only nighttime that I very realllly sleepy at times.

-I absolutely LOVE all the little faces he makes! Especially right after he nurses, he reaches his arms up and stretches and makes the funniest little frog face. And his burp face is too cute. I love the way he looks up at me while he’s nursing with one eyeball open. And when he smiles (intentional or not) it’s priceless!! I haven’t been able to catch one of those on camera yet…


-Everything about our nursery is going well. I am SO GLAD we decided to keep the bed in there. It has been a lifesaver for getting quality sleep as we trade off. And great for breastfeeding too – I can sit up or lie down. Maze has been sleeping in his Rock and Play next to the bed and that’s going fine. He has slept in his crib a few times too, but the RnP is just a little easier and makes me feel better to have him closer.

-Speaking of having him close, I totally went out and bought a video monitor. I still like the Angelcare for when he sleeps in the crib – the peace of mind of the motion sensor is great – but I could not leave the room without coming in to check on him every 5 minutes! I was so worried he would roll over (seriously, it wouldn’t surprise me if he did because he’s been close!) The video monitor is GREAT and I wish I’d known how much I would like having one (well I sort of did know, but they are expensive so I talked myself out of it). It’s been fun to play with Matt on it too – “I SEE YOU!” from the kitchen : )


-The biggest surprise about baby care is how hard it is to get him to go to sleep. Feeding him is easy. Playing with him is easy. Changing diapers is easy. But getting him to sleep is HARD! According to the books I’ve read, babies this young need help with soothing to get them to sleep, and ours is no exception. He cries out and asks for help as soon as he’s tired, and he goes from wailing to sleeping in seconds when we get the soothing just right. Sometimes the process takes minutes (he loves to sleep in his Boba wrap and I can get him to settle quickly most of the time) but other times it takes 45 minutes to get him to sleep. During the night is hit or miss – sometimes he goes right back down; other times it takes a hour and then he gets hungry again and we start the process over from the start!

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-Speaking of soothing, what on earth would we have done without the Happiest Baby on the Block techniques?! That book is LIFE CHANGING, and every new mom should read it. Lots of our medical professionals have recommended it too (pediatrician, baby care classes) so I think it’s pretty well respected. The 5 S’s have been so helpful – Maze would probably still be screaming if we didn’t know about them.

-I just spent YEARS teaching myself how to eat slowly and savor my food and that has all gone out the window. I am eating faster than ever because otherwise I might not get to finish my meal while it’s hot!

-The second hardest part about all of this is just that my body is still recovering from birth and my boobs, from the breastfeeding shock. Now 2.5 weeks out, my body feels pretty good, but in the beginning it was hard to walk and get in and out of bed, sit in a chair, etc. Add baby care on top of that 24 hours a day (I can’t imagine having a c-section incision! Although I guess you trade that for the complete bottom soreness.) And if I could just get over the hump of breastfeeding pain, I think we’d all be better off. I have only had a few moments of tears – generally breastfeeding is going well – but I can totally understand now why a mother would turn to formula. I’m lucky that he is nursing well, but I can’t say I look forward to each session yet. Unless Downton Abbey is ready to play… : )

–Matt and I both wonder if he loves or hates the fact that we kiss him constantly. We are leaning toward loves : )

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-When I was pregnant, I was totally overwhelmed by the thought of having a toddler, a child or a teenager. I could only focus on the little newborn that would come out. But now that he is here, I can’t WAIT to see what he’s like when he’s older!! I’m not wishing away this age at all – he is too precious – but now that I can see his looks develop and watch is personality unfold, I’m truly excited for the years to come.

-Every day gets a little easier than the last as we figure this whole thing out. Single parents – I bow to you. Because having Matt home is a difference in night and day. Just having another set of arms to rock, change and play with him makes everything 100% easier. Even though I’ve worked from home for years, the house seems lonelier when it’s just me here. I can see why “it takes a village.” I sometimes just stop and say “You are doing it. You are being a mom.” It’s so surreal at times. I don’t even have a sense of time passing – I’m living in a bubble right now. A bubble of love and joy!


26 Weeks: A Little Optimism

5 years ago (almost to the week!) Matt and I were getting ready to get married. Pretty much every person we met had some kind of marriage advice for us. The overwhelming majority (mostly those of older generations) said: “YOUR LIFE IS ABOUT TO CHANGE! YOUR RELATIONSHIP WILL NEVER BE THE SAME!”

Since Matt and I had never gotten married before, we didn’t really know what to expect, but in private we both agreed that we couldn’t imagine anything being different. We already lived together and we’d been together for 5 years. We didn’t think the labels of husband and wife would really change us much.

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And you know what? We were right. Nothing changed. We were exactly the same pair! We had new commitments and new challenges, but there was nothing inherent about marriage that changed either of us. If anything, things got way better.

I can’t help but feel like my life is on replay. As we share with others that we are expecting, people loooove to say “YOUR LIFE IS ABOUT TO CHANGE” in an ominous, warning tone. (Again, older generations seem to love this phrase! Surprisingly, younger parents are actually the ones who offer the most encouragement and excitement.)

Allow me to be a bit flippant here, but I KNOW! Luckily we chose this path and have both always wanted to be parents. The change that is coming is one we welcome with open arms. We know there will be sleepless nights (and I’m sure they’ll be even worse than I imagine) and tough days and times when we miss our old lives, but we still know this is coming.

I’m sure the folks with the ominous tones have good intentions. Perhaps they just wish they had been more mentally prepared when they were having their first child. But the tendency to dwell on the negative rather than the positive when it comes to having kids makes me sad. I am thankful for those who have said things like “It’s the most wonderful thing in the world.” As an optimist, I like to hope for the best and deal with the struggles when I get to them in my own journey.

Sarah recently wrote a post about people saying “Just you wait!” to her.

But I absolutely love the “just you waits!” shared by Katie in this post.

I loved Callie’s message to “Let Her Dream”

Please DO let us dream – and if you’d like to say “I told you so” when I’m complaining about all the messes, the stress, the sleeplessness a year from now, let that be your moment : ) **

**I’d like to say though that in my BERF comments you guys are all so supportive and I’m preaching to the choir : ) **



Car Seat Safety

Goodie Goodie Gumdrops

Bump At The Beach

Birth Wish List


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