Wednesday, August 17, 2011

FOUR WEEKS – My Favorite Things

Every baby is different and everyday with Brianna proves to be different too.  Some days she is cranky ALL day, other days she is a dream. Some nights she sleeps all the way thru, and other nights she seems to be a night owl. Sometimes something will work then the next day not so much. But one thing I found to be true is to keep trying; when she is freaking out and all the things I can think of to calm her don’t work… keep trying. Eventually I’ll find something to calm her…… or she’ll wear herself out. It’s an exhausting process but that’s all you can do as a new mom. Try and try again.

But even though its sometimes hit and miss, here are a few of my favorites that I have come to love during these past four weeks. These are the items I have used the most during these four weeks.

1.  Rocking chair. For the first two weeks Michael and I lived without a rocking chair but then one day a magical thing happened. A big, cushy, leather, rocking recliner was delivered to our house (as a gift from Mamaw and Papaw!) and our nights have never been the same. It’s a beautiful, comfortable, useful piece of furniture that we wouldn’t have been able to get on our own so we are extremely grateful for the chair. I sleep in it every night, with Brianna in my arms, and I wake without back aches or crooks in my neck. Until Brianna starts sleeping in her own crib (hopefully we will start the transition as soon as we move into the apartment) the rocker is our bed… and we love it.

2. Button down shirts. I’ve probably said this 55 times already but I love Michael’s button down shirts. They are comfortable, big and flowy, and easy to unbutton when Brianna is hungry. I wear them EVERY DAY.

3. Ask Michael; I am on this website all day every day, and more specifically I am on the community message boards more than anything. I have referenced thebump community boards since my first trimester and will continue to use it as Brianna grows. There are tons of women from all over the country; some are new moms like me, others are on their second, third, fourth child and have some experience under their belts. I find that I get more helpful feedback and information from these moms than most articles on the web. Plus its advice that I need and request; not advice that is given to me unwarranted (which tends to happen a lot in my day to day life).

4. Fisher Price Rock n Play. This $50 sleeper is a miracle. I read about it on; it seemed like the majority of the moms out there either used this Rock n Play or their Pack n Play to put their napping little one’s down. My darling little one didn’t ever stay asleep long after I put her down; she had to be held by moi. After buying the Rock n Play I can expect to put Brianna down (when she’s ready) for a good 15 minutes or longer. This gives me time to go to the bathroom, type blogs, clean up the room, or just sit in the recliner and take a breather.

5. Baby Bjorn, baby backpack. Like I said earlier, Brianna likes to be held. I like to hold her but my arms were going numb (seriously). Putting her in the baby backpack keeps her close enough to keep happy, but allows me my hands so I can help with dinner, to clean, to type, etc. We took it out yesterday when we went on our first family outing (to Target). When Bria started fussing I put the backpack on, put her in it, and all was well in the world. Also, while the weather has been nice, Bria and I have taken to morning walks. I put her in the pack and walk where I can before the heat sets in. I’m hands free! It’s like the modern technology of baby stuff.

      Some things that work for me when I need to calm a screaming baby (besides feeding, changing a dirty diaper, burping, etc.):
    1. Walking. Bria likes a change of scenery and I think she gets bored when I am sitting in the same position for too long. We've started a morning tradition where I take her on walks around the neighborhood (not today because its storming) and she seems to love it.

     2. Going outside. This goes along with #1. She can be having a fit but if I take her outside she's instantly calm.

     3. "Stand up". By stand up I mean I prop her against my chest so that she is looking over my shoulder. She likes to be held so this is a way for her to be close/be held but also look around.

   4. She likes to be read to. I guess hearing my/Michael's voice is soothing but as long as she's not overstimulated this tactic usually works to lull her into sleep.

      5. Hanging out in her Rock n Play. She can't be overstimulated to use this one either.

    (Things that she doesn't like include: our nightly baths, to be held when she's awake and aware -- she wants to see the world and would prefer to be propped against my chest, looking around. She also doesn't like car rides just yet.)

     Brianna is four weeks old today! I can tell that she is growing – she seems heavier but I don’t know how much she weighs. Her neck is getting stronger and will turn her head independently to follow my voice (if she’s lounging in her Rock n Play). She’s only three days away from her 1 month birthday, and I’m so excited! These four weeks have gone by super fast and super slow, at the same time.
     Momma has lost ten pounds in four weeks. I have 29 more pounds to go. If I lose ten pounds every four weeks I will be 9 pounds away from my goal weight when I go back to work! I can do that! Whoohoo!!
    Daddy is working hard every day going to work and then coming home and taking care of us. Good thing Michael is such a good cook; he prepares the majority of our meals. One of our favorite, healthiest, and easiest,meals is Carmelized Chicken. It’s just a matter of putting all ingredients in a baking dish, sliding it in the oven for a while, and eating! For those days when you have no energy to prepare a big dindin, but want something yummy to eat… give this recipe a shot.

Chicken (we usually use 5ish chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces)
2 tablespoons olive oil
½ cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons ketchup
1 cup honey (we also add some brown sugar)
1 clove minced garlic
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Place chicken in a baking dish. Mix together the ingredients and pour over the chicken.
Bake in preheated oven for one hour or until sauce is caramelized.

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