I vividly remember reading in Stephen King's memoir On Writing about how when he and his wife, Tabitha, were first married and struggling financially, he would lock himself in the laundry room to write whenever he had free time. I was 15, maybe 16 years old when I read that book, but the image has always stuck with me. I suppose it's because I found it incredibly romantic - the aspiring author dedicated to his craft, sacrificing everything to get the words out on paper. I wanted that.
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The funny thing about parenting is that the longer you do it, the more you realize how little you know. Breastfeeding my first two babies came with its share of struggles, but bottle-feeding was one thing I had down pat. I started out nursing each of them, but ended up needing to supplement with formula around the 6-month mark both times because of weight gain issues. Both took a bottle with ease. We didn’t need to try different brands or warm up the bottle, and I scoffed when I saw parents going to great lengths to make the bottle just right for their baby.
Let me begin by saying that before I had my third child, I was the mom you wanted to punch in the face. Babies 1 and 2 were excellent sleepers right from the start. They were both sleeping through the night by 3 months, and never experienced any regressions. I couldn't necessarily relate to the fatigue other new moms were experiencing.
I had been feeling empowered. Proud of my effort and discipline to get back in shape after having the baby. It’s my third baby, third C-section, I’m 29, and I have diastasis recti (separated abdominal muscles), so I had no delusions about sliding into my skinny jeans or having a flat belly mere weeks after giving birth. I knew it would take lots of time, hard work, and good nutrition to help me stomach get back to “normal,” but I felt I had made incredible progress in the past few weeks. I had just started the MuTu System (affiliate link) to begin healing my core, and I had also been taking my nutrition very seriously, going so far as to cut out the creamer in my morning coffee - the ultimate sacrifice. I was feeling strong and confident, content with how far I had come.
I was making great progress until about week 8 or 9, when I hit a weight loss plateau. By no means am I upset about this, but I did some research and brainstorming about how I could break through and continue to change my body composition. Here is what I'm changing up, and some things I'm continuing to do!
On Sunday evening we rolled back into town after two weeks of vacation in Wisconsin with our families. The usual 18 hour drive from Florida to Wisconsin ended up taking closer to 22 hours both ways. We always drive through the night when we make that trip, but this time we had to pull over at rest stops a few times to get some sleep. It might have something to do with having a newborn in the house...
The smell of coconut and banana scented sunscreen perfumed the sticky summer day as my sisters and I prepared to jump back in the pool. My mom had a "no TV before 6 p.m." rule every summer, so we took full advantage of the pool in our back yard. Our neighbor friends would flock to our house, because when you have 6 kids, what's a few more? We spent those long hot days playing "lemonade" in the pool, then laying on our towels on the driveway to let the sun dry us off. We then migrated to the front yard for an obstacle course or a round of capture the flag or SPUD. Our entire summer was spent in swimsuits, play clothes, and those parks & rec department baseball tees.
Does anyone else go through so many pajamas when their babies are little? Between spit up and blowouts, it feels like we fly through our stash of pjs faster than I can do a load of laundry. I can never have enough pajamas for the littlest member of our family, so when goumikids offered to send us some items from their shop in exchange for a review, I jumped at the chance!
Before I had my first baby, I remember being more nervous about breastfeeding than actually giving birth. I knew I wanted to make it work, but I was afraid it would hurt, or at the very least be uncomfortable. Now that I'm nursing my third baby, I realize that yes, nursing your baby can be painful in those first days and weeks. Yes, it can be tough if your baby isn't latching correctly. But once I got the hang of it, it really was a great experience, and much cheaper than formula!
As we prepared to welcome our third child into the world, I kept thinking back to how different it was from welcoming our firstborn. My sweet family threw me the most wonderful baby shower, and since we knew we were having a girl, we received piles of adorable dresses, onesies, and bows for our little one. In fact, she got so many clothes that we didn't have to buy a single thing for almost the entire first year of her life. It was amazing, and she had something new to wear every day.