4 Months with P

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Weight: 14 lbs 8 oz Height: 25 in

What she’s wearing: Peek Kids: Spring Training Jersey (here) and Baby Cozy Pant (here) Headband (here)
Clothing Size: She is definitely 6 months, but I’m in total denial as I continue to squeeze her in 0-3 clothes where her pants look like capris and her tops look like crops.
Diaper Size: 2, but we’re switching to cloth (or trying to) next week. Don’t fret, there will be a post to follow my success or absolute failure on making the switch.
Milestones: She has rolled over 3 times now, but mostly she just looks like she’s exercising demons as her neck goes one way and her body another. She hits things (me) a lot, and has a super strong grip (especially when she grabs my hair–ouch) but it’s the coolest thing to watch her as she discovers the world.
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Teeth: No teeth, just lotsssssss of drool & by lots, I mean A LOT of drool, oh & there’s chewing on her or my fingers—so they’re definitely making a debut in the next couple months.
Routine:  She wakes up anywhere from 7:30 to 9:30, and will want to nap within an hour of waking. She’ll nap around 10-11 and again once or twice in the afternoon. She falls asleep around 9 to 11 pm, but it seems to be getting earlier. I call her toy story because everything major she does is when no one is watching, or when a camera is out of reach.
Sleeping: She has yet to sleep through the night, but I think we’re finally ready to put her to sleep in the nursery.
Eating/Feeding: She is still breastfeeding exclusively and feeds around 4-5 times a day but I think my supply is dropping. I guess this is a normal thing at 4 months, but gah–it still feels like defeat.

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Fun Moments: It’s never a dull moment when you have a baby! Family comes and visits you all the time, it makes me wish I had done this whole baby thing sooner, ha. Last week, my family from Canada came to visit & little one met her cousin who was born just hours after her. They got their ears pierced together, since my sis and I both felt guilty getting it done, we needed the push from each other. P also went to her first Phoenix Suns game, it was definitely awesome running around town with them! The week before she got to meet her aunt, playing tourists in Old Town Scottsdale.

I can now say that I have finally become a pro taking her places & my diaper bag is officially ready for any given scenario.

 

Can we be Breast Friends?

When I found out I was pregnant, I pretty much knew what I was in for. Since I said sayonara to my teens, I have been exposed to pregnancy culture from various friends, family, film & reality television shows . I knew there was a possibility I could gain 100 lbs., get stretch marks all over my stomach, or any random thing that happened to a friend of a friend that conjured a fear & sort of stuck in my mind only to resurface once I saw that small second line on my pregnancy test.

Oh man, but boy does pregnancy take on a new life (pun intended). Once you begin to show (around 5 months or so), suddenly you’re an epicenter for unsolicited birth & baby advice. “Did you watch the Business of Being Born?” Yes. “Are you having an epidural, you know it drugs the baby, right?” Probably. The mommy advice never stops. So at some point, you’re spinning around in circles praying for it to stop, then suddenly you find yourself in my position.

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Why doesn’t anyone talk about how hard it is to breastfeed?

Obviously I knew the first couple of weeks would be tough while your nips get accustomed to a newborn feeding on them every two hours, that’s common knowledge. But what happens if your baby, like mine, wants to feed for five hours straight? FIVE HOURS. I thought it was a joke the first time it happened. Nope, P was a cluster feeder and she continued this pattern for 2 months straight.  Imagine feeding her at seven pm and sitting on the couch for five hours with just enough time to change and burp her, and maybe she’d end up taking a nap or two–but she’s asleep in your arms. Your day will fly by, and you won’t accomplish a single thing.

Oh, and food allergies? Your baby has them. Their sweet sterile stomach isn’t capable of breaking down certain foods, so currently I’m on a dairy (especially cheese), chocolate, caffeine, peanut and alcohol free diet. Jealous? Thought so.

Then there’s the whole nipple confusion/milk supply dilemma. You can’t introduce a bottle too soon otherwise you’ll confuse the little one on how to latch properly so your breastfeeding her every time. Oh and two hours? Lies. I have a snacker. Girlfriend feeds every hour or so, still pretty consistent at snacking hourly even at 3 months. “She’ll start to go longer between feeding” they say.

Oh, & you have to constantly worry about your milk supply. I worry more about this on a regular basis then I do about the recent measles outbreak, Russian politics, American Sniper celebrated as a war hero, and my finances COMBINED. As if I wasn’t already sleep deprived, I’m probably losing more sleep on it. Oh, if you pump too much before your milk stabilizes then you’ll over produce which you’ll a) have to keep up with (pump and store–but who has time for that?) or b) you’ll lose your supply because he/she won’t eat enough. For the first month & half, I was her bottle and had to stop, drop and feed at her command & I can’t tell you how many hours I spent feeding her in the backseat of my car because she wanted to be fed at the most inopportune times (like a graduation ceremony).

So then, praise Jesus, you begin to pump. Now you have to introduce the bottle. “If your baby is hungry enough, she’ll eat.” Lies. The first time we tried the bottle at home, she took it like a champ. So for my boyfriend’s 30th, we went out to a nice restaurant & after I had my first glass of wine postpartum it was like she never saw a bottle in her lifetime as she screamed her head off in hunger pains. We went through over $100 in various bottle systems and suffice to say we’ve finally gotten that down (ILY, Dr. Brown). But even so, it’s still a pain–like you are on this endless search for hot water (to warm the bottle), or  you accidentally pack the wrong nipple flow, or you forget to refridge the bottle when you get home therefore you throw out a full bottle.

No matter how many ounces, it hurts me to waste breastmilk.

So then comes the “Is she sleeping through the night?” questions that haunt me every day, and it’s like “no, she breastfeeds and it metabolizes at lightening speed.” Hell,  I’m happy with 4 hour intervals. Leave me alone, judger.

So am I bitter? Probably. It’s like everyone told me how their sister’s birth was the WORST ever, or that if I got stretch marks as a teen I’d get them again during pregnancy making me inspect every indent from clothing under a microscope to make sure it wasn’t one, or tell me I’ll never wear my beloved shoes again because my feet grow with pregnancy, BUT did anyone tell me that breastfeeding was going to be the hardest thing ever?!? No, and I could have used the unsolicited advice.

But here I am. 3 months postpartum and things are finally getting easier & I wouldn’t have done it any other way.

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3 Months with P

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Weight:  12.15 lbs     Height: 23.5 in

What She’s Wearing: Tucker + Tate Empire Shirt (similar here)

Clothing Size: On the cusp of 0-3m & 3-6m, she’s definitely tall enough for 3-6m but she’s still barely at the weight so I am struggling to dress her in her 0-3 clothes one last time. She’s wearing a 6m dress in the picture, but I rolled up the sleeves since they were a little too long.

Diaper Size:  1. Invest in good diapers. We’re lucky in the sense we haven’t had to buy a lot of diapers since we were given tons at our shower, but some brands we’ve had maaaaaybe one or two blowouts for the entire box while other brands we seem to have one on the daily. So far, Pampers and Seventh Generation for the #win. I’ve heard amazing things about Honest but I haven’t had to buy any diapers yet, so I’ll get back to you on the diaper review.

Milestones: She can finally hold her head up without support! She’s just starting to grab other things other than herself (& her shirt). I just bought this toy which is perfect for her milestones right now & I’m definitely more excited than she is about it.

Sleeping:  She fights sleep, which obvs she didn’t get from me. She goes to bed around 9 pm and will wake up anytime between 7:30 and 10 am. She’ll wake up to feed, but will sleep through it or fall asleep quickly after.

Teeth:  No teeth & just small amounts of drool so I don’t think any are coming.

Talking:  More like singing & she loooooves to sing. I love her songs.

Favorite Activities:  She’s starting to hate tummy time less, we read and sing a lot. Her dad takes her on a ton of walks and she loves to hear funny voices. Also, she seemed to really like the Seahawks when they played the Packers last week, so go Seattle?

What’s it like for us: Leading up to this point, I had to hold her for what felt like 23.5 hours a day. She didn’t take to a swing, wrap, carrier or MamaRoo–so needless to say it made motherhood overwhelming. It was a constant balance of having white noise playing, a swaddle on demand and having a bottle sitting nearby (If I couldn’t feed her). So now that she’s discovering everything, we’re finally sort of getting our groove as parents. I’m now able to shower, do my hair AND makeup (sometimes) and I’m confidently able to run errands with her, take her places without fearing a total meltdown. New Parents, it gets easier (for now).

A Note to Her: When you were born, you made my heart so full–I loved you even if I knew that love couldn’t be returned. Now that you’re turning in to a mini-human, it’s brought me more happiness than I could describe. You smile, you sing and laugh (even though it sounds like a hiccup) and I just can’t wait to discover the world with you little one.

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Nursery for Le Baby.

DSC_0016I thought I would share with you the nursery for little pip. My boyfriend was not in to the all pink everything so I had to get creative. When we moved in together, I couldn’t part with my shabby chic decor so I knew I had to incorporate some of my favorite things in her room–and if you read my baby shower post, I needed that sunburst mirror set from target..so I started there. Gold and Shabby Chic.

From there, it was dark wood (the bedroom set is from Target and was under $500, but as you can see the dresser and crib don’t match wood so pay attention to the color wood when purchasing, turns out there’s espresso and dark espresso..something we didn’t catch until we already assembled the dresser). This bothers me literally every time I walk in the room. Don’t be me.

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All of the frames/boards are from Home Goods and Hobby Lobby–you could assemble a similar wall for less than a hundred dollars easily. Make sure to go to Hobby Lobby on a day frames/metals are on sale!

The book shelf is from Target with the Shabby Chic collection, and the mannequin is from Home Goods.

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The polkadot decals can be found here on etsy, it’s such a small detail that truly makes the room!

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The knobs, again, Hobby Lobby. I live like 3 minutes away from one (don’t judge).
Also, buying books can be expensive. Trust me, when I go to Barnes and Noble that I just want buy every single book, but I actually got most of secondhand from children who outgrew their books.

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The glider chair is so freaking comfortable. If you’re an expecting mom, trust me on this. I almost got a sofa chair and ottoman so we could reuse it when she got older, but this thing–I’m never parting with it. Thank you, Danielle, for saving my tush all those late night feeding sessions. Although they’re sold pretty much everywhere, the best deal can be found on Amazon and according to my boyfriend it’s easy to assemble.

DSC_0002 DSC_0001When you’re expecting, you receive a ton of stuffed animals, The lamb stuffed animal was mine from my childhood, the big teddy bear is from Costco. I think the version sold in stores is even bigger!

Welp, that’s my nursery for the coolest girl on the planet. This was such a fun project, I hope you enjoyed. If you have any questions, leave them behind in the comments!

What to Expect, When You’re Not Expecting.

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I remember when I got my acceptance letter from Arizona State University, I was humbled that I was accepted but I tossed it aside since I was planning on moving back to Vegas to finish my undergrad at UNLV. At the time I was living in LA and missed the opportunity to finish school there. I had already lived in Vegas, I had a good group of friends there–it seemed like a no-brainer. I just assumed I’d be going back to Vegas. It was Spring of 2012, and as the months passed by UNLV kept me waiting and waiting for my acceptance letter. I’m pretty sure I had the admissions office on speed dial trying to find out the status of my application, it never crossed my mind that I would actually have to consider going to ASU. Don’t get me wrong, I couldn’t have asked for a better college experience, but at the time, I had no desire to move to Arizona. I only knew one person who lived there–and to be honest, when I visited Phoenix in the past, it was never a place I wanted to live.

Fast forward a couple months later and I was signing a lease to an apartment I had only viewed online and was packing up the U-Haul for a drive I have never made to Arizona. The day I arrived, I sat down in the parking lot of my apartment complex in 117 degree heat and began to cry wondering if I made a mistake. I made a promise to myself that Arizona was going to be a two year deal. I would stay here to finish school and then move back to California. For the most part, I stuck to this goal. I just piled on the classes so I could finish and kept a tunnel vision in order to finish my undergrad, that is, until I met my boyfriend.

I wasn’t looking to date. Not at all, actually. I remember on our first date and he invited me to events months away. I kept thinking, what is this guy’s deal? I actually remember how confused I was, at one point I was trying to figure out whether we were actually on a date. We met the summer before my last year in school, and as the semester progressed it became extremely difficult trying to balance work, school and him. I knew our relationship was horrible timing, but I knew I couldn’t let him go. We managed to make through my fall semester, but it was tough and I knew the following semester was going to be an even bigger test (since I had made arrangements to pick up an internship for my last semester).

Not long after my last semester began, my internship offered me a part time position but I still needed to complete my intern hours for school credit and I was still working my other job for my primary income. So between the three jobs I was clocking in 55 hours a week. Determined to graduate, I was also taking 6 classes. This was about double the work that I was used to. I remember barely having enough time to wash my hair, let alone find time to spend with my boyfriend. It was about a month in to the semester when I pulled an all nighter to study with one of my closest friends and telling her how there’s no way I could be pregnant, but that my period was late. At the time, I was on birth control, and in my mind, there just was no possible way. Scientifically speaking, pregnancy is a set of infinite steps that have to work perfectly to conceive. A week later I bought a test to ease my mind except when I took the test, I stood in total shock when the second line appeared. I grabbed my phone and took a picture of my test since the line was ever so faintly blue to that same friend, she replied back with “fuck,” and came over to my apartment with another test. The next test was positive, and I just sat on my couch completely devastated and remember feeling that way for the next couple of weeks.

For the next week or so, it was an emotional roller coaster of depression. I remember feeling guilty that I could get pregnant so easily whIMG_1266ile I have friends that have been trying for years. Then came the uncertainty because I wasn’t even sure I wanted kids–hell, I wasn’t even sure I wanted to stay in Arizona. For years, I had this vision of how my life was supposed to go, and having a baby wasn’t even part of the plan in the slightest way. I just cried and cried for the next couple of weeks. I even remember looking at my bike and crying, my life had been on hold for the past two years and having a baby meant I could never ride a bike again. I know that I was looking at it wrong, but this is how I felt.

On top of that, my boyfriend and I were just that, he was my boyfriend–not my fiancé, not my husband. We were beginning to consider the idea of moving in together , THAT was our next big step. In my mind, my life was pretty mapped out: I wanted to travel, I wanted a proposal, a wedding and I wanted to decide whether I would have children. I knew I loved my boyfriend, and I wouldn’t have been in a relationship with him if I didn’t see myself with him long term but a child meant that we were going to be in each other’s lives for the next three decades, at least. I knew this was going to be the biggest decision of my life.

Soon, I began to feel even more depressed that I was being so selfish. I was simply mourning a life I thought I was going to have without considering the new life I could have. Looking back, I think that’s a natural part about having kids, when you start to realize its the end of one life as you begin another, and the entire experience of being pregnant is already full of emotions, especially considering how I was filled with extra hormones. Bless my boyfriend’s heart, he was so great about everything from the beginning, he seemed to know what he wanted the second he found out, but ultimately left the choice up to me.

After some weeks of sleepless nights and wondering how the hell we would be able to pull this off, we decided to go for it. I was almost 30 years old, I was finally graduating college and Arizona began to grow on me. I really think it was the greatest blessing in my life to lose control of what I thought my life was going to be. Now, I can’t imagine my life without her. I haven’t even met her and I’m already so much in love with her (even if she tries to break out of my stomach by way of my ribs). It isn’t going to be easy, I know this, but hell–when does life ever go as planned?rianna+sergiomaternityEDITED259

So, if you’re wondering why I decided to share my story, it’s because I want to be able to share my pregnancy and life with the world. I pride myself in being honest and I want people to know it’s okay when life doesn’t go as planned or has bigger plans than you may be ready for. It’s the art of letting go, and it’s okay to not be sure what you want.

This entire experience has been a learning experience. It’s figuring out how to be selfless after years of being selfish. It’s about the bigger things in life, friends and family who really make seem trivial. And it’s okay to not have the perfect story to tell your children, friends and family as long as it’s filled with good chaos. And right now, my life is beautifully chaotic.

My Anti-Baby Shower

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It seems like everyone assumes pregnant people are just hormonally unstable creatures who need to be protected from a world full of emotional dangers, but I’d say I’ve kept my cool pretty much my entire pregnancy (no need to validate this statement from my boyfriend).

However, one thing that has changed during my pregnancy is how assertive I’ve become. It’s as if I’m a CEO running a million person empire, and I know exactly what I want and I won’t let anyone tell me otherwise. This has been a total 180 from my normal self. I’m borderline neurotic.

For example, while shopping for the nursery, I was so set on these gold starburst mirrors that I drove to 3 Targets looking for them, I ordered 4 of them for store pickup (when I got there, their system would have one listed in their inventory and then they wouldn’t be able to find it therefore had to cancel my order). I’m pretty sure I spent 4 or more days dedicated to finding these mirrors. I even went as far as searching Sacramento and Las Vegas Target’s in hopes that someone could bring with them when they came for my baby shower. I remember feeling ridiculous but I couldn’t let it go. I was incredibly determined.

I finally was able to track them down, and I must say–they really do complete the nursery. Is this what nesting is really about?

Fast forward to planning my baby shower. I knew I wanted to plan my own, Sergio and I decided early on that we would plan a co-ed shower so I knew what I wanted from the beginning which meant I didn’t accept much help from anyone who offered (sorry, I totes blame my pregnancy). The godmother, Laura, bless her heart, let me fly my freak flag the entire time and managed to be an incredible help without stepping on these newly assertive toes. People would explain how crazy I was to take on planning my own shower, but I was determined to have a baby shower that wasn’t like most. For me, baby showers are nice but they’re too nice. I really just wanted to spend time with friends and family, and have a good time. I didn’t want to spend an entire day playing games and opening presents, and thankfully I thought the shower went perfectly. There were games, drinks and food–my only regret was not being able to spend more time with everyone.

As for the shower, I opted for a Madeline theme because it was one of my favorite books as a child and it was full of primary colors. So we decided to use red, blue and yellow decorations but keep them pretty subtle.

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The only really decorative part of the house was a candy bar that I was, again, determined to have. I kidnapped Laura and we drove 20+ miles to a candy warehouse so I could buy red, blue and yellow candy. I suppose this is what happens when wine is no longer a regimen part of your life to calm your neurotic tendencies but I just loved how it turned out (and tasted).

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My parents, a huge THANK YOU for providing the food & venue!

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The take away gift, koozies. Our shower was in August, so it seemed like the perfect gift since everyone could use it during the shower.

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The baby fruit carriage. Seriously, how adorable is this? My mom crafted this thing (thank God for Pinterest)!

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My friend Nicole made this diaper tricycle, I told her she should start a side business doing this.
Let me know if you want one and she can make it for you. The entire thing was made up of receiving blankets, diapers, bibs and bottles, all of which were on my registry, so each one is customized to order.

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I just wanted to thank everyone from the bottom of my heart for coming out to celebrate with us. A special thanks to Laura & Rick who helped plan the shower with me, and dealing with my OCD behavior. My parents for hosting the shower at their Phoenix rental, buying the food and cooking it for all (Rick, this is a thanks for you, too). Thank you to my aunt, second mom and sister for all the hard work you put in to coming out to Arizona and all of your help with the shower. To all of our friends who had to hop on a plane just to spend a day with Sergio & I [Amy & Chris, Cindy & Nicole, Megan (I know you drove, but ya know what I mean), Danielle, Erika, Jamie, Stef & Jason] and for my amazing AZ friends (old and new) who took time out of their busy lives to spend the day celebrating with us. I also wanted to thank Sergio’s friends and family for coming out, and it means the world to us that this little girl has such a huge family in Phoenix. Words can’t explain how grateful I am for all of you.

I have never experienced so much love in my life.