Sunday, March 31, 2013

The Third Month

My little monstar is now three months old! Hurray! He's growing so fast--I've had to put away some clothes that are a bit too snug now. *sniff* Some highlights:
  • He got baptized! I was so worried that he would cry, especially when the priest poured water on him, but he was such a trooper! He didn't cry at all. But dude kept farting! Haha. He wore a really cute outfit (below, left) which H's sister got from Singapore; my brother's wife gave the shoes. For church, he also wore the baptismal gown (below, right) that my three brothers, nephews, niece, and I all wore to our own baptisms. He wore (or was made to wear) it against his father's will. Har. Sorry H. Kinda reminded me of an episode of The New Normal!
  • He's been flipping over onto his back. His nanny tells me that he can flip over from back to front as well, but I haven't seen it.
  • I heard him laugh for the first time.:)
  • He's figured out how to suck his thumb. (I can hear him sucking away as I type.)
  • He seems to be getting rounder. We aren't scheduled to see his doctor til next week so I don't know how much he weighs now. But it's immensely satisfying seeing his double chin and chubby thighs, and knowing it's all because of my milk.
  • He's no longer gassy! (Knock on wood.) I had to give up dairy, which seemed to be causing all the gassiness and crying and sleepless nights. When I said goodbye to milk (which I love, by the way), he became less fussy and much happier. And that is a reason to celebrate!

Photo by Jun Pinzon. My makeup by Elaine Ganuelas, hair by Jerry Javier. Flying balloons c/o the GH team!

Friday, March 29, 2013

Getting My Groove Back

Challenges of new motherhood:

Managing my time. If the few-and-far-between posts aren't enough of a hint, I'm still figuring out how to juggle everything, especially now that I'm back at work. (Posting this while the baby sleeps. I should be sleeping too but I felt bad for my neglected blog.) Pre-baby, a few people told me that I was so good at managing my time--I was able to hold down a full-time job, run a household, take care of a husband, play sports, go out with friends... I would give myself a pat on the back each time I got that compliment. But man oh man, mothers deserve that thumbs-up more than I ever did!

Before, I didn't really understand how time-consuming motherhood could be. I don't know if it's just because little monstar isn't a big sleeper or if it's like this for everybody, but my sched is filled with feeding, burping, bathing (him, and if I'm lucky, me!), playing, and getting him to sleep. Repeat. And even with help (which I am incredibly lucky to have), I'm still so tired!

Getting back into shape. I missed working out so much that I thought I would get fit in no time. True, I've pretty much dropped all the pregnancy weight, but I am nowhere near my fitness levels pre-pregnancy. I haven't even tried doing a proper run. The first night I got back on the field, I was so frustrated--I nearly tripped on my own feet a few times because, in my mind, I was going faster than I actually was.

I had grand plans of doing the 30-Day Shred right before plunging into Insanity. But six weeks after the doc gave the go-signal to exercise, I've only done about five days of the Shred, with a bit of disc and plyo. My kid wakes up some time between 5:30 and 7 a.m., so working out in the morning is out of the question. I would seriously rather sleep, especially since he isn't sleeping through the night yet. And I don't want to work out after putting him to bed because I normally can't sleep after evening cardio.

Finding clothes to wear. If you think dressing a baby bump is hard, well, it's only going to get harder! Even though I've dropped the weight, my body is so different. I lost a lot of muscle mass, so my arms are flabbier and my tummy is smooshier. And, er, other things are bigger. A lot of people have told me that it looks like I'm back to my old self, but they don't know that I'm hiding some secrets underneath my well-chosen outfit. Put me in a figure-hugging dress and the illusion is shattered. Aside from looking for stuff in my closet that fit well, I also have to make sure that they're nursing-/pump-friendly. Sigh. I wish I could replace my wardrobe! But funds have been diverted towards a nanny (a godsend), diapers, and vaccinations.

It all boils down to managing my time. If I'm moderately successful at that, I'll be able to find time to work out, then get back into shape, then start fitting into my old clothes again. Maybe tomorrow. Haha. Right now, I need a nap!

Monday, March 4, 2013

The Second Month

On his second-month birthday, A got totally wasted (on mommy's milk)

Things have gotten somewhat easier--because I'm not going to lie to you, the first month (the first two weeks especially) was hard. I'm the youngest in the family so I had never taken care of a baby, and so I was completely clueless. No book or birthing class can prepare you for all the inexplicable crying, for the amount of feeding a little barracuda requires, and the amount of time you need to devote to take care of a little one.  I never understood that last one until now--people say all a baby does is eat and sleep. But this one eats A LOT (and he's purely breastfed), so it's an endless cycle of feed-burp. He's also at the low end of the spectrum of average hours of sleep, and when he's awake, he demands to be entertained!

I knew that my life was going to change, but I didn't expect it to change that much. It was just the two of us for more than three years, so to say we went through an adjustment is a bit of an understatement. I went through the baby blues--I mourned the loss of my previous life, sad that things were never going to be the same again. I couldn't hop on a plane on a whim--heck, going to two-hour disc training (yes, I'm back!) requires extensive planning! Don't get me wrong, I was (and am) crazy in love with our little darling, but this new normal was taking a toll on me emotionally. It made things that much harder, and me that much sadder.

But one day I realized that I just simply had to embrace that things were never going to be the same. I was called on to be a mother--a privilege not everyone has--and it meant truly letting go of my selfish past, and loving the fact that I pretty much belonged to another human being. The minute I accepted that I was a different person with a different life now, I was ready to be a different kind of happy.

It still isn't easy. There is still some inexplicable crying sometimes, but at least we're better at reading his cues now. And he has a semblance of a routine now, and he seems to know it. By 6 or 7 a.m., I can hear him going, "Eh! Eh! Eh!" and he won't stop until someone comes and talks to him. (Yes, he "talks" now! He's quite chatty and he's got a LOUD voice, so it's hilarious.) By 11 a.m., he's ready for his bath. By 6:30 p.m., he's ready for his bedtime ritual: We change him into his jammies, and then I feed him. If he's still wide awake, I play music or read him a story. Once he's somewhat sleepy, I rock him in my arms and sing to him. Of course he's still in his newborn stage, so he throws us for a loop sometimes (e.g., sleeping four straight hours one night, then feeding literally every hour the next--guess who ends up not getting any sleep?). But it's more manageable now.

Besides, it's hard not to be happy when he's learned how to do this:

Friday, March 1, 2013

Showered with Lurve

I intended to do all these detailed posts about all the other wonderful baby showers that my loved ones organized for me, but motherhood came a few days early, and well, my schedule was turned upside down. I still want to write about them though (or show a few photos), even if it is just a quickie post (about all I have time for these days).

First, my family threw together a shower for me, and my cousin used her son's old Ninja Turtles as decor.

For giveaways, I experimented with sugar cookie stamping, and used the design of a "Monster Man" shirt a friend/pseudo-sister gave for the stamp. At the back, there's a sticker that says, "That means 'thank you!' -Little Monster"

My husband's friends also organized a shower for me at Eleven Tables, a fondue place.

My teammates threw me one (complete with my Officers' Club favorite buttered chicken)...

...and we played a round of disc golf aterwards. I was around 35 weeks pregnant so my sense of balance while throwing the disc was a little off!


Finally, my former co-workers decorated an area of Borough for me--diaper tower atop a disc, balloons, cupcakes, and all!

This was one of the best things about being pregnant--just feeling so much love from everyone! A big thank you to all those who took the time and effort to welcome our little monster!