Okay – I’ve decided that I need to dedicate specific days to blogging or I’ll never blog again. Today I am declaring that I will blog 3 times a week on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. This way – I won’t let so much time pass me by (and it also makes topics a little easier).
Even though Annie is over a month old (she’ll be 6 weeks on Saturday! Holy hell – where did the time go?!), I thought I”d take a moment to reflect on the first month of being a new parent.
First – it wasn’t as difficult as I thought it would be. While I still feel like I don’t know what I’m doing (seriously – how do you “play” with a newborn?!) – I didn’t kill Annie and I never found myself feeling completely helpless or like a total failure. Annie is the first baby I’ve ever: fed, changed a diaper, held for an extended period of time, swaddled, etc. You get the idea – I wasn’t experienced in the baby department. But now I feel like I’ve gotten into the groove of caring for her.
Other things I’ve learned:
- Newborns aren’t totally breakable. People have commented on how Annmarie (I interchange calling her Annmarie and Annie… and I’m sure this will just confuse her for awhile) has really good neck strength for her age. I don’t feel like I always have to support her head (I still do but I don’t flip about it). I’ve also hit her head on a few things. She’s also scratched herself on my necklace and Jeremy even tripped going down the stairs (he missed the last step) while holding her. And she’s still here… alert and happy.
- You don’t have to jump everytime the baby cries. Jeremy still kind of jumps up immediately when Annie cries but I’ve learned that sometimes she’s just making sounds… and she does this a lot in her sleep.
- It is not impossible to leave the house with a newborn. While I haven’t been able to come up with many activities outside of shopping (and this is quite dangerous for our budget) – I’ve learned that it isn’t impossible to leave the house with a newborn. I still, however, get anxiety about her crying when we’re out. It actually makes me sweat. As one friend told me, “Who cares? Babies cry. People know that.” I need to relax.
- You need to be fast with diaper changes. You also need to wait a few minutes before changing a diaper. Just because you hear that loud poop, it doesn’t mean she doesn’t have more coming. One a few occasions, she has PROJECTED poop during a diaper change (actually – it was a shart but it still shot out and off the changing table). She also likes to pee when her diaper gets changed. So – you need to have the new diaper ready or you risk getting drenched.
- Parents will give you unsolicited advice… ALL THE TIME. If one more person says, “oh she’s hungry” to me anytime she fusses, I will scream. Now – there are some occasions when she actually IS hungry but more often than not, she’s just fussy. My mom is VERY guilty of this and has accused me of starving my baby and being mean.
- Your own parents will criticize you by talking to your baby. Is this a universal thing or just a Korean mom thing? My mom LOVES to dish the criticism while talking to the baby. She’ll coo to her, “your mommy is mean” or “your mommy is stingy with her milk” or even “your mommy is freezing you”. (I’ve learned that your own parents will never think you keep your baby warm enough.)
- Newborns sleep A LOT. I worried that I was perhaps letting her sleep too much but I went to a sleep training discussion last night and learned that it was perfectly normal… and in fact, she may not be sleeping enough. Whoops.
- Just when you think you’ve got a “schedule” – you don’t. Newborns are tricky. Just because you had 2 good nights, it does not mean the third night will go as swimmingly as the others. You just have to go with the flow.
- Accept help when it is offered! I’m thankful for the friends that have stopped over to help (and help sometimes is just having them hold Annie while I eat dinner).
- Time flies so enjoy it all. I can’t believe we’re almost at 6 weeks. A lot of it is a blur and it is almost scary to think that she’s just getting older and older… and at some point she will be a teenager. Be sure to take lots of pictures (moms – be sure to get lots of pictures with YOU and the baby. I’m failing miserably at this.)
And in case you don’t look at my Flickr pics, I thought I’d share her weekly photos.
The tutu was courtesy of my SIL. She has 2 boys so she is loving that she can now buy girly baby clothes. And you can see that Annie HATED the tutu.
I know it looks like she’s smiling in Week 5 but she’s actually about to cry. But I’m glad we captured the moment before because she looks so happy!
As for that awesome monkey? I made that. There is another mom blogger that takes weekly photos of her son with a sock monkey and I loved the idea of having a constant “prop” so you can really see the growth of the baby. I also think I’ve under-utilized my monkey.
Lastly – Annie had her first official “play date” with some other babies (it has been a baby explosion around here within the last year). At the end of the play date, the moms wanted to take a photo of all the babies together in order of age. I love this photo because you can really see the developmental differences across the age groups. Annie looks like a sad little sack…
Ages from left to right: Annie – 5 weeks, Kolton – 7 1/2 weeks, Harrison – about 6 months, Charlotte – about 8 months
(And seriously – I know I’ve said it before but I promise I won’t turn this into a complete mom/baby blog.)