Hey there friends! Sorry I've been super MIA this month...July has been quite the month, not going to lie. We're really looking forward to August starting and putting this past month behind us. There's nothing like a dose of positivity and fresh starts, right?
So last week the Bear turned 6 months old! How do we have a 6 month old already!? Time has truly flown by but I've loved every second of it.
Weight: 17 lbs
Height: 25.5 in
My little growing boy, wow are you getting so big! You still love to nurse and prefer Mama's breastmilk over everything else, so we shall keep going! Next goal: one year! You eat about 36 oz of milk a day and last weekend we gave you oatmeal for the first time. You LOVED it! Pretty soon we'll be trying out fruits and veggies, little man! You went through a bit of a sleep regression towards the tail end of this month...thank you leap 5 and 6 month growth spurt, so we've all been a little tired. You're slowly getting back on track though. We ran in to some allergy problems the last couple weeks, too that I'm sure aren't helping your comfort at night. You developed a pretty bad diaper rash and eczema from whatever you're allergic to, but it's slowly getting better. You definitely looked like a baboon for a bit there but plenty of diaper free play time and some good ole Honest products is clearing it right up. You've also changed your poop schedule. Instead of once a week you go about five times a day now. Dad and I actually miss those big once a week poops now, ha!
We went on lots of more fun adventures this last month, too! We celebrated 4th of July with Grandma and Grandpa during the day and had a BBQ at home that night. You were asleep before the fireworks started but I promise next year we'll go see some! We also went to the zoo with Grandma and Grandpa! Of all the animals, your favorite were horses, ha! Our good friend Corinna came to visit and meet you for a whole week, too. We explored Lake Geneva, adventured around Milwaukee, and took her to our favorite brunch spot, Bistrot Zinc, and spent a day at the Field Museum. You loved all the dinosaurs at the museum! Are you going to be a history buff just like Mom and Dad?
So you and Wrigley are so in love with each other. You did your first real laugh thanks to him! Mama was playing fetch with him and you thought it was the funniest thing! You are so talkative and you say things that resemble Mom, Da, and yeah. You are also a pro at rolling over now! You scoot backward and can lift yourself up so well. You could spend hours in your jumper and have taken a huge liking to board books! You love giving Mama kisses and you've started waving! You randomly wave at people and things and it's the cutest thing in world. And just before your half birthday mark, you mastered sitting up on your own! Now there's just so many ways for you to play with all your toys.
I am so excited for what's to come in this next month from crawling (!?) to trying more foods with you, but I also wish time could stand still. I love every single moment with you, baby boy, and I still can't believe I'm so blessed to be your mama. Love you to the moon and right back, Kai Bear.
Childbirth is messy, really really messy but at the same time it is the most beautiful experience of your life. I've had so many women tell me how scared they are of labor and delivery and my response is always to remember that it is just one day. Yes it's hard and painful, but it's a good pain. There's a point to it and it's not hurting you. The pain of the contractions are a wonderful thing because with each one you are closer to meeting your baby. There's a lot of intense things that happen before, during, and after labor that so many women just keep to themselves or say to other moms "you know what I mean." While this may not be appropriate dinner table talk, I want you to know it's ok to talk about it. It's ok to say out loud, I tore, I have hemorrhoids, I was a gusher.. I'm always here to be honest with you guys, so here it is, all of that happened to me. I personally wish that I had found other blog posts that were brutally honest about childbirth before I gave birth to Kai. I'm not here to scare you but it does happen but you know what else? You heal! You really really do. The human body is extraordinary, especially women's bodies! Sorry guys, but it's true. Women are far superior in every way. I read a hilarious quote at the very beginning of my pregnancy and it was, "There's a reason God decided women would give birth and not men." We're so strong, stronger than you can ever imagine yourself and I promise you can do it. We are meant to do this and it's all so wonderful.
Belly Itching + Stretch Marks
My bump was itching so bad the last couple weeks of my pregnancy. I remember being so miserable and nothing would help. Our skin gets stretched so far to make room for these little nuggets that it's just bound to happen. I got some pretty gnarly stretch marks at the very end but I've been using the Honest Company Belly Balm and it has worked wonders to lighten them up. You can't even see them anymore! The itching goes away too about a week after giving birth. I still had a little bit of it right after but that's because your skin is snapping back to normal. Seriously, our bodies are amazing.
Losing the Plug
If you're pregnant and getting close to the end, there's going to be a lot of talk about losing your mucus plug. It's gross yes, but it happens when you go to the bathroom. I lost mine all at once when my water broke. You flush it down the toilet and that's that. I've heard that some women can lose it early and some can lose it a little bit here and there. Whatever it may be, you just wash it away and know that pretty soon it's going to be baby time! See? Always a positive outcome even with the gross stuff.
Only about 10% of women's water break before labor starts. I am proud to say I am in that 10%! I was terrified that this would happen to me at work and that I would be a gusher. Well I was a gusher but thankfully it happened in the comfort of my own home. I definitely would have been embarrassed if I was out in public and especially if it was somewhere like work where I would have to see these people again! However, if it does happen, who cares, especially if you're just out and about! You'll never see those people again and you have much more to think about than what people think of you wetting your pants ha! To ease your comfort though, most women really do start to have contractions first and a lot of times your doctor or midwife will have to break your water for you. So either way, know you are not alone. It also may be a slow trickle or you might just start gushing water like I did. For me the beginning sensation started while I was laying in bed. It woke me up in the morning actually. I felt this purging sensation down in my vagina and thought "hm, that feels weird" and got up to go to the bathroom. Then whoosh it all started coming out. Whatever it may be, just carry a towel around with you until you get in to your hospital bed if it breaks before you get to the hospital. Just remember that once in breaks, you're guaranteed to meet your babe in the next 24 hours!
Pain of Contractions
At first, they really don't hurt. They're just weird. Before I went in to labor I remember scouring the internet for what they feel like because I just needed to know and I could never find anything that truly described them. So here it is. For me, they were a strong tightening of my lower abdomen and I felt a lot of pressure pushing down in to my vagina. That's it. None of this intense sharp cramping that you picture or anything like that. The most uncomfortable part and I imagine painful part is that the pressure gets more and more as you dilate. I opted to receive an epidural when I was 5 cm dilated and that is when the pressure was becoming very uncomfortable. After I got the epidural though, they didn't hurt at all!
I had a second degree tear with Kai. I tore externally and internally and had to receive stitches. Thanks to the epidural though I didn't feel the tearing happening or the stitching happening. I heard it though. It was a series of pops and all I could think was yep there it goes...but hey then my baby was born! They put your little bundle on your chest and your doctor takes care of you and you seriously don't even notice. Afterwards, you're sore but I imagine all women are even if you don't tear! You just gave birth to a human after all. Just use the ice packs the hospital gives you and when you get home start using the padsicles you prepared. Here's the recipe for the ones I made. They seriously do wonders and I healed so quickly thanks to them! Also use the peribottle that the hospital gives you after every bathroom visit to keep yourself clean down there. The stitches just dissolve in your body so nothing falls out or anything crazy like that. At your 6 week postpartum appointment with your doctor or midwife, they will check it and make sure you are all good and I promise you will be. Just rest, take ibuprofen, and ice when you can!
Peeing Your Pants
So I haven't ever really experienced this but it definitely does happen to a lot of women so if you're in this bucket, you're seriously not alone! I had a friend tell me one day during her pregnancy she had pee running down her leg and we just laughed about it because who cares, it happens to the best of us! Just wear a pad around if you feel your pelvic floor weakening. Do some kegels when you can it'll get stronger over time. There's so much weight baring down and then during delivery your pushing so hard, your bound to mess it up. But just like everything else, it really does get better over time. I still wear a pad when I workout just in case. No shame mamas!
Pooping on the Table
I have no idea if this happened to me. It might have? I don't know and you know why? Because for 1 you can't see, 2 you can't feel it, and 3 the nurses just clean it up for you or it just drops right in to the bag at the end of the table. Trust me, a lot is coming out of you other than stools so seriously don't concern yourself with any of it. Just concentrate on your pushing your babe out...that's all that matters!
The First Postpartum Bowel Movement + Hemorrhoids
Ok sorry ladies but this one hurts. Like a fricken mother f*****. I'm not trying to scare anyone but oh my goodness this is probably the only thing I'm dreading with future babies. But like I've been stressing over and over again it all gets better over time. To help with all of this do sitz baths with either the contraption they give you at the hospital or just sit in your bath tub. I opted for the bath tub because I had a very bruised tailbone after giving birth. I would fill it with a little bit of water and a few drops of tea tree oil and just sit for about 10 to 15 min. It was a nice break and time to myself actually. Also use baby wipes (I'm sure you have plenty) to wipe yourself after going as toilet paper can be a little rough and really irritate hemorrhoids. Preparation H, those padiscles, and stool softeners will help them heal, too. This was honestly the most uncomfortable part for me and I definitely got frustrated that this part of postpartum took so long to go away and I actually still struggle with this now 5 months postpartum but you just learn to deal. Some days it hurts still but most days it doesn't. Once again...time is your best friend with all this healing.
Post delivery will feel like a very heavy period. You'll need to wear a pad 24/7 and yes I really do recommend just wearing the granny panty mesh underwear from the hospital for the first 2 weeks. I felt like I was wearing a diaper most of the time but it was better than ruining clothes, sheets, or the couch. The bleeding gets better each week and mine was completely gone by 4 weeks.
I didn't get this one too bad either, thank goodness but I know it does happen. At the hospital I was told at the beginning to wipe my nipples with a warm cloth after each feeding and let them air dry. Then apply some nipple cream. I started out using the Lansinoh nipple cream and it did help but it stained my clothes! So be careful ladies, it's like grease so if you wash and dry your clothes you'll never get those stains out. I switched to using the Honest Nipple Balm and it's been amazing. You don't really need it after about week 2 but every once in awhile I'll apply a little because they can get sore from pumping.
Baby Blues, Postpartum Depression, + Postpartum Psychosis
So of all the things us mamas experience after birth, this topic is definitely one of the most serious and important ones. Our emotional and mental health is so important and it is extremely rocked after giving birth...hell it's even messed with during pregnancy...hello crazy pregnancy hormones! It is completely normal to experience baby blues after giving birth. Some moms feel it right away and it sets in later for others. Our hormones are going haywire to get back to normal or to stabilize for breastfeeding. However, if it's been months and you still can't stop crying, have severe anxiety, or if it's more on the extreme side where you are hallucinating, have thoughts of harming yourself or others, and aren't able to complete any of your normal daily tasks then I encourage you with my whole heart to call your doctor. There is no shame in any of this. It happens to all of us, myself included. After I went back to work I found it very hard to cope with my feelings, I struggled to be productive, and my anxiety was through the roof. I couldn't deal with small things or big things and thanks to my sister in law and one of my best friends I went to my doctor. I am proud to say I am doing so much better these days and I'm able to go through life now with a much clearer head. The thing is, it's not our fault that we feel this way. Thanks to all that we went through and are still going through our bodies just can't regulate its hormones without some help. It's all a part of motherhood and if you need the help of talking to someone or medication then please seek it out, it will help you to kick ass at life even more.
That about covers it. If I've forgotten anything or if you mamas have any other questions or advice for me and other moms please leave me a comment below! Hooray for the mess of being moms! It's a beautiful thing ;)
Location: Toledo, OH, USA
Happy 4th of July friends! I hope you're celebrating our beautiful country with wonderful friends and family with all the fireworks and BBQs today! We're planning on spending a relaxing day with our family and BBQing later tonight for dinner. Kai Bear goes to bed before all the fireworks start so those will have to wait for next year. Always something to look forward to though!
At the beginning of last month, we took our first road trip with Kai and it was for our family reunion that was in Toledo, OH. Toledo is where my dad grew up and the last two years we've been having family reunions with our entire Karavida side of the family. They have been so much fun reuniting with our family and meeting new family members each year! Our family is so big and spread out all over the country that there are actually members that I've never met before so it has been so wonderful to bring everyone together to create bonds with these family members as well as make new memories with all my amazing cousins.
We drove out on a Friday afternoon. Kai did fairly well in the car for it being his first road trip. It got a little sick of the drive around the half way mark but who can blame him!? Five hours in a car seat would be annoying for anyone but it was nothing a little bit of me crawling in to the back seat and entertaining him for awhile couldn't fix. Once we finally arrived in Toledo and got all checked in to our hotel (we stayed at the Radisson at the University of Toledo and we highly recommend it!), we headed out to dinner with some of our family at my favorite spot in all of Toledo, Shorty's True American Roadhouse. This place is so good you guys. We have to eat there every time we visit. They have the most yummy corn bread you can possibly imagine. We discovered that they use cake batter to make it, so no wonder it's so delicious!
The next day was reunion day! The shindig didn't start until the afternoon and now that we're early risers thanks to Kai, we got up early and made our way to downtown Toledo to spend some time just the 3 of us that morning. We drove around and got some Starbucks then hit up the Toledo Farmer's Market in search of some breakfast. While we didn't find any pastry stands we did find the coolest food truck called Big C's BBQ. Caleb got a pulled pork parfait that had pork, mashed potatoes, and gravy in it and I got BBQ nachos. All of it was SO GOOD! We walked around the market for a little bit too and I got some amazing soy candles from Heaven's Gate Soy Candles as well as some all natural bug repellent to use on Kai and even Wrigley!
After our morning downtown, we headed over to my aunt and uncle's house for the reunion. We just enjoyed spending time catching up with family and reminiscing about great times in the past. I truly cherish these events and hope they stay an annual thing! I'm so glad Kai's first little trip was spent with family and full of so much love.
What was your first family trip you took with your little one(s)? I'd love to know! Leave me a comment and tell me your story! Hope you all have a great 4th!
Happy Summer everyone! I'm only a week late with this post but we've had a lot going on this last week with some family stuff and I haven't been feeling too hot thanks to another clogged milk duct. Thankfully I got it cleared out though and am on the mend!
These last 5 months of have seriously just flown by.. I've really be reflecting how wonderful life has gotten with having Kai in it. He turned 5 months old last Sunday and it's actually been hard for me to grasp that he's this "old" already. Lately I've been really nostalgic for my pregnancy and those newborn days as I watch him grow and become a little bit more independent each day. But at the same time I'm so excited for each new thing we get to see him do or do with him. Motherhood is so complex but I love all of it so much.
Weight: 16.8 lbs
Height: 25 in
Month four was incredible. You are so happy, active, and a total mama's boy. You're going through a major phase where you want me and only me, and I don't mind one bit. You are starting to love to play on your own more and more so I'm cherishing the times you cling to me so much these days. You've started rolling over and scooting yourself around in circles on your play mats so you can play with all your toys. You're really loving Elmo these days and laugh whenever you watch him on TV. My favorite thing you've started doing though is you grab my face and give me kisses! They are the most slobbery wonderful little kisses I've ever gotten. We bought you a jumper, too and that is probably your favorite thing in the world right now. You can stay and jump in that thing for hours and then when you get tired you just lean back and chill in it. It makes me smile so big.
We went on some more adventures this last month, too! You took your first road trip and it was out to Toledo, OH for our family reunion. You met a bunch of your cousins and got to spend time with your great aunt and uncle again. You did get sick of being in the car for awhile though but I don't blame you, I get sick of being in the car too long, too. It's something you'll have to get use to though little one because we're going to be world travelers with you ;)! Your Auntie Em also came to visit and meet you a couple weeks ago, too. She spent a few days with us and we showed her all around Chicago, We took her to brunch, shopping, and lunch at Cindy's Rooftop. You were mesmerized by the view out on the balcony at Cindy's! You were of course so well behaved. You make me so proud to be your mama! We also took you to the carnival at Liberty Days, which is the annual festival that is held in our little town of Libertyville. We got corn dogs and cotton candy and you were so fascinated by all the fun lights on the rides. Maybe next year we can take you on a couple! We celebrated Father's Day this last month, too! It was Dad's first one and we celebrated with brunch at Bistrot Zinc and a day at the Museum of Science and Industry. We went to see the Pixar exhibit that is currently there and you slept through the whole thing, ha! You did enjoy the wind vortex and the wave simulator that we showed you at the beginning though.
You my little one are so ready for solid food. You stare so intently at us whenever we're eating and drinking something. Just one more month little guy and you can try it all! You've upped your milk intake a little bit though to about 32 oz a day. You've started waking up a little early these last couple weeks, too, but you put yourself back to sleep after a few minutes. I'm going to blame the early rising sun...or the 4 month sleep regression. You are still very hit or miss with your naps but you are officially out of your Love to Dream Swaddle Up and just sleeping in a sleep sack all day, every day!
You truly brighten up every room, Kai Bear. Your smile is so infectious and your little giggles make my heart flutter. We started a new little tradition this last month, too. Every Thursday that we can, we've started going to the farmer's market during my lunch break. We get lunch and eat it in the park and then stroll around and get some goodies from all the stands. I get so excited to go with you and look forward to it every week. I can't wait to start more traditions with you like this as time goes on. I read something incredible a couple weeks ago and it went something like this "you only get 18 summers with them, cherish every single one of them to the fullest." While I know we'll remain close when you become an adult and go off to college, I couldn't help but resonate with this and take it to heart. I want to cherish every single little thing with you for the next how every many years possible. I love you more than I can ever imagine loving anything my handsome baby boy. Let's have the best summer ever!
I’m Diana; curator & author of Tiny Dapper Fox. Here you’ll find posts on motherhood, home life, travel, & fashion/beauty as well as City Guides for places all around the world. Make yourself cozy and let’s be friends!
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