When I was in the throes of labor, I wasn’t exactly thrilled to see Zach capturing it on camera. But now that it’s all said and done, I have to admit that it’s pretty cool to have Parker’s “birth day” documented from start to finish. Watching this video brings back all the excitement of those first hours and days of his life, and it will be so cool to show it to him one day.
This has been a good week so far! The weather has been gorgeous, so we’ve been taking lots of walks around the neighborhood and in Washington Park. I also got back on my bike for the first time in 10 months, and I can’t even begin to describe how great that felt. My dad and I rode almost 12 miles, which is nothing compared to the 20-25 we usually did before I got pregnant, but I’m easing back in.
Oh yes, and then there’s Parker :) He’s up to 9 lb, 5 oz this week, my big boy! His personality is getting bigger, too. One of the things that makes his smile most is when I kiss him — his whole face lights up and he opens his mouth in a huge grin. It melts my heart.
Other things he loves: ceiling fans, the picture Zach took in Florence that is hanging above the couch, bath time, and riding in his carseat. We took our first road trip to St. Louis this past weekend, and he was a dream of a passenger:
As usual, there was no shortage of adorable photos this week. But my favorite would have to be the one we took for a photo contest at People.com in honor of the royal baby. My little Prince Parker!
Those faces are too much! Zach and I may be biased, but we both think that he gets cuter by the day I’ve taken so many photos that my computer memory is almost completely full (which won’t stop me from continuing to take at least 10 per day!).
You can read all the books, take all the classes, and seek all the advice you want prior to becoming a parent, but what I quickly found out is that you can never be fully prepared. It’s all about “on the job” training and learning as you go. After 6 weeks, I’m getting to know myself as a mom and have already learned some important lessons. Here are but a few of many…
- Postpartum hormones are no joke. Several friends warned me that there would be lots of crying and emotional meltdowns in the days and weeks following the baby’s arrival, and boy were they right about that. I’m lucky that the hormonal craziness went away for the most part after a couple weeks, but I still have my moments.
- It’s possible to become a “baby person” if you weren’t one before. I never was, but just as I’d heard, it’s totally different when the baby is your own. I am so, so in love with my son and could kiss and cuddle him all day long.
- I have incredible respect for parents who don’t have family living close by. Honestly, if not for our parents, I’m not sure how I would have survived the first weeks of Parker’s life. Even now, my mom comes over almost every morning so that I can get a few things done around the house and take a shower.
- “Letting things go” is not something I’m good at. Everyone kept telling me to forget about doing laundry, cleaning the house, making the bed, etc. but if those things weren’t done, I might have gone even more crazy than I already felt spending so much time at home. When given the choice between showering and vacuuming, the latter will always win out.
- Typing with one hand is a skill that I have mastered. In fact, I’m typing this blog post with my non-dominant hand, because my other arm is indisposed while I feed Parker. Typing on the computer is a little trickier than the iPhone, which is where I do most of my emailing and Facebooking these days.
- Speaking of Facebook, I’m totally one of those people who posts pics of their kids on a daily basis (sometimes even multiple times a day). For this, I make no apology.
- Candy Crush Saga is addictive if you aren’t careful. I needed something to do on my phone during all those late-night feedings, so I thought this game would be fun and harmless. It’s fun all right, but I am getting a little too hooked for my own good. Not to mention that it makes me crave candy even more than I already do!
- Now that Zach is a dad, I see him in a whole new light. Never would I have guessed that he’d be willing to change diapers every night at 2 am, nor did I imagine he’d become a champion swaddler (it still counts if the blankets have velcro). I’m lucky to have such a wonderful husband and partner in parenthood.
- I miss working. I really thought that once Parker was born, I would completely dread having to spend hours apart from him when it came time to return to work. Don’t get me wrong: I’m loving my maternity leave, but I’m looking forward to seeing my kiddos, playing my instruments (I haven’t touched the guitar in 6 weeks…hope I remember how to play), and feeling productive. The fact that I’ll have the best of both worlds — spending the day with Parker and then working (at my home studio) in the afternoons/evenings — will definitely make for an easier transition.
- Being a parent really is the most amazing thing ever. 9 months of pregnancy, childbirth, sleepless nights, and dirty diapers are nothing compared to the joy of holding my baby and knowing that I get to watch him grow up. Cheesy, yes; but completely true.
I really could keep adding to this list, but my right hand is getting tired and Parker is almost finished eating. By far, the biggest lesson learned thus far is that I still have A LOT to learn when it comes to mommyhood. I’ll have to write a follow-up to this post in another 6 weeks…maybe by then my little guy will let me put him down long enough to type with both hands :)
The summer is flying by, and Parker is growing by the day. Everyone keeps telling me how soon I’ll forget that he was ever this little, so I am taking tons of pictures and holding him as much as possible.
The first month felt a bit like I was living someone else’s life; as much as I absolutely adore my son, I missed the way things used to be. But now we’re five weeks in and I’m finally getting used to life with a newborn — it feels, dare I say, normal. It helps that I’m feeling much better physically and emotionally, and we’re getting out of the house much more often. In the last couple of weeks, we’ve been to the park, shopping, and friends’ houses. I love showing Parker off almost as much as the change of scenery :)
The most exciting thing this week has been witnessing Parker’s first “real” smiles. I was lucky to catch a few of them with my iPhone, and they are by far my favorite photos of him up until now. Most of the time he looks so serious; his smiley faces are so cute and playful.
The most EXHAUSTING aspect of this week has been the constant eating. Parker’s going through what can only be a major growth spurt, and he demands food almost every hour of the day (and most nights, too). Luckily everyone tells me this is temporary, and soon we’ll go back to a much more normal eating and sleeping schedule.
So in the meantime, I’m just trying to enjoy the extra bonding we’re doing during all those feedings. Oh, and playing lots of Candy Crush Saga on my iPhone ;)
I had grand visions of spending my maternity leave blogging, writing in Parker’s baby book, writing and recording songs, organizing my house, etc. while the baby slept peacefully in his bassinet a few feet away. HA! The number one lesson I’ve learned since becoming a mom: don’t expect to get much of anything done with a newborn in your arms.
Parker has made it clear that in my arms is where he likes to be at ALL times. Sometimes if I’m lucky I can put him down in his rock ‘n play without waking him up, and he’ll nap there for awhile (which is how I’m getting this blog post written), but mostly I hold him, which leaves me with only one hand free. Needless to say, I spend a lot of time watching TV and playing on my iPhone.
This first month of Parker’s life has been mostly wonderful, with just a few hiccups along the way. I’m coming to terms with the fact that my job now is to care for and feed my baby, and that I have to let everything else go. It’s been a big adjustment, in all honesty. But when I’m holding him in my arms, watching him eat or sleep so peacefully, I feel like he is all I need in life.
This morning at his one-month checkup, we found out that Parker has grown two inches since birth and is in the 85th percentile for length! He is also gaining weight like a champ and the doctor called him “perfect” — we are so lucky.
And now, some photo highlights from this past month:
My kissy-faced angel!
Destined for superstardom.
Meeting his Uncle Josh and Aunt Jeni for the first time.
Chilling out after bathtime.
Isn’t THAT the truth.
Our little family.