Week 8 was (relatively) great!

Week eight was full of firsts, most of them good! Thanks to my co-worker and friend Krissi, Dave and I enjoyed our first night out. Here’s Dave and me, in the only outfit I could manage to fit over my “birthing hips”:

And here is Krissi, loving on Suzianne: 

Also, week eight saw the reunion of my diet, deli meat and brie! Oh, brie, how I’ve missed you. Especially on this turkey sandwich from Au Bon Pain:

I’m still sort of in shock at how I managed to finish my first week of 5k training. I ran three times during week eight, using the Ease into 5k app. I’m really enjoying this, oddly enough. I think it’s due to my newly purchased headphones and the RockMyRun playlist I bought (h/t Becca). I’m finding I prefer to run outside (while Dave watches the baby). But if Suzianne is having an unpredictable nap and Dave is at work, she chills with me upstairs to our fancy pants gym:

I believe it’s Suzianne’s new tendency fight sleep that led to her first actual meltdown. Parents of colic-y babies will want to smack me for saying her first meltdown came at week eight. But it’s true.

Before this week, she’d cry if she was hungry or sleepy, but she’s never wailed for no particular reason like she has this week. I think she’s overtired; pictured below. What do you think?

BUT! This week ended on a high note with a two day visit from Granny Sue Sue! As you would expect, there were manicures and cocktails:

And since mom’s MO is to take Suzianne out for hours at a time, Dave and I got some much needed alone/sleeping/running/Internet time! Everybody wins! Thanks, Granny Sue Sue!

Coming up for week nine: our two-month doctor’s check up, lots of visits from friends and co-workers, more running and our first playdates! Stay tuned…all of these logistics in one week could lead to a post about how awesome a mother I am, or how I’m a complete disaster.

Week 7: the weak-end becomes The Weekend

A few weeks ago, I was frazzled and Dave said, “Don’t worry, the weekend is only a few days away.” I was all, “HaHaHaHaHa! ‘The weekend’ is just another day to me.”

That was, now that I think back on it, rather rude of me.

To Dave, the weekend is a time when he is here and can help take the load off of me. And he does that–and does it gladly, and does it well. But still, for the past six weeks, “the weekend” was truly just another day because all days bled together in one Motrin and Colace-induced haze of boobs, fretting, eating, not sleeping, and Law and Order episodes. I just couldn’t enjoy “the weekend.”

But this weekend, was awesome. It was productive, fun, restful and romantic. {Dave would be puzzled by the last descriptor there, but I find taking me to the mall, pushing the stroller the whole time, helping me pick out a dress at Ann Taylor and then making me pancakes the next day quite romantic.}  

Some highlights of my first real, post-baby weekend:

I got stuff done: Saturday morning, I went to the bank, wrote one more thank you note, took Georgia to the groomer, and got my nails did {we have established how important productivity is to me}. While I was doing all of that, Dave was out on the town with Suzianne:

Baby’s first metro ride:  Saturday afternoon, we took the Metro to the mall. It was Suzianne’s first Metro ride! She was wide-awake and semi-cranky as we strolled the three blocks to the station, waited for, and boarded the train:

The train started moving; after about 60 seconds, she was out cold:

And she stayed that way for three hours, enabling Team Newman to take advantage of amazing sales at Cole Haan, Ann Taylor and Macy’s.

The next day, we all piled up in the bed until Noon, rotating shifts on feeding, diapering, napping and picture-taking:

I even read a book! It’s hilarious. I love Mindy Kaling.

And finally, there were pancakes (with Flax seed to boost breast milk production) and…wait for it…sugar-coated bacon. I am not even joking. Dave made it and I ate nearly all of it:

So what if Sunday night, Suzianne only went three hours between feedings and then decided sleep was no longer an option from 3 to 8 a.m. 

The weekend and I are reunited and I’ve ingested, like, seven pounds of bacon.

Now, there’s nothing I can’t handle and you should all be very afraid.

Week 6: have I mentioned I’m Type-A?

This week, I was 34 minutes late to a doctor’s appointment, wrote three thank you notes, scrubbed one toilet, brushed my teeth before noon on several occasions, and showered nearly every-other-day. In short, week six was ever-so-slightly productive. And this is very important to me, because my obsession with getting things done has not waned since giving birth.

As the weeks go by, Dave and I are learning ways to game the system in our effort to hold onto at least some level of pre-baby productivity.

One trick to actually getting out of the house seems to be dining with the old people.

On Saturday afternoon, sweet Dave made us early reservations at Ruth’s Chris so we could have a romantic dinner with a (hopefully) sleeping infant third wheel. The key was getting there at 5 p.m., the moment their doors opened. We wanted to be sure we wouldn’t disturb the steak-eating fancy folk if Suzianne decided to get vocal. This strategy made the outing much less stressful than last time.

It worked! Suzianne slept like a champ and we enjoyed a fabulous one hour and fifteen minute dinner without a single baby peep:

I didn’t have to feed her or even rock the stroller. We took this commemorative photo to document our awesomeness:

And we were home by 6:20 p.m.

Of course, the moment we entered the apartment, she was STARVING. But that was okay because baby can have whatever she wants when momma has just had beer, steak and potatoes.

Second trick we learned this week: make do with what you have.

Special shout out to Dave for taking the empty Ruth’s Chris to-go bags and stuffing them into Suzianne’s diaper bag. He said he thought I might need them at some point to put a dirty diaper in.

At the time, I thought he was crazy. Three days later, when I changed Suzianne’s diaper in the trunk of our Audi and needed a place to store her poop, I was singing Dave’s praises:

Speaking of the Audi, 30 minutes after using our trunk for a change table, I had to pull over and feed her on my way to my doctors appointment (thus, being 34 minutes late). So happy I had thrown some breast milk in a bottle before I headed out; the bottle was much easier than stripping down on the side of the road:

I’ll be honest with you though, I’m struggling with all the to-do’s I want to check off, but cannot. Dave and I both acknowledge life is different now, but that doesn’t mean we can change how we are wired.

We are people who get things done. It will take some time for me to get used to the fact that some days, the only thing I will accomplish is feeding and loving on our baby.

Deep down I know that if “keeping baby alive and well” is the one box I check off today, that’s still an awesome accomplishment. And a privilege. But it does’t make it an easy pill to swallow.

In the interest of keeping it real, I’ll tell you that during week six, I really had a hard time facing this new reality.

But, hey, today, did the laundry AND kept Suzianne alive and fed. She even had on cute socks. So, I’m feeling pretty good about week seven…

Week 5: I’m starting to understand why people have children

The first four weeks of a baby’s life are a lot like pregnancy: it’s beautiful, but it ain’t pretty. 

I love Suzianne. But during those first weeks, I really had a hard time understanding why folks KEEP having children after they already have one. Don’t they know what they are signing up for? I seriously pondered this for three weeks. During this time, didn’t stare adoringly into her eyes; mine was a gaze of overwhelming, throat-clinching fear.

But folks kept saying it would get better; it totally has. For example, I now can drink a Fat Tire while nursing. BOOM.

How’s that for multitasking?

Week five shall forever be known as The Week Things Started to Get Fun. (Besides the day my mom left; that was not at all fun). I think the “fun” has to do with my hormones calming down and my confidence going up.

When you’re not stressed out/having breakdowns about how you don’t know what you’re doing, you actually can enjoy mimosas and manicures, and visitors; you can make fun of explosive poo, and attempt the origami that is the Baby Bjorn.

Here’s Dave showing off his mad baby-wearing skills. Proving he can take care of our spawn while playing video games AND doing some sort of odd Captain Morgan stance:

Also fun, watching the new and cool things your child discovers and does each day. Like how to make boogers the size of a penny:

No wonder she couldn’t breathe on Sunday.

I’ll have to check and see if there is place to document “First Booger” in the baby book.

Speaking of books, this week, I started to pick up on some things I used to do regularly, like write thank you notes and read. Only now, I find my Kindle has sprouted tiny arms and occasionally smells like poop:

I’m also happy to report that this week, Suzianne is starting to smile at us–and not just when she’s gassy. She seems to know our voices, too.

We’re grateful for these precious, early days, when our baby is an all-around happy kiddo who is completely oblivious to how geeky and weird her parents are.

This week, I really did catch myself just staring at her for 20 and 30 minutes at a time. This week, I’m only overwhelmed by how much I love her. How perfect she is. Sometimes I look over and see Dave doing the same thing. Even Georgia does it.

NOW I see why folks have children. They do it because of moments like these:


Week 4: the hormonal fog is lifting

The week started out rocky, but getting out of the house each day, combined with Dave forcing me to clean house less and nap more, has helped more than I can say.

Seriously. Any attempt I make at explaining this emotional transformation will seem like an exaggeration. But, dude. What a difference sleep and fresh air make.

To the currently preggers: please, please promise me you will find a way to get out of your house once you have this baby and your lady parts no longer throb. Having a baby in the winter? Never fear; this is why God made Nordstom.

Dave and I ventured out today and found all kinds of fun things at their Pentagon City Mall location. Like a yummy cafe that pipes in soft jazz and has free WiFi, and super-fancy “Mothers’ Room” for feeding and changing your kiddo and whatnot:

Hat Tip: Beth. OMG you were so right about this place!

As an added bonus, the Cafe and Mothers’ Room are right next to the ADORABLE, fancy-pants Nordstrom baby clothes section.

Of note: whenever I want to see what something will look like on Suzianne, I make Dave hold it up to himself. Here’s Dave modeling how Suzianne will look in this dress (which we now own) when she’s trying to poop:

Special thanks to Granny Sue Sue for making today’s Team Newman Starbucks/Park/Nordstrom adventure possible. While we were galavanting around Northern Virginia, Suzianne was enjoying her day at the GSS spa:

Today, I go in for my one month check up.

It’s hard to believe that it’s been a month since Suzianne came barreling out into the world. I’m so glad she’s ours, even if she has knocked my hormones and beloved to-do list off kilter.

Week 3: in the interest of keeping it real

Whoa. This week was very much like my first trimester of pregnancy: I’m so thankful for this opportunity, but dude, it’s kicking my butt.

It’s so hard to explain how even when staring into the beautiful face of your happy, content, healthy infant, you can feel so overwhelmed, inadequate and frustrated. Also, so many awesome things happened this week, like Suzianne meeting her Great Grandparents,  her Uncle Larry, and our fabulous former DC neighbors:  

But it’s the little things, like not sleeping at night and forgetting to eat lunch…and dinner, that start to add up. Soon, you can’t handle bigger things, like attending to the backlog of thank you notes (sorry, friends!), mastering the breast pump or scouting out a private place to breast feed your child when you’re out at a fancy Ruth’s Chris steak dinner.

Yes, last Friday, we went to Ruth’s Chris to celebrate my Grandparent’s 59th wedding anniversary. The smell of steak was too much for Suzianne (that’s my girl!); she was immediately STARVING. Like, OMG, my momma SO NEVER FEEDS ME, ya’ll. 

The first time I nursed her, we were standing in the women’s room for 20 minutes because I was trying to be nice and not take up the ONE stall. I got several mean/confused stares from ladies coming and going. Thanks for your support, ladies.

Of course, 30 minutes later, she smelled potatoes au gratin was STARVING again. Like, for the love of all things holy momma, WHY DON’T YOU EVER FEED ME?

Determined not to re-live my ladies bathroom debacle, I sought out a more private place. But no such place could be found–even in The World’s Largest Ruth’s Chris. So, I nursed my baby here–on the nasty carpet floor in front of what I later figured out was the Men’s bathroom (sadly, the spider that was camped out with me is not pictured):

I only realized it was the men’s room when a nice gentleman asked if he could “squeeze by.” I thought he was exiting the building through a stairwell. Then: WHOOSH.

{Headsmack} Only the best for my baby! (sigh)

The encouraging part was when the nice dude stepped over me and Suzianne to exit the men’s room: He turned to me and said, “I want you to know I fully support what you are doing. It’s the best thing for your child. I’m just sorry you are having to do it here, like this. Ruth’s Chris should really have a ladies lounge for you.”

Amen, brother. I so appreciated that man! But I sat there and cried anyway.

The good news: our girl turned three weeks old yesterday. She is a thriving, healthy, happy little lady. We are blessed. Even if my hormones reduce me to crying fits most days.

If my momma weren’t here, I may have lost my mind by this point. Good lord, I owe my momma so much. There’s no way I can ever repay her for taking such good care of me and Suzianne these past three weeks. We love you, Granny Sue Sue:

Also, a big shout out to the Internet, which enables the amazingly thoughtful women in my life to send me emails and Facebook messages of support. I appreciate your tips, tricks and humor more than you know, friends.

The good news: every woman who has ever had a baby has shared these same emotions. It’s so hard, but so awesome all at the same time. So, I’m picking myself up, Fabreezing the carpet (there may or may not have been some infant projectile vomiting last night) taking a shower and starting anew. Here’s to a cry-free week four!

Week 2: Granny Sue Sue has magic baby soothing powers

My momma, the baby whisperer, and her super-alert grandbaby:

Today, Granny Sue Sue had Suzianne all dressed up in her Puritan bonnet. Clearly, we had to show this off, so, we went to Ted’s Montana Grille:

Oh, yes! This means I left the house today. For five entire hours! Here’s proof:

It was Dave’s first day back at work. Since I was all sad about that, mom kept me occupied. When Dave got home, it was tummy time–it was wonderful to have him back:

Our little Suzianne is two weeks old today. We couldn’t possibly love her more. We are learning to be patient with her and ourselves as we learn how to do this new parent thing. But, Suzianne seems to be acclimating to the new human thing just fine:

Week 1: we’re all learning here

Happy First Week on Earth, Suzianne!

So far, we’ve managed to birth you, establish breast feeding, bathe you, take you to the doctor, change your clothes without breaking you, take a million pictures of your amazing cheeks and, well, keep you alive! You’ve also got an impressive stream of blog traffic and a healthy Twitter following, for a newborn. Well done, sister.

Here are some highlights:

One week old:

Fresh out of the oven with her daddy:

A few hours out of the oven with her Granny Sue Sue:

First bath!

First girly dress!

There is no shortage of Suzianne pictures:

Learning to appreciate Apple products: