Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Reeves Go Road Trippin'

Sometimes when I have a ton of stuff I really need to get done, I get really overwhelmed and instead of doing those important things, I get distracted and do a bunch of things that don't particularly need doing. For example, right now I have approximately 439 errands to run, my house is a disaster, we have zero clean spoons in the house, and my baby is currently napping. So, logically I decided I should use this time to blog. In my defense, I never know if this kid is going to nap for 20 minutes or 3 hours, and I hate getting all invested in a project only to have my little cherub interrupt me and demand I feed him. Babies, man!

We got back yesterday afternoon from a wonderful trip to Utah to see both our families. I am already learning that once you have kids, you no longer go on "vacation", you go on "trips". It wasn't very relaxing and I rarely slept more than 5-6 hours a night, but it was so worth it to see our amazing families. The drive was perfect. It's a 10 hour drive, and Nate slept the entire time both ways. That is like the most he has slept since he entered this world. I am considering just asking someone to drive Nate and me around all night and I will lay in the back and sleep since apparently sleeping in the car is Nate's jam.

Anywho. We pulled into Logan on Saturday, played with the Reeves, and blessed baby Nathan on Sunday afternoon. It was such a perfect blessing. Cary blessed him that he would always have a testimony of the gospel of Jesus Christ, that he would be smart and eager to learn, and that he would be a blessing to those around him with his light. It was a beautiful blessing and we were so happy we were able to bless him surrounded by so much family. Nathan was blessed in the arms of both of his grandpas and many of his uncles, and it was a sweet and tender day for our little babe.
With all of family that made it to the blessing
The Reeves (minus the little kids who went MIA for pictures)
Love those Reichmans! Thanks for driving out to be with us!
The men who helped bless Nate. What a lucky baby to have such great role models!
After the blessing, we took off for Snowbird! My only complaint about our time in Snowbird is that it was entirely too short!! And it is so dry up there that my poor baby got all congested and sounded like a sad little bulldog. Snowbird was full of eating, skiing, hot tubbing, games, and the general merriment of Christmas. There is nothing I love more than spending time with my family, and poor Cary always has to deal with a blubbering mess every time we leave them. On Christmas Eve, we read the Christmas story and sang Christmas songs, which is always one of my favorite parts of Christmas. Having a newborn baby boy at Christmas time has been so special. Whenever I look at my tiny little boy, I can't imagine how Mary felt. We are all dependent on Christ, and yet for a short time, He was dependent on her. The Savior of the world laid in her arms as a tiny little boy, and holding my own little boy really made the reality of His birth and His life sink in.
Cary was so excited to get Nate his very own Hobbes. It was pretty stinkin cute.
"We are going to be best friends, and I am going to eat your snout."
Grandma life is tough. 
Hanging out with gramps. Nate looks so much like my dad to me sometimes. I love it!
One of the best parts about having a baby is making them look ridiculous and laughing at them. 
I just can't resist the napping pictures. Those cuties.
Ahhhh, skiing was divine. It was a fantastic break from taking care of my babe, and being in the mountains just soothes my soul. 
We got Ryan this incredible beard balaclava for Christmas, and I was pretty proud of that excellent find. 
Nate got to meet Aunt Katie!! Snow was threatening to keep them from Snowbird, and I'm SO glad they got up there and we got to say a quick hello! Love my seester!!
Christmas morning cuties.
Sleepy Christmas morning family
Modeling my Christmas presents. Santa was digging the color purple this year, with my purple shirt, purple jacket, and purples sunnies. 
He was just killing me in his Christmas jammies!
Merry Christmas from the Reeves!
Oh that sweet little babe...
Matching Reich-women in our Christmas jackets!
Christmas day was filled with presents, delicious food, and seeing both of our families. We drove through a snowstorm to Logan, and it took an eternity, but Nate was a champ and slept the entire time once again. That kid is powerless to the hum of the engine and zonks out whenever we're in the car. I am serious about hiring someone to drive us around all night. It sounds like my only shot at ever sleeping through the night again. Any takers? Once we got into Logan safe and sound, we had a few fantastic days with all of the Reeves- the first time in ages we have all been together and the last time for a couple of years most likely! We played tons of awesome games, spent lots of time chatting and catching up, and just enjoyed all being under the same roof! Nate got to meet his cousin Matthew, who is 6 days older than him. It was so fun seeing our babies together and swapping mom stories with Sarah. When I met Sarah, I never could have predicted that our conversations would involve so much poop and nipple talk.

Meeting great grandma Peggy!
Nate has started smiling, but ceases immediately upon sight of the camera. So like his daddy already...
Oh goodness, I want to go outside in cold weather all of the time just so Nate can wear his fluffy suit!
Nathan and Matthew! These two are going to be the best of friends. And the two of them in their fuzzy outfits was just the cutest.
Happy Birthday to Cary! Nate is a little too young to help you with those legos right now... 
We were originally supposed to drive home on Sunday, but it was dumping snow along our entire route, so we opted to stay another day which I was super stoked about. We had a little mini birthday celebration for Cary with his family before we left, since we would be spending Cary's birthday driving home. We drove home on Monday and the weather was mostly fine, and once again Nate zonked out the whole drive. It was actually a really nice day- with our baby snoozing in the back, Cary and I were able to talk the entire drive and it was so great to be able to spend time with my hubby and reconnect. It was the most time we've been able to spend together uninterrupted since Nate was born! Thanks for sleeping the whole time, Nate! Baby of the year! He made up for his good behavior on the drive by barfing all over himself, me and my new Christmas jacket and the couch immediately upon arrival. We ate Cafe Rio for Cary's birthday dinner and in a true miracle, all of us were asleep by 9:30! And Nate slept 5.5 hours and I was one happy girl. Let's not talk about the second half of the night, because it would ruin the beautiful memories of being in my bed uninterrupted for that glorious stretch. And let's also not mention that I spent half of that time staring at the ceiling because my body thinks it's super fun to not sleep even when I'm so exhausted.

I think things are starting to look up for me and Mr. Nathaniel. For someone who knows what they are doing, Nate would probably not be that difficult of a baby. But man is he giving me a run for my money! He is doing loads better since we started him on some medication for reflux. Poor little man was puking nonstop, and crying every time he would spit up. He spent all night grunting and coughing and gagging, and was just generally uncomfortable all of the time. He is pretty long suffering about the ordeal, and doesn't usually cry much, but he is fairly restless and fussy, especially in the evenings and during the night. All of this made for one exhausted Amy. There was a spell there where I was sleeping maybe 4 hours a night and I was slowly coming unraveled. I took Nate to the pediatrician because I was at my wits end. Our pediatrician is in our ward and is a good friend, and she walked into the room and asked how I was doing, and I immediately dissolved into tears and whimpered, "Not good!". She let me cry in her office for a while and gave him some medication that seems to be helping a lot. And before you judge me for medicating my 7 week old baby, let me assure you that I've tried feeding him for less time and more often, burping him constantly, he sleeps on an incline, I hold him upright after feedings, and nothing was helping my sad baby. And if you tell me about an essential oil that would cure him, I will tell you somewhere you can feel free to stick that bottle of essential oils and it will not be comfortable. I told someone recently that we had Nate on reflux medication and they acted like I was giving him rat poison. Judge me after you haven't slept more than 2 hours straight in a month!

Being a mom makes me feel slightly bipolar- sometimes I am so completely in love and obsessed with our little guy that my heart feels like it could burst. Other times this feels like a terrible babysitting gig that will never end and I just want the real mom to come home so I can go back to my regular life. But I feel like things are slowly evening out and I am getting more used to having a tiny human around all of the time. I was supposed to have a week of clients the week before we left for our vacation, but that happened to coincide with the peak of crying and unhappiness, both from me and Nate, and I was really on the verge of seriously losing it. I texted one of my clients to tell her I wasn't sure I would be up to doing her hair, and she texted me back saying that my only job right now is to take care of my sweet baby and take care of myself, and nothing else matters. For some reason that text meant so much to me, and I felt so validated and liberated. I have felt a lot of pressure, probably mostly from myself, to be back to regular life- busy running errands, taking care of the house, working out, doing hair, and having a baby who naps at predictable times. I have felt so frustrated with myself and with Nate that just keeping my head above water has been such a struggle. But having someone else tell me it's okay to just snuggle my baby on the couch and let everything else fall to the side for now meant so much to me, and I'm taking her advice. So the dishes are still in the sink, the laundry still needs to be folded, but my baby is smiling at me today and I'm happy, and that means I'm doing everything right.
Baby overalls make it all worth it.
Tummy time is so tiring. I sure love that little guy.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

One Month of Being Nate's Mama

I've been Nate's mom for one month! By the way, we call him Nathaniel, Nathan, Nate, bub, cutie pie, little stinker, handsome face, buddy boy, little man, and many other ridiculous nicknames, and you can also feel free to call him whatever strikes your fancy. Well, not whatever. Don't call him a butthead or a girl's name. Anywho. While I was pregnant, I read pretty much everything ever written on the internet about having a newborn; what to expect, sleeping strategies, feeding tips, etc. But there really is no way to prepare for what it's going to be like to have this tiny new human come live at your house and reply completely on you to meet his every need and soil every item in your house with various bodily fluids. But seeing as I'm now a seasoned expert at this mom gig (haha), I think I owe it to the internet to write one more post about what life is like when you have a brand spankin' new baby. The good, the bad, and the weird.

The good:

1. Having a baby that wants ME. I have spent a lot of time in my life trying to soothe babies who quite obviously want nothing to do with me. I'd be holding them and frantically trying to rock and bounce and soothe just right, and they'd be crying and staring at me with a look that clearly says, "Give me to someone who knows what they're doing; I hate your guts." I still have no idea what I'm doing, but as soon as Nate is in my arms, he instantly relaxes and looks so at home. It is more magical than I ever imagined. I thought it would be extremely draining being the one that the baby wants, and it is sometimes, but mostly it is a humbling and tender privilege to be that sweet baby's mama.

My little buddy.
2. A freshly bathed baby in pajamas. After our evening ritual of bath and lotion, I just sit and snuggle my babe and smell his intoxicating little baby head and fall in love all over again.
Homeboy loves his baths. He gets so zen.
3. Watching Cary be a dad. Oh be still my heart. I knew he would be the best dad ever. And he is so stinkin' tender to both Nate and me. I know having a baby will change our marriage, and it definitely gives us less time for each other, but so far it's just made me even crazier about that man. He was born to be a dad. When Cary holds Nate, Nate just stares at him, completely captivated. I stepped out of the shower one time to see Cary holding Nate in bed, reading his book aloud to Nate, and my heart was a puddle. Nate probably will be scarred for life from Cary reading "World War Z" out loud to him, but it was cute anyway.
I mean, really. Just the cutest duo I ever did see.
 4. Breastfeeding. I always thought I would hate it. And it was definitely a love-hate relationship in the awkward and painful learning stages. But now that we've mostly got the hang out of it, I just love feeding my baby with food my body makes specially designed for him. Breastfeeding used to weird me out so bad, and now it feels like the most natural thing I could do. Not everyone can breastfeed, and absolutely no judgment for however you feed your baby, but I am grateful that it's working for us, and grateful for those sweet moments. Pumping is still freakin' weird and I feel like a dairy cow. But being able to toss Cary the baby in the middle of the night and tell him to give Nate a bottle makes it oh so worth it.
5. I am actually loving this period of hunkering down and staying home and getting to know our baby. We venture out to the store or out to lunch every now and then, but mostly we stay home. I cuddle my baby, try to get things done around the house (which does take considerably more time than it used to), we go on walks when the weather is okay, and watch Gilmore Girls on Netflix. I only get to have my first baby once. Next time we have a baby, I will most likely be chasing around a toddler, and I won't have the luxury of staying home and taking it easy. So I am just savoring these days of just me and my little guy, and we both love it when daddy comes home. Also, I'm a total germaphobe and won't let anyone touch him, so laying low is good for everyone at this point.

 The bad:
1. The sleep deprivation. Oh sweet mercy. I knew I would be sleep deprived as a new mom, but I could not comprehend the depth of tiredness. Nate is such a sweet and alert baby, and unfortunately he thinks night time is the time to hang out and NOT sleep. He's slowly improving, but there was a solid week and a half or so where I could not get the stinker to sleep until 2 or 3 in the morning, unless he was in my arms. Woof. I also did not expect how much sleep deprivation would effect me. Postpartum hormones and sleep deprivation are one potent cocktail for going absolutely bonkers. I come completely emotionally unhinged when I'm severely sleep deprived. I cry over everything, feel detached from my baby, hate my husband, and get insanely anxious when I'm running on 3 hours of sleep. When I'm the throes of a crazy person meltdown, I absolutely can not find perspective. I am just convinced that I am going to hate my life forever and Nate is never going to sleep and life is ruined. Usually it takes Cary sending me to our room to sleep for me to snap out of it. And it's really amazing how restorative just a couple of hours of sleep can be for my psyche. I'm learning to hand the reigns over to Cary when I'm on the verge of a complete meltdown, and Nate is slowly learning to sleep better, so hopefully we'll figure this out and I won't have to run away to Vegas to become a showgirl after all.
Nice bed head, Nate! At least one of us around here is spending enough time asleep to get bed head...
2. The spit up. Nate is a very odd spitter-upper. He never spits up with any discernible pattern, and he doesn't often spit up in massive quantities, but every now and then he'll really spew. Usually right after we are both freshly dressed in clean clothes. He seems entirely un-phased by the events, so I'm sure he's just fine, but it's still gross.
3. The constant worry. Oh goodness, the worry. That baby can't so much as sneeze without me freaking out and googling his every symptom. The internet is so helpful and so awful when you are a new mama. I am really grateful for some awesome and helpful information I've found on the internet, but I have found about 500% more horrible advice and opinions. I'm slowly (very slowly) learning to trust my mama intuition and brush off the things I read that tell me that if my baby ever sleeps in his swing, he will never sleep through the night and probably will never get into college and it will be all my fault for not having the discipline to teach him from day 1 to sleep in his crib. Or conversely, if I don't hold my baby at every moment and feed him every time he makes a sound, he will never bond to me and will most likely end up in jail. People be trippin'.
He is obviously quite stressed too.
4. I hate changing diapers. A month in, and I still hate it. I thought I'd get used to it, and I sort of am used to it, but it's still the worst.
5. I also hate putting onesies on him. I feel like getting his giant head through that tiny neck hole must remind him of the trauma of birth.

Just chatting with Abby.

 The weird:
1. Smelling so bad. All of the time. I constantly smell like sour milk, spit up, and B.O. I had (still sometimes have) absolutely awful post-partum night sweats. Combined with leaky boobs and a baby that consistently leaks from both ends, and I actually shower more now that I have a baby than I did pre-baby. One night, Cary snuggled up all close to me and whispered tenderly in my ear, "Let me watch the baby while you take a shower. You smell really bad." It was really romantic.
2. Baby acne and postpartum acne. Nate and I could be on a mother-son Proactive commercial. People of Proactive, let me know if you want to get on that opportunity. It could be really darling.
3. Can we please just talk about how foreign your body feels after you have a baby? The belly you have been cultivating for 9 months is suddenly gone, but leaves behind some saggy skin and stretch marks. Your boobs are all kinds of out of whack and leaking and weird and often two completely different sizes. And as this is a family blog we aren't even going to mention your unmentionables. It is a war zone. Everything just feels a little out of sorts after birthing a tiny human.
4. Umbilical cords and circumcisions. So much weirdness.
"Well what did you expect Mom? All of this used to be inside of you and now it's outside. It's bound to be traumatic."
 5. It's still just really weird that an actual baby lives at my house. It's weird to write "diapers" on my shopping list. It's weird to carry a car seat out to the car. It's weird to have baby paraphernalia covering every surface of my house. It's awesome, but it's weird.

Cary brought him back from getting dressed after a bath with his first little faux hawk. We love messing with his hair and laughing at the ridiculous faces this baby makes. We should probably just start saving already for this child's therapy.
 What a month it's been. Not to be too cliche, but it's been the best of times and the worst of times. So much love and so much worry. So much happiness and so much stress. It feels like he was born yesterday and like he's always been here.

What a ride, Nathaniel Cary! We are so excited to watch you grow. Just don't grow too fast. I've started putting away newborn clothes you've outgrown, and it hurts my heart just a little bit. Even when you are keeping me up at all hours of the night or spitting up directly down my cleavage, I feel so blessed that your sweet little spirit joined our family. Looking into your bright eyes feels like peeking straight into heaven. We love you to pieces, baby Nate.