Monday, September 28

Traveling Without Baby...

We made it! Charm City Daddy and I are back from our first trip without the baby.

So we may have spent the entire 4.5 hour flight (both ways) to Vegas looking at my 415 photos of sweet baby O on my iPod while simultaneously watching a movie on Charm City Daddy's---BUT we made it!

I only called my mom once a day--usually midday-- to check on her. I felt like I hit the jackpot when O was actually whining and fussing in the background on one of the calls.

My parents loved taking care of her and I loved the security and assurance of knowing she was in good hands. They said she was excellent and only woke once during the night on Friday and Saturday nights, which is great because she has been doing the same thing for us--usually at 3 am.

The dog, on the other hand, got a BAD report card. Hmm. I think he is acting out from the neglect he's been experiencing since the baby arrived. Poor fella. His life will be lots better when Olivia is big enough to play with him because he LOVES kids and knows how to play hide and go seek with my nieces.

I thought leaving Olivia would be the hardest thing about traveling without her, but making the time to pump breastmilk to keep up my supply and provide myself some relief was pretty tricky too. I had been putting off buying the portable pump but I had to breakdown and do it for this weekend.


I bought the Ameda Purely Yours double electric which runs on batteries, car charges and AC power. Not the bag and all of the other tricks--just the pump and I throw it in a Vera Bradley tote that Olivia got at one of her showers.

Its not the pump I had planned to buy, but I REALLY like it. It uses the same parts as my hospital rental and its extremely easy to use (and fast!), assemble, clean (tubing never touches milk), and portable. I've got it down.
So anyway--it was convenient to have the pump this weekend but not fun to have to dump all of that liquid gold over and over again--just when I started getting 3 ounces! So Bittersweet...just like leaving your baby for a getaway with your husband.

Btw--I was WELL BEHAVED in the Tory Burch boutique in Vegas although I nearly walked out of there with my 3rd diaper bag. Just LOOK at this beauty...
It caught me totally off guard. Tory Burch has baby bags? I didn't see it coming--but I averted the impulsive buy---for's still available online (with free shipping). O!

Thursday, September 24

Storytime with Daddy

This was too cute so I had to share it.

Charm City Daddy has started calling me the "mamarazzi." I don't apologize.

Vegas Bound

I have never had so many mixed emotions about a trip in my life.

While I'm looking forward to quality time with Charm City Daddy, I am not looking forward to leaving my baby girl (overnight stay) for the first time!

Luckily it's just a weekend trip and Olivia will be in great hands with my mom, but as each day passes I love her more and more and geez it's going to be so hard to return to work in 3 weeks...

To make it even more difficult she is growing and developing so rapidly. She's getting longer and measured in at 8 lbs. 5 oz. today. Then this evening she surprised us and decided to take her coos to another level. She engaged in a mimic and call and response of ooh's and ahh's with me that went on for at least 4-5 minutes and we were lucky enough to capture part of it on video.

It's amazing how one day they seem to sleep all the time and not really respond to much, and then the next day they wake up and look at you (like they know exactly who you are) and smile and coo and then you melt and you are putty and you have just spent an hour of your life staring at your perfect little creation....

So! I have to stop talking about her or I will never make it on the plane Friday.

Oh, and I've been pumping like nobody's business to make sure she has a good amount of breastmilk for the weekend too. Talk about exhausting and anxiety-inducing task! I'm lucky (and glad) this is a short trip. I will have to bring my pump along to pump every few hours to keep my supply up and the ducts from backing up. Ironically, after the frenzy of pumping I've been doing all week, I will have to waste all of the milk I pump over the weekend. BOO!

Okay--BRIGHT SIDE! Charm City Daddy-- I love you! Plane ride--can't wait to use you sleep like I haven't slept in...well, 5 weeks!. Tory Burch Boutique--you never disappoint and it's time we reunited! Spa--here I come!

Friday, September 18

Mommy's Group...

My first weekend home with Olivia, a lactation consultant who was helping me with breastfeeding suggested I attend the weekly mommy's group that she leads for Baltimore moms.

Now my pre-pregnancy self would have been turned off to a mom's group or support group or anything ending in "group" for that matter. However its funny how the whole pregnancy and motherhood experience rocks your world so much that you can hardly fathom the miracle of life or how to take care of a newly forming one. I have never had so many questions everyday, but at the same time been so turned off to UNsolicited advice (which comes from every direction). By the way, do you ever notice that UNsolicited advice is always about stuff you ALREADY KNOW!

Anyway, I must Google something baby or motherhood related at least 3-4 times a day. So this week I finally succumbed to my curiousity and desire to be around others that understood where I was coming from and went to this highly regarded mom's group. Our au pair wanted to come along--which turned out to be a good idea.

There are so many great things about this group. It's conveniently held at the hospital where I had Charm City Baby--Miss Olivia. It's runs Fridays from 10am to 2pm and you can show up at anytime (beautiful when it takes half an hour to get out of the house the w/out forgetting anything). It's run by a funny, no nonsense lactation specialist/nurse/mom who flat out knows her stuff. It's FREEEEE!!

When I walked in, there were about 10-12 moms formed in a circle (some in chairs, some on the floor with babies) just asking questions and sharing tips. No less than 5 of the mom's were nursing, one baby was getting his diaper changed (right out in the open), some were having tummy time, getting swaddled,chatting, fussing--whatever, but the mommy discussion continued. Any outsider would have called it chaos--but I immediately felt relaxed and at home. In fact, I jumped right in and changed Olivia's diaper.

As time passed 3 sets of twins (and their moms) came in and more mothers trickled in and out. It was great. New found respect for those twin moms by the way.

I got all kinds of questions answered about baby acne, pumping and traveling without baby (more on that later), tummy time, getting baby on a schedule/routine. Plus I got to see mom gear, toys, snacks, and all of the bells and whistles that other mom's use which was very helpful.

In fact, Charm City Daddy and I met a random pregnant lady while out at dinner tonight (baby carriers and preggos have a strange magnetism) and I found myself inviting her to the mom's group! ha!

So--if you are a mom or a mom-to-be I highly recommend that you find a mom's group to attend while you are home on maternity leave. It will give you something to look forward to every week and good practice of getting mobile with baby. Plus it will give you some contact with the outside world and great advice you can use.

Splish-Splash O Took a Bath!

What is a baby blog without pics of baby's first bath? ha!

She was so good and actually enjoyed the warm water and mini massage.

She DID NOT like getting out of the water! Who would? It was coooold.

The pacifier and some cuddletime made it all better. It also made way for one of her longest naps on record.

I know it's too early to sleep train her, but I'm all about the 4 B's.
Bath, Bottle (or "Boob"), Book, BEDTIME!

Wednesday, September 16

Baby Boot Camp Continued...

So today I met with a personal trainer. O.M.G. This dude embodies boot camp at a whole new level.

Today during our preliminary assessment I got just a small taste of what my workout will include.

Before I get to the what that little taste felt like, let me tell you what the assessment revealed.

1. My diet sucks.
2. And according to my age and frame I have TWENTY more pounds to lose, NOT ten as I previously reported in order to get to my body fat down from 34 percent to 21 percent--the best score.


As far as the diet goes, I know I have room for improvement. For example, I don't care much for breakfast on most weekdays and YES, I know its the most important meal of the day.

But just to rub it in, the trainer wrote down everything I ate yesterday. HA! Here goes:

Breakfast: 1 banana, handful of strawberries, 1 bottled water. (basically on the way to the gym).
Lunch: 1 dozen raw oysters, mixed green salad w/ lemon caper vinagrette.
Dinner: Umm...3 oreos and a fun size Snickers (which I keep stashed in the nightstand)

I told you it was bad! Lunch is my favorite meal of the day--the rest suffer miserably and I'm not a snacker.

So, yes the diet needs to improve. He gave me a daily caloric goal (which keeps my breastfeeding in mind) that includes 3 meals and 3 snacks. We'll see how that goes. I'll be keeping track here.

As for the "taste" of the workout? Let's just say that I found myself doing the same breathing exercises I used during labor pains INCLUDING the final pushes. I also called out to my Lord and Savior a few times too. I think He helped.

The goal is to lose about 2 lbs a week over the next 10 weeks while toning up my core--everything between my chest and my knees. The assessment also revealed that my hips spread almost 3 inches during the pregnancy, and some of that has to be saddlebags.

I will be brave and post before pics here only because I anticipate some kick ass after pics! YEAH!


"After" To Be Continued...

Wish me luck!

Tuesday, September 15

Olivia's First Four Weeks...

It seems this baby knows the precise moment when mommy wants to hop on her laptop and get in touch with the world. Babies have amazingly accurate yet peculiar timing, eh?

Anyway...time is limited but I wanted to share some random candids of my precious bebe as she celebrated her first month on the planet yesterday! yay!

First up, here is my sweet baby ready and alert to play in the morning. Did mention she has had freakishly advanced neck strength since birth? Holds her head up and turns her head no problem.

I couldn't resist giving her my crown ring--it looks like brass knuckles on her...

Then we practiced announcing her as Miss America and she made this face! (hehe)

She's already changed so much since her arrival..

She's bigger and browner!


Ah! What did I tell you? She's awake and hungry! More pics later!

Saturday, September 12

Baby Boot Camp

No it's not Charm City Baby that's been kicking my butt. She's a great baby. In fact, it's my new trainer Charm City Daddy.

Most folks don't talk too much about the post baby weight loss in much detail. I will.

So, I gained 30 L.B.'s to bring Charm City Baby "up in this world"and this is by far the biggest transformation I have ever seen of my own body.

The good news is I lost 20lbs in 2 weeks from nursing and doing nothing. Btw the stomach cramping hurts like hell--I mean, I polished off a brand new bottle of Motrin-- and I hear its worse with the subsequent births. Yikes. The not-so-great (but not all bad) news is that I have about 10 lbs to go to get back to my pre-pregnancy weight.

At week 2, I began to realize that the stroller walk around the neighbor wasn't going to get it. (Plus, I spent more time worrying about the cracks in the sidewalk disturbing the baby--nonsense--jiggles her right to sleep. ) I started to get really stir crazy from sitting around the house all day and getting jealous of Charm City Daddy who started to resume some of his normal activities, workouts, meetings, office, etc. I was physically feeling better and like I could take on some more activity, so Charm City Daddy and I started a midday workout routine 3-days week.

So, Tuesday through Thursday around the middle of the day Charm City Daddy and I hit the gym downtown. He plans a different workout for me everyday that starts with cardio and ends with abs, stretching, and some weights. He is tough! On Thursdays we go swimming which requires a direct drop off at the hair salon for me afterward (hello, I'm still a black woman). Speaking of us black women, there aren't enough of us at the gym. I know the hair thing is an issue and I am guilty of using this excuse myself for not being a regular, but come on ladies. I digress.

After the workout Charm City Daddy and I get to spend more quality time together and eat lunch together and talk about how much we love and miss our child and then without fail, everyday we rush back home where we bust down the door to dash to her. Next week will be our 3rd week of this routine.

I know some of you moms out there are thinking how were you able to leave your baby so soon? Believe me I was an emotional wreck for the first few days. Yes, I bursted into tears that first week when I thought I was brave enough to leave the baby with my parents while CCD and I picked up some carryout. HA! That's when that new Maxwell song "Pretty Wings" hit the radio waves and well--the ride home was a blur of sobbing. Thanks hormones. Then there was the day that I was dreading the inevitable--that I needed to go to the grocery store and I would eventually have to leave the baby-aahhhh! My mom laughed at me on that one.

It's really hard to leave your baby (particularly if you are nursing--it can hurt), even if they are in good hands, but you have to do it. I now look forward to the gym and it is wonderful quality time with CCD--although we just impersonate or talk about the baby the whole time.

In the coming weeks, Charm City Baby will be "going public." In other words, she'll pass her 4-week threshold that her pediatrician recommended before bringing her to most public places. I will still be careful as it is flu season afterall, but the outings should be interesting--including church. We've already taken her to 3 restaurants--and so far she's slept through them all.

We'll see how she takes on the rest of the world--or better, how her nervous parents handle it.