Life with Lyra: 9 Months In, 9 Months Out

I will probably say this each month, but holy moly where has the time gone!? I’ve been with Lyra for 18 months, sort of. The first 9 months were probably the easiest, ha. She went with me everywhere I went – didn’t cry, slept whenever, and let me have a pretty smooth pregnancy ūüôā I remembered thinking how I couldn’t wait to go back to my pre-pregnancy self, but boy was I wrong! I wished I would have relish the¬†time a bit more, especially to sleep and veg out since I don’t get to do any of these things¬†now.

The past 9 months have been a sort of a blur. Last week Lyra and I were at Jiggle Jam (hee, love the name) and I saw an 11-day old baby, 11 DAYS OLD!! The baby was so new and precious sleeping away in his Mom’s arms. I was thinking to myself how I can’t remember when Lyra was that small!!!

Lyra¬†is getting more and more playful each day. It’s so funny how the little things she does excites us the most. Recently, she started to clap¬†two objects together with her hands¬†and we were both like,¬†oh my god, you’re a freaking genius!!¬†Haha, I’m sure all parents go through this.

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Clap, clap, clap

Sleep

Lyra is sleeping much, MUCH better these past two months. She has slept for 6+, 7+ and even 8+ hours at a time at night. It might sound meager¬†but to us it’s nothing short of a miracle considering how she used to wake every hour or hour and a half at night. I don’t know how we survived. Lots of cookies on my end for sure. Though the past three days she’s been giving us a run for our money and acting like she forgot how to go to sleep. Sleep regression? Teething? Growth spurt? Tuesday?

Development

Omg so much has happened developmentally with Lyra. She went from sitting on her own to rolling over, and then not too soon after, she was crawling! It all happened in a matter of weeks which was astounding for us to witness. She is now pulling herself to standing, waving and clapping! My next trick, I mean skill, I am trying to get her to learn is blowing kisses haha.

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Throw me up!

Likes

Her Mommy, most of the time her Daddy too
Watching the bigger kids run around her
Her activity walker
Eating string cheese, apples, eggs, bread, zucchini
Being tossed in the air
Playing with our hair

Dislikes

Napping
Eating avocados, bananas, peas
Having her diaper changed

We’re taking a long trip now – Dallas –> New York –> DC –> New York. I am curious to see how this affects her sleep. Fingers crossed! By the time we get back to SF, she will almost be 10 months old!

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Say bye, bye!
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Conveniences for the Modern Momma

It may be that each generation of parents wonder how the previous generation managed to raise kids without the conveniences they have. I know we certainly do! We’re raising Lyra in the age of Dr. Google and social media for better or for worse. There’s a lot of information to sort through (which is not always reliable) so I do take it with a grain of salt. I find the best part of being plugged 24/7¬†is seeing that there are other¬†parents facing the exact same situation as us¬†(guilty of searching “my baby only sleeps when held,” “my baby doesn’t nap,” “my baby doesn’t like to be put down” and “HELP”). It opens up this whole community that you may not otherwise have. And we¬†learn that we are not alone.

Though in the same vein, we’re also facing information overload. I sometimes have to snap out of whatever rabbit hole I’m in, and close the computer before my mind explodes. Also¬†when you have parents with opposing philosophies, things can get real snarky and judgey. Ain’t nobody got time for that! Truthfully, my best resources are my mommy friends who have been there, and done that.

The interwebs aside, there are some other conveniences that has made this parenting life slightly easier. Here are my favorites:

  1. Tablo X by Yogibo. It’s a pillow for your iPad! It was great to be able to prop the iPad on my lap especially in the early mornings when I was nursing Lyra and she would fall asleep on me. It allowed me to catch up on my shows (The Bachelor of course – my god, is that all I watch? The answer is YES. P.S. I can’t wait for JoJo’s season!) and read my news feed.
  2. Baby Connect app. I love this app! I can record every feeding, diaper, nap times and more –¬†no more searching for a pen and paper or trying to remember the times in my head. I can also see Lyra’s info as a graph which is nice for us data-minded freaks. Also it allows multiple caretakers to log in and record data so Chris is able to enter in stuff and he can see how Lyra’s day is going from work.
  3. LoopyCases. This is such a lifesaver for me! I love being able to carry my phone with one finger and other stuff with the same hand, like Lyra! The loop also acts as a stand¬†for the phone so it can be propped up which comes in handy if you’re doing something like watching a video.
  4. SnoofyBee Changing Pad. This didn’t really become useful until just recently when Lyra discovered her hands. It helps me keep her hands out of her diaper so I can change her without trying to hold her arms and hands¬†down with my elbow.

Some friends use Owlet for peace of mind. It’s a little sock that goes on your baby’s foot and tracks their vitals. If there are any changes in the baby’s heart rate or oxygen, a red light goes off. They said they like it because they bedshare and it helps them know they are not smothering their baby at night. Looks fancy!

Let me know if you have any other favorites!

How I Survived The First Six Months of Parenthood

Isn’t retrospect grand? Chris and I spent so much time preparing for the labor and birth of our darling daughter that we didn’t leave much time to prepare ourselves for what we would do after we brought her home! (How hard can this be? Answer: Really fucking hard – Chris’ words, not mine.) Granted, her early arrival didn’t help either but now that we are six months in, this is how we survived (are still surviving):

  1. We put our pre-baby lives¬†on hold.¬†While we adjusted to our new normal, we put all the¬†TV shows, hobbies, constant social media updates, and distractions on hold. When we got home from the hospital, my three main goals were eat, sleep and breastfeed. It was definitely tempting to just jump right back in the swing of things but I think you’ll just burn yourself out. When you make the jump from two to three, everything will change. And even though your newborn¬†will be sleeping most of the time, you yourself, new momma, will need time to recover. When your baby becomes more interactive, you will spend your day playing with her, feeding her, and putting her to sleep…and REPEAT. Today, my goals remain the same except I see it as a win if I can¬†take a shower every other day, brush my teeth at a respectable hour, put on sunscreen, and catch the latest Bachelor episode (#obsessed).
  2. Outsource everything that is possible (at least in the beginning). The first week home we hired a house cleaner. We used¬†Instacart to get staple grocery items. Instead of asking for gifts, we asked our friends to set up¬†a meal train. It was such a lifesaver not having to cook. This statement coming from a person who loves to cook too. We were grateful to spend our time bonding as a new family and not wondering, what’s for dinner? *Though, I must say if we had to do it again, I would specify to¬†friends who want to visit, that 15 or 20 minutes would be great/ideal. We had some friends stay over an hour…there are so many ways you can say “please leave” with your eyes.
  3. Made parenthood our¬†own. Meaning read all the books, listen to well-meaning friends and family tell you their tales and give you advice…and then choose what works for you and make parenthood your own. In the beginning, we spent a lot of time trying to follow the advice of other people and obsessing word for word what our parenting books were saying about our baby. Then we realized, what works for others won’t necessarily work for us. This helped immensely especially since Lyra is not your classic ‘textbook baby.’ And I really hated second guessing myself but once I shut out all the ‘noise’ I was able to be present with Lyra and take my cues from her and TRUST myself.
  4. Practice empathy.¬†There were times (many, many times) when I wanted to clock Chris over the head because of something he did or said. And¬†we would start arguing over a tiny thing that all of a sudden became a big thing. I’m not saying I was perfect or right in all of this – there were times I’m sure where Chris felt¬†I was a raging monster. But when we were both able to practice empathy with one another, and¬†really see and understand where the other person is coming from, it helped us 1) communicate better, 2) realize we are a team, and 3) appreciate each other more. ¬†We also practiced empathy with Lyra! There were many, many sleepless nights¬†where we would just be like go the F*%& to sleep baby!¬†But when we were able to take a step back and think about things from her eyes – as in I want to go to sleep, but I don’t know how – it helped us be more compassionate and patient parents.

We are definitely not experts (nor plan to be) in parenting but we are learning each day. I can’t believe Lyra is growing up so fast already! I remember those first few weeks where she would snuggle and sleep on my chest. I miss moments like those! And as much as I gripe about having to hold her so much now, I know there will come a day when I’ll miss doing that too.

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If you have any survival tips for new parents, let me know!