Play, Meet (five)
I love doing these! I think that once you become a mom, and join the club as they say, it is really therapeutic and beneficial to befriend other moms. You can read my last Play, Meet post here. For the fifth installment of the series, I bring you a family member! Meet my hubby's lil sis, yes she is absolutely gorgeous, and new momma, Nora, and her little pint size pixie, i.e. my new niece, Danya! Nora's Danya is just three weeks younger than my Arlo! We are looking forward to watching them grow up together. Sure they have cousins on both sides, ALL girls, but it's different when they are THIS close in age! The other night, we shared an evening stroll to grab pumpkin spice lattes and caught incredible sunset light at the park before heading home. Hubby watched the Remster and I had a little bonding time with the babe which was nice.
This was only our second meet-up since having our babes. Hey, late night feedings, all day diaper changes, pumping, laundry, insert any activities revolving around sustaining a tiny human life, and you can see how having a newborn can really keep a girl cooped up. We were impressed with the growth and changes we saw in the girls in just these short, wait a minute, they felt long, two weeks. There were exchanges of who each resembled and comments on the shape of a nose or the length of fingers and diaper size. Poor Remy, every time a baby comes in this house she gets a look of panic like, "Is this one staying too?" I thought it best she have some one on one Baba time too. Sidebar: anyone know of an EXCELLENT Early Childhood Center in Denver that might accept 18 month olds? We REALLY feel that she needs some time away from the babe, to discover and explore and be stimulated on her own for a couple hours a couple times a week.
Back to our meet up! Nora is one of those girly girls; think floral bed spreads, an armory of handbags, boots with bows, manicured nails, so when we all found out she was expecting a girl, it was inevitable that we would all shower her with headbands, ruffles and a big dose of pink! This momma also happens to have equal parts smarts to compliment her envious symmetrical, exotic features. She studied forensic science in college, hello sexy CSI agent, and now works as a financial analyst- cha ching! Nora has played doting "Auntie" now for years to all of her nieces and her girlfriends kiddos, gifting her signature, and responsible, piggy banks, so when it came time to shower Nora this summer, it was really exciting to see her open up a piggy bank for her own babe!
Here's a few snippets about motherhood from the sleepy lens of a first time momma just a couple weeks in. Oh, and this is her normal, flawless, hey I don't have pores, beautiful face, pre and post baby. Don't hate. How about this little peanut?!
HH: Nora, Cameron, Danya (4 weeks)
HH: Biggest change since becoming a momma?
NP: The biggest change has been adjusting to the new sleep schedule...or lack thereof. Also, Danya seems to be in a different mood everyday (happy, fussy). So it's been a steep learning curve to understand her needs.
HH: Your favorite things about Danya so far?
NP: I love how snuggly she is! Some kids don't like to cuddle, but our little one loves it. My other favorite thing is how much she smiles...it melts our hearts every time!
HH: Hardest thing about motherhood so far?
NP: I have to say breastfeeding has been stressful all around. The pressure from society and family members to breastfeed has made the experience more dreadful than the task itself. I unfortunately didn't produce enough milk to fulfill our daughter, so I had to supplement with formula. It made me feel like a failure, but now I understand that as long as she's getting the nutrients to grow and be strong, that's all that matters.
HH: Nora, I appreciate your honesty and I think you are absolutely right. Nutrition for your baby is personal not public information and I think that people have to understand that not every woman is biologically capable of breast milk production up to the amounts necessary to satisfy their little one's appetite.
HH: Most surprising thing about motherhood so far?
NP: I'm surprised how well I've adapted to being a mother. There is always that fear that you won't know what you are doing (and I'm no expert by any means), but I feel like I'm hanging in there. I really love being a mother, and there is no better feeling that can compare.
HH: I would hardly say you are simply "hanging in there" Nora! I see you as an aunt to my girls and our nieces and now your own daughter, and that love and joy pours out like Niagra Falls! I envy your innate ability to be so happy and lively to young ones.
HH: How has your daily routine changed for yourself? Have you altered any beauty regimes since having baby so far?
NP: I've had to change my routine to shower and get ready for the day while the baby is napping. Sometimes that means getting ready at 6:00 am, but it's either that, or not showering at all. I always wondered why mothers said they didn't have time to shower with a baby, but now I know all too well. I'm one of those women that loves getting dolled up, but now I'm lucky if I can get some mascara and blush on my face!
HH: Nora, if I had your incredible face, I wouldn't worry about makeup at all! Dolled up will happen again before you know it!
HH: Best gear/products...
NP: With the little experience I've had, I really like the Tommee Tippee anti-colic bottles because they help reduce bubbles, Aquaphor for a multi-purpose cream, such as diaper rashes, dry skin, etc, and I love our Graco jogger stroller!
HH: Most unique or special baby gift received so far?
NP: My mother-in-law had a quilt made for Danya. She chose the fabric and patterns, and had a friend sew it for her. It's so beautiful and Danya will have it for years!
HH: That sounds incredible! I love handmade things and quilts and bedding are so special! Can;t wait to see that next time I am over.
HH: Best advice given to you so far?
NP: I've had a lot of people tell me to live in the moment and don't say, "I can't wait for X." I've really taken in this advice because the last 4 weeks have gone by so quick, and I don't want to miss out on the little moments of her life.
HH: Any advice for new mommies or women who plan to be mommies for surviving these first couple of weeks?
NP: Take all the help that is offered to you! I've been fortunate to have family members offer to bring dinner, help clean, or watch the baby so I can nap. At first I felt bad that people were taking time out of their busy schedules to do these things, but if they are offering, then they have time...don't pass this up!
HH: I must add that YOU did this for me, just three weeks before giving birth yourself! Those enchiladas were delicious and I was so thankful to have them! I still owe you a meal!
HH: You went to Hawaii on your baby moon and Breckenridge just the weekend before having Danya. Would you recommend a baby moon, or last date before baby and if so, would you recommend these places? Anything you wished you had done before having her?
NP: Yes, I definitely recommend a baby moon! It was great way to spend some quality time with just my husband and I without letting other things get in the way. Once the baby comes, it's hard to find time for yourselves because the baby will occupy every free minute you have. Hawaii was a great destination for relaxing by the pool and at the beach, but the plane ride was a little uncomfortable because it was so long! Breckenridge was also a lot of fun! We wanted to have one last date to focus on us before the arrival of the baby, and I would also recommend something like this without breaking the bank!
HH: Breckenridge in the fall...can't go wrong!
HH: What are you most excited or looking forward to doing with Danya over your maternity leave?
NP: I look forward to bonding with Danya, and spending as much quality time as possible with her. I'm already counting down the days for when I have to go back to work because I know that it is going to be so hard to leave her.
HH: How has motherhood changed you? Changed your style or personality or ideals?
NP: Motherhood really puts things into perspective, and the little things that mattered before, no longer do. I've always been a people pleaser and I never want to say "no" to doing things, but now I have to focus on our family, and it's ok to say no sometimes.
HH: Any baby items are on your wish list or to-get list since your shower or having Danya? Things you want to try?
NP: I wish I received some products from the Honest company. I think that I'll purchase a few items to test out because I like that it's a natural product.
HH: Where did you deliver and explain about your birth and delivery, however much or little you feel like sharing....
NP: I delivered at Parker Adventist hospital. I had a great experience with the delivery! My water broke at 6:00 am, and as soon as I got to the hospital, I was given pitocin to start my contractions (because I wasn't having any). Around noon, I got the epidural and Danya was born at 7:22 pm. The nurses at the hospital were AMAZING and I don't have anything negative to say about the hospital or the staff!
HH: How did you come up with her name and what does it mean?
NP: I met a girl at a wedding in Chicago a few years ago named Danya, and I've always loved the name. I knew that if we had a girl, that would be on top of the list. It means God's gift, which made me love the name even more.
HH: Any websites or magazine or references you like to visit for mom advice? Friends, mom role models, etc.
NP: I've been reading Parenthood magazine, which has a lot of great advice about babies, but also for kids as they get older. I also downloaded Baby Center and What to Expect baby apps to monitor the baby's growth every week and help answer common questions.
HH: Any traditions or holiday plans you are excited to experience or share with Danya?
NP: Every year, we go to my in-laws for Thanksgiving and Christmas and play games and enjoy family time together. I'm also excited for her first Eid with my family! I look forward to her getting to know my culture as well as her father's.
HH: Welcome to the family Danya! Thanks for your time Nora- I know it is precious these days! :)