Saturday, September 27, 2014

Brotherly love and motherly musings

Sleeping beauty (thanks to Aunt Sarah for these great shots)
Three weeks in and Odin's life has been filled with family love. Being back in New Brunswick means being surrounded by family, and it is wonderful.  We spent last weekend at Aunt Teresa's farm with 3 cousins, 5 aunts, an uncle and Grammie Jeffries. We get to see more cousins, aunts, uncles and grandparents nearly every day. Watching Odin grow is a special time for all of us.

Caleb received his very own guitar as a big brother gift from his Aunts Nancy and Joan. He was incredibly impressed and has been playing his first original tunes for us - "I lost my pick" and "Cat in the dingle"
Gearing up for his first concert with cousin Monica. Caleb couldn't believe it when we all threw coins in his guitar case after the show!!
Cousins stopping to chat while on a solo stroll
Several things about having a newborn are coming back to me:

-  always remember check to make sure the shoulders of your shirts are free of spit-up before leaving the house
- babies tend to wake up the moment you sit down to eat a meal
- hands-free time is a hot commodity and it is amazing what a new mom can get done in only 5 minutes without a baby in their arms
- I, and maybe all breastfeeding moms, tend to feel like a human soother most of the time. It's tough when a baby wants to feed all the time. I remember having a lot of doubts with Caleb (am I feeding him too much? Is he getting enough to eat? Do I use feeding too quickly as a way to soothe him?). This time around I'm trying not to worry about it so much and am instead just doing what feels most natural to me and to Odin. Which seems to be feed. A lot.

And now for some big brother love:

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Life with a newborn

Well, hello there!
It's been awhile since we've had a baby in our home. There are some things about life with a newborn that have come completely naturally and others that I totally forgot about.

Newborn babies need stuff. Lots of stuff that seems to be taking over every corner of my folks house where we are staying. Receiving blankets, wipes, diapers, blankets, onesies....there is no way to avoid serious sprawl once the newborn arrives. And don't forget to pack all of the above in a diaper bag whenever you leave the house! Traveling light is not something that applies to new parents.

Babies take time to get ready. No more quick 'get up and go' for us! We definitely need an extra 45 minutes of prep time to feed the baby, change his diaper, change his clothes, find the diaper bag, blanket and car seat and then try to get out the door before you need to feed or change him again!

Babies want to be held. All the time. I guess there is no more comforting place to be than in the arms of the one you love, or in Odin's case in anyone's arms at all, as long as they are warm.

Newborns are soothed by sucking. The 'sucking reflex' is their first primal instinct. Odin hasn't really taken to a soother yet, so for now a baby finger seems to work best. It is such a great way to calm him quickly and it keeps me from jumping in to breastfeed every hour.

Nap time
Newborns literally sleep, eat and poop. That is it. They open their eyes and make hilarious facial expressions and unintentionally smile often enough to make you to fall madly in love with them, then they go back to sleeping, eating and pooping. I forgot just how much babies need to breastfeed during the first few weeks - up to 12 times in a 24 hour period! That is a lot of time where I can do nothing more than sit down, relax and feed Odin.

Life with two is tough! Sleep when baby sleeps? Sounds great, but doesn't really work when there is a 4 year old by your side wanting to make 'inventions' or play baseball. We really don't want Caleb to feel like he is being ignored or develop any jealousy towards the baby, so playing with Caleb is a definite priority for us. Thankfully we have family here to help out and devote 1 on 1 time with Caleb so we can enjoy the baby and catch up on some much needed sleep.


Sunday, September 7, 2014

Odin Alistair Jeffries

Born in Kentville, Nova Scotia at 6:30 am on September 1, 2014. 6 lbs 14.99 oz
My family
He is here. Our little Labour Day baby has arrived.  The birth was incredibly quick. After days of waiting and 12 hours of contractions, Odin finally decided the time was right and he was born before the doctor could even make it to the delivery room. Thankfully the nurses were amazing and Alan was my steady rock through the chaos, even while I was attempting to tear his fingers off.

We are madly in love and are starting to settle into our new life in Fredericton as a family of 4. Caleb is an incredible big brother, as I knew he would be.  So gentle, loving, independent and proud. I couldn't believe how enormous Caleb seemed after being away from him for a few days following Odin's birth. His hands seemed giant and his body so thick and strong. It was like he had completely grown up over a 48 hour period. Now to rest, recover and try to enjoy every moment of watching this tiny baby grow. 

Maiden Voyage across the Bay of Fundy on the Princess of Acadia at 60 hours old.
Leisure suit (Thanks Grampie John!)

First family portrait by Caleb. Can you guess which one I am??!!