Archive for ‘balance’

August 28, 2012

2 Months


It’s hard to believe, but Isaac is now already two months old [he turned 9 weeks today, but 2 months on the 26th].  And while we continue to learn about each other and [sometimes struggle to] create our own groove, the past two months have been the most special in all my life.


[One month / Two months]

I keep thinking maybe he’ll start looking like ME at some point, but he’s definitely a Daddy’s boy as far as looks go.


[Two photos of Isaac + one of Ben as a baby yawning.]


[Me, as a baby.  Any resemblance?  I thought not. Who me?]

The little guy has gone from almost sleeping and crying exclusively to giving us a few hours of smiles and bright-eyes each day that completely melt all of our hearts.


Two month olds are still supposed to be sleeping about 14-16 hours each day, and because he takes a while to nurse [40-60 minutes, every two to three hours – which counts as awake time], it doesn’t leave much time for him to be up and playing just yet.

When he is awake, Isaac’s extremely curious, alert, playful, and generally happy.


The kid loves bath time, which makes sense since he was born into water,


his new cloth diapers,


and he’s a big fan of baby-carrying and skin-on-skin contact.


In fact, he’s rarely never able to fall asleep if he’s not being held close to someone and moving, which has been one of our biggest struggles as of late.  I knew that babies had to be taught how to fall asleep, but I had no idea what a difficult task it would be.  Isaac will sit in his swing for a few minutes, but the moment his eyes start to droop, he’ll start screaming at the top of his lungs, wake himself up, and then repeat the process once his eyes droop again.  That means Mama and Daddy have to put him in the Ergo until he falls into a deep sleep, and then put him down.  Most days/nights, though, this is the only way the little guy will actually give us some rest:


[Worn out.]

And while we’re talking about things Isaac hates, let’s discuss the car seat issue, shall we?


He hates it.  H.A.T.E.S. it!  Like, he’ll get himself so worked up screaming in it that he’ll turn bright red, not know how to breathe, and be covered in tears and saliva by the time I get ten minutes down the road.  It scares the bejeezus out of me so much that I refuse to take trips longer than 10 minutes alone with him.

So while the little guy may not look anything like me, we’ve got very similar – strong-headed – temperaments.  Yay.  Disappointed smile

Like I said, we’re still working on falling into our groove.


I’m finding that it’s SO important to remind myself on a daily basis that Isaac and I have only been together – with him outside the womb – for two months, and that our relationship is still in its beginning stages.  It’s a big, crazy world, and I can only imagine what he’s going through to try to keep up with everything.

And while it’s hard not to compare my son to my friends’ children, I’m learning that Isaac truly is his own little being and I can’t put any expectations on him.  I need to meet him where he is and do what works best for us.


Every day is a learning opportunity though, and some days I find it incredibly difficult to keep up with such a demanding, high needs baby.  In those times, it’s nice to know that there are other kids out there that share his characteristics.


12 Features of A High Need Baby:

1. “INTENSE” – These babies put more energy into everything they do. They cry loudly, feed voraciously, laugh with gusto, and protest more forcefully if their needs are not met to their satisfaction.

2. “HYPERACTIVE” – The muscles and mind of high need children are seldom relaxed or still. “Even as a newborn, I could feel the wiry in him.”

3. “DRAINING” – High need babies extract every bit of energy from tired parents — and then want more.

4. “FEEDS FREQUENTLY” – Not only do high need babies breastfeed more frequently, the need for breastfeeding lasts longer.  These babies are notoriously slow to wean [!!].

5. “DEMANDING” – High need babies don’t just merely request feeding and holding, they demand it — loudly.  These babies convey a sense of urgency in their signals; they do not like waiting, and they do not readily accept alternatives.

6. “AWAKENS FREQUENTLY” – You would think that high need babies would need more sleep; certainly their parents do.

7. “UNSATISFIED” – There will be days when you nurse, rock, walk, drive, wear, and try every comforting technique known to man or woman, and nothing will work.

8. “UNPREDICTABLE” – Along with their unpredictability, these children show extremes of mood swings. When happy, they are a joy to be around; they are master charmers and people pleasers. When angry, they let everyone around them feel the heat.

9. “SUPER-SENSITIVE” – High need babies are keenly aware of the goings-on in their environment. “Easily bothered,” “quickly stimulated,” “like walking on eggshells” is how parents describe their sensitive babies. High need babies prefer a secure and known environment, and they are quick to protest when their equilibrium is upset.

10. “CAN’T PUT BABY DOWN” – High need babies crave touch: skin-to-skin contact in your arms, at your breasts, in your bed. They extract whatever physical contact they can from their caregivers. They also crave motion. Holding is not enough; the holder must keep moving. If the holder wants to sit down, it had better be on something that rocks, glides, or swings.

11. “NOT A SELF-SOOTHER” – High need babies… want to interact with people, not things. Parents will often report, “He just can’t relax by himself.” High need babies need help to fall asleep.

12. “SEPARATION SENSITIVE” – In their minds, mother is a part of themselves, and they are part of mother. Mother and baby are one, a complete package. These babies feel right when they feel at one with mother; they feel anxious and frightened when not with mother.

All of these totally describe Isaac to a T, and I feel like being able to understand his personality type is going to be vital in our success as mother and son.  It already feels better to know that I’m not crazy… he’s adorable, but he definitely is tougher to handle than the average little one.

As I mentioned earlier, Isaac sleeps 14-16 hours a day and nurses for anywhere between 7-12 hours, which means most – if not all of our time is spent indoors – and doesn’t leave me much any me time… it’s enough to make a girl stir crazy, so I try to get out of the house while I’m putting him to sleep in the Ergo – walking around the neighborhood or the park nearby – but most of the time I’m so sleep-deprived and tired that I feel like a zombie.

I know that this phase won’t last forever – and I’m really grateful to be able to be home with him right now – so I’m trying my very best to be present and appreciate the long nursing sessions and time around the home.  But I won’t lie: sometimes I miss my friends.  Cooking.  The beach.  Blogging.  Turbo.  Being able to get in the car and just go. I envy my friends who have super portable, happy children.

Then again, I didn’t have a baby so that I could live a selfish life, now did I?  Winking smile

A few 2-month tidbits:

  • Isaac’s current favorites: morning time with Glammaw, bath time, walks in the ergo or k’tan, and when daddy makes fart noises with his mouth.
  • Isaac’s current pet peeves: getting out of the bath, rocking to sleep [he’d rather bounce], when Mama/Daddy stop moving, having his butt dunked in the ocean, his car seat, and certain foods that make him gassy [dairy, certain veggies/fruits, etc.].
  • Firsts this month: cooing, smiling, spit bubbles, grimaces, cloth diapers, and a few laughs.
  • 2 month check-up: Tomorrow!  This is typically the visit where keiki get their cocktail of vaccinations, but Ben and I have talked it over with our healthcare practitioners and are more comfortable refusing them for the moment [I really thought I’d be doing the dTAP, but after talking with my chiropractor more about it, I’m going to put it off – at least for the moment – because of the latest statistics out on it].
  • Average hours of sleep for Mama per night: 5-6 [in one/two-hour chunks] on nights without class; 3-5 on nights with class [2-3 times a week].
  • Breastfeeding is going much better, thank goodness… trusting my body continues to be a process, but it’s getting better every single day. I am still eating lots of galactagogues to keep my milk supply up, but it feels much less dire than it used to be:IMG_8640

[I tried everything.]

As always, I am so grateful for every single day with my son; he has already changed my entire life and taught me so much about myself and life in general.  Some days drag on and others fly by, but I’m trying my best not to take any of it for granted because I know that in the long run this will all feel as though it went way too quickly.


Aloha Pumehana. Whether you’re here to find balance, wholesome recipes or inspiration, I hope you enjoy the posts.  Please subscribe to Green Plate Dinners to receive automatic updates and be the first to read new posts for free!

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August 20, 2012

Everything Changes

I really did expect that everything would change once the little one came along, but in reality no amount of expectation or preparation could ever truly prepare me for motherhood. 

As I look through the photos on my camera it really solidifies for me the fact that my life has indeed c.h.a.n.g.e.d.  A few months ago I filled my SD card with photos of cashews and dairy-sugar-wheat-free desserts and spent hours on my own creativity.  Nowadays, my life falls into 2 hour increments [as that’s the time between feedings], and the only face on my preview screen is this one:


And I couldn’t be happier about it. 

Sure a part of me misses the days spent in the kitchen tweaking delicious healthy recipes and creating new pieces of jewelry, but a much bigger part of me looks over at my sleeping son and knows that THIS. IS. IT. 

The real thing. 

My purpose on this earth. 


The past eight weeks [!!!] of my life have been nothing short of life-changing.  Being a Mama is definitely the single-most intimidating and humbling experience, and yet it is also incredibly exciting, fun, and satisfying on a level I never imagined possible.  Isaac + I are getting to know each other better and things have gotten easier by the day.  And just when I think I’ve gotten into a groove, everything changes again. 

I’ve been incredibly fortunate to have had my Mom home with me for support up until today, when she went back to work.  Which means it’s my first full day of just Isaac + Mama!  I’m also grateful to have a moment to finally check in on the blog as he sleeps soundly next to me [he’s really started to settle into a little rhythm], because aside from it just being Isaac + Mama from here on out, today is also the first day of Fall semester! 

That’s right: my final year of grad school has officially commenced, and I am nowhere near prepared – either mentally or physically [I literally just ordered my books online yesterday].  Luckily, of my three courses only one of them physically takes place at the college for 3 hours each week [7-10pm – ouch], but I do have 16 practicum/intern hours to do each week that will take me away from my little guy.  I’m so grateful to be surrounded by such great support so hopefully he can always be with family. 


[My Mom – a.k.a. Glammaw – with Isaac.  Go ducks!]

I better get going before he wakes again, but I am so excited to be sharing this adventure with you all, and to be back here on the blog!  Oh how I’ve missed it!  I have no idea what’s in store for GPD from here on out as far as food, creativity, and activity goes, but I’m sure I’ll fall back into a rhythm as life continues to move me along this course. 

And because you’ve stuck with me after all this time, a few random updates:

  • From before Isaac was conceived, I’ve been calling him/her La`akea [pronounced lah-ah-kay-ah], which translates from Hawaiian to mean Divine or Sacred Light, as I envisioned light in my womb.  Although I had always thought of calling my daughter by the name, it’s unisex.  Once he greeted us, I couldn’t kick the habit of calling Isaac La`akea [plus he truly is such a bright light], and so it was meant to be.  Although his first name is Isaac, I personally almost always refer to him as La`akea.  Also, Isaac is a family name from Ben’s great grandfather.  Yitzak, the hebrew spelling translates from Kabbalah to mean Alchemist or One who has the ability to transcend and control the physical world. 
  • My mom has been doing all the cooking for the past 8 weeks [I’m totally not exaggerating].  In order to get my milk supply up, I did whatever was recommended and have eaten things I hadn’t ever imagined ingesting ever again, i.e. beef and chicken with marrow and whole milk.  The things we do for our offspring.
  • Breastfeeding has gotten much better, thank goodness, but every day continues to have its challenges.
  • We’ve completely invested in cloth diapering but have yet to be able to use them because Isaac is such a long, thin baby.  We have been using our homemade wipe solution and flannel wipes from the beginning, which has been working great, but I’m seriously excited for the day when I can strap on one of those awesome diapers!  
  • I’m actually more nervous about being able to sit from 7-10pm and stay awake than I am about keeping up with grad school work. 
  • It took me 4.5 hours to write this post between naps and feedings. 

Aloha Pumehana.
Whether you’re here to find balance, wholesome recipes or inspiration, I hope you enjoy the posts.  Please subscribe to Green Plate Dinners to receive automatic updates and be the first to read new posts for free!


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