Millennial+Married started as a pregnancy diary and is now a parenthood/lifestyle diary. I mainly post about Baby Zay (who is due an update post because he has grown so much!), but will expand to include: my nursing school journey, vegan journey, a little travel, and local eateries (we love supporting small businesses ❤).
It’s been almost 6 months since my last post. I took time away from social media and other forms of media to refocus, regroup, and just live.
I am a new mom and things were starting to get overwhelming trying to balance everything.
Think of an unattended garden, with over grown weeds. That was me; neglected. I was neglecting my health, my mind, and my spirit. So since my last post, I made very vital changes to my lifestyle.
I am vegetarian now (Hubby still eats meat, whomp whomp lol).
I always loved the outdoors, but now, it’s become my ultimate favorite place. I love the park, beach, and mountains. The park and the beach renews me and the mountains give me clarity.
Physically, I feel like I’m in my early 20s again. I lost 28 lbs since delivering our son and my vital signs are much better. I never shared this on here, but I suffered from anxiety and tachycardia for years. My resting heart rate would read between 90-115, which is too high. Now, it’s at 80-87; a much better range. I haven’t reached my ultimate goal, but it’s on the way!
When I step on the scale ⚖
I hype myself up.
I big myself up.
And the weight just keeps falling off.
Spirituality, I took advantage of this “quarantine” and started looking within. I started with heavy shadow work and faced my “darkness” (I will write a separate more detailed post later), which led to my complete lifestyle change. In order to live the life you want, you have to shed what no longer serves you: old habits, unhealthy patterns, negative thoughts, etc. I feel my weightloss is a physical manifestation of me purging what is not beneficial. As the saying goes, “as is above, is below”.
Today’s post is about our baby’s upcoming six-month Peds appointment.
Our questions and concerns include: solid foods introduction, teething expectations, vaccine schedule, and his physical/mental development.
During Zay’s last check up, we learned the signs that indicate he is ready for solids. Neck strength is one definite sign. The Pediatrician assessed Zay by laying him down, placing his hands together, and pulled him up. At the time, his head did flop back a little which indicated that he wasn’t quite ready so his Pediatrician recommended we just feed him based on cue because he was not ready for solids.
It has been two months since Zay’s last Peds visit. Now, he is able to keep his neck straight and head up when pulled forward. So, I gave him a little rice cereal in his bottle and he drank it down with no issues. Now, I’m curious about when Zay can start eating from a bowl. We so excited to buy a cute high chair 😄.
Zay has been teething for two months now. He drools alot and sometimes his gums bother him, but his teeth have yet to erupt. He was born five weeks early so teeth eruption could be delayed. I want to ask about maintenance of his teeth when they do erupt.
He is due a few vaccines, including his first flu shot.
We do our parts as parents to ensure Zay is coming along in his development, especially since his was born early. We understand that premature babies, on average, catch up by the age of two. Still, we strive for our son to be the best that he can be and meet or come close to meeting his milestones.
Two years ago this week, my husband proposed to me at the Atlanta Botanical Gardens. I was under the impression that we were taking couple photos for a friend’s photography business as we have done once before. During our last photoshoot two months prior, I thought he was going to propose and was a little disappointed when he didn’t.
The proposal took place in one of the most beautiful areas of the garden with a large fountain in the background. I started crying when he bent down on one knee because we talked about our future before and now it was here; a reality.
There were a few people around that gave us our congratulations. Later, we drove to a low country restaurant, which is my all time favorite food. My mom is from the low country of SC so I know it well. When I walked in, to my surprise, our family and friends were there! They were there to congratulate and celebrate our new engagement. We talked, ate, took pictures, and had a good time. Afterwards, it started raining and we ran to the car. There we kissed like they do in the movies; corny and in the rain lol.
Today’s post discusses simple ways we encourage our son’s cognitive and physical development through play activities.
Tummy time helps to strengthen many muscles throughout a baby’s body. It helps with other skills such as crawling, rolling, sitting, etc.
Everyday, Baby Zay performs tummy time on his Little Einstein activity mat for as long as he can tolerate it. He started as soon as he came home from the hospital with two to five minute sessions and now he can last up to an hour. While your child is performing tummy time, you want to remain present to monitor your baby and intervene when neccessary.
High Contrast Books
High contrast books supports young eye development. The simple lines and bold patterns are easier for babies to see.
We read to Baby Zay daily and point at the pictures. The goal is to support his eye development as well as attentional focus.
We use the rattle during play time because it helps with eye development and focus as well.
Baby Zay is able to focus on an object and watch its movement.
Wrist + Sock Rattles
Baby Zay loves these! The sound excites him and encourages him to move his arms and legs.
Relationship experts often say that one of the keys to keeping the spark alive in a long-term relationship is continuing to court your significant other after making it down the aisle. They recommend setting designated time for one another to reconnect and revive feelings of romance and love. Personally, I think the execution is easier said than done, especially with a newborn baby. At home dates are an easy remedy to overcoming the challenge of not having the time and opportunity to go out on the town.
The concept of an at home date is what you make it. You can get creative and come up with fun, one-on-one activities to do with your significant other without having to leave the house. If you have kids, your date starts once they go to bed.
Below are ideas for enjoyable, easy-to-plan, inexpensive at home dates you can try with your significant other.
Netflix + Chill
My husband and I love to watch movies at the theater, especially if they have dinner and drink options. The same can be recreated at home with more privacy and a fraction of the costs.
Wine + Vinyls
We built a vinyl record collection with golden oldies and current artists. If you are into the same, they make a great conversation piece. Add a glass of wine and you have a relaxing music filled evening!
Create a Wanderlust List
Make a list of places you’d like to travel to and plan a vacation together. I’m sure there are going to be a lot of airline and hotel deals to take advantage of after everything settles down.
Have a Tasting Party
You can sample small plates of food, desserts, wines, beers, Etc.
Couple’s Paint Night
Let your creative juices flow with an art project. You can create a new piece of decor for the house or DIY gift for family, friends, etc.
Set up a little tent in the living room. You can make s’mores and roast sausages in the fireplace. The best part is you don’t have to worry about the weather.
Video Game Challenge
Face off with your favorite multiplayer games like Mario Kart or Super Smash Bros.
Bake Sweets with your Sweetie
Feast on your favorite sweets together.
Put a Puzzle Together
Challenge each other by completing a large puzzle in one night.
Tomorrow will be two months since our Baby Boy was delivered and things have gotten much easier. Hubby and I have a better understanding of our boy’s cues. His appetite has increased significantly so we will consult his Pediatrician about adding cereal to his milk soon. He is eating four to five ounces each feeding and I’m having to pull from our reserves from time to time. We are very happy about his health and growth considering he was born early.
I started working out this week. Everyday, I walk at least two miles and I return home to complete a 60-minute weight lifting routine. My nutrition is pretty standard: plenty of water, no sweets, no junk, large amount of leafy greens, fruits and lean protein. From time to time, I’ll blend up a smoothie. Other than continuing my prenatal vitamins, I am not taking any other supplements right now.
The COVID-19 virus is a new strain of the Coronavirus making it’s way around the world. There has been a lot of panic and chaos, much due to the fear of the unknown. Because this virus is new to us, there are no vaccines available to provide immunity.
My current residency has less than twenty illnesses with no deaths at this time. Officials closed schools until the end of the month and people are making preparations to stay indoors for a while.
Because of the highly contagious nature of the virus, experts recommend we all practice “social distancing” and limit our interactions with others to contain the spread. There is data from past pandemics to support the benefits of social distancing.
The chart above compares two cities during the Spanish Flu Pandemic of 1918. One city experienced higher numbers of fatalities because people continued to interact in large numbers. The other city intervened right away by enacting the “social distancing” method. As you can see, their fatalities were significantly less.
More Local Happenings…
The stores are completely out of hand sanitizers, Lysol disinfectant spray, and Lysol/Clorox wipes. I notice more people are wiping down the carts at the store more than ever before. Also, people seem to be much more aware of public hygiene practices such as covering your cough and sneeze.
Preparation and Mental Health
My family has been following ALL of the recommendations by the CDC and WHO; social distancing, hygiene, our vaccines are up to date, etc. There’s not much left to do, but check for updates, then unplug. Watching the news is depressing right now and will drive you crazy. We are taking this time to catch up on chores, read from our 2020 booklist, and find some other hobby. There is a silver lining to this confusion.
Everyday, I or my husband make sure to thoroughly sanitize and sterilize our son’s bottles before we make his milk. Per the Center for Disease Control, properly cleaning baby bottles helps to prevent microbials from contaminating the milk you feed your baby.
Antibacterial dish soap
Small basin tub
Bottle cleaning brushes
Bottle drying rack
First, fill a large pot with water and place it on the stove.
Turn the stove on to the highest setting because you want the water to boil at an extremely hot temperature. High heat kills bacteria and viruses.
Fill a small basin with warm water and dish soap.
Next, take a bottle brush and thoroughly scrub each bottle piece.
Rinse with warm water.
Next, place the bottles in the large pot and let it boil for at least two minutes.
Use tongs to transfer the bottle pieces from the pot to the drying rack. If you don’t have a drying rack, just use a clean towel or multiple paper towels.