Right now, with James Michael officially 3 weeks old, life is all about the little things. Days and nights have blurred, as well as weekdays and weekends. But every morning, no matter how much I sleep, I wake up to this little guy, who melts my heart every day. Every morning feels like a fresh new day with great possibilities. I’ve made a to-do list, checked things off, and remade the list each week. Despite how much I am able or unable to accomplish each day, I’ve learned to look forward to the little things.
So here are a few of the little things that have become the little highlights of my days (after James Michael, of course) these past three weeks:
Steaming showers: Thankfully, I’ve been able to shower every single day since James Michael was born. They have soothed my body, relaxed my mind and rejuvenated my spirit. It might sound silly, but they are a little treat all for me, and also afford me 20 minutes each day all to myself where I’m not in baby mode because I know James Michael is safe and sound with James Jr. I would highly recommend daily showers to any new moms out there.
A cup of joe: The couple days a week when I can manage to make a cup of decaf in our french press are amazing. Sure, I’m not getting any jolt of caffeine, but the taste itself reinforces normalcy. Plus, topping each cup with whipped cream makes it feel like a treat. And of course a warm cup of joe is perfectly fitting for cold winter days when I’m cooped up indoors.
Uninterrupted naps: The first week, it was hard to get my body to relax and take naps while James was home or my mom was here helping out. Plus, napping at 5pm in the afternoon just feels wrong. But I’ve learned to take advantage of any nap time I’m given, and this past week I’ve had three glorious naps in the morning once James gets back from running morning CrossFit classes. Those 1.5 to 2 hour stretches have been enough for me to really seize the day and get things done, regardless of how much sleep I got the night before.
Grocery shopping: My first time out of the house by myself was when James Michael was just over 1 week old. My trip of choice was the grocery store. Many people hate shopping for groceries, but I’ve always loved it. Good thing too since I normally go about twice a week. I strolled through Publix, buying a bunch of healthy food and a couple indulgences, like Ovaltine for my chocolate milk kick.
Chocolate milk: Speaking of chocolate milk, that seems to be my main indulgence lately. I’ve got my option of Hershey’s Chocolate Syrup, Nesquick or Ovaltine. Each morning and afternoon, I prepare myself a tasty glass of the rich chocolately stuff. Some days I use regular milk, sometimes unsweetened almond milk, and sometimes a mix of the two. They say you need 500 extra calories a day breastfeeding, and honestly, I think the only way I’m getting in those extra calories is from my chocolate milk cravings. Or at least that’s how I justify it 🙂
Cooking and baking: Thanks to some great naps this week, I’ve been able to cook a couple dishes this week. First up was sweet potato fries. Simple, yes. But I managed to burn them just a little. It’s definitely hard making sure I take things out of the oven in a timely manner with a newborn. One night, I also made sweet potato casserole and an Italian sausage and veggie dinner. And one afternoon I whipped up some gluten-free chocolate chip cookies. For me, cooking is therapeutic and fun, so I love that I’m finding time to get back into the kitchen during afternoon naps.
30-minute walks: This week marked my foray back into an active lifestyle–even if it was just a baby step. Last Saturday, at the two weeks postpartum mark, I went on a 30-minute walk at the river with James and our friend Adam while James’ mom watched the baby. It was amazing to get out and be in the midst of nature. We even happened upon a random coffee house and stopped in for a tasty treat (white mocha decaf for me!) and just sat and chatted. Then Wednesday and Thursday, I was able to take a 30-minute walk each afternoon in the neighborhood behind our place while my mom and brother watched James Michael. It’s amazing what good 30 minutes of sunshine and cold air in the lungs will do for the body and soul. Exercise has always been an positive outlet for me, and these short walks were hands-down better than a huge slab of chocolate cake. And if you know me, I’m a huge fan of chocolate. I just ordered a Moby wrap and plan to snuggle James Michael in it for a couple walks next week while the weather is still warm.
Super salads:Besides chocolate milk, the other major craving I’ve had consistently is for salads. I really didn’t have any consistent cravings while I was pregnant (I’ve always loved sweets), so it’s definitely weird to have those cravings now. But thankfully my salad craving is a healthy one and will help to balance out the chocolate milk craving. I’ve been using a base of spinach and spring mix, and common toppings include grilled chicken, clementines, feta, toasted pecans, avocado, grape tomatoes and cucumbers. My mom made a huge batch of homemade balsamic vinegar dressing with a bunch of ingredients she found in my pantry, and I used that for the first couple weeks. I’m due to make another batch this weekend.