Saturday, September 29, 2012

He's Perfect!


Name-Carving Tree


There's a name-carving tree in the Cranberry Bogs so we added Odin's name. I added my name awhile back. Searching the tree we've found names from the 80s! I'm sure there are older names on that tree that we have yet to find. Zak says his name was carved onto the tree when he was a little boy.


Gee-tar!


Little Odin has recently developed a passion for guitar. He's always loved it when Zak plays and lately he's been eyeing the guitar and desperately reaching for it. His little fingers strum and beat the strings and he loves the sounds it creates.

The Cutest Little Stretches.


Odiddly


I love the way he sleeps.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Nappies!

I meant to write about our adventures in cloth diapering today and even started the post- but this mama prepped, washed, and folded cloth diapers all morning. I'm exhausted! Odin's definitely too big for the flats we were using so I busted out the larger sized flats which we received at the baby shower! Zak and I are going to order some new covers tomorrow (and I'm so excited).

Cheeky Little Love


He knows how cute he is.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Lily Ponds


Today we had a little picnic in the Lily Ponds with a few friends. The very first visit I made to Nantucket, the Lily Ponds was the regular hangout. I'm excited that little Odin will be able to grow up and play here often. There are a ton of good climbing trees and loads of grass to play and run around in. Odin thoroughly loves playing outside, so naturally he enjoyed this place (up until it interfered with his nap time).


Adventurous Bebe


I love this face. I love going for walks and wearing Odin on my back/front. I think he's the most perfect little thing in the entire universe. I'm excited for the many upcoming years full of adventure that having a baby will bring. He loves these walks too, gazing at his surrounding while we walk, trying to make sense of it all. It's hard to break his concentration when we're on walks like these. He's entranced with our world and constantly curious. I hope he maintains that curiosity throughout his life- I know I'll try my best to instill it.


Photos by our friend Max Hessler.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

First Tooth


So, he officially has his first tooth. Zak and I tried hard to feel it last night and it was definitely under the gum still. This morning I checked again and there was this sharp little tooth poking out from Odin's bottom gum. I can't believe it! So, now I'm about to purchase an amber teething necklace for the babe. This tooth has been a breeze but I've heard horror stories about those top teeth!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Bumbo!


I forgot to mention on my list of must-haves yesterday, the Bumbo!! We love it and it's super helpful. Don't put it on tables or leave your bebe unattended- you'll love it too!!!

Monday, September 24, 2012

First 6 Month Must-Haves!

As requested, I'm going to make a post about my must-haves for those first 6 months. Keep in mind; Zak and I are very efficient when it comes to spending money, our house is small and shared, we cloth diaper, and love hand-me-downs (so this list may be extremely different from yours).

First of all, assume that none of your newborn size clothes will fit! Chances are you'll get some use out of them, but only for the first week or two. Odin was born 10 pounds and immediately fit into 0-3 months/3 months. Which was interesting because I had two whole drawers of newborn clothes folded and ready for those first few weeks. Luckily he was born at home and I didn't leave my bed for the first 24 hours (except to visit the loo!), so baby boy was naked and wrapped in blankets until I managed to pull out the bigger gowns and onesies.

Which leads to- I recommend using gowns for the first few days. I still prefer to use them at night- makes night time diaper changes easy. Gowns are warm enough for a newborn while still providing easy accessibility for diaper changes and as a new mom, you're going to want to try and make everything as easy as possible.

We had no problems breastfeeding but I definitely recommend having Lanolin available. I did use it for my poor boobs for those first few days! I know a lot of mums use it for quite awhile after babe is born. I also recommend going to a local LLL meeting if you plan to breastfeed, BEFORE babe's born. They're very informative and it's nice to have some mommas to talk to about breastfeeding before it happens! (And read loads about it too! There are solutions to problems you may encounter and there are tons of support groups on Facebook that allow you to talk to other moms.) Breastfeeding is way too important to give up on! Nursing pads were definitely needed too!

We got loads of receiving blankets before Odin was born and we most definitely used them all. (A lot of them were cut into baby wipes, but we used them for swaddling and spit ups for the first few weeks.)

We had a bouncy seat that we received at the baby shower. It's nothing fancy and Odin's really indifferent about it, but I use it ALL the time. First thing in the morning when we're making coffee and breakfast and I don't have a play area set up on the floor, I put Odin in his seat. I use it for any transitional phases during the day (bathroom, lunch, setting up a blanket on the floor for him, packing the diaper bag, updating le blog, etc.). I use it when I shower so that he can be in the bathroom with me. I thought it was pointless and that I was going to hate it because we live in such a small house but it's proved to be something I use quite a bit. I even bring it outside when we work in the garden if it's too difficult to wear him.

One of the most important things for me was my carrier. We had been given an Ergo (front backpack carrier, which I now use on my back) and a Moby Wrap. We used the Ergo with the infant insert for our first walk and loved it. It was really warm in the chilly Spring weather which was perfect. The Moby Wrap is super supportive and really comfortable on, but EXTREMELY intimidating. It's like 12 feet long and you have to wrap it in this silly way which takes about 5 minutes, but I get why- it's comfyyy once it's on!


My absolute favorite carrier is and always will be my Maya Wrap ring sling. It's easy to put on and take off, comfortable, fits in the diaper bag, and has a zippered pocket! I wish I had this early on. I got it when Odin was a couple months old though and I'm so glad I did. I use it a ton now that he likes to sit on my hip and go with me everywhere. It's like a third arm and it will always be the first I recommend to anyone. If you want to use a carrier, I recommend starting as soon as possible, even if you just let babe nap in it while you do things around the house! They usually love it because they want to be close to mum and dad more than anywhere else.

Odin has a doorway jumper, which he likes a lot. I've read a lot about how they can affect bone development so we don't use it a ton (even though it's a hand me down and not so springy anyway) but it's smaller than a stationary jumperoo and works really well for cleaning the living room or making dinner. It seems to entertain him for just enough time.

We have a Graco swing up in the studio as well as a Skip Hop playmat that he really loves. He didn't like the swing in the beginning but now it'll entertain him for a bit. It's definitely not necessary but it lets mama get some art time in! The play mat is an interesting one- I had to take it apart. He loves to lay on the mat and play with the toys but he hates having them hang overhead. The play-mat is very convenient for the first few months before they start rolling around. It could be folded away and I could bring it back out with one hand (Odin's ALWAYS in that other hand).

We co-sleep so we don't need a crib, bassinet, or anything like that. If we had the room, I think i'd really like to try out a co-sleeper. Our bed is pillow-topped so it's hard to get into or out of bed without Odin stirring.

I feel like diapers should be an entirely different post, but we cloth diaper and LOVE it. I recommend it to everyone! I'll make a post about that sometime soon. <3


WHEW. I think that's everything. Please ask questions! What were some of your necessities for the first 6 months? Things you had but didn't use?






Family.


I love this photo of us.

Birth Story


So, here's the testimonial that I wrote for Sybille's website. Enjoy!


I found out I was pregnant for the first time while living on Nantucket Island. My boyfriend (a 5th generation Nantucket native) and I had plans to move off island after the summer and even after hearing the news, we decided to try and stick to that plan. After only a month or so of off-island traveling, we quickly realized there was nowhere else in the world we'd rather have our baby. So we moved back to the island when I was entering my third trimester. I knew I wanted a natural birth from the very beginning and soon after discovering I was pregnant, I began the endless amounts of birth research. I watched countless documentaries and read tons of books about birth and how it had changed over the past century. I read a lot about birth practices in other countries and how our country's birth system compared to theirs. Spiritual Midwifery by Ina May Gaskin really confirmed the fact that I wanted a natural birth (I thought that a homebirth would be perfect), so after arriving back to the island we began to research our options on Nantucket. We both really wanted a homebirth after reading all of the testimonials on Sybille's website but because of financial reasons, I began to doubt myself and my desire for that beautiful birth I had envisioned. My health insurance wouldn't cover a homebirth, and our traveling had somewhat depleted our funds. The decision between calling Sybille and "settling" on a (hopefully natural) hospital birth weighed in my mind. The indecisiveness began to really upset me and I remember feeling completely out of control of my own birthing process. I had been meeting with a doctor at the Nantucket Cottage Hospital for my prenatal visits who was nice and very supportive of my desire for a natural birth, but I decided to meet with Sybille and see how our first meeting went.

I remember reading that if the baby was discovered to be breech before the 36th week, it would be easier to assist the baby in turning head down. Having done a ton of research, I had many little concerns about things that would prevent me from having a natural birth in the back of my mind. I wanted to know more about my baby and my body. I brought up all my concerns (including this one) with my doctor and he took the time to sit back down and answer all of my questions, but I still wasn't settled by the answers. During my first meeting with Sybille, we talked for more than an hour at her house. She provided me with in-depth answers that really made me comfortable. When I brought up my breech concern, she offered to show me how the baby was positioned in the womb. She showed me where the baby's back was, where it's bottom was, and where it's head was (babe's head was down)! I felt like Sybille had already formed a connection with my baby, which meant so much to me. She also made me feel more in tune with my body and baby in that single first meeting than I had felt throughout my entire pregnancy. I left Sybille's house that day feeling so much more confident and in control, I knew that a homebirth was exactly what I wanted. 

Zak and I talked over the week about where the funds would come from and how we would manage it, but as soon as we officially decided to go with the homebirth (which we even flipped a coin for, once that coin's in the air you know what you really want) I began to feel so positive. My meetings with Sybille were so different than my pre-natal appointments with the doctor, she lent me videos and books and got to know me and my baby. We talked about everything, including the pregnancy, everyday stresses, and what was happening in my life. She showed me videos of births and talked to me about her experiences. She trusted in my body which made me feel like I could do the same. I gained so much confidence as a woman in that last month and a half of my pregnancy. I feel as if Sybille became a friend through those prenatal appointments and I knew we had made the right decision. 

My entire pregnancy seemed to follow every textbook standard, and I knew it. The first day of my missed period, I knew something was different and went to get a pregnancy test. It was positive. At my first sonogram, I told the nurse that I knew for certain that I was exactly 12 weeks. As soon as she measured my little fetus, she agreed and said I was exactly 12 weeks according to his (although I didn't know it was a "he" at that point) measurements. I knew throughout my pregnancy that it was a boy, but knew I'd be happy either way. My original due date was the 28th but during my second sonogram I was told it was the 26th. Zak and I joked that I was most likely going to go into labor on my due date, but since that was rare for first time moms we didn't really expect it. 

On April 26th, I remember feeling something was different with my body. I told Zak as he left for work that morning that the babe was coming that day. Later on, I went to visit Nantucket's doula Sunny. We had hoped she'd be able to attend our birth with Sybille and her assistant Annie since she had also become a friend through childbirth classes and pre-natal appointments. We had snacks and talked about birth, babies, art, and life. When I left, I told her that I was going into labor that night. It came out as a joke but 6 hours later, I was in labor.

I called Sybille at about 9:30 that night, when the contractions started along with a few other signs that this was the real thing (bloody show!). Sybille told me that I should try and sleep through the night and that I should call if the contractions became too much or too close together. I tried for the entire night to sleep, but couldn't. I probably slept for about an hour. Zak was really awesome, he managed to sleep between my contractions and if one was particularly unbearable he'd sit up to rub my back. At about 4:30 in the morning we called Sybille for the okay to sit in the bathtub. At 8 in the morning, we called her again and she decided it was time! She was at our house soon after and began to set up the birthing tub. 


Sybille was definitely in her zone while I was in labor. After about an hour, she asked if I wanted to see how far along I was. I desperately wanted to know and promised not to be disappointed if I wasn't as dilated as I thought I was. I was 4 cm! Immediately afterwards, my water broke and things really started to progress. Sunny and Annie headed over to the house and I jumped (waddled through contractions, really) into the birthing tub. I was definitely in the zone and don't really remember Sunny and Annie's arrival. Everyone was awesome at making me comfortable. I remember having a lot of back pain, but everyone was there to help me through each contraction applying pressure where and when needed. Sybille continued to remind me to stay confident- especially when I would complain about the pain! In the moment, everything seemed like it was lasting forever. I remember some of the contractions towards the end and thinking they would never end.

I remember feeling myself sink into the transition phase trance. Up until this point, the front pain of the contractions had been barely noticeable since my back seemed to hurt more than anything else. Now, the pain was pretty evenly matched. I felt the head move further down into my pelvis. My body knew when it was time to push and I followed its lead. I pushed for a short time in the tub before everyone decided it would be easier to push while on my bed. I waddled between contractions back to the bed (I remember feeling like I had to rush- I wanted to be in my bed before another contraction came). Even though initially I looked at Sybille like she was crazy when she asked me to move from tub to bed, I was really thankful she did. I remember feeling like I wasn't pushing hard enough or that we weren't progressing fast enough but once I was on my bed I was able to move differently and push more effectively. I was tired at that point from my lack of sleep the night before and was receiving oxygen, but I wanted that baby out and pushed with all the strength I could muster during contractions. 

With only a few more pushes (I don't quite remember how long it was, but I'm pretty sure it happened fairly quickly), at 12:43 pm, Odin Rainer Bahamut MacKay was born. Everyone sort of gasped at how big he was (it explained a lot about his passage through my pelvis), my little man was born at 10 pounds! Sybille caught him and placed him on my stomach. I was so overjoyed and overwhelmed I didn't even know if he was a boy or girl for the first 10 minutes of his life! Zak cut the cord and was equally thrilled. He had been by my side the entire time and the birth brought us so much closer. Sybille's presence made me so much more confident and when I thought I couldn't do it, she was there to remind me I could and that I would!




Happiest and most intense day of my life! I love that little man oh so much!


Sunday, September 23, 2012

Baby Love.

I'm working on a post with the first 6 month must haves, which I will hopefully be posting soon! For now a photo by our friend Max Hessler.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Found Toys


I love finding awesome wooden toys at yard sales or thrift stores. Odin and I found this one at the "Madaket Mall," a lovely little building at the dump called the "take it or leave it," which is just that. It's like a thrift store but a little less organized and FREE. I always find lots of awesome fabric, old toys, furniture, and loads of things we don't actually need. This one was a keeper though. I think we're planning on making some toys like this to go along with our wooden puzzles!

Smiley Bebe



So, I'm brand new to knitting and have only ever knitted 2 little newborn hats. Both were too small for Odin when he was born (My giant little 10 pounder!) so I'm attempting to make him another for the fall which will hopefully be his size. I really can't believe how chilly it's getting to be already! I guess I'll have to make him some mittens too. Anyone have experience knitting baby things?




Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Flower Bebe


Love this drooly-faced flower child.

Adventure Time!



I love my sling. The ring sling is oh so easy and it's just like have one more hand. Odin wants to see everything I'm doing and go everywhere I go and often demands to be on my hip, so this sling is so handy. Plus, it fits in the diaper bag! 


I was so lucky to have Zak home with me today. He landscapes, so a rainy morning meant a day with the fam! We ventured into town to thrift. The thrift store closes at noon so unfortunately we had just missed it (parking around 11:50) but, we enjoyed some coffee at our favorite coffee shop while we waited. Odin was having the best time in the breezy fall weather. Being in town meant we ran into at least 3 of our friends (we live on an itty bitty island so we can't go anywhere without seeing someone we know).
We walked around for a bit before the thrift store opened its doors again around one. I scored a whole paper grocery bag full of wonderfully colored and hand-spun yarns for less than 20$. Expect lots of baby mittens and leg warmers (hopefully some for sale too)! 
We came back home and spent some time on our front porch. Odin giggled the entire time and rolled around the front porch while Zak played his sax and Mum drew. I also managed to make most of a plush monster, which will be finished and photographed by tomorrow!
I loved today.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Sakura Bloom Slings!

I really love the slings from Sakura Bloom. Jodi of Che & Fidel is currently hosting a giveaway for two of these gorgeous slings, so please go check it out!

She has some beautiful baby-wearing photos (and an amazing video!) and hopefully I'll be able to take some similar photos if I can manage to get my hands on a nice camera soon. I really love my Maya Ring Sling, but I'd love to get my hands on either a silk or linen one from Sakura Bloom.

For now, my favorite baby-wearing/ring sling photo:

Photo by our dear friend Max Hessler.

Monday, September 17, 2012

smile!


love that little hand


I can't describe how much I love every bit of him, but that little hand. That little hand reaches out throughout the night just to make sure I'm there (he usually won't let go once his sleepy hand finds me). That little hand grabs on to my fingers and pulls them close. That little hand is starting to grab onto other things, just to taste test. His hands are growing much too fast (along with the rest of him) but I'm excited to see what the future holds for this little munchkin.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Fall Bog Walks


Odin loves going for walks. He loves the feeling of the dirt/leaves/grass. So do I, so I think more walks are in order this Fall. 

Sleepy Morning Baby


Thursday, September 13, 2012

Presents in the Mail!


Odin's new goodies from his Auntie La! What a spoiled baby! <3

My Little Gnaw-blin!


Mister man is getting his first teefers in, I think. He likes to gnaw on anything in close proximity to that little mouth. Poor little stingray/cat/mouse. A gift from our friend Grace is his choice of teether today!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Perfection


This little guy is so perfect. I'm still so glad we bed-share even though he's getting pretty big pretty quickly and demands a lot of space. Sleeping between my two favorite boys every night makes every night so much more snuggly! (The way he naps right in the middle is too cute too).

Hehe.

video

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Little Wooden Toys


So, we've started a small toy company. We'll be making wooden toys for a few local shops as well as for on-line sales. This little wooden puzzle is the prototype for this style. We'll be making these by hand and they'll be hand-painted so each will be unique. Lucky little Odin will have lots of wooden toys as we continue our adventures in toy-making!

Please continue to check out my art blog for more photos and any art updates!

Morning Naps.


The morning nap is my favorite. I can choose to nap with him if we've had a rough night or I can get some things done around the house (or on the internet), either way he tends to sleep for at least 3 hours through the morning. 
I just love the way he opens his eyes every half an hour or so, just to check and see if I'm still here before slowly drifting back to sleep.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Sleepy Head

My little sleepy head is all congested! Poor bebe.

My 4 Month Old is Huge!


Little Odin. You are already almost 20 pounds and we've barely made it to 4 and a half months. How big will you be in 4 more months? 

Sunday, September 9, 2012

I love this boy.

I am constantly reminded about how cute this little man is and how lucky I am to have him in my life.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Hay Ride//Tomato Picking!

Odin and I took a hay ride out to pick some tomatoes at our local farm. It's the end of the season so they're $1 a pound! We ended up getting 24 pounds and I'm canning while Odin naps from our long day of adventures. 

Friday, September 7, 2012

Sleepy Sling Baby


I love when this bambino falls asleep in our sling. Nothing is cuter.

Big Little Man

I can't believe how big this little man is getting already. 
Little Odin, I love you so.

It's so nice...

It's so nice to live with friends. Max Hessler, one of our house-mates is an excellent photographer and takes such amazing photos of our little man.
We left our little island of Nantucket when I was pregnant and very soon realized that there was nowhere we'd rather raise our babe than surrounded by all of our talented friends (we came rushing back when I was about 5 months prego). We live communally with a few of those friends and I'm so excited Odin's surrounded by such talent.