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I had such good intentions to post an update on baby Vienna every month, but as you can tell, I've gotten a little behind. Truth is, I've been a little busy ... as I'm sure you can imagine! Being a working mama is rewarding, but it also has it's challenges. Thankfully, I have an amazing hubby who is an incredible dad and right now he's putting Vienna to bed as I write this blog post :)
So much has happened in the last six months that it is nearly impossible to summarize it all here. But you can certainly follow our adventues on Instagram! Our lives have changed dramatically – in the best way possible. There is more love in our home than I ever could imagine. And I never thought it was possible to get by on so little sleep. The sleep is getting so much better but it's still a work in progress. I think that I will need a solid 4 weeks of good sleep before I don't have dark circles under my eyes anymore, haha! However, in speaking to mamas with older toddlers, they often thell me they still haven't slept ... in THREE years! Mama, mia!
We get V down by 6:30 or 7pm with very little fuss (that took some work though) but the daytime naps are not as easy as the nighttime routine. Each day is a bit easier though. The toughest part for us is really sticking to a routine because running a small business together wiht my hubs means no two days are ever alike. Vienna seems to roll with it pretty well.
That's what's happening in a snapchat, but I thought a fun way to do this post would be to share answers to the most common questions I've been getting as a new mama on social media. You can also find answers to the most frequently asked questions I get as a mama over here. Feel free to post any questions for me below too as it will inspire me to write more for future posts.
Here are a few of the questions I've gotten as a mama so far!
How do I maintain balance?
Balance? What's that? Haha. Well, let's just say having a baby, running a business and trying to find time for exercise is a balancing act and it's not easy to do it all but I'm trying my hardest. I only just started back exercising. I'm doing Barre 1-2X/week and that started up again when Vienna was about 5 months. It's the only exercise I can do aside from walking because I'm doing physio for my pelvic floor and I've got a bit of work to do. However, I literally LIVE by my calendar. I schedule absolutely everything in and that helps me find balance between my family life, work life and social life.
Making time to see my girlfriends has been essentail for being a happy mama too. Even if it's just 1 hour per week! As much as I love our baby girl, I need "me" time or I will go crazy!
Does Vienna really smile that much?
If you follow me on Instagram, you likely know that I post photos of Vienna a few times per week. And yes, she is pretty smiley. I don't know whether that's because we smile at her a lot and have some really good laughs or if it's just her sunshine-y personality. I guess time will tell!
What is her personality like?
I think it's still hard to tell because she's only been with us for six months, but I think she's pretty easy going and I bet she's going to have a good sense of humour like her dad. We drag her pretty much everywhere with us and she doesn't seem to mind which is why I say she's easy going and she likes to giggle when I sing. Quite honestly, she's probably just laughing at me because I'm the worst singer EVER. She's also extremely determined.
She's been practicing crawling pretty hardcore for the last few weeks and starts to cry when she's on her hands and knees trying to figure this crawling thing out. I asked Walker how he would describe her personality and he said "very honest" and "genuine". Babies have no filter. They give you what they feel. Makes sense to me!
How do you find time for yourself?
There is definitely a lot less time for myself, but taking her for a powerwalk in the park while she naps feels like time for me. Or going to Rawlicious for a tea and a macaroon with Vienna feels like time for me too. Also, I've had a few dates with my girlfriends while Walker looks after Vienna. En route to my first date with my girlfriend, I played the music VERY LOUD in the car and sang my car out. It felt so good to that. Often Waker takes V on Saturday mornings for coffee while I do my own thing. Even if it's just for an hour, it's time for me to take a long shower and wash my hair.
How do you manage to find time to eat healthy with a baby?
Eating healthy and delicious food is such an important part of our life that I can't imagine being any other way. It's the one thing I know I can depend on to make me feel good. Grocery shopping and making time for food prep is priority in our home and it's a responsibility Walker and I both have. Batch cooking definitely helps. For instance, last we had this Cauliflower Stew which we reheated because I made it on the weekend with a kale salad that Walker made which I put the bean to bed. Walker makes the BEST kale salad. You can find it in The Complete Self-Care Guide for New Mamas!
Do you ever have days where you dislike being a mom?
My short answer is: no. People ask me this a lot though. I realize that every mama has a different perspective on mamahood and of course, not every second of every day is sunshine and rainbows but being a mama is the best gift I've ever been given. I truly love it and I'm extremely grateful for it. Maybe it's because when I was in my twenties, I had so many hormonal problems I never thought I would be able to have a baby which makes me appreciate all aspects of mamahood. I also believe that Vienna chose Walker and I as her parents, so I feel very grateful to her.
Some quick facts about our sweet bean aka Vienna:
And finally... she's trying really hard to befriend the kitties!
I hope you enjoyed this 6 month update along with all the photos. I'm up to 10,081 photos on my iphone now!! I LOVE taking photos :)
If you're reading this and you're a new mama, I would love to hear you share your favourite memory below. You may also be interested in my Complete Self-Care Guide For New Mamas!
Picking one memory is tough...but as my little Jasper grows so fast (5 months now) I often think about the first moment I saw him and held him on my chest. That day was beyond magical and even though it was physically the most difficult thing I could ever imagine I would do it all over again in a second :-) Lots of love to your joyous family from ours!Reply
That is the sweetest! Brings tears to my eyes... that would be my fave first memory too, just holding Vienna on my chest with Walker as we both balled our eyes out when she was born!
Love you and baby Vienna :) Joy, how did you cope with nausea and fatigue in the first trimester?Reply
Thanks Aminah! This is a great topic for a post but to answer you quickly I only had nausea for about 6 weeks (day and night) so I managed through it by eating often because I found it was significantly worse if I ever got even the slightest bit hunger, having food beside my bed so before I got up in the morning when my stomach felt all acid-y I ate something and then wearing seabands on my wrist. I also did acupuncture. For the fatigue -- I didn't fight it... I made rest a priority in my first trimester and final weeks (felt really good in my second trimester). I didn't make a lot of plans during the periods of time I was really tired. Hope that helps!
Baby wearing my little guy in his ergo every Sunday while I walk the dog with my husband to get coffee and doughnuts!Reply
Not quite a new mama yet, but counting down the weeks! So far loving feeling my little girl wriggling around - she's very active! I love that my husband is able to feel her now as well - so fun to experience this together.Reply
I love breastfeeding moments: when my little one eats with eager, holding breast with his little fingers and slowly patting on it, and suddenly he looks up at my face with his deep blue eyes full of love and gratefulness and then smiles. God, these moments are the happiest and I feel the best. P.S. I love to read about Viena. My baby is almost the same age with her (just 1 week difference).Reply
Oh wow! So close in age :) Congrats and HBD to your little one! Those moments are so so so precious! Enjoy!
Just one? Hmm..the BIG smile she give me everytime when I'm changing her diaper, even at 3am.Reply
Baby Rowan is just 3 month old (yesterday), but he makes me laugh every single day and has the greatest smiles, even when he has just exploded out his diapers. Life with this baby is a joy! :)Reply
Oooo....I would have to say that my favourite moments are when my 5 month old, wee Henry wakes up in the morning. He is grinning from ear to ear and just glad to be alive! I wish I could wake up like that everyday. It's just so inspiring...love him!Reply
haha! So true right! Babies are just happy to be here. We can learn so much from them.
My favourite memories of my 10 month old son are watching him and my husband snuggle and fall asleep together on the couch (when he was a newborn). It was so precious :)Reply
My little Ellie is 2 months old and one of my very favourite memories was in he delivery room when my hubby announced, "it's a little girl". He was so sweet and emotional. Ellie was then placed on my chest and my hubby and I just snuggled with her and everything else just faded away into the background. Instantly there was more love in the room than I ever thought possible!Reply
Just THE BEST. So sweet. :)
The first time I heard my little girls laugh is my fave memory. She has the most beautiful laugh! Thanks so much for sharing this Joy, Vienna is beautiful and looks just like you.Reply
Love love love reading your Blog ! My little girl is 4 months tomorrow and love reading about the foods Vienna is loving ! Looking forward to starting Rowyn on her solids :) you should publish a BabyFood book it would be fabulous !! Keep up the amazing work, being a momma is the best thing possibleReply
I'm hoping to! In fact, I would for my third book to be a "family" recipe book from baby to toddler and then family recipes :) Thanks for the suggestion and congrats on your little one!
My daughter, Della, is turning 3 months old this week and so far, one of my favorite memories has been hearing her laugh. She is such a sweet, smiling baby and I love hearing all of her giggles and coos. They melt my heart every time.Reply
My favourite memories are all the baby snuggles and naps in my lap/sling/arms :) Loved this post!Reply
Hi Joy! Happy 6 months, Vienna! After hours of cluster feeding and tummy troubles, it's the smile that makes it all worth it! That's my favourite memory: the first time my daughter smiled.Reply
fabulous story! we are "almost" ready to welcome our little miracle in June...I cant wait to read more of your blogs Steph Caron xoReply
My favourite memory of baby H so far is probably just how happy she is. She's very happy to be held by lots of people which makes going places and doing things easy! She's also super-smiley. She's the best at napping on the go which also makes getting out easy!Reply
My baby boys is ten months and so far the greatest has just been holding him to my hearts content. He loves to be snuggled and I am taking full advantage of that. They grow and change so fast so I know I'll treasure these moments forever Thx for the awesome work u do Joy! XoReply
Hi Joy and joyful Vienna! Love hearing about your life with the little one. My 8 month old Maya is such a character. One of my favorite memories happened just yesterday- I sat down at the piano with her and played and sang to get a song I wrote for my hubby years ago. She tried to sing along! Made my heart melt. Joy, I'm wondering what you've done to improve her sleep. We are still up every two hours here! Could you share? xxReply
Hi Cate, Sleep is something Joy and Walker are working on right now. They mentioned that they're trying to get Vienna on a proper napping schedule, but Vienna doesn't really "do" naps right now. ;) Kate - Joyous Health Team
Hi Cate, I saw Kate replied for me below but thought I would tell you what we've been doing :) At night she goes down at 6:30/7 and sometimes I do a "dream feed" at 10:30 or 11pm that keeps her tummy full for at least 6-7 hours. If she does happen to wake up at 2 or 3, then we just soothe her instead of feeding her so she gets used to going a little longer and doesn't expect to nurse because at 6 months and at her size she is fine metabolically to go longer without food. Naps are a work in progress! She goes down at 10:30am and 2:30pm most days give or take 30 minutes. If I don't have success then I will take her for a walk and bam she's out. The 5 minute cry it out does work. She's usually out by about minute 3.5. I wasn't going to do that but I resorted to it because I was having trouble getting her down in her crib for her naps. It works and I never let her cry longer than 5 minutes and the type of cry is important. If she's sucking back air and screaming I don't let her cry like that for 5 minutes... Every baby is different though!! So it might just be something you have to get through. Hope my experience helps you!
You stole my question - thanks:)! I'm with you mama - every two hours with quite a walk from my bedroom to the nursery. I feel like death in the morning and the only thing saving me is taking a morning nap alongside my son (he usually sleeps well then). If you come across any ah-ha tips please share!
Picking one memory is so hard! My little one is 7 months old, and when I look at photos of her as a newborn I can't believe how big she is and how quickly it all goes by. In her first few months Emmeline loved to sleep on my chest, it seemed to be the only way she would settle. Sometimes it was hard having her nap on me for such long stretches (like when your arm goes numb! or I was worried she would roll off if I nodded off) but now I miss those days so much, having her curled up on me, clutching at my shirt with her small chubby little fingers. She now sleeps in her crib and she is a wonderful sleeper so I can't complain, but I miss those moments. I do carry her around in carriers/wraps a lot which is another great memory - her little face looking up at me is the. absolute. best. :)Reply
Picking one memory is definitely difficult but something I will never forget is our first lactation appt at the hospital because breastfeeding was damn hard!! It was day 3 with the bub and we got to the hospital took the elevator upstairs and my husband was talking to me as he got out of the elevator. I was trying to maneuver the stroller and before I knew it the elevator doors closed and it was just me and Maddox riding back down 17 floors...something so small but that moment still brings me and my husband so much comedic relief during times when we feel our lives have been flipped upside down. <3Reply
One of my favourite memories is the first time my son, James (now 4 months old) laughed at me. He was watching me work out in the living room when I started jumping around saying "go mamma, go mamma!" and he thought it was the funniest thing! Now I do it every time I exercise with him in the room and I always get lots of smiles and giggles :)Reply
Love your thoughts on motherhood! My favorite memory so far is when John (now 5 months ) really starting 'talking'! He's got such a cute personality, we love all his coos, chirps and baby talk. Can't wait to hear what he really has to say once he learns some words!Reply
The first night with our little man. Not really knowing what we were doing. So full of love and so so tired. Love the first snuggles in our bed.Reply
Fantastic blog! She's one sweet, beautiful bean, that Vienna;-) One fave memory...hmmm. My two babes are 8 and 10 now so, I've had many amazing moments being their mom. But truly my fave moments continue to be when they 'shine', and find success and happiness in something they have accomplished. I saw it when they first learned how to walk, and I see it now when my independent Jess does her skating routine on the ice and smiles and twirls and jumps and feels elated...I can feel it. Or, when my darling Kyle gets a breakaway and scores a goal in hockey, but he's even more proud when he passes it and gets an assists...he's just that kind of a boy. You'll have so many of those to look forward to, and you're experiencing them all now as Vienna learns and grows and comes into her own. Enjoy xoxoReply
Being a new mama is the BEST reward life can bring. I have so many favourite memories of my 4 month old daughter, Whitney, but if I had to choose one it is probably the first time I made her laugh. We were playing on my lap and I tipped her backwards and started repeatedly kissing her chin while making lots of kissy noises. She found this hilarious!! And soon enough, I heard that first belly giggle. Best feeling in the world.Reply
My baby girl is 6 weeks old and I have so many amazing memories already. I would have to say my favourite is when she falls asleep on my chest with her head cradled under my chin. (Sometimes in her wrap or sling and sometimes just cuddling on the couch). I absolutely cherish those moments as I know they are short lived!!Reply
Thanks for sharing your journey Joy! It's so nice to hear your perspective on motherhood as another mama who is a self employed health professional. Our little Pippa is only 6 weeks but so many memorable moments so far. Top two would be when she was born and I lifted her onto my chest. Another happened this week- she now stares deeply into my eyes like she knows what I'm thinking. Puts life in perspectiveReply
Awww so sweet! I LOVE the name Pippa!!!
My girl just turned 4 years old and I'm expecting a little one this summer. My favorite thing about being a mom is witnessing her move through the different phases and stages of development as she further shows me who she is! Experiencing her excitement at being a big sister and how much love she has to share makes my heart grow everyday!!Reply
My little bebe is still hanging out in my body (we've got a few more months until s/he comes out to meet us) but I already feel like a mama. My friends planned a wedding around my teaching schedule in Central America for this week (my spring break - I'm a teacher) and, because of the Zika Virus, I'm staying at home instead of MCing their wedding. It is amazing, though, how at peace I am about this. I feel like I have truly become a parent before this babe is even born. Protecting their well-being made my choice to stay home so easy to make, even though I'm letting others down. Thanks for sharing your first 6 months. Makes me even more excited for what is to come!Reply
The first two weeks were so magical, I had my daughter in skin-to-skin most of the time and nursed her constantly. I often think about those first two weeks... my daughter is 8 months old already !Reply
My favourite moments with my son, Riley, who's about to turn 4 months tomorrow is certainly when he's smiling in his sleep. Especially when it's in the middle of the night when I'm having trouble falling back asleep after a breastfeeding session, I'll just stare at him. When he smiles, it's the most rewarding feeling! Makes it all worth it :)Reply
My son, Logan, will be 6 months next week and it is crazy how fast it's going! It's really hard choose one favourite memory but that first genuine smile was really something! I remember thinking, "He really knows I'm his mom!" I got teary eyed. And I still love that smile every day.Reply
I am also a busy working Mama, operating my dog walking business while at home with 5 Month old Baby Jax. There are so many precious moments everyday but I was so thrilled when Jax smiled at my 'first born' son, Gussy (our dog) for the first time. I just know they are going to be besties :))Reply
One of my favourite things to do with my almost 6 month old is fill up a bath tub, add in Epsom salt, essential oils and his bath toys, and enjoy a fun mama/baby bath. My little guy splashes like crazy and I never manage to wash my hair but it's a great way to unwind at the end of the day.Reply
What a great post! You are my inspiration Joy and one of the biggest reason I'm getting over an eating disorder. I have tried 90% of the recipes in Joyous Health, I am now at my day 9 of 10 day detox which I will do until April 4th for my wedding!!! My baby girl is named Èva, she will be 1 year on March 26th. I am a young mama of 26 and I also love motherhood so much. It brings me so much joy. One of the best moments I have with Èva is when I crawl with her... She thinks it's funniest thing in the world. I just crawl everywhere and make funny noises and she can't stop laughing. She always brings her shoulders up when she laughs and one hand to cover her mouth. I am sooooo grateful for those special moments. Thanks again for all the amazing work that you do! I am transforming into the best mother for Èva with all the inspiration you project. God bless. :)Reply
The inquisitive, curious looks, and smiles when he explores something new :) One of the best things.Reply
My little Franny will be 5 months on Friday. I can't believe it! My favourite memory is definitely from the newborn days... I just loved her content and oh so satisfied sleepy smiles after a nursing session. She was milk drunk, and it made me so happy and proud to be providing her that nutrition and satisfaction from my own body! Thank god I took pictures because she doesn't really get milk drunk anymore, ha! Now my favourite memories are of wearing her in her carrier and heading to High Park for some hiking trails while she naps on me. Perfection!Reply
Hi Joy, wondering which organic formula you used with Vienna when supplementing? We may be starting to have supply issues :( My favorite thing about being a mom are the smiles and when I see her learn something new, like grabbing things, rolling over or just discovering her feet... My heart bursts.Reply
The best moments for me were hearing my son's voice for the first time when he was born and hearing his first laugh. Pure magic:-) As a nutritionist, how do you approach the whole "introducing solids" thing? (Especially when it comes to dairy, grains, meat, etc.) Which foods are you going to offer next? Thank you Joy!Reply
Hi Oila, Joy started with tasty, soft, fruits and veggies like avocado and sweet potato, and then added things like homemade applesauce and bone broth (both faves of Vienna). Grains will be one of the last things she introduces. There's going to be a whole blog post on introducing Vienna to solids, so stay tuned! :) Kate - Joyous Health Team
Hello I just wanted to say thank you for sharing your pictures of Vienna she is so beautiful & what a smile & also what a beautiful mom congratulations! BlessingsReply
Love reading these updates, it is crazy how much love these little angels bring with them when they enter our lives! So hard to pick one memory even though my little guy is only gonna be 3 months in a few days. But one thing that pops to mind is when he started to give the biggest smiles and cutest giggles when seeing my face at around 6 weeks, just made all the sleepless nights disappear hahaReply
I am not a new mama yet but soon to be one and I love reading all about your experiences and tips for new moms. I hope you continue this series as I loved your blog before but especially now hearing about tips for new moms is great!Reply
Hi, I've only recently discovered your amazing blog and love it! My son is close to your daughter's age. I'd love to hear more about what you are feeding her! What are some healthy recipes (such as your bone broth) that you are giving to her? Thanks!!Reply
I just want to say I adore you and your family, Joy! I've been following you for quite a few years now and throughout all my life changes you've always been such a source of inspiration. Thank you so much!! I'm about to meet my sweet little Penelope any day now and can't wait to make more memories with her. But my favorite memory of mama hood so far has to be the first time my son told me I'm beautiful. It was pretty recent and I had been feeling a little uncomfortable in my body being so far along in my pregnancy but it reminded me to love myself and to see myself through his eyes!Reply
So exciting!! And that is just the sweetest thing your son said to you, I'm sure it's very true. Little ones have so much to teach us. Wishing you a wonderful birthing experience and thank you for the sweet comment!
So many memories captured in 25 months with my little Sophia but the one memory i will say I'll probably never forget is when she turned 1 yr old she would see a bird on the sky, the moon, the stars, an airplane, the clouds, the trees, pretty much anything would always say WOOOW!!! So mesmerized by its beauty. She is 2 right now and she stills is so mesmerized buy everything around her and just makes me realize how us often forget to look around us and enjoy and appreciate the beautiful things we have each day.Reply
The photos are great! You guys are one terrific family! Love getting your newsletter and I think you are a star!Reply
I just wanted to say I love reading your blog. You inspire me on my health journey. I have so many special memories with my two kids but the one that always comes to mind is the dinner chaos- my daughter helping stir and mix standing on her stool wearing her apron, and my son emptying my cupboards and drawers and banging things. They are always at my feet- even though it'd be nice to cook uninterrupted- I will miss them by my side all day.Reply
My best memory so far of being a mama to my any boy Emmett is the first time he smiled. He was born 6 weeks premature and I have to admit I struggled in the beginning with how long it took him to achieve this first milestone. ALL I wanted was for him to look at me and smile. So, when it finally happened (on my dad's birthday!), there were no words for how it made me feel. There is nothing that can compare to the pure JOY I felt in this moment :)Reply
So difficult to choose one, but I love how he wakes up all smiles and kicking, like he's warming up, ready to start the day!Reply
That's beautiful Stef! Enjoy those precious moments :) -Heather, Joyous Team
Hi Joy! Awww she is a beauty! she looks exactly like you! <3 Thank you for making this post, its always nice to read updates about your Vienna, especially her diet. My little man is almost 4 months so I am getting mentally prepared to start him on solids in a couple of months. my questions: I'd like to know what are other ways to increase my milk supply. (I find taking a nap and drinking milk or chicken broth help me) Also how do I stop my hair from falling out. and finally, when will you have your After Pregnancy book out on hardcopy? thank you so much!Reply
Hi Joy! Awww she is a beauty! she looks exactly like you! <3 Thank you for making this post, its always nice to read updates about baby Vienna, especially her diet. My little man is almost 4 months so I am getting mentally prepared to start him on solids in a couple of months. my questions: I'd like to know what are other ways to increase my milk supply. (I find taking a nap and drinking milk or chicken broth help) Also how do I stop my hair from falling out. and finally, when will you have your After Pregnancy book out on hardcopy? thank you so much!Reply
Hi May! Congrats on your little one :) Have you tried Joy's Lactation cookies? http://www.joyoushealth.com/blog/2016/02/01/best-ever-lactation-cookies/ Post-pregnancy hair loss is unfortunate but pretty typical. Just make sure you're eating well, using natural beauty care products, avoiding over-washing it and continue taking your pre-natal. I hope that helps. All the best :) Heather- Joyous Health team
Anytime my baby falls asleep in my arms, or nursing her. I also have a very active 4 yr old so I definitely am soaking in baby snuggles as time passes so so quickly! On another note, I wanted to say how much I love your scopes! You're all just so entertaining, and the love between the three of you is really lovely.Reply
Love reading about Vienna - she's such a shiny, lovely little soul!!! I would love if you could do a post on your babe's first foods and your approach on solids for her. My little guy is 4 1/2 months, and his paediatrician suggested we start solids at 5 months. And I have no idea where to begin!!! There is so much competing info. My doc suggested rice cereal, then pureed veg and fruits. But I've read a lot about focusing on iron-rich cereal and even meats at first. And then there's baby led weaning. Oye!Reply