Wednesday, January 30, 2013

"So What!" Wednesday

So what if...

  • I might have decided to take a little nap during my Jillian's Michael's Shred session this morning. Laying down (to do abs) was just too much of a temptation for me.

  • I walked into the kitchen to find Ethan at the microwave. He had decided he was hungry, got a pack of hot dogs out of the fridge and was mere seconds away from hitting the start button to heat them up. The whole pack of them...still in the plastic wrap. Can we say independent?

  • I am almost excited about this rain as Ethan although for different reasons. He burst into my room this morning exclaiming "Hop in mud! Hop in mud!" and all I could think was that rain was a great excuse to be lazy.

  • I momentarily forgot that biscuits contain milk and was promptly reminded by my sons face breaking out into a crazy rash. I blame my stupidity on mommy brain syndrome.

  • I cannot wait to share Jackson's newborn pictures! Hopefully by tomorrow everyone will have received their birth announcements and I'll be able to share away.

  • I have my fingers crossed that the swing batteries won't die before the hubby gets home. I can tell it's on its last leg because the music is playing eerily slow. The swing must not go down!

  • Speaking of eerie songs...Ethan's new favorite is "Row Your Boat" and all I can think of is that scene from Dante's Peak where they are trying to escape the volcano by boat then granny has to sacrifice herself because the lake is acidic and sinking the boat...yeah...I hope we find a new favorite soon.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

A Day in the Life

I did a "Day in the Life" post with Ethan when he was around 6 months old. I've been meaning to do another one ever since. It's completely time consuming to do, but so fun to look back on. I have to say the first one I did was much more fun as it was all pictures. This one is more wordy, less picture-y just due to lack of time and energy. I hope you enjoy this stream-of-consciousness version.

A Day in the Life

January 28, 2013

Ethan - 2yrs 3mo.
Jackson - 1.5mo.

  • 12:00 AM - It's the official start to this day, but also the ending of yesterday. I just finished getting ready for bed and retrieved Jackson from the swing for a quick feeding before bed.

  • 12:20 AM - With fingers crossed I slide Jackson into the Rock-n-Play and crawl into bed.

  • 3:00 AM - I hear the little one stirring so I put him in bed with me for a feeding. Both of us fall asleep. Hello, co-sleeping. Now I get what everyone is talking about. Ethan would have had none of this in his day.

  • 6:11 AM - Both kids wake up at the exact same time. Ethan has miraculously slept an hour later than normal. This, of course, puts a change to our normal flow of things. Thankfully Michael hasn't jumped in the shower yet so I send him to get E while I get Jackson changed. 

  • 6:22 AM - Both boys are now in bed with me enjoying their milk and hubs heads into the bathroom to get ready for work. 

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  • 6:31 AM - Hot spit up is running right down the middle of my chest. I do a quick clean up and then it's back to feeding. The toddler knows I'm trapped and I verbally talk him out of dropping multiple items (mostly my jewelry) down the vent. This is his new favorite button to push. We have come to the conclusion that the only way to make him stop is to try the scare tactic. Yes, he now believes in monsters. We are amazing parents. Please award us our gold star.

  • 6:43 AM - The baby is finally done and the toddler is on the loose (aka wrecking havoc around the house). Time for me to get ready for the day. This means I change out of spit up clothes, put in my contacts and brush my teeth. I even throw on some mascara and eyeliner just to make sure I don't look like death. I wouldn't want to scare the children now would I? The hubs is off to work and Ethan is running around with our toothbrushes. This is also a new favorite obsession. Toddlers are weird. He should have the cleanest teeth on the toddler block. 

  • 6:55 AM - Ethan amazingly comes up with a great idea. Coloring! This means I can trap him in the high chair. Fantastic! Some days I really miss him being content with being in the pack-n-play although these toddler antics do help me keep in shape and practice that thing called patience that I never quite mastered.

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  • 7:04 AM - I'm ready, baby is finally back to sleep and Ethan has decided he's ready for breakfast.

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  • 7:14 AM - I've decided that today is the day I begin Operation Get Fit since I'll officially be 6 weeks post partum on Friday. While the toddler is entertained with breakfast and the baby is in the swing, I decide to seize the moment and pop in the 30 Day Shred DVD that hasn't seen the light of day since 2011. 
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I move the construction fleet that has overtaken our living room rug and the massive ottoman of toys so I can have a little space. I'm ready. Wait. I need a remote to move that toggle thing down to select my workout. Shit. No batteries. Rob random toy of batteries. There. All set. Wait. These gals have weights. I have those...somewhere. I quickly make a mad dash upstairs to dig said weights out of the closet. 

All this commotion has of course grabbed the toddlers attention and he now declares he wants to "hop with mama". His declarations get louder and more insistent so I run over to let him out of his chair (missing a few push ups won't hurt). Toddler begins to take off his shirt. What is this? Now he says "pants off!". What type of work out do you think this is son? He wants me to take my pants off. This is getting weird mama will be keeping her pants on thank you. Now the diaper is getting undone and this is where I draw the line. No son...we leave the diaper on. Toddlers are definitely weird.

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  • 7:46 AM - Toddler proclaims that we are "all done" and with 5 minutes left of the workout he pushes the eject button and proceeds to put in his Cat in the Hat DVD. I don't fight it. My legs feel like jello.

  • 7:55 AM - It's time for me to eat and have a little computer time.

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  • 8:15 AM - I figure it's time to clothe E. This leads to a wrestling match that is finished off with numerous bear hugs. Nothing is quick and easy these days. He is certainly head strong...just like his mama.
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  • 8:21 AM - I put away yesterday's laundry that's covering our couch. I wish there was someone I could hire for that task alone. I can wash and dry all day, but when it comes to putting it away. No thank you. It's also time to control the chaos in Ethan's room. It goes a little something like this...I put something away and then hear it being dumped out. I finally get it to a suitable level of destruction and call it a day.

  • 9:16 AM - Lola reminds me that I forgot to take her out by leaving poo in the hallway. I'd scold her, but technically this one is my fault. Note to newlyweds: wait to get the dog after kids. Seriously.

  • 9:20 AM - Ethan decides it's time for a snack. All I can think about is how much I really want some cheese. Even the fish make me drool.

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  • 9:22 AM - While Ethan is snacking and watching Curious George, I decide to tackle the kitchen. I hear a scratching sound at the door. Oh yeah, the dog. Maybe this means she didn't pee in our closet (her favorite spot).
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  • 9:27 AM - Back in. It's much warmer than expected. Maybe I'll be brave enough to take both boys to the park for the first time today!

  • 9:30 AM - I see fish strown all over the floor, but it looks like the doggie van has it under control. Dog are useful after all. Newlyweds...forget that little suggestion earlier. Back to the kitchen and this time I have a little helper that wants to wash dishes. This will most likely get messy.
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  • 9:48 AM - Me and Ethan play a quick game of chase so I can change his diaper. See...nothing is easy these days.

  • 9:58 AM - Jackson wakes up and is ready for a change and a snack. Scratch's a blowout. It's straight to the bathtub for him!

  • 10:12 AM - Ethan has seized this opportunity to take off with the crayons. This terrifies me and my walls. I finally convince him to hand them over with the promise that he can help give Jackson a bath.

  • 10:17 AM - Everyone is ready to give Jackson a sink bath when I realize I forgot the soap upstairs. All three of us truck up the stairs to retrieve it.
  • 10:20 AM - While upstairs, Ethan decided it wasn't cool to share soap and towels with Jackson. I finally convince him otherwise and we head back down.
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  • 10:25 AM - Ethan has sweetly helped me give Jackson a bath and we managed to only have a couple life threatening scares. The kitchen is now completely wet and the toddler has managed to cover himself in lotion from head to toe.

  • 10:30 AM - Now that all that is done, it's time to feed Jack. I placate E with Bubble Guppies. 

  • 10:53 AM - What time is it? It's time for lunch! What time is it? It's time for lunch!
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  • 11:05 AM - Jackson vomits and it's time for outfit change #3 of the day. And I wonder why I have so much laundry?
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  • 11:10 AM - Now begins the dance of juggling baby while scrounging up E's requests for seconds on cucumbers, olives and fruit. These would be his current favorite foods.

  • 11:15 AM - I sneak away and try to rock the baby to sleep.

  • 11:25 AM - Baby is refusing to close those pretty baby blues and Ethan is ready to play the game called "procrastinate nap time". Let the games begin!

"Milk mama!"

"No pee-pee potty!"

"Need paypa tow" (aka toliet paper...all of which he threw away yesterday)

"Poo-poo potty!"

"No, diaper!"

"Pick book"
"One mo!"
"Pillow tight!" (this means it's uncomfortable and he wants to switch it for another one.)
"Sing song!"
"One mo!"

  • 11:40 AM - Finally done with the games and thankfully baby J has fallen asleep on his own.

  • 11:42 AM - I hear the door open upstairs. Seriously?
"Poo-poo potty?"
"Need paypa tow"

...more procrastination...

Finally he poops when I begin to count to 10.
Hugs, high fives and kisses.

"Pick book" 
No, I'm not playing any more toddler games!

Commense toddler bear hugging session. My heart is melting.

"Sing song"
Okay, okay.
More Hugs.
"One mo?"
"Bless you, love you mama"

Heart is officially in puddle.

  • 11:54 AM - He's down for real and it's time to hit the shower!

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  • 12:44 PM - I'm showered, put on make up and am ready for lunch. I've rocked the baby approximately 3 times during all of this.

  • 12:50 PM - I walk into the kitchen where my ears instantaneously begin bleeding at the sound of Barney. Must change channel now! Annnnd the baby cries. 
  • 12:54 PM - A diaper change and channel change later, lunch has turned into a nursing session. It's time to catch up on Downton Abbey and eat my delicious salad. I drop salad on baby approximately 10 times. 
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  • 1:15 PM - I managed to stay clean for 30 minutes before I was spit up on again. Apparently spit up is my new scent. Time for another diaper and outfit change. Oh, and the toddler is up...ALREADY! Downton will have to wait.
  • 1:32 PM - Everyone is in my bedroom. Ethan is set with his juice box and treat (aka fruit snacks). Time to blow dry my hair.
  • 1:45 PM - No one is cooperating and I'm determined to get to the park so the baby goes to the swing and Ethan goes to his room for a little playtime alone which actually turns into toddler tantrum time. I rush to get ready as fast as possible.
  • 2:00 PM - Done! Time to get the kids ready.
  • 2:27 PM - 50 curse words later and we are in the car. Crap! I forgot to get a water for myself. Oh well. 
  • 2:40 PM - Me and Ethan busy ourselves by pointing out work trucks and airplanes. Jack throws a hellacious unstoppable fit. For the love....please stop the crying!
  • 2:52 PM - Thank God we made it! Now time to feed J and then it's time to play.
  • 3:02 PM - Ethan has patiently waited for Jackson to eat and now I'm just praying I won't have a toddler escapee once I let him free in the park. I throw Jackson into the K'tan and we bravely head out for our first park adventure with just the three of us. 
  • 3:57 PM - We are back in the car. E was perfect. We had the park to ourselves. Jackson slept the whole time. I declare the first park trip a success. 
  • 4:15 PM - I decide it's reward time for mommy and E and head to Mickey D's. I know...what about Operation Get Fit? Old habits die hard folks. Mommy needs her sweet tea and E needs apple slices. Oh wait...what's that...yeah. They forgot the apple slices. Thankfully I happened to order a small side of fries that E was more than thrilled with. There was no way I was dragging two kids into the restaurant to claim my $0.50 bag of apple slices.
  • 4:45 PM - We are back. I somehow managed to forget my house key before leaving but managed to get in an alternate way. Ethan refuses yet another diaper change. The baby gets a fresh diaper and more spit up is cleaned up. It's time to feed J again.
  • 5:06 PM - Baby is fed. Still can't convince the toddler to have a diaper change despite the fact he says he's wet.
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  • 5:15 PM - I count to three and get Ethan changed. It's time to start dinner, but of course, I forgot an ingredient and had to call the hubs on his way home. Basically at this point I run arround like a chicken with its head cut off attempting to make something edible all while making sure the toddler doesn't injure himself or the baby.
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(Yes, he has derived a way to drag the baby around the house. Fun times folks, fun times.)

  • 5:45 PM - Devilishly handsome husband arrives home...all is right in the world! 
  • 6:15 PM - Soup is simmering, E is being entertained by daddy and the baby is chilling in his rock-n-play. Time to start cleaning the kitchen again.
  • 6:45 PM - Two diaper changes, spit up and a time out later we are ready to eat....much later than normal. Daddy and E eat while I feed J.
  • 7:20 PM - It's truck bath time for Ethan. Jack is full and asleep. I get to eat dinner in peace with a little Downton Abbey. Scratch that. Baby officially hates Downton. Now to master the trick of baby bouncing while eating soup. This might get messy.
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  • 8:00 PM - E's down for the night. J gets another diaper chance and fussy time Daddy becomes baby whisperer while I tackle the floors. Daddy discovers a new kind of Great. More breastfeeding issues.
  • 8:32 PM - Floors are vacuumed. They could really use mopping, but there is always tomorrow. I think it's time for a little me time. Nail painting time while watching TV with the hubs...amidst baby fussiness. 
  • 10:15 PM - Time for another feeding for baby J and the hubs is off to bed. More green poo discovered.
  • 10:44 PM - Another spit up, but thankfully no outfit changes required. Swing time for baby and computer time for mom.
  • 11:50 PM - Put together the toddler lunch for school tomorrow and then one last feeding before heading to bed. 

It's ends like it began and it begins again. My day might be hectic and frustrating, but the toddler hugs, smiles and laughter make it every bit worth it. Oh and the baby snuggles...are worth more than gold. One day, when my house is very quiet, I'm sure I'll look back on this and miss having this exact day.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Breastfeeding...Round 2

I had high hopes that the breastfeeding issue would go well with Jackson. Before he arrived I had figured it would go one of two ways...(A) I'd produce enough to make him full and happy and we'd go about our marry breastfeeding ways or (B) it would be painstakingly annoying like it was with Ethan where I'd spend 20 minutes attached to a pump to get out a measly half an ounce and I'd happily and wholeheartedly switch over to formula with no regrets. Either way...I was NOT going to stress about it like I did last time. No way, no how. What I didn't plan for was option (C). 

I never was good with multiple choice questions. 

I was very scheduled and by the book with Ethan. Honestly, it was the only way that I thought I could get him through babyhood without killing him. I knew nothing about babies. I needed the book and the clock to tell me how. Instinct? No. I had none. 

With Jackson...I've thrown the books to the curb. I don't know what milestones we are suppose to be meeting week to week. I hardly ever have time to look at the clock much less document every pee, poop and feeding we have. The itzbeen timer? Yeah, that thing is still sitting in the basement with its corroded batteries.

At first...breastfeeding was an absolute dream. I thought I had that shiz in the bag. He cried, I fed him. He was full, happy and content. My freezer was filling up like we were preparing for the apocalypse. 

Fast forward 3-ish weeks later. I had a screaming, gassy baby who was constantly spitting up and that constantly wanted to be on the boob. I put out a call for help and many of you thankfully offered very helpful suggestions. Between you and Dr. Google I figured out that I probably needed to try and cut out dairy. takes dairy 2-3 weeks to completely get out of your system so jury is still out on whether it's the culprit. I will say things are looking up, but this issue is still by no means solved. 

I'm a week and a half in on the dairy free diet and let me tell you it has not been easy. I've never been one to succeed at diets that revolved around cutting out things because guess what happens? When you tell me I can't have something it is all that I can think about. I literally feel the saliva building up in my mouth when I see pictures of cheese now. All I want is a freaking piece of cheese!!! 

I do think that the dairy free thing is helping. It's either that or just the fact that Jackson's digestive system is getting a little more mature. That's the frustrating thing with breastfeeding and babies. There is no definitive diagnosis. In fact, doctors prove to be very unhelpful in these issues (more on that later)

I'm not sure where this road is going to lead us. A month ago I was blissfully contemplating on breastfeeding a whole year. Could I really do it?! Today, I couldn't promise you I wouldn't pull out that can of formula by the end of this week. I have nothing against formula. Absolutely nothing. I just really wanted this to work this time around.

For now, I'm going to stick with being dairy free. I'll be dosing out the Gripe Water and Mylicon drops and changing me and the baby's outfits at least 3 times a day. At Jackson's 2 month appointment I'll talk to the doctor and see where we should go from there. I'm hoping that as the weeks go on, that Jack will continue to feel better and better. If not, I'll open up a whole new can of worms and switch to formula.

And yes, formula is can of worms. Did I mention it took several types of formula to figure out what worked for Ethan? Apparently my kids have sensitive tummies.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Big Brother Ethan

Before Jackson arrived we talked quite a bit about what was to come although I'm not sure Ethan ever fully grasped the concept. We would ask him where Jackson was and he would lift up my shirt and point to my belly. He'd wave to my belly saying "Hi, baby Jackson!" and knew where Jackson's room was in the house. He would even include him in his nightly prayers.

Prior to Jackson's arrival I was seriously scared how I would ever handle two. Ethan was deep into the terrible two's although now, looking back, I'd have to attribute a lot of the problems to the fact that Michael and I were going 100 MPH trying to get the house finished before the baby arrived. He also went through a lot of changes during my pregnancy. We lived in three different houses, moved away from our family and friends, started school and transitioned to a big boy bed. Highly stressed parents and lots of changes definitely elevates toddler tantrums.

As the time neared for Jackson's arrival I began to mourn the loss of the days of just me and E. Everything had been so stressful towards the end of my pregnancy. I was worried that this next change might really do our special relationship in. Most days, he wanted nothing to do with his mommy. I couldn't really blame him. With as much disciplining I was having to do those days, I didn't feel like a very fun mommy either. It was heartbreaking and discouraging, but I kept faith that once Jackson came, things would settle back down and hopefully our relationship would return to normal.

(All above photos were taken by the very talented Kristen Overbay from Overbay Photography)

Once Jackson arrived, I was excited for Ethan to meet him. I had given Ethan the task of giving Jackson his very own "Ellie" (both boys have elephant lovies) and had prepared everyone that no one was to hold Jackson when Ethan first entered the hospital room. We placed Jackson in the hospital crib and let Ethan have a first look at him there. He was cautious and curious. As soon as he saw him he said "Hi, baby!" and smiled. He lovingly gave him Ellie and even got Ellie to give Jackson some kisses. Once he got acquainted with his new brother, Michael took him out of the crib and sat both boys on his lap. Ethan curiously checked Jackson out and gave him eskimo kisses. He was done fairly quickly though and said "Baby, sleep" pointing to the crib. So that was that.

His first three weeks of being a big brother was filled with distractions of Grandparents. He was thrilled to have his favorite people staying at his house and having 100% of their attention. He hardly even noticed me or the baby those first few weeks. I was beyond thankful for this as it allowed me some good one on one time with Jackson and I knew he was over the moon with grandparent love. He never minded me holding the baby, but if the grandparents picked him up, Ethan would quickly tell them "Baby, sleep" and point to the boppy. He was not interested in sharing his time. 

Occasionally he would come over and hug and kiss on the baby. I constantly have to remind him to be gentle. I don't think you really realize how big your toddler is until you see a tiny newborn beside them. Seriously...when did my first baby get so big?!? He looked like he had grown overnight when he walked into that hospital room. 

Now that it's back to just us...things have improved quite a bit. Michael and I have definitely slowed down. Even with a newborn, our lives are slower compared to how we were living in the months prior. Ethan's terrible two's have become less vicious. Of course, we still have our moments, but things have certainly improved. Slowing down has allowed me to react a little more calmly when the toddler tantrums arrive and I have to say that has made a big difference. Things don't escalate to the levels that they use to. 

I'm doing my best to balance my time these days between both the boys. Most days I try to do arts and craft time with Ethan during which I provide him my undivided attention. I feel like we are getting our special little relationship back to the way it was and I'm so happy that it's happened so quickly. I think all he needed was for us to just slow down.

As far as Jackson goes, Ethan mostly ignores him until I finally get him to sleep during the day. He will sneak over to the swing right after Jack dozes off to give him kisses or hugs. Sometimes I'm shocked that babies are able to survive the other young as Ethan's hugs appear to be smothering the poor baby. Thankfully, babies are stronger than we think and honestly, Jackson hardly even wakes when Ethan comes over to "play" with him. I guess it's just normal to him. Ethan isn't very jealous of the baby. He has his moments, but for the most part he doesn't mind us sharing our time with him. In the car I have them seated side by side so I can continue to hand things to Ethan easily via the middle seat. This has proved to be slightly problematic as Ethan uses the carrier as a foot rest. It's a battle at the moment, but it usually ends up with Ethan sweetly holding Jackson's hand. It melts my heart every time.

Ethan has proven to be a big helper around the house just as I knew he would be. He will bring me pacis or burp cloths when needed. He will even take it upon himself to replace Jackson's paci when it falls out in the car. Sometimes he crams it into his mouth...we are still working on the "gentle" concept, but I foresee him being really helpful one day. He also helped me give Jackson a bath in the sink and he was surprisingly very gentle with this task. I think he really enjoyed it and I plan on doing it with him a little more often. 

Being a big brother is definitely teaching Ethan a lot of lessons in compassion, empathy and patience. They are hard lessons to learn, but he seems to be taking it all in stride. 

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Snow Day Fun

There is nothing more magical and exciting in the south than a snow day. It happens so rarely least snow of enough quantity to actually do anything in. When the weatherman reported that we would be having decent snowfall last week, I was more than doubtful. It had been raining...flooding...for three straight days prior so even when MDO was called off early, I was still in disbelief that it would turn into anything more. Low and behold, the weatherman was actually right and for a day and a half we had a winter wonderland to play in.

This wasn't Ethan's first official snow, but it was the first one he could actually get out and play in. I remember his first snow quite well. As a new parent I was too scared to actually get him out in it, so I brought a mini snowball in for him to experience it. I placed it in his hands and he screamed bloody murder. I guess infants don't like cold things...who knew? 

Jackson's first experience wasn't much different although this time...I wasn't too scared to get him out in the snow at least for a quick picture. Right out of the door an extra large snowflake hit him square in the eyeball and it was GAME OVER. He squalled for the rest of the time although in the picture below we are pretending he is catching snowflakes like the rest of us.

Ethan throughly enjoyed being outside in the snow although I'm pretty sure he was just happy to be out of the house in general after being trapped inside with all that rain. We taught him how to make snowballs and he was more than thrilled to chuck one or two at me. 

The next day we got back out for a little more fun before it began to melt away. We transformed his sandbox lid into a sled and coaxed him into trying it out. He wasn't very impressed, but me and Michael had a great time reliving our childhood days. 

The snow never lasts long enough around here. When Ethan woke up from his nap that afternoon it had already begun to melt. He was concerned and I explained that snow was special. It only happens every once in awhile. You never know when it's coming, but when it does, you have to seize the moment. 

We will anxiously be awaiting our next snow day. I have a feeling it will be greeted with even more excitement. Maybe we can even make our first snowman.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Jackson's 1 Month Old!


This first month has been unbelievably wonderful with you. You are the sweetest, most cuddly baby and I have been soaking it up! In fact, for your first three weeks, I hardly ever put you down. 

You love to curl up on my chest and go to sleep (I think you enjoy hearing my heartbeat as you did in the womb). I have to say it is the best feeling in the world. I could happily let you sit there forever breathing in your sweet new baby smell. I lovingly refer to you as my little kitty cat.

Your fourth week was my first alone with just you and your brother and there were some major adjustments. I couldn't hold you every moment or go to you at your first cry, but you are a surprisingly patient baby. It breaks my heart that I can't always give you my undivided attention, but when it is just me and you...I make sure to spoil you as much as I can.

Just like your brother, you have been growing a little slower than expected. You dropped an entire pound before we left the hospital and were 3oz short of regaining your birth weight at your 2 week appointment. By your one month appointment you were weighing in at 9lbs 4oz and holding steady at 21in in length. Clothing-wise you have already grown out of most of your newborn clothes and are now comfortably wearing 0-3 month sizes. I can't believe I am already packing away the precious newborn outfits. Your brother was in them through month 2! 

Sleep has really been a non-issue for you. Sometimes it is a little difficult to get you down initially although I think most of that has to do with some tummy issues that we are in the process of getting straightened out. Otherwise, I think you are a fantastic sleeper. You aren't really on a solid nap schedule yet, but when you do nap you can amazingly sleep through practically anything. Our house is very noisy these days and most of the time you don't even wake when your brother decides to poke on you and practically smother you with his 2 year old bear hugs. 

At night you fall asleep after your 11PM feeding and sleep until about 4 or 5AM...seriously...I can't tell you how much I appreciate the long stretches. Every now and then you will wake up for a snack around 2AM, but usually you fall right to sleep as you nurse and sometimes....shhh....I let you just sleep right there cuddled up by my side. 

This first month is going to be mighty hard to beat, but I know there is much more fun, excitement and sweetness to come. While I'm not rushing it...I am looking forward to it. 

I love you to the moon and back,

Monday, January 21, 2013

My First Week Alone

This past week was my first true week being on my own with both the boys. I was insanely spoiled by having my mom and dad help out the weeks prior. Due to the c-section I was really unable to pick up Ethan until now so I did require the help. I am so glad it all worked out the way it did though. It thankfully provided me with some very special alone time with Jackson that I will never forget. 

I was terrified about how things would go by myself. I, of course, envisioned the worst because well...that's just how I do things. And as always, I was pleasantly surprised with how things actually turned out. It was by no means perfect, we certainly had our lows, but it didn't end up with all three of us in tears as I had envisioned.

I learned several things my first week...

  1. Showers are extremely hard to come by, but after being spit up on multiple times a day, they are necessary.
  2. Losing weight should not be an issue this time as I have zero time to actually sit down during the day anymore let alone eat.
  3. Housework is going to require pulling night shifts.
  4. My washer and dryer will constantly be running from now on. I've never experienced so many dirty clothes in my life.
  5. The toddler will always pitch a throw down on the floor tantrum as we are heading out the door thus making us late even if we started out being an unheard of 20 minutes early.
And most importantly...

Patience is a virtue.

Patience is a virtue.

Patience is a virtue.

Having two turns life into crisis management (I'm sure mothers of 3+ are laughing their heads off right now). There is always some kind of issue going on and my job is to put out the biggest fire first. The toddler burns fast and furious, the baby is more of a slow and steady flame. I hate to say it, but I've learned it's better to handle the toddler first then answer the babies cries. It hurts me to have to choose one's needs over the other, but I think that's just the nature of the beast.

There was a time this week when both boys were crying inconsolably and I was having to rush back and forth from one to another. In that moment, I could have lost it and burst into tears making my previous vision of us all three crying at the same time come to a reality, but I had one of those out of body experiences where you can just see it all going down from afar and I had to laugh at the calamity of it all. There was nothing more I could do. I was doing all I could and that was all that mattered. I survived that moment. It was the pivotal moment when I knew that I would make it out okay. Of course there will be missteps, of course there will be tears at some point, but I'll make it. 

I'll learn. I'll adapt. After all, being a mother is all about rolling with the punches. 

Monday, January 14, 2013

Until My Brain Begins to Operate Again..

Well last week I had high hopes of getting back on the blogging bandwagon, is freaking crazy. I've written numerous posts in my head that will surely never see the light of day. And now, when I've found a smidgen of a second to actually sit down at the computer and type something out, all I'm finding in my head are fragmented tid bits. So I'll give you an update of sorts...bullet style.

  • Today was my first completely full day on my own and I'm happy to report that everyone made it out alive. There was a point where both boys were crying but I somehow managed to laugh my way through it. I'd set one down on the floor and hold the other then switch. Mom's should really grow an extra pair of hands with each kid they have or better yet, maybe just be cloned. Two is a whole new level of craziness, but I'm sure I'll learn to manage it by the time the next one comes around (yeah, you read that right...I said next one). I look back at my life pre-Jack and wonder what the heck I was complaining about with just the one. Isn't that the way it always goes though?

  • Breastfeeding really needs a whole post to itself. In fact that's what I intended to write about today, but I just don't have it in me anymore. I do have a quick call for help though...Jackson is spitting up after 95% of his feedings and is terribly gassy. He cries for a good half hour or more after every feeding as well and I can't help but think it has something to do with my diet although I don't know what. I'm currently trying to cut out dairy to see if that helps (apparently according to Google it will take 2-3 weeks to find out), but I'd love to know if any of you had suggestions out there? Help. Seriously...suggest away. 

  • Jackson has seriously been under documented at this point. I'm fairly sure I have captured every single moment Ethan has ever had until this point. I probably took over 300 pictures of Ethan his first month. This kid is probably lucky to have 75. Jackson...I'm sorry. I will try to do better!

  • Claire Danes and her post baby body made me feel like a total pig last night. She is 3.5 weeks postpartum (a whole .5 weeks less than me) and looked completely back to normal. Although I feel like I've done better this time around, I am very, very far from normal at this point. Stars really should share their secrets. It's unfair to the rest of us. Ugh, I am ready to kick this baby belly to the curb!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Jackson's Birth Story: The First Days

I have always said that I never thought I would have an immediate connection with my children at birth. I always believed that I would have to get to know them first because that is just my nature. However, as a second time mom, I felt like a connection was immediately made with Jackson. This by no means diminishes the feelings I have/had with Ethan. I simply believe that confidence and knowing what was to come made my connection different this time around. In fact, it has made my experience with Jackson so much different as a whole. 

I've done almost everything different this time around with Jackson (more on that to come). One thing I've said would never happen was rooming in. I fully believe that recovery time is important and part of recovery is much needed rest after birth. This time was so different though. I wasn't exhausted from the birth experience. I didn't need a nap. My body wasn't physically tired. Yes, of course, I needed to recover, but I just felt so much better this time around. 

I think also having been a mom before, I couldn't help but feel like Jackson would be better off in my care. The first go around I had no idea what I was doing and felt like the nurses would take better care of Ethan than I, but this time...I wanted his every moment. 

As far as recovery went for me, it was night and day from last time. In fact, I was itching to get out of that hospital and back to my own house and bed. I was still in pain, but my body didn't suffer from trying to birth both ways this time. 

Another change we made this time was really limiting visitors. I knew that the hospital was the one place Michael and I could solely focus on Jackson. I wanted to make sure we got the rest we needed before we headed into the whirlwind of parenting two.

When it was finally time to go home we thankfully had (and continue to have) help at the house. I have completely taken advantage of that this time. The first time I felt so much pressure (from myself) to prove that I could do it all. This time, I knew how precious the gift of help was. I sat on the couch for the better part of that week fully absorbing Jackson while everyone else picked up my slack. 

Ethan hasn't paid too much attention to Jackson even at this point. He comes and kisses on the baby from time to time, but honestly he has been really focused in on spending time with his grandparents. He has been in hog heaven having them around! He's shown little hints of jealousy, but only when the grandparents hold Jackson for longer than he thinks they should. He will tell them "baby sleep" and show them where to put him. Other than that though he could really care less if I'm holding him (for now anyways).

Jackson has been a dream baby. He is so much more cuddly than Ethan ever was. He seems to be eating better and sleep has been (knock on wood) fairly decent. I'm thinking he might not have quite the independent spirit that number one has, but we will have to wait and see if my predictions are correct. 

He did end up having a little bit of jaundice that still seems to be working it's way out of his little body. Thankfully we did not have to do anything to help it go away, but we did have to take him for daily foot pricking for awhile there. Finally his numbers started going down though and I'm seeing daily improvement.

This week is my last week of live-in help. To say that I am terrified of being alone with both kids is an understatement. It will be interesting to say the least to see how everything goes that first week. 

I'm sure we will survive, although it might not be pretty and I'm guaranteeing that there will be tears from everyone at some point or another.  Stuff's about to get real up in here. {Hold me}.

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