Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Halloween?

This is what happens when I try to dress up my little cuties:

What in the world was I thinking having costumes with masks???

Elliot seemed to like his yesterday when I tried it on him:

Andrew hasn't been a fan of the mask or the cape.  I did get him to wear the cape this morning by pinning it to his shirt, but I ended up taking it off after his Halloween breakfast at daycare.  We'll try again tonight.

He was saying "Baby's not crying." because Elliot stopped crying once I got the mask up on his head. He doesn't mind wearing it as long as it doesn't cover his eyes.

Oh, and Andrew's "costume" is actually Batman pajamas.  I needed a two piece costume for potty training purposes and most kids Halloween costumes seemed to be jumpsuits.  Plus this way he will get a lot of wearings out of it instead of just for Halloween.

Can't wait to see how trick-or-treating goes tonight...

Monday, October 28, 2013

Afternoon at the Pumpkin Patch

For weeks Andrew has been all excited about the pumpkins that he is seeing everywhere. I kept telling him we were going to go to the pumpkin patch so Friday we decided to keep our promise and take the boys for a little afternoon outing.  Last year we went after work so we didn't have time to do anything besides walk around the pumpkin patch and take pictures.  This year we took a half day so we could get their earlier and do some of the other activities.

First up was the "hay" ride.  There was no hay to be found anywhere, but that was ok.  It took us for a loop around the plantation and Andrew was excited to see all of the displays. He kept yelling "Look at that!" every time we passed something.  It was so fun to see his excitement and watch him take everything in.

After the hayride we decided to do the corn maze.

We took one of the maps with us and set off.  Andrew was hot on his daddy's heels for most of it:

but he would sometimes run ahead trying to lead the way:

Once we made our way out of the corn maze we headed over to the petting zoo area. I had a feeling that Andrew wouldn't be overly excited about it and I wasn't wrong.  He was a little freaked out by the animals, but they spent some time in there looking at them at least. He didn't feed any of them, but at least he didn't cry:

After that we headed over and let him climb on the hay hill. There was this little girl on there that was having a blast jumping off of the top and landing in a pile at the bottom. I was kind of surprised at how cautious Andrew was being - I'm used to him being a rambunctious little kid and figured he'd be diving off of it.

There was also a giant play tower for the kids with a big slide and a rock wall. Andrew tried his hand at the rock wall and I almost died laughing at him clinging there:

By then both kddos were getting a little restless so we decided to head over to the pumpkins and make our way out.  Elliot had been snoozing in the Baby K'Tan, but he wanted out so we tried to get some pictures.  Unfortunately he did a couple face plants in the hay, but he didn't seem to mind too much.

Andrew liked the big tractor

I asked Andrew if he would sit next to his baby brother but this is as close as we got.

Love these boys!

Friday, October 25, 2013

Don't Wish It Away

All too often I have found myself saying things like "I can't wait until he's sleeping longer." or "I can't wait until he can play with Andrew." or a handful of other things.  Yes, I'm looking forward to those things, but I need to stop wishing for the future and enjoying the present.

Too soon he will be doing those things.  And while I look forward to him sleeping through the night, once he does I won't have our 3:00 AM time together.  I mean yeah, it would be nice to get a full night's sleep with no interruptions, don't get me wrong.  But there is something about that time when it's quiet and it's just us.  After I change his diaper and re-swaddle him, he lays on the pillow across my lap and grins up at me.  At that moment it doesn't matter that it's 3:00 in the morning. I have this sweet little baby gazing into my eyes and grinning at me and my heart feels like it will explode.  I don't want to give up those moments.

Or the moments when I'm burping him or rocking him and his soft cheek is pressed up against mine. I feel his soft breath in my ear and hear his little squeaks as he gets settled in a comfy position. His fuzzy hair tickles my cheek and I smell his sweet baby smell.  I know eventually he won't want to cuddle like that with me. He'll be too eager to get down and explore and go play with his big brother.  I want to remember those moments forever. To remember how it feels to hold his little body against mine while listening to his rhythmic breathing while he drifts off to sleep.

He's already grown so much from when this was taken

So yeah, I look forward to what the future holds, but I don't want to miss what the present has to offer.  That's all the reminder I need to not wish life away.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Two Months

"Yeah, that's right - I'm two months old!"

It feels like it's gone by in the blink of an eye - Elliot is already two months old.  It's crazy that it's already been two months since his speedy arrival. Two months since we went from a little family of three to our little family of four.  Two months since I was afraid I couldn't possibly love another child as much as Andrew to now feeling my heart expand in ways I never knew possible.

All around it's been a pretty good two months.  We're getting through the newborn exhaustion and seeing a light at the end of that tunnel.  I'm learning his cues and it's getting to where I can anticipate some of his needs before he gets too riled up.  Elliot is different from Andrew in that he is not a night owl. By 7:00 every night he is getting cranky and ready for the bedtime routine.  As soon as I notice him start to get cranked up we get him in the tub. He loves his bath and is so content to just sit there in the warm water.  He doesn't make a peep, just wiggles around and stares at me with this cute expression on his face:

We've been giving him a 3 oz bottle of pumped milk before bed, just to make sure he has a pretty full belly. I feed that to him, change his diaper, swaddle him up and then nurse him.  He's down for the night between 8:00 and 8:30 and has been waking up every night around 3:00 AM for his nighttime feeding.  I know that technically that could be considered STTN and to be totally honest I'll take it.  I try to get to bed by 10:00 so if he gets up at 3:00 I'm getting five straight hours. We're normally up for 30-40 mins at that feeding and then he's back down until 6:30 or 7:00.  This is such an improvement over where we were just two weeks ago and I'm very happy with it.

He is still nursing on demand during the day. I'm still working from home so I'm able to feed him whenever he wants.  I'm also trying to pump at least an extra 5 oz a day to go into the freezer to build up a stash for when I go back to work at the office.  It will be nice to have a reserve so I don't have to stress out every day about pumping enough for the next day like I always did with Andrew.  I need to test out some frozen milk with him again (he's had some already) to make sure he will drink it with no issues. So far I have 60 oz in the freezer and would like to have 200+ oz in there by Dec 2nd.

He has started to enjoy his playmat and is content to lay there looking at the hanging toys and kicking the musical pad.  It's nice to have somewhere that I can put him down where he is happy to play for more than 5 minutes. It makes getting dinner ready a little easier.

Andrew likes to play with him on the mat

I've had to pack away all the newborn sized clothes and get out the 0-3 and 3-6 month sized ones.  I'm really sad every time I pack something away because that will be the last time they are worn.  I was super sad when I realized he never even wore the froggy footie pajamas that Andrew came home from the hospital in.  I had wanted to get a picture of him in them and by the time I got around to it it was too late.

His two month well check is this afternoon and I can't wait to see how big he's gotten. He's eating like a champ and has really filled out so I know he's packing on the weight.  I'll come back and update once I have his stats.

Update: Here are his stats:
Weight:  11 lbs 6.2 oz - 27th percentile
Length:  23" - 50th percentile
Head:  15.25" - 37th percentile

All in all it's been a great two months and I look forward to seeing what the coming months bring.

As for me, my two month postpartum body isn't exactly what I was hoping for. I still have 12 lbs to lose to get back to my pre-pregnancy weight.  My stomach is still really doughy and my hips butt and thighs need a lot of work. I have only myself to blame, though, because I feel like I am constantly eating - and not always healthily.  I really have to get my eating under control and I definitely need to make healthier choices. I know my body will hold on to some weight while I am breastfeeding and that's ok. I just want to get back to being toned and not feeling so bad about how I look.  Finding time for the gym is harder now with two, but I'll figure it out.  I need to start doing my ab workout while Elliot is napping and maybe pick up some weights so I can do a little toning then, too.

I shouldn't complain, though. I have an absolutely beautiful son who is happy and healthy and that is the most important thing.  Now I'm going to go eat some grapes instead of grabbing the muffin I'd rather have instead  :)

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

More Soggy Than Crunchy

Yeah, that's right. I'm not what you would really call a "crunchy" momma.  Based on this quiz I am 0% crunchy:

We don't use cloth diapers, circ'd both boys, do all vaccinations on time, never even considered a home birth, neither boy ever slept in our room much less in our bed, and we aren't exactly organic.  I do breastfeed and will until he weans or my supply tanks. Actually, I'll backtrack on that statement. With Andrew I made it to 14 months and I thought that was a good time to stop. I could never go all Mayim Bialik and breastfeed a 3 year old.  I know if other cultures that's the norm, but it's just not for me.

Anyway, there is one other aspect of 'crunchiness' that I'm giving a whirl - babywearing.  Not all the time, but when he wants to just be held and nothing else is wrong. Or when we're out and about and don't want to have to take the big double stroller.

With Andrew the only carrier we had was the snuggli one.  It got some use when he was a little guy, but we didn't use it very often. This time I've decided to branch out and bought a Baby K'Tan.  I figure it might be beneficial for the evenings when Elliot is being particularly fussy and wanting to be constantly held.  And maybe it will help me to actually get to eat a hot meal.

It came in the mail last week and I immediately tried it on.  I popped Elliot in it when he was already sleeping and he cuddled right in and continued to snooze.  Score.

Trying out the Baby K'Tan with my little photo bomber

The real test would be putting him in it while he was awake and hoping he'd settle down.  We went to the park on Sunday and after getting there he got a little fussy in the stroller.  I put on the Baby K'Tan and got him in there. At first he protested a little, but I got him positioned and rocked a little and then he settled right down. Before long he was asleep and he stayed that way the entire walk back from the park.  He even stayed asleep while I took it off and laid him down so I could go to the store:

I'm a little worried that I should have gotten a larger size because he seems a little snug in there, but when I read the instructions on the site it says it will stretch out so now I'm thinking we should just use it more and it'll stretch to where we need it.  I need to start using it around the house more when he's fussing so I can comfort him while still getting some stuff done around here.

So while I will probably never fall into the category of a crunchy mom I guess I can at least get a little more crispy.  And maybe eat a hot dinner soon.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Family Time

This past weekend, in the midst of our zombie state of sleeplessness, we decided that we needed to get out of the house.  It was the perfect opportunity for some quality family time.

What better place to go on a Saturday afternoon than the aquarium?  With this visit we covered the expense of the annual membership. With a few more visits we'll come out ahead.

So we got the munchkin ready and threw the carrier in the car for Elliot and we were off.  The whole way there Andrew was happily exclaiming "I go see fishies!". We got down there, found some free parking, got Andrew into our cheap umbrella stroller, I strapped Elliot to me and we headed to the aquarium.  On the way in they take a picture of each group that you can purchase on your way out. Normally I don't buy it, but this was our first trip there as a family of four so I got it:

J went to store the stroller while Andrew and I hopped on the escalator to go upstairs.  He was a little hesitant to step on, but once we got going he was fine. J joined us at the first exhibit - the eagle:

We headed in to see the otters, but they were sleeping (again) so they weren't very interesting.  Instead we headed over to the touch tank so Andrew could explore some sea creatures. Last time we tried it he showed no interest in anything in there, but this time he was all about it.  He picked up a hermit crab, poked a starfish and looked at a sea urchin:

Then we headed outside to look at the stingrays and fish out there.  Again, other times he showed little interest in any of them, but this time he was intrigued. It was so fun to watch him running from tank to tank and exclaiming "Look at that!".

We made our way through to the little play area for kids and he begrudgingly sat on a turtle for a photo op:

Then we walked over to the Great Ocean Tank and they sat and watched the sharks and the other big fish:

I loved the fact that Andrew as more into it this time.  Sure, we still had to chase him around a bit and he spent some time climbing on things and jumping off, but he was genuinely excited about  watching the fish.  I think our annual membership is good through March, so I see several more trips there in the future.

On the way out we let him run around a bit in the sun and get out a little more energy.  I could resist putting him up with this frog so I could snap a picture. The expression on his face cracks me up:

All in all it was a great trip exhaustion notwithstanding.  And as an added bonus Elliot slept through the entire thing so there was no squalling newborn to contend with.  We even made it out to dinner that evening with no meltdowns and were able to go browse at Hobby Lobby afterward for a little bit.  It was a nice day spent as our little family of four and it made me so grateful for everything in my life.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Wish We'd Thought of it Sooner

As I mentioned last week we were/are having some sleep issues with Elliot.  Thursday night was bad, Friday night was worse, and Saturday night was hell.  No one (besides Andrew) was getting much sleep.  By Sunday we were zombies.  We realized that he was a little congested and I figured that was probably a big part of it.

I headed to Wal-Mart (with Andrew for some one on one time) and we picked up some of the nasal saline so we could try to suck out Elliot's nose.  We tried it out when we got home. To say he wasn't a fan of the process is an understatement. You would think I was trying to suck out his brain.  It seemed to work, though, and he was breathing better.  I was hopeful that we would get some sleep that night.

So Sunday night I put him down and said a silent prayer that he would sleep. I went to bed as soon as I finished pumping and had my fingers crossed that he would sleep more than an hour.  When he woke up after 3.5 hours I was actually happy. That was the longest stretch he'd slept in four nights. After that he had a 3 hour stretch and I was pleased.  Monday night I did the nose sucking again and again hoped for the best.  His first stretch that night was 4.5 hours and then another 3 hours.  I was ridiculously happy with that.

Well, yesterday J happened to be home with me since our water heater crapped out and he was busy trying to replace it.  He suggested that we try the swaddle for Elliot's nap (I had tried swaddling him with his arms in weeks ago and he went nuts so we have just been swaddling him with his arms out).  I was rocking Elliot and he was already sleepy, so I gave it a shot.  He submitted to being swaddled with his arms in and passed out for his nap.  Two hours later he was still sleeping and I had to leave for a dentist appt. I expected he would wake up soon after I left and just hoped that J would hear him since he was busy with the water heater.  An hour later I got home and was shocked that he was still sleeping.  We got a 3.5 hour nap out of him  :)

Yes, he's napping with his boppy pillow.

I was praying that it wasn't an anomaly. That we would be able to swaddle him at night and he would sleep.  After heating some water on the stove for Andrew and Elliot's baths (yeah, we're like freaking Little House on the Prairie over here with no hot water still) Elliot was getting really fussy. I've learned that he is ready for bed by 8:00. So I heated up a small bottle of pumped milk (trying to make sure he's filled up so he'll maybe sleep a little longer) and we headed upstairs.  He was screaming bloody murder because he was tired. I laid him on the swaddle, pinned his arms down and got him wrapped up. Amazingly he calmed down and I was able to get him to drink most of the bottle, but he kept dozing off every time I'd stop to burp him.  I had to unwrap him to change him because he leaked milk all over himself and was soaked, plus I needed to change his diaper. That woke him up a little and this time when I swaddled him back up he fought it a little.  I quickly sat down in the recliner and started nursing him, which calmed him down right away. After nursing for less than 10 mins he was out.  I transferred him to the bassinet and hoped for the best.

By the time I pumped and J and I watched a little tv and hung out Elliot had already been asleep almost two hours.  I went to bed at 10:00 and was thinking "Great, he'll probably be up in an hour.".  Imagine my shock (and joy) when we didn't hear a peep out of him until 3:49.  He had slept 7 hours and 19 minutes! And I got close to 6 hours straight of sleep.  That hasn't happened in over 7 weeks.

Needless to say I am kicking myself for us not doing the swaddle earlier.  Now I know that last night might not be the norm and maybe we just got lucky and tonight will suck.  I'm being optimistic, though, and thinking that maybe, just maybe this will be the new norm.

He's currently in his crib swaddled up and napping. And I'm getting some work done and actually feeling pretty good.  Hmm, maybe we CAN handle two kids after all...

Friday, October 11, 2013

Almost Forgot

I'n not sure if I just blocked it out or what, but I almost forgot about the mind numbing exhaustion that comes with a newborn.

We had been doing pretty well up until last night.  At night I get Elliot down to bed and then pump a bottle so that J can take the second wakeup of the night and feed Elliot while I get a little sleep.  Well, that all got shot to hell last night.

I got him down at 8:45 after his bath and a little nursing. I came back downstairs to start pumping and after only being down 20 mins he was up and crying, so I went back up to nurse him some more.  I pumped a 4 oz bottle and headed to bed at 10:00.  Just a few minutes after climbing into bed he started crying again. J went in to feed him the bottle and get him settled.    At 11:55 he was back up. I nursed him and rocked him and got him back down.  I hadn't even been able to fall back to sleep when he was up and crying again at 1:43.  I tried giving him a bottle (figuring I might be empty) and he just cried and gagged and choked like had never had a bottle before. I ended up nursing him again for 20 minutes and got him back down at 2:02.  At 3:42 he was crying again and still refusing a bottle so I couldn't even kick J out of bed to go feed him.

At that point I was getting very frustrated.  He needs to take a bottle, especially when he starts daycare in December. And because I need some help at night and if I have to do all of the feedings all the time I am going to lose it.

I contemplated just lounging in the recliner with him until it was time to get up, but I put him back in the bassinet at 4:30 and crawled back in bed.  At 5:30 he was crying. Again.  This time J did get up and went in to try to give him a bottle.  I finally fell back to sleep at 6:00 and slept until he was crying again at 6:55.

Aaaaahhhhhhh!  What happened to my baby that slept 5.5 hours and then 4 hours the night before? And why is he all of a sudden refusing bottles?

I know there is a 6 week growth spurt but I thought we were past that since he'll be 7 weeks tomorrow. Maybe he's just a little behind.  I'm praying that tonight is a better night because if nights like last night are the norm I am going to be a zombie. Or more of one than I am today.

And I guess the not sleeping has caught up with my little guy because he is currently snoozing away in his car seat sawing logs:

He's in the car seat because I had to drop Andrew off at daycare and since he was passed out when we got back I didn't want to wake him.  I should probably be taking advantage of him sleeping and try to take a nap myself, but I'm supposed to be working.  I think I'll just turn the volume up on my computer so I'll hear if anyone emails me or hits me up on chat.  This mommy needs a nap...

Monday, October 7, 2013

Back Already

Back to work, that is.

Yes, that's right.  Today is my first day back to work after my way too short maternity leave.  I mean seriously - 6 weeks?  Who the hell is ready to go back to work after only 6 weeks?  Not this woman, that's for sure.

Luckily I work for a very flexible company and I am currently working from home (and will be until Elliot starts daycare on December 2nd).   I know to some people that might seem hard - trying to work when you have a squalling newborn to deal with.   Fortunately he is a pretty laid back little dude. This morning he napped on the end of the chaise while I was checking my emails and catching up with my coworkers:

He did a good bit of napping this morning, which worked out well for me.  I know I need to work on getting him to nap in the crib, but I didn't feel like tackling that today.  Plus I wanted to be able to look over and see him since I'm already bummed about being back to work.

I was pleasantly surprised to see that I didn't miss all that much when I was out for my 6 weeks. I guess with furloughs and government shutdowns we are running a bit behind. It's nice to not be slammed the instant I got back - I can ease in and take my time getting settled instead of feeling rushed and overwhelmed.

I'm also going to be pumping to build my freezer stash in preparation for having to go back to the office.  So far I only have 20 oz in the freezer, but I figure if I can pump 5 oz/day for the next 8 weeks I'll have over 200 oz in the freezer when I go back.  That way I won't be totally stressed ever single day about getting enough for the next day's bottles like I was with Andrew.  I need to do another test to make sure Elliot will drink the frozen milk (he has once already) before I stock up, but I'm hopeful that I'll be able to get a stash built up.  We're going to need to make some room in the freezer - I guess it's time to start eating some ice cream  :)

So here I am, almost done with my first day back to work. It's been a pretty easy one so far (minimal emails) and I'm glad that it's over.  Now maybe I can get Elliot ready to watch the Buccos finish up their series and head to the NLCS:

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Potty Progress!

This is a post I have been dying to be able to write.

Previously we hadn't been having any success with the potty training.  We had to fight tooth and nail to get Andrew to even sit on the potty without raising hell.  Us even saying "Let's go sit on the potty." would be met with cries of "No!" and many tears would ensue.

We finally made a little progress and could at least get him to sit on the potty, but he still wouldn't do anything.  He'd sit there for 10 minutes looking at his potty books or dinosaur cards, but wouldn't actually go potty.  I would get so frustrated when he would sit there not doing anything and then pee as soon as he got in the bathtub.

Daycare has been sitting him on the potty for months as well with very limited success.  I know he pooped once back on May 17th (I only remember the date because it was my friend's wedding day) and then not again until September 17th. He's been going through pull-ups at a record pace because he would refuse to go on the potty.  My grand plan to have him out of diapers before Elliot arrived was obviously a resounding failure.

Well, this past weekend we had a major breakthrough.  On Friday we sent him to daycare wearing training pants with the plastic pants over them.  No more pull-up that feels like a diaper. I was hoping that would help him realize he wasn't supposed to pee in his pants.  I didn't hear anything out of Andrea until 1:00 when she called because Andrew was sick and we needed to go get him. J picked him up and he said that Andrea told him that Andrew had peed on the potty twice.  Unfortunately he had a stomach virus so there would be no trying the potty that night.  Thankfully the virus was short lived for him and he was much better the next morning.  We went to the park and while we were there J took him to the bathroom and he actually went. I was shocked.  He went two more times on the potty that day, too. It wasn't much any time he went, but it was something.

My big boy playing at the park

Sunday I was good about asking him constantly if he needed to go sit on the potty and we had great success.  His record for that day was 13 times in the potty and 2 in his pants.  I know that seems like a lot of times to go to the bathroom, but like I said, I was taking him every 30 mins and he wasn't going that much each time.  He would get this excited look on his face every time he went and then he'd stand up and say "Look at that!".  He's been going on the little blue potty, not the big toilet with the potty seat. I guess he feels more secure being able to have his feet on the floor.  So every time he pees he loves to take the insert and pour it into the big toilet and then he says "Now we flush!" and flushes the toilet.  I love how excited he is about it and I keep telling him how proud we are of him.

Yesterday we sucked about being on top of him going to the potty, but I was dealing with the stomach virus that he had on Friday and felt like I was going to die. Daycare was closed because Andrea had it, too, so both kids were here. Thank god J took the day off and stayed home with us - I wouldn't have made it.

This morning when I got him up his diaper was dry. I didn't put him on the potty right away because he was cranky. I figured he'd pee during breakfast, but I'm still recovering from the bug and wasn't too concerned.  Imagine my surprise when he held it during breakfast and waited until he was done. I asked, "Do you need to go potty?" and he said "Ok." and ran for the bathroom.  He peed a LOT.  He sat there looking at me and said "I'm peeing!". I thought he was going to overflow the potty because he went so much.  I was so freaking proud of him.

I know we have a long way to go - he still hasn't pooped on the potty for us - but I am so excited about the progress he is making. It's crazy how much progress he made in such a short span of time.  I guess it's true that they will let you know when they are ready.

He's turning into such a big kid and I couldn't be more proud of him.  Love that little munchkin!