Monday, December 30, 2013

Christmas 2013

Hard to believe that the holidays are already almost over.  They seem to have come and gone in the blink of an eye and it's almost the new year.  We had a low-key Christmas filled with family, food and fun, and I'm now trying to get back into the swing of regular daily life after having a week at home with my boys.

Elliot turned 4 months on Christmas Eve:

Andrew had a blast opening his Christmas presents (and Elliot's) on Christmas - unfortunately most of those pictures are on my camera and I haven't downloaded them yet.

I made some ornaments with Elliot's handprints:

Obviously the top right one is Andrew's hand.

Elliot had a long day and passed out on daddy:

Andrew and I had some fun in the back yard while Elliot napped:

Andrew showed Elliot how to play with his new toy:

And I made some sugar cookies with some assistance from my favorite little helper:

It was a great couple days and I'm kind of sad that it's over.  One thing I learned is I need to be better prepared for next year.  I forgot to get the boys Christmas jammies for Christmas Eve like I planned on, we didn't do the Elf on the Shelf thing, and my shopping was all pretty last minute.  Now that Andrew is really getting into Christmas and was really excited about it we'll have even more fun next year. I love seeing Christmas through the eyes of my little ones.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

4 Months!

Merry Christmas from the cutest little Santa I know:

His 4 month appointment isn't until January 2nd, so I won't have his stats until then. In the meantime I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday celebrating with the ones you love.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Festival of Lights and Santa Picture Fail

Yesterday was J's 42nd birthday (man he's getting old!) and since it was a Tuesday and we obviously weren't going to make it out for a date night we decided maybe we could start a new tradition and go to the Festival of Lights.  James Island County Park has a huge light display set up that you can drive through as well as a Santa village with food, a carousel and visits with Santa.  I picked up the kids from daycare, made Andrew a quick dinner, nursed Elliot and got the diaper bag ready so we could go. We were out the door at 5:30 and headed towards James Island.

The whole way there I was talking to Andrew about seeing the lights and asked him if he was going to sit on Santa's lap and tell him what he wants for Christmas. He would enthusiastically say "Yeah!" every time I asked. I had such high hopes that everything would go smoothly (I'm so naive).

We got there and paid the fee to get in. Instantly Andrew was exclaiming about the lights. In order for him to see better I got him out of his seat, sat him in my lap and put the seatbelt around both of us. Yes, I know some people will be shaking their head in disbelief that we did that, but you are seriously driving no faster than 10 MPH at most, and it's probably even slower.  He loved being able to see everything and was so excited.

About halfway through the park there was the parking lot if you wanted to get out and walk to Santa's village.  We put Elliot in the stroller and headed over. There were places to roast marshmallows, food stands, make your own stuffed animal things, the carousel that I knew Andrew wouldn't ride and then we found Santa. There was a decent sized line, but it appeared to be moving quickly.  Those little elves up there taking the pictures had a good system going and it all appeared to be going smoothly. While we waited I was watching all the other kids and only noticed one or two that appeared to have a meltdown. I kept talking to Andrew and again asked him if he was going to sit on Santa's lap. This time he shook his head and said "No.".  My first red flag.

Soon we were to the bottom of the steps and I was trying to get Elliot's jacket on him. I'm an idiot and didn't think to put them in cute Christmas outfits before the left the house.  Oh well. At least I had Elliot's Rudolph hat.

When it was our turn I walked over and placed Elliot in Santa's arm while J walked towards him with Andrew.  That's when the howling began. Andrew was like a spastic little monkey, clinging to J for dear life while shouting "No!" and crying. He tried prying Andrew off and putting him on Santa's lap, but it was no use. We were clearly not going to get a picture of just the kids and Santa. Instead we had to settle for a picture that included daddy.

Yeah, there's no prying that kid off

Then we figured, what the hell - might as well get the whole family in there:

 After that I asked if we could get a picture with just Elliot since he was cooperating:

When she was done snapping the pictures I grabbed the diaper bag and walked over to the counter where J was standing with a slightly more calm Andrew. It wasn't until I heard "Uh... mom?" from the lady taking the pictures that I realized I had completely walked away and left Elliot just chilling on Santa's lap. Oops!  I ran back over and picked him up, apologizing for forgetting him. I guess if you're gonna leave your baby somewhere what better place than with Santa, huh?  :)

We could have just bought one picture,  but decided that for entertainment purposes we'd buy the whole set on the USB drive. We did get the picture of Elliot above printed out since we got a free 5 x 7 with the purchase of the USB.

As we were walking back to the car Andrew started saying "Go see Santa Claus?".  Sorry buddy, you missed your chance.  We got them loaded back in the car and pulled out ready to drive through to see the rest of the lights.  Andrew started saying "Sit with me?" over and over again before finally saying "Sit with mommy?". I reached back and got him out of his seat and put him back on my lap so he could see the lights. He was back to his happy self exclaiming about the lights and pointing out the candy canes and Santas and snowflakes.  When we made it to the end we pulled over so we could get him back in his car seat.  He was pretty quiet most of the way home and I thought maybe he was going to fall asleep since it was almost his bed time. Just when I thought he was out his little voice piped up from the back seat with the declaration of "I don't like Santa Claus.".  I looked at J and just busted out laughing.  Oh toddlers....

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

The Sound That Is Music To My Ears

For weeks Elliot has been trying to laugh. He would react if you tickled him with this big goofy grin and a grunt. It was like he was trying to laugh, but he couldn't quite get the sound out how he wanted.

Not any more.

Last night as I was getting Andrew out of his seat after dinner I heard the sound that I have been waiting for.  J had Elliot on the changing pad and was blowing raspberries on his belly. All of a sudden he let out a little giggle.  I set Andrew down, grabbed my phone and ran in there to capture the moment:

I had to trim the video down a little bit because I accidentally caught a little weenis shot, but there are still 10 seconds of heart melting baby giggles. I had forgotten just how awesome that sound is to hear. I stood there with a big goofy grin on my face while I watched that scene play out. Andrew was sitting in the recliner giggling right along with his little brother and I was in heaven.

I need to go back and look to see if I wrote down when Andrew started laughing. For some reason I thought it was sooner than this, but I can't really remember. In the grand scheme of things it doesn't matter how long it took, it was worth the wait.  It is one of my favorite sounds in the world and it's not just baby giggles. I still get the same goofy grin on my face when Andrew melts into a puddle of laughter at the silliest things.  That sound will always be music to my ears.

Friday, December 13, 2013

And We're Rolling!

For weeks Elliot has been so close to rolling over.  He would get up on his side but couldn't figure out how to get the bottom arm out of the way to get all the way over. Instead he would just lay there all pissed off and eventually flop back onto his back.

Last night I laid him on the play mat in the living room while I went to make a grilled cheese for Andrew.  J came walking out of the back room and when he saw Elliot he asked if I had laid him on his tummy.  No, I hadn't. Dammit!  I missed him rolling!

I went out there and put him back on his back and waited.  In less than a minute he was at it again:

A little while later I sent a text to Andrea asking if he was rolling over at daycare because he'd done it a bunch of times tonight. If he was I thanked her for not telling me.  She replied that he had just started it today.

I haven't seen him roll from his belly to his back yet, though. I'm fairly certain Andrew rolled belly to back first, but I'll have to go back and look

Don't mind the crying, this was right before bedtime so he was getting mad. I just couldn't resist getting another video of his latest accomplishment.

I guess I can say goodbye to the days of being able to lay him on something and walk away. I don't need him taking a header off the dresser!

My little guy is growing so fast!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Letting Go

You know how there are people in your life who are toxic and sometimes you just have to let them go?  Well, that appears to be something I have to do, at least for a while. Cutting someone from your life is never an easy thing.  What's even more sad for me is that this toxic person happens to be my very own sister.

It's painful for me to even think about cutting ties, but after what has gone down over the past few days (and past few years, truth be told), I need to at the very least step back and not have contact for a while.

Anyone who is facebook friends with me may have seen the shitstorm that went down Sunday night/Monday.  It started very innocently.  We went to the local Christmas parade and at the beginning of it they shot off fireworks. Andrew is TERRIFIED of fireworks and kind of freaked out, screaming "No!", clinging to me, shaking in my arms and begging me to take him inside.  I'd forgotten that they shoot the  fireworks off at this parade and felt really bad since he freaked out on the 4th of July about them.  I held him the whole time they were going off and kept reassuring him that it was ok, they were just lights that make noise and they wouldn't hurt him.

Right after this I posted a status on facebook stating that we were at the Mt Pleasant Christmas parade and I had forgotten about the fireworks. Andrew is terrified  :(

My oldest sister and another friend commented saying how their kids also don't like loud noises like that and they commiserated.  I commented something to the effect of it being a little heartbreaking to see him so upset.  My other sister then posted the following:

"Heartbreaking? Really?"

I was taken aback. Was she really questioning me on how I felt about seeing my child upset? I asked what she meant and she came back with this huge diatribe about how she had spent 24 of the last 36 hours dealing with a child who might have leukemia and another that was possibly being abused (she's a pediatrician) and how events like that are heartbreaking and if I really couldn't handle seeing my child a little upset then there is something wrong with me.

Um, what?

I explained that I wasn't saying that my life was devastated because Andrew was freaking out, but that it made me sad to see him so upset and not be able to do anything about it.  She went on with another diatribe that I wish I could quote, but I've since deleted the status because I was embarrassed for anyone else to see how my family was ganging up on me.    Eventually I made the statement to her that I hoped she had a better  bedside manner with her patients parents.  My mom reprimanded me for that.  Later my dad jumped in saying something like I need to learn to handle life's trials and tribulations and that this should be handled in private and not on facebook.

Again - um, what?

Where was anyone telling my sister to cool her jets and stop attacking me?  I had plenty of friends who leaped to my defense and stated that heartbreaking was absolutely the correct term to use and that they understood what I meant.

That afternoon she changed her profile picture on facebook to the Grinch with this explanation:

"The presence of my heart has recently come into question, so I thought the profile pic would be appropriate for a while. "

Before leaving work (and before seeing my dad's comment and deleting everything) I sent her an email saying that for the record I never said she didn't have a heart. However, I do think that her two word response was unnecessarily rude and her further explanation was condescending and belittling of my feelings.  Also that her little profile picture change was passive aggressive and incredibly immature.

That evening several friends contacted me after seeing all this to check and see if I was ok.  Once I saw my dad's horrible comment I deleted it all. I was in serious disbelief that my own family was talking to me that way when all I did was make an innocent status update and SHE came to MY page and was attacking ME.

Then came yesterday. At 11:42 an email came through from her.  I read it and pretty much had to pick my jaw up off the floor.  Some of the highlights were as follows:

"But for the record, I don't think I was entirely in the wrong for what I said.  I DO think you over react about things sometimes to get attention, but I usually just roll my eyes and keep scrolling."
 - This is rich coming from her, she is pretty much the biggest attention whore I know.

"Now I better understand your stance and behavior based on the responses of your pride of lioness mom friends.  They really came to your defense and likely think I am the devil incarnate for not sympathizing appropriately.  Oh well.  I don't agree with them, but I understand why you are friends with them. You think alike. The friends that I polled on the issue think I am right, but that is why they are my friends.  We think alike."
- I would REALLY like to know how she spun it when she presented it to her "friends"

" I understand that late Sunday afternoon wasn't optimal for you, but sometimes you have to suck it up and deal with a little inconvenience for the sake of family.  Your me-me-me attitude up until this point had just been annoying, but now it actually affected me personally because I didn't get to spend any time with you and my nephews, and I was pissed.   I was very offended that you didn't want to make that effort for me as my trips to SC are few and far between and I won't be down that way again for several months. I'm sure it was my irritation with this situation that carried over and caused me to 'lash out" at you on your facebook post.  Not excusing it, just trying to explain myself.    Mom and Dad thought your excuse was pretty lame, too, but they won't tell you that. They don't want to ruffle feathers.  I've already done that so what do I have to lose? "
- This was in regard to me not driving 4 or so hours round trip with two kids the day before my first day back in the office in 3+ months

"I really don't appreciate you questioning my ability to be a compassionate pediatrician though.   I felt that that comment was a bit passive aggressive on your part, but perhaps you felt that I deserved it"
- In regard to my comment on her bedside manner

"You can call off your million mom army.  I won't be commenting any further on any posts about your parenting style. I've said what I needed to say and I'll keep any further thoughts or opinions to myself."
 - regarding all of my friends who defended me

There's more, but I'll spare you.  To say I was stunned is an understatement. I couldn't believe what I was reading. Then I came to find out that she had copied my mom on it and my mom (from what I can tell) did not defend me. I assume because they are also mad at me for not going up Thanksgiving weekend.  I knew I would get flack for that. My reasoning was it was the day before my first day at work, I did not find out about it until Friday, my parents weren't even getting back from TN until late that afternoon and to be honest, I didn't want to burn a tank of gas to drive all that way with two kids to spend a few hours with someone who has been barely more than an acquaintance since Andrew was born.  If my mom yells at me for not going up I will tell her just that.  Clearly my sister doesn't think very much of me as a person so why would I go out of my way to see her?

I replied to her email with two words - "Message received" so she knows that I read it.  I will not be engaging in any further discussion, at least at this time. No matter how rational I am or what I say she isn't going to hear it.  She is so convinced that she is right about everything. She pulled this same shit back when Andrew was born, lashing out at me via facebook. She didn't get reprimanded that time, either - just me.

So that's what's going on in my life.  I hate that my relationship with  my sister has degraded so much over the last couple years, but I can't keep feeling bad about that. I just can't deal with her.

As much as it hurts, I think it's time to cut ties with her for a while.  Of course she will always be my sister, but right now she is not my friend and I honestly don't really like her as a person at the moment.  Maybe with some time and distance that will change. I hope so, but I'm not holding my breath...

Monday, December 2, 2013

Why Did I Think This Would Be Easier?

Here it is - the day I've been dreading since August 24th when Elliot came screaming into this world.  The day that I've cried about more times than I can count.  My first day of leaving Elliot at daycare and me heading back to the office.

I did really well all day yesterday and didn't cry until I was giving Elliot his bath last night. We were so busy with decorating the tree and house that I didn't have time to dwell on the fact that I had to go back to work.  I had a bit of a nervous breakdown yesterday afternoon when Elliot seemed to be going on a bottle strike while I was out doing some shopping and wasn't home to nurse him.  J tried three different bottles with no luck (Dr. Browns, Avent and the Tommee Tippee bottle that he normally has no problem with.  When I got home I tried giving him that bottle and he still wouldn't drink it so I nursed him. I was having major anxiety thinking about him refusing bottles at daycare and crying inconsolably because he was hungry.   Last night before bed I did get him to drink a bottle by positioning him like he was going to nurse and then sneaking the bottle in there so I hoped that meant that he would be ok today.

Last night I got everything gathered up: diapers, diaper cream, gas drops, bibs, burp cloths, extra clothes and the insulated bag for Elliot's milk, all of Andrew's clothes for today (Monday is pajama day - they wear their pajamas and get dressed there so they can learn to dress themselves) and his pull-ups, I packed my lunch, took my laptop and extra monitor that I had brought home down to the car and picked out my outfit for today.  I was all set and went upstairs to unwind for bed at 9:15.  I set my alarm for 5:45 and turned out the light at 9:45 after reading for a while - all ready to go to sleep.

Only I didn't.

I laid awake ALL NIGHT.  I'm a notoriously crappy sleeper, but this was ridiculous.  I just kept looking at the clock and waiting for Elliot to wake up. At 3:45 I heard him fuss so I went down and fed him. Normally I'm groggy at this feeding, but I was wide awake for some reason. I got him back down a little after 4:00 and went and crawled back in bed, laying there until giving up and going to start getting ready at 5:30.

The benefit of being up and about that early was that we were out the door at 7:32 (after I changed clothes thanks to Elliot peeing on me).  We got to daycare and I amazingly hadn't shed a tear yet. Then I got Elliot out of his car seat, looked at his sweet face, and promptly burst into tears.

Why did I think this wouldn't happen this time?

I gave both my little munchkins tons of kisses, told them I love them and that I would see them this afternoon, and left before I started sobbing.

Halfway to the office I stopped crying and composed myself before pulling into the parking lot.  I was early so I was able to lug all my crap up to my office in two trips with no audience. When I got here and checked my email I had a message from my manager letting me know that he had an office for me downstairs.  I knew my office mate, Karen, would be sad since she had been so excited that I was coming back today, but it's only temporary and it's just easier for me to have a private office where I can pump while I work, instead of sitting in an empty room pumping for 30 mins.  Moving offices distracted me this morning and before I knew it the day was half over.  After I ate lunch I ran to Target to pick up a hands free nursing bustier thing so I can sit here and pump and type at the same time (like I am now!).  Besides the sheer exhaustion I was feeling pretty good - and then I got a text from Andrea:

"Elliot hasn't pooped today yet and has only drank about 5 1/2 oz all day. Is this normal for him? He is having a hard time with these bottles."

The not pooping didn't concern me - he's been going every other day or so and he blew out some diapers yesterday.  The only eating 5 1/2 oz by 2:00 PM and struggling with the bottles is upsetting.  She said he cries like he's hungry and then fights the bottle. He'll eat a little and is fine for 2-2 1/2 hours.  She said he'll eat about 1 1/2 ounces at a time, but that's it.

He's used to nursing on demand during the day and in all honesty I have no idea how much he would eat at each nursing session.  It's possible that he's used to just snacking during the day, but I really feel like he should be eating more.

I'm really hoping it's just that it's a big change and he is adjusting and once he settles in there he will go back to eating like normal.  Right now, even though I am completely exhausted, all I can think about is my poor little guy being distraught.  It's not helping my mommy guilt at all.

The one bright spot is the fact that she has sent me a couple pictures and he seems to be doing ok:

Now I just need to get through the next 90 mins and I can run over there and get both my munchkins.

Ugh. Why did I think this would be any easier this time around???