Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Snow (kind of)

For the first 25 years of my life, when I lived in PA and KY, snow was a normal part of every winter and something that we were used to.  Since I moved to SC in 2002 that hasn't been the case.  I know the year I lived in Columbia we had an ice storm and everyone freaked out and didn't want to drive.  I didn't think anything of it - I mean come on, I got my drivers license in January in PA with snow on the ground.

Four years ago we had a nice little snow storm during the opening ceremonies for the winter olympics.  I only remember when it was because J had to keep going out and brushing snow off of our dish because we had DirecTV at the time and the reception kept going out.

That brings us to now and the third winter storm since I have been living here.  I know everyone up north has been dealing with buttloads of snow and they laugh at us down here for getting worked up about a little storm. Honestly I think it's ridiculous, too.  But I guess down here we aren't really prepared with tons of salt trucks and all the other things that can be done to prepare.

So yesterday schools closed after a 4 hour day, meaning daycare closed at lunchtime. I worked from home so I could at least get some work done in the morning before going to get them.  The precipitation was supposed to start around 3:00, but we didn't get anything until probably after 6:00 and that was rain.  Soon it turned to freezing rain and was coating everything.  They ended up closing the Ravenel Bridge and not too long later the Don Holt Bridge - so there was kind of no way out of Mt Pleasant, where we live.

We went to bed hoping our power would stay on. It dipped a couple times and it did go out for a minute, but came back on with no problems. Every time I had to get up with Elliot I looked out hoping to see at least a little blanketing of snow.  Nope.

This morning I got up at 8:30 and heard the freezing rain/sleet hitting the sky light in our room.  Came downstairs and there is the slightest bit of white stuff out there.

I was really hoping after all of the hype that there would be something more impressive. Or at least some real snow and not just ice.

Either was Andrew wanted to go outside to play in it. I felt bad because I'd been talking about snow and he was so excited. He actually cried yesterday when we went outside and there wasn't any yet.  So we got him into his winter coat, threw on his rain boots (we don't have snow boots) and convinced him to wear some gloves.  J took him down to the back yard while I got Elliot bundled up so we could join them for a little bit:

We made our way to the back yard and watched as Andrew ran around picking up the ice chunks that J was knocking off of the palms trees.  The dogs were running around and kicking up the ice balls that were all over the ground:

We didn't stay out too long, but I wanted the boys to experience their first "snow". We don't get it very often here so we needed to enjoy what we could:

Tomorrow will be another work from home day because the schools are still closed, which means daycare is also closed. It never got above freezing today so nothing really melted and anything that did melt is going to freeze back up tonight.  I'm not sure if the bridge is open but even if it is J doesn't want me driving on it if it's iffy.  So I guess we'll have another day at home tomorrow. Now to try to find some things to do with Andrew in the house since it's too gross to be outside and he's getting a little stir crazy.

Monday, January 27, 2014

What a Pain (In The Boob)

After 19 combined months of nursing with no issues it has finally happened. The dreaded mastitis.

Yesterday was like any other day. I felt perfectly fine all morning and Elliot was nursing as normal. I made the (possible) mistake of wearing a normal bra for once because my parents were coming and I was going for a little more support/coverage.  My parents stopped by on their way back home and hung out for two hours.

After they left I took Elliot back to his room to nurse him before a nap and it started to hit.  All of a sudden when I was sitting in the recliner I started to feel like I got hit by a truck. My head started hurting, I started aching and shivering and the outside of my breasts started to burn.  I got Elliot down for his nap and took a load of laundry upstairs to fold it and put it away.  While I was up there I removed the offending bra and just put on a nursing tank.  By the time I finished folding my laundry I felt like I was going to fall over.

I went downstairs, wrapped myself up in a fleece blanket and laid in front of the fire where I couldn't stop shivering. When Elliot woke up I went and took my temperature and it was 101 degrees. Yay.

I popped some motrin and and went to nurse Elliot. Holy hell did that hurt.  I know it's the best thing for me to nurse him as much as possible, and I will, but it was almost a toe curling pain when he was latched on.  J watched the boys and kept them occupied while I went to take a hot shower. I stood there facing the water as hot as I could take it and massaged the right side.  Pretty sure I squirted milk all over the shower.

Elliot nursed before bed and I pumped before I went to sleep. Based on Saturday night I anticipated getting up at least twice during the night to nurse, which would be fine since I need to nurse him as much as I can.  Go figure, the one night I needed him to get up and he slept 10.5 hours.

I woke up this morning and my fever is gone, but my right breast is still very tender to the touch. I opted to work from home today because I couldn't fathom putting a bra on and I'm pretty sure they'd frown upon that at the office.  I did call the nurse line at my OB to see if there was anything they could tell me to do for it. Turns out they wanted to see me so I went in and got checked out. So now here I am with a prescription for antibiotics and instructions to use some warm compresses and massage it as much as possible. I'm hoping that everything is back to normal quickly and that there is no re-occurrence of this not so fun filled experience.  At least this little guy is worth it:

Friday, January 24, 2014

5 Months

Crazy to think that five months ago today I was staring down in amazement at the little bundle that had come so fast and furiously into our lives.  It seems like just yesterday that I was begging to get the epi and panicking when they said there was no time.  Now in the blink of an eye we are already at five months.

It's been so fun to watch him growing and starting to see his personality come out. He is definitely a different baby than Andrew.  He's a little more grumpy and does NOT like to be left alone. He doesn't have to be held all the time (although he does love to be held) but he does need someone there to interact with him most of the time. He is not the night owl that his brother is, either, and still demands to be in bed by 8:30 at the latest. One huge difference between the two of them is sleeping. At this point Andrew was consistently sleeping 12 hours a night.  Elliot ranges from 4-10 hours straight on any given night.  Lately on most nights I deal with one wake-up in the middle of the night and then he's up by 7:00 for the day. I'd love more sleep, but I'm adjusting.

We are currently going through a bit of a bottle strike (again). On Tuesday at daycare he only at 5 oz all day.  Wednesday was a little better, but for the past two nights he has refused to take his bedtime bottle.  I normally give him a bottle of pumped milk (to make sure his belly is full) and then nurse him. The past two nights he has fought the bottle and I've just nursed him instead.

My little chunk is currently wearing mostly 6 month or 6-9 month clothes. This is when we're really noticing Andrew and Elliot being born in completely opposite seasons.  Most of the 6 month stuff we have from Andrew is short sleeved and light fabrics.  Luckily one of the other mom's at their daycare was looking to get rid of some clothes and she handed down a bunch of cute little outfits that we are using.  Really cute things that I would not want to spend money on, like this 'Very Hungry Caterpillar' outfit:

I haven't taken his 5 month picture yet. I was a little too tired this morning after not getting to bed until 2:00 AM due to a power outage (story for another day).  I'll take some pictures tonight and next month we will be getting some 6 month pictures taken by our photographer (can't wait for that!).  In the mean time you'll have to settle for a picture of my sweet little teddy bear:

I can't believe it's only been five months since we added this little bundle to our family.  I almost don't remember what life was like without him.  :)

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Never Again

I totally called it yesterday when I said I was jinxing us. Never again will I comment on how well Elliot is was sleeping. I am clearly an idiot for thinking one good night meant that the worst of the sleep regression was over.  It was like the baby sleep gods didn't like me getting too cocky about our success and decided to bitchslap me with the night from hell just to knock me down a few pegs.

The night started out like any other night.  Well, except for the fact that Elliot decided to pass out on his daddy's shoulder while they were lounging on the couch as I got his bedtime bottle ready:

To say he was less than thrilled when I plucked him up and took him to his room to get him settled for bed is an understatement. I finally got him settled and fed and he was in the crib at 8:25.  So far so good. Unfortunately the good ended there and this is what our night looked like:

I honestly think this was the worst night yet since he was a newborn.  He ate a couple of those times, but not every time. At 3 AM he was up and smiley, like it was time to play. Not cool, dude. Not cool at all.

So yeah, never again will I get confident in our sleep routine.  If I'm going to remain sane I think I'll need to just stay with the mindset of 'This too shall pass'.

You hear that, baby sleep gods? I give.  Now, can you send back my sleeping baby???

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Out of the Fog

Since mid-December we have been dealing with the lovely sleep regression that hits some 4 month olds. It's been fun (insert sarcasm here).  I forgot how much the exhaustion sucks even though he was a newborn just 4 short months ago.

Well, it appears that we might be coming out of that fog.  Our baby who would not nap for more than 40 minutes at a time took a 2 hour 45 minute nap on Saturday and two 90 minute naps on Sunday.  And then last night we got this:

Yep - 10+ hours of straight sleep.  Woohoo!!!!

Now I know that could have been a fluke and I am by no means expecting this to happen every night, but we also got 8 hours on Sunday night so I'm hoping that means that we are heading in the direction of more good nights than bad ones.  I'm well aware of the fact that me just talking about this means that he will be up every couple hours tonight.

Even if that does happen we'll just have to roll with it and be content with the knowledge that he is capable of sleeping well and that eventually nights like last night will (hopefully) be the norm.  If not I'll just enjoy seeing this sight after he's filled his belly and and drifted off to dreamland:

I love that sweet little chubby baby (even if he doesn't sleep).

Friday, January 10, 2014

It's All So Worth It

In my last post I was lamenting the about the lack of sleep I've been getting lately. It's hard not to complain when your brain feels like mush and you're walking around in a fuzzy haze, not knowing which way is up.  It has been a rough couple weeks in our house.

It pains me to even put this in writing, but there were times when I was up for the third time at night when I would let the thought creep into my head that things were so much easier when Andrew was our only responsibility.  How we had everything under control back then (yes, I have selective memories!) and that things are so much harder now.  As soon as I finished the thought I instantly regretted it and would burst into tears.

No matter how hard things have been with the lack of sleep and the fussy baby who doesn't want to nap or be left on his own for more than a few minutes, I can't picture life without him.  Yes, it used to be easier to go out to dinner (except the time Andrew lost his mind right as we were being seated and we had to leave before even ordering food) or to go do something in the evening and not have to worry about our baby that turns into a pumpkin at 7:00. Yes, I didn't used to stress out quite so much on the first of the month when I have to write a check for daycare that's more than our mortgage payment. And yes, I used to at least have a little free time in the evenings where I wasn't rushing around to get things ready for the next day.  Even with all those things, I would not trade this little guy:

for anything in the world.

So yeah, I'm tired, more broke and a little more frazzled than I was at this time last year, but when I look over and see this:

It is all so worth it.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Who Needs Sleep?

For the past week or so I have had the refrain to this song running through my head:

Why, you may ask?  It seems that we are smack in the middle (at least I hope it's the middle) of the dreaded 4 Month Wakeful/Sleep Regression/Whatever the f&@$ you want to call it.  At the beginning of December we got quite spoiled with Elliot gracing us with long stretches of sleep - as long as almost 11 hours for a week straight.  To say that we were thrilled would be an understatement.  We were giddy and all "Hey, we got this parent to two kid thing!".

Well, apparently the parenting powers-that-be did not appreciate our cockiness and decided to throw a lovely wrench in the works.

The week before Christmas he started regressing. Instead of 11 hours he was down to 6, then 5, then 4... Last night he slept three hours and then was shouting from his crib.  Unfortunately I didn't get to sleep until he had already bee sleeping for two of those hours, so I was less than thrilled about the wakeup.  I nursed him and got him back down only to be woken up a couple hours later by more shouting.  This time J went and got him settled.  Two hours later, five minutes before my alarm was set to go off (5:45 AM) he was up again. I went and nursed him again and then brought him up to lounge in his seat in the bathroom while I attempted to get ready for work and make myself look slightly less exhausted.

Very chipper for the 5 o'clock hour.

I added up all the time that he slept last night and it was less than nine hours total.  I know as a 4.5 month old that he needs more sleep than that. You would think he would be making up for it during the day with more/longer naps, but that hasn't been the case.  All weekend the longest nap he took was an hour with most of them in the 40-45 minute range.  The same was true last week when he was home with me for the holidays. The only day/night that was different was last Thursday when he had his 4 month appointment and shots which (thankfully) knocked him out.  It's kind of sad that I was actually looking forward to those shots because I was hoping they would knock him out like that.

This is all new to us. Andrew never went through this. I remember when he was this age and reading about all the other moms going through this wakeful period. I couldn't relate because that period came and went with not even a blip on the radar.  I thought it couldn't possibly be as bad as people were describing.  Umm, yeah - any mom who went through this before please feel free to say "I told you so!".

We're back to the newborn exhaustion now, only it's worse. When he was (not) sleeping like this in the beginning at least I was on maternity leave and could just lay around and snuggle with him during the day (plus he napped a lot during the day). Now I am at work - sitting at my desk with burning eyes and a searing headache from lack of sleep.

I know I won't get much sympathy from people.  I know there are plenty of parents out there that deal with sleep issues continually and not just during this lovely period.  I sure as hell will not be complaining about any of this on facebook because the last thing I need is some soapbox speech from my sister, telling me that I should enjoy that extra time I get to spend with him.  So that's why I'll complain here... and hope that the end is near and that soon we will at least be back to 6 hour stretches at night.  It has to happen eventually, right???

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Four Month Well Check

We had Elliot's four month check today. It's a little late since his four month birthday was on Christmas Eve and obviously they weren't going to schedule appointments that day.  I had been looking forward to this appointment because I really wanted to see just how big my little guy has gotten. Our scale at home isn't accurate enough for me.

He did well with the measuring and getting his temperature taken, but put up a fight about getting his oxygen checked. He pitched a little bit of a fit about having the thing clamped on his hand and eventually she had to switch to his foot.  She got everything done and gave me his stats:

15 lbs 2 oz (36th percentile)
25 inches (32nd percentile)
16.5 inch head circumference (50th percentile)

Andrew was 15 lbs and 26.5 inches so Elliot's a little shorter and plumper than his big brother.

Love this pudgy little baby!

Dr. Graham was very happy with his progress and thinks he looks great. He checked his ears (all clear), listened to his chest, checked his hips and in his diaper and everything looked great.  I talked with him about the sleep regression that we have been experiencing the last couple weeks (started the week before Christmas) to see his thoughts.  He says that when babies get to this size that sometimes a liquid diet just doesn't do it for them and it's possible he may be ready to start some cereals.  I know with Andrew we started those around 5 months and I had planned on waiting til then with Elliot, too.  I'd like to give Baby Led Weaning a shot, but we sucked at it with Andrew so I don't know really how to go about it.  So maybe we should start giving him a little bit of cereal and see if that helps his sleep.

After we talked about everything Dr. Graham left and the nurse came in to do the vaccines.  He started fussing instantly (he was tired and hungry) so I held him while she did everything. He took the oral vaccine right away and shrieked at the shots (two in one leg and one in the other). As soon as she was done I nursed him to calm him down and he settled pretty quickly.

Back to being my smiley baby before we even left the office.

Currently he is snoozing (and snoring) away in his car seat since I didn't want to disturb him when we got home. I'm hoping the 4 month shots have the same effect as the 2 month ones and he is sleepy tonight. This mommy is tired!