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Easter Basket Fun

My boys are still too young to really understand Easter so the only “Easter-ish” thing I did for them this year was put together simple Easter baskets.

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Left: Sam’s Basket

1. Jellycat bunny, personalized from PeekaWhoo.com

2. Easter board book

3. Baby keys (gift from Jenni)

Right: Dez’s Basket

1. Jellycat bunny, personalized from PeekaWhoo.com (purchased last year, but who cares?)

2. The Hungry Caterpillar board book

3. Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Easter board book

4. Keebler Fudge Graham cookies

5. Blue, light-up bouncy ball from the dollar spot at Target

6. Chocolate covered Oreos (gift from Sara)

And a few plastic eggs thrown in for fun, which D has already been tossing around the house. I’m sure I’ll find an egg or two the next time we rearrange the furniture.

One Month Photo

Thought I’d take a slightly different approach to Sam’s monthly photos. Whatcha think?

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I’m sure by now just about everyone has seen this viral video from American Greetings about the “world’s toughest job.” If you haven’t, click here.

It’s been all over my Facebook and Twitter feeds for two days. Yet for every post I see praising its message, I see another criticizing it. And I think it’s worth noting that every person that’s had something negative to say about it, is also a mom. What’s the argument? That being a mom isn’t a “job”, in the literal sense. It’s also not that tough. Nor is the “job description” all that accurate. And dads have it hard too but there’s no mention of them. And maybe it’s also a bit cheesy. And mean to trick people. And…I lost count of all the criticisms. (Even if I agree with most of them.)

As someone who shared it on my own Facebook page, here’s what I think. I think American Greetings came up with a clever Mother’s Day ad. Most likely, they wanted to capitalize on the “Thank You, Mom” theme that P&G made popular during the summer and winter olympics. And to that I say, “well done.” Will they sell more cards as a result? That has yet to be seen.

But back to the argument at hand. Do I think being a mom is the world’s toughest job? Hardly. I’m not risking my life day in and day out. It’s also not a literal “job”, as others have pointed out. (Point taken.) But is it the toughest aspect of my life? So far, yes. And I personally think it’s sort of nice when anyone – a person or a company eager to drive sales – takes a moment to appreciate everything I do. Because heaven knows it’s going to be YEARS before my own children will appreciate it. And when they do, I’ll be lucky to get a hand-scribbled piece of paper and a dandelion picked from the yard. And I’ll love it. I mean, no one becomes a mom expecting to be told “hey, thanks for gestating me, and birthing me, and feeding me (even in the middle of the night), and generally keeping me alive for the last X years.” But…it would be nice, right? So if a company wants to make an ad telling everyone to appreciate their mother and hey, maybe get her an American Greetings card for Mother’s Day while you’re at it, well then I say go right ahead. And I’ll be sure to back you up when you come out with your Father’s Day ad next month, which will inevitably characterize dads as being “superheros” to their kids, and then people will get all up in arms about dads not being literal superheros. Because it’s the Internet.

 

Month One

Weight/Length:  Hopefully quite a bit above birth weight by now. We’ll find out tomorrow. At his last weight check almost two weeks ago, he was 8lbs 1 oz, so still a few ounces away from birth weight.

Update: he was 9lbs 8oz!! That’s some good growth. Can’t believe he’s only an ounce bigger than D was when he was born.

Sleep: The entire first week of his life, I couldn’t tell what color his eyes were because he rarely opened them. Now, he’s more alert and even making eye contact with us, but he still sleeps most of the day. This would be great if it was CONSECUTIVE sleep but I’m lucky if I can get 4 straight hours at night. Usually it’s around 2.5-3 before he’s fussing to be fed. And speaking of fussing, this kid is FIDGETY. I remember D being a noisy newborn sleeper but this little guy takes it to a whole new level. I don’t even really use the monitor because I can hear him just fine without it.

Feeding: To my own amazement, we figured out nursing!! Of course, because of his weight issues early on, we had to introduce a bottle right away so I haven’t been off the hook with pumping. I probably pump about 3-4 times a day and he gets a bottle after most nursing sessions during the day. At night, he nurses and gets a big bottle before bed and then just nurses during his two middle-of-the-night wakeups. We supplemented with formula here and there the first two weeks but now that my milk is fully in, we haven’t had to use formula for the last two weeks and he’s really finally starting to chunk up a bit.

Firsts This Month: Everything is a first right now! First time meeting most of his grandparents, first trip to Target, first St. Patty’s Day, first trip to the park, first restaurant experience as a family of four…pretty much anything we do is a first.

Developments:  In the last week, he’s really started trying to master his head control when being held on our chest. He’s getting better at nursing and his physical appearance is looking less like a newborn, which makes me a little sad since he’s already outgrown newborn clothes and diapers.

Likes: I didn’t think we’d get so lucky the second time around with a baby that loved baths as much as D did, but we have! Sadly, with a toddler that requires bathing each night, we haven’t given him very many baths at all. I think we’re averaging about one a week right now. Other likes include his paci, his mobile, sleeping in the Boppy (which we only allow for naps), and more than anything – being held. I call him my little cuddle bug.

Dislikes:  Unlike his brother, he HATES diaper changes and cries almost every single time. He also hates it when we change his clothes, and dislikes being swaddled and sleeping flat on his back. I still put him in a sleep sack at night, but will typically leave at least one or both arms out.

What I’m Thankful For: A happy, healthy baby. I worked really hard to keep this one out of the NICU and I’m so glad it paid off. He’s perfectly healthy and I couldn’t be more thankful for that.

What I’m Looking Forward To:  Sleeping through the night!

How Mommy’s Doing: The first two weeks at home were ROUGH. I don’t remember having quite that much pain the first time around. Now that I’m 4 weeks out, I feel much better, though I still have moments where I’ll feel a twinge or burning sensation. Fortunately, it only last a couple of seconds.

At my follow-up appointment with my OB, she said everything looked great – my scar is healing nicely, my uterus is shrinking back down, and I’m cleared for exercise. Although, considering I get tired and sore just from walking for 20-30 minutes, I don’t see myself signing up for any marathons anytime soon.

My belly is still pretty big and the lower portion is still pretty tender, so clothes don’t fit and I don’t feel comfortable having anything even remotely tight around my belly. I’m looking forward to dress season.

But let’s talk about my boobs for a second. If I’m being completely honest, I kind of hate breastfeeding. I know I’m not supposed to say that because “breast is best” and whatnot, but it really sort of sucks. My boobs hurt most of the time; I have to wear nursing pads 24/7 or I’ll leak everywhere; I still have to pump a few times a day; I can’t go more than a couple of hours without having to nurse or pump – which means everything I do revolves around my boobs’ schedule; and I don’t care what anyone says – nursing is painful. It’s getting better, but it still hurts sometimes – especially the first 30 seconds or so that he latches, and that’s even WITH a nipple shield. And the gas. I don’t know why I assumed that babies who nurse rarely deal with gas but he swallows SO MUCH AIR when he’s nursing. So I spend roughly 20-30 minutes nursing and another 20-30 just trying to get him to burp. If he doesn’t burp? That pretty much guarantees spit-up or a fussy baby with a bellyache. Usually both. And I’m in desperate need of a massage after spending hours each day in nursing or pumping posture. All of that said, I’ll still continue this nursing journey, but I’m feeling a little cheated out of that blissful, harmonious, carefree nursing experience I’ve been sold by all the breastfeeding advocates out there. Maybe it will come in time, but right now? Not feeling it.

THIS is how I imagined it.

THIS is how I imagined it.

But THIS is how I feel.

But THIS is how I feel.

Lately

Is anyone else as sick of my monthly update posts as I am of writing them? As I’m sure is very clear to anyone still checking in over here, this little blog has become less about writing and more about milestone updating. I have grand plans to create special baby books for each of the boys using these monthly update posts, so that’s why I still do them, but I realize they’re pretty boring to read (and write) and I haven’t had much time or brain space for much else.

So what else is going on?

Not much.

My days (and nights) revolve around these two little people and my boobs. Yes, my boobs. I can’t go longer than 3 hours without feeding or pumping or else things start to get uncomfortable. So outings are scheduled around them, and also depend on the weather. For example, yesterday was a balmy 59 so we went to the mall for a couple of hours before rushing back home because it was feeding time. (I haven’t been brave enough to try breastfeeding anywhere else.) But today? It’s raining and high 40s low 50s so we’re homebound, once again.

I would love nothing more than to just pack up the kids each day and roam around town, checking out different parks, having picnic lunches on a blanket in the grass, and putting the boys down for long afternoon naps while I tackle decluttering the house, room by room. Instead, I’m usually stuck in the house, feeding a baby, changing diapers, or trying to combat toddler meltdowns. It’s all we can do to stay on top of dishes and laundry, let alone set aside any time for additional cleaning or decluttering.

But even though things aren’t exactly picture perfect over here, I do have moments when I’m holding the baby, and the toddler is curled up next to me and I can’t help but think, “I created these two gorgeous human beings. How lucky am I?” In those moments, I try to soak up every peaceful second, as short-lived as they may be. Because when I sit back and look at my almost-two-year old, I’m reminded of the saying: “The days are long, but the years are short.” So enjoy every moment. And I’m doing my best to do just that. Everything else can wait.

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22 Month Update

Weight: Wild guess here, but probably 27 or 28lbs. I feel like he’s bulked up a little bit this month.

Sleep: AWFUL. I felt like we were doing so well with minimal middle-of-the-night wakeups, but ever since Sam was born, we’ve had maybe ONE night where he slept all the way through in his own crib. Most of the time, he wakes up between midnight and 2am and screams his head off until we bring him to bed with us. At first, the hubs slept in our bed, which is next to D’s nursery so he could go in and grab him when he woke up. Meanwhile, I’ve been staying in the downstairs guestroom with the pack ‘n play. But then, D fell out of our bed early one morning and that put an end to him sleeping in our bed with just one parent. Pillows as a barrier apparently doesn’t work. So! We’re trying to figure out how to get him to sleep in his own crib ALL THE WAY THROUGH THE NIGHT without a ton of crying-it-out, since I do not have the patience for an hour of crying right now.

As for naps, those are pretty consistently 1-3 hours each afternoon, but I sense a change coming soon.

Foods: Super picky. Loves fruit, bread, and sweets. But typical toddler favorites like mac & cheese? Hates it. Occasionally we can get him to eat chicken nuggets, and he seems to enjoy pizza and pizza rolls, but man, feeding a toddler is complicated business.

Developments: Nothing ground-breakingly new, which is a little odd because I felt like we were seeing huge changes month after month. But lately, he seems to be stuck on the same small group of words. He loves to dance and run around the kitchen and read books. He’s getting better at working certain apps on the iPad.

Firsts This Month: He became a big brother!

Likes: We had one nice day this month (ONE) so we took him to the park for the first time since, oh, October. And man, he loved it. Cried so hard when we made him get off the swing. We’ve been able to take him to the park a couple of times since (and my parents took him one day when they were in town to see the new baby) and being outdoors is clearly this kid’s favorite thing in the world.

Favorite Songs: Still Pharell’s Come On Get Happy and oddly enough, Summertime in the LBC by Warren G.

Favorite Toys: Much to my dismay, he’s obsessed with this green, John Deere tractor with eyes. It’s very Cars-like, and when you push down on its top, the wheels propel it forward. The problem is, he’s not strong enough to push down the button so he requests, no, DEMANDS, that we do it for him – over and over again. This is only annoying when I’m trying to do something, like nurse the baby, which is what I’m doing about 60% of the time. He’s nearly conked his brother in the head several times every day.

Dislikes: Typical toddler stuff. Being told no or not doing whatever it is he wants to do.

What I’m Thankful For: Finally being on maternity leave and getting to soak up the cuteness of my two little dudes, all day every day. (And in the middle of the night.) It’s exhausting, but it’s also wonderful.

What I’m Looking Forward To: BOTH of my boys, sleeping through the night, in their own beds. Have a feeling it’s going to be awhile.

How Mommy’s Doing: Recovering. My c-section recovery was a little worse this time around, so I’m just now able to pick D up out of his crib and high chair. I can’t carry him for prolonged periods yet, but we’re surviving. I really hated not being able to hold him these last few weeks. Also, I’m very thankful that I haven’t experienced any PPD. I didn’t with D either, but I know every pregnancy, birth, and recovery is different so I didn’t want to assume I was in the clear. I’ve had my emotional moments, but they’ve mostly been the super sappy “I can’t believe how much I love these two little people” kind of moments. Can’t complain about that.

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21 Month Update

Let’s ignore the fact that D is now 22 months and I am WAY behind. 

Weight: Still around 26lbs. Skinny dude.

Sleep: Pretty great lately, actually. He typically goes down at bedtime without a fight (around 8:30 pm) and unless he has a night terror or he’s having trouble breathing (this kid has more boogers than the boogeyman) then he usually sleeps straight thru the night until about 8am. He’s a LIGHT sleeper though. Each night, before I go to bed, I check on him. And every time, he stirs a little. I can be as quiet as  a church mouse but he still senses my presence and I always freeze in fear that he’s going to wake up crying. Most of the time, he doesn’t, but it’s still weird how light of a sleeper he is.

Still napping once a day. Sometimes an hour, sometimes three.

Feeding: Still pretty picky. The only veggies we can get in him are through those little squeeze pouches in the baby food section. His favorite foods are still fruits – strawberries and blueberries, mostly. He’s getting more teeth and his molars are almost fully in now, so I think we can start venturing into chewier foods now, but I’m still a little cautious here and haven’t attempted things like steak just yet.

Developments: I feel like we MUST be on the verge of a language explosion because things have been really stagnant here for a very long time. He’s really great at picking out shapes and colors and animals when asked, but he just won’t SAY them. He’ll point to something and say “ninga-ninga-nah!” Over and over again. Which translates to “I want that!” but sounds nowhere close to it. And even though we’ve been done with bottles for ages it seems, he says “ba-ba” for milk. I never taught him that, yet it has somehow stuck. Sigh.

I just feel like this winter has been the longest winter ever and it’s kept us from really taking D out to explore the world around him. We read a lot of books, we recite the same flashcards over and over, we play educational games on the iPad…but there’s only so much you can do in a day and I can’t wait to take him outside to play t-ball, or ride around in his cozy coupe, or point out animals at the zoo instead of in a book.

Firsts This Month: Can’t really think of anything.

Likes: He’s starting to use his imagination more and has started playing with cars the proper way – driving them around instead of throwing them. One of his current favorite toys is a wooden puzzle piece firetruck. He drives it around even though it’s just a block of wood and the wheels are painted on (i.e. don’t move).

Not sure if I’ve mentioned this in the past, but this kid loves shoes. It doesn’t matter if we’re going anywhere or not, but if he sees his shoes lying around, he will insist on putting them on and then runs around the house like a maniac.

Favorite Songs: Pharell’s Come On Get Happy

Favorite Toys: For his birthday last year, my SIL got him a turtle toy that he’s supposed to sit on and ride. He’s just now FINALLY starting to play with it and will sit on it, pressing the buttons, for what seems like an hour. He’s so good at playing by himself. He’ll pile all of his sports balls together and then systematically throw each one down the hall before gathering them up again at the other end and throwing them again.

Dislikes: Oh lots of things. Like being told no. Not getting to watch a video every single time one of us is on the laptop. Not getting to play with the iPad when one of us is using it. Not being able to figure out a game/app on the iPad. Not reading enough books or not reading the same one enough times (my limit is always 5). Basically, if we are not doing or giving him what he wants when he wants it, it’s toddler-meltdown-city.

What I’m Thankful For: That February is over.

What I’m Looking Forward To: March, and seeing D become a big brother.

How Mommy’s Doing: In a word, rough. Not sleeping. Wildly uncomfortable. Typical third trimester complaints, I suppose, but I am SO DONE being pregnant. I can’t play with D like I used to and I can’t do his bedtime routine without some serious help from the hubs. BUT, I’m still really excited to meet our newest family member and become a family of 4.

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