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The Many Faces of Sam

Wanna know the number one cure for a bad mood? A baby’s smile. It’s true. I mean, just look at this face!

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See? Don’t you feel better?

Happy Friday!

How I Feel

When ALL the dirty dishes are in the dishwasher, but I find a dirty sippy cup 15 minutes after hitting start.

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When both boys are napping at the same time.

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When the toddler dumps out ALL of his blocks.

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When I workout for the first time in almost a year, yet this is what I expect to happen:

fat

 

 

23 Months

I can’t believe that in less than a month, my little man is going to be TWO! Only one more of these updates to go. EEK!

Weight: Surprisingly, he’s still hovering just under 27 lbs and about 34 inches tall.

Sleep: Things got worse before they got better. First, we started the month with middle-of-the-night wakeups which always resulted in him coming to our bed. Then his daddy made the mistake of taking a nap or two with him when he was sick and suddenly EVERY nap became a battle to get him to go down in his crib. Same with bedtime. Lots of crying. We finally had to do a modified CIO method which involved a new bedtime routine of bath, jammies, putting Sam in his crib and reading to him (to show D that Sam was going to bed too) and then finally reading a book to D and putting him in his crib. We’re a few nights in now and that routine seems to work. And by some miracle, it’s also stopped the middle-of-the-night wakeups too. So we’ll stick with this until it no longer works.

Foods: Nothing new. Still a picky eater.

Developments: His new favorite phrase is “Oh no!” And he uses it in proper context, which is super cute. He also knows his colors, some numbers (1-4), and most letters. It’s getting him to SAY them that’s the challenge.

Firsts This Month: Nothing of note.

Likes: Current favorite things are: Mickey Mouse Clubhouse & Little Einsteins (STILL), ice cream & fruit, and being outside.

Favorite Songs: Nothing new this month, but we’ve been revisiting old favorites such as “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” (Hawaii guy version) and it’s still his favorite song of all time.

Favorite Toys: He’s been pretty obsessed with his bead maze this month. He plays with it every single day, multiple times a day.

Dislikes: His biggest tantrums occur when he’s trying to do something and can’t. Yesterday, he was trying to close the bathroom door but he wasn’t strong enough to pull it shut so what did he do? Sat down and banged his head on the floor. Toddlers, man.

What I’m Thankful For: That D has adjusted so well to his little brother. Most of the time, he just ignores him, but when he does take notice, he’s always kind and gentle. Well, except for when he’s trying to point out all of Sam’s body parts and tries to put his finger in his eye. I’ve had to stop asking “where’s Sam’s eye?” when asking him to show me all the other body parts. Same goes for me, too. I’ve ended up with far too many toddler fingers in my eyes.

What I’m Looking Forward To: As much as I want to keep my little boys little forever, I’m excited for D to turn two. One of the best aspects of being a parent is watching our little ones grow and learn new things.

How Mommy’s Doing: Tired and battling a nasty sinus infection, thanks to a cold virus that D caught a couple of weeks ago and passed around to the entire family. (Did I say he’s a giving child? Because he is.) I haven’t started working out yet, but as soon as I kick this sickness, I plan to start. (And after I indulge in the donuts the hubs just went out and bought.) I’ve been so thankful to have the hubs home during my maternity leave, but part of me feels like we haven’t really taken advantage of the time like we should have. Shouldn’t we take a little trip somewhere? Shouldn’t we be going on adventures around town every day? We haven’t even been to the zoo once this year. Our days are usually just spent at home, feeding two little ones, changing diapers, putting them down for naps, and going through bedtime routines. Moments that we’re not doing those things are spent catching up on laundry, doing the dishes, feeding ourselves, grocery shopping, and showering. On a good day, if the weather is nice and the timing works out, we go to the park for some fresh air, but even that’s not an everyday occurrence. Still, even though the days can be pretty monotonous, I’m grateful for the time and the cuddles with my little family. One can never get enough cuddles. Well, maybe D can, but that’s why mommy had another baby. So she can get more cuddles. :)

23MONTHS

Well, I’d like to visit the moon

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On a rocket ship high in the air

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Yes, I’d like to visit the moon
But I don’t think I’d like to live there

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Though I’d like to look down at the earth from above
I would miss all the places and people I love

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So although I might like it for one afternoon
I don’t want to live on the moon

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I’d like to travel under the sea
I could meet all the fish everywhere

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Yes, I’d travel under the sea
But I don’t think I’d like to live there

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I might stay for a day there if I had my wish
But there’s not much to do when your friends are all fish

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And an oyster and clam aren’t real family
So I don’t want to live in the sea

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I’d like to visit the jungle, hear the lions roar

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Go back in time and meet a dinosaur

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There’s so many strange places I’d like to be
But none of them permanently

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So if I should visit the moon
Well, I’ll dance on a moonbeam and then

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I will make a wish on a star
And I’ll wish I was home once again

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Though I’d like to look down at the earth from above
I would miss all the places and people I love

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So although I may go, I’ll be coming home soon
‘Cause I don’t want to live on the moon

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No, I don’t…

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want to live…

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on the moon.

 

Original Sesame Street song/video here.

Five on Friday

ONE: We had a lovely, low-key Easter. We went to church, had lunch at my grandma’s house and visited with my aunts and cousin, and grilled burgers on our new grill for dinner. Life is very different than it was on Easter last year. Last year, we spent Easter at my in-laws’. My MIL was still alive. D wasn’t even walking. I’m so glad we spent Easter there, but I’m so sad she’s not here to see Sam’s first Easter.

TWO: This stuff is the cat’s pajamas. I have to be very careful though, or else I’ll drink the entire bottle in one night.

THREE: I’m already halfway through my maternity leave. In some ways, it feels like Sam was just born a week ago, but in others, it feels like I haven’t been to work in 3 months. While part of me misses my job and coworkers and my daily routine, another part of me is dreading leaving my boys day after day. We have some big decisions to make regarding childcare these next few weeks and the thought of it just gives me heart palpitations so I’ve been putting it off. Please say a little prayer that we get this figured out soon and relatively painlessly!

FOUR: The weather is FINALLY getting nicer (although it’s apparently only 50 degrees outside at the moment). We’ve taken a few family trips to the park to stretch our legs and get some fresh air and it’s been wonderful. I’m still woefully out of shape, but I just bought some new cross-trainers so hopefully I can motivate myself to start working out now.

FIVE: Speaking of my health, my postpartum glucose test results came back and I DO NOT HAVE DIABETES!! Hooray!! In fact, my levels were well within the normal range so I wasn’t even borderline. That’s a HUGE relief. Now, someone give me a brownie.

Happy weekend, friends!

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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