The Third Month

So (surprise) I’m late on this update again. However a friend of mine lets her daughter do her monthly updates on Facebook, and since I think it’s cute I’m totally letting Elsie take the reins here. So here she goes:

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Howdy! So my mom doesn’t get to write as often as she’d like, though I can’t imagine why, so I’m going to update on this month.

Modeling some of mommy’s old baby clothes

This month, other than improving my cute, I successfully rolled over from back-to-front & front-to-back. Because I am an elite diva I have chosen to not repeat the back-to-front trick because, let’s face it, tummy time is for suckers.

I have also “found my voice” this month, whatever that means. The Food Source and Cuddle Man told me that during one of our talks. We talk a lot. Sometimes I sing to them. When brother is around I’ll sing with him, too. We have a very musical home.

Dude. Fingers.

 

 

Oh oh oh! I found my hands this month! THESE THINGS ARE AWESOME!!! Did you know they’re ATTACHED to you?! I didn’t until I bit one. But I can reach out and grab ALL THE THINGS! (things that are within arms reach, because I’m not exactly mobile yet…though I have Jedi mind tricked brother into bringing me things…).

 

 

The brother and I are getting along fairly well. I don’t have him trained quite yet, as he seems to think stepping on me is kosher. However he does have his moments where he’s a sweet guy and I enjoy having him around. I especially like it when he stresses out mom by running around with his diaper off and pees everywhere! That makes me laugh every time. Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that – I’m laughing now!

Well, I’m hungry, so time to get Food Source to pick me up. Later!

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The Second Month

In traditional mother-type fashion, I’m a week late to post my daughter’s second month update.

This month, Elsie’s personality has started to come out more. She is one tough nugget! Asher will often pet her head while saying “gentle” then occasionally slap her. It always happens so fast I can’t stop it! But Elsie just cries for a few seconds, gives Asher a “boy you BEST watch yo back when I get control of these limbs!” look, and then happily goes back to coo’ing and smiling. She’s a great baby!

I dare not mention exactly how long she’s sleeping at night, but I’ll put it this way: Asher at this age was up every 2 hours. Elsie sleeps so much longer than that so I asked the pediatrician if I should worry. True story.

At her two month checkup we found that Elsie is 1oz shy of 12lbs (almost 5lbs gained since birth), is 23in (2in gained since birth!), and has a head that is in the ninety-something percentile (my kids have huge noggins, which is evident by the destruction they leave on their way out). She’s growing wonderfully and I couldn’t be happier. Yay for super tata’s!!

As of now I still have days where dividing my time between both kids is hard, and I’m still learning how I can balance that with keeping the house in some sort of order, but it’s getting “easier”. By easier, I mean more second nature. The time it takes to get a diaper bag packed/checked,/kids loaded up and out the door is becoming less and less AND I’m even managing to remember my own water bottle.

Also this month my kiddos won a costume contest at the Exchange on base for their Thing 1 Thing 2 get ups. It was hokey, but it came with a sweet gift card so I can’t complain. Plus Asher chased the Cat in the Hat all over the store. Good times.

Meanwhile, Asher is 20 months and now knows all his letters, numbers 1-10, and a good deal of shapes/colors. It’s freaking me out how fast he learns. It’s surreal to see him see a letter/number and SAY it, or point out the correct letter/number/color/shape when I ask him where it is. INSANE Y’ALL. He’s not even 2! Guess I have to actually start teaching him things before he gets bored on me and starts acting out like I did when I was a kid…

Anyway, I don’t have any real way to conclude this post other than “so that’s my half-assed update on my baby’s second month”. So…yeah. Enjoy these photos? 🙂

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No Turd Left Behind

I managed to make it 20 months with Asher without any poop incidents too overwhelming. Today we encountered a shitdown so heinous that a normal person would consider resigning their job if faced with cleaning it up; but I’m the mom and unfortunately can’t quit my job, so I cleaned it.

The Story of the Poopocalypse

Asher woke up at 7:45 today (late for him). I was in my room nursing Elsie so I didn’t get to his room till almost 8. He had gotten out of bed to read and play with some toys. I entered the room to find him standing in his bottom dresser drawer while looking in a higher drawer (little monkey loves to climb and explore). I walked in to the room and greeted him with the usual “good morning”s when I stepped in something squishy. When I looked down, I saw poop on my foot. “Oh well,” I thought, “shit happens”. Then it dawned on me that if it was on the carpet…it was likely coming from the child. The child playing in the drawer of CLEAN CLOTHES THAT I JUST WASHED OMG. I looked at Asher and was horrified to see thick gravy-consistency green poop all down his leg and now on his clean shirts. A quick glance around the room revealed more shit on the carpet and the rocking chair in his room (that rocking chair used to be my grandfathers…). After saying many sentence enhancers (aka profanities) in my head, I picked up Asher as if he were a bomb and kept him as far away from me as possible while carrying him to the bathtub where I stripped him & hosed him off before letting him play in the bath.

Next…was the room clean up. After clearing all the shirts out of the drawer and adding them to the laundry, I noticed that there was shit painted on the drawer! Turns out Asher is a real Fecal Picasso. I did an initial wipe down of every surface in the room with a baby wipe and hurried back to dry off/dress the child (in a diaper only because THERE ARE NO CLEAN SHIRTS) and dropped him off in the living room with some food and Mickey Mouse Clubhouse so I could go after his room with the Clorox Wipes and Little Green Bissell Vac. No turd left behind!

Thankfully, things are clean again and the balance restored. We survived the Poopsplosion of July 2012.

contented shit-free toddler post-poopsplosion

 

The First Month

I never kept a journal or wrote a month-by-month post for Asher and I kind of regret that. There were so many amazing “firsts” for me as a mom and I naively thought I’d remember it all…which I don’t. Because of this, I’ve decided to do a monthly update on the littlest one so I have at least one of them on record. So here it goes!

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-The First Month-

Wow…a month. A month already. I hate to compare this time with last time, but it really feels like it’s going faster with Elsie than it did with Asher. I also feel like I’m “enjoying” it more. Not that I didn’t enjoy the first month with Asher, but that I was so new to parenting and severely overwhelmed so I was in survival mode. Plus, nursing was a very hard road for me and Asher at first. Elsie is a pro. Maybe it’s because I’m more calm this time and have more knowledge, but nursing has been easier with her, by far. I’m glad I had a Lactation Consultant come visit us the first day, though-I was trying to nurse her like a toddler at first and had to relearn how to nurse a newborn!

So far, Elsie is doing everything she should be doing: eating (a lot, as evidenced by what I can tell is a 3lbs of weight gain), sleeping, and making plenty of dirty diapers.

Even though this isn’t my first rodeo, Elsie has busted out some new ones: She projectile-shit on me. Three times. Even when I took measures to guard against it I’ve been shit on. She even shot some off of the changing table and on to the carpet (to which I said “awesome shot!”). She also started “coo”ing last week. I’m fairly certain Asher didn’t do that for 2 months (but I wouldn’t know because I’m an idiot who didn’t write things down!). Her tummy time has revealed fairly steady head control for her size, as well, so I’m fairly certain she’ll be able to handle her brother as she gets older. She’s already outgrown her newborn clothing, which I cried as I put it away. She’s growing so very fast!

The biggest thing she’s done to throw me for a loop is sleep. She cluster feeds closer to bed time and actually sleeps 2 3hr-4hr stretches at night (of course, now that I’ve put this on the internet she’ll stop doing that…). She’s been doing it since day 3. I know it’ll change as she gets older, and I should enjoy it while it lasts, but I was not prepared for that! And somehow I’m still exhausted. We also loosely swaddle her, vs always having Asher in the swaddle. I wonder if that played a role? During the day she’s not swaddled at all, and at night she’s loosely swaddled. I had been doing it to test out a study I had read (The case against swaddling) and so far, so good. Could also be the cluster feeding. Whatever. I have a kid who actually sleeps. (for now).

Her personality is coming through as well, I recall Asher wouldn’t ever let me know when he was dirty. He was always content to sit in his own filth and I had to guess when he had gone. Not Elsie. That child can not stand to be dirty for a moment! It makes for some very intense car rides sometimes. I’ve found that Asher’s love of Julie Andrews is shared by Elsie, but not as strongly. Elsie’s #1 song that she quiets down for most of the time? “Be Our Guest”. As soon as Jerry Orbach comes on, she stops screaming. She also calms down for “The Rainbow Connection”. We’ll see how long these soothing melodies last on her. I’m hoping she’s like Asher in that she will always calm for certain songs…we’ll see! She also loooooooves snuggles. Elsie will not nap during Asher’s naptime unless I’m laying with her on my bed and nurse her while side lying. Hey, it works for us!

The biggest adjustment for me has been figuring out how to handle two kids under two. Elsie prefers to be held, which is a stark contrast from Asher who was fine wherever. Since she wants to be held so often, I’m left with one hand to play with Asher. It’s getting better, I’ve found a few places Elsie is content hanging out in while sleeping so I can get one-on-one time with little man, but it’s still hard. Matt makes it a point to spend as much one-on-one time with Asher as possible. So far, I don’t think Asher is suffering at all. He’s being a great big brother to his little sister! He helps bounce her in her chair (though sometimes it’s a little rough and I freak out over shaken baby syndrome), and he’ll bring me blankets/paci’s for her. He often checks on her while she sleeps and pats her head or gives her a kiss. It really melts my heart!

So I guess if you’ve managed to get this far you’ve garnered that this first month has been pretty dang good. Still adjusting, but going well and soaking it all in while trying to enjoy each moment of my children’s lives. Children. Wow. I have two kids, y’all.

Till next time…

Only a month old and already judging me for my mommy shenanigans…

 

Been a little busy…

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Elsie Anne joined our family one week ago today, on May 9th at 5:41am. Her tubby little bum was 7lbs 3oz, 20in long & a 13.5in noggin that tested the limits of my chocha. She is wonderful and perfect!! Matt & I are currently enjoying as many snuggles as possible between her and her brother.

Life? It’s pretty dang good right now.

That time I talked about my lady water slide on the internet…

I was going to continue my “mom” series today by doing a synopsis of the second trimester (if you didn’t catch the first trimester, just see the post before this one), but I caught some feelings I need to get off my engorged chest. Also, I’m procrastinating writing a letter of appreciation about someone awesome that I don’t want to sound disingenuous, so I’m taking frequent breaks.

To the mind chamber!

As of tomorrow I’ll be 39 weeks pregnant. Awesome. At this point last pregnancy I was doing all the voodoo to induce labor (and he still wouldn’t show up for 2 more weeks). This time? I’m doing everything I can do to stop/discourage labor, as Matt isn’t due home till May 2nd. Oh how funny that we’ve come full circle!

(Warning: Paragraph may contain TMI. Skip to the safety parenthesis if you’re anti-vagina)At my last appointment I was slightly freaked out at the ease of which my midwife was able to check my cervix. You see, my cervix is like the rabbit hole Alice fell down, in the sense that it’s up high and far back, which isn’t like her rabbit hole at all, but I’m sure it has tea & cake ready for those who enter. Because it’s a lady. So usually a cervix check involves the checker having to remove their watch because my lady garden may eat it. I also usually wince with discomfort at this part, since I’m not exactly used to being fisted. Last Thursday my midwife was easily able to check my cervix and I still saw his wrist. AND I was calmly talking/joking with him and the nurse while he was doing it with NO WINCING AT ALL OMG. This means my cervix has dropped already. Fantastic for when labor starts (it took a bagillion hours with Asher to get that debutante to the ball), but not so great if you’re looking to avoid labor for a week.

Current stats: Dilated 2cm, 50% effaced, baby/cervix at -1 station (aka falling out). All AWESOME if you were looking to start this labor party soon, but a tad scary if you’re looking to keep your legs closed and hold a piece of aspirin between them. Did I mention my midwife could touch the baby’s head? Cause he could.

(Safety Parentheses aka vagina free from here on out)
As a result, I’ve restricted myself to bedrest, baths, and headstands until Matt is home. This means that Asher now spends 90% of the day with Poppie. I’m having horrible mommy guilt over it. Logically speaking, though, my son isn’t suffering at all. In fact, he’s being spoiled rotten. Sure, he’s watching a little more TV than I’d like, but it’s not like he’s turning savage. With his Poppie, Asher gets to go to the park daily, reads books, plays with bubbles and his red car, and gets lots of bananas. (Seriously, my kid is a freak for bananas). They’re getting special time together that I got with my grandfather as a kid and treasure always. I’m happy for that.

I just feel guilty because I know I only have days left to spend with just me and Asher. Soon he won’t be the “only”. Soon I’ll have to balance meeting the needs of two tiny humans and still making special time for him. I love that now I have the luxury of holding him at night when he wakes from a nightmare and helping fight them away by rocking him and caressing his hair. I love my little snuggle man. Will I still get this special time after Ladybug comes? Will he hate me for a while? Will he still occasionally crawl into my lap and get so comfy reading a story with me that he falls asleep?

I guess it’s normal to worry about screwing up your older kid when having a second one. It’s all unknown. I’m just trying to sort out how to show Asher he’s still just as loved, even with his baby sister around. And even moreso-I’m trying to find ways to spend time with him in our final days together before his sister joins the clan.

Mama guilt, it’s more powerful than Catholic guilt.

All I really can do is snuggle Asher as much as possible until Ladybug gets here, then find a way to still get that special time (even though I’ll be zombiefied like woah). Any tips from those of you who have ventured into the two-kids-or-more territory and survived without them stabbing you in your sleep?

(Next post will be on the 2nd trimester, I promise!!)

So you’re knocked up…now what?

Seeing as I’m currently attempting to procrastinate making my shopping list for freezer meals, you are in for a treat. I’ve finally sat down to write those posts I’ve talked about! Well…at least one of them, anyway.

Class, today’s lesson is related to pregnancy, specifically the First Trimester. This is geared more toward first-timers, but I suppose it’ll work for everyone. Oh…and dads TOTALLY need to read this. Possibly.

When you first find out you’re expecting, even if you were trying, your reaction will be “HOLYSHITOMGWTFDOIDONOW?!”. Doubt that? All three times I’ve been pregnant I’ve had that reaction and I can assure you that not all of those were products of “trying”.

So…congrats! You have just discovered your egg met a nice sperm and they’ve decided to make a life together. Mazel Tov! Once you’ve stopped freaking out about the fact that you can barely commit to a facewash for more than 6 months-so how the heck are you going to raise a child?; here’s an overview of what to expect this trimester, things you’ve got to do/decide, and some fun stuff for shiggles. Enjoy!

(Note: All views expressed are my own. Experiences may vary.)

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Medical Tests to Expect: At least two blood draws- The first to confirm the pregnancy & the second to test you for a whole list of things (STDs, hormone levels, blood counts, iron count, your quad screen, etc).
Also included in this trimester is a sonogram, usually around 9wks. The reason it’s later in the trimester is due to several factors, but the main one is that the heartbeat isn’t usually seen on a sonogram before then. Since the rate of miscarriage is rather high (1 in 5 pregnancies) in the first trimester, the sonogram is a useful tool in determining everything is going well with the pregnancy.

What You’ll Really Feel Like: If you’re lucky, you’ll only be a little tired and have to pee a lot. More often than not you’ll feel like you’re a hungover narcoleptic. Hold on to the knowledge that usually this is a good sign of a solid pregnancy and that this phase DOES pass. The constant urination, aches, nausea, & exhaustion do ease up for most a few weeks into the second trimester.

Mommy’s Little Helpers: For exhaustion-throw in a nap if you can, or try going to bed earlier. Consider it training for the life you’ll lead for at least the first 2 years of your kid’s life. For nausea-peppermint candies work very well, as does anything ginger. You can buy “preggy drops” which are basically ginger candies that are sour flavored. For aches-try a few warm baths (warm not HOT) with epsom salts to draw out the ache. Some advise against this, but logically speaking your cervix is closed up tight so a bath will not endanger the fetus. For peeing all the time-just suck it up and know you’ll have intimate knowledge of the inner workings of buildings all across town due to your unique condition.

Diet: Contrary to popular belief, you’re not “eating for two”. I mean, you are, but that baby isn’t bigger than a grain of rice so put the tub of Ben and Jerry’s down! Pregnant women don’t need more than 300 extra calories a day, and that’s if you were on a regular 2000 calorie diet in the first place. Really look at what you’re eating. Now is a GREAT time to revamp your diet. The best diet while pregnant is one with portion control, lots of lean protein, & low sodium. Make sure you are drinking TONS of water, too. Your pee should look like run off from an iceberg. Not only will eating right and drinking more help your pregnancy, but it’ll also give you a little more energy as well. Oh, and this doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy donuts/cupcakes/ice cream, just pay attention to the portion size and frequency-MODERATION is your friend!

As a diet recommendation, look into the Dr. Brewer plan. It actually can help prevent pre-eclampsia (high blood pressure), which is a concern in the third trimester & warrant emergency induction/delivery, but it’s super healthy. Here’s a link: Dr. Brewer Diet

To Do: Other than cope with the fact that you are now growing a tiny person inside of you, you have a bit of a To-Do list for this trimester.

  • Watch “The Business of Being Born”. It’s available on Netflix Instant. I like it because it gives a thorough overview of how pregnancy and birth are viewed/handled in this country compared to others. It also serves to empower you that you do have a say in your medical care and encourages you to dialogue with your provider. It also will hopefully inspire you to get educated more about birth and not fear it. 🙂
  • Choosing a provider- Midwife or OB? Below are the differences. You’ll need to choose a provider soon and begin setting up your care appointments. You can totally interview and change providers as well-you’re not stuck with who you first meet!
    Midwife: Highly skilled and extensively trained practitioner who specializes in pregnancy/birth. Midwives aren’t the hippy-Birkenstock-wearin folk you’re envisioning. Often a midwife is required to assist in 50-100 births before they’re even allowed to sit for their boards. That’s AFTER years of schooling. There are two types of Midwives: Certified Nurse Midwives typically have hospital rights and can write scripts for medications (they can also order pain management meds, such as epidurals, while in labor); Certified Professional Midwives typically attend home births, but some have hospital rights. Both are highly skilled. Most of the time your midwife will be the person attending your birth. All Midwives have OB backups ready to rock should a c-section become warranted.
    OB: If you’re a high risk patient, this is the route you’ll likely go. If you’re a normal, low-risk pregnancy, there’s really no need. Most OBs have never witnessed a normal, non-medicated birth, which means they’re more likely to push interventions, as they see them as “normal”. I don’t say this to scare you, it’s just fact. OBs are skilled surgeons, and thank goodness for that because they have saved lives with their skills. It just seems excessive to be seeing a surgeon if you’re carrying a low-risk pregnancy. Most OBs are part of a practice with multiple practitioners, which means you could get any one of them for your delivery. Because of this, it’ll serve you best to either build a good relationship with your OB or get to know all the providers in the office.
  • Deciding when to tell family/friends. This is a hot debate on pregnancy boards online. Honestly? It’s your choice when you tell. Some are superstitious or cite the high miscarriage rate (again, it’s 1 in 5) as reasons to wait till the trimester are over. Some are fine with telling everyone right off the bat. Both ways are totally fine! Just know that the advice from everyone-and-their-mother begins the moment this little information is leaked.
    -On Advice: Know that advice folks are pouring out to you are their attempts to help, not hinder you. Take it all with a grain of salt, research if needs be, and do what you feel is best for you. All advice, even mine, should be treated this way.

Fun:  While you won’t need maternity clothing yet (more on that next post), you could treat yourself to a belly band or loop a hair tie to help keep the top of your pants closed if you start bloating. Really, there’s not much “fun” to be had this trimester outside of naps. If you have a spouse/partner, you might want to enjoy a few dates together and try not to talk about the baby all the time. This is really overwhelming for them, too, and the lovely time out with you is relaxing for both of you. Enjoy it. 🙂

Annnnnnnnnnnnnnnd that’s a wrap for the first trimester! Did I miss anything?
On to the next…trimester!