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Thursday, March 27, 2014

This is my life: Part 2

I think Craft must have known that I was being ugly talking about his rough evening last night and he must have wanted to redeem himself because he gave me one of the best nights of sleep I've had since he was born (10-4:15, ate for less than 10 minutes and went back to sleep until 8, ate again for less than 10 minutes and went back to sleep again.  I'll take it.), and today he was in an even better mood than normal (I say "better than normal" because he's typically very happy during the daytime - it's the evenings that are an issue).

I feel like C is always wearing these jammies in pictures.  I would like to go on record and state that my child does have other outfits, it's just that these are so cozy and they have a zipper which makes my life so easy!  And I feel like all I do is laundry so it's always clean.  So there.
I am actually kind of feeling like a moron and wondering if this whole time C's evening fussiness has been a result of him being over-tired.  He is definitely still fussy in the evening, but today I tested my theory out and every time he even whimpered, if I knew he wasn't hungry and wasn't dirty I immediately swaddled him and put him to sleep.  If it's true, my over-tiredness theory would make a lot of sense - during the day C is rarely awake for more than an hour or an hour and a half at at time, and in the evenings he has been awake for much longer periods of time and then it's like he gets so worked up that he can't calm back down.  Hopefully the testing of this theory does not backfire and result in him being up all night, but so far so good - he's been in bed since 8 and I plan to wake him up for a dream feed in about an hour to see if it will tide him over for a long stretch again tonight. Fingers crossed and I'll report back.

Either way, I am actually getting to enjoy my glass of wine tonight instead of chugging it to assist in calming my nerves.  :-)  Thank you, Baby C, for giving me just enough sleep that I felt like a new woman today.  Let's keep it up!


Wednesday, March 26, 2014

This is my life.

I'm gonna keep it real for y'all, cause that's how I roll.  The following photo pretty much sums up my evening.  

Wine + Lucky Charms at almost 10pm is surely the dinner of champions.  I had big plans for a blog post to showcase Craft's beautiful newborn photos courtesy of Stephanie, but I decided to save that post for a night when my children haven't sucked the life out of me I have a little more energy.

Dan had a work dinner tonight but came home for about an hour to see if I needed a break.  Thank the Lord for that man.  I apparently ate something that Craft hated, because he started exercising his vocal cords (read: screaming) on and off starting around 4:30 pm.  I know it was his tummy because he's been super gassy and straining to try to poop all day, but the upset stomach + witching hour(s) is enough to drive anyone to drink.  He gave us a break from the evening fussiness for a few nights and it was glorious, so I guess we were due.  He wasn't fussy the whole time, but a good portion of my evening was spent attempting to calm him down. 

Anyway, Dan took over for me with C for a few minutes and I used that time to give Lilly a really early bath because I had a feeling it might be a long evening/night with the baby.  The early bath was key, because then L ate dinner and I let her watch Elmo for about an hour while I tended to her brother before it was time for her to go to bed.  I got lucky and Craft also wore himself out and took about a 45-minute nap during that time - I was hoping he'd sleep until after I put L to bed, but I am not that lucky.  Per the usual, C hit the peak of his fussiness and screamed throughout Lilly's entire bedtime routine, and I ended up having to stick him in his room (still screaming - mother of the year here) for a bit so that I could finish with her in peace.  I have never seen him work himself up as much as he did during that 10 minutes, I swear...when I went to get him he was all sweaty from the effort.  

Thankfully, Lilly was really tired and therefore did not fight me on bed time tonight.  After I got her down, I brought Craft downstairs for his bath.  He gave me another short reprieve from the fussiness during bath (his favorite time of day!) but did not waste any time starting back up again as soon as I took him out.  I could tell he was exhausted, so I went ahead and swaddled him in the miracle blanket and spent the next 1.5 hours trying to get him to go to sleep.  And by "trying to get him to go to sleep" I mean bouncing on Lilly's trampoline that she got from Santa for Christmas while holding him and shh-ing various Christmas carols to him.  True story.  He would be all but asleep, and I'd take him upstairs and the minute I put him down those little eyes would pop open wide and he'd grin at me for a few seconds before erupting into screams.  It was a fun game (for him).  I finally got him down around 9:30 and then had to clean up several rooms to try to get ready for my house to be cleaned tomorrow before I finally sat down to eat.

Lucky charms are delicious.  Wine is more delicious.  The moral of this story is that while not every night is easy, I can do it and am getting the hang of juggling these two little babes o'mine.  Of course they are worth it, but that doesn't mean that I don't often sometimes need a bottle glass of wine after they're both finally in bed.  I'm not far behind them, because based on how the past few nights have gone, I'm sure I don't have long before Craft will decide he's ready to eat.  Literally as I typed that last sentence he started to stir, am I a psychic or what?!

Happy hump day!


Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Happy Birthday, Prince Danny!

Blog posts two days in a row, what?!  Today was a very special day, friends: my baby daddy's birthday!  

31, so old.  :-)  I had grand plans to cook him dinner and make him a birthday cake, but of course the day did not go as planned, which I've found happens more often than not with a new baby!  Dan had an early meeting this morning and was out the door before the kids and I were even out of bed.  The rest of us celebrated by taking a trip to the doctor, UGH.  Just a cold for Lilly, which is what I suspected but her cough sounds absolutely horrible and I think that she's passed this nastiness along to baby brother so I wanted to make sure it wasn't anything worse.  The doctor said he thinks we're over the worst of it and answered questions about what to do for Craft should he come down with it, too.  Poor babies.

The detour to the doctor derailed my plans of going to the store and running a few errands (thank God I picked up a gift while I was out yesterday because I surely wouldn't have had time today), and I knew by the time I got home, fed Craft and did a few things around the house I'd have to choose whether to cook dinner or bake a cake.  In the end, I chose the cake - not just because clearly that's more important, but because I've made Dan the same cake every year for his birthday since we've been together: chocolate chip poundcake (Susie's recipe!) and I would have felt like the worst wife ever if I'd broken the streak.  As for dinner, Dan swung by and picked up pizza on his way home.  I've been feeling like a bad wife since I didn't cook for him, but he didn't seem to mind.  I redeemed myself with the cake, although apparently I did not properly grease both sides of the pan because half of it stayed in there, whoops.

Looks like @$$ but tastes delicious!!!
Carney took Lilly to the Dollar Store today to let her pick out some presents for Dan and Papa (whose birthday was yesterday - Happy belated, Papa!).  Thank God for Carney, seriously - we are so lucky.  They also picked up a birthday crown for Lilly to decorate.  She had a blast!

The birthday crown (and C with the photobomb)
I laughed out loud when they came home and I saw what Lilly had chosen for Dan.

Testing out one of Daddy's dollar store gifts
Carney said that Lilly picked out the football and the mustache straws all on her own, but she helped with the rest.  Does L know her Daddy, or what?  

We also made a special art project for Dan's office which I'm pretty proud of.  He's mentioned quite a few times that he wants a map of North Carolina to hang on his wall.  Anyone who has ever met my husband will understand why I would never in a million years pick that out for him, but I had an idea of how to incorporate it into his birthday gift.  Lilly made a painting (with our state colors, red and blue, even though she pitched a fit because she only wanted to paint with PINK...her mother's child for sure) and then I cut the shape of the state of NC out of her painting and framed it.  I love the way it turned out, and Dan said this was actually his favorite gift.

We had a pizza picnic in the living room together and really just had a wonderfully low-key evening.  I prayed that both kids would behave for the evening and by some miracle of God it happened, and I am so thankful.  

Big sister is the funniest!

I take back what I said before - the good behavior is probably actually the best gift of the day and the framed state probably comes in second.  I wonder if Dan now understands why his Dad requests well-behaved children every year for his birthday?  :-)  

All of the celebrating wore C slap out.
Dan, we are so thankful you were born!  You are the best friend, the best husband, and the best Daddy and we don't know what we'd do without you.  We hope you had a wonderful birthday, and we can't wait to celebrate many more.  

Happy birthday, we love you!


Monday, March 24, 2014

Motherhood is SO glamorous.

Howdy, friends.  I feel like my poor blog is so neglected.  It has been a real challenge to find time to blog several times each week like I was doing prior to C's arrival, but every week I tell myself that I need to get better about it...and I will eventually especially once this witching "hour" phase is dunzo.  ANYWAY.  Just thought I'd pop in to tell you about my glamorous day, HA.

Today was a day I've been dreading: my 6-week post-partum violation check-up.  My appointment was at 2:40, and I am not lying to you when I say it took me until 2:00 to get ready to go.  I had to get ready in shifts while C was napping because he was feeling noncooperative during his awake spells, which made me even more nervous to take him with me to the doctor.  I contemplated calling every girlfriend I know to see if someone could come keep him for me for an hour, but in the end I figured if he fussed it wouldn't be the first time people in an OB's office had heard a baby crying, so we went for it.  I held him off on eating so that he wouldn't need to eat right when I was being examined and I wouldn't let him go to sleep after that feeding until we were ready to go in hopes that he'd sleep the whole time.  He didn't sleep the whole time, but he still did great and I wondered why I was ever worried.  And speaking of eating, I fed C just before we left the house, but embarrassingly enough as soon as I put on the gown at the doctor's office I had what can only be referred to as a milksplosion.  The front of my gown was SOAKED by the time the doctor got in (and I didn't have to wait on him very long at all).  Dr. T walked in and said, "well it looks like nursing is going really well."  I told him to examine the lady lumps at his own risk and that he may want to wear a wet suit.  Ha!  Dr. T couldn't get over C and kept saying what a "fine looking boy" he is.  Everyone loved all of his chunk/squish and his hair, ha!  In case anyone cares, all is well with the lady parts (betcha didn't think that would be the case after a 9+lber, did ya?).  The only thing left to do is decide what kind of birth control to go on: the minipill (progestrin-only so as not to affect the milk supply) or an IUD.  We are undecided as to whether we are done with babies (and by "we" I mean me, because Dan says he's definitely done), but clearly I am a fertile myrtle and we are trying to avoid surprises because IF there is a number three (and that is a BIG IF at this point), we would prefer a  little more time in between.

After the doctor, C and I headed to the mall to pick up a birthday gift for Prince Danny, who turns the big 3-1 tomorrow.  Nothing like waiting til the last minute, right?  I forgot to mention that C was clearly working on a poop while we were at the doctor (complete with grunts, red face, pushes, the poop face which Dr. T found to be hilarious).  By the time we got to the mall, not only was his diaper dirty but he was starving.  I decided to feed him and then tackle the poopsplosion because he was pretty mad.  So, C and I just hung out in the mall parking lot breast feeding.  I tried to park in a place where there wasn't a lot of traffic but we still got some interesting looks.  I couldn't help but laugh at how once upon a time I would have been horrified at the thought of nursing in a mall parking lot.  The best part was when C finished eating and I went to burp him and he barfed all. over. me.  To clarify: he basically barfed into the side of my face and hair, and it went all down my front and into my shirt and puddled in my bra as well.  It was lovely.  Firstly, WHY does he only barf on me on days when I've actually washed (and in today's case, styled) my hair?!  I mean come on son, that really only happens maybe once every two weeks these days (not lying).  Secondly, how is it that I was covered in vomit and C managed to remain completely clean?  Last-minute shopping trips for Dan's birthday must be bad luck, because I seem to recall a similar experience involving a poopsplosion when I made the trek with L 2 years ago.  Fortunately, I managed to change C's diaper with minimal drama today, and we were on our way.  Unfortunately, I smelled like baby barf and looked a hot mess, but I'm sure it somehow could have been worse.

We rounded out the day with an extremely cranky toddler with an attitude and several meltdowns and, later on, a crabby baby too.  Glory.  I hoped we were in the clear on the witching "hour" tonight, but much to our dismay it was just delayed a little.  C gave us a break over the weekend and it was lovely, but we weren't as lucky today, sigh.  Both babes are in bed now and I am trying hard not to chug the enormous glass of wine my sweet husband poured for me.  Of course I love my kiddos, but my word are they a lot of work a lot of the time sometimes.

I know I have been promising a giveaway, and I am hear to tell you that it's not a lie, it will go live soon so keep watching for it!  In the mean time, I hope to get a post together at some point this week to show you all C's fabulous newborn photos taken by the always fantastic Stephanie Aldridge Photography.  And who knows, maybe I'll even go wild and write three posts this week.  Baby steps, right?

Happy Monday!


Thursday, March 20, 2014

The Witching "Hour"

The witching "hour" is a real thing, you know.  I googled it.  I think my exact google was "at what age does the witching hour end" and I was praying that the answer would be 7 weeks.  Most websites say that the witching "hour" occurs sometime between 4-10pm, and according to this website (which I actually found to be very helpful and reassuring), it peaks around 6 weeks old (happy 6 weeks today, Craft!) and ends some time between 3-4 months old (noooooooooooooo).  I love the quote from Betsy Shaw that says adults have a witching hour too, which is why God invented the cocktail hour.  Ha!

Some nights, there is no witching "hour" for Craft.  I would say that this has been the case for most of his life so far until recently.  Other nights, it only lasts 30 minutes or an hour.  And then there are nights like tonight (and seemingly every night this week) when it lasts for 3 hours (and it never fails that it always starts just before dinner and continues through the time when Lilly's bedtime routine occurs) and I want to die, which is why I keep putting "hour" in quotations because seriously it can last way more than one hour and I want to die.  It's not only frustrating but absolutely exhausting.  C is truly lucky that he's cute.

For the past two nights, Dan and I have tag-teamed it to battle this phenomenon.  Nothing works, but we still try.  On Tuesday, I thought C was just over-tired and over-stimulated, because on previous nights he had been awake (but not overly fussy) from 6pm-ish to 9pm-ish before going to sleep, but he'd slept a lot during that time period on Tuesday because we went to visit my grandparents.  On Wednesday, I learned that was not, in fact, the case because it happened again.  And then again tonight as well, and luckily for me I was by myself.  NOT.  I had to sit C in his room and let him cry for a few minutes while I put Lilly to bed.  Mother of the year, I know.  I remember this happening with Lilly, but I don't remember it being to this extent (but then again I feel like I blocked out her whole infancy and forgot everything ha!).

There are mixed theories on the cause of the witching hour.  I am convinced that for Craft, the cause is exhaustion.  He yawns the whole time but it's like he's fighting sleep.  So frustrating, because he's literally inconsolable.  It makes me want to drink heavily.

Has anyone else experienced this?  Any tips to get us through?  


Monday, March 17, 2014

The Wonder Weeks

Have y'all heard about The Wonder Weeks?  I have had several girlfriends who LOVED it, and most recently my sister-in-law gave it rave reviews, so I decided to check it out.  There is a book, but I have found that I don't have too much time to read lately (ha!) so I downloaded the app instead.

Essentially, it takes the due date of your baby and calculates the development of his or her brain based on the due date.  Based on the date and brain development, it outlines all of the developmental "leaps" that your child is taking through week 76.5.  It gives you an idea of what your child is going through cognitively and provides a possible explanation for any changes in behavior, and then gives tips on how to comfort baby and help them through these "leaps."  

This week, for example, Craft is dealing with changing sensations.  

He is far more interested in the world around him and can see things a lot better, and he's responding more to his surroundings.  He's looking at things for longer periods of time, giving social smiles, and is more awake and "busy" in general.  This results in sometimes crying for no reason (YES), only wanting mama (double yes), wanting more physical contact (ummm yes), wanting to nurse more often (seriously have you seen him?), etc.  

Anyway, probably all of this is super nerdy, but I've found it to be very helpful and right on point, so if you're a mama or mama-to-be you should definitely check it out.

I meant to do a weekend update today but ran out of time and now am wayyyyyyyy too tired, so maybe tomorrow.  Hope your Monday was great!


Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Nursing Essentials

Howdy friends!

I took a mental break yesterday and instead of blogging I made an effort all day to take a nap after Sunday night aka the night from hell (Am I alone in loathing daylight savings now that I have kids?), but I swear Craft can sense it when I'm close to being asleep because it never fails that he's ready to wake up and eat play.  Luckily for him, he's cute.

I have been meaning to write a post on things that I've found helpful related to nursing, and I have had several requests for this over the last few days alone so I figured it was about time.  I hope that this list will be helpful for nursing mamas as well as mamas-to-be who are trying to figure out what to put on their registry.  Who knows, maybe it will even help a few gift givers!  If I have any male readers (unlikely), you may want to skip this one, ha!

I've broken the post up into "for nursing" and "for pumping" to make it easier to follow.  Below are the list of my favorite items related to breast feeding - things that make my life easier and more comfortable on a day-to-day basis.

1 & 2:  A good nursing bra.  I cannot stress this enough.  When I was nursing Lilly, I bought a bunch of cheapy nursing bras from Target and they did the trick, but I HATED them.  They offered no support at all and really did not fit well.  I felt like I didn't want to spend a ton of money on a good nursing bra in case breastfeeding didn't work out, and if you recall, for the first three months with Lilly  it did not go well, so I just used what I had and then after that for the most part I just wore normal bras and lifted them up when L nursed - also not ideal.  This time around, I knew I needed to do something differently.  The two brands that were the most highly recommended by girlfiends (and also had the best reviews everywhere I looked) were Bravado and Anita.  After I narrowed down the brands, I just went on Amazon and read reviews to determine which bra to get.  I purchased Bravado style #1401 and Anita style #5068 (hyperlinks in numbers above) to start with and I really like both for different reasons:

  • The Anita that I chose has underwire so I chose that as a "dress up" bra for when I am going in public (read: changing out of my yoga pants or PJ's and leaving the house, ha).  I like it - it is very well made and very comfortable and has good support - but I will note that there is NO padding to this bra, so I can't wear it without wearing nursing pads.  Also, I find it to be a little more difficult to maneuver nursing with the underwire but it's the price you pay to feel a little more like a normal person I guess. 
  • I LOVE the Bravado.  There is not one thing that's sexy about it, though - just want to put that out there up front - but it is so comfortable, has plenty of padding (there is a removable/washable nursing pad included but I am a cow so I typically supplement with a disposable anyway) and plenty of support.  This is my go-to bra and hands down the one I choose to wear most of (like 99.9% of) the time.  I can't recommend it enough.
I realize that both of these bras are on the pricey side, but I am telling you they're worth the investment.

3: Nursing pads.  TMI alert: I am not sure whether it's because I'm practically a cow or what, but I would never have a dry shirt without these fellas.  I prefer Johnson & Johnson's disposable version because I've found them to be the  most absorbent and I don't have to worry about washing them all of the time, but I know plenty of women who love the reusable ones. To each his own, I say.

4:  Nipple cream.  I don't need this as much now, but when my girls and I were getting used to nursing again this came in handy.  I swear by Lickety Split Healing Balm, which I bought on recommendation from a girlfriend (thanks Michelle!) at A Milky Way in Charlotte, NC (you can order online or call the store and they'll send it to you, or you can send your poor father to the breastfeeding store with a list before he comes to Raleigh to meet your baby - thanks and sorry Daddy!).  This balm is all natural, so you don't have to worry about what baby may be ingesting, and if there is a "flavor" to it, it doesn't seem to bother Craft (it didn't bother Lilly either).  I'm not sure whether it's the lavender in it or something else, but I found this cream to be so soothing, especially if you refrigerate it.  It's not too greasy like many of the other creams, and I've used it on a number of other things not related to nursing as well (dry skin, chapped lips, etc.).  Bonus: it smells wonderful!  Again, a little pricey, but worth the investment in my opinion - and it lasts forever because you don't need to use too much at a time!  I have started giving this as a gift to girlfriends after their babies are born and I've had nothing but rave reviews so far.

5:  Soothies.  I would not say that these are a necessity, but I think they are very helpful in making you comfortable in the first weeks of nursing, especially if you keep them cool by storing them in the fridge. I think that most hospital lactation consultants will give these to you, and I think you can buy them most anywhere.  I knew what I was doing this time around, and C latched and nursed like a champ from the very beginning, so I didn't see a lactation consultant this time around and didn't even think to ask a nurse for a set.  I (read: my Dad, ha) purchased mine at A Milky Way and I store them in the fridge at all times.

6:  A nursing pillow.  I have both the Boppy and the My Brest Friend.  Again, personal preference here, but I prefer the Brest Friend hands down over the Boppy, at least in the beginning.  When babies are little I've found that the Boppy is more slouchy and they can kind of fall down in between your body and the pillow, where as the Brest Friend straps around and sits up higher.  I do recommend the Boppy, though, for propping baby up and for tummy time.  

7:  A good nursing cover is helpful to have on hand.  The second time around, I have not been NEARLY as modest and rarely cover up when I'm in my home no matter who is here visiting (ha!), but these are good to keep in the diaper bag for when baby is hungry and you're in public.  I've tried a few and prefer the bebe au lait covers.  They're roomy and provide enough room at the neck so that you can still see baby easily.  Plus, they have cute patterns. Unfortunately for Craft, ours is left over from big sister and is purple and pink and floral patterned.  :-)

8:  I like to wear nursing tanks at night and around the house.  I typically still wear a nursing bra with them (especially if we'll have company, ha) because I have found that the tanks aren't super supportive, but they're comfy and easy and actually they are pretty good for layering if you're going to be out in public.  I just have a few of the Gilligan and O'Malley brand from Target, and they work fine.  Anita and Bravado both make nursing tanks, but I didn't see the need to spend $50 each on those when I'd already invested in good bras.  Again, personal preference.

9:  A breast pump.  I have the Medela Freestyle, and I can't say enough wonderful things about it - I hate pumping, but love this pump.  If you are going to be pumping at all, it is worth it to invest in a good one - it will make your life so much easier in the long run.  I think that Medela makes the best pumps on the market, hands down.  I like the Freestyle because it's small and easily portable, and it helps I am not chained to an outlet because it's easier to multitask while pumping.  I have also heard great things about the Pump In Style, which is slightly cheaper (apparently the suction is also slightly better, but I've never used one so I can't speak to that).  I can also speak from experience when I say that Medela's customer service is phenomenal.  Plus, how happy does that lady look in the picture, pumping and working?!  If only it were that glamorous, ha!  

I should note here that under the Affordable Care Act your insurance will currently provide you with a pump - it may not be a Medela, but any pump is better than no pump for sure.  I've been surprised at how many people don't know about this - so call your insurance company and see what they have to say!

10:  A pumping bra.  When I was first pumping with Lilly, I just had a generic Medela bra and it was fine, until Jen changed my life with the discovery of the Simple Wishes Hands Free Breastpump Bra.  I promise you, ladies, this bra will change your life.  I like the fact that it is adjustable as well - the velcro is the strongest ever - and it helps to maintain a snug fit.  You do not have to have a hands-free pump to use a hands-free bra, either, FYI.  If you are pumping at all, no matter what pump you have, do yourself a favor and go buy this bra right now.  I'm serious.  You can thank me later.

11:  Milk storage bags.  I have used both the Lansinoh and the Medela.  The Lansinoh are bigger and cheaper, so in theory, I wanted to like them more, and I did at first.  HOWEVER, when I used them with Lilly, I had problems with the Lansinoh bags leaking milk everywhere when they thawed, and I know that anyone who has ever nursed for any period of time will understand me when I say that the leaking caused me to want to light a house on fire.  I never had any leaking issues with the Medela bags, so this time around I've stuck with them so far, although I do wish they made a bigger bag.  Allegedly you can pump straight into the Medela bags if you have a Medela pump, but I've never done that - mainly because I can't figure out how to do so but also partially because most times I pump more than the bag will hold.  Cow, I tell you.

Just a few more helpful tips before I go:

A note on pump parts: make sure you have at least one extra set.  I think I have 4 or 5, which may be overkill but it's nice to be able to leave a set at work, or to not have to wait on the one set you own to be clean before pumping when you can just use your spare set.  And speaking of cleaning, you don't have to wash/sterilize pump parts after every use.  Make sure to check out my post on pumping for more helpful tips.

Also, a note on what you don't need: any sort of fancy milk freezing storage kit.  When I was pregnant with Lilly, I registered for and received this set and it wasn't until I was actually pumping that I realized what a waste of money that was.  For starters, those beaker things are pretty small, and I know this isn't the case with everyone but I always pumped more than they would hold so I was always having to try to figure out how to change them while pumping and making a total mess (and wasting precious milk!) in the process.  Additionally, those little bottle/beaker things take up a lot more room in your freezer than the storage bags, which lay flat and can stack on top of each other.

Lastly, if you are registering, test out whatever bottles you're thinking of buying in the store to see whether they'll fit your pump parts.  Dan did that when we were registering for L and I thought he was insane, but we went with Dr. Brown's bottles partially because we opened the pump parts and realized that the Dr. Brown's bottles will fit the Medela pump, so I can pump straight into them.  Double win for double usage.

Whew, this was a long one but I hope that someone, somewhere will find it to be helpful.  I love things that will make my life easier and I also love trying new things (even nerdy breastfeeding things), so if I missed anything or there is a product you love that I haven't mentioned, make sure to let me know!  I should also note that this post is not sponsored, and all opinions are my own and are based on my experience with nursing and pumping.

I am off to enjoy the sunshine on another day of glorious weather, I am so ready for it to warm up permanently that I can't stand it!


Sunday, March 9, 2014

The best day.

Our whole weekend was great, honestly, but today was especially wonderful.  Maybe it's because it's Layla's birthday...

Happy birthday to my sweet firstborn (not by me, obviously), Layla.  You have brought so much joy to our family over the past 6 years and we love you so much, sweet girl!
...or it could be a result of the fact that the weather today was absolutely phenomenal.  Probably it's a combination of both.  Today was just...fantastic.  I probably shouldn't jinx it by putting it in writing on the online, but Craft was only up once overnight (around 4:00 or 4:30) after going to bed around 10:00 for the second night in a row, so I feel a little more rested than I have felt in a while.  Everyone slept in this morning (even with the clocks moving forward an hour), and Meagan and Kinsley had breakfast with us and then we had a fun visit from Jen and Elle.

Kins (10 mos) and Craft (1 month).  She's so little and he's so big!  
After that, it was party time!  We headed to the Museum of Life and Science in Durham to celebrate our sweet friend Winsley turning one.  The party was awesome, and I can't wait for Quinn to blog about it because I know she got some adorable pictures.  We've never been to the museum before but it is really amazing and we had a blast.  Lilly especially loved playing with one of her favorite people in the whole world, Ellington.

Silly girls!

We were having so much fun that we decided to forego L's nap so that we could spend more time at the museum.  I was afraid that between the time change and the lack of nap it would be a long evening for us, but L was surprisingly fine.  We got home around 4:30 and spent some time outside and then enjoyed a short visit from Dan's parents.  

I told Dan that I feel like I am finally adjusting to my new role as mama of two.  That is an entirely different blog post in itself, but today I just felt really happy and optimistic about things.  Maybe I was just in a state of euphoria that we managed to get ourselves out of the house and to a public gathering alive and (mostly) unscathed (who cares if we were half an hour late because the squish needed to eat?), but I felt like today was the first day where I didn't worry with guilt that one child or the other isn't getting enough attention, or that there aren't enough hours in the day, etc. etc.  It probably helped that there were minimal meltdowns and both children were in exceptional moods.  At the same time.  #Winning.

I just put little man down and am heading to bed right behind him in the case that the past two nights have been a fluke.  :-)  I'll leave you with a few more photos of what we were up to the rest of the weekend.

Saturday morning, Dan took Lilly on a donut date.  This girl llllooovvveeeessss donuts.  

The Krispy Kreme folks loved that L was still in her jammies so they gave her a donut hole while she waited.

Did I mention that she llooovveeessss donuts?
After breakfast, Dan and L ran some errands.  Craft spent the morning snoozing, so I took the opportunity to wash and sanitize the rest of our baby toys.  I'd already washed all of the cloth ones, so all that was left was the plastics.  I probably need to do a deep clean of the rest of the toys in the playroom at some point, but baby toys were enough for one morning.  Such a glamorous way to spend a free Saturday morning, yes?

Did I mention that our weather this weekend was glorious?!  We spent a lot of time outside.  

C really digs being outside.

L digs being outside, too.  And popcorn.
Meagan snapped this next series of photos of C and I, and I'm glad because I realized I forgot to take a photo of him in his cute overalls.

Hope your weekend was great as well!


Friday, March 7, 2014

Craft: One Month Stats

Happy Friday, friends!

The weather here is rainy, cold and disgusting.  We've been promised warmer temperatures starting tomorrow and lasting for a few days, and I am so excited I can't stand it.  I may just set up a tent and camp outside.  Craft and I went to pick L up from preschool earlier today and I am sure I looked like a hot mess and provided other parents some entertainment trying to wrestle myself + an infant in a stroller + a two-year-old with all of her belongings (attitude included) + an enormous umbrella in an attempt to keep us all dry out of daycare and into the car.   By the time I finally got myself into the car (cold and soaking wet,  might I add) I felt the need for a serious drink or four.  Anyway, I digress.

We took Craft to see Dr. V this morning for his official one-month checkup.  

Waiting to see Dr. V.  Look at those arm rolls!!!  And boobies hehehe.
I think it's safe to say that homeboy is the definition of chunk!  Dr. V came in the room and said, "I  mean, really.  We need to have a serious talk about this child's failure to thrive.  What are you, producing straight chocolate milk?"  

Craft's official one-month stats are as follows:  

Height: 22 1/4" (75%)
Weight: 13 lbs 8.5 oz (> 97%)
Head: 15 3/4 (85%)

Did you see that weight?!?!?!  Let me show it to you another way.  These are the growth charts, which they printed for us because they got a kick out of them:

Do you spy the dot that is Craft?

Just LOL.
So, yeah, I think it's safe to say that my sweet, big boy is nursing well.  :-)  Dr. V is not concerned in the least - L was not quite as hefty as Craft is, but I remember that she was gaining pretty quickly at this point as well and she turned out just fine (except for the aforementioned 2-year-old attitude, Lord help us!).  

Re: sleeping, Dr. V said that to be one month old and as big as C is, I should be ecstatic that he's giving us a 4-5 hour stretch every night and that it's still normal for him to want to eat every 2-ish hours for the remainder of the day.  Her actual response when I asked whether we should be concerned about his weight was, "What are you gonna do, not feed him?"  Hilarious.  She asked if I've been famished, which is also hilarious because I just told Dan this morning I feel like a bottomless pit, I eat all of the time.  Dr. V said she bets I am burning at LEAST 600 calories/day just feeding Craft (not including pumping), so that was consistent with her expectations.  We told her how Craft gags when you try to put basically anything in his mouth other than the boob (bottle, finger, paci) and she laughed and said she bets he'll be one of those babies that starts on solids at 4-months but won't eat them because he's so gaggy.  Somehow based on his size and how much he likes to eat, I doubt that.  :-)  But I guess we'll see!

The only other funny thing she told us was in relation to us telling her how noisy Craft is.  Seriously y'all, I've never heard anything like it.  He does this squeaking thing when he nurses, and he squawks all of the time and grunts and just breathes loudly in general - it's pretty funny.  Anyway, Dr. V said she wouldn't have told us this if we were first time parents, but that Craft has what she and another doctor in the practice refer to as "TFTB" aka "too fat to breathe."  It's SO TRUE, he sounds like a little bulldog!  I'll try to get a video of this phenomenon at some point because it's kind of loud cute.

Otherwise, the appointment was pretty uneventful.  She checked him out and confirmed for us that all is well, we had a few questions and then he got a shot.  Sad face.

Thunder thighs!  And shot bandaid.  :-(

Happy that the "shots" part of the day is over.
Not too much else to report here, just wanted to drop in really quickly and give an update for the sake of documentation.  I'll leave you with some sweetness from my babies yesterday:

Lilly: "Mommy, I want Craft to lay with me."  

L looks happier about this situation than C does!
Hope your weekend is wonderful!  We have some exciting things coming up on my little blog, so be sure to stay tuned and I promise to try to get back to posting more consistently.  


Thursday, March 6, 2014

Craft: Four Weeks (One Month!) Old

Oh  my gah, y'all.  It is already Thursday.  And by Thursday, I mean it's already March.  And I'm yet again a day late on sweet Craft's update.  Also, the nerd in me thinks it is nifty that Craft's four week birthday fell on March 5, which also happened to be the same as his one month birthday (since he was born February 5).  I assume that's has something to do with leap years, but what do I know?  Anyway, these are always lengthy as is every other thing I've ever written so let's get to it!

Weight/Length:  I have no idea on length, I'll report back after our official one-month-old doctor appointment tomorrow.  I can tell you that when I had to take the little squish to the doctor because we were sick over the weekend, he weighed 12 lbs 11 oz.  Yes, you read that correctly.  Chuuuuuunnnkkk!  Dan and I have decided that he is kind of square-shaped.  Such a sweet little squishy boy, just love him!

Sleep:  Honestly, this changes every day so I'm not sure what to report here, ha.  The most consistent thing Craft has been doing is giving me a 4 or 5-hour stretch starting around 9pm and then getting up to eat literally every 2 hours for the rest of the day (so starting around 2am) but sleeping quite a bit in between.  He has been sleeping a lot during the day (especially in the morning and then again in the late afternoon), but never for 4-5 hours at a time during the day time like Lilly was at this stage.  Today I've been working hard to keep him up for at least an hour after feedings before letting him get back to sleep, so we'll see if that changes anything tonight.  I should also mention that Craft is still sleeping in his room, but he spends part of the night in the mamaroo and part of the night in his crib.  He seems to sleep longer in the mamaroo, and I am digging that one long stretch so I'm letting it happen.  For now.  :-)  And still sleeping sans swaddle and on his side.

Feeding:  Craft has mostly been eating every 2ish hours on the dot except for that one long sleep stretch I mentioned above.  Sometimes it's a little less than two hours, sometimes a little more.  He also wants to cluster feed in the evenings and during the witching hour, but I've been trying to hold him off more and more because I've found that sometimes he doesn't actually want to eat, just suck, but he'll eat anyway and then have an upset tummy and then be difficult.  No bueno.  He will take the paci occasionally but for the most part he hates it so that's not really a good alternative for us.

As an update to our bottle drama, C still doesn't like it one bit and fights us pretty hard, but after a little screaming bloody murder coercing Dan has been able to get him to take the Comotomo for the past two nights now (forget me even trying to give him a bottle, he will not have it if I am close).  The doctor we saw on Sunday for C's sick visit said that we need to keep trying every day because the longer C goes refusing the bottle, the harder it is going to be to get him to take it, and that's not good for anyone.  He also said that if C gets hungry enough, he'll take it, so not to feel bad about letting him cry a little bit (easier said than done for sure).  With that said, we're still trying to get him to take a small bottle (I have been giving him a half an ounce or an ounce - just enough to get him used to it but not enough so that I'll have to pump because I'm lazy) once/day.  I've had several people recommend the Lansinoh mOmma bottle so I ordered one of those and we'll try it tonight.  Fingers crossed he'll get the hang of it by next week, when he's staying with a sitter for the first time!

Firsts This Week:  First sick visit to the doctor due to first illness (stomach bug, ugh!).  Sad panda.  Luckily everyone is feeling better, though!

Developments:  Craft seems to just be honing the skills he's been working on for the past month.  He's still working on that head control and getting stronger seemingly by the day.  He lifts it all the way up off of the ground during tummy time!  He finds his hands/fingers often and sucks on them - it remains to be seen whether I'll have another thumb sucker. 

Found that thumb again! 
He is awake for longer periods of time and will make eye contact.  He seems to be trying to figure out what the purpose of is tongue is, he makes the silliest faces!  

Silly face.  Probably pooping.
Whether accidental or not, C is also batting the toys on his play mat quite a bit, and tries to roll onto his side from his back.

Likes:  More of the same here: sleeping. eating. having a clean diaper.  bath, particularly hair washing. piano play mat.  bouncy seat. swing. mamaroo. pooping. changing activities frequently so he isn't bored. being outside (the one day this week when the weather was nice). watching big sister do her thing. watching layla. watching the action in general. snuggling. music.  and more eating.

Dislikes:  Again, more of the same: cold. hungry. hiccups. burping (seriously if you can get this kid to burp in less than 23984723894 minutes I'd like to know how). I'll leave off "the process of diaper changing" this week because he actually doesn't seem to mind it...unless he's hungry.

What I'm Thankful For:  My parents!  They were real life savers over the weekend when C and I were sick.  I got some sort of vomiting stomach thing on Saturday and was miserable.  I assumed it was something I ate, because I literally had no other symptoms.  Mom and Dad were in town for a visit, and Dan and Lilly left on Saturday to go to Concord for my niece's birthday party (they spent the night).  Mom and Dad took care of Craft for me so that I could sleep - I would wake up to feed him and then go back upstairs to sleep until the next feeding - and it was so nice to try to take care of myself and not worry that I was neglecting the poor babe.  I was hoping it would prevent C from getting sick - unfortunately we weren't so lucky there - but I honestly don't know what I would have done if Mom and Dad hadn't been here, especially since Dan and Lilly were gone!  I am also so, SO thankful that Mom doesn't appear to have gotten what I had.  We don't need any delays in chemo!  And finally, I'm thankful for our pediatrician's office for being wonderful in general and also for having weekend sick hours so that Craft could be seen on Sunday.

What I'm Looking Forward To:  My "little brother" Jason is marrying Rebecca next weekend, and we're so excited to make the trip to Charlotte!  Craft will get to meet a lot of family and friends, so that will also be fun.  AND the glorious weather we are supposed to have this weekend and into next week.  Bring on spring!  Peace out winter weather, snow and ice!

Next Pediatrician Appointment:  Tomorrow morning - Friday, March 7 at 9:55a.  Can't wait for the report card!

How Mommy's Doing:  Pretty good!  Within 2 lbs of my pre-pregnancy weight, which made me feel good until I tried to squeeze into some pre-pregnancy jeans.  I must be a glutton for punishment because I just read that I did the same thing around this time after L was born as well.  There were lots of curse words.  And tears.  And I'll be sticking with maternity jeans until I can get to the store to buy some fat jeans.  Ha!  There have still been some moments where I've felt overwhelmed this week, but I seem to be having less of them - I feel like I'm starting to get the hang of things a little bit.  I've had a TON of help from Dan, whom I cannot say enough nice things about during this whole process.  My next goal is to try to cook dinner a few nights a week.  Baby steps!

Without further ado, photos from the past week:

Big sis L asked baby bro C if he wanted to play "Memory" with her and she even gave him her favorite card!

Loves a bath!

Morning snuggles.  Love this pic.

Sweet dreamin'
I just love this outfit!

Mimi and her babies

And here are some photos I snapped with my iPhone of C wearing his "one month" onesie, courtesy of Mae Mae (thank you!!!):

As you can see, the photo shoot did not amuse him for long.  I'll be back tomorrow if I get a few minutes with an update from the doctor.  Booooo shots!


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