Monday, September 8, 2014

Six months

This little nugget turned six months old on Sunday!


































I cannot even put into words what Jackson adds to our family.  He is the happiest, snuggliest and funniest little boy.
This little meatball loves his sister, and she's the only one who can really make him giggle by doing nothing at all.  She sneezes, he laughs.  She shrieks, he laughs.  When I say nothing, I mean she doesn't try to make him laugh, pretty much her existence makes him laugh.
Everyone comments on how big he is.  And the kid his huge.  We weighed him on our bathroom scale and he was 20 pounds last night.  At his doctor's appointment today, he was 19 pounds, which is what Lucy weighed at one!

I'm not sure if it's a boy vs. girl thing, or what, but we have been more successful with breastfeeding, so I think that has a lot to do with it.  
We got clearance to start solid foods, so tonight he had his first taste of oatmeal.  I was too busy manning the spoon to get pics, but Andy did, so I'll have to get my hands on those.  I think it's safe to say he enjoyed it, and kept grabbing the spoon.  He needed a bath right after, that's for sure.

He's a pro at rolling over both ways, and has started scooting backwards on his tummy.  It's really only a matter of time until he's crawling!
I can't wait to see what the next six months hold for this little nugget!  

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Pumpkin spice and NICU beds

Lucy turned two on Monday, which has drummed up a bunch of different, somewhat fleeting, feelings for me over the past week.
The feels get me at the most randomest times, and make me think of all of the things Andy and I had to endure two years ago.
I ordered my first Pumpkin Spice iced coffee from Starbucks last week, and it took me right back to Lucy's first week home.
Pumpkin Spice syrup always comes out around the first week of September, and being sleep deprived, Andy and I hit up the drive through what seemed like almost every day during her first few weeks home.  
I think from now until she's all grown-up, Pumpkin Spice will make me think of baby Lucy (and they better still have it then!)
The past few weeks, every time I've driven north on Highway 65 from Roseville, I think of sitting in the backseat on the way home from the hospital, with Lucy next to me.
And just driving past Kaiser Roseville, but especially visiting it for doctor's appointments, always make me think of the week I spent there after she was born.
Her whole birth experience was exciting, scary, fun and traumatizing all at the same time.  I look at the photo on the left and I am just so thankful that everything turned out well in the end.  Seeing my little baby hooked up to tubes and wires was terrifying, and not knowing if she was going to be okay for the first few days was something I wouldn't wish upon anyone. There are days that I sometimes take for granted the silly, vibrant and smart two-year-old I have (especially when she's being mischievous) but then I think of how bad things could have gone and I thank my lucky stars.
The cooler mornings we've been having remind me of waking up and hobbling down three stories with milk I'd pumped the night before to the NICU so Andy and I could change her diaper, take her temperature and attempt to nurse her and then give her the milk I'd brought with me.  
We'd hang out for awhile, I'd pump and we would wait for the doctor to make his rounds so we could hear about her platelet and white blood cell counts and how close we would be to taking her home.
For the six days she was in NICU, it was pretty much a lather, rinse, repeat type of thing.  Wake up, pump, go down to the NICU for a few hours, go upstairs and take a nap or relax until the next feeding.  We would do that until 8 p.m., and I would skip going down for the midnight and four a.m. feedings, and sorry not sorry, because I needed my sleep!  I feel a little guilty saying this, but when we had Jackson, I sort of missed skipping the early morning feedings like I did with her because he roomed with me.
I think about watching "Friends" during my middle of the night pumping session, and making fun of the show "I Didn't Know I Was Pregnant" with Andy.  I mean, who doesn't know they are pregnant until they give birth to a full term baby in a toilet?  Come on!
I think of our supportive family bringing us food for lunch and dinner.
I remember before we had Lucy our dogs were our babies, and I sent Andy home each night so the boys wouldn't be lonely.  And once I'd been discharged going home to see them, and they were so happy, and I burst into tears because I felt like I was more worried about my dogs than my baby at the time.
But even though she was in the NICU, I always knew she would be okay and I think that's what got me through such a scary time.  Sure, the thought that maybe her platelet count wouldn't go up crossed my mind, but as her numbers kept going up and up, I knew she was going to be okay.  Life would be a little hard for awhile with having to keep her isolated form other people, but that was a temporary and necessary measure to keep her healthy.
And in the end, it totally paid off, and we have a loud, opinionated and smart toddler running around our house.  I cannot wait to see what the next year brings for our little girl!  

Sunday, August 17, 2014

My little myna bird

Elmo's World just came on, so I've got about ten minutes to write and have a cup of coffee before Lucy gets bored again and Jackson wakes up.  I lead a glamorous life.
Before I had kids, I knew we would one day have to be careful about how much we said the F-word and other delights around children.
But I never considered how quick they pick up on every day things you say around them.
Mainly, the things I say over and over again in response to her daily shenanigans.
And I've learned based on what she's repeating, I'm doing things right because she's not repeating swear words or the word no.
For example.
She's been yelling "Back!" at everything from the dogs to other kids we see when out and about, so my response has been, "Hey, be nice."
So when she's playing or winding down for a nap, she shrieks, "Back!!" followed by, "Hey, be nice."
Or she'll shout out that she wants something, like a snack or to go outside, and if it's time to do whatever it is she's demanding, I'll say, "Say please, nicely," which is followed up by a "please nicely."
I started this post two days ago and had a bunch of examples in my head, but they've since flown the coop.  My brain isn't nearly what it was before I had children, so pardon me.  : )
Hope you all are having a nice Sunday!  
We had breakfast at our favorite place, Awful Annie's and went to take a look at the house we are hoping to buy soon.   Sunday always goes by so fast.  Sigh.


Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Two

Last night, we picked the date, time and place for Lucy's 2nd birthday party.
I cannot believe she is turning two, any more than I can't believe Jackson turns six months next month, let alone that I have TWO kids now.  Two.  Damn.
We will not be doing the crazy big blowout we did for her birthday last  year.  This year we're keeping it simple with immediate family and close friends at a local park.
Since she's crazy about Sesame Street (mostly Elmo), I'm going to be making an Elmo cake and some sort of Sesame Street themed cupcakes.
We're also going to have a pinata for the older kids who will be going, but Andy brought up a good point, we should get one that is not in the shape of an animal or person, so we don't freak Lucy out.  
I'm pretty sure she would lose her shit if she saw her cousins and friends going after an Elmo pinata.  No good.
Excuse me while I go cry in a corner about the fact that in a few short weeks I'm going to have a two year old.  It seems like yesterday we were driving to the hospital for my c-section, and now she's doing this:




































And this:














Here's my sweet girl right after she was born:

















And at her one-year check-up:
Time flies fast, kids.  Hug your babies, because one day they'll be independent and (sometimes) stinky toddlers.  

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Dog days

It's hot.
I'm really looking forward to these 100 degree days going buh-bye.  Nonetheless, we've been keeping busy.
Yesterday we headed out to the park at 9 a.m. to beat the heat, and we went to my favorite park because it's surrounded by a gate and all of the equipment is no more than two feet off of the ground.

The gate is key.  I attempted to have a play date a few weeks so I could get some adult interaction with a friend, and I ended up ping-ponging across the park since I had a runner on my hands.  I'm totally glad I learned to babywear early!  Jackson was strapped happily to my chest as I ran.  One of the other moms said she was tired just watching me.
I've learned the key to my sanity during the day is getting Lucy out of the house and active at some point during the day.
I can't believe I ever thought being a stay-at-home mom to an infant was hard.  It's so much harder with a toddler some day, especially with a baby around.
Lucy is so smart and needs to be engaged in some sort of activity most of the time, so I've been scouring Pinterest for toddler-friendly educational and fun activities to keep her brain active.  We recently took a family trip to Toys R Us and loaded up on Play Dough and Duplo blocks, which she loves.  The "terrible" part of this age tends to come out on days that we don't get outside and spend one-on-one time doing arts and crafts or playing.  This can be an incredibly fun age, but it can also be extremely frustrating.  I think once she learns to listen when we ask her not to do things (like huck her plate and fistfuls of food to the ground when she's done eating, stand on the table or empty out the utensil drawer) things will be a bit easier.  Hopefully I didn't just jinx myself ; ). 
Jackson is getting more active, too, so he's been spending more time wiggling around on a blanket on the floor.  He lights up whenever he sees his sister, which is pretty cute.  

In the afternoons we like to spend time by the (kiddie) pool, which all four kids enjoy.

As much as I'd like for the summer heat to be gone, I don't want time to go too fast.  Lucy is going to be two in a month and Jackson is growing like a weed.  Pretty soon my babies won't be babies anymore and that's just sad.  Hope you all are having a good summer, too!

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

New Years resolution fail

I was looking back at old posts and stumbled upon my first blog of the year, proclaiming that I'd be blogging at least twice a week.
We are now six months into the year, so I figured I'd see where I'm at with that whole resolution thing.
I started out pretty good, up until about March and it all went downhill from there.  Well, I did have a baby, so that might have something to do with it.
My hats are off to those bloggers who have a baby and continue to blog just as much as they did before baby.  
I think part of the problem is sometimes I just don't know what to write about.  My life consists of changing diapers, feeding kids, grocery shopping, trips to the library/park with the occasional book read and Netflix binge.  It's exciting in it's own way, but there isn't a lot of variety.  I guess what I'm saying is you can only blog about child antics so much before it gets boring.  Before anyone feels sorry for me, I signed up for this, and once Jackson is a few months older we'll be back doing the fun stuff we used to do.
I think I need a hobby, though.  Sigh.  
I always seem to have ideas in my head for what to slap up here, but can't find the time to write.
Which is silly, because that's what I'm doing right now.  Lucy and Jackson are both napping, which is perfect time.
But then mommy/wife guilt starts to set in during times I could be writing.
In the morning after breakfast we either run errands or head to the park/library to burn some energy out of Lucy.  When we don't go out, I try to get some housework or diaper laundry done, but I will admit sometimes I find myself relaxing and looking at Facebook or Instagram or Bloglovin'. Or BabyCenter message boards, when I need a drama fix.
In a nutshell, I feel like if it's not intellectually or physically stimulating Lucy or getting things accomplished around the house, I probably shouldn't be doing it.
After the kids go to bed, I either finish up chores around the house, pump, collapse on the couch to play Candy Crush and watch TV, or pass out for the night.
But I love writing and sharing information with people, so I'm going to make an honest effort about blogging more.  
If I'm not careful I might completely lose myself in Babyland, and that's no good for anyone.  So I guess therapeutic blogging, right?
Plus, reading back over the past year of blogs was fun, and it would be neat to have a record of what we did to go back to.
Hopefully I haven't been to emo here.  If I have, forgive me.  I has lots of feels lately.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Second kid vs. first kid

No, this isn't a post about having them fight each other in some sort of boxing match or even comparing who was/is a "good" baby. (Seriously one of my pet peeves though.  What baby isn't good?  I always have to fight the sarcasm down when someone asks if Jackson is a good baby.)

They say you are more relaxed with the second kid, and I've gotta tell you, "they" are totally correct.  

My parenting style with Jackson is a little bit different than it was with Lucy when she was a baby.


Sleeping arrangements:  Lucy either slept in her crib, or pack and play, but never in our bed, until she was well past one year old.  The first few weeks of her life, I pretty much exclusively pumped, so Andy usually fed her middle of the night bottles, and I still got up in the MOTN to pump.  By the time I was nursing her 75% of the time, she was pretty much sleeping through the night.  Jackson has been nursed from day one, though he still gets bottles throughout the day.  During his first week of life, he slept all day and was up, hungry ALL night.  Which meant I wasn't sleeping at night.  That was fine during the two weeks Andy was off, but once he went back to work, I was going to need to be able to function during the day so I could care for Lucy.  So after one week of sleepless nights, we decided to get a bed rail and have Jackson sleep with me at night.  At first I was against this, but after doing careful research we learned that mother's have an awareness at night when their baby sleeps with them, which prevents them from rolling onto the baby.  So I'd basically latch Jackson on, he'd eat and I would fall asleep, and then he would fall asleep until the next feeding.  Lather, rinse, repeat.  Starting at around six weeks, I've been putting him in his bassinet (next to our bed) at the start of the night, bringing him to bed with me when he wakes.  Now he sleeps from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m., so he really only sleeps in our bed until Lucy wakes at 7 a.m. and we start our day.

NIP'ing (or nursing in public):  This is something I can say I never did with Lucy.  I was just never comfortable with it, and since we had been giving her formula since her days in the NICU, I gave her formula when we were out.  I figured nursing her at home was enough, and we were giving her formula anyway, so why not.  Although my milk supply isn't as strong as I'd like it to be, and Jackson does get some formula during the day, I'm so much more protective of my supply this time around since I'd like to make it to a year or more of breastfeeding.  I'm not one of the brave ladies who nurses without a cover, but if we are out of the house for longer than two hours, I don't hesitate to nurse him.  We've nursed at the zoo, at the park, at the library during Mother Goose on the Loose, and several times at restaurants.  It's feeling less and less weird as we go.



Cloth diapering:  We intended to cloth diaper Lucy, but got lazy.  Oh heck, and we received so many diapers at the baby shower that she was probably three months old by the time we ran out.  But after three months of having two kids in diapers, realized it's so expensive and we'd be dumb not to.  Jackson's diapers just came in this week, and as soon as we run out of disposables, it's cloth all the way.  Oh, and Andy needs to assemble a diaper sprayer first.  I tried out the cloth dipes yesterday, and it was all good until Jackson pooped.  And I had to dunk and swish.  Google it.

One thing that hasn't changed:


We still very much include Brody and Cartman when it comes to their human siblings. : )