Clothes bros

When I first found out that I wouldn’t be having a baby girl, I was a bit disappointed that I’d never be able to dress one of my children in pants with ruffles on the bum or headbands with bows or pink tutus.

Happily, I’ve found a pretty satisfying alternative for my boys: matching!!

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I’m sure my older son will only tolerate this for a short while before he finds it terribly uncool, so I plan to enjoy this while I can.

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Emerging

After almost two weeks, I’m finally starting to emerge from the fog of illness. I have to say, there’s nothing worse than feeling awful when you have little ones to care for.

Although I still have a disgusting cough (which is gross and mucousy in the mornings but dry and hacking at night), the rest of my symptoms have pretty much gone away. I’m sure I could have fought it off quicker if I wasn’t so sleep deprived, but Bo is still up a lot in the night so I’m pretty exhausted.

D was amazingly helpful throughout this whole sickness. He let me sleep as much as possible and took care of the boys while I rested. I’m sure I’d still feel awful if I didn’t have his help.

I’m so relieved to be getting back to normal. I hated missing out on time with the boys and I felt awful that I couldn’t care for them. One thing I’m taking from all of this is how lucky I am to be generally healthy. Being a mom takes a lot of energy and I can’t imagine how hard it must be to care for children when you have a major illness/disease. Now that I’m feeling better, I intend to spend as much time as I can playing with my kids and appreciating the time we have.

One milestone that I didn’t get to truly enjoy was Bo’s first Easter. We spent the weekend at the farm with my parents. Littleman had a blast searching for eggs around the farm (and eating chocolate and bunny cake!) I’m glad the kids got to enjoy the holiday, even though mommy wasn’t feeling well.

Now, I’m looking forward to getting back into the swing of things and catching up on all the blog reading that I missed while I was so out of it!

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Sick mommy

I’m sick. Not just a little sick, but sicker than I’ve ever been in my life. I know that sounds dramatic, but it’s true.

It started with a sore throat on the weekend. I felt kind of crummy on Sunday. Monday, I felt worse. By Monday night, I was a mess. D was working night shift, so I was on my own. I didn’t sleep at all, between feeding Bo and my sore throat and congestion.

Yesterday morning, I was a mess. D got home and took over. I spent the entire day in bed. I had a fever, chills, aches, chest congestion, stuffy nose and extreme sore throat. D brought Bo in every time he needed to eat, which turned out to be every 1-1.5 hours (6 week growth spurt?). I felt like I was dying.

I didn’t manage to sleep at all. I think I now understand what babies/kids go through when they’re overtired. I just COULD NOT SLEEP.

It doesn’t help that there isn’t much medication that I can safely take while breastfeeding. I’m back to taking the same painkillers that I took postpartum (Advil and Tylenol) but they aren’t doing much besides helping with the body aches.

D had to stay home from work last night because I was totally useless. I did finally get a bit of sleep last night. Bo actually went one 5 hour stretch between feeds! I feel marginally better today. Still awful, but at least I can manage to be upright for a short period.

My mom is coming to stay over tonight so D can go back to work. I hope I can kick this soon. I hate not being there for my kids. And I hate being sick. Must go lie down now.

Sleepless nights

Being awake all night is the worst. Bo’s nights are still really rough. We get one longer stretch of sleep starting around 9 or 9:30pm for about 3 hours. Then, we get a few hour long stretches where he grunts and groans the entire time.

On top of that, I’m fighting a cold. Even if Bo had slept last night, I think I would have struggled to sleep because my throat is killing me. Crap. Getting sick is the last thing I need right now.

At least it’s this face that’s keeping me up at night!

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Back in the day

Since I am a first-born child, I’m the one who my parents photographed like crazy and documented all the milestones. When I got pregnant with Littleman, my mom gave me my baby book, where she had kept track of my childhood development and accomplishments.

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Reading through it was quite entertaining. Some of the things my mom was advised to do with me seem quite shocking 36 years later.

In the book, my mom kept copies of the daily routines that were recommended by my pediatrician’s office:

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Sunbath?! Maybe that’s where I got my love of the sun.

In my mom’s notes, I read that she gave me cereal at 6 weeks. Apparently I “hated it” (ie, threw up). No kidding!

Then at 11-12 weeks she gave me carrots, followed by peas. In both instances, mom noted “disliked.” She gave up on veggies at that point. Turns out she was on to something! I didn’t start eating them again (and liking them) until 6 months.

It was interesting to read that she was encouraged to supplement with formula right from the start and that she stopped breastfeeding altogether at 3 months. Not because she had any problems, just because that’s what she was encouraged to do.

It turns out I was a better sleeper than my own offspring, sleeping 6pm-6am at 6 weeks of age. Wow. Lucky mom!

The funniest part is that I went straight to walking without ever crawling. But there’s a note saying that mom was teaching me to crawl, long after I was already walking. When I asked her about it, she told me that the preschool teachers said that I would never read if I didn’t crawl. What?! How does that make sense? Turns out I was an avid reader from very early on. (Must be because mom taught me to crawl!)

Anyway, what’s interesting about all of this is how much things have changed over the years. I’ve even noticed some small changes in the baby care recommendations since I had my first baby, only three years ago. Goes to show that doctors don’t know everything and, while I follow our doctor’s advice, I also have to trust my own instincts when it comes to raising my babies.

Time to head outside for our sunbath now. Just kidding!

Escaped!

We achieved a major milestone last night. Mommy went out! That’s right, you heard me correctly: Girls. Night. Out.

A bunch of the girls from our street decided to go out for drinks at a local restaurant (after the kids’ bedtime, of course) so I figured it was a good time to try leaving the boys with D.

I’m happy to report that it was very successful! I nursed Bo and got him settled to sleep in his chair before I left, allowing D to focus on getting Littleman to bed. I made sure there was a bottle of pumped breastmilk all ready to go (haha, my autocorrect wanted to call it “pimped!”).

I wasn’t the only one with a baby at home, so no one judged me when I checked my phone frequently. In fact, one of the other moms got called home because her January-born baby was screaming. Bo, however, did great. He woke up and took his bottle like a champ and then went back to sleep, which is what he was doing when I returned.

As tired as I was (I sacrificed my first shift of sleep to go out) it felt so nice to spend some time away from the kids. I enjoyed a glass of wine and felt a bit better about myself when I learned that I wasn’t the only one there who was still wearing maternity jeans! (Getting dressed to go out was a bit of a fiasco and I almost ended up in tears. I finally gave up and tried not to care too much).

Anyways, I feel mentally refreshed after enjoying some adult company and I’m glad to know that they boys can survive on their own. I love to be home with them but I appreciate them even more after a little break.

Extreme rain pouring (aka I miss sleep)

The other day, I wrote about how hard breastfeeding can be. You know what else is hard? Sleep deprivation.

This time around, I feel like I was much more prepared for the lack of sleep that comes with having a baby. First of all, I don’t think I ever really slept completely soundly or thoroughly since Littleman was born. Second, I suffered from some pretty good insomnia during the third trimester. Finally, I remember the tough nights from when Littleman was a newborn and I know it passes.

But, no matter how prepared I thought I was, this is damn hard. I am so tired.

Bo sleeps pretty well during the day. Not for super long stretches at a time, but he settles quite easily. Sometimes I’ll put him down awake (in his bouncy chair) and he’ll doze off on his own. Other times he’ll fall asleep on my chest while I’m holding him upright after a feed.

Since he has a three-year-old brother, Bo is skilled at sleeping through noises (for example, fire engine sirens, the crash of toys being dumped on the floor, a high-pitched voice yelling “wanna play with me, mommy?”

But nighttime has been a different story. He still has trouble lying on his back, so the bassinet is not happening right now (even with one side inclined). We finally put a bouncy chair in our room, which is a bit better. But, for some reason, his reflux seems to bug him more at night, which means he gags and groans and whines for long stretches between feeds, which keeps us awake.

We’re trying every trick we can think of and have had luck replacing our swaddling with a sleep sack. He’s much happier with his hands free. The pacifier helps a bit (I think the swallowing action helps the reflux) but he spits it out if he’s really worked up. We finally decided that the Sleep Sheep (which we loved with Littleman) wasn’t cutting it so we brought in some more hardcore white noise. We now sleep to my old iPhone blasting “extreme rain pouring”. Amazing.

Last night D was on night shift so I was on my own. I’m proud to say I got one 3-hour stretch and one 2-hour stretch of sleep. Of course, I still feel exhausted but I don’t think I can expect much more at this stage.

Oh ya, and “sleep when the baby sleeps” is a nice idea, but I’ve learned that it doesn’t work quite as well when the baby has a big brother.

At least I have this face to remind me that it’s all worth it!

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