Becoming a big boy – Bo at 15 months

I feel as though I owe you (or, if nothing else, I owe myself) an update about Bo.  I feel as though I did a pretty decent job of avoiding the whole “second child syndrome” and I actually documented his first year of life fairly decently.  Of course, I was on maternity leave and his older brother was in daycare so I didn’t really have much of an excuse to be delinquent.  However, since returning to work right after his first birthday, I’ve failed miserably at keeping track of his milestones and development.

So, here we go…

Growth
At his 15 month check-up (which was a month ago), he weighed 24lbs 7oz and was 31 inches tall.  That put him in the 73rd percentile for weight and the 41st for height.  Of course, he still has a giant head (which I’ve heard is common among screen stars, so we’ll see where that leads him…)

Development
Bo likes to take things at his own speed.  He has been behind his older brother when it comes to hitting developmental milestones and he still seems like such a baby to me.  He was in absolutely no rush to walk and was happy as can be to remain on all fours.  He enjoyed cruising and climbing (stairs, couches, you name it) but would drop to his knees immediately if you tried to place him on his feet.  He finally took his first real steps at daycare a couple of weeks ago (and the daycare ladies did an amazing job of catching it on video and emailing it to me at work, where I got teary at my desk, obv!)  Now, he practically runs and it has made our lives so much easier.  One might expect it to be harder to have a walker vs a crawler, however it was making it really difficult to spend time outdoors.  Bo hated being held or strapped into the stroller for long periods, but putting him down meant he was always in the dirt.  Plus, every pair of pants had ripped knees and he couldn’t wear shorts.

In other developmental news, he finally popped three more teeth, which has improved his mood drastically.  For a while there, the poor kid was a whiny mess with hands in his mouth all the time.

Personality
Between the new walking skills and the new chompers, he has settled back into his generally happy self.  It was touch and go for a while and I was worried that our good-natured baby was turning into a  grumpy toddler.  But I think it was just his body that was brining him down.  He’s much happier now.  He still loves Littleman more than anyone in the world.  Except for maybe me.  He is a MAJOR mama’s boy.  I’m not gonna lie…it’s kind of sweet.  By this age, Littleman was already totally into daddy and I was a second class citizen.  But Bo makes it perfectly clear (in a variety of ways) that I’m still his number one.  Sometimes I wish he’d give me a bit of a break, but I know it won’t last forever so I’m cherishing it for now.

Eating
So, feeding a toddler’s always fun, isn’t it?  The teeth situation made eating a disaster for a while.  He’s gotten a bit better now, but it’s still a challenge to figure out what he’ll eat.  He used to love sandwiches, but now he tries to stuff the whole thing into his mouth rather than taking bites.  He ends up gagging on it and spitting it out.  So I’ve learned to break things up into bite sized bits but, if I’m not watching carefully, he’ll jam too much into his cheeks and then, again, have to spit it all out.  Ugh.  He loves to feed himself and is good at eating oatmeal, yogurt, Cheerios with milk and, his favourite, egg salad.

Also, I’m still nursing.  I didn’t expect to still be at it, but, hence, this is where we are.  I’m only nursing him first thing in the morning and then right before bed, but he’s showing no signs of being done with it.  Littleman breastfed until about 14 months (and we had dropped down to only the bedtime feed by the end).  At 16+ months, Bo is still going strong.

Likes, dislikes and such…
Bo has a few favourite things.  He loves his stuffed bunny, which he sleeps with and likes to cuddle.  He enjoys books, but doesn’t really want to hear you read them out loud.  Instead, he insists on holding them himself and flipping pages.  His preference is books with textures (think fluffy animals or rough trucks) and he now knows when a book is upside down and promptly flips it over.

We’ve spent a lot of time in the pool at the farm this week and he really enjoys the water.  He was unsure at first (I never did parent-and-baby swimming lessons with him – mommy fail) so it took him some time to adjust.  Now, though, he wants to “jump” off the side and doesn’t mind going under water at all.

He pretty much enjoys anything that his big brother is doing, which sometimes leads to some unhappiness.  Luckily, Littleman is very good with him and will usually give up whatever toy he’s using to avoid a meltdown.  We’re so grateful that he’s such a good big brother.

Well, this turned out longer than I expected but, if you’re still actually reading, I think you get a sense of what Bo is like these days.  I’ll leave you with a few pics. 

    
    
 

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Finally healing

Baby Bo is now more than two weeks old and I’m finally starting to feel like a normal new mom (i.e. sleep deprived, slightly dirty, forgetful, etc.)

I finished my antibiotics.  I saw Dr. P for a check up and, based on his exam, he doesn’t think my uterus is infected.  My urine showed a bit of infection, so it’s possible that the issue was a UTI all along. The follow-up urine culture was clear. I’m scheduled for a follow-up ultrasound soon, just to be sure that there is nothing left to be concerned about.

My nipples are healing nicely.  I haven’t bled in over a week and my cracks are pretty much gone.  There are moments when Bo still doesn’t latch perfectly or when he adjusts his latch so that he’s not on properly, so I’m not totally pain-free.  I still feel pain in between feedings, which is mainly just annoying. But, I’m not in excruciating pain anymore, so I know that we can work through this.

Now that I’m feeling so much better, I’m really looking forward to enjoying time with my boys.  Littleman has been such a good big brother so far.  Although it wasn’t our original plan, there is something to be said for the fact that he is three years older than his baby brother.  He’s much more mature than he was a year ago, or even six months ago.  He’s helpful and is able to do so much on his own.  Of course, he’s also used to being an only child so he still wants someone to play with him all the time.  We’re doing our best to give him some one-on-one attention whenever we can.

And Bo is such a good baby.  So far, he’s definitely calmer and more laid back than his big brother was.  Although he generally needs to be held to fall asleep, he’s perfectly happy to be put down after that.  He’ll sleep in his bouncy chair during the day and in his bassinet in our room at night.  Speaking of night, he’s slept a couple of 3-4 hour stretches at a time overnight, which is quite lovely.  My boobs are still adjusting to the longer stretches between feedings, but I’ll take it!

All in all, aside from feeling so crappy during the first week, the adjustment to a family of four has gone very well.  I’m sure there will be some blips along the way (especially once D returns to work!) but I feel very lucky for now.

photo 1

Trying out my play mat!

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Lounging on daddy!

(Another) false alarm

A couple of hours after I returned home from yesterday’s OB appointment, I started experiencing some mild contractions.  Although Dr. P had told me that he thought the membrane sweep would be successful and that I could go into labour as early as that night, I still didn’t really believe it.  This certainly wasn’t the first time I’d had contractions during this pregnancy so there wasn’t much point in getting too excited.

To make matters a bit more complicated, I had received a call from the daycare earlier in the day, telling me that Littleman had a fever.  That meant I had to pick him up and that he wasn’t allowed to return the next day (today).  Of course, when I brought him home, he had no fever and was totally fine.  But, it means that I can’t just worry about what my body is doing.  I have to make sure he’s taken care of too!

Anyway, D got home from work and I started timing the contractions.  We had dinner and hung out a bit.  Contractions were about 7 minutes apart.  I also noticed some pinkish mucus when I wiped, which was a first for me.  Dr. P had warned that I may get some spotting after the internal exam, so I knew this was nothing to get excited about.

Around 7:30ish, we decided to call my mom.  We figured it would make more sense to take Littleman over to her house to spend the night, rather than worrying about whether or not we would have to call her to come over to our place in the middle of the night.  We packed up some stuff for him and D drove him there.  I actually got a little emotional when they were leaving.  This could be the last time that he was our only child!

After that, I had a shower and then relaxed on the couch a bit.  Contractions continued but didn’t get any worse or closer together.  I decided to get into bed a read for a bit.  When things continued with no change, I finally turned off the light to try to rest between contractions.  This is where timing them got tricky.  I would relax and start to doze off.  Then a contraction would start.  I’d reach for my phone to start the timer on my app and then lie there through the contraction.  But after a while, I guess I would doze off when the contraction ended without stopping the timer.  The next contraction would come and my timer was all screwed up.  I gave up and decided that rest was more important.  I knew I wouldn’t sleep through any serious contractions and that I would certainly wake up if things were progressing.

After several hours of off and on contractions, lasting 7-10 minutes, things finally started to taper off.  Somewhere between 3 and 5am,they stopped all together.  Ugh.

I managed to get a couple of hours sleep after that.  My mom still has Littleman and will bring him back a bit later today.  If I’m feeling up for it, we may go somewhere to walk around for a bit.  It’s freezing outside so we’ll have to hit up a mall or large store.  We’ll see.

Needless to say, these false alarms are starting to frustrate me a bit.  I know my baby boy will come when he’s ready, but I also know how much harder the labour will be if I’m already totally exhausted from a bunch of sleepless nights caused by false labour.

As D left for work early this morning, he reminded me that “good things come to those who wait.”  I normally hate those kind of expressions, but he’s right.  A strong, healthy baby is certainly worth waiting for!

Operation Big Boy Room – the reveal

I realized that I shared some of our progress on Littleman’s “big boy room” but never showed the finished product.  Now that he’s been living in there for a few weeks, I figured it was good time to take a look at how things have been going.

Since baby #2 is on the way, we chose to move Littleman into the spare room, rather than make any changes to the nursery.  It was easier to tackle one room rather than two.  That being said, the spare room wasn’t exactly “spare.”  In fact, it was pretty darn full of every piece of crap that we’ve ever held on to and didn’t know what to do with.  After some major purging and donations to charities, we finally ended up with a blank slate.

Choosing a theme for the new room was pretty easy.  Littleman’s favourite colour is orange and he loves construction sites.  So when I came across some super-cute construction vehicle sheets at Target, I knew that was our starting point.  I didn’t love the comforter that went along with the sheet set – and it would have been too big for our Ikea bed anyway – so my mom offered to use the sheet set to sew us a duvet cover.  She cut down a twin sized duvet so that it would fit the kiddie bed.  While the bed is the perfect size for a little kid, Ikea doesn’t actually make bedding that fits it (aside for a fitted sheet).  They recommend either a cot duvet or twin duvet, but neither actually fit the bed properly.  That was annoying to me, so I was happy my mom was able to help with a solution.

The new bedding

The new bedding

With the bedding figured out, we decided to use wall decals on one portion of the room.  I found a bunch of construction-related decals on Etsy but then realized that Target sells some in the same line as the bedding.  And for much cheaper.  So we decided to go with those.  We chose to run the road between the bookshelf and the window, creating a little nook where the bed is.

The decals

The decals

At the end of the bed, used a bookshelf we already had to store a bunch of Littleman’s stuffed toys.  Within the closed doors of the bookshelf, we keep all his books.  That way he can reach them himself, but we don’t have to look at the messy piles.  It doesn’t matter how often I straighten his books, they always end up in a big mess!

Book and toy storage

Book and toy storage

Finally, we put a couple of simple storage cubes on the floor so Littleman has somewhere to dump his toys.  Most nights, he wants to bring a toy upstairs with him while he gets ready for bed, but he knows he has to put them away before he goes to sleep.  Having an easy place to chuck the toys has helped keep his room nice and neat.

Along the wall that you can’t see is a simple white dresser that used to be mine.  It needs to be painted (I’m considering orange, but may stick with white) and I plan to replace the knobs.  We also need a piece of art for the wall above it, which is totally blank and plain.

So, now that it’s all done, how does the kid like it?  He LOVES it!  The transition to the new room has gone amazingly well.  I think we waited until the right time to move him and he was really ready.  It only took a couple of nights in the new bed before he was sleeping through the night again (I think he would wake up and get a bit confused/scared at first).  When he wakes up in the morning or after naps, he calls out for us and doesn’t actually get out of bed (fingers crossed that this will last for a while!)  When people come over to visit, he takes them upstairs to see his room.  He calls his old room “the baby’s room” and really hasn’t looked back since he moved.  All in all, we’ve very happy with the result!

A great place to sleep!

A great place to sleep!

How’s he going to react?

I think my three-year-old is starting to sense how imminent the arrival of the new baby is.  And, I’m starting to worry about how he’s going to react when it actually happens.

Littleman is a pretty smart kid and we’ve been talking about the baby for many months.  I think he understands what’s going on as much as he possibly can at his age.  He knows there’s a baby in mommy’s tummy.  He knows that it’s his baby brother.  He likes playing “baby” a lot these days.  But he’s also a typical first-born or only child.  He is used to having constant attention and one-on-one time.  He is not used to playing by himself.

We’ve been trying our best to prepare him for the baby’s arrival.  We have a couple of books about being a big brother.  We talk about the things that the baby won’t be able to do – the things that only a big boy can do.  We’ve practiced having him sleep at Nana and Nonno’s house (my parents).  But I’m just not sure that there’s anything we can do to really, truly get him ready for the change that’s about to happen.

As I said before, I think he’s starting to realize how soon this baby will be here.  He’s always been a daddy’s boy, but lately he’s been wanting mommy for everything.  This weekend, I got tons of cuddles and kisses.  When we were both around, he pretty much only chose me to do things with him.  That is very abnormal behaviour for him.

Now that I’m done work, I’m hoping I’ll have some more energy to play with Littleman  in the evenings.  I want to spend as much time with him as I can in these final days before the baby arrives because I know my attention will be stretched between the two of them once Bo is here.

If anyone has any advice on what else we can do to prep Littleman for the baby’s arrival, please pass it along!  I certainly don’t expect the transition to a family of four to be easy, but I’m willing to try anything we can to do to make it a little less hard.

37 weeks

Wow.  At 37 weeks, the end is truly in sight.  I dragged myself to work today in a bit of a blizzard, but it was easier knowing that I only have two more mornings left of commuting.  After Friday, I’m officially on maternity leave!

My biggest worry these days is how Littleman is going to adjust to the big changes that are about to come his way.  I think he’s starting to realize how soon the baby will be here (at least as much as a three-year-old can) and we’re finding he’s being a bit more sensitive than usual.  This morning, for example he decided he only wanted daddy and wouldn’t come near me.  He told me he didn’t love me, which of course, set off tears from both of us.  It took me a moment to pull my hormonal pregnant self together, but we talked about it and were both feeling better before I left for work.  But, I expect this is just a sign of what’s to come over the coming weeks/months.

Other than that, pregnancy continues to kick my ass, but as I noted yesterday, I’m doing my best to embrace it and enjoy whatever time is left.

Symptoms:  The acid reflux is still coming on strong and making me pretty miserable.  I’m medicating myself as much as possible and it helps a bit.  This is one symptom I’m hoping doesn’t stick around after the baby is born because it is NO FUN.

A new symptom this week (just to keep me on my toes) is carpal tunnel syndrome.  At least I think that’s what it is.  Most mornings I wake up with pain in my right wrist/thumb that kind of radiates a bit into my inner arm. 

Sleep:  Apparently I’m continuing to snore quite a bit, which causes D to sigh loudly and then head downstairs to the couch.  Sorry buddy, but I spend so much of my night awake that I’m not going to fret over snoring during the couple of precious hours that I actually sleep.  Not sure if this is somehow related to pregnancy or more a symptom of the cold I’ve been fighting and the winter dryness. 

Other: I’ve finally removed my wedding rings for fear of getting them stuck on there.  I don’t have any really noticeable swelling but they were definitely starting to feel a bit tight.

Three

Three years ago this morning, with a pop and a gush, my life changed.  As I lounged in bed on January 31, 2011, my water broke, signalling the start of Littleman’s entrance into this world.

Being a mom is something I always wanted.  Being Littleman’s mom is something I couldn’t have dreamed of.

Looking at him now, it’s hard to remember what life was like before he arrived.  In three short years, he’s become everything to us.  I’m so proud of him.  He’s such a special kid.  He’s smart and funny.  He’s handsome and strong.

That being said, I’ve been suffering from some mommy guilt lately.

This has been a tough year for me and I worry that I haven’t given Littleman all that I could give.  I started 2013 being pregnant.  I suffered a miscarriage, which hit me extremely hard and I know that I wasn’t fully emotionally present for a long time afterwards.  Then I found myself pregnant again – this time with many weeks of nausea and exhaustion.  With some early complications, I wasn’t able to lift Littleman anymore.  And now, on his birthday, I’m nearing the end of my pregnancy and am struggling with mobility and dealing with the aches and pains of late pregnancy.

I’m sad that I haven’t been on my A-game for the last of Littleman’s time as an only child.  Although he talks about his baby brother all the time, I know that he has no idea what is about to hit him.  He’s so used to being the centre of our universe and the change is going to be tough for him.

But today was all about him.  And it was a great day.

We decided to take the day off and keep him home from daycare so we could visit Toronto’s new aquarium.  We took the bus and subway to get there (little kid’s dream = pregnant lady’s nightmare!)  The place was jam-packed with people, but Littleman was on his best behaviour. 

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We bought him something he’s been asking for – Woody from Toy Story.  We also got him a photo puzzle, made from a family photo of the three of us.

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Woody!

He requested a “Cars” birthday cake, so his super-non-crafty mama worked her arse off to make him one.

My attempt at a fancy cake.

I can’t believe my baby boy is so grown up.  Happy Birthday to my sweet, sweet boy.  I love you more than you can know.