Tuesday, October 10, 2017

It's Been Awhile

Time for an update from us! Anyone still out there reading? I do follow and read all of your blogs, I'm just a terrible commenter. I always promise to be better...maybe someday. Like when the kids are in school.

So here's what's new with us:

Jack:
Jack is now 2.5. Crazy! Wasn't he just born? Wasn't I just going through all the infertility garbage? I was recently talking to a friend with similar struggles of a long cycle/luteal phase defect and she asked what meds I took to help it and I literally couldn't remember all of them or the doses. That was my life for years! Infertility felt so all-consuming for so long - I was sure I'd never forget any of it. And while I definitely still remember the hurt and frustration (and I ALWAYS try to be sensitive to infertility situations), I guess some of the gritty details are fading.

Anyway...that was a rabbit trail...Jack is still amazing. He's fun, hilarious, energetic, sweet, and silly. He's also stubborn, whiny and can throw a temper tantrum with the best of them. It's a fine line these days - but I think that's called being a two year old.

He's always been a really good talker. At his 18 month appointment, I brought in the list of his words I kept on my fridge. It had 75 words. Almost immediately after, he began speaking in sentences most of  the time and it became impossible to track words anymore. At his 2 year appointment when his doctor asked how many words he knew, I said, "I don't know, all of them?" Like tonight, he was running around the center of our house (this is a pretty regular game - we both hold footballs as we run), but since this goes through 3 doorways, the floor changes from carpet to hardwood to tile to carpet. So Jack told me, "I need socks with the little dots so I don't slip and fall." He talks like this all the time, so it doesn't really phase me, but sometimes Bobby and I look at each other and laugh. There are kids his age in our playgroup that still just say "cup?" And we make Jack say "can I have more milk please?" We got lucky. We know.

Speaking of dumb luck, about 3 months ago Jack potty trained himself. Please don't hate me - I was sure I was going to be the mom sending her kindergartener off in diapers. From everything I read and learned in ECFE, potty training "best practices" these days is to just wait until your kid decides they're ready on their own. This apparently leads to fewer accidents and better body control. Since I have maybe the most stubborn kid on the planet, that's what made me think Jack would never just decide to be ready to go on the toilet. But I was hugely pregnant, and other friends assured me that if I tried to train him before baby came, he would just regress after, boys tend to train closer to 3, yadda yadda yadda - mostly it sounded like a lazy parenting strategy and totally up my alley. So we decided to just wait.

And then...cue super stubborn boy...Jack decided he no longer wanted to lie down for diaper changes. I know lots of parents change their kids standing up, but I could not get the hang of it. Every time I did the stand up diaper change, it ended up leaking. Or poop got everywhere. Plus I was super pregnant and my patience was already pretty minimal. So during one of our many diaper change battles when I was wrestling him to the ground and Jack was whining "I don't waaaaaant to lay down" I snapped back, "if you would just go on the big potty you wouldn't have to lay down."

And that was it. He decided right then that he was done with diapers and wanted to go on the big potty. We bought a little potty ring, some big boy underwear (they HAD to be solid color boxer style - just like daddy), and that was it. Not a single accident. I guess those experts were right. When they're ready, it is easy. He's even totally trained for naps and in the 3ish months since he did this, he's only been wet twice overnight. This was totally shocking because just a few nights before, he was wetting through an overnight diaper. Like, I would put him in an overnight diaper, cloth training pants, pj pants, and sleep sack. With all those layers the sleep sack might stay dry. Everything beneath it was wet. We still use a diaper at night because he's still in a crib and we figure that if we're not giving him the option to go on the potty during the night, we should give him a diaper - but with only 2 overnight pees, I think he's basically got it.

Of course that means we still have the HUGE challenge coming up of crib transition. Jack actually can climb out (I had him doing it when I was pregnant and right after my csection), but he's never done it without out us being in the room. Even when he's having a hard time falling asleep at night, he just lays in bed and talks and sings. It's like it doesn't occur to him to get up. Which is super awesome. But I'm pretty sure if he were in a bed, he'd be up constantly. So I'm not really in a hurry to move him. We're thinking maybe when he turns 3 next April - as long as he doesn't figure out how to climb out before then.

I know it totally sounds like I'm bragging about my awesome, easy kid. And while he is awesome, he's definitely not easy. There is A LOT of whining and temper tantrums. It's gotten worse since Milo was born and he gets jealous pretty easily. And since I'm still spending many, many hours a day nursing, Jack gets jealous a lot. He's also learned that if he says he has to go potty (poop especially) I can't call that bluff and pretty much have to stop what I'm doing and help him. Including nursing Milo. It's great that Jack always uses the potty, but since he's still pretty little he can't do any of it himself. He can't pull his pants and underwear down and can't climb on the toilet even with a stool. So it's cheaper and less gross than diapers, but just as time consuming.

Milo:
Milo is almost 4 months old and a little over 15 pounds. He's almost always smiley and happy. Except he doesn't nap. Like ever. It concerns me some - but he's been sleeping through the night since about 6 weeks (again, please don't hate me - but I kinda feel like I earned this one after the sleep nightmare we went through with Jack). Also, since he's about to turn 4 months old, I'm sure there's a regression coming.

He can roll front to back, a skill he picked up early since he's also in physical therapy for torticollis and plagiocephaly. No back to front rolling yet, but he can kick one leg over so he's close.

We go to a weekly (when we make it) weigh in clinic, and with some of Milo's recent fussiness, congestion, dry skin, and occasional greenish poop, the nurse suspected a possible milk allergy. So I'm working on cutting dairy out. Which sucks - not just for me, but because I have a ton of milk in the freezer that I'd be unable to give him. I don't know if I could donate it to anyone, but I will sob if I have to just pour it down the drain. I've thought about trying to give it to Jack - but the few times he's been sick and I thought he could use some extra immunities, he hasn't liked the taste. Sometimes he'll drink it in a really fruity smoothie or blended in something with a stronger flavor. So that's still up in the air.

Me:
Well, I left my former job when Jack was born and stayed home for about 9 months full time. For a little less than a year I tutored at our local public high school. The next year, I worked from home doing online writing tutoring. I liked the work mostly, but hated the company I worked for and the required tutoring format. I also didn't love the online part. I mean, I liked being able to basically set my own hours and work from home (especially since I was early pregnant with Milo and throwing up a ton), but it's hard to explain complex grammar and writing concepts in just a few sentences and send it back having no idea if the student understood or not.

Then, last December the English teacher at the high school where I coached left. Her husband got a new job and they were moving mid school year. They offered me the job and that's what I've been doing since. It's only one class, just a few hours a day. And since they're doing blocked classes now, I again don't start until January - giving me an extra long maternity leave. Milo will be 7 months when I go back, and that makes me feel way better than him being a newborn. Plus I shouldn't even have to leave him a bottle or pump while I'm gone. At least that's the plan.

This is also the second year I'm not coaching volleyball. I do miss it, but it just got to be too much. I feel okay about it, especially since one of my former players is now coaching. She just had 4 amazing years at college - making All American and earning several honors. She definitely made this coach proud. And I'm glad to know my former team is in good hands.

I think I'm done having babies. I always thought I wanted more than 2, but I hate hate hate being pregnant. And our life has taken a chaotic turn adding a second kid. Any more might kill us - at least for awhile. Plus I really love teaching and I'd like to make a go of this career.

We are still hoping to do foster care in the future, but right now we need some time to get our bearings. We've adjusted to 2 kids, and I can successfully take care of them and get them both out the door most of the time. But things like cleaning the house, exercise, sex, etc are getting lost in the shuffle. Things we'd gotten a decent handle on before we had a second kid.

I'm sure things will settle down eventually - especially when Milo stops nursing, or even just nursing less. Also when Jack can go potty independently. He's starting to do other small tasks like get and (attempt to) put on his shoes. All these little things will be helpful, but it's still kinda sad how fast he's growing up.

Well this post is a novel. Sorry! But it's going to have to take the place of 2 kids' baby books.

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Life With Two

The thought of adding a second baby to our family terrified me.

I spent most of my pregnancy wondering if we'd made a giant mistake. It was too soon. They'd be too close together. I was too old. My back hurt too much. I didn't want to go through the pain and hassle of breastfeeding for another year. We'd ruin Jack.

Even the first week or so we were home from the hospital, I had these same thoughts. Jack had a bit of a rough time adjusting right away. We were tired and not on top of our parenting game, so we didn't always deal with his tantrums the best. I was hormonal, sore from surgery, exhausted, convinced I wasn't going to bond with Milo (we had a rough hospital stay), and again I worried that this whole second baby thing was a mistake. Or at least poorly timed.

But then there are days like this. Moments like these. Jack knows that Milo doesn't always like tummy time, so Jack lies on his tummy next to Milo and gives him an encouraging pep talk.

And in these moments I think we're going to be okay.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

I Had Another Baby

He's here. It's another boy and his name is Milo. He's sweet and cute and looks exactly like Jack did as a newborn.

Someday I'll write his birth story, but honestly a scheduled csection is not that interesting of a story.

He eats like a champ (read: all the time), but the plus side is he sleeps in pretty solid chunks at night. I actually have to get up to pump more than feed. Which isn't my favorite, but it's helping me build a freezer stash and keep up my supply for when his sleep inevitably changes.

Two kids is...different. It's rough a lot of the time. Bobby took 4 weeks off work which is HUGE in helping me with Jack and helping me recover from surgery (especially because I can't lift Jack). But it's exhausting and challenging and the 2 year old totally acts like a 2 year old most of the time. We're dealing with tons of whining and diffusing tantrums all day long. Plus marathon nursing and trying to let my incision and muscles heal.

So we're surviving. It's hard, but it's also very, very good.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Thirty-nine

I'm 39 weeks pregnant. Up nearly 30 pounds. Its 90+ degrees here with over 70% humidity.

C-section is scheduled for Friday morning at 5:30 am.

Pass the castor oil?