Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Quiet Time Procrastination

Baby has an aversion to the word "nap," so we call nap time quiet time instead.  She is required to stay in her bed for at least an hour.  We let her take a baby doll or a few books or other quiet toy into bed with her to play with.  She is not allowed to get out of bed, even when she wakes up.  I don't want her wandering around without me knowing.  Usually she falls asleep and ends up taking a much needed nap, then will yell for me to come get her.

We don't let her out of bed until we say she can, except for one major reason.  That would be to use the bathroom.  Today, Baby has discovered her best procrastination tool yet.

Guess how many times Baby has used the bathroom in the past forty-five minutes.  And she is really going, too.  She will yell out and tell me she has to go potty, to which I respond, "Ok, you can go."  Then she dawdles into the bathroom, does her business, reports to me that she is flushing the potty, then tells me she is washing her hands.  After meticulously drying her hands, she will meander back to her bed.

She's done this six times already.

I don't want to tell her no, she can't go, because I'm pretty sure she will just go in her bed.  She's actually using the toilet each time she goes.  I don't think we're having any medical issues here because when she asks, she does it with a smug grin, knowing I won't turn her down and it's a way to get out of quiet time.

I was thinking of just putting a pull up on her and telling her to go in that instead, but then she'll just want to use one every day and will probably regress in her potty training.  She's lazy like that.

Currently I'm trying the no talking method.  If she asks, I say yes, then stare at her silently while she does her routine and goes back to bed.  Hopefully making things less exciting.

I hope she forgets her new procrastination tool tomorrow.  If not, I'll probably be Googling some new ideas.       




Monday, April 29, 2013

Playgroup

I hear that one of the hardest parts of being a stay at home mom is loneliness.  Sure, you're with your children all day, but it's really hard to have intelligent conversations with a three year old monster who growls at you.  Thus, I am determined to get out of my comfort zone make friends and do things so that I don't have to resort to growling back at my three year old.

I heard about a playgroup in town where moms of children aged 0 to five could get together and hang out for and hour while their children played.  For free.  While I would usually try to grab a friend to go someplace new with me, I decided to try this one on my own. 

I arrived (wearing Baby2 and dragging a reluctant Baby) and plopped down on one of the couches in the room next to a very pregnant woman who was overseeing two of her older children play.  On another couch was a lady holding a seven month old and watching her twenty-two month old son run around the room. I tried to get Baby to jump in and play with the bins of toys, but she just wanted to cling to me like glue.  Another mom was helping her two year old ride a rocking dolphin (yes, dolphin.  Never seen one of those before).   

I sat for a few minutes to see if anyone would be friendly, but no one said anything to me, so I introduced myself to the pregnant mom next to me and attempted small talk.  Come to find out it was her first time at the playgroup too.  We chatted about our kids and I felt like I was interrogating her to get more conversation going.  I really need to work on my friend making skills.  During one of the many lulls in our conversation, I introduced myself to the girl on the couch.  After discussing the ages of our children and how cute they were, and how this was her first time there, we were done.  The other mom who had been by the dolphin ended up leaving and a few other ladies came in. 

These were the "regulars" because they talked freely with one another about inside things of which I had no clue.  And they stayed in their own little circle, not bothering to talk with any of the rest of us.  Then the play time was over and we went home. 

In retrospect, I was very proud of myself for taking the initiative and attempting to talk to people I didn't know.  I don't know if I came across as nosy, but I'm not the best at conversation, so I know that's something I have to work on. 

I was disappointed in the so called "regulars."  The playgroup was advertised as friendly and a place to make friends while the children played.  While it was nice of them to share their snacks, I didn't feel welcomed by them at all. Just ignored.

Will I go again?  I think so, and this time I'm going to try to be better at conversation and maybe jump in when the "regulars" get to talking. 

Or maybe I'll just start my own playgroup where the rule is that everyone must introduce themselves to everyone else before your children are allowed to touch the toys.   

Friday, April 26, 2013

The Double Stroller

I like to walk.  Quickly or leisurely, it doesn't really matter.  I have no problem walking for miles and miles (as long as it's mostly flat terrain).  When we were dating, Husband would come visit (we did a semi long distance thing when we were in college) and we would walk for miles along the beach.  Then we moved and I found different walking trails and neighborhoods to wander.

When Baby came about, we had ourselves a nice travel system stroller to stroll around the neighborhood with her.  Then I got me a jogging stroller so I could push her on more uneven terrain, and go a little quicker.  Then I gots me an umbrella stroller to push her through more crowded areas like the mall.

Now I have two children.  They don't both fit in the stroller at the same time.   Technically, they do, but I think I would be breaking some sort of law if I walked around with them both shoved in a single stroller. Thus, I started researching double strollers, and critiquing every double stroller I saw when we were out and about.  My main goal was to find a nice, compact double stroller that could function as my only stroller.  It needed to be able to carry my stuff (I'm a minimalist, so not a big deal there), be able to handle a variety of terrains and speed, and be small enough to walk through the mall without hitting too many people or knocking down too many displays.     

Apparently the only strollers that fit those requirements are a million dollars (or close to it, anyways).  Who knew strollers could be so expensive?  I could buy a used car for the cost of one of these things!  Or (practically) pay a mortgage payment.  Or buy Starbucks for a year.  Or redo the bathroom.  Or.... well, you get the idea.  They cost a lot of money.   

Well, I bought one. 

Monday, April 22, 2013

Baby Poop

Once you're a mom, baby poop becomes one of the things you obsess over.  At the hospital the nurses make sure your baby is pooping, and specifically pooping out the correct stuff.  The initial poop is a tarry stuff that all newborns first get out of their system.  I can proudly say I've never actually changed one of those diapers.  I had just given birth to a baby, so Husband had graciously changed all those newborn diapers (I know, awwww.  I've got such a great guy!  Don't get too mushy, though.  I've changed a lot of diapers since!). 

Baby2 has gotten on a pretty good rhythm over the past few weeks.  She doesn't poop at night (I have no idea why.  I mean, she's still waking me up to eat), so it's nice not to change those when half asleep.  Instead, she'll save it all up for a few times a day when it just explodes everywhere.  Usually around ten in the morning, then sometime in the afternoon as well.  She'll go a few more times in between, but not as explosive.

Breastfed baby poop comes in a variety of colors.  Usually a yellow or green color with some curds mixed in.  I know, lovely.

Well, I started noticing something different in Baby2's diapers.  She had some red spots in there as well.

The fist time it happened I thought it might just be a fluke.  But then it happened again.  And again.  And she started to have a little more.

Blood.

Of course I consulted Dr. Google, who said it was some type of food allergy.  I also emailed a friend of mine whose son had multiple food allergies.  I asked her how she had known, what were the signs, etc.  Then I emailed Baby2s doctor (yeah, I probably should have contacted the doctor first, but I usually get the same information they give me anyway).  The doctor got back to me and said it was some type of food intolerance (see, told ya).  The most common is dairy, so I cut out dairy.   

Well, mostly.  I stopped drinking milk (I usually drink a couple of glasses a day-I love milk!), and stopped eating cheese.  And yogurt.  And ice cream (boy do I miss ice cream!).  Baby2s poop seemed to go back to normal. 

Then I stupidly got a jamba juice.  And forgot to get one with no milk.  Baby2 had more blood in her poop, poor thing (and I felt really, really dumb.  Old habits die hard, I guess). 

Anyway, I guess Baby2 reacts to the dairy in my breastmilk, so I just have to avoid it for a while and hopefully be able to reintroduce it later. 

In the meantime I'm replacing butter with coconut oil and searching high and low and for some non-dairy cream. 

Friday, April 19, 2013

Where Did this Monster Come From?

Baby is having a very hard time adjusting to all the changes that have occurred.  She went from having her parents all by herself at home to having to share.  She used to have all the time in the world with her mommy (me), and now mommy's lap is constantly occupied by another living creature and she is being told she has to leave mommy alone.

On top of that, her schedule has been extremely altered.  In the past she used to wake up and go to daycare five days a week, over eight hours a day.  There were other children to play with, an overabundance of toys, outings, and other fun activities.  Now she's at home with a tired mom and younger sibling who leave her to her own devices (I'm slowly improving.  Really).

Because of these changes, I believe Baby has been showing her inner monster.  Her inner three year old monster.  One who bites, kicks, hits, screams, growls (seriously!), yells, doesn't listen, and talks back.

The majority of the times Baby gets in trouble is for not listening when mommy tells her to leave Tiger (the cat) alone.  She chases him, wants to pick him up, grabs him by his tail when he tries to walk away, or runs after him with a brush so she can brush his fur.  Tiger does not appreciate any of that.  He also does not appreciate her yelling at him for going in her room or being on the bed.  Or pushing him off the windowsill so he can't look outside.  Or kicking him out of the way when he's enjoying the breeze coming through the screen door.  Or trying to pick him up just because (there's probably a reason in that three year old head, but I have yet to know why).  Or throwing a blanket over him because he might be cold or needs a place to hide.  Or any other form of kitty torture she can devise.  Poor Tiger.

Baby also gets in trouble when it comes to her new baby sister, Baby2.   She wants to touch her and kiss her and hold her and talk in her ear and shove the pacifier in her mouth and cover her with a blanket and pick her up and grab her hands and her feet and her head.  She is utterly obsessed with her baby sister, much more so than I've ever heard of an older sibling being.

Baby is not happy when she is told not to do something she wants to do.  She makes this awful face at me where she just out her bottom teeth and grits her teeth together.  She might also grab my arm and squeeze as hard as she can at the same time.  It's really kind of scary!  I'm glad she is little.  


Yesterday she was hitting things with a toy mannequin she has (It's really cute!  It's a place for her to hang her doll dresses).  Mommy told her to stop.  She deliberately did it again.  Mommy told her that she now gets a timeout.  Baby wanted to walk herself, so she ran ahead, clutching the mannequin and banging the wall with it as hard as she could as she took her "walk of shame" to timeout.  Mommy told her to hand over the mannequin.  Baby said, "No!" and tried to run away.  Mommy tackled her, took the mannequin away, spanked her bottom and told her she needed to do what mommy told her to, and then stuck her in timeout.  

I told her I might start spanking her with a spoon for not listening.  She told me she wanted to pick out the spoon.  


Thursday, April 18, 2013

The Phases of Time Out

Baby is frequently getting into trouble.  When I say "in trouble," I mean when mommy or daddy will tell her no.  If she doesn't cease, or does whatever it is we are telling her not to do (or do.  Same rules apply when we ask her to do something), then mommy or daddy will count to three.  If Baby hasn't changed her mind, she gets timeout for three minutes.  Timeout is located in the corner of mommy and daddy's bathroom, away from everyone and everything. 

I have mixed feelings about the system we have implemented.  I think timeouts are good, because they remove her from the situation and get her away from her current environment.  I like the counting, because it gives her a chance to think about what she's doing and then react, either positively or negatively.  Plus, it eliminates the need for a parent to nag and repeat the request, or to start yelling (it reigns Husband and I in.  It is a very concrete system).  We've been doing the counting, then timeout system for a while, and Baby completely understands the system.  So here's my problem.  Now, when we ask her to do something, or stop doing something, she will ignore us until we start counting.  This elicits phase one of timeout.

Phase One: Man Your Battle Stations

When we see Baby misbehaving, we tell Baby to stop and get prepared for what might happen next:  
1) Baby might do what we want at that point (ha!)
2) Baby might start yelling at us to "STOP COUNTING!"
3) Baby might  wait until we get to three and earn a timeout. 

I don't like the fact that she is ignoring us initially and haven't figured out what to do about that.  Also note, Husband and I are very consistent in our counting.  We don't do any of that "one......one and a half....two.....two and a quarter.....  No, we are very precise and get to the point.

Phase Two: The Walk

We have a long hallway Baby has to walk down to get to our bedroom, then to our bathroom.  The walk might include: 
a) One of us just carrying Baby and plopping her in timeout  
b) Baby running ahead of us screaming, "Don't touch me! I walk myself!"
c) Baby running in the opposite direction until we tackle her and carry her to timeout
d)  If daddy is at work and mommy was nursing Baby2, it will be mommy grabbing Baby by the arm and literally dragging her down the hallway to timeout (this has now turned into a game.  Not good).
e) Baby biting mommy's hand while she is dragged down the hallway to timeout (seriously, this happened the other day.  I smacked her mouth and she hasn't done it again.)

Phase Three: The Corner  

While in timeout, Baby is supposed to sit or stand in the corner and not touch anything.  This also may or may not consist of Baby:
1)  Screaming her lungs out
2) Yelling "Mommmmyyyyy" over and over and over and over and over
3)  Saying she has to go potty (if this is the case, we have her go potty, then start time out again).
4)  Banging on the wall or the shower door.
5) Deciding she doesn't want to be in timeout and would rather go through the cupboards 

Please note that all attempts at attention are ignored (unless she is in danger or flushing things down the toilet or getting into mommy's makeup, etc).


Phase Four: Reconciliation

After three minutes (or so) are up, one of use will go retrieve Baby.  We ask her to explain why she was in timeout, then she can go play again.  

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Things I Had Forgotten about While Wearing a Child

I have a couple of baby carriers that allow me to wear Baby2 as an accessory.  It's great because she gets to be held and I can hold her while still being able to use my hands.

I've been wearing Baby2 quite frequently now (I find she has a better temperament when I've been wearing her for a while vs. putting her down all the time).  I am having flashbacks to wearing Baby a few years ago and realizing I had forgotten a few things about babywearing.

1.  I wish I had longer arms.  I have to remember not to bump Baby2 into things, like when I wash my hands in the sink or work at the kitchen counter.  Longer arms would help this, I think. 

2.  If I drop something, it stays dropped.  I apologize in advance all you store employees.  I do not do this intentionally.  It's really hard to bend down to pick something up.  If I do bend down, I'm in an awkward pose that just looks silly.  I am working on my ballet so I can plie and eleve, but my muscles aren't strong enough and I just end up falling.

3.  It never fails that I have to use the bathroom about five minutes after I put the baby on.  Then I attempt to hold it and end up with that have-to-use-the-bathroom feeling. 

4.  It's difficult to nurse in.  The carriers that I have either require too much adjusting in order to nurse, or I have to take it off altogether.  I'm debating buying a new carrier or just sucking it up.  These things are expensive and I'm not going to use them forever. 

5.  The baby gets covered in crumbs and drips as I attempt to eat over her head.  I can remedy this by covering her head with a napkin, but it's usually blown away or knocked away because the baby just doesn't sit still (imagine that, the baby actually moves!).

That's all I can think of right now.  Anything else I'm forgetting?     

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Lost at the Mall

I'll preface this post by saying that I have absolutely no sense of direction.  The saying that one can't find their way out of a paper bag was coined just for me.  Seriously.  Here's my latest mall story.  

We took Baby and Baby2 to the mall the other day.  I thought it would be nice to get out of the house, walk around, and try to find some new nursing shirts (I totally did, and I spent waaaaayyyy too much money.  I keep kicking myself for spending so much.  Oh well, my summer wardrobe is ready.  It was just so expensive, though). 

Husband wore Baby2 and we put Baby in her stroller (we don't have a double stroller yet- that's another post).  All was going great.  Baby2 was snoring away and Baby was enjoying being pushed around and people watching.  Then Baby2 got hungry.

No problem.  I'd nursed in public all the time with Baby.  I thought I would just go sit in the kid's play area that we passed earlier.  They had comfy bench seats. 

Husband took Baby2 out of the carrier, handed her and her blanket to me, and we agreed we'd meet up in just a few.  He made sure to tell me to turn right out of the store, then turn right again to get to the play area.  Well, I did.

Or at least I thought I did. 

I didn't see any kids play area, so I kept walking.  I knew there was a family area in the food court section.  We had eaten there earlier so I thought I could just head back that way.

Well, I couldn't find it.

Now I was starting to get panicky and I was all turned around.  I'm walking through the mall, holding a hungry baby and her blanket in my arms.  She's starting to get heavy and I can feel everyone looking at me like I'm a crazy person. 

Then I see JCPenney.  Surely they have a sitting area in their bathroom.

I enter. 

I can't see any signs for a bathroom.  I take the escalator to the next floor. 

Still no bathroom. 

I exit back into the mall area and start looking for a bench or place to sit to feed my hungry infant. The only chairs I see are the massage chairs that you pay a quarter or a dollar or whatever the amount is to get a massage.  Those were occupied. 

I keep walking.  At the end of the mall I see Nordstrom's.  I know they have a nice sitting area in their women's bathroom. 

I find it and collapse on the couch (pretty upset because I am so annoyed at myself for getting lost in the mall, for heaven's sake!) to feed my crying baby.   Who decides to poop (and Husband has the diaper bag on the opposite side of the mall).
 


Monday, April 15, 2013

Independence

Baby is a very independent three year old, in some situations.  In others, she is the most helpless thing on the planet.  Since I'm spending a lot of my time holding Baby2 and being lazy when it comes to getting myself out of the rocking chair, I've been teaching Baby how to do many things on her own (with the help of a stool, sometimes).  Here's a few tricks she can do:

1.  Need light?  I taught her how to open and close the window blinds.  If she stands on a chair, she can reach the pull strings.  This is handy if it happens to get dark out and I don't want the neighborhood watching me nurse Baby2.  I just ask Baby to close the window blinds.

2.  Snacks.  Baby is always hungry.  I set up a snack shelf in the pantry that she can get to.  She can open the pantry door and choose a snack (she always has to ask permission before, of course).  If I could teach her how to pour her own milk and cereal, we'd be set for breakfast.  As it is, her breakfast the other day was a granola bar and a box of raisins.

3.  Water.  I love having a water and ice dispenser on the refrigerator.  I put cups down in a bottom cupboard for Baby to grab, and she can just barely get on her tiptoes to reach the dispenser.  Granted, I spend a lot of time wiping up water spills later, but it's worth it.  I get thirsty and she can bring me a drink.  Oh yeah, she can get some for herself, too.

4.  Opening the sliding door.  Baby likes to play outside.  Our backyard is fenced in and Baby knows not to touch the cactus or rose bushes.  Other than that, she is free to dig and carry rocks around and slide down her plastic slide.  If she wants to go outside, she knows how to unlock and open the sliding door.  Yes, I do make her ask permission first.

5.  Use a chair for just about anything.  If Baby wants something that is taller than she is, she will grab a chair to go get it.  Those chairs rack up some good mileage traveling around the house for Baby to get items or see things (she loves to watch Baby2 get changed and will pull up a chair next to me for better viewing pleasure).

6.  Wash dishes.  Ok, so she can't wash the glass dishes or do too much, but she can use a chair to pull up to the sink, wash out her bowls or plates or whatever, and put them in the dishwasher.

7.  Get dressed.  She's been pretty proud of herself for getting her shirts on and off.  I don't blame her, those things are tricky.  Who cares if it's inside out or backwards.  It's on.

8.  Wash her hands.  Baby loves to wash her hands, and I've been emphasizing that she has to if she wants to touch Baby2 at all.  She's very good about washing her hands after she goes potty.  Some adults can't even do that.  

Pretty soon she won't need me at all.  

   

Friday, April 12, 2013

Random Thoughts of a Tired Mom

Baby had a bit of a colicky phase.  You know, where babies will cry for hours on end with absolutely no reason.  They've been fed, changed, held, rocked, picked up, put down, burped, dressed and undressed, looked over for hidden bug bites, and you can't figure out how to make them stop crying.  We really liked "The Happiest Baby on the Block" for helping us discover a few tips to comfort crying babies.  Dr. Karp had a five S system, where you shush and swing and swaddle and put them on their side and let them suck on something.  It wasn't foolproof (for us), but it did help.  I was hoping Baby2 would be different.

In her third week, Baby2 started crying.  Yes, she already knew how to cry.  I mean, crying where we couldn't comfort her and was starting to make me think she was going to be colicky as well. 

Here's a few thoughts that ran through my head as I shushed and swung my swaddled baby as I held her on her side and tried to make her suck on a pacifier:

Maybe it's a false alarm.  If I ignore her crying, maybe she will stop. 

Is this really happening again?

Did I remember to use the bathroom?  

What if I have to put the baby down?

I can really start to lose the baby weight with all this swaying and walking and jiggling. 

Ok, my arms are tired now.  

How long has this been going on?  What, we're only in the first hour!?

Oh no, she dropped the pacifier.  Where did it go!?

Look Baby2, look at the lights.  Aren't they pretty?

I suppose I can practice my singing.  Maybe I can drown her out.  Or she can join in. 

I'm losing my voice trying to drown you out, kid.  

I'm out of songs to sing.  The radio in my head has played all the latest hits. 

Maybe this is all my fault.  What did I eat earlier today that may have upset your tummy? Must have been that banana I ate.  

I'm never eating a banana again. 

What's that noise?  Oh, it's quiet.  You stopped!  

 



 

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Minimalism Withdrawals

I am one of those people who can make things fit anywhere.  You want to reorganize your closet with an additional twenty pairs of shoes?  I can do that.  You want to fit the dirty dishes from a dinner service from twenty, included pots and pans and cooking utensils into the dishwasher? I can do that.  You want to shove luggage for five, plus a stroller and high chair in the trunk of a little four door car?  I can do that.  You want to wash five loads of laundry at once in the washing machine?  Well, that one I can't do.  But, I will cram as much as I possibly can into any space I can find.  I'm just one of those people.

I'm not disorganized, either.  If I'm in charge of something, it is super organized.  In the words of some random person, "Everything has a place, and everything in its place."  I like to apply this to my diaper bag (I would apply this mantra to my house, but after getting married and having children, they just laugh in my face and drop play-doh all over the kitchen floor and rub syrup in the carpet).  A change of clothes in one section, diapers and wipes in another, snacks in another, a blanket goes here, extra shirt for mommy goes there, blanket is rolled up here, etc.  It drives me crazy when Husband packs to diaper bag.  I end up pulling everything out and redoing it. 

I am also a minimalist.  I will take the least amount of items possible with me out of the house.  If there's a possibility of not using something, then why take it with you.  Or, if something can serve more than one purpose (gotta love those receiving blankets that can serve as swaddlers, burp rags, blankets, suncovers, makeshift bags for blowouts, etc), then I take that item instead of a load of others. 

Going out of the house with Baby was easy.  She wouldn't take a bottle or pacifier, so I didn't have to worry about those.  She didn't spit up, so I didn't have to bring burp rags or bibs.  She just wanted to be held and attached to me, so the carrier and a purse with extra diapers and possible one extra outfit was all I needed.  I would look at other parents with their bags overflowing and wonder what in the world they had in there. 

I figured it out.

Baby2 needs lots of accessories.  She takes a pacifier, so we need to bring that with us.  If it drops, I want a backup.  She spits up like no other baby I've seen, and it gets everywhere!  Bring on the burp rags, the bibs, the extra clothes for Baby2 and mom.  She likes her thick, extra soft blankets (and those take up a lot of space!) if we want to calm her down somewhere.  Not to mention, I also have a needy three year old.  In case she has an accident, we have an extra change of clothes for her.  Then she gets hungry all the time.  I pack a few different snacks and a drink just for her.  Add on any toys to entertain her wherever we go. 

I'm running out of room here.  




Wednesday, April 10, 2013

First Trip Out Alone With Two Kids

I am feeling very proud of myself.  I took both girls to the grocery store all by myself.  I was outnumbered, but I survived.  We got practically everything on my list, and there was no screaming or rude people telling me to make my baby stop crying (yes, that's happened in the past with Baby).

I was determined to go, despite the fact that Baby was pushing boundaries and had just served time out for not listening to Mommy.  She didn't want to get her socks and shoes on (which she is perfectly capable and has done numerous times).  Thus, she earned a time out and was not happy about it (which she made clear by her screaming).  I was hoping she would get it out of her system before we went in public.

Baby2 had just eaten and was tired, so I put her in her carseat hoping she would fall asleep.  She didn't like that idea and decided to scream as well.

Despite two screaming children, once I put my mind to something, it is going to happen.  

I went before lunchtime, when I was hoping it wouldn't be as crowded.  I cut an old lady off in the parking lot looking for the optimal parking spot.  She gave me a dirty look, but I just smiled back.  I was looking for a spot next to the shopping cart turn ins so that I could just park, load the girls into the cart, then push them in.  Which is exactly what I did.  Baby sat in the front (I bribed her with snacks) and Baby2 was asleep in her carseat in the back of the cart.  I just planned to shove groceries around her.  I have no idea what I would have done with more kids.  Have them hang off the cart?  

Baby munched the whole time and Baby2 slept.  There were a couple things on my list I would have had to hunt for, so I skipped those.  I wanted to be in and out as quick as possible.  Baby2 started stirring right before we got to the checkout, but then settled herself back to sleep.

I made all the groceries fit around the carseat and checked out.  Then we came home, ate lunch, and now it's quiet time.

Yay, me. 

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

ENT Appointment

Husband took the day off so we could all go to Baby2's Ear, Nose, and Throat appointment.  I was glad he was able to because we were both a bit nervous about the diagnosis.  Plus, I didn't know what to expect and wasn't sure I could handle both kids on my own. 

After the two day appointment, I had (of course) consulted Dr. Google about the hole in my child's neck.  From what I could find, it was called a brachial cleft cyst and needed surgery to repair it. 

The ENT appointment confirmed what Dr. Google said.  The appointment was a very positive one.  I really liked the ENT doctor.  He was a little older and very confident, but also very nice.  He didn't do any tests to Baby2 (Google had said an MRI or CAT scan might be used in order to determine the severity of the brachial cleft cyst).  The doctor just checked out her throat and told us that's what it was.  He said it wasn't anyone's fault, it's just something that happens in the womb sometimes.  He said that if you have to choose for something to be wrong with your baby, this would be a good choice. 

Since it's not infected (and we're going to pray it never gets infected), he suggests waiting until she is about two years old to undergo surgery to remove it. 

He described it as being a type of tube that runs from the hole in her neck to somewhere inside of her head.  It could go all the way through to her throat, or it could stop somewhere along the way.  He said that once they do surgery they will just follow it as far back as it goes to remove it.  It could be short, or it could be long.  The brachial cleft cyst won't really affect her too much as she grows.  It might drain fluid, but as long as it doesn't get infected, she's fine. 

The funny thing is, Husband had the exact same thing when he was a baby, although his was on the other side of his neck.  He has a tiny scar from his surgery.  His mother doesn't remember exactly when his surgery was, but estimates he was a few months old. 

I asked the doctor if this was something common, and he said no, it's not.  He has seen a few in his time, though.  It's just a total coincidence that Baby2 has the same thing Husband had, if it's supposedly not a genetic issue. 

Now we will just be paranoid to keep her very clean to reduce the risk of infection. 

Monday, April 8, 2013

A Parenting Fail (One of Many)

Baby2 came home from the hospital with daggers for fingernails.  Poor thing was scratching her face and everything else within her reach.  Mommy had the great idea to trim her little baby nails.

Not a good idea.  (Can you see where this is going?)  I clipped two and she started screaming.  I figured she just didn't want to have her hands held down.  Then I saw a tiny spot of blood.

Turns out that even though her fingernails were long, they were still attached to her skin.    

My poor baby. 

Friday, April 5, 2013

Crockpot Cooking

The week before Baby2 came I put together a bunch of crockpot meals to freeze.  I've been comparing and contrasting the benefits and downfalls to these.

Benefits:

1)  To make dinner is super easy.  I don't have to do any (or much) prep.  Just any sides, like make rice or boil noodles or steam veggies.

2)  Most of the meals have been enjoyed by Husband and Baby.  They seem to like a lot of them, which is always a plus.

3)  These meals make a lot of food (more than I anticipated), so there are always leftovers for Husband to take for lunch the next day and for Baby and I to eat for lunch at home the next day.

4)  We haven't had to do any major grocery shopping in a while.  I think we've saved money on groceries by preplanning it out and not buying unnecessary items because we had to run to the store for one item and end up coming home with more.

5)  Since I bought all the spices and sauces for each recipe, I still have a bunch in my pantry that I can use for next time, saving me some money.  

6)  My family is eating healthier.  It's not fast food, or processed.  It's actual recipes that I put together.

7)  I'm pretty proud of what I did end up putting together, since I'm usually not such a chef.  I'm usually more of an "instant" meal type person. 

Downfalls:

1)  It took a lot of work to prep.  A lot of cutting and sorting.  I would need to find an extended amount of uninterrupted time to do that again.  Although now that I know what I would be doing, I think it would probably go quicker.

2)  Not every meal has been a hit and we've ended up tossing some food.  Although now I know what we like and can exclude what we don't

3)  It was a lot of money to fork out at once.

4)  Freezing the meals takes up a lot of room in the freezer.  We are lucky to have two refrigerators, and I used up a lot of space in both.  

5)  I have to remember to pull a meal out in advance to defrost.  Otherwise it won't get cooked and we are scrambling to find something for dinner. 

6)  Sometimes crockpot meals get old.  Gotta mix it up a bit.

In conclusion, I guess it's not such a terrible idea.  I think I convinced myself to do it again. 

Thursday, April 4, 2013

A Schedule

I'm used to being a very scheduled person.  Wake up, drop off Baby and go to work (which is planned out to the minute), pick up Baby, go home and make dinner, then bath for Baby and bedtime.  Weekends for cleaning and shopping.

Now that I'm staying home, I'm going to attempt a schedule of some sort.  Lately, though, I've been too tired to really invest any energy in anything.  I know poor Baby is feeling it.  She's been so used to going to daycare where there are plenty of other kids and activities, I think being at home with Mommy is somewhat boring to her.  She keeps asking to go somewhere and gets sad when I tell her we are just staying home.

I've been pretty proud of myself for implementing the first part of my new schedule:  exercise!  I really want to lose this baby weight.  I'm so much bigger than I was the first time around and it's very frustrating to go into my closet and try on a bunch of shirts that are way too small.  Exercising, even just a little every day, makes me feel a little better and will hopefully help take the weight off.

I found a station on television that has ten minute workouts.  The past three days I have done one of them first thing in the morning.  Baby is excited to watch me exercise (I tried to get her to follow along too, but she'd rather run in circles around me.  Although this morning after I had completed one of the workouts, she asked for the one I had done yesterday.  I put it on for her and should have videoed her following along).  I usually only have to pause once to tend to Baby2, so I'm excited to try to do one every day.

The rest of the day is still up in the air.  I want to make sure I'm doing education things with Baby, like reading to her, doing puzzles, mentioning letters, numbers, shapes, practicing writing and coloring (getting her ready for school, I guess), and encouraging her to play outside and use her imagination.  It will be nice when she goes to Preschool in August.  A nice change for her to play with other children her own age and get out of the house.  I should also look into signing her up for something over summer...

I want to start a vegetable garden, but haven't been motivated enough yet to actually start digging.  I'm always afraid that once I start I'll be interrupted (it's pretty much guaranteed), and I'm the type of person who likes to finish a job once I start it.  I know with kids that something I'm going to have to work on.

I have a lot of things I want to do, but for now I'm just taking it one day at a time, slowly incorporating things into the day.  

 

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Sleep

I love sleep.  I like to spend as much time with sleep as I can.  It's a huge priority in my life and Husband knows not to come between me and my sleep. 

Then I had Baby.  Baby and sleep didn't care much for each other.  Thus I had to choose between my offspring and a long time affair.  Offspring won and the next couple of years went by in a blur.  Somehow I learned to live without sleep.  Don't get me wrong, I missed it. I just learned how to survive without it.   

Eventually Baby learned to tolerate sleep.  I was elated.  I was rested.  I was refreshed.  I could think a little more clearly and just felt better. 

Enter Baby2.  She has an immature relationship with sleep.  She flirts and teases it.  One day she will learn to embrace it as I do. As it is, I'm also flirting with sleep.  Just when sleep and I are about to get cozy, Baby2 will remind me that she needs my attention instead. 

Sigh.

On top of Baby2 flirting with sleep, I'm still sick.  It stinks.  Just when I think my body is fighting back against whatever it is I have, I start to feel worse again.  It's like this endless cycle.  I called to make a doctor's appointment, but it was after hours and I had to call back the next day...which I never did.  I'm really not a fan of visiting the doctor.  Usually they don't tell me anything I don't already know.  Plus, I'm very wary of taking and medications for fear of how they will affect Baby2.  The thought of taking two children with me to an appointment also puts me in a semi panicky mode and I'd rather just hang out at home and wish I could sleep.  

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Progression and Regression

Baby has been such a good big sister.  She is very helpful and wants to comfort her baby sister whenever she is crying.  She will sing to her and talk to her in a high pitched voice.  So cute.

I was really worried that Baby would regress when Baby2 came along, especially in terms of potty training. However, much to our surprise, she did the opposite.  She was used to using her special little potty that is in our bathroom.  Since we have been home from the hospital, she decided she was too big for the little potty, and now goes in the regular potty.  Although she can be a little messy, we make sure to praise her efforts. 

I was thinking, "Yay, we are good to go!" 

Then the other day happened. 

Baby was sitting on a stool, coloring at the counter, when I hear, "Mommy, I went potty in my panties." 

I'm like, "What did you do?" 

Baby repeats, "I went potty in my panties." 

I asked her why, and she said it was because she was coloring. 

Monday, April 1, 2013

The Second Week

Baby2 really is the complete opposite of Baby.  On top of sleeping, she also spits up.  Baby never did that.  I now know what spit up rags are really used for.  Also, she is noisy.  She snores and makes random little squeaky noises in her sleep.  She cries out a lot in her sleep, too.

She also cries a lot.  Not at one time, but she will let you know when she is uncomfortable, like when she has gas in her tummy or needs to burp (and she needs to burp all the time).

She also has experienced some nipple confusion.  Husband discovered he could calm her by letting her suck on his knuckle.  But when I got her back, she would have a hard time latching on and get really frustrated.  I had no qualms against pacifiers, but I think I want to wait to try one with her so she doesn't get confused again.  Same with bottles.

We had another appointment with Dr. T that went well.  He said she is looking great.  Her levels for jaundice were borderline, but we decided that since she keeps having good diapers, we will not have her blood drawn again (that was not fun.  It took the tech a really long time to get all the droplets he needed.  Then her blood clotted and he had to poke her again.  My poor baby.)  The appointment for the ENT specialist is at the end of the month.

In terms of me, recovery from delivering a baby has been great.  Healthwise though, I am sick.  I was seriously exhausted in the week leading up to Baby2's birth, and developed a tickle in my throat that made me stay up all night coughing.

The first night in the hospital with Baby2, she and Husband slept while I stayed up all night coughing.  I also lost my voice for a few days.  Later I developed flu type symptoms with chills, body aches, fever, extremely sore throat, and coughing.  The coughing did exacerbate my healing from deliver, I think.  Every time I coughed it felt like I was pushing my insides out again, and had to sit down to hold myself together.

Husband had Monday off, and went back to work on Tuesday.  Honestly, the days passed in a blur.

Baby is so in love with her little sister.  She constantly wants to hug her and touch her and kiss her and be in whatever space she is in.  If we change her diaper, she pulls a chair up to the changing table so she can watch and talk to Baby2.  If I am nursing her, she sits on the chair next to me and wants to keep touching Baby2.  The hardest part has been telling Baby to back off.  She has gotten many time outs for touching Baby2 without asking, or not listening when Mommy or Daddy tell her to stop touching.

My dad was great, coming by and playing with Baby so I could rest, or taking her places.  I had another girlfriend take Baby for practically the whole day.  I probably should have rested, but instead started blogging again.

I know I'm not doing the greatest job at my first stint as stay at home mom to two, especially with Baby.  I need to give her a lot more attention and start planning activities for her, but lately I've just been way too sick and tired.  I stay up coughing all night, in between feeding Baby2, then just feel awful during the day.  Usually I get over things quickly, or don't get sick at all, so this is new to me.  I might have to schedule myself an appointment if things don't get better, though.