Monday, April 20, 2015

Let's get back into this

This weekend, we had what I'm hoping will be the typical weekend we'll have as a family of four. We've had visitors, and out of the ordinary activities for the past few weeks (plus the ever changing 4.5 month old), but this weekend was pretty ordinary. On Saturday, I had the girls on my own until B got home from work around 4pm, and we watched movies and played Legos, and played outside and did tummy time, and folded laundry, and gave Roscoe a bath, and maybe a few other things that may have been mundane, but it's nice to be back to it. On Sunday, we rose early to participate in an AIDS walk, which is a-typical, but got us out of the house and started with our day, so all our errands were done by 12 on the dot. Lucy and I have gotten pretty good at nursing on the go, so we can stay out for a few hour stretches so long as we have water and snacks packed for all. 

I should really start taking more pictures, I wish I had some to insert here!

I've decided to start putting Lucy in daycare for 1 day per week, and B will work every Saturday he can, giving him a weekday off, giving me a second day to go to work on my own. I think Lucy and I still need to be together for most of the time, but these two days should improve our relationship quite a bit (and hopefully make her less hateful of the bottle...). Today is her first day there, and while I have a few things going on, I'm not go-go-go busy in between pumping sessions. Things may have gotten a bit overwhelming with the non-stop juggling, and with B's schedule being so unreliable. 

And despite Lucy's 3 time wake up overnight, I'm feeling pretty energized this morning. I bought a new minty shampoo, a new eyeliner that I've been wanting for months, I had a shower without hearing a baby cry, so things are good! I've been struggling a bit with overeating (nursing makes me hungry, all the freaking time) but I've now gone a full week tracking all my food -- not a diet so much as making me aware of what and how much I'm eating, and reminding me to pump the brakes once in a while instead of trusting my unreliable feeling of satisfaction. It's not much of a victory in getting back to a comfortable weight, but it's a start. 

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Grand Canyon take 2

Somehow, we've managed to take two trips to the Grand Canyon since Lucy's birth. The first time, she was completely asleep the whole time, and this second time, she screamed for about 75% of the time we were visiting the different viewpoints. This time, we brought the kids, the dogs, and my sister in law and in all that wrangling (and there was much wrangling -- I had the baby and the chihuahua and B had Mia and the lab mix), I managed not to snap a single picture with my Phone! I am a big disappointment to my blog.

It was both incredibly pleasant and incredibly stressful. It was a 4 hour drive either way, during which I was stuffed in the backseat with two carseats and two dogs, but we listened to Serial the whole drive (and finished just as we were pulling into our neighborhood!). The first trip (right around Christmas time) we went to the West Rim, which is an Indian reservation with an organized bus tour and limited stops. This time, we took the longer drive down to the South Rim, where the actual National Park is and it was so very very nice. The weather was perfect, it was sunny and warmish the whole time. We only spent one night (we considered doing 2 nights, but now that we're back I'm glad we stuck to one) at the only pet-friendly lodge in town, which we were once again stuffed into like sardines (had it been just us, without the SIL, it would have STILL been cramped), but we were all together and that was nice.

We very much intended on doing some actual hiking, but in the end we just did the paved walk around the rim, and I'm quite proud of us for managing even that. I had to stop (twice! and covered) to nurse while sitting on a boulder with basically the most spectacular view while pretending I was completely comfortable so as not to draw too much attention to myself. I'm all for breastfeeding and everything, but I still have a hard time nursing without being behind closed doors. Despite the paved terrain, it was still the most exercise I've gotten in a long time -- especially since I was pushing a double stroller up and down inclines.

On the second day, did the 25-mile drive, with various lookout points and stops along the way. It ended in a lookout tower, and Mia was very disappointed that Rapunzel was not there. I took 2 days off work to bookend the weekend, and B took a while week to hang out with his sister while she visited, while giving me some alone time at work. Today, we're all back to our regular schedule, until my other sister in law visits in 3 weeks!!

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Overdue Update

This post title may be a bit misleading, considering there isn't much to "update". Things are very much the same now as they were at the time of my last post. That isn't a bad thing, normalcy is certainly something that many families with an infant may crave, and it does feel like we've reached it. The days may be long, but the months feel very short.

Lucy's a relatively easy baby as far as it goes, though she does have her moments. I am continuing to nurse her exclusively, something I didn't do with Mia and I feel proud to be doing this time around. I didn't like nursing Mia, I didn't like feeling like I was the only person that could feed her, but this time around, since I have a good pump, it still feels like I have some flexibility. Besides, not having to wash bottles is a positive point for breast feeding!!

I am taking this Friday and following Monday off of work, and we are headed out of town for one night. It kind of feels like I haven't had a break in ages, and I certainly don't count my maternity leave as a break, considering the difficult recover plus the huge number of family members that were in town. And, with taking Lucy to work with me, I feel like I am constantly juggling my different roles. In the evenings, B will do most of the baby-entertaining which I am absolutely grateful for, but when she fusses, boob is almost always the solution, so I never really do get much of a break. It will be nice not to have to think about work for more than just a weekend and focus on having a nice time with my family, who I have been enjoying immensely recently.

Mia goes back and forth from being so helpful, independent and sweet to being needy, whiny and rebellious, but such is life with an almost 3/4 year old, I suppose. Our after work routine is so predictable, and she'll just do things like refusing to get out of the car, refusing dinner, and lying. So much lying! About nothing atrocious, just things like saying she washed her hands when they are clearly filthy. I've turned into my mother and told her that her tongue would be cut off if she continued to lie (my Mom told me that Jesus would be cutting my tongue off, but I'm leaving that out of this one...), but I was at my wits end in the moment.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Parenting from Work Life

This is going rather well, for the moment. Lucy is pretty easy going during the day. She'll generally fall asleep in her car seat on the way to work, and I'll unbuckle her, but leave her in there (within eyesight) until she wakes up. Most days, she'll stay asleep until 11 or 12, which gives me a solid two or three hours of powering through whatever needs to get taken care of right away. Phone calls, emails, etc. She'll wake up around lunch time, and I'll spend the lunch hour in my office holding her, and engaging with her until the lunchroom has cleared out a bit, and I'll head in there with her in her bouncy chair to eat quickly while she lounges. Sometimes, a co-worker will take her to their desk for a bit. 

After lunch, she'll lounge in her bouncy chair a bit longer, and fall back asleep. To get the longest possible second nap of the day, I'll usually put her in her pack n play, swaddled. She'll usually give me at least another hour, hour and a half of sleep. Once she wakes up from this second nap, it's about 3 o'clock, and I'll wear her around the office. She's usually a bit more fussy for the rest of the day, but by this point, I'm pretty satisfied with what I've been able to accomplish so it's not quite so difficult to juggle. I'll hope for a good feed somewhere between 4 and 4:30, so that she'll be in good shape after 5pm, in her car seat for the ride to pick Mia up, and hopefully, she'll even let me make dinner while sitting in her swing.

Evenings aren't quite as hectic as I initially thought they might be. She's still pretty content to lounge in a bouncy chair or swing while I make dinner and cater to Mia's various snack and juice needs. We don't have any more evening downtime, which is a bummer and I'm hoping we get back to it soon. But for now, evenings are still Lucy's fussy time, where she wavers between wanting to be wide awake, being hungry, and wanting to sleep. At this point, we still will do our best to keep her awake in the evenings until at least 10pm, or we're afraid she'll wake up multiple times over night. She always always wakes up at least once, and the goal is to delay that second wake up until morning.

She's been great, and when she's with me during the day, I marvel at how sweet and laid back she is. Even when she cries, I can still look at her and laugh because I know that whatever is wrong, it's not much. I'm not going to lie though... I do look forward to Brian's days off during the week, when I can go to work without having to juggle anything but my pump. Quite frankly, those pumping breaks feel like exactly that... a break. 

Monday, February 2, 2015

Lucy's 2 Months!

Time feels like it is both rushing by an crawling by at a snail's pace. But mostly, I can't believe little Lucy is already 2 months old!

Lucy's 2 month stats:
Weight: 10 lbs, 7oz. 32nd percentile
Height: 23 inches. 79th percentile
Head: 38.1cm. 52nd percentile

Lucy has the sadz after her 3 shots.
Lucy is nice and strong, has good head control and will hold herself up when you are carrying her. It's so freeing not to have to cradle your baby's head at all times, but she won't last terribly long before she starts bobbing back and forth. She's still eating well, her sleep overnight has extended into 4 hour stretches, and she's taking a few short naps during the day, with one extended 2+ hour nap. It's not always consistent whether the long nap is in the morning or afternoon, but I'm glad we're at least getting it.

This weekend, we made a big purchase that I had been agonizing over for the past several months. A double stroller!! I had been trolling craigslist and messaging anyone who had a decent looking stroller, when finally, we landed on this baby. Though nobody can accuse me of not thoroughly researching the double stroller matter beforehand, I wanted to make 100% sure it was worth the price (though used, it's still not an amount I'm willing to spend at the drop of a hat, especially considering it was going to eat up what was left of my Xmas stash). Anyway, I'm pretty thrilled with the purchase, and we took a very nice long walk with it on Saturday and fully intended to take one on Sunday, but I got caught up in the endless piles of laundry created by 2 human children.

And for posterity's sake, here are Mia's 2 month stats:

Mia at 2 months.

Friday, January 23, 2015

The Night of Three Times

Life with a newborn is constantly changing. You get few days in a row of sameness, and and you let your guard down. You think to yourself, "Hey! If this is how it's going to be, this isn't so bad." And then, things change again and throw everyone (your newborn included!) for a loop.

Lucy gave us 4 days in a row of good sleep. She'd go down between 10pm-11pm after a couple of hours of fussing and cluster feeding, stay down until around 3 or 4 am, have a quick feeding and be back down until around 7. A really great schedule that made perfect sense, allowing me to feed her until she fell back asleep and letting me get up and ready for the day. I've even learned to start loving the middle of the night feeding  now that I'm back at work, where we get to just cuddle quietly together without anything else to do.

Of course, everything changed last night. She did her cluster feeding a bit earlier than usual, and fell asleep an hour earlier than usual, at 9pm. So, I went with it. Put her down for the night and headed back downstairs for a full hour of hands free, boob free time! "Maybe we are inching towards getting our post-bedtime evenings back," I thought to myself, like the fool that I am.

All was well, even an hour later when B and I came up to sleep. She stayed asleep in her bassinet, breathing heavily. B and I fell asleep at 10, also perfectly contentedly. Of course, OF COURSE, Mia chose this night, this beautiful night, to start screaming at midnight. For absolutely no obvious reason once B went to investigate. And of course, OF COURSE, said screaming also woke our perfectly sleeping baby, messing the whole schedule up.

We may have gotten an hour of freedom, but we certainly paid for it in the middle of the night. Because Lucy's middle of the night wake up was so much earlier than usual, she woke up a second time at 5am, and this time, screamed every time I put her down, which meant we  dozed while she was in my arms for 2 hours (I couldn't even put her down next to me until 7am!).

Thank goodness it's Friday. It certainly makes these prickly eyes easier to bear.

Friday, January 16, 2015

The first week back

B left Wednesday for a work-training in Salt Lake City. It's been planned for a while, and I've been dreading it all that time. Every single time he brought it up in the past few weeks, I'd tell him to please shut his mouth on the subject, as I continue to pretend it is not happening until I absolutely must think about it. Anyway, things went quite well for the first night! Lest you think that I am superwoman, please remember that my Mom is still with us. Though to be fair, I was completely on my own for Lucy's bedtime and overnight care. Really, not that bad. The second night wasn't bad, she wasn't particularly fussy or resistant, but she stayed awake overnight for a good two hours. For the first hour, I didn't see the time go by. I'd look down at her little face and be so happy to have this time to hang out with her, but by the hour and half mark, when there were only 2 hours left before my alarm went off, the niceness of it had worn off. Every time she'd start dozing off, she'd need a diaper change, or the second time, she'd spit up all over herself and needed a full clothing and blanket change... so of course, she'd be wide awake after all the commotion. I'm adjusting to the lack of sleep, but by the end of the day, I'm totally wiped.

Closing out the first week of being back at work, and I am completely exhausted despite not being terribly busy. I'd been working from home the week before, on something that was quite a big deal and took a lot of time but was completely finished last Friday at 4:50pm, so that really made coming back in this week much much easier. I'm not sure where the exhaustion comes in, because physically, it feels like I'm able to rest more here, at my desk, in front of a computer, rather than at home, trying to juggle a baby, laundry, mealtimes, etc.

The thing about being back at work, and not being terribly busy, is that I've been completely focused and borderline obsessing about pumping. By the time I manage to get myself into the office (this should get better by the time B gets back next week), it's already been a couple of hours since the last feeding, so it's time to pump. And while I'm pumping, I try my darndest not to stare at the little bottles filling up ever so slowly. Once I'm managed to squeeze the last possible drops out of myself, I'll clean up, store the milk in those tiny little zip-lock bags I love so much, put them  in the little cooler I love so much, and rinse out my parts. Then, as soon as I get back to my desk, I'll do the math about how many more ounces I need to pump at the next session (and the one after that) to replenish the amount she ate the previous day. It's an obsession. I really hope I can start to relax about it soon, because I honestly don't think about much else during the day. It's exhausting! Mothers who go back to work and manage to do this for an entire year... serious kudos to you.

Today is Friday, and I've never been more excited about it!