Thursday, July 30, 2015

One Working Mom, Two Jobs

I interviewed with an Attorney a little while ago, but things seemed to be dragging a bit with summer vacation schedules, etc. He's a criminal defense (and a bunch of other stuff) attorney, and wants someone to keep his court calendar for him. He wanted to bring someone in to help out, but wasn't sure about going full time. So, instead, we are starting out with some part time work. Two mornings a week, plus some additional hours here and there. He's acknowledged that he'd like to gradually add more hours, and I'd like that, but I'm just glad for the experience even if it stays as it is for a little while.

We started the mornings this week, Tuesdays and Thursdays. I'm currently only supposed to be working 4 days at my In House job -- so instead of having a day off during the week, I instead have two mornings off to go to court for my "second job". I'm still learning, obviously, I can't take his calendar off his hands quite yet, but after doing two days of shadowing, I don't think it's too far off.

I've had so much fun, so far. The cases are serious, as most criminal cases are, and quite a few of his clients are in custody as we move the process of getting them to trial, but it's exciting. I mean, it's a lot more "fly by the seat of your pants" than anything I'm used to, and it's been a great learning experience. We're basically on our feet from 8.30 to 1pm, moving from one court room to another, from one client to another, and it's such a fast pace. This afternoon, as I'm able to actually sit down and look forward to the weekend, my adrenaline has finally let up a bit and I'm feeling exhausted but excited.

I stopped by his office this afternoon on my way back to my In House job, and they handed me a stack of papers about 8 inches high of court transcripts I have to read to write a Criminal Appellate Brief, you know... for my free time. Which is basically non-existent now!

When the Attorney committed to the two mornings, I was thrilled. But quickly, I realized that I had accepted a second job without cutting any responsibility at my current job. So, these next few weeks should be exciting!

Monday, July 13, 2015

Potty Training: Tackling Nighttime

I seriously cannot BELIEVE we've waited this long to start potty training Mia overnight. Every month, I still dutifully add a pack of training pants to my Honest Company order, and every month, I tell myself that this is the last time we are spending that extra $14, or whatever it is. It's starting to get a little ridiculous that my completely verbal and communicative 4 year old wakes me up on weekend mornings telling me that her diaper is "melting". A couple of weeks ago, Mia and Lucy went to a babysitter's house and I had to include Mia's overnight diaper in the instructions -- while the babysitter's 2 year old was completely diaper-free.

I've had a million reasons not to start. First, because Mia has never, not once, woken up with a dry training diaper. I keep reading that night training is physiological, that the kid's bladder capacity will be the indicator that she is ready to go all night without going. Well, I think I'll be waiting forever if I do that. And, it's impossible to know when she actually goes... does she hold it for most of the night and then just go in the morning when she wakes up? I have no idea. Second, because Mia has historically been a terrible sleeper. Mia didn't regularly sleep through the night until she was at least 18 months old, and even then, bedtime itself was a nightmare until recently. So, I've been dreading rocking the boat.

So, it was perfect timing when I was asked whether I was interested in reviewing Oh Crap! Potty Training by Jamie Glowacki with the promise that there was a whole chapter on nighttime training. I mean, when I started potty training Mia a few months after she turned 2, I had a self-imposed deadline of her 3rd birthday to start nighttime training, and that year came and went with a few meager attempts, during which Mia wet the bed within an hour of falling asleep.

So, now we're doing it. I've read the chapter (and a couple of others) and am going to start putting things into practice. Jamie says, right off the bat, that there are two things you have to do to night time train: 1) limit water intake and 2) wake them up to pee. So, OK. We're forging ahead. We're up at least once every night with Lucy anyway, so we (by WE I mean B, since I'm the one doing the feeding) might as well wake Mia while we're at it. Anyway, I've liked reading the parts of the book that I've read so far. I don't usually find Potty Training books terribly helpful; I've checked a few out of the library, but I've liked the instructions she's given so far! Her writing style is straight to the point, simple, but funny!

We've done 2 nights so far -- night 1 went well, completely dry. Granted, it was a Saturday night so we were up late and super vigilant. We woke Mia up 3 times, and she went twice. The second night... didn't go as well. Despite waking her up twice, and having her go twice, she wet the bed, twice. Once within 10 minutes of her being in bed -- I'm not sure she was even asleep so I'm a bit puzzled on that one. But the second time was in the morning. Again, I'm not sure if she was even asleep when it happened, since she came into my bedroom to alert me to the fact that her bed had "melted". I honestly think she might have forgotten she was sans-diaper and followed her usual habit of going first thing. Bumps in the road, for sure, but we aren't getting discouraged just yet.

Oh, and let me share this one trick I found on Pinterest or something to make middle of the night sheet changes easier: cover the mattress with a water proof protector under the fitted sheet, natch. BUT then, put a couple of puppy training pads down, and cover with another fitted sheet (and repeat as many times as you like). If there's an accident, remove the fitted sheet, and hopefully your puppy pads will have caught the "wet" and kept the next layer of sheet dry!

Like I said, I was sent a copy of Oh Crap! Potty Training for no charge if I was interested in writing a review - which I was! Opinions and execution is my own.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

These two

There two. Together. They kill me. The sisters.

6 months in, and I cannot believe how much they love each other. Every morning, Mia wakes up racing into our room looking for Lucy (whose wake up is often around 5am, and Brian plops her down next to me while he goes off and does this thing called "exercise"), and the three of us spend the first few minutes of every day cuddling and giggling. Mia does everything she can to make Lucy laugh, Lucy doesn't take her eyes off Mia, and I... supervise. Lucy is always in the best mood in the mornings, and Mia takes full advantage. This has also helped getting Mia out of bed, who used to resist weekday wake ups.

Every Monday, Lucy goes to daycare with Mia. Mia reported stays in the baby room for the first few minutes of the day to "make sure Lucy isn't sad", before heading out to join the big kids. When the daycare teachers told me this after the first day, I had to hold back the tears.

On days that I can barely keep my eyelids from closing, I realize that the best thing I could have done for Mia was to give her this baby sister. And I often think about how lucky Lucy is to have three people to love her.

Friday, June 19, 2015

The State of Me, post partum take 2.

After giving birth to Mia, it took me over a year to start caring about myself again. Caring about my body, my appearance, my hair, clothes, everything. I'm not sure I realized it while I was in that post-partum funk. I wouldn't necessary escalate it to PPD, but having a baby, becoming a mother and coming to terms with your new identity was difficult for me. Adding a second baby does add a lot of work, but it doesn't change who you are quite as much. Yes, there is a new person and that is certainly a big deal, but I'm already a Mom, so the adjustment was just that much easier.

Of course, I'm still nursing. That is what my body is doing right now, that is what my body is for. I decide what to eat based on that, skip my allergy medicine despite feeling congested, choose my clothing, choosing beer over wine. I suppose this will continue until she's a year old and we start to wean, but for now, it's still a huge part of me, and my life. 

I am, and have been for a while, watching what I eat. Immediately after having Lucy, I dropped all the baby weight within 4 weeks of giving birth. I was back in pre-pregnancy jeans, despite a flabbier midsection. I don't know how to explain it, but it may have been a combination of the difficult recovery decreasing my appetite, plus the round the clock nursing that did it. But, as soon as my supply regulated but my appetite did not, I gained everything back. I didn't realize it until my pants started feeling tight again, but I started low-carbing and got some very quick results. Of course, my milk supply totally tanked, and I realized that my usual method of cutting carbs out completely was not going to work out this time around.

It's probably for the best, actually. Instead of being very strict with my eating for a shorter period of time, I have to be sensible for a long period of time. It's been just over 6 weeks now, but B and I are still eating well. We've eliminated white starches (but I have to eat a starch at every meal). I've lost 12 lbs, which puts me at about 8 lbs until pre-pregnancy weight. The scale hasn't budged in a couple of weeks, but I'm hoping that Lucy will start sleeping semi-regularly again soon, and I can actually wake up with enough energy to do a little bit of yoga once in a while. The belly flab is pretty serious this time, though. It felt like it was pretty flabby after giving birth to Mia, but stretching that skin for a second time seems to have pushed its limits -- it's not bouncing back. 

Another lovely post-partum side effect that has really shown up this time around: hair loss. For a little while there, I was shedding multiple handfuls of hair during each shampoo. I had a lot of hair, and it's pretty thick, so it doesn't look bad, or thinning at all, but it is significant. I can go around my ponytail 4 times with a hair tie now, when it used to be 3. I'd easily estimate that I've at least lost 1/3 of my hair. It'll come back, and when it does, I'll have a lovely head of chia hair.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Very wet, but not so wild.

Now that Lucy is 6 months old, it feels like we have our lives back again. Before the past few weeks, it has felt like there was a bit of a timer on us leaving the house. Lucy would need a nap, or I'd need to be able to go back to the car to nurse her (I'm not VERY comfortable nursing on the go, and neither is she). But, on a very hot Las Vegas Day, we slathered ourselves in sunscreen, and headed out to cool off at Wet n Wild!

I have the best memories of water parks are a kid. I remember coming back from a field trip to a water park without realizing the butt section of my bathing suit had gotten so worn out from the constant sliding that there were actual holes in it! Mia loves the water. We don't have a pool, but a few of our friends do, and as soon as she spots the water, she will go in no matter what the water temperature is. So, I thought a water playground would actually be the perfect fit for her. 

We got the use of a shaded cabana for the day, which included an ice bucket, waters and a personal attendant who was charming but a bit overwhelmed on his second day of work. It was so nice to have a base camp to settle in for the day, and a play to draw some curtains and have complete privacy, which is a total dream for nursing. I was able to recline on the lounge chairs, and Lucy didn't have to be covered up (which she hates). As soon as I realized that she was comfortable, I knew that we could stick around for as long as Mia wanted to. I hate taking her away from fun just because Lucy needs a proper nap and feeding. 

The rarest picture of me in a bathing suit - I was so happy to be there, it had to be documented, flabby belly and all.

I get the impression that many of their employees are high school students out of school for the summer, and I absolutely love that. I would have loved to have this job as a high school student! B and I joked that when the kids were older, we'd just buy them season passes and meal passes and send them to Wet n' Wild for the summer instead of paying for a summer camp! It's certainly better than having them laze around the house all day.

How much would you have loved this as a little kid?

Our cabana was right in front of the "little kid" section of the park. Smaller slides, splash pads, waterfalls, etc. Mia ran towards the play structure as soon as we had our stuff down, but our little wimpy kid was terrified when she realized that there was a giant bucket of water that periodically spilled out over the whole play structure! The first time it dumped water on her, she rushed right back to the cabana with her Papa. There were also a set of toddler slides (unaffected by the giant bucket of fear) that she was much more content on.

Escaping the Bucket of Fear
I was itching to get on a water slide, so as soon as B and Mia came back, I left B with the baby in the shade (where he belongs) and headed out to one of the tandem water slides. I scanned the lines to see whether there were little kids in line with their parents, and took Mia to that one. Once we were installed in our tube with Mia ensconced safely between my legs, we went down. Little did I know, the whole ride would be in the dark! Mia was again terrified and vowed never to trust her parents again. 

From our cabana, Mia (now fearful of any words her parents said) hadn't yet spotted the lazy river or the pool. We convinced her to put on her little puddle jumper and head to the lazy river, so that Lucy didn't have to miss out on all the fun. There were little lifevests available for babies, so we strapped one on Lucy and settled into an inner tube for seven a couple of laps around the river. Mia swam around, B flipped over, and everyone had a fantastic time going around and around and around. I didn't bring my phone (since... water) but I got a few giggles out of Lucy sticking her feet in the water and watching her big sister splash around. I think we even managed to get some of Mia's trust back.

Mia, Lucy and I headed back to the Cabana to order lunch, while B went and had his own fun at the Slideboarding ride which he explained was a combination video game/water slide and while the whole process took kind of a long time, he came back grinning so I think he had a great time. He said something about needing to go back later on and try to beat his time, but I just smiled and nodded. I knew perfectly well that I wouldn't be able to get Mia back on any water slides, but I had my eye on the wave pool and wanted to spend the rest of the day bobbing up and down on a tube. Mia and I headed over there for a good long time. She loved loved loved the wave pool, and gained a bit of her bravery back. She even had me let go of her several times, and kept on asking to get closer to the big waves. I love me a wave pool, only second to a lazy river. 

Alas, B's second turn on the sideboard was naught. Mia and I were signaled out of the wave pool because there had been some thunder and lightening, because Las Vegas wanted to choose the one day we were at the water park to rain. 

We felt slightly guilty for being so sheltered while others gathered around the umbrellas. I believe umbrellas are general admission, first come first served, but cabanas require a reservation and extra fee. They also have some cool looking day beds, and some umbrella rentals that you can set up on the grass.

After waiting it out for a little bit longer, it didn't look like it was going to clear up. Since the 4 year old was tired, the husband was not yet sunburned, and the baby had yet to take a nap, we decided to call it and pack it up.

Mia fell asleep on the way home, a rarity now a days and a sure sign of a good time.

I was given complimentary passes to Wet n' Wild for my family to experience the new attractions just opened this summer, they did not require a blog post in exchange, but we had a great time! All opinions are my own.

Monday, June 15, 2015


I've posted 2 backdated posts -- one for Lucy and one for Mia! Check them out.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Settling In

Lucy is 6 months now, Mia just turned 4. Lucy's sleep has become pretty horrific, waking as if she were a newborn. I feel like a zombie for most of the day, until my own bedtime rolls around of course and it seems like a great idea to just play one more episode of Breaking Bad (our current binge).

Life feels hectic, but boring at the same time. Weeks are long, but months are short. I'm writing here with the hope of getting back into this little hobby of mine, a way to record things. I'm sorry Lucy, your first 6 months won't be quite a  documented as your sisters were. But, such is life for a second child!

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

6 months!

Lucy is 6 months old! (forgive the backdating) During daylight hours, Lucy is wonderful, and happy. She is not afraid of strangers, she smiles easily but saves laughs for the really funny stuff (like her big sister). At her 6 month visit, she was 14 lbs, 15oz, which put her in the 25th percentile, exactly like her big sister always was during the baby stage. The hair is still very thin, and very spiky, but it puts my headband collection to very good use, unlike Mia's full head of hair that never let a headband stay in place for more than a few minutes.

She continues to come to work with me 3 or 4 days a week, and has completely charmed the pants off all my co-workers. Everyone helps out, thankfully, and she gets passed around for about an hour or two daily, giving me some time to power through whatever "bigger" task needed to get done that day. I think we may need to add a 2nd day of regular daycare sometime soon, and at the very latest when she starts crawling, but for now, we are managing with this schedule. My Mom comes back for an extended visit right around her first birthday (which will be here in the blink of an eye) and as soon as my Mom leaves, we'll start sending her there full time. 

At 6 months, Lucy has really started interacting. She has started doing this adorable -- if you hold her facing out on your lap, she'll periodically throw her body backwards to check and make sure you're still there. It might be the cutest thing any baby has ever done.

As far as physical development goes, I think she's slightly behind where her sister was at this stage. She sits fairly well unassisted, but is still wobbly. She doesn't army crawl, and tummy time is still pretty sedentary. She rolls both ways, like a boss, and won't stay on her tummy for long enough to start scooting around or anything. She's eating solids now, purees every evening for dinner, and some baby-led weaning once in a while, but I get pretty nervous and she gets pretty frustrated with not being able to actually eat.

We are very much still nursing, and I've taken much better to it the second time around than I did with Mia. In retrospect, I feel a bit guilty for giving up so quickly with Mia, but I'm proud of myself for keeping up with it this long. Lucy gets an occasional bottle of formula, but since health insurance companies now have to provide a double electric pump, I'm able to pump very efficiently at work and keep up with her demands even when we aren't together. She generally doesn't like a bottle, too, so she'll eat a lot less frequently at daycare and at home with B as she would when she's got direct access. Some days, I feel like all I'm doing is breastfeeding (or pumping) but most days, it is second nature to me and I don't give it a second thought.

Sleep has been... terrible. It was sort of bad for a while, and then got significantly better with a single night waking, but that deteriorated really quickly. We can't seem to pinpoint the reason why, and have tried just about everything under the sun. For the past month or so, she's waking every 2 to 3 hours overnight it is really taking a toll. I've ordered a Zipadee-Zip based on a few recommendations, so we'll see how it goes. She's got a bad case of the jimmy arms, but she's too mobile and big for a swaddle so there doesn't seem to be much of a solution so far. The Zipadee is on its way, and I'm desperate excited to give it a try.

But really, she is a delight. Other than the sleep, she is so easy going and willingly gets lugged around where ever we need to go, or where ever Mia goes to get her energy out. She happily hangs out in the Ergo, stroller, and the car (as long as you aren't driving when the sun has set, or she thinks the world has ended and will scream until she's taken out). Sometimes, I feel guilty for how much less attention she gets as a little sister, but she's so lucky to have 3 people love her more than anything!

Monday, May 25, 2015

Call me Four girl

Mia's birthday was so anticipated this year. As soon as the month of May hit, I would remind Mia that it was her birthday soon. Inevitably, after 20 or so days of reminding her, she had finally had enough. Mom, you always say that, and it's never my birthday yet. The day finally did come, and was celebrated with a "pool" party, and by "pool" I mean inflatable kiddie pool that was a hit with the 4 year olds nonetheless. On her actual Birthday, I woke her up and said "Wake up, Big Girl!", and she corrected me: "You can call me Four Girl, Mom".

According to Mia's 4 year old well check, she weighs 33 lbs, and measures 41 inches. Her weight puts her in the 3rd percentile, which is... not great, but she is about average in height. The weight did startle me a bit, but considering what a struggle meal time is, I shouldn't have been surprised. Mia is often left at the table as the only person not to have finished her meal (and that includes the baby sister whose little ramekin is empty of whatever puree she was having for dinner). While I'm not going to change too much of my cooking habits, I will stop expecting my 4 year old to eat quinoa (B and I have been trying not to eat too many carbs, but that's a bit difficult since I am still nursing) and I have been making her a handful of buttered noodles as a side dish since we found out she was totally skinny.

At 4, Mia's personality is quite her own. She likes to watch movies, play with her legos, play with her doll house. She still colors, but not quite as much as she used to. Her legos and doll house are the main source of play, and it's gotten quite imaginative. Eavesdropping into her storylines have become quite a favorite of mine, though I am startled at how often her dolls get in trouble (I'm always asking B-- Do I sound like that?!). Mia has really taken to being a big sister, maybe more than I thought she would. She plays with Lucy a lot, supervises her in her little exersaucer while I'm cooking. She is mostly gentle, though will accidentally hurt or startle Lucy once in a while, but nobody is harder on herself than she is when Lucy cries because of something she did.

She likes everything princess, refuses to wear anything but dresses (the longer the better) and is a bit of a outdoor play wimp. She loves going to the playground, but is scared of the slides and climbing high. It kind of surprises me, because she was much more adventurous when she was smaller, but we try not to force it. She's still very sensitive, doesn't respond well to yelling or harsh discipline, and is shy, but friendly and caring to those she knows.

I often joke that Mia is my best friend, but now that she's 4, she's so interactive and grown up, that it's hardly a joke anymore. So Happy Birthday to my darling girl, my sweetest big sister, my little best friend.

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. 

Monday, April 13, 2015

Sneak Peek at Life with 4 Kids

alternatively titled: Sister In Law Visit #2

B's younger sister came to visit this past (extended) weekend. She and her family got in on Wednesday evening, we all took a four day weekend. They have two kids, aged 5.5 and 18 months, so we had 4 kids in our little 1,500 square foot house with as many out-of-the-house activities are we could plan and still keep the younger kids out of strollers/carseats.

Plausibly, someone could have this many kids at this age gap. Tyler, the eldest at 5 1/2, Mia at almost 4, Danielle at 1.5 and Lucy at 4 months (realistically, there would probably be more of a gap between Lucy and Danielle, but you get my point). Needless to say, the house was crazy, but really fun.

We took the kids to Red Rock Canyon for an "easy" hike, which yes, was easy but not that easy with an 18 month old and a 4 month old, but with baby carriers and the like, we all managed. The two "big" kids had a ball and lead the way. To make up for any calories we might have burned, we stopped at the Red Rock Casino Buffet for dinner, after a game of bowling to kill time before it was an acceptable meal time.

I wanted to take them to Pizza Rock for lunch, followed by playtime at Container Park, where there was some nice live music, gourmet popsicles. Container Park is so awesome and I am a bit obsessed with it. I want to go every single weekend, and I really want to go sans-kids sometime soon (though, when that might happen seems like it's ages away...). Seriously, if you're coming to Vegas, put Container Park on the list because I love it and you will too.

After this 5 day peek, I can firmly say that we are in the 2 kids is enough camp.

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!

Monday, January 12, 2015

Back to Reality

Lucy is 6 weeks old! Or at least, she will be tomorrow. But I am back at work, while Lucy stays at home with my Mom for the remainder of her visit. She leaves January 28th, and I will resume my experiment in "parenting from work" where little Lucy will tag along with me, be worn around my office as I try to get things done in between diaper changes, feedings and keeping her happy. This ended up working relatively well with Mia, at least until she got a bit too big to be content strapped to my chest. I'm hoping Lucy will give us a good 6 months -- once she starts to crawl and be mobile, it'll have to be full time daycare.

But, a bit about my seemingly short break. Lucy's birth was good, as I described in my last post. She's doing very well, feeding well, gaining weight well, no issues of any kind. She's a lovely baby, who is unhappy unless she's held while awake, but will sleep on her own without too much trouble. She was born at 7lbs, 2oz, and now weighs 9lbs, 4oz, so everything is going well there. I'm still breastfeeding, and hopefully everything goes alright with me pumping while I'm away from her.

But somehow, my recovery went a bit off track after the first couple of weeks. First, I had an allergic reaction to the pads I was using for postpartum bleeding - this was very painful and unpleasant, on an area that is already messed from birthing a human baby. The Doctor prescribed some steroids, things got better (though only after an EXTREMELY painful examination on my lady parts, that were already, as mentioned, messed up from birthing a human baby). But then, they got worse again, and evidently the allergic reaction then triggered an infection, which meant another trip to the Doctor. After a less painful examination but multiple viewings by multiple Doctors in the practice which, I have to tell you, did not reassure me that things were going to get any better if they kept on debating what the hell was happening to my angry lady parts, they finally came to an agreement, sent me off with some cream and things did get better. So that will have to do to explain my lack of energy for anything but feeding my baby, giving attention to my 3 year old, and managing the out of town visitors we had.