Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Sleeping like a Baby

A newborn sleeps a lot. 

Just not all at night.  And, Caleb has been typical for a breastfed baby, in that he generally wants to eat every two hours or so, whether that's 3 pm or 3 am, it does not make a difference to him.  So, for the past month, I've typically gotten no more than 2 consecutive hours of sleep. 

But in the past two nights, I've been blessed with, suddenly, a near full night's rest.

Monday night, he only woke up twice, and then last night -- miracle of miracles -- he only woke up once!  That's practically sleeping through the night in my book!

The extra sleep is nice, but having such a sudden change in routine is also weirdly disorienting.  For me and my boobs.  Last night, for instance, when he had a long stretch from 7:30 pm to 2 am, I was up at 12:30 am standing over his crib -- both because I wanted to make sure he was still breathing and because I was kinda hoping he'd wake up because my boobs were killing me!  I ended up pumping twice during that long sleep spell of his.

I don't know if this new business of sleeping so long is just a fluke or if he's trending toward being able to make it through the night, only time will tell, but despite waking up with boobs that feel like boulders, I'm appreciating the extra Zzzzzs!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Belated Blogoversary

With everything else going on, I completely forgot that it was my blog's b-day last week!  June 21st was the 6 year anniversary of my first post, and I didn't even remember to buy my blog a card or send it flowers!  Goodness gracious, I'll be in the doghouse for sure.

So without further ado, happy 6 years blog!

Well, at this point, techincally, it's 6 years and 7 days, but who's keeping track?  Clearly, not me.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Family Circus

Jerry's brother was in town yesterday to visit us, and since we didn't have any pics of the four of us yet, I asked him to take a few pictures of us -- as a family.  Yeah...these are a few of what we got:

Norah picking her nose:
 Norah showing her uncle her teeth:
 Her uncle told her to try to keep her hands off her face, so this is what she did:
And, then, ironically, Caleb had his eyes open for a brief moment and smiled, so we were all caught up in his moment:
And, yes, Caleb has a bit of "ink" on his left bicep.  Four weeks old and he's already getting tattoos.  His big sister may be a bad influence ;)

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Lots of Things Thursday

Thanks for all the encouraging comments on my last post.  It seems that everyday with these two has both its joys and its challenges, and I'm doing my best to enjoy the former and survive the latter.  And, I've actually been very lucky to meet a lot of nice moms (and dads!) while we're out and about who have all offered help in either the form of advice or literal, physical help. 

We have, for instance, some "park friends" who we see frequently enough at the park that we've gotten to know them and they're always willing to lend a helping hand when, for instance, I'm nursing Caleb and Norah decides that it's time to climb something scary.  It's often thought that people in South Florida aren't very friendly, but I guess I'm just lucky because I generally find that people are friendly and helpful to us all of the time. 

Or, maybe I just reek of desperation -- I definitely reek of sweat and spit up -- and they pity me.

Anyhoo, we're getting by.  One day at a time.  So, to fulfill a request for pics, I'm including a few of the following.  We've actually been doing tons of fun things lately, but I have taken very few pics (hands are busy with other matters, I suppose, but I for sure need to start taking more pics of Caleb -- I have somewhere around 1 billion pics of Norah; I don't want his baby book to feel sparse).  Here's Norah during a finger painting session: This is the face she does when I tell her to "smile!"
And this is how she opens her finger paints: Thankfully, they're non-toxic.  Which is something I find myself saying a lot...about crayons, about Play Doh, batteries...
And here's one of Caleb in the bath, looking contemplatively at the kitchen sponge.  He's going through his "awkward baby phase" which means that, like Norah, he's got the baby acne.  If it's anything like Norah's, it'll pass in a few weeks' time, and sometimes it doesn't look so bad, but when he's crying, those little pimples look ANGRY!
I can tell this little bugger is already growing like a weed.  He seemingly grew out of the newborn stuff and some of the 0-3 month stuff overnight, and I can simply tell from carrying him around for most of the day that he's heavier.  I suppose this is what happens: You feed them and they grow!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

It Gets Easier, Right?

Today, we were at the library for story time, and afterward, as we were leaving, Norah tried to nab some books off the shelf.  I told her we weren't gonna check out any books today and to put them back, so she unleashed the classic toddler tantrum move: Dramatically flinging herself to the floor and crying, "Book!Book!" 

I felt like the meanest mom in the world denying my daughter the opportunity to check out a library book, but I honestly just wanted to get home -- it was near lunch time for her and Caleb was gonna need to eat soon too and that's easier done at home if it's possible -- plus, I'm trying to stick to my guns, so when I say "no" it really means "no," not "okay, let's start the negotiations."

So, there I am, diaper bag over my shoulder, carrying Caleb in the infant carrier, and with my free hand wrestling the books out of Norah's little hands and trying to keep my cool.  I put the books back (sorry librarians, I just shoved them onto a random shelf!) and then, Norah being so tragically denied books, asked to be carried.

"You can walk, you're a big girl," I told her.

Her response?  "Carry!  Carry!"

"Fine," I said.  I'm sweating a bit and my sunglasses are askew.  So, I pick her up in one arm, still carrying the diaper bag over my shoulder and Caleb with my other arm (strength training be damned!  you just have to be a mom to carry 20+ lbs with each arm), and this woman with two kids of her own nearby says, "It gets easier."

"I hope so," I said.

"How far apart are they?" she asked.

"22 months."

"20 months," she said indicating her own perfectly well-behaved children who looked to be about 4 and 2.  "Trust me, it'll get easier.  Don't worry."

I thanked her and then carried them both out of the library.  Norah was calm by then and volunteered then to walk -- and after lunch, she blessed me with one of her longest naps ever: 2 hrs and 20 minutes!  It was glorious because Caleb slept for about 90 minutes of that: You know what I can do with 90 minutes kid-free?  I practically created a soluble economic recovery plan!

Anyway, that woman's words hung with me all afternoon: "It gets easier."  I was glad for her taking the moment to say something kind and sympathetic, and I clung to her promise.  I needed to hear that in that moment. 

Monday, June 20, 2011

Updates

My blogging -- both in writing posts and reading/commenting on others -- has been rather dismal as of late.  But I hope everyone understands that I have my hands full right now, and time on the interweb has just been the least of my priorities as of late.  To be honest, just getting a shower in is tough some days.

Anyhoo, this is what's been shakin' in Jess's world:

Ummmm, mostly poop.

Baby poop, for the most part -- which I would describe as a lot like my students' writing: A lot of noise, but not a lot of content -- but there's also some kid poop tossed in there once or twice a day as well.  Which means I change, by my estimate, somewhere around 18 diapers a day.  Not all of them shitty, but it sure feels like a lot of them are.

In fact, I had to interrrupt typing the above paragraph because someone had pooped himself.

Yes, there's been other stuff going on, but on the whole, it's a whole heap 'o shit around here : )

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Happy Dad's Day!

Happy Father's Day to all the dads out there, but a special "Happy Father's Day" to the Jer-Bear!

Norah and Caleb are lucky kids to have such a loving, devoted dad!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

What's Today? Wednesday?

As the week progresses, things at home with the kids have gotten easier.  Not easy.  Easier.  We've begun to establish a routine, and we have even been out and about for several "excursions."  Monday, we went to the play area at the mall; Tuesday, we went to the park; and today, we made the maiden voyage to my Mecca: Target.  Each little outing has had its own stresses (and simply getting them in and out of the car seems like a feat in and of itself), but I like being able to get out of the house at least once a day.  That's just me; I have a tough time being at home all the livelong day.

Also a part of our daily routine is a long morning walk.  Previously, I'd posted about the stroller dilemma, and the outcome of that was that we decided on just a regular double stroller.  We did a lot of thinking and looking in this contemplation, but in the end, it was really a cost issue more than anything else. After giftcards and coupons, the stroller we purchased only cost us $40.  Even used, the BOB dualie is often at least $400.  For now, I plan to hold onto my single BOB, and once I resume running, it looks as though I'll just be doing it without kids -- which, the more and more I think about it, I think that will actually be awesome.  Even if I have to run at 5 am.

So, anyway, I'm not running for now; thus, my primary daily exercise is still walking.  But now it's walking with the two kids and Scooter.  It feels a bit like a 3 ring circus, but we get it done, and right now, that's my definition of success.

Here's Norah, ready to ride up front.  She's loaded up with her usual snacks, drinks, and of course, Bo-Bo.
 And here's Caleb, riding behind his big sister.  And, we're not even out the door here, and he's snoozin.
So far, the double stroller has been working out well.  Granted, it's not as easy to manuever as the BOB, and Norah can partially MacGyver her way out of the harness, but overall, it seems worth the $40.  But, honestly, I can't wait to run.  By myself.  Without a dog pulling me, and a kid up front who's demanding more raisins.  I have my post-partum check up in 3 weeks; I think I'll be conservative and stick to the walking until then, but man, I've got the itch to lace up my running shoes!

As a last tidbit, here's a pic of Norah and Caleb during some floor time.  It's a rare moment when Caleb is awake -- look!  His eyes are open!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Flying Solo

So, how'd today go?

Well, despite bursting into tears when Jerry got home, I think it went well.

Tears aside, nothing caught on fire, no one had to be rushed to the emergency room, and we were all clothed and fed.  My sanity may have been hanging by a shred at the end of the day (I can't wait until I can return to running -- I'm gonna need it!), but I think things will get easier as we all get used to it.

Caleb by himself would be easy right now.  He just eats, sleeps, and poops. 

Norah, on the other hand, is a challenge right now, and she'd be work enough by herself.  But, throw in the necessary time spent nursing Caleb and changing those poopy diapers, and she gets to be more than a handful -- although, to be literal, today I discovered a wide array of tasks I'm capabale of one-handed.  I feel like if someone recorded me today, this would be the transcript:

"Norah, no!"

"I said NO!"

"Stop it!"

"Did you hear me?  I said NO!"

That could have just run on a loop all throughout the day.  And that gets wearisome.

I don't necessarily think she's being difficult because of Caleb; I think she's just being a typical near-two-year-old, and it's just her stage in which she has to challenge us on everything.  Still, I'm sure having the new baby does play some role in her being a pickle.  She'll adjust, and so will I.  And in a few weeks, I'll be cleared to run again, and that should help. 

In the meantime, I may have to start drinking in the afternoon.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Let the Chaos Commence!

Tomorrow, Jerry returns to work, and then it's just me and the kids. 

All.  day.  long.

Actually, I'm ready for it, and he's probably never been so happy to be headed off to work.  It's been a month of irregularities: First, Jerry's mom here, then my mom, then Caleb's birth and Jerry at home for 2 weeks.  I think we're all ready to resume life -- albeit now altered -- with our regular routines.

I'll let you know how the full-time-momming-with-two goes.  And if you hear nothing, assume Child Protection Services stepped in.

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

One Week

This afternoon, I took Norah to the park for an hour -- just us girls -- and as we were playing there, it struck me as funny that exactly a week ago, I was at the same park with her in the afternoon and I was still very much preggo with Caleb.  Little did I know that before the day was over, he'd be born!

So, a week's time has passed since his birth, and on the whole, I think things are going pretty smoothly.  Of course, it helps that Jerry is home until next week, so with the two of us, we can play a man-to-man defense, and it's much easier handling the demands of a toddler and a newborn when you can play D like this.  Next week, when he returns to work, and I have to do zone coverage, I may be in deep doo-doo, but I'm sure we'll not set the house on fire. 

Well, I'm like 90% sure we won't set the house on fire.

Anyway, as I said, it's going pretty smoothly.  He eats about every 2 hours, so I don't get much continuous sleep at night, but that's to be expected.  But, aside from the lack of sleep, I'm reminded of how easy a newborn is: He eats, he falls asleep, he wakes up, eats again, poops -- wash, rinse, repeat.  It's Norah who's the bigger handful.  But, I have to say, she's been pretty dang good with all the changes and adjustments.  She's had her tantrum-y moments and metldowns, but as a big sister, she's really loving with him, and she's even been trying to be a little helper, so I think in a week or two, we'll start to really settle in to this new life.

Here are a few pics from Caleb's first week: 

Getting his pic taken for his birth announcements.
 He and his big sister Norah, again pics we took for his birth announcement.  But, she really does give him lots of little hugs and kisses.  She's also fascinated by pointing out his hands, feet, nose, etc, and that means she sometimes pokes him in the eye.  He doesn't seem to have been blinded yet, though.
 Snoozin' dudes: Jerry, Caleb, and Scooter
 Me, Caleb, and Norah: Already hard to believe that a week ago that bundle was inside me!

Monday, June 06, 2011

Doubling Up

So, with two kids, I always figured I'd buy a BOB dualie.  With two kids under 2 years old, I NEED a double stroller -- for walks, for trips to the mall, the zoo, etc -- and my thinking was that if I need a double stroller anyway, I may as well make it a double running stroller.  Did I do any research on this in the past 9 months? 

Nah. 

I just figured I'd go and buy the BOB dualie, buy the car seat adapter to accomodate Caleb, and...viola!  Easy-peasy.

Turns out, not so easy-peasy.

The BOB dualie does have a car seat adapter, but not for the brand of car seat that we have for Caleb (the Chicco Key Fit).  BOB has an adapter for this kind of car seat for the single stroller, but just not the dualie.  The dualie is expensive enough as it is; plus, we already have this car seat (leftover from Norah's infant days), so I can't justify buying a whole new car seat just to fit the dualie.  Additionally, Jerry's argument is that Norah will probably only tolerate a stroller for, maybe, another full year.  So, is the dualie worth it in the end anyway?

If we don't buy a BOB dualie, we'll probably just a buy a regular ol' double stroller that's about $400 cheaper (which is certainly an advantage) that can be used for the basic above listed needs for a double stroller.  I'm just out a double running stroller.  Which means no running with two kids.  Maybe that's a good thing, not running and pushing two kids in a stroller?  But, it would mean no convienent running times -- like running very early in the morning or late in the evening.

So, as I was sitting at the computer, browsing every stroller combination online and growing increasingly frustrated that I couldn't make my ideal work, Jerry suggested I blog about it and see if any of you have ideas, suggestions, or experiences that might help me make the best decision here.

Keep in mind, I want to make the best fiscal decision, but we also have very limited storage, so I can't buy both a regular double stroller and 6 months down the road (when Caleb would, conceivably, be big enough to go in the dualie without a car seat) a BOB dualie.  Suggestions?

Friday, June 03, 2011

Caleb's Birth Story

This is the closest I get to a race report right now, so brace yourselves, I may be long-winded.

So, as many of you read on Tuesday, May 31, after my doctor check-up, I'd resigned myself to being induced on Wednesday, and I'd made my peace with that.  Then, a few hours after posting, and sending out emails to friends and family, I began to have some irregular contractions.  Jerry got home from work at 4:30 and the contractions were still irregular, but I was beginning to believe that this might be it.  At 5:30, I told him we needed to head to the hospital.

Thankfully, my mom was still here, so we left Norah in her care and jetted off.

By the time I got checked into the hospital and to a room in labor and delivery, it was nearly 6:30 pm, and my contractions were about 2-4 minutes apart, but I was only 3 cm dilated.  The nurse I had who was admitting me and getting everything initially prepped in L&D was S-L-O-W as molasses, and I kept asking for an epidural -- stat!  The contractions were motherfuckers, and spaced so closely together that I felt like I didn't get a break in between.  I wanted the drugs, dammit!

Finally, after more than 2 hours, I got the sweet, blessed relief of the epidural, and I went quickly from 4 cm to 8 cm.  There was a nurse shift change in that time, and my 2nd nurse was WAY better.  So, after I had the epidural (I can't thank modern medicine enough -- bless those who are strong enough to do it sans spinal tap, but natural child birth is NOT for me), both Jerry and the nurse had a short break in my cursing and crying, and I felt relaxed and ready.  At a little after 10 pm, the nurse midwife came to check me and she took one look and said, "You're gonna need to start pushing; he's RIGHT there."

She broke my water, and 6 pushes later, he was born.  10:30 pm on the dot.  An hour and a half still left in May -- guess he didn't want to wait until June after all. 

Despite the fact that he was bigger than Norah (he was 8 lbs 3 oz and she was 7 lbs 10 oz), the pushing was so much easier this time around than with Norah (when I pushed for nearly a solid 2 hours), and both the attending nurse and the midwife said I "made it look easy," but I think that's just the nature of 2nd children -- the path has been traveled before and the body knows what to do the 2nd time around.

Unlike Norah, who came out screaming bloody murder, Caleb was eerily quiet at first, and he was kinda gray.  But, they suctioned his mouth and nose, and then he started peeping, but it really wasn't until they started cleaning him up that he made much noise, and even then, he was quiet for the 30 minutes or so.  Thankfully, he pinked up quick, and he has certainly demonstrated in the last 72 hours that he knows plenty well how to use his lungs!

Since then, I've been recovering well, and as I mentioned in my post from yesterday, we returned home yesterday afternoon, and for me, it's such a relief to get checked out of the hospital.  We had a private room this time around, but still, hospitals are just not the place for me.

 Like being in a car accident, or after running a marathon, my entire body feels stiff and sore, but that should pass in another few days.

Caleb too is doing well.  He checked out as a perfectly healthy baby by the hospital pediatrician and he sees our regular pediatric office tomorrow morning for his first check up there.  He's getting the hang of nursing pretty easily (again, it helps that I did this before because I feel much more confident about BFing and what to do/expect, etc).  He has the typical newborn night vs day mixed up, but again, that should correct itself in a few weeks' time.

For now, we're all a bit exhausted by all the change, but overall, we're doing well, and I'm of course, riding a whole wave of emotions, including the best one of all: Feeling like I get to fall in love all over again -- with Jerry, with Norah, and of course, with Caleb himself.  I even have extra love for Scooter right now, and I can't always claim that! ;)

Thanks again for all the comments and congrats.  I appreciate so many people thinking of us and keeping up with us.  Sorry that I am currently MIA from reading and commenting on your own blogs, but I assume it'll be a bit before I'm able to catch up with your lives.  Hope you too are doing well!

Thursday, June 02, 2011

Caleb Pics

Thanks for all the congrats on Jerry's previous post about Caleb's arrival.  I will type up his birth story soon, but for now, we're home, and both Caleb and Norah are in bed, so I just want to quick post a few pics and then go sleep some myself.

Besides, I know it's pics you really want anyway.  So, here ya go:  Caleb soon after being born, on the warming table and getting cleaned up in the delivery room.
 Jerry, Big Sister Norah and Caleb:
 Norah and Caleb:
Norah has been pretty excited, but is also going through the transition of all the changes, so she alternates between lots of feelings and reactions.  Here, she's pretty stoked to hold him:
 And lastly, one more of just Caleb:

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Looks like Jess Spoke to Soon.

Jerry's 2nd Post (lets beat my record for most comments)

Apparently Caleb did want to be a May baby. Caleb was born on May 31st at 10:30 pm. He was 8lbs 3oz, and 21 inches in length at birth. So he's a good size baby, especially when you take into account the size of Jess, whose only three apples tall.

Caleb was a pretty easy birth from the Fathers point of view (Mom may disagree, probable will). But we got to the hospital about 6pm when Jess had her contractions ever 5 to 10 min apart. From there it was just waiting for the little man to be ready. Somewhere around 10 pm they said Caleb was good to go, Jess only had to push throught six contractions and she was done. So a fairly quick labor.

I'll let Jess give you guys the messy details later on. And she'll post some photos tomarrow.