Monday, April 21, 2014

Up In Smoke

I spent a little over two hours composing a beautiful post about cloth diapering, complete with pictures, links, step-by-step instructions... Everything. And it disappeared. ARGH.

So here, instead, is the only picture I managed to get over Easter weekend. Little Buddy is not impressed with Little K's art skills.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Six Weeks

I started writing this at 12:20 AM on Thursday, April 17th.

Exactly six weeks ago, we pulled into the driveway with a brand new, less than six hour old baby boy. Ours to keep, ours to love and ours to lead to Christ. He slept the whole way home. We sat on the couch until 2:00 AM, taking turns with my parents holding our sweet boy and marveling at God's goodness.

I am blessed beyond measure.

I'm here in the same room six weeks later, overflowing with love and thankfulness. God is so good, so much better than I deserve. I have screwed up so many times in my life but He continues to show me grace and forgiveness. The added blessing of this little life to nurture is more than I can understand.

He finally fell asleep at midnight after a rough evening. I went to karate and Little Buddy fussed for his daddy the entire time I was gone, refusing a bottle and crying the whole time. He, of course, quieted down the moment he was put to my breast again. Poor R was/is burned out from the hour they spent together. I know he feels terrible about how that time went down.

R was everything to SSA growing up, sole care-giver and provider. He gave the bottles and changed the diapers and rocked him to sleep. But here I am, doing so many of those things myself for Little Buddy. I'm afraid R doesn't feel bonded to Little Buddy or that he resents having him here because it's not the idyllic infanthood R remembers with SSA. I worry that he resents me for breastfeeding and co-sleeping because Little Buddy associates me with food, comfort, and rest. I worry that he blames me for wanting another child. I worry that he feels less-than or connects this current situation to us using a donor. I worry that he is experiencing postpartum depression for dads.

But I know we will get through this. Little Buddy will eventually learn how to take a bottle. R will be able to provide more and more of his care as time goes on. And, knowing we trusted the Lord with the outcome of our IUI, I can trust that our family will come through this time intact and stronger than ever.

I'm bowing my head in prayer, kissing his wispy hair poking out of the Moby wrap that Little Buddy is currently sleeping in. Lord, please help us. Help Aaron and Roger figure out their time alone together. Help Roger interpret Aaron's needs and cues. Give Roger signs and assurances that Aaron needs him and loves him. Help Aaron learn to take a bottle. Bond my boys together and let their time alone be a blessing for them both. And Lord, please, help us all get some sleep.

Six weeks ago, I fell asleep sitting up with this sweet new life in my arms. I can't believe I'm so lucky that I get to do it again tonight.

God is so good.

Monday, April 14, 2014

How does your garden grow?

We planted our vegetable garden yesterday! We are now the proud nurturers of six rows of veggies: two zucchini and one each of snow peas, butternut squash, brussel sprouts, and artichoke. Not holding out much hope on those last two but we decided to try since they are two of our favorite veggies. We used Miracle Grow Garden Mix for the rows this year and I will look forward to reporting if we see a difference in viability and/or yield.

The next big task is the flowers. I have two 5' planter boxes that get full sun, five containers that get part sun/part shade, and need two hanging baskets for full sun. The five containers usually go okay, a mix of begonias on the deck and mexican petunia in the yard. I think I have a large container in a shady enough spot for some impatients this year.

Our planter boxes have been tough the past few years, usually petering out by July. Same with the hanging baskets. We really only have the funds and time to plant those once a year and I can't seem to find anything with real staying power.

Right now I'm considering black or brown eyed susans and some coneflowers for the planter boxes. The one issue with that being height, since the boxes are 18" high already. That would be quite a wall of flowers! I really need something that can take the sun and heat since we stay in the high 90's in this part of NC.

For the hanging baskets, R wants to go back to wandering jew (the only thing that has survived before). Since that can be a little boring, maybe I could add mandevilla vine to the baskets for color.

Any thoughts or suggestions for the boxes or baskets?

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Five Weeks: Busy, Different, Good

I'll be changing Aaron's name on the blog to Little Buddy and will edit previous posts to reflect that change. Just a heads up!

I never know how to begin these updates. I mean, everything is going well. It feels like Little Buddy has been with us forever. Life is different in big ways but the same in many ways. We are full and busy. What else is there to say, really?

Life is really full with two children! It comes as no surprise but there you go. Getting out the door takes longer. You have to plan backward by twenty to thirty minutes, making sure the baby is fed, clean diaper, bag is packed... And that's just for baby! Still have to make sure the big girl is dressed with shoes, fed, uses the bathroom, has an activity for the car. It's a lot!

Bedtime is a challenge. Little K needs to have a snack, take vitamins, allergy meds, inhaler, brush teeth, brush hair, use bathroom, put on pj's and headgear, and a bedtime Jesus Calling. That doesn't count the nights we have bath and need to blow dry her hair. And somehow during all of that we have to keep Little Buddy happy. So, at least fifteen minutes before Little K's bedtime, we have to nurse, change diaper, and change into pj's. And then pray, pray, pray he doesn't start fussing in the middle of our big girl routine.

There are so many ways that parenthood the second time around is wonderfully different! Everything seems less urgent, less stressful. I know that so much of that is because we've done this before. But there is the added blessing of my milk coming in quickly and no baby blues/PPD.

I'm surprised at how much I've learned from my sister! When Little K was born, the current parenting tools (baby wearing, baby led weaning, extended breastfeeding, natural/homeopathic remedies, cloth diapering) weren't as mainstream, so I didn't pursue them. My sister lives is Austin, TX where that style of parenting is HUGE. With her experience with Baby M and her wonderful doula friend, B, she has been able to really embrace these parenting trends and pass those values on to me. It is so cool and humbling to be learning from my younger sister!

Speaking of such things, we have ended up cloth diapering! Woohoo! I talked for years about wanting to do it but ended up choosing disposables for Little Buddy. That only lasted ten days. After that short time, we realized just how draining disposables would be on our finances and made the switch. I am LOVING cloth diapering and am SO happy we are doing it! I'll blog about that more later.

Life is just so good! Little Buddy is such a sweet baby, usually only crying when he's hungry or tired. We are still dealing with the two hours of bedtime fussing, which I've just decided to accept. We have a sweet bedtime routine, with quiet play time, fresh diaper, bedtime story, nursing, and gripe water. Then it's into the Moby and I bounce with him on my birth ball until he falls asleep. The fussing usually starts at the end of nursing at 9:00 and ends around 10:30. It's rough but we're coping. Honesty, with everything that was hard with Little K, if this is Little Buddy's the only hard part, I'm good!

My body is healing well. My emotions are stable. We've resumed all of our regular extracurricular activities (church, bible study, karate...). Our house isn't clean, per say, but we're staying on top of trash, dishes, and laundry. At five weeks, what more can you ask for?

Life is crazy and life is good. Guess we'll call it crazy good.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Happy Pie Day!

I started writing this yesterday but then life happened. Oh well!

First and foremost: happy birthday to my wonderful husband! R turns 49 today (Tuesday) and we are doing... nothing. He is SO not a birthday person and is insisting that today is simply Tuesday. No special meal, no special activity. The only thing we are doing is dessert: a homemade pecan pie, his favorite.

So, Happy Pie Day to my love! Happy Pie Day to the man who changed the explosive poopy diaper last night. Happy Pie Day to the man who stayed up with me while Aaron fussed in the Moby wrap at bedtime. Happy Pie Day to the man who made the bed this morning. Happy Pie Day to the man who watched Little K while I was at BSF last night. Happy Pie Day to the man who watched Aaron while I took Little K to karate. Happy Pie Day to the man who takes such amazing care of his family. Happy Pie Day, one and all!

Friday, April 4, 2014

One Month: God Bless the Mommy's Bliss Company

Forgive the lack of whit and the poor grammar. Mister Aaron decided 5:00 AM was an appropriate time to wake up for the day. News flash: He's wrong.

Aaron had his one month well-baby visit yesterday. Here are his stats:

Birth Weight 8lb1oz, One Month 10lb4oz
Birth Length 21", One Month 22.75"
Birth Head 13.5", One Month 14.5"

I went into the appointment with a few concern, which the doctor was able to address for us. The first is his baby acne. His poor face is seriously broken out and he has whiteheads. My poor guy! She confirmed that it's just baby acne and suggested Neosporin. I also talked to my sister, whose pediatrician recommended cortizone cream on the worst spots. We will be giving those a try today and see if either make a difference.

The next concern was the consistency of his stools. He and I both have a cold right now and it has effected his feedings. He has been getting tired quickly lately while feeding and been taking longer naps than usual. This is leading to some engorgement for me. Combined, this means he ends up getting a lot of foremilk and not enough hindmilk, so he is gassy and his stools are very liquid/oily. The pediatrician suggested pre-pumping in order to get some of the foremilk out of the way as well as provide me with some relief. This will only be for a little while; once our colds are gone, feeding should go back to normal.

The last concern was for the recent change in Aaron's attitude in the evenings. I have joked with R that, come 8:30 PM each night, my breasts must suddenly be filled with rage-juice! Our little man just takes up this scream that doesn't abate until after 10:00 PM no matter what we do! It's so frustrating! She had a few thoughts on combating it: swaddling, swing, baby carrier... all things we have tried before. I asked about gripe water and she said that it has worked for some of her patients although not all.

I happened to have a bottle at home Mommy's Bliss Grip Water at home, so decided we would give it a try. His fuss came early last night at 7:30 PM, so I gave his a full one month dose: 1tsp. PRAISE GOD IT WORKED!!!!! His fuss was gone within three minutes (believe the package - it does, in fact, work in minutes!). And here's the best part: the rage didn't come back! I am so incredibly thankful! For the first time in a week, we had a nice quiet bedtime with a sweet boy who fell asleep in my arms instead of screaming in a Moby wrap.

I think I need to write Mommy's Bliss a letter and send them a rainbow unicorn. Seriously the best thing ever.

Next Week: Losing the baby weight, going back to work, dairy-free life, sleep training. Exciting, I know.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Happy Belated Birthday to Me: Photo Dump

Yesterday was my birthday and we kept it super low-key. R got me a gift certificate to my favorite salon so I could get a cut. My last haircut was the day after our IUI, so it had been QUITE a while. Little K and I made a dairy-free birthday cake on Sunday afternoon that we finally cut after BSF last night. R and I took Aaron with us to lunch yesterday and he (Aaron) fussed the entire time in the restaurant. As we made our way back to the car, I told R: I remember now, this is birthday with a new baby. Heh. My parents did send me beautiful flowers, though, and I received lovely texts and phone calls all day.

I will post a real update later this week. Until then, everything is going really well. And here's a whole bunch of photos from the past two weeks.

Back Hair and Big Stretches

Sleeping Baby and Tiny Hands

Bowtie, Surprise!


Big Smile, Newborn Photo Preview

Pretty Birthday Flowers!