Posts tagged Elimination Communication

12 Weeks Old (really!?!?)

Reid is big. But his brother was bigger–much bigger. I’m estimating that Reid is nearing 15 lbs, but Daniel was about 18 lbs by this age. My back aches all day long holding Reid. I often question how I did it with Daniel. I held Daniel so much more often than I’m able to hold Reid, but I don’t recall having such an achy back. I could blame it on getting older, but three years shouldn’t make that much of a difference. My neck did hurt a lot more with Daniel–maybe my posture is just different this time and baby’s weight is therefore affecting me differently. Whatever it is, I’m really looking forward to being able to a) carry Reid on my back in addition to on my front,  and b) being able to put Reid down for longer periods of time while he learns to play with toys and sit and crawl, etc.

It seems like Reid is much freer with his emotions in general than Daniel was. He smiles more–he’s been laughing for weeks already. Daniel had only just started to laugh by this age. He cries more–though he’s started fussing more often instead of going straight to crying, which has been a huge relief. I have a feeling that Reid is going to be a very aware and observant child–and probably a very tactile one as well.

My brother Gabe came up from San Diego to stay with us for a few weeks. He wanted to get away from home for a while (he’s 17–you know how that goes!) and we thought it’d be fun to have him stay here with us. Daniel thought having tio here was absolutely the best thing ever. I tried my best to give Gabe some solo time, but it was very tough to make Daniel stay away from his beloved tio for very long. I was glad to have him here to help relieve me of the guilt I feel for not being able to pay as much attention to Daniel as he’s used to. Daniel has been more emotional since Reid was born, so I know he’s feeling affected by the shift, but luckily he’s been nothing but kind and gentle and loving toward baby Reid. There are definitely times when Daniel would prefer if Reid was elsewhere, but he’s never said anything negative about him or shown any contempt for him. Instead, Daniel wants to hold him, kiss him, calm him, watch over him, etc. I can’t wait for the two of them to really be able to interact.

Reid is still a champion sleeper. He only wakes a couple times/night and usually he wakes to be changed and fed and that’s it. And recently, he’s even managed to fall asleep on his own if I put him down in the bassinet we have set up in the living room, or in our bed at night. Tonight was actually the second night that Reid went to sleep without nursing. Of course, both this time and the time before (a few days ago) he’d already been asleep (by nursing), but had woken up when he realized I wasn’t there anymore. Tonight, he did this twice. After nursing him back to sleep the first time, the second time, I took him to pee (he peed with his eyes half open), put on a clean diaper and layed him down on the bed. I intended on nursing him back to sleep again, but he’d already gotten still and had started to close his eyes. So I just watched and waited, and lo and behold, he fell asleep. If I can get him to fall asleep on his own, I will be one happy mama.

Daniel spent the night with Dan’s parents last night, so Dan and I went out for dinner with Reid. It was really nice to be out and not talking about fire trucks or hot dogs. Reid was very quiet and fascinated by all the hustle and bustle of the restaurant. He fell asleep about 2/3 of the way through our dinner, too, so we were really able to feel like we were on a date (except that I had him wrapped up on my chest). We’re feeling like we’re going to need to establish a more regular date night pretty soon now that we have two munchkins keeping us busy. I think we’ll be able to do it semi-regularly by the time the first of the year rolls around.

Tonight, just before I started typing this blog, I heard Daniel laughing in his bedroom (it was 10:30 pm and he’d been in bed since 9). I went in to see what he was doing (he’d already gotten out of bed twice–once to try to find a specific pair of socks in the laundry pile and once to play with his trains). He was just laying in his bed cracking up at nothing apparent. When I asked him what was so funny, he could barely speak as he giggled something about a fork and a sink (I thought he said snake). Turns out he was recalling a Veggie Tales moment when either Bob the Tomato or Larry the Cucumber (I’m not sure which) gets stuck in the sink and uses a fork as a catapult to get out. When I left his room, he told me he was going to dream about that.

I am going to dream about a nice Sunday tomorrow. And I’m going to do it as soon as I publish this blog. I am tired!

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7 Weeks Old

Oh how the time gets away from me.

We figured out at some point shortly after my last post, that Reid cannot stand to have a wet diaper. The good news is that we can now sooth him much more easily than we could before. The bad news is that we’re changing diapers (or taking him to pee) like maniacs. He pees in the sink/potty pretty often, and he poos there most of the time. EC is much easier the second time around–probably due to the fact that I started earlier and that I have much more confidence.

This morning, however, Reid pood his pants big time. The night before, he was very grumpy and couldn’t stay asleep for long without getting angry. I knew he had to poo because he always has to poo at night, and because he was gassy, gassy, gassy. But I held him over the sink and the potty numerous times–all to no avail. But just after he nursed first thing in the morning, he blasted it out. He pood so much! I realized with that poo how little he actually poos in his diaper. It took a lot of cleanup to get his little bottom area clean and it was a foreign experience. He’s pood in his diaper before, no doubt, but not usually a full poo. Usually, it’s just a bit, and I can get him to the potty before the major blast comes. Being an EC mom, it’s tough for me to imagine having to clean up poopy diapers every single day! Even when Reid poos in the little potty, all I have to do is spray it with the diaper sprayer and empty it in the toilet. But cleaning poo from all over his thighs and genitals, while keeping it from getting on the bed or myself (both of which I was unsuccessful at doing this morning) is much dirtier work.

Reid is very free with his smiles these days. He’s also been doing some pre-laughing. Several times now with Grampy, and a couple times with me, he’s squealed a little while we coo’d and ooh’d and aah’d with him. I’m really looking forward to Reid’s belly laughs. I don’t remember when that typically happens, but it has to be in the next month or so, I imagine.

Reid seems to sleep a lot–more than I remember Daniel sleeping. The problem is that during the day, his stretches of sleep are fairly short and sporadic–and he has a hard time being put down. This is changing, though. When I was dealing with sleep issues with Daniel, I read The No Cry Sleep Solution by Elizabeth Pantley and lamented that I hadn’t read it sooner in his life. Now with Reid, I’ve been applying some of the principles from the book already–specifically putting the baby down when he sleeps. I usually kept Daniel in-arms because I was exhausted and couldn’t imagine him waking after getting him to sleep, and because I just loved holding him. Now that Reid is learning to stay asleep when I put him down, I find myself feeling kind of sad and guilty that I’m not holding him as much as I’d like to. But because I need the time without him to focus on Daniel, or to pop a load into the washer, I don’t really have much of a choice.

We have been trying to continue going for walks at least once or twice/week. But the heat is beginning to be prohibitive–especially because Reid usually goes in the sling while Daniel rides his tricycle. Even on days that are simply warm, Reid and I end up covered with sweat. The heat is only supposed to intensify over the next couple months, so unless we decide to start waking much earlier, I think we may go on a summer hiatus from our walks.

I’m getting into the swing of life with two. More accurately, I’m getting into the swing of life with a newborn again. I am actually much more productive with two than I was with one. And I’m not feeling as lazy. Maybe it’s due to my unapologetically drinking a bit of coffee or tea every day. But mostly, I think it’s because there’s more to do. There’s just not as much time for sitting around, so I don’t even get to start. And typically, it’s the starting of sitting around that causes the prolonged sitting around.

In the last couple weeks, I’ve gotten a fair amount of laundry done (the pile is actually shrinking!), I’ve managed to keep the kitchen mostly clean, I’ve assembled a new kitchen cabinet, we’ve had a dinner guest, and I’ve gotten out of the house at least once/day. While I didn’t create a full weekly schedule, I did start making a weekly to-do list. Some of which include cleaning the toilets on Fridays, doing at least 5 loads of laundry/week (not including diapers), and going grocery shopping on Mondays. I think I’ll start adding activities once these few become second nature. So far, these are easy. And just because I’m in the mindset of keeping things cleaner than I ever have before, I’ve been better at putting things away as I use them rather than just putting them down wherever it’s most convenient. I think the next items on my weekly to-do list will be vacuuming/mopping. I do these two things so rarely, they really need to be on the schedule if I ever want them to get done.

I’m looking forward to tomorrow–Friday. Aside from cleaning the toilets (which really only takes a few minutes), I don’t have anything I have to do. I plan to spend some extra time focusing on Daniel. He’s gotten the short end of the stick this week.

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10 Days Old

The poop has calmed down a bit. I have been calling Reid my little pooper and it is still fitting–but thankfully he’s not unloading every other second at night anymore. The EC is going well, too. I don’t know if he’s making any actual associations , but he poops quite often in the toilet or sink and pees fairly consistently there, too. He should start to associate our cue sound with the act of going in the next couple of weeks. I’m really looking forward to that stage.

Tomorrow is Daniel’s 3rd birthday! Dan and I are taking him out for breakfast tomorrow (he loves to go out for breakfast just like his mommy!). Then Dan’s parents are taking him to an indoor playground, then we’re going to The Bahooka for dinner. I’m not sure how I feel about two restaurants in one day with baby Reid in tow, but we’ll see how it goes. We got Daniel a glide bike for his birthday and I am so excited to give it to him. He has a little ride-on car that he rides just like a glide bike–getting a running start, then lifting his feet to glide as far as the momentum will take him. I hope he’ll be able to get the hang of the bike without too much frustration.

We’re throwing him a birthday party in a few weeks. Dan and Sue will be out of town for about a week, then they wanted time to recouperate before the party since they’re throwing it. I just finished designing the invitations this morning and they’ll probably go out in the mail in the next couple days. I’m really looking forward to the party. I just love birthday parties.

When I had Daniel, I remember feeling so overwhelmed with motherhood. I loved it, but I was so exhausted and unmotivated to do anything but sit on the couch and hold/nurse him. My recovery was long, which had something to do with it, but I don’t think I was prepared for how all-encompasing parenthood would be. Now that I’ve been parenting for 3 years, the addition of Reid has been completely different. I adore caring for him–even in my exhaustion in the middle of the night. Whereas I knew I wanted to have more children after Daniel was born, at the time it was just theoretical. Now I wish I could have 5 children, and I mean it concretely. Maybe it’s knowing that Reid might be my last child that makes me cherish him all the more and allows me to fantasize more unrealistically about the future.

On the flip side, thinking about the possibility that Reid is our last child, I’ve allowed myself to imagine a specific family when I think about our lives moving forward. I can put a time-table on my time as the mother of babies, toddlers, pre-schoolers. I can think about what I might do with my time once/if one or both of our children are in school. I can think about projects and games and activites specific to our family size. But even while I am slowly allowing myself to consider a two-child household as a real possibility, it still remains a mystery.

Dan really feels like we should be finished having children. He would have been happy remaining childless. After Daniel, he was happy with just Daniel. And now with Reid, he’s happy with the just the two of them. Of course, he’d be happy to have another child once the child arrived, but the idea of having yet another is really scary to him. Still, it just doesn’t feel right to me to limit our family when it feels like we’ve only just begun. The real conversation about another child can’t really take place yet anyway. Whatever happens, we’re certainly in agreement that a 3-year gap between children is ideal. I probably won’t bring up the possibility of another child with Dan for at least two more years. Who knows what will be going on in our lives at that time. Maybe I won’t want another child then (don’t count on it). And maybe Dan will (ha!).

I have been recovering from Reid’s birth quite rapidly. I’ve felt good enough to do some housework, cook a bit, and go for a walk. However, today I started bleeding again. I must have overdone it this weekend. Today I spent most of the day sitting on the sofa holding and nursing Reid while Daniel played with Sue. My bleeding has slowed down, but it’s still going. I also have passed some bits of tissue. I’m not sure whether or not to be concerned about it. All the resources say to watch for excess bleeding and golf-ball-sized clots–neither of which are happening. But the idea that there are still bits of afterbirth inside me is a bit disconcerting. I’ve left a message with my midwife to call me if I need to worry about it. So far she hasn’t called, and I’m taking that as a good sign given that I have no signs of infection or anything.

Sleeping has been going better. Last night, except for one rough patch, we all slept relatively well. Everyone woke up around 10 AM and all in good moods! Tomorrow, because we’re taking Daniel out for breakfast, we’ll probably need to get up a little sooner than that, so I need to head off to bed. Reid is already sleeping, but I’m sure I can rouse him for some milk with a diaper change.

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5 Days Old

Poop.

Baby Reid poops so much. I can probably count on one hand–okay, maybe two–the number of diapers I’ve changed that didn’t have poop in them. During the day, this is not so bad, but in the middle of the night, when he’s sleeping peacefully and I hear a poop blast, it is so bad. I know changing him will wake him up, but I just can’t justify letting my beautiful little boy sit in his waste. And so, I change his diaper, which wakes him up. I nurse him back to sleep, and, often, he poops again–sometimes while he’s still at the breast. I know this won’t last forever, but I’ve gotten so little sleep the last few nights, it’s starting to get to me.

It seems he wants to nurse every 40 minutes to an hour (sometimes because of the poop/wake cycle, sometimes not) until about 2 am at which point he switches to nursing every 2-3 hours–much more manageable. Last night we went to bed a little after 10, and I we slept for about an hour and half before the nursing/pooping marathon began. Then it lasted until after 3 am.

I’m hoping that EC will remedy the poop business somewhat. When he poops in his diaper, he generally only expels a little bit. But the two times I’ve been able to catch his poops in the sink, he lets out much more–most likely because the classic EC position mimics a squat which is helpful for facilitating the passage of waste.

Reid had his first check-up today. He’s gained 8 ounces since he was born just five days ago! The doctor exclaimed, “That’s unheard of!” Often babies have dropped a few ounces at this point. Not our little Reid. It is possible–even likely–that the little portable scale used to determine his weight at birth was not entirely accurate, but even so, Reid’s rapid weight gain is surprising. Daniel also gained weight quickly. I remember his doctor exclaiming something similar when he was first weighed by them. I think I just have power milk.

Besides our night battles, Reid has been a most lovely addition to our family. He is so easily soothed, and doesn’t mind being put down too much. We are still attachment parenting, but just due to the elder boy in our family, we can’t hold Reid as much without compromising Daniel’s needs. So far, we’ve done a good job managing the two, but when Dan goes back to work, and we can’t tag-team during the day, I think some jealousy issues might emerge. Once I’ve fully recovered from the birth and can be on my feet more, I’ll be able to hold Reid in the Moby Wrap and be hands-free to play with Daniel.

We’re going to try to make it to the park for our EC meeting/play group tomorrow to let Daniel get some running around time. I’ll be able to introduce Reid to some of our friends and sit in the shade outside. I’m really looking forward to it.

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26 Weeks Pregnant

Daniel, Daniel, Daniel… Daniel has been a challenge lately. I have several theories as to why, but what I really want to know is how to get it under control. He’s been throwing some massive tantrums lately–a couple have been in the middle of the night. So far, they’ve all been about him wanting things done a particular way. One started recently during my assisting him in the bathroom. He fell apart when I unbuttoned his pants before getting to the bathroom. Sometimes, he can’t handle it when I can’t retrieve a piece of food I just ate because he wanted it.

His first real tantrums began around when he weaned. When we were still nursing, offering my breast always calmed him down. A wise friend of mine told me that giving the breast to an upset toddler was like having a reset button. I wish I had that reset button right now. I may get it back…

I’ve been trying to prepare Daniel for when Reid comes and gets to nurse all the time. We’ve been talking about how the milk will be especially for Reid because babies can’t eat food until they get their teeth. Daniel thinks that when my milk comes back, he’ll get to have it, too. It makes sense that he would think that since I told him he couldn’t nurse anymore because there was no more milk. In his mind, it’s obvious that when the milk comes back, he’ll get to have some. I’m open to letting him nurse again… but I’m not sure how I plan to handle it. So far, I’ve just been listening to him talk about it, and have been keeping the conversation neutral.

I’ve also started watching a friend’s 4-month-old baby girl twice a week. Daniel has been handling it so well–better than I could have hoped. He loves baby Lydia, wants to kiss her head, hold her hand, play with her, show her things. And he hasn’t yet asked me to hold him while I’ve been holding her. It helps that Lydia is an extremely content child. She only cries when she’s hungry or tired… so far, anyway. I can only hope that Reid is as calm and content as she is. Caring for Lydia has been a wonderful introduction to parenting two children. I am learning so much about the needs of our family through this experience. Not only am I learning how best to be present with Daniel, but I’m also learning what new/different baby items will be useful this time around.

I’ve also been practicing EC with Lydia. It has been easier than I remember it being. Out of the 5 times I’ve taken her, she’s peed 4 of the times! I wish more parents were aware of just how amazing and possible EC is in any circumstances. I can’t wait to start EC with Reid. I plan to try to start right away–at least within the first month.

Baby Reid has so far preferred to lay in my uterus as if it were a hammock. He’s laying sideways most of the time–often facing my back. He likes to kick my insides, which feels very bizarre. I don’t recall Daniel doing that much at all. Today, though, Reid was facing forward a bit and my belly was dancing around while he kicked. I’m feeling the tiniest bit nervous that he won’t end up in the right position for delivery. Daniel was head-down by this point. I know I have a long way to go still, and I shouldn’t worry, but I am already trying to prepare myself for the slight possibility that I may end up with a stubborn little breech baby.

I was supposed to have my glucose test last week, but my appointment with my midwife was cancelled do to a birth. We haven’t been able to come up with another time that works for us both yet. Until the test, I’m content to eat too much chocolate pudding and peanut butter sandwich cookies. I have been gaining weight pretty rapidly, though, so I’ll probably need to cut back a smidge, at least. I’ve already gained close to 30 pounds. Apparently, a pound a week is the norm at this stage in the pregnancy–but I’m still gaining 2 or 3 pounds most weeks.

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19 1/2 Months Old

Oh, how they change.

I was just re-reading my 17-month blog about Daniel and was astounded at how much he’s learned over the last two and a half months!

Daniel is speaking in full sentences sometimes–usually the sentences are just long strings of words, but occasionally, they’re grammatically correct. When he wants to nurse, he says, “More need nilp!” Often, when he’s getting put to bed in his own bed, he’ll request, “Lay down, Mommy’s Daddy’s pidow (pillow)?”

And he has some words that he just insists on saying incorrectly. Water is “watee”, steering wheel is “wa wheel”, car is “ow”, mouth is “nouth”, and milk is still “nilp”. Motorcycle and helicopter are indistinguishable and sound like “atotato”, and at the sound of any siren, he yelps, “Help abody (somebody)!” Tow trucks also, “Help abody.”

Pottying is going so well. We still have accidents, but they’re almost always just little dribbles. The only times Daniel has a real soaker is when I don’t go to him quickly enough after he gets up from his nap. He’s completely out of diapers now. At about 17 months, I stopped putting him in diapers during the day and about 3 weeks ago, I stopped putting him in diapers at night. He’s still in training pants about 80% of the time, but I recently bought him a few more pairs of real undies.

Sleep is still a bit of an issue. Once the holidays were over, we decided Daniel was old enough to understand when I told him, “No more milk until morning.” After a miraculous two days, Daniel slept ALL NIGHT LONG!!! My punishment was to get a bit of mild mastitis (infected milk ducts) from going so long without nursing. I was sore for several days and had a fever for one night, but it went away without my needing anti-biotics (which I probably wouldn’t have taken unless it was unbearable anyway).

But then we went on our church retreat. And we were back at square one. Tonight is night 4 since returning from the retreat and it seems like tonight will go better than the last three. Judging by how easily Daniel went to bed, the rest of the night will hopefully go smoothly. I’m willing to give this nighttime weaning a full week’s worth of difficult nights before I change my strategy, but with last week’s success, I’m feeling confident that once Daniel realizes we’re not backing down again, he’ll stop crying “More need nilp!” over and over and over again.

I’ll try to remember to post the results in about a week.

Until then, enjoy your sleep! I envy you.

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Amost 15 Months Old

I’ve been meaning to write something about Daniel for the last couple of months… I just haven’t gotten around to it. And now there’s so much to say, I couldn’t possibly say it all.

This year–especially this summer–has been so busy! We’ve been traveling almost every other weekend. Since April we’ve been to (in order): Lake Tahoe (5 days), Newport Beach (5 days), Las Vegas (3 days), Bullhead/Laughlin (3 days), Hawaii (8 days), San Diego (3 days), Lake Tahoe (3 days). And we still have two trips left: Boston (6 days), San Francisco (3 or 4 days). Sheesh!!!

In between packing, traveling, unpacking, and doing laundry, I’ve been trying to get some work done (haven’t been very successful). I’m just not in that work mode. All I want to do is spend time playing with Daniel. He’s growing so fast and learning so much! He’s getting to be of the age where everything is a learning experience that we can share. He’s inquisitive about everything, constantly exploring and trying to do things, repeating words and sounds, communicating his wants and needs. He’s just so wonderful!

Last night after I had some trouble getting him to stay in bed (there were many protests and tears), he jumped into my arms before I could lay him back down and held onto me so tightly that I would have had to pry his hands off of me to do so. And before I even thought about doing that he looked at me and kissed me over and over again, then laid his head down on my shoulder and fell fast asleep. It was one of those touching moments that you remember forever. I held him and rocked him and told him how much I loved him and instantly regretted trying to make him lay down alone in his bed (I usually lay with him… last night I thought I’d try something new… didn’t work).

He’s still waking several times at night to nurse which is tiring and difficult for me sometimes, but it’s completely normal for a cosleeping child of this age. In fact, it’s something he’ll probably continue to do for quite some time as long as we keep him in our bed. This is no surprise to us–we knew what we were getting into when we decided to keep Daniel in our bed–but it does get tiring. I’m not really helping matters either… I stay up late checking email, MySpace, watching TV, spending time with The Husband, or even working (gasp!). Daniel sleeps for a good 3-4 hours for his first stretch. I could be sleeping then, too, but I’d rather have adult time.

Just a couple days ago, Daniel started saying “hat” and “ball”. He also says, “water” and “bottle” but never together–too much at once for him–but often they’re interchangeable. I always have my water bottle with me so he knows he can get a sip if he says either word. He says “no” a lot now even though we try to say things like “not for Daniel” or “food doesn’t go on the floor” instead of “no no!”. It was inevitable that he’d pick it up. He says “doh?” when he puts a phone to his ear and is finally saying “mama” and “daddy” with intention. He can make animal noises for: dog, cat, horse, goat/sheep, bird, and cow, and he says “un-unnnn!” when he sees a land vehicle of any kind. For air vehicles, he says “hkhkhkhkhkhkhkhk” and flies his hand around like an airplane.

He can point to most body parts when asked. We’re still working on some of the less “popular” ones: elbows, knees, neck, etc. I’ve been especially working on shoulders and knees because he knows all the other parts for the song Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes. He tries to snap when he hears music, but really all he’s doing is tapping his thumb and forefinger together. It’s pretty darn cute.

The other day I was looking for my keys–I knew Daniel had been playing with them the day before, but I lost track of where they ended up. I was going through the house looking everywhere I could think of, when I said out of frustration, “Daniel, where did you put my keys???!!!” He looked at me, and walked over to the DVR and retrieved my keys from the cubbyhole it sits in. They say that babies probably understand more than double what we think they do… this sure did prove that point to me.

We’ve been switching from using cloth diapers to training pants. He has a few different kinds and they’re all super cute. I’m sure I’ll give in to my temptation to buy him a couple more pairs as we transition away from the diapers so I don’t have to do the laundry as often. But I’m hoping that him being in trainers will help us be more on the ball when it comes to pottying. On our most recent trip (to Lake Tahoe), Daniel only wet 4 or 5 diapers the entire weekend (including nighttime!). I know he’s ready to be out of diapers. I do like to use them as my security blanket when we’re out in public. I’m still not ready to deal with “accidents” at the grocery store. Though I do shop at alternative grocery stores so it wouldn’t be too bad–and Trader Joe’s does have a nice big bathroom.

Daniel’s tooth count is up to 12–the four on top in front, on bottom in front, and his four one-year molars. I think he’s working on his canines now. His gums are red, but they’re not really swollen yet. He’s finally able to eat a greater diversity of foods, but still isn’t very interested in eating much. He just nibbles here and there.

Now that I’m beyond tired, I’ll get myself to bed and hope for a resful night.

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