Posts tagged Reid

It took 14 months, but I’m back and with PICTURES

Holy monkeys! Is it possible that 14 months have gone by WITHOUT A SINGLE POST?! Good Lord… does that not show my procrastinating side, or what? I started a post in July of last year (2010) but never got around to finishing it. It describes my problem well, though, so I couldn’t bring myself to delete it, or ignore it, or even re-write it. Here it is word-for-word:

It’s been three months since my last post. Oy! It’s not that I didn’t have enough to say (could that be possible?), it’s that I’m stupidly addicted to Facebook and email and other internet time-suckers. Tonight, I sat down at 9 with the intention of devoting my time to blogging, but it’s now nearly 10 and I’ve only just now gotten to it. This is not just an I’m-addicted-to-the-internet problem. This is a problem I’ve written about before. It’s a kids-are-in-bed-so-I’m-going-to-do-whatever-I-want-and-shirk-my-responsibilities problem. Blogging isn’t really a responsibility per se, but it is the way I keep family and friends updated about the boys. It’s also a great way for me to journal about my life. I regularly find myself looking back and reading posts I wrote 2 or 3 years ago.

This morning I was lucky to be able to sleep in until about 9:45. Daniel had  spent the night with Dan’s parents and Reid, for whatever reason, didn’t wake up until 10. But usually I am up around 8 after having gone to bed around 1 that morning. And because Reid still sleeps with us, he nurses throughout the night. He is nothing like Daniel was. He just wakes long enough to latch on and falls right back into a deep sleep. So I barely even notice that it’s happened sometimes. Still, my sleep is broken, and not nearly long enough. So by the time the kids are in bed, I’m so drained of any “doing stuff” energy, that I just plop down and zone out. Even writing about what’s been going on seems like too much work.

Exhaustion coupled with procrastination and my kids-are-in-bed-so-I’m-going-to-do-whatever-I-want-and-shirk-my-responsibilities problem makes for a bad atmosphere for blogging.

What makes today different? It’s the middle of the day and BOTH of my children are napping… or at least they are both laying down quietly in bed. A few days ago, I got overwhelmed with Daniel needing me every second of his life, so I insisted that he lay in his bed while his piano music plays (the music we play for him at night when he goes to bed). I told him he could get up once the music was over. It was heavenly. Today is fourth day of imposed rest, and I am thoroughly enjoying this much-needed time to myself while still feeling some energy.

I wish so deeply that I had continued to blog over these last many months, but there’s nothing I can do about that. Instead of trying to play catch-up by writing about the last 14 months by memory, I’ll do something unprecedented in this blog’s history. I’ll add some photographs! I’m not sure why I didn’t add any in the past, except that perhaps I wanted my readers to appreciate the written form and not just visit my blog for the pictures, or perhaps it was because I didn’t want to bother with the formatting. Whatever the reason, I’m over it. So please enjoy.

reid pre-haircutReid Pre-Haircut

July 2010: Reid got his first haircut. I spiked his hair in this picture so you could see how long it actually was before I started cutting.

Reid Post-Haircut

July 2010: And here is Reid after the haircut.

Nicole and Daniel in Hawaii

August 2010: Daniel and I in Maui for our annual visit.

Reid eating yogurt

September 2010: Notice how Reid's chin and mouth are covered in yogurt as he attempts to feed himself. He is 16 months old in this picture. He still eats yogurt the exact same way today at 25 months old. See the final picture in this post for a comparison.

Daniel and his friends at Halloween

October 2010: This year we formed a preschool co-op with a few friends. We met at each others' houses once/week for a short preschool class. My weeks fell over Halloween, so we had a costume party. Aren't the kiddos SO adorable?!

Finley, Daniel and Reid getting ready for trick-or-treating

October 2010: In the past we haven't made a big deal about trick-or-treating. We went to a couple houses last year and Daniel was happy. This year, however, we were invited to our friends' house for Halloween and trick-or-treating. Their neighborhood was amazing--decorations and trick-or-treaters everywhere! I hadn't seen that much Halloween spirit since I was a kid. I honestly thought it just didn't exist anymore! The kids had a lot of fun, but we ended up with SO much candy. There is still candy sitting in the bucket on top of the fridge.

Daniel kissing a birdie

November 2010: We took a field trip with our Holistic Moms Network group to a small petting zoo/farmlet in Altadena called Danny's Farm. Daniel didn't really like many of the animals, but he loved the little baby chicks. Reid loved all the animals and wanted to chase them all around.

Reid with birdie

November 2010: I had a difficult time getting Reid to put the chicks down. And when he did put them down, he did so a little roughly. Once I caught him throwing one of the chicks! Luckily he's short so the bird didn't have far to go and it landed in a big pile of fluff in its enclosure and wasn't hurt. But I was diligent in watching Reid around the chicks after that!

Reid in a popcorn can

December 2010: For awhile Reid had a tendency to wedge himself into tight spaces. I found him in a drawer he had emptied in the bathroom, inside the laundry basket, between the nightstand and the bed, and once, even IN the dryer (with the door open, thank G-d!). This particular day, he managed to wedge himself in to the (empty!) popcorn tin. That boy!!!

Daniel and Reid on Christmas morning

December 2010: For the majority of Christmas morning, we were all in our pajamas. This picture was taken just as we were about to head over to Dan's parents' house for Mickey-head waffles and more gifting.

Preschool co-op at Hanson Distributing Company

March 2011: We took several field trips with our preschool co-op. One of them was to the Hanson Distributing warehouse for a tour. The kids had a great time and we had a fun picnic on the grass outside afterward.

Dan Sr, Reid and Daniel at the Derby Days race in Arcadia

April 2011: For the last few years Dan Sr (Dan's dad) has been running in the Santa Anita Derby Days race. Daniel usually runs in the little kids race, too. This year, we signed up Reid and got him his own number and everything.

Dan Sr and Daniel running the Derby Days race

April 2011: Dan Sr usually runs with Daniel in the race. We were hoping this year Daniel would be able to run without holding grandpa's hand, but he insisted. Maybe next year he'll be able to run it on his own.

Mom and Reid running the race

April 2011: Reid started the race running with his Aunt Laurie so I could take video of him. But as soon as he saw me, he insisted that I go with him instead. He wanted to be picked up several times, but I was able to keep him motivated enough to finish on his own two feet. There were many oooooohs and aaaaaaaahs over his tiny adorableness running the race. I think that's mostly why we signed him up.

Daniel with a girl

April 2011: Both my kids love to ride the metro. On this particular day we decided to ride the metro down to South Pasadena. We were sitting in a little outdoor patio area eating snacks and treats. At the table next to us was another family. Both Daniel and the little girl from the other table were more interested in watching the trains go by than sitting still at their tables. They didn't much talk to each other, but the sat together for a good 10 minutes.

Daniel hunting eggs

April 2011: This year's Easter egg hunt was by far the best hunt we've had for the kids. We hid several dozen eggs and both my boys and their cousin Dylan ran around squealing and giggling as they searched for eggs. I'm already looking forward to next year's hunt.

Reid and Dylan hunting for eggs

April 2011: Reid and his cousin Dylan mastered the egg hunt like old pros. They both found a bunch of eggs and had so much fun doing it.

Family at Easter

April 2011: Here we are with Dan's family on Easter Sunday. Daniel isn't so thrilled with having to stand still for a picture.

Dan and Daniel at Newport

April 2011: Dan's parents took a week-long vacation in Newport Beach. We drove down for the weekend and spent one of our days there at the beach. Reid is still scared of the ocean, and cried every time Daniel and Dan went down to play in it. I hope he gets over his fear when we go to Hawaii in August!

Daniel hitting the ball

May 2011: This was Daniel's first hit at his first t-ball game. That's his "coach" behind him. All the games were pure chaos--the first game of the season in particular. Get a bunch of 3-5 year-olds together, and you can expect nothing less. No runs, outs, fouls, anything were ever recorded, and I don't even know if it would have been possible to do so. The game was that chaotic. The fielders would dogpile on the ball anytime it came remotely near them, or they were staring out into the distance not paying attention at all. Everyone had a great time, though, and that was the point.

Daniel and the goon squad

May 2011: This was the "last day of preschool" party we threw for the co-op. You wouldn't know it by the picture, but the kids are playing red light, green light. One of the moms threw in a twist where purple light meant act like a goof ball. Daniel is particularly good at that.

Daniel, me and Reid at the Arboretum

June 2011: Dan and I took the boys to the Arboretum earlier this month. We all had a great time running around and spying for peacocks.

Reid gets a car

June 2011: Give Reid a car, you will win his heart. This kid is obsessed with matchbox cars. He can't go anywhere without at least one or two of them clutched in his hands. If I forget to put a handful of cars in my bag when we go out, we are in trouble. This particular car was a gift from grandma and grandpa.

Daniel blowing out his birthday candles

June 2011: Daniel's 5th birthday party theme was Cave Exploring. He is really into caves since he's been watching the caves chapter of the Planet Earth series of movies. I'm not sure if you can see it on the cake, but I painted a chocolate cave with some bats flying around it. I made the cake from scratch and it actually turned out really good. I've always had a hard time making regular ol' cake. I'm good at most other baked goods, but for whatever reason, I usually struggle with cake.

Reid at the cave opening

June 2011: Here is Reid at the mouth of the cave system I built in the back yard for the party. I set up several card tables and draped them with black plastic tablecloth material. I taped stalactites made of newspaper to the bottoms of the tables and made bats out of black balloons and taped them upside down to the plastic material that hung between the tables. The kids loved crawling through it. At the end of the cave I put a bucket filled with dirt in which I buried several dozen plastic bugs. I told them it was bat guano. They believed me for a little while.

Reid looking like the Joker with dirt in his face

June 2011: As these brothers do, Daniel and Reid had a little spat and Daniel threw dirt at Reid. We scrambled to get this picture before we realized that Reid was really upset... the dirt was actually IN his eyes, not just around them, and in his mouth, too. But he does look like the Joker, doesn't he?! I'm glad we caught this on the camera, even though I feel bad we didn't attend to him right away.

Reid eating yogurt

June 2011: And as I promised, here is Reid with yogurt all over his face (and hands, this time!). If anything, he's gotten worse at eating the stuff. He does a really good job feeding himself more solid food, but even though he now knows to hold over his bowl and open his mouth really wide, it still ends up everywhere.

And there you have it–the last 14 months in photographs. I had a lot more I wanted to add, but this post was getting so long already. I promise to post regularly again, and I’ll continue to post pictures as well. I’ve missed blogging and can’t wait to get back to it.

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The Fearless and The Anxious

Enough with the generic titles. It’s getting awkward to list the kids’ ages, and I get frustrated not being able to title the blogs based on what they actually contain. So from here on out, I’ll be nixing the time-stamp and utilizing my creativity.

Reid is 11 months old now. He is learning new things every day, and it is getting so fun. Just in the last couple weeks, he’s learned to wave bye-bye, give hugs and kisses, pat my breast when he wants milk (he usually says, “Mama” while patting), and sign “more” when I say the word… I’m not sure he quite understands what it means yet.

I thought for sure he’d be walking by now. He’s been standing on his own with confidence for months. He can stand up from sitting without using anything for leverage. He can go from standing, to squatting, to sitting. He can bend over and pick something up off the floor and right himself. He can wiggle, dance, clap, play with toys while standing. But he shows no interest in walking. Only occasionally will he let me lead him around by holding his hands while he walks. He prefers just to crawl since he’s a master crawler–a sprint-crawler even.

He’s also a climber. He tries to climb on everything. We bought a sit and stand stroller from some friends at church recently which both boys love. When not in use, it is parked in our front hallway. Reid loves to climb up into it and stand in the seat. He could stand there playing for several minutes. In fact, I’m not sure how long he’d be content there since I usually get him down after a few minutes so I can attend to something else. We have also found him sitting on the bottom shelf of our built-in DVD unit, inside the bathroom cupboard (completely inside), standing on the open door of the dishwasher, on Daniel’s bed, and he desperately tries to fling himself into the bathtub as soon as he notices the water is on. He is going to get hurt one of these days. He just is. And I’m afraid.

Daniel never did that kind of stuff. He was curious. He would make feeble attempts. But he wasn’t the daredevil that Reid is. I can see huge differences in the two already. It’s as if I birthed the two most opposite boys our DNA would allow, and not just in their behavior. Reid is nearly three inches shorter than Daniel was at this age. Reid still barely has any hair, while Daniel had his first haircut at 3 months old. Daniel could say several words at this age, but Reid is still only babbling–he does say, “Mama” and perhaps “bath” (as “ba!”). Several wise moms have told me that you think you have it under control, when the next kid comes along and changes everything. It’s so true.

Daniel has been dealing with some anxiety issues lately. Thankfully, they’ve calmed down and he’s slowly getting back to his old self (phew!). The immediate trigger for his anxiety was two-fold (three-fold, if you count Reid being born). First, Dan and I planned a trip to San Fransisco to surprise his friend Mike for his 30th birthday. We arranged for Daniel to spend the night with his grandparents (something he loves to do), bought our plane tickets and booked our hotel. We told Daniel that we were going to go on a trip while he spent the night with grandma and grandpa. But that didn’t go over very well. We decided not to talk about the trip in front of him, and instead just talk about how much fun he’d have spending the night since he was going to get to go to a baseball game.

Right around that same time, during Daniel’s gymnastics class (he’d been attending for about 6 weeks already with absolutely no issue), he looked up to where I normally stand and watch him to let me know he had to go to the bathroom. When he couldn’t locate me (I had gone around the corner to another viewing area to eat a muffin and wasn’t paying attention to the class below), one of the teachers walked with him to the bathroom. On his way back he spotted me and seemed okay. He went back downstairs to the class, but before he even sat back down on his spot, looked up to find me again, couldn’t see me for a second, and freaked out. He started crying and wouldn’t return to the class. And every class since then (about 6 weeks ago now), he’s needed me to be with him down in the gym area (the gym regulations state that parents are not allowed to be in the gym area, but they have kindly made an exception for us). For a few weeks, he would barely leave my side, but now he’s content as long as I am within 10 feet of him.

I think the initial problem started when I attended my dear friend’s birth when Daniel was only about a year and a half old. I left him for several hours with my mom in San Diego (he’d never been without me for more than an hour or two). He didn’t know my mom very well, and he wasn’t terribly familiar with her house. We’d visited several times, but nothing more than a day or two here and there. It seemed that the day went well. He ate, slept, and played with my mom. He didn’t seem lethargic, or depressed. But he was obviously relieved to have me back. And every time we visited my mom after that, he wouldn’t let me leave his sight. I couldn’t go to the bathroom without him. I couldn’t even go around the corner without him panicking. And while he is okay visiting my mom’s house these days, he still has to be reassured that I am not going to leave him there. I’m sure the issue is not with my mom, since he adores her when she visits at our house. But in his mind, her house is associated with that feeling of abandonment.

Thus, I have concluded, when we told him we were going on a trip without him, when he couldn’t spot me at gymnastics class, that terrifying panic was conjured up for him. Now, whenever we had to be separated (dentist appointments, a date with Dan), Daniel screamed, cried, had to be peeled off of me. A good friend and child psychiatrist confirmed my suspicions that we (at least I) should not go on our trip without Daniel–that his extreme separation anxiety would only be made worse if I forced us to be separated, that we needed to help him deal with his anxiety step by tiny step.

I felt frustrated, powerless, worried, annoyed. I thought it was going to take months of hard work. Instead, things have been getting easier on their own. Well, not totally on their own. We have been talking with him about his feelings, reassuring him that we would never leave him without telling him first–and even then we would always leave him with someone who loved him and who he trusted–and we would always come back.I’ve been leaving for short amounts of time when necessary (multiple dentist appointments, Holistic Moms meetings), but never more than necessary, and I’ve called to check in and make sure he’s okay. And little by little, he’s been okay with my leaving. Little by little, he’s going back to the confident little boy who plays by himself and reads books to pass the time. He’s once again comfortable enough to play with daddy, or auntie, or grandma with me in another part of the house. He even went happily with Dan to the grocery store a few days ago.

I’m relieved. But nervous about what else might trigger his anxiety response again. I know the fear. I have the same feelings about earthquakes. And I was reminded of how terrible those feelings are when we had a small but violent earthquake in the middle of the night. I could barely sleep afterward. I jumped with every move Dan made in the bed. I lurched awake with that firey surge of electric butterflies in my body every few minutes sure that the whole house was going to come crumbling down on me. For several nights, I was afraid. The fear got less and less every day, but occasionally something would bring it back up for me.

So even through my frustration, my worry for Daniel, through my own fears, I was able to have real empathy for him. Fear is a terrible thing to have to experience–especially as a child with no real ability to rationalize, to talk yourself down. I dealt with irrational fears as a child myself, and remember how paralyzing they were. I’m sad my poor little Daniel has to deal with that dumb inherited trait of mine (and Dan’s as well), but grateful that Dan and I both have experience dealing with it personally so we can help him through it gently should it come up again.

For now, he is doing well. He still won’t spend the night at his grandparents’ house. He still prefers that I stay close by. But he’s  not terrified anymore. And for now, I’ll call it a win.

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7 Months Old and Finally Jealous

Daniel is the jealous one. He’s been showing off his jealousy by “tackling” his baby brother, head-butting him, and swatting at him. All of these things have been rather mild and gentle–Daniel is still just testing the waters with what he can get away with.

It’s not just with Reid that he’s testing us. He’s started using some violent language lately that is tough for me to handle. I’ve been doing a pretty good job of it, though–thanks to Playful Parenting by Lawrence Cohen, PhD. For example, today, while sitting in a play car, he announced that he just hit and killed “that guy who does mean things” (an imaginary “friend” who does mean things like knocking Daniel over or hitting him). Instead of reacting with anger and reprimanding him for saying such a thing (what I wanted to do), I took Cohen’s advice and said, “Oh no! That would make his family very sad. Let’s call the ambulance to take him to the hospital. When he gets better, maybe you can teach him not to do mean things any more.” To which he responded that the ambulance was on its way. Phew!

Reid is trying so hard to crawl. He can’t quite figure out what to do once he’s on his hands and knees, but he knows there’s something to it. Sometimes he rocks back and forth, but usually, he just lunges forward and bonks his head on the ground.

No teeth have popped through yet. Reid is definitely teething, and sometimes I think that maybe his gums are a little swollen. But there’ve been no signs of imminent teething–just the standard drool and chomping on everything.

Reid is still screeching and screaming–he’s done it at several restaurants now, which is so stressful for us. We always had such an angel at restaurants with Daniel. We’re just not sure how to deal with a screamer.

Christmas is only a week away and I am so unprepared this year. I haven’t thought about stockings really at all yet. And I haven’t wrapped anything yet, either. I’m feeling so behind. There’s no way I’ll be getting Christmas cards out this year. Next year I will, though. I will, I will, I will.

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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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4 Weeks Old

I’ve intended on writing for the last two weeks. But with a newborn, plans just don’t always work out. I’ve been able to keep up with the housework at least as well as I did before Reid was born (which really isn’t saying much). It’s embarrasing how little housework I really did (and do). I’m not sure how other moms do it. I suppose I could limit my time on the internet, but that would really only give me an extra hour or two per day, and at night, when I’m tired and can’t imagine getting up to wash dishes, clean toilets, or put toys away. Mornings are best for me to get things done, but if, by some miracle, I’m up before the rest of the family, I have to be quiet so as not to wake them, so I can actually get things done. That means no cleaning the bathrooms–one is in our bedroom, the other is attached to Daniel’s. It means no laundry–our washing machine makes a terrible noise when I turn it on, and our laundry baskets are in our respective bedrooms, where the boys would be sleeping. I could (and often do) empty the dishwasher, reload it, wash dishes, make breakfast, etc. But then with the making of breakfast, comes the eaters of said breakfast, and then the dishes don’t get done because then we’re into the swing of the day.

I have played with the idea of making myself a schedule and sticking to it–at least for a few weeks or months so I can establish a routine and make some of these chores more habitual. I’ve tried Fly Lady several times, but that just gets annoying. I have adopted some of her ideas, though. I especially like setting a timer for 15 minutes and working on a particular project for that 15 minutes. It’s pretty surprising how much one can get done in 15 minutes when the focus is on that particular thing. I bought Marth Stewart’s Homekeeping Handbook, which is really more of an encyclopedia. I read Peter Walsh’s “It’s All Too Much”, and reorganized my kitchen last year–getting rid of 4 or 5 boxes of stuff. I intended on going through the rest of my house that way, but it never really happened.

All this is to say that I had a hard time getting things done before children. Now, with two, I feel like I’m getting the same amount of work done (maybe more!!), but it still feels embarrassingly like I just can’t get it together. My messy house is bothersome, but at least it doesn’t consume me. I feel better when things are tidy and clean, but I don’t feel bad when they’re not (except when our very tidy/clean/have-it-all-together friends come over). One of these days I’ll work it out and things will get done more efficiently. And it is happening, slowly–oh, so slowly–but surely.

Reid is not helping matters, either. He’s turned from a quiet contented baby, to a fussy little butt. At our two-week check-up, Reid’s pediatrician warned that usually that beginning calm is just the calm before the storm (of infancy). I chose not to believe him at the time. But I was shortly proven wrong and he right. Reid’s not fussy just to be fussy, it’s true. But he’s very vocal when he’s uncomfortable or doesn’t like something–especially when he’s tired. When he’s tired, he’s quite difficult to console. He rejects the breast, and won’t stand for anything that doesn’t involve him going to sleep. And even then, he usually protests for awhile until he figures out that he can relax and actually go to sleep while being walked, rocked, swayed, patted, etc.

And now he’s woken up–probably needing a clean diaper and some milk, and wanting to go back to sleep. Daddy is keeping him calm for the moment, but I’m needed pretty immediately. And I only just started writing about baby! I guess I’ll have to put that off just a little longer.

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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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