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It’s the time of year when many people in our climate start dreaming of moving somewhere else.  I gave up those crazy ideas years ago (winter has actually gotten easier for me to deal with post-kids!), but I do still definitely prefer summer.

Every year I’m like “oh I’m going to embrace winter this year, go snowshoeing or something, get some better outdoor gear”.  And then I just stay inside and pour more whiskey into my tea.  At least I have aspirations!  I am so in awe of people I see biking this time of year.  Someday…  maybe…!

We spent the holidays mostly sick.  Everyone we know was hit with something in those few weeks.  Nathan had the flu, the kids both had coughs forever, somehow I got away with only getting half sick – literally, I could not hear out of my right ear, and snot was coming only out of the right side of my nose.

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Now it’s just the countdown until spring.  January is halfway over, yay!  Feb. is short and is the month of celebrating love, and Jane’s birthday, which will be held at a place that serves alcohol this year (what took me so long?).  March I plan to do an unlimited month of yoga, and get in shape for going to visit one of my bestest friends in L.A. in April.  I’ve never been to Cali!  She has an 18 mo. old girl and we will just hang out with our babies on the beach  =).

Other random things:

-Aiden is still wonderful.  He’s the baby that makes me want more babies.  When I see him I say ridiculous things like “I wuv wuv wuvs you my bubby boobles”.

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-I finally calculated our net worth.  I feel ashamed admitting this, being so into personal finance.  But for so long I’ve been focused on our day to day budget and not spending more than we make in a month, because that has been such a challenge for years.  I sat down one Saturday night (I know, party animal) and put all our retirement accounts from previous jobs, other savings and debt into one spreadsheet.  And was pleasantly surprised we are not in the negative!

-I’ve started watching Wheel of Fortune a lot (I rarely watch tv but it’s on right when Nathan is getting home from work/Aiden is wanting to be held/I’m needing a break from the whole day) and dreaming about being a contestant.  Or maybe Nathan being a contestant because he’s better under pressure than I am and just as good.  Jane watches it with me and gets SO excited when I “win”.  I seriously love this show, it’s one of the only smart shows left on tv.

That’s about all, hope you are having a wonderful winter wherever you are.  One final pic of Jane dressing up Aiden in a Queen Elsa hat.  That is some kind of makeup on her face, which she is obsessed with, thanks Auntie Jen  =).

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Life Updates

Just wanted to capture what everyone’s like at this stage – especially Aiden, who, as a stereotypical 2nd child, does not have a baby book started yet.

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Aiden!:  Just turned 2 months and it seems like he’s been with us forever.  He continues to be an easy baby.  There’s never been an extended period of crying, he’s easily soothed just by being held.  He’s sleeping 6-7 hours straight at night, but this usually starts about 8 p.m. so doesn’t mean an uninterrupted night for me.  (As tired as I get, 10 p.m. is about the earliest I can get to bed.)  Then he usually wakes a couple more times before we’re up for the day, but again, he usually goes right back to sleep, never any middle of the night crying.  Daytime sleeping patterns are still really unpredictable, but he’s never awake for long.

He still doesn’t do much, but started smiling around 6 weeks which is awesome.  He has the cutest expressions raising his little eyebrows.  People say he looks so much like Jane, and I suppose there are similarities, but his dark hair and fat face (and easy temperament!) make him seem like a very different baby to me.

Jane:  Is still such a character at “three and three quarters”.

IMG_0417She loves playing dress up, princesses, Frozen, and makeup.  She still hasn’t displayed any of the dreaded older sibling behaviors I read all about before Aiden was born.  Never seems jealous and is even more patient than I am!  One morning I was obviously getting frustrated trying to get out of the house and Aiden was fussing in his swing I sighed and was like “sorry Jane, I just want him to go to sleep so we can get ready” and she came up and rubbed my arm and said “Mama, it’s ok, I understand.  Babies just cry sometimes, it’s ok.”  I love her so much.

She also seems so much older because she’s started asking how to spell words and then remembering how to spell them on her own.  I couldn’t believe it when she showed me how she wrote “Auntie Jen”!!

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Me:  32 years old.  Feel older when I now say I have “kids” plural.  I’m still feeling better than I expected, I especially thought the cold weather would be tough, but it’s ok, time is going fast.  There are some annoying physical things going on that would’ve bothered me a lot more in the past, but maybe I just don’t have time to focus on them or maybe have grown out of caring so much?

My skin is acting up, which I know is common in this postpartum period, but, UGH.  Skin and hair were so great during this pregnancy and now I have low level acne and redness all over.  My hair is flat and falling out and I feel like I have to shower more often (but maybe part of that is due to having milk/spit up dribbled all over me too…..)  I spent a large chunk of time this morning researching skin remedies and made a face wash tonight with Almond, lavender, and Vitamin E oils, plus aloe straight from our plant.

One thing I need to do soon is find a way to get regular workouts in, for my mood more than my figure.  My body looks pretty much back to normal, but my current weight is at a number that would’ve horrified me during much of my past life.  I’m surprised at how little I dwell on it though, I cringe at how obsessed I used to get over “the number”.  I just wear looser clothes now and am happy I grew a baby.  Hopefully this lovely phase of body acceptance will last awhile!

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Nathan:  40 years old.  I don’t have any pics of Nathan right now, and there are hardly any pics of the 4 of us!  He’s working the same shitty paying job with the same shitty hour each way commute, worse in the winter when it’s dark and made longer because of snow.  He’s still going through the application process to become a cop, and we’ll find out in late Jan. or Feb., so at least that’s giving him some hope for now.  But by the time he gets home at night and eats, it’s almost time for Jane to go to bed and he doesn’t have time for much else.  I feel so bad every time I think of him doing that commute and sitting in an office all day, and am thankful for being able to stay at home, even though I can get pretty beat by the end of the day too.

Overall, things are good.  Looking forward to all things x-mas, it helps get through the first part of winter, then we just have Jan. and Feb. to deal with!

K

 

Combining these to keep it short, it’s already Saturday night, and I’m a little blogged out.

Also, our computer is acting up – it’s a 5 year old unfancy laptop and the computer repair guy said it sounds like we need a new hard drive.  UGGGHHH.  All I use this thing for is checking e-mail, basic internet searches, and storing our word docs and photos.  Some people suggested we get a “chromebook” that uses a different system where you store things in a “cloud”.  wtf is that, why does technology have to be so confusing?

Anyway, if you know anything about these chromebook things, please give me some advice!

Thursday, Oct. 30th

Typical preschool day, Jane gets picked up, I have some downtime, I go get the girls at noon.  Naps, cooking, cleaning, husband home, bedtimes, end.  Highlights:

-Jane tried on some pants that were too small and said “that’s ok, we can just save them for my baby sister.”  No, she is not confused about Aiden, she will just occasionally mention like it’s a fact that she will someday have a little sister.  This is sort of how I feel too.  We never made a decision to have a 3rd, haven’t discussed it much (and before about a year ago I never would’ve seen myself having 3!).  But… I do sort of think we’ll have a 3rd, it will be a girl, and her name will be Jessa.

-Nathan and Jane carved the little pumpkins we grew in our garden this year:

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-I went to the co-op alone, mostly just to get out of the house.  Was feeling pretty tired and fried and of course I see 4 people I know (two of which I managed to avoid).  Usually I love the way our neighborhood is so much like a small town, but wasn’t really into it tonight!

 

Friday, Oct. 31st

Halloween!  We love it!!  I was a little disappointed to be missing out on some really fun “adult” parties this year, but just too soon with the baby.  I was mostly content to take it easy.  I even skipped our neighborhood party at the rec center this morning, knowing it would be super crowded and I wouldn’t even get a chance to sit and talk to my friends, which is usually my main motivation.

Instead we went to Turnstyle (a consignment shop where I sometimes bring clothes).  I finally cleaned out all my old “office clothes” I’d been hanging onto just because they cost so much and were such a bitch to shop for.  Unfortunately they didn’t take a lot, but I did have $47 in my account from last time, yay!  Made me feel much less guilty about spending that $43 on Wed.

Also this morning Aiden projectile spit up all over the floor.  I could NOT BELIEVE the distance and amount of liquid that shot out of that little baby (see the puddle in lower left hand corner?):

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Nathan came home early and we started getting ready to go out.  Our friends came over and we walked around the block doing trick or treat, then went to a party at our neighbor’s house.  Had a bit of brandy + hot chocolate and some good beer, came home around 8:30 and it felt like a perfect version of “partying” with 2 little kids  =).

I present Queen Elsa, Princess Anna, and Trinity from The Matrix:  (We had a cute little peapod costume for Aiden, but he was sleeping and I was lazy).

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7:30 a.m.:  Wake up and nurse Aiden after a pretty decent night of sleep.

8:00:  Nathan leaves for work and drops Jane off at our neighbor’s house, because I do NOT want to deal with trying to get all three of us ready and to the doctor at 9:30 (an extraordinary effort for me) AND be ready to go meet my friends after too.

So now I just have to get myself ready and even have time to make breakfast and tea to-go and pack all necessary things for my first ever mall outing with baby.  I rarely go to the mall in the first place and never even attempted shopping with Jane, so this is totally new to me.

9:30:  Arrive at doctor’s, wait half an hour to be seen.  Use 5 seconds of this time to take a selfie:

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10:15:  Finally get to talk to our regular doctor, who says “I would say he has a mild case of jaundice, but if I’d seen him during a normal visit I wouldn’t even be concerned enough to have him tested.”  and “The doctor you saw at urgent care yesterday said she never saw jaundice emerge this late?  And she’s a pediatrician??”  and “Home visit nurses tend to be really over reactive.”  “Come back next week and we’ll make sure it’s not getting worse, but this is not unusual.”

Well ok then!  We basically have nothing to worry about, just had to endure a few really stressful hours because of two health care “professionals” who didn’t really know what they were talking about.

11:00:  Leave the doc, so relieved, and happy I will not even be that late to the mall date.  It’s one of my best mom friend’s birthdays and last week I asked her what she wanted to do and she said “go shopping and get a facial”.  I agreed to the shopping (but have never and don’t ever intend to get a facial!)  It was sort of a last minute plan and I didn’t figure our other friends would be able to get away on a day we don’t normally hang out, but I asked them to meet us as a surprise and all 5 of us were able to make it!

And it was so fun!  I haven’t been shopping “with a friend” for probably 10 years…  I used to love to shop as a teenager but now going to the mall just usually makes me dizzy.

Us four have 11 children age 4 and under, and one on the way:  (Babies were allowed on this outing, but no talking children!)

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3:00:  Get home, Jane is napping, talk to my grandma who picked her up earlier from my neighbor’s and watched her the rest of the day. (This is an atypical Wednesday – usually my grandma just comes over and plays with Jane and we drink coffee and hang out.) Eat and check my e-mail.

3:30:  Jane is up.

4:00 – 6:00:  Jane watches a show and does some crafts, I clean, do laundry, return some phone calls…

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6:30:  Nathan is home and I put together some leftovers from dinner and show him my purchases.  I feel slightly guilty about spending $43 at the mall, even though it got me 2 dresses, a shirt, a tank, and a pair of leggings.  He likes the stuff (but I think just likes seeing me un-pregnant in anything right now!) but I’ll probably still return half of it.

A dress that I love the bottom part but not the top so would probably wear with a  sweater and leggings:   photo 3

8:30:  Carry Aiden to sleep in the ergo and finally sit down to write this.  Planning to go to bed before 10:00 tonight…

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Am so stressed and tired right now, a very quick recap of our day, but mostly just unloading my brain about how much it sucks to worry about your baby and frustrations with the health care system…

7:30:  Wake up to nurse Aiden after a rough night of sleep – he wasn’t particularly fussy or anything, but just a string of circumstances that resulted in me being mostly awake from about 3:30 – 5:30 a.m.

8:15:  Get out of bed, start getting Jane ready for preschool.

***Awesome Parenting Tip – if you’re signing your kid up for preschool, make sure to get in the same class as a friend or neighbor so you can swap pickup/drop off.  The 2.5 hours they’re in school results in barely any free time for you if you have to get smaller children ready (especially in winter) and leave the house twice!

9:20:  Our friends pick Jane up to go to school.

9:20 – 11:45:  The awesome part of my day!  It already seems like forever ago!  Nurse Aiden and get him to sleep, take a shower, eat breakfast and drink coffee in peace while catching up on bills/computer stuff/etc…

11:45 – 12:45:  Preschool pickup, dropping off my friend’s kid at her house, chatting with friend…

As soon as we got home, this home visit nurse calls me.  I had called yesterday wondering if she could stop by and take a quick look at Aiden to make sure he didn’t have jaundice.  He had zero when he was born and at his 2 week visit our doc said he might have a touch and to keep an eye out.  For the past week or so it was in the back of my mind and I couldn’t really tell if he looked yellow under his baby acne or if I was being paranoid…

1:00: She stops by and said yes he looks yellow, even a little in his eyes, take him into urgent care right away.

<insert the beginning of freaking out wondering if my baby will have brain damage>

2:00 – 4:30:  Urgent Care!  They do the blood test and his bili levels are “elevated but not extraordinarily high” except that the doctor seems super confused and says she can’t understand why he would become jaundiced at this point.  She says she can’t recommend what to do because she doesn’t know if it has gotten better or worse in the past 2 weeks (but I assume worse, because our doc didn’t say anything two weeks ago??).  So she refers us back to our regular doc and says to try and see her right away tomorrow.

So I’m super frustrated at having no answers, and if I can barely remember what happened/what he looked like at the visit 2 weeks ago, how will our doc remember, when all she wrote in his chart (we called)  was “no” under jaundice?  And why is this happening now and is it getting worse and will I have to interrupt breastfeeding?

4:30:  Get home and park Jane in front of the tv (she skipped her nap due to the urgent care…) while I eat and talk on the phone and arrange child care for tomorrow a.m. (we got an appointment at 9:30…  unfortunately I had some really fun plans starting at 10:30 but think I can still work it out…)

6:00:  Nathan gets home, takes Jane to return library books and stop for a few things at the co-op because I’m obviously fried.

7:00:  I write this, hope I will get decent sleep tonight and good news tomorrow morning!

***Edit, 9:00:  Researching on the internet has actually made me less freaked out about the whole thing.  Time to have a beer, watch an episode of House Hunters on Netflix, and go to sleep.

Can you blame me for worrying about this little (yellow) peanut?

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3:00 a.m.:  Wake up all disturbed by some bizarre dream and then look at the clock and panic because Aiden has been sleeping for FIVE HOURS!  I jump out of bed to make sure he’s still alive (he is).  I lay down again, still feeling jittery with images of the dream still in my mind…  and the Daniel Tiger song “close your eyes and think of something happy” pops into my head (omg I’m such a mom…)  so I do just that and the first thing that comes to mind is Aiden… but instead of relaxing I get out of bed to make sure he’s still alive AGAIN and end up just putting him next to me for comfort.

I’m not usually this paranoid, I swear.

Other than that, I got a really good night of sleep, he only woke up 3 times and went back to sleep easily each time.

8:00 a.m.:  Jolted out of a deep sleep by Nathan leaving for work – he’s already gotten up with Jane, put on a show for her, and got himself ready.  Aiden wakes up too and Jane lays in bed with me while I nurse him.

8:20 – 10:50 a.m.:  Yes, 2 1/2 hours is typically how long it takes us from out of bed to out of the house, all filled with “getting ready” sorts of activity…  what can I say, I’m just a slow morning person.

Funny frozen baby hands in the air:

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11:00 – 2:00 p.m.:  The park!  The same park we’ve hung out at multiple mornings per week this entire summer and last summer too…  I seriously never get sick of it.  The kids are old enough to play with minimal supervision, and today Aiden slept most of the time, so it’s basically sitting in the sun drinking coffee with good friends, and I love it.  At 2:00 I can’t believe 3 hours have passed so decide we need to leave for naptime.

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3:00:  Jane is finally asleep after we make it home and finish lunch.  (So annoying that she’ll hardly eat at the park and then want to eat as soon as we get home!)  Aiden fell asleep in the car again after waking up and nursing at the park.  I spend the next hour and a half eating, organizing stuff, checking e-mail, etc…

4:30:  She’s up and has a snack.

5:00:  Wild Kratts.  Aiden wakes up and I change/feed/play with him and…  he falls right back asleep.  So much sleeping today from this baby, I’m mostly grateful, but always that little worry in the back of my mind since he’s so little, is this normal?

5:30:  Time to clean up a little before Daddy gets home.  Jane is so good at helping clean and organize her things.  Today I ask her to clean up this matching game and she does something especially OCD – every card stacked in a pile with its 3 matches, placed neatly in the box:

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5:45:  Start getting dinner ready – pasta with dry fried tofu and broccoli with an olive oil/balsamic/Italian spice dressing:

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6:20:  Nathan gets home, we eat, he plays Lincoln Logs with Jane:

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7:20:  I’m proud of myself for almost finishing this post before I get too tired.  I will just predict the rest of the night for you – Jane goes to bed, I putz around on the computer some more, Nathan and I watch a show on Netflix, I go to sleep by 10:30.

An extremely typical and uneventful day, but to me, a very good one.

I’m going to attempt to participate in Navigating the Mothership’s Week in the Life series even though it is hard to find time to post right now!

Aiden is 4 weeks today and at this point it seems pretty normal having him here.  Definitely much more tired than usual though, especially at the end of these days now that it’s mostly just me and both kids all day.

But in general, it’s been a lot easier going from 1  to 2 kids than it was going from zero to 1.  (So many people say the opposite!)  For a few reasons:

-He’s a very easy baby.  No health issues, no breastfeeding issues, not even one period of time where he’s cried for more than a couple minutes without being easily soothed.  He loves the ergo carrier and will go from crying to asleep in seconds when we put him in there.  Much different than Jane at 3 weeks!

-Jane continues to be a really well behaved 3.5 year old.  She’s shown no jealousy at all towards the baby.  The only very minor thing was asking to sleep in our bed a couple nights, but we just said no and she went to sleep in her own as usual.

-I’ve realized with the second child, you’re already used to being interrupted constantly and not having a lot of time to yourself, so it’s not such a big deal to just have…  some extra interruptions.

-I already have my stay at home mom routine down.  Nothing in life has changed except carrying around one little extra person!

So that’s the very short baby #2 summary.  Onto Day in the Life!  Today was such a typical Sunday.

7:30:  We all wake up really slow…

0189:30:  Jane and Nathan go to run some errands.  I nurse Aiden, etc., drink coffee, check my e-mail, take a shower.

12:30:  After we all hang out at home again awhile, I take off for a walk with Jane (Aiden in the ergo) to look at a couple open houses.  Our friends stop by and we play in the yard for awhile.  Sooo gorgeous out today and I’m always extra warm I think partly from post-partum hormones, but also from wearing the ergo.

(I took no pictures today, so here is one of us bowling last week – for our 7th wedding anniversary – I was posing with the ball trying to remember how it felt basically having that inside me just 3 weeks earlier)

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2:30:  Naptimes!

4:00:  Wake up, snacks, Jane goes outside to help Nathan rake leaves.  I start making Black Bean & Quinoa Chili for dinner.

Not really sure where the next 4 hours go…  cooking, cleaning, playing, nursing, bathtimes…

8:00:  Jane gets ready for bed…  somehow it’s 9:30 now and I’m working on this post and hope to bed in bed myself shortly after 10:00.

And, one of our only family shots so far – it has been true with #2 we don’t take nearly as many pics and there is no baby book yet either!

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