Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Tuesday snowday

Life has sort of gotten back to normal, even though I'm on maternity leave and that is totally not normal, the rest of it is starting to actually feel like my life again.  For a while after having a baby that just isn't the case, but slowly the new baby becomes an integrated part of your family, a part of your routine, and I'm almost getting to that point where my memories of everyday life without Louie feel like a prior life.

I really like this little crew of boys that I get to spend my days with.  We've fallen into a bit of a rhythm, and Gus has definitely warmed up to his little brother.  When I go up to get him out of bed every morning he excitedly talks about going downstairs to see Louie.  This morning we came down and climbed into our bed and all three of us snugged under the covers, Gus with his cup of milk, clutching my ponytail, and Louie nursing and taking breaks to smile and coo at us.  The only thing that would have made it better would have been if someone had provided me with my own morning beverage, preferably caffeinated.

Yeah, this is life lately.  Our mornings are slow and indulgent, and usually by 10:00 AM we're off on some sort of adventure.

Monday night it FINALLY SNOWED!  Yes, it has been such a strange winter, unusually warm and hardly any of the fluffy white stuff.

Well, I texted Grandma yesterday morning and asked if we could come over so the kids could make a snowman with Gus.  He's a lucky kid to have such young and enthusiastic aunts and uncles, and it makes my life much easier, that's for sure.  I don't think I would have attempted to take him outside at home, a 7 week old baby just makes that sort of thing so much more complicated, and this way I could relax and catch up with my mother-in-law while children with energy enough for playing outside in the snow entertained my two year old.  Win-win!

But this is the thing about kids going outside in the snow.  It takes SO MUCH effort to get them all bundled up, the long underwear, the snow pants, the big clunky boots, and then convincing them to let you put on giant mittens that pretty much render their hands useless.


Yesterday I was literally sweating and panting like a fool after this whole process.  I actually let him go outside without mittens for a few minutes because he was fighting the whole process and wanted to play with his shovel, and I knew that it wouldn't be long before he'd be cold enough to allow me to put them on him.

I was right, I know my kid.  So I ran outside about five minutes later and wrestled those things on his little hands, tucking them into his coat so they didn't fall off.  And then finally they were all outside, fully mitten-ed, and there was a collective "phew".  I collapsed on the couch.

Yeah, you know where this is going.  I swear it was at most three minutes after I had wrestled the mittens on him and he was back inside, whining for the snacks I had tried to convince him to eat before getting all bundled up.  I really didn't want to have to take his mittens off, because those things are definitely the worst part of this whole rigmarole, so for a few minutes I crouched down and fed him pretzels.  That got annoying and tedious real fast, so I took off the mittens, but there was no way I was taking anything else off. 

It wasn't long before he was back outside.  Ridiculous.     

And cute.  Ridiculous, but definitely cute.

Do not mind the copious amount of dried boogers caked on his face.

These two were specifically told NOT to play in the window well, but they decided to slide down it anyway, and at one point when I stuck my head out there to check on Gus, I found all three of them down there.  They yelled for my help, and said Gus's boots had fallen off and they couldn't get them back on him and he was stuck down there because it was hard to climb out and they tried to help him but he kept falling and his BOOTS WERE FALLING OFF!

So hilarious.  So dramatic!

I climbed down there precariously, almost falling myself, and somehow heaved my thirty pound child out of the window well and inside to warm up.  He lost a boot again on the way out, so I had to have Julia throw it up to me.  

I'm pretty sure he had a blast, despite the boot drama.

My mother-in-law took this picture of me and Louie, and despite the frizziness going on from sleeping on wet hair the night before, I LOVE IT.  I mean look at that little guy's perfect little mouth and cheeks.  I love him, and I love this picture because this is what I have spent the last 7 weeks doing, holding this little guy, helping him grow.  I am so lucky. 

It was a really good Tuesday.  On days like these I can't help but think about what I would be doing if I wasn't on maternity leave, and was at the office.  Hmm, not quite as ridiculous but also not quite as fun.  I have to admit that while caring for young children can sometimes feel tedious and isolating, it is also quite a bit more rewarding than going to meetings and updating spreadsheets all day.  Come April, I'm so very lucky to get to do both, Friday through Monday at home, Tuesday through Thursday at the office, because I definitely find myself needing a break from both.

Monday, February 06, 2012

Figuring things out

At the risk of jinxing it, (and if all goes to hell after this is published, I swear I will quit blogging), things are going really well here at the five week mark.  The fact that I say that, despite one particularly annoying and nasty setback that goes by the name of thrush, says quite a bit.

We've been keeping really busy.  During the week I seem to have something planned most days, whether it's Gus's ECFE class, spending the day with my mom, having a visitor, hanging out at my in-laws, or meeting one of my brothers for lunch, there always seems to be something.  This is good for me, because I am totally someone that quickly becomes unhinged when I spend too much time at home.  Dan and I really differ on this. So on weekends I'm all, "HEY MAN, LET'S GET GOING, WHAT ARE WE GOING TO DO TODAY?!  BOOK STORE? CHILDREN'S MUSEUM? COSTCO? COFFEE SHOP?" as soon as we wake up.  And he has been working all week long, and balks at how much work it is to get out of the house, questioning whether it's really worth it, so we end up at a bit of a crossroads.  But all I can think about is the fact that we have four parental hands on the weekends, to combat/control the four child-sized hands that we are in charge of, so we have to take advantage of that and get out of the house and do something fun! fun! fun!  Even though, yeah, it's going to also be a lot of work, but that is simply life with two kids.

Louie's first bottle at 4 weeks old

The extra amount of work is just something I'm starting to get used to.  The other day I had my first 100% tear-free and no-stress get-out-of-the-house-by-myself-with-two-kids scenario.  I got in the car and drove away and just felt so powerful, like, I can do this, I AM doing this!  I imagine it would be this song in the background that morning as I drove off, if my life were a romantic comedy.  

In other news, I am already, after only five weeks of this, SO SICK of my everyday wardrobe of a nursing tank with some sort of loose top over it, jeans or leggings, and my muffin top.  I loathe getting dressed in the morning.  I say this even though I realize that yes, just a month or so ago I was making a similar complaint about my maternity clothes and massive belly, so really, can I ever just be happy?  The answer to that?  Probably not, at least not for another nine months to a year, which I feel like is how long it takes to start feeling like yourself again after having a baby.

4 weeks postpartum - stretchy pants of course
So I also realized the other day that it has been over a year since I've gotten my hair cut or colored.  Isn't that ridiculous?  I seriously have become some sort of hippie.  A very LAZY hippie, that is.  Thus, this week I vow to make a hair appointment, because that's something I can control, as we all know my postpartum muffin top won't likely be going away for a while even if I'm just a few pounds away from being back at pre-pregnancy weight.  The postpartum muffin top cares not how much I weigh, it will make itself comfortable and hang out for a while no matter what.  I suppose it would probably help to do some crunches, but I won't even pretend that's going to happen.   

Ok, so how about I talk about that baby of mine.

He turned five weeks old on Saturday, and people he is getting huge!  He was already nearly eleven pounds at the two week mark, so who knows what he weighs at this point, but he has been growing out of a lot of his three month clothes and wearing things Gus didn't wear until I had gone back to work.  So suffice it to say, he is growing.

Smiles are imminent, I just know it.  I swear he is just doing that happy face thing right now, where he makes eye contact coos a little bit, and it looks like he's about to smile at you but he just doesn't quite seem to manage going all the way.  I did catch a few smiles at the wall the other day, but I'm not calling it until he's looking an actual human being in the eyes.  

Breastfeeding is going well, but I seem to have a bit of an oversupply, or overactive letdown, something like that because we've been dealing with a lot of choking and screaming and frantic gulping.  It has been stressing me out, and I finally decided to start pumping in the morning, which seems to help.  I get about six to eight ounces every morning, so it's nice to slowly start building up a freezer stash.  I also try to recline a bit while I'm nursing which in my head seems like a logical way to slow down the force of my letdown, help him breath a little between gulps, I don't know.  But it's been hard to know what the issue really was, since we also had thrush which could have been what was bothering him.  Ugh, breastfeeding really does play tricks with your mind.  I'm constantly second guessing things, worrying about pumping too much, or not enough.  Worrying that the little guy is screaming at the boob because he still has thrush, even though we think it's gone.  Worrying that he's not drinking enough milk, even though the child is growing like a weed and that is a completely ridiculous fear at this point.  And really, the screaming usually happens in the evening when he gets super overtired and is likely not even hungry at all, just being force-fed by his psycho mother. 

What was that I said about being more confident about caring for an infant this time?  Ha!

This has been all over the place, and it probably doesn't help matters that it took me three days to write it, but oh well.  That is how my life is right now.  And life is pretty good, difficult some days for sure, (last Tuesday I woke up whining that I just didn't feel like mothering that day, like I had any choice), but good. We're all four of us figuring things out.