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New Year Changes

One of my goals for this new year is to blog more openly. I’ve always used my lack of family blog as my safe space to share anything and everything but with a growing number of close friends moving away, family members becoming more connected to the internet (looking at you, MIL!), and further personal involvement into the WordPress development community, I want a place to use to stay connected that doesn’t also have so much of my personal health history.

I’ve been writing pretty casually at KatieHomemaker for over a year. Some of you have found me there but if you want to keep in touch with what our family is up to, I’d encourage you to follow that site.

Another one of my goals is to learn to maintain my own WordPress site, self-hosted, away from wordpress.com. Very soon, after Brian shows me the basics and helps me set up hosting, I’ll be moving my KatieHomemaker site over to my own domain! I am really excited to stretch myself in this direction and become more of a part of the WordPress community that my husband and I care so much about. I’ll let you know when that happens.

Did you sit down and plan out goals for this coming year too? I’m praying it will be a year of grown, learning, and peace for all of us.

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Rock n Play, How do I Love You?

Let me count the ways…

  1. You are super portable. We can tuck the baby in and push both of you from room to room like a little boat on carpeted seas. For this, we thank you.
  2. You fold flat(ish) for travel. Nothing like a familiar bed while away from home to make travel easier.
  3. I can rock you with my foot… while eating breakfast… and holding a conversation with the toddler… and making a grocery list. Amen.

Basically, the Rock ‘n Play is the bee’s knees and the honey in my tea. I am a big fan.

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Two Months

My head tells me that Teddy was just born yesterday but my eyes are telling me something completely different. It’s so hard to believe how fast he is growing!

Teddy is two months old today but doesn’t go to the pediatrician until next week so I don’t have any fun growth stats for you yet (I’ll update when I do). I haven’t even gone for my postpartum follow-up appointment yet. The doctor who delivered Teddy is probably the busiest OB at the practice so it was hard to reschedule my appointment and I will, no doubt, have to wait quite a while to be seen. I’m feeling pretty good except for the complete lack of weight loss but that’s another post entirely.

Teddy started out longer than Ben so it shouldn’t surprise me that he is wearing 3 month clothes earlier but I’m still sad about it. My tiny baby is a beast! He’s wearing all 3 month clothes except for pants. He’s pretty slim still, even though he has very kissable rolls and dimples, so pants slide right off. We’re using size one disposable diapers at night and have already packed away all the small prefold diapers in favor of the 5 fitted diapers + covers and 7 BumGenius all-in-one diapers in the stash. I’m still wrapping my head around how I want to split the stash of BumGenius pocket diapers between the two boys but that will happen soon since Teddy is well within the size range.

Teddy consistently wakes up to eat only once during the night, usually between 5 and 7, depending on when we go to bed. He eats, burps, and goes back to sleep with little fuss or effort on my part. We haven’t used a shield for a few weeks (YAY!) so those are packed away now. We’re starting to loosely implement a 7:30 bedtime to get him used to having set sleep hours but success is hit and miss at this point. I feed him and B changes his diaper, puts on PJs, and swaddles him and we put him down in his Rock n Play (highly recommended, especially for a second kid).

Teddy is a smiler. He loves to smile; smiling is his favorite. He has a hard time not smiling so he can eat or keep his pacifier in his mouth. He smiles at all three of us but it’s especially heart-melting to see him smile at Ben. Ben loves to help Teddy play in the gym (Teddy is not as big of a fan, however), throw clothes down the clothes shoot, bring Teddy pacifiers, toys, books, or other things Teddy doesn’t play with yet. I’m looking forward to how things change as Teddy grows up and becomes more of a playmate than a novelty. Ben is really a fantastic big brother and a great helper most days. His molars are taking their sweet time coming in so some days are horrible (looking at you, yesterday, with your 20 minute nap) but the times that Ben throws his arms around my neck and asks for kisses and hugs that make up for the rough stuff.

That’s all I can think of for now. Any questions?

EDIT
Teddy weighed in at 11 lbs 14.5 oz (half pound heavier than Ben at 2 months but Teddy was weighed at 2 months and 9 days) which is 28th %. He was 23 inches long (33rd%) and his head, similar to Ben’s, was 16 inches (82nd%). My babies have big heads! He didn’t react too well to the vaccines and was whiney, clingy, and feverish for the rest of the day. He slept well at night, however, and the fever was gone the next morning.

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TV watching buddy and lap warmer

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Lion child

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Teddy’s new quilt (and Ben testing it out) from B’s aunt

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Video games with Daddy

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Hiding

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Tummy time

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You mean that these sweet toys are for BABIES?!

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The family red sweatsuit

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❤ Love them!

 

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7 Weeks Postpartum

I can’t think of a ton of new things to say at this point so I’ll make a bulleted list.

  • Teddy is doing great: He sleeps well (eats at 10:30, sleeps until 5 or 6, eats then sleeps until around 8), eats quickly (6 and 4 minutes a side, usually), is gaining weight (11 lbs last time we checked and has the dimples and rolls to prove it), is fairly easy going, tolerates the car seat, likes being worn and snuggled. We’re trying to figure out how to take care of his super dry skin, cradle cap, and stuffy nose but those are all relatively minor issues. He’s figuring out breastfeeding without the shield (we’ve gone 3 days without it at this point) so I may be able to pack them away soon.
  • Ben loves Teddy: I’m sure part of it is the novelty of having a baby around but Ben loves to see Teddy in the morning, sit with us when I feed him, share toys, and give hugs and kisses. Ben likes to wear his baby doll in a kid-sized doll carrier (similar to this one). I’ve seen him give his baby kisses like I kiss Teddy’s head when I’m wearing our real baby. At this point, we’re not seeing a lot of jealousy or rivalry yet.
  • We love him: Duh. I was a little concerned that I wouldn’t love him as much as Ben or in my newborn fog, I’d love Ben less somehow but that definitely hasn’t happened. Our family feels so right at this point. I’m sure we’ll feel the need to add more someday but my heart is full.
  • I’m figuring out how to balance everything: Hardest part of having more than one kid, for sure! B was gone for work for two weeks starting when Teddy was 3 weeks old so I got a crash course on blending the boys’ schedules alone. I can handle wake ups overnight and getting both boys up in the morning. We don’t get going very quickly but that’s a bonus that our lifestyle provides. I don’t have the guaranteed down time during naps that I used to have and that’s a struggle. I feel bad that Teddy doesn’t get the snuggle time that Ben did as an infant but there’s little I can do about that. I try to have dedicated time for each of the boys during the day and make sure Ben knows that I’m not ignoring him when I’m feeding or changing Teddy. Ben is pretty happy with “taking turns” getting diaper changes and seems to understand that I can’t do everything when I feed Teddy but can play dishes one handed or read books.
  • The house is back under control: I’ve kept up with dishes and laundry this week (yes, we’re still cloth diapering both boys!) and have made homemade meals 4 of the 5 nights so far (last night was leftovers so it doesn’t count). Thanksgiving and Christmas parties will disrupt our new routine but I think we’ll survive.
  • It’s snowed for the last 4 days and I’m already tired of it! It’s the snowiest November on record at over 28 inches of snow! B left the house once to clear snow at the old house and I ran out to two stores and the gas station between storms on Wednesday so we’d have food and snowblower gas to last us a few weeks. Other than that, we’ve watched Frozen a bunch (Ben calls it “leck i’ go”), played hide and seek, read lots of books, colored, and stayed warm inside the house.
  • My postpartum check up was canceled this week because of the weather and because Ben was running a fever on Monday. Turns out it isn’t anything contagious, just his two year molars finally deciding to show up. I haven’t lost a ton of weight yet (still about 20 of 50 lbs) but keep reminding myself that it will come off eventually. It isn’t the weight that bothers me the most though; it’s the loose stomach skin that hangs over waistbands. That will tighten up eventually, right?
  • B started a new part time job on Monday working for a friend helping develop new processes and efficiencies for the company (consists of two recently merged companies) and coding sites for big name clients. Those are two of his favorite things so he’s pretty happy with it. It’s weird that B has set work hours for the first time in 4 months but I’m sure he’s getting more work done because of it. I get to spend more time with him in the evening too, which is great.
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Went to an indoor water park and got lots of time to snuggle Teddy while B and Ben swam

 

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Ben and I went on a date to the mall and rode the carousel and ate chicken nuggets and french fries

 

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Big brother is starting to squish little brother pretty early on

 

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So much love on this couch!

 

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Baby smiles!

 

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Squirrel pose

 

 

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Me and Ben wearing our babies

 

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One Month

Happy One Month, Theodore John!

We’re a little in shock that it has only been a month since Teddy was born. He fills out our family so well it’s like he has always been here.

I feel like I’ve healed pretty well. I’ve only lost about 20 of the 50 (I know!) pounds that I gained with Teddy, which is a bit frustrating to me, but I’ll make it there eventually. I can wear the jeans I bought just before Ben was a month old and have started pulling out my regular clothes again. Most of the weight is stored in my lower half so pants will be a struggle for a while but getting out my old shirts is like seeing old friends after a long absence! I’ve stopped bleeding already (it took 6 full weeks with Ben) and don’t feel the stitches anymore.

I don’t take Teddy back to the pediatrician until he is two months old but I know that he is growing! He is out of newborn disposables and is starting to outgrow his newborn clothes. Many of the 0-3 month outfits are too big yet so we’re mixing and matching until he grows a bit more. We made the move to cloth diapers during the day last week so we aren’t flying through disposables anymore. He seems to be tolerating the change pretty well with no significant rashes to speak of. We weighed Teddy before his bath on Saturday and he clocked in at 9.6 lbs and has the chin rolls and dimples in his knees to prove it. I’m proud of how much he has grown!

We’ve fallen into a good rhythm with breastfeeding. He eats every 3-4 hours during the day and then a 4-5 hour stretch before our first night wake up and then 3 more hours. That’s typically a bed time feeding between 10 and 11, one feeding from 3-4, and a wake up feeding between 7 and 8. His schedule is a lot more fluid than Ben’s internal clock so stupid Daylight Saving Time has thrown us off a little. Ben is now ready to get up before Teddy eats but we’ll eventually get back to Teddy naturally wanting to wake and eat about 30 minutes before Ben is ready.

I think I am FINALLY past the mastitis and clogged duct problems that pestered me the entire time B was in San Francisco and I was solo parenting. I finished my antibiotics yesterday and started taking lecithin (food extract that acts like an emulsifier, sticking to fat in my milk to keep it from sticking together) and haven’t had any super painful clogs since I wrote my last desperate blog post. Astonishingly, Teddy started latching without a nipple shield after I wrote that post too so thank you for those prayers! It was wonderfully encouraging to have something start going right after 7+ days of frustration. We regularly go without the shield and only use it for the one to two night feedings, depending on how tired Teddy is. He has a lot more trouble latching when he is half asleep and when it has been 5 hours since he ate and I’m more engorged than normal. He can be quite stubborn about latching anyway and has spent up to 5 minutes sniffing and licking my nipple instead of latching but we haven’t given up yet. I was a little worried that the mastitis and duct issues caused a dip in supply but since Teddy’s diapers are always soaked and he poops all the flippin time, he is still getting enough to eat.

B is currently back in San Francisco for a second conference in less than two weeks. I dropped him off at the airport yesterday morning and he gets back Wednesday evening so this one is much shorter than the last one. He commented on how much bigger Teddy was when he got home last Thursday. That’s what you get for going away for a week when your son is only 3 weeks old! I feel much more confident about solo parenting for this second stretch even though all three of us have caught colds. I’ve figured out some coping mechanisms and experience coordinating both boys schedules. We’ve watched more tv than I’d like during the last week but I’ll be able to wean us off that once we get more settled. We watch youtube music videos and have dance parties (great for using up toddler energy!), Baby Einstein, and, of course, Toy Story. I’ve gotten really good at playing dishes with Ben with only one hand and figuring out how to shower each day. Baby wearing is more of a necessity this time around and I am so glad I bought the baby k’tan to use instead of the Moby wrap!

Ben has impressed me with his flexibility, maturity (at times), his helpfulness, and his love of his “baby broller Teddy.” I’ve learned that if we talk about what to expect from him during a situation, everything goes much smoother. For example, when we get home from the store, I tell Ben that I’m going to take Teddy out of the car and put him in the house and then I’ll come back for him. He knows I haven’t left for good and he gets attention too. We have started working some of the basic love and logic parenting methods into our daily routines with some positive results. We regularly “take turns” changing diapers and we give him the option to go first or second. He can choose between different shirts every day and chooses from several options for lunch or snacks. We’re working building up his self-confidence by giving him the chance to choose his own path from a carefully constructed set of options. All choice is a good choice because we only give good options but it works! We still spend our fair share of time in the time out chair because he “didn’t use good listening” but I’ve seen impressive improvement in the last month.

Ben is very helpful with Teddy too, in spite of liking to steal Teddy’s boppy and burp cloth all the time. He likes to give hugs and kisses, is very concerned if he thinks Teddy isn’t going to go somewhere with us, shares toys (Teddy doesn’t care but its adorable just the same), and is tolerant of the time Teddy spends with me nursing.

I’d be remiss if I don’t mention that it has been a year since we lost Baby 2. Time changes the feeling of emptiness that comes with losing a baby but it doesn’t go away, even after the birth of a child since then. We love and miss you, Baby Girl!

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4 day old baby snuggles!

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Our first walk with the double stroller (Joovy Caboose Ultralight)

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Momming

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Ben got a haircut and didn’t act like it was the end of the world!

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The many faces of TJ

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Our first outing without B

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Ben asked for a photo with his chicken nuggets to send to Daddy

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We had one amazingly warm (78) day to play in the leaves before it got cold and rainy

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Ben is a huge fan of leaf piles

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Teddy’s face is priceless

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Baby’s first WP shirt!

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Dressed like Daddy

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Ben refused to nap on Halloween and kept putting his monster socks on his hands like puppets

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The cutest Woody ever

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Buzz Lightyear to the rescue!

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Selfies while building towers

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Ben was sharing toys with Teddy (Woody hat, Mr. Potato Head, Daddy’s glove, and Ben’s burp cloth)

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This boy is full of energy and joy!

 

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A Prayer for my Boobs

I am still struggling with breastfeeding Teddy almost a month into this relationship. I don’t think his latch is everything it should be but it works because of the nipple shield. I haven’t been able to get him to latch without the shield at all; he simply looks at me like I’m crazy. I’ve been battling double mastitis and clogged ducts for over a week and feel downright rotten about every other day. I’m on day 3 of antibiotics and definitely have had a new clog develop in the last few hours. Letdown brings sharp pain that is only just bearable.

I know I don’t want to quit though. There has to be a way to fix all these issues but when I’ve been solo parenting for a week (B had been in San Francisco for a work conference since last Thursday), I don’t have the energy or time to devote to getting better because there’s always a child that needs something. B leaves again for another work trip on Sunday so I’m hoping to get as much rest as possible between when he gets home tomorrow and Sunday morning.

If you’re the praying type, I need help getting through the next week and a healing touch.