Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Beau - 2 months

Beau's first Christmas!
He was able to enjoy it by napping... and that's quite alright with us.  I wasn't sure what to even get him since he technically can't open anything, but I also couldn't let my little babe not have anything under the tree.  So yes, he got a few toys, that he can play with in a few more months.
We enjoyed Christmas here with family, and had a low country boil, which we all welcomed as a new tradition.  Mmm...
Beau is up to 10.8lbs as of a doctor appt we went to since he caught a bad cold. It turned into RSV, and I didn't know what to do.  I was so worried, because Ava was so perfect as a newborn.  Not until she went to daycare did she get sick, so I didn't know what to do.  He had to have picked it up from Ava & even from me, since the weather changes made my sinuses go crazy.  Fortunately, it did not go into his chest or ears.  Unfortunately for him, I had to do the suction on his nose, vaporub and the humidifier.  It was pitiful, but it went away within a week.  We were so glad that it didn't get any worse.
During this 2 month growth, I have transitioned from breastfeeding to formula feeding.  I was afraid that Beau wasn't getting all he wanted, and to be honest, I was getting overwhelmed at feeding him all the time, and struggling with Ava and the dog, and anything else that I wanted to do.  In other words, I was over it. It's not the same with two children.  Ideally, I wanted to breastfeed for months - like 8 or more.  But that didn't happen, and that's ok.  I stopped beating myself up about it as much.
Little Beau is starting to sleep for longer periods of time, almost all night, which is glorious!!  And he's smiling so much.  He's lost a lot of hair, or started to about this time, due to cradle cap. It didn't get nasty, but I had to treat it and I think that's what had happened.  Hopefully it will grow back as nice as it had been.  It had some curl to it, that Ava's didn't.  (Thank goodness she has my hair!)
On to the next phase - more sleep, smiles and maybe some activity!!

Beau is 3 months old

Beau has reached the 3 month mark!
I had wanted him to come out 3 months old, but he didn't, so I waited patiently for the time to come.  Why?  Because at three months, these little babies start to get fun.  They sleep longer at night (knock on wood!), and laugh and gurgle and make silly faces and blow raspberries - or try.
And that's just what Beau's doing.  He's a ball of drool, going through a few bibs a day, but is happy to do it.  He smiles just like Ava did, all the time.  It's so sweet.  He also smiles at Ava - he sure loves her.  We have pulled out the bouncer, the piano and the bumbo chair for him, and he's enjoying all of them.  Yay!  He still loves to be in my arms, and I still love to hold him until he falls asleep at night.  I think he's almost ready for his crib.  We moved Ava to the crib at 3 months, and I think it's time to do so with him.  How do we know?  He's sleeping all night long, and he's almost touching the top and bottom of the bassinet.  I've put a few more touches on his room, making it more of his. Still need a chest of drawers, or some shelving unit, so hopefully we'll be able to get something soon to complete his room.
Beau is at 13lbs, a little bigger than Ava at this time.  I've not compared their sizes, but will do so, just to see.  We already know that he's bigger than Ava.  And rightly so, for our boy.  He laughs, and is ticklish, making diaper changes fun!  He coos and talks to me as he falls asleep. He's just perfect.  We thank God daily for the perfection.  It's so fun seeing him become more and more alert and I still am not ashamed to say that I am looking forward to him growing!

Sometimes I wonder how mom's do it

Like, seriously.  How do mom's do it? How do they stay at home, keep the house and kids in check, and themselves, and their husbands, and the laundry, and the dishes, and the dinner - oh my word, it's like Cinderella.  Without the stepmother, ugly stepsisters, the mean cat, the helpful mice, the fairy godmother, and the prince. Oh wait, so I guess maybe it's not like that at all.  But this whole stay at home mom thing is not for the faint of heart. It's not like I scored and became one of those wives that "get" to stay at home with a toddler and 3mo old because we live some fabulous life and I don't have to work.  No, for the record, my small business owning husband is able to make up for my loss of salary, by the grace of God, as his company is growing and doing well. Not "well" like I get to go buy a new car and fill my house with all of the tempting lovelies from wayfair.com or pottery barn, but well enough that it made sense and worked out this way.  It just happened.  I am super thankful that I am able to do it, that I "get" to do it in a sense that I'm the one that is here with my children.
But back to my rant - damn, it's hard to be a stay at home mama.  Gone are the days that I work all day long, solving other peoples' problems, speaking intelligently with other adults.  Gone are the days that I drop my toddler off at her preschool, where she is given lessons, tasks, projects, recesses, naps, music, play, more fun school things to do all day long.  I do not miss making lunches every day, or scrambling to get her and myself out of the house to make it to work on time (i.e., 5min late daily).  But I do miss that activity for her - mainly because I don't know that I have the creativity or the energy to keep her as busy and active as she was just less than 2 months ago.  I admire the way that teachers can wrangle 6-8 2 year olds on a daily basis, only to get the evenings & weekends off.  Going through potty training, feeding them, breaking up fights, keeping them interested... Wow. Just wow.
Some days - or really most days - I lose my patience.  I won't lie, I have nothing to hide.  I have to keep it real and be honest. I lose my patience.  I have a 2 year old diva on my hands.  I read another blog that said your children pick up the qualities of you - negative ones, especially - and put it right in your face, more or less. Yes, admittedly this is what Ava does. She is a little mimic of all my craziness.  I tell her to do something, she says, with an exasperated whisper, "whyyyy?" Really?  Really?!  I'm waiting on the day she says that to me.  Oh wait, she already has.
What I'm saying is that I feel like a POS most days, when I lose my patience.  I yell.  Brief, short commands from time to time.  There, I said it.  Judge me if you will.  I raise my voice.  I try to calmly, and with a smile tell her to do something, offer up a different way of doing something, or talk her off the ledge.  But she's a tough one.  It's much easier to talk an adult off the ledge.  You cannot reason with a 2 year old.  You can't argue with them.  She literally repeats and mimics me when I'm upset.  It's so eye-opening when a 2yr old reacts the same way you do. It's funny how she does it, but then it's like a slap in the face because it's annoying (to see how I am).  I wish I could disarm the switch that pushes me over the edge of "I just had myself together and now I feel like I need to throw a glass plate on the concrete" - basically the one that turns me into the Hulk.  And how do people get that much patience? Tell me it didn't come overnight. Lie to me and tell me that.  Or tell me the truth, tell me that I'm not alone in this crazy, messed up, emotional life of mine.  Tell me that you yourself have experienced the insanely impossible ability of trying to keep your sh*t together so you don't lose it!  Every single day, I literally get up thinking, what will today be like? Will it be good? Will I be good? Will I be patient? What can we do to keep Ava busy? What is going to set her off?  When will I reach my boiling point?  How much coffee will I consume today? Should I shower now, or later?  Or at all?  Can I pawn my kids off to my mom?  Can I just stay in bed? Is 10:00 a.m. too early to drink wine?  Can I just pretend to be perfect? But each day, it's a new approach.  It's a new adventure in the life of a 2 year old. She's perfectly terrible, and terribly perfect.
It goes without saying that I would never, in a million years, ever give back my present life.  I would never change the way it turned out.  Ever.  Never, ever, ever.  God blessed my husband and me with 2 beautiful, amazing, happy and healthy children.  If the worst is the terrible 2's (which I have already made Beau swear to me that he wouldn't behave the way Ava does - not even at 3), then I can handle it.  I don't deserve it though.  I don't deserve the life that God gave me.  None of us do, to be fair.  But when I feel like a jerk, when I feel like I should've waited one more second to react, or 5 more seconds, but didn't, I really feel bad.  Why do I have to be short? What does it do to the situation when the she-Hulk comes out, and destroys everything in her path?  Look, clearly I'm writing this when I'm feeling bad on myself, and I will move past it, and find a way out of this mess.  I just feel like an undeserving mother.  The worst mother out there.  Yes, because I didn't let my daughter brush her teeth again when all I asked her to do was to wash her hands.  Or when I made her wear bloomers instead of a diaper to help her know when she needs to go or went potty.  (As if her routine of hiding behind the sofa each time she poops is not obvious, or is so sneaky that I don't know what she's doing...)  I almost don't even want to post this, because I don't want the slight ounce of pity, or judgement for that matter.  I try to get down on her level, she doesn't listen.  I know that I've got to do better, and I have been praying that God help me. I don't want to be a jerk-mom.  SHE'S ONLY 2.  We have to learn each other all over again, as I have said before.  Granted, it's only February 2, and She's almost been out of school for 2 months.  When people asked me how it was being at home, I told them to ask me in about 2 months.  Well, ask me in March.  I hope to goodness that I have found my way and have found peace in knowing that perfection is not only impossible, but it does not  need to be expected from myself or my 2 year old.  I need to make a point to use free time researching ideas to keep little ones busy and occupied.  We will get through this.  We will make it.  (And let's hope daddy says she can go to preschool again in September...)

Be honest - am I alone? How do you moms deal with the terrible 2's???

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Happy 2nd Birthday to our little girl!

The birthday girl, facing the front in the car!
Since I'm catching up on my blogging, why not post something about Ava's 2nd birthday?  What an amazing year our little girl has had.  She's grown so much, and has really blossomed into such a bright, fun, exciting little girl.  We are so impressed with her growth and love spending the time with her.  She went through teething, getting new sleep patterns, meeting new friends at school, playing and talking so much more.  We love this little ball of energy and love spending time with her.  She loves going to the zoo, reading books, playing with Coco, coloring, painting, playing in her little pool.  It's just been great. I love her beautiful hair, how she loves to have her little piggies polished and how she's my shadow.  She has had her moments, don't get me wrong, but she is such a great little person. It's funny how much she's changed and become a little person.  Wow!

on the rocking horse Papa made
for Ava (by hand!)
So for Ava's 2nd birthday party, I figured we could do something fun for her.  Her bestie from school had such a fun party last December, with a petting zoo, and pony rides at her house, and Ava loved it. She wanted to stay on the pony the entire time. So I did some research and looked up a few places. We decided it would be super fun for her, and pulled the trigger on this petting zoo idea.  Originally, I wasn't going to do the pony rides, but last minute changed my mind.  Super glad that we did.  Ava loved it all over again!  She's really got a calm about her when she's on the pony, and that impressed all of us.  We may have a little cowgirl on our hands.  (And that's ok!)
little cowgirl!

Part 2, Here we grow again (from the 1st trimester)

There's a much-needed update, being that we're at 6 months now of no posts, pictures, etc.  I'm ashamed, but human, so cut me some slack please.  ;)  (I have filled out most of Beau's baby book already, so I'm ahead of that, thank you very much!) For part 1, see this previous post.  "Here we grow again"
 For the first trimester, after finding out that I was  pregnant, we didn't tell anyone.  No, I take that back, my friend knew, she had to while I was keeping it from even Don, and Don spilled to one of his long time friends.  Our family, they were in the dark.  I made my appointment at what I had marked as 8 weeks, and things were great.  We really didn't want to tell anyone until we were past the first trimester.  Mostly because we were still in shock, I think.
Our special Easter announcement!
Mom found out a few weeks later, in the heat of a "discussion" we were having - as mothers and daughters often do. And she was super happy. We told the family after the first trimester, on Easter Sunday (April 5), and right after.   Everyone happy and super excited.   We told a few super close friends, but nothing public.    I didn't tell my work that I was pregnant until I was just over 12 weeks, after we had heard the heartbeat.  I had to wear loose clothing, because I was feeling like the bump was starting to show.  It was April 15 when I told them. (They didn't believe me!)  I just waited and didn't want to share much.  We found out the baby's sex at 20 weeks, right before Father's Day. I had hoped it was going to reveal a boy, and make such a great Father's Day gift for Don, his dad, my dad, his step-dad.  Well, yay!  It sure did!  Don was elated. We both were so happy!
Happy Easter from our growing family! 
For the first trimester, I was happy, not ill, things were going pretty well, as they had with Ava, thank goodness.  I was sensitive to smells, but that's not really out of the ordinary considering.  So all in all, trimester 1 was good to me.  (I did get super moody come the 2nd trimester, exhausted by the 3rd, but 1st was ok.) Baby H was nameless for quite a while, into the 2nd trimester, which you've read about in my other posts.  I think this pretty much takes care of the 1st trimester at this point.  :)  Thanks for stopping by, and pardon the delay.  I don't know why I was having such a hard time completing this.  Well, I do, it's because it's in the past.

Beau - already 1 month

Look who's already a month old!  While I'm ready for him to be about 5 months old, I still can't believe that he's already a month old.  This first month has been something else.  While Ava was my great sleeper, Beau is not so much. That being said, he will do his share of sleeping. But he cluster fed like a monster for the first couple of weeks. Either I didn't remember, or I do, but he and Ava are very different.  She had longer stretches of sleeping, and he does not.  He eats a lot more!  He is a boy, what do I expect, huh?

Ava is finally coming around to the idea of having a little brother.  She helps push his stroller, will sit with him while I prepare meals, gently gives him his paci, and recognizes when he doesn't want it - by saying,  "Beau don't  want his paci, mommy."  She even kisses him now, and will ask to hold him occasionally  (with my help).  It's very sweet.  And she's going to be a great sister as he grows.

We've already introduced him to formula,  because I was afraid he wasn't getting enough milk when he nursed.  He would be hungry all the time, so we decided to give it a try.  Fortunately,  for all of us, he adjusted well.  He's not completely on formula, but supplementing it. I didn't think I would have done this so soon, but adjustments are made as time goes by.  Things don't always go as planned, as we know, so it's been an emotional time getting accustomed to different ways.
It's been an interesting month, and we love seeing Beau change so much. From his smiles and coo's to holding his head up (for moments) and sleeping on us, we love it all!

Saturday, December 5, 2015

What they don't tell you about being a mom again

There are some things that people don't really tell you about having another child that probably need to be said.  I mean, I don't go searching online for these types of blogs or things, but no one even vocalized it to me prior to having another baby.  I was told that I would quickly learn that I am capable of loving another baby just as much as the first, and that my heart would grow in size.  I learned that with Ava and Coco - yes, you read that right.  People tell you that your child #1 may act out, get jealous, be rough, misbehave, etc. Their world is going to be rocked, and turned upside down, bringing in another child.  They will have to learn how to share mommy and daddy with another person, and not understand.  Well, what no one told me was that I had to learn to share myself with both children.  I had to find a way to equally distribute myself between the two.  Now, while obviously the baby will require more attention, I can't technically distribute myself equally.  I have a spouse, and he is extremely helpful.  I'm not dismissing that.  As a mother, I don't expect him to understand what I go through in that aspect.  And mom's, you know what I'm talking about.  Ava is 2 1/2.  She has such a great personality, and she and I were really starting to get into a little groove and have fun. She is my little shadow, my bestie.  We had a little thing going.  Now I have to share myself with another child.  I know that she and I will always have our relationship, but the reality of it changing, even if only slightly and temporarily, really hurt me.  I cried.  Like every day.  And if you know me, you know I am not a crier.  I barely shed a tear with both children being born!  But I will cry when I watch tv... So weird.  But anyway, that was hard for me in the first couple of weeks.  During the last trimester of my pregnancy with Beau, I was short with Ava. I was exhausted and grew impatient with her. I will admit that.  And she is 2.  She's perfectly, terribly 2, every bit of it.  She acts out and pushes my buttons already, not because of her baby brother.  So I've been dealing with her toddler ways already.  I was prepared. So I guess now, in retrospect, I can be thankful for her being such a turd sometimes.  She's really growing and being so sweet, and now, 5wks after bringing Beau home, she no longer pulls away from him and tells me, "I don't want that baby," but rather she will pet him, kiss him, lay by him, give him his paci, turn on his swing, and tell him that she loves him.  She'll sit next to him, but still maintain her independence.  She's been that way since she's been 1 1/2, and is fine going off separately to her room, his room, her table to play or now her favorite, washing her hands all the time and playing with mommy's makeup.  Ava and I will be able to go off on our own soon, and with her still being so young, when Beau is her age, she'll still be sweet and young and even more helpful with Beau.  (Oh, let's hope!) So I won't miss her little years.  Reminding myself of this made me feel much better and less sad.    
So what I want to convey to you new moms of your 2nd children is that your world will be turned upside down, too.  This is a big change, bringing another life into the world.  Stuff gets "real" now that there's another human to be responsible for.  You're starting all over being a new mom and dad.  That freedom is now a couple of years away again (of sleeping in, or going out late, or having a glass of wine...)  You may secretly reminisce of the day that you had only one child, and what it would be like if you only had that one child.  And you know what? That's ok. You're human.  And you're a mom.  You can handle this.  You will move past it (really in like 2 weeks maybe, like I did), but it may take some prayer, or some reassurance from another mom, or just by taking a step back and realizing that you're not alone in this.  I have no regrets, and wouldn't change the way this worked out.  I do fantasize about having just Ava from time to time. But knowing that we now have a little boy too, reminds us how much we wanted this. We wanted 2 children, and we are so completely blessed beyond words with a beautiful family and 2 amazing children.  While are lives are completely changed, they are changed for the better.  And that's how I want it to stay.