Thursday, March 31, 2016

Three is the Magic Number

I remember thinking six-months was the game-changer when Ro was a baby.  He had a few skills under his belt, notably sitting up - making going to the grocery store soooooo much easier!  But as Philippa has turned three-months, I feel like this age has its merits too.  I can't pinpoint what exactly she does that makes life slightly easier.  Perhaps it's simply her sweet smile.  A smile can turn the night to day... or is that prayer?  We'll say both.  

Pippa is cute.  Man, I love that little girl!  She really is sweet.  She still loves to be held and snuggle.  Sometimes when I'm holding her on my shoulder, she'll shimmy her way to the center of my chest so that my chin rests on her head.  It's pretty cute.  She especially loves snuggling with Wyatt.  I think his chest is the perfect length for her tiny giant body and, I think, she likes that he's soft and squishy.  Unlike her bony mama.  

She also enjoys bath time quite a bit.  Sometimes she'll be super fussy before bed and then I'll turn on the water for the tub and she'll just start smiling.  And she'll continue to do so throughout her bath and until she's in her jams ready to be fed.  Have I mentioned how much I love a swaddled baby?  They look like little grub bugs.  Especially when Pippa starts kicking her feet in the air.  Very amusing to watch and see from the edge of her bassinet (nothing...and then, feet!).  

Though, I've recently started swaddling Pippa one-armed.  Since she is a thumb-sucker!  I know I should discourage this (not exactly sure how I would) but I think it is so stink'n cute!  Not to mention the convenience of a readily available pacifier at all times of the day.  A new experience for me as Ro was never into sucking anything.  (His pediatrician even noted how rare it was that Ro merely looked at his pen when he gave it to Ro, as opposed to sticking it in his mouth - like most babies do.)

Pippa is even more so on a loose schedule these days.  I can feed her and get her to nap at nearly the same times everyday.  Afternoon naps are the hardest.  After being inside all morning/early afternoon, Ro and I are ready to get out of the house (even if it is to the park across the street...or simply outside in our own yard).  I'm trying to teach Pippa to adapt but am failing miserably.  I can't seem to be able to teach her how to sleep in my arms, in her car seat, in the stroller for long periods of time.  A naps-worth period of time.  How did we go from sleeping through everything as a newborn, to not being able to sleep away from her own bed?  I guess I should count my blessings.  How do people have multiple kids?!!

Pippa is also a super sleeper!  She has slept seven-hour stretches a few times this past month and even two nine-hour stretches!  I'm certain those were the exceptions and we're still months from that kind of luxury being the norm.  But hey, it was sure nice the few times it happened!

Ro is still a sweet big brother.  He still hugs and kisses Pippa several times a day.  And is excited to greet her in the morning.  And then sometimes he has his sibling moments - like when he says, "No feed Pippa!"  (I get it...I'm not a big fan of these drop-what-we're-doing every three-hours feedings either.)   And the other day he was upset that she was (unintentionally) touching him.  So it begins...

In Ro news, he's still a two-year-old.  He has his fair share of "two moments."  But overall, I think he's still a good kid.  I think.  It would be nice to talk to someone that knows, a neutral someone, that can tell me if the things Ro does are normal, or if they're a result of bad parenting.  I really hope it's the first.  Regardless of his two'ness, I think he's still cute.  He's really into car washes (yeah, I know...?) and can make a car wash out of anything.  "Like a car wash!" As to say, it looks/works like a car wash.  Funny boy... His fear of wood peckers has diminished, though his fear of anything has increased.  I think this too is a stage in life.  Being scared.  We learned it wasn't the actual wood pecker that scared Ro but rather that it embodied some unknown scary thing.  Wyatt tried to lay Ro's fears to rest by listing all the noises Ro hears in the night and what is making that noise.  As a result, Ro is constantly saying, "Hear that?" throughout the day.  To which I ask him what he thinks made the noise.  Sometimes Ro flat out says, "I hear it."  Which is to say, I hear the wood pecker.  Which, again is not really the bird...but the unknown abstract scary thing.  

Wyatt's grandmother passed away the week before Easter.  He flew to Utah for the funeral and left me home with the two kids...alone.  It wasn't that bad.  I'm used to being alone with them throughout the day - awake time to bed time - since Wyatt works 12-hour shifts.  Even so, there's something to be said about moral support.  Just the mere thought that Wyatt was hundreds of miles away was crippling.  My sympathy goes to all those women who's husbands travel full-time, or military wives, or worse - single parents.  It is so, so, so hard!  I'm happy to report that we did survive.  Actually, that Ro survived.  There were moments I thought I might lose it.  For example, the hour tantrum he threw after a napless, candy-filled Easter Sunday.  There was a major sugar crash.  It was ugly.  I'm sure we all looked frazzled when we picked Wyatt up from the airport on Monday.  And I'm even more certain that the sight made him want to turn-around and hop on the nearest outbound plane.  Poor Wyatt.  

One last thing, about nursing; I really don't like it.  When Ro was a baby I did some research to see if I was alone in my feelings.  I came across something called D-MER: Dysphoric Milk Ejection Reflex.  Everything it listed described the feelings each time I nursed.  Depression, anxiety, anger, nausea, aggression...  Ah-HA!  I was not alone, others experienced these same feelings!  At my six-week postpartum appointment (after Ro was born) I told my doctor about these feelings I experienced each time I nursed.  She brushed me off and told me, "No one likes to feel like a cow."  So I convinced myself that I was wrong and that I was fabricating non-existent emotions.  But those feelings never really went away.  They decreased with time - I'm sure in correlation with the decrease in feedings - but never completely away.  

Fast forward two-years when Philippa was born.  Those same emotions surfaced immediately each time I nursed her.  Part of me was grateful to know I hadn't imagined things last time.  The other part of me was frustrated, isn't nursing supposed to be a positive experience?  I brought it up with my new (Seattle) doctor and she at least amused me by not brushing me off.  Though, she'd never heard of what I described - or D-MER - before.  I don't know.  Maybe D-MER is not a real thing.  Maybe someone out there made it up.  Even so, the emotions I feel when I nurse match the symptoms to a T.  Before I ever physically feel my milk about to letdown I KNOW it's about to based on the erratic change in my mood.  I really do feel depressed - despair to be exact.  In fact, there have been a few times that I am on the verge of crying!  I feel sick to my stomach.  I feel hopeless.  I feel agitated, like I'm going to snap at whoever talks to me (even in a non-threatening way).  Think of mini PMS spells each time I nurse...roughly eight times a day.  This is why I don't like nursing.  But I am in it for the long-haul.  It is recommended to breastfeed for one-year.  I did it for Ro, and I'm going to do it for Pippa.  Let's just hope no one gets punched.  

Anyway, aside from the nursing bit, all is well.  Oh, and the planes are landing!  Which is to say, the nice weather is on its way.  The wind determines which direction the planes will take-off/land.  From our vantage point, the planes typically take-off (towards the south) in the winter, and land (from the south) in the summer.  I love it when the planes land!

Monday, March 7, 2016

Two-Months: Coming Up For Air

It is true, a smile changes everything.  Part of the reason newborns are so hard for me is because I don't feel valued.  "Do you even care that I am at your beckon call every hour of the day?"  No response...  That is until this last month because Pippa started smiling!  I admit that I am selfish because I enjoy parenting a lot more when I feel like I am being rewarded.  A smile makes everything better when it comes to caring for a newborn.  Thank you, Pippa, for acknowledging my presence!  And, might I assume, that you like me.  Perhaps even like me like me?

I finally feel like I am coming out of the newborn blues.  I literally imagine myself under water, swimming towards the surface.  I haven't quite emerged but I feel that excitement you do when you see the light from above getting brighter.  Every so often I get a glimpse in my life that things are getting brighter.  Pippa no longer needs to be rocked to sleep!  Which makes things so much easier (more attention for Ro).  And I have been able to get her on somewhat of a loose schedule for her morning and mid-day naps (still working on the afternoon nap).  And she has extended her times between feedings at night: starting at four-hours, to three-hours, to two-hours (what the heck?!), back to three-hours, and now four-hours, with a couple of five-hours!  Whoohoo!  I'm still underwater but it won't be too much longer before I swallow my first breath of air.  

Speaking of hasn't been Pippa that has been the main contributor to my middle-of-the-night calls.  I kicked myself out of her room since I wasn't getting much sleep with all her grunting and snoring (babies do not sleep like a baby).  I was sleeping quite well until the "Wood Pecker Incident".  Ro has recently developed a major phobia of wood peckers and as a result calls my name multiple times throughout the night.  Poor kid.  I'd be more upset than I am (seeing that he never used to wake in the night) but he is so terrified of the stupid bird that my heart hurts for him.  I wish it never decided to peck at our chimney!  

Speaking of Ro...he enjoyed his own little adventure with Wyatt's parents and sisters the weekend of Pippa's blessing.  He accompanied Grandy, Goombaw, his three aunties, and Baby Cannon to the top of the Space Needle for lunch.  Ro didn't even look back when he left me to go on his adventure.  He enthusiastically said, "Bye Mom!" and was off.  I on the other hand felt a twinge of pain as I watched him leave without me.  Not the first time but still, I love that little kid!  (Kindergarten is going to be rough for me.)  And Ro received a spotless report when he returned home.  Apparently he knew how to be on his best behavior and relished being able to spend time alone with his beloveds. 

Others came to town for Pippa's blessing too.  In addition to the Space Needle gang, Wyatt's brother, Tyas, drove-up Sunday morning from Portland.  And Ma'G and Pa' Lou (my mom and her husband) flew in from Denver.  Oh, and Ro's besties - the two neighbor kids and their mama - also joined us.  The congregation of our ward is so small, our family made-up a third of the attendance that day.  Wyatt gave Philippa a sweet blessing and we had family over for lunch after church.  Which as a sidebar, I really don't like entertaining.  I can cook something flawlessly a thousand times.  But as soon as I have to cook it for a guest, I fail miserably.  The whole luncheon was an epic fail.  I'm still ticked about the biscuits!

Pippa got to meet her older cousin, Baby Cannon.  He's three-months older than Pippa but seemed to be very much the same size.  The crowd couldn't resist and weighed the two kids to compare.  It turns out they were exactly the same weight, 13.5-pounds!  And nearly the same, if not the same, height.  Our Tiny Giant is living-up to her nickname.  

I took Pippa to her two-month well visit.  She measured 24.5-inches tall (99%), weighed 14lbs 9oz (97%), and still has a giant head (99%).  Ro was the same - ninetieth percentiles for the first few months and slowly decreased down to 65-75 percentiles now.  That was at about one-year so I suspect Pippa will be on the same growth pace.  

I returned to running the day Pippa turned one-month.  It felt sooooooooo good to have my running legs back!  Given, I have a long way to go before I return to my pre-pregnancy running self.  I honestly feel like running saves me, emotionally.  Some people take drugs, I run.  It truly makes me feel better - happier.  Though trying to find time to run with two kids is quite challenging.  Unless Wyatt has the day off from work, I can't go.  At least that was until Wyatt "bought" me a free treadmill!  I hate, hate, hate treadmill running!  But, I'll take what I can get.  It does have it's perks, being able to run without the worry of making Wyatt late for work.  Or forcing him to worry about the kids' needs before he has to go to work (while he waits for me to return).  Or pretty much being able to run in general without taking Wyatt into consideration at all.  And the whole not having to bundle for the weather bit (almost always rain).  Actually, that's not true.  Once I'm out running, the weather never bothers me.  Even when it is pouring down rain.  I just like running outside best.  Maybe when the nicer weather comes, and I'm sleeping more at night, I'll invest in a "double wide" stroller and drag the kids with me.  Wowza!  That'll be a workout for sure!  I've taken Pippa with me twice and Ro with me once...and it was hard work.  I haven't done that for months.  Since July to be exact.
We're working on transitioning Ro from his crib to a big kid bed.  It's not going as well as I thought it would.  I thought he'd be thrilled at the idea of sleeping free of bars.  Nope.  I've been able to convince him to sleep with the gate off during naps.  He's especially motivated if I let him sleep under his bed.  It doesn't look safe to me...but I've played out the worst in my head and it seems fine.  So, whatever.  He still refuses to sleep with the gate off at night.  I'm sure that has to do with the woodpecker...  I think the gate gives him some security.  And the nightlight...and the white noise.  (We're really trying hard to help him feel safe and sleep through the night.)  And we're trying to kick him out of his crib so Pippa can start sleeping there.  It won't be long before she's busting out of her bassinet.  At least at length.

Ro still likes Pippa.  Actually, he "ovs" her.  It's really sweet to see him hug her numerous times throughout the day.  And be there when she wakes up.  Taking a picture of Pippa has been challenging...Ro likes to be in them too.  Good thing he's cute too! 

My mom saved a few articles of clothing from when my sister and I were babies.  So I've been playing dress-up and having Pippa show them off.  The white dress is circa 1982 - it was my blessing dress.  The pink dress is circa 1975 - it was my sister's blessing dress.  I have a few more for her to sport in the next several months.  Thank you mom for saving these gems!!!!  I thought I'd love shopping for a little girl.  Nope, I hate it.  Sure there's more options...but they're not necessarily good options.  I am picky.  I've recently been introduced to the "high-end" or "boutique" kids clothes.  Of course I like them, a lot.  But I can't justify spending money on them...  That's not entirely true.  The real reason I don't buy them is because I hate shopping.  And I don't want to take the time to shop, even online, for clothes.  I asked my friend, who has a weakness for buying kids clothes, if I could hire her to shop for me.  I don't think she realizes I am serious.  In fact, if I could hire a personal shopper for my whole family I would.  It's worth the premium.  I don't like shopping that much.  

Out of desperation I got my haircut before Pippa's blessing.  I needed one four months prior but kept putting it off, thinking I'd be down in Oregon soon for my friend to cut it.  But when I realized it'd be a while before I'd get there, I drove to my local Great Clips the very next moment.  Big mistake.  My hair is three-inches shorter than I wanted it.  And my bangs are not cut all.  It is a really bad haircut.  And on top of the poor cut, it looks like "mom hair."  Now, more than ever, I look like a mom.  It's killing me!  Not so much that I am a mom but I don't want to look like that sterotype.  At least not yet.  Maybe when my kids are teenagers, but not now!  This is why I am so hesitant to make drastic changes to my hair.  It rarely goes well.

Spring is in the air!  We are excited!  Another reason my future is looking bright.  Things are good.