Wednesday, August 29, 2012

How to survive life with two kids.

Do not take both kids car shopping but you will need to go car shopping because to haul two kids and all the crap they need will not fit in your tiny car. The salesman, who at first seemed eager to help will run away seconds after the baby is screaming (in the showroom that echo's!) and the toddler is jumping on the new leather interior.

Don't be surprised if you hear yourself say things like, "don't lay on your brother,' 'your brother is not a trash can,' "we don't lick babies,' or 'your fingers do not belong in his eyes!'

Do not attempt to watch your oldest play on the playground and feed the baby at the same time because you might forget to properly reattach everything and when you later get up and walk around  you'll realize that for a good 10 minutes your boob has been scaring all the kids on the playground.

Grocery store and Target trips become Olympic events. Get in and get out quickly before anybody poops, immediately discovers he is starving or an epic tantrum occurs because you won't buy him a giant bag of Marshmallows or spend 3 hours in the toy aisle.

Speaking of community outings, be prepared for everyone to ogle your cute baby and ask how old he is. Then, once both kids are crying/whining, they look are you with pity/horror/amazement that you were crazy/brave/insane to leave the house with both kids.

Prepare for spend at least 3 hours a day changing diapers. Ok, maybe not THREE hours but the moment on child poops, the other will indeed follow suit and then need a whole outfit change due to said explosive poop.

You must always and I mean, ALWAYS, watch our for eyeballs, noses and open mouths. Toddlers likes to shove fingers, cheese sticks and pacifiers in whatever openings they can find.

The second you finally get the baby to sleep, the older one will seek and destroy. A sleeping baby must always be hidden and the words, 'sleeping baby' are never spoken.

Showers, if they exist must be completed in under 10 minutes as if left alone to their own devices for longer than that, a toddler will indeed draw on the window or decide he wants to hold the baby. You'll get in the shower just in time to wet your hair. Once you are out, you might find that the baby is laying on the floor and you're toddler has a very guilty look on his face because you left the baby in the swing.... asleep.

Food. Since baby eats all the time and you might become a human pacifier, you'll find creative ways to feed yourself. Don't be alarmed if you find a crumb or ten on your baby. It's just the way of life. Then, the one time the baby isn't tied to you and you get to sit down and eat, the baby cries. You come back to find the toddler has eaten your food and left his for you to eat.

Your oldest who was sleeping great will decide he needs to wake up at many times at night. You know because his blankets are 'not right' (MY BLANKIE, MY BLANKIE!) or he decides he is soooo thirsty and only milk will quench his thirst.
So, sleep? Just stock up on lots of coffee. 

Now, you are prepared for life with two kids.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Why, Hello.

It's funny that most of my maternity leave has been pretty uneventful and in the span of the last week? Chaos.

We had a pipe break in our kitchen so it's basically a big fat mess. We have to get a new floor put in and cabinets so while we are at it, we'll replace the top ones too. I'm pretty excited about that since we desperately need a way to utilize the space and to get rid of the 1980's cabinets I painted a few years ago.. I can't contain my excitement as we might be able to squeeze in a pantry. You have no idea how amazing that is and how oddly giddy I am about it. Right now, we have no room and with our family growing, we desperately need the space. Oh and this. I am mentally doing a little jig right now if this finds a way into my kitchen.

Then, my laptop broke. My NEW laptop. After spending an hour on the phone while an epic tantrum ensued (because I don't know, his freggin banana broke or some other toddler problem) and Bennett gave his own rundown of the day with my boob in his mouth (his new trick he does when he's overtired which is oddly cute yet can drive you crazy at the same time) they are sending me a new power cord and are probably praying they never hear from me or my kids again.

Then, my coffeemaker (that's only 8 months old,) also knows as my lifeline decided to make coffee flavored water or water flavored coffee, however you want to look at it, it stopped providing me with that sweet elixir known as strong coffee. Thanks to the fabulous customer service at Keurig, my new baby should be here tomorrow.

and thanks to Fed Ex, I got my hopes up as each truck drove by until I rechecked the tracking number to see they changed it up on me last minute. The NERVE, I tell you. The nerve. 

Then, I guess to really make me crazy, my damn pump will be laid to rest soon. The past few weeks, I've noticed my pump just doesn't feel like it's working right so I took it  today to get the vacuum tested and low and behold, the damn thing is on it's way to the graveyard too. No wonder the girls never were to fond it it. That, my friends, will have to be something that we pay for our of pocket since my insurance company sucks and recently removed that as something they cover and the new 'coverage' won't start till January. Double boo.

Whew. Still there?

I am thankful at this point and time for warranties, insurance and any place that sells good coffee. 

So, without a computer, Ben's 2 month post has to wait but I have to say that kid is going to turn me to mush. The smiles? Oh, boy. The kid has dimples too, just like his big brother. I have yet to move him to his crib and the time he's spend in the pack n play has been only a few fleeting moments where he realizes, 'AHHH! I can't see Mommy!'  I think the feeling is mutual that we love co-sleeping which actually is very surprising to me.  I love my space and I never really enjoyed it with Brady because man, that kid was and still is the most restless sleeper but Bennett is a cuddlebug.

The countdown of my remaining maternity leave has begun (two weeks) and I have so many emotions this time. I'm nervous about all the changes to come and how we all will deal with them. I'm worried how I will manage life with two kids and getting anything done, like you know, dinner, laundry and spending time with my boys! I'm most worried abut how Brady will handle it (as hopefully Blake should be back at work then too and he's been at home with him for a while!) and I'm worried how Bennett will do without being attached to my boob. Meanwhile, all while our kitchen will be in demolition! Yikes. I'm afraid. Very afraid.


Thanks to having no coffee maker, I am desperate enough to drag both kids out of the house to get me through the day. We've managed to hit a few different places this week and Brady earned enough 'stickers' (more to come on this because it's been interesting) to get a 'treat' and he picked a doughnut! As we were leaving, I set Bennett's car seat down next to me while I put him in his car seat. Brady looks at me with the uttermost concern and says, "Mommy! You left Bennett in the store!" Thanks for the confidence in my parenting abilities buddy. I mean, I haven't left him anywhere, right? 

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Finding peace

Having two kids is a humbling experience. You think you knew what motherhood is all about and then you are given this new little squishy being who throws a big curve-ball.

I can definitely say that my kids at this point in time are night and day. I knew this when I was pregnant  and I joked that this one was going to be a calm baby who loves sleep. So far, my predictions are spot on. Brady was super active while I was pregnant and never stopped moving since he was pulled out! Bennett was a calm inside and he's the most chill baby thus far. We'll see if this all rings true as he gets older.

If I have learned anything through parenting two kids is that individuality is a beautiful thing. I was worried when I was pregnant because I couldn't imagine another child different than Brady.  I know it sounds silly but parenting Brady is all I knew! (Geez, I mean, I was obviously a hormonal pregnant woman because all my fears were just silly.) More than anything, I have learned what is right for Brady is not necessarily right for Bennett. I know there will be years of that and I'm glad I've learned it so early on.

Brady is my big boy. He's sweet, he's very spirited and very much set in his own ways. He's not the best at sleeping but he's got a personality that makes up for anything he throws at us!

With him, feeding was a constant struggle.  It started in the hospital where he would scream when I tried to feed him. We had moments where he would latch on and the next he would just scream. He never slept either. I remember one day where he was up literally for more than 12 hours straight! I laugh at that now because I had no idea how rough those first 8 weeks of motherhood were until Bennett came but now I know that a newborn does actually sleep and sleeps a lot!

When Brady was about two weeks old, I started seeing reflux symptoms and things just continued to go downhill. We supplemented with formula after I struggled to nurse him. He would gulp down the formula, spit up what seemed like the whole bottle and then scream his head off. Things got better once we got him on reflux meds and as he grew out of the newness of life but I never really came to terms with not being able to nurse him. It got easier as he got older but there was still this tiny piece of me that was sad, a piece of me that felt like I let him down. Embarrassing enough, there was also a bitter side to me that has dissipated over time.

I would see other moms who had great experiences giving birth and were up and running around while I was still getting gauze shoved into my stomach and who seemed to feed their baby's with little effort. I would hear others say how they loved breastfeeding and it was so special to them. I hated it. I wondered what the heck was wrong with me as I did not like feeding my child! Every single moment of it. I obviously needed a lot of healing and a lot of coming to terms with how things went. I needed to be okay it all and  I thought I was.

 I thought I had let it all go.

Early on with Brady, there were times that I felt like a failure as a new mom. There were times that tears were shed and frustrations were abundantly found. I couldn't understand why my child was so miserable and took it personal. Everything I read said, "Breast is best,'' and it was like a dagger to my heart. I wasn't giving my child the best. I couldn't give my child the best.

It wasn't till Bennett was born, I felt those inadequacies more than ever BUT it wasn't until Bennett was born that I found complete peace with everything.

Bennett's birth was amazing. He was put on my chest after birth and I was able to feed him right away. He latched on right away and it seems like he never latched off since then. Feeding him has always been so easy. Not to say we haven't had our rough moments because we have and I know we'll have plenty more down the road especially as I return to work. I've had mastitis and now attempt to pinpoint food sensitivities.

I now get it. I get what those moms meant when they say they valued their time breastfeeding. Nursing Bennett is amazing. I'm amazed that my body can solely feed and enable my child to grow and thrive. He's not growing as big and fast as Brady did but he's growing well! Nursing Bennett has allowed me to finally find peace. It's healing me as it is providing him with nourishment and comfort.

Here is the thing I've learned and maybe in the world of mommy wars, other's could too.  Every child is unique and what is best for one is not necessarily best for another.

Brady has had more formula in his life than he has breast milk and that's okay!

That is what was best for him.

He grew and he grew well. He is very bright and is extremely healthy. The kid has only been sick a few times and I can count them on my hands!

Now, Bennett is almost 8 weeks old and have not had a lick of formula. That is what is best for him
I am terrified going back to work is going to cause us some trouble but I've been there before and I know whatever outcome, Bennett will be okay. 

and so will his mommy. 

Monday, August 6, 2012

Brotherly Love

I was a bit of a hormonal mess before Bennett was born. In a way, I mourned our family of three even though I was more than excited and ready for our family to grow! I was nervous about all the changes but more for Brady than I was for myself. I had times where I felt guilty that I was about to turn his life upside down or that I wouldn't be able to give him the time/attention I could before.

I kinda laugh now at how dramatic I was about it because for him, this transition has been a piece of cake and I think it's because he has loved his brother since the moment he laid eyes on him. Not to say we haven't had our rough moments because we have. There was a time or ten hundred where he just purely acted out because he wanted mommy or out of pure boredom because having a brand new baby doesn't make lots of time for outings especially when it's 110 outside.

He never once complained or showed any resentment against all the changes or the little being who brought it all.

He has only shown him love. Lots of it.

Sometimes, it's too much and I have to remind him that baby needs his own space but I can't help but smile when I see him running to him every moment he can.

This has been the one of the best things about adding to our family and I can't wait to watch their relationship grow.

Every morning, he runs in to see Bennett and in the most high pitched voice and screams, "HI, BABY!"

Over the weekend, while we were out and about, he tells a lady, 'We have a baby (which he tells EVERYONE he meets!) and he's SO cute."

Proud mommy moment right there.

He's very proud of his little brother and that makes for a proud mommy.

He's also said that Bennett is very beautiful, 'so fresh and clean', and pretty but the thing he says that gets me every time is "I love you, baby!"

A few weeks ago, I ran out of the room and Bennett started crying. Brady ran up to him and goes, "It's okay. I'm here. I love you!"

I'll have to remind them of these moments when they are fighting over the same toy or even the same girl one day, right?