Monday, November 4, 2013

A milestone for both of us

When I was pregnant with Brady, I had no idea the impact motherhood would bring. I expected to feel that emotion rush over me once again when Bennett was born and it did but in a different way. It's quite hard to explain but it was a gentle, slow growing peaceful kind of thing that really fits his personality.

During my first pregnancy, I read the right books and talked to the right people but when breastfeeding didn't work out, I was crushed. It was something I never expected to mourn. I hated it and everything it entailed but I was heartbroken I couldn't give him what he needed. I got 'over it' in a way but when I found out I was pregnant with Benny, I wasn't sure what I was going to do. I was scared I would try again only to be set up for failure. I wasn't sure as most of it would really depend on how he was brought into the world and the complications could happen, again. So, most of my pregnancy, I never gave it a second thought. I feared the unknown with a possible VBAC looming in the foreground. I didn't know what the end result would be and it was breaking me down.

Luckily, I was able to have the birth I wanted. I was able to hold him right after he was born and I didn't have to send him to the NICU like I did with Brady. Then, the nurse asked, 'Do you want to try to feed him?' Instinctively, I nursed him for the first time and he latched on quickly. I remember that moment and it was one I wasn't so sure would bring me to where I am almost seventeen months later.

We made it an entire year and while we did supplement a few bottles here and there but mostly, it was all me. I was so very protective of this blooming relationship in the beginning but then again, he wasn't so keen on being separated from me either. It was a perfect fit at the time. When he gained weight, I was happy but he was still so very tiny and I took it so very personal. After I had asked the doctor the first time, I knew not to ask it again at his next visit but I did. Below the five percentile.  I felt ridiculously guilty. As if it was my fault he was only in the fourth percentile. Every visit, I'd ask again and then left his appointment feeling defeated. His doctor was never concerned but it didn't matter. I grew very defensive about it but as our relationship grew so did my own confidence.

When I went back to work, I was sure it was the end of it all. I slowly prepared myself for the beginning to the end but it never came--not to say that we didn't have our moments and I swear I counted ounces in my sleep but we persevered with a lot of hard work. I tried fenugreek, Mother's milk plus, teas and all kinds of methods and tricks. Finally, once I chilled the heck out, it was fine. He didn't starve and I just kept pumping. Looking back, I'm pretty sure I had ample supply but I just needed to figure out a method to pumping and relax. In fact, I think at one point, I had an oversupply that my anxiety created in those attempts.

I kept telling myself that if it ended, it would be ok. We made it this far. I set small goals. First it was a month, then 3, then 6, then a year. With each milestone, I noticed I became more attached to this relationship of ours and I protected it as I did him. There were times I wanted to burn my pump or I needed a moment to myself but once I sat down, I immediately felt myself calm down. I remember one night, I was having a hard time falling asleep, which hardly ever happens. Then, the 'omg, I'm so hungry' scream echoed down the hall.' I figured it was a good thing I was already up, right? He dozed quickly in the crook of my arms and I tiptoed back to bed. Within minutes, I was fast asleep. The more I thought about it, in a way, it helped me. In the crazed day to day of life, I knew that I had a few moments where it was just the two of us. It was like time almost stopped. It was just him and I and that look of contentment. For now, I'm going to hold onto these last few moments for I know they are fleeting.

In April, he had to have surgery. I was able to nurse him as soon as he was awake and I think it was what soothed him afterwards. Last month, he had to have another and after waking from anesthesia, he cried for 20 minutes. I couldn't do anything that would soothe him and it was the worst feeling. Finally, after trying a few times, he looked up at me with those big eyes and latched on. He just sat there and I felt his entire body relax slowly. It was a moment I was so grateful for and I think he was waiting to wean for that moment. We still have one short moment before bed each night and I know the real end is coming soon. While I'm to the point where I'm getting ready, it's bittersweet.

In a little over a week, he'll be 17 months old. Again, I know the end is coming soon and with that, I think with all the sadness, guilt and heartache that I felt with Brady truly made me so much more grateful for each moment. I know I'll be sad to let go of something so important but in my own heart, I know it's time. I know it's nourished my soul as much as it's nourished his growing body.

I know in ten years or even twenty, they won't remember or care how they were fed. In fact, both of my kids were fed and that's all that matters but I'll have these moments that I will hold onto and for that, I will always be grateful.

Benny {12 months}

Dear Benny,
Happy Birthday, my sweet, sweet boy. Looking back at this year, I can only tell you one thing. There is no one word, no one way to explain the beauty and well, oddly enough, the peace that you have so perfectly brought into our lives. I was driving to work the other day and just thinking about you and your silly expressions brought tears to my eyes. It's amazing to me how you so easily fit into our lives. I can hardly remember life without you. Being a parent of two isn't easy by any means but you make it feel that way (at times.)

I find myself thinking about how fast time has flown and more so now that you are turning one. It was only just a short year ago that I was nervously anticipating your arrival and wondering how our lives would change. I knew that you would come into this world and I would fall head over heels with you and I did, boy did I!!

 I remember those last few months before you came, I savored my last moments being a mom to the only one who I've known how to be a mom to. I worried that I wouldn't know how to be a mom to you but once you were put into my arms, all those fears slipped away.

I was scared of how it would impact your brother and I find myself a bit aloof as I watch you two wrestle around and giggle with pure delight. As I see the way you look at him, which you have done since you were so very tiny. I see an instinctive protectiveness in his eyes and the pure, raw and unconditional love in his heart that was put there for you and you alone.

 You are so incredibly silly and so serious at the same time. 

You were so tiny and yet full of so much strength that I see in you daily. There was a Shakespeare quote , "Though she is small, she is fierce.' and it reminded me of you. You are so brave and I think you were put here on earth to remind me of the beauty and grace in life.

You are such a sweet and lovable soul. Giving hugs and love to only those you prove worthy. You may be a bit slow to warm up but once you do, you never stop smiling at them. Cuddling is one of your favorite things to do and I soak up each of those moments.

 I remember the sadness I felt as Brady turned one but what I didn't know at the time was how amazing each day past one came to be. While I'm saddened to watch you grow out of infancy and into toddler-hood I am anticipating each moment with you.

You are my a beautiful soul so full of love and life. I look forward to each moment I'm blessed to share with you.

(Lots of posts I'm finally posting!)


Dear Brady,

Last week, Sunday to be exact, you turned four. FOUR. 

Let's process that for a bit. 


I know. It seems like yesterday, I was rocking you in my arms, wondering how I could love someone so   little so very much. Seems like yesterday I was trying to figure out why you were not sleeping or laughing at your busy, curious, toddler antics. I  have watched you grow from a colicky baby, to a curious toddler and into an inquisitive, sensitive, loving child. A person. 

 I sometimes see curiosity brewing that grows into a bit of anxiety about unknown and new things. We talk about things and it's just like you needed to know HOW it would work or what it looks like. Before a trip for Florida, you told me you didn't want to go. You were afraid of the water. Actually, you had woken me up at 6 am to tell me this. We looked at pictures of the beach and it calmed your fears. Your growing need for knowledge amazes me and I know I will see it blossom into something big one day. 

You're curious nature cracks me up too. You've asked me lately, "why do we have butts.' or 'why do we have belly buttons' and you listen so intently to the answers we try come up with. 

You have fears that are a bit cute, frustrating and comical at the same time but I know those fears are real to you. Just remember, your fears are bigger than reality and you have many guardian angels watching over you. Also, I'm pretty sure there will never be any bears, coyotes or gorillas in your bedroom.

You continue to learn new things every, single day. Sometimes, you'll say something and I'm just astonished. Then, there are times, I"m just blown away. 

Last week, we were talking about your special trip with Daddy to the beach (to visit Aunt Kim.) I told you to say bye to Benny because he had to go to the sitter's while we take you  and Daddy to the airport. You looked over at him, hugged him and said, "I'm so sorry I can't go with you to Rachel's, Benny! I love you and I will miss you a lot! ' 

Like I said, blown away. Moments like those, my love, I see them so often with your brother. There is something so beautifully special between you two and it's the best thing I could ever witness. You have fallen into this big brother role like you were always meant to be in it. A few weeks ago at the park, I watched as you protectively watched over him as he took steps up a little too high. My heart swelled to an extent I never knew existed and I knew at that moment, you would do anything for him. You are amazing and I hope you never forget how great you are.I know Bennett looks up to you and loves you. 

You started school this year and have flourished in every, single way. You love learning. You love going to school and seeing all your friends. You love all the teachers and they adore you. You are such a social butterfly. A true social butterfly. You have a lot of new friends at school and one kid comes up to me often to tell me how much he adores you.  You see, you have a way with people. You win them over with ease and find a way into their hearts with one quick dimply smile. 

You can count, know all your letters and letters. You've developed such a love for those things this year. You want to know what everything starts with and sound things out. You love to read but have the biggest imagination. Pretending is the one of your favorite things. I love to listen to you play and it's one of the things I listen for purposefully. 

You have this sensitive side too. It's a side I don't want to be faded or tarnished with age but I want to protect it as long as I can. Don't forget that the best you that you can be is you. Always remember, you are enough and you are worth every thing good in this world. 

It still finds it hard to believe you are four.  Four is a big deal, dude. Three was still teetering between toddler hood and kid status and four is just SO big. Heck, at your 4 year old well visit appointment, you were between 77-79 percentile for height/weight so there is proof you are SO big! 

I know three had some difficult moments but the ones I think we'll remember are the amazing ones. You will always be my spirited one. The one who always finds a reason for everything. 

Happy 4th birthday, buddy. Happy Birthday to the kiddo who is full of energy and never stops moving but loves to hold your hand and cuddle. To the kid who pushes all my buttons but pulls at my heart. To the kid who asks us, "why do we have butts?' To the kid who will never be the best at sleeping but is by far, the best big brother. To the kid who finds happiness and joy in everything. We love yo in the morning and in the afternoon. We love you in the evening and underneath the moon!

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Two months.It's been two months.

Holy moly. I can't believe it's been two months since I've posted. That makes me super sad that I've missed out on documenting so much. I'm hoping to get back into things now that life feels like it's slowing down a bit. I say that but before I know it, life will be crazy once again but it's different now with a almost 4 year old and a baby that's not so much a baby anymore.

I can't post any pictures because my computer crashed right almost when we got back from vacation so I've been without my computer for almost two months. Blake was almost able to retrieve oh,just EVERYTHING from the past year (so basically, Benny's first year of LIFE!) but something went wrong and it wiped the hard drive clean. Spic and Span. Even our vacation pictures which broke my heart as much as everything else did. It was not a pretty moment during those realizations.

 Oh, AND the freaking external hard drive failed too. We had just talked about saving it elsewhere and backing up on discs but then this happened and don't you worry, as soon as I have it in my hands, I will be doing this very soon. My laptop was sent to a lovely friend way on the other side of the world (really from Missouri to Cali!!) and he was able to get everything. Hopefully, I'll have it back soon because posting or doing much without it is well, impossible!

Just a little recap. In the past two months:
Benny went from baby to toddler. I mean, what?!?
We went on our first family vacation and it was amazing.
I took Brady to his first big kid movie
Benny has decided that weaning is not cool and drinking anything else is a big joke. Though,  he has recently decided that the cheapie cup I found in a bin at Target is the only one he'll drink out of. Unless it's someone elses!
Listened to Benny learn new words and it's amazing to me how he has grown.
Brady started Preschool. Oh, my word. Bring on the tissues because man, that was something else. I have pictures for all of this that hopefully, I'm going to be catching up on soon.

I've realized how fast life is going and I need to document these rough, amazing, beautiful moments. I swear I blinked and the summer is over. I usually and anticipating and ready for jeans, hoodies and all things pumpkin by now but for some reason, I'm holding onto summer this year.

Fall means my baby will be FOUR.
My littlest will be closer to 2 than 1.

I just want to hang onto now for a while. It was during vacation that I looked back and soaked the entire week of sun, sand and time with my babies as the distractions from the everyday craziness of work, life and social media were gone. It was how I wish everyday could be. Just my family, embracing life. It wasn't all pretty or joyous but I surely took home a little lesson.

Also-how is next week September?

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Life lately: June edition.

Whew. I thought once the birthday madness blew over that life would slow down but man, I need some extra time! Anyone have some I could borrow?

Benny turned one. Yep. One. Hard to believe but man, my heart can tell he is growing up. This picture. Oh, this kid. You have no idea how the words fail to come when I see his sweet little face sometimes. He is my little peanut and I think at times, I forget he's not so tiny anymore.

On his birthday, we took a trip to Grant's Farm and he had a blast. The kid loves animals so it was perfect for him plus, it was the last place we went before he was born. It was fun to return a year later as a family of four! We had a birthday party the next day, which I failed to know at the time I scheduled it, was also Father's Day so we kept it small with family and a few close friends. It was hot but it was good. He wasn't so much into the cake smashing but he sure did have a blast!

I loved that we saw so many baby animals. Kinda fitting, huh? 

At this 12 month visit, he was almost in the 10th percentile. He's never been that high, which is great but he's still small. He had his endocrinologist appointment last week and things are still good. He hasn't had to change his dosage and he's still on the lowest dosage possible. We have another visit in September and I think he'll be able to move to twice a year!  There is some bad news and I'll go into more of it later but he is going ot have to have another surgery in the fall. My head and my heart is not quite ready to go there yet but I have a post I've been working on about it. It will be more simple procedure this time but he is still my baby and I just don't want to have to do it again. Sigh. 

Anyway, back to the good stuff. I kept wondering when the heck this kid would get teeth and his first one popped around 11 months. I think my response was, 'about time!" He has two more on top that just came through too and I'm pretty sure more are on the way. 
He is such a ham. Squeals in delight over just about anything, is so incredibly silly and loves to chat on his 'phone!' but the biggest thing is that the kid sleeps. I asked Blake the other day, "Do you think he sleeps too much?" After he has been sleeping through the night for 11 and sometimes 12 hours STRAIGHT. This is epic people. Brady has NEVER, nope, never slept that long in his life. Blake's response? Nope, we are just used to a kid that doesn't sleep."

Let me tell you. Sleep is SO good. Oddly enough, there are nights when it is the big kid that wakes up. 
Speaking of my big kid, he is just so funny right but going through a defiant stage. We have tried a 'good behavior' jar I saw on pinterest but it's not working so well. He's so smart, so sweet and so much still my baby but the kid will always be my spirited one.

We took our first trip to the pool this weekend. Really, it was a test to see how the kids would do when we hit the BEACH in oh, 18 days! I'm really excited but REALLY nervous about flying and traveling with them. Plus, we are staying with my in laws in a place there and it's just, yikes. I can't wait though to see Brady's face when he gets to run into the water for the first time. Can't.wait.

I'm working on Benny's one year post and a little bit about his party but man, I find myself lost for words. I just wish I could have slowed the year down for a while but I can't imagine being full of so much joy in such a long time. Being a mom of two is hard, it's exhausting and overwhelming when there is only one of you but I can't really imagine life any other way.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Eleven. {bennett}

Oh, kiddo. It's been a BIG month. Eleven must be your lucky number, huh? A lot of firsts. A lot.   

Likes: His family, Georgia (his dog,) animals, playing with Brady, being with the big kids, berries, playing outside, wagon rides, chasing Brady, wrestling with Brady, stealing Brady's sippies, nursing, making your 'mean' face, crawling/climbing on things you're not supposed to, being tickled, kisses, giving kisses. You just love everything! You and Brady have this little game that you do that you find to be just downright hilarious. You both crawl and you chase each other.

Dislikes: Sitting still, diaper changes, being left alone, being splashed (in tub or water table)

Yummies/Food: Oh, boy. This kid can eat. Favorites are still any kind of berry, blackberries are on the top of the list. Grilled cheese, bread, peas, macaroni and cheese (plain noodles, not so much,) and hard boiled eggs are top on your list. There isn't much you don't like but some days you can be kind of finicky. You're still nursing like it's the best thing in the world but you have really cut down on your sessions and it's nice but sad at the same time. A whole entire post will be coming on this because it's really been amazing to almost (one more month, buddy!) make it an entire year. Going into it, I had no idea how long we'd make it and here we are. You tend to want to snuggle/nurse first thing in the am, you'll have two bottles at the sitter and then you might nurse when you get home but sometimes you just wait till bedtime.

Sleep: Well, this is huge kid. Huge. Mommy moved you to YOUR bed, finally. No more excuses and mommy was just ready and tired. Plus, I think you were getting woken up from your brother in the mornings and you were to restless. The first night in there you STTN, there were a few nights you've gotten up once or twice but for the most part, you sleep and sleep well. I hope I don't jinx it but it's been awesome. All of this good stuff even when you got your FIRST TOOTH! I can't believe it but FINALLY. Looks as you'll be getting  more pretty soon too.

Personality: Your personality keeps on growing and you are just a ham. You still love to do anything your brother is doing but you have this recent obsession with the fireplace hearth and it makes mommy nervous/crazy. You crack up when you get up there, it's hard not to laugh. You make this 'mean' face and I die everytime I see it. It's hard not to chuckle at it and along with it you make a snorting nose. Hilarious. You are just so silly and I love watching your personality grow.

You do this crab walk thing when you get outside and you only do it outside. Don't wanna get dirty, eh?

SLEEPING in your crib and through the night.


Blow kisses

First word. Doggie and Georgia. Georgia comes out only in a screaming, high pitched sound and it's cute as can be. I didn't believe Daddy when he said you were saying it but sometimes it's clear as can be.

First ice cream cone. I believe it was MY ice cream cone till I let you have a lick and you claimed it as your own or had a death grip on it and I wasn't able to get it back. Loved it.

Oh, sweet boy. I can't believe you are almost one. 

Nine months {bennett}

Likes: Mommy, nursing, eating, anything in puff form, playing with doors, opening drawers and pulling things out, the dishwasher, the dog,

Dislikes: Sleeping alone, being away from mommy,

Yummies: Benny boy is still nursing up a storm. While he loves to nurse, kiddo loves his bottles. He gets this giddy laugh when he see's me packing them up and it's adorable. You are starting to really love table foods. Cheese is one of your favorites and will shovel it in like there is no tomorrow. I gave you some strawberries this month and lets just say they were an obvious hit.

Sleep: I'm not sure I've ever mentioned this but Benny, you are the biggest cuddle bug that you even love to cuddle with your blankies. You love to hold onto one while you sleep, the softer the better. It's precious. Not officially attached to one but it's cute and sweet. Your sleep has gone a bit downhill this month but it was to be expected after surgery. I've been really lax about it and your still in our bed which isn't boding well for your love/hate with your crib. You really spent a good solid 5-6 days straight with mommy and I'm not sure that helped your separation anxiety but we'll get back there. Mommy sure is a sucker for you!

Growth:  At your nine month visit, you were 17.8 pounds and 28 inches (I need to double check this is right) but a week later when you got weighed for your surgery, you had gained more than 1/2 a pound! I've noticed lately we had to move into a lot of bigger clothes and are in more clothes coordinating to your age now. Six month clothes no longer fit. Rachel (sitter) said she thought you grew two inches while you were gone (you didn't go for a week after your surgery!) You do seem much longer but I think you're still just a little peanut!

Surgery: I hope this is your one and only my dear but you were such a big boy through it all. It was rough to see you like that and it hurt my heart but seeing you feel better fixed that.
You got a doggie! You love her too.

You are so much more interactive with your brother I've noticed more so this month that you guys are really playing together. I mean you would play with Brady before but now you're interacting back and forth and it's just the best thing ever. You light up around him and I know how much you look up to him already.

First trip to the park!

First Easter !
Oh, bubs, love you lots. 

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Ten months {bennett}

Oh. my. oh. my we are getting closer and closer to one. I just can't believe how fast time is going and I know I start each post like this but it's really like someone is pushing this fast-forward button. I'd love to be able to press 'pause' for one night. I have to say though, I'm loving you at this age. Not that I didn't love you at all the other ages and stages but you are just so full of life, it's a big blessing to be surrounded by your joy.

Likes: nursing/bottles at daycare, Still momma's boy all the way, food, berries, playing with the big kids, being tickled, playing with your big bro, everything about your big brother, going on walks, riding in the wagon, putting things inside of containers, the dishwasher, the dog, being outside, cruising around the furniture. One of the things you have done for a while now, still cracks me up. You'll crawl around with something in one of your hands so each 'step' you take, there is a loud 'clank!' You think it's just as funny as I do.

Dislikes: Diaper changes, being left alone, getting dressed, sitting still

Yummies/Food: Man, some days this kid takes down more food than his big bro. You have really started chowing down on the food here son. One night, I gave you some blackberries and you literally screamed at me until I gave you more. Needless to say, they are your favorite thing, ever. I think I watched you eat 10 in one sitting and still wanted more afterwards. Cheese is next on your list along with peas and bread. I've had a hard time finding things you won't eat lately but some days you're more finicky than others. One day you ate broccoli for me but refused it at the sitters. Some days you'll chow down on a banana but others you throw it to the dog. Yep, you've learned that trick fast, right? You love to eat yogurt and squeeze pouches of purees. Foods in puff form, yogurt melts and goldfish are your favorite snacks. Still no toofers but that doesn't stop you from chowing down. You eat pretty much what we do too. Beans, quesadillas, chicken, ham, peas, rice, barley,eggs, quinoa, strawberries, blackberries and blueberries.

The only thing I've found your not a fan of at all is green beans. Won't touch them!

Sleep: Naps are great. He takes 2-3 naps that last 1.5-2 hours. Sometimes, you'll take a 3rd quick nap in the early evening. We've had some really good nights and some really bad nights but you got sick (ack, again!) with a crappy virus and so that meant you were back in bed with us. It's been harder to get you back in yours and to be honest, I haven't tried that hard lately. Sleep is much needed around the house (especially since your bro is on a 4-5 am wake up kick lately!) so at this point, we are a big desperate. I'm by your first birthday you'll be sleeping peacefully in there full-time. Naps are still going well at home but not a great napper on the go. You'll fall asleep in the carrier or car seat but wake up easily. Transitioning you to your bed during one of those naps is a funny joke, right?

Personality: You are really turning into a big ham, You find things funny that should be and you laugh at things your brother does. You are so into watching others and take it all in. You are so laid back sometimes that when you do get an attitude, I have to laugh. You have started to get frustrated when you can't get something one or a lid on a container. I noticed it the other day when you were putting the lego lid back on and each time you'd miss it, you would clench your fists and scream! Hilarious!

You are a 'let's put anything and everything in your mouth' kinda kid. Brady never went through this as much or I have bad momnesia but you put EVERYTHING in that mouth. I'm pretty sure you gag on something or a piece of food at least once a day, if not more.

You are really interacting more with your brother and I"m seeing him trying to play with you more as well. I just love it.

Standing unassisted for longer periods of time.

Standing up by yourself!
Using the sign for 'more'
Waving to others while out and about
More vocalizations/babbling

(finally, right? Though, 8 and 9 are behind because somehow I saved 9 over month 8 and it's gone, super sad face!)

Monday, May 27, 2013

LIfe lately.

Why, hello, you little neglected little blog you.

Life lately has gotten in the way. Kids. Babies. Work. Life.

Definitely not sleep. Someone is FINALLY getting teeth. Yep. Eleven months old and he is working on his first tooth. Granted, I think shortly after this one pops through, 7 more are not too far behind. He claps, waves, blows kisses, shakes his head yes and no, WALKS and says my favorite word, "Mama!" He is still a peanut but the kid has grown! He is wearing Brady's old summer clothes and it's funny/sweet to look back. Funny because Brady was oh, 7-9 months old and Benny is almost 1. I also found Brady's first pair of shoes, size FIVE and peanut is in a size 3! Another thought, Brady was in a size 4 diaper at FOUR months and Benny is just now slowly inching there at 11 months.

Peanut he may be but personality is large.

His new thing is drama. Hand over mouth when he's ticked off and then he rubs his hands together. It's pretty adorable/comical.

Benny is (dare I say it?) walking. He still only takes a few steps at a time and only up to maybe 5-6 at a time but it has hit me, he's not my tiny baby anymore. He's doing SO much it's just really crazy how fast time is going. I've found myself stopping to just watch them, soak them up and it's good.

Brady is too cool for school. We signed him up for, gasp, preschool. We toured it a few weeks ago and he ran over to the other kids and just fit right in. He's a stinker, a dreamer and a very curious kid right now. Why? Why? His questions are getting harder and harder to answer. "Did Bennett cry when he was in your belly?' "Why do babies go in mommy's bellies?" Got to love the curious minds of a 3 year old, right?

I have lots more to share, soon. I have like, oh, 4-5 posts at the minimum I've started and need to post. I promise I won't neglect you anymore my precious little blog. I miss you. I need to get back to documenting my babies because as I'm realizing, time is flying and I don't want to forget a single moment. In all reality, my memory sucks so I need you too!

I hope some of you are still out there too, especially with this catastrophe end of Google Reader. I'm really loving, Bloglovin'! Though, I'm still trying to figure it all out!

Gosh. I love these boys.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

A letter to myself

Dear Amy,

Right now, you are in the thick of it. Tantrums. Sleep deprivation. Distracted nursing sessions. Poop. So.much.poop. It all sounds so great, doesn't it?

That's the thing, it is. Take a minute. Breathe in the scent of those freshly washed baby curls. Listen to the sounds of sweet belly laughs. Pat his soft dimpled skin and kiss those chubby cheeks, again and again.

Look at you the boy who first called you mama. Look at how long his legs are and remember how tiny they used to be in your arms. Put your hands on his sweet face and tell him how much you love him as you remember the chubby cheeks that you used to obsessively kiss. Rub your hands through this short hair darkening with time and remember the blond and curly locks that used to be in its place.

Three year olds. Oh, my three is hard. These little beings can be exhausting but they are so amazing in that same respect. Cuddle him close when he invites you in. Your baby is a mere two months away from toddlerhood. Don't rush him, he'll do things in his own time and when he is ready. It will come too soon that his dependence will lessen and your heart will miss it.

Time is fleeting, momma and I know It's hard to be 'in the moment' all the time.

The tantrums are hard. They are frustrating, exhausting and even confusing. Sometimes, you want to cry too when you've tried to accommodate an overtired three year old who wants nothing you are offering and you're exhausted after getting up who knows how many times to nurse the baby and finally getting up at 5:30 am to get ready for work (and get everyone out of the door on time!) Sometimes, you give in and that's ok.

Instead of crying, you get through it, together. You find yourself thankful for his voice and know you'll hear laughter soon enough.

The lack of sleep is rough and makes the days long but you find yourself thankful for the nightly nursing sessions because it means you're able to nourish and fill his sweet belly. You soak in those moments, as he grows bigger with each gulp because you know those moments are fleeting.

When your three year old asks you 100 questions, 99 which are the same, take time to answer them. They might not be that high on your list and might even drive you a bit crazy but try to remember you are his guide in this world and his teacher.

When you are feeling a bit overwhelmed, just stop. Look around at the toys sprawled throughout the house and know those won't be there forever. One day, you'll miss them.

When all else fails sing, dance, paint or break all the rules. Eat cake for breakfast. Run through the sprinkler in the dark. Leave the dishes behind so you can build a fort in the living room. Sometimes, you just need to let go. Have fun. Leave your worries behind. Really. Don't just 'pretend' to leave them behind but do it.

I know that the days are short, the lists are long and there are so many tears along the way but you will never get these days back. I know that knowledge is hard to swallow but just take a step back and love your life right at this moment. Forget whatever notion of perfect parenting you have carved out in your mind or the snippets of others lives you read on the Internet but its your moment, it's their childhood. It's okay if you feel like you're failing sometimes as we all have our inadequacies and it's those that make us strive to be better.

In that same breath, don't forget, you're a good mom. You may not have time to do all the fun and educational activities you've pinned on Pinterest but your kids are happy. You might drag them from one errand to the next on your days off but they feel loved and that is what is important.

I know it's hard to remember all of this in the hustle and bustle of everyday life with two young kids but come back to this, read it over a time or two to remind yourself.

Think of the sounds Benny makes as you are reunited after a long day at work. Remember how he curls up around you and nuzzles his head into your chest with pure excitement. Remember that moment.

Think to bedtime when you are tucking Brady in and he asks for another kiss, and another hug. Then, another and another. Think of those innocent moments in the dark when he allows you to cradle him in your arms and surround him with love. Remember that moment.

It's those moments that we live for and don't let them get away.

Mother, oh Mother, come shake out your cloth
empty the dustpan, poison the moth,
hang out the washing and butter the bread,
sew on a button and make up a bed.
Where is the mother whose house is so shocking?
She's up in the nursery, blissfully rocking.

Oh, I've grown shiftless as Little Boy Blue
(lullaby, rockaby, lullaby loo).
Dishes are waiting and bills are past due
(pat-a-cake, darling, and peek, peekaboo).
The shopping's not done and there's nothing for stew
and out in the yard there's a hullabaloo
but I'm playing Kanga and this is my Roo.
Look! Aren't her eyes the most wonderful hue?
(lullaby, rockaby, lullaby loo).

The cleaning and scrubbing will wait till tomorrow,
for children grow up, as I've learned to my sorrow.
So quiet down, cobwebs. Dust go to sleep.
I'm rocking my baby and babies don't keep.

by Ruth Hulburt Hamilton

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Surgery day.

Woah. I'm not sure I've ever had a bloggin' break that lasted this long! I need to finish Benny's monthly posts because I'm already forgetting things!

Benny finally had his surgery yesterday. I feel bad for the kid because people ask what he has to have surgery for and I explain to them about hypospadias. I'm sure he will love all the talk about his 'manhood' when he gets older but as a mom it wasn't an easy thing to experience. Long story short is that his urethra wasn't in the 'right' spot and it was moved to prevent issues later on down the road (which some were already starting to develop.)  We were told it was a pretty easy process and his wasn't too severe (but ended up needing more 'repair' than we had thought) but he still had to be cut and he still had to go under which was terrifying for me. We were told it was a 1-2 hour surgery and I couldn't' fathom him being taken away from me for so long.

 He was supposed to have it in January and they wanted him to weight a bit more and then he got sick. So, when it started getting close, I wasn't nervous because it wasn't real. Then, I got the call. The time, the instructions. I was shaking. I had so much nervous energy, I think I cleaned the entire house.

We had to be at the hospital early and I think it was 6:30 before when we were checked in. We were asked 100 questions from 10 different people (nurse, anesthesiologist  doctor, who knows who the other people were!) and the next 1.5 hours were called 'distract the hungry baby.' Instructions were no milk after midnight and no clear liquids after 4:30. This sucked. Benny, so I think, has a really fast metabolism or something because kiddo eats all the time. He still nurses every 2-4 hours and overnight about 2 times or so. I don't know where he puts it all because still being in the low percentile, he packs away a lot of food for being so little.
Could he seriously be ANY cuter in his little gown? The hand gesture is his new thing, 'what?'

I fed him around 11:45 and even tried to top him off with some formula but he only took less than 2 ounces. He woke up at 3:30 and was ready to eat again, not sure if he wanted it more for a comfort feed or if he was really hungry but kiddo would NOT go back to sleep. I rocked him, we swayed, I finally gave in and we played. Around 5 am, he finally conked out. I got ready and we woke him up as we walked out the door at 5:45.

I was nervous about how he would act when we got there, knowing his surgery wasn't till 8:15. He was a riot. Hamming it up for the nurses and wooing them with his big ol' eyes and dimply smile. We played in the playroom, we walked, A LOT and we made up silly games of distraction. The time really went more quickly than I thought it would.

The anesthesiologist came in and I almost lost it when he told me he'd take good care of my baby. The nurse came in to take him and even though he went with her willingly without tears thanks to her sparkly name badge, it hit me. I kissed him 1000 times and the tears came quickly. Our nurse quickly came in and distracted me by telling us to go eat and told us a funny story about people passing out. I couldn't sit there and just wait so we walked around the floor a bit and finally went down and grabbed some breakfast.
Waiting. Waiting sucks. 

 You wait in the same room so they can get a hold of you in case they need you/let you know when he is finished but when the phone rang near 9:00, my heart dropped. I grabbed it faster than I've ever done anything. Thankfully, they were doing a courtesy call to let us know that they were starting late (they wait till they are asleep to start the IV and he was a hard stick) and wouldn't be done at the time the dr had told me and didn't want us worrying!

Around 10:15, the doctor came in. He did great, was out and would be calling us soon to come see him! Talk about a sigh of relief. I was anxious to see him and I just wanted him back in MY arms.

After what felt like an eternity, it rang and we could walk down to recovery to see him! I swear I ran back there and swooped him up out of that nurse arms! He was devouring a bottle of pedialyte and was still really groggy but being reunited never felt better. He nursed for a bit and then went back to sleep. I held him and kissed his little head and I think every single finger.

We texted everyone to let them know he was out and doing well. I texted our sitter too so that she could let Brady know Benny was doing well since he told her he was worried about him. (So sweet!) He slept deeply for a while and woke up in a good mood.

 Around, 12:30, he started to get really fussy and then started screaming. He wanted to nurse but didn't want to. He was climbing and flailing and it was awful to see him like that. It was most likely the pain meds were wearing off, he had bladder spasms or he had gas from the anesthesia. It could have been a lot of things but it sucked. Seeing him like that was the most helpless I've felt as a parent and I hope to never feel that way again. Our sweet nurse gave him some spasm medication, gas meds and pain medicine and he was asleep in my arms again by 1:00. It wasn't for a few more hours that we were finally discharged.

Poor kid looked drugged up and it broke my heart to see that but I was glad he wasn't in pain. We always joke about Benny's 'intense' looks and the nurse told us that when he woke up, he zeroed in on one particular man and would not stop staring at him until someone gave him a bottle of Pedialyte, ha!

He slept/nursed most of the night but woke up this morning ready to go! He is happy, crawling/pulling up and I haven't had to give him any pain meds stronger than Tylenol since last night. We are still giving him the spasm meds for another day to be sure and they we can stop those. He is on an antibiotics to prevent infection (well, duh) because he had to have a catheter.

The catheter stays in for a week and the bandages stay on till tomorrow or Saturday. I'm a bit afraid to see what is under there but I know he will heal quickly. I have to say, the team at Children's was amazing as usual. It was obvious they are used to dealing with nervous parents and take that into consideration in what they do. That is something I appreciated so much.  I also see nurses in a different light even though I've always known they were rock stars!  I sat there holding Benny in recovery, another baby had just came out of surgery and was screaming bloody murder. I watched another nurse console him, rock him and do what she could do make him feel safe and comforted but all he wanted was a familiar face and food (I'm sure) but it hit me in all that these wonderful nurses do! (You rock!)

All of this has really made me count my blessings more and appreciate their health more than ever. I saw so many other kids in there before/after surgery and it's sucks that kids have to deal with any sort of medical issue even the 'minor' ones because as parents we know, there is no such thing as minor when it comes to your kids. I am so proud of my big boy and amazed at how resilient babies can be!