Milestone Madness

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These two boys. I’m pretty sure one night they decided to have a contest to see who could reach more milestones faster. It seems like every time we turn around lately one of them is doing something awesome.

First up! The newbie! Weighing in at 12 pounds, 9 ounces, it’s Owen!!

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Today I witnessed a belly to back and a back to belly roll from this guy. Of course he popped right up with a look that says, “Yeah I got this.”

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He’s also trying desperately to sit up. As soon as I put him in his rocker or car seat he does everything he can to lean forward. His favorite pastime is to hold onto my fingers and do sit-ups. We go up and down while he giggles with his giant cheesy smile.

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I couldn’t get a good picture of it, but the drool machine has also started. Based on some of his crazy cranky episodes and fussiness when eating we’re fairly certain he’s started to teeth. It’s right on schedule with what Adam did. I’ll be looking for his first tooth in the next few weeks.

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This blanket was a gift from a good friend of mine and has become Owen’s new lovey. I can lay him down fussing up a storm and when I hand him the blanket he gets super excited and starts chewing on it. I’m glad he’s taken to it because it helps curb the massive amounts of the aforementioned drool constantly streaming from him.

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Adam would like you to know that he can hold his head up and has teeth too. In fact, he got two new molars this weekend. Still not digging loud noises though.

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This big boy has been willing to try new foods. He ate egg yolks and pizza this weekend. Mike and I have been trying to keep our cool about this development, but inside we’re doing a giant happy dance. This picky dude has been flat out refusing most foods for so long now that when he picked up a piece of pizza and willingly put it in his mouth I almost fainted.

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And then there’s this. Going to the bathroom like a champ. Last night he even ran to the potty shouting, “Go pee pee!!!!” No prompt needed. That’s our boy. (I never thought I’d beam with pride over something every human learns how to do. That’s parenthood for you.)

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By far the most enjoyable development Adam has had has been in his language skills. He is so inquisitive, and loves to talk and learn and (mostly) listen to what people have to teach him. There isn’t a word you say that he won’t ingest and repeat like some kind of word monster. Mike and I both love to put him to bed each night because we know there are some good conversations to be had. I can’t wait to hear what he has to say to me every day.

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I love these two. So, so much. I’m so happy I get to witness them grow.

Baby Whack-a-Mole

This morning Owen woke up earlier than normal. The two of us hung out and giggled a bit before he got tired again and needed a nap. As soon as I put Owen to bed, Adam woke up. A good friend of mine called this baby Whack-a-Mole, and she’s totally right. One kid falls asleep and the other bounces right up.

The weird thing is though, that I actually prefer my mornings to go like this. Even though I had to get out of bed over an hour earlier, today has been an absolute breeze. I’ve been able to take care of each kid’s needs individually instead of ranking who needs what and going from there. That scenario usually ends in one or both of them crying and my frazzled self parking Adam in front of a cartoon and hoping he doesn’t decide to leap onto the couch just as Owen is drifting off to sleep.

(Spoiler alert: he usually leaps onto the couch just as Owen is drifting off to sleep.)

In fact, the TV hasn’t even been on today. As I type this Owen is taking the nap he needs every day and most of the time doesn’t get, and Adam is playing happily with his train set. Even though I haven’t technically had a break since I woke up, I feel calm and collected. I can even leave Adam to his own devices for a few minutes to write this because he’s had individual attention and isn’t asking me to put baby down and get on the floor. Never mind he just asked me to choo choo with him on the floor, and I totally can and will.

Baby Whack-a-Mole for the win! Now if I could just get them to keep doing this and coordinate their afternoon naps that would be great, but I think I have a better chance of Publisher’s Clearing House showing up at my door with a unicorn and proof that Harry Potter is real. A girl can dream…

Growth Spurts And Play Dates

It hasn’t been the easiest couple of days around here. I haven’t been juggling all of my responsibilities very well. It’s been more like frantically trying to keep up with cooking, cleaning, laundry, crying baby, and hungry toddler all at once. Owen is going through some kind of growth spurt, so he wants to be attached to me at all times, even if he’s asleep.

The mornings are the most difficult. I need to eat, Owen needs to nurse, Adam needs breakfast, and if we need to get someplace forget it. The poor guy spent all morning screaming because he didn’t want to be wrapped, but we had a 10am park playdate to get to that I had to get us ready for. Every time I set him down to do anything (like put on a shirt, or get his brother food), the wailing would get louder. I came so close to just throwing in the towel and telling my friends I couldn’t make it.

I didn’t though. Adam has been the epitome of a good kid through all of this. Yesterday Owen was on his twentieth minute of crying, refusing to eat and sleep, and everything I did just seemed to add fuel to the fire. I put him down on the couch and said, “I don’t know what I can do for you anymore!” Adam stopped playing with his toys, walked over to me and with the sincerest look in his eyes said, “I’m sorry Mommy.” My heart broke and gushed at the same time. Because my word he’s an amazing boy. So today he needed to get outside and play. He deserved to get outside and play.

I’m the first person in this particular play group to take the leap into baby number two. They’re really awesome with helping me wrangle Adam and hold the baby if I have to go to the bathroom, even if the baby starts wailing the minute I hand him off. Today I was asked a couple of times how I’m doing with two kids. I could only shrug and say “It’s pretty tough.” A friend told me that she wasn’t sure anymore of having kids so close together in age. She’s totally seeing my frazzled face and a woman constantly close to tears and I get it. She’s a good friend. I’m glad she was honest and I’m glad I didn’t have to put on a happy face for them.

And it has been pretty tough. But it’s also been pretty great. Owen is sleeping fabulously most nights, and if I managed to drag my ass to bed as soon as he goes down I would actually get something resembling a full night’s sleep. The boys are also starting to acknowledge that the other exists. Adam comes over to make Owen smile by kissing his feet and making raspberries at him. He asks to hold “baby bro-ver”, and squeals with delight the entire time he’s got Owen on his lap. They’re going to be good friends, and I can’t wait to see them grow and interact together.

On the way home from the park we had to go through some city streets, which immediately woke up Owen because only 70mph down a highway will keep him asleep. He started crying, but then I turned on a radio station playing a country song called “It’s a Great Day to Be Alive” by Travis Tritt.

Owen settled down and went to sleep, Adam continued eating his animal crackers as if he didn’t have a care in the world, and I took a deep breath and unclenched my white knuckles from the steering wheel. A silly song that reminds me of my baby sister being born brought me back to earth. I had to remind myself that if I can get through tough periods, I can see that it’s getting easier every day, we will settle into a groove as a family, and Owen is getting older and more independent by the day. It won’t always be this hard.

So the next time someone sees me struggling and asks how I am, I’ll shrug and say, “It’s pretty tough. And amazing. And the rewards are going to be well worth the struggles.”

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Moving Along

Mike started a new job last month. It means a little extra money for us, but a longer commute for him. Against our better judgement we’ve decided to move closer to his work. Did you hear that? We’re going to move. With two small children in tow! I don’t know what we’re thinking.

Ok I know what we’re thinking. We like the area more than here, it’s closer to his parents, and when I start looking for work again I have a lot of contacts and there are a lot of broadcasting opportunities. I may or may not also love that everywhere we’ve seen so far has been mere minutes to a Target…

Those prime areas (close to Target) are an hour away though, so that means we have to do marathon viewings on weekends. Last week was our first one, and I have to admit that it wasn’t terrible. It was exhausting though. We planned the trip around Owen’s nap pretty well. He fell asleep and let me transfer him in and out of the car for the first three houses. By the fourth and final house he woke up ravenous though, and a hungry Owen in the car seat is a very. Angry. Baby.

Everything turned out ok though because the house had a couch I could feed him on (thank you strangers I’ll never meet), and there was a big backyard where Adam could run around and stretch his legs while they waited.

This weekend we’re upping the ante and going to look at seven houses. Adam will mercifully be with Grandma and Grandpa, so at least we’ll only be carting around half of our brood.

I really dislike moving. I did too much of it as a kid, even more when I was in the military, and a fair amount since I separated. Hopefully this will be the last move for a very long time. Or at least until the kids are strapping teenagers and I can make them carry a fridge or something.

Our Louie

We put Louie to sleep today and we’re heartbroken about it. Since he was attacked a couple of months ago he just hasn’t been the same cat. He stopped eating, would disappear for days at a time, and lost weight at an alarming rate. Yesterday I took him to the vet and found out he’d lost six pounds. The vet immediately ordered a blood test, but they couldn’t find anything wrong with him other than a high white blood cell count. Rather than throw test after test at an 11 year old cat, Mike and I decided to let him go. Mike told me he didn’t feel any pain, and he buried him in his parents’ yard next to our other cat Binx.

We got Louie very soon after we were married, when he was a kitten. Louie has lived on two different continents and half a dozen houses with us. He was such a loving cat, always ready to jump up and purr away on our lap. I’m so sad to be without our boy, but glad that we got 11 amazing years with him.

RIP Louie

April 15, 2004- May 13, 2015

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Getting Into The Swing Of Things

Mike is working overtime, Adam is asleep, and I got my chores done this evening while rocking Owen the sleep in the wrap. I’ve decided that since I worked hard today I’m going to let myself get trapped under him for this little catnap before he wakes up wanting a good meal. It’s become a part of the sweet, sweet routine that is taking shape in our lives.

I didn’t realize until I became a mother how important a schedule is. I do not give birth to kids who can fly by the seat of their pants. They need their naps and they need to know what to expect, and they need that stuff every time. Yesterday we changed Adam’s sheets and it’s thrown him so off his game that he spent the better part of this evening being angry at a pillow for not staying in the exact spot he wanted on the couch. He went to bed early.

Of course Owen wasn’t born with a good routine and I knew I’d have to pay close attention to pick up on his cues. They’re slowly but surely showing up, beginning thankfully with his nighttime routine. He’s asleep for a good chunk of time starting at 9:30 and I can expect two wake ups overnight before he’s up with the sun for a nice poop. Then he’s back down about an hour later for a good nap. His afternoon is starting to take shape but is a bit sporadic still.

I’m so thankful that the “hard” part of the newborn days are starting to wain. Owen’s stomach issues are healing, I’m done with his lip and tongue tie aftercare, and we can get on with getting our family dynamic together. I finally don’t feel like Adam is being ignored all day, and his behavior is so good as a result.

My third Mother’s Day is coming up. I still have many days where I don’t feel good enough. That I lost my temper too fast or didn’t do enough for the kids or Mike. This is such an amazing ride though, and I wouldn’t trade any minute of it for anything in the world.

After all, if it was easy, what would I have to hold over their heads when they’re teenagers?

Mornings With Owen

A bit of a sleeping schedule has started to appear with Owen and I over the last week or so. He goes to sleep for a big stretch between 9:30 and 10, then is up to eat a couple times before he wakes up at about 6.

I get up and change his pants, which he usually promptly poops in, then feed him and put him up in the wrap. It’s the best way to calm him so he doesn’t get fussy and wake up Adam, or Mike if it’s the weekend. He also likes to move around so I end up doing chores that I was too tired to finish the night before. So far today, the dishes are done and the floors have been swept.

He’s only up for about an hour usually, but I’m beginning to really enjoy our mornings together. There’s something very peaceful about folding laundry with the baby grunting in his sleep on my chest, soothed by my movements.

The bonus is that I get a few chores done before Adam wakes up, so when I get a moment away from Owen I can focus all of my attention on him.

Chaos is slowly turning into a routine around here. I can usually count on a little bit of overlap in the kids’ naps, I’m not terrified of taking them out together anymore, and more and more Owen is awake and happy during the day so I’m not trapped under him and unable to play with Adam.

On Mother’s Day two years ago I posted that I watched the sunrise on the couch while Adam nursed. This weekend I’ll probably see it again with my second son. Funny how things come full circle. I’m just as tired and stressed as I was then, but so happy to have These experiences with the kids. It makes all of the craziness worth it