Sunday, October 28, 2012

Oh no 2 month update

I was reading old posts and really enjoyed the monthly updates I had written with Teddy. I couldn't believe how much I had forgotten (basically everything) and I resolved that I had to start writing these updates for Ferdinand as well. Hopefully I can one day get my act together and make all these posts into a book, and then I will always have the memories which are so quickly forgotten.

So 2 months let's see... not a very exciting time I must say. Nursing has been nice and easy from the very beginning with this one, which is similar to Teddy. I knew that once my milk came in everything would be golden and it was. The nurse at the hospital tried to scare me about the 10% weight loss, but I knew that I had nothing to fear. When Ferdi gained just about a pound in a little over a week my midwife said I really didn't need to worry about him getting enough milk even if he doesn't take that long to nurse from each side. So I spend pretty much no time at all thinking about that.
Smiles... smiles...we've seen a few but not many. No giggles. Our favorite expressions from Ferdi right now are ones which seem to express surprise and discombobulation. Seriously he looks kooky and like a mad scientist and it cracks us up.

Thankfully although he doesn't often smile he also doesn't cry too much. As long as I get him back to sleep quickly enough he tends to be content to just gaze into space and let his brother "play" with him.

Speaking of brothers, his loves him already. They can't do much together but Teddy tries to incorporate him into his play as much as he can. I love that he has a sibling and the house is definitely a lot less quiet then it was with Theo.

I'm not sure how much he weighs although a week and a half ago he weighed about 12 pounds. He had his picture taken for his children's passport and it looks amazingly adorable. He still has blue eyes which don't seem to be changing although I know they still could.

His longest stretch of sleep seems to be about 4-5 hours although 4 is the norm, then 3 hour stretches for the rest of the night. Since my first child's sleeping sucked I appreciate this and can work with it for a few more months. What I LOVE is that he can sleep not on me. Wow! I can actually do stuff during his naps, and we just moved him to a crib for the first stretch of the night and that is going really well too. It is crazy to have a baby where stuff like swaddling actually does something.

I love him. I love him and his brother together. I love watching him, his brother, and his father together. I love this little family of ours so much and I am so glad everything has worked out so well for us so far. Now I just need to convince my lovely husband to have one more and I will feel totally complete ;)

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Keeping it real

Rereading my last post, I realized that I might have made things sound just a bit more delightful then they actually are. As though Teddy, Ferdi and I spend most of our time frolicking and giggling...which would probably just creep me out to be honest. I still have a 2 1/2 year old and a baby, and get to deal with all of the fun which that entails.

I am big on sleep. I spent a lot of time working on Theo's schedule and sleep and I am proud that he is an amazing sleeper now and has been for quite a long time. I'm also already working on the baby's sleep. Right now that means watching wake times and trying to keep him up no longer then an hour stretch during the day. Now with one child this is kind of feasible with two.. not so much.

That means that if the timing is off and the baby becomes a bit overtired we all get to listen to Ferdi scream in the car on the ride back from picking Teddy up from daycare. Then we get to listen to Ferdi scream while we unload the car, and while I convince Teddy that we don't have time for him to "drive" up front. We get to listen to him scream while I convince Teddy to put back his balance bike and to put down the bike pump. We get to listen to him scream while I carry him, the groceries, Teddy's hat and jacket which he no longer wants to wear, and my purse up the four flights of stairs to the flat.All the while convincing Teddy not to ring neighbor's door bells, try on other peoples shoes, or go back downstairs to go outside. Of course my tone stays calm and quiet as I playfully encourage Teddy to keep going while the baby literally screams at the top of his lungs (he is bright red and sweating by this point). My midwife once remarked that Ferdi was pretty loud, uhm aren't all babies I asked? No apparently not, some babies are quiet, probably the same ones who just grunt when they are hungry and sleep 8 hour stretches by the time they are 4 weeks.

Of course we manage to get upstairs and 95% of the time I actually am still a pleasant person to be around. The baby gets nursed to sleep and put in the swing, Teddy gets some one on one attention, and if my husband is lucky I even get started on making some sort of dinner but in those 15 minutes before peace hits there is definitely no frolicking going on.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

A little update

I haven't been posting that often lately and thankfully it is because I have been good busy and not totally stressed out. Ferdinand turned 8 weeks on Friday and I can't believe how fast time is going. Having two kids has been a change but with lots of help it has been a really positive one for the most part. We are still so lucky and dealing with no jealousy from Theo and I think a lot of that has to do with how much one on one time he still gets.

He has been spending more time with extended family, but we also have been using babysitters and daycare more as well which I think is beneficial not only for him but also for me as it means less time where I need to stretch myself and try to take care of a baby and a toddler. For example today a babysitter picked him up from daycare and takes him to toddler gym. He loves toddler gym but the baby isn't sleeping regularly enough for me to be able to bring him and assume he will sleep the whole time while I do gym with Teddy, so instead someone else goes to gym with him. He actually really loves this, and I think it is great for him to have time where he doesn't need to wait for me to nurse, etc and his needs just get to come first.

In fact in some ways it is strange how little life has changed...besides the whole lack of sleep thing. We are still doing most of the things we did as a family of three which is great. I'm getting a manicure and pedicure this weekend as my first longer period of time alone from both boys and I think it will be really nice. I also managed a weekend alone with both boys two weeks ago and was pleased at how well it went. So all in all life is good.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

This time around

So this time around is different, which should be obvious- or in the words of a good friend, "No shit, Sherlock". Speaking of which the BBC Sherlock is so fantastic! I was holding up hope that the American version would at least be decent to help me deal with the long wait for new episodes with Benedict but unfortunately the first episode didn't hook me but I will give it another chance. What was I saying? Oh yeah this time is different, so different.

I never thought that something like colic could really have affected me so much but it did. I think if you have a "normal" baby you maybe can't imagine what it is like to have a baby who really cries all the time. Who never lets you put him down, who genuinely seems unhappy with life and most certainly with you, is like. But I can let you in on a little secret, it sucks.
Sure you tell yourself it is all worth it, and thank the stars the baby is cute, and he'll outgrow it - which of course is all true but you know what? Bonding is a whole lot easier when you can look in your baby's eyes and they aren't all scrunched up with tears clinging to their cheeks due to screaming. The first weeks are a whole lot more enjoyable when you can hand the baby to a relative or a friend and eat something in peace, let alone being able to put the baby down in the first place.

This time around I got that "normal" baby, and let me tell you, it is awesome. Sure he still cries sometimes, especially if he has to wait to be fed- but those are the breaks of not being the first, he also gets lots of sloppy kisses from his brother to make up for it. I love that I am not at the limits of exhaustion because this time I do get sleep. Ferdi does 3 hour stretches at night next to me in bed, and a few 1-2+ hour naps during the day... and normally not on me! Normally in his bassinet, sometimes in the car, stroller, or in the wrap. Until 4 months Teddy never did any sleep not on me and his normal stretch was 90 minutes so this is pretty much life changing for me.

Ferdi looks around when he is awake, sure he sometimes cries, but often not. Once again this was a complete shock. I honestly did not think baby's could be awake without crying. Obviously I saw that other people's babies did this but I kind of just couldn't accept that could be possible as it was so different from my reality. Ferdi also gave me his first smile at 4 weeks he hasn't smiled much since then but it was a fantastic little smile to see.

My midwife mentioned that she thought it was too bad that our first baby was such a challenge since our midwife at the time was no support at all but honestly I think it was such an important experience. First of all because nothing seems particularly difficult in comparison but also because it allowed me to quickly realize that we can decide how our children effect us. I don't need to take on my children's emotions, and I can still be perfectly happy even if they are not. I'm responsible for loving them, giving them a good home, and helping the learn the skills to be independent, all the other stuff comes down to them.

You might be wondering how this relates to colic and newborns but it does. Basically I could have been miserable those first 4 months with Teddy wondering what I was doing so wrong to make him so sad. But I wasn't (well OK I was but I was really, really, tired) however I did quickly realize that I wasn't to blame for his lack of lust for the world. I wasn't doing anything wrong, and I couldn't do any more then I was. The same is true this time around. When Ferdi has a rough day and decides to cry for awhile during the witching hours, I rock him and get on with my night. I don't worry whether I ate something wrong, or if his onesie is itchy, or he doesn't like the music playing. Not because I don't care for his comfort- I do. But because I realize that all these things are probably not a problem or he would have started crying much earlier. Babies cry, as I learned all so well the first time around, and the best thing I can do is simply love him and get on with my day.

An author I like, Dr. Marc Weissbluth says of the first weeks, "Try not to think of doing things to or for the baby. Instead, take time to enjoy doing things with your baby." That is what I have been doing these past almost 6 weeks. I have been doing things with Ferdi and Teddy and my lovely husband and enjoying myself immensely. This time is wonderful and beautiful and I feel so lucky to get to experience it with both my children. I can genuinely say that I am happy right now, if not a little tired.