Friday, May 27, 2011

Teaming Up

The babies, that is. They have decided that sleep is really not necessary for mommy and daddy. Addison just won't go to bed until between 11pm and 12am. She naps and fusses on and off all evening until she finally goes to bed for the night. I hope this ends soon, as my comfortable bed time is closer to 9pm! But there seems to be no end in sight. Addison then gets up between 4 and 5am to eat, and is pretty restless after that. I nurse her in bed and once she's done, we just go to sleep, but she tosses and turns A LOT, so it's never deep sleep. Then....Jackson (who used to get up between 8 and 8:30am) has now decided that wake up time is around 6:30am. He no longer wakes up and plays happily in there to allow me a few more sweet minutes of sleep. Oh no, it is now screaming non-stop until I go in to rescue him. The only reason I can think of that he is doing this is that he wakes up poopy - he used to be poopy before and didn't care, but his poops have become really nasty and probably uncomfortable for him (sorry if TMI!).

I have no idea how much longer I can go on with 6 or so broken hours of sleep a night. I admire those moms who have kid after kid and just suck it up. But, the lack of sleep is enough for me to say - no more kids for us! Between the two of them, I feel like I am the walking dead most days. And to add to it, Jackson has been beyond grumpy most days, refusing to nap longer than 30-45 minutes (as opposed to his beautiful 1.5 hour naps he normally would take), and is just all around being difficult. Which means he wants our attention every waking moment. The pen is awesome...except he refuses to play in it without us. Which kind of defeats the purpose.

So, all that said, you might wonder how we are getting any packing done. Believe me, it's not easy. This is what we have resorted to....

As if packing wasn't hard enough. Like I said, they have teamed up against us - and they are winning!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Jackson is 9 Months Old!!

*Quick Disclaimer: these pictures are not his best by far. He has decided crawling away from the camera is fun, so I just have tons of him trying to get away:).

Oh my goodness, this last month has been a big one for our "little" guy! He has become a moving machine and can get ANYwhere in this house! He still army crawls on his belly most places, but is also able to crawl up on his hands and knees. He does a lot of grunting and vocalizing when he crawls, so you can always hear where he is, it's quite amusing!! He also can pull up on anything and can even bridge distances between, say, an ottoman and a coffee table. He can cruise along furniture and he has let go a couple of times and stood there for a few seconds before falling down. This child can remember where every electrical cord, drawer or TV remote is and bee lines for them any chance he gets. He also finds the slider door track fascinating, which is greasy and disgusting of course. Such a boy. We spend a great deal of time and energy telling him "no" (which he just laughs at) and moving him away from things. He could care less about his toys. So, we have invested in a "pen" for him (thank you, K, from AYWH for the recommendation!) to contain him in one area so that we can do other things with Addison or around the house, knowing he is safe. Wow, I just cannot believe how far this boy has come in a couple of months. He took forever to just roll over, but once he started that, it was all over! Jackson still babbles a lot and loves to play with his voice. He doesn't yet have words that mean anything - he says mama and baba a lot, but not to mean anything yet. Oh, and I just noticed yesterday that he has his top right front tooth and the left one is about to pop through any day now!

Jackson still will eat anything we put in his mouth. When we have healthy, appropriate foods for meals, he eats the same thing we eat. Otherwise, he eats stage 2 fruits and oatmeal in the morning and stage 3 veggies for lunch and a stage 3 meat/meal for dinner. Jackson now weighs 22lbs 4.5oz, which is in the 77th percentile. He is 29.5 inches long, which is in the 87th percentile. Jackson has successfully been weaned off of his hypoallergenic formula and ALL of his reflux meds! He is a healthy baby boy! Jackson still sleeps like a champ, taking 2 naps a day and then sleeping about 12-13 hours a night. It's funny, I used to wonder if he'd ever sleep anywhere other than in my arms or the swing, and now he won't sleep anywhere other than his crib! How quickly things change for our little ones.

Jackson is an incredibly happy baby. People continue to ask us, "Is he always this happy?" He has become clingy in the last couple of months and so he can be very fussy when he isn't getting what he wants. My guess is he has had a difficult time with another baby being in the home. We love on him as much as we can and reassure him that we adore him. Jackson's stranger anxiety seems to have eased up and he again is able to smile and enjoy people who say hello to him (and of course tell him how adorable he is). He is a perfect angel when we take him on errands and loves to just sit in the cart and watch his surroundings and play with his toys. I often wondered when he was small if I'd ever get to go on a stress free errand with him - and he is such a joy now to take with me! When we had some people over to our house that he'd never met, he clung to me and even hid his head in my chest and shyly peaked out at them. My heart just soared. Being this little boy's mom is one of the greatest honors and joys of my life.

*I had to strap him in to get a still picture:)

Jackson is my dream come true. He represents the beginning of a new chapter in our lives. Every time I look at him, squeeze him, and kiss him, I am reminded of all of my blessings. He is living proof for me that life is good, that dreams can and do come true. I love my little man with every ounce of my being. Happy 9 months, big boy!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Addison is 3 Months Old!

Our princess is growing up fast! She is just so sweet. She now spends a lot of time being happy and babbling and smiling at us. She even has a little laugh that comes out sometimes. She also likes to make gurgling and raspberry sounds with her mouth and then watch us make them back. We have whole "conversations" that way! She is able to lie on the floor or on her playmat and entertain herself for good chunks of time now (15 minutes or more!). She is still such an alert baby, so she has a fun time just looking around and taking in the world. She is constantly moving her arms and kicking her legs. She has begun reaching towards toys. It's not a very coordinated reach, but she is definitely being goal-directed in her attempts to touch the toys. It is amazing to see what she has learned in just a few short months. She is turning into such a sweet little person!

Addison still does not love going to sleep. So, we have begun to rely on the swing (I know, I know, bad parents!). But, we cannot take the time it requires to get her to go to sleep enough to lay her down without her waking up immediately and crying. So, we have bought a boat load of D batteries and just accepted the fact that the swing is our friend...for now. Once Addison hits 4 or 5 months old, we will begin our sleep training. I have a feeling she'll do fine. She's just too young right now for me to feel comfortable letting her cry too much. So, the swing it is. I'm kind of in survival mode at this point, which means I will use whatever works to keep this house running smoothly during the day (or as smoothly as it can get at this point:)) and to get my 6 hours of (interrupted) sleep at night. Without the swing, it'd probably be a lot less and I'm barely surviving on this. She still fights sleep the worst at night (when I'm at my most exhausted of course) and sometimes won't fall asleep until 11pm. Usually I can get her down around 10pm, but lately she's been pushing it later and later.

Surprisingly, Addison seems to be really even tempered. I say "surprisingly" because I am not at all easy going! And with how fussy she was at the beginning, I thought for sure we were in for a very fussy baby. But, she has evened out so much. She really only gets fussy when she is hungry or tired. Of course, she is very hard to soothe when she is fussy, but my guess is that will get better as she gets older. Or at least I am hoping so! She does NOT like the car and makes her distaste known whenever we take her in it. We took a trip 3 hours away about 2 weeks ago, with both babies. Bad idea. I am hoping she will eventually make peace with her car seat. We'll see.

Lastly, my success story: nursing is going so well now! We have not had to supplement with formula in over 6 weeks. The medication I am on is doing the trick. There is more milk than little Addy knows what to do with. I usually have to pump or I get uncomfortably full. And I now love, love, love nursing my baby girl. I honestly could never figure out why people said they loved breastfeeding. I literally despised it. It was painful and stressful. Now I understand. When it works, it is amazing!

I have always known that bonding is a process. Not everybody falls in love with their baby the second they see him/her. I always loved Addison, my heart literally almost burst with love the minute I met her. But the stress of the first weeks really made bonding difficult. As the weeks and months have gone by, I have become in awe of my love for her. There are no words to describe how deeply, intensely and passionately I love this baby girl. Happy 3 months, Addy!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Two Sick Babies....

...makes one very exhausted, overwhelmed and frustrated momma. Neither one is sleeping well. Addison screamed for 3 hours straight last night (only to fall asleep at midnight and wake back up at 12:30am) and Jackson wakes up screaming in the morning now. The doctor says it is just a cold. Cold = nonstop coughing and sneezing as well as literal rivers of snot coming out of both of their noses. It's insane. This is our first baby illness around here, so I guess we were due. But wow. This sucks. It is so sad to see them both struggling to breathe through all that snot. I know they have to feel miserable. They both seem to be in pretty good spirits for not feeling well (well, minus the screaming fits). I guess I should feel lucky that they are actually acting a lot like their normal selves except when it comes to sleeping. But this mom needs her sleep in order to have the energy to work, take care of two babies (by myself for quite a large portion of the day/night), and organize our upcoming move (the to-do list is too long to even think about).

Just thought I'd share my glorious situation right now:). Wish me luck! The doctor says the cold could last up to a week...Jax has had it 4 days so far, today is Addison's first official day of it. Ugggghhh.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

My First Mother's Day

The day is so big, and yet so small. Nothing was that different. Except I was able to go to Target and not feel left out. I saw tons of moms there, loads of Mother's Day cards, and lots of little babies. And I felt no sadness, no grief. Finally. I honestly felt lighter, like a different person. I remember the heaviness I carried with me for the entire week of Mother's Day last year. It was so different this year. I didn't spend the day doing anything spectacular...well, yes I did. I spent it loving on my babies. And I even got to have my husband home doing it with me. It doesn't get better than that. Those are the good days. Mother's Day or not. This Mother's Day marks the end of an era for me. This is the new me:

And I love this me, because I am finally complete. It's like little pieces of my heart were missing, and now there they are, sitting on my lap. How cute are they?!

If having them isn't dreamy enough, here is what I am getting for Mother's Day (it is both of their birthstones:)):

Happy Mother's Day to all those new mommies this year - there are lots of us! And of course, to all of you missing your angels lost, and your moms who have passed, you are in my heart. And for those of you still dreaming and praying that this is your year to take on the title of Mommy - I am dreaming and praying with you. Happy Mother's Day to all of you!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

A Mother's Day Poem

I wrote this post last year on Mother's Day. The sentiments are still true. I think of all the mommies in waiting this year, and all the mommies of angels gone too soon, and I know that Mother's Day will always be a day that holds grief, as well as joy. I can say, though, that most (if not all) of the mommies in waiting who commented on my post last year are no longer waiting - they have their own miracles to celebrate this year. And that is the way this goes - time passes, miracles happen, and mothers are born. So, for all of those still waiting, I wanted to post this poem, which I found through another blog. You are thought of, and you are loved...

“Happy Mother's Day”
it comes around every year;
but when you have empty arms,
it's very hard to hear.

It's a day to celebrate a mother;
for all the trials she overcame;
and a reminder to an infertile
of her loneliness and shame.

But what really makes a mother,
Is it just conception and birth?
Or is there something more,
that shows a mother's worth?

It's putting your child first,
in everything you do;
it's sacrifice and determination,
and love and patience too.

An infertile woman makes all her plans,
around a child not yet conceived;
she loves them even though they aren't here,
more than she ever could have believed.

She appreciates and understands,
what a blessing that children are;
she works hard for just a chance,
that motherhood is not that far.

All odds are stacked against her,
and yet she still has hope;
everyday is another struggle,
finding ways to help her cope.

So even though her arms are empty,
she can still be a mother too;
So say a special “Happy Mother's Day”
for those waiting for their dreams to come true!

By Rachel Holden