Sunday, June 29, 2014

Alex is One Month Old!!

Where did this month ago?  A month ago our baby boy was born!  Already I can't imagine our world without him.

Because my mommy brain can't keep track of things, I've decided to try out a list format for Alex's monthly updates.

One Month!

Height: Probably about 22"

Weight: Mommy guesses around 10 lbs, but no official weight since his two week appointment

Clothing Size: 0-3 and 3 months.  Mommy finally gave up on shoving him into newborn clothes.

Mommy's most missed NB outfit
Diaper Size: 1's but mommy does still insist on using the random NB diapers that show up around the house

Eating: Alex is a much much less exhuberant eater than his big brother.  He nurses every three hour or so throughout the day and night.  It's going well, (with the exception of my oversupply sometimes being a bit much for him) and I happily already know all of the things that make it easier for me (side nursing, nursing in a carrier, etc).  Alex also had his first bottle this month!

Speaking of carrier, I borrowed a ring sling and I am loving it!  So much cooler than my moby and easier and faster (important when chasing a toddler around!)  I don't have a picture of us in it handy, but here is Alex after I slipped out of it. :)

Sleeping:  So far Alex is a much better sleeper than Colin.  He sleeps peacefully in his bassinet(thank you Aunt Beverly and Uncle Don!) and only wakes up to eat.  He is fairly easy to get to sleep and will sleep most places (except his swing, he doesn't like the swing much).

New Skills: Pretty much all of Alex's skills are new, because he's new!  He does still make thosee very disconcerting newborn breathing noises. Alex is doing great with his tummy time.  So far he hates bath time.

Strong neck!

I think my favorite thing has been how alert Alex seems to be watching Colin.  I know he can't see very far yet, but he seems to follow Colin whenever he's nearby.  It's really amazing.

"Hey Big Bro!"

And just because, me and my baby. <3

Monday, June 23, 2014

A Beautiful Mess

Last years MOPS theme was A Beautiful Mess.  It's a perfect theme because life with kids, especially babies, is exactly that.

Over the weekend we had an impromptu toddler playdate at our house.

A Beautiful Mess, indeed!

There is nothing quite like the sound of more than one toddler melting down at the same time... but there is also nothing quite as beautiful as the sound several babies all laughing together, combined with the sound of little feet slapping on the floor.

This life isn't for everyone.  It's always loud, rarely clean, sometimes frustrating and frequently exhasuting, but I am so, so, grateful I get to live this beautiful mess!

Friday, June 20, 2014

A Day for Daddy

Things are still chaotic around here.

So Father's Day this year was a laid back event.

Although that picture is a lie, daddy only got to relax for a few minutes in the middle of the chaos that is adjusuting to our growing family.

Thank you daddy for loving our relaxed celebration at home.  There are too many things to thank you for to list them all here.  We love you and we are so very lucky to have you!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Arts & Crafts

There are two things that I worry that Colin misses out on not being in any type of school or day care:  daily interactions with other kids his age and arts and crafts.

We try to make sure he gets interactions with other kids, both in the form of story time and in play dates.  Arts and crafts are harder.  I love crafts.  The problem is that setting up an art activity for a toddler takes about 10 times as much time as they actually spend doing it.  And in the past, Colin hasn't shown much interest in the things I have tried to do with him.  

Still, with Alex's arrival, we thought we should step up Colin's planned activities throughout the day to help ward off his minor tantrums, so I went to google for help.

Colin had a meltdown last time daddy tried painting with him (he doesn't really like getting his hands dirty) so I found a painting activity that didn't involve messy hands!

Before Colin woke up I got everything ready and taped it to his table.

He seemed to like it!  He pushed the paint around for about 5 minutes before insisting it was time to take it 'off'.  I suggested we leave it, but my child is very determined and once he decided it was coming off, it was coming off.  I quickly double taped the top down to (hopefully) avoid a mess.  As he picked it up, I saw the light come through it and came up with another idea...

I taped it to the window!

This was a huge hit!  It looked a lot cooler with sunlight behind it than the table and we practiced drawing letters and shapes.  Colin even pulled a chair up and watched as I drew every letter in the alphabet!  (The picture doesn't really catch it, but it did look really cool)

Moving it to the window earned me at least another 15 minutes of play.  And after breakfast this morning, Colin wanted to play again with daddy!  

I was prety proud of myself.  A successful art project!  I think the biggest secret to success is to be willing to be flexible (easier when the paint is contained in a bag).  More art to come! (probably).

Monday, June 16, 2014

Brotherly Love, the beginning.


It's only been a few weeks, but already one of my absolute favorite things has been the (rare) moments of watching my boys together.  They have also been some of the most terrifying.

There aren't too many pictures because it's quite challenging to attempt to grab a camera when your toddler is looking lovingly aggresively curiously at your newborn.  Luckily for me, Colin generally announces his intentions before acting.  The following phrases mean act fast: "Baby boom" (I'm about to attempt to knock the baby on the floor. "Diaper oh no" (I'm going to drop something on my brother). "Eye" (I'm going to point not so gently at the baby's eye with my pointy fingernail).

Colin is adjusting awesomely so far.  It's certainly helped that up until a day ago or so he had grandparents lovingly filling his free time. But even in their absense, he seems to be fine with mommy and daddy holding the baby.  He did once strongly request that grandma "Baby, Mommy." (give the baby to mommy, I want your full attention).

I was also slightly concerned about his reaction to my breastfeeding the baby.  He's been weaned a little less than half his life, so maybe it's not surpsing that he doesn't remember.  He does think the nursing cover is a tent for everyone to play in....

I can't wait to watch my boys develop their own relationship as they grow up.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Nursery 2.0, (nearly) complete.

I'm a little bit sad to report I didn't 'finish' Alex's nursery before his arrival.  Luckily he doesn't seem to mind much.  And as he's currently our favorite little roommate he isn't spending much time in his room anyway!  

The major features were all complete.  I haven't finished decor.  Which is funny because I actually decided exactly what I wanted months ago, but just haven't actually finished it.  Oh well.  I will update again when everything is in place. (I'm aiming for before he moves in, but it's a soft goal).

I love Alex's nursery.  The theme has shifted a little bit from 'sea' to 'sea turtle,' which I love because we love turtles in our family!!  Colin's nursery did a similiar shift from 'jungle' to 'giraffe.'  I hope Alex ends up liking turtles as much as Colin likes giraffes!! A few of my favorite recent additions are the stuffed sea turtle (from Grandma) and the turtle bank (shown on the picture below, but a little difficult to see) from the Willmunder Family.

The closet worked out great.  I added a small closetmaid organizer so I'd have a few shelves, but mostly they just have toys for Colin on them right now.  I will admit that Alex's closet didn't get reorganized 20 times like Colin's did.  I also didn't have his outfits arranged in the order I wanted him to wear them.  Life is different for a second baby! But they are all clean and ready!

I can't wait for all of the fun we will have in your room, Alex!

Monday, June 9, 2014

The first days and weeks.

I have so many things I want to record right now.  The multitudes of 'firsts' for Alex, from his first foot print, to his first out of womb hiccups, to his first smile, the sweet moments of Colin kissing the baby gently (instead of attempting to rock him aggresively...), the memories of this time that I know will disappear before my eyes.

I have a million photos I want to take, a million words I want to write, a million things I want to remember.

These first days and weeks are beautiful.  Filled with a warm, soft, sweet baby sleeping on my chest and puncutated with the usually joyful voice of Colin asking for Mommy to come to various things.

But these first days and weeks are also hard.  My hormones surge and clash and my body works hard to recover from the long months of pregnancy, and the trauma of birth.  Some nights I lie away and don't understand why I can't sleep and feel guilty and worried because I know the baby will be up soon to eat, and not long after that Colin will be calling for me.  Some days I forget to eat and wind up cranky and weak and achy, wondering what's wrong with me.  Sometimes I snap at my husband, and often I'm super critical of myself, doubting that I can realy manage all of the blessings I've received in my life and feeling like I don't deserve any of them.

In these moments, I am so so glad to know I'm not alone.  I have a wonderful loving husband and family who has been willing to take time out of their own lives to come and help.  In the last few days I've also started reaching out with some of these feelings and fears to the moms I've meet since Colin was born.  It is such a huge help to know I'm not an island.

So thank you.  Thank you to everyone who has reminded me that I don't have to be perfect.  Thank you to everyone who has helped keep me and my family fed. Thank you for helping to entertain my big little guy so I can connect with my little little guy.  Thank you for being such a huge source of love and encouragement for our growing family!



Friday, June 6, 2014

One Week Old

I blinked and a week disappeared.

We are so incredibly lucky to have no only a healthy baby, but a seemingly incredibly content little guy.  Alex is sleeping better than we anticipated, he's nursing well, although not with as much dedication and passion as Colin did, and he's healthy and gaining weight.

Exactly One Week Old!
I'm doing alright.  His delivery, as most deliveries probably are, was a challenge.  I'm doing my best to take care of myself and make sure I don't over do it.  That's particularly challenging with a toddler around!

Speaking of our toddler, Colin is doing really well so far with Alex.  We have to be very vigilant, of course, but he hasn't shown much jealousy or trouble adjusting.  He likes to point out Alex's nose, toes, mouth and feet.  He also likes to rock the baby, which is a bit challenigng at times.

Gavin and I have been surprised at how quickly you forget how to do some of the newborn things.  New born bath?  Hmm... maybe we should have checked that booklet they sent home from the hospital again...

First family Walk
It's hard to believe that it's already been a week since I meet this little man face to face for the first time.  I know from experience how fleeting these first few days, and really every day to come is and I'm doing my best to enjoy every second.   

Happy one week birthday, Alex.  We love you and we are so happy you are a part of our family!!

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Happy Birthday, Baby Alex!!

On May 29th, 2014 we welcomed a new member into our family, Alexander James!

He's beautiful and we are so excited to a family of four!  Lots more of this little guy to come!!