Sunday, September 28, 2014

my glamorous life

my glamorous life

In the past week, I've had two mom friends tell me that I always seem to have it together. (insert laughter)  Although I do enjoy a good compliment, that couldn't be further from the truth.  So here's a glimpse inside a recent day with Solis and Rogue. 

6:45am Alarm goes off and I hop in the shower.

7:39am "Mommy I'm awake!  Mommyyyyyyy!" (she's usually an 8am riser but not today.)

7:45am Go into Solis's room to discover she has peed through her diaper.  So much pee that there's a big wet spot on her bed.  Awesome.  B/c there's nothing I like more than changing sheets.  Sidenote-Solis has been potty trained since 25 months but we are letting nature take its course for night training.

7:55am It's a preschool morning so I wake Rogue up and change him.

8:05am I give Rogue a bottle in my bed while Solis brings her entire library collection up on my bed to read to him.

8:07am First burp out of Rogue and he misses the burp cloth.  (Why I even bother with one of those, I don't know.)  He spits up on my sheets and I'm thinking, great, I just changed my sheets yesterday so maybe I won't mind sleeping on dry spit up....don't judge ;)

8:11am Another burp, no spit up!  I go to turn him back towards to the bottle and YUP here it comes....spit up all over me.  

8:15am I change my clothes (somehow Rogue is clean, well played my boy) and we head downstairs for breakfast.

8:20am Solis has a scrambled egg and strawberries for breakfast.  She sneezes.  While chewing her egg.  Egg bits all over the floor and counter.  Luckily I call Naysa our dog over to clean the ones off the floor. (don't worry, I didn't leave Rogue alone on the countertop while in the bumbo....the pink bumbo.)
8:30am Back upstairs to change Solis for school and try to do something with her crazy hair.

8:43am Start to pack the kids in the car for preschool.  Rogue spits up for the 3rd time on the playroom floor.  I'm cleaning it up and Solis is screaming she has to pee.  Of course she does.

8:50am Finally pull out of the driveway and get Solis to school on time (thank goodness we live 4 minutes away).  And I am one of those moms in yoga pants and a tee shirt.  B/c when your baby spits up on you multiple times a day, why put on nice clothes?  Those are saved for very special trips to Target, by myself. 

9:25am Back at home, I start to put Rogue down for his nap.  One last burp before putting him down and yes, he spits up all over his floor, thank goodness for hardwood.  And if you're counting that's 4 times from just 1 feeding.

9:30-11am I get to put my feet up and relax!  Ha I dream.  Instead I'm doing laundry, changing Solis's sheets from the pee episode, cutting up veggies and meat for dinner, washing dishes, swiffering the floor (which must happen often b/c of his spit ups), and woofing down some egg whites and yogurt while working.  

11am Wake Rogue up and put him in the car to pick Solis up.

11:15am After picking Solis up, I drive to the park so she can play and I feed Rogue bottle #2.

11:22am Literally as soon as I sit down on a bench, Solis goes down a slide and lands herself in a big wet puddle on the bottom on the slide.  (drama ensues from wet leggings and mega pretend crying.)  I convince her to run in the sunshine to dry them off but she's not buying it.
Someone looks thrilled to have wet pants.  And really, I can't blame her.

11:35am Solis starts screaming she has to pee.  Seriously?  Not a bathroom in sight, not that I would use one of those port-a-pottys anyways.  Since I can't have her pee her pants, I tell her to squat behind a bush.  And wouldn't you know a big wind gust goes by as soon as she drops them?  Her pee goes everywhere, including inside her shoes and me.  She is now soaked from the slide and her pee so I strip her.

11:40am Solis is only wearing a shirt and waddles her way to the car.  I'm hoping no one I know drives by.  Meanwhile, I'm holding Rogue who misses the grass with his spit up and lands on my arm.  More awesomeness. 
"Mommy, take a picture of my nakedy butt for daddy!" if that's something to be proud of, Solis.

12:00pm I put Solis in front of Dora for lunch.  I don't do that often but on days like this, it's absolutely necessary.
12:35pm Get both kids naked b/c I just now realized how gross their clothes are.  They have to some play time before naps.  Rogue continues to spit up (always happens on his belly) and our carpet is officially saturated with spit up in 50 different spots.
1pm Put Rogue down for his nap (more spit ups but I'm getting tired of counting them all) and Solis goes down shortly after him.

1:30pm Do I really have a minute to myself?  I do, so I take a catnap before doing more housework.  As I lay down to close my eyes, I feel a crusty spot in my hair.  Niiiice, dried spit up!

3pm I wake Rogue up and give him bottle #3.  Within minutes of sitting down to feed him, Solis starts screaming that she's up.  She normally stays quiet till 4 but not today.  Of course not today.

3:30pm Solis is downstairs playing for not even 7 minutes and she has a mess everywhere.
 And, yes, she put all that stuff away later that night.  Only took 45 minutes.

3:45pm Daddy comes home from work (yea for teacher's schedules!) and I literally run out of the door for my run. 

So that's my day with the kids.  It's only 9 hours long but on days like this, it feels much longer.  Thankfully, these type of messy days don't happen that often.  Well except for Rogue's spit ups, that's everyday.  My life is perfectly summed up with this phrase from MOPS last year: a beautiful mess!  Love these 2 kiddos :)

Thursday, September 18, 2014

4 months [babywise]

4 months [babywise]
Another month has quickly flown by and our sweet little Rogue is 4 months!  He turned 4 months on the 9th and once again, time has gotten the better of me and I'm just now posting his update.  This past month has been relatively easy.  He ate well.  He slept great.  He happily played.  At his 4 month check up, he weighed in at 15.13 lbs & 25.75 inches long and took his shots like a champ.
 I love this little ball of sunshine so much.  His giggles light up my world.  His smile melts my heart.  His hair...that hair still makes me laugh.  I get this question several times a week-do you do anything to get it to stick up like that?  Answer is no!
Rogue picked up some super fab skills this past month....grabbing at objects, rolling over both ways, and finding his feet.  He continues to laugh at all of us and loves to stand (with help of course.)
 If Rogue didn't have reflux, he'd be the easiest baby.  He hardly cries and when he does, I know it's a reflux cry b/c he needs to burp to get some junk out.  However, Rogue does cry for babysitters.  Other people just don't know how to deal with a reflux baby like we do.  I feel like I burp him for an hour straight after eating.  It takes a lot of work and you have to know your baby to pick up on those cues.  It's not easy to take a reflux baby out in public b/c he'll spit up everywhere.  I'm not kidding, if we're at a restaurant, Shaun will take Rogue outside to burp him (several times).  I'll be so happy once this spit up/reflux issue is resolved.  Trying to stay positive b/c I know reflux is something he'll outgrow and there are a million other worse things to happen to your baby.  (But watching my friends peacefully nurse with ZERO spit ups doesn't help! :))
Ok...enough of my reflux's his 4 month summary:

Eating: He eats 5x a day like clockwork.  He is on spit up formula (you can read about the switch HERE).  He takes in 5-6oz a feeding.  After he eats, we work on getting his endless burps and spit ups out.  I wash 5-10 burp cloths, blankets, onesies, and my clothes a day.  He's on prevacid and we are praying that the doctors are right when they say 4 months is usually the peak of reflux.  Rogue is gaining weight really well despite half of it coming out of him!
Waketime: At 4 months, Rogue's waketime lengths are around 90 minutes.  We feel like he made the jump from 60 to 90 minutes just like that.  It's really fun to have him awake longer.  It's so nice to have more time to do things and he's way more flexible now than when he was an infant.  Around 12 weeks, he started being super vocal and cooing a ton.  At 3.5 months, he started rolling from back to belly.  (Uuumm Solis didn't do that till 5 months!)  His waketimes this month were so happy and he loved his play mat, exosaucer, and watching Solis's killer dance moves :)  

Naps: After putting in a lot of work the first 3 months, naps are easy peasy now.  He takes 4 naps a day and I put him down wide awake.  He falls asleep within 5 minutes with no crying.  His first 2 naps are around 2 hours, the 3rd nap is around 1.5 hours, and then one short catnap.

*Update* Once he started rolling from back to belly, Rogue wakes up crying.  Before if he woke early from a nap, he would just lay awake in his crib till I got him.  Now he screams b/c he's on his belly.  He used to roll from belly to back and it's like he forgot how to do it all of a sudden.  Hopefully he'll remember how to do it again and get over this phase!
Dreamfeed: I was super nervous to drop it b/c it meant Rogue going from 6 to 5 feedings a day.  Would he be able to sleep 11 hours instead of 9?  Before starting, I used the advice from this post (dropping the dreamfeed).  We made sure Rogue was consistently waking at our DWT (designated wake time) of 8am for a few weeks before even dropping it.  I know some moms will nurse just one side (or give less in a bottle) and slowly wean their baby off the dreamfeed but we did it cold turkey.  And just like that, Rogue went from going to bed at 11 after the dreamfeed to 9pm without any trouble.

Night Sleep: Since dropping the dreamfeed at 3 months, Rogue sleeps 9-8!  And he wakes up EVERY morning happy.  The only time he woke in the middle of the night this month was when he rolled onto his belly and cried for help.  We flipped him a few times that night but hasn't done it during night sleep since.
Schedule: At 4 months, Rogue's schedule looks like this:
8am-6oz bottle
9:30-put down for morning nap
11:30-6oz bottle
1pm-put down for afternoon nap (Solis's nap too)
3:00-6oz bottle
4:30-put down for late afternoon nap
6:00-5oz bottle
7:30-one last catnap
8:30-5oz bottle
9:00-down for the night

I hope in the next month Rogue can drop that last catnap and drink his last bottle at 8.  We tried doing that a few nights but he was way too fussy to stay up for 2 hours so it's obviously not time to drop the 4th nap yet.
Solis: Solis is still loving on her Roguey!  She is always wanting to help feed him, bathe him, see his poopy diapers, read him books, and tell him everything there is to know under the sun.  Now that he is starting to play with toys, she is always showing him a new one and trying to get him to hold it.  And likewise, Rogue is seriously smitten with her.  I love that he can be entertained by her antics.  Even when she picks her nose and dresses him up like a girl ;)
Happy 4 months, Rogue!  We love you to pieces baby boy!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

the switch.

the switch. 
I recently stopped nursing Rogue and switched him to formula.
I didn't want to write this blog post but felt compelled to explain why.
Some moms might read this and go, who cares, so you formula feed, no biggie.
But I am SURROUNDED by nursing moms and at times feel judged.
(but that could very well be in my mind)
I have actually heard, "You're a stay at home mom, why wouldn't you nurse?  Have you tried x-y-z?"

So here's my story.
I nursed Solis for a year.  It was not easy.
She had terrible reflux and was constantly pulling on and off during her painful months.  That resulted in my supply dwindling.  She didn't gain any weight from months 3-6.  We saw so many specialists b/c my baby girl was "failure to thrive."

Solis at one of her procedures....trying to figure out why she wasn't gaining weight.
As a breastfeeding mom, I blamed myself for not being able to provide for my baby.
She never took a bottle.....
You would think we were torturing her!
 So I was left to use a supplemental nursing system that my lactation consultant gave me.  "You won't have to use this long to get your supply back," she told me.  But unfortunately my supply never came back and I used that thing from 5.5 months to the day she weaned herself at 51 weeks old.
That contraction was miserable.  I always clipped it to the blinds in my bedroom and sat in a chair right next to the window.  If we were at someone else's house, my husband would have to hold the device while I "nursed".  At first, we put donated breastmilk in the tube but after that ran out, we put formula in it.  The milk would always squirt out of those little tubes and go all over me, the chair, Solis.
Turns out, after an endoscopy, Solis had pretty bad erosions on her esophagus from the reflux.  At 6 months, they adjusted her meds and she slowly started to gain weight again b/c eating became less painful.  At 51 weeks, she popped herself off and started drinking milk out of a straw cup.  

Here she is just a few days after she weaned and trying to learn how to drink from a straw cup.
She was a cuddle bug during those days!
We burned the supplemental nursing system.  It was a happy day.
Then I had Rogue.  I was nervous to nurse again but he latched on great from the start and everything was going smoothly.
6 weeks into life, we began to see signs of reflux.
Not again, we prayed.
But he had it pretty bad and the same eating issues were happening again.
However unlike Solis, Rogue took a bottle.  In fact, he downed a bottle of formula so fast and continued to take a bottle daily.  After talking to his doctor, I recently made the decision to switch to formula.  I already watched one baby struggle to eat and put on weight for months and I was not about to see it happen to Rogue.
This decision was so so hard.  Everyone around me breastfeeds.
I belong to a baby group who is 110% pro nursing and I felt very ashamed to even say I was formula feeding.
There are moms who can keep nursing through reflux.  But with my low supply issues to begin with, it just wasn't the best decision for my Rogue.

There are so many choices parents have to make:
breastfeeding or formula fed
disposable or cloth diapers
co-sleeping or not
working or staying home
making baby food or buying it
to vaccinate or not

And regardless of the above decisions, I think the most important thing a parent can do for their baby is to LOVE them.  For Shaun and I, raising our kids in a Godly home takes priority above everything else.

Moms can be very judgmental of each other.  Me included.  I used to judge those formula feeding mommas before having kids.  Never thought God would give me reflux babies, making nursing extremely difficult.  I have taken a slice of humble pie and will now proudly say I am one of them.

If there's one thing this has taught me, it's not to be so quick to judge others.  Everyone's situation is different and until you walk a mile in their shoes, you really don't know what their life is like.  I've learned to be more supportive of moms for the decision they make for their families.  To build them up, not tear them down.

Yes, formula is butt expensive (especially the spit up kind, which you can't buy generic of!) and it smells so gross BUT Rogue is gaining weight and thriving.  I am SO much less stressed and even though he has reflux still, I am more relaxed and better able to handle it than I did with Solis.
I hope this post can encourage any mom out there who might be struggling with the decision to stop nursing for whatever reason.  It's ok.  I won't judge you one bit :)

John 13:34
"A new command I give you: Love one another.  As I have loved you, so you must love one another."

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Grandparent's Day

Grandparent's Day
My husband didn't even know Grandparent's Day existed until he met me.
Just another reason why I complete him.
If you know me at all, you know I love a good hand/foot print card so I made a super simple one this year with Solis's hand and Rogue's feet.
Last year Solis sent her grandma a hug in the mail....
and made flower art with her hands for her other grandparents.
This grandparent's day weekend, Solis is taking her one set of grandparents out for ice cream and the other set are coming over for a picnic.  Hope you all enjoy spreading love to your grandparents this weekend! xoxo

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

let's get colorful

let's get colorful.
I've been MIA from my blog for awhile it seems.  Shaun went back to school 2 weeks ago and just like that, I have zero time to get anything done.  So blogging has been put on the back burner but now we are back into a routine and things are settling down.....

Our labor day weekend was filled with swimming, picnics, wine-ing (is that a word?), and one fun 5k.
Shaun and I did the Color Run in Baltimore last year with friends and had a lot of fun.  
So when The Color Vibe came to our town, we jumped on the chance to do it with Solis.  Rogue stayed home with my mom and this was our first outing with just Solis.

Solis and her friend Addissen before the race
Playing with the powder pre-race
 The race hadn't even started yet and my kid looks like this.
 Now that is a cheese face only her mommy can love.
 And off we go! 

Solis wanted out of the stroller a lot to run.
(made this runner mommy very happy)
My favorite picture from the day :)
Going through the pink station was her fav!
Post race picture
Family selfie
I highly recommend any type of Color Run.  It is a fun family friendly event with dance parties before and after the race.  Solis had SO much fun and we definitely will be doing more of these when little Roguey gets bigger!