Friday, May 31, 2013

Married with Children

Trying to keep the romance alive when you have young kids is not easy, am I right? The sleep deprivation and round the clock care are enough to make anyone crazy.

Add that to the fact that I constantly smell like sour milk and I can't get through a shower without the newborn crying or the two year old needing something, and let me tell you, I am clearly not the picture of romance to my husband right now.

But last night when we were getting in bed and I'm sitting up nursing Gracie, and my sweet husband rolls over and falls asleep without even saying "good night" much less a kiss, it was a little too much. So as any good wife (whose husband is clearly not as sleep deprived as she is) would do, I poked him in the side and said, "What are you doing? Are you falling asleep?!"

To which he replies, "Ummm, yes."

Now I will give the guy credit. He was up with the vomiting 2 year old the other night, and still got up at 5 am to go to the gym before putting in a full work day. I know he is tired, too. So my rebuttel is, "Oh, okay. 'Night." The ball's in your court, buddy.

Now he could have rolled right over and ignored me. He could have gotten mad and started a fight. But instead, Ted sits up and asks me sincerely, "What? What do you need?"

And instead of my normal response, Nothing I'm just fine, I get brilliant and actually respond honestly by telling him, "I need some quality time."

My poor husband, right? Now he has to come up with some way to romance me while we juggle a baby and a toddler (and don't forget the whole showering problem I'm having). No problem, I married a smart one. He invites me to go on a lunch date with him the next day. And instead of being my normal logical self and thinking, No I don't want to spend the money, No we don't need another unhealthy meal, No that's not really a DATE because we would have a BABY with us, I respond with, "Yeah, it might be our last chance for a lunch date anyway since it's Jonah's last day of school."

So today we went out to lunch. We had sandwiches. We had a (miraculously) sleeping newborn in tow. We talked about local events, food, and our budget. There were no flowers, wine, or romantic music.

There was just a husband who cared enough to find out his wife's needs and a wife who got smart enough to tell him. And that sure felt like a win.

(Well, there was a present too, because my husband goes above and beyond :) )

Time Out

Can I just tell you that if there was an award for Worst Temper Tantrum Ever, Jonah would be all over that. I mean, we wouldn't have that many of them, but when he is in the ring there is no competition. It usually begins with something really small and turns into a screaming, vomiting toddler whose head almost pops off and spins around exorcism-style. And all because of one thing:


The temper tantrum that follows after being sentenced to time out is way worse than whatever he went to time out for. Two days ago he actually got a spanking and lost EVERY SINGLE toy in his room because he wouldn't sit in time out. He will run away screaming, "I don't want to!" for an hour rather than sit in time out for 3 minutes. His room looked like a jail cell- there was NOTHING in there. The child would rather be beaten than have to sit in time out. (**To clarify, I do not actually beat my child. Mostly because it wouldn't work anyway. Just kidding. Kind of.)

I have tried getting him a time-out stool, getting a timer so he knows how long he has to sit there, and just calmly putting him back a million times when he gets up. So far, not much progress. But I do feel that I need to get him to submit to discipline, unfortunately. My biggest concern is that he learn that he can't tell his mom and dad that he doesn't want to be disciplined. That doesn't seem to bode well for the teenage years. So the time out tantrums will probably continue for a while. Sigh.

Now that he is a big brother, Jonah has been called on to be a bit more Independent in his daily skills. The big one has been getting dressed. Now that our attention is divided among 2 kids, we can't always stop what we're doing to attend to him managing his clothes to go potty or get in the bathtub, or put his shoes on him so he can go outside. While Jonah has been great about having a sister and hasn't really shown much jealousy, having to be a little more independent in things he has always had help with has been a HUGE transition for him. Having to manage his clothes independently is what started the above mentioned screaming at daddy, time out sentence, and resulting Worst Temper Tantrum Ever 2 days ago.

So since then we have really been working on getting him independent with his dressing skills. Getting Dressed is a new chore on his chore list, and something he has to do in order to get back all the toys he lost. I'm an occupational therapist, I should be able to get him to do this in a few days, right?

So no words of wisdom over here. Just sharing some challenges of mothering a 2 year old. I know this wont last long and pretty soon he will be getting himself dressed, picking out his own clothes, and hating all the cute clothes I buy for him. Actually, he is making progress with the dressing, and it's fun to watch him remember the tips I gave him, and to see how proud he is of himself when he is able to do it.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Life with TWO

Grace is almost 3 weeks old, and time is flying by. She is such a sweet girl, I think it is a reward for living with wild man Jonah for the past 3 years. She is pretty consolable, although she does get kind of fussy in the evening but if you hold her and rock her she is fine. It works for me, because I need some cuddles in the evening too. She was already past her birth weight at her 1 week checkup, and her jaundice is finally starting to go away. She will be awake and play a little in the morning and a little in the evening, but just sleeps the rest of the time right now. She is eating great and sleeping 3-4 hour stretches at night, which I think is pretty good! She will also pick up her head really high during tummy time.

Jonah is such a sweet big brother! Whenever Grace is crying he screams, "IT'S OKAY BABY GRACIE!!!!!" At the top of his lungs. He likes to tell me, "She wants me to hold her! She wants her paci! She wants to eat! She wants to watch me jump on one foot!" etc. etc. He is super sweet, but kind of a super helper so we have to watch him. He would really love to pick her up and stuff her paci in her mouth if I wasn't there to stop him. Jonah is in his last week at daycare and then he starts summer camp at his new Pre-K. It will be a tough transition because he has gone to the same daycare since he was 3 months old, but I know he is ready for a big kid environment with more kids his age and more age-appropriate activities. I think he's really going to like it.

So far we are managing 2 okay. We both know how to manage 1, so we both just do that. It gets tricky when one of us has both kids, but that hasn't happened too much yet since we have had so much help from family. It is challenging but we have survived so far.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

She's Here!

Charlotte Grace took us by surprise and came 11 days early! We couldn't be happier to see her, so we are fine with her messing up all our weekend plans. Both of my babies are asleep in their beds, which is a freaking miracle, so I wanted to write down her birth story before I forget.

I went to the Dr on Monday morning, but they said there was no progress so we really thought I would make it through the weekend. We made all these plans and were even supposed to have my baby shower on Saturday and go out for our anniversary next week. However, Grace took us by complete surprise on Thursday morning. At about 4:30 am I woke up and my water had broken. We called up our friends who live down the street from Jonah's school and took Jonah over to their house for a few hours so they could take him to school when it opened. It really worked out perfectly since I knew he was going to be playing at school like he does every day and didn't have to worry about him at all! Then we went ahead and headed to the hospital. I still wasn't having contractions and we had no idea how long it would be, but I knew I had to do the antibiotics for the group B strep so we wanted to make sure I had time for that.

When I got into triage, the nurse who brought us in was the same nurse who delivered Jonah! We were so happy to see her (though she had no idea who we were of course) and we asked her to stay and deliver Jonah but she somehow got out of that one ;) They checked me and said I was at 7 cm! They were freaking out and thought I was about to have a baby, but I assured them this same progression happened with my first labor and I was sure we still had plenty of time. They admitted me of course, and I met my new nurse, Heather, who would turn out to be the best! I have been so lucky with my labor and delivery nurses, I want to buy those girls dinner.

They gave me the antibiotic for the group B strep, but I was actually lucky that I had a recent reaction to penicillin so they gave me another drug instead. This antibiotic just got pushed into my IV so I didn't have to sit on an IV for 4 hourse like I would have had to do with penicillin. It was a blessing in disguise (though it was REALLY nasty for the few minutes it was getting pushed in), because I did it really fast and then I was good to go for 8 hours! Much better situation for someone who is doing natural labor.

At about 10 am they checked me again, and I was only at 8 cm, then again at 12 noon still only at 8 cm. They were getting concerned that I wasn't progressing, although I could feel my contractions coming closer together and more regular. I tried to reassure the doctors again that my first labor was very similar and I knew things would start picking up with a little more time. They wanted me to start pitocin, but I told them I just wanted a little more time because I knew things were progressing. My nurse was awesome and really advocated for me to stick to my plan and not let them push me into pitocin yet. She never questioned my judgement or weather I would be able to labor and deliver naturally! She kept telling the doctors "She has done this before, she's prepared and she knows what is happening." She was so awesome to believe in me so much and fight those residents for me :)

Finally at about 1:30 my contractions started picking up and it was time to kick my dad out of the room so I could concentrate! He went and ran some errands for us and picked up Jonah at school. Nobody bothered me about pitocin after that because it was obvious things were starting to move along. I don't know time frames after that because I was really having to concentrate at this point, but at one point I had Ted go get the doctors because I really felt like I needed to push. They came in and said I was dilated, but she was still a little high up but they were going to start getting everything ready to push. It was still some time of waiting after that, which turned out to be good because I think it gave her a little more time to get lower. While it was REALLY tough, I think it was a little easier this time because I had been through it before. I knew when my contractions were at their worst and I just had to get through them for a while longer before we would be able to meet our girl! I guess I just had more perspective this time and it helped me through it.

Finally the doctors came back in and checked me and said, Ok let's get this stuff set up NOW! I pushed for maybe 5-10 minutes and then she was there! After I pushed 1 or 2 times, everybody said "I can see her head full of dark hair!" so I knew we were really close though I couldn't believe it happened so fast! When she was born they put her on my chest and she just screamed the whole time! She has some good lungs. They took her for a second and weighed her (7 lb 10 oz) and took her footprint, and then gave her right back. They took a while to stitch me up and the resident kept saying "almost finished" even though he wasn't. I finally told him he was a liar and just tell me when he was actually almost finished. I'm not sure those doctors knew what to think of me.

When they finally finished I got to feed her and she did pretty good for her first time! Now she is a champion eater. Then someone came in and told the medical team there was someone else ready to push so they all cleared out. I finally learned that person had to have an emergency c-section, so everyone was so busy they forgot about us for about 2 hours! We just got to hang out with Gracie the whole time. Finally I had to go to the bathroom, so Ted went and found a nurse to unhook me from my IV and help me up for the first time. When they came in they realized we still had the baby and no one had been in to move us to another room yet! We didn't really care because it was extra time we got to spend with her before they take her away for awhile! I was able to get up so easily as well, because I had been sitting there recovering for a couple of hours. They just wheeled both of us (Grace in my arms) down to our new room and took her to the nursery from there. She has passed all her tests with flying colors and is doing so well! We prayed for so long for the day we could say she is here and healthy, and are in awe of how God has delivered her to us. It was truly an amazing day, and has been an amazing experience being parents to these two little miracles so far.