Thursday, September 10, 2009

Simplify

I'm consolidating. For the last few years that I have blogged I have maintained this blog, though the maintenance of late has been quite sad, and another blog that I posted for family and friends alone. I kept them separate because at first I thought I needed this "other" blog as a space to vent and ruminate about my life in a way I didn't think appropriate for my family's eyes. Now, considering the infrequency with which I post here, and my lack of time and enthusiasm for the job, I am going to say goodbye to this space and focus on keeping just one good blog. No promises on whether or not this will increase the number of posts I manage a month, but this still feels like a weight off my chest so it must be the right thing to do. For those who might still want to keep up with my/our lives you can now find me here: http://www.littleskyeguy.blogspot.com. I will still be following all of you, for although I have been a lousy and lazy commenter as of late I still enjoy peeking in on how you all are. Thanks and goodbye (kind of).

Thursday, August 27, 2009

MIA

It's been a bit, I know. With everything else going on here, and whoo boy it's been full up around here, it's just so hard to find motivation (and time) to blog. It only gets worse the longer I stay away...

The kiddos are doing great. We are at a wonderful phase with Mason in which he spends all day just being a sweetheart. He is such a mellow and patient baby (KNOCKING ON WOOD). He is making lots of coos and aroos now, and is always ready with a smile to answer yours. I don't dare claim to have figured out the ins and outs of Skyler's moods, but things have been better. I am pretty certain that 99.9% of the tantrums we see out of him now are completely the fault of his age. Even then we haven't been having nearly the same level of occurrence as what we did about a month ago. Overall they are quite the pair of awesome little boys.

We have been busy with guests and travelling. Andy had a friend in town first, then I had some college roommates come into town just before we all headed out for an out of town wedding. It was my/our first time away from Mason and things went really well. My mom took over the littlest guy in our absence while Skye spent time with Andy's family. It felt strange initially, leaving Mason for so long so soon, but friends and wine helped ease the separation. The only downside to the whole thing was all the milk I bothered to pump while we were gone had to be tossed due to it's untimely defrosting on our return trip. Which reminds me, I have a breastfeeder now! About a month ago the tide changed and Mason suddenly became amenable to taking his milk straight from the tap. This was/is a huge relief as pumping to provide for feedings was really wearing me down. I was literally counting down the days until he would be less reliant on my milk, just wishing the time away so I could not be attached to the damn pump. I did because I had to, well I felt I had to, but I most certainly hated it. So very glad the little monkey changed his mind.

The biggest and latest news in my world is that I got laid off. My former employer had to reduce their staff by about fifty percent, I was part of the deleted chunk. I actually received this news while I was en route to the wedding mentioned above. Granted I did work for my in-law's company and the news was delivered by my husband, but still it was a bit of a shock. Really it's not a bad thing though, we were going to be paying an arm and a leg to have both kids in day care and not really looking forward to putting Mason into someone else's care at such a young age. We have a bit of money tucked away to help us for at least the next year, so now I have a new job title: stay at home mom. It's something I've wanted, so obviously this isn't the end of the world. I have some feelings of guilt knowing that I will be home with the boys when Andy is in an office, but we both agree that at least one of us has this opportunity. I have some thoughts on how to perhaps make a little side income too, so we will see how that goes.
I'd like to say that I will be better about blogging, and commenting, but really I am lucky to get to my computer once a week. I will try though:).



Monday, August 10, 2009

We survived

We managed to survive, and (I will concede) even managed to enjoy our week of just us three. It was certainly hard, it was definitely tiring, and I am sooooo very glad to have Andy back BUT we did manage just fine during the week that he was away. Not surprisingly I feel much more comfortable and in control of the whole parent-of-two thing having gone through this past week. Perhaps I really needed this trial by fire? I wouldn't go so far to admit that, but being on this side of the week I can at least see that it was a validating experience.

Since our family's expansion I have always been a little anxious when left with the two boys alone. I didn't really dread it, but I definitely avoided it when I could. There was no avoiding this situation with Andy gone. We are lucky enough to live very close to both of our parents, so I did have relief throughout the week here and there. The majority was all me though, and as silly as it might seem I am pretty proud of having managed this last week all by my lonesome. It's given me greater confidence regarding my ability to parent these two (especially when they are together and I am alone).




Friday, July 31, 2009

Things I am not looking forward to

I like this picture of the Mason monkey because you can really see how blue his eyes are. It's crazy to have this little blue eyed boy, he looks just like his daddy.

Things are bumping along around here. We are currently down to just one kiddo as our big boy went out to the family cabin with his Nana, Pa and aunt and uncle. Without us. It's great for him, because he is having a blast with lots of Skyler only time. It's a bummer for us because nothing sounds better than being on the lake with sunshine and our boy. Sigh. It's all in part to preparing for this upcoming week when Andy will be gone the entire week for business in New York. Leaving me and the two kids to fly solo. To say that I am terrified is an understatement. So having Skye off my hands for a couple of those days will be helpful. Still, I miss my big boy and I wish I was there with him. I also wish that I didn't have a week of solo parenting ahead of me. Not all wishes come true apparently. So aside from the fact that I blog less in general now, I likely will be completely AWOL this next week as showering will be a monster accomplishment, let alone finding internet time.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

How we keep ourselves entertained

Pinching ever chubbier cheeks

Attacking the oldest child with cheap water toys

Bestowing the gift that is super Nintendo gameplay

Like father like son

Seeing how many children we can fit our arms around

That's how we roll around here.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

MM: Month One

Well Mason man, you are one month old today. It's official, since you came out at 11:39 and it's now a little past 3:30 pm. What can I say about you at one month? I am still just starting to get to know you, especially now that you are starting to be more wakeful during the day. You have been a pretty easygoing baby up to this point. That is not to say that you are no longer mellow, but in comparison your presence is much more noticeable.

You sleep most of the morning hours away, after waking up around 6 or 7. You are pretty good to us, falling asleep around 9 or 10, waking around 3 am, and then sleeping on from there. I have to say that I feel much more rested in your first few weeks than I did with your brother Skyler. But perhaps this can be accounted for my already being used to sleep deprivation. I no longer take the night hours for granted.

You are starting to push up when we hold you on our chests, working on those neck stabilizer muscles. I welcome this activity because it means you are working hard at getting control of your neck and bobble head. Life is so much easier when you get these skills under your belt, for all of us.

You are a sweet little bug, and everyone is quite infatuated with you - your brother included. He likes to coo over you and hold your hand. He has tried to help us feed you and has even inserted himself into a diaper change or two trying to wipe your bum. I think this will be the only time in your lives where this will occur, let alone be cute. I look forward to seeing your relationship develop, especially once you become more aware of him as a person and not just a helpful/pestering presence. Happy one month Mason man!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Hodgepodge

I don't currently possess enough motivation, or brain cells, to create a coherent post. So here's random for ya:

- I am still in wonderment in how very different our boys are in looks. Skyler is brown like me, and Mason is (so far) white like his daddy. White skinned and blue eyed. Genetics are a funny thing.

- Pumping is going better, but I am still going to be so glad to be done with it. The question is when? Pumping will be easier, and make more sense, when I go back to work (at 12 weeks). Just wishing there was a more efficient way to do all this.

- Not sure if it is just me, hoping it's not, but I am still working to find room in my heart for two little people. Don't get me wrong, I love both boys dearly, but it's a different kind of love. I have known Skyler for two years now and love the person I have come to know him as. Mason is a love for the sake of loving, I don't really know him yet. This and the process of watching Skyler struggle daily with sharing "my mommy", it can be heartbreaking. This gets easier, yes?

Mmmm, Coldstone

Monday, July 6, 2009

Life in the land of two

Time for a little catch up, apparently having two kids means less free time for blogging. Who would have thunk? It's been a good kind of busy though, a hectic yet manageable time suck. As we enter into this third week of fourdom I am starting to feel a little more in control of things.

The breastfeeding/pumping thing does not hang like a lead weight over my head anymore. We resolved to use formula when necessary and I scaled back my pumping sessions so that I didn't feel like I was hooked to the machine round the clock. Surprisingly this still means that Mason only receives one small formula bottle a day, if that. As his appetite grows this likely will change, but I am comfortable with this balance. It leaves me feeling a lot more sane and has allowed me to enjoy this time much, much more.

Skyler has become a tantrum throwing toddler tornado. Not sure if he possessed all this energy prior to Mason and it just simply wasn't as noticeable until thrown into comparison with a slug-baby newborn...but now it seems like he is all over the place. He is still sweet and completely wonderful with his new baby brother, but he also seems to have a much shorter fuse than before his arrival. We used to see tantrums every couple of days, a really bad meltdown once a week or so. Now, we are enjoying tantrums regularly throughout the day, at little or no instigation, and there have been some epic meltdowns. This has been pretty trying, but then again I suppose they call these the terrible twos for a reason. And he did just get a new brother thrown at him, so I am going to cut him some slack...for now.

Mason continues to be a very mellow baby, we so don't deserve this. Skyler was a pretty easy baby too, but Mason seems even more laidback than his older brother. This may be in part to his being the second baby and our feeling more relaxed about the situation. Generally though, I think we just got a very sweet baby boy. He sleeps away the majority of the day, and up to this point I have been waking him up to feed him during the night. Since we went in for his two week check up today and found that he is a nice healthy ten pounder (13oz over his birthweight!) I will now be following his lead for feedings overnight. He only cries when he is hungry, or getting his bum wiped. I am feeling pretty blessed with this one.

Here's some recent photos as well:


Skyler getting in some morning snuggles with Mason man
Encountering pop-its for the first time. He was encouraged to throw!

Daddy smooches

Mama and Mason


Blue eyes

Friday, June 26, 2009

The least efficient way from point A to B

I breastfed Skyler until he was about six and a half months old. I actually remember the day that he stopped breastfeeding, because he was the one who actually put an end to it. It was October 27th, 2007. A few days before his first Halloween and we were going to the pumpkin patch at the last minute. I was actually relieved, because although I had enjoyed the closeness breastfeeding had brought to our relationship I loathed the idea of being the one to initiate an end to the process. Plus kid had some teeth by then, yowch. Skyler has made a lot of things easy on us, weaning himself was just one of them.


Mason has not been a good breastfeeder. It doesn't really seem right to say it that way, since it's not really his fault. I don't know if it's the latch, or if he is just not into delayed gratification and being willing to wait for my letdown. Whatever it is, it hasn't been working. Two days ago I decided to try a different direction. I still want to provide him with the same nutrients I gave Skyler through my breast milk, so I am pumping. I am pumping a lot for what seems like so little as I only seem to be able to keep up for the next feeding. It's frustrating trying to get ahead of myself with an advanced supply, especially when it would be so much easier if the little guy would drink straight from the tap. Andy reminds me that it has only been a few days since I started down this path, and it will take time. Which of course he is right, but I still cannot help but feel disheartened by this extra (time consuming) step in Mason's feeding process. I will keep pumping and keep trying to make this choice work, I just hope it gets even a little bit easier soon.

In other news, Mason is one week old today. He is the sweetest little baby and is actually asleep for the majority of the day's hours. We actually have been having to wake him up during the night to make sure he gets a feeding. So far he seems to be a pretty laid back baby, something I am pretty sure we don't deserve after having Skyler who was a relatively easy baby himself. Speaking of Skyler, he loves his 'baby brother Mason'. He dotes on him, loves to hold him, and is always coming up to kiss and love on him. I feel so blessed that he has taken to Mason so well, I really expect something far less pleasant. Then again, it has only been a week.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Mason's birth story

My doctor peered over the surgical curtain separating me from the rest of the action in the room. "Thank goodness we went with a c-section," she said "we can see a big hole in your uterus right now". Not the most reassuring words ever spoken during a surgery, but certainly some validating ones considering the circumstances. When considering the options for how Mason might enter this world, a repeat c-section or attempted VBAC, we weighed the numbers. Though a relatively low number of women who attempt a VBAC experience a rupture (of their previous scar), those that do face some serious and scary consequences for both themselves and baby. The fear of those consequences was enough to direct us towards a repeat c-section. It seemed the right choice for us, and when I heard those words in the ER I discovered how right we were. A hole, in my uterus. This meant that when they went in for Mason they found an open window waiting for them where there out to have been a shut door. Somehow, either before or during this pregnancy, my scar from Skyler's birth had began to rupture creating a nearly fist sized opening where there ought to have been none.

We started out the day of Mason's birth rising early. We needed to be at the hospital by nine for the the surgery which was scheduled at eleven. Before all that we needed to make one last stop to see Skyler who had spent the night previous at Nana and Pa's. We got in some last minute family of three time and then ventured on for all my pre-surgery preparations. Whether it was the stress of the day or lack of sleep the night prior I could not keep my eyes open for the life of me. During the hour or so in which I spent being pumped full of IV fluids to ready me for surgery I found myself fighting drowsiness, I was worried I might fall asleep in the operating room. This was a weird feeling, considering all the nerves I was experiencing at the same time.

The whole process felt very familiar considering we had been through a nearly identical day a few years earlier. They finished monitoring me and led me back to the OR and placed my epidural as Andy waited elsewhere in his surgical haz-mat suit. He was disappointed by the scrubs this time, they weren't take-home worthy. Once they had assured my numbed state and prepared to get underway with the surgery itself Andy got to return to the room. Some jostling ensued and the conversation above occurred, and then, he was out. He sounded just like an angry cat, and I couldn't believe how big he was. Mason really did look like a chunk from the very beginning. I had wagered that he would be about Skyler's size if not a bit smaller. I was wrong. Born at 11:39 am, Mason Alejandro weighed 9lbs 3oz and measured 20.5 inches long. A few ounces heavier and a half an inch shorter than his big brother.

I was so thrilled that this time around Andy and Mason got to stay with me for the rest of the surgery's duration. When Skyler was born he was whisked away, after an initial view, for bathing and measuring in another room. I told Andy to go with him, since at least I knew I wouldn't get lost in the hospital. Our little yet unknown baby boy seemed a more valuable asset to be monitored. This time however Mason and Andy stayed with me the whole time. Once he was wiped off and measured Andy brought him over for me to adore and we spent the end of the surgery cooing over what we thought was an adorable little noise he was making. He seemed to be emitting a constant stream of 'eh-eh-ehs' which we chalked up to a talkative nature. The nurses knew differently though and became concerned by his "singing", as they called it. Turns out that that little noise was an indication of fluid present in his lungs, something Mason was trying in his own little way to remedy. Unfortunately it was nearly twenty four hours after his birth that we received solid confirmation that this was the case, a period in which we spent worrying and Mason endured endless pokes, prodding, and blood draws. We spent a much longer time in recovery because of this and almost sent family home since we weren't sure Mason would be up for visitors. Ultimately the tests did reveal that his noises were caused by fluid, a common occurrence in c-section babies, by which time the grunts had all but resolved themselves. We are grateful for the outcome, but the time in between was not something I would ever want to repeat.

The rest of our hospital stay was uneventful and blessedly short. We came home after two days instead of the three we had been expecting since both Mason and I were recovering rapidly from the trauma of birth. We were very fortunate to be on the receiving end of a lot of familial support during this time and pleasantly surprised by Skyler's embrace of big brotherhood. He loves Mason and is very protective of him, showering him with lots of kisses and coos. He seems to understand very well that baby brother Mason, as he calls him, requires gentle handling. So far the expected swing to the head or all out rejection hasn't occurred yet, but then it is only day four.

Mason himself has so far been a pretty calm baby. He enjoys his sleep and will even maintain slumber while his father and two year old brother rumble around him. He resembles Skyler in the vaguest of details, though it is clear that he possesses some strong characteristics of his own. We feel very lucky to have another health and beautiful baby boy on our hands.The rest of the story can be told in pictures. There is one short video at the end of Mason's actual birth. It's not very graphic, for those who might be concerned, especially considering it was shot by Andy who is notably squeamish and faints at the sight of blood. He apparently makes exceptions for the birth of his son.





Sunday, June 21, 2009

He's here

We are healthy, happy, tired and home. I have quite the story to tell, but no energy to tell it at present. Here's pictures for now. Mason Alejandro was born on Friday June 19th at 11:39 am, he was 9lbs and 3oz and 20.5 inches long.



Thursday, June 18, 2009

Bittersweet

Today is my last day as a mother of one. One could (very strongly) argue that my huge pregnant belly already constitutes my status as a mother of two. But what I really mean here is that today is my last day with one child on the outside. Just one little man to keep track of, Mason never strays far from my rib cage so it's just not the same.

I am excited to meet this second son of ours tomorrow. I have been waiting for this moment for almost forty weeks, the wait seems even longer since I knew we were expecting before a pee stick would tell me so. I also cannot wait to be done with this pregnancy deal. I am bloated, I am achy, I literally must have about 4 inches left between my stomach and the back of my throat because it feels like nothing every really goes down but just sits and burns there. Nice. So you see, I am ready. I am also scared though, of what this will mean for son number one and everything that I have become so attached to in the past two years of his life. Surely I know that everything will be twice as wonderful in the end, but right now all I can focus on is that today is my last day of singular devotion to this guy:


So today is bittersweet. I have been spending all day trying to think of ways to take in all his oneness so that tomorrow when our load doubles I can feel a little bit better about springing a sibling on him. A little brother will bring lots of good things for Skyler, a chance to share and opportunities to bond. A little playmate with whom to gang up on mom with, and another male to share fart jokes with. I will look forward to these too, if I love this one little boy so much I can hardly fathom how wide my heart will have to open for two. So here's to today, my final of solo childness, and to what tomorrow brings.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

My two year old...

...says and does the funniest things.

-This morning I heard pounding coming from the kitchen. What was he doing, I wondered. He was using my deodorant (that he had purloined from upstairs) to smash a stray piece of mandarin orange. Why? Because he thought it was a spider, or so he said.

-I was changing the diaper bag out of his pail as Skyler looked on. He announced, "Yucky, yucky poopy. Yuck, don't eat it". Correct my dear, and don't worry I won't.

-He was "helping" out in the yard today with his little green rake. He began to swing it a little wilder than appropriate and I suggested he not, since he didn't want to hurt himself. He raised the tool skyward and announced, "Skyler hurt the sky?", and looked concerned. He's empathetic and apparently much taller in his own head.

Just to mention a few :).

Better late than never

So we had another baby shower for Mason man this past weekend, with five days to d-day no less. Better late than never right? It ended up being so close due to several factors, including some slow planning on our mom's parts and it being an ideal weekend for several out of town guests who would be attending. Either way, it happened and it was lovely. I was just enormously pregnant (still am) and completely wiped by the end. It's sad how sitting and talking can be exhausting at this point. We did get some more very useful items to help us in preparation for the arrival of son number two in *three* more days. Yikes, but yay. I am so worn out, my body hurts so bad. I am scared and anxious about what it will mean to have two children, and worried about how this will affect Skyler... but sweet jebus I am so completely done being pregnant. If I have it, it hurts and it doesn't work very well anymore. Blech. Anyways, here's some lovely pictures from MIL's camera (except for the first two) of our get together. Presents, chocolate, and friends is never too trying after all.





Friday, June 12, 2009

Veinte y seis

Dear Skyler,Alright, so for now I am keeping the monthly letters. Who knows if I will manage it after this month though, in eight days you aren't going to be the only one whose milestones I will need to take notice of. Eight more days and you are going to be a big brother kiddo. There will be two of us (parents) and two of you (little monkeys).


This past month has just been a blur of cognitive advances for you. I realized today that when you sing the ABC song you actually sing the ABC's. Before it was just the tune and an occasional intelligible vowel. Now you clearly say each letter, and even finish off the ditty by requesting that next time we sing with meeeee! It's amazing, and I am not sure I can pinpoint exactly when that change took place. You are so much better at putting thoughts and sentences together. You clearly understand what is going on around you and can even think outside of what is there and present. You continue to love being active and above all else outside. I think you would be perfectly content to spend hours 'mowing' the lawn and dragging your tools around behind you. Daddy even took advantage of your enthusiasm for outdoor chores the other day and put you to work gathering rocks out of the lawn. Very few people would gain as much pleasure from collecting and then disposing of rocks, running back and forth across the back lawn to do so, as you did. You love to be a helper.


We also sprung something pretty big on you this month, a brand new bed. We let it sit side by side with your crib for a few nights before making the grand switch, but truly it seems our greatest of fears are yet unfounded since you are sleeping quite well in it (even now as I type). At night you like to sit on the end of 'Skye-guy car bed' and let your feet dangle as we read your nightly stories to you. Then, all of your night time ablutions attended to, you willingly climb right in and lay down for the night. I am still marvelling at your acceptance of this change, perhaps you are more willing to grow up than we are to let you.


I won't say that two months past two has been all roses, you have been providing us with a fair amount of disciplinary challenges and general toddler trouble. But with all your big hugs, 'need' kisses, and willingness to share any treat you come across I can see how parents (and their children) survive to year three. Happy 26 big man, and I hope you enjoyed it as your last as a single child.