Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Breastfeeding: Graham, Nearly There

When my doctor pulled Graham out of me, I heard his screams and immediately felt full.  So much love in those itty bitty cries before I ever even laid eyes on him.  When she came around the curtain to show me him, I flashed back to visions of the same process with Addie.  Graham was Addie's twin at just minutes old.  The team cleaned him off and began working on me.  After what felt like 30 minutes, Rick finally walked over with Graham and showed him to me.  Graham had settled down and had his tongue hanging out of his mouth.
About 90 minutes after I walked into the OR, I was settled into recovery and had Graham wrapped up in my arms.  I was holding him so tightly and wanted to inspect him, cuddle him, and kiss him.  The nurse asked if I was going to nurse and I said yes so she told me to take down my gown and try it.  There was Graham again with his tongue hanging out of his mouth, completely ready.  I positioned him and immediately he latched. The kid was born to nurse it seemed.

With Addie, those first few days were brutal.  It was painful, frustrating and a little damaging.  After a couple weeks I didn't know how I'd make it running on empty, never getting more than 3 hours sleep.  Having a nasty infection from my c-section during week two causing me to pump and dump after I had just got my milk in.  Finally, we got into a rhythm and it was easy for us.

With Graham, things were different.  There wasn't pain or frustration in the process. I knew what I was doing and he knew what he was doing.  It made the world of difference.  He loved nursing so much that he'd pass out almost instantly after he began.  It was his soothing mechanism.  To this day, he still doesn't care of a pacifier but if I stop and nurse him, he calms immediately.  It's amazing.

I won't lie to you and say that during those first few months things weren't difficult.  He was nursing every 3 hours without fail through the day and night.  I wasn't getting a break and oftentimes he'd pass out and I'd have to wake him several times in the process.

After more than 7 months of nursing, he now takes 10 minutes tops to nurse.  He's fast but he's easily distracted.  Really, no one can make a sound or he stops nursing and bends over backwards to check it out.  He thrashes around while he nurses, kicking and flailing his arms.  He tries to grab my hair, he squeezes my boobs, he grunts.  I do a lot of wrestling in these sessions to keep him focused but he's amazing at it.

I'm so glad I've made it past 6 months.  My goal this time around was a year again which I won't be hitting.  Rick and I have plans to travel to California in September for a week and I honestly don't want to deal with pumping every 4 hours, storing that milk and then transporting it all back to Ohio.  Graham will be a couple weeks shy of 1 at that point so I'm more comfortable knowing how close we'll have made it.

This means I have about 4 months left of nursing so each day I'm cherishing those moments I spend wrestling Graham.  Enjoying when he's finished nursing and he pops off with milk running from his mouth as he smiles up at me.


Read about breastfeeding with Addie here and a couple months in with Graham here.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Addie & Graham Meet the Easter Bunny

Last night Addie and Graham met the Easter bunny.  Well, Graham met him first as Addie refused to get close to him.  Then we left and she cried because she wanted to go back.  So we stood in line again, again she had a minor meltdown.  I told her we were leaving then and she stopped and let me put her on his lap.  I quickly tossed Graham on his lap and this is what we got.

I'm happy with this.  No tears.


Monday, April 14, 2014

Just Because

As each month passes and Graham grows a month older, I think about how I love the new age even more than I did the last age.  I remember doing this with Addie for quite some time.  Every single month that past was much more fun to watch her experience and grow.  Then she hit three.

Three is an age that I don't love.  I feel awful about it but there's a lot of personality at this age and a whole lot of, "I want to do it myself".  Which is fine until you're leaving church and she wants to squirt antibacterial sanitizer on her hands but you know she'll spill it all over herself, you and the diaper bag.  So screams, "no, I want to do it myself" and parks herself in the middle of the lobby as church is letting out.

Or the bedtime routine that takes an hour of reading, singing, building tents, "I gotta go potty", "I need lotion", etc.  And she finally goes to sleep and then you're woken up at 3am to her trying to climb into bed with you, or screaming that she has to go potty.

I find myself incredibly frustrated, losing my patience, and yelling too often.  Every day is a battle with her and every day I lose my patience and yell.  And then I feel bad.  Because in all of the yelling I stop and remember, she's only 3.  Three years old.  I am feeling lost as a parent and have no idea how to parent her at this point.  Three years old is a much scarier age than three days old in a lot of ways.

I'm looking for good books, good parenting sites, classes, etc that will teach me how to parent better, how to remain calm and be a better person for her.  So, I'm often reminded to take a step back. This weekend, it was in this picture I took of her at the park.  It's just her.  At three years old and still so innocent.  I have to treasure this.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Easter Ideas for Baby

Easter is just around the corner and with that comes dyeing eggs, egg hunts, cute outfits and of course, Easter morning baskets.  I've put together a list of must haves for Graham's first Easter basket keeping in mind he's very young to enjoy it all.

Skip Hop Bath Toys - $10 // Plum Organic Super Puffs - $varies // Dream Lights - $29.95*

*found on clearance at Meijer for $7.99

Friday, April 4, 2014

DIY: Dollhouse for Addie

This year for Addie's birthday I knew I wanted to give her a dollhouse but I didn't want to just buy a dollhouse.  One, they're super expensive for a nice one and two, I wanted her to have something she could keep forever that I built her. So I scoured Pinterest to find ideas on what other people did.  I realized I had the perfect starting piece.

This cheap bookcase that I purchased probably 15 years ago from Target when I was 17 living with my parents.  It had sat in our office filled with books we never read until we switched the office into Graham's nursery.  After a little cleaning, painting and "wall" additions, we had a dollhouse in need of furnishing.

I added scrapbook paper that I found at Hobby Lobby & Joann's to each of the back walls with spray adhesive.

The bunting I made out of a piece of fabric and paint cards I got from Home Depot and then cut up into triangles.

This room was intended to be the playroom.

This room was intended to be "Graham's room but that ugly painting needs re-painted.

This room was intended to be "mom & dad's" room.  I made the painting on the left from mini canvas' at Joann's.  

The picture on the back wall was from a frame I found at Hobby Lobby then painted black and inserted the Mr. & Mrs. sign.

This isn't the clearest picture but the little mirror was found at Hobby Lobby.

The fun bathroom.  I found the wooden furniture through Overstock which I would not recommend.  It took me forever to pop each piece out, sand it down and then paint.  Not fun.

I'm planning to keep my eye's open this spring at yard sales to find old dollhouse furniture I can spruce up.

The kitchen is one of my least favorite rooms but again, once I find that furniture it may help out.

This is my favorite wall.  A fun sparkly scrapbook paper with lots of glitter to it.  Furniture sucks but I'm working on that.  The photo here is again one I made.

I found Addie some "people" for her to play with at Hobby Lobby. They're in desperate need of a makeover but that's on the bottom of my list.  I can't wait to see how it all evolves.  Addie isn't really big into it at this point but I think she'll enjoy it more once I get better pieces for her to play with.


Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Conversations with a Toddler

Any of you watch Ellen?  Did you see the video of the boy a couple weeks ago calling his mom "Linda"?  The conversation went something like this:

Mom:  (son's name), listen
Son:  (interrupts mother) no Linda, you listen to me.  Listen, Linda.  Linda, listen.  Honey, listen.

This goes on, back and forth for like 5 minutes.  Cute video but I'm sure we've all been there when our toddler says something and it's not very funny at the time but looking back is pretty hilarious.

Lately we've been battling with Addie during the bedtime routine.  We go through our routine (bath, story, song, love you, good night) and about 60 seconds later, she's in our room.  She does this about 6 times each night with a different excuse, "I have to go potty", " can you build me a tent?", "there's a monster in my room", "I need lotion on my butt"...the list goes on.  A couple weeks ago, she was on her 3rd rotation back into my room and I was frustrated so I chased her back into her room while she shouted, "I'm not doing this again".  Clearly, I've made this statement several times in the past while chasing her back to bed.

I try not to laugh but it can often be difficult during the moment.  Other times you're so frustrated with the situation that it really is not funny until the next day.

Monday evening we went to the park and heard Addie have a very funny conversation.

Addie:  (to the little girl on the playground) what's yo name?
little girl:  Saveeya
Addie: oh, my name is Addie.  This is my family (as she Vanna White's with her hand to display us).  And that's my baby brover Gam.
little girl: (just looks at her)

Meanwhile, the grandfather is there with Saveeya and starts talking to Addie in response to her conversation with the little girl.

grandfather:  oh that's nice, I bet you're a good big sister
Addie:  yea, grandpa

Yes - my daughter called a stranger grandpa.  At least she hasn't called another man daddy.

What funny things has your toddler said?



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