Saturday, November 15, 2008

14 Weeks, 2 Days

Al has been on vacation this week and we've all been together, the four of us, as a family, for 8 days, which means I've had lots of help with both kids and Al has had so much time with Peanut, which has been good for both of them, I'm sure.

Peanut appears to be teething. Actually he's appeared to be teething for a month or more now. He drools constantly, all bubbly and stringy and shiny, and frequently stuffs his whole fist in his mouth and gnaws on it. Sometimes, though, when he does that fist thing, it looks like it's related to pooping, because often he poops or makes a little poo-poo sound, as we call it around here, at the same time. Anyway his gums show no sign of pending teeth, but he's very drooly and gnawy right now.

He's also at that stage of development where his desire for stimulation and his physical ability to entertain himself are out of balance, and he's dependent on us to cart him around upright so he can look at things, to help him stand, then sit, then stand, then sit, ad nauseum and to generally find ways to keep him happy and occupied so he doesn't constantly rail against his boring life. Either that or his teeth hurt (or something hurts!) and when we distract him, he forgets about it for awhile and seems happy.

Regardless, these are sortof grisly, snarky, unhappy days for him and we find ourselves running out of ideas as to how to cheer him up. He also doesn't seem to be eating all that well (hard to tell for sure though, you know), so maybe he's got a little cold (no mucus though) or maybe it is all down to his teeth. I've given him a tiny little bit of Tylenol two nights running at bedtime to help him with whatever ails him and it does seem to help, although maybe it just makes him sleep better. Lately he's been nearly impossible to get down at bedtime! It has taken me up to TWO HOURS a couple of nights, but then at the same time, his napping has improved dramatically. (Maybe the two are related?) (But he MUST nap! It's crucial for all of us.)

Ah yes, life with a baby this age is a constant guessing game.

But he's mighty cute and when he's happy and occupied doing something he loves, like looking at a smiling, loving face, or taking a bath, or both at the same time, he is ALL SMILES and all kickity-kick-kick and he easily melts my heart and makes me want to chew on him. Goodness that boy is CUTE.

We bought Peanut an exersaucer thingy last weekend and he seems to really enjoy standing in it for short periods of time. I keep it mainly in the kitchen so he can be right there at my feet while I cook or clean up or fold laundry and he also generally uses it while the family eats meals together, right there with us at the table. I'm shopping eBay right now for a Bumbo seat, as well, as I think that will be a major source of fun for him - he is just so into the upright position.

The nursing distraction continues although right now it's hard to tell if he's squirming and popping off and on because his teeth are hurting, or because he doesn't really feel hungry, or if it is TRULY that he's distracted. He rarely eats both sides at a feeding and thus the feedings have to be much more frequent. I'm okay with it for now because it seems related to something that's going on with him physically, but it's not been great for my milk supply as he never really gets going with wild abandon - he's more snacking off and on right now so The Girls are serving up snack-sized portions. Not so gratifying for Mama. I sortof like that feeling of being able to fill him all up until he's nearly overflowing vs. giving him an ounce here and there. It makes me feel like I'm DOING something for him.

Al continues to feel I should just stop breastfeeding and give him formula, because he can be so hard to feed, but I don't see that solving any issues, really, only potentially causing more.

I WILL nurse him until he's 4 months old. I am willing to listen to and consider adding formula and/or solids at that point if it seems necessary or helpful to Peanut to do so. For now, I don't see a reason to stop nursing, and I see plenty of reasons to continue nursing, so that's what I'm going to do. I don't like being at odds with Al over it. I know Al only wants to help me and I appreciate it, but his getting up once a night to feed Peanut wouldn't REALLY be that helpful to me and it's disruptive to Peanut and causes Al to miss out on sleep, so why do it? I'd rather have help in other areas, anyway.

Peanut's still big, regardless of what he's eating. He's closing in on 14 pounds now and will probably be there in DAYS. We will have to do another total wardrobe overturn in a week or two, I think, and move on to 6-9 mos. stuff. He's just so LONG.

He's also beginning to grab for objects (and for me, and for Bean!) and to make noises and facial expressions to get our attention when we're not looking. He does this especially to Bean. He'll look at her and make little "Ah! AH!" sounds and smile or laugh, and kick his little legs. He gets really irritated when it doesn't work, too. He pouts and cries angrily when she ignores him. Oh dear!

No longer content to sit in his bouncy chair, he prefers to be lying free on the floor where he can kick wildly or to be in my arms, upright, or standing in the exersaucer. I can already tell that when he gets mobile, my life is going to be total chaos, as he's going to be WAY more active and into EVERYTHING much moreso than Bean ever was. But I expected that.

And so ends another disjointed chapter about the life of Peabody.

Monday, November 3, 2008

12 Weeks 4 days - A Day in the Life

First day after we've "fallen back."

I've been having some issues with waking up in the night and feeling like the previous day was wasted - that I was out of control and disorganized, that the kids' day didn't have enough structure, that I didn't get anything done. It all translates to a brutal 2 AM realization that I'm a horrible mother and wife.

And that's not fun to contemplate at any time of the day.

So I decided to write down a day's activity with the kids so I can look at it objectively and SEE for myself what needs fixing, or if maybe I'm just not able to see the forest for the trees and things are really fine.

I do know that the END of each day, right as Al gets home, is the hardest, most chaotic, most exhausting time, and I do need to work on that time period to see if I can take some of the angst out of it.

5:45 AM - Peanut cries. Up to feed him. He eats one side and falls back to sleep. I put him back into his bed a little after 6. Meanwhile, I hear Bean come out of her own room and begin to cry.

6:10 AM - I hug Bean and walk her to my room, settle her among the pillows and blankets.

6:15 AM - After running to the bathroom, I go get Peanut out of his bed, change his diaper and settle him in my bed with Bean. I go to the kitchen for Bean's hot cocoa and my coffee.

6:30ish - We all hang out on my bed together. Bean and I play with Peanut, I check my email on my laptop.

7:00 - Bean watches Arthur while I nurse Peanut (the other side).

7:15 - We play with Peanut a little more before he starts to act sleepy.

7:30 - I take Peanut back to his room for a diaper change, little rocking and nursing to sleep.

7:45 - Peanut falls asleep

8:00 - I transfer him to his bed.

8:00 - 9:00 - I make the beds, get Bean's clothes out for her, take a shower, do my hair and make-up and get dressed. Bean gets dressed, then plays computer games with the TV on, in my room. I do Bean's hair.

9:00 - Peanut awake. We all go downstairs together. Peanut sits in his bouncy chair while I make breakfast and eat it. Bean stays at the table with Peanut at her feet in the bouncy chair while I clean up breakfast, assemble the crockpot lasagna for dinner, load and turn-on the dishwasher and wipe down all the countertops and the table.

9:35 - I nurse Peanut, both sides, while Bean watches TV.

10:00 - Everybody back upstairs. Bean and I change Peanut into his clothes for the day. All three of us have impromptu jam session to a Carribean Steeldrum CD in Peanut's "white noise" machine.

10:15 - Bean and I brush our teeth while Peanut plays on the floor of my room.

10:25 - We all load up in the car and head out for KidRock.

11:15 - Peanut falls asleep in my arms while Bean's in her class.

11:45 - Home from KidRock, Peanut awake in his carseat. We stay outside, Bean playing, Peanut looking around, me talking to both of them.

12:15ish - Nicki and Bubba walk over and join us. I nurse Peanut, both sides.

12:30 - Nicki holds Peanut, kids play, I eat a snack and drink some water.

1:20 - Nicki and Bubba leave, we clean up driveway and come inside.

1:30 - I take Peanut up and nurse him briefly on both sides (he didn't nurse well outside).

1:45 - Peanut is asleep. I accidentally nod off too.

2:00 - I wake up and put Peanut in his bed. I go down and give Bean a snack and get her into bed.

2:15 - Bean up to go potty, and back down. I work on the computer (writing this).

2:50 - Large, loud truck goes by back of house. Peanut startles awake and cries for several minutes. I go in, pick him up, pat/rock/bounce him back to sleep, and put him down.

3:00 - Peanut back in his bed asleep. Me back on computer. Bean napping.

More to come later ...

3:30 - Peanut awake. I get him up and feed him. Both sides. Good feed.

3:45 - Peanut in his bouncy chair on counter (bad Mama) while I empty dishwasher, set table, and get coffee pot set up for tomorrow morning.

4:00 - Bean awake and downstairs.

4:10 - We put on shoes and jackets and go out to play with neighbors. Bean plays with kids, I talk to the Mamas. The Mamas hold Peanut.

5:10 - Peanut getting cranky. Take both kids inside, give Bean a light snack. Kill time playing with Peanut.

5:30 - Bean watching Arthur. Take P upstairs, change him into his pajamas, feed him (both sides).

5:45 - Peanut asleep.

6:00 - Put Peanut into his bed. Go downstairs and play games with Bean.

6:30 - Bean and I finish getting dinner ready.

6:45 - Get Bean into her pajamas. Start to read a few books.

6:47 - Daddy home!

7:00 - Dinner for Bean, Daddy, Mama.

7:30 - Clean up dinner dishes together.

7:45 - Daddy helps Bean brush her teeth.

7:49 - Peanut wakes up. Cries for several minutes. I go in, try to soothe him - no luck. Pick him up. He sucks his fist and roots around. Hungry!

8:00 - Feed Peanut bottle of expressed milk. He sucks it down like he hasn't eaten in a week.

8:15 - Peanut full and back asleep. I put him in his bed and head for the bathtub for a soak while Al sits on the floor chatting with me.

8:30 - Al and I climb into bed to watch mind-numbing TV.

My Lil Family