Sunday, April 24, 2016

Vincent's 2 Year Update

Vincent Paul turned 2 years old on March 7th! Boy, this birthday was almost harder than his first! He has changed, grown and learned SO much in this past year and really started talking right around his birthday. Then just seeing how big he is in comparison to his tiny sister - it's so surreal! I remember coming home from the hospital with him like it was yesterday and now he is talking to me :') I am so proud of the little boy he is becoming!!

Height/Weight: Part of why I am posting this so late, is because he didn't have his 2 year well exam until a week ago and I wanted to get his accurate measurements! Vincent is 35in tall (59%), 28lbs (47%) and his head circumference is 52.07cm (98%)

Daily: Vincent wakes up every morning between 8 and 9 AM. He has breakfast either at the table (but in his highchair) or sitting in front of the sliding glass door, so he can watch the birds, planes and clouds go by. He also likes listening to vehicles pass by! We still have Musikgarten on Wednesdays at 9:45 and usually go to the park or have a play date afterward until lunch. We often run errands on other days; he likes riding in the car and also really enjoys riding in the shopping cart at the grocery store! We are nearly always at home from noon until after his nap. He thrives on his routine and tends to throw tantrums and act out when he doesn't eat his meals or nap at the times he is used to. After his nap (I get him up at 4 PM if he is still sleeping by then) we will often go out to the back alley on a walk, where he LOVES to collect rocks and put them in a pile. He just loves being outside! As a matter of fact, he will point at the back door and yell "WALK! WALK!" when he wants to go out! (Which, if it were up to him, would be all day every day.) I've been trying to limit his TV time considerably, to encourage his creativity and teach him to entertain himself without the constant background noise. Now it seems that when I do put something on, he will actually sit and pay attention to it, as opposed to it just running non stop in the background. We dug the alphabet mat back out just after bringing Samantha home from the hospital, so we could do tummy time and Vince has really been learning his letters and numbers since then! He loves listening to music and singing songs, although he doesn't sing along just yet, he will dance along :D

Changing Buddy's diaper and giving him a bottle!

Sleep: About a week and a half ago, we got Vincent his pirate ship toddler bed! :D He was super excited, I was a bit worried about trying to get him into it right now, especially since I am up and down with Samantha all night and not getting a lot of sleep as it is. But he has actually done pretty well, considering he has not been used to this kind of freedom! The first week was a bit rough, but it has gotten a lot better. It takes him a little while to go to sleep, but once he is out, he sleeps through the night. The only time he gets a binky anymore is at nap- and bedtime, but we plan on weaning him from it soon.
As I mentioned above, he wakes up between 8 and 9 AM; usually right around 8:30. He takes one nap in the afternoon, from 1:30 to around 3:30, but will often sleep until 4, in which case I wake him up. It's always a nice treat; he likes to pull the blanket back over his head and play games when I go to wake him! xD Bedtime is still 8 PM. If we have something going on or we are out, I try to shoot for him being in bed absolutely no later than 9:30, but it's very rare. The bedtime routine has changed a little, especially since Samantha arrived. We will often do a bath right before bedtime, which he really enjoys! If any of us says the word bath, he will repeat the word "BATH!!" like a broken record until I either find a way to distract him or give him a bath. xD And I've found a way to make the end of bath time go much better, sans tantrum: I give him a warning ahead of time, then have him help me clean up all his toys and let him watch the water drain. He will say "All done!" and wave bye-bye to the water. When Mike is home, he changes his diaper and puts his pajamas on him, then I sit or lie next to him in his bed and read him his stories. Lately his three favorites have been "I'm a Big Brother", "The Very Hungry Caterpillar" and "The Going to Bed Book". When we're finished, I turn off the light, sit on the edge of his bed and hold his hand, while singing a few songs to him. If we attempt to leave anything out of his routine, he will tell me!! If I leave out a book, he will say "Book! Book!" and if I start singing to him without turning off the light, he will point to it and say "Light!" xD

Eating: Eating is really hit and miss - sometimes he will eat just about anything and other times he refuses even the things he seems to like the most. He has gone through a LOT of phases in the past year; the past 6 months in particular. We still do oatmeal every morning (peaches and cream is his favorite!) and some sort of fruit; usually a banana or one or two tangerines. For lunch, he has a cheese sandwich and a yogurt, as well as some grapes, an apple or one of the two fruits he didn't have for breakfast. He really loves fruit! For dinner, he often eats what we eat and if we're running late with our dinner, I will make him some noodles or a grilled cheese. We haven't completely gotten to the point where if he doesn't eat what's on his tray, he "goes hungry", but if he won't eat what's on his tray and he is still hungry, I offer him a fruit or a veggie. His absolute favorite thing is pizza (go figure haha), which he always goes to town on. For snacks, we do goldfish crackers and raisins, pretzels, teddy grahams and "cookies" (honey comb) or cheerios. Meat is a HUGE battle to get him to eat and he has become pretty picky about vegetables as well. He was okay with holiday ham around thanksgiving, but anything else has been a no-go. He is baaarely starting to like hot dogs and chicken again and has recently taken a little bit of an interest in hamburger meat again, but I'm not getting my hopes up! It seems like he started rejecting meat around the same time I got pregnant and had morning sickness with a huge meat aversion...part of me wonders if it's because of that, but I'm feeling more like it's just a phase. When he has done really well with eating, we reward him with a little packet of sixlets! He loves them and they've helped him learn his colors. But if he doesn't eat his dinner, he knows he gets no sixlets and we put our foot down with that rule.
He STILL dislikes regular milk, unless it's in his oatmeal or daddy makes him a cup of chocolate milk, so we still do soy. Other than that, he LOVES water. As a matter of fact, he will not go to sleep without his sippy cup of water in his bed, which is likely going make potty training difficult, but we will cross that bridge when we get there.

Sizes: Vincent is mostly in 2T clothing, but we recently got him 3T two piece pajamas, since I've noticed they run a tad smaller. They fit him great! He wears a size 5 shoe (will be in 6 soon) and is in size 5 diapers. A lot of the time, I think some of the clothes we bought a size bigger in advance are going to be too big on him, then I put them on him and they fit just right! :( And folding his clothes and Samantha's at the same time nearly puts me in tears! It amazes me how big he has gotten!!

Milestones and Changes:
  • Vincent's vocabulary grows more and more every week! He went from saying only a handful of words to about 30 within two weeks and since then, I've lost count of how many he says. So many people warned me that it would happen overnight and boy were they right!! He is now slowly building sentences and learning about posession: Mommy's drink, Daddy's nanas (he still calls food nanas haha!), Oma's shoes etc. If he wants attention and we are all busy running around, he will point at the couch cushion and order us to "Sit!!" xD He is also getting really good at naming his letters and numbers and is getting better and better at counting to 10!
  • First time at Chuck E Cheese's for his 2nd Birthday :)

  • Vincent became a big brother! And what an amazing big brother he is; he ADORES his baby sister. He is so gentle and sweet with her and I am so happy that there really hasn't been much of a jealousy issue; I make sure to include him in every single thing I do with her, whether it's feeding her, changing her diaper or doing tummy time! I will go as far as to "accidentally" let the wipes and diaper fall on the floor, so he can be a bit helper and fetch them for me. He loves to give her kisses, hold her hand and he will come up to me with his arms outstretched when I'm holding her and say "Hand? Hand?", so I have him sit next to me on the couch and help him hold her for a minute. When she cries, he says "Oh no! Fussy..." xD 

  •  First taste of black coffee with Great Grandma Mary

  • Second trip to Fiddlesticks Farms

  • Second Halloween :)

  • Meeting Santa for the second time! We weren't too sure how we felt about him xD

  • Tooth update: Vincent has his four front teeth, four incisors, top canines and his first top and bottom molars
  • I'm proud to announce that we are still rear-facing! Vincent won't grow out of his seat until he reaches 40lbs and we plan on keeping him that way until then if we are able!

  • First drum set and first trike!!

  • Second time meeting the Easter Bunny!

 photo SignatureNew_zps8f6012f6.jpg

Monday, April 11, 2016

1 Month Postpartum Update - Baby #2

I seriously can't believe it's been a whole month since Samantha was born! It has all flown by so quickly. I thought it flew by quickly with Vincent, but holy moly; even more so this time. I find the day being ripped out from underneath my feet like a rug sometimes! I get up in the morning, feed Samantha while drinking a cup of coffee and interacting with Vince, spend the day tending to the kids, getting little chores done and checking facebook here and there, sometimes out running errands and all of a sudden, it's 6 PM and I haven't even put two thoughts towards dinner! xD 

But it's been fun!! And I have been a LOT more zen this time around that I was the first. I am less stressed out about chores not getting done on time and am not as paranoid, spending all night staring my child in the face, making sure she is still breathing! Although Vincent and Samantha are very different, I have a lot more experience than I did the first time and things are a lot more familiar and easier to know how to handle. (for the most part lol!)

So! To the actual update:  

Weight loss: The weight isn't dropping off quite as quickly as it did with Vincent, but I also gained 38 lbs this time around, compared to the 16 lbs (29 if you count the 13 lbs I lost in the 1st trimester and gained back). At 40 weeks, I weighed 178.4 lbs and today, I weigh 155 lbs. My pre-pregnancy weight was 139.8 lbs, so I've got 15.2 lbs to go! And at 40 weeks, my belly was 46.5 in around and now it is 40 in. At 3 weeks postpartum, I was FINALLY allowed to resume normal activity, which means lifting Vincent, vacuuming and mopping and working out! :D So that will definitely help. Also, just like last time, I've been craving healthier foods since giving birth! I swear, it's like my body is craving what it needs to properly produce milk. So that will also help a lot! I ate SO much junk during my pregnancy, because honestly, I was so happy to not feel so damn sick, that I let myself go haha! But, I admit to still having a big sweet tooth, which I know I need to knock off in order to lose the rest of the weight! ;P
Now that I can actually properly examine my belly, I realize that instead of getting more stretch marks, the old ones sort of just expanded upward! So TECHNICALLY, I didn't really get any new ones! ;D I am not near as bothered by them this time than I was last time. They represent something truly incredible to me and symbolize the lives of my children. I was telling Mike it's like getting a unique and free tattoo. :D

Physically: As I mentioned in my birth story, unfortunately, I had to have another D&C about a week postpartum. I had a rather large clot the night before and actually took a photo of it to show the doctor just in case. Sure enough, the next morning I woke up with severe abdominal pain, just like the first time. It was like one long contraction and it was really difficult to walk. I called my doctor this time instead of going to the ER (because f*** that $400 co-payment!!). They had me come straight in. My doctor was out of town, so the nurse practitioner saw me. She checked me and confirmed I had a bunch of clots left. She pushed on my stomach and tried to pull out as many as possible. It was SO painful - almost worse than labor. I screamed! (As a matter of fact when I went in for my follow up appointment post surgery, the nurse said "Hey! You're not in pain!" xD I almost added "Or screaming!" haha)
She wasn't able to get everything out, so she sent me straight over to the hospital for the procedure. It was an almost all day wait, since both doctors were out of town, but the procedure itself was quick, I didn't have to be on IV antibiotics this time and I was able to go home about an hour later! :)

I have been feeling loads better since, especially since finishing my antibiotics. My recovery time was extended by a week again and I'm glad it's over now and I can pick up Vincent again! I have no more cramping and the doctor said that my uterus has gone back to it's normal size. I am still a bit sore where I tore, but otherwise, I am in no pain! I am still bleeding, but it's normal and not very bothersome. 

Emotionally: I'm actually doing pretty well! I am much more used to sleep deprivation that I was the first time and am able to handle it a LOT better. Having my mom here has REALLY helped a lot and made it easier for me to slowly transition from the responsibility of just a toddler to a toddler and a newborn. The first couple days postpartum, I had several sobbing meltdowns. I'd have a quick flashback about the birth and just lose it. Because everything was so hectic and fast and I was planning on getting the epidural and couldn't, I was a bit traumatized for a few days! That was a freaking intense labor and I was not at all expecting it to go the way it did! I feel loads better about it now and SUPER proud of myself for getting through a natural birth! It helped to let all of those emotions out. I still occasionally get the weepies over little things (hellooooo hormones!), like Vincent saying something new or being cute, Samantha smiling in her sleep or some super cheesy commercial, but they're generally happy tears and absolutely due to postpartum hormones. It's really only on the days when I'm particularly sleep deprived and dealt with a colicky baby all night, that I have very little patience and tend to snap easily the next day. 

That's about it! I made a separate post with Samantha's one month update, which you can read here

 photo SignatureNew_zps8f6012f6.jpg

Samantha's 1 Month Update!

Height/Weight: At her 2 week appointment, she was 7lbs 3oz (40%) (gained 14oz since her appointment at 5 days old!!), 19.75 in long (63%) and her head circumference was 35.5cm (69%). We went to a breastfeeding group meet up at the hospital in Odessa about a week ago and she was 8lbs 1oz! :)

Daily: Everything is pretty much the same as it was at a week old; she is awake and alert quite a bit, during which we do tummy time and I have her lie on her back to check out her toys and watch her brother play. She has a lot more patience with tummy time than Vincent did, but it's all about timing. It's best to do 20-30 minutes after she has eaten and had a good burp! I try to get my snuggles as much as possible, but it's definitely more difficult than it was with Vince, since I have him to take care of as well! He is still so, so sweet and gentle with her and when she is in the swing or being held, he will come up and say "A kiss? A kiss?" <3 She doesn't seem to mind kisses from big brother at all. He also likes to hold her hand a lot. Unless colicky, she is a very content little miss! :) The pediatrician mentioned how incredibly alert she was; wide-eyed and looking around the room! Like Vincent did, she loves to stare at lamps or look out the window. 

Sleep: She has good nights and bad nights; it always depends on the gassiness! I can tell that's what's bothering her, because she will arch her back and let out the most pitiful, painful cry. :( It breaks my heart and there's only so much I can do to help relieve it! On a good night, she will eat every 3-4 hours, burp after and I'll change her, then rock her for a few minutes and she crashes right back out. On bad nights, she will want to eat every 2 hours or so and wake up a lot in between with gas pain; it's on those nights that it's particularly hard to get her to burp! During the day, I've noticed she will often follow an eat, awake time, eat, sleep, repeat pattern. She stays awake for pretty decent stretches! I've been tracking her sleep lately, to learn her patterns a little better and see what schedule and routine would work best for her.
She still sleeps through noise pretty well, but definitely less so than she did in the beginning. But once she is in deep sleep, noise really doesn't phase her. She naps out in the living area during the day for the most part and I've been putting her down in her bassinet in our bedroom when Vincent naps. She not very picky about where she sleeps, other than when she is colicky and wants to be held. She likes the bassinet, the swing and the bouncy seat pretty well! She has also slept on that fluffy owl nap mat on the couch next to me a few times. :) 

Eating: Breastfeeding is going great - she gained a good amount of weight and that makes me soooo happy! It's always so nerve wracking when they aren't gaining weight the way they "should". The pediatrician was very encouraging and sweet and I felt so relieved after she was weighed! She does still have an issue sucking too much air. The pediatrician confirmed my suspicion that she has got a bit of a lip tie and recommended a lactation consultant to get in touch with, to see if we could work on her latch a bit more. When I met with the lactation consultant at the breastfeeding meet up, she said that it's not so much the lip tie that is causing the issue, but instead, her shallow latch. She doesn't open her mouth very wide, so she doesn't latch as deeply as she should, which causes her to swallow so much air. Vincent never had this issue, so it has been hard and I've often wondered if there's something I am doing wrong. But I am doing everything I can to work on her latch and plan on continuing to go to breastfeeding meet ups! :) I have to take breaks every couple minutes during the feeding to burp her, otherwise she will end up super gassy and/or projectile vomit. The longer I wait to burp her, the harder it is to get her to do it! It means that nursing her to sleep or in the side-lying position is pretty much impossible, but I'm certain once she gets a bit older and grows out of it, we will be able to! :) As I mentioned above, she eats anywhere from every 2-4 hours with 3 being the norm at night and every 2-3 during the day, unless she is clusterfeeding. However, I've stopped setting alarms at night for her to eat, because she generally won't go past the 4 hour mark anyway and she is obviously doing fine with the weight gain! :)

Sizes: Still in newborn and likely will be for a few more weeks. (Is it weird that I am happy about this? I am nowhere near ready to put up the newborn clothing!!) She is also still in newborn diapers; we had to go buy more the other day, because we ran out! I like to keep my kids in a smaller diaper for as long as possible, because the smaller the size, the more you get in a pack or box! ;) Newborn socks still slide right off her feet, unless I tuck them into the legs of her pants and I haven't even bothered with shoes yet! xD <3

  • First Easter! <3 Also met the Easter Bunny for the first time! :)

  • First photo shoot! It amazed me how easy it ended up being to take the photos by myself at home! I fed her and burped beforehand, to make sure she'd be super sleepy, then used a heating pad on a low setting and she CRASHED out. I mean, I was able to pose her and dress her a couple times without her waking up! It was a total success. I wish I had taken the time to do the same for Vincent!

  • First doctor appointment!

  • First size 5 diaper! Hahaha - this is what happens when you haven't gotten enough sleep, are in a rush to get out the door and remember to pack the toddler's diapers, but NOT the newborn's! Thank goodness it wasn't the other way around! xD

  • First bath in the tub! Much like her brother, she likes the bath itself, but HATES getting out!

  • First time at the park :)

  • First time shopping (disclaimer: straps were loosened slightly just while we were in the store)

 photo SignatureNew_zps8f6012f6.jpg