Thursday, June 25, 2015

These two

There two. Together. They kill me. The sisters.


6 months in, and I cannot believe how much they love each other. Every morning, Mia wakes up racing into our room looking for Lucy (whose wake up is often around 5am, and Brian plops her down next to me while he goes off and does this thing called "exercise"), and the three of us spend the first few minutes of every day cuddling and giggling. Mia does everything she can to make Lucy laugh, Lucy doesn't take her eyes off Mia, and I... supervise. Lucy is always in the best mood in the mornings, and Mia takes full advantage. This has also helped getting Mia out of bed, who used to resist weekday wake ups.




Every Monday, Lucy goes to daycare with Mia. Mia reported stays in the baby room for the first few minutes of the day to "make sure Lucy isn't sad", before heading out to join the big kids. When the daycare teachers told me this after the first day, I had to hold back the tears.



On days that I can barely keep my eyelids from closing, I realize that the best thing I could have done for Mia was to give her this baby sister. And I often think about how lucky Lucy is to have three people to love her.

Friday, June 19, 2015

The State of Me, post partum take 2.

After giving birth to Mia, it took me over a year to start caring about myself again. Caring about my body, my appearance, my hair, clothes, everything. I'm not sure I realized it while I was in that post-partum funk. I wouldn't necessary escalate it to PPD, but having a baby, becoming a mother and coming to terms with your new identity was difficult for me. Adding a second baby does add a lot of work, but it doesn't change who you are quite as much. Yes, there is a new person and that is certainly a big deal, but I'm already a Mom, so the adjustment was just that much easier.

Of course, I'm still nursing. That is what my body is doing right now, that is what my body is for. I decide what to eat based on that, skip my allergy medicine despite feeling congested, choose my clothing, choosing beer over wine. I suppose this will continue until she's a year old and we start to wean, but for now, it's still a huge part of me, and my life. 

I am, and have been for a while, watching what I eat. Immediately after having Lucy, I dropped all the baby weight within 4 weeks of giving birth. I was back in pre-pregnancy jeans, despite a flabbier midsection. I don't know how to explain it, but it may have been a combination of the difficult recovery decreasing my appetite, plus the round the clock nursing that did it. But, as soon as my supply regulated but my appetite did not, I gained everything back. I didn't realize it until my pants started feeling tight again, but I started low-carbing and got some very quick results. Of course, my milk supply totally tanked, and I realized that my usual method of cutting carbs out completely was not going to work out this time around.

It's probably for the best, actually. Instead of being very strict with my eating for a shorter period of time, I have to be sensible for a long period of time. It's been just over 6 weeks now, but B and I are still eating well. We've eliminated white starches (but I have to eat a starch at every meal). I've lost 12 lbs, which puts me at about 8 lbs until pre-pregnancy weight. The scale hasn't budged in a couple of weeks, but I'm hoping that Lucy will start sleeping semi-regularly again soon, and I can actually wake up with enough energy to do a little bit of yoga once in a while. The belly flab is pretty serious this time, though. It felt like it was pretty flabby after giving birth to Mia, but stretching that skin for a second time seems to have pushed its limits -- it's not bouncing back. 

Another lovely post-partum side effect that has really shown up this time around: hair loss. For a little while there, I was shedding multiple handfuls of hair during each shampoo. I had a lot of hair, and it's pretty thick, so it doesn't look bad, or thinning at all, but it is significant. I can go around my ponytail 4 times with a hair tie now, when it used to be 3. I'd easily estimate that I've at least lost 1/3 of my hair. It'll come back, and when it does, I'll have a lovely head of chia hair.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Very wet, but not so wild.

Now that Lucy is 6 months old, it feels like we have our lives back again. Before the past few weeks, it has felt like there was a bit of a timer on us leaving the house. Lucy would need a nap, or I'd need to be able to go back to the car to nurse her (I'm not VERY comfortable nursing on the go, and neither is she). But, on a very hot Las Vegas Day, we slathered ourselves in sunscreen, and headed out to cool off at Wet n Wild!

I have the best memories of water parks are a kid. I remember coming back from a field trip to a water park without realizing the butt section of my bathing suit had gotten so worn out from the constant sliding that there were actual holes in it! Mia loves the water. We don't have a pool, but a few of our friends do, and as soon as she spots the water, she will go in no matter what the water temperature is. So, I thought a water playground would actually be the perfect fit for her. 


We got the use of a shaded cabana for the day, which included an ice bucket, waters and a personal attendant who was charming but a bit overwhelmed on his second day of work. It was so nice to have a base camp to settle in for the day, and a play to draw some curtains and have complete privacy, which is a total dream for nursing. I was able to recline on the lounge chairs, and Lucy didn't have to be covered up (which she hates). As soon as I realized that she was comfortable, I knew that we could stick around for as long as Mia wanted to. I hate taking her away from fun just because Lucy needs a proper nap and feeding. 

The rarest picture of me in a bathing suit - I was so happy to be there, it had to be documented, flabby belly and all.


I get the impression that many of their employees are high school students out of school for the summer, and I absolutely love that. I would have loved to have this job as a high school student! B and I joked that when the kids were older, we'd just buy them season passes and meal passes and send them to Wet n' Wild for the summer instead of paying for a summer camp! It's certainly better than having them laze around the house all day.

How much would you have loved this as a little kid?

Our cabana was right in front of the "little kid" section of the park. Smaller slides, splash pads, waterfalls, etc. Mia ran towards the play structure as soon as we had our stuff down, but our little wimpy kid was terrified when she realized that there was a giant bucket of water that periodically spilled out over the whole play structure! The first time it dumped water on her, she rushed right back to the cabana with her Papa. There were also a set of toddler slides (unaffected by the giant bucket of fear) that she was much more content on.

Escaping the Bucket of Fear
I was itching to get on a water slide, so as soon as B and Mia came back, I left B with the baby in the shade (where he belongs) and headed out to one of the tandem water slides. I scanned the lines to see whether there were little kids in line with their parents, and took Mia to that one. Once we were installed in our tube with Mia ensconced safely between my legs, we went down. Little did I know, the whole ride would be in the dark! Mia was again terrified and vowed never to trust her parents again. 



From our cabana, Mia (now fearful of any words her parents said) hadn't yet spotted the lazy river or the pool. We convinced her to put on her little puddle jumper and head to the lazy river, so that Lucy didn't have to miss out on all the fun. There were little lifevests available for babies, so we strapped one on Lucy and settled into an inner tube for seven a couple of laps around the river. Mia swam around, B flipped over, and everyone had a fantastic time going around and around and around. I didn't bring my phone (since... water) but I got a few giggles out of Lucy sticking her feet in the water and watching her big sister splash around. I think we even managed to get some of Mia's trust back.


Mia, Lucy and I headed back to the Cabana to order lunch, while B went and had his own fun at the Slideboarding ride which he explained was a combination video game/water slide and while the whole process took kind of a long time, he came back grinning so I think he had a great time. He said something about needing to go back later on and try to beat his time, but I just smiled and nodded. I knew perfectly well that I wouldn't be able to get Mia back on any water slides, but I had my eye on the wave pool and wanted to spend the rest of the day bobbing up and down on a tube. Mia and I headed over there for a good long time. She loved loved loved the wave pool, and gained a bit of her bravery back. She even had me let go of her several times, and kept on asking to get closer to the big waves. I love me a wave pool, only second to a lazy river. 


Alas, B's second turn on the sideboard was naught. Mia and I were signaled out of the wave pool because there had been some thunder and lightening, because Las Vegas wanted to choose the one day we were at the water park to rain. 


We felt slightly guilty for being so sheltered while others gathered around the umbrellas. I believe umbrellas are general admission, first come first served, but cabanas require a reservation and extra fee. They also have some cool looking day beds, and some umbrella rentals that you can set up on the grass.


After waiting it out for a little bit longer, it didn't look like it was going to clear up. Since the 4 year old was tired, the husband was not yet sunburned, and the baby had yet to take a nap, we decided to call it and pack it up.


Mia fell asleep on the way home, a rarity now a days and a sure sign of a good time.

I was given complimentary passes to Wet n' Wild for my family to experience the new attractions just opened this summer, they did not require a blog post in exchange, but we had a great time! All opinions are my own.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Updates!

I've posted 2 backdated posts -- one for Lucy and one for Mia! Check them out.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Settling In

Lucy is 6 months now, Mia just turned 4. Lucy's sleep has become pretty horrific, waking as if she were a newborn. I feel like a zombie for most of the day, until my own bedtime rolls around of course and it seems like a great idea to just play one more episode of Breaking Bad (our current binge).

Life feels hectic, but boring at the same time. Weeks are long, but months are short. I'm writing here with the hope of getting back into this little hobby of mine, a way to record things. I'm sorry Lucy, your first 6 months won't be quite a  documented as your sisters were. But, such is life for a second child!

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

6 months!

Lucy is 6 months old! (forgive the backdating) During daylight hours, Lucy is wonderful, and happy. She is not afraid of strangers, she smiles easily but saves laughs for the really funny stuff (like her big sister). At her 6 month visit, she was 14 lbs, 15oz, which put her in the 25th percentile, exactly like her big sister always was during the baby stage. The hair is still very thin, and very spiky, but it puts my headband collection to very good use, unlike Mia's full head of hair that never let a headband stay in place for more than a few minutes.

She continues to come to work with me 3 or 4 days a week, and has completely charmed the pants off all my co-workers. Everyone helps out, thankfully, and she gets passed around for about an hour or two daily, giving me some time to power through whatever "bigger" task needed to get done that day. I think we may need to add a 2nd day of regular daycare sometime soon, and at the very latest when she starts crawling, but for now, we are managing with this schedule. My Mom comes back for an extended visit right around her first birthday (which will be here in the blink of an eye) and as soon as my Mom leaves, we'll start sending her there full time. 

At 6 months, Lucy has really started interacting. She has started doing this adorable -- if you hold her facing out on your lap, she'll periodically throw her body backwards to check and make sure you're still there. It might be the cutest thing any baby has ever done.


As far as physical development goes, I think she's slightly behind where her sister was at this stage. She sits fairly well unassisted, but is still wobbly. She doesn't army crawl, and tummy time is still pretty sedentary. She rolls both ways, like a boss, and won't stay on her tummy for long enough to start scooting around or anything. She's eating solids now, purees every evening for dinner, and some baby-led weaning once in a while, but I get pretty nervous and she gets pretty frustrated with not being able to actually eat.


We are very much still nursing, and I've taken much better to it the second time around than I did with Mia. In retrospect, I feel a bit guilty for giving up so quickly with Mia, but I'm proud of myself for keeping up with it this long. Lucy gets an occasional bottle of formula, but since health insurance companies now have to provide a double electric pump, I'm able to pump very efficiently at work and keep up with her demands even when we aren't together. She generally doesn't like a bottle, too, so she'll eat a lot less frequently at daycare and at home with B as she would when she's got direct access. Some days, I feel like all I'm doing is breastfeeding (or pumping) but most days, it is second nature to me and I don't give it a second thought.


Sleep has been... terrible. It was sort of bad for a while, and then got significantly better with a single night waking, but that deteriorated really quickly. We can't seem to pinpoint the reason why, and have tried just about everything under the sun. For the past month or so, she's waking every 2 to 3 hours overnight it is really taking a toll. I've ordered a Zipadee-Zip based on a few recommendations, so we'll see how it goes. She's got a bad case of the jimmy arms, but she's too mobile and big for a swaddle so there doesn't seem to be much of a solution so far. The Zipadee is on its way, and I'm desperate excited to give it a try.

But really, she is a delight. Other than the sleep, she is so easy going and willingly gets lugged around where ever we need to go, or where ever Mia goes to get her energy out. She happily hangs out in the Ergo, stroller, and the car (as long as you aren't driving when the sun has set, or she thinks the world has ended and will scream until she's taken out). Sometimes, I feel guilty for how much less attention she gets as a little sister, but she's so lucky to have 3 people love her more than anything!

Monday, May 25, 2015

Call me Four girl

Mia's birthday was so anticipated this year. As soon as the month of May hit, I would remind Mia that it was her birthday soon. Inevitably, after 20 or so days of reminding her, she had finally had enough. Mom, you always say that, and it's never my birthday yet. The day finally did come, and was celebrated with a "pool" party, and by "pool" I mean inflatable kiddie pool that was a hit with the 4 year olds nonetheless. On her actual Birthday, I woke her up and said "Wake up, Big Girl!", and she corrected me: "You can call me Four Girl, Mom".

According to Mia's 4 year old well check, she weighs 33 lbs, and measures 41 inches. Her weight puts her in the 3rd percentile, which is... not great, but she is about average in height. The weight did startle me a bit, but considering what a struggle meal time is, I shouldn't have been surprised. Mia is often left at the table as the only person not to have finished her meal (and that includes the baby sister whose little ramekin is empty of whatever puree she was having for dinner). While I'm not going to change too much of my cooking habits, I will stop expecting my 4 year old to eat quinoa (B and I have been trying not to eat too many carbs, but that's a bit difficult since I am still nursing) and I have been making her a handful of buttered noodles as a side dish since we found out she was totally skinny.


At 4, Mia's personality is quite her own. She likes to watch movies, play with her legos, play with her doll house. She still colors, but not quite as much as she used to. Her legos and doll house are the main source of play, and it's gotten quite imaginative. Eavesdropping into her storylines have become quite a favorite of mine, though I am startled at how often her dolls get in trouble (I'm always asking B-- Do I sound like that?!). Mia has really taken to being a big sister, maybe more than I thought she would. She plays with Lucy a lot, supervises her in her little exersaucer while I'm cooking. She is mostly gentle, though will accidentally hurt or startle Lucy once in a while, but nobody is harder on herself than she is when Lucy cries because of something she did.


She likes everything princess, refuses to wear anything but dresses (the longer the better) and is a bit of a outdoor play wimp. She loves going to the playground, but is scared of the slides and climbing high. It kind of surprises me, because she was much more adventurous when she was smaller, but we try not to force it. She's still very sensitive, doesn't respond well to yelling or harsh discipline, and is shy, but friendly and caring to those she knows.


I often joke that Mia is my best friend, but now that she's 4, she's so interactive and grown up, that it's hardly a joke anymore. So Happy Birthday to my darling girl, my sweetest big sister, my little best friend.