People Cry

Initiating a challenge is clearly the kiss of death. At least for me. I’ll save you the Why Can I Not Make Time for Writing?!!! rant and leave it at – Well, there went 11 days.

Today’s fruit prompt did little to inspire my creativity so I’ve gotten nothing on the photo front. What I do have is an answer to a question that I’ve been getting a lot lately.

Q: What’s the major (challenging) difference between two kids and one?

A: Crying.

I imagine this may be different for folks that have a larger age gap between their kids, but at my house people cry. There is no getting around it. I only have so many hands. When Yogi, teetering on the edge of pre-nap meltdown, simply must have the book on the very top shelf while I am feeding Monkey, he’s not getting the book. Toddler crisis un-averted. Similarly, when Monkey decides to be d.o.n.e. with laying on his tummy while I’m getting Yogi ready for nap, the boy’s got to work through it. Simple as that.

This is one of those things that, in the abstract, is fabulous. I’m all for greasing their delay of gratification wheels as early as possible. These are important lessons after all. Life skills. Nobody wants their kid to grow up to be the jerk that thinks it’s all about him. But…… fussing and crying is no picnic. It’s painful here in the short-term.

As much as I’m sure that the constellation of my family is a blessing, obstructing me as it does from swooping in and solving everyone’s problems before they even realize that they have them,  most of the time it is a blessing that is very much in disguise. All of this whining and dissatisfaction and frustration will wear a person down. It gets to you.

It may not have been the most forward-thinking strategy, but man did it feel good to just tend to Yogi’s needs whenever he voiced them. To anticipate them even. So peaceful and harmonious. These days, I do what I can. Five months into Life with Two Kids, I’m mellowing a bit. A very tiny bit. Life is messier and much, much louder, but I’m finding my place within it. Often with my free hand over my ear.

 

 

A recent picture of Loudy #2 (in all of his striped glory) at the Zoo.

Did You Ever Wonder

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what they put in Pampers Baby Dry diapers that keeps your baby dry for 12 hours?  This morning at 6 o’clock I found out.  What you see in the picture above is the relatively tiny amount of weird, puffed material that was left behind after I cleaned up the shell of the diaper that remained, bathed Yogi and threw his pj’s and sleep sack in the washer.

Somehow the front layer of the diaper disconnected from the back layer and left behind it’s snowy innards.  Everywhere.  When I unzipped the sleep sack Yogi was swimming in it.  A lovely way to start the day.

So Close

Yogi wants to sit up SO BADLY.  He is done with lying around on his back and seems to prefer falling on his face to staring up at the fan  for long intervals.  The times they are a changing.  I’m guessing he will be sitting up on his own in the next few days.

In other news, my wife decided to start Domperidone.  Thanks for the information and guidance from those of you in the know.  It really helped us make the final decision.  So far, so good.  Between the new hospital-grade pump and the meds her production is definitely on the upswing.  We hope the trend continues over the next few weeks.

As for my current obsession – THE NAP – all I can say is that I’m sticking with it.  Each day we go through the motions whether or not they lead to actual napping.  Consistency and follow through is important in parenting, right?  To date, his longest nap stretch is 50 minutes and he averages about 90 minutes of total sleep over his three daily nap attempts.  I’m trying not to feel that this is woefully inadequate as it seems to be what we’ve got for now.  I know it’s a waste of energy to get all wrapped up in what the experts say your child should be doing at any given time, but I’m not having much success with blocking out all of those lectures I gave about the crucial cognitive development that takes place when babies sleep.  At least he sleeps at night.

Nap Week Update

This is how Yogi used to catch his Zzzzzz’s.

I spent the first part of the week in hyper Eagle Eye mode.  After reviewing all of the infant cue sections of the Baby Whisperer book, I decided to attend to his cues closely and follow his lead – try to figure out what kind of day sleep needs he actually had.   By Tuesday afternoon it seemed clear that Yogi is a three times a day, short duration napper.  We followed this loose pattern every day this week:

  • Mid-Morning Nap (9ish)
  • Early Afternoon Nap (1ish)
  • Late Afternoon Nap (4ish)

His longest nap lasted an hour and the shortest didn’t happen at all (meaning that he stayed in the crib for about an hour but never actually slept).  I found that if I walked us through each of the nap routine motions (get in sleep sack, read story, rock for a few minutes) he didn’t do a lot of crying in the crib.  He certainly did do some crying, but it wasn’t each time and when it happened I just went in every few minutes and reassured him without getting him out of the crib.  It usually took him around 20 minutes to fall asleep once he was in the crib.

Nap Week has had some excellent benefits for all of so far:

  • Yogi is actually getting rest during the day!
  • I am able to get some things done around the house during daylight hours
  • Yogi and I are no longer sharing hellish meltdown afternoons
  • My wife is able to play with Yogi when she gets home from work because he’s not crashing the moment she walks through the door

The short story is so far, so good.

Bye Bye Baby Clothes

If you need a laugh, check out the video above.  It’s 18 seconds of fun.  Yogi wants to sit up so.badly, but he’s not quite there yet.  He does do an excellent Stevie Wonder though, 😉

This afternoon I decided to organize Yogi’s closet and take out the clothes that he can longer wear.  At five months there are finally some clothes that are too small for him.  😉  Folding all of his 0-3 month onesies and sleepers and packing them away was ridiculously sad.  If this is any indication of how I’m going to handle all of the changes to come (just the prospect of how many there will be is a bit overwhelming), we need to buy Kleenex stock.

I’ve got to think that when you’re folding tiny clothes with a 5 month old rolling around on the floor beside you and all you can think is “His baby clothes!  He’s already too big for his baby clothes!”, you might be a little more dramatic than is healthy.  Of course, as my uncle would say, they make medicine for that.

 

 

He Wants More, She’s Got Less

Napping and milk production  have  been the primary topics of conversation at my house over the last few weeks.  We have been lucky/blessed/bullheaded enough that Yogi is currently a 100% breast milk fed baby.  Given that my wife is both the milk producer and the money producer (lucky her), she has been pumping since she went back to work in October.  This has meant that she feeds Yogi when she gets home from work, before bed and now once at night.  The remainder of his feedings are bottle feedings from the pumping that she does both at work (9AM, 12PM, 3PM) and at home (9PM, 6AM).  That is a lot of pumping.  Happily she  has been able to keep up with him easily and aside from the bummer nature of pumping, this has worked well.

All of that has changed in the last few weeks.  Yogi is eating more and my wife is seeing a decline in her production.  After a miserable week of particularly bad worry, frequent calls to the LC that works with Dr. Wonderful (our pediatrician) and late night sessions with Dr. Google, she decided to get an appointment with another LC who came recommended by a friend.  We went to this appt on Friday afternoon (we liked her) and left with a new theory.

The LC thinks that our pump has crapped out.  It’s still functional, but she explained that the pump we have (Medela) is designed to pump 3-5 times a day, 5 days a week.  Our pump is seeing MUCH more action than that and has been for almost 4 months now.  So….. we went home with a rental hospital pump that we’re going to try for 2 weeks before making any longer term decisions.

In addition to the new pump, the LC suggested Domperidone.  Anybody have experiences with this?  Please leave a comment if you do, we’re feeling a little desperate over here.  I’m not loving the “not approved by the FDA” thing and I’m also not feeling good about the (admittedly one) article I found that has shown traceable levels in breast milk, but the bulk of the information we have found seems to make the drug seem safe.  Thoughts?

In the Moment

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I am loving every moment with this boy.  In fact, life with Yogi is so consuming that it’s hard to create the space for reflection and recording.  Not a new problem, but a persistent one.

At five months Yogi is all smiles.  He laughs, he flirts, he giggles.  I love how much of a ham he is.  If his eyes are open, he is in full throttle engagement with the world around him.  People, dogs, other babies, ceiling fans.  All of it is thrilling.

These days we hear him start babbling in his crib somewhere between 6:30 and 7:00 in the morning.  Fairly soon after waking he gets his first bottle with 5oz of breastmilk.  The day is filled with lots of playing on the floor with toys (his Atom and Horsey are favorites), helping out in the kitchen with Mama (done from the comfort of his swing), long neighborhood walks with Baker and eating about every three hours.  We are beginning to get out of the house to do things like play dates, but the bulk of our outings involve trips to the grocery and library or lunch with Mommy at Panera.  When she gets home from work around 5, Yogi eats again and soon after it’s time for bed.  My wife does this part of the day and the ritual includes rocking with a few books, a little bit more milk and then settling into the sleep sack for the night.  Every three nights or so the boy gets a bath, which he seems to enjoy.  He is down to one feeding during the night which usually comes around 3 or 4 o’clock.

If you’re doing the math this means that Yogi gets something like 12 hours of sleep at night.  This is fabulous as something you might have noticed is absent in the preceding paragraph is any mention of the word “nap”.  I’m not sure where my easy-peasy napper went, but I haven’t seen that guy in weeks.  It is not the case that he gets NO sleep during the day as he often naps in his carseat or in the Bjorn, but he is opposed to the crib when the sun is shining.  This has been bothering me for awhile, but this weekend I’ve come to the end of my rope on this front.  Time for action.  I have declared next week Nap Week.  My main goal for the week is going to be to establish a napping routine.

Based on what I’ve read, he should be taking two naps that run from 2-3 hours in length.  That strikes me as a ridiculously high bar and I will feel successful if we can get two naps IN THE CRIB of any length by the end of the week.  I’ve been skimming my Baby Whisperer book again and I plan to approach nap time the way my wife has been approaching nighttime sleep.  I’m sure this should have been obvious to me, but I had imagined nap time to be more casual, much less of a production.  The word “nap” conjures an image for me of just going back to your room and lying on top of the comforter for a little while.  This is clearly not the way that Yogi sees it.

So….this week there will be more rocking and stories and even a sleep sack.  I’ll let you know how it goes.