Thursday, August 28, 2014

Cooper: 3 months

Sorry for the absence. I will blame it on the following:
1. I have a three month old and a 2.5 year old. 
2. Breaking Bad (we are devouring episodes nightly and I can't tear myself away to blog).
3. My laziness when it comes to uploading pictures to my computer. 

A quick comparison shot to begin...
Coopie. I think they look about 2% alike.
Now, onto the update...

Sleep - Whoa. We thought we were going to have the best sleeper ever (is this another famous last words situation or what?!). It is true that we have yet to have to "Happiest Baby on the Block" Cooper. He goes down for the night like a dream (contrary to Noah that took  a lot of convincing to fall asleep). However, he absolutely refuses to stay asleep for too long. Around two months he was waking at 2 and 5 to nurse. This was doable and I figured he would keep pushing that 2am feed later. HA! Try the other way around. Last night he woke up at 12:45 and no amount of rocking, patting, pacing, snuggling, was going to make him go back to sleep. So, I finally threw in the towel at 1 and fed him. He was up again at 4. And then 5:30. By 5:50 I had him back in his bed with a pillow over my head and was officially handing over the reins to Scott. He awoke at some point because I finally rose to him screaming at 7:30 ready for some food. 

I made the mistake of going back and reading what Noah was up to at 3 months. Sleeping from 8 to 3, then until 6. All this did was frustrate me and I am having a hard time reconciling that Cooper has different needs and is only 3 months old so I just need to stick it out. I keep trying to rush the sleeping process and have threatened that I am going to let him cry it out (don't worry, only to push the feeding, not stop all together at this point). But, I always cave and know that neither of us are ready for that step. He's just too little. And 2 seconds after my frustrations pass, I am happily spending a few extra minutes soaking him in in the middle of the night.
Early morning dad snuggles. This will be the final habit we break...right now it gives me a much needed hour or so of blissful sleep (for me!)!
As you can tell, the sleep thing is frustrating. And that doesn't even touch on naps. NAPS! Second babies are hard. I have read every imaginable schedule but none work with Noah's schedule or a realistic look at our life. Once Cooper gets a bit bigger and has two daily naps, it will work, but right now the main victory is that when we are at home, all naps take place in his bed. We eliminated napping in arms which means that naps are much shorter but I think this policy will do us good in the long run. He currently naps about 4 times a day and for around 45 minutes each. 

I can't talk about sleep any more...

Weight - My little guy is plumping right up! He is about 14.5lbs. I don't know for sure as we didn't have a doctor's visit to get a true weight but our bathroom scale clocked him here. It is pretty amazing to me that breastmilk has taken him from 8lbs 3oz to 14+ in a matter of 3 months. He is such a little chunker with a giant head and it kind of blows my mind the way the human body works in the baby department sometimes!

Speaking of...

Breastfeeding - Yet another topic I could ramble on and on about. But I'll try to keep it brief. Mainly, I don't mind breastfeeding as much this time around. The day time sessions are easy peasy and I don't think twice about it. Actually, it is all fairly painless aside from the milk storage situation. Instead of pumping twice a day as I did with Noah, I am only pumping once. What this means is that my "stash" of milk is significantly less than it was with Noah. What I pump at night goes towards the next night's bottle (the boy can down 7-8oz. before bed) so I rarely have any extra to freeze (usually an oz or 2). While this isn't a big deal 90% of the time, sometimes I need a date night, girls night out, or have to attend 3 weddings (true out september/october!) and there will be a varying degree of alcohol consumption involved. So, my stash is going to start depleting and I need to make some sense of what that looks like for me and how I feel about it. I guess the moral on breastfeeding is that physically, it's a-ok, mentally, it's a tough one. More on this another time. 
Noah is fascinated by the pump. He really like to pump his "elbows".
Life with two - This is really the easiest part currently! Other than bed time routines, I don't really feel that much more stressed out with Cooper in tow. Bedtime routines are a bit of a circus and "all hands on deck" situation but for the most part, both boys are kind to their mama and we all get a long just fine! I have come to the conclusion that two kids isn't really hard, having a three month old is the hard part!
It's very rare Noah falls asleep in the car. Love my two sleeping babies.
Cooper - Aside from the sleep thing, Cooper is a fantastic baby. He really has such a great disposition and the number one thing he wants is for people to talk to him. His little face lights up and gives the gummiest, happy, smile when you goo and gah at him. He can get moderately agitated if you walk away and he is starting to get bored with his current toys (Bjorn Bouncy & Activity Mat). He is also currently developing a strong desire to be held on a regular basis. I see a sling in our future! 
His head might be in the 99th percentile, but he sure is strong.
He is actually starting to become deliberate with his hand movements and has started grabbing his toys and trying to make sense of what to do with them. Usually it ends in frustration but he is getting there!
I am sure I am forgetting a million things but that seems to hit the high points right now. Life is sleep deprived but happy around here!!

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Famous last words...

As you read in my last post we were feeling very confident about this parenting two kids things. Settling into a groove and patting ourselves on the back. HA! That is always a recipe for disaster, right? 

First, let's rewind back to all the FUN happenings and then we will get to the not-so-fun part. To begin, Allie came to visit!!! It was such a treat to have her in California. Unfortunately she had to leave Eli, Jillian, and Justin at home, but it made for a very mellow trip of getting to catch up and love on her baby, Cora. We didn't really do much other than hang out around Menlo Park and relax. Once the babies are a bit bigger we will get them all out here and conquer the Bay Area one attraction at a time. The only real bummer about her trip is that it came to an end and we had to send her back to St. Louis. Noah loved having Allie here (she is fantastic at playing!), and I just wish with all my heart we lived closer. There is nothing like a childhood best friend. 
How cute is Miss Cora?!
Love her!
The day after Allie left we got more visitors! My parents and Katie both landed the following day. Katie and I set to work immediately to plan last minute details for her bachelorette party that weekend. While I wasn't able to leave for the entire weekend (a two month old, breastfeeding, baby pretty much makes that unrealistic), I was able to sneak away for Friday day/night in Napa to celebrate Kate! It was a seriously fun day of wine tasting and adult conversation. 
I failed to mention that my parent's visit started with a trip to urgent care for my mom (foreshadowing?!). She got stung by a bee (foreshadowing?!) the day before they flew and the above was the situation when they landed.
Favors ready for the bachelorette!
A quick little side note about that Friday...I almost stayed home. Friday night was rough for my little Cooper as he had a really stuffy nose and a bit of a cough. I was really nervous to leave him but Scott gave me the kick I needed to go. I am glad I did as he did great while I was gone and seemed much better when I got home. Famous.Last.Words.
Pumping on the way to Napa. I am sure the people stuck in traffic next to me were a bit confused! I might have also scared some of the ladies on the trip who don't have kids yet with the constant pumping!
All the ladies with our limo!
After a few days of fun with Grandma and Papa, Tuesday arrived. We went to Cooper's two month check up at the pediatrician and got his first shots. He still had a bit of a cold but the doctor said his lungs sounded great and he was his happy, smiley self. He rocked his shots and had no noticeable reactions after coming home. No extra fussiness, fevers, etc. Just business as usual. We gave Coop his bottle and sent him off to dream land at about 9:30. At 11pm I awoke to him seriously a mess! He was making horrible breathing noises, coughing, and was super congested. These early minutes are a bit of blur but I know after trying to nurse, cuddle, rock, walk, I decided I needed to get him into a steamy room so I had Scott turn on the shower so we could sit in there and hopefully help some of the gunk clear out. 
It in the bathroom.
Success! After sitting in the bathroom for 15 minutes he seemed much better and fell asleep in my arms. We were both pretty toasty so we left and I laid him back down. The happiness lasted for about 5 minutes before the horrible sounds came back. Mostly he sounded like a seal who couldn't breathe (clincal name: stridor). Truth: I started to panic. I tend to be fairly calm in "emergent" situations but I looked at Scott and said, "I don't know what to do". He was cool, calm, and collected (as usual) and told me to call my mom over. She came over and after a few more minutes of all of us trying to sort out what was wrong we decided it was time to see a doctor. 

This was far and away the worst part of the night. My mom and I scrambled into clothes (Scott wasn't able to come as he was predisposed with a medical prep that required him to stay close to a restroom...I'll leave you to your own conclusions there!) and we then attempted to get Coop into his carseat. It.Was.Awful. He freaked out, cried harder than I have ever heard, couldn't breathe well, was foamy at the mouth, his mucus was out of was just plain bad. 

We made it to the Stanford ER and they wasted no time getting us into a room. Side note, the ER at 1am is a not-so-fun place. You don't go to the hospital just for fun at this hour :-(. ANYWAY, we immediately started seeing doctors, nurses, interns, med students, etc. Standford is a teaching hospital so for every one person you see, you see about four. We recounted the night's events and timeline of Cooper's cold at least 10 times while in the ER. During this time, they also did deep suction (that royally pissed Coop off, but it made a huge difference), and hooked him to up to heart and oxygen monitors. His heartrate was pretty high at this point but oxygen sats were great (a relief after hearing how labored his breathing was). 
Coop was in great hands with Grandma.
We were all so tired and Coop kept trying to sleep and even kept trying to smile between all the people checking him out. He truly was a perfect little patient. At some point they wanted to start an IV as his heartrate was still a bit high for their liking (which can apparently be a sign of dehydration). It wasn't mandatory at this point and so I decided to decline and just keep nursing him in hopes we could avoid a stick for our boy.
All hooked up in the ER.
By 4am they had made the decision to admit us and we were off to Lucille Packard to get our room (I made the decision that if they still wanted to start an IV upon seeing him upstairs, I would say ok). After a slight detour to the wrong wing, we got settled into 3West and started meeting our team. Again, teaching hospital, lots and lots of people! After seeing a doctor, or four, I went ahead and sent my mom home to help with logistics there and to make sure she got some rest. 
A sight for sore eyes.
And then it was just Coopie and I. We did a lot of snuggling. And, luckily, no one ever mentioned an IV again. His heartrate would get slightly high but nothing crazy so we were able to avoid the stick! PHEW!!!! Early Wednesday morning the decision was made to go ahead and give him a dose of steroids as the leading theory (among about 25...RSV, pertussis, structural abnormalities, etc...) of what was wrong was Croup. It looked like Croup, and sounded like Croup, but apparently it doesn't really start showing up in kids until they are six months so they were all a bit perplexed. 
He looks so small :-(.
As the steroids began to kick in, we saw marked improvement in Cooper. He was resting better and nursing better as well. He still wanted to be snuggled so we spent most of the day in the recliner. I got a few minutes of sleep here and there but was thrilled to see Scott walk through the door at about 4:30pm that afternoon. Not only did I get to get a little sleep (still hard with staff constantly coming in and nursing), but it was also just nice to have him back by my side and be in it together. My parents delivered dinner later that evening and I finally got to see my big boy. I felt so bad that I just disappeared in the night so it made my heart so happy to get to see him, even if just for a couple minutes in the car (Coop was in "isolation" so Noah wouldn't have been allowed in the room). 
Resting. A fun fact, that night Scott and I shared that little bench bed. A far cry from our king sized bed at home!
This is already really, really long, so I'll wrap it up. The steroids were a miracle worker. They kept us overnight Wednesday night for observation (I was very happy about this as Coop tended to get worse at night and I didn't want another ER trip) and we were discharged Thursday morning with a loose diagnosis of Croup and instructions to give him some TLC and follow up with our pediatrician. 
Best part of the week...a cupcake date after school with my big boy...just the two of us!
Check.Check.Check. Follow up went great. As the steroids have worn off his cough has come back a bit, but nothing compared to that first night. He pretty much just sounds like a baby with a cold now. 

A few take aways from the whole thing:

1. We were SO lucky my parents were here. I seriously don't know what we would have done otherwise. It was invaluable to have my mom with me (both for support and her nursing experience) and my dad back at home to keep Noah happy (Papa is his absolute favorite person). They were able to jump in and help with all of the logistics of the house, drop offs, pick ups, meals, etc. Someone knew what they were doing having all of this happen when it did. 
Noah's hero.
2. We are also incredibly lucky that Stanford is 10 minutes away from our house. To know that we were getting some of the best medical care in the country (as a result of geography!) was reassuring every step of the way. It was also kind of fun to feel like I was in an episode of Grey's Anatomy when the team did their rounds and talked through Cooper's chart! 

3. I am so grateful that our stay at the hospital was as short as it was, for supportive care only, and that we made it out without so much as an IV (steroids were given orally). Being on the pediatric floor of the LPCH made us count our blessings that was got to walk out of there after only one day with a healthy baby boy.  

So, now we have our first ER visit crossed off the list. Not exactly a fun thing to "accomplish" but probably something we were going to encounter at some point. I am just glad it all has a happy ending. Also, this all sounds extremely dramatic but, honestly, once we got past the rush to the ER portion, it wasn't all that horrible. We were in great hands and it was really just a lot of snuggling our little guy and allowing the medicine to do its job. Again, we are very fortunate.
Tired but oh so happy to be home.
Kind of. HA! We got home Thursday, and Friday my parents flew home. That night we were having dinner and the back door was open. We saw a fly buzzing around so I grabbed the fly swatter and sat back down. We saw it again and Scott got up to get him. Before he could, we noticed it was actually a bee. At that point it flew right into Cooper's head (in his rock n play) sat there, and stung him. I was literally two feet away from Cooper and couldn't get it off in time. SERIOUSLY?!?! What are the odds of this?! Coop screamed bloody burder and we immediately began Googling "bee sting in infants". Luckily he didn't have any kind of reaction but I spent the next few hours examining every inch of his little body for any sign of anything that indicated otherwise! 
That white dot is the baking soda paste we put on to hopefully draw out some venom.
So, that concluded our crazy couple of weeks. Hopefully things can settle down a little bit now and we can resume our life as "a settled family of 4"!

Cooper: 2 Months

Two Months!
Here we are two months into this second time parenting gig. I might have said it before, but I'll say it again, how was one ever hard? I think about if we just had Coop and how easy life would be. That said, life with two is treating us really well and we are all finding our groove as a family of 4. Let's take this one family member at a time:

Dad: Scott is pretty much the best infant taker-carer-of EVER. He seriously has such a calm presence and really never flusters. Of course, he is equally amazing with Noah. Those two come up with such fun games to play together and the laughter I get to hear coming from outside or the other room makes me smile inside and out. I know Scott gets tired of the constant care taking that is currently going on around here. Having two kids on different schedules, one of which constantly needs something, doesn't exactly lend itself to kicking your feet up after a long day at the office. But, he never complains, steps right in to help, and even sends me off to Bar Method a few times a week. I keep promising him that it is just a few more months until we have our nights back (post 8pm that is!)!!
Coopie's first Giants game!
Mom: I am actually feeling pretty collected in this whole mom of two role. I have a really busy couple of weeks with a bachelorette party and shower I am throwing so I am feeling a little bit stretched in those areas, but as far as being "Mom", life is great. We have settled into a nice routine and despite the fact that I don't get to nap as frequently as I would like (read: almost never) the boys make it all worth it. That, and there's a glass of wine waiting for me after my 6pm feeding every night ;-). Speaking of wine, I can drink a glass of red and be ready to pump within a reasonable amount of time, but if I drink a glass of white, watch out! It pretty much just kicks me right in the rear and sticks with me for hours. Not sure what the difference is, but I'll be sticking to red as dumping milk on a Tuesday just makes me angry.
We really need to get this boy swimming more. He had such a blast in the pool.
Noah: My big boy. First the bad, which is brief. We went through a little bit of a phase of anger/jealousy/frustration? right around 6 weeks. He would try to hit me whenever I was nursing Cooper and it was 100% for attention as he would look right at me, fake a swat, and then make contact if I didn't react. Luckily, it passed quickly and he is back to his charming self. We are dealing with a little bit of whining and some clingyness to his lovey, Bear, but both of those things are manageable and we take those in stride. One thing that is very interesting to me is that he often tells us he is "baby Noah" in a very sing songy, high pitched (i.e.-baby) voice. We just roll with it and call him Baby Noah and about 30 seconds later he states, "I'm not Baby Noah, I'm a baseball player!". He definitely knows that Baby Cooper gets a lot of attention but I also think the attention has evened out a bit lately so things seem to be settling down.
Happy to give him all the snuggles I can to make him feel better!
Overall, Noah is a dream. He loves school, plays so well with other kids (aside from a bit of "mine" and sharing issues...which seems totally age appropriate), and has the biggest heart. He has started giving us the biggest bear hugs before we leave the house or before bedtime and loves to give out kisses. His imagination is so fun to watch as well. He will play for hours with his toys and it is usually about motorcycles (thanks, Grandpa!), baseball, airplanes, or some kind of truck. He is just as physical as ever and the amount of jumping, running, and climbing he does makes me tired just to watch! He is a bit of a scaredy cat these days as well. While he loves things from afar, getting up close and personal with diggers (there was construction going on down the street), street sweepers, trash trucks, etc. makes him completely panic. That, and mascots. The boy is petrified of them and reminds us of this every chance he gets. He also informed me today that he doesn't like the Easter Bunny and doesn't want to sit on him. We will rule out sporting events and Disneyland for awhile ;-). But, come Christmas, he is getting a picture with the Big Guy!
Oh, this face!!
One more random thing about Noah that makes me smile right now is his obsession with mustaches. He tells me whenever he sees one and even pointed out a Pringles can in the grocery store and noted that the cartoon on the box had one. He apparently doesn't like mustaches either, but seems pretty obsessed with calling them out!

Cooper: This baby could not be better. I thought we had it good with Noah, but Cooper is such a laid back guy. He seriously only cries when he is starving and is otherwise happy to kick around on his play mat or snooze. I keep threatening to start Moms on Call to get a good schedule going, but just can't quite find the right time to start that rigid of a schedule (especially with such a flexible baby). Currently we rise for the day around 6:30 or 7, feed at 8ish, and then go with the flow of the day. Around 8:30 Cooper gets his bath and then we give him a bottle sometime around 9 and put him down for the night. He wakes like clockwork at 2:30 and 5 to eat but has figured out that it is time to go right back to sleep so we are only up for 30 minutes usually. His evenings have turned from fussy to seriously happy times. He is typically awake from about 6-9 and will happily sit in a bouncy seat while we fawn over him, cook, eat dinner, get Noah ready for bed, etc. He is becoming so much more alert and gives us such wonderful smiles and coos these days. I would not be surprised if he rolls over early as he loves to throw his weight around while he is playing on his mat.I should clarify that I mean roll over back to front...he mastered front to back at one month and nine days!
Mr. Blue eyes.
Height: 23.5" (57%) Same height as Noah.
Weight: 12lbs. 10.5 oz. (46%) 2 pounds heavier than Noah!
Head: 42cm (98%) This could account for those two pounds ;-)
Diapers: Size 1 during the day, Size 2 at night
Clothes: 0-3 month items are hit or miss, 3 month items are a perfect fit! Noah was always behind the curve on clothes so it is a bit odd to have a true-to-size baby!

Cooper on the left, Noah on the right. I say they look like brothers but aren't twinsies!

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

1 Month Stats & mini update

Seriously belated but I wanted to get them up here for my records. They were actually taken at one month, just haven't blogged them.

My loves.
Length - 21.75in (50 percentile)
Weight - 9lbs. 15.5oz. (44 percentile)
Head - 15.83in. (99 percentile!!!)

Diapers - Size 1 (since day 2 of life!)

Blow Outs - 1. Seriously, 1. And this kid can deliver some serious results in the poo department. I think I owe this to going straight to size 1 diapers. We brought him home from the hospital in them and completely skipped the newborn size. They would have fit, but, the size 1s are doing some great things in the containment department. It's a bit like the night diaper theory...bigger diapers for overnight to contain more. Noah still wears a size up at night!

And just for fun, a very quick update on both boys:

Noah - He is a trooper. His life has been everything but consistent since Cooper came home. My parents come and go, Scott traveled for work, he has a new brother, school is on again/off again with new classmates (camp versus school year), etc. He has rolled with most of the changes and we are doing our best to keep as much "normal" as possible. His jealousy definitely rears its head from time to time, and mostly when I am nursing. I have had to get my expectations for him in check as sometimes I forget that he is 2.5 and that his emotions are extremely volatile and his "job" is to test boundaries regardless of the major life change that just happened. But, I seriously could not ask for a better boy. He is truly a gentle soul and is so loving 99% of the time. He has been amazing at independent play when he needs to and even plays baseball with himself (he plays ALL the positions) sometimes. I wish I could be two places at once but he now has a sibling and we are all getting used to the shared time. 
1+1=2! We have a little trouble getting him to hold up two fingers on the same hand!

Cooper - He is such a good baby. He rarely cries. I really don't think that he has cried unless he is hungry, ever. He is kind of funny in that department as he will go from sleeping peacefully to waking up screaming with hunger. When he realizes it is food time, it is TIME! He really does go with the flow of our family and makes outings with Noah very painless. We are starting to implement something resembling a schedule in the evenings with a nightly bath, bottle, sleep sack, and bed. It seems to be teaching him that night is for sleeping (though he still feeds every 3 hours, he quickly goes back to sleep). He is not a huge fan of the paci which is both a blessing and a curse. It is a learning curve for me as Noah loved (and still does) his. I am actually happy he doesn't require it but I do worry about airplane travel without is great insurance that you'll have a quiet kid on a long flight! Coopie is also a rockstar nurser. Efficient and not interested in just hanging out at the bar, if you know what I mean! Again, a blessing with a 2.5 year old acting out while I am incapacitated. Finally, he rolls from front to back. Tummy time lasts .5 seconds as as soon as I put him down he throws his giant noggin sideways and rolls back on his back! Sneaky little guy!
He has the best blue eyes right now. I can't remember Noah's ever being this blue so I am hoping they stick around!

Overall, life is really really good. We are all settling in and sorting out life as a family of 4. More soon! July is a busy busy month!

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Cooper: 1 Month

How has a month passed already (ok, I'm 3 days early, but you get the idea)?! I can't believe it is the end of June OR that Cooper is a month old. I mean, we keep saying how big he is getting but the fact that time is passing so quickly is shocking. 

Must haves: (I have realized these are all about baby containment or baby feeding...pretty much the basic needs of a 1 month old!):
Momaroo - I broke down and bought one of these after having it on my "want" list since about 4 months pregnant. I couldn't justify the price tag but after a few generous gift cards came in as congratulations, and one very fussy day, I bit the bullet. This was the response 2 seconds after hitting "on"....
Momaroo for the win!

Motherlove - As I mentioned in my last post, breastfeeding can be a bit painful at the beginning. There are a million creams and lanolin options but I find most of them too sticky. This stuff is amazing and I also use it on my pump to make it is a little less painful as well.

Speaks for itself.

My Brest Friend - Take this to the hospital with you! I didn't take a nursing pillow with me when I had Noah and regretted it. This time it proved to make those early days of figuring everything out SO much easier. While I am definitely much better at nursing without this guy this time around, it makes it much more comfortable and easy, especially in the middle of the night. 
Your new best friend!

Works as a nice little shelf for all the kids ;-).

Medela Pump - Seriously with the breastfeeding...sorry! Get a good pump. Don't buy a cheaper version to save money. You need the good one to save you time and get good results!
This is my exact pump. We have a love/hate relationship but it is a great product!

Boppy Lounger - Love this thing! We use it all.the.time. It is great for pre/post baths, dinner time, TV time (for the parents, not the infant!), etc... I have no idea what purpose the standard boppy serves as mine has lived in my closet for both of my boy's early days (I also find it worthless for breastfeeding...not supportive enough).
Hello! I also recommend getting a cover for the lounger as it doesn't come with one and babies spit up...much easier to wash a cover than the whole pillow!

Rock n Play - Noah was a spitter so this was such a peace of mind thing with him being slightly upright. With Coop, he didn't like it at first but now it is his bed and he is starting to sleep like a dream in it. I think they make fancier versions now that vibrate and rock themselves...I would definitely spring for the extra features if getting a new one but the standard guy works just great! Bonus points for being super portable!
Noah tries out every baby item that appears. Clearly not intended for your 2.5 year old!

Mustela Facial Cleansing Cloths - We aren't great at getting Cooper in the bath daily, and, frankly, the doctor said not to at this point. However, he had a little baby acne start to creep up (Noah's was horrible) and so we started nightly wiping. It is almost gone and I feel slightly better about his hygiene ;-).
Love these!

Water bottle - The need for mass quantities of water is both a necessity and craving. Hopefully your hospital has a giant bottle you can take home, if not, find one you love as you will be attached to it.

Night sweats - I forgot about these and they are awful! I can go from t-shirt, to no shirt, to long sleeve shirt all within about an hour. I can't remember when they end but I can't wait. 

Life with two - We have officially been on our own this week and so far we are all doing good. If I get stressed things start to fall apart so the key for me is to leave extra time and stay calm (especially with Noah). This works well most days but school days are hard. Getting up and getting everyone fed, dressed, and finding the time to pump, all in time to get Noah to school by 9 is a challenge. I always feel frenzied! Scott has been a huge help on these days (and every day) by staying home longer in the morning to help me get everyone situated and out the door. I definitely prefer having a man-to-man defense going but when it's just me and the boys we do a-ok. We have even survived a few errands and a trip to gymnastics!
Cooper isn't a huge fan of the swaddle so we jumped to sleep sacks. Noah was so excited to see that they match!

Asparagus & chocolate - These are the foods I have determined I can't eat while nursing. Both have led to a pretty miserable boy the next day. Neither are proving too hard to live without thus far. 

Schedule - We have none. I have started trying to put Cooper in our room in his bed after his last big bottle feeding. I also make sure his bath or face wipe happens at this time and put him in his sleep sack. So far, this has been going ok but some nights this is at 9pm, and sometimes at 11pm. I am considering starting the "Moms on Call" schedule. Anyone have experience with this or thoughts?
This has nothing to do with a schedule but we scored this double stroller free from our neighbors. Thank you for saving me $500!

Night owl - I am hoping starting a schedule with curb this a bit, but Cooper is a night owl. He does a good sleep from 9 or 11pm to 1 or 2am but then it is a battle to get him back to bed. Most nights this ends with him sleeping on me until his 5am feeding. We need to find some of this alert time during the daylight hours! 
I love those big eyes, just not at 3am.

Brothers - Noah is my hero. He loves his baby brother SO much. He gets really mad when I ask him not to touch Cooper (while Coop is sleeping), and he pretty much thinks he makes all rules when it comes to the baby. He is beyond generous with his toys and often asks for Cooper to be laid down in his crib for a visit. They absolutely melt my heart together. 
I never stage them for these pictures. Noah is obsessed with being about six inches away from Cooper's face!

Grunts - Cooper is the gruntiest baby EVER! He doesn't cry a lot but the amount of grunting he does while both awake and asleep is unbelievable. I am still trying to figure out what they all mean but I guess I should just be thankful that grunting is his way of getting his point across!

Breastfeeding - Since that is pretty much the theme of this post, I'll go ahead and address it specifically. I.can' I find nothing rewarding about it and frankly I think formula is more convenient! I nursed Noah for 7 months and I am trying to do the same for Cooper but it seriously might be the straw that breaks my back. The nursing/pumping routine is just extra hard with Noah running around. 

Hunger - Breastfeeding hunger is no.joke. I have actually gotten the shakes from being so hungry and it comes on like a freight train! I have the house stocked with bars and other easy to grab snacks because my patience wears extremely thin when I get hungry which isn't fair to any one...especially Noah who usually tries my patience the most in those moments! I also eat like 14 meals a day right now. I feel like this evens out a bit but right now I just live in a constant state of hunger! 

I'll be back to add in an update on his stats after we see the doctor next week. Also, please forgive any typos...I am giving up a nap to type this so I deserve points just for that!

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Cooper: 2.5 Week Update

Time is flying! After we got home from the hospital we pretty much hit the ground running. I can't really think in coherent paragraphs at this point so let's hit some bullet points of these week:
  • Bringing a second baby home is significantly different than bringing home our first. I feel like we fell into our routine much quicker and were less on edge. Scott and I both just seemed more relaxed with Cooper than we did with Noah. With Noah, I felt very tied down, a slave to the clock and breastfeeding, and really just the house in general. With Coop I am vaguely aware of the last time I fed him but pretty much let him set the schedule and sometimes that means he eats every hour and sometimes he goes for four. We got out of the house almost from the get go, and I was insistent on making life as normal for Noah as possible.

  • Noah...oh, Noah. I mentioned that I was super emotional about my big boy. Luckily, this has worn off and I don't cry daily! It's hard to describe but I just welled up every time I was with him...reading him books goodnight was like a sob fest! Poor guy was probably wondering what on earth was wrong with me. I think my hormones have evened out and I have probably realized that he gets more than enough attention still. 
He adores his Papa.
  • I was also a nut about trying to keep Noah's schedule/life as normal as possible. The week after we got home from the hospital I made sure that I was present at all of Noah's activities and for every pick up/drop off from school. I have no idea if this had any bearing on how he handled the transition but he has been nothing short of amazing. He tests us all from time to time, but then again, he is two so he would be doing that anyway! He loves his baby brother and asks to see him and give him hugs and kisses all the time. He also tries to feed him granola so we will be abiding by the "never leave the two unattended" rule very strictly!
The sweetness of Noah melts my heart.
  • Wait, this is supposed to be about Cooper! 

Post bath hair. :-)
  • Nursing is going well. We had some latch issues the first few days home and rather than take a wait and see approach like I did with Noah I immediately called our lactation consultant and high tailed it over for a quick evaluation. One little piece of advice and we were well on our way to a successful nursing relationship. My advice to new moms, don't wait, go see someone if you have any questions. Breastfeeding is hard, it can be painful at the beginning, and it is extremely overwhelming guessing if your baby is getting enough food, gaining weight, etc. It is supposedly the most natural thing in the world, but a little professional help makes a world of difference.  
He has this funny little patch of blonde (or grey) hair. I wonder if this is an indication of what is to come?
  • The first week of diaper changes is a real pain. In fact, it was pretty much a two man job around here to make sure that we avoided his umbilical cord, didn't pee on himself (or us), and tended to his circumcision correctly. Luckily, that was short lived and now it is a quick change routine around here!
  • Nappers!
  • Sleep. Oh sleep. The first couple of nights home we were up for every.single.peep. It definitely takes a few days to get used to all their noises and to stop being fearful that something is going to go wrong. I think once you get sleep deprived enough all you care about is closing your eyes again! As far as his schedule, he wakes every 2-3 hours for his feedings and we are getting more efficient at this whole nursing thing. For awhile we were up for an hour every feeding but now I would say it is more like 30 minutes. 

Coop looks very comfortable! ;-)
  • It is also amazing how much more relaxed we are this time around. With Noah, when he nursed in the night I was wide awake, we changed his diaper every time, and I was awake until he was fast asleep in his bassinet again. With Cooper, we only change his diaper if he's poopy, I am half conscious for his feeding, and I hate to admit the number of times I have set us up so he can just sleep on my chest. 

These snuggles are the best.
  • That said, Cooper did give us one good 24 hour period of feeling completely scared and like first time parents all over again. He began grunting SO loud that I didn't even have the heart to lay him down. He seemed ridiculously uncomfortable and went 24 hours without a bowel movement. We finally decided to take his temperature (more to hopefully stimulate his bowels than for the actual temp) and he was at 100.1. The good news is that we succeeded in making him poo, but the temp freaked us out as we were supposed to call the doctor at 100.4. Luckily, it began to go down and as of today he is a happy boy once again. It was definitely stressful and the amount of worrying that we all did was enough for an entire first month!
  • My recovery is going amazing. It took me about a week to feel comfortable going on long walks and as of two and a half weeks post partum I am back to Bar Method. 
  • That's my physical recovery. Mentally I am still coming back. I told Scott that sometimes it literally feels like I am out of my own body observing what is going on around me. I had the same thing with Noah and it is purely sleep deprivation. It happens in the evening and is the most frustrating because I can't make myself snap out of it. The only thing that helps is sleep. Luckily my mom and Scott don't mind, I just feel bad when we have visitors and I'm not my usual self. 
  • Taking a bottle a day like a champ!
  • Cooper has had two pediatrician visits and both went fantastic. We saw the doctor two days after coming home and then again for a weight check three days later. The comments from our pediatrician about his weight gain, "I am pleased with babies gaining 1 oz. per day, happy with 2oz. per day, and ecstatic to see that he has been gaining 3oz. per day". This made me so happy to hear as we had a hard time getting Noah to gain weight and Cooper seems to be a rockstar nurser.

  • His stats:
    • Weight: 7lbs. 9.6oz. (46th percentile)
    • Length: 20 in. He grew a whole inch in three days! HA! Just goes to show that the early length measurements have a little wiggle room. (56th percentile)
    • Head: 36.5cm (91st percentile!!)
    After his first bath. He hated it less than Noah but wasn't overjoyed by having his hair washed.
  • Overall, we are second time parents and Coop is a second child. We have to remind ourselves that it has been a few days since he had a bath (versus Noah where we had to make ourselves wait to bathe him again), I have charted exactly zero feedings, poos, or pees (versus Noah where I had a timer and a physical log of all of these things for the first two weeks), he is rarely swaddled, and we are just generally much more cool, calm and collected. 
I can't believe I have two boys! I keep telling Scott, "we have two kids!!!"
  • parents. I seriously don't know where we would be without them...especially my mom. We are so fortunate that they both retired shortly before Cooper's arrival and my mom has spent an entire month here with us to help us get settled in. The amount of help she has given us cannot be quantified. And my dad is absolutely Noah's favorite person on the planet so having him here for Noah was unbelievable in that first week. Not to mention they took on some house projects that we have been putting off for months and between all of us the backyard/patio has never looked so good!

Grandma snuggles!
Noah overseeing the flagstone work.
Ok, this is incredibly wordy and long but I want to make sure I remember it all! Moving forward I will likely do monthly updates for Cooper but keep checking back as I really want to keep up with blogging! I love looking back on my Noah updates and want to make sure to always have this little record of our lives.
Date night! We escaped to Los Altos Grill for an amazing night together. I even got to have 2 glasses of wine. It felt like heaven.