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!