3 months, for George

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1, 2, and 3 months old.

Dear George,

Well, we made it! We’ve rounded that corner from newborn we-have-no-idea-what’s-wrong-with-you stage to “Hey look, he’s smiling at us!” and “I’m pretty sure this cry means ____.” You are a very very very smiley baby. At just three months old, you’ve started to chuckle and it’s hilarious. You love to watch your brother do anything, and you love taking baths together. Simon adores you and we are always catching him talking to you sweetly when we’re not around, or telling you “It’s okay- your brother is here” when you are crying in the car. For some reason this month he started calling you Joe instead of George. Odd, but funny. It is very cool to watch you guys grow up. Simon asked if you can have bunk beds someday (he called the top bunk). I told him he may change his mind about sharing a bedroom when he gets older, but it’s definitely something we can talk about down the road.

You’ve been rolling over from front to back for about a week now, and you are scoot scoot scooting around on your back attempting to roll over to your front. I have a feeling you are going to be a lot happier when you’re moving and mobile.  You’re starting to hold your head up a lot more, so we borrowed your cousin Brenden’s Bumbo seat to see what you thought. Just like anything else we set you in, you like it for a while and then want to change positions. We have so many different options of seating for you, it’s really ridiculous. But, you are usually pretty happy and contented so long as people are smiling at you and talking to you. You’re quite a charmer.

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George trying out the Bumbo seat

You still have reflux pretty bad, at times projectile vomiting everywhere and I just can’t figure out why… Sometimes it seems reflux related and other times it’s just a weird fluke that happens. I’m hoping that will all settle down once we can get some food into you. It seems like you puke the entire contents of your stomach RIGHT as we’re heading out the door in the morning for work. You don’t cry afterwards, you smile at us. It is so bizarre.

I strapped you in the BabyHawk carrier yesterday and today, and we bounced and walked around the neighborhood a bit. Just like the Bumbo, you’re okay with it for a while, then you’d prefer to sit in a different position. I’m going to try and capture pictures of me hauling you around in this thing, because you are growing so fast I know it’s a matter of time before you’re walking and talking and telling me what’s what. You’re already quite the talker, babbling and babbling like you have LOTS to say.

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“bumbled up” as Simon would say, on a walk.

People always tell me “He looks just like Gabe!” OR “He looks just like Simon!” And I believe them when they say you look like your dad. There’s definitely no denying that. And there are some similarities between you and Simon, sure. But you really look different to me, and you should be. You are two different people and we love you both oh-so-much.

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St. Patricks’ Day 2014 and 2010

You’re still nursing a little throughout the night, and growing like a weed. You wake up quite a bit at night still, but that MAY be because you’re still in our room. You sleep either in the swing or the rocking cradle or SOMETIMES in my bed, depending on what you need at that moment and how deliriously tired I am. You are about to hit the weight limit on the swing, I’m sure of it, since the straps barely fit around you when I attempt to buckle you in. Since you still don’t take a pacifier, I am the pacifier, so it makes for difficult evenings to put you to sleep if I’m not around. On Thursday night we had to go to the ER because I was scared I had appendicitis (Nope!) and Lisa had to put you to sleep. I think you fought her for an hour while she rocked and rocked you and forced the pacifier in your mouth before you finally caved and fell asleep. I felt bad, but also wondered how much longer I’ll be the one that puts you to sleep every night? I know this time goes fast. A friend told me “Remember it goes by so fast” and she’s right. I shouldn’t wish it away. Soon you’ll be telling me I’m a meanie, just like your brother does on occasion.

We love you very much, and are having so much fun watching you grow up and become your own person. I love your smiles and talks and sometimes you’ll even sing with me, it’s very cute. Be patient with me if I seem a little exhausted, and I’ll try to be patient with you as we muddle through the first few years.

I love you so so much more than you’ll ever know. XOXOX

Mommy

2 months, for George

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Dear George,

Hey Squishy. You turned two months old on February 13th, and I just can’t believe how fast time flies these days! My maternity leave ended and work began on February 17th. You went to the baby-sitter and it’s still a little early to determine how it’s going to work out. You see, dear sweet boy of mine- you do not like bottles. At all. You don’t like pacifiers, you don’t like bottles, you only like drinking straight “from the tap.” This is incredibly convenient for me, when I can be around you all the time. It is not convenient when I have to go to work, and you spend the day fussing at either your dad or the sitter, or anyone who isn’t lactating and ready to feed you.

So on one hand, this is heart-breaking and frustrating for everyone. People who love and care about you want to be able to watch you and see your sweet smiling face. However, when you get hungry, and fight the bottle like a person is waterboarding you, everyone loses, George- everyone.

On the other hand, nursing has been so easy this time around, I don’t really mind just hopping in the car with you to go somewhere because I don’t  have to pack bottles or anything, I can just feed you on the fly- wherever we go. It’s quite convenient. It’s a LITTLE inconvenient that you still like to eat every 2 hours- but that can’t last forever, can it?

You’ve been diagnosed with reflux, so we have to give you this DISGUSTING medicine that tastes like peppermint. You are pretty sure we’re trying to poison you everytime you take it. And by “take it” I mean, cough, sputter, choke and spit it back out at us. We are doing our best to get it in you. Depending on whether or not you swallow some of it, we do think it helps. When you don’t take it your spit up is more like vomit and it is projectile in that it lands across the room, Exorcist style. I’ve been told that I had a similar problem as an infant. Some people tell me “oh, yeah my kid did that too” and when I ask them when it stopped they say, “oh at about a year…”

Sigh.

So I hope it stops sooner than that! I also hope you start ot make life easier on everyone else who watches you. You and I have such a good time staring at each other. You like me to sing to you, or at least you enjoy smiling while I sing. You love to take a bath.  You seem to be more reserved than Simon was at your age. You smile but not as easily as Simon did. You’re very snuggly and sweet and since you are my last baby, I’m going to hold onto that as long as I can.

You have the cutest dimple and the prettiest mouth I’ve ever seen. You still have cradle cap and the end of baby acne, but you’re still perfect to me. You still sleep in our room on either a rock n play cradle or the swing, and instead of obsessing over the transition to your bedroom, I keep telling myself not to stress about it. Someday you’ll be too big for both of those things and you’ll have to lie flat on your back in a crib. It will happen eventually. Until then you can enjoy the obnoxious ocean waves on my sound machine and grunt me awake every two hours to snack while you are half asleep. The doctor says “Calorically he (you) doesn’t need to be eating that often at night”– probably because you weigh 14.6 lbs and are in the 92%ile for weight and height. But you seem hungry to me. And even if you’re just nursing for comfort, this nursing thing is ending in June so you might as well get it while you can, right?

I love you sweet boy. I am so glad you’re here. You’re the perfect cherry on top of this little family sundae of ours.

all my heart,

mommy

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Letter to Simon, 4 and a half

Since February 4th, I have been meaning to sit down and write a letter to Simon, but I have opened up my browser, made it as far as the dashboard of this web page, and fallen short on what to say. Instead of thinking and thinking and thinking, I’m just going to try to put it all out there right now, and hope it comes out okay.

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Dear Simon,

On February 4th you turned officially Four-and-a-Half. You are such a sweet and good boy. I feel like I’ve been repeatedly letting you down- over and over again, whether it’s space on my lap that you want, or just a few extra minutes at bedtime to snuggle, I feel like I’ve not been the mom you once knew.

A baby came and changed everything. I had the chance to take you out to Bob Evans, just you and me, before we went to a special school program for moms and preschoolers at your school for Valentine’s day. When you pointed at the lady with spiked hot pink striped hair and I snapped at you “DON’T POINT.” I realized from the look on your face that, even when the baby isn’t around, I am different. I am tired, I am probably short tempered. And Simon, I am sorry.

I’ve mentioned my concerns and my sadness about this to several people. I don’t know if I’ve mentioned how sometimes you reach out for my hand and tell me, “I just want to BE with you,” or ask  me “will you snuggle wiff me?” RIGHT at the end of a day when I’m just aching to get the rest of the chores done and sit down by 9pm.  It breaks my heart. When we were driving in the car alone on the way to the restaurant, I had such a nice conversation with you and I thought to myself, “I miss this boy” even though you’re in front of me every day. I miss our time together that doesn’t seem like it happens often anymore. I am sorry.

I do try to give you more hugs and kisses and cuddles than usual. I try to talk about feelings. And I think that when you say “I just miss somebody” each time you start to cry these days, what you’re really missing is the way things used to be, before mom and dad were busy and tired and often more frustrated than they used to be.  And I’m sorry that you feel like you miss people who are right in front of you, but I also understand.

But a friend reminded me that “new life changes everything” and OH how that is true.  And though I am sorry for missing the time I used to have with you, and I am very sorry that the adjustment to living with an infant is so tiring and frustrating for a lot of people living in this house, and I am very NOT sorry for giving you what I think is probably the best gift you don’t even fully understand yet, a brother.

When I told my friend I felt terrible about forcing you to grow up too quickly, and how I need to remind myself that you’re “only four and a half” she said: asking your older kids to step up their game to make room for the gift of a sibling, don’t feel sorry for that. And I have two brothers, and one sister, and they are tremendous gifts in my life that I wouldn’t trade for anything. So I keep telling myself this, that for all of the change and the frustration and the hurt that we may be temporarily feeling about this gigantic adjustment, we just added new life. And the baby stuff, it’s temporary. George will grow, and you will get so much joy out of having him in your life, I just know it.

And when I am gone, and your dad is gone, you will have each other. And there is no greater gift than a sibling, I don’t think. And it is also a gift of relief to me, to know you have each other to lean on and love if I’m not here.

So I know that things will get better, little buddy. The baby will sleep more, I’ll sleep more, we’ll all be happier when the snow melts and moods improve and we can all get outside with strollers to the park and play a little more. I just wanted to let you know that I have been thinking all of these things, and my heart breaks a little bit to see you hurting. I will continue to try and mend it as often as I can.

All my heart,
mommy

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Things I love lately.

So, since it’s winter, and we’re holed up in our house for the most part, there are a few staples that I’ve noticed I’ve been using a lot. I’ve also made some Amazon Prime purchases that I thought I would share because, well because that’s pretty much what we do lately.

What we watch/watched
Now remember, Simon goes to preschool during the week and Gabe is still home with me for another week and a half. So after Simon goes to school we’ve binge-watched (on either Amazon Instant Video or Netflix):

  • Final season of Dexter
  • Most recent season of Parenthood
  • All seasons streaming of An Idiot Abroad on Netflix.
  • Tosh.0 (I have such mixed feelings about this)
  • Most recent season of Shameless (I LOVE this show)
  • Much Ado About Nothing (2013)
  • Jobs
  • The World’s End

What I have eaten/am eating (I am on a sugar crazed bender.)

  • This eggless chocolate cake (next time add a handful of chocolate chips)
  • These No Bake Cookies
  • These Chocolate Chip Cookies
  • These Brown Sugar Oatmeal cookies
  • About 5 different kinds of pretzels (this is apparently a weird craving)– soft pretzels, peanut butter pretzels, regular pretzels, chocolate covered pretzels…
  • Cereal- mostly honey bunches of oats and Cinnamon Life.
  • Marshmallows
  • Crystal Light Lemonade (something I never drink, ever- I’m slamming it like it’s keeping me alive)
  • Brown sugar oatmeal- instant, to which I add ground flax seed and slivered unsalted almonds. SO GOOD.

What I’ve bought on Amazon.com 

  • Milk Savers- I know it seems weird, but the amount of milk I’m saving here in a day is as much as I can pump in one sitting. Unbelievable!
  • NoseFrida- A friend swears by this snot sucker. I decided to get it because eventually we’ll need it I’m sure.
  • Another carseat base.
  • More audio/picture books for Simon because he REALLY wants Beauty and the Beast on audio.

What we’ve been doing:

  • We go to bed between 10-12, and I am woken up to feed the baby usually at 1, 3, 5 and 7, but there have been a few nights when he’s just woken up at 4am and 7am, or just 3, 5, and 7- etc.
  • I am usually a trooper through the first three wakeups. At 7am I am a wreck. For some reason, I have only been able to get it together ONE TIME at 7am.
  • So Simon comes into our room between 7:30am and 8:15am, and Gabe gets up with him to get him ready and take him to preschool. George and I sleep until he wakes up to eat again.
  • When Gabe gets back (usually a little after 9am) we eat some breakfast and take turns showering and putzing around the house gathering up laundry and cleaning. Then we’ll go to lunch or run errands together, or something like that.
  • Sometimes I get to take a nap in the afternoon, sometimes I don’t.
  • One of us picks Simon up at 5:30.
  • I usually make dinner for him and either make something for us, or pour myself a bowl of cereal, again.
  • I was actually thinking about this maternity leave and of the 6 weeks I’ve had off, I could probably list all the times I’ve left the house since having George. I really have holed myself up in the house.

I started this post over a week ago. Today I started adding up our expenses (big mistake) and freaking out about that. So, I’ll have about three weeks of panic about that before I have other things to obsess about from work.

George is great. He won’t take a pacifier and doesn’t really like bottles either. So, as long as I want to breastfeed him exclusively forever, we should be good. Oh wait, that is impossible with a full time job? You don’t say. Okay well we’ll figure something out I’m sure.

XO

1 Month, for George

Well I have a few posts brewin’ in my head but of course I don’t get the time or energy to write them down, what with feeding an infant, laundry and whatever else it is we do to fill these short days I have off.

Anyhow our George somehow turned 1 month old on Monday. I can’t believe it.

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Dear George,

Hello Squishy. You and I are totally bff’s, because you like to eat SO MUCH and guess what, I have the food. So we are pretty much inseparable, since you like to eat every hour and a half to two hours. This leaves enough time in between feedings for me to shower or (sometimes) take a nap. I don’t mind all that much because I didn’t have this experience with your brother. Even getting up in the middle of the night to hoist you out of the cradle beside the bed and feed you, while your daddy snores loudly beside me and I fight to stay awake and not drop you…even that is a little blessing since I didn’t have a very successful nursing experience the first time around. But you, you’re a champ!

You have been smiling at us since you were like two and a half weeks old, I can’t believe it. Of course everyone says it’s just gas, etc. but you have a legit grin that you give us all the time. It’s hard to catch on camera, but it’s there. You have taken several baths, and your brother LOVES to help give you a bath. He loves almost everything about you in fact, except that you eat so much. That tends to irritate him because he wants us to be able to give him 100% of our attention. He’s actually said to me, “I wish Daddy had a breast with milk in it.” However, he also wishes HE could feed you because he loves you so much. He wished aloud as much “I wish I had a breast.” Ha! And he does have a little boy baby doll that he named George and sometimes he sits next to me on the couch while I feed you, and he pretends to feed his baby too.

You HATE your carseat and scream and scream when you’re in it. So your dad and I have been trying to get out of the house with you so you can get used to it before we go back to work and you have to endure the car seat every day. So far we’ve gone out to lunch three times and have gone to the grocery, too. It’s tough being a baby in this winter weather. We don’t want to go out to too many places because of all the gross flu bugs and germs out there, but being in the house gives us cabin fever too.

A few weeks ago we had what was called a Polar Vortex, which meant the temperatures dropped WAY below zero. We all bundled up around the house and put quilts up on the windows to block out the cold. We had lots of warm blankets and were stuck in the house for two days on top of having been stuck in the house for two weeks…it was a little insane. But we’re getting out now! And like most babies, you enjoy ceiling fans, high contrast architecture, and interesting lighting when we go out.

You require constant movement/jostling/swinging. I’m getting a Mobi wrap to start hauling you around with me so I can have some free hands because you really REALLY like to be bounced, swung, etc. You are so sweet, and I love snuggling with you. We’ve taken lots of naps together on the couch, and I’ve even been known to let you sleep next to me in the bed (I KNOW!- BAD!). Your dad thinks I’m spoiling you. He’s probably right, I don’t care.

Your hair is still light brown, and your eyes a blue-gray color. Your skin is the softest skin I’ve ever felt and we’re all pretty sure you have your dad’s complexion, and not mine like Simon does. Time will tell. You always have to have your hands free and near your face/mouth. You won’t take a pacifier and I think you’d love to suck your thumb if you could find it. Sometimes you can make the hand-mouth connection and sometimes not. You have the squishiest cheeks ever, and I love to pinch and smooch on them constantly. You’re filling out big time and are wearing size 3 month clothing already. No more newborn stuff, sigh.

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I love you so much, and love watching you change and grow. I’m sorry this is the first letter I’ve written to you since you’ve been here- but we’ve been spending quality time together instead, so I don’t feel so bad.

I love you more than you’ll ever know.

Mom

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Simon meeting George

So let’s see, where were we?

Right. Hospital. Spat out baby. Family came to visit. And Simon came to meet his little brother.

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My mom and dad making introductions.

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Proud Big Brother.

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Being reassured I am not “sick”

We had a present “from George” to Simon, so he opened that and played in the room for a while. My parents stuck around for a few hours before leaving with Simon on an adventure to find Uncle Bert and do other fun things.

We were able to get discharged Saturday night, which was a little shorter of a stay than what most people do, but I was ready to get home and have a night in our house with just the baby before Simon came home. Our house is incredibly small and I was worried about the crying/noise waking Simon up at night.

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George and George.

Everything was pretty uneventful and then Sunday mid morning my parents brought Simon back home. Immediately he ran up to his room and was gathering up stuffed animals to “give” to George.

Then my brother and sister in law came by and gifted Simon and George some pretty awesome Batman pajamas, so we had to put those on, of course.

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Proud big bro

And everything else went pretty well. Simon periodically asks to hold his brother. He loves him, he also loves snuggling with me and him in bed in the mornings. He’s sighed and wished aloud that he AND Gabe had “breasts with milk in them” so that either a) Gabe could feed the baby so I could assist Simon with something, or b) so Simon could feed the baby because he REALLY wants to feed him.

Simon had his Christmas program just two days after we’d gotten home from the hospital. I crammed my swollen body into my maternity jeans again and we went to the church to hear the preschoolers sing Christmas Carols. The program only lasted 15 minutes, but I wept. I cried because my hormones were a mess, and because they sang songs that were so incredibly sweet, and the kids all had tinsel halos on…and jingle bell necklaces, and I just cried like a baby. We got there late and had to sit in the very back, but I did manage to squeeze myself in amongst the parents taking pictures up front and captured this gem, right as he said, “There’s my mommy!” and again– there were tears (my tears, not his).

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Preschool Christmas Program, 2013

So I started this post over a week ago and am only now finishing it. Clearly, I am having a difficult time managing my time

BUT!

This morning I was out of bed at 7am while everyone (even the baby) slept. I made breakfast for Simon and packed his lunch, woke him up and managed to get everything ready, for the first time since we brought the baby home. The only thing that DIDN’T get ready for the day was me. It was very encouraging to get things accomplished this morning. It felt like at SOME point, I’ll be able to get us all ready and out the door to work, school and sitter.

But most of the time we’re just flailing around here trying to fulfill the immediate desires of our offspring, drinking Crystal Light Lemonade and wearing pajamas even after we take showers.

I will try really hard to get more updates on here- including Christmas, New Years’ and a list of things keeping us afloat. :)

 

This is George.

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“George was a good little monkey, and always very curious.”

George James Geig

Born 12/31/2013 (Friday the 13th!)  at 5:31am

8lbs. 13oz., 20.75inches long

On Thursday December 12th, I went to bed around 11:30pm and woke up at around 1:30am December 13th having intermittent contractions. They were  painful, so I downloaded an app on my phone (There’s an app for that!) to start recording how often they were coming. At first I laid in bed and they were coming about 9 minutes apart. Then 11. Then 13. Then 6. Then 10.

The magic number I was looking/waiting for is 5. My doctor’s office says, “Come to the hospital when your contractions are 5 minutes apart.” I kept waiting for that to happen but it never did. Instead, I went from like 6 minutes to 3 minutes apart before I woke Gabe up and said, “We better go…” and at 3:30am we called the BEST FRIEND IN THE WORLD Lisa, to come sleep here while Simon slept. We headed off in the frigid cold and got to the hospital at 4am, when I realized that I couldn’t remember anything about where we were supposed to go for Labor and Delivery except “yellow”.  Contractions were coming hard enough I couldn’t really talk through them, Gabe was only half awake and driving my car, and neither of us knew where the hell we were going. It was all very sweet conversations, I assure you. Finally we find the right (or A right) entrance and someone got me a wheelchair and told us where to go. The elevator doors open to the floor where a nice stranger in scrubs told us to go, and all around us there are unmarked doors. No signs, nothing. And we’re both so frustrated because neither of us remembers what the hell we did last time because it was SO LONG AGO and OUCH THE PAIN WAS BAD.

The pain seemed worse than last time, I do remember thinking that, and wondering why.

When they finally “checked me” the slow/non-moving/unhelpful nurses suddenly switched into high gear when they said, “Why, you’re 7cm with a bulging bag”

Um, gross. Bulging bag. They asked if I wanted an epidural. I said YES. They said, “Okay we will try to get you one.”

Wait what, “try?”

Yes, things were moving that quickly they were going to TRY. They moved me into a delivery room and put the IV’s and straps all over me to monitor whatever-it-is they monitor and to fill me so full of fluids I blew up like a Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade Balloon.

The nurse anesthetist came in and she was a lovely African woman with a thick accent and polka dotted head cover and I immediately became her best friend. The contractions were coming faster and more furious. My water broke/exploded all over the table and I was feeling so much pressure I was looking around at people wondering if this baby was really going to wait for me to get this epidural or what. Meanwhile “Essie” the nurse anesthetist calmly clucked at the back of my head as I grumbled curse words and writhed in pain: “I am going as fast as I can… just a few more minutes…”

Both Gabe and I discussed this post delivery and decided that Essie’s “as fast as I can” is about as fast as people move in the south on a hot July day without AC. They. Don’t

They finally put the needle in my back and I don’t care. I don’t care. I don’t care if the needle is the size of a bendy straw because I just have never in my life felt that kind of pain or pressure. By the time they got it hooked up and turned me over, checked me again they said, “OK you’re complete – would you like to start pushing?”  I was so relieved when the next contraction came and I didn’t feel a damned thing. THANK YOU LAWD.

And that’s when the doctor came in, who was super cool and zen like and not my doctor. I was fine with that, however- because I knew him through a friend’s facebook page. And if you can imagine me in all my half naked glory asking the man between my legs, “So how do you know so-and-so?”

I remember glancing at the clock every now and then, and I think I looked at around 5am when I started to push and thought, “Dear God please don’t let me push for 3 hours this time.”

I pushed and didn’t really feel like I was making any progress at all, but I was assured that I was. At one point the doctor asked for a “Kiwi” which I quickly realized was a cute name for the Suction Cup/Vacuum they use to pull a baby out of you. This is the same thing that caused a BIG problem for Simon when he was born. But I wasn’t in a position to argue with anyone, since I had this baby literally CRASHING THROUGH ME so they put it on his head, I pushed and voila- at 5:31am they placed this super sweet baby on my chest. As they pulled him out about three people said, “Oh that’s a big baby. That’s a big baby. Whoa, he’s big.” And I’m like, “I TOLD YOU THIS HURT.”

He was only 8 pounds 13 oz, but still.

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We counted toes and fingers and everything looked normal and after they took him away and then gave him back to me they said, “Now his head is a little cone shaped” and Gabe and I just laughed because compared to Simon, this baby’s head was as round as a basketball.

We only have grainy cell phone pictures because from the time I woke Gabe up to go to the hospital, to the time I had a baby in my arms, it was 3 hours and 31 minutes. We did not even grab our camera until the next day.

It was morning by the time we got to our recovery room and between the moving bed, nurses checking vitals every hour, and the squeaking adorable new infant by my side, there was no way I could sleep. So we started off sleepless from the get-go. Simon and other Family visitors came Saturday, and it was lovely. I will have to mention more about that in a Part Deux post, because I’m already getting tired.

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But he’s here. And he’s pretty awesome.

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