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Holiday Wrap-Up

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The 9YL family wishes everyone on the internet a belated Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! Ours was fun but exhausting…

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Unwrapping at home

We spent Christmas Eve and Day at home just hanging out. Baby2 discovered a love for wrapping paper. As we unwrapped her gifts with her she stared with wonder at the paper. Even after her gift was uncovered she reached for paper first every time.

Kiddo1 got the 3DS XL that he’s been wanting and saving up for. Mr. Handsome wrapped a box in a box in a box so Kiddo1 had to unwrap a few boxes to get to it. Although I don’t agree with the practice it was fun to watch Kiddo1 get a little frustrated and then SO excited when he saw the actual gift.

Kiddo1 had some, what I’ll call, “milestone” interactions with his younger sister as he handed her presents and said things like, “this one’s for you, [Baby2],” and said them while looking her in the face. This is a milestone as he doesn’t tend to acknowledge her much. I really need to write a whole post about this subject because it is interesting how Kiddo1 makes little baby steps toward interaction with his sibling. I have heard that it can take most kids (and I’d think especially older kids) at least six months to start really acknowledging the new family member. I’m trying not to pressure him too much because I don’t want to do any damage but at the same time it’s like, dude, she’s not going away get over it already. But that’s not fair. Ugh, I could really get going but I’m saving it for another time.

Anyway, Mr. Handsome and I spent the rest of Christmas Day preparing for our annual trip to Phoenix to visit family. My parents and his parents live there, as well as my only living grandparent, my only brother and one of Mr. Handsome’s two brothers, although none of us is actually from the area (Kiddo1 was born there though). It’s always good times seeing our family, and this year was especially sweet to re-introduce people to Baby2. Babies change so much in such a short time; she’s so different now than when they saw her as a newborn!

This was Baby2’s first trip away from home and logistically it was great. We traveled with cloth diapers and I gotta tell ya, it was super easy. I don’t know if cloth diapering is so easy for us because I pretty much refuse to acknowledge that disposables exist at this point or if we’re just really lucky. Baby2 still being exclusively breastfed probably helps a little, too. We took about 15 diapers with us and did diaper laundry three times during our five-day stay. My carry on bag (backpack) was about half full of diapers, but honestly there’s not much else I need except for my wallet and water bottle.

Of course breastfeeding simplified things a ton because we never had to worry about when Baby2 was going to eat or how she would get fed. One less thing to plan for us to worry about, thank goodness. I did take my pump with me and I’m glad I took the whole big electric pump instead of just my manual one. I worried about putting it in our checked luggage (what if it got lost?! Or damaged?? The horror!!) but everything turned out fine. I strapped it in our checked car seat for some extra security. I was able to donate all the extra milk that I pumped during our trip so I didn’t have to hassle with bringing it back and I met another very sweet mama of an adopted baby girl who was grateful for a little extra milk.

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She loves the peanut packets!

Baby2 did very well during her first trip. The flights were fine (direct on the way there, one connection on the way back) and the altitude change didn’t seem to bother her sweet baby ears at all, although she was eating during take off for each flight so I hope that helped. She made what she probably considers the greatest discovery of her life so far when she saw the airlines packets of peanuts. I’ve never seen her so excited or grab an object so quickly. We asked for extra on the flight back and we now have a couple sitting around just in case she needs a major distraction. They’re shiny and crinkly! What’s not to like?

Kiddo1 is a seasoned traveler and was not at all phased by the extra family member during this trip. He’s been handling his own bags for years so we were free to manage everything else. There’s one of the major benefits of having kids several years apart – you really only have one “wild card” kid at a time. Baby2 could (potentially) freak out at any moment but Kiddo1’s behavior is fairly constant at this point.

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Baby2 watches Mr. Handsome play in the water from her warm and dry Ergo

Wearing Baby2 through the airport and during all our “site-seeing” worked wonderfully. We had hands free in the airport to mess with bags and check in. You don’t have to take off your baby carrier when you go through x-ray which was great (although they do an alcohol-swab test on your hands for explosives which only takes a second). We could walk through the tiny terminal stores and restaurants without getting stuck – a stroller would never make it through some of those spots. My mom  had bought a stroller for us to use while we were there (even though I asked her not to) and we didn’t use it at all. Anytime we went somewhere we either held Baby2 or used our Ergo. It worked out quite well.

All in all it was a good trip for everyone. We were super grateful to return on New Years Eve at around 11 so we made it home and snuggled in to watch the ball drop just before midnight. We counted down the seconds left of 2012 and cheered in the new year together. Then we finally had a good night’s sleep in our own beds. I’m sure I can speak for everyone in the family when I say it was so very wonderful to sleep in our own beds again.

Happy 2013, internet!

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Has it really been a month?

…since I’ve written a post? Over the past whole three months, I’ve wanted to write so much more than I actually have. But, at the end of the day, it is hard to pull myself away to write. Baby2 is growing so fast I’ll miss something if I blink and Kiddo1 is just blowing me away with his awesomeness lately. But, before I completely forget everything I had better take some time to get my thoughts down, so here’s a huge wrap up of things from the last month or so…

First, Baby2 is so freaking amazing. She will be three months old this Thursday. She holds her head up on her own all the time now. She barely lays her head on my shoulder anymore! Only when she’s super duper tired will she give in to a little head support assistance. She’d much rather be looking around and taking in all her surroundings than laying down like a little newborn. Sheesh, we’ve totally outgrown that phase. She likes to “sit” or “stand” while we hold her sides. No more craddle baby hold for her, much to Mr. Handsome’s dismay.

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For awhile there she was not having much of tummy time – it is still hit and miss but I see more hits than misses. She’ll lift her neck and legs until she looks like a little airplane about to take off! It looks like she’s gearing up to roll over soon, although I’m sure it will be several more weeks until that milestone. At least I hope so! Don’t grow too fast baby!

She smiles and it is so freaking cute. When I come home from work and met her eyes for the first time she gives me a little grin and it just melts my heart every time! Of course the second I pull out a camera the smile fades so it has been difficult to get many of them captured! Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone AppAlthough, the other day I put her down in her crib for just a moment while I put some laundry away in the bedroom. I caught her smiling and looking up at her mobile. That made me pretty happy since I spent so much time on making that dang mobile with its huge balls! Baby2 was just looking at them and waving her arms and smiling. Super cute!

This week I’ve been trying so hard to get her to laugh. I really don’t want to miss that first laugh but I know that I will miss some firsts while I’m at work. Knowing that Mr. Handsome will witness what I don’t does soften the blow a little bit, but it still stings. Most of the time going to work isn’t too hard, but I’ve had a couple days in the last month that I really haven’t wanted to leave. Last Monday was one of those days. When I got home I learned that Baby2 didn’t have too easy of a day herself. We commiserated a bit and felt better.

Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone AppWork is great; really, I have it pretty easy. I have a nice room to pump in and I’m down to using it just a couple times a day. Pumping is usually pretty fast for me. It probably takes longer to walk to and from the room than it takes to actually pump! I keep my pump parts in the fridge all day so I only wash once when I get home. It saves so much time that way! I’ve been meaning to write a whole post dedicated to pumping but I’m not sure if I really have enough content for a whole post. I just pump and that’s it I suppose. I wish I had some pumping buddies, though. For a few weeks there was one other woman who used the lactation room but her son just turned one so I think she graduated. Good for her, though; knowing another person made it a whole year of pumping is really good motivation for me! I’m surprised more women aren’t using the lactation room. There are several new moms (or second- to fourth-time moms) in the building but I’m the only one still breastfeeding. I’m sure they have their reasons for not pumping, and I’m not judging them at all! But it’d be nice to have some company sometimes. Not to pump-in-tandem, that’s kind of weird, but to relate to and what-not.

Breastfeeding itself is still going really well. Baby2 doesn’t seem to have any confusion between the breast and bottle. I know I could use the bottle more on weekends but I like keeping the bottle use to times that I’m literally not around and can’t feed her. I like feeding her myself. I don’t want Baby2 to get too comfortable with the bottle so that she starts to prefer the immediate let-down and faster flow. Although, I shouldn’t be too worried. She doesn’t seem to really dig the bottle too much. She’s still eating a little less than I’d like her to during the day. I’m certainly not worried about our frozen stash, though, since I’m probably adding more to it than taking away. We use frozen milk on Mondays and freshly pumped milk Tuesday through Friday. Then on Friday afternoon I freeze the leftovers. I’m usually freezing between 20 and 50 ounces per week. Doesn’t look like I’ll be finishing off the frozen stash any time soon!

Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone AppBaby2 is still eating plenty overall, though. She certainly goes through enough diapers to convince us that her eating habits are quite healthy! Thank goodness for cloth diapers. I figure we’ve saved at least $200 so far, if you don’t count the cash I spent on building our cloth diaper stash, of course. I suppose if you count that then we’ve almost broke even. I don’t count the laundry spending because we don’t pay for water and the detergent is only half used and it cost like $10 or something.

We are still using prefolds and covers and I really love this method. We have about ten pocket diapers that are just starting to fit Baby2’s little frame. I have used the pockets a few times and they almost always leak for me. Maybe I leave her in them too long, I’m not sure. But I can never tell because the pocket material wicks the pee into the soaker so fast that most of the time I can’t tell if she’s wet. But when I use the prefolds they aren’t usually too soaked she’s not siting in wetness a lot. Who knows, but I’m thinking I’d like to sit with what works and keep the pockets in “reserve” status for when I’ve forgotten to finish up my cloth laundry. We wash just about every day, sometimes every other day. Most of the time that frequency isn’t too annoying. Sometimes it’s just like, ugh, laundry, you know? No one likes doing laundry all the time. You just tolerate it I think.

Overall Baby2 is a pretty good sleeper. She started sleeping in six to seven hour chunks several weeks ago, which was an awesome pre-return-to-work present. Since she hasn’t been eating as much during the day now though, I think she’s eating a bit more at night so she’s up more. I say I think because once she gets up the first time I keep her in bed with me so she could be eating every hour and I won’t really realize it because I hardly wake up anymore. I just pull out a boob and she does the rest, for the most part. Mr. Handsome kind of laughs at us (and spends a lot of time on the sofa with the dog!) but this is the method that nets me the most shut-eye so it is what it is. And I’m sure Baby2 is enjoying the snuggling. I might be enjoying it as well!

Finally, I know I don’t spend too much time on this blog talking about Kiddo1. I think that’s just the nature of starting as a pregnancy blog – I’m used to dishing baby stuff all the time. But this blog is really about having two kids with a crazy age gap, so I’d better get some more Kiddo1 memories down here!

So far there isn’t too much age gap drama or fun to report. Kiddo1 doesn’t do too much with Baby2 yet. She really isn’t all that interesting to him. He likes when she smiles so I think once she starts really laughing he’s going to have a good time trying to get her to do that.

4A2B0FC6-85B6-4642-BDD9-9ACFC880214C-1729-000001CE3E669687Right now he seems to be having a really good time getting involved at school. When he started kindergarten he said he really wanted to be a playground helper and safety helper once he got to fourth grade (which is when kids can start doing that at his school). Now that he’s in fourth grade he is doing both jobs and seems to be having a great time at it. He is so good with helping the younger kids at recess. Sometimes there’s a disagreement or something and he tells me how he helped. He’s such a good kid – he is going to be so awesome with Baby2 when she’s a little older and needs his help.

Finally, Kiddo1 went and got himself elected to Student Council this year! I believe fourth grade is when they can start doing that job, too. Mr. Handsome and I were so excited for him. We’re interested to see what is going to be his “thing” in school. For us it was always music (and also sports for Mr. Handsome, for me my second love was dating sports boys, haha). Kiddo1 is a little into music, not so much into sports, so we’re wondering if maybe school politics would be his thing. He now has this whole handout/book about public speaking, crafting an argument, etc. We got so excited when we saw it!

Overall things are quite awesome. We are loving our new life as four. Mr. Handsome and I love having a baby around (maybe too much!). Everything she does makes us appreciate life, appreciate Kiddo1, appreciate what we have that much more. Of course some days are a challenge but they are far between the good, amazing regular days. I can’t ask for much more!

Our First Week at Home

First week down! Baby2 officially turned one week old on Wednesday. So much has happened that I thought I’d write another update. Here’s what has happened since our first days at home.

Breastfeeding

Baby2 continues to eat well – she’s gained another five ounces since Friday’s pediatrician appointment, bringing her back up to her birth weight already (which is a week two milestone – she’s an overachiever already!)! We went to the pediatrician’s office to weigh her yesterday for my own sanity. I think every breastfeeding mama wonders if her baby is eating enough. You just can’t see the milk going in! But we can see what’s coming out of her, and if Baby2’s diaper actions are any indication I’d say she’s eating like a champ. I probably didn’t need to go weigh her, but I was curious!

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Milk Drunk

What is interesting about her feedings is that she tends to eat in five minute increments. After five minutes are up, she loses interest. I can normally burp her and put her back on, or change her diaper and start again, but I could almost set my watch by her cadence. I’ve also noticed that the ducts on the underside of my breasts tend to get really full so after her first five minute time block I’ll spend the second five minutes massaging those ducts to give her a little more milk.

I’ve also been experimenting with only using one breast per feeding instead of switching back and forth. I know that the more empty the breast becomes, the more fatty hindmilk she’s getting (which is good!). So the focus right now is a full feeding and an empty breast. We’ll see how that effects my supply since one breast will be fully emptied every 3-6 hours as opposed to being maybe half emptied every 1.5-3 hours. I want to research this topic more…

Speaking of timing, she’s still eating every 1.5-3 hours. I won’t let her go longer than three hours between feedings. The other day I had to wake her out of a dead sleep because time was up. We struggled through that feeding but I did get a good 10 minutes out of her! In two five minute increments, of course.

Nights are working well. I always put her down in her crib about 30 minutes after her 8:00 PM feeding. If she wakes up after that I’ll feed her and put her right back down. If she wakes up after I’ve gone to bed (which has been late lately! 10 or 11 o’clock!) I’ll keep her in bed with me so I can get some sleep (just pull out a boob when she stirs! So much easier than getting out of bed). She wakes up a lot until I pull her in bed with me, then she sleeps a ton. I’m slightly worried that she’s preferring our bed over her crib, so she may start getting a lot more crib time soon. We’ll see.

For the first few days, I didn’t keep track of night feedings at all. Now I’m trying to a least glance at the clock when she stirs so I can keep track of how long she’s going between feedings completely on her own (there’s no way I’m setting an alarm or something to make sure she’s eating every three hours at night!). So far she’s keeping a rhythm of eating at 12, 2:30, 5 and 7:30 AM. Whoa. Self-regulating is amazing!

Sometimes she stirs but doesn’t really want to eat – she’s wet and needs changing. So I’m trying to watch out for that more. I don’t think she’s at all ready to drop a feeding, but I’m also not sure if five minutes every 2.5 hours is really much of a feeding… Monitoring is on-going.

Cloth Diapering

Still loving cloth diapers! We’ve modified our prefolds a little though. Since the size one Osocozies are still a little long for her, we’ve been folding them down in front so they’ll fit into the covers. But since Baby2 is a girl, she wets more in the back than the front so we started folding the prefold down in the back. That has helped to not only absorb more but also makes securing the prefold with the Snappi that much easier because there’s more fabric to pull around her legs. Ah, discovery.

Baby2 had a bit of a diaper rash earlier this week which really freaked me out! Kiddo1 had the nastiest of nasty and persistent diaper rashes when he was a baby. I fear diaper rashes like some people fear tight spaces. Or the dark. Or commitment. Anyway… Luckily the diaper rash is gone now, probably because I attacked it and killed it! I took Baby2 outside and sunned her bottom twice a day for a couple days, about five minutes in direct sunlight each time (I did shade her upper half from the sun). I also started using Earth Mama Angel Baby’s Bottom Balm on her with each diaper change. Worked like a charm. For one final nail in the coffin, I’m adding an extra cold rise (that’s two cold rinses) at the end of our diaper laundry routine, just to make sure all the soap gets out. Now I’m monitoring the absorbancy of the prefolds to see if I need to strip them because of the Bottom Balm build-up (although Bottom Balm is cloth diaper-safe!).

Baby2’s Disposition

Still quite awesome. I know she’s in the easy-going newborn phase, but if she’s anything like her brother she’ll continue to be content and mellow. She still doesn’t cry at much, just when she’s hungry or needs a new diaper. Our barking dog doesn’t even make her flinch. I’m sure she’s been used to that sound since well before she was born!

Mr. Handsome swears that she smiles. He “knows” that she’s just working her facial muscles, easing out gas, what have you, but he likes to say that she smiles. I gotta say, though, when she does start smiling for real it’s going to be freaking awesome!

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Dress up!

Finally, can I just say how much fun it is to dress her?! Oh, super fun. Dressing a boy was nice and all, but little dresses are quite nice. Baby2 has been in a dress every day of her life. Come to think of it, I’ve been in a dress this whole week too! (I just haven’t been feeling jeans yet. Maybe this weekend.)

Adjusting

Life in general is slowly getting back to normal. Mr. Handsome’s family (his parents and two older brothers) are currently in town until Monday. Once the family visitor traffic slows I think everyone will be able to relax a bit more. Two of my dear friends from college are flying in from the Midwest in mid-August. I’m super excited about that!

Kiddo1 has been super talkative lately! He’s probably a little more chatty because his uncles are in town (he loves to bend their ears) but lately he’s been talking-it-up to anyone who will listen!

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Kiddo1 wanted to be swaddled too!

He seems to be getting back to his normal, silly self. Perhaps he’s realizing that we will still take time to listen to him and hang with him. He has been awfully sweet… most of the time. For some time now (a year?) he’s loved to disagree with almost everything we say. What’s that all about? He’s back to doing that lately so things must be normalizing with him.

Mr. Handsome is, of course, still freaking awesome. He even took his whole family to the coast the other day so Baby2 and I could have a whole day to relax. He’s making sure that I get enough rest and don’t try to push myself too hard (because I do/will push myself, see below). I’m not sure if he is getting enough rest, as he seems tired and perhaps a bit stressed by all the visitors. He’s sweet to try not to concern me with these things. I’m still concerned though! I think we’re both just excited for things to get back to normal. The “new normal,” he calls it!

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Mr. Handsome practicing some baby wearing!

Max (our dog) seems to be used to the new human-to-dog ratio in the house. He loves to sniff Baby2 and give her light little kisses. He isn’t as sensitive to her cry anymore, but the other day we heard a distant sound of a neighbor’s baby crying and he was quite concerned. He kept looking at our silent, sleeping baby and seemed very confused.

As for me, things are going pretty damn great. Let’s get the gross stuff out of the way in this paragraph, shall we? As soon as my milk came in on Saturday, some bodily functions have returned to normal. Most notably, I poop every day now! And in the mornings just like my old pre-pregnancy self. It’s funny how elated this makes me feel. I can sit down without having to be slow and careful, too. Just plopping myself down on hard chairs, no big deal! The lochia, or hell, let’s just call it bleeding, has slowed to spotting and I’m down to just wearing panty liners and, get this, regular bikini underpants! Sure they’re the same one-size-up ones that I wore in third tri but at least they aren’t the hospital mesh granny panties that I wore for a week (I took four pair home with me!). I’m not sure if all this success is due to the placenta pills or not, but I can tell you that I feel better at 1.3 weeks postpartum from this pregnancy than I did with my first pregnancy. Of course that birth was a bit more difficult, too. Anyway, I do think the pills are helping, at least a little. I’ve tapered off to one or two pills per day because there aren’t that many and I’m supposed to save some for three, six and nine months postpartum. Speaking of pills, though, I’m completely off the ibuprofen now! It’s been three days since I took any so I’d say that need is dead for sure. Yay!

Okay, the squeamish ones can open their eyes now! (Who can really stay away from the gross stuff anyway, right?)

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Baby2 and I are ready for the public!

I’ve been getting out of the house more. Wednesday Mr. Handsome took his family to the coast and Baby2 and I got a lot of rest. That evening I finally got to walk around a whole two blocks (which really is like walking six blocks right?) and I felt really great when I got home, like I could do another two blocks! So on Thursday, yesterday, I probably overdid it a little. We took Baby2 to the pediatrician, then had lunch out, then went on a registry-completion spree at Target. First postpartum Target visit -big deal!! Then we only stopped at home for only about an hour before taking Kiddo1 to a late doctor’s appointment and finally going to dinner with Mr. Handsome’s family. Whew.

At dinner, Baby2 and I were pretty spent. It didn’t help that Baby2 was hungry, the restaurant was noisy (she seems to have trouble nursing in noisy environments) and we were hot. I ended up taking off her dress it was so hot! So she let out some loud cries at dinner and even though I ushered her out to calm her down, I still felt bad about 1) having a crying baby in a restaurant and 2) most importantly, not being able to get her fed! I tried a few times but she was just not having it. She ended up going five hours between afternoon feedings. I felt awful!! I talked it out with Mr. Handsome on the way home and I have agreed to take it down a notch. Today we still went out (I’ve got to do something with the in-laws!) but only to the Big Bookstore and lunch. Then Kiddo1 and I are going to watch the Olympics Opening Ceremonies (I’ve got to jet off to that here in a second!). He is super excited about that!

Physically I feel ready to do full days out but I don’t think Baby2 is quite ready and I might not be mentally ready to handle it either! I’m still in kind of a foggy state, although it is lifting a bit. It’s a super happy fog though! Happy baby drunk. I don’t really mind that not being back to normal!

A few “normal” things that have happened this week and I do like very much:

  • I drove for the first time in over a week! I was telling Mr. Handsome it felt like the first time you return home from college and get to drive the car you haven’t driven in months. He had a car in college though so he couldn’t really relate.
  • I cooked myself a meal! It was eggs and toast, not difficult, but I was proud enough!
  • I painted my nails, strategically timing polish removal, nail trimming and two coats of paint after the start of each of Baby2’s naps on Wednesday (when the fam was at the coast).
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Slowly shrinking!

A couple not-quite-normal things:

  • I feel great and so much smaller but I’ve only lost 12 pounds. I suppose the boobies have gain a pound or two though! Honestly I just weighed myself for the first time today, so I’m really trying not to focus on it. Feeling great and taking care of myself are definitely prioritized over losing weight. I am excited to get back to exercising, though. Hopefully I’ll get clearance for some light yoga after my two-week check-up. No water aerobics until the six-week mark though. Sad face.
  • So far I don’t really miss being pregnant which is great because I thought I’d miss it a lot. Maybe those four overdue days helped get that out of my system. I do feel a little, well, empty, for lack of a better word to explain it. Something was there that isn’t there anymore and my body notices it. I don’t miss being pregnant but I do miss that something extra. I have to get used to being just one person in this body again! Weird huh?

Well that was, once again, quite a massive brain dump. Off to get ready for our early afternoon out! Thanks for reading!!

Our First Days at Home

Wow, there has been so much to write about lately! First, again, thank you to everyone for your comments this week! I have loved reading your reactions to our birth story. Second, this is a really, really long post and most people will probably find it incredibly boring. However, I wanted to get this all down for myself before I forget. This is such an awesome part of my life and I don’t want to lose any of it! Here’s what’s going on with our start at breastfeeding, cloth diapering and how we’re all adjusting to our new family.

Breastfeeding

Baby2 took to breastfeeding like a natural. She ate for a solid hour after she was born. I couldn’t believe it! It didn’t take much to get her latched on and going.

The rest of that first day I attempted to feed her a dozen times, but she just wanted to sleep. The nurses and lactation consultant all assured us that sleeping the first whole day is completely normal. She ate wonderfully all night and the next morning, but she ended up losing eight ounces in the hospital.

She has continued to eat like champ since we arrived home Thursday at noon. She gained three ounces back by the time we saw the pediatrician on Friday morning! I had been anticipating that weigh-in for sure!

So far she’s eating about every 1-1/2 to 3 hours, but she has enjoyed some cluster feeding around dinner time. I’m not thinking at all about a schedule yet, just working her into an easy eat, play, sleep routine (more on that in a couple weeks).

My milk came in Saturday morning. I have felt very full but not painfully engorged. Mr. Handsome says my boobs are twice as big as Baby2’s head. I say they’re only one and a half times as big. I did have to bust out my pump on Saturday afternoon to get some relief, as Baby2’s 20-minute feedings just weren’t cutting it (I get a good 30-minute feeding a couple times a day). I got a solid two ounces in five minutes which was enough to feel some relief. Time to start building a breastmilk stash! I pumped again this morning for another two ounces. If I can continue to get just two ounces a day I’ll have 112 ounces saved by the time I go back to work!

Nights are honestly not bad. We put Baby2 down in her crib, but once she starts eating at night we keep her in our bed. That way I still get some sleep and Mr. Handsome doesn’t have to be too disturbed either. I’ve been taking a daily nap and so far keeping my energy at a good level.

Cloth Diapering

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Oh my goodness we are loving cloth diapers! Baby2 was in disposables for her first day, but we put a prefold and cover on her on Thursday morning and haven’t looked back. We’re using Osocozy size one prefolds with Snapis and covers by Kissaluvs, Thirsties, Bummis and Rumparoos (one of each brand, two newborn sized and two one-sized, two Velcro and two snaps). We haven’t picked a favorite yet, but we’ll get to that I’m sure.

So far we’ve done CD laundry once a day and OMG it is so easy! I literally empty the big wet bag into the machine, do a cold rinse then add my Nellie’s detergent to a hot wash with a cold rinse cycle. Pop in the dryer (we need a clothesline-type device!) and we’re done! We used flushable liners for two days to catch the newborn tar poop, but on Saturday she gave us nice liquid breastmilk poo so we ditched the liners. The diapers clean up just like new – even the ones that got tar poop on them!

We’re using cloth wipes too. So far we’ve just used water on the wipes. We keep a little bottle of water on the dresser and wet each wipe before use. Of course we haven’t had to clean too many colossal poos yet, but this method is working well so far!

Baby2’s Disposition

She is such an amazing baby! She rarely cries and when she does it is so easy to soothe her (thank goodness for The Happiest Baby on the Block!). She’s had fantastic periods of active alertness after feedings. It’s so wonderful to stare into her eyes and interact with her. I can tell that she knows her family’s voices already.

Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone AppShe sleeps great, usually nodding off 30-45 minutes after eating (but sometimes staying awake to just after her next feeding). I like to put her down while she’s still awake for at least one nap per day and at night (more on my sleep philosophies later). She does a great job conking herself out. I’ve been able to shower every day (that’s a big deal!) and even dry my hair and dress myself because of her ability to sleep (plus Mr. Handsome is all over holding her all the time).

She makes the best little faces, she smells fantastic (even her poop smells good! Really!), she seems to be trying to lift her head already (tummy time starts as soon as the cord stump falls off!), her skin is so soft, her eyes are so deep and intense, her toes and fingers are so long like her brother’s and her little nose is adorable. I’m so in love.

Adjusting

Life in general is on hold as I recover and we adjust. It’s wonderful having no outside-the-house responsibilities. My parents have been here since Wednesday afternoon. My dad is busy building a desk for/with Kiddo1 (he cut the pieces back in Phoenix and they put it together; they finished last night). My mom has been cooking and baking. All in all they’ve been great to have around. They leave tomorrow morning and Mr. Handsome’s parents and two older brothers arrive Tuesday afternoon. Lots of visitors in the house!

Kiddo1 is handling all of this very well. The kid has basically had his only-child life turned upside down: Dad is distracted with visitors and my requests (even though I try not to bother him, sometimes I just can’t get up from a feeding!), Mom is just straight-up different (I can’t go out much, I can’t walk far, I’m always breastfeeding), other people are constantly in our house and there’s a baby who everyone says looks just like him but he doesn’t see it.

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Kiddo1 (left) and Baby2 (right), both at about six hours old

He’s also been cooped up in the house ever since we got home on Thursday, which doesn’t help. He’s gotten out with one of my parents at least once a day, but it isn’t the family outings that he’s used to. We can’t have kids over for playdates like normal just yet either.

Since he’s got some extra energy he’s been a tad more sensitive, a little more short with his responses and a bit less responsive in general. He spends his time reading, playing video games, watching TV and occasionally helping my mom cook/bake or my dad build a desk for him.

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The finished desk he built with my dad

Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone AppDespite these things, he’s doing amazing. For the last couple nights, I’ve made a point to put Baby2 to bed around 8 so he and I can read together before he goes to bed. I try to sit with him and talk for a minute after tucking him in. He’s a fantastic child – so interested in big things right now like ships, planes, movies and books. He loves to bend someone’s ear about these things. I’ve tried to give him my full attention whenever he talks, but I admit I’ve had to dismiss him once or twice and it kind of breaks my heart to do so.

We’ve been talking about when he can expect things to return to normal, when the visitors will trail off and when he can have friends over again. I know he’ll pull through this transition time with flying colors.

Mr. Handsome is my freaking hero. He has dealt with everyone in the house tugging at him from every direction. My dad needs tools and miscellaneous items for the desk he’s building (they couldn’t bring his whole shop from Phoenix with them!) so Mr. Handsome tracks things down from neighbors. My mom needs to find stuff in the kitchen so he helps her and lets her talk to him about all kinds of stuff. Kiddo1 tells him everything, all day long, and he dutifully listens and tries to play with him as much as he can. Max bothers him to go outside, go to the park and toss the ball, plus he has been barking a lot more and Mr. Handsome meets most of his demands but always without complaint. I have tried to limit my own demands on him as much as possible but, like I said, sometimes I just can’t get up in the middle of a feeding. I don’t know how he’s handling all this, but he gets it done.

We don’t get a lot of alone time right now, which super sucks. I love talking to my husband, even if it’s about boring, day-to-day stuff. I don’t know if he’s noticed, but I’ve been trying to sneak in some time with him when he takes Max out back or to sit with him when he’s holding Baby2. Soon we will have time together again. In the meantime I just hope he’s staying sane with everyone’s constant demands!

Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone AppMax (our dog) has been a joy to watch adjust. On Thursday when we brought Baby2 home, I think Max was a little scared of her. He didn’t get too close to her and wouldn’t turn his back on her. Thursday night, though, she made some little coo noises while in her crib and he shot up in bed and booked it over to her to check things out. He slept in front of her crib. From then on out he’s been very curious about her and gives her lots of sniffs. He’s sensitive to her noises and will come right over to check her out.

He’s obviously jealous of her when Mr. Handsome holds her, though. He rushes right over to Mr. Handsome and tries to distract him. I find this amusing but I believe Mr. Handsome is getting a little annoyed.

Max has been barking a bit more and displaying other protective behaviors, but he is very gentle with Baby2 and has even given her a few little kisses! My camera isn’t quite fast enough to get a clear shot though.

As for me, there are only two words to describe my current mental state: baby drunk. My mind is in a happy fog in which I don’t feel too forgetful or “dumbed down” (for lack of a better phrase) but I do feel a little tipsy, if you will. I’m pretty much super happy in general!

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Out for breakfast – our first real outing as a foursome!

Today has been the first day that I’ve felt annoyed that I can’t do much yet. We ventured out to the neighborhood breakfast joint, a short four block walk away. Baby2 was snug in the wrap which was awesome – I can’t wait to start writing about our no stroller experiment! But even after four blocks there, a whole lot of sitting and four blocks back, I was spent when we got home. My body let me know that I needed to rest now. Luckily my parents had an outing planned with Kiddo1 so I took Baby2 to bed for her feeding and relaxed all afternoon.

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An evening walk around the neighborhood on Friday night

Otherwise, I’ve been pretty good physically. Sure, things are sore “down there,” but not “sit on an inflatable donut” sore, so that’s nice. We started taking an evening walk around the block on Friday night. After Saturday’s walk I vowed to walk two blocks tonight, although after this morning I might stick to just one block again. No need to push it. I’m just happy to get out of the house for a bit and Baby2 seems to love the fresh air.

Here are the gross parts of my postpartum period, so skip this paragraph if you’re queasy. My lifesavers for healing “down there” have been Earth Mama Angel Baby’s New Mama Bottom Spray and, what some like to call Peri Pops (pads doused with witch hazel and frozen – freaking heaven). I had used both every time I peed up until today, now I just use them when needed. I’m trying to wean myself. I’m also trying to cut back on the ibuprofen; I’m taking two or three doses a day, down from four or five 800 mg doses. I was super nervous about pooping for the first time because after my first pregnancy/delivery (with a third degree tear) pooping hurt more than anything ever had in my whole life. I had to scream and hold on to Mr. Handsome while I pooped. I shit you not (ha!). This time I started to get nervous because I hadn’t gone since Wednesday morning. But I finally pooped this morning and it went so well and I was so happy about it that I told Mr. Handsome! He was happy for me. One more gross thing, we took the placenta home and had it encapsulated. I’ve been taking placenta pills and I just drank some placenta tea since last night. Whoa. Too early to tell if it is having an impact, but the whole process was interesting to watch!

Enough gross stuff. And, I think, enough in general. That was quite a brain dump there (that I wrote over a few days) so I think I’ll go rest with my sleeping husband and baby. Yay!!

I Think I Have a Problem, Part 2

Back in mid-second tri, I had admitted my addiction to buying maternity clothes. I kept buying maternity clothes since then but have slowed WAY down in the past couple months. I did buy a pair of shorts and a skirt a couple weeks ago, but I remind myself that I only have a few weeks left to go so there’s really no point in buying anything else now… unless I can wear it after pregnancy too!

My addictions don’t really go away, they just get transferred to something else. For example, I used to bite my nails real, real bad. I don’t bite anymore but I am seriously addicted to nail polish and painting my nails. I probably own two dozen colors, no joke. I paint my nails almost every Sunday (I say almost because I have totally slacked in the last month, but before that I hadn’t missed a week in almost a year).

Now that I’m not buying maternity clothes, my addiction has transferred to the benefit of my daughter-to-be: she is super duper well-stocked with cloth diapers.

I’ve talked a little bit about my desire to cloth diaper this baby. I’ve read a great book (Changing Diapers by Kelly Wels) and attended a class at a local boutique. I subscribe to some cloth diaper blogs and follow feeds on Facebook. I have absorbed myself in the cloth diaper culture.

Early in this pregnancy, I told myself that I would only buy a couple diapers, see what works for us, and THEN stock up on our favorite brands and styles. Well, that plan quickly went out the window as my addiction to the fluff grew and grew.

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My AIO and pocket stash – some diapers were free so I do have doubles of the zoo animals and the yellow one. I got the flame wet bag for Mr. Handsome when he’s out on the town with Baby2.

First I was buying All-In-Ones (AIOs) and pocket diapers because they are the most similar to disposables. I think in the long run these will be great for us – Mr. Handsome stays home during the day so I want something quick and easy for him. Not because he couldn’t handle anything more complicated but because he has enough going on during the day – one less step in diapering is the least I can do for him. I’m already making him use cloth wipes as well so I don’t want to add any more complications!

The AIOs and pockets that I’ve gotten are pretty much all one-size diapers, meaning they have lots of rows of snaps so they can grow with your baby (most fit from approximately 10 to 35 pounds!). But they’re HUGE and super fluffy even when snapped to the smallest setting. I want to cloth diaper right from the get-go, mostly because we have a very limited capacity for garbage in our current living arrangement. These one-sizers aren’t going to fit a 7-ish pound newborn (Kiddo1 was 7 pounds 2 ounces at birth, so I anticipate something similar even though I know I could be WAY off).

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My covers and newborn stash (including a free newborn pocket I got with my last order! Who cares if it’s brown!), including snappis and a few cloth wipes. The prefolds aren’t pictured.

What’s a mama to do? Well, I chose to buy more diapers, of course! I’ve heard prefolds are a great way to go for newborns, so I got me 12 unbleached cotton prefolds, 2 hemp prefolds (for heavy wetting) a three pack of snappis to secure the prefolds and four newborn/small size covers (plus four more one-size covers!). I’m even thinking about taking these to the hospital with us so Baby2 is cloth diapered from the get-go.

So that’s my latest addiction. Hi. My blog name is Mother Mary. And I am addicted to cloth diapers. And my baby isn’t even born yet!

Cloth Diaper Class

Today I went to a class all about cloth diapering with my moms group. Actually, Mr. Handsome and Kiddo1 came along, too! (Mr. Handsome asked to come so Kiddo1 was drug along by default.)

It was a great class about the overview of cloth diaper types, cleaning/care and overall “poop management” (what do I do with the poo?-type questions/answers).

It was encouraging for me in a number of ways. One, I was happy to actually not learn too much new information which means the books I’ve been reading (mainly Changing Diapers) and Googling I’ve been doing has paid off! I already had a good handle on the different types of diapers and washing methods. The class did help to fill in the gaps about what types are good for specific situations. For example, the All-In-One is great for when grandparents or babysitters are doing the diapering because it most resembles a disposable diaper. Also, prefolds with covers are great for hanging out at home and a pocket with a disposable liner is good for being out-and-about because you can flush the poop away instead of taking it home with you.

Two, I learned some great washing tips. For example, our instructor told us that the dryer lends a hand in sterilizing diapers so the don’t start to smell. I had no idea! I was very gung-ho about line drying in the sun (at least in the summer when we have sun in the PacNW) in order to naturally bleach stains. Now I’ll probably balance the machine-drying and line-drying sessions so we get the best of both worlds.

Three, Mr. Handsome got to hear about all things cloth from someone other than me. Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure he’s absorbed the knowledge that I’m passing along, but it certainly helps to have another person explain it all. I have no doubt that he’ll be a great cloth-diaperer – probably better than me when it comes down to it, as he’ll be doing a majority of the diapering after my maternity leave is over. Plus I think he’s totally into the diaper-sprayer concept and will probably be rigging one up in our bathroom soon (I think this will come in very handy during those early postpartum days too!).

To celebrate our confirmed and new-found knowledge (and use a coupon we were given at the class – I can’t resist a coupon!) I indulged in some new hemp/cotton cloth wipes and some of the aforementioned flushable liners for when we’re on the town with Baby2.

I also got another coupon from Kelly’s Closet for a free one-size diaper (this is quickly becoming my new obsession) so I bought a couple more covers today so I can use the prefolds we always register for (we got these with Kiddo1, too, even though we weren’t cloth diapering then because they’re great for spit-up rags, burp clothes, etc). Since my first purchase, the collection has grown by these four pocket cuties:

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You can probably tell that I’m trying to scoop up the prints as they go on sale! The yellow diaper was a freebie! I can’t wait to see what today’s freebie brings me. At this rate we should be well supplied by July!

Crappy Pictures: Cloth Diaper Hilarity

This is too funny not to share with of you:

http://crappypictures.com/2012/03/cloth-diapers-the-good-and-the-crappy.html