Monday, August 22, 2016

Life Lately

i have so many things i need to write about, but my thoughts are just not organized and i need to get something off of my chest.  so this well be a post all over the place.

helena's been in her big girl bed since friday night.  it was horrible putting it together and caused me to leave the house unannounced to chris and two crying babies.  night time as proven to be easier than nap time.  i say this just because today is the first day i've put her down for her nap and she still isn't sleeping (i'll need to go get her in 30 minutes).  saturday we decided to go to las cruces (an hour away) for dinner and when we came to wake her from her nap she immediately said "mommy daddy go on date night?"  i assume this was because i was wearing a skirt.  i guess when we go on a date i wear skirts?  it was pretty cute.

i'm so over the hot.  it is so hot here.  there are no splash pads, in fact the huge improvement the city did make this summer: covered parks.  when we first moved here there was only one covered park.  now there are 5 or 6!  we have a bunch of water toys in the backyard, but we don't maintain the yard, and when helena was in the backyard a couple of weeks ago when my parents were visiting she got so many mosquito bites that i really don't want to take her back there.

bennett and helena have the same bedtime and it's so nice.

i've gotten obsessed with LuLaRoe.  i bought a few pieces back in january, and now one of my best friends will be selling it, and that has just added to my obsession.

i'm doing ok with not breastfeeding.  expect when i read blog posts from 2 years ago about how much i loved nursing Helena.  then i get super sad.  i'm seriously entertaining the idea of having a 3rd child just so i can breastfeed.  speaking of a 3rd child, i would have a 3rd if i were younger.  and i hate that my age is such a factor.

helena finally fell asleep...20 minutes before i have to go get her up.  wonderful.

i just realized i never wrote about my night away without the kids.  at the beginning of the month i went on an overnight retreat for MOPS.  it was amazing.  it was great to be with other moms, to share stories, to pray, and just talk about the different paths we are on.  we went on a short "hike" to see a beautiful waterfall, we got our food cooked for us, and cleaned after.  it was a dream.

this months Younique kudos is so amazing.  beautiful makeup: eye shadow, eye liner, and lipstick.  plus it provides awareness on how to talk to your kids about sexual abuse.  so important.

i really like watching the olympics.  it's fun to watch something different.  did you see how hot the men's gymnastics team was?

helena has started going to a music class on thursdays.  it's super fun and reminds me of a class we did in denver.  in october i hope to take her to dance classes.

i've been so tired lately, and sick.  both kids had a running nose last week.  i had a sore throat over the weekend, and today i'm just super stuffy.

i'm still not used to doing laundry for 4 people.  it is probably one of the biggest adjustments.  when i bring all the dry clothes and dump them onto our bed to organize i still think to myself "i'm doing laundry for 4 people!"

i told chris yesterday "one of the things i hate most about my life right now: now taking a daily shower."  it's true.  it's weird how showering daily just used to be part of my normal life.  now it's like a luxury.  i don't even remember the last time i took a shower two days in a row.

bennett hates tummy time and therefore nowhere close to rolling over.  at this time 2 years ago helena was already rolling over.

i really hope to get a good nights sleep tonight.
just a cute picture from last week.  helena always asks for me to put bennett down in her crib (when she had a crib anyways).

Friday, July 29, 2016

Bennett at 3 months


Bennett turned 3 months old on Monday!

He's becoming such a fun baby, and laid back.  Laid back mainly because he's a second child.  That's what I think anyways.

He can do raspberries, and is such a drooler!  He soaks the front of his shirt.  He loves to talk, and while we were in Albuquerque his first full on belly laugh came out.  So now we spend lots of time trying to get him to laugh because it is such an amazing and beautiful noise.  He is starting to put himself on a schedule which is so amazing to me, because it seems so early for him to be on any type of "schedule".  For about a week now he's been sleeping from about 9pm to about 6am.  Even better when he does wake up he just wakes up and talks.  I'll hear him playing and talking in his crib.  He doesn't even cry.  Usually if he does cry it's because he is super tired.  He definitely has moments when he fights sleep and that's when his cries are the worst.  Thankfully when I find the right rock position he'll usually easily fall asleep.  He has an amazing smile and his face I feel is changing again.  When he is awake he is constantly moving.  He loves to kick his legs and flare his arms.  If we're holding him he likes to be upright to be looking around.  He does really good in the car and usually if he is upset the movement of the car calms him down.  Helena loves reading to him and tickle his toes and kiss his head.  She'll take his arm when he is laying down and "stretch" him.  He really enjoys laying on the play mat but doesn't really like sitting in the bumpo.  He's in size 3 month clothes although some brands are too tight.  And size 2 diapers.  Overall he's just so much fun.

Earlier this week I had decided to stop pumping.  I'm pumping so little but pumping every 3 hours.  Living my life in 3 hour increments has been exhausting.  And every time I try and get Bennett to latch he just screams.  It's been emotional and hard.  I know he can do it, but I feel too much time has passed for him to relatch.  I feel I'm ending the journey on a high note though, which is giving me closure.  He did latch yesterday, even if just for a few moments.  I tried and stepped out of what I normally do.  I took him into the bed with me, and basically laid over him and he did latch.  It's been a rough few days as I keep going back and forth between still pumping and trying to breastfeed, and stopping.  I desperately wanted that relationship with my son, but I'm thankful for the short journey that we did have.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Week in ABQ

my mom taking care of Bennett while I pump

hanging out



at the aquarium



The kiddos and I traveled to ABQ last week.  My good friend Tina and her family traveled to ABQ from Florida to meet her sister-in-laws baby...Bennett and Olivia are a little more than a month apart!  So I took the opportunity to go up and see her and her family.  I was so super anxious about this trip.  Little people need so much stuff!  Overall the kids did great, and thankfully Bennett does wonderfully in the car!  I wish I had taken more pictures.  As I didn't really take any until the last day.
Here's a run down of our week.
Once we arrived on Monday we went to dinner with parents to Padilla's.
Tuesday morning we met my friend Sarah and her daughter Clover at the park for a super short play date!  We then met my friend Emily at Chick-fil-A!  It was "dress like a cow day" and Helena was super entertained.  When the cow came out she wanted to say hi, as it got closer she wanted nothing to do with it.  As it got away again she wanted to give it kisses!  I was super thankful as my mom took over caring for Bennett Monday night, but Tuesday I was still exhausted.  So I took a nap Tuesday afternoon and slept until dinner time!
Wednesday morning we met the Witty family for a good breakfast and Cinnamon Sugar and Spice Cafe, we then all hung out and there vacation rental house.  Max was so good playing with Helena it was precious.  Then Cammie came over with her little one month old Olivia.  The babies slept opposite times!  Wednesday evening all of my aunts came over for a pizza dinner and to meet Bennett.  He slept the whole time, it was his only real nap during this trip.  After about 2 hours I finally woke him up.
Thursday I met my cousin Kari for breakfast at Jimmy's Cafe, we then hung out at her place.  Thursday evening I drove to my family friend Chris' cigar shop for a gathering after his father's funeral.  Chris is my age and he lost his mom, Mary about 5 years ago.  Mary was a good family friend, and she grew up with my mom and all of her sisters in Santa Fe. His dad, David suddenly passed away the week before and it was important to me to pay my respects since I was in town.  I obviously didn't want to take the kids to the funeral, but I was happy to go see Chris afterwards give him a hug and tell him how sorry I am.
Friday morning my parents joined us for a fun adventure to the Albuquerque Aquarium.  Helena loved saying over and over "go see more fishies".  She loved that fishies were everywhere, and now askes daily to go see the fishies!
After the aquarium we headed back home.
Overall the trip was great.  By the end both kids were pretty cranky, I think from just being on the go non-stop and constantly leaving the house.

4th of July weekend

how cute is this onsie?  courtesy of Grandma Sweat, of course!

hanging out outside

super cute 4th of July dress!

sparklers!

she loves her grandma

My in-laws were in town for the 4th of July, and I'm just so appreciative that they have made the drive to come see us.  It truly means so much.
We had a great time.  On the 4th of July we drove up to Cloudcroft a small mountain town about 30 minutes away and at least 10 degrees cooler!  We checked out the Apple Barn Store, had lunch, and walked around the town.  It was a lot of fun.
I love seeing how my in-laws interact with Helena and Bennett.  They both love the attention!  Helena had a lot of naked time playing outside with the little pool and water toys!  We tried to watch the big fireworks show from our house on the 4th, but we couldn't see it.  I was sad Helena didn't get the experience, so we did fireworks in the driveway the next day.  She loved the sparklers.
Right now on repeat is Helena asking "what's that?" "what's that?" and "what's that noise?" "what's that noise?"  over and over and over again.  And it was nice to have other people respond!

CS vs VBAC


 I've been meaning to write more about my birth experiences lately since I'm fully recovered from Bennett's birth.  Comparing is hard because every birth is so different.  And what happened for me obviously can't be duplicated.  But I write for me and because I want to remember.
I feel like both of my births were pretty classic textbook births.  Helena was a planned c-section.  Check into hospital go to room for surgery get baby.  Bennett was induced on his due date.  Start pitocin, contractions start, break water, get to 10 centimeters, push baby out.  Truly that's about it.  Of course there are a LOT more details, but that's the condensed version.
My main motivation for deciding on a VBAC was to have that instant skin on skin and to not have the struggles with breastfeeding that I did with my first.  With a c-section your milk is delayed and I didn't want that.  There were of course other reasons, but those were the two big main ones.
I feel like the big thing that isn't talked about at ALL is the recovery from a vaginal birth.  I had the idea that it would be easy.  There is a lot of talk about the hard recovery from a cs because it is a major abdominal surgery, but nobody talks about the hard recovery from a vaginal birth.  You hear about women tearing; having a 2nd degree tear all the way to a 4th degree tear.  But what does that mean post baby?!  It's weird that with a cs all the talk is about healing and your scar healing, well with a vaginal birth you birthed your baby out of your vagina!  Simply put, no the recovery is not any less.  I was "lucky" I only had a 2nd degree tear inside (supposedly those heal easier than an external tear).  I still bleed for 5 weeks and couldn't pee like normal until about 6 weeks.  For about the first 3 weeks by the end of the day I was in tears going to the bathroom.  I desperately wanted to just go to the bathroom like normal.  After about a week I found laying on my side in the afternoons helped tremendously.  The other big difference is not really having the ability to "hold it" now that I've had a baby vaginally.  I loved having that immediate skin to skin connect with Bennett.  And being present with him the whole time and having my arms to myself.  I was able to hold him and talk to him right away.  I hated being separated from Helena while I got stitched back up.  I definitely liked that my recovery from my VBAC was quicker than my CS, but I gotta be honest, I liked the predictability aspect of a scheduled CS.  I think if I were to have a third baby (no more baby plans, FYI) I would go for another VBAC.  For me there was something super powerful about delivering Bennett.  Now that it is over talking about Bennett's birth is something I love to talk about and share.  And I love to hear other versions as well.  During one of our post-partum meetings I asked my doula to share her version of Bennett's birth story.  And I probably ask Chris to share his version every few weeks or so.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Bennett at 2 months



Baby Bennett is two months, and had his two month appointment yesterday!
We have a happy and healthy baby!
13 pounds
24 inches

He is a chunk!  His personality is really starting to come out!  He already has a really good vocabulary, and the doctor was super pleased with his vowels and consonants.  He has so many different facial expressions and I just love his smile and coos.  Our conversations are so much fun.  I love it when he responds!  He is still in the bassinet (he's been in 2 weeks longer than Helena was) and in the mornings when I pump he'll just look over at me and smile and smile.  I love it, and makes the pumping worth while since I hate it so much.  He's sleeping from about 10pm to 5am, sometimes 6.  He fights sleep like no other.  He'll scream and cry before giving in. But there are also times when he'll just go down in the bassinet be wide awake and I'll just turn off the light and go to bed, and he'll eventually fall asleep.  He's a great self soother and for that I'm grateful.  However I miss holding a sleeping baby and just holding a baby period.  That's one of the extremely hard things about having Helena.  I don't get to really spoil Bennett. At least, that's how I feel.  So he spends lots of time in the swing.  Him and Helena look nothing alike.  I look at pictures of Helena when she was two months old, and they don't look like siblings.  I'm super curious to see how he changes because he has already changed so much.
Breastfeeding is anything but.  It's super hard on me because this was one of my big motivations for going for the VBAC, was to have my milk come in and to have a full supply so I could breastfeed without the same struggles that I did with Helena.  Bennett won't even breastfeed.  It's really hard to not be emotional about it, because I want him to.  I want to have that experience.  He will latch with a nipple shield but it is short lived, and it is only when I feed him some bottle first.  If I try to offer me first, he starts to cry and fuss even when I try to get him into position to feed.  It's heartbreaking because I want it so bad.  And pumping, the pumping.  I'm pumping about 5 or 6 times a day and usually only get about 2 ounces total after pumping for 20/25 minutes.  So on average he gets about 10 ounces of my breast milk a day.  My goal right now is 16 weeks, just because that's how long my leave was with Helena was when I was working.  I would be more motivated to keep pumping if I was pumping more, but to spend that type of time away from Helena, Bennett, and housework for so little is draining and just not worth it.  I'll continue to try to get him to latch and pray and hope that he'll come around and give me the breastfeeding relationship I dream up, but in my gut I know it's over.  I feel so sad about it because I don't even remember the last time he latched.  Because I didn't know it would be the last time.  I still remember the last time I breastfed Helena and it was such a good moment because I knew it would be the last so I was able to memorize it.
Overall Bennett is a really good baby.  When he wakes up in the middle of the night he's super quiet which is part of the reason he is still in the bassinet, because I'm fearful I won't hear him on the monitor with him in his room in the crib.  But he is really getting too big for it, so I feel he'll be in his crib by the end of the week.
He eats a lot and will sometimes he 6 ounces at once.  He's still in size 1 diapers, just because I don't want to waste any, and size 3 month clothing.  Although some are getting snug.  I think he might be a blue-eyed boy.  Helena had blue/gray eyes, but his have no gray, which makes me think they could stay blue.  It's definitely weird having a baby that looks nothing like me.  He's definitely a mini-Chris.  He's a lot of fun and he gets so much love, especially from Helena.  I'm extremely blessed to be him mom.

Friday, June 17, 2016

Let's Compare

I'm behind, but here is my growing baby bump.
25 weeks 6 days

30 weeks

35 weeks

38 weeks

39 weeks 4 days

40 weeks
This time around I really miss being pregnant.  You don't realize how easy the end of pregnancy is until you are caring for a toddler and a newborn.  I knew going out would be the biggest struggle.  An outing with both kids by myself needs special preparation.  I found that if I need to go out at the "last minute" I need a good 40 minutes before we leave the house.

Bennett and Helena look nothing alike in my opinion.  They do both have big eyes, but that's where the similarities end.  People say Helena is like a mini me, and that Bennett is a mini Chris.  More and more I can see how Bennett looks like Chris.  I also think Bennett just might be a blue eyed boy.  I was expecting Bennett to have a full head of hair, just because Helena did.  Within his first few weeks the hair on top of his head all fell out. When you see him from the back and all of his hair in the back, it's like he's a different baby.
Helena

Bennett