Sunday, February 26, 2012

Love, Marriage, and Baby Carriages

Here is my attempt to blog about something other than a "monthly" update :)

 Being a new momma I spent my fair share of time trying to find my niche in motherhood, wife-hood, and general life-hood. I think it's something that all first-time mom's must experience to one degree or another.  In our days before Cale I spent a lot of my time absolutely spoiling Alan and Bentley rotten, hanging out with my girlfriends, and doing whatever I wanted to do when I wanted to do it. (Ha! How life has changed?!)

I really struggled to find myself in the sleepless days of early motherhood. Everything that I had went to Cale, and on good days when there was time and energy left over, it went to Alan and Bentley. By the end of those long days I found myself looking in the mirror while brushing my teeth in the evenings and finding a very tired looking, not well kept momma.  I shared this feelings with Alan, who assured me 'this too shall pass.' And, he was right. I finally felt like I was "getting" this whole mom thing. I was learning not to be too hard on myself and to trust my instincts when it came to parenting Cale. I've learned of the beauty of motherhood. I now totally respect that each child, each mom, and each family is different---and beautiful, just how God intended it to be!

Alan was my rock during my learning curve---and, he continues to be! Our marriage has flourished as new parents.  I still have 'hard' days, days where I go to bed feeling absolutely exhausted, defeated, and beat-up. BUT, those days are shadowed by the great days we have as a family of four. On crazy good days, I'm even intrigued by the thought of having another baby---don't panic, those sleepless nights quickly change that thought, haha!

When it came down to preparing to welcome a baby to our home, I also did my fair share of reading on nurturing my marriage while caring for a newborn. Even before Cale was here I knew the importance of keeping our marriage healthy during the trials and tribulations that this transition would bring. Both of our boys deserved to live in a house with happy, loving, rock-solid parents!

From the moment he was born, recovering from my c-section while trampsing down to the NICU every three hours to love on my little one, our teamwork as a husband and wife increased one-hundred-fold. It was an amazing feeling! At this point in our relationship, after seven years of being with Alan, I can say our teamwork and communication have never been stronger. No crazy, sleep deprived fighting. Just normal adult communication to work out any issues that we have had along the way. Parenting with him as my partner melts my heart. He's amazing!

Don't get me wrong---my husband isn't a Mike Brady, he comes with imperfections. He's ornery. He isn't the best "house husband" (aka: he lacks in participation in the house chores department). Going into this transition, I told him I needed his encouragement more than anything. I would continue to serve my family in all the ways I did before the baby, as well as the vast majority of baby duties, as long as I had his encouragment and kind words. He does this for me very thoughtfully! He has a HUGE heart, and he loves me and the boys with every single bit of it ;)

I love being his wife and the mother of his boys. I'm so proud of us, and I'm so happy that we aren't just surviving these hard sleepless days---we are thriving!! God is so good to us!

Before the Firefighters Ball, February 2012


Wednesday, February 22, 2012

3 Months

Our sweet babe turned THREE MONTHS old on Saturday. Where does time go?!

Stats:  At his well-child check on Friday he weighed 12 pounds 5 ounces, putting him in the 29th-percentile. He is a growing little guy!

Sizes:  He is still wearing Size 1 diapers (they are suppose to fit up to 14-pounds), but we gage his diaper size based on number of frequent 'blow-outs.' We're not quite ready to move up to the next size yet.....we still have an abundance of Size 1 diapers!  His clothes range from newborn size to 3-6 month size. I have learned to just hold them up for a glance, because it really doesn't matter what the tag says.

Food: I joked the other day that my 3-month-old is eating me out of house and home, ha! Wonder what life will be like as a teenager?! He has started waking up earlier, so we start eating earlier now. In the mornings thru early afternoon he eats 4-6oz every two hours (sometimes stretching it out to 2 1/2 hours). His appetite slows down in the late afternoons and evenings. Our goal is 30-ounces in a 24-hour period---this gives him 2.5 ounces per pound of body weight. Pretty standard.

I started supplementing with formula several weeks ago. At first I did this with his night time bottles for selfish reasons: I was ready to start getting more sleep. Since his days in the NICU I have exclusively pumped, so during the middle of the night I was waking to feed him THEN sitting awake to pump. This worked wonderfully. AND, now since he eats more frequently during the day I am not able to produce enough milk every two hours. I offer him what I'm able to pump, then supplement the rest with formula if need be.

Routine:  Like I mentioned above, he wakes up earlier (between 7-7:30am) so we start our day earlier now. The biggest change in the last month with routine has been is napping. This child has not been a napper! In the last month, though, I have him taking TWO naps in his crib each day. Whenever he starts getting cranky, usually mid-morning, he gets swaddled for a nap. Both naps generally last about an hour, which thrills me!! :)

There have been a couple nights of that I have seen a six-hour stretch of sleep. Whoa! Those nights definitely spoil my body! We haven't made any new strides in his sleeping patterns during the last month, though. There hasn't been any consistency to his longer stretches of sleep :/ He had a couple of great nights in a row last week, but I have felt like I've had a newborn the last 2-3 nights. This boy woke up to eat three times last night, ugh! Gone are the days of soothing him back to sleep with a pacifier and rocking---when he decides to eat, it's time to EAT.
Developmental Milestones: Cale has started smiling and 'talking' much more--I love our sweet little conversations full of coo's and grunts! He is also finally starting to lift his entire head off of the floor during his tummy time (just a few inches). This is an improvement from turning his head from side-to-side while dragging his poor little face on the floor. He has also started noticing and responding to sounds (ie: turning his head in the direction of the noise). I'm so proud of my growing boy! Watching him grow and change daily is absolutely amazing (and very bittersweet for this mama!).
Loves:  He continues to LOVE his bath time, eating, lights, ceiling fans, and 'gym' time. He is becoming quite independent. If he feels you have been holding him too long, he'll get fussy until you sit him down to play by himself. He enjoys kicking around and staring at himself in the mirror---seriously, he has a little mirror in his 'gym' and he constantly looks at himself. I love to listen to his private conversations with himself while I'm getting ready, too funny! (Must get that from his Daddy!??)  He has finally grown into his swing, which he is loving. He becomes absolutely infatuated with the mobile, and he will promptly let you know when it quits moving.

Being a mama to these two sweet boys is my greatest joy in life! Words cannot describe the love I have in my heart for my house full of boys---my cup runneth over.

God is so good.