Thursday, October 9, 2014

{Dear Elijah | Two Months}


Dear Elijah,

My sweet baby boy. You are growing and changing so quickly and I am in awe of your beautiful little spirit that is already shining through so brightly at only 8 weeks old. You have such a delightful and calm demeanor and I am so crazy in love with you.
I am not sure what your official weight is at the moment (we go for our 2 month visit to the pediatrician next week), but you are definitely filling out now and your wrinkly little newborn features are slowly slipping away ::sigh:: I am guessing you are somewhere around 8 1/2 to 9lbs....maybe more. You are still a peanut for sure (and still wearing newborn sized clothes) but you are healthy and growing and that is what matters!

You are smiling up a storm these days and it makes my heart melt every single time. It almost never fails when I tickle the corners of your little mouth. So sweet! I swear I even heard the tiniest little giggle the other day. I almost died! You are starting to make the sweetest little cooing noises lately and I can tell you are already trying to "talk". You are definitely starting to focus more on the world around you and I love watching you just stare so intently at things as if you are trying to figure it out.
Well, nursing has continued to be a bit of a struggle for me. The soreness has continued very much for me to the degree that I just keep saying I'm not sure how much longer I can hold on. I also continue to have a total undersupply of milk, despite efforts of constant pumping, drinking mothers milk tea, and taking Fenugreek (which is totally making me smell like maple syrup...ha). So, at this point...I am only nursing you once or twice a day (usually in the middle of the night and then maybe once during the day) and giving you bottles of pumped milk the rest of the time to make sure you are getting enough. You don't stay satisfied for very long when you nurse (even after nursing for an hour at times) because you just don't get enough from me.
My dear friend, Kara, was a surrogate mother for another couple and delivered twin boys back in December. She offered to pump and give them the breastmilk for the babies but they ultimately decided not to use it. Kara ended up pumping for 2-3 months anyway after the birth and ended up with a pretty huge stockpile of breastmilk in her deep freezer. She donated a lot of it and still had about half of the stockpile left, so once she heard about how much trouble I was having this time around, she offered to give me the rest of it (probably about 500 oz) to help supplement what I was already doing. It was such a beautiful and generous offer and it has been such a huge relief! I have a feeling that we'll have to make the switch to formula sometime relatively soon (maybe 3-4 months), but I figure the longer I can give you breastmilk the better. So, I have been using half my milk and half Kara's for each bottle so I can make the stockpile last as long as possible. You knock a 3-4oz bottle back like nobody's business and I am so relieved to see you looking so happy and satisfied after you eat. It has been really hard for me to let go of the image in my head of breastfeeding you for even longer than I was able to go with Lucy (which was about 10 months), but I know that me stressing about it so much is not good for anybody. I have just been so incredibly blessed with an amazing support network of friends, family and health professionals and I know that I have done just about everything I can to make this as successful as possible.

I had given up dairy pretty much right away after you were born because your sister was super sensitive to it when she was a newborn and I just didn't even want to take the chance with you. But I started experimenting a little bit with it when you were about 3-4 weeks old and you didn't seem to have any sensitivity issues, so I have since added it back into my diet. It's definitely a relief, especially because we wouldn't be able to use Kara's milk otherwise since she was eating dairy at the time she was pumping. You don't seem to have issues with any other foods either, although you are super gassy sometimes (which doesn't even seem to bother you) and have earned the name "sir toots a lot" :)
You take many naps (often for 2-3 hours at a time...maybe longer) and you are a rockstar sleeper for the first part of the night. You'll sleep from about 8pm to 3:30 or 4am with a feeding around 11pm or so. But after the 3:30am feeding, you'll only go back to sleep for maybe an hour before you start grunting and flailing around. You don't cry (unless we really take forever to pick you up) and you don't even seem hungry ...you're just ready to party. Daddy has been sweet enough to take the early morning shift on most days, but neither of us are getting good sleep in general these days. But it's okay, sweet boy...we're all just trying to figure it all out. You're just doing your job :)
You currently enjoy:

-your binky
-bath time
-the rainforest play mat
-being held/snuggled/talked to/sung to
-your big sister

You dislike:

-the car seat (when it is not in motion)
-being put down
-waiting too long to be fed once you decide you are finally hungry
I love you with all my heart and soul, sweet boy.

Love, Mama

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

{motherhood}

"Motherhood brings as much joy as ever, but it still brings boredom, exhaustion and sorrow too. Nothing else will ever make you as happy or as sad, as proud or as tired, for nothing is quite as hard as helping a person develop into his own individuality especially while you struggle to keep your own."

{Marguerite Kelly}

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

{Dear Lucy | 3 years + 4 months}

Dear Lucy,

You suddenly seem SO grown up to me lately. I'm sure it has a lot to do with the fact that you're a big sister now. The moment your brother was born, it's like you aged 10 years and gained 30 pounds. Slow down, baby girl!!
You are little miss independent these days which is actually really helpful now that baby brother is here.  I'm often feeding him when you first wake up in the morning and since daddy has already left for work at that hour on most days, it's nice that you can go down and get a morning snack and your milk cup out of the fridge on your own. Then you'll come snuggle in bed with us while he finishes nursing. It's also super helpful that you can get yourself dressed in the morning (as long as I get the clothes out and ready for you).
You're also great at entertaining yourself when needed. You have such an awesome imagination and I just love listening to the games and stories you come up with as you're playing with your toys and dolls. You are always telling me which stuffed animals are the mommy's and which ones are the daddy's....and of course there are always babies, too. You also like to tell me that I need to pretend I'm the grandma. Too funny.
You have such a beautiful and adventurous spirit. You are a thrill seeker...just like your mama...and it makes me so happy. Kings Island (amusement park) is one of your favorite places in the world and you just love all of the rides there! You hit the magic height this year of 36" and you are now able to ride a lot more things than you could last year. You were extra excited that you were able to ride a "big" ride this year - the Scrambler! Since I was pregnant all summer, I couldn't ride anything with you. But I was finally able to go on the Scrambler with you when we went a couple of weeks ago and we had such a blast :)
The Beetlebugs are one of your favorite rides in the kiddie area. You just squeal with glee every time it zips you quickly around the corner!
You're pretty much just happy to ride anything...
 You're also super patient while waiting in the lines...makes me proud. 
The day we went was the first day of the special Trick or Treating event for kids. We haven't gotten your official costume yet for this year, but you were more than happy to wear your Sofia the First dress up outfit. You loved going around to all of the Trick or Treat stations and you especially loved the awesome (and huge!) petting zoo they had there.
You started a toddler ballet/tap dance class (called "Twinkle Toes") last week and you are so excited to go back for your second class later today. You look super adorable and grown up in your beautiful ballet outfit. I just can't get over it. My little ballerina beauty!
You are just as sassy as ever these days and your temper tantrums can be pretty epic (to say the least), but you are just the sweetest little thing most of the time. You are especially sweet with your baby brother. You love him to pieces and you always want to be around him and know what he is doing. You love singing to him and reading him stories and you love talking to him in this adorable and hilarious super high pitched voice. Elijah just loves watching you and you get so excited every time he flashes you his big, beautiful smile. I am obsessed with watching the two of you together. I am the luckiest mama in the whole world.
 You currently love:

-Your baby brother
-Reading and doing "school work"
-Drawing with pencils
-Playing games on the iPad
-Frozen, Brave, and Stuart Little
-Mickey Mouse Clubhouse
-Watching ballerina videos on the computer
-Kings Island
-Playing outside as much as possible
-Popsicles
-Bagels & cream cheese (it's all you every want for breakfast)
-Playing in the bathtub for as long as we'll let you
-Constantly asking"Why?"
-Fishing
You currently dislike:

-Being told it's time for bed...no matter how much warning we give you
-When I count to 3 while trying to get you to listen
-When we don't leave your bedroom door cracked enough at bedtime
-When you accidentally spill food on yourself
I just love you so much, my beautiful little ladybug girl. You are wild and crazy and exhausting sometimes, but you are also so incredibly sweet, thoughtful, smart, funny, creative, brave and so many other amazing things all wrapped up into one beautiful package. I just adore every inch of you from your head to your toes.

I love you to the moon and back...and back again.

Love,
Mama

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

{6 Weeks}

I am many days late with this 6 week update...but I wanted to go ahead and post it anyway. Life is crazy these days and often feels super hectic and chaotic...but I'll take it. Our days are also filled with plenty of fun and love and joyfulness. I can't believe that my baby boy is already 6 weeks old!! I also can't believe that I haven't written out my birth story yet. I keep saying that I just haven't found the time yet (which is very much true)...but I think it's even more that I haven't found the words yet. It was such a long and intense and incredible experience and I just want to give it justice. At some point (soon) I am just going to need to bite the bullet and put pen to paper (or fingers to keys) and get it out there. 

Elijah is such a supreme joy in our lives. These past 6 weeks have just gone so quickly and I am trying to soak up each and every moment as they come. 
The kiddos and I spent last weekend at my parents house in Cincinnati. The weather was absolutely beautiful and of course we took advantage by having a little photo session outside. I laid Elijah on the blanket to get his 6 week pictures and Lucy jumped in and started loving on her baby brother...which she does as often as possible. Be still my heart. I just love these babies so much. 
I absolutely love that my parents have such playful spirits. Lucy just loves being with them SO much.
 My papa was kind enough to snap this picture of Elijah and I. At first I told him "no thanks" because I wasn't feeling too pretty that day...but then I remembered how important it is to be on the other side of the camera with my children. It turns out...I really love this photo.

Friday, September 12, 2014

{I have kids}

That's right. I have kids. Plural. It's really just starting to hit me now. I have kids!! Seriously though, I am so completely obsessed with watching these two together. Lucy is just so incredibly sweet with him and he just fixates on her whenever she is talking or singing to him. She loves to give him the sweetest little kisses on his nose and loves to hug him ever so gently. She is so proud to be a big sister and emphatically announces to all we meet that his name is Elijah and he is her baby brother. So incredibly sweet! 





I have kids...and I'm completely obsessed with them :)


Sunday, September 7, 2014

{Dear Elijah | One Month}

Dear Elijah,

I still cannot believe that I have a little boy! I always wondered what in the world I would do with a boy if I had one- I honestly worried a little bit about it. But now that you're here, I just cannot imagine what we ever did without you. I have loved you since the moment I found out that you were growing in my belly, and I fall more deeply in love with you with each passing day. I love the little noises you make when you are sleeping. I love the way you stare into my eyes while I am swaying you in my arms. I love all of the silly facial expressions you make while you're looking around and checking out the world. I love the way you curl up in a perfect little ball on my chest as if you're remembering what it was like to be in the womb. I love your random little smiles - especially the ones that happen while you're nursing (and I don't care if it's just gas).
We've been going to the pediatrician's office for weekly weight checks and last week you were only 6lbs 2oz (1 oz under your birth weight). We went for another check a couple of days ago and you were up to 6lbs 10 1/2oz! I seriously could have cried when I looked at the scale- I was so happy. I've just been so worried about making sure you get what you need, but it looks like everything we've been doing is working- thank god. So for now, we will just keep doing what we're doing (nursing, pumping, supplementing with the pumped milk from a bottle). It looks like the next step will be going to a dentist in 2 weeks that will clip your posterior tongue tie. You papa and I are going to do a little more research to make sure that this is something we really want to do, but the pediatrician thinks that you will really benefit from it, and that it will make a huge difference with the nursing. I really hope that's the case because I may not last much longer otherwise- it sure has been tough on your mama. I'm not ready to give up just yet, though!
You are starting to be awake more now during the day, and you are also waking up more during the night - but that's okay with me. You're a growing little boy! You are such a calm baby, unless you are really hungry or gassy. You are also definitely not a huge fan of the car seat. Your big sister was the same way. You love to snuggle and you really love when I wear you in the moby wrap or the sakura bloom sling.
You are such a joy in our lives, little man and while I am in no hurry to watch you grow up, I can't wait to see how your little personality changes and shines from month to month.

I love you with all my heart.

Love, Mama