My New Job

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The arrival of James brought many happy changes to our household; aside from the obvious ones, the biggest change has been me saying goodbye to the “workforce” and saying hello to a new boss.

Her name is Reese.

I am officially a stay at home mom. I can’t say I care much for that particularly phrase as a definition of what I do now, but I haven’t found a better one, so for now that’s what I’ll say.

The choice was not a difficult one for us. The cost of daycare was greater than what I was making at my job and even with the offer of a raise and the option to go part-time, it wouldn’t have been worth it.

Having said that, since I had Reese, all I wanted to do was be home with her. The fact that I have that opportunity now makes me feel very happy and very lucky.

I know how hard it is to leave your baby for ten hours a day. Sometimes I would come home and swear she looked older than she had when I left that morning. I also know how hard it can be to stay at home with your baby for ten hours a day. Some days you may wish you were at work. At least when you’re there you can eat and go to the bathroom whenever you want.

Each is hard for different reasons, and I don’t believe that one is easier than the other.

I feel inclined to say this because articles on social media, in magazines and pretty much everywhere, lead me to believe that there is some sort of weird secret competition among moms. Countless articles talk about why stay at home moms are the most underappreciated and have the hardest jobs, or why stay at home moms should shut up and stop complaining because working moms have it much harder. I even hesitate to write about this for fear that I will offend. I know this topic can make people get all in your face and crazy.

Calm down.

We are all doing the same thing. We are all feeding, and changing, and not sleeping, and chasing, and looking for shoes and wiping butts and dealing with meltdowns at the grocery store, and that shit is hard.

Going from working full-time to being home with kids full-time was a big transition, but a happy one for me.

It does feel weird to not have a place to be every day, or a real schedule, but we make an effort to get out of the house each day. There are days when I feel stuck in an unending cycle of feeding, cleaning, and changing and I find myself longing for the days of after work drinks and wearing real pants. But we have friends and family members with kids who live nearby, so we have people to hang out with when we need to get out of our rut, and that is helpful.

Also, I kinda like my new coworkers so that doesn’t hurt either.

 

 

 

James At Six Months

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The smiley-est baby ever. Everyone gets a smile, even his sister as she’s grabbing all the toys away from him. It’s the greatest thing ever.

Nicknames include Jamesie, Jamers, Jamesie Jones, Jamerino, and the occasional Jimbo.

At the six month mark he is 20 lbs strong and 26.5 inches long; the 34th percentile for height and the 88th for weight. Strangers still comment on his girth on a daily basis. We started food around 5 1/2 months and although he still seems to prefer nursing, he loves pureed apples, squash, bananas, peaches, plum,  pears and sweet potato. No teeth yet.

James is easy-going, happy, a great eater, and content to being dragged around on errands, to playgrounds, walks etc. He can hang anywhere and even lasted for a few 6 hour beach days this summer. My only complaint– he is not a great sleeper and the sleep deprivation is slowly killing my soul. He still wakes 2 and sometimes 3 times a night to nurse. At his six month checkup the doctor suggested giving him some rice cereal right before bed. Um, have you seen him?? I don’t think the kid is starving.  More on this soon.

He is on the move. Through a combination of rolling and army crawling he can get around as much as he pleases.

Reese is still his favorite person in the world and the only one who can draw fits of laughter straight from his belly.

I’ll say it again –this is going by much too fast. I feel like I just gave birth to him and now he’s moving around my living room floor all by himself. I know the day he no longer wants to be held in my arms will come much too soon, so we are doing a lot of that these days.

 

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Meet James

Here’s our boy.

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We are smitten.

James is proving to be a lot like his sister was at this age; very easy-going, pretty quiet, but super happy. I have a fear that I will forget him somewhere because he’s so quiet. He smiles, laughs and loves baths and hanging in his bouncy chair. He eats like the rest of his family, voraciously, and people always balk when I tell them he’s only 3 months old. That’s my boy.

He has a complexion I am envious of. Some of his father’s Ecuadorian roots have overpowered my own pasty white genes, and he has the most beautiful olive colored skin.

He adores watching his big sister.  This literally melts my heart.  Reese’s presence alone can stop James’s rare tears and her voice brings a smile. These feelings are rarely reciprocated but he doesn’t seem to mind.

Right now, at almost 4 months old, he sleeps pretty well. He usually falls asleep in his bouncy chair downstairs, then around 8:30 or 9 I move him to his crib where he will sleep until 3 or 4. I nurse him and put him back to sleep in the co-sleeper in our room until 6 or 7.

The first few months were tough. Really tough. Not because James was a difficult baby (we were blessed with two fairly easy babies so I know I shouldn’t complain), but because the two of them together kicked our asses. And we had lots of help! I remember dying for James to be old enough to sleep more so I could get 4 or 5 uninterrupted hours of sleep in a row. Now I feel like his first few months have come and gone much too quickly. Someone asked me when we would start him on solid food recently and I thought, “Oh my god, is he almost ready for food already!?”

Not my baby!

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GooseWaddle Blanket Review

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Before Mr. James was born I received an email from a rep at GooseWaddle asking me to write a product review of their baby blankets.  As much as I like reading reviews on other blogs, it wasn’t something I originally wanted to do in this space; but the allure of free stuff has won me over.

GooseWaddle sent me a gift set that included a full-sized baby blanket, a baby blankie (we call these “lovies”, those little squares of fabric lined with satin that babies looooove) and a bonus bespectacled toy goose (hilarious.)

I wasn’t expecting to be super impressed by a baby blanket, but we LOVE this one. The blanket is incredibly soft and fluffy and James spent many of his first days wrapped up in it with just his diaper on.  Even after washing it has remained like new. It’s warm and thick so it was ideal for the March weather when we were bringing James home from the hospital, and even now we use it for tummy time and playtime on the floor.  I can’t say I ‘d mind being swaddled in this blanket myself.

The entire gift set goes for $105 and the blanket alone is $65 and comes in a choice of blue, pink or white. When I placed my order James hadn’t been born yet so I went with a neutral white and somehow it is still white.

These blankets aren’t cheap and I probably wouldn’t spend this kind of money on a blanket for myself, but that is what makes it a nice gift for new parents. It comes adorably packaged, and for every blanket purchased GooseSwaddle donates a blanket to a child in need. That makes us happy.

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GooseWaddle provided me with a  complimentary gift set but the views expressed here are my own and I was not paid for this post. I promise I wouldn’t take the time to write a post about something I thought was crappy.

And Then There Were Four

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I am happy to announce that I am no longer pregnant.

James Eli was born via C-section on March 5th, 2014 at 1:55 PM and has been charming the pants off us ever since. Isn’t he a handsome devil?

We are tired, busy and tired. Some days we don’t shower. Did I mention we are tired?

Big sister is warming up, ever so slowly, to her new little brother and we think they may be friends one day. Recently, she has begun showing genuine concern when I enter a room without James in my arms. She asks “What happened to James?”, and sometimes her tone sounds accusing.

Big changes happening in our house and once I stop using my “spare” time to eat, sleep or shower I will fill you in.

In the meantime, here are some pics of our first day with our beloved baby boy.

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Oh My God I’m Huge. 36 Weeks

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I am officially all set with being pregnant.

It kills to put on my shoes. I walk like I am 90 years old and have spent the day on a horse. I pee probably every 12 minutes.  I am living in a polar vortex and my coat no longer buttons over my belly. The baby moves constantly and when it kicks, it actually hurts. It feels like I have a 2-year-old in there.  Maternity pants are not even comfortable. I am itchy all over. The only place I am fully comfortable is in my bed, with my maternity pillow. It takes a little too long for me to get out of my car. I am thirsty all the time, thus contributing to the peeing problem. Reese keeps pointing to a freckle on my stomach and saying “baby” so we have gone wrong somewhere with our explanations.

Done complaining (for now), and hoping these last 4 weeks go by quickly. Was it this bad last time? I can’t remember.

Talking Back

Me: Reese you did such a good job with your dinner. That makes me so happy!

Reese: I feel pride
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Reese: We goin’ to Gammy an Grandpa’s house. I wear my necklace, my earrings and my ring.
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Reese <to me, while I’m holding my cousin’s new baby>: That baby wants to get down!
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Reese: Mama’s belly has a baby

Me: That’s right, it’s your little brother or sister.

Reese: I don’t like the baby.

Awesome.

24 Weeks

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This is me. 24 weeks along.

I am laughing in this picture because selfies are just ridiculous, especially in my state. The inside-out shirt is the least of my problems.

When I was pregnant with Reese, my hair got shinier, my skin got clearer, and I was told on more than one occasion that I had that “pregnancy glow.” This time, not so much. I have painful, nasty looking spider veins on my legs, my face is breaking out like I’m in high school, and people usually just tell me that I look tired (I guess I’ll take that over “huge”, which was also a crowd favorite last time around.)

New Things: Braxton Hicks contractions have started and are not pleasant. I don’t really remember feeling them until much later with Reese, but the  uncomfortable, tightening/clenching feeling is currently happening almost every day.

Weight: 14 lbs gained overall. I have been scared to look at the scale since I got my cast off 3 weeks ago, but it hasn’t been as bad as I thought.

Measuring: Average, which makes me happy. I measured large throughout my pregnancy with Reese and the doctors estimated that I was having a 10 lb baby (she was 8.5.) I have a thing for big babies though so aside from the actual birthing part, I’m hoping for another chunker.

Food Cravings: Any/all food. Prego problems.

Gender: No idea. Come February, baby number 2 will surprise us again, just like his/her big sister did.

Little Things

My first purchase for our new little one.

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I love it.

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Searching for the perfect mobile for baby’s room was one of the first things I did for both babies. With Reese, and now with baby # 2, we did not find out the gender, so nursery décor could be challenging, but Etsy never fails me.

Here is Reese’s mobile.

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After being moved from above her crib to above her changing table, this no longer hangs in her room. Once she started being able to reach up and grab it we took it down and I never found another spot that seemed right for it.

It is still one of my  favorite little things and I don’t plan to pack it away anytime soon. I hope to find a spot for it in Reese’s new room; a small reminder of  babyhood that is still cool enough to hang in a “big girl” room.

This Is Happening……

I’m no fan of selfies, but this is what I look like now.

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Yup.

Baby number two will be here in February and everyone is pretty excited around these parts.

Three months in, this pregnancy is a little different than with Reese and of course a little more difficult, but I haven’t experienced any nausea or morning sickness. Headaches and exhaustion are the worst of it right now, so I am considering myself lucky.

What’s Different This Time: There were basically no symptoms in the beginning of this pregnancy. Last time the  gigantic, sore boobs started immediately, and I felt slightly nauseous in the mornings; this time I didn’t feel any different those first few weeks, until the tiredness set in.

What I’m Craving: SALT. Potato Chips. Cheese and Crackers. Grilled Cheese. Pickles (has anyone ever tried the homemade pickles from Whole Foods? They are amazing and I’m hooked.)  Kraft Macaroni and Cheese (no other brands will do, and Andrew learned the hard way that box directions should be followed precisely, i.e. don’t try to skip the butter because I will know, and I will come for you.) With Reese I craved a lot of juices and citrus fruits and still ended up gaining 50 lbs so I can already tell that it is not going to be a good scene up in here in a few months.

What I’m Trying to Force Myself to Eat: Greek yogurt, Luna bars, greens, blah blah blah blah.

What I am Tired of Hearing: “Pregnant women only need 200 extra calories a day; that’s equivalent to  about a cup of yogurt.” No wine, no coffee and now no excuse to “eat for two.” Thanks.

Weight Gained: 3 lbs according to me, we’ll see what the doctor’s scale says next week.

What I’m Doing: Still trying to run for as long as I can, and making an effort to get up and walk around more at work. I signed up for a 5K in mid September, so I have to keep running at least until then. Pilates, walking, pregnancy workouts on Skimble. These things are done only when I feel like it. 3 times a week is a great week.

What They Told Me This Time That They Didn’t Tell Me Last Time: No soft serve ice cream. Ummmmmmm, hold the phone. Dairy Queen is delicious and I feel bad for the fetus who doesn’t get to experience it. I don’t remember this being a restriction with Reese but I guess I could have blocked it out. Very sad. Not going to lie, I haven’t been following this one 100%.

What Reese Thinks: Not much. We talk about babies and sharing a lot, and Andrew bought her a book  called “What To Expect When Mommy’s Expecting” which, in my opinion, is a little more detailed than necessary. Call me crazy but I’d rather not have my toddler telling  people that there is a baby in mama’s uterus. Actually, just don’t talk about my uterus at all. Or know about it.

We are already dying to meet this baby but are taking more time to enjoy moments with Reese that are all hers. Six months to go and three months behind us.