Quinten at 3 months

Quinten Marcus, the three-month-old.

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He’s starting to get the hang of tummy time. Or rather, a tummy time that doesn’t involve falling asleep. He still spends a lot of time looking like a beached whale, but that’s the funny thing about babies. Beached whale one day and the next you’re knocking them down. 😉

He’s a lot like I remember Maximus being. Happy. It started with that obsession over the ceiling fan. He’s so graciously moved on to smiling at people. And we so love that he has started doing it! He’s such a happy little guy, always cooing and smiling.

 

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He loves being naked. I suppose clothes and diapers restrict the chubby rolls. Can’t really blame him, right? He’s been stuck at 14.6 pounds for the past week and in between 3 month and 6 month clothes. It may be winter in Iowa, but he can’t be caught wearing sweaters or blankets. This little guy is a sweaty baby. He heats up those who hold him {except Bryan and I} and has stinky feet. A baby with stinky feet. What?! I blame the sleepers and his sweaty toes. 🙂 Bath time is a Where’s Waldo of rolls to make sure we get them all clean!

 

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Quinten has one week of daycare under his belt and is thriving. Not only is his big brother there to watch him, but he’s got a little baby friend who is a week older than him. I haven’t figured out who is bigger. They have such different body types that it’s hard to tell. Quinten definitely has a rounder face! 🙂 It will be fun to watch them grown and develop. But, not in a comparing type of way!

Just like Maximus, Quinten was a little slow on the bottle idea. They’ve found their groove and I’m happy with him taking three bottles a day. He does monopolize my time in the evenings and wants to nurse almost the whole time he’s awake. I won’t complain though because daycare has made him sleep through the night! That first day back to work was rough because he was up at 4:30 am and that made for a LONG day. Now, we wake him up in the morning. A typical schedule around here is down to bed around 8:30 pm and up at 6:45 am. It’s funny that after a week I feel like all those late nights weren’t so bad. {And that’s the brain trick that makes women keep having more babies!}

Sadly, my maternity leave feels like ages ago and that itty, bitty infant is almost gone. I wasn’t sure life could move any faster, but having two little ones sure does make the time fly. We bounce back-and-forth between helping, teaching, or loving on Maximus and snuggling, changing, and feeding Quinten. It’s a little hectic now, but I wouldn’t change it for the world!

Baby sleep styles

Somewhere along the pregnancy journey, most people buy a crib. We did that. It’s been sitting in a bedroom untouched for about eight months. Both of my babies spent the first few weeks sleeping in our room in a bassinet. Maximus moved to his own room much earlier than Quinten did. {Maximus 1, Quinten 0}

At 11 weeks, we moved Quinten into his crib! We’ve had a long journey getting here. We’ve had problems figuring out his swaddle style. We struggled again when he got too big for the bassinet and he had so much space in the pack ‘n play. Then there was the sleep itself. He spent A LOT of weeks getting up every two hours, regardless of day or night. He slowly moved to a better sleep schedule. At first waking three times, then twice, and now once at night. He teased us a lot along the way, going one great night followed by a really bad night. Once he went three or four days with only one wake up, we decided to move him to his crib. {Naturally, that meant making his room into the nursery instead of just having furniture thrown in there. :)}

Well, it’s been a success! At 11 weeks, he’s sleeping in his own room! We still can’t get him to go to sleep earlier than 10:30 because he’s wide awake from 7-10. And he sleeps until 9 or 10 am, but he’ll soon figure out that he can’t sleep in every day! His average schedule is 10:30-4. Depending on the noise level in the house, he’ll wake again at 7 or 9. I’d love to push his bedtime earlier so he wakes in the middle of the night instead of it being so close to my wake up time, but I’m hoping that will work itself out once we start our new routine next week.

It shouldn’t, but I’m surprised that I have different feelings this time around. Once Quinten reached six weeks, I realized I was no where ready to move him into his own room. {Maybe because he was getting up every two hours…} I’m not sure how I did that with Maximus. It must have been because he was basically sleeping through the night. {I think he was actually sleeping Quinten’s current schedule.} I had these panic attacks of having him be on the other side of the house. I wasn’t ready to not hear his sleeping noises. I was also nervous about the noises associated with the boys sharing a wall. A crying baby would wake Maximus in the middle of the night or a crying toddler would wake Quinten in the morning. So far, Maximus hasn’t heard him and Quinten goes into the pack ‘n play after his 4 am feeding. Parenthood is full of compromise. 🙂

We’ve had a hard time with the baby monitor. We still had it in Maximus’ room. We were used to his noises and it has come in handy many times. We know when he’s waking up vs. actually ready to come out of his room. We hear him when he’s upset and we know when he actually falls asleep. Now, it’s in Quinten’s room. It’s taken some getting used to. The sleeping noises are that of a baby, but our mind tells us it’s Maximus. With a toddler, you don’t worry about him unless he needs you. With a newborn, you stop at every noise. Ok, maybe not everyone does that. I do. It’s hard to wake up in the middle of the night when there are noises over the monitor. Then all of a sudden you remember that’s a baby, not a toddler.

Using that “other” bedroom as a nursery is one of those moments that slaps you in the face. I HAVE TWO BOYS. Two boys who each have their own room. I am almost used to checking on sleeping babies in both rooms. That was weird that first time I went in there to check on Quinten.

Now that Quinten is in his own room, I remember how peaceful a bedroom can be when there isn’t a newborn sleeping in there. No more tip toeing around. When I fall into bed at night, it feels lighter. I didn’t realize there was a weight associated with a baby being in the room, but I know I’m sleeping better now that he’s in his own room. And he appears to be doing just fine in there also!

Sleeps with his arms up. Always.

Sleeps with his arms up. Always.

My solo outing

February 12, a Tuesday afternoon, came quickly and in a cloud of anxiety. Anxiety because I was solo parenting a dual pediatrician visit. The appointments put me on edge because Quinten likes to eat every two hours during the day. I was semi-nervous about nursing in public when I wouldn’t know our exact schedule or be 100% accessible to Maximus should he decide to wander, or whine.

I mentally prepared and went back-and-forth trying to decide if I wanted a stroller for Maximus. Reminding myself to put my wallet in my purse so I could only take the diaper bag. Planning the snacks and activities to entertain him.

What I didn’t think about was juggling TWO BABIES in the small exam room. I wore Quinten and he slept until I took him out to undress him. I also didn’t think about Maximus wanting to bail. They were running late so we played in the waiting room for forty minutes. As soon as they called his name, he was ready to leave. He asked to go bye-bye. I awkwardly picked him up and carried him and the diaper bag. {Why is it that when someone is leading you things are very awkward?}

I coaxed Maximus onto the scale while he was shooting daggers at the nurse. Our appointments were forty minutes apart but I think they called someone else back before us so we could do both at the same time. Maybe? I didn’t ask!

When the nurse left me alone with two naked babies on my lap, I had a little bit of panic. HOW WAS I GOING TO HANDLE MAXIMUS?! In my head I was wearing Quinten during Maximus’ appointment. Not juggling two babies at once! Thankfully this wasn’t the first dual appointment for them. The nurse came back in to hold Quinten while I tried to keep Maximus calm. Whew! That was a huge stress reliever!

It was a nerve-wracking day, but we survived and it gave me the confidence to do a couple solo grocery store runs and other activities.

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What things do you do to make it a successful outing with babies and toddlers?

Heart swells

My dates for birthday dinner

My dates for my 30th birthday dinner

This kid. He makes my heart swell so big. I can’t get enough of him. Except when I can and I need space away from him and The Whines. But, when he’s not showing his toddler 2 side, he’s showing his awesome Maximus side. And it’s just that – Awesome.

He’s exactly 2 1/2, or 30 months, and totally grew up without us knowing. Or approving. In the car, he has complete conversations with us. Or without us. He’s a real person riding in the car. No longer the one syllable answer from the back seat. He’s telling you what he’s looking at or commenting on things happening outside his little bubble of a world. He’s singing songs (no, not with the radio) that are sweet and innocent and talk about baking bread or rowing boats. He tells you which direction is papa’s house or his house or daycare.

This 2 1/2 year old is awesome. He carries on conversations at the dinner table or when we go out to eat. He looks at a menu and asks his daddy with a glimmer in his eye, “you get green eggs and ham?” Then he laughs and we go into a question and answer about eating them on a boat or with a goat. He loves it because he was clever enough to start this little game.

I feel like I have a glimpse into my future. The fun we’ll have and the people we’ll become when we have “big” kids. It’s pretty awesome being the mommy to Maximus!

A birthday do-over

We need a weekend do-over. Imagine that it’s your 30th birthday. Since you’re a man in this scenario, you don’t want to do anything to celebrate the occasion. Your wife compromises and suggests breakfast out. {Something I’ve been wanting to do for weeks…or months!} Breakfast changes to lunch and lunch changes to dinner and dinner changes to not leaving the house at all. We didn’t leave the house because said birthday man entered his thirties with a bang.

I’m not sure if I’m blaming it on the drinks he had the night before or the flu. Either way, my husband’s 30th birthday didn’t go as any of us had planned. He was either on the couch, in bed, or dry heaving in the bathroom. I on the other hand was either sitting on the couch nursing a baby, helping the toddler play with play dough, putting a boy down for a nap, changing a diaper, or snuggling with a boy. In between all of that I was also making meals, cleaning the kitchen, or  doing laundry. Basically, it sucked for both of us.

Maximus didn’t see Bryan long enough to sing to him or even wish him a happy birthday. Before he went to bed, he finally whispered “Happy Birthday to you, Daddy! La-La.” {Love you} And then I prayed that no one else would start puking …

Thankfully, no one else did. I finally got ice chips into Bryan’s system and he stopped dry heaving. I set up camp on the couch and Quinten and I settled in. During the 1 am feeding, Bryan came out to the living room proclaiming that he finally felt a little better. I hadn’t talked much to my husband in the past 27 hours. He was finally back. Thankfully we have a nice, big sectional in our living room. He set up shop on one end while I was on the other. {No way was I entering our bedroom if it was full of flu germs or getting close to him!} We watched A League of Their Own and snoozed on and off in between feedings. I was just as tired the next morning, but at least Saturday night I didn’t have to sleep for 4 1/2 hours with a baby on my chest. So sleep was better, even if it was just as little.

I’m glad that wasn’t how I spent my 30th birthday, but I’m just as bummed that my husband had to spend his that way.

Did you have a better weekend? Has the flu hit your house? 

My thoughts on the birth of this baby: VBAC and C-section

At our 12-week appointment, my doctor explained that our hospital isn’t a VBAC-approved hospital because it isn’t large enough. However, if you deliver during business hours they have enough staff because the practice is right next door. I’m paraphrasing a little here, but I did repeat it back to her as that. “Basically, if I deliver Monday through Friday, from 8-5, then I have the chance to do a VBAC?” Yes. Ok, so there’s little to no planning for this birth. Check. Ironically, this conversation made me feel better. One of my first emotions was fear. I couldn’t imagine knowing I was going to be scheduled for surgery. Obviously I’ve already experienced one, but I had 2-minutes to think about it. When in the throes of major contractions, there are plenty of things to keep your mind off of the specifics. Specifically the part where the doctor said, “don’t push!” Maybe if I’d only had that one c-section I wouldn’t be so nervous. With a recent foot surgery, going into an OR is very real in my mind. I can still feel the anxiety and emotion that I felt that morning when I was waiting to go in. I left that appointment feeling really good about the birth. It may be completely out of my control, but I felt really well about the possibility of a VBAC.

At my 2o-week ultrasound our due date was estimated to be off by 8 days. We talked with my OB about changing the date and decided not to push it up a week. If I remember correctly, our ultrasound with Maximus showed the date being off by 7 days. So, we’re keeping the December 27 due date, even though the ultrasound suggests it’s more likely to be December 19. Due dates seem to be much of a guessing game anyway, that no one seem worried about it.

Unfortunately, after we decided not to change the date she told me she probably wouldn’t let me go past December 20 {39 weeks}. She didn’t type anything into the computer so I didn’t push the topic. I just absorbed what she said and tried to not feel disappointed. Wouldn’t you know, the next appointment she mentioned it again. 😦 So, it looks like we didn’t change the due date but she’s not into the idea of letting me go past 39 weeks. I’m trying not to dwell on it because her and I both think that I’ll go early anyway. But, now I’ve got this giant target and I hate having something weigh me down. With Maximus, I told myself I would go 42 weeks. I didn’t want my due date to come and be devastated that he wasn’t here yet. I was prepared for him to arrive, but didn’t want to put an enormous amount of hope into it happening on a certain day. I didn’t want to screw up my mental game, if you will. I’m a little concerned this unexpected news will screw up my plan. Then again, I didn’t really have much of a plan to begin with. I guess we’ll all find out in December!

Come December, send me some healthy birthing vibes! I’m looking for a text-book delivery that falls between normal business hours and with a little boy who is ready to exit the right way. I don’t think it’s too much to ask for! 😉

Third trimester starts now!

Third trimester! Today marks my 27th week. I’ve got about 12 weeks to go. Yes, I did the math right. I haven’t formed cohesive thoughts about the delivery yet. I was recently told that I wouldn’t go past 39 weeks since I’ve been measuring a little more than a week a head. So, I know that in at least 12 weeks I’ll have two sons. {Two baby sons, because when do I stop calling Maximus a baby? Never, right?}

At the beginning of the third trimester we have a lot left to do! For instance, our baby needs a name. Depending on your outlook of time, this may or may not be a big deal. We have one name that I thought was the direction we wanted to go. After a conversation with Bryan yesterday, I realize even though it was his suggestion he’s not 100%. Ironically, I had suggested the name during our first pregnancy. We have zero runner ups or even bench warmers. And of course no middle name. At least the last name is picked! 😉

We also need to find bedding. I struggled with Maximus and I’m struggling again. I have a basic idea and can’t find anything in a reasonable price without having a custom-made set by someone on Etsy. I don’t want characters and that’s almost impossible. I may back off that stance a little and do something with elephants or giraffes or something, but I want color. That seems to be the hardest part. It needs to look boyish, be something that a toddler can have, and use bright colors. Of course we can’t paint the room until the colors are picked. So the room sits in its hunter green glory.

Although Maximus was a summer baby, we have newborn clothes that include pants and sweatshirts. I am very thankful for this! Luckily we have lots of sleeves and pants because it was air condition season so our little babe had to stay warm. I’ve got plenty of receiving blankets for swaddling so I don’t feel the urge to buy newborn clothes. I do plan on buying a homecoming outfit for the little guy. I had originally thought about bringing him home in the same outfit that Maximus wore but I think I want them to each have their own. What do you think?

Lest you think we’re completely unprepared for LBL 2.0, we do have nursery furniture. We actually have the crib in the room. Obviously it’s not setup. But! It’s in the room along with a mattress. The rest of the furniture hasn’t come in yet so I can’t really start cleaning out the guest closet or unpacking the newborn boxes that I keep adding to the room. And the dog kennel is still in there and the dog spends his days hanging out there. So, the crib doesn’t feel like much of an accomplishment.

Ok, I might start to worry! No clothes washed and put away, no blankets ready for snuggling, and no idea what the layout of the room will be. None of the baby stuff has come up from the basement, so it definitely hasn’t been cleaned of Maximus slobber. I haven’t searched for baby hats to keep him warm when he shows up in the middle of winter. We decided that we hated the newborn fleece bodysuit that we had so we have to buy a new one.

You’d be right if you thought I hadn’t read a single baby book this pregnancy. Nothing about the pregnancy and nothing about delivery and nothing about bringing a new baby home. I’m winging it this time. There’s too many unknown toddler experiences to get through. I’ll trust my memory to kick in when this newborn shows up.

Anyone else starting to feel like 12 weeks isn’t a lot of time? Anyone want to do my Christmas shopping for me? Because when am I going to have time to do that.