Friday, April 22, 2016

2 Month Baby Liam!

Liam has lost his scrawny newborn look! And he's getting pudgy - he's already in size 2 diapers!! He has his 2-month check up next week, so I don't have an official weight for him, but using the scale at home he's 12+ pounds! He fills out his 3 month clothes, too! He's using his arms and legs well and likes to suck on his fist when he can find it. He's a lot more vocally expressive than Ava was - he cries a lot more than she did! He likes to push with his legs and he can hold onto a small toy! He's getting pretty smiley and he's trying SO hard to talk to us! He's been cooing a bit; I can't wait for more!! He is getting pretty stable during tummy time and is starting to brace himself a little with his arms. He definitely loves to be held, which is great, except I have another child who begs for my attention, too!

Ava is pretty much obsessed with Liam! She's a little nurturer for sure! She likes to take things to him when he is in his swing and she loves to go get him up from his nap in his room! When I tell her "let's go get Liam" she runs down the hall and waits outside his door for me to go inside! She likes to take each one of his toys out of his basket and try and put it into his hand. It's pretty cute to watch her interact with him! Liam pays attention to her too, and tracks her little toddler voice just like he tracks my voice and Chris's!

The theme for this month of the newborn phase seems to be "you'll get it right next time". I'm working on getting Liam on a schedule, or at least staying awake for a little bit after each nap.

He's come a long way in these 4 weeks!

And we have finally done it...we have reached a "schedule"!!

Ok, so it's more like a routine as things NEVER happen at the same time each day.

And here's how it happened:

We started swaddling Liam with his arms in.

We didn't think he had issues having his arms out, and I don't think he really had a problem with it until he started moving his limbs more. His arms would startle him awake or whack him in the eye or something and wake him up at like 30 minutes! And then he'd be kinda cranky from a short nap. And I decided to make sure his awake time was no longer than an hour. It was time to make Liam's schedule a priority, not Ava's!

So, with his arms in, and winding him down for a nap just before an hour of awake time hit, things just sorta fell into place! I think Liam and Ava have been communicating to each other because they both sleep until around 7/7:30 in the morning, and Liam has made his longest nap align with Ava's nap! (sadly that only lasted a week or two). Liam is such a different sleeper than Ava was, and it's been really great!!

Here's how my days go:

(First I drink my Plexus Slim...energy to get through my day and resistance to cravings! Mommies everywhere: you neeeeeed this stuff!! Seriously. I'll hook you up!)

Usually I get Liam up first, because Ava is ok to just hang out in her crib until I'm through changing and feeding him. If I wait too long, though, she starts yelling and gets mad!

Then Liam plays while I get Ava up and her breakfast going. I eat with her and sometimes I get a chance to empty the dishwasher.

Then Liam needs to go down for a nap. Once he's asleep, I get playtime with Ava!

He wakes up and I feed him and there's more playtime. Ava gets to watch a show or two while I put Liam down again, and then it's Ava's lunchtime and then her nap. They both sleep simultaneously for around an hour or two, in which I sit on the couch in disbelief that I have free time!  Nope. Not anymore unless I'm lucky.

Then Liam and/or Ava wakes up (Ava will sleep anywhere from 1.5 to 3 hours, 3 is rare though) and then we play and I nap and feed Liam again.

Ava gets another show or iPad time right before dinner in hopes I can cook. Liam's last nap is usually pretty random - it could be in the swing or crib or with daddy after he gets home from work. This is usually his trickiest nap of the day - he's usually much harder to get to sleep! Sometimes he end up being overtired for bedtime because he won't go to sleep.

Then there's playtime with both kids with mommy and daddy!

Both kids go to bed in the 7:00 hour, but sometimes Liam is later if his nap ran late. Or earlier if he just can't make it. So..... usually by 8:00 mommy and daddy have both babies to sleep and we have the rest of the evening to ourselves! Sometimes Liam wakes up and needs to be put back to sleep again. However I usually go to bed by 9:30 so there's not really that much time, but it's just enough to veg out on the couch and do a few chores before bed!

Liam wakes 2 or 3 times at night to eat; lately it's been around 12 and 4. all over the place. I never know what his nights will be like! One night he didn't wake to eat until 4! I felt so rested!! He's much better at getting back to sleep - the time I spend awake with him has drastically decreased! He has had a few 5 or 6 hour stretches between feedings, so we are moving in the right direction at least!

**My days aren't always like this because Liam still needs to be held a lot, although he does love his tummy time! Sometimes I can't get anything done, and sometimes both kids are really needy at the same times and it feels like I need to clone myself in order to get through! And then there are days when he just doesn't nap well, and we are back to square one. Liam ultimately decides when and how long he will sleep so some days the "schedule" looks nothing like this!**

Deciding to swaddle has drastically reduced the amount of time it takes for me to get him to sleep. With crazy Ava running around and being my constant shadow, it was really hard to spend 30 minutes or more getting Liam to sleep. He has been able to put himself to sleep in his crib about 50% of the time, so I only spend about 10 minutes holding and rocking him, and he can do the rest most of the time! I'm so thankful!!

WITH THAT BEING SAID, things are still crazy!! I can't really do much that I want to do during the day. At least not alone, anyway! I don't want to give the impression that having 2 kids is easy, because it certainly is NOT! 

Here is what big sister is up to:

-Obsessed with oatmeal and most fruit...and mac & cheese, as always!
-loves to steal our phones to flip through photos, watch videos of herself eating food, and bring up Taylor Swift songs (I had to put a password on my phone because of her!)
-singing and dancing (although we have no idea what song she's singing)
-bouncing in her crib (I'm a little worried she's going to break it!)
-requesting to sit on the potty (nothing happens, though)
-she pats the floor or couch and says "sit!" when she wants us to play with her
-helps put laundry in and out of the dryer (she's actually a really good helper!)
-loves to pull clothes out of her dresser...so her drawers are always a mess!
-finds tiny crumbs and trash and throws it away (still throws away things that don't belong!)
-loves playing with mommy's wet hair after a shower (she literally drops whatever she's doing and runs to me)
-she's getting a bit more feisty...I think a bit of jealousy is coming out!
-she loves bunnies, kitties, and birds
-she's been waking in the middle of the night to yell or have bouncing parties in her crib (not sure what that's all about...but at least she just goes back to sleep!)
-using the word "no" A LOT...She's becoming more and more defiant!

...AND SHE PEED ON THE POTTY!!!

I know, I know, for some of you, this milestone is kind of an eyeroll, because I know that 5 years ago, before I had kids, I too would have thought who cares. But there is something so magical (is that the right word?!) about seeing your child do something new and exciting for the first time!

I've been taking the super lazy/no pressure approach to potty training Ava. I guess you could call it Child-Led Potty Training. Yup, I just made that up. Basically a few months ago, I saw some of the "readiness" potty training signs in Ava - she would wake up dry after her nap, she'd hide to poop, and she started grabbing her diaper (and then I would say "did you pee pee or poop?" so she'd learn the verbal association). So we decided to get her a potty seat and just wing it, because having a newborn was NOT the appropriate time to "work" on potty training her, for us or for Ava. I showed her what the seat was for and we'd ask her at bedtime if she wanted to "go potty". She loved it! This is the seat we got her:

I love it because: 1)it allows Ava to use the toilet just like mommy (I almost never get to pee alone anymore), 2)it folds up so its easy for adults to still use the toilet too, and 3)Ava can use it independently, which she loves (she still has to have a little help sitting down on it).

She's usually done sitting on the toilet after just a few seconds. I helped her down and then she started peeing on the floor. I said "are you peeing?" and told her it was ok. I quickly picked her up and sat her back on her seat. She had stopped peeing when I picked her up, and then she peed some more in the toilet! I of course made a big deal about it and made sure she understood this was a good thing! She seemed pretty excited and was smiling and giggling! It was so exciting! She got to tell daddy about it on the phone!

And then the excitement came crashing down as I realized I had two starving children and I tried to stall Liam by babywearing while I fed Ava and got her down for a nap...it didn't help; he screamed the whole time! After things calmed down and both kids were asleep, I had a chance to go clean up the bathroom and re-organize and stock up on potty training things for the bathroom - paper towels, Clorox wipes, plastic bags, baby wipes, and extra diapers! Thankfully Ava already knows to wash her hands after using the potty, so she's got that part of it down!

-and she's not gone potty since, but that's ok! I'm in no rush! I can't imagine having to drop whatever I'm doing (feeding Liam?!) to rush her to the potty! So for now I'm glad I have 2 in diapers!

I have managed to run a few errands with both kids. It has mostly gone smoothly, so that's been encouraging!

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Ok.

Here's some more of what we've been dealing with this month.

I debated on whether or not to post about this.

Sometimes I wonder what is too much to share on this blog. But this is honest life, and that is what my blog is about.

The whole thing is a pretty long story, but to sum it up, we found out there is a chance our little Liam has Cystic Fibrosis.

Yeah. Google that one right quick if you don't know what CF is...I knew it wasn't good but I had to look it up too.

The information was delivered to us in a pretty crappy and confusing way, leaving us terrified and full of questions.

But here is where his diagnosis stands at the moment: his newborn blood test showed elevated levels for CF. They did additional genetic testing on his blood and it came back showing NO genetic mutations, which is a good thing! One doctor thought it was necessary for a referral to a Pediatric Pulmonary Specialist. So we are keeping that referral and we have that appointment set up for early May. Meeting with the Specialist will then give us a for sure answer on whether or not Liam has CF. I feel like the fact that there are no mutations kind of solidifies a negative, but I guess we can't be too sure. So we'd appreciate your thoughts and prayers greatly!

This last week was pretty exhausting for me. Ava has been a real piece of work lately - defiance and tantrums galore - and dealing with the possibility of CF for Liam has been a lot to handle. I had to remind myself that this too shall pass many times. There were lots of tears, early bedtimes (for everyone), and long relaxing showers at the end of the day.

Something in my heart switched gears last week. I kept looking into Liam's eyes and thinking, this can't be. This can't happen to you. This is not what I imagined when we prayed for a little boy. I think I realized that all I could do was trust in God and love Liam as fiercely as I possibly could. All I can do is treasure him for the little baby that he is, just the way he is.

And meanwhile, hanging over our heads, is Chris's orders.

But that's for another day.

May is going to be a good month.

It just has to be.

I need it to be!!

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UPDATE:

Just a few days ago, I got a call from his pediatrician saying that she did some digging for us, and because he is thriving and has had no pneumonia in addition to the fact there were no gene mutations,  she canceled the referral to the Pulmonary Specialist! She said it was totally unnecessary!

WE ARE IN THE CLEAR!!

PRAISE THE LORD!!!