Now that I am back to work full-time, after a short bout of pneumonia, I am having a hard time figuring out what my goals are. I love my children and want to be there for them, especially since schools/daycare/activities in my town seem to always end at 5pm. Being there for them is really difficult with my current hours and commute. On the other hand, I am enjoying working on my projects, having adult interaction, and bringing home a paycheck. I guess this is the dilema of every mom out there; what is the balance between what is best for me and what is best for my family.
Now that things are starting to calm down at my house, I can pay attention to some of my hobbies again. Yay! Hello blog, I have missed you. <3
R is 6 weeks old now and we are adjusting to being a family of 4 pretty well. L is still mostly ignoring her, but we have had a breathrough with his attitude. 2 weeks ago, he just suddenly turned over a new leaf and started acting like a normal kid again. It is such a relief to no longer feel like I am talking to a brick wall whenever I ask him to do something. I know that it will probably come back in the teen years, but I am glad to have my sweet little boy back for a while at least.
It is amazing how much I appreciate how normal of a baby R is. Compared to the colic and reflux that L had, a normal baby is a piece of cake! I am glad that she is our second child, because I would not appreciate this nearly as much if she was our first. She wakes up every 3 hours, has a few gas issues, and doesn't want to nap without me holding her. All in all, normal newborn stuff.
I am sure that I will have some deep thoughts for post later, but right now I am just trying to enjoy my baby girl as much as possible before I have to go back to work. Blech, I am not looking forward to that and it is still weeks away. I am also going to my 6 weeks post partum visit tomorrow so I will be able to get the OK to exercise again. I am determined to get back into shape before my maternity leave is over. The next few weeks should give me a chance to jump start my weight loss, which I hope to document on here. Now if I could only stop craving biscuits and gravy…
Little did I know, after writting that last post, that my baby girl would be showing up in just 2 short days. Yes, 2 days later!
Our little girl had to one up her big brother and show up even earlier than he did; my original due date was 5/1 and my c-section was scheduled for 4/26. I had been having lots of Braxton Hicks contractions the past few weeks, so when I woke up with some contractions on 4/16 I figured it was just more of those or false labor. I had an OB appointment later that morning anyways, so if I really did go into labor we would be close to the hospital. Before leaving for my appointment, the contractions were about 20 minutes apart.
We got up to my appointment and they did a growth scan of baby girl (estimated her at 6 lbs 11 oz), and tried to get me in for a non-stress test to see if the contractions were real. There was a long wait to use the monitors, so I was told to just go to the hospital to have them monitored. At this time they were 10 minutes apart and I was pretty sure that today would be baby day. While I was at my appointment, I also received a text from Aunt Jeni that Tay was in labor and at her hospital.
We got to the hospital and I got hooked up to the monitors. After watching the contractions for about an hour they were 3 minutes apart and the doctor said we would be having a baby today. That is when we decided to call family and tell them that today was baby day for us too! I had to wait for a few hours for the OR to open up so I could get my c-section. Ironically, I had the same surgeon that delivered L. She did a great job once again and I had an amazing anesthesiologist and nursing staff the entire time I was in the hospital.
R was delivered at 4:19 pm on 4/16/2014 at 7 lbs even and 18.75 inches long. It took us a few days to decide on her name (just like with L) because we had not narrowed our list down yet. I got to see her for a quick second after they pulled her out and before cleanup, but then I didn't get to see her for another 4 hours. R had a very rapid rate of breathing so they took her right to the NICU for observation. After an x-ray, it looked like she had penumo mediastration (some air around her heart) that can spontaneously happen when baby takes her first breath. They monitored her in the NICU for 4 hours and J stayed with her the whole time. I had my phone with me in recovery, so he kept me updated on how our little girl was doing.
After 3 hours, I was allowed to go and see her and try to feed her, but she had no interest in breastfeeding right then, she just wanted to sleep and snuggle with me. Because her blood sugar was getting too low, they wheeled me into our room and J stayed in the NICU to give her a bottle. After 4 hours of observation, they sent her to our room, but her breathing was still too rapid. Based on that, we had them keep her in the nursery that night so a nurse could watch her the entire night for us, since we did not trust that we would be able to stay awake all night to watch her breathing. I was too worried and amped up to sleep at all that night, but J at least got some sleep.
The next day R was able to come back in our room and we started thinking of a name for her. On Friday, Grandma T brought L up to see his new baby sister and we tried out the new name. L has been insisting on Penny as the baby's name for the entire pregnancy. When he came into the room, we showed him R and said, "This is your little sister." He said, "Her name is Penny." We responded with, "No, her name is R-". About an hour after that, we asked him what his baby sister's name was and he said, "R-." We were so relieved that he was able to handle the name change.
On Saturday, R got one last x-ray and I had to have one more procedure done. I ended up getting a spinal headache from the anesthesia during my c-section. This is where the hole in the derma of your spine doesn't close and if you sit upright you get a horrible headache from low spinal fluid pressure. The remedy is to give a blood patch, where they take out some of your blood (20 ccs) and inject it into where the spinal anesthetic was in your spinal column. Not a fun thing to have to do, but as soon as the anesthesiologist injected the blood I felt instant relief. I am so glad that this happened while I was still in the hospital, not after I went home!
We were able to bring R home on Sunday (Easter) and we have been settling into life with 2 kids. L has been so good with his baby sister and very concerned with anytime she cries. I have so many stories of all the cute things he has said, but I will save them for another post, as this one is overly wordy already.
A couple of weeks ago we had maternity/family pictures taken by Lisa Robinson. We are so happy with how they turned out! Lisa and her husband, Alec, were so great with L and kept him entertained while pictures were taken. L was his usual non-cooperative self for pictures, but we got some good shots regardless.
Well, here we go. It is time for another list of things that I am going to try to do this year. I hope that I am being realistic this year and making my goals acheivable, but I guess only time will tell. 5 goals seemed like a good number from last year, so that is what I am going with again this year. Wish me luck!
Isn't this a required resolution for every blogger? If you blog enough, don't you want to improve your writting or comunity or something? So, this year, instead of putting a set number of required posts to this resolution, I am just going to leave it as an ephereal "more". With a baby on the way, I don't know how much time I am going to have to blog, but if I do even one more post this year, over last year, I will consider this a win. I would like to do more, but as I remember from L's newborn stage, setting the bar low is essential to maintaining my sanity.
I think this is going to be something that I struggle with for years to come. L eats dinner at 5:30 when J picks him up from daycare. I get home at 6:30 and I play with L for an hour before the bedtime routine starts. L is in bed by 8 and then J and I make and eat our usually unhealthy yet fast dinner. I would love to have a family dinner night in the future, but as long as L demands food before I get home, I don't foresee that in the future. So for this goal, I am going to focus on weekend meals. Eating even a sandwich for lunch, all of us together. Most days it is just easier to feel L and then J and I eat later (if at all), but we need to work on L's eating habits. He needs to learn to be more patient at the table and let other people eat their food too. A tall order for a 2.5 year old, but I think he has the capability within him.
I was horrible at writting thank you notes in 2013. I wrote them for Christmas the year before, and then the notes just kept piling up on the desk. I never even got L's birthday thank you's written and sent out. A bummer because they were really cute, in my opinion. So this year, I want to write thank you's for Christmas, L's birthday, any baby gifts I get, and my birthday. J can write his own birthday thank yous.
I have been horrid about this recently. I used to pride myself on how I could re-read so many of my books and enjoy them just as much the 2nd, 3rd, or even 5th time around. Some books I have read more than 15 times! Unfortunately, with the purchase of my Nook, I am too easily able to just buy a new book with the tap of a finger. No credit card to enter because it is stored in there, no sales people to deal with, and no negotiating with J about how many books we can afford for me to buy. I hesitate to determine how -much I have spent on books in 2013; I already know it is too much. So in 2014 I am going to re-read more books. I am going to re-read a minimum of 3 books for every 1 that I purchase. Well, that was my goal at first but I think I need to change it to a 5:1 ratio. I have already re-read 2 books and it is only 9 days into the new year…
I liked this resolution so much from last year that I am putting it in this year again. This time, I hope to have less cop-out locations (like parks) on the list and more real ones. With 2 kids I think this will be a real challenge for me. I am already planning on taking L to the Tech Museum, the Children's Discovery Museum, and maybe (strong maybe) to his first movie. Other than those two, I don't have anything new planned as of yet. I am hoping that I will be inspired as the year progresses.
It is that time of year again; time to make resolutions that will never be completed. Before I jump into making mine for 2014, I wanted to have a quick recap of how the ones from 2013 worked out.
I am going to call this goal a partial success. While we did not actually spend more time together, I feel that the time that we are spending together is of a higher quality. Now that we know there is another minion coming to our family, each day with just the three of us seems even more precious. This is another goal that is going to roll into next year with one slight change (you can see the change when I post my 2014 resolutions/goals).
This goal frankly did not happen so much. With work being even busier than before, it was impossible for us to all sit down together for meals; even on the weekend it was a challenge. I am going to carry this resolution forward to this year. I think this is a goal that I will always have and always need to work on.
We actually did get better at this! While our kitchen is nowhere near spotless 95% of the time, we did hire someone to come and clean for us every other week. This cleaning has required us to have dishes done completely at least that often. Win!
1 – Happy Hollow Park and Zoo – L absolutely loved going here. There was a petting zoo where he got to feed the goats, a few different animal exhibits, and some small rides for young children. One ride had police cars and fire trucks going in a circle; there was a major tantrum when he had to get off of that ride.
2 – Gilroy Gardens – I took L here on a playdate while J was in Singapore this year. This park had more rides for kids that were slightly older, but they still had the fire trucks going in a circle ride (a must have for my child). I enjoyed getting to look at the gardens where J and I were married 8 years ago.
3 – Park with the Fire Truck – In our home town, there are a few different parks that we take L to. We try to change it up every few months by taking him to a park that he has never been to or we don’t visit very often. This year we took him to a park that is part of an elementary school which has a metal frame designed to look like a fire truck. (Can you see the theme in L’s interests?)
4 – Morgan Hill Community Park – We all went to this park to meet one of my mom friends from the BabyCenter forums. It was my first IRL meeting of someone from our group of moms who had kids in July 2011. L was pretty shy at first, but after a few minutes he warmed right up to the other little boy. They bonded over the steering wheels on the play structure.
5 – Sundial Bridge – This year we celebrated Christmas up in Northern California with some of J’s family. On Christmas Eve, after our traditional lunch at Sierra Nevada Brewery, we took L to the Sundial Bridge in Redding, CA. He had so much fun running across it with his cousins!
6 – Napa Valley – J and I had our first weekend getaway in the beginning of the year up to Napa. It was so nice and relaxing to spend some time reconnecting as a couple and wine tasting without children present. A big thank you to my parents for babysitting L while we were gone too!
7 – Pulau Ubin – When J went to Singapore this past year, they actually had some free time for touring. The group decided to take a bike tour of Pulau Ubin while they were there (next time J will remember to bring shoes for biking, flip flops don’t cut it).
8 – North Carolina – For work I traveled to North Carolina to visit one of our other plants for testing. It was fun to see the South again and all of the green, green trees covering the hills. I hope to travel there more in the future.
9 – UC Davis – Another trip that I took for work is to UC Davis for a workshop this past fall. They have a beautiful campus and a town that is extremely friendly to bicycles (the bicyclists are not very friendly to pedestrians though).
10 – Santa Cruz Boardwalk – While we did not get to do a full tour of the Boardwalk this year (it was closed for the winter), we did get to ride the Holiday Lights Train that departs from there. L loved riding the train, and while I did not think the scenery was the most beautiful, he enjoyed seeing the garbage trucks, cement trucks, and fire trucks that can be seen in the pseudo-industrial section of Santa Cruz.
This is a hard goal to measure in terms of success. We are now taking L to the Little Gym for classes every week, which expands his horizons quite a bit. It also gets us to interact with other parents. J is getting the garage set up for some home improvement projects that have been on his to-do list for years now. I am also reconnecting with my crafty self and trying to do more projects at home rather than buy things. I think that we all have worked on adding more to our lives outside of the work-play-sleep routine that we have been stuck in.
All in all, I could have done worse. I could have done a lot better too, but I think this was a decent level of achievement for my resolutions. Now, I have to make my list for this year. That is quite a daunting prospect when you think of how much we have already happening in 2014.
When L was born we had a list of names that we liked, but nothing was decided at that time. We wanted to wait until we met our little man before placing the burden of a moniker that we would call him by for the rest of his life. It made the first few days with a newborn more stressful than it would have been otherwise, but by Day 3 we had a name for our little guy. I wanted to give him a unique and classy name; we wanted him to be the only L in his class. We also wanted a name that was common enough that he would not have the issues with spelling and pronunciation of his name that many of the more . . . unique . . . names get. Now, his name is in the top 10 names for boys, much to my dismay. I can at least say that I named him before it was a popular name; and I will say that to anyone who mentions that stupid top ten list to me. I will mention it loudly and with much ire.
In sharp contrast are the prevalence of -den names currently making the rounds. Why would someone choose a name that is already known to be very popular? Does it help a kid to fit in? I am just so American that I feel the need for my child to be unique and special in every way. I have been conditioned to believe that unique is better. Always. This belief is so deep seated that I find it almost impossible to think otherwise. I have a hard time finding something nice to say when yet another person tells me that they are naming their boy something-den. As an example, in my mom's group there is a Brayden. And I have a friend that is due this week and her boy will be named Brayden. And the neighbor across the street is naming her boy Brayden. To put this in perspective, I can count the number of kids I know on both my hands. That is not a ton of kids to have 3 named Brayden (and there are a few other -dens in that double handful).
Why are these names so popular right now? Why is it cool to have a unique name and why do you want a popular name? All I can think is, God help me if I have to name another child!
I have decided to put aside my skepticism and try this whole resolution thing. I don’t know if it will work for me, but hopefully by putting them out there for the world to see, I will feel a tiny bit more accountable for them. So without further ado, my 2013 resolutions!
This is the most important resolution to me, and therefore is at the top of the list. I don’t know how I will make it work, with my commute and long work hours, but I am going to do my best. I never planned on being a mother, but I am one now and I don’t want to be mediocre!
This goes right along with the previous one and has the same roadblocks. Even if we do not have family dinner together on weeknights, there is no reason that we can’t have more meals together on the weekends. Another part of this one is to cook more at home. I feel guilty about how much pre-prepared food that we eat in our house. I hate cooking and I rarely do cook, but I think I can take on weekend cooking duties in an effort to make this happen.
Our main excuse for not cooking a family meal. We need to get over our hatred of doing the dishes. These are my resolutions but this one has a very strong WE attached to it. I really hate doing the dishes, and so does J, so we need to work together and find solidarity in our misery. Seriously, I cannot describe my hatred of doing the dishes. Cleaning the bathroom is more tolerable.
Last year we took L to most of the common places to visit in our area and we found that he did not care all that much about them. He was 1, I can’t really blame him. Now that he is a smidge older, we can start to take him to places and teach him about new things. I am already planning on going to the petting zoo, a children’s museum, and a small amusement park that has toddler friendly rides. I want him to have experiences outside of home and daycare. If I can not spend much time with my family, I want it to be quality time where we make memories together.
And finally, to get out of my daily rut-tine. This could manifest as a mental expansion or a physical one (hopefully not one of my waistline). As part of this one, I am resolved to blog every day. I have been able to for the first 5 days of this year *high-five to me* and I feel good about making it through the month successfully.
There are my resolutions. I will keep you (if there is anyone there . . . Bueller?) posted on how it is going. I could make a much longer list, but I think 5 are plenty for me, a resolution rookie.