Friday, September 28, 2012

Nanny or Daycare?

As we prepare for the addition of Baby Boy 2, we've started having serious discussions about what our (my) days will look like with both boys. We know two things:
1- We will not have family here to help for any extended time period. Actually, more than likely it will be exactly like the last time around, 4 grandparents here during the first week or two, and then we are on our own.
2- M is scheduled to be on a surgery rotation. That means he's going to be gone very long hours.

So we started our discussion by envisioning the situation: Baby Boy 1 will need attention, playing and activities as usual. Baby Boy 2 will probably be nursing and sleeping. I will be nursing and sleep deprived. We will all need to be fed, the laundry will need to be done, the house cleaned, etc. We know from experience, that in those first few weeks I will not be doing any cooking and more than likely the house will be a disaster. Will I be able to take care of both boys? Probably. Plenty of other people have two kids under two and manage it. Will I be at my best? Most definitely not. Since we know that M will probably not be able to help much, we're looking at either a pretty difficult situation or getting some help, and we're going to go with the latter.

Here we come to our conundrum- Nanny or Daycare?

Nanny/Housekeeper
- We could hire full time, for a reasonable price, knowing that it would probably only be for a few months. We would have her primarily take care of the house, with some light cooking, and take BB1 out to play while I am busy with BB2. The pros: keeping BB1 at home during the transition and while he's still so young. The cons: somebody in our home every day, and BB1 might miss out on a lot of activities for the first couple of months.

Daycare- More than likely we would only send BB1 part time, but that would provide him some structure and me some time to focus on BB2 and the house. We would probably still get a housekeeper once or twice a week because it would only be a part time solution. The pros: BB1 would get good activity outside of the house. The cons: it would only be a part time solution, and BB1 might bring a lot of germs home.

Where are we now? We don't know. We're going to consult with some friends here and make a decision by the end of the calendar year. Meanwhile I'm taking mental notes on local daycare centers (there are too many to count), and trying to come up with a list of responsibilities we would have a housekeeper take care of.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

3 Wishes

The three things I desire most for this year:

1- That Baby Boy continue to thrive

2- That M pass the boards

3- That I have a healthy pregnancy


Monday, September 24, 2012

15 Months!

What a great month this was for you! This month you learned to be silly! While you've always been willing to do just about anything for a bit of attention, you somehow became aware of just how funny you can be and you make yourself laugh just as you do everyone else. You get this twinkle in your eyes that is just irresistible. Some of your current favorites are peekaboo on Skype (where you crouch down so the camera can't see you and then stand back up),  putting on mommy's sunglasses and spinning yourself dizzy (because you learned how to spin)! You will also randomly lie down or lean back into a "fall", you love "knocking down" Mommy into the floor, and you love to be Daddy's "bull" running straight into a yellow handkerchief. You've also really started moving your feet as you dance; it's so cute!


Physically, you've gotten so confident walking. You can now walk up a pretty steep hill to leave our coto and even on the downhills you're pretty confident though you won't refuse a helping hand. You can just about run and it's most definitely adorable with your butt quickly toddling from side to side. Speaking of downhills, you officially know how to go down the stairs! We tried to teach you going backwards but you just weren't having it, and eventually we taught you the sitting method: sit on stair, scooch legs down to next step, stand and then repeat.

Your fine motor skills have also gotten really good. You can put coins in a money box with ease, you love putting caps on bottles, and you can feed yourself quite well with both a fork and a spoon!


You've been communicating exceedingly well. You took the "ze" (this) that you've been using for a while and expanded it to "et ze" (this one) which you use with a pointing finger to designate exactly what you want! You also starting signing back "more" (although it's a funny little finger pointing at an open hand) and that has pretty much replaced the high pitched food whimper you had going on for a while. Needless to say, you use it all.day.long. I am quite sure your stomach is a bottomless pit. You also sign "potty" although we have yet to actually get you to use it when you use the sign, so it's a work in progress. And of course you raise your open hands to be lifted up; there are things you just have to see up in adult land!

You've also started applying words you know to a large variety of situations. For example, "bye" you will say when you leave, when someone else leaves, when someone walks by, when a car drives by, when we flush the toilet, and when we put something in the trash. It's really quite amazing the connections that you make!




You've become a big fan of routines. When you're hungry you ask to be put in your booster seat. Then you want your tray, and then you reach for your bib. Then we can move on to food. When you first get up in the morning you have to cuddle with Mommy and then you must put on music and then you have to get down on the floor, have some of Mommy's water and then you're ready to destroy our bedroom. After bath time you brush your teeth (we're up to 6 now) and Daddy dresses you. Then you must read the train book Triquitraqui before Mommy comes in.

Speaking of books, we are slowly getting better at sitting through a whole book! Most days we read several in a row, but your current favorites are the ones with no storyline, just photographs and us telling you what things are called and describing the pictures. We also started gymnastics this month and I think it's really helping you follow directions a little better. Of course you love running off at every opportunity, but you're becoming so much more cooperative with following the little tasks. All in all, I can not complain about this month: you're playing well independently in your incessant exploration of everything, you're mostly cooperative with our schedule, and you bring us so much laughter and joy! I can't express just how much love you have brought into our lives!

Friday, September 21, 2012

My Pre-birth Plan

I have begun to seriously research my birth options for this second time around. In an ideal world I would prepare 100% for a natural VBAC. This would include everything from finding a supportive doctor (so far I have only found one in our area), hiring a doula, reading books, taking classes, the works. I think that to really make it happen I need to be committed to the point where I don't see anything else as an option.

But. Unfortunately there is a but because the situation is not that straightforward. With Baby Boy 1 I had IUGR (Inter Uterine Growth Restriction), at a certain point BB1 slowed down his rate of growth. We were lucky in that it only happened the very last month, and other than the actual growth everything else: blood flow in the cord, placenta, fluid levels were still good until the day BB1 was born. I had absolutely no risk factors, so this was just something that happened for unexplained reasons.

The issue at hand, is that now with BB2 I have an increased risk for IUGR. Small as it may be, it's something that I probably won't know for quite a while, which puts the whole preparing gung-ho style in limbo. I think I would be crushed if I prepared for several months, only to find out that again we have a very small baby that will likely not be able to handle the contractions well, and again I will end up with a c-section. (My current doctor allowed me to labor naturally until BB1's heart rate started dropping and not fully recovering between contractions).

So the plan: As of right now I will stick with my current doctor (who is not necessarily pro-VBAC) because I trust that he will take good care of us. He takes his time during appointments, has high quality equipment in his office and I believe definitely has the baby's best interest in mind. When I get closer to the third trimester and assuming everything is still ok, we will talk about birth options, and if he is not supportive of my wishes we will consider switching doctors. (I am not ready to switch now because I don't feel that with the pro-VBAC doctor that I have already found, I will get the same level of care).

Meanwhile, I will try to find other potential doctors, and read up on preparing for a natural birth so that I have the options well established in my mind when we are ready to make real decisions. M is on board with the "let's wait this out for now" approach, and even though he is generally more hesitant at challenging our doctor's viewpoint, I believe that when the time comes he will be in a better situation to research the heck out of this and get on board with my plan. While I don't love staying in limbo, I know that it's just something I have to do right now. So that's the plan.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Mama Trauma

Today Baby Boy got a huge gash on his forehead. He was over it within 5 minutes. I am still not over it.

The story was nothing special. We were sitting on the outdoor patio of a coffee shop. Or rather, I was sitting, while Baby Boy was walking around the different tables and exploring. He made it a few feet away and was about to knock over a chair. As I ran over to stop the chair from falling on him, he turned away, tripped and landed smack on his forehead. He had hit the ledge of the patio and I instantly started searching his face for a bump. Sure enough a minute later the dent he got started bleeding. It was not by any means deep or serious. I did not freak out. But it was his biggest bump to date and a noticeable gash on his forehead.

(later in the day, as if nothing had happened)

I started thinking about how I can remember every single time he has gotten hurt. At seven months another boy at a play group grabbed at his face and scraped off a piece of his perfectly soft baby skin. It took several weeks to completely disappear, and every time we were around that little boy I was extra vigilant. At eleven months, almost walking, he tripped and fell on his face. His new teeth cut his lip and he bled for the very first time. Since then he's had a few forehead bruises and a few knee scrapes. It comes with the territory of toddlerdom.

Soon, however, I will not be able to remember all the bumps and bruises. Baby Boy is becoming more and more independent every day. He doesn't like holding hands while exploring unless he is on a very steep hill. Inevitably he falls and I can't be there to catch him. It's difficult to let go of the mama bear hug, to let my little baby grow up and get injured along the way. I know that in the long run toddler bumps are nothing to be worried about, but I can't help wanting to protect him from all harm, from anything that might hurt him even the slightest bit.

For today though, I'm just happy that a one inch gash is the worst of my worries. I hope it always stays that way.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

A Few Pictures

I just posted 4 posts in a row with no pictures! I believe that is blogging blasphemy! So here's a little randomness of what we've been up to.


Finding wheels even in the mall


Trying out a big plate instead of little ones= Fail, guess we'll wait a little longer


At the children's museum, copying the 3 year olds, even though he was kind of short for fishing


Helping Daddy wash the car= so much fun


Playing with a bucket of water + stick,
and inspiring Mommy and Daddy to build a water table



Still in pajamas, first thing in the morning, pushing the neighbor kid (for the record the neighbor is one month older). Now he does this every single time the neighbor is out!

And that's a little bit of what we've been up to. Every day is an adventure in toddler-world!

Monday, September 10, 2012

The Mysterious Case of Brattiness

Baby Boy was overcome by a monster. Multiple times a day we were commenting that he was acting like a brat: tossing food, whining for things, hitting us over and over, ignoring anything we told him, refusing to sleep on his own and so on. The kid was becoming intolerable. For a week it just wouldn't go away and we were getting worried. Was this more than a wonder week? more than a temporary bad day? was our sweet little baby boy turning into a monster toddler???

I blamed vacation: we had been without a schedule for over a month now (and still had two weeks to go).

I blamed too much attention: a month of grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and lots of friends ogling over his every move.

I blamed not enough attention: Mommy had morning sickness, and evening sickness, and all day sickness, and the last thing she had patience for was Baby Boy's shenanigans.

I blamed the travel, the tiredness, the new foods (read: junk food), the jetlag, the change in cribs.
You name it, I blamed it.

And still, I was distraught over my Baby Boy turned Baby Brat. Had I done this? And more importantly, how could I fix it?

Once we were settled at our last vacation destination (the beach!), I started to try to get Baby Boy back on a schedule in anticipation of our near return to reality. Then, after working at it for a few days, the kiddo slept the whole night and got two naps. Miracle of miracles my precious bundle of fun was back! The smiles, the laughs, the attention-seeking funny business, and (one of the things I love most about this kid) the ability to make almost every stranger crack a smile! My baby! Oh, how I missed him!

The mystery was solved: over-tiredness made my kid a brat.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Concerns

Since finding out about this pregnancy my mind has been fluctuating between denial and silent freak outs. Our boys will be 20 months apart, which puts us squarely in the newborn + still pretty young toddler department.

As such I have a few concerns and doubts running through my mind:

Will Baby Boy 1 be potty trained by the time Baby Boy 2 is born?
There's potential for yes, but from many real life friends I've heard that 22/23 months seems to be a magical time for getting this done. As such, if it's not done beforehand I'm not sure I'll be up to it with a 2 month old around.

Will BB1 be ready to transition from his crib to a bed? If yes, will we just remove a side of his crib to use as a toddler bed, or move him to a full size bed? This of course will determine whether we need to buy another crib.

Will BB1 be ready for some kind of day care? I'm thinking a part time solution could give me some "easier" one on one time with BB2, but it might also be harder having to leave the house according to a schedule!

Will we find help? While there is no shortage of people wanting to work, it's not easy to find someone reliable, someone I can comfortably leave with my kids. But, M is scheduled to be in a surgery rotation when BB2 is born and if we don't get some kind of help I'm going to have serious problems handling both boys on my own all day, every day.

How will I handle our visitors? The hardest time I had with BB1 during the first two weeks was dealing with the barrage of visitors. Well meaning as they might be, all unsolicited advice, requests to hold the baby and general take over of my living room was really hard to deal with when I was sleep deprived and trying to establish breastfeeding. Will BB1 be able to distract them enough?

Will I have enough quality time with BB1? I remember so many hours of nursing on the couch when he was a newborn that I'm afraid that while I'm bound to the couch with BB2, BB1 will get a little lost. He's such a cuddle-bug that I worry about not being able to give him that attention he craves.

Will I be able to give BB2 the stimulation he needs?
With BB1 I could devote my undivided attention to him. I was hyper aware of every mini-phase he was going through and able to put my full energy into stimulating him with educational and developmentally appropriate activities. Will I be able to do the same for BB2 or will I be too distracted in toddler-world?

Will we have breastfeeding problems again? I'd like to think that with over a year of experience, it should be easier, but a newborn is a newborn and he'll have to learn too. I put this in the category of expecting the worst and hoping for the best.

Will BB2 be a fussy baby? BB1 was not the best sleeper and not a great nurser for quite a while, but he was very calm and to this day has a great easy-going temperament. Is it karma that I should get a fussy one next? I also have a total unproven theory that winter babies are fussier.

And also:
Will the pregnancy go smoothly? Will BB2 be healthy and happy? What kind of birth experience will I have? What hospital will I deliver at? Will I keep my same doctor? Lots of unknowns as I think about a VBAC but wait to see how things progress.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Second Time Around: The First Trimester

About a week after the hpt incident, I was able to get an appointment with an OBGYN who confirmed the pregnancy (7 weeks) and then we told my parents. But until then....longest.week.ever. I'm not sure why but the nausea was much worse this time around, add to the fact that we were spending time with lots of different people and going out to eat all the time- the smells were just unbearable. We went to a wedding, and from the whole of the buffet, I managed a slice of bread and plain rice. Luckily we didn't know anyone there other than the bride and groom so it was a non-issue.

Another week later, and we were on our Florida trip. As soon as we got in town, we told my in-laws, and they were happy to facilitate my lying on the couch/beach chair by taking care of Baby Boy for significant parts of the day. Even though I had not planned on being pregnant on our double vacation, it might have been a blessing in disguise because M was able to take over a lot of my normal duties.

Differences the second time around:

  • My sister and my grandmother totally called me out, before we even told them- I guess you do get pudgy real quick the second time around!
  • Reflux starting before the morning sickness was over- not fair!
  • More back pain and significantly more uncomfortable than I was at this point last time around.
  • Carrying Baby Boy is hard. He feels really heavy, so I try to avoid having to go up and down stairs with him too often.
  • Re: above- I can't lay on the couch all day because I have a toddler.
  • My breasts are less tender but nipples more so because Baby Boy is still nursing.
  • I'm more relaxed about the whole pregnancy.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Here we go again...

A couple of catch-up posts now that we're public!

It started with a passing wave of nausea, then another and another. I looked at my calendar and whoops shouldn't Aunt Flo have been here over a week ago? That's what happens when you're on summer vacation. So a couple days later we went to the pharmacy to stock up on things. M complained that I was taking too long and please just take Baby Boy back out into the mall and he would wait at the register and pay. We did and nothing; M did not say a single word about the home pregnancy test he had just paid for.

So I decided we would keep the silence until I had some answers. The next morning, after a totally unsurprising positive, I tell M I left him a gift in the bathroom. He thought it was of the stinky type and didn't go in, and kept sleeping.
After Baby Boy and I had had breakfast we went back up to wake up Daddy and he finally went into the bathroom. But nothing.
Did you see the gift I left you?
What gift?
The one on the counter.
[walks back in]
OMG, for real????
Yeah (duh)...I thought you had seen the test yesterday when you paid for it.
No I didn't notice. OMG
[hug]

So here we are. The nausea, the fatigue, the hiding, the secret appointment.

**written June 30th

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Did You Notice?

I made a very slight change to the name of this blog...because apparently (even though it's very early to know) Baby Boy is going to have a Baby Brother!

We're looking at more dirt, more wheels, more blocks and more balls! Bring it on!