Thursday, September 27, 2012

This Isn't Math

When I first lost my mom, I was ANGRY.  I was angry at the way that my work at the time treated the whole thing (which I blogged about) and I was angry at anyone who dared to complain about life.  I probably should have taken a break from Facebook at the time because anytime someone had the audacity to say anything negative I thought, "Oh, you think you have it bad?  My mom is dead."

This manifested in many ways like, "Oh, you had to put your dog down?  See above."  And, "Oh, your baby kept you up all night.  Mom."

And then I lost my job and I just felt like my world was crashing down.  I was 4 months pregnant with no job, no mom, and a brand new house to pay for. 

For those of you who were following me, you know how this story ends and I'm happy to say that not only did I survive, but I'm in such a better place now except for still missing my mom.

For a while I thought that the only people who were allowed to complain to me were people who had suffered similar or worse.  People who had lost either a baby, a parent, or a spouse.  Because no one else knew how bad it could be.  I was on a different wavelength when it came to suffering.

But then my friend got diagnosed with cancer and that sucked.  And then, within 5 months, her grandma passed.  And I started to think about how she felt.  And first I thought, well, it was her grandma and my mom trumps her grandma so NBD.  (Not really NBD, just comparatively.)

Then I saw that new show, Go On, where Matthew Perry's character is dealing with losing his wife and he joins a support group and they all start comparing stories.  And as stupid as it is to learn a life lesson from a sitcom, I did. 

You can't compare grief.  You don't know how people process or cope.  Sure, maybe losing my mom was a bigger blow than my friend losing her grandma but how do I know?  Maybe her grandma was like a second mom to her.  And what about my poor brother, who in the span of 2 years lost both a baby and a mom? 

At 32 (almost 33), I'm still learning.  Fortunately, no one got hurt while I learned this lesson.

I've been missing my mom a lot lately and blogging offers a little release.  So you might see more mom entries for a while.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Potty Party

We waited until Addy was over 3 (like 3 years, 4 months) to hop on the potty train.  In some respects, it was too long but really we needed to wait until she was ready.

Signs your child is ready:
  • They recognize that their diaper is dirty
  • They know the difference between pee & poop
  • They wake up dry from naps & nighttime
  • They express interest
I think I should note that Addy really hadn't shown any of the signs but 3 is old enough to go anyway.  I couldn't take the thought of changing diapers on a 4-year-old.

We had to wait until after Reese was born to avoid any regression and also we waited until after our 9-day trip to avoid complications.  We got home on a Saturday and started training on Sunday.

We did some reading and decided to just do the naked plan.  We stripped her down and gave her juice and basically headed for the potty every 30 minutes.  We made a "Potty Prize Bowl" full of stupid stuff from the Dollar Store and every time she went successfully, she got a prize.  We didn't want to do solely candy as that didn't sound to healthy.

We tried putting her in underwear but something about having something on made her think she could go in them.  It didn't matter that it was underwear and not a diaper so we evenutally resorted to the naked plan.

The third day of training, we felt like leaving the house.  We'd been cooped up for two days and Addy was kind of starting to get it.  Being naked helped a lot.  So we waited til she went, set the timer for 1 hour and went for a walk.  Addy wore clothes on our walk but was commando.

While we were out, she had an accident and while that wasn't a big deal, she didn't seem to even react to it.  She wasn't worried about it, she just kind of tried to wipe it away with her hand and carry on playing.  That was probably our mistake, to let her play and get distracted.  So we went to the bathroom, changed her and then cleaned up the mess. 

It's important to note that every time she had an accident, we stretched out the changing and cleaning process so that she couldn't just go back to playing.  She needed to know that it was a big deal and unpleasant to deal with.

We spent the week following the same pattern.  Potty, 1 hour on the clock, errand.  Sometimes we ended up visiting potty at Target and sometimes she was just fine.  She only had one accident in the car.  At home, naked, she was great.  Something about being naked allowed her to feel the urge more than in clothing.

After one week, Addy went to daycare and honestly, that seemed to really help.  It probably had something to do with having other potty trained kids around.  The first day we sent her commando but our daycare provider didn't like that so we did panties the other days and she was just fine.

Addy has been "potty trained" for over 2 months now with mostly successes.  Her first week of preschool was a challenging one in that she had an accident almost every day.  She seems to have figured that out now and is having a great week so far.

However, poop is a different story altogether.  She has pooped in the potty exactly 3 times with much screaming and crying and becoming hysterical every time.  She does NOT like it.  She will wait until bedtime when she gets a diaper on most days instead of going.  No amount of promises/bribes of ice cream, toys, candy, etc. will get her to go.  We have let it go, assuming that she will eventually get over it.

And that is our potty training saga.  I wish you better success with yours!

Monday, September 17, 2012

A Typical Day

I think a lot of my readers have only 1 child at this time and are probably planning on another.  I thought it would be interesting to document a typical day for us to give you an idea of what happens when you add a second child to the mix.

Take this all with a grain of salt though - Reese is still a baby and requires more than Addy.  In about 8 months this will look completely different.

Some time around 2-3am - Reese wakes up so I lurch over to her bassinet, grab her, return to bed, nurse her and then put her back down.  She usually fusses for a minute but goes back to sleep.
5am - Alarm goes off - I hit snooze and hope it was just a bad dream
5:06am - Nope, I'm not getting back to sleep, up and in the shower to start getting ready.
5:30am - Wake up C and try not to wake up Reese
5:35am - Reese is awake, sit and feed her and hope she can hang out til I finish getting ready
6am - Wake up Addy and tell her to get dressed. Head downstairs to get breakfast and pack up to leave. 
6:05am - Addy comes downstairs naked and carrying her clothes.  That's fine as along as she dresses herself.
6:20ish - Nurse Reese again
6:32am - Leave for work
7am - 4pm - Work - 3 pumping sessions squeezed in around meetings and lunch.
4:30pm - pick up Reese, chat with daycare lady to see how she was during the day
4:50pm - pick up Addy, chat with teacher to find out how Addy did and if she had an accident
5pm - Nurse Reese.  Depending on her day she may take a snooze or not.  Depending on the day I might have to start cooking dinner (C & I take turns cooking).  Depending on how all this works out I *might* be able to get on the treadmill but probably not.  During this time Addy is supposed to play by herself but mostly ends up asking me to watch "Addy shows" or play "Addy Games" on the kindle or phone.  She also wants a snacky and a drinky.  Get the mail. Check facebook and whatever else while nursing.  Wash pump parts.
6:30pm-ish - sit down to dinner.  If we're lucky, Reese will sit in the "shakey chair" while we eat but most of the time C & I trade off holding her and eating.  Reese usually wants to eat sometime in here again.
7pm-ish - finish dinner and clean up.  Every other night is bath night so either we head upstairs to start baths or we hang out for 20 or so minutes.  C & Addy usually use this time to throw Addy on the couch and tickle her.
7:30pm - start getting both girls ready for bed.  Addy in pjs with brushed teeth and Reese in her pjs and swaddled.  We try to pick out clothes with Addy for the next day too.  C & I take turns reading to Addy so if it's my turn I nurse Reese while C helps Addy get ready and then I read, otherwise we divide and conquer.
8pm - at this point both girls should be down for the night.  Usually after Addy has been in bed for approximately 20 minutes she will come tell us she pooped in her night time diaper (I am thinking of writing another post about potty training but for now all you need to know is that Addy is scared to death of pooping in the potty and holds it until she's in a diaper again - or goes in her underwear...)
8-9:30pm - C & I finish cleaning up dinner, pack things for the next day and finally get to sit on the couch and relax.
9:30pm - start getting myself ready for bed as quietly as possible so Reese stays asleep.
11-12ish - Reese wakes up for a snack.

Lather, rinse, repeat!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

The First and The Last

C has declared that we will not have more babies.  To me, that remains to be seen but he has stated his case.  We can have more kids, but no more babies.

So that means that Reese will pontentially be my last baby.  And it's sad!  As frustrating as babies can be, I love the baby stage.  I love the big grins, the cooing, the snuggling.  I absolutely loved taking a nap with Reese snuggled up on my chest, so tiny.  I don't know if I treasure it more because it could be the last time or if I just love it that much anyway.

I love Addy too, but in a different way.  I will be honest and admit that I'm not a huge fan of the 2-3 year old stage.  I think that's actually a reflection on me and the amount (or lack) of patience I have.  Some times I just can't handle the Whys and the questions and the flat out ignoring/not listening.  I hate yelling at her but it happens more than I care to admit.

C is the opposite, he dislikes the baby stage (obviously) and loves this current stage.  He loves that Addy can tell us what's wrong or what she needs, that he can play with her and make her laugh and actually talk to her.  And yes, I like those things too, but well, you saw how I feel up there.

Addy started preschool this week and the biggest thing was that it hasn't even seemed to phase her.  I want to chalk it up to our preparation at home with talking it up for a few weeks and making a big deal of packing her backpack and picking out her outfit and everything, but I really think Addy is just kind of unflappable.  The first morning, she just ran off, eager to explore and play with all the new toys.  I had to force her to hug me goodbye.

I have no doubts that we will have rough mornings and she'll do some clinging, but for the most part she's ready to head off into the world with hardly a glance back.

I firmly believe that it will be even harder with Reese, knowing that its my last.  I know C will be so excited to have them grow up but a little piece of me will always miss the babies.