Thursday, July 31, 2008

Sigh of Relief

Blog surfing this morning I realized something. I am not worried. Seeing everyone's posts on 2WW worries; on pregnancy or non-pregnancy worries, I realized that even when I was pregnant this last time, almost every day I was worried. I worried whether I would miscarry, I worried about whether she/he would be healthy; I worried about my health; I worried about whether I would get stuck with bedrest again; I worried about the labor/C-Section and recovery; I worried about weight and how my son would deal with a sibling. I just worried. A lot. And I think it was partially because of the many issues we had to deal with concerning infertility and the IVF cycles. Yes, during my first pregnancy I worried. But not like this. I was more aware of the many things that could go wrong. I was aware of the fact that we were EXTREMELY lucky to have gotten pregnant the first time without any medical help. I was aware of my age, of my egg quality, his sperm quality and the factors that had to go into making them be compatible. Fertility treatments make you so aware of your body, especially during the 2 week wait, when every little ache or pinch (or indigestion) can make you wonder--am I pregnant? And it doesn't stop after you get that BFP. Oh no. It keeps happening. And it doesn't stop after 12 weeks, or 18 weeks. I think by my third trimester I was comfortable being pregnant (in time to be physically uncomfortable!). And even then--sometimes, I couldn't believe that FINALLY we were pregnant, that we were finally going to have our daughter.

Now, being on the other side of it all, I realize that today, right now, I am not worried. Yes, there are the normal everyday trivialities..and there always will be. But I have 2 wonderful kids and a wonderful husband. And we are all healthy and happy. And growing and adapting. And now, my worries are about getting back into shape and eating right and enjoying my life with my family.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Success and Failure

This weekend we went for a day and a half to a gaming convention. We traditionally go to this one and to one in February, usually staying the whole weekend. This was our first attempt with Willow. It went very well. We have bought a travel crib which works wonderfully, and she actually slept fine. Husband got to role play game that Friday evening, while I spent time in the pool with the kids. It was great to watch Michael dive down with his snorkel and googles. He was having such fun! Willow was not sure what to make of the pool. She was not upset, but she had a very quizzical expression most of the time. I played with her, twirling her around, having her legs sway back and forth, getting her whole body wet, etc. I even put her (for a moment) in a floaty ring. After ½ hour, I took her out and I wrapped her in a pool towel. She snuggled in---and promptly fell asleep!

I was so impressed with Michael’s pool playing that the next morning, we got up at 6 a.m. and he and I went to the pool by ourselves. It was great to spend some one on one time with him.

Then, Michael and I each had games to play (I won Dork Tower, and won a board game!). Michael played a superhero game, enjoying it very much. Later, I bought t-shirts and a card game. Willow was with daddy most of the morning, although she also was passed around a bit—she was that CUTE! Michael and Willow wore their Call of Cthulu shirts…it was great!

The only bummer of the weekend was when we came home—and I discovered that I gained 3 pounds! Hmmm… that was not what I expected. And now it hits me—I have to REALLY exercise and eat right again. Yep, no excuses now! I guess what annoys me (other than that it actually means I weigh more than when I was pregnant!) is that I was doing so well until 8 months…then I started to slip (“Oh, I can have that piece of chocolate cake, I am pregnant after all”). Then, after the baby, I tried to concentrate only on being sane. Then going back to work (where I did start exercising—just not as much as I wanted to). Then the wedding and the relatives visiting…then daycare provider having vacation last week (meaning we had to scramble around and have an all around messed up week). All were used as excuses for not being able to eat right and exercise. Now, I hope that we can get into the new Normal again—with added ingredients of better meals and exercise.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

The Cat, the Kids and the Wardrobe

This weekend was my brother's wedding and my son got to be the ring bearer. It was the first time ever he was formally dressed and in a tuxedo, no less!


At the fitting. This jacket was too small. And the pants. My son has long arms and legs! I hadn't realized how long and lanky he looks! Luckily, the next size worked well--although the tailor still had to let down the pants! He sympathized with me on how hard it is to buy pants for this kid!



With my brother just before the wedding. Although planned for outside, the weather was much too humid and hot (94 degrees), so it was inside.

The wedding went very well. Michael was a good ring bearer, never shirking his duty, and only losing the rings a couple times before the ceremony. During the ceremony, the photographer tried to have him sit down too soon. He replied quietly that he "still had one ring left" on his pillow, thank you very much. I have wonderful video and pictures of him during and after the ceremony and in his tux at the reception. Much to his chagrin, he was pestered by many girls who wanted to dance with him. But he only danced with mom and Ana!



Also this week, Willow learned to grab things--things like a RATTLE!

At her check up, Willow weighed in at 12 lbs. and 23 inches and took her first shots like a pro--only a little crying/shrieking!

Willow has grown out of her smallest clothes (0-3 mos.) and is now starting to wear some of the new 3-6 mos. clothes, like this outfit from Nonnie...




We don't know about the bonnet...we kinda feel like someone else looks better in it...


Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Progress

The big news is that Willow is accepting bottles! She is up to three 3 oz. bottles per day during the week. On the weekends, we slack a bit, but we usually get two.

Michael got his first small sunburns (on his cheeks and arms) and went on his first field trip of the summer (Water Country).

I just finished my first 30 mins. workout at work! I used to work out 30 mins at work (during lunch time) and 20 mins. at home on the bike in the morning. So far, I think I have returned to the 30 mins. at work (I've been building it up the last two weeks). That was the easy one. Trying to get ANY exercise at home--not so easy. But, I got Wii Fit to see if I can at least have fun (when I have the TIME).

Husband's birthday was fun and he got Rock Band. (Yes, the Wii is being used a lot lately).

In other baby related news:

We had Willow sleep her first night in the crib on July 12th. She did spectacular (sleeping from 10 p.m. until 5:30 a.m.!), but she moved around a LOT and I got a little frantic about her safety--so, she is back in the bassinet until we get this.

Otherwise, she is doing quite well. Almost rolling over on her stomach and her neck muscles are holding her head up quite nicely. She "talks" a lot and smiles a lot.

Michael is very affectionate to her and is often trying to help by calming her down and singing to her.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Little Things Make it Worthwhile

The past week has been hectic. Which is funny, because I always felt that we were hectic before. And it is different, but the same. I think sometimes that I am overwhelmed. And then I think I have a handle on it. I still have to remind my husband and son to help out (we are a team, after all—right guys?). I sometimes just end up doing everything myself (and feeling overwhelmed). But, so far, this is not anything new. I am coming up with new expectations and new routines.

Willow is definitely new. But she is also changing and we are adapting. I am adapting.

I think the hardest thing so far is remembering that I can’t just leave the house without stuff. Michael is so self sufficient in so many ways. And Willow is so dependent. And Michael is still a child too—which I have to remember sometimes. Sometimes he is so mature…and sometimes his OCD or ADHD make him so immature…

As for their interaction together, while it is limited at the moment because of her age, she does smile at him and recognize him. He loves cuddling her, making up songs about her:
“Funky, funky Willow and her Diaper of Doom” is a favorite. He likes to try and soothe her when she crys and likes to play with her arms and legs.

Despite all the stuff to do, things to remember, sleep to make up, its the little things that are making me happy: Willow’s sleeping form in my arms at 4 a.m.—wanting to just cuddle up with her; Michael running from his room to ours, to jump into our bed for warmth and a cuddle; Willow smiling and cooing; Michael concentrating on reading a book (so serious); Willow wide-eyed expressions; Michael coming downstairs after bedtime with his mischievous smile.

Friday, July 04, 2008

Show & Tell #5 - Happy 4th 2008!


Show and Tell



We went to our traditional place for July 4th. A bit different this year--the youngest child we had ever take before was Michael when he was 2 years old. Willow is only a little over 2 months old--and she was such a trooper! Everyone kept coming up to us saying how cute she was and asking about how old she was, etc. Upon hearing what her name is, everyone says what a beautiful/interesting name it is. Basically,she was unwittingly the center of attention, and after so many years of trying for her--it felt really GREAT! Especially since last year, we were doing this!

She had a good day, wearing two new outfits (thank you, Nonnie and Aunt Pat/Great Grandma Kaylor, respectively).










Michael had a lot of fun, especially since he got to play lots and lots of video games at the arcades, while mom and/or dad dealt with Willow.

I nursed her twice while there--once in a Nursing Station (which was just a small room next to the family restroom--it had a rocking chair, a diaper changing station and a wash basin--and no friggin' air conditioning--the day was not too hot, and the most I sweated was in that room!). The next time I nursed her was in our car--ah, air conditioning and radio! Also: SHE TOOK A BOTTLE! On Wednesday and Thursday at daycare she took a bottle of breastmilk (2 oz each time, but still!!). Today, it was about 3 oz of instant premade formula! So, my baby is growing and adapting!! :-)

We stayed about seven hours and decided that we did not think we/she could deal with another 4 hours until fireworks...which is a-okay with us---there is ALWAYS next year!!

At home, we had Chinese food, watching the Twilight Zone marathon on SciFi (another tradition), Michael was put to bed, Willow snuggled with dad (who's birthday is July 5th).

Michael and I having fun...






Michael liked the bumper cars...


A lot...


Riding them the most of any ride.


Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Adjustments

Time for the New Normal to begin! Yesterday was my first day back to work, meaning that everyone in the family has to start adjusting to new routines. So far, I would say we are doing well, but it is a challenging time for all. I normally work 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Yesterday, I got in at 10 a.m.--we all slept late (mainly cuz it is understood at my work that this week is going to be a bit strange) and I breastfed Willow, helped Husband deal with both children, got the gear packed up for each one, saw the three of them (husband, son and daughter) off. Then I got to work--luckily, the traffic is light this holiday week...

The mess I expected to encounter at work was very minimal--it happened to be a slow 10 weeks! So, I had some catching up to do, but nothing too overwhelming. Which was good. Because others of our family are having trouble adjusting:

Willow is refusing bottles. Or, more precisely, she sucks at the nipple of the bottle playing at eating. But, when you take the bottle away--very little has been taken (I mean less then an OUNCE). I blame us. When she was newborn, she seemed to have no problems with the occasional bottle. So we assumed it was a-okay, and she has mainly been breastfeeding. About a week and a half ago we started trying to give her bottles, in preparation for daycare. And the Bottle Fights began. We have tried different nipples, of all sizes and shapes (thought these were working--but I guess not). We have tried breast milk, different formulas. We have tried with me out of the room, me giving her a breast and then giving her a bottle. We have tried a lot of things, but so far, nothing but my breasts will do. But, here is the wierd part--she seems to not be the worst for it. Yesterday she was a bit fussy and I did leave work early, because both the daycare provider and I were worried because she was not eating. Today, she was totally fine--save not eating out of the bottle. And when I bring her home, I breastfeed her and she is fine--and its not like she is STARVING--she does not act like she is choking it down or anything. So, at the moment, we are letting her have time to adapt--I am sure she will eat when she is hungry (at least, that is how I feel right now). My long term plan is to do like we did with Michael--breastfeed morning and evening, supplementing with expressed milk and formula during the day.

Husband is adjusting slowly to having to get two children ready in the morning. So far I have been helping (esp. since I have to breastfeed her). He is not much into time management, so this is a bit of a challenge for him. I have been trying to lay things out the night before to help, but I think he will have to get up earlier than he used to (esp. when school starts in September). (I am sure he won't be happy to hear that!)

Michael likes camp so far, but doesn't swim (he thinks the pool is too cold--which is kinda true) even though I bought him a new snorkle. He has been a bit more irritable in the mornings--mainly because he sees that we are spending more time dealing with Willow's issues, I suspect. This morning I guess he spilled some chocolate pudding while dad was showering (um...why was he eating chocolate pudding--dad needs to explain that one) and tried to clean it up on his own--without telling anyone. Dad found out when he came home to pick something up...luckily! (I can just see our cat licking up chocolate pudding and getting sick!)

I got into work at 9 today, and was able to stay til my normal time. I am still not totally there mentally--keep thinking of Willow and Michael. But it is good to get back to the old routine a bit--I worked out in the fitness room today for 20 mins. It felt good. (Even helped my neck, which hurt from sleeping on the couch with Willow last night--routines are still adjusting!)
The good news is that this is the summer--so the school/homework hustle is not adding to this major stressful time. AND--this is a short work week--the weekend is almost here!!