Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Just Judah

I miss Judah.

I miss going out with him--to the playground, to the zoo, exploring fun stuff. With Noah in the picture, it's just too hard logistically to take them out.

I also feel sad that Judah goes to daycare full-time every day except Wednesday. That's a lot of time away from us and he cries almost every morning--I don't want to go to Ms. Lori's house. I want to stay home all day!

Judah poses in front of the new garden he planted at daycare.

But it's just too exhausting contending with him at home, in addition to the baby. I honestly feel like Judah demands the amount of attention of 3 normal toddlers. He constantly wants you to play with him, constantly asks you questions, constantly requires unending interaction.

Despite all the mom-guilt I feel about carting him away, I know surviving these early weeks of babyhood is more important--for everyone. Even when Judah does stay home, I'm usually way too short-tempered with him from being crabby and tired.

We often have this conversation:
Judah: Mommy, why you mad at me?
Me: I'm not mad at you, I'm just tired.
Judah: Why don't you go to sleep?
Me: I can't sleep at night cuz Noah needs me to help him at night.
Judah: You can just let him cry.

Or after I blow up with anger at Judah, he'll try to soften things by saying "Mommy, I love you," knowing that I always respond "I love you too." That just kills me.

Recently Judah has been really into "police" clothes. He thinks anything that's blue is police attire. I had to buy him an entire new wardrobe in blue so he wouldn't fight me on clothing choices anymore.

Um, yeah, policemen totally wear those clothing items.

Today he wore his new "police" shirt and "police" pants and could not be prouder. He went around his daycare telling everyone about his police clothes and even told his stuffed animals about it when he got home.

I like to take advantage of Judah's police fetish by telling him that he needs to eat his "police" turkey and "police" vegetables. Hey, you gotta use what you can with a picky eater!

Friday, March 15, 2013

Double Butt

When Noah was born, it looked like he had 2 butt holes.

We mentioned it to the ped and she informed us that the technical term is "sacral dimple."  It can be serious and require surgery if the spine is actually stuck to the bone, but it doesn't seem to be the case with Noah.  The doc said she'll keep an eye on it.

I still prefer our non-technical term--2 butt holes.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Oh Perchance to Sleep

The poor-quality fragmented sleep I've been getting for the last 8.5 weeks have really been taking a toll on my brain.

Last week I forgot whether I closed the front door or not.  When we swung back to check, turns out I hadn't!

I frequently forget what happened a mere 5 minutes ago.

My emails are riddled with typos.

So please be kind to moms of babies under age 6 months.  We can't remember what we just said, barely have time to eat and pee, and are basically zombies.

Especially when insomnia strikes.  Every few days, when I feel really REALLY tired, I will have one night where I can't sleep at all.  Well played, insomnia.  You win again.  And again.  And will again, I'm sure.

Weeks 8 and 9

This past Monday Noah had his first set of shots.  I hadn't taken him to the doc since he was 4 days old so I was excited to find out his stats.

Noah nervously anticipates his first set of shots.

At 8 weeks Noah is 14 lbs (95th percentile), 23.5 inches long (75th percentile) and xx inches in head circumference (25th percentile).  Much like his brother at that age.  Big body and pea-sized head!

Check out my meaty thighs!

I told the doc that my most pressing issue was that Noah could not nap on his own AT ALL.  She encouraged me to do some nap-training (which made me love her so much) instead of waiting until he's 3 months old like all the books say.

Noah insisted on a modesty cover for his bath pic.

So I've been half-heartedly letting Noah cry 15-20 minutes during his naps but the little guy is not able to soothe himself to sleep.  Or, he falls asleep immediately but cries again after just 3 minutes or so, off and on, off and on until he finally loses patience and wails inconsolably.

I kind of want to give up on the nap-training, but then again, the alternative is hefting around his 14 lb body for 8 hours a day, which is pretty physically painful.  Although, that's not the worst part.  The worst part is it doesn't allow me to give much attention to Judah.

Poor Judah.  He's really going through some tough times adjusting to the new baby.  He's been a pretty good sport at the beginning but as time drags on and the baby gets needier and needier, Judah's patience has worn pretty thin.  He now has really tearful meltdowns and tantrums several times a day, and in general, just seems pretty miserable.

A rare smile from poor Judah.

Yesterday, for the first time ever in his entire life, he refused to take a bath.  He wailed, screamed, cried when I tried to coax him into the tub and I was completely perplexed and frustrated.  What the heck?!?!  He has always loved bath time!

Having a 2nd baby is no joke.  The spouse and I are exhausted and frequently exclaim "WHY DID NO ONE WARN US ABOUT THIS?!"  But the truth is, people did warn us.  We did expect it to be hard (at least for the first few months).

But head-knowledge and actual experiential-knowledge are two very different things!

Tuesday, March 05, 2013

The Baby Blues

I've been feeling blue lately but I can't quite put my finger on why.

Sleep deprivation is the obvious culprit.  I haven't slept more than 2 hours at a time since Noah was born and  probably won't until he's sleep-trained.  Sadly, however, sleep-training is not going as well as I hoped.  His longest sleep stretch is a mere 3 hours and he doesn't seem to be very good at self-soothing.

Don't act cute with me.  You know what a pain in the butt you are!

But it could also be because I'm sick.

And/or that I haven't touched dairy, chocolate, or caffeine in 8 weeks.

And/or I've been isolated at home because I'm deathly afraid of taking the baby out and having him catch a cold.

And/or the fact that the baby is not really on a schedule so I can't plan my day and I have almost no control over any aspect of my life.  For a type-A person to not have control...well, let's just say nothing could be worse.  Add to the mix that I'm generally a pessimist and debbie downer and it's no wonder the blues have ensued.

And/or the fact that I can't put Noah down for naps.  The physical exhaustion of holding a 12 lb child for 8-10 hours a day is definitely exacting a toll on my achy neck and shoulders.

And/or that I feel guilty about not giving Judah much attention.  Ironically I wanted to have another baby to force Judah to be less attention-needy.  To be able to play on his own and be more independent.  But instead it's just made him weepy and miserable every day.  He constantly tells me "I missed you all day at Ms. Lori's house (his daycare)."  And he falls apart every time he sees me holding Noah (which is practically all the time since I can't put Noah down for a nap).  And more than ever he constantly wants me to play with him and does not play on his own.  Ugh.

My poor neglected big boy.

This last weekend I checked in on him during nursery hour and he looked downright depressed.  I've never seen him like that before.  He's always a happy, hyper, active guy.  But even though his favorite people were joking with him and trying to cheer him up, he just sat glumly on a chair, looking downcast.

A rare moment when Noah isn't around!

Being replaced by a baby has really taken a toll on poor Judah.

Judah proudly shows off his new police badge and gave me a 'deputy' orange sticker.

I know this newborn period won't last forever.  By at least 14 weeks Noah should be able to sleep at least 5 hours at a time and take naps on his own.  But that seems like a hopeless eternity when you have the baby blues.

Every morning I wake up and regret the fact that I've woken up.  Every morning I have to give myself a mental pep-talk just to cobble together the will to go on.

Usually, it's just a simple mantra that I try to believe each time I repeat it--it won't always be like this.  It will get better.  Just get through this one day.  One more day.  One day more.

Or when it's really bad...one more hour.

Friday, March 01, 2013

Week 7: The "S" Word

It's been a sleepless, restless, exhausting week yet again at the House of Noah.

Instead of sleeping 2 hour stretches at night, it seems Noah has decided to stir every hour or so instead.  So considerate of him.  And during the day, he has now decided that he would like us to hold him for all his naps.  That's a lot of holding (and aching arms and shoulders) when you consider that he naps 8-10 hours a day.

So even though Noah's barely turned 6 weeks old, I decided this can't go on any longer.  We are all simply too exhausted.  It's one thing to indulge a newborn when he's your first and only child.  But it's another thing entirely when you're also trying to care for a very needy toddler who is constantly weepy because he's not getting even a quarter of the attention that he's used to--poor Judah.

The spouse gives Noah some 'sun' time.  We make fat babies.

So I told the spouse we are going to start sleep-training.  Now.  Ah, the dreaded 'S' word.  The bane of all parent's existence (except those lucky 10% who have kids that sleep like rocks--how I hate those people).  I scoured all the baby books for support but none of them suggested sleep-training until the baby was at least   2 and a half months.  Better to wait till 12 weeks.

Well...if I waited any longer, I'm pretty sure I'd be dead from exhaustion.  So, nope.  The only thing I took comfort in was that many books say 15 to 20 minutes of crying wouldn't hurt a newborn.  So, that's something.

The first night of sleep training I had very modest goals for Noah.  I only wanted him to hold out for at least 2.5 hours before nursing him.  And I told myself I wouldn't let him cry for more than 20 minutes.  He actually did really well and only had 1 crying bout of 20 minutes long.  Turns out, I've been going to nurse him too early--without giving him a chance to grunt and settle back down himself!  I've decided to sleep well away from his room now and put on ear plugs so I only hear his 'real' cries.

The next night of sleep training was even better.  He cried 2 separate times for 8 minutes each time and slept 3.5 hour stretches.  I heard the Hallelujah chorus in my head and dared to hope.

But you know the thing about babies...just when you think you have it figured out, they often throw you and your damned optimism out the window and take a turn for the worse.

We'll see what tonight brings...

Meanwhile I've been consoling myself in the arms of the British aristocracy.  Yes, I'm finally watching the PBS sensation--Downton Abbey--while endlessly holding and rocking the baby.  So, silver lining after all.