Welcome to a piece of our sweet journey of life. This blog is about our family life-- my husband, my type 1 diabetic kindergartner, my spunky pre-schooler, my newborn baby girl, and myself! Enjoy!

Friday, February 28, 2014

Closer to Three

Dear Michael,

Today you turned 18 months old.  That means tomorrow you will be closer to 3 than you are to the day you were born.  That blows my mind! It has all happened so fast.  I love the toddler that you are.  I am thrilled beyond belief with how smart you are! Each day, you attempt to say more words and you sign more words.  Your cognitive vocabulary is astounding. 

You are completely precious. Your smile is captivating, and I always get a good laugh by how funny you think you are. 

You are learning to be a super sweet big brother.  You love to put Noah's pacifier in his mouth for him when he cries.  Of course, you attempt to pull it out of his mouth sometimes when he's content. 

You love to take baths, which is fabulous since you love going outside and getting dirty.  :)

You are a great eater, and if you had your own way, you'd eat Goldfish and peach fruit cups all day long.  You feed yourself, and your are getting better at it every day.  I am so proud of you and how far you've come!

You love to watch "Little Bear" (which you call 'bear'), and "Paw Patrol" and "Bubble Guppies" (which you call "bubble").

You absolutely love books, and that thrills my heart.  Favorites this week include "Chicka Chicka Boom Boom," "100 Words," and "Humpty Dumpty."

I love you immensely.  It is a joy to be your Mommy (even though you normally don't refer to me in any words, and when you do, you say 'ba-ba').  I am excited each day to go into your room and get you when you wake up.  I am excited for all of the days we get to spend together.  I love you forever, my dear one.  Love, your Mommy

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Noah: One Month

Noah is officially 6 weeks old today! Time has flown by!

I'm taking advantage of a moment when Michael is napping, and Noah is chatting to himself in his crib as he settles down for a nap.  I thought I'd take a quick moment and write a bit about Noah's stats at one and a half months old.

Clothing: Noah wears size 0-3 month onesies and pants.  He is still skinny enough to fit into newborn clothes, but his length prohibits him from wearing newborn footie pajamas anymore.  Those were the first articles of clothing that he outgrew-- and it took him 4 weeks to do so!  That makes me a little sentimental since there is a very good chance that Noah is our last biological child, and he's already outgrowing clothes!

Diapers: Noah wears Kirkland signature (Costco brand) diapers in size 1-2.  Kirkland signatures makes one diaper that accommodates babies all the way from size 1 into size 2.  They don't make a separate size 1 and a separate size 2 diaper.  Noah could still fit into newborn diapers, but I choose not to use them because it's nice to have a little extra room in the diaper in case of a potential blow-out.

Sleeping: Noah, like Michael at his age, LOVES to snuggle and nap in your arms!  Noah naps very well in my arms, but sometimes I do have to set him down in order to hug & hold Michael, and to do some housework (housework? What's that?) :)  This week, we have had a few nights where Noah has gone over 4 hours between feedings.  That means that some nights, I've only had to get up once to feed him! FABULOUS!  I'm hoping that this trend continues and by the time I return to work, he is sleeping for 5-6 hours at night.  Or 7-8.  That would be fine too.  :)

Nursery: At Noah's one month appointment, the doctor said it was just fine if we moved him into his own room.  She said he might start sleeping for longer stretches at night if he were in his own room and didn't constantly hear us as we moved about in our room.  So, a few nights after Noah turned one month old, we transitioned him into his own room.  Aaron set up the crib in his "man room" and he moved my swivel-rocking chair in there for me to be able to nurse Noah in his own room in the middle of the night.  Noah does a fantastic job sleeping in his own room.  I attribute part of his success to the swaddle blanket my sister-in-law bought for him.  This blanket is fantastic and keeps Noah nice and securely wrapped up so his arms don't flail and startle him awake.  Having Noah in his own room is a little different for us because we didn't move Michael into his own room until he was 4 months old.  I'm hoping that this transition helps Noah sleep through the night earlier than Michael did.  A good night's sleep is helpful for all involved. :)

Vocal: Noah is quite the vocal baby.  Not by crying (although he can do that quite loudly when he's upset and hungry), but by just simply making baby sounds.  When Noah yawns, there's a little squeaking sound he makes when he's done.  When he sucks his pacifier, he makes a sound like "eh-eh-eh." He makes a little squeaky sound when he naps.  He's just very vocal.  Now, for a newborn in the hospital, this would cause alarm.  However, Noah's breathing patterns are not irregular and he is not showing signs of distress.  Because he's always made these noises, they are not cause for concern.  I made sure to ask the pediatrician about it at Noah's first month appointment.

First month stats: Noah, at his first month appointment, weighed an even 10 pounds and was 22.5 inches long.  So, he gained nearly 3 pounds, and grew an inch and a half! He now sports a cute double chin.  :) He is in the 50th percentile for weight, and the 75th percentile for height. 

Aaron and I are completely blessed with our little boys.  We love parenting our little guys and are excited to see the personality of each boy develop. 

God has truly blessed us. 

Here's the first smile caught on camera!

Much love, Reba

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Post-Partum One Month

It's been one month since Noah was born! Time sure does fly! I have really been enjoying being a mom of two.  My maternity leave has been wonderful and I look forward to the remaining weeks of it.  I never thought I could be a stay at home mom, but during this maternity leave I see how enjoyable it could be and I wish I was able to pursue that as a career.

This post is very personal to me.  I'm not sure how many people actually read this blog and I try not to be consumed by numbers.  This post is for me.  It's a place to document my thoughts about this first month post-partum.

Over these weeks, I have noticed some things that just aren't quite the same as far as body image and body functions go.  I can't attribute the changes in my body to the epidural, but I do wonder if that had something to do with the new things in experiencing. 

Since Noah's birth, I have a sharp nerve pain in my left hip.  This is especially evident if I sit on the floor to play with Michael.  I have a very hard time getting up again.  If I'm holding Noah and sitting on the floor, I have to have someone take Noah from me and hold him, or I have to put him in his swing which sits low to the ground, so that I can use both hands to push myself up off of the floor. 

This may be TMI, but I've also had trouble making it to the bathroom on time to relieve myself.  This happens mainly in the middle of the night when I'm nursing Noah and realize that I really need to use the bathroom, and have to sit there and keep nursing while I wait.  I haven't had an accident on myself, but I've come close and that's totally abnormal. 

So, those are things I semi-attribute to the epidural.  Do I regret getting an epidural? No.  Not in the least.  I understood that there are risks associated with getting a shot in my spine.  And now I might be living with the effects of that, and that's ok.  I'll either get better, or I'll adjust.  There's no use being upset over what it different-- I'm just putting pieces together and thinking that it might be due to the epidural.  If I were to get pregnant again, I think I'd still get an epidural.  If I didn't choose to get one, it would be because I have confidence in myself to do a natural birth-- it wouldn't be because I was afraid of the side effects. 

This time, the Post-Partum hormones have been so much less than with my first experience Post-Partum.  The first two weeks after Michaels birth were so so difficult for me.  I experienced baby blues, and realize now that they didn't dissipate until Michael was about five and a half months old. It was at that time that I realized that I needed to relinquish control-- I couldn't handle everything alone and I shouldn't try to do so.  Since that realization, my life has been way way better!  Post-partum hormones this time around have been so minimal that figuratively, I'd need binoculars to really see them.  This time, the things I've struggled with the most include the inability to sleep through the night, my tummy, and breastfeeding.  Let's take each thing individually.

First of all, the inability to sleep through the night has surely taken its toll.  Although during the last few weeks of pregnancy, I would get up in the middle of the night to use the restroom, it didn't require heavy thought.  Get up, go to the bathroom, wash hands, get back in bed, sleep.  However, now when I get up in the middle of the night, it's to feed my son.  Get up, go to the baby, pick up the baby, go to the chair, sit down, make sure the baby latches on properly, switch sides when appropriate, change baby's diaper, swaddle baby, lay baby back in crib, go to bathroom, wash hands, get back in bed, try to sleep because the countdown is on and I've got less than 3 hours til I'll be up again doing the same routine.  Its rough.  Don't get me wrong, I LOVE  breastfeeding my son and being his source of nutrients.  It's just a lot of work, and I eagerly anticipate his ability to sleep through the night. 

Secondly, this time I have been more consumed with my tummy jiggle.  Immediately after giving birth, a woman still looks five to six months pregnant.  That astounded me after Michael's birth and I wasn't prepared.  This time, I was totally prepared for that.  It didn't even phase me.  My tummy regained it's shape pretty quickly during my maternity leave with Michael.  The pounds kept coming off after I returned to work and pumped.  This time, I feel like I haven't quite bounced back like I thought I would.  I try to remind myself that I still have time, and that it's ok.  It's a process to get back into shape, I know.  I have to be more disciplined to do a good job at it.  Eating half a dozen cookies for morning snack is not the way to do so-- and yes, I really did that today. 

Thirdly, I've struggled a bit with breastfeeding this time.  My mom has been super supportive and has encouraged me and given positive feedback regarding the amount that I've already pumped and stored this time.  I've been nervous about making enough milk.  I've made a batch of lactation cookies, two batches of lactation honey oat balls, I drink cups of milk with original ovaltine, I've taken fenugreek tablets and eaten oatmeal for breakfast almost daily. I think my supply is good.  I try to manually pump a little each day to start building up a good supply for my return to work in a few weeks.  I'll pump at work three times a day.  I'm excited to provide nutrition for my littlest Petersen. I just need to remind myself that I'm doing a good job, and not to overthink it.

If you've made it to this point, I'd like to extend my thanks for taking time to read some of my recent thoughts.  And now, I've got to go check on a little toddler who has woken up quite happy from his much needed morning nap that he put himself down for, believe it or not.   Check back in a few days for a post about Noah at one month old!

Much love, Reba