March 12, 2013

a day in {my} life

It was a wee bit stupid of me to plan to do a 'day in the life' post right now, but I am also glad I made myself document a day when Elsie is still so small.  Life (and babies) changes so quickly, and I think it will be nice to look back on in even just a couple months.  So here is a peek at my day with a nearly one month old and a nearly three year old!

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12:15am:  I hear Elsie stirring in the rock 'n play beside me.  It has been three hours since I fed her, but she takes the pacifier and goes back to sleep, so I do too.

1:18am:  This time Elsie is definitely awake and wants to nurse.  I quickly change her diaper and start feeding her.  I can tell she is a bit congested, but it isn't too bad yet.  When I burp her, Elsie spits up all over herself.  And then she poops.  Oh joy.  I wake Chris to go grab me another sleeper, and start changing her diaper.  He also brings back some saline and we try and wet her stuffy nose.  After all of this of course she has the hiccups and spits up some more.  I try getting her to go back to sleep, but all my tricks don't work.  She is starting to get fussy and I am tired.  So I try to nurse her back to sleep.  She latches on for a bit, but obviously doesn't want to eat.  Finally around 2:25am she drifts off to sleep.  I hold her a bit longer before settling her back into the rock 'n play.

5:27am:  Grunty McGrunterson is going strong next to me.  I check the clock and am thankful to see that it has been four hours.  Two longest night stretches yet!  Too bad I didn't get to enjoy any extra sleep since it took her so long to fall asleep.  Based on the amount of grunting, I can already tell this nursing session won't be a fun one.  She is so congested now.  She pops on and off a bunch, and it passing gas like a guy.  Around 6am I see on the monitor that Ry is awake.  Boo.  The only downfall of a 5:30 feeding is that I don't really get a chance to go back to sleep.  Elsie spits up a bunch more when I burp her, but not enough to warrant a change of clothes.  Just enough to give her the hiccups again.  I reswaddle her, and she starts to drift off around 6:15am.  But when I put her down she wakes up again.  So I pick her back up.  She goes in and out of sleep for another 15 minutes or so.

6:45am:  I am finally able to get Elsie to stay asleep in the rock 'n play just as I hear Ryann's door open.  Thankfully Christopher doesn't have to leave for work until 7, so he tends to her for a bit.  I go to the bathroom, and come out to see that Chris has turned on Rio for Ryann.  I'm a little annoyed because I don't think we really need to jump straight to a movie before 7am, but he is making her breakfast and I'm too tired to really care or fight it, so I give up.  When breakfast is ready Ry comes to the table, she has blueberries and a waffle with peanut butter, I have a piece of peanut butter toast.  Chris heads out the door at 7:05am.

7:10am:  I want to jump in the shower and rinse off real quick, and of course I can't take a shower without Ryann joining me, so we head to the bathroom.  But then she decides she needs some toy from the family room.  And the damn cat is meowing outside the door.  So I run down to make sure they have food and water (ohemgee he could see the bottom of the freaking bowl.  there was food.  I shook it around).  Ryann found whatever toy it was she was in search of and we finally hop in the shower.  Really I don't mind having her in there too much, except that the hot water tends to run out fast, and she likes to play in the bath when I get out.  But today I don't plan on washing my hair, so it isn't a big deal.  I get cleaned off, hop out and let Ryann play while I put on some make-up.  I head to the bedroom to find some clothes to put on.  After a few minutes I realize it is way too quiet in the bathroom.  When I come back she appears to be playing nicely, but there is water all over the floor... Whatever.  I quickly straighten my hair, and get Ryann out of the tub.  Then we get clothes on her (well underwear and a shirt) and brush her hair.

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8:06am:  Ryann tells me she wants to finish Rio as she runs out of her room.  I was going to hold off until I had to feed Elsie, but two seconds later I hear "Mommy I made it go all by myself!  Hooray!"  Well, she knows how to work a laptop now too.  Uh, hooray?  Again, whatever.  I don't have the energy to fight things lately.  I work on cleaning up the kitchen, straightening up a bit here and there, and make sure the diaper bag is packed up for us to leave the house.  When the movie is over Ryann runs to the family room to start coloring.

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8:44am:  Time to wake up the littlest miss.  Ryann follows me into her room (I had moved the rock 'n play in there so I could have the monitor on) and proceeds to unswaddle her while saying sweet little things to her.  Too freaking cute.  Then Ryann tells me she wants me to take their picture laying on the floor.  By all means kiddo, if you insist :o).  Of course that only lasts for like two seconds and then Ryann is on to something else.  I get Elsie dressed and take her into the family room to nurse.  Which of course signals Ryann to be extra needy.  She NEEDS me to help her with a puzzle, and she NEEDS me to help her color a picture and she NEEDS to go potty.  I hate telling her no over and over again, but I also don't want to make a circus out of every nursing session.  Sometimes she will just have to play by herself.  Eventually she cuddles up next to me and we have a conversation about random stuff.  I wish I would have written down what.  She helps me out by getting me a new burp cloth when Elsie spews all over the first one.

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9:20am:  Elsie is done nursing, so now it is time to get Ryann ready to go.  I grab her a snack (fruit snacks and oatmeal squares) which is really just my ploy to get her to sit still while I put her hair in a ponytail.  I try getting her leotard on, but she catches sight of herself in the fireplace glass and proceeds to have a dance party in her underwear.    Eventually I get her clothes and shoes on.  Then we all head to my room so I can put my clothes on.  A final pit stop in Elsie's room for another diaper change, and then we all get loaded up in the car and head out.

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9:55am:  We are on our way to gymnastics, ON TIME.  I swear daily if we make it anywhere on time it is a miracle.  I eat my snack in the car (a protein bar) and try and call my dad.  Of course then Ryann becomes extra needy again.  "Mommy tell me a story!  Mommy I ate all my oatmeal squares!  Mommy talk to me!"  Then there is some trucks painting on the highway and I get flustered and more or less hang up on my dad.  I guess it wasn't a good time to talk.  Ryann keeps pestering me to 'tell her a story', so I finally cave.  She wants one about a horsey and a pony.  I HATE making up stories for her.  My dad started it as a way to keep her calm at restaurants, and now she wants everyone to tell her a story All. The. Time.  Oy.  After the story we get into asking why this and why that and what is that guy doing and why and who and how and ohmygawd it never stops.  Car rides are exhausting.

10:10am:  I get both kids out of the car at gymnastics, and discover Elsie did NOT fall asleep in her carseat like I assumed she would.  Great.  Ry runs into her class.  This session there are only two other little girls, both older than she is, and it seems to be going MUCH better.  I am thankful for that, and Ry loves her class.  I spend the 45 minutes walking around with Elsie.  She isn't super fussy, but I know she needs to sleep.  Just as she passes out class is over.  I load us all back in the car and head home.  Which of course means more stories, questions and ridiculous conversation.  Oh well.

11:20am:  We're home from gymnastics.  Thankfully Elsie is sleeping so I leave her in the carseat.  I'm starving so I grab some string cheese and join Ry in the family room.  She wants me to do a puzzle.  After we get the puzzle put together I set up the aqua doodle in the kitchen.  I planned to cut up some strawberries and get some lunch near ready before Elsie wanted to nurse again but...

11:41am:  Elsie starts fussing in the carseat letting me know it is time for her lunch!  I guess instead of a strawberry spinach salad I'll be having some microwaved leftovers.  I grab Elsie and sit at the dining room table to nurse.  Surprise surprise, cue the neediness from the older one.  "Mommy help me with my aqua doodle!  I want to take off my leotard.  I need help.  Play with me!"  After Elsie finishes the first side I try to awkwardly help Ry change out of her leotard with Elsie in my lap.  But midway through Ry decides she needs to color a star on the aquadoodle.  Who knows?  She she takes her completely sans clothes self to the kitchen to work on her art.  Oy.  At some point we got her clothes back on, and she decided to play by herself.

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12:23pm:  Elsie is done nursing so I lay her in the rock 'n play so I can make some lunch.  That lasts for about two minutes before little sister is screaming.  She most likely is just tired from not really sleeping much earlier.  So I quickly put together Ryann's lunch and get her situated at the table, and then swaddle Elsie and cuddle her until she falls asleep.  Which is easier said than done because after Ryann is done eating it is more of the 'play with me look at me watch me!'  I try calmly explaining that if she will just quietly give me two minutes I can get Elsie to sleep and play with her, but apparently Ry is a bit too dense to understand.

1:04pm:  Elsie is finally really asleep so I lay her down and make good on my promise to do another puzzle with Ryann.  I usually start the process of getting ready for nap at 1:00pm, but figure she deserves a little attention too.  After the puzzle we start to get ready for nap, and of course she drags it out as usual.  I start getting incredibly frustrated and short with her, and then feel guilty because obviously nothing Elsie was doing is truly her fault, and it isn't her fault I couldn't pay attention to her.  Therefore?  Fighting back tears while I'm reading her books before nap because I'm tired, hungry, annoyed AND full of guilt.  Oh motherhood.

1:37pm:  I close the door to Ryann's room and breath a sigh of relief.  Both kiddos are sleeping (well, I guess Ry isn't sleeping yet, but close enough).  Thank goodness for a little me time.  I throw some leftover pizza casserole in the microwave and do a quick clean up of the kitchen.  After I eat my lunch I pick up around the house a little bit more, and wind up sitting down on the couch with my laptop to start this post.

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2:34pm:  The front door creaks open, Grammy (my mom) is here!  Score.  Cue another sigh of sweet relief.  Elsie has a doctor's appointment at 8:30 in the morning, so my mom is staying with us for the night so that I don't have to get both kids plus myself out the door by 8am.  We chat a little and I continue working on my post.

3:04pm:  Elsie starts stirring so Grammy jumps up to get a little snuggle time before I feed her.  Of course the little miss proceeds to fill her diaper like it's her job (I guess it is).  After I get her all changed and cleaned up I feed her.  Then we spend a little time playing on her blanket.

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4:01pm:  Ryann has been asleep for nearly two hours, so I head in to wake her (or she'll be up forever).  She pops her head up as soon as I say her name, but she looks incredibly out of it.  So I give her a few to really wake up.  Chris arrive homes shortly after that (hooray!  we finally made it to paternity care month!).  Everyone snuggles on Elsie a bit, and then Ryann sits down for a snack with Daddy and Grammy while I attempt to get Elsie back to sleep.

5:00pm:  Elsie is out, thank goodness.  When Grammy is around she tends to do all the stuff I should be doing, so she gets started on cooking dinner.  That frees up Christopher and I to both spend some time playing with Ryann.  First things first though, I eat the rest of the yogurt that Ryann didn't finish at snack time.  Ry puts some necklaces and a bracelet on me and tells me we are going to a party.  With Santa Claus.  Of course.  And then suddenly we are the characters from Jake and the Neverland Pirates.  Chris gets deemed 'mean Captain Hook'.  Ryann is Izzy, and I'm Jake.  Grammy gets to be Mr. Smee :o).  Eventually Ryann decides that I'm Mrs. Captain Hook.  And then we turn into a gymnastics class.  And somewhere in there I end up with a pet unicorn.  The things that kid comes up with never ceases to amaze me.

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6:20pm:  Dinner time!  My mom made us pork, carrots and rice with strawberries.  My mom is seriously the best.  Ryann is having pizza chips (tortilla with pizza sauce and cheese), pickles and strawberries.  Someday we will force that kid to eat normal food.  Of course there are lots and lots of negotiations to get her to stay at the table and at least eat some of her meal.

6:40pm:  After we are finished eating my mom takes over cleaning duties, Christopher and Ryann sit down to watch a movie and I go in to wake Elsie.  It's been a little over three hours since she ate, and I want to make sure I can feed her by 10, so I can go to bed before 11.

7:28pm:  Bath time for little Miss Elsie.  She absolutely hated sponge baths, but since we've been able to give her a 'real' bath she has tolerated them much much better.  Once she is clean I take her to her room for lotion and pajamas while Chris bathes Ryann.  I get Elsie all swaddled and started toward dreamland, and once Ryann is out of the bath I exchange kids with Chris.  He finishes getting Elsie to sleep while I put pajamas on Ryann, brush her hair, read her books, and do everything else that exists in our much too long always drawn out bedtime routine.  I wish it didn't take so long, and that Ryann would let someone besides me put her to bed, but for the most part it isn't worth the fight.  It is only unfortunate when Elsie wants to nurse when Ryann needs to go to bed.  She freaks out of anyone else tries to tuck her in.

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8:30pm:  Ry is in her room for the night so I head to the family room to relax for a little bit.  I'm still starving so I grab a handful of cashews and a frozen strawberry bar.  And then move on to some cookie butter and vanilla wafers (blaming that on Christopher, he is the one who bought it!).  I sit with my laptop and chat with my mom a bit more.  She shows me this video she found on facebook, it's a cat video.  Kinda funny.  I try to keep typing out this post.  Elsie has been kind of squirming the whole time, and finally around 9:00 she wakes up and poops.  Darn digestive system, never letting that kid sleep soundly.  I'm not ready to feed her right then, so my mom snuggles her and she falls right back to sleep.  I finish the section of the post I was working on, eat a little bit more and get ready for bed.

9:40pm:  I take Elsie back to our bedroom for the night.  I do my best to get her diaper changed without rousing her too much, which apparently worked pretty well because she doesn't really stay very awake to nurse.  The session isn't quite as long or productive as I'd like right before bed, but she is so sleepy, and I'm so sleepy so I just swaddle her back up and lay her down.

10:16pm:  Pretty much as soon as Elsie is asleep, I am too.  Good night.

11:48pm:  You have got to be kidding me.  We just went to sleep!  Apparently my swaddle job was crappy, and Elsie busted out.  She seems hungry, and it wouldn't surprise me too much I guess, or something, so I feed her.  I guess I could have tried reswaddling her and getting her back to sleep, but at the time feeding her seemed like the best option.  So much for starting to sleep longer stretches...

***

I've been incredibly lucky to have someone around almost every day since Elsie was born.  Be it my mom, Christopher, or just a short visit from a friend, I've been proactive about making sure I wouldn't have to spend an entire day by myself.  I was worried I would go through postpartum depression and/or anxiety again, and I knew the best way to combat that was to make sure I wasn't by myself for too long.  I think between that, being a much stronger person now, and the fact that I have Ryann and couldn't really dwell too much on stuff has kept the PPD away.  Thank goodness.

So my advice to new or soon to be moms?  Never ever be afraid to ask for help.  You may feel needy, or like you want to do it all yourself, but just ask for help.  If someone offers help, take it.  If you're feeling depressed, talk to someone.  Don't hold it all in.  Adding another child to our family has been difficult, and dealing with Ryann's emotions and feeling has been taxing on me, but I am in a much better place than I was when she was born.  Even with two kids.

And let's see, the three baby items getting the most use right now?
  1. Boppy Pillow - Some people love it, some people hate it.  I can nurse without it, but really I think it makes it more comfortable.  And we used the boppy a ton with Ryann when she was a baby, just for propping her up and keeping her from rolling too much after she ate.  Oh spitty babies.  Which brings me to...
  2. Burp Cloths - We use a minimum of four a day.  The joy of spitty babies.
  3. Fisher Price Rock 'n Play - My friend let me borrow hers, and I am obsessed with it.  The first few nights we were home we tried having Elsie sleep in our room in the Arms Reach Cosleeper (which we used with Ryann and really liked) and she just never seemed to settle, and always ended up sleeping with me.  She seemed to nap pretty well in the rock 'n play, so we tried it at night.  I no longer had to sleep with her.  Score.  I'm already dreading trying to wean her out of it.  But it is so easy to move around the house, and folds up relatively flat so it is easy to get out of the way.  I'd definitely recommend it.  Thanks so much for letting us borrow it Steph!
At some point I'll touch on the baby gear we are loving this time around.  If you want to see what we used with Ryann, and how I felt about it, look here!  

8 comments:

Amber said...

*sigh* I'm tired just reading that. I remember all too well what that felt like, down to the spitty baby, because Aiden was a spitty baby when Riley was a toddler.


All I can say is what you already know, it's a season and it passes oh so quickly. It feels like a millennium when you're in it though. Just follow your gut like you're doing and I know you'll come out the other side stronger for it.

And sleep will come eventually. It took Aiden almost three months to sleep longer than two hour stretches so I wish for you a much speedier good night's sleep than that!

fifth house on the left | family blog said...

my littlest is 4.5 months now and i feel we are just now getting out of this exhausting stage. man. how quickly you forget the newborn stage and it's crazier with a toddler! my toddler gets up ate 545-6 right now after being up all the time with the littlest...sheer exhaustion!
hopefully a good night's rest is in your future :)

Bon Bon said...

Very insightful (and busy!). You go mama! I've had tons and tons of help with my little guy, so I'm definitely keeping that up whenever we have baby #2! Couldn't do it without the "village!" xoxo

Kate said...

Loved this post! Quick question - what is the bear "mat" (?) in the rock & play? It looks so soft! We used our rock & play for the longest time - we both loved it. And Ryann looks so big with her ponytail!

Alisha Jo said...

I used Rock N Plays with my girls and I dreaded the idea of moving them out of it but it was a breeze. They both just outgrew it and adjusted naturally to their cribs! Hopefully it's the same for Elsie :)

Erin said...

Phew, what a busy life!! I really enjoy your posts, but especially this one. It's amazing to see what a mother can do, when she has to! All at times I know you don't feel it, you are such a strong woman!! You are a great mother - I can just tell by reading this!!

Erin said...

Oh this post brought back (not necessarily good) memories... I seriously give you mad props for surviving with a newborn and a toddler by yourself most of the time. I had enough trouble on maternity leave just with the newborn! The amount of effort it takes to get them to sleep like 10 times a day is so draining, and then with the 3 year old antics... hoo boy. Just to hopefully make you feel less guilty, you seriously give Ryann SO much attention - tons of it. She is getting lots of your time and hopefully she adjusts to not having 100% access to you at all times anymore soon!

Baby Mama said...

Oh I could be reading at my own life! So busy yet so amazing! I feel I spend 75% of my day wiping down a counter or trying to convince someone to go to bed!
You are doing great!