Wednesday, January 28, 2015

DITL - Winter 2015

Here we go again!

I have been posting so infrequently lately that aside from Hugh's monthly posts these all-encompassing-day-in-the-life posts are really all I've got. This time around I used my real camera for the whole day! These days with Matt working from home it doesn't really matter what day of the week I choose...the only real variation in our day is whether or not we have to get Lily off to pre-school. I was going to document a school day again this time around but then we had snow-magedon on Tuesday night into Wednesday and school was canceled. So here you go, how we spent our snow day!

DITL - Winter 2015
Wednesday January 28, 2015

I am 33
Matt 32
Lily 4 yrs 10m
Ben 2yrs 9m
Hugh 6m

1:25am - I went to bed too late so this first wake up from Hugh is just insult to injury. I check the baby monitor and everything seems fine. Paci is within reach and the room temp is in the high 60s. I decide to let him fuss for a few minutes but in the end I go in and help him out a little with paci.

3:30am - I awake to a familiar "thud". Ben has rolled out of bed. The bed is low and their room is carpeted so the risk of bodily harm is low, none the less I listen to see if he is going to climb back in on his own or make a big thing out of it. He calls out for Daddy but since I am already awake I hop out of bed.

3:41am - Ben is all tucked in and I put a few more pieces of wood in the wood stove. Back to bed.

3:59am - Lily is up, needs to pee. I wasn't asleep anyway. Back to bed.

5:42am - Hugh is up and hungry. If this had been my first wake up of the night it wouldn't be bad, but I am tired and cold. I nurse Hugh on the floor in the closet instead of bringing him back out to our bedroom. Every single night I think to myself, "why haven't we moved the glider in here?" (Still haven't done it!) I go out to the wood stove again and throw a few more pieces of wood in. Back to bed.

7:30am - - "Daddy our clock is green!" Ben and Lily come banging into our room. They each grab an iphone off from the nightstand and head back out to the couch in the living room. Matt mumbles something about starting a fire but I know the fire couldn't have gone out so I don't feel too bad about pulling the blankets back up over me for some extra sleep.

7:50am - No dice on the going back to sleep. My entire face and neck are killing me. My dentist recently pointed out that he thinks I am clenching and grinding my teeth. Ever since he pointed it out I catch myself doing it no less than 10 times a day (who knows how much I am doing it in my sleep). It seriously explains so many headaches these days. I am going to try sleeping with a bite guard but more importantly I am working really hard on dropping the habit during the day. In any case I suspect last night was not a relaxing one for my jaw.

I go out to the living room and join the family at the breakfast table.

8:00am - The kids are in rare form this morning, really hamming it up for the camera. Lily gets really excited when I tell her that I am doing 'day in the life' because it means I will be taking a lot of pictures. Ha! This from the girl that actively avoids my camera daily.

8:30am - Just as I am about to sip my coffee we hear Hugh squawking on the baby monitor. Most days I have a cup of coffee and pump before he gets up around 9. He must be excited about ditl too. I go and get him and have Matt snap a quick picture of our morning faces :)

Serious baby be serious and a Lily photobomb, haha!

I change Hugh's diaper, nurse him on one side, and he plays on the playmat while I pump the other side. Matt announces that he has set up a playdate for 10:30. We recently reconnected with a guy that we went to high school with (and I may have dated back in the day). He and his wife have a daughter that is about a year older than Lily. We have a lot in common with them and it has been fun the few times we have hung out recently. I have mentioned that I really do not like meeting new people, and making new friends has been very low on my list of priorities since moving back to Maine. This new-ish friendship could work out perfectly! In any case my initial reaction to the playdate is "ugh". I take a quick look around and decide that the house is in pretty good shape, but there are a few things that I absolutely have to do. I snap about twenty pictures of Hugh making silly faces.
9:10am - I send the big kids upstairs to play and pick out clothes. For some reason this sets off a chain reaction of tantrums that ends with each of them in time out. After a few minutes they each return to the playroom and apologize. I watch them play for a few minutes to make sure that everyone is feeling friendly again before I head downstairs to clean up.

9:30am - Matt is working. Big kids are playing. Hugh is still happy chatting with his toys on the playmat. I clean the downstairs bathroom, gather the random dirty laundry, sweep the dog hair dust bunnies, spray down the kitchen counters, tidy up the random things laying around, and bring up a load of wood from the basement.

10:00am - My dad shows up to plow the road. In the end we got 23 inches of snow from the blizzard yesterday. I don't know what we would do without him to plow us out. I can only imagine how much money it saves us. He doesn't do the whole road which is just over a half mile long but he does to the part we "own" which is the last quarter mile.

It is A LOT of snow! Lily is excited to go out but we are trying to hold her off until our friends get here. I go upstairs to help the kids get dressed, brush our teeth and hair. While I am trying to tame Lily's crazy hair I remember that I have a hair appointment scheduled for later today. It is long overdue!

10:15am - I nurse Hugh and put him down for his morning nap. Lily and I play a game on her leappad, and Ben plays trucks on the couch while we wait for our friends to arrive.

10:30am - Right on time our friends arrive and almost immediately everyone makes themselves right at home :::phew!::: Love low maintenance company! The girls go upstairs and poor Ben toddles along after them, such a little brother! Hugh wakes up from his nap (boo! Only about 30 minutes) and hangs out with the grownups. The kids play amazingly well for over an hour.

11:30am - The girls come downstairs and ask for snacks and to go outside. The grownups spend the next fifteen minutes getting the small people sufficiently bundled. We settle an 'argument' between our friends as to whether the elastic nylon layer inside the snow pants goes over the boots or gets tucked inside. Obviously it goes over the boot!

The snow proves to be too much for Ben who only lasts about five minutes before losing both mittens. He lays face down in the snow screaming until Matt goes outside to rescue him. The girls and dogs on the other hand look like they are having a ball.

Ben's meltdown over the mittens and snow goes on for a long time. He requires all of his stuffies, blankie, and cuddles. Then he needs a warm blanket and a snack. Our friends chuckle the whole time but I am a little embarrassed that he is carrying on and on. Way to show them your true colors buddy! haha. 

12:30pm - The girls come back in and we announce the 30 minute warning for the end of the playdate. It is already past our normal lunch time, but the kids all insist they would rather play than eat lunch. Lily changes back into her night was hard wearing real clothes for almost two hours! I nurse Hugh thinking he must be ready for another nap, but he seems wide awake so I don't even try to put him down yet. 

1:10pm - We say goodbye to our friends and I make lunch. As we eat we all agree that we had a great time and hope that they did too. Making new friends makes Matt and I very glad that we will never have to date again! Hugh hangs out in the exersaucer while I get ready to leave for my hair appointment. 

1:55pm - I nurse Hugh one last time and put him down for a nap. I try unsuccessfully to snap a selfie of my blah hair (see any of the pics above, ha). Kiss the big kids goodbye and head out. In the car on the way to the appointment I don't even turn on the radio. Sitting in total silence all by myself = total bliss. I would stop and grab a coffee to complete the experience but the roads are terrible, and it takes me a lot longer to get to the mall area than I thought it would. 

3:30pm - Hair colored and cut. I am too embarrassed to take a selfie at the busy salon so I try and make a mental note to have Matt take a pic when I get home. I promise my hairdresser that I am off to do something fun for a little bit before I go home but in reality...I go to Walmart for groceries. 

4:30pm - I arrive home to find that Ben is still napping, Hugh is sitting in Matt's lap, and Lily is on her leappad. Could be a lot worse. I go upstairs and wake Ben and then come downstairs to put away the groceries. The kids get settled on the living room rug with a small snack and water while I make dinner. Matt is sitting at the counter working. 

5:25pm - I cook up some chicken and rice and make my version of burritos for Matt and I. I season the rice with a packet of guacamole mix and lime, dice the chicken, add avocado (unfortunately not tonight, it is just not ripe enough) add a mix of cheddar and goat cheese and toast it up. The Oreos are for dessert ;) 

Lily and Ben have diced chicken, rice, and corn. It is a total dinner fail! There are several time outs and dinner goes on foreeeeeevvvvvvvveeeeeeerrrrrrr.  Lily announces that she likes chicken "20", chicken nuggets "100", and macaroni and cheese "120". I'm not sure what her unit of measure is here, but you get the idea. She is less than thrilled to hear that while I understand her statement, we are still having chicken for dinner. 

5:45pm - Hugh is up so I make him some baby oat cereal mixed with breast milk. This is only his third day of solids so the jury is still out. He eats but not enthusiastically. There is a lot of spitting and slobbering, but I think he is eating at least some of it. 

Matt: "Let me take a picture of your beautiful new hair."
Me: "I already put a hoodie on, that ship has sailed."
Matt: "Smile!" 

Serious baby, be serious. 

6:25pm - I am SO over dinner. The kids are being pretty terrible and it is obvious that no one is going to eat any more than they already have. I send everyone upstairs to clean up the toys a bit before bed and I clean up the kitchen (a little). **Funny story from our play date and hopefully proof that we are doing something right?? - the kids dumped the Banagrams (a bunch of little tiles with letters on them, like scrabble) and a puzzle on the floor AT THE SAME TIME, and it was "SO FUN! because we MADE A BIG MESS, and are being SO NAUGHTY, HAHAHA!!!" - I suppose if this is their idea of really going crazy we should consider ourselves lucky!  

6:50pm - Start the bedtime routine with the big kids. Brush teeth (every night Lily asks if her teeth are "so sparkly"), wash faces, read a story, and off to bed. 

7:15pm - Matt and I come downstairs with Hugh and get ready to start his bedtime routine. 

With almost nothing gradual about the transition we have started giving Hugh his bottle right as soon as the big kids go to bed. That means no more hours of holding him while he snoozes in my arms. He started showing signs that he was ready for bed earlier in the evening a couple of weeks ago. Try as I may to ignore those signs it was getting harder and harder to hold him off from having a bottle. The only time Hugh is unhappy is when he is overtired, and we were getting to that sad place almost nightly. So off to bed with you my sweet boy. (sob sob sob) 

I gather all of Hugh's night night things and Matt starts his bottle on the couch. It takes about a half hour for Hugh to drink the 7oz. When he is just about finished Matt changes his diaper and zips him into his "nightgown". Yes it is pink, we all think he looks ADORABLE in it!  

While Matt is feeding Hugh I make four trips upstairs to put Ben back in his bed. It has become a nightly battle. We take away stuffies. We take away blankie. We lose our tempers. We keep our cool. We try rewards. We try further punishment. It comes down to one tiny detail...HE DOESN'T CARE! Tonight is no exception, and I repeatedly go in and reset him until he finally falls asleep around 8:30. 

8:10pm - Hugh finishes up the last ounce and after a brief snuggle he goes to the baby suite.

8:30-9:30pm - Matt and I hang out on the couch while he works and I type up a few notes for this post. Since Matt took a few hours in the middle of the day to hang out I know that he is going to be up late working to make up the time. 

I watch something mindless on TV. 

9:45pm - I decide to pump. I recently moved my pump out to the living room instead of the bedroom and it has been such a good switch! Pumping is a chore, and I realized I was stalling going to bed to avoid doing it. Now I pump while watching TV and once I am done I am "free" to go to bed. 

10:00pm - I am so tired. All of those wakeups last night (and the lack of afternoon coffee) are catching up to me. I go up and check on the kids, let Colby out, and check on the wood stove. Change into pjs, brush my teeth, check on the baby. It always seems to take me so long to get ready for bed! 

10:30pm - Matt comes in because he knows I don't really sleep well until he is in bed. We make the mistake of turning on the food network and torture ourselves with some show about the best burgers in the world (or something) and now we are both starving. For a few minutes I seriously consider getting up for a snack but luckily I fall asleep before I remember we have Lucky Charms. 

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Hugh - 6 Months!

This is a big one baby, SIX months!

You have officially been here so long that none of us can remember life without you. Maybe that happened awhile ago but I just tonight at dinner thought to ask the big kids and they were completely at a loss. I also realized that my past posts make it abundantly clear that I am completely crazy about you (which is ok, it is my blog after all) but maybe fall short of capturing just how much we all go crazy over you. For example, it is literally impossible for anyone in this house to walk by you without kissing you, for real. We all do it, especially Lily. Seeing you smile lights up this whole house and none of us can get enough. Also you have rolls for days and we are all suckers for those!

Likes: Mommy, being held, nursing, being tickled, having a fresh diaper, paci, rolling, trying to stand, FEET!, the swing, drooling all over everything, being naked, riding in the car, the circle of neglect, tummy time, snuggles, the play mat, scooting off the play mat, jingly sounds, the TV, attention from Ben and Lily, pulling hair, thumb sucking (mommy is actively trying to fight this one)

Dislikes: Milk from the freezer, being over tired, the first 3 minutes of being put down in the crib, being cold

Nicknames: Youkie has taken over. Other versions include, yooooouuuuukkkkk, youk-a-dook, youkie-dokie, Hughtiepie is still Ben's favorite.

Milestones: Intentional putting of things into ones own mouth, moving up to all size 9m clothes and sz 3 diapers, deliberate chatter, blowing raspberries, grabbing, backward scooting

Feeding:  Milk, milk, milk, Hugh loves milk. EXCEPT from the freezer. This is obviously a wrench in my plan to actually use my freezer stash (which is no less than 250oz). I don't know if it is just a phase or if Hugh's refined pallet simply will not tolerate milk that is not fresh from the tap. We have tried several different bags/batches/freeze dates etc. and he fights the bottle like we are insulting him. Milk from the fridge, no problem. Being the dedicated scientist that I am, I am currently freezing a bag of milk that I pumped this morning to give to him tonight. I have backup milk in the fridge if he puts up a fight but I would like to get to the bottom of this whole thing. Stay tuned :)

Other than the freezer fight Hugh is really rocking being exclusively breast milk-fed, a gift I am eternally grateful for. He nurses happily every few hours during the day. I'll be the first to admit it can be super annoying some days, or certain times of day (like dinner time) when Hugh fusses non stop to nurse even though I know he is far from starving. I had a stomach bug on Monday into Tuesday and despite tossing cookies every few hours I continued to nurse Hugh as often as I could because I am irrationally afraid that my supply will plummet after just one day of skipping a few feedings. I'm sure things will change (again) in the next few weeks as we introduce solids so for now fingers crossed that our nursing bond stays strong. Hugh officially holds the record for 'latest start' with solid food. I would have started this week but Matt will be in CA for work for fours days and this solo mommy has enough to take care of without adding a new trick to the routine.

Hugh's nighttime bottle is up to a solid 7oz but he never downs it like Lily or Ben did. He takes his time and makes sure to scream in Daddy's face for no apparent reason at least once.

Sleeping: Eh, some nights you win and some nights you fall asleep on the closet floor next to the crib because the idea of going all the way out to the bed only to return in 10 minutes just seems stupid. Two great naps per day: 10am-noon and 2pm-4. Love everything about that!

With this being our first winter in the house we are still working out the heating situation. As I have mentioned the wood stove keeps the main part of the house and the kids' rooms upstairs a lovely 68-70 degrees. It does not really heat our bedroom on the first floor and you can forget about using our bathroom. The master closet (from here on will be referred to as the "Baby's Suite" haha) does have a few baseboard units that keep the room warm but the thermostat is out in our room so it is an all day job to monitor the ever fluctuating temperature. Needless to say there are some nights when it gets too chilly in the baby's suite and he fusses. We ordered a small heater for his room...over a week ago...maybe the first time ever that Amazon Prime failed me!

The beauty of the five month sleep routine has somewhat escaped us. We stopped swaddling and honestly it went fine. Hugh plays and rolls around a lot more now in the crib but he doesn't seem to need the swaddle to settle down. I was hoping that he would be able to replace his own paci a little more proficiently but that will come soon enough. There is a lot of shuffling around and fussing for someone to comfort him. Holding out on CIO until I feel like he is depending on me coming to him in order to fall asleep. The beauty of third babies is perspective. Every single thing is a phase and will eventually pass.  Also, I survived there's that. (Love you Ben!)

Odds and Ends: Hugh still has a blocked tear duct that shows no signs of getting better on its own. The pediatrician said we should give it a year, so that's what we will do. BUT when she first said that at one month I completely thought it would open and we wouldn't have to look into the 'next step', now I am not so sure.

Hugh is the drooliest baby in the universe. So much so that he has a rash under his neck roll (of which he has many). I feel so bad because it is obviously a little raw and I just can't keep it dry. I have tried bibs and burp cloths. I have tried leaving the top of his jammies open. Nothing really seems to be working. Cornstarch or Vaseline maybe?? Poor is just SO MUCH DROOL!!! Also it may have been said that Hugh is a little sour smelling but I completely disagree. Seriously, I think he has the best natural baby smell of any of my kiddos.

Matt and I have decided to run a road race every month of the year this year. February in Maine was a tough one to find. We decided on one for Valentines day a few hours away so we are staying in a hotel. I am having a really hard time leaving Hugh. So much so that I emailed the race organizer to make sure that Matt could push a jogger during the race (he said "of course!" haha), romantic eh?!? I'm not really sure why, other than to say that I am pretty sure Hugh is our last baby and I don't want to share. Let's be honest here for a minute though, I do not share my babies very well, never have. Lily didn't sleep away for an overnight until she was 16 months old. Ben was only 6 months but it was just one night, and then in didn't happen again until he was at least one. I don't want to go away for Valentine's Day and spend the whole time missing my baby. I'm still thinking it over. (*Big kids if you are reading this fear not...I will happily lovingly dump you leave you in the care of a total stranger Mimi or Grammy and drive away laughing shed a tear or two because it is only one night. I love you both to absolute pieces but seriously guys, you never stop talking!)

Serious baby, yes Hugh I'm lookin' at you, you bring us all so much joy. I am so grateful every day to be your mommy. And for those of you still reading along...someday I will post more frequently again. And by that I mean, someday Hugh will actually be too big for me to hold three hours a night. For now trust me when I say that these are the absolute best days of my life.

Up next: Solid foods, a NY road trip, and cupid kisses.