Wow, I haven’t updated in forever. It took awhile to actually get settled here in the DC Area. It also was a long process that required my husband to travel across the country twice. Thankfully, the move was made easier with the help of movers who did pretty much all of the packing and unloading. Then we needed to get an additional car so that I wasn’t going to be stranded at home with kids most of the week (oh the joys of suburban living). But for the most part all the kids have adjusted to our new home, the time zone, and, for Oliver, his new preschool. We also have done a good amount of unpacking, although there are still a few stray boxes I can’t be faced to deal with right now. Hopefully, we can enjoy the rest of our summer and I can do some regular posting!
Category Archives: Mommy Life
Citrus Lane Box Review
I reviewed Citrus Lane on my friend’s blog, Boxy Ladies. Go check it out!
I’ve probably mentioned this in passing in previous posts, but we are moving back to the East Coast on Saturday. It’s a bit bittersweet–I’ve met some incredible people here, and it’s hard to leave a city and home where my son and daughter experienced so many firsts. This is where my son learned to crawl, walk, eat, talk, goes to preschool; this is where my daughter was born. And now we pack up and will experience other firsts in a somewhat foreign land.
My husband got a job offer that was too good to say no to (even though he did at first!). It also means that we get to move closer to family and friends. That will help our family a lot, especially to give me get a break here and there from the kids. So it really is for the best that we leave this city, that we’ve called home for 2.5 years, behind.
Thankfully the majority of packing has been outsourced to a full service moving company, so I won’t have to deal with that business. Regardless, don’t be surprised if I don’t update for awhile as we adjust after the chaos.
24 Week Postpartum Weight Update
So I’m 24 weeks postpartum, and let me tell you the weight loss isn’t as easy as the first. Granted life is just more hectic now juggling two. It’s just more of everything–more tired, more work, more sleepy, more obligations, more more more. You name it, it’s just more of it. And whoever tells you that breastfeeding makes you shed all that weight is a liar! I lost more weight with my son, whom we supplemented, than with my daughter, who is exclusively breastfed.
I’m sure it’s a combination of a lot of things. I haven’t been as vigilant about working out like I did with my first. That goes along with the tiredness of wrangling two. I also don’t play soccer anymore like I did with the first, even though I wouldn’t count that as enough exercise to shed the weight. But anything helps right?
Anyhoo, it is taking me longer to lose weight than I expected. No one tells you that about your second. With the first I lost a lot of weight, and fast. And then I lost the last of the baby weight once I stopped breastfeeding, which was like another 5lbs. This time I stalled at 15lbs. But Sammy is close to developing a routine/schedule, which means it will be easier to figure out the working out business. Let’s hope I lose that extra weight in the coming months!
P.S. I hate selfies done in a mirror!!!
So I know this isn’t the most popular of subjects with parents, but we sleep trained our eldest doing the cry it out method. It is heart wrenching, but its long term benefits totally outweigh those moments of horribleness. Our pediatrician said it was fine to do so since he was gaining weight and meeting all his developmental milestones. He didn’t need to eat at night since it was quite apparent he wasn’t eating, just nursing for comfort. So we sleep trained, and I couldn’t have done it without my husband telling me to be strong and let him cry a little.
For those that think I am torturing my child, you don’t leave your child in a dark room to cry for hours upon hours until they fall asleep. We lie our baby down half awake, give a kiss, and say goodnight. If they cry, we go in at a minute to console them and say it is ok, another kiss, and then another goodnight. If they cry again, we’ll let them cry for 2 minutes before we go in. We do keep doing this, adding an additional minute to the last crying fit until the baby falls asleep. We never let it go past an hour because at that point it is abundantly clear the baby is not quite ready for sleep training.
Anyhoo, we are doing it with my daughter right now. Though it isn’t hard to get her to fall asleep (no rocking or holding, just needing to be next to her), it was making my son upset. Here I am next to my daughter half asleep, holding her hand, and next to me is my son yelling, “C’mon Mommy. Come play on the floor.” So I decided it was time to sleep train.
I know my daughter was ready for it because she is gaining weight and is meeting her developmental milestones. And it just seemed like she needed that extra nudge to get her to sleep on her own just because all she really needed was someone to hold her hand. I felt like this extra push would be a good thing for her, and it has. She no longer cries when we put her in her crib at night after 2 days of training. Naps aren’t quite there yet, but we just started yesterday. And when she is crying, the crying fits are no longer than half an hour and she is asleep.
It feels good to have her be able to fall asleep on her own, but also sad at the same time. It just means I can use that time I usually spend on putting her to sleep with things that are more productive, like playing with my son, cleaning, etc. But it’s just sad cause she is growing up.
Sleep training is definitely not for everyone. Please don’t interpret this as something I recommend for everyone. This is merely a post to say it works for our family and if you want to read someone who’s done it successfully and is happy about it, then yes, that’s us.
The 5th Leap
We are in the midst of a Wonder Week, and while it isn’t so bad as when Oliver went through his, it leaves me really tired. On top of that there’s just the daily duties like laundry to do. Baby wearing is helpful for a lot of parents out there. While I don’t mind wearing Sammy, she does not sleep if there’s a lot of bending over, like picking up toys.
I felt bad wearing her and eating because she would be covered in crumbs. But now that she is bigger, she can fit in the Ergo. So I use the hood to cover her while I eat. Haha, but seriously it works! When she was smaller I used the Boba wrap and a Maya ring sling, which definitely did not have anything to protect her pretty head from crumbs!
Other times, she only falls asleep when I hold her. And then I am held hostage and only hope that the remote control to the TV and my fully charged iPhone are within arms length. Any unnecessary movement will wake up Sammy, and then all bets are off.
Our night sleeps have now gone from 7-8 hours to 5 hours, which is nothing to complain about compared to others. But when you are used to a good stretch of sleep, it throws you for a loop. If you haven’t invested in coffee stock, you should totally look into it cause that’s what gets me through the mornings.
Ahhh, the mommy life. One day it will get better, I know it.
P.S. Did I mention we are moving across the country next month? No packing being done by this mama!!!
Second Thoughts About Potty Training
So Oliver has done really well with the potty training. Do we even still call it that? Almost three weeks in and I have to say I miss diapers. I know it is a huge milestone, especially towards independence and big kid-ness. But to be honest, it’s A LOT of work.
I guess I romanticized potty training in my head. I imagined that he would be going on his own with no supervision. That he would just do his business like you and I, and it would be no big deal. But the truth of the matter is that he still needs to be constantly reminded to go to the potty because Lego is soooooooooo much cooler than sitting on the potty. He still needs to have an adult wipe his bum. We need to make sure someone gets him to the potty as soon as he wakes up or he will just pee in the bed because he doesn’t know how to open his bedroom door to get to the bathroom. And he monopolizes our only bathroom as if he were a teenage girl.
I guess it doesn’t sound so bad, and in the long run we don’t have a college-age child in a diaper. But it’s more work than I thought, especially when you put an infant into the mix. One day I won’t have to worry about bowel movements–and that day will be GLORIOUS!
So I have started exercising (when I can) again. I managed to get to my prepregnancy weight before I got pregnant again (it took a year to shed the weight!). But I also managed to gain ~35 lbs. this last pregnancy! Now it’s the daunting task of losing that weight again. I am finding it is not quite as easy to shed as the first time around, even though I am exclusively breastfeeding. I guess it’s just something about the second kid?
I know a lot of mom’s out there find it difficult to get exercise in when you are wrangling a child, let alone two. I’m beginning to find it more difficult with two. Last week I didn’t work out at all cause my son was sick all week! How can a busy mom get a work out in with kids?
1. Gyms with childcare
Many gyms offer child care for a small fee. You can get your spin class in while your kid is looked after by professional child care staff.
2. Mommy and Baby Exercise Classes
A quick Yelp search in your area may yield a lot of surprising exercise with baby options for you and your little one. From bootcamp to yoga, you’ll be able to get a work out in while your little one is by your side. This is especially beneficial for parents who want to save money on the child care aspect. My personal favorite is Baby Bootcamp.
Look or create a meetup to do some exercise you enjoy! Whether it’s to find parents out there to go on a run with your baby in a jogging stroller or doing tai chi with baby, you’ll be able to find it or create it. You’d be surprised what you can find on meetup.
4. YouTube & Netflix
Many of us are just too busy juggling work and family that exercising during normal hours is just impossible. You probably don’t want to wake up to do a 6AM work out if your baby isn’t quite sleeping through the night, sometimes the Kid’s Club hours at the gym aren’t very convenient, or your family is simply on a very tight budget. When your kids are sleeping, you can always scour YouTube and Netflix for some exercise videos. YouTube has Jillian Michaels workouts availabe for free.
The long and short of it is that exercising with a new baby may be difficult, but it is doable. It takes a bit of creativity and time to get back to your prepregnancy self, but you can do it! Don’t be discouraged!
With more and more measles cases being reported, I am incredibly anxious about leaving the house with my two month old infant. She is too young to be vaccinated against measles, leaving her vulnerable to this preventable disease that we are surrounded by. We had a near miss with measles exposure, making this outbreak far too real and terrifying for me.
I know all parents have the best interest of their children in mind, and one of the biggest decisions we are first faced with as a parent is whether or not we are going to vaccinate. It is clear that science says vaccines are safe with no link to causing autism. Even allergic reactions to vaccines are incredibly rare. And yet many still choose not to for whatever reason.
My husband and I vaccinate. It is hard for us to ignore the numbers when weighed with the risks. But most importantly we want to protect our children, and others who are vulnerable, from these deadly diseases. I in good conscious cannot allow my children (walking incubators) to contract preventable diseases and spread them to others, especially infants like my daughter, the elderly, pregnant women, people who are allergic to components of vaccines, immunocompromised individuals, etc. Even if my child is strong enough to survive the measles, the child next to her may not be as lucky–and that I cannot allow. It is really a crap shoot who the disease will take.
And with that I leave you with a letter written by Roald Dahl (author of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Matilda) who wants all parents to vaccinate.
Olivia, my eldest daughter, caught measles when she was seven years old. As the illness took its usual course I can remember reading to her often in bed and not feeling particularly alarmed about it. Then one morning, when she was well on the road to recovery, I was sitting on her bed showing her how to fashion little animals out of coloured pipe-cleaners, and when it came to her turn to make one herself, I noticed that her fingers and her mind were not working together and she couldn’t do anything.
“Are you feeling all right?” I asked her.
“I feel all sleepy,” she said.
In an hour, she was unconscious. In twelve hours she was dead.
The measles had turned into a terrible thing called measles encephalitis and there was nothing the doctors could do to save her. That was twenty-four years ago in 1962, but even now, if a child with measles happens to develop the same deadly reaction from measles as Olivia did, there would still be nothing the doctors could do to help her.
On the other hand, there is today something that parents can do to make sure that this sort of tragedy does not happen to a child of theirs. They can insist that their child is immunised against measles. I was unable to do that for Olivia in 1962 because in those days a reliable measles vaccine had not been discovered. Today a good and safe vaccine is available to every family and all you have to do is to ask your doctor to administer it.
It is not yet generally accepted that measles can be a dangerous illness. Believe me, it is. In my opinion parents who now refuse to have their children immunised are putting the lives of those children at risk. In America, where measles immunisation is compulsory, measles like smallpox, has been virtually wiped out.
Here in Britain, because so many parents refuse, either out of obstinacy or ignorance or fear, to allow their children to be immunised, we still have a hundred thousand cases of measles every year. Out of those, more than 10,000 will suffer side effects of one kind or another. At least 10,000 will develop ear or chest infections. About 20 will die.
LET THAT SINK IN.
Every year around 20 children will die in Britain from measles.
So what about the risks that your children will run from being immunised?
They are almost non-existent. Listen to this. In a district of around 300,000 people, there will be only one child every 250 years who will develop serious side effects from measles immunisation! That is about a million to one chance. I should think there would be more chance of your child choking to death on a chocolate bar than of becoming seriously ill from a measles immunisation.
So what on earth are you worrying about? It really is almost a crime to allow your child to go unimmunised.
The ideal time to have it done is at 13 months, but it is never too late. All school-children who have not yet had a measles immunisation should beg their parents to arrange for them to have one as soon as possible.
Incidentally, I dedicated two of my books to Olivia, the first was ‘James and the Giant Peach’. That was when she was still alive. The second was ‘The BFG’, dedicated to her memory after she had died from measles. You will see her name at the beginning of each of these books. And I know how happy she would be if only she could know that her death had helped to save a good deal of illness and death among other children.