Eight Months

Ferris is eight months old now people. EIGHT. MONTHS. I can’t believe it! Two-thirds of the way through is first year already. Insane!

As for how breastfeeding is going…it’s complicated. Just three hours after I hit publish on my last post, he refused to nurse, and I haven’t been able to get him to nurse since. Which is gut-wrenching. He’s only 8 months old. I really wanted to go for much longer.

And while I think I still will be able to provide breast milk for him to drink, I don’t think I can provide enough for him to subsist on just that, at least for the next few months, so I’m trying slowly to work formula back into the equation. It’s difficult to pump and keep up with his appetite, but I’m trying a bunch of stuff suggested by my lactation consultant friends, and I hope to up the supply just a bit. I’m not sure how this will all shake out, but my end goal is to offer a mix of breast milk and formula and hope he gets what he needs out of it. I never envisioned pumping to be THIS huge of an ordeal. Nor did I ever expect him to fully and completely reject nursing. Or would seriously have just put up with all the biting. I’m frustrated and sad and mom-guilting myself to death.

Anyway.

Dear Ferris,

You are growing and changing so fast right now! Outgrowing clothes, crawling like a machine and eating real solid food by your very own self.

Last month, you were crawling backwards, and rolling and scooting your way around the house, but just a few short weeks after I wrote that post, you were not only crawling forward, but also starting to pull yourself to stand with furniture. And not only are you pulling yourself to stand, but also getting brave and letting go and trying to take steps. Slow down kid! You’re only 8 months old! You’ll be tearing around this house in no time, I’m sure. Grandma told me that your uncle was walking by 10 months, which I never knew before, so I guess it’s in your blood to get up and get moving. Now, if we could just avoid all your little wipeouts, so when I take you out in public I’m not so embarrassed by the bruises all over your head!

You have four teeth now, and I’m pretty sure you’re about to get two more. Which is what got us in all the trouble with nursing to begin with. You want to bite. You LOVE to BITE. I have to be careful what I let you get your hands on, because you will bite the ever-loving crap out of anything that gets near you. I hope that soon, you will start to teeth a little more gracefully. So we can all just get some SLEEP.

More and more of your personality is shining through each day. I can tell by the foods you like and the foods you reject, the toys you spend more time with and the toys that stay at the bottom of the basket, and the things you watch us do and the things you ignore, just what kind of little man you’ll become soon. But, also in a lot of other ways, you’re a blank slate. This first year is the most amazing time to be a parent, everything is shifting and changing and developing so fast. It’s like being able to watch a flower bloom in real time.

We have had a hard week, you and me, figuring out where we both stand with one another when it comes to nursing and bottle feeding. But, I think we may have found a balance finally. I’m so sorry I couldn’t nurse you as long as I wanted, or even as long as I nursed your brother. But, I feel like I really am doing what is best for the both of us. Which is all that really matters in the end.

I love you my sweet bug.

Mama

 

Six Months

The big six month milestone has arrived! Happy six month birthday to the littlest dude!

The dimples. They go on forever. AMIRITE?

Ferris,

This is one of my favorite ages. Every day is a new and exciting adventure. You’re growing and changing so much! It feels like one minute to the next, you’ve added a zillion new abilities, and you’re attempting a zillion more.

At the doctor, you weighed in at 18 pounds 10 ounces, and you gained a whopping three inches in height just since your 4 month check up in January! The doctor measured you three times, and double checked her records, just to be sure. I bet it’s not every day she sees a big guy like you come in!

I don’t know why I was so excited that you were rolling over. Once you learned it, you didn’t look back. You’re rolling all over the place, and I can’t set you down unattended for 5 seconds! Wow, am I in for it when you start crawling! Which is going to happen soon. You mean business. You are already getting yourself up off the ground with your arms, almost getting up on your knees, and you are scooting backwards. Your brother was a lot older than you when all of this started. Slow down, bug!

At first I didn’t think you liked solid foods, but on a lark I bought you some Baby Mum Mum crackers, and you ate them like they were going out of style. So, it eventually dawned on me that you didn’t want to be spoon fed, you wanted to feed yourself. I didn’t even know this was a thing (but it is, many people have since told me their kiddos were the same way), and I totally went with my mom gut on that one. So, I got you some mesh feeders, and you were on your way. Avocado is tops in your book, followed closely by bananas.

Something I learned about you the same weekend that I cracked the food code, was that you prefer to sleep on your tummy. It’s a little panic inducing for an American mama in 2013 to allow her baby to sleep on his stomach. But, you slept better in one afternoon on your stomach than you did in all of your six months since leaving the hospital. I can’t explain it, I don’t like it, but you are a tummy sleeper.

No teeth yet, but they just have to be coming soon. Sometimes you’re SO fussy, and we have NO idea why, and I just know in my gut that it’s teething related. I hope those suckers make their appearance soon, I’m sure you will be in a better mood. And, bonus, it will open up a whole new world of foods you can feed to yourself.

I was pretty preoccupied this past month, and I feel like it slipped right by me. I hope now that things have slowed down for our family that I can pay more attention, be more in the moment with you. Happy St. Patrick’s Day, and happy six months.

Love,

Mama

Five Months

My dearest Fer-Bear,

You’re 5 months old!

Mama knows you’re only 5 months old, but the rest of the world swears you look, and act, at least 7 months. Overachiever already.

Unfortunately, though, you’re not a great sleeper. I think you get that from me. I’ve been taking all the advice my bloggy friends have passed on, and you still take tiny, easily-woken-from cat naps all day, and wake up 2-3 times a night to nurse. Let’s forget for a moment that your big brother was fully sleeping through the night by your age. If you could just drop your routine to…one feeding a night, I’d be a happy mama. Oh, and if you could take a regular daytime nap too. Yeah, that’d be great. The only routine thing about your day right now, any day, is that you go to bed between 5:30 and 6 p.m., and sleep until about midnight. I wish I could push that back, even just a half hour, but it’s a routine, so I’ll take it. For now.

You roll over! I’ve usually got you in some seat or swing contraption, or your cosleeper bed which is quickly becoming way too small for you, so you don’t get a lot of chances to practice, but I’ve seen you roll tummy to back and back to tummy once each. That counts, right? You’re also having a love affair with your right foot. Just the right foot. You constantly tug off your right sock, and gnaw on your right foot for hours.

You’re not doing awesome with solid foods. Mama bragged to the Internetz about how you were “sooo ready” to start solids, and it turns out? Not so much. Big brother took to rice cereal like flies to poo, so this came as a big surprise to me. I think you like how it tastes, but you haven’t exactly figured out how to swallow it, and there’s some gagging involved. And half the time you’re still doing that pushing-it-out-of-your-mouth thing, so most of it ends up on the bib instead of in your belly. We still try every couple of days. You’ll get it eventually.

Also, we probably should have named you Smiley. You smile All. The. Time. Even when you are crying, we can get you to smile between wails. It’s adorable. And you don’t just smile, you SMILE. Your eyes light up, your cheeks get those amazing dimples, and you laugh. Such a happy guy. I hope you’re that smiley forever. There’s far too little smiling in this world, you will make it brighter.

And you ADORE your big brother.

You are always looking at him and smiling, and watching him play. Studying him closely, taking notes on how to be a big boy. It’s amazing to see you watch him with such admiration in your eyes, and to see him give you big hugs and kisses. Yay for brothers!

Happy 5 months, little dude! Keep smiling, keep growing, keep learning all there is to learn about your little world. I’m so excited to see all the exciting changes you make this month!

Love,

Mama

Progress

I haven’t talked about it a whole lot on here, just touched on it once or twice, but Bowie was diagnosed last summer with Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD). He’s a mild case, I follow an SPD parents support group on Facebook and you wouldn’t believe the kinds of issues some of those poor parents are going through! But, he’s definitely got it, regardless, and we’ve been trying some different therapies at home to work through the behavior, and to improve his behavior at school because, Kindergarten is fast approaching, GOD HELP US ALL.

I wanted to talk here about a therapy we recently completed called the Wilbarger Brushing Protocol. The basic gist is you take this soft-bristled brush, and you brush their whole body with it (in a specific way, so it doesn’t hurt them). You do this every hour and a half for 2 weeks. YES, you read that right, every hour and a half, except when they’re sleeping. This is why our OT had us doing it over winter break, so we wouldn’t have preschool to contend with.

This makes for a pretty hectic couple of weeks. You have to remember to bring the brush if you leave the house, and wherever you are, whatever you’re doing, you have to drop everything and brush. So, we brushed in restaurants, stores, Christmas parties, the side of the road, you name it. And it was so hard to stay motivated in those last days, wondering whether it was even doing anything for him. Made even more difficult by the OT saying, “It might make a difference, it might not.” Also, we felt a little ridiculous doing it, and I’m sure it looked ridiculous to other people watching us do it, but when it comes to making progress with Bowie, we’re not shying away from anything. It was two weeks out of our lives with the likelihood of improvement. So, of course we did it.

The therapy itself is meant to help reduce some of the more problematic responses that sensory kids can have to their triggers by kind of desensitizing them to it. For some kids, it changes their whole lives, but for some it doesn’t make much of a dent at all. I thought maybe it wouldn’t help Bowie that much, because being touched in and of itself isn’t one of his big triggers. The OT didn’t explain that it can help them with so many other issues.

[The brush:]

We noticed some minor changes, nothing to write home about. But, online recently I ran across a checklist of items you can expect after the brushing therapy. And, I was astounded! We had actually made quite a bit of progress, and it was really showing, I just didn’t know to look for it. Among the things he made drastic improvements on were more motivation, less irritability, less rigidity, better sequencing, better attention span, less impulsivity, better transitions, better tolerance of grooming, more touching, better repertoire of foods, better communication, better eye contact and improvement in fine motor activity (specifically handwriting).

I never would have noticed much of this, it was so subtle, but now that I know what I’m looking for, I see signs of improvement all over. Just as an example, the preschool director always looks the kids in the eyes and says hi to them when they sign in for the day. She says it gives her a chance to connect with each child, and it improves social skills. For a while, she had to really coax Bowie to let her see his eyes, and to look at her and tell her how he was doing. But, lately, he’s looking right at her, and he’s excited to see her, and often he’s got something to tell her about his outfit or his brother or his morning, stuff like that. Such a small, small thing, but definitely falling into the “improved communication” and “improved eye contact” categories.

And with handwriting, not that he was ever really bad or really good at writing his letters, we’re just beginning to teach him that, but he would get too frustrated that his letters weren’t perfect, and he’d quit rather than practice. (In fact, seeing the point of practicing with many things is difficult for him. Like his mom. Ahem.) But lately, he’s writing letters all over the place, and he’s really curious about which letters make up which words. He’s writing a “B” for Bowie and an “F” for Fox every day at preschool sign in. And I gotta say, they look great for a 4 1/2 year old with no formal instruction. He’s able to get past them not being perfect, and he’s also patient enough to draw them more slowly, increasing the odds they’ll turn out well.

The other biggie we’ve noticed lately is the eating thing. We really struggled for a long time with Bowie’s eating habits. I’ve documented that one on the blog many, many times. Picky eating is a pretty common problem with all kids, but especially sensory kids. Most kids will outgrow picky eating after a few years, but Bowie still struggles with it. The good news is, he’s trying new foods left and right these days. And lo and behold, actually enjoying some of them!

Before, where we’d have to put the new food on his plate and ask, nay, demand that he at least try it, now we have an eager kid who sometimes asks to try the new food while I’m still cooking, before it’s even on the table! He doesn’t always like the foods, obviously, but the willingness to try them is GIGANTIC progress for him.

The other day for lunch, we made some simple skillet hamburgers. We didn’t make Bowie one, because he’s never enjoyed meat at all, let alone beef, ground or otherwise. I made him a little plate of foods he would like, and we all sat down to eat together. Imagine my surprise when he asked me for a bite of my hamburger. And imagine my surprise when he asked for another bite. And IMAGINE my SURPRISE when he asked for his own whole burger!!! So, a few days later, we made them again for dinner, and we made him his own burger and he ate…

…THE WHOLE THING.

I never thought I’d see the day when he not only asked to try a food he hadn’t liked in the past, but also thoroughly enjoyed it.

The next day, he was chattering away while I made lunch, and he said to me, “Have you noticed that I like hamburgers now?”

Yep, kid, WE NOTICED.

4 Months

Four months. FOUR MONTHS!

This is going by WAY TOO FAST.

The big news is, we started solids. A full 10 days before his 4 month birthday (the HORROR!) He has a love-hate relationship with it. Most of the time, he kind of rolls it around in his mouth, swallowing some of it, dribbling out the rest. Sometimes he VORACIOUSLY eats it up, and gets pissed when it’s gone. And sometimes, he turns his face away from it like it’s prison gruel. I can’t get a good read on this kid. What I DO know is that his system is fine with it, and I’ve added some applesauce and bananas to the mix as well, all well tolerated.

I also know for sure that it’s not helping the night feeding situation, as I had hoped. He started sleeping through the night at 3 months, just like his brother, but unlike brother, he started waking up twice a night to nurse again after just a couple of weeks of blissful full nights of rest.  Though, last night he slept all the way through again, so we’ll see.

And, I think he nurses for comfort a hell of a lot more than his brother did. Remember when I was complaining that he was nursing up to 15 times a day? Well, I went to a six-hour writing workshop last Saturday, and he drank like 6 oz. of milk and had some cereal. THE WHOLE TIME. Obviously he thinks if mama is around, he can just nurse to his heart’s content. If not? Ok, fine, what else is there?

At his 4 month check up, he weighed in at 16 pounds, 5 ounces. And he’s over two feet tall now. He’s almost exactly the same size as Bowie was at this age, though both the pediatrician and I could have sworn Ferris was bigger. He just seems…sturdier. And rounder. She kept saying how round Ferris looks.

He’s a super smiley kid, showing off those dimples for anyone who looks at him. And in the last few days he has really started making sounds. He imitates the sounds we make, and answers us in his little voice when we talk to him. And if you tickle his tummy just right during a diaper change, you’ll get a real, honest-to-goodness laugh. We’ve tried filming it, but he gets distracted by the camera and stops laughing.

He hates to be left alone. Not that I’m leaving my baby alone all the time, but if I have to put him in his swing or his bed so that I have two hands for folding laundry or cooking dinner or PEEING (for God’s sakes), then he gets really mad at me. And sad. He cries real tears, and they roll down his sad little face. Mommy guilt central. I can’t snuggle him to death the way I could with Bowie, and it’s killing me. And he really, really wants me to, so much more than Bowie ever did. Some days he won’t nap at all (an infant that won’t nap? I know.) unless I hold him in my arms, or carry him around in the Ergo.

And you guys, he looks EXACTLY like Bowie did at this age. EXACTLY. It’s trippin’ us out. We’re going to have to be very careful to label pictures, because I could totally see us looking back in 10 years or so and being all, “Which one is this?” He gets referred to a lot as “Bowie Junior” or “Bowie’s Clone”, which I hope won’t give him some kind of complex.

Enjoying every second with this little bug, as much as I can. It’s going by SOOO FAST.

Starting Solid Food

When Bowie turned 4 months old, I started him on solid food mostly because I was an eager new mom, and was excited to start. I mean, he was nursing slightly more than the average kid, and he certainly met the weight criteria, but he was happily sleeping through the night, and he didn’t seem all that interested in food, and he was thriving, and I’m sure I could have held off until his 6 month birthday. But, I got the go-ahead from our pediatrician and I started him on cereals at 4 months anyway, and fruits and veggies shortly after. And he did great.

Ferris is much more eager to get started on solid foods, and he’s made that perfectly clear, even though he’s not officially 4 months old until next Thursday. But, like big brother, he’s at the right weight (double his birth weight) and he’s had basic head and neck strength since like, 6 weeks. (My guys like to look around and see the world, I guess.)

Unlike big brother, he’s eating A LOT more than the average kiddo, with up to 15 feedings per day (most articles recommend starting if the baby still seems hungry after 8 to 10 feedings). He’s also interested in what we’re eating. REALLY interested. Not only does he watch in fascination as we eat, and screech in protest when we don’t share, but around New Year’s, I was eating a clementine with him in my lap, and he grabbed himself a slice and started shoving it into his mouth! And to top it all off, I’m pretty sure he’s going to sprout a tooth any second. Dude is ready. 

So, I mentioned something on the old Twitters about how he was SO SO READY, and did I actually have to wait until he was fully 4 months old to start?

I got a few responses informing me that “the recommendation is actually 6 months.” Which yes, is the tail end of what most consider to be the recommendation of 4 to 6 months, as long as baby shows signs of readiness. In fact, one article I ran across recommended starting sometime before 6 months, because after 6 months, the texture might be a turn off for them, and you’ll have a harder time getting them to start. I’m not saying you need to start before then even if you and baby aren’t ready, but I just found that little bit of info interesting.

Ferris will start very soon. As soon as I get a second to grab a box of Earth’s Best from Target (I plan to make all of his food like I did for Bowie, including my own rice cereal, but before 6 months it’s recommended they start on iron-fortified cereal). I figure since you start out only feeding a tablespoon or two a day, it’s ok to start a week early.

I had big babies who like to eat. What else is a mama to do?

When did you start your babies on solids? What signs of readiness did they show?

Three Months

Somewhere in the middle of the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, and amid sickness and problems with Big Brother, and a grandparent relocation to our neck of the woods, my little bug turned three months old.

Can you believe that? Three months!

He’s a very happy baby, laughing and giggling about everything. He’s getting very social, and lights up when he sees familiar faces (especially Big Brother’s face!).

He’s also got a flair for the dramatic. When he’s sitting in his swing or in his bed and he wants me to pick him up, he does this little half cry half whimper, which I’ve learned to tell apart from a real cry. If I don’t come get him, he starts to yell. He really is yelling! It’s hilarious. And of course, it gets him what he wants.

He’s super eager to move, I can tell. He isn’t rolling over quite yet, but when placed on his back, he often turns his body 180 degrees, and moves a full foot in one direction. And also while on his back, he tries like hell to sit up. While sitting up assisted, he’s pretty steady. He’ll be high-chair-ready in no time!

Which is pretty crazy. I started Bowie on solids at 4 months because I thought he was a big eater. But, Ferris is a BIG EATER. So, I may start him around the same time. Which is only four weeks away! How did that happen?!

He’s so curious about the world around him. If he’s fussy, all I really have to do is let him look at something he’s never seen before. Today at Big Brother’s swimming lesson, I had Ferris in the Ergo, and he was super fussy, even though I was sure he wasn’t hungry, and he’s usually pretty comfy in there. So, when I found my seat on the bench, I got him out, and he was silent for the rest of the lesson, looking around and everything and turning to hear noises.

It is amazing watching him learn and grow and develop so differently from Bowie, yet at the same time so much the same as Bowie. I’m trying, trying, trying to “enjoy every moment”, but how are you supposed to do that when things are moving so fast? Every morning when I pick him up out of his bed, he’s like a new baby, with new likes and dislikes and wants and needs. I spend my day learning to meet all of that for him, instead of spending it just playing with him.

The past three months have been an exhausting blur, but also some of the best of my life. Love you, baby Ferris!

He’s Different, That’s For Sure

I have to go back and revisit this post from a few months ago, where I was having a panic attack about having a baby that was different from Bowie. But at the same time having a panic attack about having a baby that was the same as Bowie.

It is, I’m sure, no surprise at all to other parents of two or more to hear that Ferris is different from Bowie in a lot of ways. Like, VERY different. Most of these details won’t interest anyone but me, I’m sure. But I’m just marveling at how VERY different they are from each other, and I want a record of it.

So, to revisit:

1. Bowie never spit up. Ferris spits up. FERRIS SPITS UP A LOT. All the jokes about being the mom who always has spit up in her hair: I GET THEM NOW. In the hospital, I was letting Ferris nurse himself to sleep, just like I did with Bowie. But, he was way overfeeding himself, and this one time he erupted like a damn geyser. We had to change all the bedding in his little hospital bassinet, and the nurse saw the soiled blankets and got this “OMG what happened here?!” look on her face. She couldn’t believe the amount he spit up. The maternity ward nurse. So, yeah. I started limiting his feedings to 10 minutes, and it’s better, but he still spits up. And seemingly always when I’ve forgotten the burp cloth, of course. Also, the other night he spit up with the pacifier in his mouth, so it all shot straight into his nose. That was a fun hour following that, let me tell you what.

2. Bowie took to breastfeeding right away. Like a boss. Thankfully, so did Ferris. So glad we didn’t have to worry about that at all. Thanks, boys!

3. Bowie never had to go to the ER. And of course, Ferris still has not had to. However, Ferris did get a little overheated one night this week. The thermometer was reading about 99 degrees consistently (I took his temperature NO LESS than 10 times). I grabbed my trusty newborn how-to guide off the bookshelf, and it said 99 was a “fever”, and the doc should be called posthaste. So naturally I lost my ever loving mind. But, it was 6 p.m., and I hate calling people if it’s not really important, so I did a little Internet research and for once Dr. Google didn’t scare the crap out of me. The general consensus was to get his temp down with a bath or something, but not really to worry until 101 degrees. But, we had a little health scare. At 3 weeks old. Pretty certain I lost 5 years of my life there.

4. Bowie was a great sleeper. Ferris is…an okay sleeper. Bowie would give me 3 or 4 hour stretches at night. Which Ferris also does on occasion, but typically it is more like 1 1/2 or 2 hours at a time. And somewhere around 3 a.m. he usually decides he doesn’t want to sleep in his bed anymore, your arms would be much better thank you very much. I suspect this has something to do with his gas issues (which I will touch on momentarily).

5. Bowie self-soothed with a paci. Ferris has also taken a paci like a champ. But, he’s also very fond of his right thumb. We’re trying to discourage this, so that we’re not later trying to break a stubborn 4 year old of a thumb sucking habit. But, this may yet become a trend. Meanwhile, here’s the binky Ferris. You want the binky, don’t you? Yes you do!

The rest of my original list is totally irrelevant, because Ferris isn’t even a month old yet. I’m sure as the months and years go on, you’ll get the full story on loveys and toddler beds and potty training, but for now that’s all in the future for him.

But there have also been some other new surprises thrown in for good measure:

6. Ferris does this thing where he doesn’t pee for 4 or 5 hours, and then he UNLOADS. So, he’s often peeing out of diapers, even though they fit fine, and he’s really not peeing all that much as far as a normal daily amount goes. What this means: I’ll be catching up on laundry until I die.

7. Ferris is gassy. SO GASSY. He’s not a great burper. After a feeding, it’s kind of a challenge to get a good, solid burp out of him. And if we do, it’s usually not pretty (see #1). So, most of the time, he gets a lot of gas trapped in his system, and it comes out as farts. Big, loud farts. And he spends a lot of time before these farts squirming uncomfortably and getting red-faced.

8. Ferris has a very reliable Fussy Time every late afternoon. He has a full belly, and he’s getting cuddled but he still cries, and squirms, and seems inconsolable. I don’t think it’s colic, it’s not that bad, and usually doesn’t last more than an hour or so. But it falls during the time of picking Bowie up from school and cooking dinner. Not so convenient. I’m doing a lot of things with him in the Moby wrap.

But, you know what? I was so worried about having another newborn and thinking I wouldn’t know what to do. I was forgetting that as a parent, you might not know what to do, but you will figure it out. You just do somehow. I don’t know what I was so worried about. Just three weeks in, and I already know all of this stuff about my new son.

I got this.

Different

Whenever I have a conversation with a friend who already has more than one child, the topic of how different they all are from one another always comes up. Little Johnny did x, y and z. Little Susie did none of those, she did a, b and c instead.

The basic feeling you leave this conversation with each time is HOLY LORD, my baby was such an awesome sleeper / eater / pooper / bather / babysitter stayer-wither that surely, SURELY, another child will just be hell.

I’m trying not to psych myself out too much on the subject. But, there are a few things I’m starting to wonder about as Life With Two Children creeps closer and closer.

Here’s a list of the things Bowie never did:

1. Spit up. Never. Really, he literally never did.

2. Require formula. Breastfed like a champ. Took me a few weeks to get used to it, but he was right there from day 1.

3. Need to go to the emergency room. Not once! Well, knock on wood, the kid is only 4. But I read about people having to take their infant to the ER and I can feel the terror in my veins.

4. Get constipated. Never. Not once. Oh the horror stories I’ve read about babies who can’t poop.

And some things Bowie thankfully did spectacularly:

1. Slept. At first it was the typical newborn wake-every-two-hours routine. But, within a month he was sleeping 4 hours at a time overnight, and slept through the night at 3 months old.

2. Like I said, breastfed. Zero issues. 13 months. Nailed it.

3. Self soothed with a pacifier. As a wee one, he had trouble keeping it in his mouth. But, it always worked to help soothe him to sleep. See also: didn’t become a thumbsucker.

4. Didn’t get attached to a lovey. I kind of secretly hoped he would. It’s just cute. I also assumed he would, as for a time in my own childhood I couldn’t leave the house without my stuffed Bugs Bunny, two small stuffed dogs and two blankets. But now I’m pretty glad, both because I’ve never had the “WHERE’S THE LOVEY?” bedtime scare, and also it says a lot about his confidence.

5. Transition to a toddler bed. SEAMLESS. Well, he fell out the first few nights. But after that ended: SEAMLESS.

So, I kind of have a mini heart attack whenever I think about having to do these things all over again with Little Man #2. Clearly it won’t go they way it did before. There’s just no way we could be that lucky twice.

And there are some things Bowie didn’t do well at all. Like not even a little bit:

1. Potty training. Holy hell you guys, it took us an entire year and a half to get this kid fully, completely, wearing-underpants-instead-of-Pull-Ups potty trained. When people warn you as a new parent that you’ll be dealing with lot of pee and poo, they’re not talking about diapers. 

2. Fall asleep alone. As a baby he would nurse until he fell asleep. And when I weaned, I gave him a cup of milk which he drank to fall asleep. And when we finally, begrudgingly, took away the cup of milk around age 2 1/2, one of us had to sit in there with him or lie in his bed with him until he drifted off. We’ve only been able to leave him alone in his room, unassisted in any way, to fall asleep for about 3 months now. Yes, three months ago, I was still climbing in bed with him. And even now, bedtime is still not without its hang ups.

3. Napping. Well, he did fine. Average. I mean, I did tell you he was a great sleeper. But, he was totally done with naps by age 2. I was so jealous of all my playgroup friends who were so bummed to have to leave to get home for naptime. I wanted to shake them and yell, “DO YOU HAVE ANY IDEA HOW LUCKY YOU ARE?” Not that he absolutely won’t ever take a nap, BUT if we allow it, he will be up until 10, maybe 11 p.m. So not cool. But I have friends with 4 year olds who can allow a nap, and still have a reasonable bedtime. SO. JEALOUS.

In a perfect world, some of this stuff would be exactly the same for the new dude, and some stuff would be totally the opposite. But, need I remind you, this is not a perfect world? It’s a little terrifying, the prospect of not knowing how all this stuff is gonna go down. I feel pretty confident doing this mom thing, but they’re going to hand me a tiny, squirmy, blank slate of a human being in 5 weeks. And it’s going to be, “What the heck do I do with this?” all over again.

If you have 2 or more kiddos, how did it go for you? Were they pretty much the same as each other? Or were they so vastly different from each other that you refuse to believe that they are made of the same genetic material?

Highlights for the Week

>>I’m a lot less worried now about the whole gestational diabetes thing than I was. I had an appointment with a different midwife, who was much more informed, and she said I’m a very borderline case, and to not really sweat it. I also made an appointment for next week with the diabetes clinic, and I hope to leave there finally fully informed. I am managing to get through the days, but I carry hardboiled eggs or cheese sticks with me wherever I go now, in case hunger strikes. Before, if I was out and about and got hungry, I’d get a soft pretzel or a Jamba Juice, or some other terrible convenience food item. But that’s all off limits now so…better carry something with me. And I’m trying to get more vegetables in there, even though I don’t enjoy most veggies cooked, and raw veggies have a tendency to wreak havoc on my overly sensitive digestive system. I ate vegetables before, of course, but I had the carbs to sort of carry things along, and give my stomach more to work on than just raw vegetables. Work in progress. I’m hoping I get some permission to indulge in some carbs once in a while. The longer I go without the sugary stuff, the less I miss it. But the carbs? Oh man, what I wouldn’t do to rip into a crusty baguette right now.

>>We went on a mini little staycation to Davis over the weekend, and on Sunday Bowie started showing signs of a bladder infection. Symptoms had mostly cleared up by Tuesday morning when I finally got him in to see the doctor, so we figured it was a reaction to the chemicals in the hotel swimming pool, common with young kids. But she took a urine sample anyway. Yesterday she told me the culture had shown something a little worrisome, so now he’s on antibiotics. Whenever we give him medicine, he is very curious as to why he’s getting it, what it’s for. So I said, “Remember when your penis was hurting when you went potty? It’s to make sure that won’t happen anymore.” So now he’s telling everyone he’s taking “penis medicine”. Thankfully most of the people we spend time with also have preschoolers at home and figure there’s some logical explanation that goes along with that.

>>I was thinking forward to the holiday season, and the little traditional get-togethers we have both here in the city and with family across the country, and I was (very shallowly) bummed I wouldn’t be able to drink wine for some of it, but then it dawned on me that Yes! I can! I will have the baby by New Year’s. I will have the baby by Christmas. I will have the baby by Thanksgiving. YOU GUYS: I’m going to be the mother of two sons by Halloween. Every time that “X more weeks” makes me feel like I’ve got forever to go, I’m going to try to remember this. And that by this time next year, I’ll be lamenting that baby is getting too big too fast.

>>Bowie’s behavior at school has been so awesome lately (KNOCK ON WOOD). I know it has a lot to do with the fact that there’s about half the amount of other kids there as there are during the regular school year. But, I’d like to think the therapy is helping a bit (we’re 3 sessions in). The teachers and most of the other parents totally get it, and are super supportive and give me nice “you’ll get through it” arm squeezes, and still invite us on playdates because they know what’s going on. There are a handful though, that are overly concerned about his behavior, and have even tried to intervene (I mean, aside from their duties as a working parent at school). But lately he has been on par with just being an average 4 year old. He gets a toy taken away from him and pushes the other kid. Even though 10 minutes earlier, Sally Jo had a toy taken away from her and pushed the other kid, because it’s Bowie, they hone in on his behavior as something that needs to be fixed, rehabilitated, reformed, but Sally Jo? Oh, she’s just being a kid. It’s SO hard to deal with this. Bowie isn’t acting out, he’s reacting to stimuli that most of the other kids can easily brush off. And I also feel like a huge part of him getting past this is being treated like the other kids, especially when he’s acting like the other kids, when he’s back on their level. I’m a little emotional about lately it because I’m pregnant feeling protective of him, wondering what’s being said to him when I’m not around. And I’m proud of him for the incredible strides he’s already made. And when the therapist tells me how bright and creative and sweet he is, I just want to hug her until I break her in half. Now, if she could just hold a seminar at school where she just talks about how awesome my kid is if you just give him a chance…

>>I just wrote a whole paragraph about the weather, and then deleted it. Who blogs about the weather?! (A busy mama with writer’s block, that’s who.)

Happy weekend and happy Independence Day!