Wednesday, May 27, 2015

What's it like to go from 2 kids to 3?

What a whirlwind the last 10 weeks have been!  The first half of March went by so slowly waiting for baby and then suddenly it was May!  Life has certainly changed and I know it will keep on changing.

So, what's it like to go from 2 kids to 3?

My best answer is that I now feel like I'm never done.  With anything.  With laundry, with taking care of children, with any given task.  This is definitely a test for someone who likes to feel productive and to fully accomplish things.  ANY thing.

We got amazing help initially to the point that we only spent five nights alone with all three children in the first month. Right after our last help left, Jacob happened to be leaving as well - for four full days to Portland for the Craft Brewers Conference.  This actually turned out to be a blessing as I was able to prove to myself that I could indeed take care of all three.  After receiving so much help, I needed a confidence boost and to relearn where all three kids were at.  But what I saw in those four days is that this new gig is literally around the clock.

The daytime was full of many feedings, many outfit changes, many questions.  The evening was full of many baths, many books, much cleaning, much laundry.  Then when the big kids were actually asleep the baby's needs picked up. 2-3 night time feeds + the occasional big kid nightmare.  And then the day began again between 5 and 6 a.m.

Luckily by two months post-baby and with Daddy stationed back at home, it's no longer that crazy. (Or else I might have quit.)  Luke now goes to bed too and there are some predictable quiet hours between 8-10pm. He also has started sleeping better this last week...(!)

During the day, as you might guess, when there is a whole other person, it's less likely that all three children will be self-sufficient at the same time.  This makes it hard to get things done.

This month I've been taking advantage of the morning time as Jack and Cora are in school.  This is mostly when I accomplish things.  Some mornings Luke sleeps for a full three hour block; other mornings, his naps are interrupted and the morning passes without much happening.  I look at those mornings as productive too as one main thing I want to do these days is spend time with my sweet baby. And morning walks, baths, feeding, and rocking time mean calm, quiet moments together.

Afternoons sometimes work great. And other times they are not fun at all.

The best afternoons have me + all three kids on Cora's bed reading together after school.  This is followed by obedient big kids who spend 30 minutes in their beds reading or being quiet followed by 30 more minutes in their rooms playing. Baby of course would have nursed during books and gone straight down to nap. This is then followed by a well-rested, productive Mom who has put some thought into what the rest of the afternoon holds.  And in that one hour of quiet time, she would also have prepped dinner and had her needed downtime.

That can obviously fall apart in about one hundred different ways. Like big kids needing to poop about 2 minutes after rest time begins.  Baby being woken by loud children.  Mommy having to negotiate with irrational 2.5 year old about how she must stay in her room even if she doesn't want to. Mommy starting a task and then being interrupted - six times. Lots of trips upstairs. And then a frazzled woman who sees that it's only 2:45 p.m. and "rest" is over.  We're working on those days.

With all that said, I definitely recommend three kids!  :) And I'm being serious!  Everyone loves Luke and we love watching everyone love him.  Sometimes the craziness forces Jack and Cora to get along and come up with great games which results in lots of laughter together. Life is always interesting lately and that is giving us the energy we need.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Who's Who?

Brand New Baby A (okay, this one is a little easy)

Brand New Baby B

Brand New Baby C
2 Month Old Baby A

2 Month Old Baby B

2 month old Baby C
What do you think?

Friday, May 15, 2015

Luke at 2 Months

There's been LOTS of growing going on over here.

Birth: 8 lbs, 7 oz

1 month: 11 lbs, 11 oz
2 months: 14 lbs 12 oz
So breastfeeding is obviously going well :)  He had his first bottle this month and didn't blink an eye.  This kid just likes eating.  And thanks to his hearty appetite, I'm continuing to be able to eat WHATEVER I want and lose weight.  I know it sounds annoying, but I'm choosing to fully enjoy this time of my life!

Sleeping

As he hits the two month mark, Luke still sleeps a lot throughout the day - some days it seems like most of the day.  We don't worry about naps except that we notice if he hasn't had a long sleep stretch then he probably wants one.  If he gets into a deep nap during the day, I do wake him to make sure he's eating at least every three hours because, well NIGHTS!

We have noticed that he's ready to check out for the day around the time the other kids are, so we now "put Luke to bed" as well.  He gets into his jammies and we lay him down somewhere quiet, usually in his own room.  During his day/evening naps, I often lay him down on his belly because that's how he gets the best sleep.  At night, we've always laid him on his side with his back against the side of the cradle.  Nights are still blurry, but not bad.  He usually eats twice (I think) but lights stay off, I usually don't even check the time, and we often fall back asleep together.  I try to change his diaper once in the night because he will wet through if I don't.  But there have been a few nights where the idea of sleeping on baby pee sounds more appealing than having to fully wake up to change a diaper :)

That's a smile at his mama there!
New and Notable

Baby Luke smiles!  He gave us his first smile just shy of 6 weeks.  For another week, we had to work HARD to get a smile, and it was only about one a day.  Then he entered the sweet phase of smiling ONLY at his mama.  When he catches glimpse of me, he always breaks out into a smile. There's pretty much nothing better. :)  Now he also smiles at his daddy and I think we've seen him smile at Jack.  Jack and Cora are probably a bit scary to him as they are so LOUD and pop into his view ALL OF A SUDDEN :)

Sibling Love

He's still the most popular sibling.  I've checked out Siblings Without Rivalry thanks to the Jack and Cora interactions as of late, but 99% of interactions with Luke are love-filled.  See evidence below:




In Other News

While still fitting into some 3 month clothes, Baby Luke is now rocking his 6 month wear.  Landry babies don't stay small for long!

He went to his first Jazz Fest!  He also has been making the rounds to Jack's baseball games where he stays snuggled on my chest as I perform my duties as dug-out mom.

While not the easiest month, we have so much to celebrate and be grateful for and WE ARE!

 



Tuesday, April 21, 2015

A week in numbers

I jotted down some numbers over the week to "measure" what I knew would be a crazy week!

  • 4 days (precisely 92 hours) as a single parent while Jacob went to the National Craft Brewers Conference in Portland
  • That would mean a 3:1 child to adult ratio
  • 4 kind friends who brought dinner!
  • 15 loads of laundry (!!) + 4 rounds of diaper washes (diaper washes = 3 cycles) totaling a grand 27 times I pressed "START" on our washer
  • Included in that laundry were 4 sets of bedding thanks to someone's pee (not mine)
  • 3 times that a child's poop went somewhere other than in a toilet or a diaper
  • Approximately 77 feedings (I didn't actually count but that's probably close)
  • 8 episodes of Mad Men Season 1 rewatched thanks to said feedings + laundry folding
  • 9:18a.m. - the time I got out of bed on Saturday morning after Jacob was back home
  • 8?? - about the number of times I was awakened by one of our children the night before
  • 1 lovely brunch out with ladies on Saturday morning
  • 1 wild, but fun crawfish boil with friends on Saturday evening
  • 20+ children running around at that crawfish boil (thus why it was wild)
  • 73 - today's temperature - I love spring time in New Orleans!! (when it's not raining!!)
  • 3 asleep, 1 on me :)

    Chunking up :)

    End-of-week movie in Mommy/Daddy's bed prize for being good while Daddy was away

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Luke at 1 Month

Zoom. That was a quick four weeks!

Weight at 4 weeks: 11 lbs 11 oz!  Luke was 8 lbs 7 oz at birth and 7 lbs 12 oz at discharge. That makes a nice pound a week gain over the last month.

Feeding: The first few weeks of breastfeeding ain't no joke! The first two weeks were hard, mainly because Luke had a tendency of latching on and off repeatedly during a feeding leaving me sore. It took lights on and two hands to feed him as well which made feedings more tiring. By three weeks, we had mastered nursing while lying down which makes all the difference. Now I don't turn the lights on during the night and we both go back to sleep during/after (who knows?) a feeding.  If he falls into a sound sleep, he'll go 3 hours between feedings. Other times, he's eating every 1.5-2 hours. There is no set pattern yet. Half the time he is only eating on one side; the other half he gets both sides. I think life is dictating that just as much as he is right now!

Sleeping: He still sleeps most of the day with occasional awake/alert periods. He can get over tired which leads to lots of dozing until he ultimately crashes for a full 3 hour nap. His best nighttime stretch was 4 hours between feedings. That happened once... Usually he wakes every 2-3 hours at night.

Luke's Quirks: He grunts! A lot! Whenever he has gas or a burp, you know it because he works on getting it out with lots of noises and squirming. He also just vocalizes a lot. When we go on walks, he'll purr/growl/grunt the entire hour! He (or rather I) get looks!

Still popular! This guy is still the apple of everyone's eye. My favorite anecdote for this month: Jack and Cora were with me at church and I had put Luke's car seat in the hallway and had gone into the next room to get the older two. We all heard Luke let out a scream and Jack and Cora both stopped/dropped what they were doing and took off running toward their baby. It was really cute, but I was also calling, "Wait, let ME get Luke!"

They both ask to "snuggle" baby Luke at bedtime. I put him in their bed and they wrap him up in a hug. It's pretty sweet :)

When it's your third baby... I stubbornly waited until 5 weeks to give both Jack and Cora a pacifier as I was very determined not to do anything that might interfere with the success of our breastfeeding. Like Jack, Luke seems to LOVE to suck. As with Jack, we'd been letting him suck on our finger at moments when it was obvious he didn't need to eat. On my first day home alone with all three children (at 3.5 weeks), I caved to the pacifier as I was feeling better about our breastfeeding and, well, THREE children!  The child loves the pacifier, but I will say they are only sort of helpful at this age as they constantly fall out. Luckily, Jack is a great "bop" retriever/inserter and he loves to be able to help with Luke, so, win-win.

Nicknames: For a family that gives short names, we come up with a surprisingly large number of nicknames. Right now, what you hear around here is:
  • Handsome-Pansome (as in "hey handsome-pansome")
  • Chubs (I don't post the unflattering pictures, but this kid gained some serious poundage this month)
  • Bubby
  • Baby Boy and Baby Luke
What Luke loves: WATER - Luke loves his bath time and is easily soothed by water. When I shower, I put him on his bath seat on the floor and he's very chill.  I've also started putting him in the bath tub on his bath seat when I'm bathing Jack and Cora because he would be screaming if I just left him in a bouncy seat, but he's instantly calm when his feet are in the water.  I don't always bathe him, but hey, a baby's butt always needs to be cleaned off, so it seems purposeful.

What Luke does not love: Being put down. If he's awake, he's generally not happy for long out of someone's arms. I remember Cora would reliably be happy if you put her in her bouncy seat and bounced her. Not Luke. He will quickly start to cry if left alone but will instantly stop if you pick him up. And he prefers being held upright. That makes getting other things done hard!


Can't wait to see some smiles from this guy :)





Tuesday, April 07, 2015

Only in our hearts

I had wondered whether Luke's birth would feel especially profound as he is our baby born soon after a miscarriage. Everything we will experience with Luke comes down a road we would never have found ourselves on without the sadness of the miscarriage.

I found that there has been no one profound moment, but many moments of deeper gratefulness during my pregnancy and, now, as we get to know this precious soul. 

The promise of him and now the reality of him has brought so much joy and healing into my heart.

My sister recently experienced her own pregnancy loss. Knowing what this feels like and the sadness you absolutely must W-A-L-K through, I feel such compassion and sadness for her. Not a blogger herself, she wanted to tell her story and asked me if I would share it for her here.

As I've seen the healing that has happened for me (and for so many other women), the happiness in all of this is seeing how strong she's been through this experience and knowing that through sadness comes new, deeper, and unexpected blessings.

SHARING
Kristen Owen Hardaway 

When things first seemed to be off in my second pregnancy, I went in for an ultrasound. They called me back pretty quickly, so William wasn’t able to be with me. God gave me a blessing that day. I met my baby - just me. I saw the little flickering heartbeat - I met my child. What a gift that was. I’m very sorry that William wasn’t there with me, but I’m so thankful that I received good news. If it had been bad news that day, I don’t know how I could have handled it alone.

We received the bad news together a few days later. We lost you on a Wednesday. I could tolerate the physical pain, but my heart was shattered. As they woke me up from the procedure, I experienced an immediate sense of emptiness that I’ll never be able to fully explain. You were gone.

Nighttime is the hardest time for me - I think it’s because it’s the only time of day that I’m really alone with my thoughts. Not focusing on the next thing.. it’s when I’m the most vulnerable. I like to take a shower most nights before bed and that’s usually when I think of the child we lost. Were you a boy or a girl? What would my body look like right now? What plans would William and I be making - would we have cleared out his office to make room for the nursery? And then I instantly feel guilty, because I like my body right now. I want to wear a two-piece this summer. I’m healthier than I’ve ever been - a pregnancy would have disrupted that a little.

I slipped into bed the other night and asked William if he was sad that I wasn’t 5 months pregnant. He said he wasn’t sad. The fear rushed over me that he’d forgotten what happened - he wasn’t sad?? As I cried, he tried to explain that he meant he was okay with the way things are at the moment, that it wasn’t the right time for our family to grow - it wasn’t meant to happen right now. And I fully believe all of this. I’m at peace with God’s will here - I’m not angry. I find comfort that He is in control (not me). But that doesn’t mean we can’t be sad that this life was lost. This life that mattered to me. Am I the only person who cares about this child now? Is this life forgotten?

I wasn’t sure if I wanted to share my miscarriage with other people. But as days turned into weeks, then into months, I’ve started to feel almost eager to tell. But it’s not exactly something that can be casually inserted into conversations. I feel a responsibility to share this little flickering heartbeat with others because it meant so much to me. It made me look at my little boy as the most wonderful and precious of miracles. It made me surrender to God’s will, which in turn has brought me tremendous peace. It made me absolutely sure that there was love in my heart for another child. It brought me closer to my sister and to other women who’ve miscarried. It made me pray harder for women expecting babies, which has been truly therapeutic for me. I don’t want to forget you because it has made me a stronger person, a more caring friend, a better mother.

And by sharing you with others, you won’t ever be forgotten.

Friday, April 03, 2015

When the kids are away, Mommy and Daddy will...

(Well, to clarify, since we now have three children, we do still have one on hand this week.)

What I learned in the weeks after Cora's birth is that it was really hard to have the energy to meet Jack's needs all day and an infant's needs all night. Since this was Jack and Cora's Spring Break week and Luke is only 2 weeks old, it was a good week for them to travel! They are in SC with my parents.

My parents get an award for hosting the second Grammy Camp for two! (Jack and Cora also went for a week during my first trimester haze back in August.)

And what have the three remaining Landrys been up to?

- Staying in bed as long as we want to.
Since Mr. Luke has a busy nighttime schedule, we thankfully had no reason to get up early and tended to fall back asleep after the dawn feeding.
What our room looks like in the morning
 - Sitting at the farmer's market and TALKING to each other for an hour after eating our pastries  NOT something you do when you have a 5 and 2 year old in tow.
- Going out to breakfast on a Tuesday morning at 9am - perks of maternity leave + starting your own business + a portable newborn

- Meeting up with friends to try out a new restaurant on a Wednesday night

- Face Timing with Jack and Cora at least twice a day since we (I?) miss them!

Daddy has had lots of decisions to make and brewery work to do, leaving Mommy and Luke with lots of additional time to hang out.  Together we:

- Read 1.5 books (I read, Luke eats/sleeps on my chest/sucks on my finger)

- Went on daily walks testing out both our new K'Tan carrier and the single BOB (Luke prefers the carrier, you really notice the bumpiness of the sidewalks when you're a tiny baby in a carseat on a stroller)
Ate a lot - I don't know which of us gets the award for biggest appetite, Luke frequently acts like he's starving, but then again, I gorge myself at one meal to the point of bursting but then somehow feel hungry again about 90 minutes later. At least he's getting just uber nutritious breastmilk, while I may be eating dessert after every meal (even after breakfast one morning!)

- We even went out on a morning of errands.  I had no trouble spending money with him strapped to my chest.
Luke did great despite pooping in his pants and needing a change in the car.

It's amazing how quickly this quiet week flew by! The quiet has been AWESOME but it's time to reunite this family!