Friday, December 30, 2011

A Drive-By Update - Week Six

I am hoping to continue these "Drive-By" posts to help me remember my days as a temporary SAHM. I wrote the first Drive-By Update at Week One.

He turned 6 weeks old earlier this week. The guy just keeps on growing and growing - 3-month sized clothes are already getting to be just right instead of too big. For a few days, he was really good at sleeping long stretches at night, like 3 to 4 hours, and I thought we were golden. But last night, he was particularly hungry and got up every 2 hours on the dot to eat! He drinks 120cc if being bottle fed and nurses just under 10 minutes if being breastfed. He eats 10 or 11 times a day.

He's still a good baby...most of the time. Even when he's having one of his fussy moments, he can be calmed down easily...most of the time. Sometimes I get really annoyed when he doesn't go to sleep, but when he finally does and I look at him all peaceful, my heart just swells. He's the best! Of course, he's sleeping right now as I write this. Ask me again when he's screaming.

We are giving him more tummy time and he's doing great!
Will on Tummy
The first week after Will was born, we could tell that Anna was sad. She was curious about the baby, but she wasn't the same happy self. I am glad to say that she's back to to her normal self. I think the fact that I am spending lots of time with her has something to do with it. I am in charge of Anna while Grandma is on Will-duty during the day. Then after Grandma leaves, hubs focuses on Anna and I take care of Will. Some days it can be a madhouse, but we also have good days.

After I return to work in May, I don't know how Grandma is going to handle jugging two kids. I am looking into sending Anna to preschool in September, but most preschools don't accept kids until they turn 3. I have a lot to think about and research to do.
story time
I am completely healed and have my postpartum checkup next week.

As for day to day life, I feel fine, but on some days, I am completed wiped and frustrated. I need a vacation where I can just sit and veg and eat without being interrupted. Hubs and I are thinking about a trip before I return to work. The question is kids or no kids. If we take the kids, it won't be a relaxing vacation, but I think I will miss them too much if we leave them behind.

For a while I was pumping exclusively (4 times a day) and Will only drank from bottles. But recently, I cut one pumping session and started breastfeeding him during the evening hours. I am a worrywart and because there is no way to tell how much he's drinking when being breastfed, I still prefer bottle feeding. Washing all those pump parts and bottles is a pain in the butt, though! 6 weeks down, 46 more to go.
sibling love

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Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Scenes: Christmas Day 2011

Our Christmas Day was spent at home in comfy clothes. Santa pleased everyone, except for hubs who has everything he needs didn't receive anything. Whoops! Good thing his birthday is coming right up. Anna decided to skip her nap that day so I was expecting a little terror when my family came over at night. But she relished being the center of attention and played until bath time. Christmas dinner was a hot pot spread and roasted chicken. Everything was simple & delicious, if I do say so myself. After dinner, we all relaxed by the tree while listening to live Christmas music and sharing in some laughter.

Hope yours was holly and jolly.
Wishing you a happy New Year.
Christmas 2011
Christmas 2011
Christmas 2011
Christmas 2011
Christmas 2011
More images from our Christmas Day here.

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Monday, December 26, 2011

Merry Christmas!

I hope yours was amazing. We spent Christmas Eve with hubs' side of the family. The entire family was there for a delicious feast. 8 adults, 6 kids, 1 dog, and a partridge in a pear tree. Anna had some great bonding time with her cousins and added more bears to her growing collections. Little Will enjoyed his first Christmas Eve too!

We didn't send out Christmas cards this year. Again! But I made this little collage. I just love Anna's expression below. It's her fierce look.
xmas_2011Christmas Eve 2011Christmas Eve 2011anna_bearsChristmas Eve 2011
More images from our Christmas Eve here.

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Wednesday, December 21, 2011

9, 10, 11

2009: Pregnant with Anna.
2010: Anna @ 9 months.
9 months
2011: Anna @ 21 months. Will @ 1 month.
Anna and her first and second Christmas ornaments.
Anna and her ornaments
What a crazy, fun, and EXHAUSTING three years it has been!

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Sunday, December 18, 2011

Will is One Month!

Will - One Month
Back when I found out I was pregnant with Baby B, in my heart of hearts, I had hoped for another girl. Raising Anna was so much fun and I thought it would double the fun to raise another one.

So when we found out that we were expecting a boy, I was excited and couldn't wait to meet the little man. But part of me felt a little disappointed. We already had a perfect girl name picked out, too.

But then a month ago, Will arrived. And everything changed.

I can tell you now that Will has entered our lives, I cannot imagine having anything other than my delicious baby boy. He is tiny, vulnerable, and sweet. When I feed him, I love leaning down and smell his fuzzy little head. I love watching him sleep as he cuddles up next to me. I am head over heels about my little guy!

Life is busy now. I don't have time for myself (I have been writing this post in my head for 3 days), and I hope it will change someday, but right now spending time with the kids is all I want to do. They will grow up way too fast and be too cool for their Mama.

As for Will's one-month stat: He's a big boy, not surprising because the guy has a monstrous appetite. He eats, sleeps, and poops. The end.
Happy One Month Will!

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Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Anna - 21 Months

Anna turned 21 months old today. It was a big month for her -- she went from being the only child to having a new sibling, and then adjusting to her big girl bed. She is handling everything so well, I am proud of her.

Life with Will
Anna never shown any jealousy toward Will, but she probably cried more and threw more tantrums this month than all other months combined. There may be a slight exaggeration to that, but only slightly. Poor girl can be the most caring sister one minute - bringing Will's blanket and tucking him in - to a little terror wailing for no apparent reason the next.

I am not sure if Anna is acting out because of Will or because she's just reaching that age. What I am really hoping for is that it is because she's growing molars.

She sure loves her brother, though. Her bears are her prized possessions and she shares them with him. She hugs and kisses him. She wants to change Will's diapers and says Will new diaper. When she hasn't seen Will for a while because he's upstairs sleeping, she will ask to see him. Will is lucky to have Anna as a big sister.

The first week after Will was born, Anna ate terribly and it STRESSED me out. Now she's gradually getting back on track, but that's still far away from what I would like to see her eat. Normal things like chicken nuggets or pizza that any kids would love are no big deal to her. She will eat two nuggets, four at the most. Pizza is a hit or miss. One thing she loves is grapes. Is there any way to inject some fat in those things?

I am afraid that Anna has associated eating with watching TV. Before Will was born, our strict rule was no eating in front of TV (unless she really hadn't eaten anything all day and we just wanted her to sit still while we feed her). After Will came home, things got so busy and crazy that I didn't have time to entertain her while trying to feed her so I turned on the TV. Now for lunch and dinner, she sits at her table in the family room and says TV. While I don't think TV is evil, I do think she watches a little too much of it. My goal is to stop this habit soon.

Besides her blocks, she's also into Play-Doh. She doesn't actually make anything, but she brings the jars out and says play clay. I am trying to get her to color more, since that's an activity I enjoy, but she's not too interested.

Lately, she is better at entertaining herself (perhaps it is because she doesn't have our undivided attention anymore). She has conversations with her bears and takes them all around the house. I think there may be more imaginative play in the near future. The other day, she took a fork and a plate from the dishwasher and pretended to eat.

Books haven't been on top of her list, but I am going to bring them back to her life. When she's in the mood, she can sit still for a long time...but she wants to read the same book over and over again.

Things to Remember
There have definitely been times when Anna's tried my patience the past month, but she is still the sweetest. Her smiles and laughs light up my life.

Hubby puts Anna to bed everyday, but he's on travel today so I did it. She didn't want me to leave her room so she patted the spot next to her and said stay. So I laid next to her for about 10 minutes, waiting for her to fall asleep. She wasn't sleeping and I had to leave....this was our conversation:

Me: Anna, Mama has to go now, okay?
Anna: No. Stay.
Me: But Mama has to go check on Will.
Anna: Check Will.
Me: Yeah, Mama has to go check on Will. Mama go. Yes?
Anna: Yesh.
Me: Okay, and Mama got to go eat too.
Anna: Mama eat. Yesh.

And I left and didn't hear a peep from her.

Happy 21 months, Nana! You are still the best!
Anna - 21 Months
Anna - 21 Months

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Monday, December 12, 2011

National Christmas Tree, the 2011 Edition

national christmas tree
When I imagined life with 2 kids under 2, it never crossed my mind that I would be running around this much...especially in the cold weather. But it turned out that with some planning and patience, taking a toddler and a newborn out isn't impossible, it just may involve a few tears and cries.

Anna is at that stage where if she doesn't get what she wants or if something is taken away, she throws a fit. So if we want her to do something, it's wiser to ask her nicely and get her agreement rather than with force. Two sure ways to get her buy-in are 1) her baby brother Will and 2) bribe her with grapes.

For example: When she refuses to follow us, we say to her, "Baby Will is leaving, don't you want to come?" She will pick up her pace.

Or if she doesn't want to leave, we say, "There are grapes in the car." And she will chant "Grape! Grape! Grape!"

We used both lines during our visit to the National Christmas Tree.

This year, the National Christmas Tree is significantly smaller because the original one was toppled by strong winds earlier this year. It was pathetic looking, in my opinion, but as always, I still enjoyed walking around. Except for one or two years, hubs and I have always made the effort to come see the tree. I think we will hold on to this as one of the family traditions now that we have kids.
National Christmas Tree 2011
National Christmas Tree 2011
Anna really enjoyed the trains. So much that she didn't understand why there was a fence blocking her way...and, of course, she cried in protest.
Lastly, a shot of (sleepy) Will.
National Christmas Tree 2011

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Friday, December 9, 2011

lately / 2 things

Am taking daily naps with this little guy. It doesn't get any better than that.
Am hoping to start potty training Anna. But if that doesn't work out...just her sitting on the potty is pretty darn adorable. PS. She is reading The Economist.
Have a terrific weekend!

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Tuesday, December 6, 2011

The Thanksgiving 2011 Post

Baba & the kids
And finally, my very belated Thanksgiving post.

Given that Will was less than 2 weeks old when Thanksgiving rolled around, we didn't think we could make it to any family gatherings. Instead, our families came to us...with food...and we "hosted" our first Thanksgiving at our place. All I threw together was my easy roasted chicken and hubs made his yummy apple pie.

Although Will behaved like a dream (read: he almost slept through it all), Anna was quite a handful. She just didn't feel like eating or sitting still. So rather than having a screaming toddler, I sat in the family room and watched TV with her for a while. It definitely wasn't her finest moment and I didn't win the best hostess award, but we made it through the night.

At last year's Thanksgiving, having another baby wasn't even on my mind. But even with that, this year, among many other things, I was thankful for the arrival of a healthy and bouncy baby boy. So thankful that I wasn't still uncomfortably pregnant during Thanksgiving and, instead, I had another baby to snuggle with!
thanksgiving 2011 spread
Will's First Thanksgiving

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Monday, December 5, 2011

the one where we forgot their hats

It's becoming a trend for us to forget something whenever we visit the US Botanic Garden. Last time we forgot to bring Anna's shoes. This time, we forgot their hats. Oh well, I am a Mama of 2 under 2 and I can't remember it all.

Luckily, it wasn't too cold and we were mostly indoor.

The little trip into DC was good. Will slept the entire time in the Bjorn and Anna was mesmerized by the toy trains. So what that it took us longer to get ready than our actual stay at the Botanic Garden? It was just nice to get out and see some holiday decorations.

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!
Holidays @ US Botanic Garden
Holidays @ US Botanic Garden
Holidays @ US Botanic Garden
Holidays @ US Botanic Garden

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Saturday, December 3, 2011

Anna's New Big-Girl Bed

Transitioning Anna from crib to twin-sized bed happened out of the blue. We've had the bed for a few months now and had always asked her if she wanted to sleep in it. She responded with a "no" each time...until last night when she surprised us with an enthused "yes". So after successfully sleeping in the bed overnight and again for her nap, I don't think Anna is going back to her crib again!

She's such a big girl now!
We are going to wait a while before moving Will to the crib, though. Having him sleeping in the same room with us is more convenient and besides, I don't think Anna would like it if she sees Will taking over the crib immediately.

Aside from the bed, Anna's room is bare. I never made any further progress after I first wrote about it back in June. Mommy fail. But now that she's actually sleeping in the room, I am looking forward to getting the rest of the room set up.

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Tuesday, November 29, 2011

14 Days

Will is 2 weeks old today! And already, he's growing like a weed. He has regained his birth weigh and more. I thought I noticed a little extra chunk in those cheeks!

He's still very much of a sleepy baby so juggling two kids hasn't been as bad as I had pictured. However, Will does have his morning and night reversed so he's awake for a longer period of time in the middle of the night. It's pretty brutal and we are working on straightening him out. He has a ferocious appetite - eating every 2-3 hours. When he's full and well rested, he's a contended little baby. Oh, and he has already flashed us his killer smile! It is the best.

I just love staring into his big brown eyes and giving him big squeezes. I never expected to snuggle with him as much as I did with Anna since he's a boy and all. But I actually find myself doing it more with Will...probably because I know he's my last baby and I will never get to do this again. Seriously, this little guy is pure bliss. I am loving it all, even at 2 in the morning when his eyes refuse to shut.

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Sunday, November 27, 2011

heading out as a family of 4

We took several short outings over the course of last week and here are just some pictures of our new family. All trips have been good, but one thing I need to learn to accept is the amount of time it takes for all of us to get ready to go places. One day, it took us ONE whole hour from "lets go somewhere" to actually driving away! It was majorly frustrating for me, but I think I just need to manage my expectations better from now on.

Life with 2 kids is definitely going to be a lot busier and full!
Anna loves to walk and we rarely put her in the shopping cart. With 2 kids and since I am still trying not to lift anything heavy, this is the best way to get shopping done.
$6 for a 5-minute train ride around the mall food court. Pretty crazy that we actually paid for it. Anna was super happy, though.

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Wednesday, November 23, 2011

A Drive-By Update - Week One

I can't believe Will has been with us for over a week now! I thought life with two would be crazy and stressful, but so far it has been good. I know that it is because hubby has been home and his mom still comes over to help out (in fact, she stayed with us the entire last week), so I am definitely not getting my hopes up and still waiting for the storm to come.

He's such a sweet laid-back little guy. All he does is sleep and eat -- a perfect baby in my book. We wake him up every 2-3 hours around the clock for feedings, and he may be awake for a short period of time before falling back to sleep. I am much more relaxed about giving him stimulation than with Anna. I remember with Anna, whenever she was awake as a newborn, I talked to her, read her books, listened to music, etc. Now with Will, when he's awake, I just plop him down on the bouncer or the floor and let him do his own thing.
She's going to be a protective sister, I can already see it. She wants to help in every way. If Will is on the bouncer, she wants to make sure the music is on for him. Last night, hubs was giving Will a sponge bath while Anna and I waited downstairs. She heard Will crying and immediately wanted to go upstairs. I told her to wait...but she started to cry herself. I could tell that she was just concerned, so I said okay and she climbed up the steps and went straight for the bathroom to check on him.
Will and Anna
I know Anna is trying hard to be good, but I can see that she's sad, too. I have been spending nearly all my time with Will, while hubby is on Anna-duty. I know she can see that things have changed. I am not sure if this is a direct result of Will, but she has been eating poorly, which stresses me out. She has also been more clingy and not laugh nearly as much. I hope things improve for her soon.

However, she has not shown any signs of jealously. She pats and kisses Will, which is just the sweetest thing to see.
I am doing fine. Physically, I feel like I am healing better and faster this time because I am simply not moving too much. Emotionally, it has been hard seeing Anna sad. She's not her usual chipper self. And because I am trying to move as little as possible, it's hard for me to play with her. On top of that, since she hasn't been eating well, I have been impatient with her. I need to do better.

On another note, I am so in love with Will already. I want to cherish this newborn moment.

I am nursing and pumping. I exclusively pumped with Anna and I thought that since Will latches on so well, I would exclusive nurse this time around. However, I find that pumping much more convenient. I can pump whenever I want and others can feed him. Right now I am doing a mix of both and it's working out so far.

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Sunday, November 20, 2011

The 6-Weeks Project (The End)

Will is here!

And therefore this is the end of The 6-Weeks Project. I am kind of relieved that Will arrived 11 days earlier than my EDD. Not sure how much longer I could have kept up with the project. But now that it is over, I am happy to have made the effort to document our last few weeks as a family of 3.

Being a family of 4 is going to be one big exciting ride! I am already liking it so much...and it hasn't even been a week yet!

{Week One || Week Two || Week Three || Week Four || End}
The 6-Weeks Project
The 6-Weeks Project
The 6-Weeks Project
The 6-Weeks Project
The 6-Weeks Project

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