Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Baby H: Maternity Photos (times two)

I'm playing a bit of catch up when it comes to our professional photoshoots that have revolved around our little Patrick. Somehow he is already 3 months old and neither his maternity or newborn sessions have made an appearance on the blog!

Regardless, at 36 weeks we scheduled our maternity session just a mere 9 days before this little one decided to make his arrival! April can be such an odd month in Colorado weather wise as it can be as snowy as the winter or warm enough for shorts making planning an outdoor session kind of difficult. For us, the weather was perfectly warm but we were about a week too early for all the pretty spring blooms making location the tricky aspect. With a suggestion from our photog we headed to Downtown Littleton to wander around some empty buildings and up the streets of the cute little town. A more "urban" shoot was something we had never done with her and I'm so glad we did this time.

We brought along Patrick's quilt and wooden "P" just like we did with Mark because it's made for such a cool trend for us to look back on. Mark was such a stud and did so great through the whole session only needing a few M&M bribes. I was only mildly uncomfortable (which if you were around me those last few weeks you understand that was a huge deal) sitting and laying with my big Patrick belly. I truly couldn't love these photos more! They perfectly captured our last few days as a family of three before adding our missing puzzle piece to the family. Enjoy!

Monday, July 18, 2016

Baby H: Newborn Photos (times two)

Photos that capture perfect details, brand-new life, sweet moments in time and lots of love are basically my favorite thing ever. And we were blown away yet again by the images of our sweet Patrick and life as a family of four. 

It is so special to me to not only have these photos to look back on of a moment when our life changed forever but also to have them in the same room where big brother Mark's were taken. The nursery has changed a bit for our newest boy but there are just enough similarities for me to love. Not to mention all the extra moments of love between brothers that Amber so perfectly captured. 

Take a look and you'll understand why I'm so obsessed... 

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Baby H: Three Months of Patrick

He...
[+] weighs 13#9oz according to our scale at home but we won't get a length or head measurement for another month. Mark didn't weigh 13# until he was 4 months old so all this chunk on Pat makes me so happy!

[+] is officially sleeping in his own room and completely in his crib. He's been napping in his room from the beginning and we wondered if it would make him sleep better at night if he was away from us. We used the same method as we did with Mark to help him transition to his crib and it didn't take him long to make the switch. He's still swaddled which will be another battle to deal with I'm sure but it's working for now.

[+] goes to bed around 8:30pm, gets a dream feed around 10:30pm when we go to bed and usually sleeps until 7am! It's been glorious (and yet we still find ourselves tired some days, ha!). Some mornings he'll fuss around anywhere from 5:30 on but if he does it usually just means we rock him a bit and he'll sleep till morning. He hasn't gotten fed in the middle of the night in forever minus the one night he broke free of his swaddle and I couldn't get him settled until I fed him.

[+] eats every 2.5hrs during the day still and while I'd love to start spacing out his feeds to 3hrs, we're keeping it the same for the sake of my milk production. I'm worried about how transitioning back to "work" is going to affect my milk supply (on top of not feeding him during the night anymore too) so dropping a feed isn't something I want to do just yet.

[+] went to his first weddings this month and was such a good little guest. His first included a Greek ceremony in the church and he didn't make a peep which I was thrilled about because of how much it would have echoed. The second included a trip to Seattle where we got to play tourists for a few days on our first "vacation" as a family of four.

[+] is still a great nurser (most of the time) which I think is huge for my milk supply and my relationship with him. He's also started getting bottles as I transition back to med school life. We offer him 3.5oz each time which I think is on average what he gets from me and while he sometimes has a hard time taking the bottle, overall it's been a fine switch for him. Obviously I want him to eat well when I'm gone but it is nice he doesn't LOVE the bottle because it means he'll nurse well from me when I'm home still.

[+] nicknames: Pat Pat, Fat Pat, chunky, baby brother, Sir

[+] likes: baby talk, watching big brother, Ollie, his swing and bears

[+] dislikes: getting dressed, picking at his dry skin/cradle cap, being hit by his brother
I...

[+] have started back on rotations for my 4th year this month and it's been an interesting transition for sure. I'm in a pediatric clinic which is both good and bad for this momma. Good because the doc I'm with only works 3 days a week leaving me plenty of days off to spend with my little family. And also because his offices are close to home making the commute easy. Bad because all the babies in the office make me miss both my boys so much. And also because I'm getting spoiled with this schedule knowing I have a "typical" Mon-Fri rotation coming up that also happens to be an hour (or more!) away from home.

[+] am so glad I get to be a boy mom. There is not a single fiber in me that wishes I had a girl. These boys are so fun and so sweet and I know I'm going to learn so much being their momma. There will be lots of messes, plenty of fights and bumps & bruises, many adventures and I am so looking forward to all if it with these two. Not to mention I get tears in my eyes imagining dancing with each of them on their wedding days someday in the future!

[+] forgot what a pain in the rear postpartum hair loss is. The last week or so it seems to have ramped up and it's horrible. There are some times where my hairs been in a bun/braid for a few days and I shower and literally feel like I'm going bald it's falling out so much. I'm horrible at taking my prenatal vitamins which I'm sure would help but goodness gracious. Maybe I need a mom-chop?

Friday, June 17, 2016

Baby H: Two Months of Patrick

He...

[+] weighs 11#15.5oz (41%) and is 22 in (10%) long with a head of 39cm (45%). It's very baffling to J and I why both our boys are shorties since neither of us are "short" (I'm 5'4") or come from short families.

[+] has a little bit of a flat spot on one side of his head we need to keep an eye on. He prefers to lay looking right and the way J and I both holds him promotes him laying on that same spot too but luckily it's nothing too bad. He also has a bit of an umbilical hernia which I noticed even before our doctor confirmed it (and you can see it in the above picture). Again, thankfully, it's nothing to be concerned about now and we'll discuss it if it doesn't close by the time he's 4 years old.

[+] switched to size 1 diapers around 6 weeks because he was consistently blowing them up and it seemed like they were getting too tight around his belly. We're definitely a Huggies family around here. He also moved into 0-3 month clothing right around the same time and it seemed like both transitions literally happened overnight. This boy is definitely getting big fast it seems!

[+] has started social smiling and it's the best thing ever! And he's not stingy with those gummy grins either. Momma, Daddy, Mark, both grandmas.... it doesn't take much to get some good ones from this happy boy. He's also started to find his voice and Grammy said she heard him giggle in his sleep once!

[+] had a bout of what I think was foremilk-hindmilk imbalance for a few days. He was seeming extra fussy and extra gassy for a few days and hadn't had a good dirty diaper. Then when he finally did it was way more green than it had ever been and seemed almost watery. A quick google search lead me to believe that's what we were dealing with and it made sense after looking back at our feeding logs. I made a conscious effort to change our feedings slightly and within two days he was back to normal!

[+] went on his first plane rides this month to celebrate Auntie's graduation in California and was a great traveler. I wore him in the ring sling through the airport, nursed him when and where I needed to, he took naps on the plane and didn't make much of a peep the whole time. The place we stayed had pack-n-plays for both boys to sleep in and he did surprisingly well in it. He went to the beach, toured the college campus, sat in many restaurants and was such a perfect boy.

[+] got his first sunburn on our trip to CA and I felt horrible about it. Graduation was outside and it was a cloudy, perfectly warm day and he napped soundly in my arms through a big portion of it without trouble. Until we woke up the next morning and realized one half of his face was red. #momfail

[+] still sleeps in our room at night and I'm honestly not sure when we'll move him which is so much different than with big brother Mark. After our vacation and him doing so well in the pack-n-play I decided to get ours out and give it a try instead of the rock-n-play. So far he isn't sleeping any worse (or better) in it so we'll stick to it for now. He still naps in the rock-n-play in his room and is still swaddled anytime he sleeps (except in the carseat/wrap/etc obviously).

[+] he goes to bed around 9pm, wakes twice in the night to eat, usually around 2am and 5am, and we start our day somewhere between 7 & 7:30am. We stopped doing the 10/10:30pm feed before we went to bed because it wasn't making a difference with how long he'd sleep but I'm wondering if we should start doing it again. He still eats every 2.5hrs during the day and is such a good nurser which I am loving. Occasionally I'll do weighted-feeds with him just to see how much volume he's taking and it varies between 2.5 and 4.5oz depending on the feed.

[+] officially has blue eyes for now and they are both gorgeous and shocking. Never in my life would I have imagined I'd have a blue eyed baby boy! The pedi told us that most of the time, eyes his color blue stay that color so we shall see.

[+] nicknames: Pat Pat, baby brother, buddy, little love

[+] likes: baths, nursing, his swing, big brother, being held upright

[+] dislikes: when we make him stay awake, initially being swaddled, getting dressed
I...

[+] am still loving nursing my little boy which brings me so much joy especially how things ended up with Mark. Patrick is a great nurser and I'm definitely experiencing "the bond" I desperately longed for the first time around. And in even better news, we've officially been shield free the last month (except for a rare few feedings where I used it to help slow my milk down). The only trouble we've dealt with in the last month has been managing my fast let-downs causing him lots of gas issues but with some different positioning and him getting bigger and stronger every day I think the issue is behind us now.

[+] unfortunately ended up with a whole slew of new stretch marks from this baby boy that I'm really not happy about. I knew a few of them where there while I was pregnant but they have definitely made their (dark, purple, wiggly) appearance since he's been here. They're all below my belly button which makes sense since he was so stinking low for so long and means I'm the proud new owner of a one piece swim suit for the summer. Thankfully my girlfriends all told me I was like a pin-up girl in it because it definitely makes me feel like I have a total mom-bod! Here's hoping I'll someday get back in better shape and the marks fade with time.

[+] went out of town to Philadelphia for an exam for school and was away from my baby (and my big boy and husband) for two nights and it was so much harder than I anticipated it being. One reason being I don't even remember the last time I was alone for as long of a stretch as that. Maybe before Mark was born? And the second reason being that leaving my baby was so, so tough. Sure I missed J and Mark but I literally cried in my hotel room looking at pictures of Patrick because I missed him so much. I said it in his last update but I feel so much more connected to this boy, he's definitely turning into a mommas boy, and leaving him was such a struggle.

[+] have TONS of milk in the freezer and it's such an awesome feeling seeing it all in there. In relation to my trip out of town I knew I needed to have a ton of milk stored for when I was gone with the assumption that I'd be replacing what he ate with what I pumped. Well, not only did I exceed my goal for what I "needed" for the time I'd be away but I also pumped more than he ate leaving us with a surplus. Having the extra in the freezer eases so much stress about my upcoming return to med school & pumping life.

[+] have been at home on board study month the last few weeks and while it's been so nice not having to actually GO anywhere, it's also been hard too. It's hard to make myself sit at the table and study. It's hard to be motivated to get work done when Patrick has a particularly tough night. It's hard to not want to snuggle him when he wakes early from his nap. It's hard not getting to play and go on adventures with my big boy. But I guess I should have known having two babies in med school was going to be hard, right?

Baby Pat-Pat, you are such a dream baby and I couldn't imagine loving you more. You are the perfect missing piece to our family puzzle and I can't imagine our life without you in it. Thank you for making me a momma for the second time, thank you for flashing me gummy grins on my worst days and thank you in advance for putting up with all your big brother's shenanigans. Life with you, sweet boy, has already been so grand, I can't wait to see what's in store in your life. xoxo, Momma

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Baby H: One Month of Patrick

He... 

[+] weighs 8#12 according to our baby scale at home. His birth weight was 6#10 and two weeks was 7#0 and his lowest weight (the day we left the hospital) he was 6#5. He's definitely putting on the pounds and is a great eater. His belly is sure getting round, now if only we could get some rolls on those legs of his!

[+] is still wearing newborn sized clothes and diapers and he's definitely starting to fill them out now. On a whim we decided to buy Up&Up diapers and those are getting a little more snug than our usual Huggies are so hopefully we can use them up before he outgrows them.

[+] has been exclusively breastfed which is different than Mark who got many bottles from the beginning. So far nursing him is going drastically different than the first time around which I'm so thankful for. And clearly it's working since his weight gain is great. I've been pumping after he eats (usually once or twice a day) to start getting a frozen stash and so far have about 40oz saved already on top of satisfying him through the day.

[+] eats every 2.5 hours during the day even if it means we have to wake him. His last feed for the "day" is usually around 8pm, he'll go to sleep around 9/9:30 and then I'll wake him to eat one more time at 10:30 before J and I go to bed. From there we let him go as long as he wants and he's pretty much established a schedule of getting up again around 3am and then again for the day between 6-7am. Given that he's only a month old I'll definitely take this schedule! Plus he eats and goes right back down in the middle of the night so there's no extra shenanigans which is great.

[+] is sleeping in the rock n play in his rooms for naps and in our room during the night. Maybe once a day he'll end up napping somewhere else (the carseat, the swing, our arms, the Moby wrap) but he really does great when we set him down anyways so we don't feel like we're creating bad habits when he isn't in his room. We haven't even tried letting him sleep on a flat surface like his crib or the pack n play but I'm almost curious to give it a shot one day just to see how he does.

[+] went to the Denver zoo and the downtown aquarium this month to celebrate Mother's Day with the family. He's also been out to eat a handful of times, gone on tons of Target/Walmart/Grocery Store trips and a few trips to the park with big brother.

[+] has lighter hair and gray/blue eyes which is such a shock to this brown-eyed brunette momma. Mark immediately had dark hair and dark brown eyes (which have lightened slightly since he's gotten older) and I always assumed both my boys would have coloring like me since everyone in my family is like me or darker. I know his eyes will likely change multiple times in the next 6 months for sure so we'll see what they end up.

[+] nicknames: baby, Pat Pat, Patty-cakes, baby bird

[+] likes: being swaddled, nursing, the car seat

[+] dislikes: the bath, getting dressed, trying to poop and hiccups
I...

[+] feel so much more connected to this baby at this stage than I did to Mark when he was this old. It kills me to even say that but it's the truth. I don't know if it's because he's an overall easier baby or because I have the experience of being a momma under my belt or if it's just a different bond with this boy but it's very comforting. I never doubted my heart would grow the minute I laid eyes on him but it's been amazing experiencing this momma-son love for the second time.

[+] am down 17 lbs from my highest pregnancy weight which was a total gain of about 37 lbs meaning I have about 20 more to lose. For some reason it feels like my body is taking a longer time to get back to normal after this baby and it's really starting to bother me. I didn't gain that much more weight with Patrick than I did with Mark but was in much better shape pre-Mark which I'm sure is playing a factor now. Plus my body is just different this time because Patrick was so low in my belly for so long I think. It feels like my pelvis and the bones themselves are more stretched out, I have more of a lower belly pouch and I ended up with about half a dozen little stretch marks all below my bellybutton this pregnancy. And then there's the added joy that we're headed into summer (vs heading into winter when Mark was born) which means I can't hide and feel more comfortable in leggings and sweaters. I know it's all relative, that my body grew two beautiful boys in a little over two years, but sometimes thinking that just isn't enough of a confidence boost. Here's hoping breastfeeding keeps the pounds falling off and more of my clothes start fitting again soon.

[+] alluded to it above but breastfeeding is going lightyears better this time around and I am so thankful for that. In the hospital I knew more of what I was doing in those first few days and what to look out for in terms of good latch, damage, good care, etc. My milk came in a lot quicker with Patrick than it did with Mark which was a huge advantage. By the time it was in I was experiencing a tiny bit of damage already but instead of just pushing through I decided to start using my nipple shield exclusively. Not only did this prevent the damage from getting worse but it helped them heal, helped us avoid relying on bottles and pumping when it got too bad, helped Patrick get better at having a big mouth and helped me be so much less stressed (which I learned is HUGE!). Would I love to be at a point right now where our nursing relationship didn't rely on the shield? Of course. But I'll gladly take the shield and all it's annoyances any day than go through what I did with Mark in the beginning. I am a little anxious about how the transition will go once I have to start pumping more since my biggest challenge after the first month or so was low-supply but I'm hoping to nip it in the butt when I think somethings up and just trust my body more this time around.

[+] have been off school for the last month and it's been glorious. Since Patrick came earlier than we had planned, I do have an exam I have to make up, which means some studying earlier than I would have liked but I've been much more free this time around which has been great. J took three weeks off of work and it was like a little mini vacation for our new family of four being all together with no real responsibilities. I am a bit nervous about jumping back into things but thankfully get another month at home with board studying (a whole other battle in itself) before I have to actually be away from the house.

[+] am very proud at how Mark has handled the new baby's arrival overall. He is generally sweet with him, pointing out his body parts, wanting to know where the baby is, touching his hair and being concerned when Patrick gets really worked up. Mark will tell us when the baby is sleeping, crying, poopy and eating which also comes with him telling us Patrick eats boob! It's hilarious and we didn't even teach him that! We've definitely had our moments of hitting, head-butting, trying to stomp on him, etc but I try to remind myself in those moments that Mark's still little too. It's been helpful having more than one person here to be with the boys the whole time so we haven't really noticed any "jealousy" from Mark and it's hard to say if his acting out occasionally is from the baby or just because he's a toddler. Two-under-two is definitely challenging but very great too.

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