Friday, April 15, 2011

The Little Gymnast

With being tired at the end of my pregnancy, preparing for Peyton's arrival and then surviving after her arrival, I have completely forgotten to post about Bailey's gymnastics debut!

In January we started Mommy and Me KinderGym. Bailey absolutely loved it! She had so much fun at all of her classes.She followed directions so well and did everything the teacher asked of her. We started out with me helping her during class and Nick watching, and as my due date crept closer, he stepped in for me and it became "daddy and me". As much as I missed not being able to be the one participating with her, it was nice to get to sit and watch her have such a good time. I think her favorite was the dancing they did at the beginning of every class. They always sang and danced to 3 Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed, she is still singing it around the house all the time.

Originally, there wasn't supposed to be a recital for the Mommy and Me group, but then they decided they would include the little ones. Since the recital was right around my due date, we knew Nick would have to be the one up on stage with her, and he was okay with that. This was one of our first outings with both kids, and being new to the whole getting two kids ready thing, we were running late. When we got to the recital Nick and Bailey had to rush to get behind stage with the other kids. Her little group of kids didn't really have a costume, they were just supposed to wear khaki shorts and a white shirt. She had gotten herself dressed before we left and she had put a pair of sweat pants on over her shorts because it was a little cool outside. Right before the curtain opened I got a text from Nick saying her shorts were on backwards! I didn't know she had done that since she already had her pants on when I saw her and he didn't have time to fix them before the show. So she performed the whole time with her little shorts on backwards...luckily, you really couldn't tell unless you knew.

I wasn't sure how Bailey would handle being in front of that many people, but she did great!! She was a little ham and had no problem blowing kisses repeatedly for the crowd. She carried her flowers proudly across the stage and I, well, I cried. I couldn't believe my little girl was big enough to be up on stage. I was so proud of her and happy and sad all at the same time. If hadn't been for all the people around me I'm pretty sure I could have had a real cry fest right there!

After the show with her flowers
The family after the show...sad news is, this is the ONLY picture we have of the 4 of us...and Peyton is covered up!

The gymnast and her mamaw telling her how proud she was. Look closely, those are the back pockets of her shorts. Silly girl.

The girls.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Crazy Haired Babies

There are so many ways in which our two girls are different. Bailey was a chill baby that was oh so easy going. Peyton is a high maintenance baby that wants to be held all day long. Bailey was born with black hair, dark brown eyes and the longest eyelashes I had ever seen. Peyton was born with very light hair, hazel eyes and her eyelashes and eyebrows are so light they're almost non-existent. Bailey never cared for a pacifier and Peyton has days where she can't enough it! But despite their differences, there is one way in which they are the same...they were both born with a head full of crazy hair!

 Bailey's hair stuck straight up right around the crown, there was no making it lay down.

Peyton was born with a mohawk! It stands straight up. She also has what looks like a receding hair line in the front and then a thick section of hair right at the nape of her neck. I don't even know how to brush it down after I give her a bath...there's no real good way to go about it.

I'm not sure what it is that we have to pass along that makes such crazy haired babies, but I'm sure glad we have it!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Nursing...the Good, the Bad and the Ugly

I tried nursing Bailey, but to be completely honest, I didn't try that hard. I went into it thinking that it would come naturally and would take little effort on my part. I didn't push for extra help at the hospital when she wouldn't latch on. I didn't seek out help when she was eating little to nothing that first night at home. We had to give her formula that night and we never turned back. One of the things I was most determined about this time around was being able to nurse. I read everything I could, watched videos and asked questions (thank you Danielle for letting me bug you!). I also made sure to let my doctor and the nurses know that I planned on nursing and would need help.

The first time they brought Peyton to me she was starving. We were alone in the room and both ready to try this nursing thing. She took right to it! I couldn't believe it! The whole time we were in the hospital she did great. The lactation consultant said everything looked perfect and I went home feeling like a champ. That first week was pretty much a piece of cake. She would latch on and was satisfied after each feeding and having more than the required wet/soiled diapers. Then I noticed that it was starting to hurt more and more when she would nurse, and I was starting to crack and bleed. Exactly one week after she was born, I went to nurse in the middle of the night and cried during the entire feeding. It hurt so bad I couldn't take it. Luckily I had been pumping, so we had milk stored up and I was able to give her that for the next feeding. She took right to the bottle, was still getting breast milk and my body was able to rest.

After much reading I decided I would keep pumping and bottle feeding and allow myself to heal completely before trying to nurse again. It took nearly 2 weeks before I was healed. During this time my whole world revolved around milk. Pumping milk, feeding milk, cleaning parts to pump milk. When taking the bottle, most feedings were taking nearly an hour, for 3 ounces! So after an hour feeding her, I would spend about 30 minutes pumping (including getting ready and clean up), and by the time that was finished I had about 1.5 hours before it was time to start the whole process over again. I was worn out. I was tired of the pump, tired of cleaning parts, tired of thinking about milk!Bbut she was still getting breast milk, and that was important to me.

Once I was healed we tried nursing again. I found that she was latching perfectly to the right side, but it still hurt on the left side. I tried different suggestions, but it still hurt. Not wanting to end up like I did before, we went back to pumping and bottle feeding. Then I tried again a few days later and it didn't hurt! She was latching well on both sides, finally! However, after nursing for nearly an hour, she wasn't satisfied. After trying 3 different times we were having to give her bottles with at least an ounce, sometimes 2, after each feeding. Somehow she wasn't getting enough from me. We quickly went through our milk stash that I had built up.

Then one night there was none, and she had her first bottle of formula. I felt like a failure, again. I wanted to cry, wanted to break down, for several different reasons. Mainly because I felt like I was letting her down and partly because there was a small piece of me that felt relieved, which made me feel even worse. I was so tired of the whole trying and pumping experience that it was an almost welcome thing.

I've not quit pumping. I still pump 3 or 4 times a day. She is getting breast milk almost exclusively during the day and then the bottles at night are formula. Is it ideal? No. Is it what I had planned? No. But I know that any amount of breast milk is better than none. I'm not sure how long this will last, but for now, it is working for us. I've come to terms with it. The most important thing is that my baby is being fed and is healthy, and she is.

Friday, April 8, 2011

4 Weeks

My precious baby girl, somehow 4 weeks have already flown by! I feel like it was just yesterday that they were placing you in my arms for the first time. Your sister has grown so fast, but if it all possible, I think the time seems to be passing even faster this time around. 

You, my dear child, are a little high maintenance. Actually, you probably lean more towards very high maintenance if I'm being completely honest. If you had it your way you would be held 24 hours a day. Not that I can blame you, I'm sure it feels great to be held and snuggled, but see, you have a big sister and sometimes she needs my attention too. And there's the whole silly thing of eating. That's right, sometimes I need to put you down so I can make your sister breakfast or lunch. Or sometimes she needs help washing her hands or with some other task. Or maybe she just needs some snuggles herself. And *gasp*, sometimes mommy just needs a break! I know, you think all of these are unacceptable, but it's the way it has to be. Some day you will understand.

When you were born you were 8 pounds even and when we left the hospital you were only down to 7 pounds 9 ounces. By the time we took you to your first check up a short 2 days later you were already back up to 7 pounds 15 ounces, only 1 ounce away from your birth weight! At our check up last week you were up to 8 pounds 1 ounce. I would have guessed that you were more than that by how heavy you feel now! You are a very healthy girl and the doctor always says you look perfect.

You don't like to nap on your own. If someone is holding you, you pass right out. But lay you down, and you're not having it! You've taken many naps in your swing and bouncy seat, and of course, in the arms of me and daddy. You're a pretty good sleeper at night time. The first time we lay you down for the night can be a bit of struggle. Usually if we have the vibration going in the bassinet it only takes about 10 minutes of fussing before you're snoozing away. Most nights we lay you down about 11-11:30 and you almost always wake up at 3:00 for the first time and then again at 6:00. There was one night where you slept from 12:30-5:30, and that was amazing!!

Despite the fact that you are high maintenance, we all love you so much!!


A mother of two. It's amazing how normal and odd that phrase is at the same time. On one hand it feels completely natural. Like I've always had two precious babies to love. Two adorable girls to call my own. But then, sometimes, I think to myself, oh my gosh, I am a mother of two! Somehow I don't feel old enough, or mature enough, or like I've got it all together enough to be entrusted to have these two beautiful girls.

We're definitely still in the transition phase at the Maxwell house. We're all still trying to figure out how this whole family of four thing works. I think we're doing a pretty good job though. We've been out to eat a few times now, I've taken the girls to the store by myself and we had our first big grocery shopping trip with everyone this past weekend. So far so good on those accounts. The biggest thing for me is still trying to figure out how to get everything done during the day now that there are two cuties vying for my attention.

Bailey has been such a good big helper. I was worried about how she would handle the adjustment of having to share the spotlight, but she has been great! She is always loving on Peyton and helping me in any way I need it. She asks to hold her and gets so excited when she's awake. If I'm out of the room and Peyton starts fussing, Bailey will almost always run over to her and try to calm her down. I absolutely love watching her interact with her baby sister.

I was lucky enough to have Nick at home with us for two whole weeks right after Peyton was born. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't nervous on my first day home alone with both kids. I felt like that first week was sink or swim in some aspects. That Monday night he had soccer practice, Tuesday night an away game right after school, meaning he was gone from about 6:00 am until 9:30 pm. Wednesday night was a normal night, Thursday night another soccer game, Friday was normal and then Saturday he had class from 9-5 at EKU. It was a rough week at times, but we all made it through with little to no permanent damage! I had a mini meltdown one day (more about that to come later), Bailey had a few meltdowns and Peyton, well, she's just high maintenance most of the time!

Right now I'm enjoying some "mommy time" at Starbucks with a nice cold frappuccino and catching up on some blogging. That's right, that means there will actually be more posts coming very soon!! And if I can get Picasa to cooperate, a new header...FINALLY! A big thanks to my hubby for watching the kiddos for a little bit today so I could enjoy this me time.