Friday, December 9, 2011


Hello there!  It's been a whole month since our last blog post.  We're still here and are all alive, I promise.
To defend our absence, let me explain:  In my typical all-or-nothing fashion, I made myself a promise to savor every single moment of maternity leave with Abbott and not let anything else get in the way. I had realized how fast our time with Evie as an infant flew by and I decided with Abbott that I wanted to shut away the outside world and enjoy every minute of his infancy that I could. 

Well, that was my theory anyways. Problem is, I didn't inform the rest of the world of my intentions and life has still managed to get in and bother me. There have been plenty of distractions along the way and unfortunately I've given in to a lot of them.

(Don't even get me started on crappy U.S. maternity leave policies. YES, I'm very thankful to have a good job - and NO, I don't want to go back to work when my baby is only 12 weeks old! Can we at least wait till babies are crawling before ditching them at daycare?!)

Don't get me wrong,  I've still managed to relish every moment I can with Abbott, but I'm learning that life is about keeping things in moderation, right? (What? ... Hell no! Moderation is for wimps! What did Mae West once say?  Too much of a good thing can be wonderful?! Yup, that's more my style.)

One week old.
All 8 lbs, 12 oz of sweetness.

Give or take a wet diaper.
One month old chunker.
10 lbs 12 oz.

This little lion man doesn't skip many meals.

Also, I promise we haven't gone the route of they-had-a-blog-about-one-kid-but-then-had-another-kid-and-got-too-busy-to-blog-anymore. Well, at least we're not heading that direction yet.  Lord knows, it is much busier around here with two kiddos and this blog may get kicked to the curb sooner or later.  

So, now that Abbott has survived an entire month with us, here's some insight into what I've learned so far as a mother of two: 

Boys are very different than girls..... and every kid is different. 
(Wow! No sh*t, Sherlock. That's a pretty deep conclusion to come to!)
I can state this with authority because Abbott has made it abundantly clear that he is in no way a carbon copy of Evie.  He has often made us feel like we are complete amateurs at parenting even though we've managed to keep one kid alive and even teach her a productive thing or two. (Amateurs is a nice word. Morons is appropriate most days.)
Just a few examples:

Evie loved bath time from her very first day on the planet. Baths would calm her and have always been part of her bedtime process. Abbott has a tendency to get wound up during his bath, and baths sometimes excite him or agitate him. I've been giving him baths at bedtime, only to find out he wants to stay up and play for hours after. It's a total energy rush for him!

-Evie hated infant massages or being rubbed down with lotion for a long time. Abbott absolutely adores this and you could massage his little bootie all day and he'd be in complete heaven. Forget the spa certificates for our daughter, give them to our son. (Not really. Clearly you're better off giving the spa treatments to their mother - that way, everybody's happy and we all win!)

-Evie was (and is) very LOUD. Abbott is both LOUD and NOISY. 
I didn't realize Evie was so loud as an infant till my older brother, Winston, mentioned it. I started paying attention to other infants and realized that our little girl is like a boisterous foghorn over a sea of tiny tugboat toots. (How's that for a comparison?) Evie's cry and voice has always been the loudest in the room. Seriously.

Abbott is on the same decibel level as his sister - yet he is also a noise machine. He grunts, groans, moans, and snores much more than she ever did. I would often have to put my hand on Evie's chest to see if she was breathing, but I can be three feet from the crib and hear that Abbott is breathing. His little grunts and groans are reassuring to hear at night, even if they keep me awake!

I guess a constantly vocal child is a good thing because I can already differentiate most of Abbott's cries and groans. Sometimes he belts out a  I'm-hungry-and-you-better-come-feed-me-right-now-woman! cry, other times it's a Hey-where-did-everybody-go-I'm-lonely-and-I-want-a-hug-right-now cry. 

Every now and then it's a oops-I-pooped-my-pants-and-this-is-kind-of-embarrassing fuss.  My personal favorite is the holy-crap-my-sister-is-all-up-in-my-grill-and-now-I'm-overstimulated yell.

Seriously? I only cry because you guys
insist on bathing me in a pink tub.
We all know pink is Evie's signature color
and if I try to claim pink as my favorite too,
she will stage a massive revolution.
And last but not least, a HUGE difference between our little ones is that Abbott has reflux. This has made life a bit harder for all of us. Because of the reflux, it is really uncomfortable for him to sleep flat on his back.  He either wakes up screaming and needing to be burped again, or spits up a lot, which prevents him from sleeping for long periods.

I posted about stomach sleeping on Facebook and got a ton of feedback from friends who said their child/grandchild was a stomach sleeper and that I should just let him sleep on his stomach and he'd be fine. 

The problem is, I talked to our pediatrician (who we adore and trust completely!) and after having a discussion about a lot of his symptoms, she was adamant that we keep him on his back when he sleeps.

Our conversation was not one of those I'm-going-to-smile-and-wink-when-I-say-he-is-supposed-to-be-on-his-back-but-I'll-ignore-it-if-you-put-him-on-his-stomach type of chat. 

Instead, she looked me directly in the eye and said, "Abbott needs to sleep on his back. Yes, he will learn to roll over - but for now, you must put him on his back."

Anyone that has read recent newborn literature knows that you are always supposed to put a baby to sleep on his or her back. SIDS is the leading cause of death among infants 1 month to 1 year old and is known to be higher in boys. Yes, it remains unpredictable despite years of research - but putting a baby on its back lowers the risk by 60 percent.  I'm thinking that's a percentage I should pay attention to. 
So very peaceful.
Some of the time.
So, we've learned to swaddle our little lion man a bit tighter, stick to a good bedtime and nursing routine, and make sure his little tummy is full and he's as burped out (as physically possible!) before putting him down on his back. 

He still spits up, and wakes up crying to be burped again, but he has gone from sleeping only 1.5 or 2 hours at a time, to more like 3.5 or even 4 hours. This is fine with me! I can handle that. I can live with that. Even better, I can actually function on that.

And he's alive, so we're good!

You expect my huge noggin to fit in that hat?
Not gonna happen.

In reading back over this blog post, I realize I have a tendency to string-words-together-with-hyphens-in-order-to-convey-an-idea.  Sorry if this makes reading and interpreting my ramblings harder on your eyes.  

I don't even know if there is a literary term for this. (Yeah, it's called being a descriptive crackhead.)

I'm functioning on 3.5 hours of sleep here, people. 
Cut me some slack. ;-)

Till next time... 

Evie and Abbott's Mom

1 comment:

  1. You sound like me. With Connor it was gas. As in, if I didn't give him gripe water with EVERY meal the world ended. 30+ min of non stop screaming (not crying but screaming) which did absolutely nothing to help with the gas. And forget burp cloths-I had to carry around baby blankets to deal with the spit up. I didn't have to hear a burp to know we'd burped him well; it was the puddle of spit up we waited for.
    Good for you for taking the time to at least try to savor the moments with Abbott. Lord knows they'll be gone in a blink.
    The pictures are awesome. He's a beauty.