Sunday, December 01, 2013

A month of Link and other general news

I am trying to do better at documenting the life of Link, but we are finding that things are significantly different than our first time around with a newborn. While Penny is generally a very well behaved, lovely little girl, it takes a lot out of us to take care of both of these kids! I do not in any way regret waiting until Penny was nearly four until we continued on growing our family. That was definitely an inspired decision, because I could not manage this with a younger, higher maintenance Penny. But I was able to write a good chunk down in my journal today, but I thought I would share some thoughts here as well since we have reached this one month milestone!

So, Link at one month:

-While we love this baby ever so much, to be honest he has had a pretty rough start. It is a rare moment when our little Link isn't crying/in pain. I feel so helpless watching my poor little baby suffer, with so little I can do for him. We aren't sure if it is something to do with my diet, if he has reflux, really bad gas, or just generally fussy. I took him to the doctor last week, and the woman we saw wasn't very helpful or explanatory. She wasn't our usual doctor, who I like SO much better (and his name is Jeff, and his wife's name is Elyse. WEIRD!).  I think she just wrote me off as a new mom looking for an easy fix for a crying baby. But I'm NOT that at all! I am just so worried my baby is in pain and I want to do whatever I can do ease that! Jeff's brother Ryan sent over some helpful information (I forget we have someone on the inside of the medical world!) which was much more insightful than the person who I paid to go see was.

So, for starters just to be safe I am eliminating dairy from my diet. Probably one of the hardest things I have ever done, but it is worth it for my baby child. I will do just about anything to get stretches of sleep longer than an hour or so at night!

We have also had some nursing issues. It isn't that I am not producing (just like with Penny, I have the opposite problem, and overproduce) but Link has a problem with swallowing so much air, most likely due to the swift intake he has to do to keep up with the flow. Not to mention we think there is something IN the milk irritating him. He nurses for about 10 seconds before breaking off to cry, and continues this for about 5 minutes until he gives up from frustration. It is so hard to have the best thing I can comfort my baby with cause him so much pain. But I discovered that having him eat while both of us lying down has actually made a huge difference and has helped immensely. He gets a good rhythm that way, and I prefer that position best. Hopefully that helps ease some of his pain.

We had our first good day in a long time today. He was happy and content while awake for a good few hours! It was very shocking and a huge relief. It was so exciting to enjoy our happy baby for what feels like the first time. It makes me a little less nervous about our cross-country flight coming up...

Anyway, enough about that, now for all the other fun things about Link!

He has a little swirl-shaped patch of hair on his forehead that I call his hurricane. I predict this little guy is going to be a hair dude, just like his dad.

He's having no trouble gaining weight. His face has really filled out recently. Love those chubby cheeks!

He loves taking showers. It calms him right down when he is upset.

While we try to have him sleep in his crib or the Moses basket, he prefers to sleep right in between mom and dad. At least it makes those middle of the night feedings easier.

Penny and Link get along very well. She loves the little guy SO much, and has been a most excellent helper. She will drop whatever she is doing to get me a diaper or onesie and she constantly exclaims, "He is just SOOO CUUUUUTE!!!!"

 (This next picture isn't really relevant, but I laughed SO hard at her face. What do you think, Emily? Does it come close to our favorite picture of Penny?)

He also enjoys the moby, thank goodness. I was able to make sweet potato biscuits the other day while he slept away snuggled against me.

When people first meet Link, they are quick to point out his nose. I know this is his most prominent feature, it was also the first thing I noticed the second they pulled him out of me. Perhaps the boy has my nose, but I think it suits him well (much better than me for sure). It's not like it is a big deal or anything. All newborns have funny little features, and people just mention the first thing that sticks out. There's only like 3 or 4 options of facial features for people to choose from, right?

Anyway, there's the scoop. Some news about the rest of us:

Penny has been going to preschool! It is just a little co-op rotation between me and 3 other moms in the ward, but it has been working out well and she loves it. I also enjoy making materials for my preschool day too! She has been SO funny lately. We laugh so hard and nearly everything that comes out of her mouth. One of my favorite things she says recently is when she will say something clever or insightful and I ask her where she heard it from and she says, "I didn't hear it from anywhere I just heard it in my heart!"

Jeff has been working hard, and really doing an awesome job with his design work. He is gearing up for a big 10 week night course for web development that he was recently accepted to. This will definitely be a big asset for him, as well as his work.  Jeff also spent the last few months growing a very impressive beard. While everyone was enamored with it, our kissing time definitely decreased, so I was glad to see it go. Jeff developed a 12 phase deconstruction plan and I am pleased to say I have a clean-shaven husband again! But that deserves a post of its own...

As for me, I am just trying to survive taking care of two kids :) :) :) I have lots of great friends around here who have been amazingly helpful with this transition. I am sad that I don't like closer to family, especially on the hard days where I wish I could just crash at mom's house for a few hours, or have a sister or brother hold the baby for a little bit. But I guess this is just how it is, and we have to make the most of it.  I have started easing back into my designing and illustrating. I had quite a few inquiries about Christmas card illustrations, but people run away from sticker shock when I give them a quote (and I also tell them they should have come to me in September, as it is now considered a "rush job" which costs considerably more). Good heavens, people, these are CUSTOM illustrations we're talking about! You can't just buy those at Costco!

I recently bought a voucher for a month of Boot Camp! I can't wait to go back. I felt so great last time I did it, and although I am down to my pre-birth weight, it would be nice to get everything stretched back into place and toned. I concluded that I didn't gain so much weight this pregnancy due to being a lot more active (I walked around a store almost every day, and also did things like bike riding, kayaking and hiking up to 7 months) and then bedrest. I didn't eat much during that time. It is hard to cook, or even snack when you aren't allowed to leave your bed. It was too much work to even roll over in bed, and getting up to use the restroom seemed impossible, so eating seemed more like a unnecessary luxury at times. If we ever have another child, I am praying so hard that I won't have preterm labor again... But doctor says it may be likely. I guess we'll deal with that when/if we get there. Anyway, with a wedding coming up this week, I am just happy I can squeeze back into my old skirts and not have to seek out a new outfit all together!

Pardon the picture, it is the only one I really have of me as of now.

So, that's the scoop. I should probably go to sleep since Link is sleeping soundly. Jeff let me take a long 3 hour nap today so maybe that is why I'm not so tired (and I believe Pen and baby slept that long as well!). Jeff is amazing. He pretty much does everything around here, just to give me some relief. Cooking, cleaning, taking care of Penny, calming the baby down when I am losing it, and never does he complain or lose his cool. How did I get so lucky?

Anyway, next up, Jeff's facial hair journey! Get excited.