Slow and Steady Wins the Race

Six!

 

My sweet Ian,

I am late writing your birthday post this year. We have been so busy now that you are in kindergarten the days got away from me! I can’t believe that you are 6 years old. It seems like each year that passes it goes faster and faster. This past year has been a big year for you. You started Big Kid School and have weathered the transition so amazingly well. I am always so amazed at how you take on new challenges with gusto and rarely with any fear. You are such a confident boy and it makes me so proud.

You have become such a great big brother and Cole just adores you. You love him to pieces too and I love to watch the two of you play. Even when Cole is jumping on your back and smacking you on the head you laugh or try to gently guide him off you (most of the time) :).

We started trying out some sports this year with Soccer in the Spring and Tennis in the Fall. You have some natural athletic ability and love cheering on your teammates. I love watching you having fun with your friends, scoring goals on the soccer field or hitting a rally with your Dad in tennis.

You have grown so much this past year. You are such a sweet, caring, compassionate and smart boy. I count my lucky stars each and every day that we have you in our lives. You say “I love you” unprompted, several times a day, and still let me give you cuddles. You give some of the best hugs in the world.

I look forward to what this next year brings. Seeing the world through your eyes is such an adventure.

Love, Mama

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Happy Birthday Cole!

Dear Cole,

One year ago we walked into the hospital with so much anticipation and excitement to meet you. I was hoping your birth would go as smoothly as possible and would be routine. I should have known that nothing about you is routine. My pregnancy wasn’t routine and neither was your entrance into the world. I wish I had been awake for the moment you entered the world and that your Daddy could have witnessed your birth. It wasn’t meant to be that way and the Doctors took great care in getting you here safely. It was a short time later that I was able to lay eyes on you. I remember taking off your little hat and seeing your blonde hair! I was so surprised to have a blonde baby. Even now you are my beautiful blonde haired, blue eyed boy.

We all fell in love with you immediately. You are such a laid back guy and have been that way from the day you were born. You love to watch your big brother and think he is the funniest person in the family. When you want something you go after it with enthusiasm and generally will find a way to it. You have us all wrapped around your little finger and the proof is that we will still hold your bottle for you even though you are perfectly capable, but just don’t feel like it.

I love how you dance to music with your little baby booty pop. Or if you are sitting you do the baby head bang. I love that you will gather every pacifier in reach and trade them in and out of your mouth so each one gets a turn. Sometimes you even hold your paci out to me in case I need a turn. Always the little gentleman.

At 11 months you shocked me by pulling up to stand in the bathroom while I was getting ready for work. It was only about a month before that when you decided to start crawling. It seems like when you decide to master a skill, it is with speed that you do so. That is your style. You like to keep us on our toes.

We are still waiting on your first word. You have been babbling for a while and dadada has been a favorite. When people you don’t know are around you tend to be a thoughtful observer. In the company of family, you are active in the conversation. One of your favorite times to have a chat with me is in the middle of the night.

I love watching you grow and learn. You are an amazing little boy and I am lucky to be your Mama. I love you Cole bear.

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Into the Wild a.k.a Kindergarten

Ian has been in kindergarten for a little over 2 weeks now. I thought for sure on his first day I would be an emotional basketcase. Surprisingly, I wasn’t. Sure, I was emotional but the feeling was one of overwhelming happiness more than anything else. The reason for that was Ian. He was and is still just so EXCITED about kindergarten. It’s pretty hard to feel sad when you have a kid that is beaming with pride that he is off to BIG KID SCHOOL!!! And yes, all caps is necessary.

I do have the feelings of worry. Will he make friends easily? Will the other kids be nice to him? Do I have to worry about bullying? Will he get the solid start he needs to build a foundation for the rest of his education? I truly believe a love of learning has to be fostered early. Very early.

Sending your kids off to school is a lot like sending them into the wild. You can’t plan for all the variables. There are so many things that I have to let go of and trust that I have taught Ian well so far in life. I used to walk him into his preschool classroom every day and get feedback from his teacher every. single. day. Now I drop him in a carpool line. That’s it. Any communication from and to the teacher is in the form of notes or emails (which I haven’t felt the need for yet). I think the teachers probably have to break in the parents just as much as the kids. It really is a struggle to step back and let them do their job, but I am. I have faith in Ian’s teacher and so many people have told me that she is an amazing teacher.

I hope Ian keeps his love of learning because I love it too.

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Never a dull moment

After all of the medical trials and tribulations we have had with Ian, I thought we were well prepared for anything when Cole came along. I should have known that Cole wouldn’t repeat what we had already been through with Ian. No, he has to be unique in every way.

Since Cole has been in daycare from the age of 3 months, we knew he would catch every virus that ran through the place. That was a given. I didn’t expect him to have a cough that NEVER goes away. He has had a cough for about 2 months now with the exception of 10 days he was on antibiotics. After the antibiotics were done, the cough came back. Turns out the kid has asthma. The doctor hopes it will go away on its own after a couple years since we don’t have a family history of it. We get to have fun with daily nebulizer treatments for his asthma.

At Cole’s 9 month appointment we also discussed Cole’s dislike for all things solid food. The Pediatrician is a little concerned about a texture aversion and wants to have him evaluated by child development services just to be on the safe side. Since that visit we have been pushing solids harder at home and at daycare. He seems to be taking to them better now that we are getting better about offering them more. He will still have his evaluation, but hopefully they will find nothing of concern.

My super mellow baby has become quite the little fuss monster the past few days and his sleep has become a nightmare for me. It seems like he is trying to learn to crawl because he is constantly getting his knees under him in his crib and pushing up. I think he must be practicing at night and can’t sleep. He might be teething as well, because the last couple days he keeps refusing the bottle. I don’t remember Ian doing this. Maybe I blocked it from memory. I hope this developmental hurdle passes soon. I am dead on my feet right now.

Even with all these things going on, Cole is still a pretty happy kid. Adorable too.

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8.5 months old

Spring is here already and soon it will be the dog days of summer which means Cole’s first birthday is approaching faster than the speed of light. As each new stage arrives I love to soak it in. I feel a little sad at the same time since he is our last baby and we won’t experience the baby stages again. He is growing so quickly.

To make this post easier on my sleep deprived brain I am going to list milestones/likes/dislikes in a bulleted list.

  • Cole loves his pacifiers. He loves them so much he would shove two in his mouth at the same time if he could.
  • He still hates solids. We have tried many different kinds and flavors, but his gag reflex is still pretty sensitive. It is probably a texture issue as well.
  • No crawling or getting into the crawling stance yet. I can’t say I am disappointed. I am perfectly happy that we haven’t had to worry about baby proofing yet.
  • He doesn’t sit unassisted yet either. He can sit for a minute or so on his own, but is still very wobbly and really just prefers laying and rolling where he wants to go.
  • He LOVES to stand up. He doesn’t pull up on anything. I suspect though that if he figures out how to pull to stand before crawling, he may skip crawling all together.
  • Still not sleeping through the night. Ian didn’t get there until 10 months, so this doesn’t surprise me. Cole is also a crappy napper. His “naps” are 30-45 minute power naps. At daycare they might get 2 power naps out of him if they are lucky.
  • One of his nicknames is “monkey toes” because he likes to play with his toys with his feet.
  • He is babbling up a storm. I can’t get him to say the M sound though. It is not for lack of trying.
  • Cole thinks that Ian is hilarious and will laugh harder at the things Ian does than anyone else. The dog is also quite funny.
  • We have been battling cold bugs a lot lately. It’s the curse of daycare. However, everyone says they either get it now or when they start kindergarten.

Cole still tolerates me taking photos of him. Another reason I am happy he isn’t mobile yet and can’t run away from me. He is quite possibly one of the cutest babies ever.

 

 

 

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6 months old

A friend of mine once explained why time seems to move so much faster as you get older. I have forgotten the reason. I just know that it is true. I don’t know how it is possible that Cole is already 6 months old.

He is the most laid back child to ever inhabit the earth. Seriously.

He had RSV this past month and you would have barely known he was sick except for the fact that he was wheezing! He didn’t complain except when you sucked the snot out of his nose or wanted to do the breathing treatment (who wants a plastic mask over their face). The kid is the poster child for MELLOW. We are so lucky.

He is happy. Always happy. Except when you want to suck the snot out of his nose (can’t blame him).

Cole loves playing with his feet, chewing on  your hand/his hand/anyone’s hand, chewing on his teething key ring, standing up!, nursing, sleeping with Mommy, talking and watching the world around him.

Cole hates sleeping alone, napping, solids (yes, all of them) and having his face cleaned.

One of the things that I have found funny is that he has hit his rolling milestones on holidays. He rolled from belly to back on New Year’s Eve and from back to belly on Valentine’s Day (faux holiday). I predict crawling on St. Patrick’s Day.

6 month stats:
Weight: 14 pounds 6.5 ounces
Height: 25 inches

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4 months old

 

It seems like Cole has always been a part of our family now. We have all adjusted and I am starting find my rhythm as a working mom. There are still plenty of hard days. Especially the ones where I come home and Cole has already gone to sleep and doesn’t really wake up except to eat. I barely get to interact with him on those days. It makes me sad.

The days I don’t want to keep pumping at work are the ones I come home to find him asleep and our bonding time is the nursing sessions I get in the evening or late at night. Then, I don’t want to give it up. I want to hold onto those precious moments when it is just the two of us for as long as I can.

Cole’s personality is starting to blossom. He loves to talk to you. Loudly.

He can probably see that having Ian as an older brother means he must find his voice quickly or be drowned out by all of Ian’s talking.

Cole is thinking about rolling over, but hasn’t quite figured out how to do it yet. He definitely seems like he wants to master back to tummy first so he can sleep on his tummy. Right now he is a side sleeper, but desperately wants to become a stomach sleeper. Ian was a stomach sleeper and was a much happier baby when he could get there on his own.

The thumb is starting to be favored over his paci. I am not a fan of this development. I can take the paci away. The thumb. I can’t.

The center tooth on his bottom left is just below the surface. I am shocked by this since Ian didn’t get his first tooth until he was 7 or 8 months old. I wonder how long it will take to bust through.

Since starting daycare, Cole has become the favorite in the baby room. He is such a relaxed baby that loves to sit and watch. All the teachers are amazed at how he just hangs out and rarely cries unless he needs something.

We have had some bumps in the sleep department. For a while it was going great. He went to sleep around 8 or 9 and woke up once at 4am to eat and then went back to sleep until 7. After I went back to work, that stopped and we are back to several night wakings. Probably his way of getting in some Mommy time. Mama is tired though. My brain is turning to mush. Still I think Cole sleeps a million times better than Ian ever did. So, I am counting my lucky stars.

4 month stats:
Weight – 12 lbs 12ozs
Height – 24 inches (grown 5.5 inches since birth!!)
Growing out of most of the 3 month size clothing and starting to move into 6 month sizes.

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The Pump

When I was pregnant with Ian I read everything I could on the subject of pregnancy, labor and breastfeeding. I had visions of an unmedicated birth, the perfect breastfeeding relationship that would last until he was at least 1 and since I read everything under the sun about it, there would be no problems. The joys of being a first time mom before reality slaps you across the face.

His birth wasn’t unmedicated, but honestly I was okay with that in the end. We didn’t make it to a year with breastfeeding, but came pretty close by going 8 months before my body gave up. I was happy I got as far as I did. I tried everything I could near the end to increase my supply. When you are a pumping mom though it can be very difficult.

With Cole I just wanted him to be born healthy. I didn’t have a vision of how that would happen. I knew better. The pregnancy was a clue that this one was not in my hands.

Breastfeeding this time around is also different. I honestly just want to make it to 6 months. I know from previous experience how much I hate pumping. I feel like I would be cheating Cole out of something Ian got if I just gave up so easily though. I can thank Mommy Guilt for that.

Then, I remember to be thankful that I can provide him with breast milk.

Thankful because Cole didn’t get Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease when Ian had it because I was breastfeeding.

Thankful that when Cole got Croup it wasn’t nearly as bad as it could have been because he is breastfeeding.

I also try very hard to be grateful that my body will respond to the pump when I know other women are not as fortunate. I have to be grateful that I can pump and we don’t have to buy formula which is so expensive.

I am trying very hard to remember these things twice a day, five days a week. Pumping sucks, but I am damn lucky I can do it.

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The Big 5

When did this happen? My baby is 5 years old.

Soon we will be looking at Kindergarten. Just thinking about it puts a lump in my throat. Five seems old to me and yet it is still so young.

It seems just yesterday he was a little thing that could sleep on my chest. Now he is riding big rides at the fair that nearly give me a heart attack and he wants to do things without our help or supervision. He readily runs off with barely a backward glance to do things on his own. I am proud that he feels confident to tackle the world on his own. A mother always wants to feel a little bit needed though.

One week old

1 year old

2 years old

3 years old

4 years old

5 years old

We have our battles. He still has to test his boundaries constantly. We have to practice being consistent. But, he is a sweet, smart and very loving boy. I hear many unprompted I love you’s and they make my heart swell.

Watching him interact with his little brother has been amazing. I can see the love he has for his sibling and Cole loves to watch his big brother. I have hope that they will be the best of friends.

Some of Ian’s favorite things: Watching movies (Toy Story 3 and The Lion King are on a never ending loop it seems), riding his scooter or tricycle, playing board games with mommy and daddy, snuggling on the couch, the color blue, fruit of any kind and his Papa and Vivi.

Height – 41 inches
Weight – 36 pounds

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Week In My Life – Friday, Saturday and Sunday

As the week went on last week, the less energy I had. I tried to keep up with documenting what was going on, but my brain just wasn’t keeping up. I will hit the highlights.

Friday

Friday morning Ian had an appointment with his physical therapist. Ian has walked on his toes almost since he started walking. We have watched it over the years with his Pediatrician and at his 4 year well check we were referred to a Pediatric PT. It took me a while to get around to making the appointments since my pregnancy with Cole was so complicated. Anyway, at the appointment we got Ian’s leg braces to stop him from toe walking. He will have to wear them for about 6 months. He calls them his Spiderman boots.

After we picked up his braces we had to hit Stride Rite to buy some new shoes for him to wear with his braces. What I didn’t know until we got them is that he has to wear shoes with them at all times. And he is supposed to wear them whenever he is awake. He doesn’t wear them full time right away, we work up to that. However, I see many battles happening since as soon as he gets home from school he strips his shoes and socks off.

When we got to Stride Rite they were a little busy, so we had to wait for someone to help us. We didn’t wait long though and I only had to tell Ian to put shoes back that he picked up twice. There were some Star Wars theme ones on display that he gravitated towards immediately. We found a pair of shoes that worked on his braces on the first try. The shoes are 2 sizes bigger than his regular shoes though to accommodate the braces and look humongous on his feet.

Once we finished up with shoe shopping we hit a McDonald’s drive thru on the way home for lunch. When we got home I was pretty much done with outings with two kids alone for the day.

Saturday

I woke up to a nice surprise Saturday morning. My first birthday gift, a day early.

This was a gift from my Dad and Stepmom. The stones are the birthstones of my two boys. Ian’s is Citrine and Cole’s is Peridot.

The rest of Saturday was spent cleaning the house and playing in the yard since it was such a beautiful day. Here is where I failed to remember to pick up the camera. I should have pictures of Ian playing on his playset, helping me brush the dog and playing on his rocking horse. But I don’t. So let’s pretend there are pictures here of those things. Cole happily watched the action from his bouncy seat in the shade of the patio umbrella. The rest of the day was just as low key.

Sunday

My 35th birthday and the day that Jack came home from Ohio. Hallelujah, help with the kids.

Jack’s flight arrived at 9:45 in the morning, so right after we got out of bed we started getting dressed and ready to pick him up from the airport. Once we retrieved him and got home we spent the morning relaxing and I let Jack nap a bit since he had to get up at 4 in the morning to catch his flight home.

In the afternoon I took the opportunity to get out without two kids in tow and went to Dick’s Sporting Goods to get some new socks for Ian. He needed tube socks that would go underneath his leg braces. I also stopped by Cold Stone to pick up a birthday cake or 3 for myself.

I totally deserved 3 birthday cakes and they were delicious. One was strawberry ice cream with red velvet cake, one was chocolate cake with chocolate ice cream and the last was cookies and cream ice cream with chocolate cake. I was nice and shared with my family.

Since I hadn’t had the chance to run all week long I went for a run when I was done shopping. The run was, in a word, sucktastic. It was hot and I felt sluggish. The thing about running though is that even if it sucks when you are doing it, you always feel good when you are done. I am still ridiculously slow. I have to keep reminding myself that I had a baby 2 months ago and had major abdominal surgery to get that baby out.

My husband was sweet and went out got me a Chipotle burrito the size of my head for my birthday dinner. Something I only get every now and then because I can’t help but eat the WHOLE thing. He also made a side stop and got me a little birthday gift. A remote for my Nikon! He saw one of my tweets about needing one and picked one up when he went out to get me dinner. We spent the rest of night flopped on the couches since we had indulged in so much food!

Final Thoughts

This documenting thing was HARD work. Next time I do it I need to take more pictures and carry my camera around with me. I think it would be easier to remember to document if my husband had been home. My brain was more focused on the kids and surviving the week alone than anything else. I am so happy that I was able to capture some of week. It will be nice to look back on this next year after Cole and Ian have grown so much more.

Thanks to Melissa at Adventuroo for the push to give this a try!

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