Tuesday, January 28

His Tribe

TT views his family as his tribe.  We are his people, his tribe.  And he does NOT like it when his tribe gets separated.  We all must stay together.

Thankfully, when ERP was born, TT gladly welcomed him into his tribe right from the beginning.

If TT looses a member of his tribe in his house he'll walk around asking for them.  When we are out and about he does NOT like it if we separate, say Husband takes RR for a haircut while I take TT and ERP to the grocery store.  This makes him mad.  Sometimes he'll pitch a fit, other times he'll behave badly.  He cries and cries.  He feels the need to keep his people together.

He's OK when RR goes to school, its part of the routine.

But other times when we pick up another family member - say Nana or Ney-Ne - he'll get upset when we leave their company.

He loves his family and wants them to stay together as much as possible.  I wonder how he'll do when I go back to work in another month.

Saturday, January 18

The Land of Crazy

When I was 32 weeks pregnant and TT was 32 months old I thought I had entered The Land of the Crazy.

I was (am) a member of a tandem breastfeeding on-line support group and I remember shortly after I had the above thought someone posted asking if they were crazy for wanting to tandem nurse.  Being a support group the overwhelming response was "no"; but it was so reassuring to see someone else expressing feelings about being crazy to want to tandem nurse.

Technically tandem nursing starts when you are breastfeeding while pregnant; and carries on as long as you are nursing more than one child.

So it's out there now.  I am still nursing TT.  Yes, at nearly 3 years old; 42-inches and 50 pounds TT is still nursing.  I think many people who know me assume this; but unless you are in my inner circle you didn't know this as a fact.

When I started out nursing TT I had no idea how long we would nurse.  At first I set small milestones - 6 months, 12 months, 18 months.  Then I thought it would be cool if we made it to two years.

Shortly after TT turned two we found out we were expecting our next bundle of baby joy; and we let nature take her course, knowing that tandem nursing promotes sibling bonding while reducing sibling rivalry.  It seemed like a win-win situation.

Nursing during pregnancy was interesting; there were times I was certain TT was going to wean - only to be proven wrong.  While I was pregnant, I was away from him on several multi-night occasions; and seeing he was only nursing morning and night then each time I was away was an opportunity for him to decide he was done nursing.  (Clearly, we are following child-lead weaning.)  Once I was gone for a weekend camping trip for Cub Scouts with RR and once I was on a business trip.  Neither time did I feel like I was loosing my milk supply and neither time did I get engorged.  The business trip was so far along in my pregnancy; I actually did not have a milk supply.

Yes, you can nurse when you have no milk.  It's called comfort nursing and it is very typical for this to occur when you're pregnant.  For most women, their milk supply dries up around 20 weeks; as it did for me.  And then a few weeks later your colostrum comes in; again  as it did for me.

Dry nursing was painful.  Not childbirth painful; but more painful than a splinter.

Actually a lot of time it was painful to nurse while pregnant.  Those damn hormones.

So you ask; why do it?  Why not wean?  For the above reasons; and because it was our special time and part of TT's daily routine.

Thankfully, I did not experience any nursing aversions.  This is when the mom dreads nursing, she may become sick to her stomach, her skin gets a creepy crawly feeling.  Honestly, if I had experienced any of those signs I am not sure what would have happened.

When we were dry nursing and my colostrum was just starting to come in TT was done to nursing once a day; and then he was nursing every other day.  And I was OK if he weaned.  I really wanted to tandem nurse, but this was about him and I had made peace with the possibility of weaning.  But he didn't.

When ERP was born and had to be taken to the nursery for monitoring and I was still trying to deliver that stubborn placenta (I still owe you that story) I called out to Husband "don't let them give him formula"; and when Husband came back and needed colostrum for ERP I was easily able to hand express 2 ounces in a small medicine cup.  The hospital staff was outwardly impressed and I was beaming with pride; knowing I could produce so much and internally I thanked TT because I knew it was his nursing that had my system running so well so soon.

The first time I tamden nursed was the next day in the hospital; when my mom brought the Big Boys to see me.  TT was doing his best toddler nursing gymnastics; stretching his leg as high up to the ceiling as he could while looking around the room.  My mom laughed at us.  ERP happily chugged away.

Having my mom laughing at the humor in that situation helped.  She had asked a few times before ERP came along when we were going to wean TT, glad to see she has come to accept the extended nursing relationship.  And obviously Husband is a huge help and supporter and finds humor in all of it as well.

So here we are.  ERP is over 6 weeks old and both boys are happily nursing.  ERP is (obviously nursing 12 times a day - but honestly, I don't really keep track) and TT is nursing 3 to 6 times a day (depending on the day).  Sometimes they nurse together.  Most of the time they nurse separately.

When they nurse at the same time; it is so sweet.  TT likes to hold ERP's hand or stroke his head.  But it is also a challenge.  Sometimes I feel like a dairy cow; especially when TT is trying to see just how far my breast will stretch.  Sometimes I feel a little "touched out".  But most of the time, it is totally relaxing.  To hold and nourish 2 out of 3 boys at one time; the amount of love I feel is incredible.  I feel so at peace with the world, so complete, so blessed.  (OK, it's probably has to do with the super dose of oxytocian being released.)  It truly seems like a miracle.

When the boys nurse individually I am relaxed and calm and cherish my time alone with them.  When TT is done nursing he tells me "Gene's boobies"; indicating he knows his turn is over and he is sharing with ERP.  I love this.

Yup.... I entered the Land of Crazy, I am tamden nursing and I love it.

Sunday, January 12

The Power Of....

The stage is set -

It is 5:30pm.  The Big Boys are running around the house like idiots (and I use that term lovingly).  The living-room is a disaster, couch pillows are thrown about, the Thomas Train chair is tipped over in the middle of the floor, all of the books are off the bottom of the bookshelf.  Husband is in the kitchen going over the repairs he did to his uncle's computer with him and finding out what repairs need to be done to his cousin's computer from him cousin.  Dinner, chili; is thankfully done and simmering on the stove.

ERP and I are sitting on the couch.  I am trying to comfort nurse him; he is suckling some and then popping off and crying.  I send the Biggest Boy for a swaddler.  I plan on trying to sway and sush ERP in hopes of calming him.

ERP has been having terrible gas pains for the last hour.  Husband had gotten him calmed some and ERP took a cat nap, but that is over and he is pissed.  I've given him gas drops and let him nurse all he wants.  Gas pains suck.  Baby hates them, parents hate them more.

ERP is wailing.  Screaming.  He is not happy.

Enter stage left; my mom and her boyfriend.  Right on time for our dinner date, they come baring cornbread and double chocolate cake.

I suggest to my mom that she go across the street (yes, I live in the middle of nowhere with a liquor store across the street, convenient at times - yes.) and get some beer.  Beer goes excellent with chili and a crying baby (drink while nursing or right after nursing, never nurse if you are feeling the affects of the drink).  My mom offers to take ERP so I can go get the beer.

I step outside, the night air is warm for January.  It feels like rain, but it isn't raining.  It is quiet outside.  A few minutes later I am armed with Sea Dog Blueberry Wheat Ale and back in my house.

But now my house is different.  Husband is done taking care of the computer business, the Big Boys are quieter.  But more importantly, ERP is done crying.  My mom is rocking him and he is asleep.

I pass around beers - sorry, none for the boys; and set the table.  My mom transfers ERP to his vibrating seat, and he continues to sleep.  He sleeps through all of dinner.  And dessert.  And us sitting and talking afterwards, relaxing.

It feels like a miracle.  I know Husband or I could have gotten ERP to settle down; we have mad baby calming skills; but sometimes you just need the power of grandma.

Wednesday, January 8

1 Month

My littlest man turned 1 month old the other day.  I can't believe it.

He is just the sweetest little guy around.  Sure I am a little partial, but really he is an easy going baby.  Maybe this has something to do with him being baby #3 and I am just that much more relaxed, but he's just been such a joy. I can tell when we are going through a growth spurt and I can just roll with the constant needing to nurse and be held.

This first month saw our first trip to the ER.  Gene was all stuffed up, as most babies are and his big brothers were sick.  I was worried about his breathing, called his ped's office, the after hours nurse listened to him over the phone and told us to go the the ER.  Thankfully his O2 levels were fine and we were home quickly.
ERP has met so many new people, not that he would remember any of them - and there are still tons of people waiting to meet him.  I love showing off my baby, except when he's sleeping - then you need to wait to hold him.

Speaking of sleep; for the most part, ERP is excellent at night.  He is waking about 2 times a night, which this mama is also loving.

Lots of loving in this post - I think I am in some sort of honeymoon phase with my little one.

ERP is breastfed all the way.  He's had a couple bottles of my milk from Husband or RR, but he doesn't do so well with them (lots of dribble and air getting sucked in).

He graduated out of preemie and newborn size diapers, but I must say not all size 1 diapers are created equal, some are much bigger than others.  Either way we are getting closer and closer to using the cloth diapers with him (I am guessing he's a little over 8 lbs. now).  He is still wearing newborn size onesies and clothes, but some of his 0-3 outfits are fitting better, again not all 0-3 size clothes are created equal and some outfits just swim on him.

Not only does he have me and Husband wrapped around his little finger, he also has his brothers.  The Big Boys are incredibly good with him.  TT is the first to go running when he cries, running to help that is.  RR loves to hold him and read to him.  ERP is certainly lucky to have such wonderful brothers.

Saturday, January 4

The Big Ones

I'm sitting here thinking about how ERP is 4 weeks old today which leads me to thinking that I needed to post about this last week on his blog.... and it occurs to me, I should update you all on the two older ones.  The Big Boys.

So TT; he's a riot.  Seriously.  He is a funny guy.  His vocabulary is really coming along.  He says the cutest things sometimes.  Right before Christmas he started walking around says "Seen-ta, Seen-ta, Ho-ho-ho".  On Christmas morning while we were opening gifts he started saying "Open, Open, Ho-ho-ho."  Way too cute!!  His potty training, if you can call it that; is still coming along nicely.  We're really following his lead.  We went from him needing to be naked to use the potty to wearing undies and taking down his pants to use the potty.  And we've made a few quick outings with him wearing undies under his jeans, instead of diapers.  Peanut-butter is by far his favorite food.  He prefers it on crackers and toast.  He calls a PB sandwich a "toast sandwich".

RR is becoming your typical pre-teen.  I can't believe he is going to be 10 next this month.  Wow!!  Where has time gone?  He seems to really be enjoying 4th grade.  This favorite books center around history or mythological creatures.  He is still active in Cub Scouts and will be earning his Webelos badge in February.  He is obsessed with computer games, to the point where we need to be really strict about on-line time as he will play, watch videos about and research on his favorite games all day.  Did I mention ALL. DAY.

And it needs to be said, they are BOTH super extra awesome big brothers.  Both of the Big Ones are so in love with ERP and are ready to play and hold him any chance they get.

Wednesday, January 1

Stardate: January 1, 2014 09:38

Happy New Year Everyone!!

Right now in The House of Two-Eggs:

ERP is laying on Husband's chest, wide awake, facing out and doing his "snorty" breathing.  He's had nasal congestion for the last few days.  He's wearing the cutest little ducky outfit.  Husband is rocking the teenage mutant turtles sleeper pants.

TT is sitting on the couch, riveted to the TV.  He's watching Leap Frog Numberland and is counting happily along with the video.  He's chilling in a pair of planes underwear.  Potty training is coming along wonderfully.  He had a mini whole wheat bagel and an apple for breakfast.

RR is still sleeping.  We let him stay up till midnight with us, and Husband told me he was crabbing at RR at 1:45am to go to sleep.

I'm on the recliner, enjoying a cup of coffee Husband made for me.  He brewed it in the rose mug he bought me when we first started dating.  Husband makes a mean cup of coffee.  I've started getting migraines again since ERP was born and my midwife suggests a cup of coffee or other caffeine drink each morning.  I am chilling in a pair of black yoga pants and a oversized purple sweatshirt I stole from my mother's boyfriend when ERP was born.

The house is clean, but cluttered.  Toys are everywhere, and we are still decorated for Christmas.  We'll keep the tree up until at least this weekend (The Ephiphany is 01/05).

Plans today include making a list of 2014 goals with Husband, and making some beef in the crockpot and baking some bread, and writing out invites for RR's 10th birthday.

Snow is expected to start overnight and end sometime on Friday.  I foresee school vacation being extended into next week for RR.

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