My Buddy’s first month home


*ONE MONTH OLD PICS*

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Dear Buddy,

The Mommy can’t believe how much love you have brought into our family.  Who knew there was room for more love!?!?   There was!  From the moment I saw you, I deemed you mine.  I know you’re Daddy’s too, but I knew you were my person.  When I was in a lot of pain in the hospital, they would put your naked little baby body on my bare tummy.  I have no idea how, but you healed me in those moments.  You lessened my pain, and relaxed me to the point of almost napping.  You took care of Mommy . Even The Daddy noticed you made me feel better in those painful times.   I knew You were going to hang onto me and be the epidomy of a Momma’s Boy.  My sweet boy, I was right.  You are MY boy.  My Buddy.  You like my smell, you like my skin, you like the clothes I wear, you like my blanket, you like my special bounces and rocks, and you LOVE TO STARE AT MY FACE.   It melts me into a pile of mush sometimes.  I can’t help but to think I’m kind of a big deal to you.

Here’s how you look at me (I feel like you’re thinking “HEY MOMMA, when did you get here????”:

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In your first month you:

  • Are amazing at staring contests.
  • GREW TO 11 LBS.
  • Know how to hang on to the Mommy’s shirts so she can’t get away when you fall asleep.  See:IMG_4328 IMG_4498
  • rolled from front to back
  • are starting to smile on purpose:
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  • are making tiny coos maybe a few times a day, but I just know you’ll get the hang of cooing soon!
  • grew out of newborn size clothes
  • Grew a mustache :
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  • Sleep 2.5 hours straight before you need the Mommy to feed you.
  • are starting to show signs of being almost ready to hold your own head up.  My strong boy!

Favorite things:

  • Boobs
  • Milk
  • The scent of boobs.
  • Mommy and her stare-worthy face
  • Poopin’
  • Tootin’
  • Peeing with a ridiculously forceful stream sure to go all the way across the room.
  • Soothie pacifiers with animals attached.

I can’t wait to see all of your milestones unfold.  We are so lucky that The Daddy has the Mommy stay at home so that no moments will go unseen!  The best gift a Daddy can give to a Mommy is to let her stay at home and watch her precious babies every single day.

You make my life better.  You make me smile every single day, even if it’s a bad day!  You make me want to do more for my family and be a better person for you guys!

I love you more than words could begin to describe, you, your sister, and your father completely fill my heart.

Love,

The Mommy

 

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The boobie files


I latch sometimes, but find myself pumping a lot more. This is because I have a toddler who doesn’t breastfeed and who doesn’t care if I need time to breastfeed her brother. Or sees this time as an opportunity to get into EVERYTHING that she shouldn’t. She’s smart like that. I figured I would make a list of the things I like to do when I am bored during my pumping sessions. They usually last 15-20 minutes depending on how engorged I am.

These lists are made from a person who owns the most amazing product available: a pumping bra.

This list is for my pumper peeps who are plugged into a wall and do not have free reign to move wherever they want:

 

  • Download the words with friends app.
  • Download the scramble with friends app. (My personal favorite game!!)
  • Get a Vine account and enjoy all the neat video clips- make some of your own too! This is a new discovery for me and I have already wasted hours of my life on it in 2 days.
  • Tetris. (I’ve seriously played tetris the entire 20 minutes I’ve pumped before)
  • Facebook. DUH.
  • Paint your nails – just enough time to dry without causing pesky dings.

 

If you have a fancy freestyle pump that allows you to walk around while pumping:

*Keep in mind, even if you do have a freestyle pump that allows you to “do things”, you can’t bend over, all of your milk will dump out into the floor. Lets be real ladies, WE DO CRY OVER SPILLED MILK.

  • Do your makeup if you’re about to head out. (this can also be done with the plug in pump if you take your makeup and mirror to your pump location!)
  • Wash all those dirty bottles in your sink. (but don’t bend too far over- keep an eye on how full your bottles are!!)
  • Fold a load of clean clothes.
  • Style your hair.
  • Brush your teeth.
  • Pee.
  • Pump on your drive somewhere. You read that right. I will set up my freestyle pump in the car right before I leave home. I have a great pump holder bra so “look ma, no hands!!!” Then I put a cover over my front so nobody can see I’m pumping, press start, and hit the road! When you are around 20 minutes into your ride, make a pit stop at a closed business or empty gas station and remove the equipment , celebrate your tall glasses of baby milk, and drive on! Use discretion of course. Not everyone has the ability to pump and drive safely. I put my buckle on before I hook up the tubing so I’m safely restrained. (obligatory safety disclaimer: BirminghamBell is not responsible for any injuries obtained by readers who attempt to pump and drive)

 

 

Anymore suggestions would be appreciated!

XOXO

BELL

 

Sisterly Love


We can already see it budding.

She will always give him kisses.

She will try to hold him for a while.

She will give him her version of a hug….may look like strangulation, but it’s sweet.

She pets him now, without breaking out a game of wack a mole on his face anymore.

She says BABY.  SO CUTE.

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I just can’t wait to see how their relationship evolves over time.

People worry about the first child feeling unloved or believe that the parents have to divide their love between two now, and I’m not a part of those beliefs.

I love them both equally.  My love for Harper has not faded an inkling.  But I have new love in my life now.  Instead of my love, I have my loves.

Now I get to see them love each other.  Oh heart be still.

I get to see a sister love a brother and a brother love a sister.

I get to see John’s love for 2.  Then I have even more love for him.

All that love might make ya just explode!!!!

XOXO

Bell

TWO


What’s it like with TWO under TWO you ask?

Well I’m halfway into my second month with my 2, so it’s high time I tell you guys how it’s been over here in bama.

Also, prepare yourself for the photo dump since I have literally posted 3 times since the birth of our son.

Here’s a few nineteen before I start:

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I was terrified for John to go back to work, and for my mother to go back home, leaving me alone with 2 children that would certainly eat me alive.

The day came.  It was pretty awesome.  Harper must have had some purple drank in her bottle because she slept until TEN that morning.  TEN!!!!  She literally NEVER does that.  Praise Jesus, ya’ll!  By the time she woke up, John Tyler and myself had rested up from our hectic night and I was able to get up feeling somewhat rested while he snoozed in my bed.  Harper was in a good mood too.  A change from the previous week.  She had been hell on wheels for a few weeks.  Thank you lord for lifting her brat tastic mood.  My sweet baby was back!!!!!  I set her up with a movie and went downstairs to make her breakfast.  She was contently waiting for me when I came back up with her yogurt/banana/granola mix.

Here’s why she was mean to me the first few weeks of being home.  6 teeth at once.  SIX TEETH AT ONCE.

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While my big baby was playing in her playroom, my little tiny buddy was just snoozin’ in Momma’s bed!

So Harper and I play/clean up the house a little and right around nap time, guess who I hear waking up?  You guessed it!! John Tyler.  He was ready to play.

Harper went down for her normal nap and I snuggled up to feed my buddy.  Then (thank ya jesus!) he was ready to go right back to sleepy town with Momma.  Momma needed that sleepy time.

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Nap time was beautiful.  It lasted around 3 hours.  And I actually go to sleep an hour of it!  🙂  SCORE!

Soon, John was home to see any possible damage.  Other than the lack of dinner or housework, he was pleased.  I had kept them alive.

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Days like this happen more than I had expected.

Then there are DARK days where I’m sure they pow wow on how to break me down to a tiny ball of frustration.

They turn me into a woman that wants to drink.  (disclaimer:  I don’t actually drink.  Tried it the other night, didn’t like it, didn’t get past beer #1.)

There are usually 1-2 more magical days than dark days, I’ll take it.

Dark days are the days we stay home and dare not venture out, for it will surely create the perfect storm.

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How the work involving the babies has been impacted:

The work is not double.  No no no no no…it is triple or even quadruple.

The number of diapers used on a daily basis has greatly increased.  We probably go through triple the diapers as opposed to when we only had Harper around.

We change our sheets 2x a week MINIMUM.  I have become a vile woman who is not above sleeping in a little urine if it’s 3am when the incident occurs.

I create double the laundry I used to -from being vomited on, leaked on, peed on, etc.  John tyler always has a nice load (no pun intended) for us too, he throws up on, poops on, or pees on about 3 outfits a day/1 a night.  Good thing the kid has more clothes than a grown man.

All hands on deck is ideal.  If we are both at home, one of us  needs to pick a baby and be its person.  It’s a “This one is yours and this one is mine” sort of living.  Your journey is a success if you keep your designated baby alive.

If we are both home and decide to go to a store, we have to pick one to accompany us while parent #2 stays at home with the other baby.

If dinner is desired and you’ve had one of those “perfect storm” days, tell parent 2 to pick something up on the way or suggest a frozen dinner from the house.  I can pull a nice dinner off on magical days, but I can barely eat a single teddy graham  all day on those DARK days!  I have only eaten lunch at home 1 time in the last 3 weeks.  Whatever.  More weight watchers points for me at 11pm when I can REALLY eat.

 

I hope everyone else I used to be internet land friends with is okay and surviving well with their new babies!!!

XOXO

Bell

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Things I’m sure are true:


  1. If I wash this baby’s head, he won’t smell like baby anymore.
  2. If I take him out of his carseat in public, a ninja baby snatcher will appear and steal him from me.
  3. That his runny right eye is not from a “clogged tear duct” as the doctor told me, but it’s really from his first day home, when he peed in his own eye.
  4. I suffer from shower schizophrenia. I hear baby cries the entire shower. Nobody is crying in the house.
  5. The baby doesn’t care much for me when I take a shower and wash the “boob smell” off.

These things are all true and legit.

They just are.

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“Two of my favorite things, Mommy”

Being released into the wild


I had forgotten all of my newborn rules from when Harper was born. I was a fool not to look back at the posts from those first few weeks.

You really need to do/know some things to survive life after newborn. Mostly you need to know some things about leaving your safe little home.

Here are some things I just had to share:

  1. When you are ready to be “released into the wild”, take it easy. Pick familiar spots. Like, if you know everyone at the publix (like me), go to the publix. Pick your familiar cashier, even if you have to stand in a longer line or cheat your way through that stupid “1o items or less” line. Talk to the bag boy that you are certain will not steal your baby while he wheels your groceries out to the car. MAKE it a comfortable experience.
  2. Know that strangers are going to walk up to you and your new baby. Know that AT LEAST 4 people will ask you how old that baby is. Be prepared for that 1 person that is brave enough to reach their grubby hand into your dang buggy and TOUCH YOUR BABY. There is something about a pristine tiny baby that just screams “touch my hand or face and transfer ecoli from the chicken you just bought onto my germ free little body”. SH*T!!!
  3. Be prepared to hear comments that make you want to go all Naomi Campbell with a cell phone on folks. “That baby is hungry”, “Does he not like to wear socks”?, “Oh you’re pumping instead of breastfeeding?”…..The last one gets me. It happens every day almost. Isn’t that strange? That someone, even a stranger would say that?? Listen people, I’m breastfeeding my child. Sometimes I pump BREAST milk into a bottle and feed it to him. It’s still breastfeeding, there is just an extra middle man. He’s exclusively breast fed. Get off my balls. Just simply think what you are thinking, and don’t say it out loud to whoever has decided to question your parenting skills. Deep breaths.
  4. Don’t go far from home the first few weeks home. Factor in how long you could possibly be trapped inside a vehicle with a screaming baby.
  5. Don’t shove too many errands into one outing. Pick one or two goals, and be realistic in thinking “it’s okay if I only get one of these things done”.
  6. Plan your life in 2 hour increments. Think about feeding baby right before you leave the house and start your timer. Know that 2 hours (maybe more maybe less) later you will have a hungry baby and your breasts may be bursting at the seams.
  7. Keep a whole pack of diapers and wipes in your car. That way you can pack just one diaper in your purse and know that you are set up for car refills at all times while you’re out. (While you’re at it, stick a pacifier, extra set of baby clothes, extra momma shirt, and a burp rag in there too) You can never be too prepared. Let’s face it, we have had a baby sucking our brains out through our boobs, we forget lots of things.
  8. Don’t only bring food for baby. Do yourself a favor and buy purse-friendly munchies for yourself.
  9. If you feel like you’re not ready to go out in public yet, it’s fine!! WAIT!! Don’t let anyone pressure you into it, for some people (LIKE ME) it’s a big leap to go back out into public with a tiny human after being safely locked in your home with him for 3 weeks. My indicator to take it slow was an almost complete meltdown over a sandwich that was made incorrectly. I literally had to leave the restaurant because I was about to cry over lettuce being on my sandwich. LETTUCE!!! I didn’t even have my babies with me!!
  10. This one is for at home but I’m on a roll, so here: buy snacks or pre made goodies and shove them wherever you spend most of your time. If you’re like me, you’re not going to be cooking yourself lunch every day (actually if you’re like me, you won’t have made yourself a hot lunch for the first 3 weeks). I can’t tell you how many times I have been digging through a bag of cookies at 2-3am while pumping or feeding. The kid has crumbs in his hair pretty consistently.

This is where I feel most comfortable so far, and I think it shows:

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Hope this list was helpful!!

XOXO

Bell

Baby 2.0’s birth story


On March 29th at 0815, I, along with my sister in law, paid the second visit to my OB in that week.

After the countless false alarms and being sent home every single appointment with a nice “you’re cervix is closed TIGHT” comment, I really just figured that everything remained the same.

They weren’t.

I had started to finally dilate.

I probably asked the doctor if she was just kidding about 10 times before heading to labor and delivery. I’m pretty sure that even though it’s her job to deal with pregnant women, she was glad to finally get this baby out of me.

At 0900 I was getting settled in labor triage and texting John to not even bother going into work. The nurses were nice enough to let me power shave my legs in the sink before they put in my IV. After the IV, I continued to put makeup on and paint my nails PERFECTLY. They’ve never turned out as good as they did that morning!

As I laid there in the triage room, I wasn’t scared. It was the strangest thing.

Once you’ve experienced a semi-traumatic birth, you have something to compare to your second, and it was night and day from when I had Harper. You can read about that birth story HERE and HERE. I just drifted off into thinking about how stressful of a situation Harper’s birth was and thinking “THIS IS NOTHING – YOU WENT THROUGH HELL THE FIRST TIME”! I knew (for the most part) that my birth plan would be followed, it wouldn’t deviate like last time. I KNEW what was happening soon. I didn’t have to worry about every single moment this time. It was amazing to me that I didn’t have to be terrified.

11:00 rolled around and the man who I almost named my first child after, came to give me my epidural. I’ll never forget that man from Harper’s birth. NEVER. I was anxious that I would be scared when he came in, and then I wasn’t!

Within 5 minutes of his arrival, he pushed some sort of magical juice through my IV and he had the epidural placed. It was time for John to come back into the room. I WAS JACKED UP. I imagine it’s what people who do heroine feel like. I didn’t want to talk to anyone because I wasn’t confident that my tongue would even cooperate. I shut my eyes and enjoyed the ride.

About 11:50 I was wheeled into the OR. This was the only part that I was scared. I was scared because I remembered how it felt to be moved from my stretcher to the operating table. It was still a scary ordeal because you feel like you’re about to hit the floor, and your dang legs don’t work! Luckily that was quickly over and I was heading back to narcotic land, shutting my eyes and waiting for John to come in. When I was in this position with Harper’s birth, I was shaking so violently that the doctor had to give me something to calm me down. It looked like I was seizing back then! Night and day, people.

John came in a few minutes after noon to sit with me and wait.

At 12:09 I could see my body shifting and moving from the pulling they were doing to get the baby out, and then we heard him cry for the very first time! Apparently he also peed on me as soon as he came out. A great indicator of what was to come.

There you go! Boring right? I’M SO GLAD IT WAS BORING.

Some people will tell you that C sections are an easy way out of labor. I had no way to tell if I could have him VBAC so soon after a previous C section. He never dropped down and for the most part, I had no cervical change. My body was indicating that I would not be able to deliver vaginially, just like the first time. I wasn’t willing to go through the trauma again. It was too much the first time. It’s something that will stick with me. Everyone told me it would go away and I would not even remember it, so not true! It was easy to do (to skip labor, that is), however It wasn’t an easy decision to make though, I knew what a C section recovery looked like, and it wasn’t pleasant.

Although the birth was an easy experience, the recovery was harder. I still have no idea why. The only explanations I can think of is that they had to reopen an old incision to get the baby, or they had to dig him out of me, making the whole process brutal. My stomach was crazy swollen until 2 weeks post partum. I still looked 7 months pregnant, and that was a hard thing to deal with! I just needed more time with this one. After 2.5 weeks, I am of course, not fully recovered, but a version of my old self is starting to emerge. I am slowly picking up more and more household duties and am able to hit the road in my car! Baby steps!

I’m hoping all of my formerly pregnant people out there had a good birth because almost all of you were due the same month I was!

XOXO

Bell

 

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What are you going to do when you have 2 of them!?


Exactly what we are doing now, keeping them both alive!

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We were home on April 1st (HAHA world), to begin our REAL journey on having both a new born AND a toddler! I was excited to get Harper back from family because I felt like when she saw me in the hospital, she didn’t want anything to do with me, so I missed her, I especially missed her favoritism towards me.

I really don’t even remember much about the first day home. I ate some french fries for lunch that I’m certain Jesus Christ himself made. John Tyler got to take his first nap in his very own nursery. Glad he liked it because he didn’t see much of that nursery for the first 2 weeks of his life!! I’m pretty sure this was the day I realized that Harper was mad at me. I’m not sure it was the whole “having a baby” thing, I think it was more that I had been absent for a week. She wasn’t cool with that. I was her favorite. Not anymore. I was probably hooked up to the milk factory machine that day and night every 2 hours when I wasn’t having him latch on. I really took advantage of latching at night when I was WAY too tired to pump and could just lay him at my side. He ate, I snoozed.

The entire first week home is a blurred mess in my brain. I’ll try to piece it together.

I would have DIED if John wasn’t home. I’m not sure how anyone in the world can take care of their toddler after having a c section. I couldn’t pick Harper up, couldn’t change her diaper, couldn’t chase after her, nothing! This didn’t help to pushing me further into the least favorite parent category for her. When I would take my medication, I was tired, but functioning. If I skipped it, I paid for it. I would have to have help drying my legs off after a shower, and putting pants and underwear on. The pain was that bad without the medicines. The recovery with Harper was NOT this bad. I was never so bruised feeling with her, I think they had to dig baby brother out of my ribs with a crowbar. That is the only explanation as to why I am STILL sore in my ribs.

The days were filled with asking John to bring me buckets of ice water to suck down, as well as any meals we required. There’s NO cooking the first week when you have 2 babies. I cried during the days, and John Tyler cried during the nights! We had understood shifts. We were lucky enough to have family help us out by taking Harper a few nights, because we REALLY needed that time in the morning to sleep in and recover from the night before. I forgot that when I only had one newborn to worry about, I could lay back down with her to nap or to sleep in, and I would get my sleep fix. You can’t do that with 2. And if you can, do tell me the trick.

That’s all I can extract from my brain about the first week.

Here we all are in our second week home. Harper is just now coming around. It may be because I am able to hang out more because the pain is going away, or it may just be running its course. John Tyler is bigger every time I look at him after falling asleep! He had surpassed his birth weight a few days after he was born (it usually takes 2 weeks for babies to do that), so I know he is going to be a healthy boy! Harper is getting her molars, prompting her to be mean to her mother and father. I wish those things would finish coming in! I want my sweet girl back!

I am finally cooking dinner for us, a task that proved entirely too much the first week. I am able to drive since I am no longer on pain medications. The real world is nice. I missed it. If you were to ask me how long John Tyler sleeps at night, I would have no answer for you. I’m too tired to notice times and actually remember them that late at night. I *think* he may have done a few 3-3.5 hour stints, but I can’t prove it. I’m sure I will have a more documented night next week when I am the only one getting up with him at night!

Here are some questions I’ve been asked recently:

How different are things with your second in regards to how you feel about him?

I am clinging to him more because I know he is our last baby, and I know how quickly everything slips away.

Although during the day, I feel like I hold him as much as I held Harper. At night, he is with me way more than she was. I’m very focused on preventing time from getting away from me, and even time snuggling in bed is valuable.

I feel a greater sense of accomplishment with breastfeeding him. He latches perfectly, and in turn, I am not in pain when I feed him. Even though I pump a lot, he still latches like a champ. I’m okay with this.

How is he different than Harper?

He pees and throws up on me/us WAAAAYYYYY more than she did. My, what a steady, strong stream.

He is much more laid back.

Noises and lights don’t bother him.

He doesn’t really care to be bounced like Harper did. He also doesn’t care much for pacifiers. He normally spits them back out and looks at me like “that was a fraud”!!

He doesn’t require a swaddle to sleep well.

How is he similar to Harper?

It’s hard to tell how similar he will be just yet. He does look EXACTLY like her newborn self! For real, they could be twins in the photos.

They also have the same big toe/first toe separation. However, his other toes are crazy long. Like chimpanzee stuff.

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He was born with a nice little genetic mohawk. One difference in his hair and hers, is he has a sweet little “water tornado” swirl at the tip of his mohawk!

Benefits of having 2 so far:

  • Being able to see him wear some of the gender neutral things that she wore.

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(like this)

  • Watching Harper come up to him and kiss him without us prompting her to do it. It’s especially refreshing when just the week prior, she would walk up to him and smack him as hard as she could. :/ He needs a helmet this first year. She will need a helmet next year.
  • My baby wearing will soon be in full force. I like baby wearing.
  • We finally have a sufficient number of pacifiers laying around.

I hope everyone was able to read that post and not think I’m a complete idiot. My brain is just mush. It’s hard to extract much from it just yet. I will try to leave a short birth story up soon, because really, it’s the thing to do as a blogger.

I miss everyone on here and am going to try to be more of a presence – my 100 daily readers are very important to me and I’m starting to miss the interaction!

XOXO

Bell

 

 

 

I’ve been trying to figure out who he looks most like. Here are some options:

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