27 August 2014

Becoming a [working] mother of two

Having a {ONE} baby was a breeze. When she slept I could sleep. She grew and got undivided attention all the time. I could take her on walks. Exercise at will. Drive places. Anywhere really. I didn't have to really cater to a schedule at first because she just slept all the time. We were on the move.
Having a second baby, I found myself unable to sleep those extra hours in the morning. After Piper would wake up to nurse, she went back to sleep. Probably no more than 10 minutes after I close my eyes to fall back to sleep, little Miss Bright Eyes herself comes bouncing into the room, announcing "Mommy, it's morning time. I am ready for my breakfast." While I was on maternity leave I would usually entertain and get her ready for the day and drop her off at school, then come home to cuddle Piper. Now I no longer have this luxury.

They say sleep when baby sleeps, but this really only applies to a first born baby. Fortunately Piper is a great sleeper and while i'm tired as any new mom would be, (nursing a 20lb. infant will do that to you), i'm not red eyed and absent minded because she sleeps all night, every night, and almost always has. Unfortunately, Piper usually wants to be awake during Sloan's afternoon nap, which has lent to early bed times. Which is totally fine for me.

The few times Rick and I stay awake a little later to do adult things: like jumping on the furniture and watching trash TV, we both drag through the next day. Fortunately these adult things are well worth the drag.

Here is average day now that I am back to work:
 I handle Sloan's wake up by getting her to lie in bed with me (in the event she wakes before 7am  - her clock doesn't always work to keep her in bed). Sometimes we all fall back asleep until 8:30 (OOPS) and then find ourselves scrambling to get out the door by 9. (but totally manageable)
If it is 7am or later, her clock is green which means WAKE UP TIME. "Mommy , my tock is GREEN, time to get up!"

I have Sloan dress herself, pick anything, i don't care! And while she does that, I jump into the shower. Piper sleeps until Sloan is dressed and then usually she gets the big sis wake up. Sometimes I can occupy Sloan in the bathroom with me by playing "Store". Sloan will take pretend items and purchase them from me, or sell them to me. I am the master of make believe (I used to spend hours on my grandfathers farm making little villages out of sticks for imaginary little people and possibly even fairies. That's another story for another day)

Once we are all dressed, we head downstairs and I feed Sloan. Two mornings out of the week I pump a bottle. [Monday and Tuesdays Bottles come from Friday and Saturday Pumping sessions]. By the time we get to Tuesday afternoon, assuming I pump on Monday morning, I have enough milk for the entire week and only have to pump once at the office, during the time Piper gets a bottle, in order to maintain production.  Some of these bottles are one ounce shy of pure cream. No wonder Piper is such a healthy chunk!  I end up freezing a lot of milk every Friday afternoon.

You should see my freezer stash! 

Getting out the door is down to an art, pre-made bottles are ready in the fridge, I toss one into Piper's bag. Once again, I am able to nurse baby Piper once a day, and pump a second bottle while they feed her one. Fortunately I called my insurance company and I qualified for a FREE pump, so i got the identical one to what I already had at home and it is SO much easier to not have to lug it back and forth. I only carry into work my little cooler and flanges (to wash at home of course) Something about washing the parts that have touched my breasts in the shared kitchen at work in a 90% male environment makes me feel a bit awkward, so i wash those parts at home and bring them back every day. But they weigh nothing and fit right inside my cooler so no big deal.

The other big difference between one and two is now that i'm dropping the kids off in two different buildings and nursing Piper mid-morning/lunch time, I don't have a lot of "ME" time. This is only temporary.

Today I started taking the stairs. Being on the top floor, i have to get exercise somehow. I walk to feed Piper, but the distance is not that far. Here is a picture of the back door to Pipers class and my building in the background. Am I spoiled or WHAT!? :)


Returning to work definitely has it's challenges, but we are taking them in stride.  I may revisit this post in another month or two and tell you how exhausted and worn out I am, but for now, we are hanging in there. One day at a time.

13 August 2014

Hi-ho Hi-ho!

Hi-ho, hi-ho, it's off to work I go... (did you whistle too?)

I started back to work on Monday after 14 weeks off! I can't complain about the amount of time I had to spend with my little baby girl. I came back and worked 2 half days and rather than a third half day as planned, I decided I would just throw myself into work full time today. I am more of a rip the bandaid off kind of person. 

Piper isn't sure what to think about starting school.


It is an adjustment and I do really miss my baby girl(s), but we have to do what we have to do don't we? Such is life.

Piper is doing great. She cried her first day, but once they realized how well she would sleep in a swaddle, she is doing much better. Lucky for me (sarcasm alert) a bout of hand foot mouth is going around the daycare center AGAIN. (it went around while I was on leave, but Sloan was out on vacation so she didn't catch it nor did she bring it home to Piper)

Sloan moves up to the Montessori Preschool, "Children's House", next week. I am very excited for her, but also a little sad. My first baby is growing up too quickly, and is even sporting a new haircut!  I made this dress for her, and a matching one for Piper.

     

I had a great summer. We traveled, rested, cleaned, etc..  I donated TONS of clothes to charity. I have furniture to donate soon, once i get around to transporting it. I also found I had time to make dresses for the girls. What better way to match my little girls than to make the dresses myself. Sloan LOVES to dress like Piper and for now, Piper has no preference :)

This is my favorite dress thus far and I could hardly get her to hold still for all the spinning. It was an easy pattern to follow (typically I make my own patterns). I sure do love sewing and making clothes for the girls. I think I will try to make a few things for myself this fall!




and totally reversible:

I was able to make a matching set of pink polka dot with green ric-rac for the little girls of a dear friend of mine.  Aren't they adorable?


I also made all the mermaid tails for Sloan's party, the photo booth, my own mermaid skirt, a skirt for Sloan






For now, this is what gets me through the day:

07 August 2014

Sweet P - 3 months old!

Piper is three months old! We have had a very busy month and things don't look to be slowing down anytime soon! The good news is that this bundle of joy LOVES to sleep all night! On average she sleeps 8-10 hours EVERY. SINGLE. NIGHT! I can count on less than two hands the number of times she has woken up to nurse in the middle of the night since birth!
I weighed Piper fully clothed (onesie and a diaper) she is 18 lbs and 6 oz.  She is 25.5" long so according to the growth chart she is 99% for both length and weight. Piper can roll over from her front, roll to her side from her back, and sort of crawl across the floor on her belly. She tries to sit up from her car seat (like mini crunches). She is quite the chatterbox lately and loves to sing along with her big sister, but clams up as soon as she sees the camera filming her. Despite her size, Piper can really move and get around. She is very healthy, but also very strong! Most people think that she is older than she is, usually around six months.

On the 5th of July, we went to Charleston for a week and stayed on Folly Beach. Piper did a lot of sleeping and being cuddled by my parents and sister. After we left the beach, we headed to Pennsylvania for a Beeman Family reunion. It was quite the contrast to go from low altitude at the beach to the mountains of Pennsylvania. I think it bothered me more than her.


First chair lift ride for BOTH girls at Seven Springs Resort in Pennsylvania.






Piper starts school on the 11th and while i am a bit sad, I know that she will grow leaps and bounds just as her sister did.

Piper is a big baby and we often get comments that she looks like a little baby doll. Her size is definitely not slowing her down! She smiles all the time and is such a happy baby which is a great contrast from her sister who was quite a serious baby. Piper has been smiling regularly around 6 weeks and started laughing around 9 weeks. She is also starting to cut her first tooth on the lower right.

Around 2.5 months Piper started using her exersaucer.  She is so strong!



Piper is wearing 9-12 month clothing. Some of her 6 month onesies fit, but not for much longer as they are really tight.


Piper loves sleeping on her tummy. Sucking her thumb. Watching the ceiling fan. Watching big sister do anything. Talking to daddy. Bath time. Sleeping. And eating.

We might have an early mover on our hands, but only time will tell!

People (everyone) says piper looks just like her daddy. Sloan did as a baby too. But who am I to  complain. He sure does make pretty girls!