Raising a Blended Family

Three Point Five

on November 4, 2012

…weeks, that is.  Baby Boy is getting old!  Life with him and Baby Girl and Thing One has been crazy, hectic, and wonderful.  I love it.
I can’t even begin to go into all the details of our everyday lives or everything that has happened since I last updated, but I will attempt to do so with a bullet post (that hopefully the babies will let me finish).  Not promising any of this will be done in order, but since I last updated…

  • Baby Boy and Baby Girl have gotten new blog names and will henceforth be named the (Incredible) Hulk and Tiny Dictator, respectively.  Although alternate blog names were considered (the Lion, Elmer Fudd and Grumpy Old Man, for him, with consideration given to his lion-like roar, fudd-like appearance, and old man-like scowl and scratchy-throated cry; Screecher or Smiley for her for obvious reasons), the above two ultimately won out.  My son – my precious, 3-week-old baby boy – is a not-so-tiny bundle of joy.  The kid has been on this planet for less than a month and is already edging into 3-6 month clothing! His multiple chins are simultaneously an adorable feature and a lint-trapping hazard, while his chubby cheeks, arms, and fists are positively nom-able (at least to me!). Oddly enough, his legs are the only feature that have yet to plump up much (which means the cloth diapers Tiny Dictator wears are still a leak-prone hazard on him because the legs are too loose; ‘sposies it is for him, for now).  Regardless, everyone who meets him comments first on his sheer size and so we feel he has well-earned his new moniker.  As for Tiny Dictator… her favorite place for her fists to be is raised in the air, tightly clenched as she waves them around and screeches her demands. It’s adorable and very clear she’ll rule the roost one day (if she isn’t already- we like to pretend we’re still running the show!).  She, too, has earned her new nickname!
  • We took the babies and Thing One to the zoo.  On one of our first family outings, born of sheer desperation after a trip to the pumpkin patch was derailed by the patch being closed (planning skillz… we lacks dem), we detoured and found ourselves standing at the gates to the local zoo.  A lot of money and a handy-dandy pair of zoo memberships later, we were able to spend a nice day at the zoo viewing penguins, lions, and zebras, and simultaneously being viewed by all the people curious about our “twins.”  It was one of our first family outings (maybe THE first?) with all three kids and so has a special place in our memories. It was also one of my first breastfeeding-in-public experiences, as we failed to realize that the zoo had a special nursing moms’ area until we were on our way out the gates.  Oops.
  • Grandma visited! My mom flew out from San Diego, met the babies,  helped all week and it was amaaaaazing!  She was here for the babies’ first Halloween, which also happens to be her birthday, and left the day before Shorty’s birthday- which is today! It was so wonderful having her here and I nearly teared up every time I saw her holding one of the babies… it was really special and I’m so glad she could make the trip.
  • I started pumping, and The Hulk took his first bottle.  While Grandma was here, she offered to watch the babies and the kid for us so that we could have a date night.  This couldn’t happen unless The Hulk had an available food source, and thus- I learned to pump!  I only did about one session a day but I was able to get 4.5 oz per session (no idea if that’s a lot or a little) depending on the time of day (mornings are more productive!), which resulted in there being plenty of food for him when we went on our date.  We did a test run before-hand, during which I pumped milk and then Shorty fed him his first bottle.  He took it like a champ but I’m not going to lie- I teared up (read:bawled, silently) while he was drinking it.  I’m still not entirely sure why it was such an emotional moment for me- I’m glad she was able to feed him for the first time and that they were able to connect like that!- but I think it was something to do with the fact that usually, him eating is special me-and-him time, where I get to cuddle him and here his little sighs and gulps and know that we’re connected in that special way.  Watching him eat from someone else, even if it was his Mama who has been dying to be able to connect with him like that and who I swear I’m glad got the chance- was hard. It was hard to share… but I’m glad it went well because it allowed us to go on our date and opened the door to future date nights out, now that we know he’ll take a bottle.
  • Speaking of date night, we had it and it went great! It was actually date day, and it was amazing.  It’s funny how simple, everyday things become extraordinary when you’re used to doing them with three little ones in tow and suddenly it’s just adults.  We went to Ch.ili’s for lunch and actually ordered off the menu without the waitress having to ask us to repeat our orders over the howling of screaming babies… we went and walked around Tar.get and perused the Chris.tmas Crap without having to drag in the stroller, hook up the Ergos, or saying no a thousand times to the seven-year-old… we shopped (yes it was for the babies!) and had adult conversations and really just got in some quality us-time over a three hour period.  It was wonderful and I managed to only call home once to check on the babies. 😉 (Side note- who ever thought that three hours away from them would be enough to make me miss them like crazy?!  Pre-pregnant me would have laughed skeptically at this… post-pregnant me knows hormones are powerful things! I loved my three hours with my wife but I sure did miss those kids!)
  • We met with the midwives for the first time after the Hulk’s birth.  Given everything that happened, the failed home birth, and the fact that we hadn’t seen them at all since we transferred to the hospital (yesyesyes, birth story to come… part one coming soon!), it was an emotionally powerful and ultimately cathartic visit.  We were able to talk through everything, different people shared their perspectives of what was happening at different times during the labor, and they reassured me that they were not angry, nor had I “failed” by having to transfer and have the c section. I didn’t realize I was so worried about their judgement until they took the fear of blame away… I left the appointment much lighter than I walked in.  They also all met the Hulk for the first time, which was a happy moment, similar to how it felt to have Grandma meet him.  I think I just love showing off our boy.  🙂
  • We learned (are learning) how to get through a day after a sleepless night… or several of them. We are obviously still adjusting but it feels like it’s getting easier. We’re getting a routine down and, for my part, I am getting better at middle-of-the-night feedings… more coordinated, more able to stay mostly asleep so I can just drift right back off afterwards. I’m not saying it’s perfected yet, but we’re getting more used to it.  It also helps that we finally got our boxspring up off the floor and onto a frame, which means we were finally able to set up the arm’s reach cosleeper we have, which means we are finally able to sleep near the Hulk without worrying about accidentally sleeping on top of him or smothering him with our bedding. Hallelujah!
  • Tiny Dictator has started giggling and it is sooooooo cute when she does!  It’s not an all-the-time thing or an every-smile thing, and you definitely have to work for it sometimes, but that just makes those times when it does happen all the more precious and adorable.  And then there are random times where, for instance, we’ll leave her in her swing to take a shower and come out to find her cooing and giggling at herself in the mirror attached to her swing. It’s just about the most adorable thing ever. We haven’t been able to catch it on camera yet but I swear when we do there will be a video posted.
  • The Hulk has started to lift his head and look around.  Thebumpdotcom or some other random baby app informed me that I should be on the lookout for this starting this week, but Hulk actually started his head-lifting a week and a half ago.  Go him! 🙂  He’s still very wobbly at it, and will only lift it for 20-30 seconds or so to look around before unexpectedly flopping down onto your chest, but still.  It’s neat to see him take an interest in the world and want to look around, and with this newfound skill has come a desire to be sat up, rather than cuddled- the better to see the world, I suppose.  This makes Moms slightly sad sometimes- I’d much rather cuddle him close than sit him up!- but again, it’s neat to see the interest he’s taking in his surroundings.
  • Breastfeeding is well-established and going great!  He and I are relatively comfortable with each other now, and breastfeeding is starting to feel “routine” rather than new and strange.  We haven’t had any problems so far and I am wishing.hoping.praying it stays that way! I am also discovering who I am as a breastfeeder- in terms of where and in which situations I am willing to breastfeed.  I have actually surprised myself so far- before the Hulk was born the thought of breastfeeding in public made me cringe and I just assumed I’d be holed up in the car or a bathroom or something every time he wanted to nurse.  That hasn’t been the case, however- I’ve generally found that whenever he needs to eat, his needs trump any concern I might have for modesty or offending others.  I have fed him publicly at the zoo, in a restaurant, in the car at a gas station (out of necessity- he was screaming his head off and we still had a 40 minute drive ahead of us!), and at my daughter’s school during a parent-teacher conference (that one was a little weird, but again- if he needs to eat, he needs to eat and there’s nothing I can do about it!).  Of course, I am not just “whipping it out” for all to see- I do try for some discretion, with a blanket cover-up and an out-of-the-way park bench or restaurant booth- but overall, I have found that I really don’t care what other people think when I’m feeding him, or that any concern I do have is pushed to the side by my need to feed my baby and his need to eat.
  • I had my first day alone with the babies and it went great.  Here’s hoping tomorrow, my second day alone with them, goes just as well!  I think it will, and that this first week will be all about establishing a routine but that once I do it will all be fine.  I also think though, that I’m going to need to find a mom’s group or a playdate or a library function… something to do with the babies during the week at home, because otherwise I’m going to get lonely and go stir-crazy!  I’m working on doing some research to see if there are any groups in my area. Wish all of you lived closer!


So, I think that’s about it for now… it only took me all day to get this post written!  Life here is great, just very, very busy.  I’m still reading all of your blogs but not commenting nearly-as-often-slash-ever, simply because reading a blog on your phone one-handed while breastfeeding is a helluva lot easier than commenting one-handed! But I promise I’m still here, still reading.
Here’s some pictures from our recent adventures. I’m going to post part one of the birth story real soon here; stay tuned!


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2 responses to “Three Point Five

  1. Isa says:

    OMG he is so CUTE! Actually, all three of them are very cute–and you two are looking great, too! I’m glad things are going well and that you’re recovering and getting into a groove. I have to say, I LOVE my hooter hider. Before we had the baby I thought it was ridiculous, but I’m kind of modest by nature, and having a little cover means that I don’t hesitate to nurse anywhere (well, except in front of my grandparents, but that’s more because they seem uncomfortable than anything else). Can’t wait for birth story part 1!

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