Wilson’s Birthday

Leading up to Wilson’s birthday, I thought a scheduled c-section would be less stressful than the emergency c-section I had with Gus almost four years ago.

I was mistaken.

Turns out when you’ve been in active labor for several hours without an epidural, and your baby is suddenly in danger, you don’t have much time to process what’s about to happen as you roll into the OR (and then almost sleep through the whole thing from sheer exhaustion).

This time I was wide awake, over-thinking everything, and walked myself into the OR past tables of terrifying surgical tools before getting my epidural on the operating table.

The actual delivery went well, but caught me a little off guard only because a few minutes before we got started they got word another baby in L&D might be in distress and they warned me they may need to go to the other OR for an emergency delivery (Been there! I’ll wait.)

The next thing I knew: the doors opened, doctors and nurses were everywhere, someone turned on the radio (raise your hand if “Despacito” was playing when your baby was born!) and they were just talking like it was another day at the office.

“Did you see Roberta’s haircut?”
“Who has the medieval torture devices I sterilized?”
“Let’s make the first incision.”

Wait, what was that last thing you said?

No, hello. No, we’re about to get started. No husband (wearing a beard cover) sitting patiently by my side. No, ready, no set.

Just, GO.

Mike was there a few minutes later, but surgery was well underway at that point. And while I definitely didn’t feel pain, the amount of pressure I could feel was so overwhelming that it was extremely uncomfortable.


Ultimately I needed two extra doses of my epidural during surgery, and three doses of additional pain meds while they closed my incision.

Recovery has been going well, and we’ve been home for four days now. Aside from the usual newborn woes (mainly not sleeping) this time has been a lot less stressful for all of us.

I already know how to breastfeed (even though my milk didn’t come in until last night), I’m sleeping as much as I can when I can, I’m staying on top of pain meds and physically I feel really good.

The biggest difference: my mom is living with us this time, so we have an extra set of hands to help with baby and Gus. When I think about one day getting this baby fed and out the door in time to get Gus to preschool on time, it makes my eye twitch but I know we’ll get there eventually.

Wilson is a pretty good baby, and Gus LOVES him. It’s only been a few days so we’ll see how long it lasts, but he loves to help with diaper changes, he kisses him constantly, and whenever he cries, Gus sings him customized lullabies (“Rockabye Wilson” is his go-to, “Twinkle Twinkle Little Wilson” is a close second).


I genuinely still can’t believe this beautiful, healthy baby is here right now, after everything that happened in the last year. And in a few weeks, we’ll celebrate Gus’ fourth birthday as a little family of four!

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Weaned?!

In preparation for my upcoming cross-country travel plans, I decided to sleep train Gus, and then start weaning.

He’s only nursed at naptime and bedtime for, well, a really long time. I can’t even remember when we dropped the morning session, but it was a long time ago. He’s been down to twice a day ever since we dropped his second nap, and there were plenty of times he’d nap in the car if we were out and about, and just nurse at bedtime that day.

I wanted to give him at least a month to adjust to his new sleeping arrangements before I changed anything else, and I decided to drop the bedtime session first, since he got to a point where he would stop nursing on his own and ask to go “night-night.”

I started five days ago. He still asks for milk, but I just give him a cup of juice-water and we sing Old McDonald (“I-O?!”) until he asks to go to bed.

Naptime was a different story, and there was always a lot of crying when I told him it was time to stop nursing and lay down.

Until today.

After probably less than 30 seconds of nursing, he asked for juice and night-night at naptime. I, of course, had no juice to give him, so I laid him down and he was like, “bye mom,” and then he woke up three hours later.

So amazed. So proud.

I thought I’d be sad about weaning, but I’m not. I AM super proud of myself for nursing a week shy of two years though. When I think back to the very horrible beginning when I just wanted to make it to six weeks, then six months, then a year — I can’t believe we did it as long as we did.

And I’m super proud of this almost two-year-old who has taken all these new changes in stride, like such a big boy.

What We’re Watching

If we’ve spent any time together in real life, you know I love all things TV and Movies.

I have, for the record, never ever lost a game of Scene It. Not once.

I will destroy you.

I suspect that’s why people who know me well are always so surprised to find out we don’t have cable.

We used to. Oh, boy did we. So many channels. So much TV. But then we moved into the middle of a freaking forest, and satellite was out of the question (too many trees) and cable was really really expensive in our new county.

So we decided to go without. Most of what we watch is on network TV anyway, and most of the fancy cable stuff we could catch up with later online.

I spend a lot of time in the house now, thanks to an adorable baby who’s currently mid-growth spurt, and that pesky polar vortex.

And so I watch a lot of TV.

If you’re on a tight breastfeeding schedule, about to go on maternity leave, or just love TV as much as I do, here are some of my new (and old) favorites.

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Orange is the New Black — Hilarious prison hijinx! A character named Crazy Eyes! Drug smugglers with (mostly) hearts of gold! Based on a true story! What’s not to like?

Dexter — Prerequisite for viewing: you should be kind of OK with murder. And probably have a dark sense of humor. Also a questionable moral compass.

Chuck — Netflix just added the whole series, which I watched pretty regularly for a few years but never finished. I’m glad I get to start over from the beginning because Zachary Levi is adorable.

Arrow — The first season on Netflix, and the second season is currently airing on the CW. Imagine if Batman were trapped on an island for a few years, and was shirtless a lot after he got home and started taking out bad guys.

Scandal — If you’re not watching Scandal, you’re life is basically devoid of meaning. It’s that good.

30 Rock — I miss Liz Lemon and the gang. This show never gets old to us, and is on heavy rotation in this house.

Better off Ted — This little comedic gem aired for two seasons, and we loved it, but it seems to be an acquired taste.

Psych — Another family favorite. Did we name our child after Burton Guster? No, not “technically.” But we’re OK with people assuming we did.

Brooklyn 9-9 — Our new favorite thing. It’s like Law & Order: Very Funny.

The Mindy Project — Mindy Kaling can do no wrong as far as I’m concerned. She’s pretty. She’s hilarious. She has amazing taste in clothes. And she casts super hot love interests for herself.

New Girl — Nick Miller used to be my favorite. Now I can’t get enough Schmidt. Is the new season as good as the first two? No, but I’m hanging in there.

Veronica Mars — This is sort of cheating, because you need either an Amazon Prime account or the DVDs to rewatch this ridiculously good series (I have both). Snarky, sexy, sassy and so much sarcasm. All my faves.

Two Months

Man, what a difference a month makes, huh? Smiles! Sleep laughing! SLEEPING in general!?

This baby is getting big. So big sometimes I look down at him while he’s sleeping and he looks like a little boy, instead of a baby.

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Height: 21.75 inches (up from 21.3 inches last month.)

Weight: 10 pounds and 15 ounces (up from 8 lbs and 10 ounces last month.) One measly ounce away from doubling his birthweight.

Likes: Christmas ornaments, chalkboards, naps, soothies, rocking chairs, mom whistling jingles and Christmas carols (because I forgot most of the words), Nana singing off-key to The Sound of Music, head butting (this child has a rock hard skull), and bath time.

Dislikes: Super cold wipes (I thought I was being clever leaving the diaper car in the car. In December. I was mistaken.)

Sleep: I freaking love this child. I mean, I’d love him no matter how much he slept, but he’s seriously the best. The last few weeks, he sleeps about 7-8 hours each night. It’s not consistent, but now a “bad” night in this house means I get up every four hours or so instead of two. I will brag for a second and tell you he’s slept for eight hours every night for the last week — amazing, right? And even after he sleeps for eight hours, he has some breakfast and then TAKES A NAP. He’s definitely his mother’s child.

Eating: Gus still eats like a skinny Japanese guy at a hotdog eating contest. The last two hours or so before bed (which for him is pretty consistently at 12:30) he eats a lot, but I’m fine with that if we get to sleep for eight hours. During the day he still eats every 2-3 hours, and I watch a loooooot of Netflix.

Clothes: Mr. Man is solidly in his 3 months clothes, and I’m fascinated by the inconsistency across brands. The stuff we have from Babies R Us, he’ll be too tall for in a few weeks, same with a few off brands I picked up at Kohls. The Carters stuff still has a few inches to spare all over so I imagine those will last through January.

Nicknames: Brick, Toots Magoots, Buddy, Big Baby, the Pooper, Little Bean, Pooter

Mommy & Daddy: We’re both definitely benefiting from the extra sleep. Getting ready for the holidays has been a little stressful (thank god for Amazon, and living down the street from Kohls). Throw in Thanksgiving, Christmas and a wedding anniversary for good measure, and it’s safe to say time is flying. I’m still avoiding all dairy (which is in ev.er.y.thing.) and Gus seems much happier. It takes forever to work it’s way out of both our systems, so we’re just now seeing a difference. Grocery shopping has been a lot of fun, while I experiment with vegan products, and am alternately thrilled and horrified when I discover items that you’d think are made with milk are in fact just heavily processed chemical frankenfoods. Oreos (what’s in the filling?!). Premade Cream Cheese icing (zero cream cheese?!)

… I bought them anyway.

What? They’re delicious.

Milk Machine

This baby is growing too fast.

He was five pounds and eight ounces when he was born seven weeks ago. He was five pounds and four ounces when we left the hospital five days later.

The experts say a newborn should be back to their birthweight by the time they’re two weeks old. Gus did that, and then some in the first three days we were home.

Those same experts estimate newborns should gain 5-7 ounces each week. Gus has gained, on average, 13 ounces every week.

They also estimate a baby should double their birthweight by the time they’re four months old. Gus is on track to do that before Christmas.

I’ve already forgotten how small five pounds really is. Like, I have to look at pictures to remember. I’m tempted to put some of his premie-sized shirts on him, just to see the difference.

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Hellllooooooo, cheeks. (You should see his thighs.)

So Thankful

I have a lot to be thankful for in 2013.

I’m thankful that I walked away from a ridiculous car accident earlier this year with only some scrapes and bruises.

I’m thankful I have a best friend willing to wait to go see Catching Fire until I can pump some milk and leave ‘lil man with his dad for a matinee in a few weeks.

I’m thankful for the lazyboy armchairs I bought 10 years ago, never realizing they would be the best nursing chairs in the world.

I’m thankful Mike noticed the straw in my fancy BPA-free cup had mold inside it, despite what I thought were frequent/thorough washings.

On that note, I’m thankful for that giant box of disposable straws I randomly got from ikea in 2009, and am still working my way through.

I’m thankful for nipple shields, and the very intense Lactation Consultants who suggested I give them a whirl.

I’m thankful breastfeeding is free, and burns calories like a mofo.

I’m thankful for all food items that can be prepared, and consumed, with one hand.

I’m thankful to have a husband who wakes up during midnight feedings to ask me if we’re alright? Do I need water? What about a blanket? Or just gives me a thumbs up.

I’m thankful for neck travel pillows, Netflix, and nursing bras.

I’m thankful for our family and friends who keep feeding us.

I’m thankful for whoever figured out how to make a dairy-free pumpkin pie so I can have some dessert on Thanksgiving.

I’m thankful that our two dogs (our first babies) seem interested in Gus, and have already written him off as boring (but still lickable).

I’m thankful for the snapfish mobile app, because this child is only 5.5 weeks old and I’ve already uploaded 400+ new pictures.

I’m thankful for the Sierra and Nashville Instagram filters and their ability to camouflage baby acne.

I’m thankful I read all those Dexter spoilers over the years, so I’m not completely horrified when I catch up on season four.

I’m thankful my favorite flavors of Girl Scout cookies just so happen to be dairy-free (as long as they’re baked by the right bakery).

(I ate soooo many Thin Mints yesterday.)

For Boppy pillows, Moby wraps, KellyMom, wearable blankets, white noise machines, gas drops and pacifiers.

And, obviously, I’m thankful for my little nine-plus pound (and counting!) butterball.

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For the all the science, doctors and nurses, and medicine that got him here safe and sound.

For all the love, support and advice people have given us — both before and after he was born. We couldn’t have done all this without them.

Happy Thanksgiving!