Sunday, October 27, 2013

Yawn stinkin' bone weary tired, I am.  I just feel dull and blunted.

Caroline is 2 weeks old today.  I took her in for her two week checkup today, and she was 6 lbs 14 oz.  She is still sleeping a LOT, just like Layla did at this age.

It had freaked me out, when Layla was a baby, how much she slept those first two weeks, but she was fine, and so I'm just enjoying the additional rest I get from it at the moment.  She goes at least 4 hours between feedings at night - I generally wake her up to feed at about every 4 hours.

The main problem in regards to sleeping has been Layla.  She got sick Tuesday the 15th with really bad croup, and ended up at the doctor two days in a row, and on prednisolone and then the bigger deal of a Decadron shot the second day...and steroids plus a two year old equals wide wide eyes.  SOOOOO cranky and sleep disrupted...not to mention already adjusting to the new baby in the house on top of that, and things just being a little different.

I was SUPER paranoid that Caroline was going to get what Layla had, and was OBSESSIVE about hand-washing and arm-washing and even washing my neck where they would lay their heads and changing my shirts between holding the two of them.  But, in the thick of it, it felt almost IMPOSSIBLE to avoid getting what your two-year-old, needy, clingy, affectionate, cuddly, snotty, sneezy, coughy toddler has in terms of a cold, because your likelihood of staying out of germ range seems to be zilch. THANKFULLY, Caroline didn't get it, and neither did I.  But what I also didn't get was much sleep at all that first week, since with all of the baby adjustments, Layla would only accept MOMMY!!!! to get her back to sleep.  Saturday the 19th, the last night Mom was here, I was up 4 times with Caroline, 4 times with Layla (and each time it took FOREVER to get her little wired self back to sleep), once with Zion, and once with Israel.  And this was after more than a week with very very interrupted sleep already.  I was like a zombie on Sunday, and just sort of sat.

And even though sleep the past few nights has been's just taking a while to catch up.  And then the days have been grey when I wake up, and...I'm just so tired.  :)  Anyone hearing a theme, here??

I am INCREDIBLY grateful for a mom who stayed over a week to help out, friends who are bringing meals every day of this second week, and a husband who does a great job of helping out.  Sleeplessnesss plus five children is just a lot of work, ya'll.  DEFINITELY in survival stage we still are, particularly because of the unanticipated layers of sickness, etc.  I am SO ready for a well-rested stage and energy and routine.  And this too shall pass and that too shall come...until it leaves again for sickness/etc. and I'll survive.  :)

Meanwhile, we slowly adjust.

I get the biggest kick out of seeing how the kids spell things.  These were two spellings on the computer lately by Israel:

"wut kine uf tree leafs" (What kind of tree leaves - he was trying to figure out the kinds of leaves he had collected on a walk because he was making a leaf book.)

"pea b s kiss" (PBS Kids - computer games)

The other night, Tim had teasingly threatened the boys with being tackled in the morning if they didn't hurry up and get into bed.  They all screeched with delight and begged to be tackled.   I found this note propped up on an empty clothes basket outside of the boys room the other night after getting Layla to sleep while Tim had held Caroline.  I LOVED it.  :)

"From Gabe:  Tackle me to dad in the morning tackle Gabe, Isriel, and Zoin.  This is for real"


I was curious how this "Layla getting to sleep" thing was going to go once Caroline arrived, because up to this point I have been Layla's "security blanket".  She snuggles right up to me, nose almost pressed to my arm, or puts her hand out to ensure that I'm there, before she can drift off.

The week before Caroline was born, she switched from taking 15 minutes to get to sleep to taking 45 minutes to an hour to get to sleep, AND waking up several times during the night and taking a long time time to get back to sleep ...that's just not tolerable, especially with the addition of Caroline in the mix.  I hadn't wanted to do sleep-training with her right at the same time that Caroline was born - it seemed like too many discomfiting changes at once, but she has almost forced the issue. :)

Last night I took her in to her room, let her shut the door (part of her routine), then we left the light on and read three books, which she really enjoyed.  Then I told her again what we were going to do, and that she was going to learn to go to sleep like a big girl, and that she could earn a big girl prize in the morning, and I carried her to turn off her light, and then tucked her into her bed.  I gave her a few big hugs and kisses and was very affectionate with her, then told her I would come back to check on her in 5 minutes.

I checked on her every 5 minutes for about 3 times, then 10 minutes, then 15, and by then she was asleep.  She cried, but not too hard, and eventually asked for her giraffe to hold.  I was hoping that she would use some external means of comfort, ie. a stuffed animal or blanket, that could eventually be my replacement.

She woke up once during the night and went immediately back to sleep after I laid down with her (vs. it taking 30 minutes or so).  This morning I gave her a Dora plate that I had picked up at Goodwill one day, and she was delighted.

Hopefully tonight will go as well as that.

Here she was the other day when I went to check on her after realizing that she was being very very quiet and busy.  That's what the lure of sand in a bowl, with soap and Stryrofoam bits will do to a girl.  Keep her very very interested and stirring for a long long long time.  ;)

Our neighbor Barry gave us a box of canned items before the baby was born.  I found Zion and Layla arranging Layla in the box, much to her delight. :)

The Grandma Week

What would the world do without Mom's??  It was soooooooooooooooo nice to have my mom around for a little over a week as she made us food, washed clothes, helped with the kids, etc.  Huge sigh of relief.  So relieved that I wondered if I would cry again when she left like I did the very first time she came out to help when Gabe was born and I bawled my head off when she drove away. :)  But she left early early early in the morning before we were up, so I didn't have to find out.  Just today, though, Tim was saying "Maybe your mom could come back for another week!!" ;) as he was talking about how hard it is to get the very basic things accomplished when you have a fussy little baby on your hands.

Mom brought the three boys their birthday presents when she came this time, and a little something for Layla too.  There was frenzied tearing of paper and attaining of presents.

Caroline at 2 days old.

Projects with the Gram.

Caroline and her enraptured fan club.  :)

Baby girl needs cuddles.  I came out the first? morning home to find Layla and Grandma snuggling.  Layla had pink-eye and was just starting to get sick with her cold.

Life is full of tasks and needs right now with this many littles.

Caroline at 3 days old.

A helper sister watching Caroline get her picture taken.

Caroline seems SO TINY!!  She's finally starting to grow into her skin these days.

She requires lots of shoulder time.

Israel with Caroline.

Snoozes on the couch.  I've been letting her sleep on the couch during the day, just to help distinguish nights and days, and to hopefully encourage night-time sleep.  At two weeks old, she does really well, actually, sleeping at night.

Israel turned 7 while his Grandma was here.  He was DELIGHTED to FINALLY be celebrating his birthday after waiting through his Daddy's birthday in August, and Gabe and Zion's birthdays in September.  He requested beans and rice and hotdogs and doritos and cucumbers for his birthday supper, and wanted to help make the beans and rice, and ice his cake, which he wanted to be chocolate with half chocolate icing and half "vanilla" (I used cream cheese) icing

Tim picked up Spider Man plates for the table, and Spider Man masks all around.  :)

Caroline's first sink bath as per tradition given by Grandma.

She was very bright-eyed after her bath.

Israel exclaiming excitedly over the cuteness of his sister.

Gabe LOVES to hold Caroline, and is very tender with her.

This was the first time Zion had held Caroline, and he sat a long time with her on his lap, and was very loving with her.

Boys hard at work playing with Legos.  They all got a small Lego set for their birthday this year.

Miss Layla Crazy Face.

Grandma and Layla watching the school buses go by.

More couch sleep.

This is how much hair Caroline has.

Grandaddy arrived on the following Saturday.  Here he is working on Israel's guitar.

Holding grandbaby number 6.

Ms. Noodle.  I told Mom that this is what we eat when she leaves.  ;)

Layla looooves her baby sister.

Caroline at 10 days old.


Friday, October 25, 2013

Hello baby

Caroline's first night in the hospital was a sleepless one for me.  She seemed really uncomfortable and arch-y and fussy like her stomach hurt, and one of us had to be walking and bouncing her all night.  She calmed down in the early morning, though, and then was very relaxed and not fussy at all the rest of our time there.

Mom brought Gabe and Israel in to see Caroline before she took them to school.

They were thrilled to see their new baby sister, and Israel kept exclaiming with excited delight about how CUTE!!!! she was. :)  Zion and Layla came later in the afternoon when official visiting hours started;

Zion was very happy to see Caroline, and Layla seemed interested, but not overly.

The pediatric nurse doing an exam in our room to show the nursing students.

Sweet sleepy girlie.  And so tiny.

The weather when Caroline was born.  Grey and rainy.

Baby feet and hands.

We were discharged from the hospital approximately 24 hours after Caroline's birth, per our request.  There was a malfunction with the bilirubin testing machine, which read falsely high, so we had sort of a delay waiting for results from a blood draw they had to do, and didn't actually get released until 11:30 PM.

By that time I was really sort of doubting my decision to go home and wondering how much I would need to be up with Layla and Caroline combined, but reeeallly wanting a nice warm bath.  It was tired and rainy outside, but we trudged home to our beds, to be welcomed with the posters that our neighbor Barry had given the boys to color to welcome Baby Caroline home, along with balloons.  Here they are by the light of day:

It was a little surreal to be home the next night after Caroline was born, since I had went in around 9 PM the night before.  Felt just bizarro to be back, and with a baby. :)