Tuesday, August 26, 2014

The song I sing my boys

When Destructo was just a little baby, I used to sing that All the Pretty Little Horses song.  Over the days and weeks and months, it morphed into a song all our own.  Now he sings that song to Owl and this makes me tear up more than I care to admit.  It is so touching to know he was not only paying such close attention to the words all along, but that he loves his little baby brother so much to sing it to him.  

I figured what better place to record the words than my blog.  Hopefully I have a bazillion more years left to live, but just in case something ever happened to me.  I would want my boys to know the song I have sang to them every day of their lives.

So here goes:
Hush a bye, don't you cry.  Go to sleepie little baby.  Mama loves you.  Daddy loves you (although as Destructo grew he would insert many a things here from football and baseball, mommy, to everybody.)  

Go to sleepie little baby (sometimes I would use Boogah which was what I called Kai as a baby or Owwie which is how Kai says Ollie and what I call him now.)  

Close your eyes.  Take a rest (or snooze).  Go to sleepie little baby.

Okay now my song will live on forever.  Yay.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Ollie at a Third of a Year Old

Yeah this one is a bit late.  I guess better late than never right?  Poor second child haha.

Weight-- 14 lbs 15 oz.  

Height-- 25 1/2 inches

Medical Issues--  Same old reflux, food sensitivities to something I am eating (although since I cut obvious corn and soy it is better)

Sleep--  First part of the month was very good.  One wake up around 3 AM and then again 6ish and sleeping from 8 to 8 otherwise.  He even slept from 8 to 6  and then back down until 8 a few times.  The last week.  Yeah up every three hours like a newbie again.  I am so tired.  

Clothes Size-- He can fit into some of the bigger 3-6 month stuff, but he is mostly in 6-9 month stuff.  

Diapers size-- He has moved up to the second snap rise setting on his smaller cloth diapers.  In disposables, he is in a size three.

Diet-- Boob milk and Zantac still. I am contemplating starting him on baby cereal though since his reflux is so bad and the pedi recommended it.  We do baby led weaning so I don't typically do cereal, but his spitting up is out of control.
Baby led weaning

Baby Gear I Love--
Graco DuoDiner LX Highchair For some unknown reason, my kiddo loves sitting in his high chair.  He doesn't eat anything yet.  He just sits there and looks around.  Even when he is super fussy, he will sit there and calm right down.  Weirdo.

Sophie  He loves chewing on Sophie's legs.  Destructo tolerated Sophie, but Ollie loved it.
Taggie lovey  He sleeps with this every night.  I know it is a SIDS risk but he freaks out if I don't let him sleep with it.  Destructo was the same way.  They love the soft fleece on their cheek.
His beloved lovey.  Now if I can only find a cheap enough replacement just in case.

Milestones--  He started sucking on his toes.  So gross.  Why do babies like to suck on their toes?  He is also regularly rolling belly to back and can pivot in circles.  Other than that, he isn't doing much.  He loves to cuddle and be held and just chill out and look around.  My lazy little baby.  I love the cuddles.

Likes/Dislikes--  He likes being held, cuddling, eating.  He thinks every single thing that Destructo does is quite possibly the funniest thing ever done.  He loves laying in his crib looking at his mobile.  He loves rubbery teethers like Sophie.  He hates having to wait to eat.  With a passion.  Other than that, he doesn't dislike too much.  He is a very easy baby thus far.  

Things I Don't want to Forget--  How nice it is to not have to spray cloth diapers.  How sweet his fuzzy little head feels.  How if he even hears the word milk or sees the baby sign for milk he flips and must nurse this very second or else the world will end.  The way he laughs as soon as he sees his big brother.  

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Ten Things you do Differently with a Second Child

Topping my list of ten things you do, do far more, or whatever with  second kiddo is use the seat belt/buckle things in bouncy seats, swings, etc.  When Kai was an itty bitty, I never did.  He wasn't going anywhere.  With Kai running around like crazy, yeah I buckle Owl in at all times.  Mostly to try to avoid being catapulted out of the swing when Destructo decides to "help" by swinging the swing as hard as he can with the baby in it.  Poor second child.

Second on this list let the baby sleep in your bed far more.  I have really crazy nightmares where I thrash and kick in my sleep.  Destructo very rarely slept in our bed because of this.  Ollie was such a bad sleeper until he started reflux meds that he slept in Mr. Destructo's arms nearly every night.  It was all about survival.

Next up is you will wear the baby far more.  Now this probably isn't true for everyone but Destructo hated the confinement of being worn.  Ollie doesn't mind it at all so I wear him a lot.  It is so much easier than having to haul a stroller everywhere.

You will be far more flexible with your second child.  Ollie sleeps everywhere and anywhere.  Kai never slept anywhere but his bed or in the car.  It is so much easier when you have a kid that will doze off anywhere.  I think part of this is Ollie being a go with the flow baby and part of it is the fact that from birth we have been on the go since I have an older kid to take places and do things with.

Next up on my list is the fact that I ask myself regularly why it seemed so much harder with the first baby than it is with the second.  I found my second baby light years easier than the first.  I think part of that is a very easy baby, experience, and not working.  Not sure how much each of those contributes, but I think they all help.  I remember with Destructo not even finding time to wash the dishes in a day.  Don't get me wrong, I still have those days but not every day.  Even with two kids.  So yeah the transition from zero to one was far FAR harder than from one to two.  

You will be in no hurry for your second child to hit milestones.  We couldn't wait for Kai to sit, crawl, walk.  Yeah Ollie can wait as long as he wants to get mobile.  Mobile means more trouble.  Mobile means more mess.  Mobile means even more tired mommy.  Sitting up wouldn't be horrible, but honestly Owl is my last baby and I want him to stay small forever.  
Mobile equals mess

Next up, solid food.  Yeah I have zero urge to start solids.  I like not having to spray diapers now that Destructo is poop potty trained.  Solids mean spraying.  Wahh.  Plus the messy faces, messy high chair.  I forgot how much I don't like all the mess cleaning until I had to keep my nearly one year old nephew a few days recently.  They smear food everywhere.  
Do I really have to start Owl on solids?  His big brother sure could make a mess.

Bedtime routine is short and sweet with the second kiddo.  Some nights I read him a book.  Some nights I don't.  I do always sing him one song.  Sleep sack and into his bed.  Easy peasy and quick.  Then I get to have the bedtime routine that never ends.  Yes it goes on and on my friends.  Babies are so much easier than three year olds that can get out of their bed over and over and over again.

Sock and shoes.  Yeah.  They don't happen with a second child.  No one has time for that.  I think Ollie has worn socks like five times in his life.  And all of those involved church.  Granted he is a spring/summer baby so that helps.  I guess I will have to go the extra step come fall.  But for now barefoot is the way to go.

Finally the last thing on my list is baths.  By the time the second baby comes around, you realize that babies can go a long time without being bathed.  Heck baths are over rated anyways.  I remember taking a shower every single night with Destructo since it was quiet and relaxing.  Now I chose extra sleep over a shower every single time.  Poor Mr. Destructo.  I do still make a habit of wearing deodorant though.  That has to help right?  Right?

What things did you do differently with your second child than with your first?

Monday, August 11, 2014

Dear Second Child

Dear Ollie,
Let me start this by saying that you complete our family.  I can not imagine life without your smiling, ticklish, lazy little baby self.  Mothering you feels so effortless, so natural.  I know what you want from the first little noise you make.  I love you so much and can't imagine being any happier to be your mommy.  In fact this is why I get nothing done anymore.  I keep getting lost in your baby blues and can't stop nomming your chubby cheeks. 

But with all that sweetness said, I have to apologize for a lot of things.  First and foremost I apologize for anything I might have thought and/or said during the first six weeks of your life.  But son you cried more than you did anything other than breathe.  All you did was cry.  You were just downright unpleasant.  Forgive me for my thoughts and words.  I didn't mean them.  But the crying and non sleeping was extreme up in here.  And then thank goodness Zantac arrived and we actually got to see a bit of your personality and it rocks.  You are the easiest baby and I thank God for you every single day.

I apologize for the fact that you might very well never be rocked to sleep in the rocking chair unless you stop sleeping at night.  I beg of you not to stop sleeping.  I mean I feed you on demand, let you sleep on your own schedule, and even now at four and a half months old do at least one if not two night feedings.  Is this not enough?  Please say it is enough.  Anyways I am sorry that I can't rock your for hours like I used to your brother.  It is hard to rock when a three year old is dancing and blocking the rocker.  

I apologize that I don't have time to sit and read book after book to your four month old self.  I guess you won't be a child prodigy.  My bad.  Forgive me.  I do read you Goodnight Moon each night.  I even managed to take the time to point out the red balloon once.  Ahh the mommy guilt.  I pointed out all those darn things to your brother.  But alas your  brother is typically revolting in the living room so you get the book read.  I only occasionally recite it without turning the pages.  And sometimes skip pages,.  Forgive me my precious baby.

I apologize for the fact that you are wearing Halloween and Christmas PJ's in August.  What can I say?  You are a second child and  you grew a heck of a lot faster than your brother.  Fodder for your therapist one day.  If you really need something to discuss with your therapist, you are technically using the same diapers as your brother as well.  And the newborn diapers.  Yeahhh.  Those were your brothers and then your cousins.  Again apologies.  
Neglected second child asleep in the high chair wearing Halloween PJ's in August

Nursing your brother was time spent bonding, gazing into his baby blues, and thinking about how fleeting these moments really are.  Nursing you is more an act of multi tasking.  I can walk around the house, stop your brothers utter acts of destruction, talk on the phone, and fix a PBJ all while not missing a beat, drop??  Whatever.  Again I apologize.  I do stare into your eyes at night when I nurse you.  Well sometimes.  Other times I lay on the couch and attempt to not fall asleep because then I might drop you in the floor.  I have never dropped you in the floor.  Still winning some mother trophy.  

All the times I discover you asleep in things that aren't your swing or crib, yeah my apologies.  I mean just because you fell asleep twice in the high chair in one day doesn't mean I don't care.  I am not sure if it means your brother is incredibly loud and I can't hear you or you are just an amazing sleeper.  Either way you rock son.  Keep up the good work.  You can sleep anywhere the floor, my bed, the high chair, exersaucer, outside swing.  You are one amazing little boy.  
This boy can sleep anywhere

But son the thing I apologize most profusely about is the fact that you will never be able to ride the tea cups at Disney.  No you will have a deep seated fear of them.  I will chip in on your therapist I suppose.  Why you ask?  Because your doting big brother finds great pleasure in spinning the exersaucer around in circles with you in it.  Many times a day.  Oh crap that means I am admitting to how much you are in the exersaucer.  Ugh.  :: hands over mother of the year sash::

Overall son assuming you aren't scarred too badly for life just remember, you are my baby, my final one.  Please don't grow up as fast as your brother is.  I swear sometimes you look so much like him that it trips me out to see you and then look over and see three and a half year old him.  I love you my Owllie.  

 your apologetic mommy

PS:  I am sorry about the fact that I call you my little Owl.  I am sorry about the fact that I dress you in everything I can owl.  I am NOT sorry about all the owl diapers.  They are freaking cute.  There has to be a line somewhere.  There is my line haha.
I had to bargain two cloth diapers to get this one

PPS:  You really are the most amazing baby ever.  Your laugh just makes my day and your smile gets all the way into your eyes.  Both you and your brother have such expressive eyes.  Yours are just happy all the time.  Your brothers are mischievous all the time.  I love both of your guys expressions.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Ways to Save Money While Staying at Home

Since I stopped working, I have been doing my very best to save money in any way I can.  I turn off lights when I leave a room, I open windows on cool mornings and keep the AC turned up to 78.  I cloth diaper, grow a veggie garden, breastfeed, and buy nearly all my kids clothes used.  I shop for bargains and buy groceries based on what is on sale and try to save that way.  But what are ways you can save or make money while shopping?  I have stumbled upon a number of programs and apps that help me do just that.

1)  Amazon subscribe and save does just that save.  I use this for a lot of our household supplies such as toilet paper.  (We have an Amazon prime membership for free two day shipping and free prime TV as well.)  I only buy on Amazon what I can get cheaper than in a brick and mortar store.  My bleach free expensive wipes (because all others break out precious little Owl's pampered butt) are much cheaper on here.  I also look at what coupons there are each month and use those to save even more.

2)  Receipt Hog app.  This is an app I have on my phone that allows me to scan my receipts from groceries, drug stores, pet supplies, etc (in store or online.)  You earn coins for each dollar spent and when you earn 1000 coins, you get 5 dollars.  You also can get bonus coins when you gets spins on the slot machine like thing.  This is pretty slow going but super easy.  In a week, I am up to 250 coins.
Click my referral link if you want to join up.  I earn ten spins and you earn five this way to help you earn bonus coins.


3)  Checkout 51 is another app I have been using for the past week.  I have saved a dollar on this one.  This had rebates that you can get when you buy that particular product.  You then scan the products bar code and your receipt.  The rebates that are available change every Wednesday.  There are also bonuses on this one.  I am not as sure about this one since I haven't bought any of the rebates just yet.  I will update this once I do that on how easy it is.

4)  Savingstar is another app on my phone.  Every Tuesday there is a new healthy offer which is fruits or vegetables and you save a percentage of what it cost when you buy them.  Then on Fridays there is a Friday freebie where you earn the total price of the product.  I mean what is better than free?  This is the same as the previous app where you scan the bar code and receipt.  It is a bit slower in actually putting the money in your account than the next app I am going to mention.  They say it can take anywhere from 2-10 days (and in some cases as long as 22 days.)  But in a week I will have earned about two dollars on this one.

5)  And my very favorite app I have found thus far is ibotta.  If you haven't signed up yet, you can use my referral link http://ibotta.com/r/lebrfef 
You will earn two dollars when you redeem your first rebate within ten days and I earn five dollars.
This app is the same as the two above but has a lot more offers than just groceries.  They have a few restaurants, clothes stores, and even a few online stores.  You take one question polls, learn facts, get recipes to unlock the rebates.  (Don't worry it is a few seconds to do each one.)  Then you buy the item, scan the bar code, and take a picture of the receipt.  Within a few days (and typically the next day in my experience) it is put into you account.  You can cash out when you hit five dollars.  There are also tons of bonuses that you can do to earn extra money.  In a week, I have already cashed out once for 21.75 and have a dollar in my account again.  I LOVE this app.  When you cash out, you can get paypal or venmo money or gift cards.

6)  Take advantage of Target's awesome coupon policy.  You can stack a manufacturer coupon with a Target store coupon and still use cartwheel.  I am saving tons of money and have actually started shopping for groceries at Target as opposed to Aldi's since I have been doing so well there.  For example, check out the picture below.  I spent 52 dollars out of pocket. for all the stuff you see in the picture below.  (It is 17 Plum Organic pouches if you are wondering.)  Target also has a ton of buy two or three or whatever of this product, get a five or ten dollar gift card back deals.

These are the ways I have been saving and making money.  What are ways you guys have found to make or save money?

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Top Ten Parenting Choices others Criticized the Follow Up

I wrote a post two years ago about the top ten parenting choices that others criticized. You can read it  here if you are new to the blog. I stumbled upon this the other night and it amused me to see how much my parenting choices have changed in two years.  The things that were super important to me then just don't seem as important to me now that I have two kids and am a stay at home mom.

Topping the list was cloth diapering.  I still am quite passionate about cloth diapering.  But the criticism isn't there the second time around.  It has become more main stream and plus my family and friends are all used to me being a cloth diaperer.  Heck I even converted my sister to cloth diapering.  I have become more lax about it though.  When we travel I use disposables.  I just don't have room in my smallish SUV with two car seats and a dog to pack all my cloth.  Plus I am lazy about it this time around and it is easier to just use disposables.  I do still insist on getting the expensive bleach free, more eco friendly disposable option though.

Extended rear facing was next and I did that with Destructo for two years.  I had hoped to meet that goal but to possibly go until he hit the limits of the seat which is 45 pounds.  Mr. Destructo wanted to flip him as he had gotten more and more fussy in the car and he hoped that flipping him would help.  (It did.)  We will see how I feel this time around about it.  I know I won't flip Owl before he hits two though.

Extended breast feeding.  I let Destructo self wean.  This was important to me (although I had said by two I might have to expedite the process.)  He weaned at 20.5 months on his own and yes I cried a bit.  This time around I plan on doing the same thing but could see it going a different way.  With all of Owl's food sensitivities, I might get tired of my very limited diet and wean him.  Right now I am peanut, legume, dairy, and egg free.  It isn't so much fun.  I am hoping though that we get to the bottom of what he is sensitive too and that maybe he grows out of it.  We shall see.  This is tops of the list though that people still criticize.

Baby led weaning.  Did it, plan on doing it again.  People will still probably think I am going to let my child choke to death by not feeding purees first.  His pedis also don't support this.  Eh I don't care.  It was so easy with Destructo, I can't see doing it any other way.

Low/no sugar was on that list.  Yeah.  I still feel that way.  But unfortunately as Destructo got older and more people kept him they stopped caring what I thought about no candy, ice cream, etc.  I mean my family (this doesn't include my dad who is a softie and likes giving Destructo junk) tends to somewhat respect my wishes about healthy snacks.  My mom tends to buy fruit leather or healthier fruit snacks instead of gummy candy.   But even I have gone so far as to bribe him with candy occasionally.  What can I say three year olds can be terrorists.  I still try to buy healthier options and really stay away from high fructose corn syrup though.  But will I make a special healthy smash cake solely for Owl?  Eh probably not.  One day of cake won't hurt him.

No overnight visits.  Yep I held firm to this one much to the dismay of both sets of grandparents.  It truly wasn't until I had Owl that I became okay with Destructo staying the night places.  And this was probably mainly out of survival.  I always said when Destructo told me he wanted to stay the night somewhere I would let him and I did.  I imagine I will be the same way with Owl since it is so much easier to just keep the baby home with me than to have to pump and send frozen breast milk.

This is a quote out of the aforementioned blog post:  No TV before one and very limited TV after one--  Most people don't see the damage with letting their young children watch television as long as it isn't all the time.  I did not let Kai watch any TV before one.  Studies show that watching TV before the age of one (and even two) can cause concentrations problems, is linked to obesity, and can lead to less child-parent interaction thereby slowing down language development.  I try to keep him from watching cartoons as a young child's brain isn't developed enough to process the rapid picture changes in cartoon.  I do let him watch Sesame Street, Yo Gabba Gabba, and Baby Einstein sporadically when I need to get something done.  But I keep it to less than a half hour to an hour a day and he isn't that interested anyways.  I prefer to be reading books with him or letting him play independently with his toys.

BWahhahahahahahahahahahahaha.  Yeahhh.  I mean I don't put Ollie in front of the TV.  But he does see it since Destructo watches more than his fair share of TV.  There are some days that I realize the TV has been on all day.  Having a colicky baby really did me in when it came to Destructo's TV watching.  And once you open the flood gates, it is hard to go back.  I am really trying to limit him to and hour in the morning and an hour at night.  But some days.  Yeah.  ::hangs head in shame::

Learning toys only was on that list and this could be one of the ones I stuck the hardest with.  I still tend to buy open ended learning toys for Destructo.   I do let him pick his own toys out when he gets gift cards for his birithday or Christmas.  And as he has gotten more opinionated, he tells me what to put on his wish list.  But when I am buying toys, I tend to buy wooden open ended toys.  He is so imaginative and can play with sticks and rocks for hours and I think this is a great thing.  Yay for holding firm to something.

My desire for a med free delivery is on that list.  Yeah I achieved that goal and it no longer seemed important to me.  We are done having kids and I imagine I would probably go natural again a third time if it happened but it just doesn't hold the all encompassing importance it did before I had Destructo.  Eh labor sucks either way and both my kids turned out pretty great one with an epi and one without.

I have come to the conclusion that I am far more laid back with the second child.  I have to be since I am now outnumbered and need to be able to use cookies as a bribe.  Or TV as a babysitter.  Hopefully my kids will turn out okay haha.  What are things you are much more laid back about with a second child?