Adventures in Newborn Land

Family of Five

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Family of Five

Adventures in Newborn Land

Hi everyone! It’s me, Christy!  The last time you heard from me, I was VERY pregnant, VERY anxious to meet my newest addition, and sharing my thoughts with you about becoming a family of five. And here we are, six months later, and I am incredibly excited to introduce you to our sweet baby girl, Emma!  And share my thoughts with you about now actually being a family of five.

She’s here!

Our healthy little auburn-haired beauty was born two days before her due date…at a whooping 9.6 pounds. It was love at first sight for my husband and I, and we were obsessed with her miniature, delicate features, coos, itty bitty cries, chunky cheeks, and snuggles. This little butterball fit perfectly in my arms, stared at me with huge blue eyes, and was a big cuddler. We couldn’t wait to share her with our big kids.

The moment they met their baby sister is hard to put into words. Their gasps of delight, excitement, and genuine love for this tiny human who just joined our family is something that I will always hold dear.  One of those snapshots in time that I want to tuck away carefully, remembering every little nuisance, every giggle, every smile.


Party of five

First, let me start by saying that I can’t imagine our lives without Emma.  She was always meant to be in our family. Six months later, it feels as though she’s been with us forever – in the best way possible. But…it’s been hard.  Really hard at times.

Because, guess what? That cliche saying that “every baby is different,” is said for a reason. Every baby is different. And our little Emma is no exception – she is completely and totally different than our first two. So that mommy confidence of, “I totally know what I’m doing and I’ll just easily transition back to taking care of an itty bitty,” didn’t quite go as planned.  I’ve had to lean on my husband. Lean on family.  Lean on friends.  And accept (and make peace) that it’s okay that this has been a more challenging transition. And I can’t thank them enough for being my “village.”  You know who you are!

Here are some things I’ve learned so far with being a mama of three –

– I always accept help now – and pretty much every time someone offers it. Gone are the days that I smile and say, “Oh, thanks so much for the offer to ________, but we’re totally fine and under control.” Um, now I smile, say thank you, and say yes to whatever sweet person is offering to do something.

– It’s also much easier for me to ask for help now.  I need it. My life is currently a mesh of school carpools, homework questions, sports practices, Taylor Swift, Star Wars trivia, and remembering important school and sports deadlines…plus feedings, scheduling things around nap times, fussy times, crawling, introducing solids, singing “Wheels on the Bus,” playing patty cake, and Googling, “Is it normal that my baby…? (fill in the blank).”

– Sleep deprivation is as difficult as I remember. Sleep regressions are even more difficult than I remember.  On the flip side, baby snuggles, cuddles, coos and little baby chunks to squeeze are even better than I remember.

– There is no “napping or resting when the baby naps” (although I’ve always struggled with that one anyways). Pass the coffee.  Nap times are for getting things done at warp speed OR having the baby sleep in the car while carting a big kid around.  Yep, baby #3 is my “car seat” kid. I’ve made peace with that, too. Sometimes I feel like the jump from two to three kids has been exponential.

– Having a big age gap between my bigs and my little has actually been pretty amazing.  Because they are enjoying her so much.  Which makes it easier for everyone to enjoy her so much!  I have built-in helpers who dote on her, entertain her, take care of her, feed her, diaper her, and cuddle her.  I LOVE this.

– My hubby and I are more relaxed this time with baby.  We have to be.  Seriously.

Our new reality

Three kids_2

I was just joking with one of my dear mama friends – someone always needs something.  Someone is always sick. Is hungry. Has a question.  Is waking up. Is hungry again. Is arguing. Is yelling. Forgot something. Needs to be somewhere. Can’t remember where they put something. Dropped something. And on, and on, and on.

But look at those grins!  Our house is always filled with lots of laughter, lots of kid noises, lots of play and lots of hugs. Wouldn’t have it any other way.

Some days, everything flows.  And some days it just doesn’t.  Which means that I have to (gulp) just go with it.  Yep, this Type-A mama is learning to just go with it. Well, I’m trying to, at least!  Baby steps.

Thank you again for being part of my pregnancy journey, and for all of your well wishes and sweet comments. I am so happy to share about Miss Emma, and thank you for all of your support!

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To Third.

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As I’ve just entered my 8th month of pregnancy, I guess it’s time to write my follow up post about how my husband and I decided to go for the third child.

Some of you might remember my first post on the subject, written years ago “To Third or Not To Third?” where I layed out all of the reasons why we should and why we should not add another member to our family.

We talked about it and talked about it, and waited for the right time and talked about it some more and couldn’t come to a decision.

My husband was so sick of the topic.  

One night last Spring we were out on a date night (which included some tequila) and we decided to give ourselves a window.  A very short 3 week window, effective immediately and ending with a trip we had scheduled to Cabo for our friend’s 40th birthday celebration.

In this time frame we would not take precautions not to get pregnant.  (See what I did there with that double negative?)

Our thought process was, if we get pregnant in that time frame then it was meant to be, and if we didn’t we could feel good that we had left it up to Fate who had decided for us.

The next morning after that date night, when the tequila had worn off, we both woke up terrified and looked at each other (almost in a scene out of a movie) and said “yeah, that’s enough of that plan.”

We thought we had our answer.

Flash forward to the last night of our Cabo trip when we were having a SUPER fun time celebrating our friend’s birthday, and our friends who happened to be pregnant with their third started into a sales pitch about why we should have a third kiddo along with them.

Which got me thinking…something was a little late…

There will be a six year gap between our middle and our baby!  We will be going back to sleepless nights, and breastfeeding and bottles, and diapers and spit up, and strollers and carseat adaptors and high chairs and, and, and…

But after the initial freak out, the excitement set in:  we get to do this all over again!!

It will be the first time we are being surprised with the gender.  Our girls love to hug and kiss my pregnant belly, and get so excited to feel the baby kick and they love when s/he has the hiccups.  They are SO thrilled to have a little brother or sister. (Although Lyla swears she won’t change a poopy diaper.)

We can’t wait to meet this new member of our family who was SO meant to be.

Do you have a story to share on how you decided to go for the third? Share in the comments below! 

Screen Shot 2014-10-20 at 12.32.16 PM

(Photo Credit Top: Kristin Eldridge Photography)

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Motherhood Together

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MotherhoodTogether [sponsor]

You know that timeless saying…”It takes a village to raise a child”?  I had the opportunity to talk with Alexandra at Motherhood Together, a wonderful group started by three new mamas who saw a need for fellow OC mommies- a group for first time moms in Orange County where they could go to feel understood, cared for and supported in whatever way they chose to parent their new little one.

A community that welcomed new moms, new babies and offered a new support system to women.

As soon as Alexandra and I began chatting, I felt like we were fast friends. That’s because it took about four seconds into the conversation for us to start trading stories about our kids.  Within five minutes we had covered swaddling, toddler tantrums, our favorite hair products for kids (Original Sprout!) and how we both felt completely overwhelmed (and sometimes isolated) when our babies were first born.

And that’s exactly why Alexandra, Bianca and Chelsea created Motherhood Together.  A place to help women navigate this crazy ride we call mommyhood. A place where you can ask questions about how to best handle a diaper rash, how to tame tantrums, how to bring down a fever, how to stay connected with your partner…and commiserate together about sleep deprivation. A sounding board. And a sanity check.

What it’s all about

Motherhood Together offers eight-week sessions in Laguna Niguel where mamas and babies (12 months and under) enjoy an hour and a half together.

It’s an “everything and anything baby goes” environment – nurse without getting tangled in a nursing cover, change diapers, comfort a crier, or roll around with your little one, all while participating in open dialogue, listening to guest speakers (like sleep specialists, marriage and family therapists, lactation consultants, essential oils, yoga and photography), and most importantly, building a friendship with other moms just like you.

Alexandra explained that the difference with this mom’s group is that they are “mom-centric” – they focus on providing moms what they need to feel supported.  Because it is essential for moms to take care of themselves so that they can best take care of their babies.

She talked about how Motherhood Together really caters to us mommies, working on building our confidence and talking about the importance of keeping our own identities as women during the huge life swing of becoming a mother, all while enjoying and loving our beautiful babies.

The sessions

Groups are between 10-12 moms each, so you really have the opportunity to build friendships…and have your kids bond, too.  And, you’ll see Alexandra, Bianca or Chelsea at each session…or maybe all three!

Alexandra also emphasized that this a group that celebrates ALL parenting styles and beliefs…you know your child best.  You know the best way to raise them.  This group offers support and education and a place to share, and respects all of the different ways you can raise your child.  No judgment.  No lecturing on how to do the “right” thing for your kids. Just support.

Fun activities and continuing support

Motherhood Together also loves to plan and host fun events, including mom’s night out (I personally LOVE my “MNO” time with my girls – it is an amazing break from being at home in my yoga pants with my little cuties). Just this week, they arranged a night “out on the town” at a local salon, for a night of beauty, bubbly, and spending time with mama friends. Yes, please!

Here are some other fun things you can expect with this group:

– Each session has their own private Facebook page, so moms can communicate with each other. If you’re up for a 2 a.m. feeding, you can bet someone else is, too.

– Moms are spoiled at each session, because Motherhood Together works with kid-friendly vendors. So you can expect goodie bags with samples, coupons, and great recommendations for moms and kids alike.

– Mamas and babies are encouraged to meet outside of class.  The class may bring you together, but they want you to develop those lasting friendships and support system. Some moms even want to continue in their specific group – so when their 8-week session ends, they request a new session together.  With a line-up of new speakers and topics to cover!

– Your entire family is invited to attend an end-of-the-session mixer. A time where partners and siblings can join the fun, and families can meet and spend time together.

This program sounds like such a great place for new moms, and I encourage you to try it!  We moms have to stick together.

They have an upcoming session starting on June 25th – at 30% off!  Check it out and register today!

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Little Miss Forgetful

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Well the title of my blog  just proves the fact of just how forgetful I really am!   I swore there was a “Little Miss” book called “Little Miss Forgetful”, but when I went to search it online, I just found a “Mr. Forgetful.”   I guess I forgot that “Little Miss Forgetful” didn’t exist!  Hee hee…

Greetings from Newborn Land!  I am happy to say we have survived almost 16 weeks!  Woo hoo!   Things are (dare I even SAY it) going really, really well.   We went through a bit of a rough patch around week 13 when Morgan went through a growth spurt and my milk supply couldn’t keep up – but after a lactation consultation and help from Milkalicious – again, I love that organization, we are back on track.

The scary thing to me lately is just how forgetful and absent-minded I am.  With two kids and all the endless baby/kid gear, it never fails that I get out the door and forget the ONE thing I need.   Just for an example, in the past month I have had these adventures:

Not One More Penny!
I get both kids loaded up in the car to make our first trip to the dentist for Emma.   I miss the exit even though my Garmin is telling me exactly where to go because my 3 year old will not stop talking in the back seat.  We end up 15 minutes late (which totally stresses me out), I unload the kids and get ready to rush in.  I can’t find my keys in the abyss of my diaper bag (even though I have told myself a million times how that won’t happen if I designate one spot in the oh so convenient separate pockets.)     I have to dump my entire bag out and finally find my keys.  I literally am saying to myself “breathe Jen, breathe.”    Then we  get in to the dentist and I realize I forgot my wallet at home in my other purse!!  Luckily I have my credit card # memorized and that is OK with them, so we are all set. That is until we go to leave the parking structure (of course I forgot to validate my ticket) and I owe $2.00.  I am pleading with the attendant to understand my situation and she just stares at me.  I am able to locate $1.30 from my diaper bag, console and under my seat. She finally lets me go as I tell her, “I seriously do not have ONE MORE PENNY!!!”   Geesh!

This is FUN!
I locate the video monitor I need for Morgan.  They only have it at one Babies R Us in Foothill Ranch which is about  25 minutes away from us.  I have a gift card for BRU, therefore I am thrilled to offset the ridiculous expense of this monitor.   Again, I get both kids loaded up.  Not an easy process.   Morgan starts to cry when we are backing out of the driveway.  I do the lean back and return the binky about 10 times.   By the time we hit the freeway, she is SCREAMING.  Is there anything worse than a baby screaming in the car??  Emma is yelling “Morgan is scaring me!”  It is total chaos.   We make it (barely) to BRU.   I unload the stroller, she is still screaming, so we rush to that mother’s room to nurse.   You know it’s bad when people are staring at you in BRU as you walk by with a screaming baby.   We get to the nursing room and Emma is bored so she entertains herself by rolling around and jumping off on the couch in there.     I think of how many kids have been on that couch and I get so grossed out.    I have to put it out of my head.   Then she yells, “this is fun!”  just as I am thinking just how NOT fun it is.   Gotta love kids.   When Morgan is fed and happy, we go to pay for the monitor and guess what I forgot?  Yep, the gift card is at home in my office.

A Grassy Beach Towel and Flats: The Must Have Look This Fall!
I have to get three pairs of pants altered at the alterations place by my house.  It’s a little hole in the wall, so I wait until my mom can come to watch the girls so I can run there solo.  I go get the jeans, get the shoes I want to wear with them so the hem is right, then I remember I am wearing one pair I want altered so  I go to get a skirt to wear home.   When I get there I realize I forgot the skirt even though I made a special trip to get it.    I end up (and I am not kidding) finding a beach towel with grass stuck to it in my trunk from a recent park trip, and I wear the beach towel out of the place with my flats and normal top.  I figure there is  no way am I making ANOTHER trip there!    Especially since I had the luxury of going by myself.    Can you imagine what I looked like walking across the parking lot wearing flats and a grassy beach towel around my waist?   Again, got to keep your sense of humor!

And that is only the tip of the ice berg.   Want to know the one thing I always do?  Count both kids when I get in the car.   Got a chatty 3 year old? Check?  Is the baby there? Check.    I figure as long as I have both kids, I can pretty much forget anything else, and  I am doing OK!

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Oh, to (somewhat) sleep again…

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Greetings from Newborn Land!  We have made it to 11 weeks and I am happy to say I am actually feeling human again!   She has now started sleeping for those longer stretches at night (HOORAY!)   Somehow getting more sleep makes everything feel SO much more manageable.   

For those of you that missed my last post, Morgan has severe reflux, and the first two months were spent trying to help my miserable sleepless baby.   But we have turned a corner!!!

First off, THANK YOU to all the moms who wrote to me to share their experiences with reflux.   It was really heartwarming to see how many people cared enough to take the time to write me and share tips on things to try to help.  I am really grateful and it was such a reminder to me of the bond we all share as mothers.       

So we had our breakthrough about three weeks ago.  Let me just say I do not like having my baby on medication, but with her night-time choking episodes, we have no choice.   She was on Zantac for 5 weeks, with no big improvement in her symptoms.   She was still  miserable, crying all the time, spitting up a lot and not sleeping. 

Thanks to a lot of moms I talked to that have been through this, I pushed to stop the Zantac and try Prevacid.   After one week,  she made dramatic improvement.  It  has been life changing for us.    Before the Prevacid she would wake at 2am and be so miserable after feeding, she would pretty much be up grunting and fussing the rest of the night until she would konk out again around 5 or 6am.  Which meant I was pretty much up every night from 2am on.  In the early AM I would  then be greeted by a bright-eyed, bushy-tailed 3 year old ready to start the day!   No such thing as “sleep when the baby sleeps” when you have other kids!   

She is just doing so much better overall, it is absolutely thrilling. Since she is feeling better, I am finally getting to know her sweet little personality.  She will sit and look at me and smile and coo and try to “talk” and kick her legs.   It is just the cutest, I am enjoying every second.     

It was a really helpless feeling to see my baby so miserable and uncomfortable.  If anyone else has a baby with reflux, or a doctor that is labeling your baby “colicky,” I highly recommend the book “Colic Solved.”   It is a really straight-forward, informational book all about reflux and has been really helpful in this journey.

So now that baby Morgan is getting “easier,”  my strong-willed, test my every last ounce of patience 3-year-old is another story!  Just kidding (but not really…)   No one said this parenting gig was easy!!! 

Thanks for listening!  More to come from our Adventures in Newborn Land!

xo Jen

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