Thursday, March 29, 2012

What we did on Maternity leave (part 1)

I took 12 weeks off for my maternity leave. I spent a lot of that time alone with the kids while Jerad was working in Pasadena, San Diego, and Georgia. Here are some of the things we did!

Newborns nurse All Day Long. Between feeding sessions its just lots of diaper changes, and lots of sleeping. With 2 babies in cloth diapers, one of whom spit up ALL THE TIME, and one who is a dirt magnet, I had a LOT of laundry to fold up and put away. I was still recovering from the birth and wanted to be able to take it easy.  Well, that's much easier said than done with a toddler:)

Marshall is so sweet and so smart, and for the most part a really easy kid. But when Miller was born he was only a year and a half. AKA not old enough to reliably follow directions or always entertain himself. I didn't want Marshall to feel like life started sucking once Miller came along, so I came up with a lot of creative ways to basically pin him up without him realizing it.

Our bathroom is big and opens right up to the bedroom. There is enough floor space for me to bring in a rocking chair and sit with the baby, fold laundry on the floor, or I can sit in our room and still see/hear him.

Needless to say, he spent a lot of time in the bathroom those first few weeks.

He loves water and pouring activities so I put him in the bathtub with different sized cups and bowls and would turn the faucet on super low. He'd practice pouring and transferring water, and if he spilled it there was no mess to mop up because he was already in the tub!


I would also sometimes feed him in the tub or shower. Don't judge me. I blended fruit and froze it into "popsicles" which he had never had before:

He loved eating with a spoon, but wasn't always that accurate and would eventually revert to his fingers so yogurt was another good shower food. We talked a lot about having a picnic in the shower and he thought that was pretty special:

Finger painting quickly became another favorite:

I would just make little piles of washable fingerpaint on the shower floor and he'd go to town:

After he was done, I'd turn on the shower which he also loves:

He liked watching the paint dissolve and I'd give him a washcloth and sponge to help clean it up.

Between painting, showering, then cleaning he would easily stay occupied for an hour.

We also did a slightly different version by mixing the finger paint into shaving cream and painting it onto the shower with a brush:

He also loved "driving" Jerad's truck, so we'd walk outside and I'd shut him in the cab and let him push and pull all of the levers and switches. I'd also let the dogs out and have them load up in the bed of the truck because for some reason they get all excited about it, and Marshall likes "driving" them around. I would sit in the passenger seat and nurse the baby and catch up on emails on my phone.

This could also easily last 45 minutes.


We hadn't been using the highchair tray for awhile, usually we just push it up to the table, but I put it back on and gave him lots of crafty stuff to do while I was in the kitchen. I'd tape paper down and let him paint with brushes, sponges, or his fingers:

Or I'd give him playdough and things like forks and cookie cutters to stick in it:

Since the playdough was such a huge hit, we made homemade dough which was even softer and didn't have all the skeevy chemicals and dyes in it:

Those are a few of the ways I managed to preserve my sanity, have 2 free hands for the baby, and contain Marshall in one spot while making sure he was having fun at the same time.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Mommy fail

Last weekend besides having a little St. Patrick's party, we did some spring planting, spruced up our front flower bed, and almost choked the baby to death.

Let me rewind.

Marshall has this weather-vane thing he plays with. He likes spinning it, blowing on it, and taking it apart and putting it back together. The "vane" (is that what its called?) fits over a small ball bearing.  Sunday he was playing with it and took the ball bearing off and was pretending to eat it. I told him "no mouth," and he put it back on and was leaving it alone. He doesn't put things IN his mouth anymore, so I wasn't really worried about it.

Later in the day I was sitting on the couch sending an email, Miller was on the floor under his gym thing, and Marshall was playing with toys. I heard him say "mouth" and looked up to see Miller choking. Like making that gagging face but not making any actual breathing or gagging sounds. I picked him up and patted his back and he seemed to be fine but I "knew" that Marshall had fed him the stupid ball bearing (I felt like such an idiot for not taking it away!).

I wasn't *positive* cause I hadn't seen him do it, and I know infants aren't good at swallowing solid things because they have that tounge thrust reflex... but I thought if his mouth was open Marshall could have pretty much dropped it straight down his throat. Jerad and I looked all around and couldn't find the stupid bearing.

Of course it was Sunday so we couldn't just call the doctor. So I did my normal "google Dr Sears"  protocol to see what you're supposed to do and things to watch out for. Apparently if the baby is drooling excessively the object could be stuck in the esophagus... well, he's a baby and is constantly drooling so that wasn't much help. If the breathing is rattle-y that could be another sign... well he caught Marshall's cold and is congested so we weren't sure about that either. While we were trying to decide if we should go to the ER for an x-ray or if we could wait until Monday and see the reg Dr.,  he fell asleep. 10 minutes later he puked up a TON of milk, mucous, and you guessed it, the ball bearing.

So everything was fine it was just stressful and I felt like it was my fault.

The End

I need to delete this app...

But its too freakin' funny.

Monday, March 26, 2012

St Patrick's Day

St. Patrick's day is kind of a big deal around our house. Its the one time a year that I actually cook meat:) Its just the Trader Joe's pre-seasoned corned beef, but it manages to impress Jerad so I continue to go with it.

On the actual St. Patricks Day we were all a little under the weather, so we decided to have a 'Fake Patrick's Day' party the following weekend. We invited a few friends over, and had corned beef, cabbage, and green ice cream. Perfect.

I'm trying to do one craft a week, so the mantle was this week's craft. I'm pretty stoked with how it came out considering I managed to do everything (including painting it white!) all during a nap time.

Here are my cute little leprachauns:

And just cause it's so adorable, here's Marshall last year. He was 10 months old:

I can't believe that was only a year ago, he looks like such a baby!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Hi Blog

I didn't mean to just abandon you. I really need to stop being so flaky... especially since I use this as my "baby book." Maybe tomorrow I'll get around to writing an actual post with pictures:) Right now I'm sitting on the bathroom floor while Miller sleeps and Marshall is taking a bath/swim/splash fest.

On a completely random note, we have a housekeeper now. She comes once every two weeks. Its pretty much the highlight of my week those weeks. It is SO AMAZING to come home from work to a sparkling house. I'm kind of a clean freak. Which is hard to maintain with 2 kids under 2, a husband that works week days out of town, and a 2400 sq ft house. Why did we think 3 bathrooms was a good idea again? I *never* have the time to clean the entire house, top to bottom, all at once. I do a bathroom here, floor there, so it just feels like I'm eternally cleaning and never finished. Anyways, enter the housekeeper!

On the 2-3 days a week he is here we always cram in a family-fun outing (like the beach, Avila Valley Barn, picnic, etc), some couples time after the kids go to bed (dinner/movie out, redbox and wine at home), a project around the house, alone time for each of us (usually a craft, nap, or book for me and guitar or messing with the garage for him) then hopefully visit some family or friends. Plus all the regular chores like lawn mowing, weeding, dog walking, and making meals. Its hard to also scrub floors and vacuum blinds and baseboards.

We're in this new (to us) strange situation of having more money than time so it just made sense to pay someone to do the deep cleaning stuff so that we'd have more family time together. It was actually Jerad's idea. If it were up to him we'd have someone to do the laundry, shopping, lawn mowing, and every other chore we have. I have a hard time paying people to do things I can do myself so it took a lot of convincing to get me on the housekeeper bandwagon but now I'm kicking myself that we haven't been doing this for the last year.

Ok, there's my random rambling for the evening.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Such a dork

Jerad is out of town this week. Last night we were text messaging and I sent him this message and pics:

"since you are gone we are having a mad par-tay."

"Oh no, the police just came to break it up!!!"

Bwahahahaha I seriously crack myself up. Or maybe its just the sleep deprivation...

Friday, March 9, 2012

We survived the first week!

Yeay, I made it through my first week back from maternity leave! I might even go so far as to say I enjoyed being back at work:) My new schedule is pretty amazing. Tuesday after I picked up the boys we went to Bethel park and played for about an hour. I have now mastered nursing Miller in the sling while simultaneously chasing Marshall around.

He mostly wanted to collect sticks and rocks

Wednesday after work we went to the zoo.

He's kind of obsessed with making this face lately

Chillaxin' in the sling
 Jerad left at about 3:00am on Thursday morning to go to a job in Pasadena. I was a little skeptical that I'd be able to feed all the animals, and get me and 2 babies dressed and out the door in time to be at work at 7am but somehow I was only 6 minutes late. Most days I'm about 10 minutes late so in a way I was early!

My mom picked up the boys when she got off work so she could hang out with them for a few hours.

This morning we all slept in till 7am (HEAVEN). Marshall helped me make some coffee:

 Then we played with tractors in the bean sensory box Jerad made him:

He made sure to include Miller in the tractor fun:

Miller is finally at the stage where he's happy to play alone under the activity gym so I'm able to get some house work and blog reading done while Marshall naps

After lunch we headed to the children's museum for a few hours:

flower arranging

I'd call week one a success. Everyone at work was so nice and I had fun and felt productive being there. Every morning I got to savor my coffee and breakfast at my desk *uninterrupted.* I also was able to get caught up on my emails, blog reader, and come up with our budget and savings goals for the year. I thrive on a routine. I feel like I have more energy than I have in months, our house is spotless, and I've even got a jump on making some St Patricks day crafts!

Jerad is on his way home now and should be back before bed time! This weekend we have lots of plans around the house, will inevitably end up at the Children's Museum or Zoo,  and won free $50 tickets to the Rotary Club's crab fest which is always a blast.