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Finn: Eleven Days Later

2014 November 8
by Becky

YawningFinn

It feels like a miracle I’m even sitting at my computer. All the boys are napping and my parents are out for the afternoon. So while a shower was up for consideration, I figured it would be a great time to recap the last eleven days.

They went like this:

Feed Finn
Get Ethan dressed
Feed Finn
Feed Ethan breakfast
Feed Finn
Take Ethan to school
Feed Finn
Take a shower
Feed Finn
Go to a doctors appointment
Feed Finn
Pick up Ethan
Feed Finn
……..

You get the idea. This boy is hungry. And growing! At our 25th (ok 3rd) doctor appointment yesterday he weighed in at 6 pounds 13 ounces—officially above his birth weight which means no more waking him up to eat. Any question about my milk supply went out the window…whew.

A fourth doctor appointment was with St. Louis’s tongue tie specialist, Dr. Grawey at Little Flower, way the heck out in O’Fallon, MO. I noticed Finn’s little tongue was pretty tied down—just like Ethan’s—the day he was born and his latch solidified my suspicion…ouch. I limped by using a shield, visions of mastitis and thrush floating through my head, until we could get the tongue clipped and ahhhhhhhhhh we are already doing so much better.

I realize once more, breastfeeding is no joke. While this time is easier than last time, there always seems to be a road block. But it’s so worth it. We all just need to ask for help from people in the know, who for me has included my doula, hospital lactation, and Dr. Grawey. We will probably head back to Kangaroo Kids support group starting next week—it was a lifesaver for Ethan.

For the last week I’ve had lots of help in the form of my parents. They came to hold baby boy and play with Ethan. My mom cooked meals and dad built a fabulous little cubby by our back door. They took on some school drop-offs/pick-ups and have made trips to the zoo and science center. They’ve made the transition for Ethan very smooth, we’ve had no meltdowns or regression due to the new arrival.

GrandparentsFinnEthan

Ethan hasn’t been asking to hold Finn, he just mostly likes to touch his little hands and rock him in the bouncy seat. Sure a few toys have had to be confiscated due to potential baby-impalement, but for the most part Ethan has been very gentle and respectful. I did make him hold Finn once…it lasted about 23 seconds.

Ethan Holding Finn

Finn flailed and screamed his way through a couple sponge baths before, just like his big bro, immensely enjoying the hair wash (which clearly did not happen before the above picture). His little fuzz head is a spitting image of new born Ethan, though Ethan’s hair seemed to be thicker.

irstBath

More about our adjustment. Diving in head first seems to be working. Ethan climbs in my lap to read books while I soothe Finn, we head out the door for short trips, I’ve baby-held while reading bedtime books, we’ve been on a family walk (now that the sun came out!), and I began baby-wearing the day Finn came home…not sure how anyone survives without some variation of wrap to provide hands-free baby snuggling.

ReadingwithEthanFinn

BabyWearingFinn
Ugh it’s gonna take much longer to come back from this one. Yikes. Long cardigans are once again my breastfeeding attire staple. 

This new kid is a snuggler. He calms down very quickly with just a nuzzle to a bare neck. We’ve seen him lose it a few times—bath, tongue clip, and weigh-ins—but once you pick him up, he’s mostly chill.

I hate writing something like this on the blog, but so far he is an awesome sleeper. We decided this time co-sleeping was the way to go, something we only occasionally did with Ethan. Ethan had been in a crib for 6.5 weeks at the NICU, whereas Finn came straight home and we just couldn’t leave him alone in his room. It seemed drastic. So he wakes up to eat twice a night for food and after goes right to sleep in my arm or between us in his own little area. It makes him so happy, and we get to wake up to this.

FinnMilkDrunk

Remember the nursery? The one of which I’ve yet to post finished photos? Well other than the yet-to-be-used crib, it’s working out just fine. It’s the perfect nursing sanctuary (until we get the side-lying maneuver figured out) and the changing area is perfect. We’re still using disposable diapers due to skinny baby legs not fitting the Bum Genius yet, but we’re hoping to make the switch soon.

Everyone keeps asking, “How’s life with two kids?”

Well, I’ve had lots of help this week so I can’t say I totally know. But so far it’s just time consuming and exhausting. I have every nutrient sucked out of me 10 times a day and, while I keep trying to deny it, recovery is still taking it’s toll. By 9pm I’m wiped. But luckly I have a helpful four year old that only needs to be told 9 times to put on his shoes. Hey, at least he does it eventually.

FirstFamilyWalk

Our most “welcome to two” moment yet was last night when Ethan puked all over himself in bed—twice—directly following Finn feedings. Brutal.

Overall, we can’t get over how much easier it is to bring a full term baby straight home. It certainly helps a lot that this is our second go-round, but wow do the rules change when you have a big healthy baby.

I can’t complain, things are really going great. I just hope I have time to document it all before the details fall out of my head. I’m just going to have to get faster.

The amazing gifts, food, and congratulations keep on arriving—we are overwhelmed. Thank you for celebrating Finn!

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Halloween for Four

2014 November 3
by Becky

With all the excitement of Finn’s arrival last week I was a little worried about Halloween getting brushed over.

So, even before we knew we’d be welcoming a new member of our family, we made sure to get the Halloween plans going. It started with pumpkin carving the weekend before. For the third year in a row, Ethan was scared of the pumpkin innards. “Gross!” “That’s disgusting!” is what he kept screaming in anticipation of Stu taking off that pumpkin lid…

StuEthanPumpkinCarving2

StuEthanPumpkinCarving

We did get him to put his hand in the pumpkin…for about two seconds. He was pretty interested in our quest to get every single seed out for roasting…always very worth the effort.

We went with a classic Jack-o-Lantern face. Kinda boring but it’s what we like. It was “Super Spooky!” according to Ethan.

BeckEthanPumpkinCarving

Our (unknowingly) last pre-baby activity was our annual mom’s club Trunk or Treat at Lafayette Park. A few of us get together, dress up the kids, and stand at tree trunks to hand out candy. It’s silly but super fun and the kids love it. With gorgeous weather and beautiful leaves everywhere, it was the perfect after school activity…Ethan told his whole class, “I’m going TRUNK or Treating after school today!!” He was PSYCHED.

TrunkorTreatEthan
That was Monday. Finn surprised us very early Tuesday morning.

So we were all too happy we’d already invited our local family (aunts and uncles), plus a few out of town family who happened to be in town, over for a little Halloween party. I had a funny feeling we’d be happy to have trick or treating help, both with Ethan and with manning the door…our neighborhood gets TONS of action.

This year’s costume may look a little familiar…

EthanSharkPumpkin

EthanSharkPumpkin2

Ethan Shark Costume

Several months ago, when I asked Ethan what he’d like to be for Halloween, full expecting the answer to be “Bumblebee” or “Astronaut”, he confidently said, “A shark.” We tried on last year’s fabulous shark costume and boom, we were done. It is the cutest costume, I’m honestly so glad we’ve gotten so much use out of it. (If you are interested, we got it here…it’s worth every penny and actually on sale right now!)

My uncle Al taught Ethan a hilarious joke: “Why didn’t the skeleton cross the road? Because he didn’t have the guts!” Well Ethan thought this was the funniest thing he’d ever heard and proceeded to tell it to every house he visited—he’s a true St. Louisian (the kids here all tell jokes for trick or treating). His delivery was quite good. After tromping our block and the next one over, he was exhausted and proud of his bucket full of candy to sort.

SortingHalloweenCandy

While he trick or treated, the rest of us handed out candy, made dinner, and relaxed. It was a PERFECT evening.

Great Grandma (my grandma) was in heaven hanging out with her two great-grandsons. Finn slept in her arms for about two hours and no matter how many times we offered to give her a break, she refused. For months I’ve been telling her the new baby just might be here for her trip and what do you know, he was.

GreatGrandmaEthanFinn
GreatGrandmaFinnEthanBeck

So how is life as a foursome?

So far great! Ethan is still handling things like a total pro, no set backs so far. While I was feeling incredibly good on Halloween (four days after Finn’s arrival) I slowed down quite a bit the next day. It’s a feeding frenzy around here and I forgot just how uncomfortable things get when the real milk arrives…yikes. But so far breastfeeding has been a much better experience this go round and hopefully we’ll hit our stride soon. Finn is almost back to his birth weight (he only lost a couple ounces the day after he was born) and is SUCH a good baby. Sleeping, eating, and being cute. Stu was home for the first week and now my parents are in town to help for a week…

…before I’m on my own.

I’m already a little nervous! But so far managing two isn’t hard, Finn is just time consuming since he’s still figuring out the eating thing. Ethan has been very patient though, finding the whole mama milk thing pretty fascinating. He helps by bringing me water and even feeding me snacks. An amazing big brother.

Thank you for all the calls, texts, visits, food, and gifts!! It’s been a great first week as a family of four. 

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