Tuesday, February 28, 2012

My 'Dear Abby' Letter To You

Have I thanked you guys, my wonderful friends who spend your valuable time reading my ramblings on motherhood and crazyhood? Thank you. And I'm not just saying that because I need some help...Um, but I do need help in the form of advice from my smart mommy friends. And you, too Mr. Donohoe, if you read this. I do think you are my only regular male reader besides Zeke who is contractually obliged to read every post and I don't want you to feel left out. Particularly because you've done the potty training thing once already.

So. Potty training. Seems like we are finally ready. I mean, I've been ready for over a year. Think Z has been ready that long as well. But now T is on board. On Friday he told me he didn't want to pee in his diaper. Each day he has been peeing in the potty more and more. Yesterday he asked to wear big boy underwear, which stayed on his bottom for less than 10 minutes. He spent the morning in a shirt and socks, peed 6 times on the pot and only had one accident-conveniently on the hardwood floor for easy clean up. 

At nap time I told him he needed to wear a diaper and I zipped him into his footie pjs facing backwards. He's been wearing that getup to nap and sleep in for over a month, since he figured out how to take off his pjs and diaper and pee and poop all over his room. He cried for a bit about injustice of having to wear the pjs, which he hasn't done before. And when he woke he had pooped in the diaper. After I cleaned him up I told him he didn't have to wear a diaper if he didn't want, but he wanted a pull up. Throughout the afternoon into evening I asked him again and again if he had to pee, but he always said "No!" Then this morning he went comando again until it was time for school. I told him he had to wear pants to school (I know, I'm a bitch), but he could wear big boy undies or pull ups. He opted for the pull ups, although he carried the underwear. And as soon as we entered the classroom he full on blew his nose into them, which is another matter altogether.

Here's my questions, folks: I don't push it, right? If he doesn't want to use the big boy potty in the afternoon I need to not press the issue, right? What did you guys do for naps with your kiddos? If I give him the option to go to the bathroom during nap he'll use it as an excuse to not nap at all. And he needs to nap, not just for my sanity. Dude still sleeps for two, sometimes three hours in the afternoon. If he doesn't he is a wreck. He needs his sleep, just like mommy. What did you guys do at night? What did you do when you needed to leave the house (like for school, or for the dreaded airplane trip on Saturday) in the middle of potty training before the kid really got it?

Please friends, help me. Because this feels like a mine field. I don't want to screw it up, I don't want to pressure him, I'm cool with cleaning up accidents and all that jazz I just don't want to do something that is going to freak him out and make him regress.

He scrunched up the wrapper from his chocolate and said, "Look Mommy! It's a 'C'!" 

Later he grabbed his brother's arm and shouted, "Brackium Emendo!" Name that Harry Potter moment.... 

His tiny hiney is so damn adorable.  

C can't keep his tongue is his mouth, T was the same way as a baby. 

Seriously unsure what he is doing here.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

If You Can't Laugh At the Anxiety...

The anxiety has been on hyper drive over here for the last few weeks. At least there are clear reasons. In  a week I'll be taking two little guys on an airplane solo to go see my folks. My shrink even thinks it's a bad idea, but whatever, I really want to see my family. C's sleep has deteriorated terribly. We've got him back on track with the nights, but he isn't napping, which makes me want to slit my wrists (Metaphorically, people, metaphorically. I'm not suicidal at all). The boys just came off antibiotics and are getting brand new colds, and the whole being pulled over thing did not help matters.

So what happens when I get like this? I feel fat. Last night I was making pizza for dinner and I suddenly couldn't stand it for a minute longer. I told Z I had to run upstairs. Where I promptly took off every item of clothing I had on and got on the scale. My relationship with my body is so damaged that it didn't even help that the number was smaller than I expected. Because I walked over to the mirror and looked at myself and felt total disgust and shame. Then I put yoga pants and a comfy top on and trudged back downstairs.

I told Z what I had done when I started making diner again. He grabbed my shoulders and begged me to take a chill pill. Me, "Hell yes! But we have to wait until I get C down."

And I did take a pill after C fell asleep. It helped. Checking out pinterest helped. The NCIS rerun helped. On the nights where I'm spiraling into anxiety overdrive Z deserves a break. Thankfully there is a bar within walking distance that has beer for $2.50. He got a quiet night without a crazy wife. I was asleep before 10. Which I know because I was passed out when C's crying woke me at 10:03.

The question is what is going to help today? I can't take a chill pill every day. We don't get on the plane for another week and my family and I can't bear my mental state for 7 more days, one or all of us will explode. I'm going to try to keep my clothes on and stay off of the scale of doom. I'm going to make a key lime pie and some red sauce that will simmer on the stove for hours. We are going to see friends we haven't seen in several years tonight. Maybe by playing at being normal I'll start to feel that way.

And please, if you struggle with anxiety, please, thing of me wildly stripping off my clothing and standing naked and shivering on a scale, breath held until the number appeared. Because, come on, it's fucking hilarious and demented. Because if laughing at me makes you feel one tiny bit better then I'm doing something right and this whole over-sharing blog thing is worth it.

C considering the long term effects of having a crazy mommy. 

Did you know I enamel? I've been doing these for some friends. A penny from the year you were born, a penny from the year your sweetheart was born, first initials stamped on both of them, and into the kiln. The quality of the photo stinks, but this is mine. 

Friday, February 24, 2012

The No Shampoo Thing

And now for something completely different....Back in early November I decided to take the plunge into the world of no shampoo. Don't get all grossed out, I still clean my hair. I just do it with a baking soda and water combo followed by diluted raw apple cider vinegar. I'd first heard of this method over the summer, but I wanted to talk to the knowledgable lady who cuts my hair before I started myself. She told me it sounded like it would work and told me I should give it a shot. I'm almost 4 months in, and honestly can't see going back to shampoo and conditioner. Today I got my first haircut since the switch. The lovely lady I go to has been cutting my hair since we moved here and she said my hair has never felt so good. She said it was fuller looking (and I've just experienced extreme post partum hair shedding), shiny, and soft. She owns the salon I go to, and she sells shampoo and conditioner. But she said she was going to suggest the method to some of her clients. There is absolutely no reason for her to blow smoke up my ass about this, it seriously has made a change in my hair. I've thought so, but it made me feel great to get a professional's feedback. I've chronicled a bit of the experiment on facebook and a couple of friends asked for details. So here goes:

I bought plastic measuring spoons, and a plastic 1 C measuring cup. Yes plastic isn't environmentally friendly, but seriously, it is bathroom safe. At the hospital they gave me a 1 C capacity squeeze bottle to wash my lady bits with warm water postpartum. Yes, I'm going to gross you out and admit I use it for my hair now. What? It was free. And I totally ran it through the dishwater. A lot of people mix quantities in advance, but I find it easy enough to mix what I need the day I wash my hair. I put just less than 1 tablespoon of baking soda in the measuring cup and fill it to 1C with hot water. I swirl it around and pour it into the squeeze bottle and then set it on the rim of the tub. Then I wash out the measuring cup, shake the bottle of vinegar to incorporate the sediment, pour in 2 tablespoons of vinegar, and fill it to 1C with hot water and then set the measuring cup on the side of the tub. Before I get in I comb my hair. Then I wet it down, shake the squeeze bottle, and really saturate my hair with it, getting all parts of my scalp. For a minute or two I massage my scalp and then I rinse really well. I grab the measuring cup of vinegar and drop the ends of my hair (which tend to be dry) in for a minute or two. Then I pour it on my scalp. Let it hang out for a bit, then rinse it really really well. The last thing I do is comb my hair with the water running on it. I do this about every 4th day. On the other days I just wet my hair, massage my scalp for a bit, and comb it with water running on it. Days I'm washing doesn't take much longer than conventional shampoo and conditioner.

This is what works for my hair. The bummer is it might not be exactly what you need, so you need to experiment until you get it right. But once you do it will be worth it.
Stuff to know:

  • A friend who also does this mentioned she used shampoo out of convenience and two days later her hair was greasy. This is because shampooing completely strips your hair and scalp of oil. That's why it feels "clean". But it sends your scalp into crazy oil over production. So if you give this a shot, well, for the first several days or weeks your hair might be greasy until it stops over producing. Which sucks. But stick with it and you'll be rewarded. 
  • While visiting family over the holidays I needed to wash every 3 days, rather than every 4 because of the soft water at my family's home. Evidently, how often you need to wash can change with the seasons as well. Just pay attention to what your hair wants.
  • My hair cut lady told me all hair product is water soluble. My hair is dreadfully flat and fine, so I use gel at the roots every day. Because my ends are dry I also rub a bit of oil into the bottoms every day. On the days I don't clean, the water rinse removes those items and I reapply. 
  • No, you don't smell like vinegar. I promise. Sometimes I can still faintly smell it at the end of my shower, but never when it is dry. You just smell like...nothing. Which is super disconcerting after a lifetime of shampoo fragrance. The body oil on the ends helps with that. The kind I like is extremely expensive, though. So I've gotten some jojoba oil and the essential oils in the pricy one I like and I'm mixing my own. Be careful to just use a tiny bit if you are going this route. The ends can look really greasy really fast if you use too much.
  • If your hair seems dry, cut back on the amount of baking soda. If you hair seems greasy, cut back on the amount of vinegar. 
  • We traveled for three weeks to two different locations over the holidays and I had no problem doing this. I brought my cup and spoon and bought apple cider vinegar (regular stuff, not the braggs and it was fine) and baking soda at the locations. 
  • Before I did this I washed and conditioned my hair every single day. I've learned that was too much no matter if one does this method or sticks to the shampoo. It's not good to strip your hair every single day. So if you're doing that, cut it out. Even if you don't do the hippy dippy no shampoo deal.
  • The meaning of "clean" changes for you. When I used shampoo my hair would literally squeak when I ran my hands over it after rinsing. And I loved that feeling. But that feeling was actually terrible for my hair. So I've just gotten used to life without it. But I honestly don't feel unclean. And I'm one of those hyper vigilant people about cleanliness. But now my hair is clean and healthy.
If there are any questions I'd be happy to answer them to the best of my ability. But this is all just my experience and I'm not expert. This post really does have great info. If any of you decide to do it, please do let me know how it goes! 

My supplies. Yes, I should put the vinegar in something non-breakable. I am courting disaster. Don't be as dumb as me. I do store the vinegar and soda in a childproofed cabinet, though. 

So this is my hair back in mid November after a few shampoo-free weeks. I don't have one from before I started for comparison. Sorry.

And this is today. It's grossly flat because I didn't ask for any gel when I got it cut. And there's a hell of a lot less of it than there was in November. Do you know about postpartum hair shedding? It is horrifying. The hair comes out in clumps, and it is all over everything in you home. Add it to the list of super awesome stuff that happens to your body during breeding.

Guess who asked to use the potty twice today? 

 He peed in the potty three times yesterday. During lunch he looked at me and said, "I don't want to pee in my diaper." I do not have the words to express my excitement. Those of you who have changed diaper after diaper of full on grown up human type poop know what I mean. I'm not trying to jinx it, but we are headed in a very good direction. 

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Somehow It Always Comes Back to Breastfeeding

What's the old saying? If you want to make god laugh tell him your plans? A couple of posts ago I said I couldn't image doing CIO with C. Um, he's stopped sleeping since then. He's miserable and Z and I are definitely miserable. In the last few weeks C has gotten his first ear infection, he is teething though no teeth have broken through, he's been nursing more frequently, when he does wake he isn't my happy little guy, rather he's really pissed off by life.  And I've somehow lost the damn sleep training book I used with T. I'm not saying we are going to do CIO tomorrow. I don't know exactly what to do. But going from waking zero times a night to waking two times a night and getting up for good between four and five isn't working for any of us.

Little dude is changing. Stands to reason, we are days from him turning 6 months. He's left newborn status behind and is a full fledged baby. Boy, am I not ready. I can't make dinner while holding him with one arm while he nurses anymore. He's too big. The transition from the nursing in the rocking chair to the crib isn't nearly as smooth these days because I can't scoop him up and remove the boppy without jostling the hell out of him. And the constant nursing? I am ravenously hungry and so incredibly thirsty all the time.  Listen, the fact that he's growing up is undoubtably a good thing. To not grow indicates an alternative too horrible to contemplate. But it's bittersweet. They are tiny for such a short time, I'm trying my damnedest to actually appreciate every moment but it goes so fast. The second time is flying by even faster than the first.

I'm trying to soak up all the details. Did you know that breastfed babies have sweet breath until they start on solids? Probably sounds creepy, but I could sit with him in my lap, smelling his sweet little breath for hours on end. Um, did you also notice all this stuff about growing up is seeming to revolve around him being breastfed? That wasn't the direction I was planning on taking this post, I was planning on concentrating on the sleep stuff. But sometimes writing helps me sort out what the real issue is for me. He's going to be 6 months old next week. It's time to start him on cereal.

Before I started this blog I wrote a few notes on Facebook. This is one I wrote just over two years ago. I could have written it this afternoon. Falling in love with T was simple. But the first few months were still hard because you don't get much back from a baby. They just sort of lie there, it's a huge deal when the roll over or reach for a toy and that stuff isn't really riveting. Parenting a toddler is incredibly frustrating, but the payoff is so huge. Toddlers are hilarious. They also tell you they love you, ask you if you are sad and give you hugs, they are pretty amazing. So I have all that wonderful affection from T, I really don't give a crap that C doesn't give it to me. I get to enjoy him without needed anything in return. I've got to remember to thank T for that when he gets up from his nap. So falling in love with T was simple, but falling in love with C was even easier.

The selfish part of me doesn't want to let go of the control of exclusively breastfeeding, I don't want him to stop being mine. I'm just as panicked by it this time as I was last time, even though I know he is going to be even more fun a year from now. But every day he grows a bit closer to leaving our little family and growing up. We get them for such a short time. I feel like 18 years ago was just yesterday. Senior year of high school. I mean, it just happened. Didn't it Robinson Rams? And the verdict is still out on if we are going try for a third. There is a strong possibility that this is the last time I get to do this. It's time to stop being selfish and start getting used to the idea I need to let him go. In the meantime there is the important business of trying to teach him to be a good man. Recently I came across this quote by Frederick Douglas on Pinterest, "It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men." (thanks T. Tara) What an incredible reminder of what parenting is all about. It is easier. But it's still damn hard work. Zeke and I are doing our best, though.

This picture hangs on a wall of photos that lines our stairway. When I asked T who it was he said, "Thomas!" I'm probably around 18months here. 

He's definitely my kid. 

And sweet C isn't miserable all the time, mostly when he's trying to wake up, or when he's sleepy, ok, so a lot of the time. But the rest of the time he's like this.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

And the Winner is...Anxiety

It seems like a little thing, removing T's car seat from the car and leaving it at preschool so he can go on a field trip. But I'd been dreading it for a week. New stuff scares me. In fact, I'll do anything to avoid learning how to do things that seem overwhelming. Sadly, figuring how to maneuver a toddler car seat falls into that category. The fear comes from the possibility that I am too stupid to handle even the easy stuff. So moving the car seat is Z's thing. Except Z teaches while T is in school, and I had an errand to run. Otherwise I would have attended the field trip simply so I wouldn't have to learn how to move the seat. That's how convoluted and cumbersome an anxiety disorder is.

Z taught me how to install it the night before, and of course it was completely manageable. But I still woke up with fear gripping my belly. I knew if I made one false step in the day something terrible would happen. When was the right time to leave for school? If I forgot one thing and had to turn back would that be the catalyst for the terrible thing? Would there be a sign? Would it be luck? Would I fuck it up?

I got the seat out of the car and T's teacher actually came out to grab it so I wouldn't have to make two trips, then she recruited the school's director to take T in so I didn't even need to take C out of the car. Several hours later T's teacher was back in the parking lot when I arrived to hand me the seat and I got it installed with no problem. I breathed a sigh of relief and went inside to pick up T.

I thought I'd passed the test orchestrated by my anxiety. My guard was completely down as I pulled out of the parking lot. The roads of south campus are winding and filled with stop signs. Three turns out of the lot I noticed the campes security car with its lights flashing. I didn't recall doing anything wrong, so I pulled over and assumed the car would go around. It pulled behind me. And it sat there. And sat there. And sat some more. What the hell was going on? After a few minutes another security car with its lights on pulled up. I couldn't imagine that this was for me, I started to get out of the car to find out what the deal was and an officer in the second car shouted at me to get back inside. I started to get really scared. T wanted to know what was going on and I didn't know what to tell him.

Finally an officer in the first car approached my window. "What the hell is going on?" I asked. Looking back, that was not a great opener, but while I haven't been pulled over that many times this was unlike anything I'd ever experienced, "What the hell is going on?" he yelled, "You blew right through that stop sign?" I gave him a blank look. I honestly had no idea what he was talking about. "You didn't stop at the first sign, and then you stopped at the second," Long pause. "I need your licence and registration." I gave it to him without saying anything and he walked away.

I don't think I ran the stop sign. I really don't. But I can't say for sure because I don't clearly remember. But the traffic violation really isn't the point here. The whole tenor of this event with the long waits and two vehicles was terrifying. And confusing. And I felt completely unwarranted. He was taking so long in his car my fear just grew and grew. And finally he got out of the car. But another officer got out as well. They were both slowly walking towards the car from either side. The man on the passenger side put his hand by his weapon. What the fuck was going on? Was I going to be arrested? For running a stop sign? Why did this man have his hand near he weapon as he was looking in my rear window and at my boys? I was so paralyzed that I couldn't take my eyes off the man. Time seemed to stand still and I was jolted back to reality by the other officer rapping on my window. I'd completely lost track of him because of the second officer. I didn't say a word as he handed me my license, registration, and ticket and explained how to plead guilty or innocent. They pulled out at I put my papers away. I saw one of them in a parking lot ahead.

I pulled back on the road behind a bus. That didn't completely stop at the next stop sign. In view of the cop. Which I know is neither here nor there, but it still rankled me. And I kept it together until I got home and was unable to reach Z on the phone. I did get a hold of my parents but still I didn't start crying until I got to the part about the officer with his hand near his gun.

So it was a shitty scary thing. So while I am positive I didn't "blow through" the stop sign the possibility does exist that I didn't come to a full stop for three seconds (which I seem to recall is the law).  So the behavior of the officers was (in my experience) incredibly unusual. So this event was not orchestrated by my anxiety disorder to keep me in line and let me know I was not, under any circumstance, to try to learn new things and take a more active role in my life. But sweet jesus, that is what it feels like.

The sick part of me says, "Karen. You were right. You shouldn't have dared learn how to do the car seat. Who the fuck to you think you are? You are nothing. You are useless. You deserved to be shamed and if you try and face things that scare you in the future I will make you pay." And now I am scared to drive on South Campus. T's wonderful school no longer feels safe. And since Thursday the dread has settled into my bones and my throat and my belly. Z had a work obligation last night and I put the boys down alone for the first time since their bedtimes became the same time. When I got downstairs I should have been relieved, but my anxiety took hold. I was waiting for something terrible to happen, for someone to break in, for something awful to happen to one of the boys. I sat on the sofa until Z came home, frightened in my own home, the anxiety punishing me. I am stuck, positive something truly terrible is going to happen. And it will be my fault.

For the boys I need to fight this off. And I hope I will. But right now I feel completely defeated. I feel like the anxiety is the only part of me that is truly strong. I feel like I will be punished any time I try to fight it, I feel like the boys will be punished if I surrender.

I mean, who would want to fail a face like this? 

His smiles for the camera are getting a bit less menacing. 

I love putting T's hand-me-downs on him, it's like visiting old friends. And who cares that my uterus seems incapable of growing babies with hair when you get to wear awesome shirts like this?

New clothes from wonderful friends are a lot of fun as well. Thanks again, Chris.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

This Job Is Hard

Sometimes I have no clue how to do this parenting thing. I was just putting T down for his nap which is quite a production. He tries to draw it out for as long as possible, Z and I have come up with an order of events and we work hard not to deviate from them no matter how much he whines/sobs/pleads. We got to the second drink of water portion of naptime prep (no, I'm not kidding) and he said, "I'm being Molly!" and he went limp in my arms, head back, mouth open, tongue out.  My breath caught in my throat and I started to cry.

"Molly" is the not-real-name of one of the little girls in T's preschool. Her developmental issues are so severe that she is unable to sit up unassisted, she is blind, she does not speak, and from what I understand it is unclear if she will ever be able to do those things. She is the youngest of 3 or 4 kids and I think she is the only member of the family with developmental issues. Every time I see her my emotions cycle so quickly I have whiplash. I hurt for her and her family, I rail at god for being so unfair, even though I know it isn't useful and her family probably would resent me for it I pity her, and the small, selfish, shitty part of myself feels fear. I want another baby. I'm 35 now, we have two healthy boys. Would I be temping fate if we have another? But ultimately I'm happy she is there. I'm happy she has qualified professionals with her at school helping her to participate and enriching her life. I'm happy she has a caring family.

T's school partners with an awesome preschool in Syracuse that has been educating "typical children" and "special needs children" in the same classrooms since 1975. There are trained special needs teachers in each class. I love it. Kids who need something extra are quickly identified by the wonderful teachers and the school facilitates getting those kids help. I also love the idea of T growing up with special needs children as a way of de-stigmatizing them. It is so easy for kids to fear or reject "different". I want my son to be the kind of kid who accepts all kinds of people and who will help others who need it. Pretty lofty goals, I know. But exposing him to all kinds of kids and making them part of his normal seems like a great start.

So when he started mimicking Molly I didn't know how to explain to him why he shouldn't do it. I like to think he's a pretty smart kid, but he isn't quite two and a half. I understand he is just "trying on" what he is seeing and that it is normal. There certainly wasn't anything malicious behind it. And I asked him to stop. I told him that Molly isn't playing, she actually can't sit up and needs to be held. So it isn't nice to pretend to be like her because she would love to be able to talk, and sit up, and play with the other kids. I don't know. Was that the right thing to say? Am I expecting him to understand too much? What is the correct way to handle that situation?

I handed him the cup of water and held him tight and said a prayer to the god I'm not sure I believe it, thanking him for my two perfect boys, begging him to forgive my selfishness and send me one more, and asking him, "How could you? How could you do this to Molly and her family?"

The guy at our local firehouse are so awesome. T loves to watch them work on the trucks and they are kind as can be to him, he always comes home with a hat. 

So I realize this looks like he is leaning on the chair, but I swear he wasn't. Dude is sitting up by himself! 

This might look like just some stick from our yard, but I assure you it is not. It is a mighty magic wand! 

He just disarmed me. Expelliarmus is one of his specialties.  

Thursday, February 2, 2012

The Dreaded Sleep Training

Back when T was C's age I vacillated between feeling wretched and defiant that we did Cry It Out (CIO). At this point in time there is no way we will do CIO with C. Did I have some crisis of conscience and see the error of my ways? Nope. This isn't going to turn into some indictment of CIO, I am more convinced than ever that we used the right method for T. 

Can I tell you how annoying I find it when people say that every kid is different? Totally drives me bonkers. Except it turns out that every kid actually is different. Parenting is all about rolling with the punches. I would never do CIO with C because he doesn't need it. T needed it. I will not force the same parenting methods down both kid's throats. They are individuals and need to be treated as such.

C isn't sleeping through the night anymore. I'm more tired than I was when he was new, but dude was an extraordinary newborn. I can't complain about him going to bed around 8 and waking up between 4 and 5 to be fed. He's 5 months old and he's been getting up once in the night since we returned from the holidays. According to the wise internet this is totally normal. He isn't eating as well during the day because life is so exciting. If I try and nurse him anywhere that isn't a dark room with no one else in it he keeps breaking off to grin at whoever is around. Stands to reason he wakes up hungry.

The sleep training crisis was much more straightforward with T. That child simply wouldn't sleep. We did CIO because there was no other option. All three of us were sleep deprived and miserable. Before he was born I was sure (of so many things that didn't happen) that we would have a family bed. I couldn't wait to cuddle up to my sweet baby and my husband and have a peaceful night of sleep. Not only would T not sleep in bed with us, he wouldn't sleep in his crib, he wouldn't sleep if we were holding him and trying to soothe him, he wouldn't sleep if we drove him around in the car. He screamed and cried for hours on end. That first night we did CIO and he wept for 2.5 hours it was so awful. Listening to him was so painful my skin hurt. But that sensation wasn't new, it had been happening for months. The difference was he was a floor away and he wasn't screaming in my ear. Which made it both better and much, much worse. T had no idea how to sleep and we needed to teach him. And he got it, he became both a champion sleeper and napper. Until his brother was born, but that is a story for another day. So yes, there was a simple answer for T's problems, but let's get real, that simple answer was incredibly hard to execute. 

T needed a rigid schedule. The bedtime routine started at 7pm, nap at 9am, and at 1pm. If we deviated from those times at all we would pay the price for days on end. C doesn't even have a morning naptime. He catches a cat nap here and there, but we have too much going on in the mornings and he doesn't make a fuss. If we don't get him down to bed at the exact same time it doesn't make any difference to him. After being a slave to T's needs it's rather amazing. But the times C is hard to soothe, when he wakes 3 times a night instead of once, if he cries for an hour from 10pm to 11pm I feel completely helpless and lost. There isn't a "right" answer that I can believe in. I'm still trying to figure out what he needs in those difficult moments.

I'm grateful to C for so many things. His existence has soothed the pain of the miscarriage. That pain will never fully go away, but it is now a dull ache. I remember and mourn the loss, but I celebrate the life of my sweet baby. I'm also grateful that he is so different than T. My eldest is a rascal, he's a clever kid ready to have fun, and play with words, and work an angle to get what he wants. Watching his little brain synthesize all the information that is thrown at him blows my mind. Even when he was 5 months old there was a mischievousness in his smile. C really looks at you and thinks about it and then rewards you with a smile. He makes you feel like you've earned something grand when he smiles at you. He is full of sweetness. With all their differences it is easy for me to remember that I must be a different mom to both of them. I must pay attention to what they need and not just give them the same thing out of some sense of "fairness". T needed CIO. C needs, well I'm not quite sure what he needs, but I know it isn't CIO. And when he does have rough nights I'm trying hard to figure out what I can do to help. 
There will be a potty training post soon. I'm thinking of calling it "Adventures in Excrement". Pretty catchy, right? 

Notice his footie pjs are on backwards. That will be covered in the post.

Thanks for the amazing overalls, Chris! Z loves them! 

Yeah, he's a big 5 month old. He can sit when carefully propped up. 

Until big brother comes along.