The Taynors

The Taynors

Friday, November 17, 2017

Life in the Taynor House - Fall 2017

I wanted to do a "day in the life" post, but our lives are so different from day to day that it wouldn't really give me  (future me who is looking back to ready these and remember what life was like) a true picture.  So instead I am going to do a highlight real-  this is what is going on in our home right now.

Ryan is 6.5, Patrick is 3.5, Thomas is 4 months, and I will be 35 next week (eek)

-Ryan is in 1st grade and loves it.  He got the BEST teacher that I could have asked for him this year.  He loves math, doesn't quite love site words or spelling yet, but he does love to write his own stories and being read to.  Currently the sentences in his story are rough- most works not spelled correctly and most barely recognizable, but the effort is there and I am encouraging the creativity.  I am one of the class moms with two other moms.  Its a big job I am coming to find out.  But the other women I am doing it with are pros so I am following their lead.  I volunteered for the job because I like to be involved with party planning because of Ryan's food allergies.  And I know he really likes having me be an active role in his class.

-Ryan played soccer and baseball this Fall.  He really liked both but became baseball obsessed! He loves playing it, talking about it, and watching it.  Lucky for us the Yankees had a great season- Aaron Judge rookie season, won the home run derby, hit the most home runs ever by a rookie, and the Yankees were only 1 game away from going to the World Series.  We have had a lot of fun rooting them on this Summer and Fall.

-Ryan is also becoming such an elementary school kid- saying things like "totally!" and "Boys go to college to get more knowledge, girls go to jupiter to get more stupider" and wanted to explain to me what the middle finger means "I promise I won't do it Mom, but what does it mean?"  His favorite words that make him sound so old are quite and often.  "I quite like my sleep" and "i often call out in class". Also his Christmas wish list has gone from lots and lots of toys to only a few things and all technology based- a phone (insert eye roll), a video game headset, xbox one, some lego game that you can play through the system. He walks around the house always pretending to be playing baseball, or kicking the soccer ball, or throwing the football up and catching it.  But he still loves to cuddle, and loves to be read to at bed time, and gives me lots of hugs and love every day.

-Patrick is a 3 year old boy.  If you have ever had a 3 year old boy you know what I mean.  There is a lot of rage, and a lot of cuteness, and a lot of stubborn, and a lot of frustration, and a lot of goofy.  Just a lot of all emotions.  He is developing a personality of his own and his emotions run wild!  But he is sooooo stinkin cute that he knows he can get away with murder.  He is learning to spell his name and finally interested in learning his letters.  He asks a million questions and talks non stop. He says cute things that melt my heart like randomly saying "you are the sweetest mom in the world".  He is rough and aggressive and says inappropriate things.  Potty talk is his favorite conversation. He loves to get dirty and jump in muddy puddles.  Meltdowns come frequently.  Just a normal 3 year old boy!

-Patrick goes to pre-school MWF full days, he play soccer on Saturday mornings, and he goes to visit Grandma and Grandpa on Thursdays most weeks.  He is actually very good at soccer, he has a decent amount of natural talent.  But if he gets frustrated or doesn't think he is doing well, he is quick to quit.  We are working on getting him to build his confidence and keep playing even when its hard.

-I started back to work in Real Estate officially right after school started in September.  I am still on maternity leave for Coombs Chiropractic, and still debating if I will return or not (that decisions needs to be made like last week).  But with real estate I work office hours all day Monday, and half day Wednesday, and then schedule all my other appointments and open houses in the evenings and weekends.  Its been challenging because as I am starting to build up some serious buyers, I need to be available at the drop off the hat.  Finding last minute child care has been the hardest part.  This week for example, Mike is traveling for work and I had a client who needed to see homes two nights in a row.  So I reached out to every babysitter I knew to try to get coverage for an hour each night.  And getting a babysitter for 3 kids at dinner time during a week night is not easy.  They are entering into my home during the most chaotic time of day.  But both nights we made it work.  Then I do my computer work and get caught up on contacts at night after the kids are in bed.  I am really enjoying the job and can see a great career in real estate, but right now I just need to find my grove on how to handle child care when I need to be out of the house.

- I am also still doing wedding hair, can't give it up the money is too good.  And I like to do it when life isn't as crazy as it is right now.  2017 was pretty slow with the pregnancy and new baby, but I am already booking lots of weddings for 2018.  I am excited because we can use the boost in extra income!

-Mike has been in this new position since February and its going well, he loves the job, but its WAY more travel then we anticipated.  Just this past month for example he was away for 16 our of 30 nights.  And even when he is working at his regular office, the hours are super long.  He leaves before the kids get up and gets home just in time to kiss them goodnight.  This has been by far our hardest adjustment to having a new baby at home, is the addition of his crazy work schedule.  I don't have the second person to back me up.  When two kids need to be in two different places, I need to figure it out alone.  At dinner time when kids are cranky and needy, I'm on my own putting food on the table and trying to meet their needs.  When Ryan has a baseball game or soccer practice, I am taking all 3 kids with me. So its hard.  I am tired.  And Mike misses his family.  We know this isn't a long term job position, we just need to get through this step on the career ladder, but I am not gonna lie, I am ready for a change.

-Our weekends have entered the crazy zone.  A Saturday normally includes 2 soccer games, a baseball game,  and a kids birthday party. Sundays I try to work an open house, or we have a family event, or we try to do something as a family since its the only time we are all home together.  September and October were nutso.  I am kind of looking forward to the winter weather because we will get a break from sports and less outdoor activities... we can hibernate as a family a little bit (or at least thats what I am hoping for).

-Thomas has been a pretty typical easy 3rd child.  He just tags along in all that we do.  He has already been on rainy soccer fields, and spent all day in and out of the car.  He goes to parties and play dates and meetings at the school.  He has even been on some home showings with me.  Pretty much wherever I go, he goes.  And luckily right now he goes with the flow and always makes people smile wherever we go.  

- A general normal day- I am up with Thomas in and out of sleep from 5am-7am.  Mike leaves for work sometime in that time frame.  The boys get up by 7 and we start our get ready for school routine.  We all leave at 8:45 to drop Patrick off at school, then I swing around and drop Ryan off at school.  Then depending on the day I either go to work, run errands, clean the house, catch up on the ever mounting to-do list until about 2:30.  Pick Patrick up at 3:00.  Get home to get Ryan off the bus at 4:15.  Eat dinner between 4:30-5.  Go to whatever the after school activity is at 5:30-6:30/7.  Home for bath, snack, bedtime.  Mike gets home at bedtime.  We get all kids settled by 8pm (on a good night).  Then 8-10pm catch up on adult conversation, computer work, clean up from the day, prep lunches for the next day, and maybe spend 5 minutes on the couch with TV before we go to bed.  Then start it all over again the next day. 

-My days and thoughts revolve around sleep.  Did he nap? Will he nap? When will he wake up? Is he asleep for the night? How long do i have before next wake up?  4 month olds are exhausting.

- Lots of fun events the past couple months.  My Dad's 60th birthday at the race track.  The twins 4th birthday, Thomas's baptism, Micky's 60th birthday.  Michelle is due with her baby in December and we recently found out Matt and Laura are expecting their first in April.  We visited our NC friends and halloween festivities are this week.  We just booked our Disney vacation for April, this week is the 180  day mark to make dining reservations.  Lots of great stuff!

-The basement project is 99% finished!  Woo hoo!  And we are starting to use it to entertain.  People hung out down there during the baptism because it was a million degrees out.  We had new friends from Ryan's baseball team come over for a football Sunday a few weeks ago.  We are planning a Frankie fight night/Christmas party for the beginning of December.  Its a great space and I am sooooo happy the project is finally complete. 

I think that sums up the highlights of our world right now.  Its crazy but I know I'll miss it one day.

Friday, October 27, 2017

4 months Update for Tommy T

Hey hey, here we are again for another monthly update on Tommy T (as you can see from the title the nickname is sticking in our family, not sure how I feel about it).  Anyway it is not a huge month to report on, a lot of the same as last month, just some added alertness and trying to do new things.

-He is currently 15 lbs

-Still 100% breast fed.  Some days are good, some days are hard.  He wiggles and squirms so much while eating, and he eats super fast.  So my nursing sessions are not relaxing and cuddly.  But he is gaining weight well, and is perfectly heatlhy so we will continue on our nursing journey.

- His routine is finally starting to spread out and he is eating closer to every 3 hours.  I still don't watch the clock, we just go with the Eat Activity Sleep cycle.  But his activity time is longer which leads to longer time between feeds. 

-Naps still SUCK.  I can't wait (please please please) for this to change.  They are still 30 minute cat naps every time.  Last week we were traveling and visiting friends so I just let him sleep wherever we were.  But since we have been home I am starting to "nap train".  Every nap is in his room, blinds closed, pre-nap routine... anything to start moving towards a true nap time and hopefully a longer nap.  Both he and I will be happier when this happens. 

-Night time sleep also SUCKS right now.  Its hard to get him to actually fall asleep.  Up to an hour of going up and down the stairs to help get him settled.  Then his wake ups vary every night- could be 11:30pm, or midnight, or 2:30, or 4 or 5 or all of the above.  I never know what I am going to get.  And sometimes he goes right back to sleep after a quick feed, and sometimes he is up and fussy for 30-45 minutes after.  He seems to be very inconsistent and its making mommy tired!

-Last month he found his hands, this month he found his feet!  He also really wants to be able to sit up.  If he is in the laying down position, he will try to pull himself up to sitting. 

-Still no rolling, and he doesn't really try.  Occasionally you see him roll to his side, but quickly gives up.  The other boys were both early rollers, so this is new to me.

-This month he also started to laugh.  It doesn't happen often, and when he does laugh it kind of scares him, Like what the heck was that noise.  But the smiles are all day every day. 

-We went to visit our NC friends last week, so it was his first plane ride.  He did great.  A few tears at take off but otherwise slept most of the time.  And in general he was super happy with all of our traveling around while down there.  It was super easy to travel with only one baby!  Mark that in the category of things that are easy now that I have three kids that would have been so sary and hard with my first.  I would never ever have flown with Ryan at 4 months old, and if I had to it would have been super stressful.  With Thomas it seemed like a relaxing vacation to only be taking care of one baby.

That's about it for our little stinky man.  Time sure is flying by!  We love him to pieces and so do the boys! 

Friday, October 13, 2017

3 months old!

Late again, same old story... but here are the notes I made about Thomas at the 3 month mark.

Month 2-3 was a great month.  Thomas became very smiley and very happy!  I loved this turn around in him.  Basically he only cries if he is hungry or tired, and just gets a bit fussy if he is overwhelmed or bored.  But know matter what I am able to help him and he is back to happy again.  I do believe he is my happiest baby.

-Thing he likes: baths, diaper changes, flirting, being help upright, trying to sit

-Car rides are getting better, finally!

-He is also starting to like tummy time in short increments.  No rolling yet, but he will push up and look around.

-We moved him to his crib right after 2 months.  It wasn't a super hard transition.  I elevated the head of his crib for his reflux, and made a little nest under his sheet to help him feel cozy and it was pretty smooth.  He is normally in his crib from 7:30pm-4-5am, if he wakes up after 4 am its hard to get him back into his crib and he ends up sleeping with me or in the rock n play next to our bed. 

-His sleep is very inconsistent.  Some nights he goes right to sleep between 7-7:30 and other nights it takes me an hour to get him to really sleep.  Some  nights he sleeps til 4am without waking up, and other nights he is up at 11:30pm, 2am, 4am, etc.  When I go to bed I never know what I am going to get.  I am having a hard time getting over these wake ups, and everytime I think things are going well, he will change it up again.

We also stopped swaddling him about half way through the month.  Out of no where he was miserable at bed time, and would cry even if I tried to nurse him or rock him.  So one night out of frustration I took off the swaddle, put him in a Zipaddee sack and that was that.  I think he was trying to tell me he didn't like the swaddle anymore and he likes his hands by his face.

-Naps are pretty terrible.  30 minutes, exactly, almost every nap, no matter where he is sleeping.  Car, swing, baby wearing, stroller, crib... 30 minutes his eyes pop open.  I totally know that this is a brain sleep wave thing, and that if he could get past that 30 minute mark he would probably sleep longer, but its really hard to nap train with our schedules.  One day he is with me, one day a babysitter, one day my inlaws, running around at sports on the weekends... it all makes nap training difficult.  I am going to just go with it until he hits about 4 months.  At that stage our schedules let up a little, and he is a little bit older to get into a routine, and then we will see if I can help him get better naps.

-Even though naps are short, we are at least falling into a better Eat, Activity, Sleep routine.  The routine is quick- he really only goes 2 hours between feeds most days, but its a routine and I can predict what he will need next.

-In the beginning of the month, he had the tongue tie procedure done.  It was super simple and much easier than I anticipated.  The goal is to help his tongue move better, so he can nurse more efficiently, and help make sure I have a strong supply.  So far so good.  I think I will have a better idea if it made a big impact as he gets older (like 6-8 months).  That is when I really started to struggle with the big boys and I couldn't keep up. 

-Pumping is going much better this time around.  When I pump I actually get what I am leaving him in bottles.  If I miss a feeding I always pump at the same time he is getting a bottle.  And then I also pump every night around 9:45 before I go to bed.  by doing this I have a great freezer stash of over 60oz right now and it is gradually increasing.  Having that stash makes going to work and appointments so much easier.  I really really really hope to be successful and make it to his 1st birthday still nursing !

- He found his voice and loves his hands this month.  I feel like he tries to talk to me, and repeat sounds I am making.  He also is starting to reach out and grab things.  I love all of these little mile stones. 

-He was Baptized on September 24.  He pooped through his white outfit and cried through the whole service, but otherwise all went well haha.  His God Father is Mike's brother Matt and his God Mother is my cousin Lauryn.  We had everyone back for lunch after the church. Other than it being 90 degrees and humid, it was a nice day.

-Lastly, Thomas loves to be sung to as a way of calming down or falling asleep.  He is my first baby that likes that.  If he is getting fussy or squirming a lot, I just sing "Hush Little Baby" and he immediately calms down.  I guess he likes my beautiful voice.

So life is good.  He is a trooper being dragged around town to soccer practice, baseball games, school pick up and drop offs, meetings with Mommy... you  name it and he tags along. They say 3rd babies are easy for this reason, and as of right now it is true for him.  He is just going along with our madness.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Thomas's Birth Story

Finally getting around to tell my story.  I am so mad that it has taken me 12 weeks to finally write this out, because we all know the details around childbirth slowly fade away as time goes on.  I guess better late than never.

Thomas's labor and delivery was by far my best birth!  It all went so smoothly, shockingly so.  In fact my first words as soon as he came out was not ones of love for my son, but "Wow that was awesome!"  So here is the story in all the details I can remember.

Before hand-

While pregnant with Thomas I did a few things different, and who knows if it made a difference in his delivery but I think its worth noting.  I stopped running completely, and I stopped doing any kind of strength training with my legs and hips.  Instead I did a lot of walking, prenatal yoga, and hip opening stretches.  I stayed very active (I mean I had no choice, I had 2 other crazy boys to deal with) but was careful about not doing anything that would tighten up my hips, low back, and pelvis.  I also got adjusted regularly and got occasional acupuncture.

When I was about 16 weeks pregnant I started getting regular braxton hicks contractions.  Almost every night I would have them for a few hours.  It was annoying but not painful.  Then about 2 weeks before he was born I started getting contractions.  These became more and more uncomfortable and regular, but never enough to signal I was in labor.  I really think all of these early contractions were preparing my body for labor way before real labor even started.

The day before I went into labor we had a busy summer Sunday.  Spent a lot of time outside, went to a birthday party up the street, and had a nice family day.  But at about 4pm I really just started not feeling well.  I was very very tired and lethargic and just felt physically done.  It was exactly 1 week before his due date.  At this stage in pregnancy you know anything can happen so I tried to take it easy and I went to bed a little earlier than normal just in case.


The whole time I was pregnant I would make jokes saying he could come whenever he was ready to be born, just not on June 26.  June 26 is our wedding anniversary and I kind of wanted to keep that a special date for just Mike and I.  I already share my birthday (Halloween) with my kids, I really wanted to keep my anniversary.  Well you guessed it, at 4:30am on June 26 I woke up with intense contractions and almost immediately knew this was the real deal.

At first the contractions were strong enough to take my breath away, wake me up, and prevent me from laying down, but they were also quick and only every 5-6 minutes.  I woke Mike up and we started to reach out to our parents for support about 5am.  The plan was for both parents to come to the house, my mom first so she could let us leave for the hospital whenever we were ready, and then Mike's parents would get there a bit later and stay with Ryan and Patrick for the day.  Then my mom would join us at the hospital.

I then spent from 4:30am-6:30am just walking around the house, eating small snacks, staying calm and just letting my body do its thing.  Mike sent a few frantic work emails since clearly he wasn't making it to the office that day.

At 6:45 am we decided to head to the hospital for a few reasons- first the contractions were starting to get very painful and intense and come much closer together. But also because I thought it was a good idea to leave before the boys woke up.  I realized if they woke up, it was going to be a big dramatic goodbye.  I was in enough pain to know that I couldn't handle that, and Ryan is so emotional I didn't think he could handle it.  So we snuck out just in time.  My mom said they woke up within minutes of us leaving.  My inlaws also arrived at that time and all 3 grandparents got to tell the boys that Mom and Dad were off to have their baby brother.

The car ride is always the worst part to me.  Every bump feels terrible, its so uncomfortable to sit still, and at this point I was in full blown intense labor.  When we arrived at the hospital I found out why the car was so rough- I was already 7 cm and going into transition!

I decided I wanted to get the epidural this time.  I really debated this decision for the last few months of pregnancy.  I didn't want to get one, I knew I could deliver the baby without one, but I also know how stressful and chaotic Patrick's delivery got without having one.  My first baby the epidural did not work, and caused problems with delivery.  The second baby I choose not to get one, but then had a very very long labor and pushed for over 2 hours and it got very scary and stressful.  My main goal was I wanted this delivery to be peaceful.  That morning when labor was still just starting and I was clear headed, I decided to go ahead and get the epidural, in hopes of a peaceful calm delivery.

The only problem that occurred was that I arrived at the hospital right at 7:00am - shift change!  So by time we got admitted, got set up with the IV, got the bag full of fluids, and my blood work done, I a 8-9 cm dilated.  My doula and all the nurses pretty much said there was no reason for the epidural at this time, I was doing great, baby was in great position and they thought he was going to be born very soon.  But I am stubborn and once I make a decision, its hard to change my mind.  So I opted to get it anyway.  Looking back, I do kind of wish I choose not to get it, I didn't think I really needed it BUT it did help me have the peaceful calm delivery I wanted so I guess it was still a good decision.

While waiting for the epidural I walked around a lot, sat on the yoga ball, did all my breathing techniques and pretty  much just labored on.  Mike laughs that I was very zen and looked like a hippy (maybe I am a little hippy like these days haha)

Almost baby time-

After the epidural (around 9-9:30) things got calmer again.  The epidural worked exactly like it should (I hadn't experienced that before).  For about 20 minutes I just rested and we waited for my water to break on its own.  While laying there I decided to try some of the breathing exercises that someone taught me were effective while pushing, a way to "breath the baby down."  Well after the very first time doing it, my water broke.  I guess it works and the breathing pushed baby down enough to break my water.

This next phase is why I loved my midwife Karen and my Doula Sue- I was 10 cm dilated, my water broke on its own, baby was in good position...technically I could have started pushing.  But instead of making me push just because I could, they encouraged me to just continue to rest and relax until I really really felt the pressure that he was ready to come out.  The epidural took away the intense pain, but I could still feel enough to know when I was having contractions and know when I was ready to push.

So we all just hung out and chatted.  I was using the peanut ball to move in different positions so I was not just laying flat (thats never good for getting baby in the right position). After maybe another 30 minutes I really felt I was ready to push and so did my midwife.  This was the part I was the most anxious about.  I pushed for 45 minutes with Ryan and ended with a vacuum delivery, lots of tearing, and an episiodome and with Patrick I pushed forever and it was terrible.

We looked at the clock, it was 11:04 and decided next contraction I would push.  After the first push the midwife said she could already see his head, and after the second push she said I was almost there (and I responded, don't mess with me, its never this easy).  But sure enough the third push he was out.  It was unbelievable.  The relief and excitement was incredible.  He was born at 11:13am!  Under 7 hour labor and only being in the hospital for about 4 hours.  It really was amazing.

After he was born-
Thomas Michael was finally here- 7lbs 13 oz, 21 inches.  He had a head full of darker hair, and beautiful eyes.  He had long skinny legs, wrinkly knees, and big feet!  Of course, it was love at first sight.

Immediately following I was able to have skin to skin time and he nursed within minutes.  Then the nurses did all of the measurements and tests and Mike got to hold him while I was stitched up.  Lots of stitches again, but my midwife did a good job and everything healed well.  This part is all kind of a blur- delivering the placenta, getting stitches, new born baby cuddles, waiting to go to the bathroom for the first time, and all the grossness that comes after having a baby.  I will forever think of childbirth when I smell witch hazel!

We were moved into our room by about 1pm and we planned to have the boys come visit that afternoon.  Everything just went really well.  Mike and I had some time to rest, the boys got to visit by mid afternoon, and then we had the rest of our hospital stay to just recover and bond with Thomas.
Thank you to all of my birthing squad and the hospital staff for an amazing labor, delivery, and maternity care.  It was a great experience.

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Thomas 2 month check in

Hey hey- back already with the 2 month stats.

Huge changes from month 1 to month 2.  He is a much happier baby these days.

- Lets start with sleep because that is the popular topic when they are this age.  He is not sleeping great over night yet.  He normally goes to bed around 7:30-8pm and wakes for the first time between 11-1am.  After this feeding he goes back to sleep pretty easy.  Then he wakes again between 3-4am, but after this feeding he really struggles to get back to sleep.  From 4-6 am is the hardest part of our night.  He fights sleep, wakes frequently, and just seems uncomfortable and unsettled.  By about 6 am I give in, and I let him sleep in my arms while I doze off.  At this time Mike is getting out the door to work and the boys are waking up, so its hard to get him into a real sleep.

- He is still sleeping in the Rock N Play in my room (we moved him into the crib the day after his 2 month mark) and he is still swaddled.

-Day time sleep has gotten better.  Sometime during this month, he started to fall into the Eat, Activity, Sleep routine.  He nurses, then he has about 45 minutes to 1 hour of happy awake time, and then once he starts to fuss he likes to be rocked and he will fall asleep.  A lot of times he will let me transfer him to his swing and he will sleep for a while.  If its a cranky day he will nap on my chest or in the carrier.

-Nursing has been a little bit of an issue.  I have had a reoccurring plugged duct that lead to mastitis on one occasion.  It made nursing hard for Thomas and lead to some supply issues, especially on one side.  Also he nurses VERY quickly, like only a few minutes on each side.  He is definitely gaining weight and healthy, but  needs to nurse more often because he won't stay latched on and get a full feeding.  Its like constant snacking.

-I had a lactation consultant come in and help post mastitis.  She thinks the short nursing session and plugged ducts are because he is tongue and lip tied.  She suggested going to see a specialist and possibly get it taken care of.  So we are doing our research and have a consultation set up for 2 weeks from now to hopefully get it taken care of.

-I am totally dairy free for now.  It seems to be helping Thomas a lot with his skin, diaper rash, gas, and reflux.  Its super hard to avoid all dairy- I really want a huge ice cream sundae- but its worth it to see his  improvement!

- Car rides are getting a tiny bit better.  I just need someone to sit in the back seat with him or time it perfectly.

-Overall its been a pretty good month.  We are settling into life with a new baby.  I am looking forward to getting back into the school routine and hope that helps Thomas continue to find his own routine.

-He is about 12 lbs and wearing 3 month clothes and size 2 diapers.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Thomas 1 month stats

I am late on this post, 3rd baby problems.  But I still didn't want to skip it all together, I love looking back on the monthly updates of the other boys to see what they were doing in the early stages.  So even though Thomas will be 7 weeks in 2 days, I am writing this as if it was his 1 month birthday (a lot has changed in the past two weeks, more about that in his 2 month update)!

I forget how hard the early newborn days are, when the baby needs you every minute of every day.  It is physically and mentally draining.  But its also so special at the same time.  The newborn cuddles and sleepy times don't last long.  The excuse to stay in your PJ's all day.  It is a special time in motherhood that goes by REALLY REALLY fast.  But damn its hard!

The sleep part is not bothering  me as much as it has in the past.  I heard someone use a great analogy- first baby the lack of sleep is shocking!  Its like running a marathon when all you have ever run before is a 5k.  But by time you get to the third baby, you haven't been sleeping well for years.  Your body has adjusted.  So it feels much more like I am well trained for this lack of sleep. I have been training for this marathon.

The hardest part about the early days for me is the cluster feeding in the evening and losing the adult time after the kids go to bed before I go to bed.  Thomas is a serious cluster feeder, its not joke!  He starts at about 4:30-5pm and either nurses or cries all the way til about 9pm when he goes to sleep for the night.  This makes any and all night time activities impossible.  Spending time with the boys, making dinner, eating, putting the other kids to bed... its all really challenging and exhausting.  By time I get Thomas to sleep for the night, I am so beyond tired that I go right to bed too, knowing that his first wake up is only a few hours away.  I struggle with this.  Normally from 8-10pm is my "get shit done" time frame.  Finish cleaning up from the day, finish any work that needs to be done, spend time with my husband, order that thing online that I have been meaning to get, etc.  Becoming totally useless (except for the important role of nurturing a brand new baby) from 5pm til bedtime every night makes me a bit crazy.  Luckily I know this phase is short, and once bedtime for Thomas gets a little earlier, I will have some adult time back, but for now its rough.

The boys have been busy in camps and playdates with friends or hanging with grandparents.  I appreciate all the help, but I sure do miss them.  I know I need this time to take care of myself and Thomas, but I still am sad about losing the time with Ryan and Patrick.  Ryan said to me one day "mom I am so sorry you have to miss doing all of the fun things with us" which made me burst into tears because of guilt and appreciation for his empathy.

I actually do feel like we have still been doing a lot as a family- Blue Claws games, Kite Night, going out to Dinner, birthday parties.  We have really been busy.  I guess life doesn't stop when the new baby comes, you just bring him along to all the chaos.

And because its been brought up before, I can now officially say I like having a summer baby WAY more than a winter baby.  Being able to go for walks outside, sit in the backyard, take him with me to summer activities, its been really nice.  I am generally a happier person in the summer and struggle with a little bit of winter blues, so it has definitely been better on my postpartum stability to have this baby in the summer.

I have been exclusively breast feeding and its going really well.  I think I developed a pretty good milk supply right off the bat.  I had a few days of concern when he was so fussy during his night time nursing, I started to worry he is not getting enough.  But in reading more and more about cluster feeding, its all very normal.  He is gaining great weight, he is thriving, pees and poops frequently- all is good.

The other most challenging part about this particular phase is Mike's work schedule.  In taking a new job this winter, his hours and commute changed.  He now has a 1.5 hour commute each way, and thats on days with no traffic.  The ride home normally ends up being closer to 2 hours.  He has been leaving the house around 6am and getting home at about 7pm.  This has been hard on the whole family.  The boys miss him a lot, he feels like he is missing out on time with Thomas, I could really use him around more (especially in the evening when I am by myself with 3 kids, dinner and bath and bed time, and a cranky cluster feeding newborn!!!)  We believe this is probably just a transitional job for him, but for now its really challenging.  To quote Mike- he feels like he is falling short on both sides.  He is missing family time and bonding with his new son because of work AND he is missing opportunities with his new job because he needs to be home more with his family.

Here are some stats for the month-

-I don't have his weight and height by me- but I know he is 50-75% in all categories.

-I think he has reflux.  He does a lot of gurgling, crying out in pain after eating, spitting up, and just generally seems uncomfortable.  We are watching this to see if it becomes more of a problem.

-I suspect a dairy or egg sensitivity is causing the problem, so I am going to cut it out and see how he reacts.

-He nurses constantly.  The longest stretch he has ever gone during the day is 2 hours, and that is pushing it.

-Right now he is sleeping like a normal newborn.  He goes down about 9pm and gets up between 12-1 and then sleeps again til about 4am and then up for the day around 7.  I can't complain.

-He has been pretty cranky, especially the last 2 weeks.  If he is awake he is crying and fussing, we haven't really seen a happy baby yet.  But he is able to be soothed most of the time and will sleep in my arms or nurse on and off to stay calm.

-This is frustrating to visitors who want to come see a cute cuddly baby and all he does is cry if they hold him.  I feel bad but right now he really only wants mommy.

-He has been very spot on with "growth spurts".  Any time he has a day that he is extra fussy and wants to eat constantly, I look up a newborn growth spurt chart, and its been 100% accurate.  It lasts a day or two and then he goes back to normal patterns.

-It doesn't happen often but we have seen a few real smiles from him!

-He has beautiful blue eyes!  I really hope he keeps them.

-He loves being in the baby carrier (ergo or baby k'tan), baths, being held upright, and occasionally the green bouncy chair.

-He HATES the car!  Its terrible.  He screams like we are torturing him every time we drive anywhere.  It sure can make me insane.  It also makes doing anything a bit more challenging because even the simplest errand becomes more stressful because of the car screaming.  Lets pray this is a quick phase.  Third babies need to be able to be in the car a lot, they don't have a choice.  They will be dragged around to all of the other family activities which equals many car naps.  Fingers crossed.

-Lastly, Ryan and Patrick have been great big brothers. They seriously surprised me.  They are both super helpful, understanding that they need to be patient, no jealousy, its been great.  The love to hold him, and talk to him, and are just happy to have him in our family.  Its been a great transition.

-And one more thing- I am already back to pre-baby weight!  I seriously can't believe it.  Thank you breast feeding and having an active pregnancy!  Don't get me wrong, my body is no where near looking the same as it did before baby, but the pounds are gone.  Now to get back to a few workouts a week and I might just feel like the old Shannon before I know it.  I had gained a total of 25 lbs this pregnancy.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Random Taynor Family Updates

Its officially Baby Watch 2017.  Baby Taynor should be making his appearance any day now, so I am trying to fill my days keeping busy, with the occasional rest, so I don't get to stir crazy.  What a perfect time to blog about some of the random things going on in our family.

- Yesterday was Ryan's last day of Kindergarten.  I can't believe how fast that went by AND how great of a year it was for him.  I was filled with anxiety about how the year would go.  Would he make friends, would he be able to handle the full day schedule, would the teacher get frustrated with him and his lack of ability to focus and concentrate??  Would he love going to school or would it be torture?  Well as many people assured me, everything ended up being just fine.  He had a teacher that totally understood his personality and loved that even though he could be a bit distracted and anxious, he was a "really great kid".  He made plenty of friends, and he really loved getting on the bus each morning.  Academically he did pretty well.  Not top of the class, but definitely did not struggle.  He learned so much in school, and as I knew he would he continued to learn and pursue all of his passions outside of the classroom (sea creatures, dinosaurs, outer space).

-On the topic of Ryan, he is finishing up his soccer and baseball season.  Another area of Big change this year.  Up until this year we did organized activity to keep him busy and because lots of other kids his age were starting to play sports.  But he didn't really love any of it.  We are so excited to see that change big time this year.  All of a sudden he was playing actual soccer and really having fun.  And baseball was even better, he LOVES going to baseball and practicing baseball all the time with Dad in the backyard.  Maybe we just start kids to young, they need a couple more years to mature, but this spring season was a great success.  Now he wants to try a swim team, wrestling, basketball, and do gymnastics again this summer.  Clearly we can't do it all, but I will let him try to all at some point to see what becomes his favorite.

-  Patrick is  totally your average 3 1/2 year old boy.  Big personality, lots of potty jokes, loves to play in the dirt and with bugs, has a bit of a threenager attitude and temper, and wants to do everything and anything his big brother is doing.  His favorite expression right now is "me too" after every single thing Ryan says.  I want cereal- me too!  I want to go to bed- me too!  I need to go to the bathroom- me too!  Its super cute actually.  He did amazing at school, and his best buddies were the two girls in class.  I hear about Anna every day, his first little crush.  We have caught him a few times wearing tutus at pick up and telling me he wants to be a princess ballerina when he grows up.

- Both boys are OBSESSED with Mike.  Like seriously worship the ground he walks on.  For a while, Patrick was glued to me but all of a sudden he is a self proclaimed Big Kid and Dad is totally the cool one around here.  Its amazing how much they love him.  I do think its a little bit because "absence makes the heart grow fonder"  and Mike has been working very long days and traveling much more than he ever has, so when he is around the boys just can't get enough of him.  Whether is cuddling in bed on the weekends, helping him with the yard, wrestling (lots and lots of wrestling) after dinner, or just relaxing watching movies... its all so much more fun with Dad.  I have a love hate with this dynamic.  It is amazing to watch and so sweet to see how they look up to him.  But I am a bit jealous, I'll admit.  I am stuck being the life coordinator for the whole family, while Mike gets to be super hero.  But in all seriousness, I'll take it.  I love to watch their love for him.

-House projects, an every day conversation around here. This winter we checked off a few more boxes!  The biggest one being that Mike finished out basement!  And it is awesome!  I'll post pictures when I can but it turned out great.  We have an adult hang out space, a kids play room space, and still left lots of storage space for my seasonal things, a workout area, toy overflow, and kitchen overflow.  We are 96% finished.  We are  waiting on counter tops for the bar area, a few new light fixtures, and to finish the ceiling over the play room, but even without those few things, it is a fully usable space. This was a huge project that took over 6 months to complete and had a hefty price tag, but it was worth it.  And as with all projects, the completion of one leads to the need to start a new one.  Now that the toys are in the basement, we have a large living and dining room area that are ready to be renovated.  New floors, light fixtures, furniture, built ins... thats the next big project.  BUT that needs to wait for a little while.  I think we will be living with empty space rooms for the near future.

-We also replaced our roof this year- that is one of those not so glamorous projects. A lot of money, but not a lot to show for it.  People don't come over and say "wow I love what you did with your roof".  But it needed to be done, and we can check that off the must do list too.  Unfortunately it took a chunk of money that could be used for the other things on my wish list.  To help balance it out, Mike did all the landscaping work himself and that is growing in so nicely and adding a lot of life to the front and back of our house, and he is spray painting our worn out shutters to give them a fresh look without spending much money.

-Still on the list of things I dream about doing to the house - a back deck and patio area, putting in a pool (major dream world), living/dining room renovation, kitchen remodel, and master bath remodel. And on a smaller scale, changing all of the door handles and light fixtures throughout the house.

-Last but not least, our summer plans.  This summer our plan is to not have much of a plan.  The boys will go to camp twice a week for 6 weeks to give me a little bit of one on one time with the baby.  But other than that I wanted to be free and flexible to enjoy actually having the summer off from work.  If we get invited to go swim with friends, we can go.  If we feel like having lazy pajama days, we can do that too.  I am looking forward to enjoying this family time.

Will post pictures of the renovations, and the boys, and hopefully our new baby very soon!