Tantrums and cranky toddlers

The past two weeks have brought with then the joy of tantrums. Not the long, drawn out ones yet (although I am sure they will come in time) but the short lived, loud, screeching ‘you should let me do that’/’no you can’t make me do that!’ kind. At first I thought it was a couple nights poor sleep. Then I began to hope it was the next set of molars. It is now clear that it is neither, and rather her own independence asserting itself in the form of flailing, slapping, wailing, arching, and pulling. Mostly away, although she’s yet to commit to running away from us.
In the moment it is frustrating, but I’ve watched and lived through many a toddler tantrum of the true ‘I’m going to scream for an hour until I finally pass out’ kind that so far this feels manageable. Most of the time.
Current things that set her in the path from happy to angry include getting in her car seat, changing a diaper, putting on her pajamas, taking off any clothes unless for a bath, not going outside, getting into her high chair for food, not being picked up right now, anyone leaving, not having a book read for the millionth time, and not being allowed to play with electrical plugs (plugs, at least she still leaves outlets alone!)
This is not an exhaustive list, although it is exhausting sometimes. I’m really glad that she’s assertive. And frankly, if my parent’s accounts are accurate, she comes by it honestly.
Some photos from our childcare swapper, who took the kids out for a walk in the sunshine to dispel a cloud of crankiness shows just how much the outside thing matters for Darwin’s mood.

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16 Months…oops!

That life has been busy is clear when it takes 17 days for me to realize I missed Darwin’s 16 month post! It’s not that I’m tied to monthly posts, but she changes so rapidly I love having these little snapshots over time. So here we are, January 27th, and already this little ball of fire is 16-and-a-half months old! What did the 16th month look like? Let’s see if I can remember without letting too much of the last 17 days creep in…

16 months was a lot of reading. A lot of sitting in laps. A lot of increased independence. Darwin got the fabulous Wonder Woman crown from our friend Clare (who definitely wins an awesome auntie award for most beloved train items). She brings it to us so she can convince us to put it on just long enough for her to dance around before flinging it off. I had to edit this picture for blur and red-eye, she is a dervish! This is 16 months.

Eating is pretty much a non-issue because we ignore it most of the time. We have recently begun to stop allowing her to drop food on the floor. When she drops food, meal time for her is over. If she ate much, that might worry me, since she drops food almost immediately. However, Darwin still primarily nurses. In fact, she probably gets 75-90% of her calories from nursing. This was the most stressful part of that whole Christmas norovirus craziness. She wanted to nurse constantly because my production dropped, since I was vomiting and entirely unable to keep even water down for the better part of 8 hours. It took two days to feel re-hydrated and another day or so before my milk production was back up to snuff. You’d think she’d be willing to fill in with other food. Nope, she just kept asking to nurse. That’s probably why my supply jumped back so quickly though. I’m not really worried about the lengthening time of nursing. Night nursing means I’m still waking with her 2-5 times per night, but except on the extraordinarily bad nights (nursing ever 45 minutes – 1 hour…) I’m feeling mostly human these days. This kid is healthy, happy, and full of energy, and somehow I’ve maintained the same weight since she was about 9 months old. Oh, and it seems to provide relief from my migraines too. Hormones are freaking amazing.

Sleeping…currently a common theme here in the land of blog. Sometimes it happens, sometimes it doesn’t. I wish I could tell all the mamas out there who are currently in the throws of first-year sleep deprivation that it gets better. Honestly, for me, at moments it is better, at moments it is as bad, or worse, than the first year. We have had a couple of nights (less than five, more than one) where Darwin has slept for a 5 hour + stretch. Meaning 5-5.5 hours. Mostly she goes down between 7 and 9 (usually between 7:30-8, but if we miss a window it’s waiting until 9:30-10), and sleeps for about two hours, during which time I may get up and eat something, clean something, do some coding (I’m learning Ruby, anyone want to join me??), or if I’m feeling super down about how long and hard it was to get the Bugaboo to sleep I may play Clash of Clans and binge watch Netflix with subtitles and beg Leah to bring me something disgustingly sweet and/or high calorie. Then she wakes up enough to nurse around 11 or 12. Then it’s anyone’s game, depending on teeth, gut, dreams, who knows? Sometimes she will sleep until 4, then 7, then 8 or 9 (on those rare days when we don’t have to be out of the house by 7:45). Sometimes it’s 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6….Mostly it’s somewhere in between. Some days I feel miserable about it, but most days there is coffee. Well, there’s always coffee. Most days it feels like there is coffee.

And…independence. Darwin can now climb down from our bed on her own, go backwards down the stairs like a snake on its belly, (sometimes) feed herself with a spoon, (sometimes) climb onto her new green chair at her new table from her awesome Aunt Mila and Uncle Vanya, carry a book to her rocking chair and climb in for a rock’n’read, and push her own stroller. This last has become a bit annoying at times, like when we want to take a walk at night and really, a mile with a toddler at night is FOR. EVER. But it’s also wicked adorable.

The ever-growing word list (probably the last time I will go through this, as it is approaching infinity rapidly): Mama, nono, yaya, yes, Darwin, Penley, Bergen, Auntie, Nelson, Annika, Papa Dave, Mama Jamie (not very clear yet, I think the “J” is tough), bird, sun, star, moon, pouch, puffs, cereal, Chex, outside (loudly. over, and over, and over), shoes, socks, diaper, poop, toot, potty, book, walk, thank you, please, banana and tomato (both sound like babaya), cheese, nurse, milk, Opa, Grandma (Baba), baby, bear, obnoxious (repeated clearly over and over and in multiple situations, I think she likes the sound of it. Is that irony?), stroller, bath, shower, flowers, hot, apple, crocodile, bye-bye, see-ya, all-done, blueberry, really (we’re pretty sure this is what she’s saying, as in “all-done REALLY”), jacket, train, choo-choo, water, high chair, house, ball, cat, dog, round-and-round (from the wheels on the bus), chicken, cock-a-doodle (hasn’t mastered the “doo” yet), one-two-three!….okay. This list is not exhaustive, but I’m exhausted just trying to remember all of them. This kid is definitely an auditory learner.

16 Weeks

How fast it goes…I missed 15 weeks, and here we are at 16+3.

16 week questions

Best moment of the week (or the last two weeks): Best moment is actually a series of moments throughout the past week or so, in which my younger sister, who is also pregnant (about 5 1/2 weeks further along than I am), and I have been texting back and forth and sharing our quirky concerns or enjoyments or daily symptoms and generally supporting each other and enjoying sharing our pregnancies.

Hardest moment of the week (or the last two weeks): Hardest moment is getting my hemoglobin A1C results back and finding that I’m at high risk of gestational diabetes. Luckily we found out early enough that I can try to control by blood sugar through exercise and diet with enough time to try to avoid the official diagnosis at 28 weeks.

What lets you know you’re pregnant throughout the day? What lets me know I’m pregnant is actually kind of funny, I just stated noticing it this weekend. After I go to the bathroom, it feels like my uterus expands into the now-vacant space. I envision my baby stretching out and enjoying the extra room.

What are you looking forward to in the next month? In the next month I’m looking forward to the ultrasound! I’m just over 16 weeks now so I should be getting that done in about 4 weeks. We’ve decided to find out the sex this time, and I’m looking forward to visual confirmation that our little Bumblebee is A-OK.

What surprises you the most about your pregnancy? Mostly just how I think “OMG I’M 16 WEEKS THAT’S ALMOST HALFWAY” and simultaneously “haven’t I been pregnant for longer than that?” How come I’m not showing yet? Why don’t I feel more pregnant? The feeling of time passing so quickly and so slowly all at once. Conceptually it’s not that surprising but the feeling of it is unfamiliar.

About the baby

Our baby is growing so fast right now! All signs continue to point towards a healthy baby, meaning they appear to be growing at about the right rate and we have a healthy heartbeat every time we check.

Size: 4.6 inches, 3.5 ounces. Or the size of an avocado.

Fun developmental fact: At this point the little bee’s skin is becoming waterproof.

Baby prep: This week I fixed the water pressure in our house by draining the hot water heater and flushing it out. It was a crap shot, and I’m so glad all it cost us was about 50 gallons of water! Slowly checking off maintenance that needs to be done before we’re washing two more loads of laundry a day…

From the other mama

There has been a fair amount of stress in our household the last several weeks. From illness to teething (13-16 are now through!), from disappointing blood test results to a sudden upsurge in the hours I need to put in for work, things have been a little bit tough. Today, however, we saw a little bit of light, and I know Leah’s stress levels have been helped by that. Over the weekend we were both able to get a little bit caught up on work, Darwin actually slept more than three hours in a row for the last two nights, and today we had a lovely play date with one of Darwin’s very first caregivers and her sweet, funny granddaughter.

On another note, my next project is to pull the gross old carpet out of our bedroom. We removed it from the rest of the house a few years ago, but didn’t have enough money to do the bedroom and now it’s just got to go, especially with a new baby coming. This will not wait another two years. My plan for now is to rip it out, buy and lay the subflooring (OSB panels with tongue and groove edges), and paint that with some kind of sealer. Unless I find another job. In which case I will buy more flooring and actually finish it. But damn. That carpet has to go.

14 weeks

Leah is 14 weeks pregnant today, which by any measure puts her solidly at the beginning of her second trimester.

14 week questions

Best moment of the week: Best moments were coming home with our midwife’s doppler and getting the heartbeat right away, and feeling my first Braxton Hicks contraction. Those things, even more than hearing the heartbeat the first time, made it feel real.

Hardest moment of the week: Hardest moment was the day we found out about Penley being born. It was scary as an auntie and a sister in law and as a pregnant mama. It made me much more conscious of my and my family’s mortality than I had any interest in being.

How’s the sleeping thing going? Sleeping is not great. I’ve been having a hard time getting to sleep, haven’t been sleeping through the night, and have mostly been waking up at 7:30 at the latest. It’s ok if I can get an afternoon nap in, but that’s not possible as often as I fell like I need it. I think low energy is due to poor sleep but it feels too much like early first trimester. It’s not as constant as that, but sometimes the fatigue just hits me like a ton of bricks.

Does it fell real yet? Even though it’s still hard to conceptualize the fact that there’s a tiny human growing inside of me, I am finally feeling pregnant.

About the baby

This week or midwife was kind enough to loan us her doppler for peace of mind. Between the norovirus and our sweet nephew’s prenature birth, Leah was feeling pretty shaky. We have had the joy to be able to listen to the little bee’s heart three evenings in a row!

Size: 3.6 inches, or the size of a large lemon.

Fun developmental fact: Baby’s nuchal fold can no longer be measured reliably. The baby app was slim on fun facts this week!

Favorite locale: Seems to enjoy chilling in the left side so far, but has plenty of time to find all sorts of hiding places before the 20 week scan!

From the other mama

What a week! Finding baby bee’s heartbeat on the doppler was thrilling. Worrying about our nephew and the rest of the east coast family has consumed a lot of my thoughts this week, which has made things go very very very slow, then very fast all at once.

I’ve begun to really imagine Darwin as a big sister and that just feels wild. My sweet, happy baby is a full on toddler note, with all the wants and must haves and crying and laughing that comes with that. I’m both looking forward to seeing her interact with her sibling and feeling just a little bit sad to think that our time with just us three will be changing so drastically just as we really have found out rhythm. Typical parenting stuff I suppose!