Friends! Friends! WHAT…THE HELL! It has been since, basically a thousand years ago that I have written, and really, I have no excuse except, well, a million kids who have been alternating sicknesses (ear infection, flu, stomach bug, colds, etc.), a wife who has gone back to work full time, and a baby who has acid reflux and nurses round the clock despite me having a HORRIBLE milk supply (that’s for a WHOLE other post!) and who refuses to let us put him down for more than 30 minute intervals. Add all of that to a water damaged phone (thanks Noah for mouthing it and filling the damn thing with your drool!), and Ipad that won’t let you press certain buttons, updating my blog and my friends has been damn near impossible. I barely go on social media anymore. I think some of you may know about that ever illusive “draft” post. I have had one in my drafts for months, and just couldn’t get around to finishing it.
Nonetheless, I’m back (also back at work after a 4 month leave!), and each day for the next few days I will fill you guys in on something that has been either life changing, mundane and every day, baby or kid related, mommy or mama related, or just plain old “I felt like writing this shit so I will” post.
- Callie and her new job
- Being back at work
- Breastfeeding and Milk Supply (for fucks sake!)
- My relationship with my biological father
- Foster Care and Mary’s TPR/Adoption
- Sickness (loads and loads of sickness)
- Relationship/marriage loaded crap
- Outgrowing our space
- Politics!!! (didn’t think we would escape that one did you?)
And a ton of other stuff! For now, lets handle bullet point one….
LITTLE AUSTIN RYAN aka Papo (Pop-oh) aka Papadapolous aka Gordo McGordoson aka Mr. Littlest aka Baby Brother
Austin Ryan (and we almost always call him Austin Ryan) came home on January 31st, 2016 (Mary’s 8th Birthday) to a house filled with so much love. He met his 2 brothers and sister, Wita and Wito, 2 Aunts, 2 of his 5 uncles, and his cousins Yza (EEsa) and Jezenia. He left the hospital at 6 weeks old weighing 6lbs 4oz and measuring 19 1/2″. He was eating 2oz every 4 hours, and my body was just not producing what he needed (still isn’t but we’re getting there!). When Papo came home I was making about 50% of what he needed and now we are at about 80%, so we’re getting there, or maybe we aren’t, but we are doing great and our nursing relationship, despite the low milk supply, is what I’ve always envisioned it to be.
The first 2 weeks that Austin Ryan was home were pretty awesome. He slept in 4 hour intervals and none of the kids were sick, so everyone was happy, and rejoicing in finally not having to spend our weekends locked in a small 10×10 room, while Mommy and Mama took turns going in to see the baby. He slept all day, hardly cried, and was creating a pattern similar to his brothers. But then, at 2 months old, all hell broke loose and most of the time he looked like this…
He always seemed so uncomfortable, and was spitting up so often that at times it would even come out of his nose. We started noticing that the milk he was spiting up was curdled, and that if you lay him down flat on his back, he would wail and wail and wail. So after about 2 weeks of the non-stop crying, needing to be help, back arching and plain old discomfort, we took poor Little Brother to the pediatrician, and my suspicions were right. Out little guy has acid reflux. They gave him a prescription for Zantac and THANK THE HEAVENS! We get 5 hour stretches at night from our 15week old, and sometimes, if we are lucky, we get 6! He’s still eating about every 3 hours (close to 3 ounces) and still vomits a little, but it’s loads better than it was a month ago.
With 2 moms back at work, Papadopolous had to go to daycare. We were having issues at the center that Levi and Noah were going to (too many teacher transitions, my kids were always filthy when I picked them up, their daily sheets were not completed correctly [I have a serious issue with this! You are caring for my children all day! I have no idea what they did, ate, if they pooped, anything, unless you communicate that to me. Those day sheets are how we communicate. You don’t do them, then how the hell am I supposed to know what is going on!?!? I digress], and there were 4 biting incidents in 10 days. Both boys got bitten in the face. Having worked as a preschool and infant/toddler teacher for 10 years, when 1 year olds bite, there is a lack of supervision, overstimulation or understimulation. So we pulled them out! And the new center is AMAZING! Our kids are so happy there that they run out of our arms and into the arms of their teachers the second that they walk into the school. And Austin, well, he’s the Mayor of the school. He is the tiniest, youngest, and obviously cutest kid there (well one of the 3 cutest kids in the school, clearly!) They absolutely adore him, and we know that they are well taken care of and very loved. Doesn’t hurt that they have 2 super cool moms!
Since Austin was born 2.5 months premature, we have been in touch with our states Early Intervention (EI) program. They come to your home and evaluate your children to make sure that they are hitting all of their developmental milestones for his adjusted age (the age that he should be had he been born on his due date). So far, for the adjusted age of 6 weeks, he is doing just what he should be doing! Eating, sleeping, pooping. He is also smiling socially (about a week now) and does this lip smacking thing that I absolutely LOVE when he wants to nurse. The nurse/therapist that came to see him says that at this age, all babies basically do the same thing, and that there really is no way to know if and when he may need services until he is not meeting the milestones for his adjusted age. In other words, if at 5 months he still isn’t holding his head up, or at 6 months isn’t bringing things to his mouth and clutching objects or reaching or rolling over belly to back, then we need to call her and get him evaluated. The sooner the better! I’ll never be that parent that pretends that my child doesn’t have some issue or another to “save face”. Those parents make me really sad for their kids. But so far, developmentally, this little guy is on target, and that makes me happy.
At his last check up on 3/18 he weighed in at a whopping 9lbs! He has basically tripled his body weight in 3 months! I almost cried right then and there at the dr’s office. He is gaining weight, and most of that weight gain is because of me, and i didn’t think I would feel any type of way about that, but I feel so great and amazing for what I am able to do for our baby despite not being able to give 100% or more.
Before I became a parent, I wondered if what parents said was true. “You don’t have any favorites. You love all of your kids, just differently!” I just never believed that. As a person who ALWAYS has a favorite something, I didn’t think it was possible to not have a favorite child, especially when you have more than one. But ya know, it’s so true. My relationship with Austin is no different than my relationship with Levi and Noah and Mary. My love for all of them borders on insanity, and it’s unbelievable the way it feels to be a mom to so many babies. So many voices. So many faces. So many different personalities and characters. And I love them all the same amount, but differently. Austin, he’s Mama’s baby, my boy with the beautiful lips, and the red hair, and the big bright hazel eyes. The baby that puts his hand on my chest so gently and looks me in the eyes and sees me…like really sees me somehow. My relationship with him is very special, very different. He’s a special boy who brought us all back together when our worlds were drifting apart and spinning crazily… Mama’s special boy….
AUSTIN RYAN SPAM! You have been warned…