Sunday, March 30, 2014

Adjusting...



Maxime is nineteen weeks! Crazy!!! My little baby is getting big...really quick! And, he looks so big - sad. I just want him to stay little. However, when he is compared to other babies his age...he looks small...our small babies...with a big Mama (and just a random side note, when you are approaching thirty-five and still eat like a teenage boy, breast feeding does not make the weight just shed right off...sigh).  I love this baby so much...so, it makes me want him to stay a baby for a bit longer.  Life is super crazy...four little ones is crazy.  I regularly think to myself - is this stage harder or will the next stage be harder?  But, it doesn't change the fact that I love the baby stage - hard or not, it is definitely a sweet stage.  I pray I embrace the moment and enjoy each stage...I better embrace it, because I am deep in it!


 
So, what did week nineteen bring for Maxime? Well, Daddy came home!!! Yay!!! (And, he is going to leave again soon...ugh.) Honestly, the fact that Daddy is home doesn't really impact Max...he just goes with the flow right now...doesn't matter if it is Mama or Daddy. However, Daddy being home is a BIG deal for me!!! So thankful he is home. Max got to celebrate in a birthday party for Sam...he was super chill...Max, not Sam...Sam is not chill. (Random side note - you definitely see culture differences when you throw birthday parties...Americans love themselves some dips...seriously. And other cultures, not so much.) So, I had a friend post on the Facebook about four month sleep regression...four kids deep and I had never heard about this four month sleep regression. So, I googled that bad boy (what would I do without the google?!?)...and, Max fits it to a T...seriously. Thankfully, this week has been much better (there are still nights when he'll cry and we let him cry, but it doesn't seem to last too long (or at least that is what I tell myself)), but we added another sleep crutch...the dream feed. I cannot believe we are adding a dream feed at four months old!!! Ugh!!! But, I'll do whatever to secure a decent night of sleep. So, he is still waking up too early (before seven...no child should be up before seven...shoot, no child should be up before eight, but in order to achieve that, I would have to lock my boys in cages...not to stay I am above that, but Jake is) and I'll put the pacifier in when he wakes up...if he keeps waking, then I know it is time to feed him and start the day; however, most days the paci will secure another sixty minutes of sleep in the morning...thank you. He had a really bad night the first night Jake came home...cried the hardest he has ever cried (clearly, he was struggling with Jake's re-entry)...you know what happened?!? Jake had taken his arms out of the Woombie! What?!? He is not ready. Jake sure thinks he is...but I am controlling this timeline. So, he is still in the Woombie. (I will cut Jake some slack though - Sundays are the worst for Max since he gets thrown off his schedule...he becomes a hot mess.) 


 His naps are still hit or miss...and I definitely do some paci replacement during naps...my baby, my problems. And, he still naps a bit in the swing...again, my baby, my problems. I am still trying to get him to play a little more...but he isn't having it. I explain to the toys that it isn't them, it's him and that he just isn't really that into them. His favorite thing lately is to shake his head "no"...he doesn't know he shaking his head "no"...guess he is getting a jump start on the toddler years.  Some times, I think he has a nervous tick with all the head shaking...he gets that from Jake.  Jake got to hear Max giggle...and that would be me making Max giggle...killing it.  He is so ticklish...I love it.  Max is super smiley and always has a big grin on his face.  Max only cries when he needs something...or doesn't want to sleep (sigh).  He will let anyone hold him and loves a good hold.  He still spends a lot of time in the Bumbo and bouncer...and I really need to make sure I watch him in that Bumbo because it is just a matter of time before he flings himself out of it...and he is normally always high up like on a table or counter (and yes, I have read the warning label on the Bumbo and I don't care). He needs to learn to sit-up, but he still can't roll over (and he still hates tummy time)...so, we have some time.  He still adores his brothers and the feelings are mutual for everyone.  Max is such a perfect fourth boy for our family - so, so blessed!!!



I am back to being really tired...like my body aches, I have a hard time focusing on what anyone says tired.  And, I am coming up to another week with Jake being gone...shoot me.  I really try to just focus on each new day and not on the weeks...sometimes, that is easier said than done.  I pray that I can focus on Christ and knowing that my strength comes from Him...so much easier for me to type and know in my head than to know in my heart and put into practice.  Hopefully, I can practice what I preach and I can focus on Christ this week...take some deep breaths and realize that no craziness can last longer than fifteen minutes (except a crying baby in the middle of the night...or fighting sleep every chance he gets...that can last longer than fifteen minutes...oh, well).
   

Saturday, March 22, 2014

One of Those Weeks...



Maxime is eighteen weeks! As I say every week, it is hard to believe this little boy is eighteen weeks...my little boy is eighteen weeks!  And, another weekend without Daddy...and another weekend of this Mama starting to lose a piece of her mind...for reals.  Of course, this would be the week that Maxime decides to no longer sleep through the night.  I totally set myself up for this...putting it on the blog that he was such a great sleeper and then with Jake being out of town...it was like the perfect storm.  Ugh.  It has been a ROUGH week...and I am exhausted.  Max has been waking up constantly throughout the night. I have no idea what it could be and when you have a baby that has been sleeping through the night pretty much since birth, you start to drive yourself crazy wondering what the issue is!!! He has a bit of a cold and I have fully transitioned him to the crib (I figured why not when he is crying either way)...so, could it be one of those reasons?  Could he be too hot or too cold?  Is he hungry?  Yep, driving myself totally crazy.  And, I have a REALLY hard time letting him cry...it is just so sad, but I starting down that path...we'll see how it goes.  The last thing this Mama needs is any more crazy in my life!


So, what did week eighteen bring for Max?  Well, clearly it brought lots of sleepless nights...sad...for both of us (but more for me since I don't take naps during the day (which is really sad - I think I really need to bring naps back into my daily docket) and I have to take care of lots of little boys).  It also brought the nighttime crib transition...the jury is still out on this one, but he isn't moving back to the rock and play...the fact is, he is too big...it had to happen and it has happened.  But if I became a believer in anything, it was the rock and play sleeper...it made a believer out of me.  BUT, now we are past the rock and play sleeper and I am getting up all night with a baby...I am not feeding him, just giving him his pacifier.  However, we all know how old that game gets...we played it for a LONG time with Sam.  We'll see what happens.  The "cry it out" method just doesn't seem to work for our boys...or maybe it just doesn't work for me.  I know I just need to be consistent with it...just hard some nights.  Ok, moving on.  So, I cannot believe I forgot to mention last week (probably because I was drowning my poor me sorrows in a bottle of wine) that I got Max to giggle.  That is right - I (me, as in not Jake) got Max to giggle.  Sadly, no one else heard him...but that doesn't mean it didn't happen.  Anyway, I haven't really been working on the giggles this week...we are both too tired.  He has definitely been crankier this week due to the lack of sleep.  By the end of the night, he is all done with the day.  It is sad because he really is such a happy, little guy.  His naps are still hit or miss.  We are in this season of sleeplessness...I know from experience that it is a short season, so I embrace the bad sleeping habits...and hopefully, embrace it with a happy heart.  It is about time I start eating the words I serve to my boys every single day.  I am still throwing a swing nap in every now and then...I like to keep things spicy in the Saylor house. 

Max is starting to figure out that his hands and fingers can be used for more than just stuffing into his mouth (however, being able to fit your entire fist in your mouth is a skill...true dat)...seriously, he just sits there staring at his fingers while he moves them all around...I just love watching him.  I am trying to get him on his tummy a little more to get him to start reaching for things, but he really hates the tummy time.  All in good time.  Max survived some exciting outings this week..McD's and IKEA...yep, we are CRAZY wild over here in Switzerland.  He still absolutely adores his brothers...feelings are mutual.  So excited to see these relationships grow...and praying for more sweet moments as they get older versus wild dog fighting moments (we already have plenty of that in this house).  He had his four month appointment - he is wah, wah, wah centimeters (I am sorry, but the metric system is lost on me...sadly) and just a little over six kilograms (yep, doesn't mean a thing to me...and I haven't bothered to convert it yet).  All I know is that he is small...and that doesn't surprise me one bit.  We make small babies and Max was really small when he was born, so he is just sticking with small.  He is growing and doing well.  He will most likely be seeing an ENT doctor to check out his throat/coughing issues - the ENT doctor will decide if Max will need to be put under for further testing.  Jake will be all over this appointment.  We aren't in any hurry to do this - neither our pediatrician nor the ENT believe it is anything to be concerned about, but our pediatrician does think we should move forward with the ENT to make sure there are no issues with Max's vocal chords.  Yay!  I would love for the issue to just disappear, and I think in time it will.  Hard to believe this sweet baby who is super ticklish is four months old...I just want my little baby to be my baby forever!


Yes, it has been a rough week.  Between the single parent gig and the sleepless nights, I am ready for a vacation...by myself!  I have reached my wall.  I knew I would reach it...ten days solo is my wall...and other times ten hours solo is my wall.  I know I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me and I believe it...but sometimes, I just don't want to...I'm just being honest.  Yes, I want life to be easy and go my way...but I know the life I have is one the Lord wants me to have, and I know that He loves me so much.  So, tonight (on the eve of my husband returning,,,well, now I am into the day he is returning...why do I stay up so dang late when Jake is traveling...why, because I enjoy torturing myself!!!) I can rest in that sweet truth...praise God.  And, thank the good Lord that Daddy is coming home!!!


Saturday, March 15, 2014

The Training

 
Another week...seventeen to be exact...and four months old! What?!? How is little Maxime already four months old? Well, I guess it is because he keeps aging...we all do. He gets cuter with age and I get grayer with age...so sad. Hard to believe that one third of his first year is in the books...no going back to those precious newborn moments. He is still such a sweet little guy with the biggest smiles. He still absolutely adores his Mama (I'll take it for as long as I can get it...until he realizes I am so not the fun one). He just stares at me and gives me the best smiles...Max smiles with his whole face and I love it. His eyes close and look like little rainbows (the shape)...I know that sounds ridiculous and crazy, but it is true and I love it. This boy has captured my heart many times over...he is one of many boys to capture my heart, but he still has my whole heart...like they all do.

So, what did week seventeen bring for Max? Well, not that Max notices much but it has brought the traveling Daddy (not to say that Jake doesn't play a HUGE roll, but Max doesn't notice...yet)...however, I notice and it is hard! Especially when you have one son that wakes up every night crying (and it isn't Max). Praying for God's patience and grace during these next few weeks. I will need every last bit of it. So, we are still working on the crib transition. We still use a combo of the crib (first two naps of the day), the swing (last nap of the day), and the rock and play sleeper (for nights)...my baby, my plan...no judgement. If I am the one doing the training, then it is my plan. I can't risk the night time sleep at this moment. The crib transition has been going ok...some naps are better than others. And, if we are being honest...I don't let him cry. I just can't do it...I had this same issue with Sam. You would think that the more children I have, the easier the crying would be...nope, not one little bit. But you know what, Sam naps now...but it was a long first year of life. Hoping Max gets on the nap train a little sooner. Maybe, I'll let him cry...but I highly doubt it. It will be weird packing up baby gear for the very last time once we make the full transition to the crib. BUT, we aren't there yet! He is still taking his pacifier - but only when he is sleeping. So, yes - I play the drop the pacifier put it back in game. He is now in size two diapers...my baby is getting big too quickly (envision me crying right now because I am). He is totally resisting tummy time now and just cries...sad. I still make him tough it out though. He still spends lots of time in the Bumbo...and is losing his love affair with it day by day.

He loves to stand and it is so funny when he stands because he puffs out his chest and gets this strong look on his face...so funny. He is such a tough, little guy. He sees his big brothers running around and wrestling...and wants to join in on the action...NOOO!!! Of course, I wouldn't want it any other way...but not now...he can join them in three to five years! He loves to kick around and pump his little legs. He still doesn't really reach for much...doesn't open his hands too much yet. He'll get there...no rush here. His brothers are still super into him...but Judah and him have a special bond...so, so sweet. He still loves to suck on his hands. Hard to believe that we could be starting rice cereal now. As some of you may know, I HATE baby food...with a passion. With Sam, we said forget the baby food and it was messy...but easier. So, we still have a good three to four months before food for this baby...yay me! Honestly, the thought of feeding one more kid a meal makes me want to rip my eyelashes out. Seriously. Being a mom is death by meals, bedtimes, and laundry...ugh. He tried out the double stroller...Judah has been ousted! Hopefully, he likes it. He still doesn't mind the Ergo, but doesn't really love taking his naps in it...sometimes, he is just going to have to go with the flow. And, for the most part - Max does go with the flow...such a sweet, sweet baby. I cannot imagine my mornings without his sweet smiles and kissing his soft, fuzzy head. In love!!!

 

So, I wish I could have a better attitude at times. Honestly, I have been struggling...just trying to get through the days...this is a deep, hard season. Sometimes, I feel so alone in it all...and I realize how discontent I am. I know I have so much to be thankful for...but I lose sight of that at times. I forget that God hasn't abandoned me...He is with me every step of the way...carrying me a lot of the days. But when you are so deep it in...you have a hard time taking your eyes off yourself. That is where I am. Praying that I seek Christ when I feel so exhausted that I feel like I am going to break, or when I want to snap at my kids (or snap one of my kids), or dig a deep hole and jump into it. Praying that I remind myself that He hasn't left me...He just has me right where He wants me. (On a side note - I think I have lost more hair than humanely possible this time around...I am quite sure that I have lost more hair in the last month than Jake had in his lifetime (excluding his hairy back). And, remember that song..."your hair is everywhere...screaming infidelities"...yep, that is all me...yuck.)

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Let the Fun Begin!



How is our little, handsome guy sixteen weeks old?!?  Seriously, these weeks are becoming such a blur...it is unreal.  Now, definitely not all the minutes in the days are a blur...not at all.  We still have a super nap hater on our hands and it can make for long days...really.long.days.  I need to constantly remind myself that my contentment is only found in Christ...not in a napping baby.  I swear I know I put that in the blog every week and I do believe it...I really do...just so hard to believe in the moment. Despite the non-napping, I still love him to pieces and think he is the greatest little guy...but he sure does look cute when he is sleeping...wish he would get the memo.


So, what did week sixteen bring for Max?  Well, it brought the crib (as in just today)...and it didn't go as I would have planned.  I am committed to try his naps in the crib...the trigger has been pulled.  Shoot, he isn't napping anyway...might as well do the serious sleep training right now. You see, when my babies don't nap, I really start to rethink breastfeeding. I start to think that maybe that is their issue (I know that is most likely not true, BUT I really start to think it). I also know (deep down) that Max will eventually nap because this isn't my first rodeo...my other boys had these same issues and they all nap now...and you know what, they don't even need to be in a swing to nap! But you know when you are in a season and you can't see through it even though you have been through it before?!? (I know, doesn't make much sense.) Anyway, we'll see how the crib goes (I am reminded by a certain somebody in the house (who doesn't have to deal with the sleep training that this trigger needs to pulled NOW)...easy for him to say since he'll be gone most of the next month...there are lots of things where the trigger needs to be pulled...all in good time.)...I am going to keep a sunshine attitude about it. I'm just scared to death about Max's sleeping at night...honestly, Max has been an amazing sleeper at night since birth (no joke)...he use to take some time to fall asleep, but once he fell asleep, he slept...I worry that the crib transition is going to change all of that...ugh. He has also been waking up too early this past week...freaking out. The pacifier will pacify him (at least something does it's job)...but I panic a bit. (Clearly still need to work out my issues about finding my joy in a sleeping baby...ahhh!!!...Lots of work to do on my heart and where my joy is found!)


Max has gotten out of the house more this week, which means so have I! The weather has been great and we are enjoying some walks outside - I am really praying the weather continues to be nice. He seems to enjoy being in the Ergo, which is great. I am sure he will be spending a lot more time in it. I really need to start getting active again...seriously. I feel like I am eighty years-old at times. Not good at all. Max still spends a fair amount of time in the Bumbo and the bouncy seat. And is continuing to revolt against these practices...sadly. I think the days of my easy baby just hanging out might be behind me...hmmm. Can't a girl just catch a break?!? He wants to explore the world more...I get it...so do I at times...but we all have our limits. He has started putting his hands around his face when he eats...so cute. He still also has times where he would just like to nurse for like an hour...no joke. Sometimes, I feel like I still have a newborn on my hands. He is still trying to eat his hands...he is determined. And, it is official...our sleeping baby at church is no more. Church this next year will be interesting. He is still trying to roll from his back to tummy...gets to his side...still has some time. He still hasn't given us a full laugh yet...but gives lots of half laughs...he at least pities us for trying. He is still full of the cutest smiles...sweet boy. In love!


So, I am bracing myself for sleep training and a traveling husband...ugh...two of my least favorite things. Please be praying I can see through all of this and not get stuck in it. The reality is, it is such a short time...I know...but hearing a baby cry puts me on the brink of insanity. For reals. If the weather is nice, we'll just stay outside and Max can cry inside...sad. I am fairly certain that if I went back and read Sam's posts, I would be reading this same wah, wah, wah post about him not sleeping...cry me a river. It is time for me to put my big girl pants on and stop the complaining (Philippians 2:4...doesn't mention anything about my big girl pants, but it talks about complaining). Pulling the trigger...sleeping training, traveling husband, and big girl pants here we come!!!

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Battle for Naps

Max is fifteen weeks! Yay for little Max! Still so crazy to believe how quickly these weeks are flying by and how quickly this little guy is growing up and changing...too fast! So, we are BATTLING for naps this week...and let's just say this Mama is losing many battles, but what Maxime doesn't understand is that this Mama will not lose the war. All our boys go through this and it feels never-ending...because with our boys it is never-ending! But I am no quitter and this boy WILL nap. So, sadly he spent a lot of this past week crying...a lot (to the point where his older brothers would go around the house mimicking his cry...awesome). It is very sad. Sometimes, I let him cry and sometimes I don't (like right now...typing a blog and rocking a baby...who is sleeping...but will only sleep when being held...however, then I left him in the rocking chair and he is still sleeping). I busted out my essential oil arsenal and the peace and calming oil is more like the scream and crying oil (which made me grab my gin and tonic oil)...will move onto more choices. I NEED a napping baby. And, I need to chill out, but I still NEED a napping baby. So, I pray for this next week that Max hops his little tail on the napping train. And, I am fairly certain that if he doesn't, I'll be spending many posts whining about it.


So, what did week fifteen bring for Max? Well, besides the nap battles it brought lots of smiles and an almost giggle that I just want to call it a giggle. Although he is a total nap hater right now, he is still chill (I know, how can a baby be chill if he doesn't nap...well, Max can be...seriously)...and he is such a happy guy. He survived Judah falling on him with minimal tears. Judah can do no wrong in Max's book...even when he falls on top of him. Max acts like he might (emphasis on might) be trying to flip from back to stomach (I am not ready for any of this because I would prefer my babies stay immobile until the age of three...it never works out)...so, I know this means a lot...like no more Woombie, no more rock and play sleeper (I know, I know...we still haven't put him in the crib...I get scared since he sleeps so well at night), no more late afternoon swing naps (because we all know I never strap him in...that would be crazy), no more Bumbo time on the counter while I do something else...so not ready for these changes. However, I am officially going to put him in the crib this weekend (and when I say officially, I don't really mean that...let's just be honest)...that trigger needs to be pulled. Praying he will still sleep well at night...this Mama needs a little sanity in her life.


His hair is really starting to grow in...super fuzzy on top, so cute! I think I can officially call him a brown eyed boy now...yay for Team Brown! He still seems to hate tummy time, but he'll tolerate it for a bit. If he isn't willing to tolerate it, he'll just flip to his back and watch TV...awesome (FYI...our TV is not on all the time...just seems like it). Max actually got out of his car seat for the first time at church - he has normally slept thru church every Sunday, which makes my life much easier...but I think he is all done with that now...sad. He has been better this week with his first nursing session of the day, but he is definitely becoming a lot more distracted during nursing...ugh. Luckily, the TV doesn't seem to distract him (yes, I guess the TV is on all the time), but his crazy brothers do. The big boys are so wild some times...ugh. I have actually thought of locking them out when I feed Max...trust me, I try, but those resourceful boys always find a way in. He loves his hands and I think he would try to eat them if I let him...for reals.  He loves himself some fists...and I bet when he figures out he has fingers on those hands, he is going to get crazy excited!  I think he could probably drop his last feeding of the night and just go to bed around seven, but we enjoy having him in with us when we all sing and pray together at night. I am sure my sentiment on this will change when Jake is traveling. Max always smiles really big at me when I sing Amazing Grace to him (I only know like two verses, but he makes me feel like a rock star)...the other boys used to cry when I sang to them, so I would hum to them instead...I know, pathetic...and now, Hugh is a compulsive hummer. At least Max enjoys my voice...sweet boy. Seriously, this boy is the sugar is my life...he is too dang sweet. I love him to pieces!



Oh my, these weeks are flying by...I honestly cannot believe how fast the time goes by. This last week was "ski week" for Hugh, so we had lots of time to all hang out at home...I love not living by the school schedule, and I know Hugh was happy to be home. We had a great time (no it wasn't all great...sometimes, my kids make me lose my "stuff"...of course, it is all their fault...it has nothing to so with me). I continue to pray each and everyday that my sin is revealed to me...especially in how I shepherd these sweet boys. These trenches are deep some days...so, so deep. And I don't know how I will get out...but then my boys make me laugh because they are so funny and they make me smile because they are sweet and make my heart ache because they are growing so big and my days with my littles are numbered...and then I realize that I am not supposed to get out of these trenches because this is exactly where God wants me to be...and He'll meet me in the trenches...He always does, I just miss it some times. Praying that I find joy everyday...deep in the trenches!