Monday, April 28, 2014

Happy Easter!

 

Happy week twenty-two and week twenty-three to Maxime! Yep, I skipped a week...vacation can do that to a person. And, lack of sleep can also do that to a person...I am definitely in the lack of sleep camp. Sadly, Max is still having some ROUGH nights. Oh, well. We'll survive...with a lot less sleep. At least Jake is completely back to normal now and we can really enjoy our vacation (at still not even think about the looming medical bills...ugh). We are having a lot of fun - the boys are loving all the family and friend time, and Hugh is all ready to marry his cousin, Evie, one day (we'll discuss the issues with that at a later date in time).  It is a total whirlwind and I wish I had so many more hours to see everyone...this is when it is hard living so far away, but I am really thankful for the time we have had.

 

So, what did week twenty-two and week twenty-three bring for Max? Max has had so many firsts...too many to mention. He celebrated his first Easter and he looked super cute...you'll just have to take my word for it because being the amazing mom that I am, I didn't get a single picture of him...terrible (I have been terrible at taking any pictures...definitely off my IG feed).  He had a great Easter, but was a total wreck by the end of the night...hot mess. It took him a long time to calm down after LOTS of crying...it was very sad.  (This Easter gave me flashbacks to last Easter...I was boozin' and having a good old time...two days later I found out I was pregnant with Max...memories...oh, the memories.  This year I could booze and had no after guilt whatsoever.)  According to Jake, Max is rolling from his back to his tummy (honestly, I don't believe Jake - I have never seen this happen...just sayin'.). He had his first bath (he always takes showers). He had a Gramma lay him down for the night (that has never happened...we don't get out a lot (as in never))...he punished me that night for leaving him and woke every hour on the hour (shoot me). He has been getting a lot more bottles...so, that means I started pumping.


You know what, I don't miss pumping...not one bit. It has been fine (I only pump for about five to seven minutes...any longer than that and I would lose my mind) if anyone knows how to pump - it is this girl. I had the moment of panic when I determined that Max would prefer the bottle over breastfeeding...and then I relaxed and let it go. Whatever happens happens...and I am good with it. I have finally come to the terms that Max is a total snack feeder - he has his own preference on when he wants to eat, which is not when he first wakes up...he likes to eat more when he ready to sleep...so, buh-bye Babywise...we tried and tried, but we are not a Babywise family...zero out of four, but at least we tried...A for effort.  I finally manned up and breastfed in public...only took five months to get there. I don't love breastfeeding in public...no shows for me = breastfeeding feeling like it takes a million years...no joke. I even got to breastfeed at McDonald's...I am a lucky girl. 


Max keeps getting little tastes of food we are eating...he just tries sucking on the food...trying to nurse anything he can find. If you hold Max in the nursing position, he will try to nurse...LOL funny when friends are holding him and he turns and starts licking their shirt. Classy. He is still trying to eat his hands...remember that being able to fit your entire fist in your mouth is a total gift...for reals.  We are still jacking up his schedule, but he is managing (or not managing with the punishing he gives me at night since he doesn't sleep)...he is still always happy for the most part. He enjoyed a trip to Flagstaff, but his carseat tolerance is about two hours...should make for some fun summer road trips.  He still has lots of giggles and always has lots to say. Our friends and family are falling for this sweet baby boy...it is easy to do...Max is such a sweet baby!

 

We are loving our AZ time...honestly, the trip can be a little stressful at times...it is stress I put on myself. We built our lives in AZ, so there are lots of people to see. There is not enough time to make everything happen, which is sad. We also know we won't be back for a while, which makes it all hard as well. It is also hard to live out of suitcases for weeks on end...especially for someone with my OCD tendencies. Our families have been very gracious to put up with our messes - it isn't easy having a family of six invade your space.  Hard to believe that I looked forward to this trip for so long and now it will be over in a matter of days.  I can't start dwelling on leaving now...no purpose in that when we still have a few more days.  Honestly, I love what we have in Switzerland, but I will miss family and friends terribly...just hard to see life go by and realize that you can't be a part of the day to day...I miss that...I wish I could have it all.  Well, here is to enjoying our last few days stateside!!!


Thursday, April 17, 2014

World Traveler!

 
Twenty-one weeks and USA living for Maxime!!! Yep, we arrived...and it started out rough. Jake started the visit with a stay in the hospital with a terrible case of facial cellulitis. It was horrible. Thankfully, he was released on Saturday after we arrived and is slowly recovering. I felt terrible for him and I am super glad he is feeling better! Of course, something like this would happen to us while on vacation. Right now, I just want Jake to feel 100% better...I'll worry about the nightmare of everything later...because there will be a serious nightmare we'll have to deal with later. However, I really don't want this whole ordeal to be a dark cloud over our stay. I really want to enjoy our time here in spite of how the trip started. This is Max's first trip to America, we need to live it up! It is a little surreal to believe we are actually here...all the waiting and now we are here. It has been fun seeing lots of family and friends, and for everyone to meet Max. Praying for the rest of the trip to be fun, but to be a heck of a lot less eventful than our first few days...and no more hospital stays...we'll go bankrupt!


So, what did week twenty-one bring for Max? Well, it brought Daddy back (he didn't come back healthy, but at least he came back) which was great...this Mama was all done. So thankful to have Daddy back!!!  Obviously, the biggest highlight of this week was coming to America! This little boy is enjoying some time in his country of nationality!!! The flight was long, but Max did great. I just had to realize that I would be sitting there like a cow ready to nurse at a moment's notice...that was super awesome...you know, since I love nursing so much. I am fairly certain there were several people on our flight who got a little show of my little ladies peeping out...oh, well. Max slept off and on - it is hard to get comfortable...I get that, it is a really long day of travel. But, (I have to remind myself) that is all it is - one day...not the whole vacation, so you buck up and embrace it.  Sadly, he has had a bit of a rough transition since being in Phoenix...can't quite get his internal clock set right just yet. So, that makes me tired...real, real tired. I get it though...this travel gig isn't easy...especially for a baby! Although he isn't getting great sleep, he is still such a sweet boy. He is so easy going and will let anyone hold him...he just wants some love. We have learned though that Max appreciates a schedule. I am not a live and die by a schedule kind of mom; however, I am home...A LOT, so we don't really ever deviate from his schedule except on Sundays for church.  So, maybe I should be trying to spice life up a little more for him with jacking up his schedule.  He has been eating better, which is great. Like his brothers, I cannot force him to eat - once I truly understand that, it will be better for us all. Before we came here, he had been sleeping well...guess we'll just be throwing all of that out the window.


He is still not rolling...yep, we got some work to do. He seems strong enough to sit up, but has no balance...too many things to work on...can't handle it. He is giggling more...so sweet. He is quite the talker as well. He is still in the Woombie...Jake is certain we cut this out now...not there yet. He moves himself all over the crib...guess I should take out the pillows and blankets now.  He officially knows what it feels like to sweat...it is warm in Phoenix...I am trying not to be overly dramatic about the heat, but I am being overly dramatic about it...can't help myself. We still haven't started any foods with him, but he is getting some tastes (thank you Aunt Melissa for the donuts).  Jake is very ready to start Max on some solid foods...and when Jake stays home with Max and is needed every minute of the day, he can start those solid foods that provide zero nutritional value to Max.  Yep, over solid foods...yes, I know I will have to feed this baby real food very soon and I am sure it seems crazy that something like this seems like such a big deal, but it is the little things that can put me over the edge...this would put me over the edge...for reals.  However, I am sure we'll keep giving him some tastes until I am ready to commit.  So far, he is enjoying his vacation...it is great to be "home" (at least home for me...for Max, this isn't home).

 



It is great to be back in Arizona.  I am tired, like stupid tired...I feel like I have been in this state for too long.  Honestly, I don't know if I will ever get out of this state at times.  It is my season...a sleepless season.  I resigned myself to the fact that this is not going to be a restful vacation...not at all.  So, I can choose my attitude...just like with everything else in life.  Things don't always go as I planned...I can choose to be pissed, or I can choose to embrace it with a joyful heart.  I am really praying that I choose to have a joyful heart.  I'll need some serious caffeine...bring it!  Time to enjoy some USA living!

Saturday, April 5, 2014

All Done!

 

Yay, Maxime is twenty weeks!  (Maybe, you can actually see me saying "yay"!)  This Mama is ALL DONE with this week.  I am in the midst of another single parenting week...and I am ALL DONE.  It didn't help that I had to run all around trying to secure a VISA for Max and dealing with sick children...punch me in the face...oh, and my internet was down...punch me in the face again.  I love my boys...they make my heart full...but single parenting is rough...super rough...I am a better mother when my husband is with me...for sure.  I am fairly certain that if Jake was going to be away for another week that I would need to be committed...no joke.  And, being committed would feel like a vacation...amen.  However, vacation is coming...so, I won't need to be committed...which is probably for the best.  Ok, no more ranting about my "poor me" life...it really has been fine, just tiring, which I do a lot of that to myself. 


 So, what did week twenty bring for sweet Max?  Well, it has been a long week.  Honestly, I don't think it started out that way, but now I have been so blinded by the last few days that now it just seems like it has been a long, hard week.  Max is sick...and he is a hot mess...just during the day.  He is still sleeping decent at night, so no complaints there.  I am still dream feeding him and always wondering when I should stop it...but being the overthinker that I am (it is such a gift) I worry too much about him not sleeping...so, the dream feeding will continue.  And, going back to the overthinking...Max seems like he is on a bit nursing strike, which of course makes me think that something is wrong and we all know my mommy issues on breastfeeding (the list is long).  However, this time around - there will be no guilt in quitting and no pumping.  Honestly (and this is going to make me sound like the worst mother ever...no worries though, I already secured that when I forgot to pick-up my five year-old at school), I only breastfeed to watch shows...it is the only time I watch shows and it wouldn't fly if I was bottle feeding Max that I needed to retreat to my room...Jake isn't that clueless.  So, I don't breastfeed for bonding (I really don't think those two words should ever be in the same sentence), or to save money (that may shock some of you), or for the health of my baby (because we all know that I don't eat healthy)...I do it for the smut TV and to learn some Turkish (wow, writing it out really does make me sound horrible...however, you never know when you are going to need to know some Turkish).  When I actually tell some moms that I hate breastfeeding, they look at me like I just killed my baby...it is crazy how they are so many things out there that we all can be so passionate about.  Anyway, so when my internet was out this week and I was having to nurse, I actually thought time stopped while nursing and then I became so pathetic that I started watching my boys' shows on the iPad...that didn't last long...there is something disturbing about watching Mickey Mouse Clubhouse while nursing a baby without any children watching with me.  Ok, moving on...I am hopeful that Max kicks his nursing strike, because I have GOT to keep up with my shows!



Although Max hates nursing, he still acts fairly happy...definitely not super happy, but he is trying.  He is probably happier than I am. He will be all smiles and then burst into tears when someone coughs or one of his brothers screams (that happens A LOT in this house)...he needs more sleep (the story of my life)...ugh.  And, I should mention that he was a total rockstar when we got his VISA (yes, he is required to be there...and no, they don't even bother to look at him)...he was a trooper...it was a long day, a very long day.  He has been spending more time outside - enjoying the beautiful weather.  He just hangs out...this baby is so chill when he wants to be (which is honestly, the majority of the time).  He still spends a lot of time in the Bumbo and the bouncer, and still hates tummy time.  Should I be worried that he is almost five months old and nowhere close to rolling over?  Nah.  He is contemplating sucking his thumb...however, he still has no access to those said thumbs during sleeping hours...yep, still rocking that Woombie...woot, woot.  We decided to move forward with him seeing an ENT - he will visit him at the end of May.  We figure it is better to be safe and rule out any issues and after the week I had, Jake will for sure be taking Max to this appointment...for sure.  I HATE driving in Lausanne because I cannot park...yep, I seriously lack parking skills.  Max still loves to be tickled, to stand up and be tough, be loved on by his brothers, be snuggled by Mama, have big open smiles, and just be an all around sweet, sweet, sweet little baby.


I see a light at the end of this tunnel...there is a long flight before that bright light, but it is there.  I am just thankful we got all the paperwork sorted out for Max - to say that was a stressful situation would be an understatement.  I just need to get through this next week.  And, I need to do it with an attitude that reflects Christ...hard, hard, hard...however, it is very humbling when I am having one of those moments where I have one foot over the edge of a cliff and I am starting to pull my hair out...and my five year-old says, "Mama, you just love your kids so much."  Oh, wow - puts my heart in check.  I DO love these boys SO much, so, so much!!!  Sometimes, I need a five year-old to give me a little nudge...especially on those hard days when you feel like you can never catch a break.  Our song with the boys right now is "In Christ Alone"...HE is my light, my strength, my song...thankful I know those words to be true!  Now, to focus on those words this next week...and take a deep breath!