Monday, May 26, 2014

Sweet Baby!!!



Sweet baby Max is twenty-seven weeks! My little baby is getting so big. Too big! Hard to believe. I do love how he clings to me like a little monkey. My fourth little monkey with his big brown eyes. Oh, he is a sweet one - he always puts a smile on my face. I love my boys!!!


 

So, what did week twenty-seven bring for Maxime? He saw the ENT and received a clean bill of health (they assume his chronic cough is due to an underdeveloped larynx, which he'll grow out in time - we should only be concerned if he gets a respiratory infection or starts losing weight...so, no worries). There may have been some tears shed at the appointment...from me...I had a horrible time figuring out parking (not a big shock)...driving around and around and around (you get it)...awful. I HATE driving in Lausanne (and Jake was supposed to do this appointment, which obviously didn't happen)...let's just say I have had finer moments. Max was a champ at the appointment...at least one of us wasn't crying. He is such a chill baby. We started on the food journey with Max this week...yep, I finally caved. He has only had a few experiences thus far...not super into it (he has his gag reflex down perfectly), but I know it is all about perseverance...more for me than for him. It is also about remembering to feed another child in the day (that is a struggle for me). As I've said before, Max doesn't really reach for things which makes grabbing food on his tray a little difficult - he needs to reach for the food...we'll keep working on it. He is getting better with reaching things - we'll just keep working on that as well. He just doesn't seem interested in it all that much. I look forward to him sitting up - I think it will open a whole new world for him, which will be fun for him (or at least I hope it will be).


He still needs a lot more balance and a lot more core strength in order to make the whole sitting up thing work out. We gots some work to do...and we do work on it. We also put him in a walker - he does like to stand so that is a winner for him. However, he tends to just push himself into a corner and nobody puts baby in a corner (unless baby puts himself in a corner). He seems to be over his pacifier, but I'll keep working on that one. He still eats to sleep, but will also go to sleep without having to eat which is great...but I do love to feed him and rock him...sweet baby. He has been waking up early, but he is happy to chat and will also just fall back asleep. He likes to make my life easy...finally someone who is looking out for me! We tried to break him out of the Woombie again this week and that was a total disaster. I have created a total swaddle monster...ugh. But I also want sleep...and he sleeps so well in the swaddle...is the swaddle really that bad?!? Ask me when he is two and I am still wrapping him up like a mummy. Oh well, we'll try again...but not anytime soon...at least not in my book. He seems to be napping better this week, which is great - he definitely prefers his morning nap over his afternoon nap. He still REALLY needs a later nap in the day, but it normally doesn't happen - we just don't have that great of a schedule. So, by the end of the day he is all done. I know in the next couple of months this will pass...just trying to figure it all out. Max is such a sweet boy - smiles for everyone and lots of snuggles. So, so blessed to have this boy as part of our tribe!!!


So, another week down - this year is going to fly by. Hard to believe we have already lived here over nine months. I still feel like I have been in a bit of a fog lately - I am ready for summer. Just tired of the schedule. I also need to force myself to get out this summer...just going to do it. I know I can - sometimes, I just want it all to be easy...which makes me a bit of a recluse (I am becoming Jake). So, I am going to push myself this summer - I also need to learn French...for reals. I just wish there were more hours in the day. So, here is to getting out my fog...baby steps.


Saturday, May 17, 2014

Big Boy!

 

Twenty-six weeks and six months for sweet Maxime!!!  Hard to believe it has already been half a year.  I know, I know...I say that every week, but six months is a big deal.  As I packed up another container of clothes and put the baby swing away, it all hits me that I will never have a six month old baby again.  That is a big reality for me...one that I am ready for, but still makes the tears fall.  I have been in this season for a long time and it just feels so weird to really put things away for good...sweet, little clothes that I remember getting with Hugh and now there will be no more little Saylor boys to wear them.  Yes, I am super dramatic...my hormones are still crazy.  I am in love with this sweet baby boy...so in love.  I am so thankful for the last six months...I am sure the next six months will fly by just as fast...sad.  And, I will still be super hormonal...because let's be honest, that will never end...crazy yesterday, crazy today, crazy tomorrow.


So, what did week twenty-six bring for Maxime?  We visited the doctor for his big six month appointment.  Everything is so different here...so, no shots, which was nice.  Max is getting big...really jumped up on the growth chart. He now weighs 7.6kg (50%) and is 76cm (50%) and his head is just BIG (97%).  I discussed my concerns regarding Max with his doctor (who I love by the way - we attend church with her and she is a friend)...he doesn't reach for anything.  So, she spent some time with him to see if I was just being crazy...and she tells me, "He is just slow."  (The Swiss German in her makes her very direct...awesome.)  And then, she tells me that she knows he is a fourth baby (she has four kids as well)...his tracking is unbelievable (he follows every move that everyone is making), BUT she can tell he isn't getting a lot of focused playtime.  What I love about our doctor is, she gets it - no judgement.  Max gets lots of time with me, but playtime with me?  Not really.  And, we didn't have a good playmat this time around and it shows...he isn't use to grabbing for things.  The good thing is he sees the objects and knows the objects are there (he gets excited), but he is still unsure of what to do...so, we are all really making an effort to have really focused play with him throughout the day - more than just holding and feeding.  I can already see him getting better, but we definitely have some work to do.  So, we'll really work with him and hopefully, he'll be all set. 

He also doesn't really roll, but he will roll to his side and our doctor said that is good enough and we shouldn't be concerned with that at all.  I am a terrible mother...ugh.  She was impressed with how strong he is - he is getting closer to sitting up...just needs some more balance.  It is a good thing we aren't having any more kids...clearly, I get worse and worse with each one...sigh.  Max has started to extend his wake time...I am still trying to find his sweet spot...not quite two hours.  I am always on the elusive quest for the perfect schedule...which is never going to happen.  His naps seem a little better this week, but still a little hit or miss.  He becomes a bit of a hot mess in the late afternoons - he NEEDS a third nap, but at the time (the "witching" hour) he needs a third nap, I also have to make dinner and care for three other crazy monkeys...so, adding nursing a baby to sleep during that time doesn't always work out and by the time I get to it, he is a super hot mess and it doesn't work out for a nap...ugh.  So, I think we are starting to transition to an earlier bedtime, which means earlier mornings, but it is after seven so no complaints.  We are still dream feeding him - don't dare mess with night sleep.  And, he is still in the Woombie...didn't even try to mess with that this week.  Just keep those sleep crutches coming...and yep, still nursing him to sleep (I'll be teaching classes on Babywise very soon.).  So, I thought about giving Max "real" food this week...it is the thought that counts right?!?  Honestly, I don't think he is developmentally ready yet - I would like to see him sitting better and bringing more things to his mouth.  I am sure we could start purees and he would be fine...and then I would lose my mind.  I am into the baby-led weaning...honestly, I think it is fantastic...and I don't want to go back to purees.  Yes, I am sure laziness has something to do with all of this as well, but I really want to make sure he is ready...leave the gagging to a minimum.  He is still super smiley with lots of giggles.  I love the time I have with him nursing (not all the time, but some of the time) and rocking with him - nothing sweeter than a sleeping baby.  He is such a sweet baby...so, so blessed!!!  Love this little boy!!!


So, I really need to step up my game with this parenting gig this week...for reals.  I just always feel like there is so much going on around me and I don't think social media helps me one bit.  Sometimes, I think maybe I should take a break from social media (I don't have the issues with comparing or anything like that...just distracted...I am so distracted all the time...my to-do list is always constantly running in my head and there is NEVER enough time...I just wish I could stop the distractions...oh, look, there's a squirrel...moving on)...but taking a break from social media feels like a fad...like eating paleo...and fads aren't my thing (stop judging me for the Toms I wear...they really are comfortable)...see, super distracted!  Anyway, I need to step up my game.  I love being a mom...now my game just needs to show that!



Sunday, May 11, 2014

Getting Back to Normal...


Maxime is twenty-five weeks!!! Yay!  And, I am almost back to a normal blogging routine.  This last week has been all about trying to get back to a normal routine.  It has not been easy, that is for sure.  However, I think we are all back to normal...or, at least very close to normal.  Max seems to sleeping through the night again (praise the Lord!) - he is still getting up a little too early some days for me, but I am managing.  Honestly, Sam was the bigger issue for us for this past week - he would be awake for hours in the night.  He seems to be back to normal now as well...but he did get the boot from his big brothers' room, which was really sad.  However, Sam is now sleeping later...and that is nice...real nice.  Max is still struggling with his naps, but I bet he would be struggling with his naps anyway...he is at that age.  It took Max nearly three weeks to get into a normal routine when we were in Phoenix, so I cannot expect a miracle in a week.  I am just glad to be getting back to some type of normal...this type A Mama needs that routine!


So, what did week twenty-five bring for Maxime?  It brought back some night time sleep, which is fantastic.  It has been a long time since Max has been in a normal sleeping routine.  And, I love myself some sleep.  When my sleep gets hijacked, I can become a little (or maybe a lot) crazy.  So, I am glad to be getting some sleep back.  We tried to remove the Woombie this week...that was a massive failure...massive.  He was spittin' mad, and then I put him back in the Woombie and back to sleep he went.  Uh-oh.  Even I am ready for him to be out of the Woombie...just one of the many sleep crutches this baby has...we'll keep trying.  However, they do make super large Woombies for like two year-olds...just something to think about.  I am also in the bad cycle of nursing this baby to sleep and once I try to stop nursing him, he wakes up in a panic and starts screaming.  I did let him cry this week during naps and he did actually fall asleep after crying for a bit.  It was heartbreaking, but I can see myself doing it again...I just need for him to get on some type of normal sleep routine again.  And, I do wish he wouldn't depend on eating to sleep...I am the one guilty of doing this to him...ugh.  He has been getting a lot more formula as well this week.  He seems like he is starving and would nurse all day, which is exhausting.  My patience with nursing is short, which I know isn't good.  Honestly, I really don't mind nursing him...when I have nothing else to do or no other children to worry about (Sam is normally plotting to burn down the house)...that doesn't happen very often. 


 We are going to start him on solids in the next week or so, so maybe that will help curb his starvation issues...we all know I don't really believe this since I think solids are a waste at this age, but I am going to pull the trigger anyway.  I know, I am such a downer.  I have realized that I will be spending most of my church Sundays outside nursing my sweet baby.  I tried to nurse him during church and I am reminded why I shouldn't...he sounds like he is drinking a Big Gulp and then choking on it...not your quietest eater.  I haven't really seen him roll any more...honestly, there is a part of me that is a bit worried that he doesn't really roll yet.  I know I shouldn't worry about it at all, but it is that crazy mom in me.  He still loves to bite and suck on his fingers - I know this time around that teeth are not coming any time soon, but he'll be biting and drooling like crazy for months to come!  I have been laying out some toys for him during tummy time, but he still shows no interest and gets so defeated during tummy time (or, rolls over)...it is a little sad.  I know one day he'll be running around like crazy and getting into everything and I'll think to myself, "why was I ever worried about this crazy, little boy?!?"  I am crazy...oh, well.  Max loves to stand up and still always acts super tough whenever he does it - it is so cute.  He has been watching his brothers a lot more and I know he is planning out the days when he'll run free with them...it will all come too soon.  He has been super vocal this week - complaining most of the time...he wants more sleep as well.  Even with all the complaining, he is still giving lots of smiles and giggles.  Oh, we LOVE this baby boy!!!  Love, love, love him!!! 

 

Despite the hiccups this week in our schedule, Max is still such a sweet boy.  He is always desperately trying to get my attention - he just wants a look and then he'll give the biggest smile even if he is having a hard day.  The looks he gives me melt my heart.  Seriously.  They are being etched in my mind.  I don't want to miss this.  I wish I could go back to when the other boys were little babies and etch their sweet smiles into my brain. I am thankful for pictures, but I wish I could just remember it all.  I need to slow down...hit the pause button and relax.  I just always feel the need to have everything done right...all the time...on my exact time schedule.  It is exhausting...for reals.  It is just hard to keep up with everything...to keep up with life.  I pray I can focus on the things that really matter and give myself grace on the things that can wait until tomorrow.  I am thankful God has me right where He wants me.  I am so incredibly blessed to be where I am...the mother of four amazing, little boys...I pray I never lose sight of what an amazing gift I have been given to be called "Mama".

    

Thursday, May 8, 2014

And, We're Back!!!


(I had the best intentions of getting back to normal blogging once we returned home. I even wrote the majority of this blog on the flight home. And then, life happened...and non-sleeping children happened. Such is life. And, I'll get back to taking pictures of this sweet boy.)


Back to blogging in week twenty-four for Max! Nothing like getting back into a routine after being gone three weeks! It is hard to believe that our US trip is over...so much time planning...and spending a ridiculous amount of money buying goods online...and it is over. However, we are back now and we survived the long journey home!!! The return flight felt a lot shorter, which was nice. It was also nice to have a healthy Jake versus a sick Jake (I didn't have to curse him in my head this time around...I am such a terrible wife.).  Fairly certain I am sold on British Airways - the people are nicer, the food is better, and you get a little (probably barely measurable) more legroom. However, what I love is that they are family friendly. United was a bunch of kid haters, but BA allowed for early boarding and we had a bassinet seat for Max (awesome...made my life so much easier!). Anyway, overall it was a good experience...and, free liquor...yep, totally sold. And, we are back...in Switzerland. I think it is setting in more this time that we really live in Europe than it did when we first came over almost nine months ago. I think it is because we don't have immediate plans to return to the US any time soon. It is all a little surreal. Ok, this blog is about Max...not about all my emotional issues. Max enjoyed his last week in Phoenix...lots of family and friend love. This baby boy is all smiles - seriously, so sweet. He also did great on the flight and I didn't feel like I was constantly nursing, which was fantastic. Seriously, the bassinet seat was ah-mazing. And, I was smart enough to bring a bottle for him as well this time around...good idea for sure. I, of course, got no sleep - I am super paranoid of a kid crying out...so, I don't sleep...at all. Oh, well. I am thankful the boys slept. Overall, we survived!


 

So, what did week twenty-four bring for Max? Well, the biggest event was returning home to Switzerland and finishing our stay in Phoenix...and we are hopeful he'll return to sleeping! Of course, he actually started sleeping through the night again the last couple of nights we were in town...only took nineteen days! I hope it doesn't take another three weeks for Max to start sleeping through the night again! I saw Max roll over, so I guess it is real now...however, still not on a totally flat surface, so I still have my doubts. He seems to be back to nursing normal, but still on his time schedule, which is fine. I should be thankful he takes a bottle so easily versus freaking out about it...I am so crazy. I left my Boppy pillow behind in Phoenix...that is a big deal, but it was time. I stopped using the pillow, but it was a faithful friend for a solid five months. I know that not relying on the pillow will actually make my nursing life easier, but it still was a friend. He is definitely a baby that likes to do nothing...fine by me. Honestly, he seems to have no interest in doing anything. Not sure if I should be concerned or count my blessings.


He definitely knows how to smile and giggle - Daddy can really get him going (no surprise there...just a matter of time before he is Team Jake). He is super ticklish, loves to chat, and really does have a smile for every person he meets. He continued with his flex schedule this last week and I am sure putting him back on a normal schedule will rock his world. We shall see. (I actually already know how it is going, but I wasn't going to skip another week. I would be a terrible mother.) He is still getting tastes of food and I am realizing that I will have to start feeding him real food. Ugh. I am super dramatic. Hard to believe this baby boy is just shy of six months...and a big chapter of my life is slowly coming to a close...in a foreign land...yep, I am super dramatic.

 

We had a great time in Arizona. It went by way too fast. It didn't always feel like a vacation, but we always had a good time in spite of the sleepless nights. I am so thankful we were able to bring Max "home". It was so great spending so much time with our amazing family and friends. We are so thankful for every one of them. So, now it is back to life in Switzerland...back to French, grocery stores closing before the sun goes down, and food costs that can bankrupt a person. No more Walmart and having everything at my fingertips. We did miss Switzerland while we were gone - the cooler weather is nice and the views cannot be beat. It isn't always easy, but this is home. So, no more ordering ridiculous things online and making a stockpile of goods at my parents house...I live in Switzerland...truth...time to embrace it.