Monday, September 29, 2014

Big, Bad Teeth!


Maxie is forty-five weeks!  Getting too old...way too old.  When is this baby going to stop growing?!? Sadly, it has been another rough week. Maxie's big, bad teeth are just so dang mean to him...and these mean teeth cause quite a vicious cycle.  Max has been able to kick his cold, but then the teething starts up...which leads to him having a runny nose and then causes a terrible cough...and then leads us back to a cold.  Enough already!  Poke my eyes out and drive me up the wall. Screaming from the rooftop...ALL DONE!!!  However, I do feel so bad for him (I know, I am so selfless) - he is straight-up miserable and it breaks my heart.  His cough is terrible and leads to throwing up and it is just sad, just so sad.  But it also leads to lack of sleep...for me and that is no good (Maxie loses sleep as well, but he gets to nap during the day and sadly for me, my other minions make it impossible for me to nap).  I need sleep...not a whole lot, but at least a solid six hour stretch...and Maxie a.k.a. "The Sleep Thief" is making that very difficult.  I just want this boy to get those top two teeth and then take a pause on the teething...I mean, does a baby really need more than four teeth?!? I don't think so.  Praying for a week filled with lots of smiles and lots of sleep!!!

So, what did week forty-five bring for Max?  Well, it brought drool, drool, drool!  I have never seen a baby drool so much.  He soaks his shirts down to his pants and even soaks the back of his shirt.  What?!? I didn't even know that was possible...for reals.  He just sits there with his mouth open and spit just pouring out...he already knows how to draw in the ladies...yes, he does.  He also is constantly chewing on his hands.  Poor buddy.  I know those mean, nasty teeth are hurting my sweet boy.  And that amber necklace, yep...not doing a darn thing, not a darn thing.  Oh, well.  I tried putting clove bud oil on his gums...that face was priceless.  I am fairly certain if he knew how to slap, he would have slapped me across the face.  However, I then put the oil in my own mouth...I am good like that...and I get why he gave me the '"WTF" face. BUT it does help everything in your mouth go numb so he should be thanking me.  He hates taking all meds, which is a bummer because we all know I love myself some baby meds and have NO problem dispensing them.  And, the nose wiping and nose sucking...yikes, he gets pissed! The teething issues have caused him to give up the bottle...which is just super...just in time to wean him.  And yes, I will be weaning him to a bottle...makes perfect sense to baby, my rules. He also has been a bit of a picky eater this week...oh, well.  (And, he still won't feed himself...ugh.) I chalk it all up to just being a bit miserable and oh, wow - did I ever get to see Maxie's seriously miserable side?!?  Yikes.  Let's just say I saw a bit of his toddler years and I am scared...very scared.  He did seem a bit better today so I am hopeful that these teeth will come in this week.

So, was the zippadeedoda sack a super duper success?!? You bet it was!  Win for the Mama!!!  Maxie loves himself a sack with bat wings!  Now, he still has had some crying fits, but I blame the teeth and not the sack.  And, you better believe I bought sacks for him all the way until he turns bet I did!  Why?  Because I am crazy and I live in a foreign gotta stock up on your goods when you can.  If he didn't have such a nasty cough, this sack would have brought lots of restful sleep...I just know it.  Those bat wings have special powers for sure.  He is still not crawling (and I try desperately not to panic and spend too much time googling what could be wrong with him), but he has a mean bootscoot and it works for him...until he gets caught under furniture and then he just gets spitting mad.  I need to be better about putting him on his tummy more...but I forget.  I forget a lot of happens.  And, Max likes to sit and play...with company (oh, man - this boy loves himself some company).  He loves to be vocal - we talk/grunt with each other and it is so funny.  He has such an expressive personality and he makes me smile with his sweet face.  He went on a long hike this last weekend and he rocked it and I know he felt miserable, but he didn't let that hold him back.  He has so many smiles to give and so many giggles.  He is so ticklish...and I love to torture him.  He gives these super funny "cheese" faces and also has his pout down fairly well.  He loves to grip me like a monkey and I think he is a bit of a Mama's boy (which we all know that I love), but he is more than happy to let others hold him but when I get close he reaches for me (yep, he knows exactly how to get to my heart).  Even after another tough week, this boy is as sweet as ever and he has captured my heart...big time.

So, it was a long week and I am glad it is done.  I am SO thankful for my mom - she is so helpful and I so grateful that she is willing to put her life on hold to help me.  These travel weeks can be so tiring, but I see God's grace through it all.  I don't want to wish these weeks away - I know God uses them to bring me closer to Him.  I am very thankful Jake will be home again this week, even if it just for a couple of days...I am better mother when he is here.  Praying for lots of sleep this week!!!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Sick and Tired

Forty-four weeks! Shut the front door! My baby boy, Max, is forty-four weeks. Cannot believe it! Love this sweet baby to pieces. Seriously. He melts my heart. Honestly, it wasn't the easiest of weeks once again. Max is still getting over his cold and he is, he doesn't get the greatest of sleep. I hate that he doesn't feel great - hearing his cough is brutal...and when it leads to vomit, it is just painful to us all...for reals. He is also struggling still with the Woombieless transition...he cries and cries at bedtime. (I may have thrown him into his new zippadedooda (or whatever it is called) sack tonight just to see how he would do...and you know what, this boy loves himself a sleeping sack. And, Jake and I will agree to disagree on these sacks...and at the end of the day we all love each other and sing kumbaya.) I am praying his cough doesn't turn into anything more serious, and I don't think it will - he seems to be turning a corner, but holding onto his nasty cough. I really want him to sleep...for him and selfishly, for me...a happy Mama = a happy house (and this Mama needs sleep). We'll see how the new sack goes...maybe they'll be a big disaster...either way, I will take a picture of him in his zippadedooda sack because it is super awesome and he'll thank me for the picture later. Ah, the joys of being a mom!

So, what did week forty-four bring for Maxime? Well, it brought the continued sickness and junky sleeping...such is life. This week did not bring any movement for Maxime - he still scoots backwards...that is still his thing and he gets where he wants to go. We were at a friends' home and their little girl was putting Maxie to shame, but you know what - Maxie don't care, we have another honey badger on our hands. It was fun to watch him with this little girl (she is three weeks younger) - she would keep taking toys from him and he would scream at her. He is not afraid to speak his mind, no he is not. Even though, he isn't mobile - he has quite the reach and normally gets what he wants. He also has lots of people who are more than willing to just give him what he wants. And, he'll scream at you if you don't give him what he wants. He loves to play with his brothers' toys and loves to destroy train tracks - that is his favorite thing to do. He loves to sit outside - watching the trees, playing with leaves and watching his crazy brothers run wild (knowing one day he will have his turn).

He has stopped spitting - yay! Now, he just politely turns his head when he is all done...sweet boy. He hasn't been eating all that great this week unless he is really into what he is eating...lamb, roasted pumpkin and sweet potatoes, butternut squash risotto, know, all the normal foods for a ten month old. Dinner is his favorite meal of the day by far. And, still no self-feeding...I think he is trying to drive me crazy...he doesn't know that this stallion cannot be broken. He still doesn't really put much to his mouth (toys, dirt, knifes...nothing)...but we are working on it. He loves to be read to and will sit and listen, but he also loves to grab at the books and I think I have a major destruct-o on my hands...ugh. Maxie just loves to play...honestly, with anything he can get his hands on. He also continues to love company and will be a happy long as someone is hanging out with him (think that must be a last born, baby trait). Maxie is the cutest thing ever - he gives these scrunched up faces (I think he is imitating my know, the one where my eyes disappear...thank you, Mom) and they are so cute. Oh, this boy - he melts my heart...even on those hard days. So blessed!

 So, I am bracing myself...Jake is traveling...again. Such is the life of a Swiss mom (for reals...nobody feels sorry for you here since all the husbands travel). BUT my mom is here - praise the Lord! This will be a cake walk...with some wine. No, it is great that my mom is here - I am very thankful. I am more thankful God has given me an incredible sense of peace when Jake travels - it is what it is and I can choose my attitude and lean on God in my weaknesses. (And, I am praising God for my mom's help since Jake will be traveling 16 of the next 19 days.) I don't want to wish these weeks away...Max is already getting so big (when he was sleeping on me one night this week, he was sprawled across half my body...crazy big), and I know these days are fleeing from me so I can't wish them away. I am praying it will be a good week...with happy, healthy and sleeping babes!

Monday, September 15, 2014

Mad Max


Maxie is forty-three weeks and ten months! Let the countdown to the big one year begin! Oh, this little boy...I do love him. Honestly, this hasn't been the easiest of weeks...I even threw out the nickname "Mad Max" this week. He has being sleeping Woombieless at night (naps are a different story)...and he cries at night (break my heart, this little boy cries) and then he wakes up cranky in the morning (missing me my happy Max in the morning for sure!). And, my, oh my, this boy lets you know he is CRANKY...he grunts and screams at you (he isn't crying...just grunting at you). So, while Jake is thankful that Max is sleeping Woombieless at night (we all know I am strongly in the camp of Team Woombie and would keep this boy in it until college)...I miss my always sweet boy (and I know I cannot blame his bad attitude this last week on the fact that he wasn't getting his special hug all night (that is what I think the Woombie does...yep, I am awesome)). So, been a bit of a long week...and, he is sick with a cold (and he is his father's, he and sickness do not get along well at all...lots of drama)...and teething (yep, super fun week!).  But, he is still a sweet boy in spite of everything...just praying for a more peaceful week.

So, what did week forty-three bring for Maxime? Well, his first real cold. I felt like he has been sick before, but this time it is bad - he is so snotty and has a horrible cough...poor buddy. He absolutely HATES getting his nose wiped and using the nose sucker...lots of drama. He also hates taking medicine. So, been a super fun time dealing with all that...BUT he will actually sleep at night still, which is fantastic. (Hence why he still wins the perfect baby award...just kidding (but not really)).
I think he is starting to feel better...maybe?!? I don't really know - we'll see how this week goes. So, other big news is that he is sleeping at night without the Woombie...he does cry when I lay him down, but he is figuring it out and going to sleep. He isn't waking up in the night (well, not usually), but is still waking up early (which he was also doing in the Woombie). I did put him in the Woombie one night - we were going out and he was crying so hard. Sometimes, Max needs that secure feeling...I (emphasis on I) believe there is nothing wrong with that...we all know that I would keep him in the Woombie forever (and I may or may not have ordered him new sleep sacks that he can continue to grow into...I will do anything in moments of weakness...and a crying, sleepless baby make those moments of weakness so bad).  So, he still sleeps in the Woombie at naps - he just couldn't calm at naps and hearing a screaming baby gives me the, I squeezed that baby right back into the Woombie...and, he, we all win. I just want him to be back to sleeping eleven to twelve hours a night versus nine to ten hours...praying for that this week! As I stated above, he has been a bit cranky - he demands you focus on him. He also screams at me and throws a little tantrum (yes, it is starting at ten months...oh, joy) if I take the phone away...he has the wifis obsession bad (I know the feeling).

He still isn't crawling - just throwing himself at things and scooting backwards (we'll find him with his whole body (except his head) trapped under furniture...poor buddy, but it is funny). He'll be mobile when he is good and ready, and for now he makes due. He is reaching for me more and more - I love that he reaches for me...melts my heart. He also gets so excited to see me...and Jake...and his brothers (but it is still special). He gives the best smiles and can be so shy around people - he'll bury his face in it. He loves to play with his brothers and is happy just sitting and watching them...and also destroying their train tracks (and they just love him for doing that). He always cries at nap time and bedtime (with a Woombie or without)...I try to talk him out of it, but it doesn't work - he always cries and it breaks my heart. I am praying this phase ends soon. He is still eating well, but still no self feeding. BUT he actually has started putting things to his mouth (like toys, paper...of course, not food)...that is a big step for him. We are pretty sure he is saying "hi" because he hears it about a million times a day from all of us...other than "hi", he just says "dada"...just to spite me of course. He is still teething and now officially has two teeth (I thought he had two teeth the prior week...I was wrong). Even with it being a hard week, this boy is happy the majority of the time. He is sweet, cuddly, amazing little boy!

Some weeks are longer than others...that is just a fact. I can embrace that truth and roll with it. Honestly, over time and many children, my fuse has become quite long (except on certain things where I have a very, very short fuse). I can wish for many things during my days (a happy baby, a sleeping baby, obedient kids, and the list goes on), but I cannot lose sight that I am in desperate need of God's grace for every second of my days...and I can't do this on my own. Without Christ, I am nothing...that is a fact. So, my greatest wish during my weeks is that Christ shines through me and my boys see it...because without that, all my others wishes would just be a waste. Here is to a new week...for health and happiness!!!

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Change is Coming


Forty-two weeks for Max!  This little boy is ten weeks shy of turning a year-old…that is just crazy talk right there…for reals.  My little sweet baby is fleeing from me!  No!!!  This last year has gone by so fast…it is hard to wrap my mind around it all.  Seriously, I know I say it over and over (and over and over) again, but the time goes by so fast (again, not every day…like last Thursday…that day didn’t go by fast…time actually stopped).  (Hard to believe that it was this week last year that I found out that Max would most likely be delivered early and be delivered via c-section because of my placenta previa.  That same placenta previa that I was certain wasn't an issue because everyone and their mother told me that no one really ends up with placenta previa.  I can still remember crying during that ultrasound when I learned that I would most likely be having a c-section.  In hindsight, it wasn't a big deal...but a year ago, it was a huge deal.  Thankful for God's grace and protection.)  I love every new stage with Max – it just seems so different this time around…I think because Max is a totally different baby and because I know it is my last baby (unless I can talk Jake into adoption one day…he knows I’ll try)…my last baby…yep, I know I wrestle with this every week…having a hard time closing this chapter of my life…we have been here for so long.  Yes, I am good with it…just need to soak it all up…every last bit of the baby loving I can get.  Love myself a sweet baby…and a sweet baby Maxie is!

So, what did week forty-two bring for Max?  Well, the time has come for a mobile baby…he finally has the desire to get moving.  Now, he isn’t anywhere close to crawling, but he wants to move…like really bad.  He now throws himself on his belly and will scoot (most of the times backwards) and try to get something.  A lot of times he will get stuck under a piece of furniture and get frustrated.  I know it is just a matter of time before he goes to the real deal of crawling.  He even pulled himself up on me this afternoon.  And, being the totally crazy person I am, I actually started feeling the dread of him being mobile (after I have been dwelling on him not being mobile)…I am so dang crazy (like bat(dang)crazy).    So, I am going to brace myself for a mobile baby and will be praising God for every crazy second of it.  And, some other big news…Max is sleeping Woombie-less right now.  Tonight is the first night.  I am totally dreading the transition…again.  The first transition wasn’t too successful.  Jake and I agree to disagree on the use of the Woombie.  I like myself a full night of sleep and a happy baby…I don’t care if I have to swaddle him until he is ten to get it!  Jake HATES the Woombie.  So, we’ll see how it goes – if Max is ready, then I am ready…BUT if Max isn’t ready, then I am not ready.  I am praying he is ready for this transition (and I really believe he is)…really hoping for a great week of sleep.  And, I am hoping Max will get back to sleeping later in the mornings…he has been quite the early riser this last week…in the sixes.  And, this Mama is not about kids waking up in the sixes (you know because I am having my quiet time…as in quiet time with my eyes closed in my bed…that kind of quiet time).  Sometimes he’ll go back to sleep, but most mornings he’ll just talk until the point he is all done and then he starts crying.  I, of course, cannot sleep while he is talking…so, I have nicknamed him my “sleep robber”…he is seriously robbing me of my morning sleep.  He is also dealing with a cold or allergies this week so maybe that is causing him issues as well.  And, teeth are still coming in as well…so, there is a lot going on for this little boy…maybe I should show him a little grace.  

He has learned that he is not a trash can and you cannot just throw whatever food into his mouth…he has been spitting things out…what?!?  Max likes everything!!!...guess not anymore…sad!  I originally thought he just wasn’t feeling the eating and it wasn’t the items in particular, but I was wrong…he is knowingly spitting out certain things that he is tired of eating…I guess this is just the beginning.  He is back to nursing like a champ again…so, we’ll continue in it…especially since he hasn’t started biting me.  His fine motor skills are getting a lot better and he is able to pick up food bits on his tray…however, he will still not put any of those food bits anywhere near his mouth (however, he has been known to put them in his ear).  This kid is not an oral child at all…no toys, no food…nothing near that mouth that he is willing to do himself.  But, we’ll just keep working on it...I should be thankful he doesn’t put all sorts of junk in his mouth (I have a four year-old who still does that…  I continue to see his personality come out a little more each week…he is very easy going, but he also has a little fire to him and can get worked up.  He likes company and wants people to play with him, but he is also content to play by himself with just a check-in every now and again.  He is curious and wants to see what his brothers are doing – and, he will scream at them when they take away toys from him (he isn’t stupid).  He has an obsession with the iPhone (he likes the wifis)…I can thank myself for that one.  He will scream at me if he sees me with it and I don’t give it to him (awesome…mother of the year).  Oh, well…he can just scream at me.  Maxie has learned to clap and he thinks he is so cool when he is doing it…sweet boy.  He is talking like crazy (and screaming and grunting and roaring)…he has lots to say.  He is so playful and loves to laugh and be silly.  My heart aches for this boy – I love him to the moon and back and cannot imagine my life without him in it!

So, I think I am slowly getting out of my funk…I think.  I still need to get into a better routine.  Judah had a great first week at school…of course he did.  He could care less that there isn’t another person in his class who speaks his language…he just loves to be with people.  He did not get that social gene for me.  I am thankful my boys are so adaptable…such a praise.  Hugh has been doing awesome walking to and from school…and it makes my life so much easier.  So, I am praying that Max sleeps this week…and I am praying more that my joy doesn’t depend on a sleeping baby…God is good and on His throne whether Max sleeps or not.  (Need to focus on that…and have lots of wine and coffee…just in case!)    

Monday, September 1, 2014

A Tooth...Finally!


Maxie is forty-one weeks!  And, he FINALLY has teeth…well, a tooth…but we just know the other one is soon to follow.  In typical Maxie fashion he is getting his teeth later than his brothers and only one at a time (his big brothers always got their teeth in pairs).  Max is his own person for sure.  I am reminded of this constantly…sadly, I can compare my boys at times and I can worry about Max (wondering why he is later at doing things than the other boys). My, oh my…my trust in God can be so small at times.  Thankfully, God brings me back to His word…reminding me that all my boys are fearfully and wonderfully made…and they are all different.  I pray I dwell on God’s words and not on my own insecurities.  And, Max is right where Max needs to be (and according to his doctor – he is perfectly fine…just “lazy” as she likes to say (the Swiss German have a way with words))…and he continues to be such an incredible blessing…seriously, he makes me want to have a hundred more babies (well, maybe not a hundred more…but more babies for sure…but that ship has sailed and there will be no more babies for me…and that makes me tear up just a little bit (yep, I am totally crazy)).  Love, love, love sweet Maxie-Moo!

So, what did week forty-one bring for Maxime?  Well, the biggest news is the tooth, which I just noticed on Sunday (so technically, he didn’t get the tooth until week forty-two, but whatever).  He has been a fairly easy teether, which is awesome for us all because you know I love myself a good night of sleep.  I am sure another tooth will make an appearance this week.  So, now the big question in my mind is; do I continue the nursing?  I am bit scared to death that this boy is going to bite me.  And, the thought of being bit by this sweet baby of mine (and being bit on my lady bits) scares me to death.  He has been a bit put off by nursing this last week (but he hasn’t been super keen on the bottle either…so, guessing it is just a phase)…so, if he starts biting and continues to be put off by nursing…I could see this nursing relationship ending quite soon.  I guess I’ll just have to wait and see how it all pans out.  He has been eating solids great this week again – Maxie likes everything…seriously, this boy has the most advanced palette ever.  He saw his doctor this week for his nine month check-up – he is around 9.3kg (like twenty pounds) and I have no idea how long she said he was…I think it was like 80cm or so…honestly, cannot remember.  However, this makes Max our biggest baby at nine months!  That is just plain crazy since he was so little at birth (he came home at under six pounds).  Sometimes, I think he weighs about the same as Sam…I know, that is sad…but Sam is small and Max is big. I am glad Max is so healthy and doing so well.  He didn’t receive any shots (they do a lot less shots here than in the US), so that was nice…especially since I had all four boys with me (I am thankful I know my doctor and her office makes it easy to take all four boys!). 

Max is still content to sit and play; however, he will scoot himself around if he ends up on his belly, but he doesn’t enjoy being on his belly for too long…he needs to learn to sit-up from a laying down position…all in good time.  He still loves to play with toys and he absolutely loves to watch his brothers play – seriously, he could sit all day and watch his crazy brothers play. He also loves to pull his brothers’ hair, and the brothers don’t love that so much.  He is also more than happy to sit on a blanket outside – watching the trees in the wind…and his crazy brothers.  Honestly, Max is content to pretty much do anything, but he does enjoy company.  He gets sad when he is left alone too long.  He also can scare fairly easy and cries such a sad cry.  He is still quite the cuddler and is always content to just sit and cuddle.  He no longer likes me playing on my phone when I feed him – he will grab my phone and throw it down…okay, I got it…no more phone.  I think the light must distract him.  He hasn’t let me rock him to sleep this past week (break my heart), but he is fine to go to sleep on his own because he LOVES the light toy we have in his crib (seriously, he gets SO excited to see his jungle friends).  He always wears pajamas because I am too lazy to dress him for the day and then redress him again at night...I know, I did just put that in print and you know what...I will still sleep at night knowing I am a lazy dresser.  He is still sleeping great at night and his naps were fine this past week…maybe (just maybe) he is getting himself on a decent schedule.  Max is as sweet as can be – love this little boy to the moon and back!

 So, the first week of school went great…for Hugh…I was in a bit of a funk trying to get back into the routine of school.  School totally cramps my style.  And, the Swiss school schedule is a bit different since everyone goes home for two hours in the day for lunch, which I absolutely love…BUT sometimes I don’t love the back and forth with school pick-ups/drop-offs…and problem solved…Hugh is now walking by himself.  I know this seems shocking, but it is really safe for kids here and you are really encouraged (forced) to have your children walk to school without you.  He is doing great with it and it does make my life a lot easier…however, I will still walk him whenever I get the chance.  Now, Judah is starting preschool (just two mornings a week)…just one more adjustment for us, but we’ll manage it.  I am praying I get myself back on track this week (it should be noted that Jake was out of town last week which didn’t help with getting back into the school routine…it should also be noted that Jake might as well be traveling again this week since he has all day meetings (breakfast until past bedtime)…so, if my funk continues then he is to blame (yep, I am all about blame shifting)).  Thankful for God’s sustaining grace – we all know I need it!