Friday, September 11, 2015

My Super Easy Baby

Every time I say that Koby is super easy I feel like I have to justify it by saying that Elie was SOOOO not easy. I'm not bragging. I'm just SOOOO appreciative.

I was fairly sure I would not be able to handle three children under five (I only have a few more weeks of saying that, so I have to milk it for all it's worth...). I could barely handle Sam and Elie. How could I add another baby? What if the baby was like Elie and took four hours to put to sleep and only slept for 20 minutes? I could leave Samara alone when she was two years and ten months, when Elie was born, but I can DEFINITELY not leave Elie alone. How will I do that? How will I be able to feed my kids or myself if I have no time to cook because I'm holding a baby all the time? I was very sure this baby would be very inconvenient, and I would lose my mind.

For the first few weeks, as I blogged about before, he cried a lot. He went to sleep fairly easily, and he ate just fine (it hurt, but normal amounts, I think). But he did cry. Then I realized that he was SUPER tired a lot of the time, and instead of calming him down, I needed to just swaddle him and put him in a bed, and he went to sleep. If I did this before he was super tired, it was damn easy.

Now that we have been at home and very unambitious with our schedule (oh - we also have very few friends yet, so we don't have a lot going on...), Koby is even easier. This is what he is like if I don't wake him/bother him:
8am - wakes, smiles, stretches when he's unwrapped, change him, put day clothes on, feed him, play for a half hour
9am - change diaper again, swaddle him and put him in bed. He smiles and falls asleep
12pm - wakes, smiles, stretches when he's unwrapped, change him, feed him, play for a half hour
1pm - change diaper again, swaddle him and put him in bed. He smiles and falls asleep
3pm - wake, smiles, stretches when he's unwrapped, change him, feed him, play for a half hour
4pm - change diaper again, swaddle him and put him in bed. He smiles and falls asleep
6pm - wake, smiles, stretches when he's unwrapped, change him, feed him, play for a half hour. Bathe, pajama, feed/nurse
7:30pm - swaddle him, put him in bed. Smiles and falls asleep. Usually he is asleep by 7, but 7:30 at the latest.
2am - wakes to nurse for about 30 minutes. Doesn't even open his eyes. Right back to sleep.
5:45am - wakes to nurse for about 30 minutes. Opens his eyes to give a few smiles. Right back to sleep.

He cannot really be awake for more than an hour. I have to find a way to fit in all of his needs while also filling the needs of the other kids, during that hour...due to this limited amount of time of his awakeness, Koby has only had tummy time probably four times. He does sometimes go more than a day without being on his back on the floor. He is often swept from place to place, usually including his bed, changing table, my lap, car seat, bouncy seat...and that's all.

I will have to bother his schedule as we take Samara to school every day and Elie three times a day. Today, though, we woke Koby to take him to school, he came home and slept the entire morning, until it was time to get Sam. Then he ate, we got her, he went straight to sleep right when we got home and he slept basically the whole afternoon. Then he played for a bit and slept for one more short nap before he then went to sleep for the night. It's a lot of sleep. It's amazing that I just put him in bed, and he goes to sleep. He is super happy. He doesn't complain. He schleps. He is amazing. I am so so thankful.

Sam is an amazing sister. She loves him so much and loves taking care of him (including wiping his spit up! It's amazing!)

Elie has started showing a bit of affection towards him and he gets super excited with Koby smiles at him. He now kisses him a lot on the head and also on the tummy. For the first three months and one week (inclusive...) he stepped on his face no fewer than five times, kicked him in the head at least four, hit him more than wasn't pretty. It's getting better. This was the first positive moment between them. 

Koby breaks all non-miracle swaddles. After he pooped through a miracle blanket I did a do-it-yourself miracle blanket, as I had seen in a video Shana sent. You lay out a small blanket (I used a burp cloth) on top of the swaddle blanket and put the baby on top. You wrap each arm in the burp cloth/small blanket and tuck it under the baby's body, so the arms are at the baby's sides. Then you use the swaddle blanket on top of that. He loves it. He just goes to sleep. Amazing.

Face shot, sporting a hat we borrowed from Rafa Abrams - not super practical, so he has never actually worn it out, but so cute.

Post bath. So fat. So happy. So tired looking all the time. But so cute. 

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

White Mountains

We just got back from a long weekend in the White Mountains in New Hampshire. It was our first unassisted trip with three children. It's not only that we survived it, but we even had a lot of fun! There were a few moments of chaos and overwhelmed-ness, but very few (for example entering a restaurant with the baby crying, Sam running and Elie running away and yelling). The kids were awesome, and we hiked a lot. This was our first trip where we hiked and if Sam was tired we could NOT carry her. We were outnumbered by our kids.

All hail the minivan again. We packed everything we needed including two strollers, a box fan, two pack n'plays, a bouncy seat, a huge boppy, an ice chest, a hiking backpack for a baby, a high chair booster thing...PLUS all of our clothes and stuff, and it didn't even make an impact on the minivan. We could see out the back. We didn't even have to pack it well - it was like a grain of sand on the beach. That thing just oozes space.

Day one we got up early and meant to leave the house around 8:30. I was trying not to be annoying and naggy, so I let it be, and we left around 9:30 (and then made a stop off the highway for coffee...). We decided to do a quick bathroom break in Concord. It was a beautiful day, there was a beautiful farmer's market, and we were enjoying, so we stayed for a few hours. We got back into the car and drover farther up, entering Franconia Notch State Park. Our first stop was the Flume Gorge. It was a two mile loop, out to the flume, on the boardwalk through it and around and back. Sam did this one with a few complaints. Elie walked quite a bit of it too. Koby slept.

On the boardwalk on the flume hike, at a waterfall

moving the glacial boulders

making mommy nervous, sitting on the covered bridge edge over the Pemigewasset River

all of us at the end of the hike

We got to our house we had rented near the south end of the White Mountains, through Air BNB, and it was totally fine (the Addy Shack). We were pooped after a long day, and we happened to have thrown a bit of food in the car, so we had sandwiches for dinner and attempted to put the kids to bed. We tried to put Elie and Sam in the same room downstairs. Unfortunately Elie would not leave poor Sam alone - he kept yelling, "wake up ra ra!!!!" so after a while (um, at 9:30, after we put him to bed at 7!!!), we finally moved her to a futon upstairs. I think I went to sleep before they finally did.

Day two we got up and moving around 9:30 and we went to Loon Mountain, in Lincoln, near where we were staying. We took a gondola up the mountain, which was fun for the kids (and easier than walking...). We were kinda underwhelmed by being on top of the mountain until we found the glacial bounder caves. We had no idea what they were, but Sam, Matt and Elie went down a big ladder into them and they had the best time. Elie came out onto the boardwalk that skirted the caves after a few caves, since they were kinda hard for a 2 year old. Sam and Matt found their way around and under all of these amazing, huge boulders. It is like a totally natural playground. She was so proud of herself. Life highlight for her.

Then we went back to Lincoln to get pancakes for lunch (that was the stressy moment, but it passed quickly) and headed across the Kancamagus Highway (112), toward Conway. Silly me, I thought the kids would fall asleep and take their nap in the car. It was a BEAUTIFUL drive with amazing overlooks and loads of hikes on either side of the road. Elie finally fell asleep and had a small nap before we turned around and found a short 0.5 mile hike which took us around an old logging railroad area and by the Swift River. Eh. Then we went to Sabbaday Falls, a 0.6 mile hike, to the falls and back. It was a beautiful waterfall, and below the falls we took off our shoes and went in the water - it was FREEZING, but the kids loved it. We stopped at a local tavern for dinner on the way home. The kids were great, and luckily the tavern had a great grilled cheese. Sleeping was much easier the second night (though Elie still cried for about ten minutes, poor dude).

Koby enjoying the view up the gondola on Loon Mountain

Samara coming out of one of the caves on the glacial bounder

Matt, Samara and Elie at Sabbaday falls

Oops - this looks like a Flume photo from the day before

getting our feet wet near Sabbaday Falls

Day three Koby got up to eat around 5:45 and wanted to hang out too, until he went back to sleep at 6:30...when Samara woke up. Sam and I watched a little PBS until Elie woke up around 7:40. Finally Matt and Koby woke up around 8:45 and we threw everything in the car and drove east to a hike near where we were staying, the Smarts Brook Trail. We originally planned to do a three mile loop, but I thought that might be too much for Samara, plus we didn't have that much time, so we instead got lost and ended up on the Tri Town Trail, with a bit of elevation, until it met the Smarts Brook Trail and we found the cascades. It was a beautiful waterfall, and again, we could stop, have a snack and get our feet wet (most of us did that on purpose. Some may have fallen in...). I tried to distract Samara with stories, songs and just about everything else I could think about. She was amazing. Most of the time she was skipping, singing or just walking happily. After this, we grabbed a quick pizza lunch and drove all the way back home.

Adding a third to a hiking trip makes it so that number one must walk, which is limiting in terms of what we can do and how long it will take us. But the logistics in general of traveling haven't really changed. We already know how to travel with kids. I already know how to hike and nurse at the same time. All in all - a total success and super fun. We already want to go back (or somewhere else to get outside).

Elie's ride

Bamba at the cascade at Smarts Brook

Discussions by the edge of the water, at the top of the falls

Family selfie looking upstream