Thursday, December 31, 2015

Reunited and it feels so good!

Oscar's parents drove Tyler back home the Sunday after we returned with Allison from the hospital. We dressed Allison in this cute dress shirt from my friend Becky. I tried adding this ladybug bib to complement the outfit, but it was monstrously too big for her. It was the 2nd hour of church before Marcus and Martha showed up with Tyler, and I completely broke down when I saw him. I'd felt guilty for not having missed him that previous week, but the longing for him returned as soon as I knew he was back in the state. I kept checking my phone for updates and a week's worth of missing my son hit me all at once. I dropped to my knees since I couldn't pick him up and let him run into my arms. There in the middle of the chapel during Sunday School I held him tight for 5 minutes and bawled until all my makeup had washed off. To my complete delight he was still and just let me hold him. It was lovely! Then at some point he tried to run off and screamed when I tried to stop him, so I picked him up out of habit and carried him out of the chapel before the tantrum got out of control. My inlaws came running after me to relieve me of him. I didn't damage anything when I carried him, but after I'd put him down I could feel the strain I'd put on my body and realized why I wasn't supposed to do that.

After church Oscar's parents spent a bit more time with Allison and then took off for Utah. My sister's family also came up to visit before they took off for their trip to Australia the next day. Hana loved holding Allison and the feeling was mutual!

That evening I attempted to parent both kids. I was a bit worried that sibling rivalry was coming, but fortunately Tyler adores his sister. He often asks if we can read to her. Later that night he was happy to be home and slept peacefully in his room.

 Allison looked beautiful in my blessing blanket. My mom had been saving it for me all these years.

Our friend Nikki came over to help out with the kids while Oscar met up with Chang at the DMV. We bought my sister's sport minivan and they had to get the title changed into our name so we could get it insured. Nikki also stayed with Tyler while we went to the lactation consultant.
She was such a sweet, silly little turtle! Oscar played with her and put white noise on on his phone to help her calm down and sleep. I'd been having some nursing difficulties with Allison, and we learned I had a pump injury. I'd engorged because Allison couldn't quite handle my let down, and I'd been using the pump incorrectly. I'd been titling it too diagonally so I could read. I'd done that back with Tyler and never had a problem, but when the lactation consultant saw the injury, she immediately diagnosed it as diagonal positioning. She helped show me some more effective nursing techniques so I'd have less pain during nursing while I recovered, and told me not to pump for a few weeks. It helped immensely! I'd felt a little ashamed to need to see a lactation consultant after successfully nursing another child for 15 months, but she told me it's quite common for second time moms to come in. Once babies gain head control they're easier to nurse, and second time moms are often using the old techniques they'd used once their first babies gained head control. When she said that I remembered that I had nursed Tyler differently during his first couples weeks.

 My little swaddle girl cuddling with her "cat in the cradle."

 My girl likes her layers. It surprises me that she doesn't overheat.

 Our funny guy getting a bubble bath.

 He just loves playing with his sister. It's a good thing she's so mellow and puts up with his poking and prodding her. 

 Mommy's sweetheart! I love the pic on the left. It's like she's saying "I have a secret."

 Myla helping Tyler hold his sister and give her a kiss. Myla helped a lot after Oscar went back to work and before mom came up. I realized quickly that I wasn't nearly as functional as I thought I was. People kept telling me how impressed they were at what I could do so soon after a c section, but I was still far from recovered.There's nothing like having my rambunctious toddler back to remind me I'd just had major surgery. 

Parenting Tyler verses parenting Allison is like playing racquetball verses going bowling. I've had quite a bit of experience at both sports, and I'm pretty good at each, but I couldn't imagine playing both of them at the same time. Tyler is a busy, demanding ball of energy, like a racquetball flying around the court. You're always attentive to that ball and sometimes it gets beyond your control, but at the end of the game, you feel great. You got a great workout, had fun, and feel very accomplished.
Allison, on the other hand, is much more laid back like bowling. There's still some technique with caring for her, but you don't have to sweat. You get up when you need to though most of your time is spent sitting down, you do what you know works, and usually she responds as expected.

The first time I put Alli in the Moby wrap, I did it perfectly. I couldn't understand all the negative reviews on Amazon. Ever since then I've struggled with it and prefer using the baby carrier. She prefers the Moby, though, since it gives her that swaddled feeling.
 Mommy wraps her up in blankets. Daddy wraps her in his sweatshirts.

 Such a sweet girl!

 Daddy loves his girl too, and she loves his big comfy arms and chest.

 Love these kiddos. Janet, one of the caregivers at the gym, gave Tyler this construction hat. 
Zonked out with my baby girl.

Tyler melted my heart one time at naptime. Usually he's such a daddy's boy. He'll request daddy get him out of the car instead of me, daddy play or read to him instead of me etc., but at naptime he said "mamma sing," and when we both started singing "I love to see the temple," he said "no daddy sing. Mamma sing."

 Silly guy!

And to finish off the month I took the kids to Bob's Pumpkin Patch, my first outing with both of them without help. There were other adults so I thought I'd be okay, and I was, but it was still very overwhelming. It was a couple more months before I was actually comfortable taking them both out together. 

How to recover well from a c section - move as much as you can as soon as you can, have the easiest baby ever, and send your older child away for a week of fun in Utah.

How to have 10 straight days of temper tantrums - send your 28 month old off for a fun filled week of being extra spoiled by extended relatives and then bring him home to a new sister taking up his parents' attentions and a mommy who can't pick him up or let him sit on her lap.

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