Sunday, October 24, 2010

Spoiled or Neglected?

I go back and forth thinking that my Matteo is one of these two extremes. Although lately it's leaning more toward neglected. Poor guy.

When we first brought him home, he got all my attention. Nursed every two hours. Was held all the time. Snuggled with me in bed. Rarely sat in a swing or bouncy chair. And now that he is older and I'm on my own with all three, he still gets held a lot, at least compared to the twins when they were his age. When we are out and about, he gets to ride in the Ergo instead of being in a stroller. Being just one baby, its so easy to have him with me, on me, all the time. I feel like he's mine. I don't have to share him with anyone. A momma's boy in the making!
Matteo, 2 weeks old, napping in our bed

But then there is the neglect that comes with being a third child to a harried mommy. Lately, he has been spending a lot of time on his play-mat. I did the same thing with the twins, but I usually "played" with them, took their picture, talked to them. When I put Tater on his mat, I go off and do 100 other things, 99 of them for his brother and sister. I have so few pictures of him, its embarrassing. I drag him all over the place - play dates, gymnastics class, EI play group, errands - with little respect for his nap schedule*. I'm not sure how long I can keep this up. At some point (soon), it will be too hard to just treat him like luggage.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

A sentence and other news

Back to talking about my big boy, except this time, it's good news. Today, after getting up from a nap that should have been much longer, Sebastian was looking out the window at the cars in the parking lot behind our house. (This is a favorite post-nap activity of his as he has perfectly stereotypical car obsession.) I was in the middle of changing Collette's diaper when I heard him say, clear as a bell, "I see a car!" I can't wait for our speech therapist to come tomorrow so I can tell her!

This language spurt is coming on the heels of same major fussiness, as you may recall from my previous posts. Hopefully, this explains some of it. We are also having Sebastian checked out by an ENT specialist, after our speech therapist suggested it because she has concerns about his mouth breathing and excessive drooling, which is even worse now because of the constant runny nose he gets during the cooler months. She suspects that all these things may indicate enlarged adenoids or some other issue in his sinuses. Our appointment is on October 28th so we will see what they say. My hope is that they find something we can fix and make him more comfortable. If our speech therapist is right and Sebastian has trouble breathing through his nose, I can only imagine how uncomfortable the past 23 months have been for him.

And in case you want to know how bad his drooling can get in the winter, here is a prime example:

Tuesday, October 12, 2010


I'll give Sebastian a break and focus on his baby brother for this post. But, I do thank all of you for your encouraging words. I needed them and we are working on things. Slowly but surely.

So - Matteo. He has finally been upgraded to his big boy crib! It's odd to be "celebrating" this milestone since it's one the twins didn't even have. The closest I had with them was switching from sharing a crib to their own cribs but they were always in their own room. True to form, I am not terribly emotional about the move. In fact, I probably sleep better :) Matteo, too. One night, he made it all the way to 4am! Hoping that's a trend. And now I have my closet back. If you know anyone in the market for a glider and a bassinet, send them my way.

Also, I was right about his size - he's 14lbs 8oz! I bought size 3 diapers at BJs over the weekend because, by the time he finishes the size 2 diapers I have, he will be big enough for the 3s. And while this is all well and good, I just need him to stay below 22 lbs through New Year's because I really want to be able to use the bucket car seat on our trip to El Salvador. Slow down, Tater!!

Colie is probably feeling left out - my easy going girl does not give me much to write about, other than that she is a cutie pie. Here's a pic of her with Tater:

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

And the crying continues

This is one of those times where I openly solicit advice from my dear readers. I wrote last week about Sebastian's crying, one of those , "oh, being a parent is tough, huh?" kind of posts. But now I seriously feel like I have a problem. Or I think I do. I guess I'm not sure - that's part of the advice I seek.

Like I said in that earlier post, Sebastian has always been a crier. And when you have a baby, its so easy to chalk it up to being a "phase" or just part of that age. But it seems like with him, we never get out of it. To a certain degree, I can accept this. It seems that he is a just a sensitive boy. And he is allowed to be sensitive. I took up the advice I got in the last post and am reading some books on highly sensitive kids. Its helping, but truthfully, not that much.

Basically, I feel like I am not cut out to parent my son. And I feel like he can't enjoy "normal" activities because he gets so upset. I have brought up the issue with EI (a few months back) and they actually suggested letting him have his pacifier when he got upset. They said its age appropriate for a kid his age to have a comfort object and if that was his, and it's the only thing that helps him self-soothe, we should allow him to use it. So, he gets his binky whenever he needs it at home, in the car and in his crib. But I simply can't bring myself to let him have it in public. As if it's the scarlet letter of incompetent parenting. And it's in these public situations where we find ourselves in trouble.

Two good examples: First, we have been doing an EI playgroup since March(ish). The playgroup is very low key and parents stay the whole time. The first half hour is open play, which goes over quite well. No surprise there. The last half hour is circle singing time and that's when the crying starts. 6 months in, Sebastian still cries (and I mean wails, not whimpers or whines) every time we get to the parachute. No matter how much I prep him or remind him of what will happen, he loses his shit every time. And I know what his issue is: he wants to go underneath the parachute. But that doesn't happen until after we shake the parachute and after we go on top of the parachute. So he cries and cries and cries until its time to go underneath. Often, he is too upset by that point to even go under. I have tried holding him in my lap, reassuring him that it will be time to go under soon. I have tried ignoring him. I have tried removing him from the situation. I have tried counting down until its time. But nothing has stopped his anger over this.

The other new fit-inducing activity is gymnastics. The thing is, he likes gymnastics. He likes doing the obstacle course, walking on the balance beam, going down the slide. He especially likes the trampoline. And this is where things start to go south. Yesterday, he was on one the little trampolines. I told him he could have ten jumps and then it would be the next girl's turn. I counted to 10 (very slowly, something we do all the time at home with turn taking and has worked very well) and when I told him his turn was up he got off. But then he immediately wanted to get back on, demanding that it was his turn again. I explained to him that he could have anotehr turn when she was done. No dice. I explained to him that there was another trampoline in the room he could use. I even brought him over there and told him he could have a turn. No dice. He was completely distraught and not able to recover for about 20 minutes. Additionally, he got even more upset while we were in the big room because he didn't want to wait for his turn on the big trampoline. Like the parachute, this is an activity we do every week. Part of me feels like he should be getting used to it.

I'm at a loss. He wants to do these activities and have fun but he seems to sabotage himself. And I try to help him cope but nothing I do seems to make a difference. It would be easier if it were just about him but he has a twin sister and I can't do separate activities with them. I feel like we're damned if we do, damned if we don't. Lastly, it doesn't help matters that he is the only child acting like this. Others may cry from time to time but he is the only one who does it every time over the same things. It's hard to not feel like I'm doing something wrong.

Will we ever get past it? Or will we struggle with this at every stage of his development until he moves out?

Friday, October 1, 2010

Baby Cliche

Matteo is growing up so fast. That's my age-old baby cliche as of late. And he is literally growing fast - he has been in 3-6 month clothes for a couple weeks now, well before his 2 month "birthday", which is this Sunday. He'll have his 2 month check up the week after next but I estimate him to be near 14 lbs. Lord knows how long he is but he certainly does not feel like a newborn anymore. This make nursing a lot easier as he is stronger and can hold his head up more but its bittersweet. I was never a newborn person but with my last baby, I find that I am missing it even as it goes by.

Because of his improving head control, I dug out our bumbo seat and he has been hanging out in there for a few minutes at a time. This has made dinnertime so much easier! I usually feed him shortly before giving the twins their dinner so that he is settled. But even then, that 5pm - 6pm is rough for a wee one like Matteo and he is hard to keep happy. With the bumbo, I can put him on the dining room table (shhh!!) and he can face me while I do dinner with Sebastian and Collette. Being part of the action at least somewhat distracts him from his bedtime fussies.

His growth has had some not so great consequences as well. He has been busting out of every swaddle I can do because his legs are so long and strong that he untucks the wrap with his kicking. I will have to try what I did with the twins around 3 or 4 months old, and wrap his arms down underneath a Velcro swaddle sleep sack. The problem is, they only come in newborn size (that I can find) and he is WAY too long for that. So, I think I will cut out some feet holes for him so he can fit. The things we do for sleep...

I really never thought I would miss those newborn days. Billy is scared that I will demand another baby, seeing how much I have enjoyed these past two months with Tater. But all that is a post for another day. (No worries, though. I am NOT planning a baby #4!)