Monday, July 10, 2017

Potty training, IUD, and a menstrual cup.

Warning, period talk ahead. 

Devin is mostly potty trained! And she did it completely on her own.

Around the time we moved she was starting to become interested in going on the potty, but then with all the changes she had zero interest. I tried to push it for a few days and then decided I didn't actually care because diapers are way easier than managing a public bathroom. Gross. But, we continued to read the potty book at bedtime because she loves it and now I attribute it to her learning. She'll basically recite the whole book while in the bathroom and loves shouting, "Hooraaaaaay! Pee pee in the potty! I did it! Undiiiiiies!!!!" Yes, it's freaking adorable. She had a couple accidents the first few days, but has been good since. She does still wear a diaper for bed and naps, though. I have no idea how to go about night training!

Because she's so excited about the potty, she insists on going to the bathroom with me. She often went with me before, but now she is VERY interested in every aspect of my bathroom functions. This is how she came to learn about my menstrual cup during my very long eight day period last month. I got a copper IUD put in at the beginning of May and as any woman who has one knows, your period is a lot heavier and longer the first many months. I didn't notice anything about my flow because of the cup (just that it was fuller than usual when I emptied it) but definitely noticed the length of time. Which was forever.

Anyways, every time I went to the bathroom Devin insisted on watching as I put in/took out the cup. Many people are probably fuh-reaking out right now, but hello. She's a female. Someday she'll have to go through this. It's normal, it's natural, and there's nothing to be weirded out about. Moving on. So she insisted on watching me and I explained that I was on my period, this was my "period cup", and I put it in my vagina to collect blood that I'd dump later. (Ok, maybe this is kind of something to be weirded out about. Ha.) I would leave it out at night and each morning she'd see it washed and on the counter and would say, "Put in period cup, mama!"

We are now two weeks past the end of my period and she still talks about it, you guys! I'm just waiting to embarrassed about it in public with her talking about it. She saw one at Sprout's and excitedly identified it as a "period cup", which totally had me laughing. I'm glad to educate her so young and even more glad that I won't have to have such an awkward talk when the time comes. Now if only I could easily sneak in the sex, drugs, and rock 'n' roll talk so easily...

*update because I wrote this last month and forgot to post - I had my IUD period again this month and it was shorter than my normal period with minimal cramps. Hallelujah. And Dev got wayyyyy excited when I pulled out my cup and cloth pads shouting, "Yay, mama period! Put in the cup!" I'm still laughing about it!

And now here's my PSA - if you haven't tried a menstrual cup, ladies, do it! You can leave it in for 12 hours, no worry about getting TSS, more Earth friendly, and less toxic to your body than bleached and drying cotton. Pair it with a reusable pad and you're good to go. Put A Cup In It is an awesome resource and they even have a quiz to help figure out which cup you should try. I have the Lunette Cup and cut the stem off, which I love it. Not a sponsored post, just a cup lover. I'm going to buy a second one to keep at work in case I start there, though as of now I feel comfortable putting it in around the time I'm supposed to start because it's not drying/irritating like a tampon is if you haven't started yet.

Also, it's so awesome for workouts! I never worry about leaking and it's great for when I swim. A couple weeks ago I went on a seven hour hike up Humphrey's Peak (big group, took a lot of breaks) and was away from a bathroom close to 9 hours. I wasn't conceded about TSS, leaks on the heaviest day of my period, or finding a place to change a tampon. Totally awesome and a hike I would have cancelled previously if using tampons. I'd have missed this 12,633 foot view from the top of Arizona!

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Two kids under three. Luckily not two under two.

Most parents have 9 months to adjust to the idea of bringing another person into their home, but us? Two hours. TWO. We got a call at 1pm saying a baby needed a home and Little Dude was dropped off at 3pm without so much as a diaper. Luckily we had cloth diapers on hand. So now that we're two months into parenting two kids, I feel like we're doing pretty good.

The biggest thing I've struggled with is questioning myself about treating him like he's my own. There is an endless supply of love, but I wonder if I'm giving him the same amount of attention as Devin and I'm not sure if it's because I didn't give birth to him or if it's because he's a second child and they always seem to get the shit end of the stick? Like with Dev I didn't want to give her grains until a year old and didn't get a walker for her because they can be bad for development. But with Little Dude we dump a handful of Cheerios on the ground and let him crawl around to eat it, and I just bought a jumper last week so that I can have two seconds without chasing a baby to clean the house. (Though Dev claims the walker as her own...) I'm 99.9% sure that everything about my parenting towards him is because he's a second child, but I still question it!
I'm finally starting to feel okay going places with both kids. The second week we had him I took them both to the gym daycare which is a long walk through the parking lot and up a long, steep flight of stairs, and it was so awful. He was falling asleep so I brought him in the carseat and Devin had a meltdown and needed to be carried, plus I had my gym bag on. I for sure thought we'd fall down the stairs. Then after my workout Devin had another meltdown when she saw me and refused to walk or be strapped into her carseat and Little Dude was screaming because he pooped and needed food. I swore I'd never leave the house with them again. But alas, in the past week I've taken them to a concert downtown (my step sister was a finalist in a regional talent show) that was past their bedtime, to Target, and to the gym. And we survived!
Some things that have helped us get out: baby wearing (duh), baby wearing both of them (not ideal, but you gotta do what you gotta do), a carabiner for my keys, getting Little Dude into his seat fed and diapered before dealing with Devin, ignoring crying baby/toddler by turning the music up, using a backpack as a diaper bag, getting Devin excited to help me, e.g. "You would be such an awesome big girl if you feed Little Dude for a minute," and bribing Devin with chocolate and popcorn in the car. Parenting at it's finest.

Sleep has gotten much better. Norovirus finally pooped itself out so Little Dude just wakes at 1am and 4am, then 6am for the day. He was waking up a lot more than that so I did some sleep training and it helped a lot. Not totally cry it out, just fuss it out? Again, something I never did with Dev until she was like two, so is it because I'm not worried about him crying or because I'm so fucking tired? Pretty sure it's the latter because I'M SO FUCKING TIRED. It's just not sustainable to be up all the time and I'm pretty sure I'd have to do it with any subsequent children. His naps are all over the place, though. He has visits with his parents right around nap time and it throws him off for the whole day, and he often won't take his second nap on those days then goes to bed early then wakes early and that leads me back to so fucking tired.
Luckily everything is really helped by the fact that Dev is over most of her jealousy and just loves the Little Dude. She now understands that sometimes his needs have to come before hers and she isn't needing to be so involved to the point of it being difficult, like when she was insisting on putting him to bed with us. She still tries to be the boss of him though, as pictured below. Ha! They also both love being outside so it's perfect timing that summer is here and we can be in the sunshine for hours at a time most days. Having two kids definitely makes me get way more stir crazy staying in the house!
Overall, this has been quite the journey so far and we're happy to have a family of four for now!

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

7QT: New baby edition.

7 Quick Takes

1. A month and a half ago we acquired a five month old little dude. I will not speak to how the acquisition of said child occurred on social media, but I felt the need to at least share such major and life-changing news. A BABY! We expect to have him for a while with the hopes that he'll be reunified with his parents.

2. The transition to two kids under three is huge. Evvvvvverthing is effected! Naps, diapers, feeds, bedtimes, sleeping arrangements, car seats, who holds who, babywearing jealousy, etc. Obviously adding another human into our home changes things, but we didn't realize quite how much of a change it would be.

3. Devin has also needed time to accept such a large transition. She was waayyyyy excited in the beginning, so much so that she insisted on changing his diapers, feeding him, putting him to bed and smothering him. Luckily she has calmed down and isn't quite so overbearing, but she still smothers him with love and is a little rough.

4. Devin started sleeping through the night (8pm-6am) two nights before we got him so it feels like salt to a wound now that we're back to every three hour wakings for diaper changes and feeds. I am trying a sleep training routine which has somewhat worked, but then he got norovirus and was pooping up a storm which put a halt to things because he would end up getting shit all over his bed and clothes, stinking up our room.

5. I am happy to have another baby to wear! I still have all my wraps/carriers and wear Devin, but not super often. Well I wear her often now because gets a little jealous of him.

6. Vince is the real MVP because he cares for both kids while I work nights, meaning he's practically solo parenting for three nights and days in a row. Devin was demanding enough, but add in another mouth to feed and butt to change and he's a little frazzled. I'll be switching to days soon which will allow me to break up my schedule, which hopefully will help.

7. Raising someone else's child is incredibly difficult, frustrating and sad, but also so rewarding. I'm glad we're able to give this guy a happy safe home while his parents figure out their lives, and glad that he can get the emotional attention he deserves at such a developmental age. 

Monday, March 13, 2017

Today I Am...

Today I am...

Reading: a few books: Looking for Alaska (didn't realize it was sad and my heart is broken!), Dissolving Illusions, and A Feast for Crows. I've been reading A Feast for Crows for a long time, but I keep taking breaks for other books. I don't know why I can't just finish the Game of Throne series already. I'm on goodreads if you wanna be frannnds. My goal for the year is 30 books and I've already finished 10 (with two more almost done) so I have high hopes to complete my goal.


Sipping: on jasmine green tea. So much sweeter tasting than regular green tea, but without being actually sweet!


Anticipating: getting wood floors. We'll be fixing our foundation in the next year or two which may requiring raising the house a bit, so we're just doing laminate floors for now to not risk messing hardwood floors up. We're getting dark five inch planks and I'm wayyyyy excited. The carpet in the living room is just so gross! It won't match the laminate that's already in the rest of the house, but oh well. 


Listening: to audiobooks! I have a 20 minute drive to and from work, and I figured that would be a good way to pass the time. I am a visual learner so audiobooks are really difficult in the beginning, but once I'm able to get a grasp of what the book is about and the main characters, I'm good. Meaning the first hour of the book I'm just thinking, "This is so dumb. I don't understand any of this. WHO are they talking about? WHAT'S GOING ON??" But I keep persevering and I've been enjoying them. So far this year I've listened to The Messenger (ugh, as a Giver lover I had high hopes but this book was just terrible!), Sex, Drugs and Cocoa Puffs (geared towards a generation 10 years older than me - not bad on audio but I would've stopped reading the book) and Rogue Lawyer (I love John Grisham, so it didn't disappoint). I'm about halfway through The Lost Gate and it is so enjoyable. I've also been listening to The Slow Home and The Minimalists podcasts. 


Baking: a lot, actually! I've made some tasty gluten free biscuits and gravy (following the recipe on the side of the Bob's Redmill 1:1 replacement flour mix) and cornbread muffins - I don't include the butter and bake it for 20 minutes in 12 greased muffin tins then eat with honey butter. We've made the bread in our cast iron many times until we tried muffins, and they're just easier to keep moist and store. We went out to breakfast the other morning for the first time ever in town, maybe? Not many gluten free options here. I got blue corn pancakes that were AMAZING, so I had to make some yellow corn pancakes using this recipe. Vince and I agreed that these were a delicious pancake being so light and fluffy, and by far my favorite pancake recipe now. To make it gluten free, I used the above-mentioned flour replacement.


Post theme found on Camp Patton and kept alive by SK Bell.

Monday, March 6, 2017

Update!

Ok. Once a month posting will be my new goal. That is probably doable. Maybe. Ugh, I'm the worst blogger!

Anyways, some updates. I'll start with the biggest:

// We bought a house! We were renting my grandparents house while they were on a mission in Mexico, and they came back earlier than expected. The rental market in our city is ridiculous, so it was cheaper to just buy a house. We lucked out and got a perfect perfect perfect A-frame cabin in the woods. It has needed a LOT of work and still needs a lot of work, but it's been great settling in and putting money into something that is ours. I have a lot of before and after pictures that I hope to post soon!
// I've been a nurse on my very own for about six months now. It has been awesome and way different than I expected nursing to be! I've already learned I don't want to be a floor nurse forever, but for now I am learning SO much and it's a good place to be. I ultimately want to be a nurse practitioner, so I'm accepting that I need to go back to school. Yes, I'm dying inside as I type that. Ha! But really, being a nurse is great and I really do love my career. I'm working three nights on, four nights off, which is working out for now. It's hard on Devin and Vince to have me sleeping during the day and out of bed at night, but the extra money is nice. I will switch to days as soon as I'm able, though. ;)
// Devin is TWO. That happened so fast. She is talking up a storm, being demanding as all get out, and learning so quickly. We started her at an in-home daycare for one full day and one half day a week, and it's been helpful. It's nice to have a day almost to myself to get stuff done while Vince also gets alone time skiing. The half day is on my sleeping day, so Vince gets a break. I plan on doing a full post on what Devin is up to, but for now I'm pretty good about keeping up to date on Instagram!
// Roxanne had a very rough 2016, but is having a better year already. In July, she started getting weak, wasn't able to walk, started having accidents in the house, and stopped eating/drinking. We took her to the vet and spent hundreds (er, thousands?) over a few weeks figuring out what was wrong with no luck. We gave her pain meds, antibiotics, everything! The vet finally said there was nothing more to do and thought it was a muscular issue and recommended we try doggy rehab. Roxi was slowly getting better so we put it off because life was crazy, but a couple months later she regressed again. I had to lift her off the ground because she couldn't stand herself up, could only walk a few feet, and was in so much pain she would snap if Devin got anywhere near her. It was terrible! This time we scheduled a rehab appointment that included acupuncture, laser therapy and a water treadmill. It wasn't cheap and I didn't know if it would help, but alas, it did! We started off going twice a week, then once a week, and are now down to every two weeks and about to switch to every three. She is getting back to her old self and can trot, jump around, and even go up and down stairs. She has absolutely no muscle, like I can feel all her ribs and spine, but we're slowly helping her build it back up. I don't know if she'll ever be back to normal, but she's at least happy and healthy again.
// Vince is a stay at home dad and has been doing courtesy patrol a couple times a week to get some skiing in, but plans on finding a job soonish now that Devin is going to daycare. Plus, he needs some adult interactions! He has been a saint with Devin and making sure I'm sane for work.
// I somehow can't think of anything else going on? I'm going to just post this instead of trying to think of something more.