April 24, 2015

16/52

Little Toes
Nickelodeon Universe
Nickelodeon Universe
This week, I overcame most of my fears about taking Mary to the chiropractor and we have seen a slight improvement in our little girl's disposition. She's been in for two appointments now and there has been a distinct difference in her digestive (ahem) regularity, but more importantly, the chiropractor has been able to increase the range of motion that she has in her neck. Eventually, this will make her more comfortable all-around. As we're continuing to look forward to the end of the colic, we're soaking in the moments when she is genuinely happy and, just like she has been from the beginning, my littlest girl is still a water baby, loving her baths.

Before we had Mary, Jonathan and I planned a few days to make the older kids feel extra special, knowing that so much of our attention would be dedicated to our baby in the first few weeks and months after her arrival. This week was the first one of those special days and we spent seven hours at Nickelodeon Universe in the Mall of America, riding rides until we were all ready to collapse.

The kids loved every moment of it, enjoying each ride to the fullest. Nathaniel conquered his fear of the roller coaster and Evelyn, my little daredevil, embraced her love for the Log Chute (the only "roller coaster" that she was tall enough to ride). After seven hours though, we were all dog tired and dragged ourselves home just in time to collapse into bed. It was an amazing day.

April 22, 2015

Sally/Jason

Sally the Worm
Sally the Worm
Sally the Worm
Last week while we were adventuring outside, the kiddos made their first discovery of the season- a worm. Evelyn was thrilled and scooped it up with her little blue shovel (after dousing it in the sand box), eagerly showing it off to me. She announced that she would call it Sally, and thus, Sally was named.

Unfortunately, Sally disappeared back into the dirt once Evelyn had to go inside for a potty break (and while she was gone, Nathaniel decided that the worm needed a boy name too so he decided to call it Jason). So although the worm was gone (and there has been some talk about finding another one), at least we got a few good memories out of the deal. And as an added bonus, at least my little girl won't be squeamish come fishing time!

April 20, 2015

Surviving Colic

Dreaming (Black and White)
Since Mary was two weeks old, we've been waging a war against colic. It began with a little girl screaming at the top of her lungs between 11pm and 4am and has only improved minimally with the introduction of the pacifier. We're hanging on for dear life and although it's been a tough road to walk these last six weeks, we're still alive and hoping to see the light at the end of the tunnel sometime soon.

Initially, we thought our little girl had a nasty case of reflux. The first medication our pediatrician prescribed tasted like peppermint and made our littlest child scream even harder. With one medication down as an obvious failure, we switched to a different one, hoping to give our little girl some comfort. Medication number two (strawberry-flavored and preferred by Mary) went down easier, but still did nothing to quell the screaming. Amongst the medications, we tried two different types of gas drops, "bicycle legs" with our baby, and probiotics. I even went so far as to cut all dairy out of my diet, bemoaning my loss of chocolate and cheese. All of it proved useless, much to our disappointment.

The next item on our list of things to try is one that I've been dreading. Since she started feeling colicky, several of our friends suggested taking Mary to a chiropractor. Although I've read about what to expect and I understand that the pressure used to treat an infant is extremely light, the idea of someone adjusting my little girl's spine is enough to make me run for the hills. We've tried just about everything we can think of at this point and we're getting desperate, not just for our sanity, but because I can't keep watching my little girl be so uncomfortable.

For me personally, surviving colic has been incredibly difficult. I've struggled with a lot of anxiety and mood issues since Mary was born, something I didn't really experience after either of my previous births. Most days, I can handle things, but other days are a challenge I struggle to conquer. It's meant a lot more stress this time around and it most frequently rears its ugly head in the form of not being able to be apart from Mary. I have to make a conscious effort to offer to let friends or family hold my little girl because being separated from her, even briefly, is difficult. At best, I feel possessive and anxious; at worst, I have a panic attack and end up in tears.

We're soldiering on as best as we can these days. Most of the time, we're feeling sane despite the crying, though I've slowly come to accept that my eardrums will never be the same after being exposed to screaming at decibels you would only hear at a rock concert. We've been told that this time will pass, that Mary will outgrow the colic, and as much as I'm glad it's true, part of me still dreads the time that passes. She's our last baby and she's growing up. My sweet little girl is already seven weeks old, but it feels like yesterday that I picked her up out of the water of the birthing tub and held her close. Seeing her grow and change is bittersweet. While I will welcome the end of the colicky phase, whenever it comes, this time is still going too quickly for my mama heart.

April 17, 2015

15/52

The Moby
Sunglass Girl
Sunglass Man
Sometimes in life, you make really ill-timed decisions. One of mine was getting rid of our Moby wrap at a garage sale that we had last summer. I had used it with Nathaniel briefly, subsequently deciding that I hated it because it was too cumbersome to be practical. Since we never used it with Evelyn, I assumed that any future baby wouldn't need one either. Oh, how wrong I was! These last few weeks have made it clear that unless Mary is cuddled up next to me, she's unhappy. While I love holding my sweet girl, at some point it was going to become necessary to start cooking dinner again so we chalked this one up to a lesson learned and picked up another Moby. Happy baby, happy mama.

This week, the two older kids ventured out with me to Target (no small feat with three, I will add) and we found new sunglasses for each of them. Nathaniel picked a Ninja Turtle pair and Evelyn is currently rocking a pair of glasses emblazoned with Elsa from Frozen. So far, the sunnies are intact and unbroken. Here's hoping it stays that way…

Photo Credit: The photo of Mary and I was taken by Nathaniel.

April 15, 2015

14/52

Few Moments of Peace
"Anna Braids"
"Laser Eyes"
Even though it's a bit late, I wanted to share a few photos from last week. At some point, I'm going to write about our experience with colic and the endless list of things we've tried to help Mary feel better, but today isn't that day. I'm currently writing this with a baby draped on my chest after she fell asleep fussing. That seems to be the time that she's content lately so wherever she falls asleep, usually while being held, we do our best statue impressions until she cracks her eyes open again.

Continuing our theme from last week, Evelyn requested "Anna" braids (for the uninitiated, that's a Frozen reference for you). The angels sang hallelujah as we discovered a hairstyle with minimal scream potential. All the points go out to Disney this week for making my life a little easier.

The other morning, Nathaniel came into my bedroom wearing his goggles and announced that he had "laser eyes." It was too classic not to get a photo of him with his newest weapon. We'll just add that to the arsenal.