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5 Years of Parenting 3 Babies - The Differences

My baby will be 10 months old on the 19th of November. Sometimes I sit back and think, do I really have 3 boys? How crazy! It's also amazing to me how much my parenting style has changed throughout the tears from child #1 to child #3.

With Camron I had no experience with babies or children... At all. I could count on one hand how many times I baby-sat small children. I'm the oldest of 5 siblings, but the youngest was only 6 years younger than me.

I read lots of books. I heard lots of advice from my friends who already had kids.. And by the time Camron came I felt ready. I had all the latest gadgets, a closet full of cute clothes and all the time in the world to devote to him.

For the first 3 months of his life it was just he and I since my ex-husband was still on deployment to Iraq.

Fast forward to today...

I have a 4 (almost 5) year old, a 2 ( almost 3) year old and a 9.5 month old.

Life is busy and it's loud.
All the time.

I have my time divided between 3 boys, a husband, cooking, cleaning and my Etsy shops.

As I look back on my first 5 years as a mom there's some major differences that stand out to me...

Sleeping Arrangments:
Child #1 - Co-slept with me (in my bed) until he was almost 3 years old. He never slept in a crib. Ever. He went straight from my bed into a toddler bed. The only reason he did was because I gave birth to his little brother.

Child #2 - When he was first born he started out the night in a bassinet in my bedroom. After his first time waking up at night he ended up in my bed until morning. When he was an older baby he slept in his crib in his room. If he woke up any time before 6am he slept the rest of the time in my bed.

Child #3 - As a newborn he slept in a bassinet in the living room. I slept on a couch right next to him. Once he started sleeping through the night (6 weeks old) he slept in his crib in the boys room. He's never once slept in bed with me. He's also been the only baby to actually sleep all night long. ;)

Babywearing:
Child #1 - I LOVED wearing my baby in a carrier. Wraps and mei tais mostly. I wore him EVERY WHERE!

I wore him while grocery shopping. Trips to the zoo and Sea World. At the park. Shopping at Target. Walking around the mall. I very rarely took a stroller any where. I only stopped wearing him when it got too uncomfortable when I got pregnant with Brady.

Child #2: I wore him a handful of times as an itty bitty baby. A few more times as he got older. The last time I wore him was at about a year and a half old. I mostly used a stroller because I had twice as much stuff to lug around.

Child #3 - As a newborn I wore him every time we went to Costco. I've worn him a few times around town if he had fallen asleep in the car. I really thought I would wear him much more so I could have my hands free... Nope. We take a stroller every where. If Josiah doesn't use it then Brady will. We have too much stuff to carry to NOT use a stroller when we go places. I'm still hanging onto my carriers though! Hoping to dig them out one day and use them again before Josiah gets too old.

Baby clothes, gizmos and gadgets:
Child #1 - We bought mostly everything new. A few clothes were handed down, but we didn't necessarily need them. We had a baby monitor, a wipes warmer and a cute nursery set up. I cloth diapered almost exclusively for 6 months straight. I had a designer diaper bag. We bought nearly every baby toy on the market in 2006.

Child #2 - Maybe it was because my husband had just left and I didn't have much money... But Brady had nothing but hand-me-downs from Camron. Even when I had the money to buy him clothes it was from a baby re-sale store.

Child #3 - Hand-me-downs, hand-me-downs, hand-me-downs. Poor kid. He has all the boys old clothes. I actually tried to cloth diaper with him since I had the money to buy them, but I just don't have the time! The baby monitor I had stopped working... Luckily he's loud enough that we haven't needed it. My diaper bag I use is from a re-sale shop that I bought for $6! Wipes warmer? Seriously, who uses those? Hold it in your hand for a few seconds and they warm up just fine. ;) As for toys... I've learned that babies would rather play with the packaging than the actual toy. Save your money and give your baby some measuring cups and plastic bowls instead! Lol.

I still have 17+ years of parenting ahead of me and I'm sure that as they get older my parenting of them will even out. Hopefully Josiah isn't doomed to have a lifetime of hand-me-downs and Camron won't always be the "practice" child. They were all born within 4 years of each other and I know once they get older they'll be into lots of the same types of things.

I'm looking forward to the future with them! I'm sure I still have a lot to learn... Maybe someday I'll be able to pass on my parenting wisdom to my boys when they start having babies of their own. :)

Such A Slacker!

The last time I posted was on August 22nd! Here we are almost 3 months later... Geez. I thought I'd be better at keeping up with my blog since I got my iPhone, but apparently life still gets too busy around here. How do you blogging moms do it all?!

Anyway, I never finished posting about my Brady boy and his hospital stay...

He was there for just over a week in July. It started with a trip to the emergency room for a stomach ache that wasn't improving and it ended with a diagnosis of a ruptured appendix.

His hospital stay was full of CAT scans, being put under sedation, blood draws, needles, IVs, body drains, nurses, doctors, and medicine.

After the CAT scan they told me that his appendix had ruptured. I was so upset with his pediatrician at this point that I wrote in a complaint about her then and there. She was the one who had sent us home several days earlier saying it was just a stomach bug.

They immediately started him on antibiotics and had a drain put in where the rupture happened. There was a lot of pus they had to get out. That wasn't fun... The drain was right above his butt cheek and made diaper changes pretty hard. So not fun!

Every day he got a little better. Every day my mom and I traded off taking care of him at the hospital and the boys at home. I was at the hospital during the day and at home with the boys at night. I got really tired of seeing that hallway every day.

The doctors worried about Brady's weight so the had a PIC line put in. A PIC line is a small tube put in a persons arm - from the inside elbow to right over the middle of your chest. Apparently they're used for long term nutrition and antibiotic needs... It was the second time they put him under sedation. It took the doctor four hours to put in!

The very next day the PIC line ended up coming out thanks to our awful nurse. She caused a blood clot in it because she didn't flush it properly. I immediately asked for a new nurse and to never work with her again.

They thought about putting in a new one, but Brady surprised the doctors by taking his meds orally with no problem and eating like normal. They obviously didn't know my boy! I told them he was a good eater. :)

Around this time they also took out the drain. Brady was feeling so much better!

He didn't need any more pain meds. He was up playing, eating and watching tv. He kept asking when he could go home. I kept asking too... The doctors just wanted to be sure the infection went away completely.

On day 8 we were told we were going home! I was so excited and thankful to get out of there. Especially since the doctor had originally told us to expect to be there for at least 2-3 weeks.

Unfortunately this wasn't the end of our hospital stay... On September 12th we had a surgery scheduled to get Brady's appendix completely removed.

He was such a trooper! By this time he knew all about taking vitals and was pretty comfortable with the nurses and doctors.

The surgery took about 6 hours, but he did great!

This time he only had to stay for 2 days and one night.

The day he came home from the hospital you would have never known he even had surgery. He was up playing, running and jumping. We kept having to remind him that he just had surgery and he needed to slow down!

He now has 3 tiny little scars to remind him that when he was 2 he had his appendix taken out.

I'm so happy it's all over and done with. Hopefully I never have to go through anything like that again.

My Sick Boy... Is Admitted to the Hospital

July 17th, 2011 -
From the ER Brady was admitted to the hospital. We went straight into getting x-rays of his abdomen and then an ultra sound. Brady was still under the influence of the morphine so he was feeling pretty good...

Unfortunately neither the x-ray nor the ultrasound were showing the doctors what they needed to see.

They were worried about 2 different conditions. They were looking for the bowels turning in on themselves like a telescope or appendicitis.

After the ultrasound we were taken to his room. We would be sharing it with a 12 month old baby and his parents. They had their stuff all over the room and we were shoved into a corner. Luckily we had a bedside tv to entertain us. ...and my mom was on her way to bring me food and take over. I was so exhausted! (and starving.)

Once my mom got there I filled her in on all the details and I left my baby boy in her hands. I hated leaving him, but I was an emotional wreak and I had Camron and Josiah to take care of at home.

For me, being at home was a lot harder than being at the hospital. The unknown was killing me.

That night I woke up once every hour to check my phone for updates from my mom. She didn't text. She didn't call. I was hoping that no news was good news...

By 6 am I called my mom. The doctors decided they needed to get a CT scan on him ASAP. Unfortunately Brady wouldn't sit still long enough to do the CT scan that night so they said would do it later that day under sedation.

To be continued...

My Sick Boy... Is Still Sick

On july 7th my son started complaining of a tummyache. After not getting any better after 7 days I called my son's pediatrician and made an appointment.

Friday, July 15th I took Brady in to get checked out. I knew something wasn't right and I wanted to get him some relief.. 7 days of screaming out in pain is no fun for anyone.

At the appointment they weighed him, took his height and temp. The doctor listened to his belly and heart rate. I told her all of his symptoms...

... Threw up once on the 7th, diarrhea, screaming out in pain telling me his tummy hurt, fever, said pain comes and goes, he lost his appetite, cries when he pees...

After trying to five us anti-nausea medicine (he wasn't nauseous) and then an appetite increasing medicine (he would eat if he could!)... She sent us home with the stomach flu and a prescription for some Zantac. Said she wanted to see him back in a week.

Stomach flu? Really?

I'm no doctor, but this didn't seem like the stomach flu. He was getting worse, not better. From what I've seen the stomach flu lasts MAYBE 5 days at most and you usually start getting better every day. I wanted a second opinion.

I couldn't wait til Monday for the regular doctor to be in. I took him to the ER on Sunday the 17th.

With all the waiting we did in the ER the staff had plenty of chances to witness the screaming episodes he was doing. When they took his temp it was at 101.2.

The doctors took blood. They inserted an IV. They said even if this WAS the stomach flu that he was extremely dehydrated and would need fluids.

When the blood tests came back it showed that his white blood cell count was extremely high. The nurse told me that when patients come in with a kidney infection the number is 12 or 13. A normal person is 10 or below. Brady was at 25! Something was definitely up....

After an hour and a half of being on fluids and repeating my story to several different people the doctor told me that they were waiting on the pediatric surgeon to come down to talk to me. He said that according to most of the labs everything looked fine, but what didn't look fine was my son and that based on my story they were going to admit him to the hospital and find out what the problem was.

FINALLY someone was listening to me and they were going to work on getting my son better.


To be continued...

My Sick Boy

Brady has been sick for the past week... And it's been awful here at home. I hate it when my kids are sick and there's nothing I can do for them to make it better.

Today I brought him to the doctor because he hasn't improved at all. His doc seems to think it's the stomach flu. All she prescribed for him was Zantac. I hope it helps settle his stomach.... He's lost weight from not being able to eat.

I really hope he gets better soon! I miss my energetic, talkative son. :(

My Patriotic Baby

Happy 4th of July!

Date Night

Last night was the first time since having Josiah that Josh and I got to go on a REAL date! It felt so good to be able to walk around without a huge diaper bag, stroller, baby carrier and worrying about where my kids were at all times. I actually got to take a grown up purse with me! :)

We went down to SeaWorld (yay for annual passes!) and walked hand in hand looking at and doing all the stuff we can't do with the kids in tow. We walked through shops, bought stuff, even ate some way over priced food. (It was well worth it!)

Now that Josiah is a little bit older and Camron & Brady are more independent I'm looking forward to being able to spend a little bit more time alone with my hubby. It also helps that we're now right next door to my parents... Yup, we moved. But that's a whole other blog post...

By the time our date ended I was so happy to be back home with my boys. Being able to recharge my mommy batteries felt great.

I'm already looking forward to our next date. Maybe we'll be able to go to the movies and watch the whole thing without any interruptions!

Blogging From My iPhone :)

Josh and I jumped on the iPhone train a week or two ago... And I just found this pretty neat app called BloggerPlus. I'm hoping that with this app I'll be able to keep up with my blog once again! I'm very rarely on my computer any more unless it's to work on my Etsy stores. We'll see how this goes. :)

I never did get around to posting josiah's birth story... He's already 5 months old! Isn't it crazy how fast time goes when you have kids?

Well, I have lots to catch up on, but like alway it will have to wait. I better go lay down this sleeping baby of mine.

HEY! I should use one of my other apps to remind me to update my blog every now and then. Haha. It's amazing what cell phones can do these days...

Just a quicky!

Our baby boy (Josiah) was born on January 19th, 2011 at 1:45pm. :) He was 7lbs 12oz and 20" long. It was an amazing birth experience and way better than I had even hoped for. I'll be getting around to posting the birth story soon! :) For now we're just enjoying our newest member of the family.

Josiah at 9 days old - January 28th, 2011

Happy Birthday My Brady Boy!

Tomorrow (January 12th) my baby turns 2 years old! It's not that big of a shock to me that he's actually two years old though... He's acted like a two year old for several months now. Unfortunately for me he never really wanted to be a baby. :( He's always been doing things pretty advanced for his age. When he was just a few months old he started refusing a pacifier. He started sitting up at 5 months old. He began crawling a month later. At 9 months old he was walking without any help. By 12 months old he was saying words and had been using a spoon and fork to feed himself. By about 16 months old he was speaking in short sentences. Now at almost 2 he says complete sentences better than most 4 year olds do.

It amazes me at how much and how quickly he's learned everything. (Especially after having my first baby being a bit delayed in everything compared to his peers...) I feel like I haven't had a baby around the house since he was a newborn 2 years ago. I can't wait to see what the future holds for him. I'm looking forward to working a lot more with both he and his older brother on pre-school activities this year. He loves learning new things and I have no doubt that he'll be learning everything just as fast as my 4 year old.

Happy birthday to my Brady!

Just 10 days old... So sweet

23 months old and still such a sweetheart

P.S. Yup.. still pregnant! Just over 37 weeks today. Getting super anxious to get to the end! :)

36 Weeks! (And I'm Freaking Out!)

Why am I freaking out? Well, it's probably because I have so little time and still so much to do before Baby Josiah arrives! It could be that I've never waited this long before getting everything prepared. It might also be that I've never had 2 kids, a husband and 2 dogs to take care of as well as my own household to run.

This is definitely new territory to me.

It might seem strange to those of you who have had babies and who have done all of this before and think that it's really not that big of a deal. Especially for baby number three. You might be thinking that I've already had two kids... so what's the difference with number three?

Well... The answer is pretty much the same with both of my first two boys. I was living at my mom's house and I didn't have a husband around to help me. Of course they were both very different circumstances. With Camron, my (ex) husband was on deployment to Iraq. With Brady, my (ex) husband was divorcing me and was too busy with his new (pregnant) girlfriend to help out at all. (Do I still sound bitter? lol Maybe. I just think it's wrong that so many men out there get to start completely over while the women they leave are left to handle all the responsibilities... that they helped to create... on their own.)

With both boys I felt like I had all the time in the world to prepare for the new baby's arrival. I had their rooms ready, all of the baby essentials bought, hospital bags were packed... and it was all done about 3 months before they were born!

I have three weeks! (Give or take.) I feel so unorganized and unprepared. I just barely bought the first package of newborn diapers yesterday... and that will last what? 3 days. If we're lucky. So we need to buy lots more ASAP! I have to finish washing all of the old baby clothes and blankets that I've had in storage for the past 2 years. (I think I have about 3 more loads to go... Then it becomes, where the heck am I going to put it all?!) I have to pack a hospital bag for me and Josh. I'll also need to pack Josiah's going-home stuff. I have to pack a bag for both boys so they have everything they need while staying at Nana and Papa's house while I'm in the hospital. I still have to turn the back part of my living room into a make-shift nursery. Complete with a cot for me to sleep on, the bassinet for baby and a changing area. I also have to find some place for a few extra clothes and blankets for those middle of the night diaper blow outs or spit-ups... because I don't want to wake the boys by getting it out of their room.

I think it felt like things were easier to get done with my first two boys because I actually had a lot of help from my mom. My step dad was working out of town both times that I gave birth while I was living there. So she had tons of time to help me! This time around I have my own household to run. Dinner to make. House to be cleaned. Two boys to take care of. A husband to keep happy... So I'm almost doing all of this on my own. I have a lot more responsibilities on my shoulders than I had before. It's kind of nerve wracking to think that I'm the one who has to make this transition go as smoothly as possible.

I don't want this blog post to sound like I'm complaining about anything. I'm really not complaining. Or even getting close to complaining. I'm just stressing and I think writing it all out helps me gain some sort of clarity to be able to put it all in perspective for me.

I'm so grateful for my little family and the life that I have. I'm so excited about Josiah's arrival and having our family finally feeling complete. I know that in the end everything will work out and I'll feel like I was stressing out for nothing. I have pretty much everything that I'll need for him in his first month of life... it's just a matter of getting organized. I'm great at organizing. I just need to take it one step at a time and focus on the task at hand. I'll set some goals for myself this week... I'll write them down and cross them off one at a time. I think it'll help me in feeling like I'm getting anything accomplished.

So here we go! I'm giving myself one week to get everything done. Time to set some goals and get things done!