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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.