Tuesday, September 4, 2018

The Summer O' Survival Part One


I started out the Summer with the best of intentions. Y'all know how I feel about the "Summer O' Fun". I hang the banner, I make the Bucket List, I host themed parties. And despite having a FOUR WEEK OLD, I swore to myself that no matter what, I would carve out time to do weekly posts on our happenings. This blog is truly our digital scrapbook and I just love documenting our lives and looking back on all that we've done.

Well, you know what? LIFE HAPPENED. A newborn happened.  REFLUX happened. And sleepless nights happened. So the banner never even got hung. The Bucket List sorta evolved as we went along, and my creative activities went out the window.

Honestly, I feel like the Summer had two parts: During Reflux and After Reflux. After Taylor's body sort of "woke up" from that initial newborn stage, she STOPPED NAPPING and STARTED SCREAMING. We went from the newborn "Eat, Sleep, Repeat" stage to wide awake and screaming most of the day. If she did nap, it was for MAYBE 30 minutes and back to..........screaming.

I tried all the tricks.  All the contraptions. The Rock N Play. The Dock-A-Tot. The bassinet. The bassinet with the vibration. The crib. Swaddle. No swaddle. Swaddle with each of the contraptions. I was so desperate I even tried the ole car seat-the-dryer trick. No bueno.

The ONLY way she would rest is if I wore her in a carrier. Which looks real sweet until you do it for EIGHT HOURS A DAY.

We tried the cute, snug little Moby wrap.
But after many hours and days, I had to upgrade to what we called the "military grade"
Thank goodness for the cover feature on this carrier, because I could safely eat all my meals without dropping crumbs on Taylor's head.

You know what's harder than a newborn who won't sleep? A newborn who won't sleep AND a housebound toddler.

I will say that Greyson was a total rockstar and became quite the independent player during this time.  This may or may not have been accompanied by several new toys and bribery.  ; ).

So needless to say, our first few weeks of summer (pretty much through the month of June) were LONG and HARD.  At this point I was still nursing, so getting out and keeping G occupied while I nursed in public was just too hard. So we spent most days at home just trying to survive.  But that was hard too because I felt isolated and in a constant state of nursing Taylor or comforting Taylor and since she wan't napping, I really couldn't get any one on one time with Greyson. I missed him and craved time with him too. I really felt on the verge of tears most days and was SO RELIEVED when Jeremie would walk through that door.

I was also SO THANKFUL that we had arranged for a sitter to come a few afternoons a week to play with Greyson and help with things around the house. God knew what our circumstances were going to be and "Miss Kendall" was a LIFESAVER.

I'm going to share something embarrassing too. I truly thought Taylor wasn't napping because she was wetting her diaper. I could tell she was exhausted; she would fall asleep, but like clockwork, she'd wake 30 minutes later screaming bloody murder.  I'd check on her and of course, she'd be wet. Greyson also HATED a wet diaper, so I just assumed this was Greyson 2.0.

So y'all, as one would, we ordered ALL THE DIAPERS. ALL THE KINDS. All the remedies. Fleece inserts. Cloth inserts. And none of them worked.

I ended up calling the doctor in sheer desperation.  I felt SO DUMB calling to complain that my baby was wetting her diaper. Then the nurse started asking A TON of questions. She asked me about Taylor's feedings and I mentioned that she was actually fussing a LOT during feedings. To make a
LOOOOOOONG story short, we came to the conclusion that T was suffering from "Silent Reflux".  (Reflux without spit up.) One of the most COMMON symptoms is interrupted naps because any position on their back is super painful. This led me to do some more research, and sure enough, she had almost all the symptoms of reflux! Honestly, I was SO RELIEVED to have an answer and on the road to recovery, which was a prescription for Baby Zantac.

But guess what? It didn't work.

At the same time all this was happening, I started getting plugged/clogged ducts that were SO painful.  My supply was decreasing, and I was worried that Taylor wasn't getting enough.  In addition, without going into a ton of detail, I thought I had rapid let down, which can worsen the symptoms of reflux.  I tried nursing T at an incline, kept her sitting up after each feeding, but still, nothing seemed to be working. Taylor had an especially hard night one evening, where she just couldn't sleep and was crying non-stop. I kept trying to nurse her, but felt like I had no supply.  Finally, at 2:00 in the morning, but husband (being the problem solver he is), made an executive decision. He told me we were shutting the milk parlor down, and went to Wal-Mart to get formula.

She sucked down 4 ounces and I can't tell you how relieved I was.

The next day, we headed BACK to the doctor. Our usual doctor was off that day (of course), and while I LOVE the other one, I was disappointed because I felt like I had to explain the whole situation over again. But as soon as I started describing symptoms, behaviors, etc, she told me: "Say no more. My son went through the EXACT same thing and the first medicine didn't work." She said Taylor probably need a different type of medicine, so I left with a knew shiny prescription and a whole lotta hope. I'm SO thankful that God lined it up for us to see that particular doctor.

And y'all, between the new medicine and the formula, I had a different baby.  A different life. The relief was overwhelming.

One more contraption later, and we had a happy, napping baby!

Whew! Enough of that! Once we got Little Miss comfortable, we finally kicked it into gear and got our Bucket List cranked up!

First up was Greyson's Vacation Bible School! This was Greyson's first year; I couldn't wait until he was old enough, and of course he had a blast.

I feel like this photo pretty much sums up our summer. Up a creek.
We always go to Mississippi for a Summer trip, but I wasn't quite ready to tackle traveling and a plane ride with a newborn yet.  So Jeremie took Greyson and they had the best "Boys Trip" together! I was so sad to miss, but so glad that Greyson got his summer country trip in!

Meanwhile, me and Lil' T had some quality time together. We did brunch, we did Marshalls, we did naps ; ) This was truly my first extended alone time with her and it was so nice to do some Mommy-Daughter bonding.

I tried my hand at doing some outings with both of them, and let's just say practice will make perfect. ; ) 
Playstreet Museum for the win!

Story time in Downtown Plano (G insisted on the Flash Gordon costume in the 100 degree weather.) 
Splash pad and playground at Hope Park (This one went shockingly well)
Meanwhile, Taylor did this.....

And this....

And some more of this...

And a little bit of this.. 


It still baffles me how newborns get so much sleep but parents GET NONE.

My parents showed up on my birthday and the two extra set of hands might be the best birthday present ever! You just can't be raw, needy or boss people around like your own family.  ; ). They were such a huge help with T and entertainment to G.

We did venture out and knock a BIG outing off the Bucket List, The Frontiers of Flight Museum. I'd heard so much about this place and was waiting till G was a little bit older to take him.  This place was beautiful, amazing, and so family/kid friendly! It's housed in a huge hanger with all types of real planes inside! Historic war planes, jets, spaceships, and even a huge part of a commercial plane that kids can run in and out of! The volunteers were so sweet and even walked Greyson around and told him about the different planes.  And he was actually interested!

My dad is one of the smartest people I know; he can read something once and remember it forever! He is a huge history buff, so this was right up his alley!

There is even a toddler play area with all types of fun planes and an "air traffic control" tower to climb on! Greyson had the BEST time! It was so nice to get out and have a big adventure again!

Taylor seemed to enjoy her big outing too. 

Pretty sure CC and Pop enjoyed their visit. 

My mom is probably in the background somewhere making dinner, washing clothes, giving G a bath....basically conquering the world.  ; )

And I did manage to escape for a little while for a birthday brunch with some of my best girls.

Also on the bucket list for this summer was Soccer lessons.  We've been wanting to sign Greyson up for some type of sport for a while now.  We decided to start with soccer and fortunately, our Rec Center had an INDOOR summer series. This was a perfect thing for Greyson and Jeremie to do together on Saturday morning! Greyson loved it and now we're in an actual league with uniforms and games! Yep, I'm an official Soccer Mom.

Our buddy Ford took lessons with us.  These boys were born on the same day, just a few rooms away from each other. And I swear they have a special bond. 
So despite the tears, the crying, and the tantrums (and I mean this for EVERY member of the family), we squeezed out some summer fun and made it out of May and June alive.

Most days the house ended up looking like this...

And my motto was this...

But we were together.  

And we made it through the days together.

And getting through the tough days make the "normal" ones even sweeter.  

The second half of the summer was definitely less dramatic and easier! Part Two coming soon!