Baby · Toddlerhood

Family Update, Sam at 2 Months Old

When I’m doing photos or blogging now, I’m often wearing Sam in the wrap, because he is now taking after his older brother and not sleeping unless he’s being held. Here’s a photo I took while working on the computer with him:

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The weekend after Sam’s vomiting started and I got mastitis, A.’s brother and his wife visited and we had a nice, low-key weekend with them. We stayed around the house quite a bit but we were also able to get out for lunch and some shopping, thanks to having a nice ratio of four adults to one toddler and a baby!

I got some cute photos:

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There was a lot of drawing going on:

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In the evening on Sunday after they left, we had some gelato with friends and tried out Ari’s “leash”:

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The week after that was really tough. Fortunately, Ari got a make-up day at school so I only had one day alone with both kids, but that one day they were both throwing up! I was constantly cleaning something or someone, with one or both of them crying.

Story time was out of the question and A. had a meeting that evening, too. I took the kids over for the beginning of the meeting to vote on something, then walked back with them. I made the mistake of letting Ari out of the stroller and then – even with the panda leash – had to chase him around and try to pick him up and stop him from rolling in the grass in people’s yards and eating clovers he picked, while I was wearing Sam in the wrap, with his head flopping back every time I bent over to reach Ari. I got home and struggled to get a hyper Ari to sleep, with Sam throwing up and constantly eating or screaming, and I wasn’t able to eat or do anything for myself. I had to take my antibiotics but needed to eat first and that was impossible, and was frantically texting A. and having a breakdown at 9:45, then he got home at 10pm, just after both kids had fallen asleep and it was suddenly peaceful. Of course!

The next day, A. got permission to work from home and Sam actually slept quite a bit, and we had a nice day.

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We even went out for lunch together with Sam in the wrap:

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The day after that, we got a babysitter for Ari and took Sam to a soccer game with A.’s boss. That was tough! He threw up on me twice, once as we were getting out of the car (so, in the parking lot, I changed his outfit and everything I was wearing on top, and rinsed off both of our hair and skin with water from my water bottle), and again at the end of the game (so I went to the bathroom and took my top off and just wore my jacket).

The next day, at five and a half weeks old, Sam rolled from his front to his back on the floor! I’d noticed a little rolling on the bed, too (not safe!). He can roll from his back to his side as well as from his front to his back, but I don’t think he’s doing it deliberately yet.

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That weekend, my aunt visited and a friend from out of state was in town. Ari enjoyed the attention and got some new books!

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At some point during the weekend, I got upset about some large and repetitive vomiting episodes. I’ll write more in a separate post, but A. sent a message to the doctor and included the photos that I shared in my last post. He asked to have him evaluated for pyloric stenosis. She replied Monday morning and asked us to bring him in that day. Long story short (I’ll share the long story later!), it turned out he had it! By Wednesday evening we were in the emergency room with the diagnosis, on Thursday (at six and a half weeks old) he had the surgery, and on Friday we went home.

Since the surgery, everything has been so much better! I was starting to get depressed being stuck at home doing laundry and nursing constantly, and really worried about how we’d survive when I went back to work. Now there’s no more vomiting and I have my quiet, happy, easy baby back! I feel like we lost three weeks though. It was a weird time. But that first weekend after the surgery, we celebrated! We went out to breakfast and didn’t have to change our clothes once. I pulled out the next size up of clothing and put away the newborn clothes, because now he’s going to grow and I’m so excited!

In the beginning of the week, before getting the diagnosis, Ari and Sam received a gift of Build-a-Bear big brother and baby brother monkeys! Ari loves them both. The day after they arrived, Ari was singing about his “big brother monkey” and wanted to wear him to school in the carrying pack he came with. He also has glasses, like Ari, but I didn’t send them to school with him.

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Here are a couple photos of Sam the day before we went to the hospital. He’s looking a little tired, I think!

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In the emergency department after A. and Ari met us there:

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My falafel dinner from the cafeteria late at night after Sam and I were finally settled in, in his room:

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Sam tucked in (his IV was in his other hand, and the tubing was wrapped up in his swaddle):

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Here is Ari spelling his name in the surgery waiting area:

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While we were in the hospital, our babysitter and dog walker took Andrew out for a big adventure and sent us some photos. He was happy!

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Sam gave me his first real smiles the morning after his surgery!

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All packed up and ready to go!

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Sam and I went straight from the hospital to Ari’s school for pick-up time.

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Here I am looking extremely relieved that first weekend:

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And Ari in the front basket of one of Portland’s new Biketown rental bicycles:

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The following week was fairly busy, with appointments for both boys.

During the week, I made a healthy dish of roasted vegetables, quinoa, and lentils, using our pre-prepped and frozen bell peppers; some fresh kale, onion, mushrooms, and carrots; zucchini, parsley, and thyme from our garden; some red potatoes and sweet potato that were sitting around needing to be eaten; and lentil leftover from a previous meal. So healthy and delicious!

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After roasting in the oven with olive oil, salt, and pepper:

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Parsley added:

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Served up!

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We had some nice playtime together at home:

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Ari has become a little more interested in Sam. He hasn’t held him again – he’ll say he wants to and then, when we say “okay,” immediately change his mind – but he’s been touching him and talking to him more. One day I asked if he wanted to try to make him smile, and he said, “Okay! Maybe if we… press him” and poked at his hand or his tummy like a button. (In the photo above, I think he was just pointing at the letters on his shirt.)

Sometimes when people talk to Sam, Ari will get a little upset and say, “the baby doesn’t talk!” but once when my visiting friend told him that we are teaching him how to talk by talking to him, he said something to him (“this is a dog” or something simple like that).

One day, he announced to me, “I like Mommy, I like Daddy. I like two of my persons – not the baby!” but then he added Andrew too, then he said he liked the baby too, then “I like all my persons!”, then “I like myself, too!”

At school, when we pick him up, Ari has recently been more possessive of Sam. He has noticed other kids admiring him, and he’ll grab the handle of the car seat and say, “We’re taking the baby home now.” When asked, he’ll tell people what the baby’s name is, and one day he kept standing right in front of the little girl who was looking at Sam, and he was saying, “He throws up!” Then he added, “But he went to the hospital and now he doesn’t throw up anymore,” or something like that.

He has also been interested in pretending to feed the “baby brother monkey.” On the same day I took the pictures above, he held the toy bottle to the monkey’s mouth to feed him, then he said, “He drank all the milk! I’m going to put on my pumper now.” Then he put his hands on his chest and moved them in and out and said, “Pump, pump!” He said he was getting more milk for the baby! Then he held the bottle to his belly button and said he was getting more milk from his tummy.

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We also had some nice playtime with A. after he got off work one day:

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Somehow I sleep in between these two:

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Trying out some extra stimulation for Sam:

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New felt animals for Ari (he’s been acting out long stories with his stickers):

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Falling asleep at night:

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The following weekend, Ari’s school had a parade with animal and nature costumes the kids made (with lots of help) in class, followed by an ice cream social in the park! Ari was an alligator:

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A. made me a hippo mask:

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And a lion mask for himself:

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Sam enjoyed visiting with his soon-to-be teachers and lying in the grass:

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Later that day, my parents came to visit for the weekend and we drove outside the city to visit a farm animal sanctuary for their annual vegan barbecue and open house. Ari loved seeing all the animals!

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He also enjoyed the puppets:

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Face time with Sam:

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The next morning:

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Biking to breakfast (the rest of us drove):

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My mom took me to see Cavalia Odysseo! It was an amazing human/horse circus with highly trained horses, human acrobats, live music, and incredible sets. It was also my first time being away from Sam for an extended period. My dad and A. watched the boys. I pumped in the days ahead of time to have bottles for them to feed Sam.

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On the way there, we caught a bus over the Tillikum Crossing bridge, and on the way back we rode the new Biketown bikes over the bridge and up the hill to our neighborhood park. It was so convenient! You can see the big top for the horse show in the background. The bikes were right there, and there was a place to lock them up again right by the park. We dumped our stuff in the front baskets and rode without helmets. It was my first time biking since November, and it was fun! The bikes were heavy and difficult to maneuver at first but with a nice upright position and easy gear shifting, and once we got going, the ride felt smooth and comfortable to me.

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Lounging at the park:

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On Monday morning, I was able to take Ari to story time at the library while my parents took Sam out to breakfast. Then they left in the afternoon, and the boys and I took a two-and-a-half–hour nap together! After that, Ari and A. went to Ari’s first swimming class this year, at our local outdoor pool. The classes are every day for two weeks! Ari is old enough for the preschool class without an adult, but he won’t get in the water without one of us so he’s doing the younger toddler class again.

The day after they left, Sam did some moving and grooving and Ari goofed around in the car:

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We had our first outing with me taking both boys out for a playdate. We met a friend and her three-year-old at a playground with no streets nearby that Ari could run into! Ari has been enjoying the game of running away from me, and it’s very hard to catch him and take care of Sam at the same time. My friend helped a lot! She took this photo:

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Lately, Sam has been entertaining himself for long periods under his activity gym, staring at the dangling toys and kicking his feet and waving and reaching with his arms. He makes little breathy and cooing sounds.

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I’m feeling more like myself. My body is figuring itself out and I don’t get giant milk patches on my shirt anymore; the leaking has mostly stopped. I had my 6-week postpartum appointment while we were in the hospital with Sam (a nurse and a volunteer held Sam while I walked across the hospital to the women’s health clinic!).

Picnic dinner before swimming class:

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More from swim class:

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One of my favorite kinds of moment:

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On Saturday, Sam turned two months old and we went for a walk in Forest Park. Ari was very disappointed that we didn’t see any “forest animals”. He was expecting some bears, at least!

Sam in a cute sleeping pose:

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Ari wearing his “big brother monkey” in his pack:

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Looking for “forest animals” on our walk:

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More from our walk/hike:

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And, finally…

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