Friday, May 08, 2009

On my own

My mom left yesterday afternoon to visit one of my sisters for a few days before she heads home on Sunday. I had my first taste of what it's like to take care of two children by myself. Eric was up on campus meeting with students, so I was on my own for the afternoon. We took a walk to a nearby thrift store (Zari in a stroller, Dio in a sling), where I bought a Graco SnugRide infant carseat for Dio ($30) and a pair of sandals for Zari ($2.75). The carseat was nearly new, probably used for just one baby since the expiration date was 2013. If price were no object I'd buy a Britax, but I decided to use an infant carseat for the first year. Then I'll move Dio into Zari's Britax Roundabout (which I bought from my friend Jen) and buy a larger Britax carseat or booster for Zari. Then Zari played in the sprinkler for a bit while I nursed Dio.

This morning I was on my own as well. I picked up my cell phone from a restaurant about 10 minutes out of town; I left it there a few weeks ago. Then I wandered all over the countryside looking for a garage sale I saw advertised on Craiglist. I never did find it.

I think Dio's face is already starting to fill out--something I find satisfying yet bittersweet. He nurses really well, enough that he usually nurses just on one side at each feeding. He's having more alert periods during the day. He and Zari both wake up around 8 am, and Dio often stays awake for 2-3 hours before conking out.

Nights are typical for a newborn. He takes up every 2-3 hours to nurse. He has a bit of trouble falling back asleep all the way. I often have to rock him, snuggle him on my chest, or let him suck on my finger a bit before he drifts all the way off. Zari, on the other hand, always passed out immediately after she was done nursing.

I've started doing elimination communication, by default and necessity. Dio really does not like having a wet or messy diaper. He also fusses quite a bit right before he needs to go. So it's become easier potty him if he wakes up and still has a dry diaper, or if he starts fussing out of the blue. And at night, if I potty him right before he nurses, he sleeps much better. I'm still getting used to male anatomy. I learned pretty quickly to always keep him covered during diaper changes, since he can spray objects several feet away. I also learned to point his penis downward before I put a diaper on (a friend of ours calls it "the 6 o'clock position"), otherwise he'll pee right out the top of his diaper. Always something new to learn.

8 days old


  1. You're doing a beautiful job, Rixa. They do grow so fast, especially right in the beginning.

    Nursing only on one side per feeding is great for the weight gain. He's sure to get all the fat-rich hind milk with long nursing sessions one side at a time.

    I've read that tandem nursing makes for a very smooth transition into siblinghood, 'specially for the older kid. How's your tandem experience been? Are you all sharing a family bed (if you don't mind me asking)? We do, and I can't quite imagine myself, my husband, my toddler AND a newborn in the same bed . . .

    I love doing Elimination Communication (aka Natural Infant Hygiene), and little intact boys sure can spray in random directions--no matter which way you point them! ^__^

  2. Tandem nursing: Zari nurses 2x a day at the most: for naptime and going to bed. At naptime, sometimes she falls asleep nursing, other times (more and more often actually) we nurse for a few minutes, then we snuggle and she falls asleep on her own. At night she never nurses to sleep, just a few minutes and then it's snuggle/talking time. She's been asking to nurse more often lately, usually when she gets upset or frustrated. I remind her gently that we will nurse when it's naptime or bedtime. She's old enough to understand and usually accept that, especially if I offer hugs or snuggles instead.

    I haven't ever nursed the two of them at the same time yet, but perhaps I will. She's really sweet when Dio is nursing. She likes to "help" in the form of holding my breast or squeezing it--mimicking my behaviors when I support the breast or do breast compression. She also loves to kiss him on the head when he's nursing, or give me "nursing kisses," aka kiss my breast while I'm nursing.

    Zari sleeps in her own bed. It would be too crazy to have 4 of us on one bed. Dio sleeps in the middle of our king sized bed. He naps in his cradle, which is next to our bed. I occasionally put him in his cradle at night, but I like to have him closer to I can listen to his breathing, etc. It makes me too nervous not to be close by when they're little.

  3. You are doing a great job. I remember the first day when I was alone with my first two (only 5 1/2m apart) and it was such a long day. I spent most of it just snuggling and nursing. Oh how they have grown--now 5 and 4 1/2. I am happy to hear you are enjoying your two sweeties and doing so well!

  4. Ooooh! Thanks for the 6 o'clock tip! No wonder my babe always has a wet belly! ;-)

  5. Shelley--How did yours come 5 1/2 months apart? What a story!!

  6. LOL Ya, the penis issue!!! Learned the hard way, hahahaha.
    He is beautiful, Rixa! And yes, definitely filling out :D

  7. I found that if i opened the diaper and he had a woody... to close it back up for a bit until he was done. (or EC, either way ;) )

  8. Oh, he is definitely filling out, and is so cute.

    I, too, learned the hard way about keeping things covered. Josh peed in some strange ways before I finally figured it out. :)

  9. Have you seen this seat? This has a five point harness for up to 65 pounds, when all the other seats only go up to 40 and then you have to use the regular lap belt. Also, you can slide the back off once they pass 65 pounds and use the booster seat with the lap belt. I'm getting this for my son because the five point harness is so much safer and he would be in one so much longer with this seat.

  10. He is a cutie! I'm glad you guys are doing so well.

  11. Isn't it crazy how little boys can pee out of their diapers, even if you have positioned the DIAPER carefully!? Yeah, I think I learned that after a while.

  12. Rixa, it's great hearing about your nursing experience with 2 kiddos. I think about this a lot and fret about how I will handle it. I think it does help that Zari understands so much. How did you transition Zari into her own bed, and when did you begin that process? I think we will want to do the same with Robin when we are waiting on #2...

    Also, in that first pic, you can see a strong resemblance between Dio and Zari!!

  13. Thanks so much for sharing your experiences with two! My son is almost 3 and I have another one due in about 6 months so it is fun to follow your stories.

    Your discoveries about boy anatomy makes me laugh -- I had to go through that with my first.

  14., 11:31 PM

    I love all your updates - sorry I don't get around to responding often. I'll have to try to catch you one of these days on the phone :)
    Did you come up with a middle name? You have some lovely choices...I was also thinking Forest would work with the placenta theme just in case you're still needing suggestions LOL
    Kisses to the kiddos and my love to all of you. Dio is gorgeous!

  15. You sound so active for having a 2 week old! Wow, energetic mama!

    I'm laughing about the pointing the penis downward. I had to learn that quickly as well. If I had thought about it, I would have shared that little bit of counsel with you beforehand.

    It sounds to me like you are having a blissful babymoon and I'm so happy for you!


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