If there was ever a time when I had to put my big girl underwear on, these last 3 months were IT. We had Asher, who was born small for gestational age, has reflux, and is apparently allergic to dairy and soy. We found out about this on the day we moved to our new house and I had to pump around the clock for two weeks while formula feeding Asher so the dairy and soy could get out of my system. I was feeding or pumping 16 – 18 times per day while unpacking boxes. In addition to that, we had some major sleep regression with Dilan (still working on this), had Anil travel for work a week after we moved, and had a boat load of people over all at the same time. Some of this was planned, some of it wasn’t. That’s just life. But talk about a whirlwind of a three months!

No one really talks about not loving or being too exhausted to fully enjoy those first newborn weeks, but I am here to tell you that it’s absolutely ok if you don’t love every moment of it. Now if you’re not having fun at all, you may just have a problem. Your life isn’t going to be like that Hallmark or Gerber commercial you see and that’s fine. Even if you don’t have as much going on as we just did, you just have to remember that YOU’RE GOING TO SURVIVE. Just like we just did. All the stressful sleep and feeding habits eventually disappear and this too, shall pass.

After spending three months with the most adorable preemie sized baby boy, I felt obligated to follow up on this post I wrote for Dilan. Though we’ve been giving Asher a good dose of the second child treatment (sorry dude, comes with the rank), we still had to track what he’s been up to these last 12 weeks, so here it is:

Diaper count: 626 total
Nursing: 210 hours, for a total of 859 times
Bottle count: 198, with a freezer full of expressed, but “contaminated with soy and dairy” milk =(

Asher is growing rapidly and though he may stay small for a while, I’m confident that he’ll be just fine in the long run. Hopefully we’ll be able to keep him on track when I go back to work next week.

Work. Yikes. I absolutely love my job because it challenges my brain like nothing else does. But man, I will miss staying at home with that boy and Dilan, who stayed home on occasion. In the long run, there is nothing glamorous about staying at home with a newborn and a toddler, as I’ve said before. It’s madness. I truly appreciate everything SAHMs do and in the back of my head I keep thinking “I could never do this full-time”. Staying at home and taking care of the kids is a luxury, but not for the stay-at-home parent. It’s a luxury for the family because nothing’s nicer than coming home to a home-cooked meal, a clean house, and folded laundry. But doing it sure isn’t simple when you have kids around. I’m glad I got to do it for 12 weeks and got the family somewhat settled in. So for those of you embarking on something similar, here are my best newborn tips for those tough first few weeks:

Meals – Cook before the baby comes. Freeze some meals and pick up take-out menus beforehand. If people want to bring you food, TAKE IT. We had both sets of grandparents come visit us for a full two weeks, which was glorious. However, not everyone has the luxury of having family in nearby states, so take any and all meals that come your way. Just tell people what you want, really.

Laundry – I do at least one load every other day to keep track of laundry. Between a newborn and a two year old, it piles up quickly. Buy those pods that you can just toss in with the laundry so you don’t have to measure anything.

People – Speak up. Tell people what you want and when you want it. Most friends and family will be glad to help, but you have to tell them when it is and isn’t a good time to come over (witching hour, anyone?)

Getting out – I won’t lie. Two and a half is a tough age. Especially if there is some regression and your child is going through some developmental changes (read: lots of tantrums). It’s pretty much impossible right now for me to go anywhere with both kids, but we’ve ventured out a little bit. It just requires a lot of planning and patience, and at least 30 minutes of buffer, unless you want to be late all the time. Carry extra diapers, a boat load of wipes, at least two extra outfits per child, sippy cups, bottles, and a ton of distractions for the toddler. New books, your iPad, dollar bin toys from Target, whatever it takes.

That’s about it, guys. Wish me luck at work next week!! This corporate mama is as excited as she’s nervous. Greatness comes to those who embrace the chaos, after all. And to be completely honest, I wouldn’t want it any other way.

asher