Viewing posts tagged babies

Easter 2017

Happy Easter! This year it was low key because I'm still trying to figure out how to care for three kids and run a household. It's getting a little easier day by day! 

Instead of going anywhere we just got some cupcakes and balloons and had a little party. My birthday falls close to Easter so we had a small celebration for that as well earlier in the month. Valentino now thinks that whenever we have cake it means that it's someone's birthday, so for Easter we had to put candles on the cupcakes and sing happy birthday to everyone. They are so silly. 

easter cupcakes birthday peeps toddlers

toddler birthday cake party

easter bunny balloons toddlers

I put together some Easter eggs for the kids's school and for themselves. I LOVE this stuff! It makes me feel like I'm 5 again. I also love dressing up my kids in suits and pretty bows! In a perfect world I would make them all wear suits and pretty dresses just for dinner time every night. 

stuffed Easter eggs for class school

stuffing easter eggs

toddlers in matching suits

newborn photography 2 month old

newborn hair bows photography girl

We saw a real bunny in our yard during Easter weekend! The kids love bunnies, and Valentino has eventaully figured out that Sir Edward is not a bunny and is, in fact, a dog!  Btw fun fact- bunny in Persian is called a "khargoosh" which literally translates to "donkey ears" Sir Edward totally has donkey ears.

Postpartum life with a family of 5

These past two months have been challenging but not as bad as expected. They flew by so fast, and now that Persephone is close to two months old she's starting to sleep for longer spells during the night time, and that makes mommy VERY happy. During these past two months:

Persephone 

has been as sweet and lovable as can be! Compared to the boys she has by far been the easiest. During the first two weeks of her life she was constantly sleeping, so much so that I had to set an alarm for every two hours through the night to wake her up and feed her. She cries so rarely that I am constantly checking on her breathing to make sure she's ok, and her lucky brothers are getting a full nights sleep every night since she was born, uninterrupted! 

Persephone's eating schedule for the first two weeks of her life were 2 ounces of formula every two hours, right on the dot. Then for the remainder of the first month we increased it to 3 ounces of formula every 2 1/2 to 3 hours, and throughout her second month we increased it to 4 ounces every 3 hours and we let her sleep as much as she wants to overnight. 

Persephone has also recently started turning over onto her tummy by herself, and is attempting to crawl. I put her on one side of the crib and I'll come back an hour later to find her on the far end of the other side of the crib. She does not co-sleep with us, from day 1 she has slept in her own crib. I want her to get used to it so that she will grow up to find sleeping in her own space as the norm. I've done this with all my children and it has worked out very well for us, could you imagine if all 3 kids wanted to sleep in our bed every night? That would be a disaster!! 

Because Persephone is still so tiny and vulnerable, we keep her away from people, especially her brothers. She is so little and still needs more vaccines, so we are VERY careful to keep germs away from her. The boys are constantly coming home with all sorts of illnesses caught from school, and we are constantly wiping their noses, cleaning throw up and dealing with all sorts of colds and viruses. We prevent little Persephone from catching anything by keeping her away from the boys and literally washing our hands every 2 minutes. I remember Valentino's old pediatrician would firmly tell us NOT to take a newborn out anywhere, especially to restaurants- where the guy in the back making your salad could be from a south american country where they don't vaccinate and next thing you know your newborn could catch TB. How funny is he? Like, who says that? THANKS for making us paranoid doc :)

Valentino

does understand that he has a "baby sister." Whenever she cries he looks concerned and tells me that she is hungry and that I should give her some pizza :) He has been adjusting to having a baby sister incredibly well. He sleeps, eats and goes about his normal daily routine really well. Because I have been recovering and preoccupied with everything baby related, hubby has really stepped up to the plate and has handled all things toddler related, therefore Valentino has really developed a special bond with daddy during these past few months. He has also matured a lot during these past few months and takes his daddy very seriously. If daddy asks Valentino to clean his room, he will instantly clean it with no questions asked. With me, on the other hand, he will play and ignore me and not take me seriously. How unfair! 

Caspian

also understands that he has a baby sister, but that's about all he understands. The first day Caspian met Persephone he patted her head and then just went about his business. He's not bothered by having a baby sister, and carries about his day normally. He ocassionally will say "bye bye baby!" His room is adjacent to Persephone's, and initially I thought that would be a problem and interrupt his sleep, but so far so good! Caspian is known as the family parrot because he will repeat everything he hears, and sometimes I even catch him imitating the baby crying! 

Sir Edward

Does realize that another human has joined the house, and seems to be curious and concerned about it. So the rule of the house is that he cannot come upstairs to the bedrooms. Sir Edward knows this and has never set foot upstairs. However after Persephone joined us, sometimes when she cries and isn't immediately soothed, Sir Edward will become very concerned and will run up the stairs and sit behind her gate, as if he is protecting her from some unknown predator who could be the cause of her distress :) 

french bulldog top of stairs

We haven't introduced him properly to Persephone yet, because she's still too little, but he has seen us walking around the house holding her. The nurses at the hospital gave us a worn hat of Persephone's and put it in a ziplock for us to take home so that he can sniff it. I thought that was really sweet of them to think of the family dog :) 

Salar

has just been ecstatic and at the same time exhausted! He continues to work hard at his job and for the family, being responsible for most things toddler related and helping me also with the baby. Literally everything has fallen on his shoulders while I'm on this what we call "medical leave" that will last until May 1st, and then I'll take over all household and children responsibilities so that he can focus on his work more. He has been really enjoying spending more time with the toddlers though, and has developed new and fun routines with them that they all seem to enjoy. Amongst all this craziness he has even managed to get a promotion at work. He very nonchalantly told me this, like it was no big deal......I then started screaming hysterically whilst jumping up and down and just making a ruckus!  He is just awesome! 

Me

I feel a million times better than I felt throughout my entire pregnancy! There is nothing more I hate than being pregnant, and there's nothing more I love than having a newborn. Every time I get pregnant I tell my husband, THIS IS IT! I AM NEVER DOING THIS AGAIN!!!!!! Then after the baby is born I completely forget those nine months of absolute torture and I'm like "hmmmm, well maybeee." 

I have gained a ton of weight as expected. On June 1st me and hubby will start the Ketogenic way of life again to lose all this pregnancy weight. By this time next year I WILL have lost about 50 pounds and I will look amazing. Right now I just look like a fat mom. It is what it is! 

On the mental health front I also feel a million times better than I did throghout the entire pregnancy. This happens to me every time, and every time while I'm pregnant I get paranoid that I'll get postpartum depression....and then it never happens. The only thing that gets me hysterical is the day after the c section where they draw my blood and can't find the vein on the first try. With all three pregnancies I sobbed like a lunatic the day after the surgery while they were trying to draw my blood. The nurses looked at my husband completely shocked and tried to reason with me. All I wanted to do was to scream "B!tCH STOP POKING ME!!" I attribute that craziness to postpartum hormone fluctuations. 

Regarding breastfeeding, that pretty much hasn't been an option for me. I produce 50% less milk than the average person, and my breasts never feel full or hurt. It's like they are the same as before pregnancy. WEIRD huh? The lactation consultants just tell me to pump whatever I can get and to just formula feed. During the first few weeks of pumping this was how much milk I pumped after an entire day of non-stop pumping:

1 oz breast milk breastfeeding problems not producing milk

I really wish I could just breastfeed as constantly pumping and sanitizing bottles is just irritating. Don't even get me started on the cost of formula! And the kids bathroom is overflowing with bottles and baby related stuff. I need a bigger house! 

newborn necessities bathroom

I am very excited to wrap up the 4th trimester and resume my normal daily routines and life. We are still figuring out how to make this work (with three kids and all) but if there's one thing I've learned it's that the seasons will continue to change and everything will eventually fall into place. 

My main goal over the next few months is to figure out how to take care of three kids and a dog at the same time, kick the carbs and enter ketosis to get my body back.

Hold me accountable, ok? Thanks!  

Welcome to the world, Persephone Shiraz Rahmanian

Introducing our new little bundle of joy- Persephone Shiraz Rahmanian. She was born on February 22nd and weighed 7 lbs 1 oz. She is named after the Greek mythology Goddess of Spring and Queen of the Underworld, who's story is one of love, grief, celebration and the changing of the seasons. Her middle name is after the city in Iran known for it's poets, literature, flowers and wine. 

We are so thrilled this time to have a girl. She is so pleasant and wonderful, all I want to do all day is snuggle and squeeze her. Her nickname is garden gnome, because she's cute and funny looking like a garden gnome :) Hubby says she emits the same calm energy as I do, and she rarely cries. After two boys and a miscarriage, I didn't want to get too excited and jinx my luck. Having a girl in addition to the two boys seemed too good to be true! I was so happy for the boys to have a sister and it just seemed like the perfect addition to the family. To avoid any jinxing (as we are great believers in Sod's law) we didn't tell anyone the gender, due date or name. I didn't have a baby shower, didn't prepare the nursery until the night before her arrival, and only bought two outfits for her prior to her arrival. 

Here's hubby staying up all night putting together her room the night before..... <3 

baby nursery canopy light pink

The night before our scheduled c section I felt SO ready and excited to get this baby out. Pregnancy is such a pain in my backside that going to the hospital for a c section felt like going on a much needed vacation, where I could rest, sleep, sleep some more, and order room service. When we arrived at the hospital everything went like clockwork. Everything was as expected, timely and organized. It couldn't have gone smoother. We arrived at 5:30am, signed my life away on a bunch of forms, had an iv put in, got prepped for surgery, and the baby came out at 8:11am, crying kicking and screaming with a head full of hair and a body full of fuzz. I gave birth to a chunky monkey! We later found out that the umbilical cord was wrapped around her neck twice! How terrifying! Everything turned out great though. 

Fairfax hospital c section

And here is that obligatory family c section pic. I had to force a smile as I felt like a ton of bricks were crushing my chest and shoulders. They then pumped me with meds that I spent the remainder of the day vomiting up. Apparently the more c sections you have the longer the surgery is and the worse you feel during it, or at least that's what happened to me. Oh so glad that is over :) 

fairfax hospital va c section

I still cannot believe I have a daughter. I kept staring at her after she was born like, did this just happen? Do we really have a GIRL and THREE kids now??? Holy $h!t!!!!!!! 

Persephone Shiraz Rahmanian

Leila Rahmanian

Here she is in her coming home outfit!!!! We were so excited to introduce her to her big brothers :) 

Valentino was totally welcoming and excited to have a baby join the family. Caspian was as well but he doesn't yet understand much. He thinks it's funny when she cries and imitates her cries. Valentino becomes concerned when he hears her crying and tells me that "baby is sad!!!" I have a feeling they will both be fantastic brothers. 

It's been about two weeks since we brought her home, and I've been taking it real easy, kicking my feet up and letting hubby take charge of everything. We have a great system where hubby is in charge of everything like the boys, taking them to and from school, feeding them, bathing them, doing bedtime routines, doing chores, running errands, helping me with baby feedings and bringing me breakfast lunch and dinner in bed :) In return, I try to do as many night feedings as I can so that he can get some sleep. I try to just sleep whenever baby does, but it's still hard and we are both so sleep deprived that we just look like zombies! I'm so lucky to have such an involved and helpful hubby who's mission it is to keep me as comfortable as can be! He's got this baby thing down!

Welcoming a third child has been much more relaxing than I thought it would be, and anxiety free. I was expecting chaos, stress and all hell to break loose. So far so good though. Welcoming Persephone has been one of the greatest things we have done. I feel so happy to become a mom again for the third time, and still in shock over having three kids. Knowing how fast they grow up, I spend my days holding her tight, snuggling, being grateful and just living in the moment. 

persephone rahmanian

Pregnancy Updates

I found out I was pregnant with baby #3 on Father's Day during the summer. What a fantastic Father's Day present to hubby! I AM SO EXCITED that I don't know what to do with myself. I have already planned out Valentino and Caspian's lives, now I'm working on planning out this little one's life. I have spread sheets done, activities and routines planned, and made ready a list of acceptable colleges. Tiger mom you have nothing on me. 

If pregnancy wasn't really hard on me (thanks mom, for those HORRIBLE pregnancy genes!) then I would have considered having maybe nine kids? ten? Ok jk. I really love kids though. I feel like they are little presents, wrapped in a blanket with cute little noses and chubby little cheeks. They melt my heart. Three kids who are three and under? No big deal. I got this $h!t  I thrive on routines and structure and organizing my life so that we have smooth sailing. But once a newborn shows up everything is just chaos! It's okay though, as the rough parts only last three months.

When I found out that I was pregnant I was in the state of Ketosis and on the Ketogenic diet, which I had done for over a year and had become a lifestyle. Upon finding out, I immediately stopped the diet and introduced carbs back into my diet. Eating carbs suddenly after refraining from them for over a year really gave my body a shock. That in addition to first trimester pregnancy symptoms really knocked me out for like 4 months! At first I thought, I will probably only eat healthy carbs like whole grains and fruit. That idea lasted for like two days, and then saltine crackers, plain rice and ginger ale became my best friends. 

Then I gained a lot of weight. This didn't surprise me, as most people who stop this diet gain all their weight and then some back. I'm not worried about it one bit though, because I know how to lose it all, and I know I will lose it all. So for now I can have my cake and eat it too. What a great perk of pregnancy! On the downside, however, I am already up 50 pounds and not even in the third trimester. Ok, maybe I need to back off of that cake. I can't help it though, it's what the BABY wants! 

As I'm easing my way into the third trimester I have been resting a lot and enjoying my time with my two boys until baby #3 arrives. I have been totally spoiled as hubby is now in charge of everything that I used to be in charge of. I am lucky that I don't have to work while pregnant either, and that the kids attend a fantastic montessori toddler program every day for 4 hours. The kids also do a great job of enternaining themselves and playing with each other. I love that they are so close in age, my little Irish twins.

I cannot wait to add baby #3 to the mix. Life will definitely be a lot more hectic, crazy and busy! I'm ready to say goodbye to sleep AGAIN :) Although pregnancy takes a toll on me and I feel like I have to take a year off life, what's a year of hardship compared to a lifetime of joy and happiness? Life is seriously such a gift and I'm really thankful to be blessed with this baby #3.

How I got both babies to sleep through the night- Tips and Tricks

Ever since my babies were three months old I got them to successfully sleep in their cribs through the night. Unless they are ill or teething, both of them will gladly sleep a full night without waking up. I remember when I was a kid I would gladly sleep up to 13 hours a night. I don't get as much sleep as I would like now, but I'm just so glad that at least the kiddos do. Maybe it's a genetic thing that they inherited from me? I don't know, but I'm definitely not complaining. 

During the first three months, however, I got my @$$ handed to me. They killed me. I was chronically exhausted. I would go days without sleep. 

When Valentino was a newborn he had his days and nights mixed up. This meant that I was up through the night from 11pm until 8am attempting to soothe him while he screamed and cried for hours and hours. It took over two months to get Valentino to sleep through the night.  

It took a lot of time and patience to fix his day and night mix up. This is what helped when he was a newborn:

  • Not letting him nap after 6pm
  • At 10pm give him a bath with lavendar baby wash
  • At 11pm give a full bottle of formula. I would make sure to change him before feeding him because he would sometimes fall asleep while drinking from the bottle. 
  • When he falls asleep while drinking from the bottle, I will take him to the crib, hold him, and VERY SLOWLY put him down on his back in the crib. I would keep my upper body against his for a few minutes after I put him in his crib (this was very uncomfortable for me, to try to make him feel like I was still holding him even when he was laying down) It's all about the warmth of your body. They like that. 
  • I actually wouldn't swaddle. I found that falling asleep in my arms and then very slowly putting baby in the crib was better than waking baby up to get a perfect swaddle.
  • Sometimes he would wake up after 10 minutes, and sometimes after 2 hours. I would get up from my bed EVERY time I heard him cry and do it all over again (change him, bottle, and SLOWLY put him in crib once he fell asleep) 
  • I would NOT bring him to sleep in our bed. Even if it meant getting up every 20 minutes to get him content again. I also wouldn't let him cry for more than ten minutes. This meant that most nights I was lucky to get a full hour of sleep. 

So I did all this every night for about two months. Hubby would help me on weekends, but on weekdays I wouldn't let him so that he could be alert during the day to work. After 2 months of doing this every day we finally got him to sleep through the night. When Caspian was born he gave me less trouble than Valentino. He knew that nights were for sleeping, but I would still wake up every 2 to 3 hours for feedings. For about a week I co slept with Caspian, but that was because he had surgery when he was a newborn and I wanted to constantly check on his breathing after the surgery. Other than that, I made sure both kids slept in their own cribs every night. 

Before being pregnant I was a big advocate of co sleeping and I wanted all the benefits like attachment and bonding that it comes with. However, I changed my mind because I wanted them to get used to sleeping by themselves in their own cribs. Babies are creatures of habit. I didn't want them to get used to sleeping in our bed because then they will probably still want to do that when they are 12 years old, and that just wouldn't work for us. Sorry kiddos. 

Even though my kids are heavy sleepers for the most part, once in a while they will throw a big tantrum or wake up through the night if something is bothering them- like a bad tummy or teething issues. When this happens I will get a little help from technology. Don't judge me:

  • I would turn on the iPad, put on peppa pig on youtube and fast forward it to the last 15 minutes of the cartoon. I turn off the lights, close their door and leave. The iPad is on a shelf directly opposite of their cribs so they just sit in their crib and enjoy some cartoons and then by the time the cartoon is over they will always be content and fall back asleep. 
  • Caspian has this thing (I don't know what it's called) that plays music and has glowing lights that we hang from his crib. It fascinates him, and after 15 to 20 minutes it stops playing. Once it stops he will fall back asleep.

how to get baby to sleep alone in crib

One of the biggest reasons I originally wanted to co-sleep with my babies was because studies have shown that doing so decreases the risk of SIDS by nearly half! So because I am super paranoid I got this special kind of monitor to alleviate my fears. 

http://www.amazon.com/Angelcare-Movement-Sound-Monitor-Deluxe/dp/B00HE66YU8/ref=sr_1_4_s_it?s=baby-products&ie=UTF8&qid=1462237111&sr=1-4&keywords=angelcare

It comes with a sensor pad that you put under your baby's mattress that detects if baby has stopped moving/breathing. Does it prevent SIDS? Probably not, but it does makes me feel a bit better about not being right next to my baby all night. 

There's this new monitor that didn't exist when my kids were infants that I recently found out about. It's this slipper that you put on your baby's foot and it monitors your baby's vitals and alerts you if baby stops breathing. Had it existed only a few years ago I would have definitely used it. 

https://www.owletcare.com/

We also have baby cams in each of their rooms so that we can constantly check on them without waking them up.

And no, this isn't a sponsored post :) 

Because I had gotten both babies used to sleeping in their own cribs when they were infants, they now associate sleep time with their own cribs and being by themselves. A few months ago when Valentino got sick with the flu, I tried to have him sleep in our bed so that I could make sure he continued breathing through the night (because, you know, I'm kind of paranoid). All throughout the night he wouldn't sleep, kept tossing and turning, and couldn't seem to find a comfortable position. So in the middle of the night I took him back to his crib, and as soon as I put him down he put his head on his pillow and just fell asleep. Ya, just like that! I couldn't believe it! He actually prefers to sleep alone! What?!??

So my single best piece of advice for getting your baby used to sleeping in their own cribs is: START EARLY. If you co-sleep until your baby becomes a toddler and then you want to transition them into sleeping in their own beds, be prepared for a long difficult battle. But then again, I hate offering unsolicited advice, so really though, do your own thing. 

Anyways, when it comes to parenting styles, people have so many strong opinions on the best way to do things. These were just some tips based on what has worked for me, but every kid and family is different. Do what works for you.