Sunday, January 12, 2014

The Second Time Around

I haven't been very good about writing anything on how we are managing with two lately. In short, we're managing. Most days, I think quite well. Others, well, some days seem very long. Colter went through a phase of ultra-defiance, over every little thing, and "No!" was pretty much the only thing he seemed to say. It can wear a person down. But he seems to have come through that, for the most part anyway and has been much more agreeable lately. (Insert big sigh of relief.)

As for Elliott and how he's doing, he's doing pretty well. For the past week or so, he has been getting up twice a night, every night. Which is a big change from sleeping through the night most nights or only getting up once. Is it because we stopped swaddling? (He was Houdini-ing his way out of them in the night.) Is it a growth spurt? Is he teething? I honestly don't know but I'm really trying to just roll with it. In the late hours of the night and wee hours of the morning, I just remind myself that it won't last forever. On the upside, he is going down for naps fairly easily during the day and often has a several hour nap at least once a day, giving me time to do things around the house or have some one-on-one time with Colter. Of course, maybe it's the more regular napping and less frequent feeding that are wrecking havoc with our nights. If there's anything I learned from Colter though, it's that these things eventually sort themselves out with very little help from me. (I do let him cry it out at night though if it has been less two hours since he ate last. The little man can do better than that!)

The big thing we have been dealing with for Elliott is that he has a condition called torticollis, which is a shortening or tightening of the neck muscles that makes him turn his head to one side. When he was just about a month old, we noticed that the one side of his head was looking a bit flat. When we had his one-month appointment, the doctor recommended with have an evaluation to see if he would need physical therapy. Turns out he does, so each week an early-intervention physical therapist comes to the house and works with him and shows us stretches and techniques to help strengthen his neck muscles. We are lucky in that I know a therapist through the group of moms I sometimes get together with and I was able to request her, so it has been really nice to have someone here that I feel comfortable asking questions and working with. Slowly, his head is rounding out (you might not have even noticed it if you didn't know, but now you will all be looking for his flat spot) and we can hopefully avoid needing a helmet to reshape it. Torticollis is a fairly common and easily addressable things, especially when it is identified and treated early.

Also, Elliott is battling some eczema, which is worst on his face (you probably saw it in the weekly pictures). It comes and goes, flaring up in the cold, dry weather and calming down when we have a few warmer, damp days. So we are constantly putting lotion on during the day, and slathering him up with Aquaphor before naps and bedtime. He has some scaly cradle cap too, which I remember Colter having as his newborn hair fell out, but that seems manageable with some baby oil and frequent washing. Both boys seem to have my sensitive skin, poor things.

Two relatively minor health things make me realize how very lucky we are to have the healthy, happy boys we do. It's hard to imagine how families deal with really serious conditions; finding out Elliott needed physical therapy and treating his sore little face are enough to make me feel stressed and fretful.

It's hard to believe how quickly Elliott is growing, as he gains more personality and becomes more expressive each day. I have to stop myself sometimes from comparing him to Colter (Wasn't Colter rolling over already? Colter liked tummy time more. Was Colter this spitty?) and remember that Elliott is and always will be his own person and do things in his own time. He is certainly a more relaxed baby than Colter ever was, and that is a relief. He is often entranced by his brother's antics (actually, that goes both ways these days) and it is a joy to watch them interact.

Update: Elliott rolled over! Belly to back, and Keith and I both got to see this first!

Whoever said that two is more than twice the work of one was absolutely right, and sometimes I can't believe the amount of things that don't get done. Getting out the door for something simple like story time at the library can seem daunting, and going to the grocery store with both of them? Once was enough; now I go on the weekends or evenings when Keith is home. But for the most part, we are all quite content to be at home and so that's what we do. And it is certainly these two boys that make this house a home.

1 comment:

  1. Just seeing them both sitting up together is a reminder of how FAST they grow! Love the pics!


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