Monday, October 31, 2016

A Bruns Family Halloween

Phew! Halloween kind of snuck up on us! All of our attention has been on a clock and a calendar (Ok, it's Tuesday so Oscar has soccer; Ok, it's Friday so Walt has to dress like a piece of cotton candy; When does Vivian feed again?) but apparently the 31 on this month was meaningless until we remembered it was Halloween!

Luckily, I ordered the boys' costumes before Vivian came. Before you scoff at my preparedness, this strategy was wrought with failure. If you know anything about 3 and 5 year olds (especially the former), they change their minds a lot.  I was banking that the boys wouldn't change their minds for 2 whole months. That's a toddler death trap!

But, all ended well and we had a great time.  Have I mentioned we love our neighborhood? This is going to be a tough place to leave next spring. We had a huge group of kids and a great group of adults.
We all played along! (Even Bentley, the Underdog)

My big boys!
This one was so in love with being a police officer. He walked around asking everyone how he could help them. 

The littlest Bruns is a tiny little Halloween baby :)

Walt is a fierce ninja!

Having fun being adults!

One more of this guy because a) he's cute and b) this might be our last "cute" Halloween!

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Vivian Elise is 2 Months!

Here we are again! Another month. Time is on a freight train right now. I barely remember month one.  Now sweet Viv is two months old and I know it's just going to come faster and faster.

I hate to say Vivian is the best baby because someday the boys will read these blogs and be jealous.  But, Vivian is the best baby :) (Sorry, boys!).  That's not the say the boys weren't.  In fact, I've been pretty lucky in the baby department.  I know this means that Vivian is probably cooking up a grand ol' time for us when she's 14 years old, so we'll just enjoy this while we got it.

This month Vivian learned the art of smiling. While she flashed her first grin at me around 4 weeks, she's been using her cheeky little smile to let me know she's happy more and more. Things that make her smile are the fan, her car seat toys, mommy and daddy.  Here are some of her best cheeses:

Viv is awake more and happy when she is awake. She's on a pretty predictable schedule. She eats pretty much every three hours starting at 7a all the way through 10p.  The 10p feed is a dream feed, then we don't hear a peep until 7a (rinse and repeat). After she eats, we play for a bit, then she typically takes a nap. Sometimes it's a solid nap of 60-90 minutes. Sometimes it's a series of cat naps.  When you sleep 8 hours at night, you don't complain about what happens during the day ;)

At Viv's 1 month appointment, she only weighed 8lbs 3oz. Just 4 oz bigger than her two week appointment.  Given her demeanor (A+) we weren't overly worried, but I started feeding her longer (not more often), taking Fenugreek to support my milk supply, and drinking Mothers Milk tea.  2 weeks later, she gained a full pound! Yay! It has been so strange having a small baby. Just this week I transitioned Viv from newborn sized clothes to 0-3 months. Eight weeks in!  Walt wore NB sized clothes for 2 weeks and Oscar skipped them all together!


  • Hands - We still love sucking on our hands. It's only a matter of time before this becomes a thumb thing
  • Outside - Viv loves walking outside, sitting outside, anything outside! This has been great as the weather is cooling down
  • Bath - If you're paying attention, you know that Viv hated her bath last month. She's grown to enjoy it, but hates it when you remove her. 
  • Cuddling - Vivian is a great little cuddle bug.  While she's pretty awesome at chilling out in a play seat, she always prefers being held and walked around. 
  • Having her picture taken - Our 1-month photo shoot hit a snafu on her actual 2-month birthday. She hated it.  Proof:

We have had such a blast getting to know our sweet Vivian over the last two months. She's getting cuter and cuter and that personality is growing each day. We are excited to continue watching her grow!

Friday, October 14, 2016

Maternity Leave Limbo

I recently read an article on Scary Mommy about one working woman's perspective of what maternity leave is like. It's hits the nail on the head so exactly, it's...well... scary.   I'm not going to rehash that blog (it's good. Go read it.), but it got me thinking about my maternity leave. Don't worry, this isn't a thesis on why America needs better maternity leave. That's for another post :)

The article talks about how woman on mat leave spend most of the time counting down the weeks and constantly planning for when they go back to work -- and stressing about spending that quality time with baby.  For me, since this is our third baby, I have learned how to bury some of those stresses (though they definitely exist), but what's a struggle for me is Chris and I's roles.  Under "normal" circumstances we are a 50/50 partnership. Housework is split, finances are split, and parenting is split.  That's not to say it's always 50/50. We pick up slack where needed.  If I have a crazy work day, Chris steps up and vice versa.  Our partnership works and it works well.

On maternity leave, I have this unspoken notion that I need to take on more of the non-career stuff since I am at home.  I want to be clear -- this is not the expectation. Truth be told, Chris is still splitting everything with me -- and working.  The problem is, that the responsibility of everything non-career is very awkward for me!

Meal planning -- trying to plan 4-5 nights of dinner every week is exhausting. Not to mention the pre-planning involved in going to the grocery store.  What I really want to do is write "order pizza" every night, but I'm trying to lose baby weight (Gluten-free pizza? No?). But, this chore is necessary. We don't have extra time to just wing dinner. Vivian's rigid 3-hour schedule during the day makes for small windows to get stuff done before I pick up the boys from school.

Cleaning and laundry -- what the hell happened when we had Vivian??? All of a sudden my house is always dirty and the laundry is never ending! Maybe it's because I'm meandering all over the house all day and not confined to my office, but I can't walk through a room without picking something up.  Who is making these messes? Tiny mess monsters? Don't get me started on laundry. How did adding one baby all of a sudden triple our laundry?

Schedules -- ok, if I'm being honest, this isn't much different than when I am working. This is my task through and through. However, on maternity leave, this task is horribly complicated. It's like I forgot how to do it the second I gave birth.  We have a giant wipe off calendar that I inevitably leave something off of and I'm so rarely in front of a computer (read: blog backlog) to keep up with Outlook calendaring. Let's be honest, the mobile world of calendaring has some improvements to make. (WHY WON'T MEETING REQUESTS JUST SHOW UP ON ALL CALENDARS?).  So, I try and remember things (HA!) and an hour before something happens I'm frantically trying to get ready (How did I forget that doctor appointment!?).

I'm sure if I knew I was going to stay home permanently, I'd figure out better ways to handle these things, but this is the maternity leave limbo.  I need the house functioning for all our sanity, but like the article said, I'm spending the next few weeks planning for my return to work. What a balance this is! Even after three kids, this mommying thing is so tough!