I really can’t believe Ritter is 2 months old.  On one hand it feels like he’s been with us forever, but on the other it feels like he has grown super fast.  He has changed SO much over the past month.  I started back to work and even though the lack of sleep sucks, and trying to get ready and get out the door in the morning isn’t as simple as it used to be, I’m SO glad to be back out in the world.  I’ve always said this but I see even more how true it is… there are women who are born to be stay-at-home moms, who are so incredible at it, and who recognize how important and valuable it is that they are able to do it.  I truly believe if you have WANT to do it, and the ability to do it, you should.  And God bless the women that do!!!  I, however, am not one of them.  I am a career woman, now “career mom” I guess.  While I loved spending time with my sweet Ritter every day, I missed adult interaction, I missed the feeling of accomplishment and passion I have for my work, I missed wearing heels and dress slacks, I missed starbucks (ha)!  I missed my office and coworkers.  Being at home in mommy-world felt a bit disconnected.  Getting out of the house with a newborn baby is stressful so I didn’t do it much – that probably contributed to the feeling of being “cut off” from the world.  And I know not being at home with him will be alot harder when he’s not just sleeping, eating and pooping all day.  Once he starts really interacting and reaching milestones it will suck not being here with him.  But, I’m only going back to work 4 days a week for now, so hopefully I will get to experience alot of those things firsthand.  If we could make it work financially, I’d love to only work part time.  I think that would be the perfect balance for me.  But right now I just can’t.  I’ll be working 4 days but one of those days will be a pretty long day.

Granted I would probably be having a much harder time with the transition back to work if Ritter was going to daycare…but he’s being cared for at home by our moms…I am SO BLESSED to have them and so thankful that they are willing and wanting to do it.  Ritter is so blessed as well.  I’ve been struggling a bit with handing over the reigns during the day.  I’ve learned all of his little patterns and habits and people who aren’t with him 24/7 don’t know those things so it’ll take time for them to learn exactly what each little cry means and exactly what he needs and when.  But he couldn’t be in better hands 🙂

Updates:  Unfortunately we had to stop using the donor breast milk because we discovered that Ritter had a pretty severe dairy allergy.  This isn’t surprising to me because I have had food allergies my whole life and also had to be on soy formula as an infant.  We’ve ended up switching formula a total of about 5 times now and we’ve wound up on a prescription formula that costs 600 bucks a month.  We are working to get it covered by insurance, but in the meantime, Children’s GI clinic has given us enough for a couple of months and we are so grateful.  Everyone we’ve dealt with at Children’s has been amazing and they’ve worked real hard to help us get what we need for him, understanding how worried I am as a mom who can’t feed him myself.  It’s kinda scary when your child is on a formula that you can’t just run out and get at the grocery store.  Despite all the stressors, Ritter is healthy and growing like a weed so I can’t complain.  I initially had a TON of guilt and sadness about this issue because I don’t eat dairy so if Ritter were able to have my breast milk he would be fine.  However, I’m hopeful that we will locate some dairy free breast milk to get him through the winter and flu season.  There are lots of great groups online dedicated to helping link up moms who have an oversupply of milk with moms needing breast milk.  The one thing I’ve found about being a mom is this – many women are quick to criticize and judge how other women parent.. BUT I’ve found a huge online community of mommy support that has been more than wonderful.  I can post questions about any topic, or just express frustration, and there is always someone there giving me support and feedback! Plus being a new mom is scary and there’s so much you don’t know…being able to ask lots of people about their experiences has been so helpful.

Sleeping – Ritter is really great about going down at night and napping during the day.  We’ve started napping exclusively in the crib and he goes down super fast and doesn’t fuss much at all – except for during a growth spurt or when we run out of probiotics (see below). At night he is sleeping in about two 4 hour chunks.  We’ve been putting him down around 9:30 or 10 and he wakes up around 2, then again around 5 or 6.  Then he takes a shorter nap til 8:30 or 9.  He went through a growth spurt around 7 weeks and it was pretty miserable.  He was super hungry constantly and super fussy.  But it was over after about a day and a half.

Ritter started smiling for real around 5-6 weeks and over the last 3 weeks they have become more frequent. He smiles when you make funny noises and talk to him and when you’re in his face and he can see you real good.  He still smiles in his sleep alot too!  He also started putting his hands in/near his mouth alot when he is hungry but sometimes just for the hell of it.  I wonder if we’ll have a finger/thumb sucker.  Eric supposedly never took a pacie but sucked his fingers for years.

The nickname Button has stuck around.  We use it quite a bit and actually mix it up with the dog’s nickname, Buddy.  So everyone once in a while Ritter is Buddy and Jackson is Button.  I’ve also stated calling Ritter by his first and middle name alot — I love saying Ritter Allen…I think it rolls off the tongue nicely!

Moments I cherish: praying over him at night, the mornings when he is super smiley and giggly, the funny faces he makes when he’s falling asleep, leaning down and breathing in his sweet baby breath when he’s sleeping.

Baby Items:  I’m adding another installment of baby items we can’t live without because these things have become imperative to our daily lives…

1)  The Ubbi Diaper Pail.  OMG.  I researched diaper pails about as much as I researched natural childbirth.  This one was the most highly recommended and reviewed.  We fill it to the brim and you can never smell a thing in his room.  It’s made of steel, not plastic, so it doesn’t absorb odors.  The lid locks in the smell and you really only smell anything when you change the bag.  Another plus is that you use regular garbage bags in it!!!

2)  The Keurig.  So this has been awesome but not for the reason you think.  We didn’t want to get a bottle warmer because we honestly have NO room in our kitchen for another small appliance.  So I discovered that you can just brew really hot water out of the keurig into a mug, then stick the bottle into the hot water and, BAM, the bottle is warmed in about 2 minutes.  Usually faster than the bottle warmers actually take.  All you do is open the lid but don’t put a K-cup in there, then shut it and hit the button and it brews just super hot water.  It’s perfect.  And fast which I love in the middle of the night!!!

3)  Gerber Colic Soothe Probiotic Drops – okay so my friend Sarah suggested we try this stuff when Ritter was about 2-3 weeks old and having lots of gas and tummy issues.  We promptly purchased 2 bottles and have been giving them to him daily.  We ran out last week and I said to Eric “I wonder if we need to keep using them, perhaps his tummy issues had to do with his allergy and he’s better now.”  So we didn’t buy anymore.  THEN I went back to work and I received calls and texts from my mom all day about how Ritter was a completely different child and fussy and crying and uncomfortable and unable to nap all day.  I also realized he had been super fussy the day before also.  Mom said “he seemed much more gassy” and then I realized OMG we haven’t given him the drops in 2 days and in the past 2 days he’s been fussier and gassier.  DUH!!!  So we ran out and got another bottle last night and he has been back to his normal happy self ever since.  This shit is no joke.  GET IT!!!

4)  Bright Starts Bouncer – commonly referred to as “the bouncy seat.”  So the number 1 reason this thing is awesome is because it has an upright position and a reclining position.  After we finish giving Ritter a bottle I like to keep him still and upright for about 10-15 minutes to let his bottle settle to avoid spit up.  I’m pretty proud of my spit up record with him – he doesn’t spit up much and I attribute that to this thing.  As soon as we finish a bottle I buckle him into the bouncer in the upright position and he laughs and coos and watches the little animals that hang down.  He LOVES it.  And it plays music and all that too.  It’s great to have when I need to put him down to go do something because I know he can’t flip or wiggle out of it and he really seems to enjoy it.

5)  Auquaphor Ointment – a couple of the many formulas we tried caused Ritter to get diaper rash and this stuff is awesome for it.  I hate the chalky creams and all that messy white stuff.  This is all you need!  Plus if he gets a little scratch or any sort of irritation on his skin, I put this on there and it vanishes.  I also bought a tube for myself!

Here are some photos from the last month…

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One thing I forgot to add to this photo…he is famous for his CHEECKS!!!  Every single person I show his picture to comments on his cheeks.  People were even making comments about them in his 4D ultrasound photos.  He was destined for them since Daddy and I both have chubby cheeks!