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Monthly Drum Photo - Three

When I first took Drum's 3 month photo, I wrote his weight and lenth wrong. I switched them so instead of 16 inches and 26 pounds, I wrote 26 pounds and 16 inches. I did the whole "photo shoot" without realizing it, and I died laughing when I realized it hours later. Can you imagine a 26 pound baby that's only 16 inches long? Gross. And then I had to do the whole shoot over again.

So first, the real 3 month photo:

3 months - outtake

And the mishap:

3 months - outtake

This has been a big month for Drummy. He's become so much more aware and interactive. He loves to look at stuffed animals - laugh at them, talk to them, and try to reach for them. He also fell in love with a balloon Mo got for her birthday. If I need to steal 10 minutes to do something, my best bet is to lay him on the floor with that balloon floating above him.

Drum balloon instagram

I think he may be going through a slight sleep regression. We never experienced this with Mo. She was a bad sleeper until around 12 weeks when she started sleeping 8-9 hours pretty consistently and she's been a rock star sleeper ever since. Drum was doing 5-6 hours, sometimes even longer, and now it's not uncommon for him to wake up every 3-4. I hope it's just because he's growing so fast. He's still in a rock 'n play in our room. It's still working well for all of us, so we have no plans to change yet.

His naps have not changed much. We still hold him for all his naps, but we recently started swaddling him and that seems to help him stay asleep longer. For a minute we thought maybe we should try harder to get him out of our arms for naps, but then we thought, "Out of our arms? No!!" That will happen on its own soon enough and we'll be longing for the days he used to snuggle with us. So we ignore the messes and the million things we need to do, and we just hold the kid whenever we can.

Drum sleeping

Sorry for the cleavage. And the dark circles. Geez.

He's now wearing 3-6 month clothes, and in some cases even bigger. Yesterday I put a pair of 12-24 month socks on him and they fit. Today he's wearing 9 month pants. He loves to stare at his hands and balls them into a blob of fingers in front of his face for close examination. When he gets sad, before he cries, his bottom lip sticks out. It's the saddest thing I've ever seen, and the second that lip comes out, I melt in a pile and scoop him up. 

Drum has been very smiley this past month, and his big gummy grin gives us so much joy. He has started to notice Mo more, and she loves to get a smile out of him. I think their relationship is going to blossom as soon as he starts to laugh at her antics. He's just now discovering his laughter. A few days ago he accidentally giggled when I was putting his shirt on, and today I was flowing raspberries on his neck and he laughed over and over. It's the most glorious sound!

Drum smile

So the biggest things this month are daycare and digestion. He started daycare two weeks ago by going two days for 3 hours, just to sort of practice. Those days went great. He even took independent naps, which is to the credit of daycare magic. The next week (last week), he went three full days and it wasn't great. He was suffering from digestion issues, which meant he didn't eat well, didn't sleep well, and didn't feel good. Those things snowballed all day, and by the time I picked him up, he was pretty miserable. Bringing your kid to daycare for the first time is hard enough. Knowing he's miserable and you're not there for him is enough to break your heart. And it did. I hated work last week. Hated it.

Drum daycare

His digestion is something he's struggled with since day one. When we were still in the hospital we noticed he was gassy, and it has only gotten worse. We've tried everything we can think of, and it has never gotten better. The doctor says it sucks but he's fine, and his digestive system will mature eventually and it'll all get better. One day. In the meantime, on top of gas that makes him scream and cry, he isn't pooping. He went from daily poops to once a week for no apparent reason, and even though I know it can be normal for breastfed babies to poop that infrequently, it doesn't seem normal for him to be so clearly miserable. It's a long boring story, but we've tried to get help from his doctor's office and it's been nothing but frustrating so far.

So if you have experience with a gassy baby who really needs to poop, I'd love to hear your suggestions!

Drum eyes instagram

Edited to add this photo of a side by side of Mo and Drum at 3 months:

3 month outtake Drum Mo



Monthly Drum Photo - Birth, One, Two

I'm woefully behind on uploading photos since Drum's birth. I finally got caught up through his first few weeks, but I still have over 1,000 pictures on my phone and hundreds more on my camera. But I took a little time recently to look through the first three monthly photos I took of him - birth, one month and two months. 

This is my babe a few days after he was born, the day we brought him home (it should be noted that it took me two weeks to find the time, energy and wherewithal to take Mo's first photo, so the fact that I got Drum's done the day we brought him home says a lot about the differences in my post-partum experiences. More on that another day.):

Drum newborn

I can't believe how much he changed between his birth and his first month photo. It was happening before my eyes, but I didn't see how dramatic it was until I compared these photos.

1 month

His face filled out so much! I totally guessed on his weight here though, and in fact we had an unexpected visit to the doctor a couple days later and he was closer to 10.5 pounds. He definitely grew fast, and continues to do so!

At two months, I tried to weigh him with me on my bathroom scale, which often gives strange numbers, but it might be more accurate than the first month. He hasn't had his two month appointment yet, so I don't know for sure. But I think it's clear he's growing rapidly, and that he's big for his age.

2 months

I also think it's fun to compare him to Mo at each stage.



Mo was almost a whole pound lighter than Drum, and an inch shorter. She looks a lot darker here, but I think that's a trick of the light. But she really did have more hair than him, which later fell out.

One month olds:


Poor Mo, she looks like an old man in a baby's body! Drum grew into his face a lot faster. Mo was still about a pound and an inch behind Drum at one month.

Two month olds:


Mo's face started filling out, and she kept more hair than Drum did by now. Overall, I think they look very similar, definitely siblings! According to my measurements, at two months, Drum has 2.5 pounds and 1.5 inches on Mo.

The first 8ish weeks with Drum were tough. He was almost never content and took terrible naps. I would spend 45 minutes getting him to sleep, then he'd wake up after 10 minutes and we'd start all over again. It was physically and mentally exhausting. I told several people that I legitimately thought I was going a little crazy.

Around 7 weeks someone told me that for most babies, the peak of fussiness comes around 7 or 8 weeks, and I held on to that like a life preserver. I needed it to be true! And slowly but surely he has improved. He falls asleep for naps more easily, though I still usually have to hold and rock him the whole time, and he stays asleep longer. Sometimes. Fortunately he's a pretty good night sleeper. Pretty early on, he started sleeping 4-6 hour streches, and recently he gave us a couple 8 hour nights. At this point we can usually count on around 6 hours before he wakes up to eat. Only problem is for a long time he started his nights around 11:30 or 12. We've been trying to shift that earlier in preparation for my return to work, and right now we've got him going to sleep for the night around 10:30. He sleeps in a Rock n Play by our bed. We tried to get him a cosleeper, but he immediately wakes up and fusses if we lay him down anywhere but the RnP. When Mo was this age, she was sleeping in a flat bassinet, and we had just moved the bassinet into her room. But she was a loud sleeper, which meant I never slept if she was in the same room. Drum is more peaceful once he gets to sleep (at night, not for naps), so we'll probably keep him in our room awhile longer. At least until he's truly sleeping through the night.

He also has gas issues. It used to be a really big problem - he'd be inconsolable, and we'd have to spend a great deal of time working out the gas. He still gets gassy, but it's a lot easier to resolve. We recently started him on probiotic drops, and I hope that helps a lot of the problem over time.

During his happy moments, he smiles a lot - big open mouth, crinkly eye smiles. He likes looking at and talking to stuffed animals that we hold up for him, and his favorite person is me. Of course. Followed by Mike. He doesn't pay much attention to Mo because she doesn't pay much attention to him. When people ask how she feels about him, I answer "indifferent." She'll bring him a paci or a blanket once in awhile, but mostly she ignores him. Soon enough he'll notice her and find her hilarious, and she'll eat up every second, and then they'll be best buds.


Returning to work after maternity leave

I'm going back to work next week.

That wasn't the original plan. The plan was to take 12 full weeks off, meaning I'd return on January 25. I'd have two and half more weeks off, then return full-time, starting on a Monday and working a full week straight out of the gate. As that date drew nearer, I started to panic a little. It seemed so... drastic. So abrupt to go from 12 weeks off to BAM! full time. So earlier this week I proposed the idea of using my last 10 FMLA days over the course of four weeks. I quickly pulled together some logistics, and now I go back to work part time next week.

Drum won't start daycare quite yet. He'll stay home with family while I'm at work the next two weeks, and then he'll attend daycare three days a week for two weeks before starting full time after that. 

I know this is the right decision - part of me is even eager to return to work - but I also have a pit in my stomach about the whole thing. I would feel that way no matter when I returned, and it would likely be worse if I was returning full-time and sending Drum to daycare full-time right away.

This is a better plan, it lets us both ease into things a little bit, but damn, I feel sick about it.


How Drum got his name

I wish I had a more interesting story about Drum's name, just like I always wish I had a better story about Mo's. When you give your kids uncommon names, people assume there is a good story to go with it, but what it boils down to in both cases is simply: we liked the name. 

But for all you name nerds, here's a little more about how we landed on Drummond. 

When you have a daughter named Moselle, you can't really follow that up with something like William. William is a great name (I know several little Williams, including my nephew!), but it is in a completely different vein than Moselle. Your second child really cements your naming style: Which way did we want to go? What was it about the name Moselle were most important to us?

When we named our first child, I determined my naming preference was to find names that were a little unusual without sounding made up. As we've lived with a Moselle for nearly three years, I've found that almost nobody has heard it before, but nobody seems to think it's ridiculous or phony. I wanted to land on that same note with the next name.

Mike and I didn't even talk about names until after we found out the sex, and then we only visited the topic every so often. Mostly I thought about names, and then occasionally presented them to Mike. Eventually we got our list down to five names: Levon, Ansel, Tennyson, Cormac and Drummond.

Levon and Ansel were names that I had liked for a long time. Mike was never crazy about either, but liked them enough to let me hang on to them all the way to the top five. But neither made the cut to the top three. The three names we took with us to the hospital were:

  1. Tennyson - This one started as a joke. When we used to ask Mo what we should name Baby Brother, she would always, without fail, answer "Tennis." One day Mike suggested that we name him Tennessee and call him Tennis. It was a joke, but made me think of Tennyson, and then we both realized we actually liked that name.
  2. Cormac - This is the only name that carried over from our list when Mo was born. It has long been Mike's favorite name, so much so that I started to resent it because he had it on a pedastal that no other name could measure up to. But it's actually a name I originally suggested years ago because I do really like it, so it was a real contender.
  3. Drummond - This came to me a couple years ago when I saw the name Drummer somewhere. It sparked the name Drummond for me, which never left my head.

When considering these three names, there were a few things we were hoping to accomplish:

  1. Nickname - We didn't want a good nickname because we believed all names should come with nickname. But we use Mo even more often than we use Moselle, and it's such a perfectly fitting name for her that it seemed to set up a precedent. We wanted a name with an equally easy and cool nickname. Tennyson had a lot of nickname potential (Ten, Tenny, Sonny), but nothing that felt natural to us. Cormac would have lead to Mac, which we loved. And Drummond lends itself easily to Drum, another good one.
  2. Last name compatibility - We needed something that could work with the last name he'd receive, a hyphenate of my and Mike's last names. It starts with a Z, which ruled out named ending is -s, -z or -x because it makes for awkward pronunciation. 
  3. Middle name compatibility - The tradition in Mike's family is to give the first born son his father's name as a middle name, meaning our son's middle name would be Michael. Fortunately, that's a really easy name to work with.
  4. Frequency - Moselle has never been in the top 1000 in the U.S. and I like that about it. I like that the name exists, you might even hear it somewhere, but you're not going to hear it often. I wanted the same for my son's name, and all of our top three met the criteria.

One thing we didn't really take into consideration was the meaning of names. It's just never been important to us. But for those who are interested, Drummond is a Scottish name that means "at the ridge." I do enjoy the coinicidence that Moselle means "from the water" and Drummond means "at the ridge." Those two things seem to fit together somehow.

By the end, Mike's rankings were: 1. Cormac 2. Tennyson 3. Drummond. Mine were: 1. Drummond 2. Tennyson 3. Cormac. When the baby was born, we pretty quickly nixed Tennyson - it just didn't feel like his name - but we were completely torn between the other two. After about 15 hours of visitors the day he was born, during which he was just Baby Boy, we found a moment to discuss his name. We went back and forth for about an hour, testing out both names, weighing the merits of each. In the end, I told Mike my preference. I asked him if he thought we could have a son named Drummond, and he replied, "I think we already do."

We wrote it on the white board in our hospital to test it out, and texted the name to our family with the disclaimer that it wasn't official yet, and we were going to sleep on it. We woke up feeling good about it, and later that day we signed the birth certificate and it was official!


He's been Drummond for seven weeks now, and we love the name. For my family, it conjures memories of summers at my grandparents' cottage on Drummond Island. We didn't name him for the island, but it's a happy connection. We call him Drummond, Drum, Drummy, Drummer Boy, Baby Drum, Drum Drum. Sometimes I sing Little Drummer Boy to him when I'm trying to calm him. I also like that his initials are DMZM while Mo's are MDZM. 

After decades of collecting names, it feels strange that I am most likely done naming children. I wonder what my 15 year old self would have thought about the names I ended up using. I think I would have been a bit surprised, but mostly impressed.

Moselle and Drummond. Mo and Drum. Mosie and Drummy. Mosie Girl and Drummer Boy. Motown and Drumstick. 

Mo and Drum


Drummond's birth story

I've been working on this post since Drum was born. He is a challenging little guy, so I don't get much time to do anything that requires my hands, therefore it's nearly impossible to write a blog post. But I don't want to forget the details of his birth, so I've slowly been putting down as much as I can. Here is how I remember it...


At 3:30 a.m. on Sunday November 1, I woke up with a gassy, crampy feeling. It was a very familiar feeling as that is how my labor with Mo started. However, I had my doubts. The Wednesday before I had some false labor that started the same way and fizzled into nothing. The difference this time is that the contractions were coming much more rapidly and intensifying quickly. I sat up in bed shortly after they started and read a book in between contractions, but by 4:20 they were already 5 minutes apart and lasting over a minute (which, for those who don't know, means I was only getting about 3 minutes of rest in between the end of one and the start of the next). Pretty soon I couldn't stand to sit still. The pain was now in my back, butt and thighs so I had to get out of bed and off my backside. 

This was all so similar to my first labor - contractions that came fast and furious from the beginning, skipping any sense of "early" labor, and focusing on my back and butt - that I was scared. My labor with Mo was so horrific that I promised myself if this labor started to resemble that one, I wouldn't mess around. I'd get to the hospital and get pain relief as soon as possible. I had hoped it would be different, more "normal," but it was immediately apparent that was not happening.

I texted my sister Emily, who was going to come be with me for the labor and delivery, at 4:20. She lives 90 minutes away, but because my first labor was 19.5 hours and this one was, so far, an exact replica, we assumed she had plenty of time to get here. Next I woke up Mike around 4:30. By then, an hour after the first sign of labor, I already couldn't talk during contractions and had to brace myself on pieces of furniture to deal with the pain. As Mike was getting out of bed, I called my mom who was going to stay with Mo while we were at the hospital. She lives about 75 minutes away, but at that point I still thought I'd be able to labor at home long enough to wait for her.

By 5:00 I realized there was no way I could wait. The contractions were 3 minutes apart and lasting close to 2 minutes. I had almost no time in between to breathe, steady myself, gather my strength. They just kept coming. I figured I was in for a very long and painful labor like last time, and I didn't want to wait any longer to get some relief. I had no interest in trying to do this free of medicine. I tried that last time and it was the most insane experience of my life. So at 5:00 I decided I needed my other sister, Andrea, to come sit with Mo until my mom could get to our house. 

Fortunately Andrea lives much closer, and she was there by 5:30. It was a very long and painful half hour though. I was trying to keep the noise down so as not to wake Mo, but the pains were so intense that I was basically yelling through them. I still can't believe the sounds I was able to produce, I'm not sure I could replicate them if I tried.


As soon as Andrea walked in, we walked out. The drive to the hospital was tough. I couldn't sit comfortably because all the pain was still radiating in my backside, so I grabbed onto the handle above the door and basically held myself up to hover above the seat for the full 20 minute drive. The contractions were still 2 minutes long with only about 30 seconds or less in between. 

As instructed, we went through the ER. Mike didn't grab the hospital bag because he figured he'd get me through triage and set up comfortably with an epidural, then sneak out to retrieve what we needed. Spoiler alert: that did not happen.

In the ER, the security guard tried to bring me a wheelchair. I basically yelled at him that I didn't want to sit down, then I leaned against a pillar and screamed through a contraction. I think I scared the crap out of the poor guy because he whisked away the wheelchair and offered to park the van for us. Valet service is not usually part of the deal, but I think he could tell things were not going well. He even brought the key all the way up to the 9th floor and found us in triage to return it.


On the way to the birthing center, I had to stop and get through several contractions. In triage, we had a nurse who had very little sympathy for my plight. She was very abrupt and not at all comforting. I told her immediately I wanted an epidural, and she said she couldn't do anything for me until I got in bed so she could check me. I did so reluctantly, but fortunately she was quick. She didn't bother with a fetal monitor or anything else. She just checked my cervix and determined I was 5cm dilated. This was somewhat surprising because with Mo I labored at home for 8 hours and arrived at the hospital at a 7, then spent another 11 hours getting to a 10. I knew second deliveries often went faster, but I was surpised that with only 2.5 hours of labor, I was half way there.

We walked to a delivery room, which turned out to be the exact same room in which I delivered Mo! The compassionless nurse came with us, and she continued to be devoid of sympathy. Fortunately there was another nurse who was amazing. She let me lean on hear, basically hug her, through contractions; she helped me breathe even though I was blowing right in her face and I hadn't brushed my teeth; and she even put my hair in a pony tail when it was bugging me.

I had to lean over the baby warmer to get an IV in because I didn't want to sit down. The person placing it couldn’t get it because my vein kept rolling. It was very stressful because I was in so much pain and I couldn’t move. She was trying to put it in my forearm, but finally gave up and put in the crook of my left arm. All the while I’m screaming about needing pain relief, and where the [expletive] is my epidural? The impatient nurse kept telling me there was nothing they could do, they had to run blood tests and whatnot first, but I just kept begging. At one point I apologized for yelling at everyone because I was at least aware enough to know I was doing that.

They also gave me some pain meds that made me loopy. They didn't touch the pain at all, however. Because of the loopiness, they had me sit on the bed, which was horribly painful. While I was sitting there, the OB walked in. It was a doctor I had never met. She was new to the OB practice and I hadn't yet gotten a chance to meet her. I was in so much pain and just wanted to have a healthy baby, I didn't much care who delivered me. The doctor introduced herself to me, but I didn’t understand. I had to ask who she was a few minutes later. Even now, I have very little memory of her, but Mike and Emily say she was pretty cool.

It felt like a century, but I was only in the delivery room screaming about needing an epidural for 15-20 minutes before the anesthesiologist arrived around 6:35. With Mo’s labor, I barely registered the epidural because I was delirious with pain, but this time I was slightly more aware. Probably because by the time I got it with Mo, I had been in active labor for 12 hours. With Drum, it had only been about 3 hours. It was hard to sit still, and I couldn’t get in the right position easily, so it took longer than I would have liked.

When the epidural was placed, they wanted me to lay on my side. I truly could not figure out how to get in that position. I kept asking people to repeat themselves because I couldn’t understand what anyone was saying to me. I couldn't process anything but pain, so in trying to lay down, I couldn’t figure out what they meant or how to move my body. I remember saying “Tell me exactly what to do!” 

I finally got laid down and waited for relief, but none came. I kept yelling “Why isn’t it working? Why does it still hurt? When is it going to work?” They explained that I was already transitioning and it was going too fast for the epidural to work. Around 7:00, the doctor checked me and I was a 9. I went from a 5 to a 9 in less than an hour. It wasn’t long after that, maybe 10-15 minutes when they told me I could push on the next contraction. I was glad for that, but couldn’t believe how quickly things were happening. And how much pain I was in. Have I already mentioned the pain? 


I vaguely realized that Emily wasn’t there yet when I started pushing about 7:15. Mike has a text from her asking which room we were in that arrived at 7:19, and I think she walked in a few minutes later. I wasn’t aware of much, but I guess she grabbed my phone and took a bunch of pictures, which I’m so glad for. We had assumed she'd have plenty of time to get to me and be with me as I labored, but instead she barely made it in time to see him be born!

I believe I pushed for four rounds of contractions. They hurt, but I actually felt like the contractions were purposeful instead of just painful. At the end of the last contraction, he was almost out so they encouraged me to keep pushing and bam, he was born at 7:33am.

They laid him low on my chest and he didn’t make much noise. Plus he was purple. I kept asking if he was OK, if he was breathing. None of the medical staff seemed concerned in the least, so I know I was just being paranoid. We laid like that way for awhile as they delivered the placenta and stitched me up. After awhile, they took him to check him, and his body temp was a little low, so he had to lay under the warmer for awhile. The nurses scooted him close to me so I could reach out and touch him the whole time. 

It was such a whirlwind experience. I still can't believe from the first contraction to the moment he was born was only four hours. It was four hours of hell, but I'd take that over the 19.5 hours I did the first time any day! I had a lot of fears about what could go wrong during delivery or what might be wrong with my baby at birth, but it was all beautiful and perfect, and I feel so fortunate for that.


I love the picture above because I think it shows my utter relief, as well as a special moment between me and Mike. Plus my little purple nugget, of course.


Can you tell I'm amazed by him?

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