Monday, October 31, 2011

Right now

...the baby is finally sleeping in the swing after a 4am wake up.
...Noah is stirring in his bed, stretching and yawning.
...the husband is in bed contemplating a shower and the busy week ahead.
...I'm in the kitchen, nursing the one cup of coffee I allow myself everyday, my cozy winter robe wrapped tightly around me, packing Noah's bag for school and getting his breakfast together.

This morning I really felt like a mom. It's up to me to make sure these babies are well-rested, well-fed, and well-loved. Noah will open his school bag today and there will be his Halloween costume all ready for their parade and party this afternoon. Chloe will soon wake up for her morning feeding and we'll sit on the couch together, snuggling and nursing while the boys get ready for school and work. I'm pretty proud of this role I get to play and am feeling rather grateful for all that I have.

What are you feeling grateful for today?

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Very early observations on parenting two children

This two kid thing is no joke. I applaud each and every one of you who has two (or more) kids because you seriously kick some parenting ass. Before Chloe was born, I mistakenly believed that her newborn days would mirror Noah's--lazy days lounging around, catching up on housework, getting my hair cut while she slept in her infant seat, wandering around Target, etc. There are two variables I did not consider and because you all are smarter and wiser than I you can probably guess what they are.

Variable 1: A baby who won't sleep unless she's held. Noah was not like this. I was UNPREPARED.


On Variable 1, the girl demands snuggling all day and night. She's warm and cute so I comply but there are times when I have to attend to things that require both arms. Things like going to the bathroom, showering (side note: if you know me at all, you know I am a must shower everyday kind of girl...add in spit up constantly in my cleavage and I can barely stand myself if I don't get a shower in the morning), eating anything that requires a fork and knife, and, oh, sleeping myself. See, I won't co-sleep. I do not judge at all if that works/ed for you but I am TERRIFIED of rolling over on the baby and Tim is such a deep sleeper that he wouldn't notice if he did. She does sleep in a bassinet next to the bed so she's very close but apparently the sound of our collective snoring is not enough to console her at night. I spend an inordinate amount of time holding her sleeping on my chest while propping my eyelids open with toothpicks. This is why the iPad was a brilliant birthday gift...I read YOUR blogs in the middle of the night. Keep the content coming...I NEED it.

She doesn't do naps during the day either unless being held. Case in point, between that last paragraph and now she gave up on the swing, refused a pacifier, squawked at the vibrating bouncy chair, refused to be held upright or cradled so I broke out the Sleepy Wrap and forced her into submission and therefore a nap. A nap that will last only until I unwrap her and try to put her down. At that point all bets are off. (Side note #2: if you have a newborn on the way, get a Sleepy Wrap. It was recommended to me by numerous friends and has proved itself invaluable day and night. I love mine, LOVE.)

See, I KNEW this could be the type of baby I got but I wasn't PREPARED for it. There isn't anything I can do but hold her and sleep her as I can and wait patiently for the magical 12 weeks when we can Dr. Weissbluth her little tush. Why yes, I am a hard-ass parent when it comes to sleep. Girlfriend is going to get on a sleep schedule as soon as developmentally appropriate. It worked for Noah so I have my fingers crossed it will work for Chloe. Of course, different baby might mean a different approach but damn if I won't give it all I've got.

On Variable 2, O.M.G. How did I not take into account that the FIRST child would continue to require his high level of care and attention??? Am I the biggest idiot in the world? Possibly. I blame the pregnancy hormones for blocking that concept entirely. Noah is still here and needs to be fed, bathed, attended to, played with, dropped off and picked up at school (only TWO days a week...I wish we could afford more, for his sake and mine), etc. All this while taking care of a newborn who, as explained, loves being held and nurses constantly. This is a learning process...learning how to balance the needs of a three year old with the needs of a newborn. Someone is always going to be waiting for something and probably crying because of it. This mom and dad need to just GET OVER THAT ALREADY and accept it as reality.

(Random tangent: Did you know there is a rap version of Itsy Bitsy Spider? Why yes there is and we have discovered it thanks to Pandora's toddler radio station...Basho Mosko sings "Itsy Bitsy Spider, WORD". Word.)

Anyhow, this gig is tough. Please don't misconstrue this as complaining because I am delighted to have two kids whom I love and adore and are seriously cute. If you have any advice to share, please feel free. Alternatively, if you would like to commiserate, feel free to do that too. And if you are Erica, I bet this just solidified your decision to stick with one kid :) And now I am going to post this without editing it and SORRY for that but she's screaming, he wants lunch and I have to pee. BADLY.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Chloe, Week Three

The girl, she grunts. All night long. During naps. While she eats. Staring at the mobile above her swing. Grunt, grunt, grimace. I've stopped being concerned and checking on her each time she makes a noise because odds are she's still sleeping/eating/staring. I call her my Piglet McSnufflepuss.

At Chloe's two week appointment, um, ah, last week, she weighed in at 8lbs 10oz, measured 20.5 inches, and a head circumference...crap, I forgot to write that down. Regardless, she's solidly in the 50th percentile across the board and I anticipate a sharp drop to 10-25th percentile at the 8 week appointment. I might birth them big, but they don't stay big. That's only if she takes after her brother who has never strayed above the 25th percentile mark a day in his life. We'll see what happens.

In summary:

Sleeping at night? Sort of. Sometimes. Last night, better. The night before, no. I have determined that the effects of sleep deprivation are felt most acutely about three weeks in aka RIGHT NOW.

Feeding? Breastfeeding is going just fine, thank you. I still hate the pump with every ounce of my being. Girlfriend dislikes tomatoes, garlic, beans and Chipotle. We're in discussion about that last one.

Activity? Other than staring at the ceiling/me/her brother, nothing much to report. Oh, she hates tummy time. SHOCKER.

Places visited? Target (many, many times), Costco, JoAnn Fabrics, doctor, zoo, Mema's house, neighbor's roof deck (where I had my first glass of wine and holy hell was that delicious), great-grandma's house.

All in all, Chloe is pretty fantastic and really damn cute.

A gassy smile that was followed by the world's loudest fart from a newborn.

He asked to hold her and my heart burst into a million pieces of HAPPY.

This is the classic Chloe Looks Concerned face and 
Noah just finished saying "I'm done, take the baby."

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Chloe, Week Two

We're finally getting settled into our new routine and I must say that it's going REALLY well. Of course, now that I put that out there the sky will fall and no one will nap ever again. I currently have two children napping AT THE SAME TIME, all the laundry done and dinner in the fridge (ok, FINE, leftovers from a casserole dropped off by a friend, potato potahto). I am so rocking this two-kid thing...until tomorrow.

Chloe is classic newborn...she sleeps most of the day and parties at night. The difference this time is that I know it ends. When Noah did this I thought my eyes were going to fall out of my head and I would never sleep again. I now know that I haven't really slept in three years so what's a few more all-nighters? My daughter (!!!) is scrumptious and beautiful and the most lovely addition to our family. We feel complete and I didn't even know we weren't until she arrived. We're really, really lucky.

Why yes, I DO nibble those cheeks all day (and night). Wouldn't you?