Sunday, February 23, 2014

Life with Two

Life with one was with two is fairly chaotic.
Chaotic...who? Us?!
I never really thought of how different life with 2 would be.  Sure I knew it would be double the laundry, double the laughs, double the mess, a baby in each arm....but the word "hard" never crossed my mind.  I'll be the first to admit that life with 2 small children (723 days apart) is hard.
They already give me that look

When Lila was first born I felt an enormous amount of guilt.  I was exhausted, taking care of an infant and not able to give 100% of myself to Paisley.  While he didn't act like he was enormously troubled by me suddenly having another little person to take care of, I literally felt awful.  I blame most of that on hormones and (luckily) I don't feel so guilty anymore about giving him a sibling.

There were numerous times Paisley would "need" me while I was either feeding Lila or changing her diaper.  Both of those tasks were difficult to quit in the middle of to fish a monster truck out from under the couch or pour him a bowl of raisins.  These instances were difficult to manage as a toddler doesn't handle the phrase "just a second..." very well, nor does he understand that she needs my attention too.
Ohhh those babies

As they both have gotten older and don't need 100% of my attention, I do activities where each kid gets 1-on-1 time with me (Paisley - coloring/drawing, Lila - breastfeeding).  I do a lot of joint activities like reading them books with both of them on my lap.  Typically that activity ends with Lila  grabbing Paisley and him responding with a yell "Lila No."

They can now take baths together which is great until it is time to get them out.  I have to get Lila out first because I need to focus on her at all times when she is in the water, but Paisley throws a tantrum each time I get her out first.  He screams until I have Lila wrapped up and secure and have returned to the tub to get him out.  It makes me dread bath time as screaming and tears is inevitable (yet it still saves time to let them bathe together so I'll just let the tears fly).

Going to the grocery store requires more then a grocery list when shopping with 2.  During flu season, I use a shopping cart cover with Paisley so he doesn't rub all over those nasty shopping carts.  I have to wear Lila while I shop because there would be zero room for groceries in the cart if she was also in it.  So there I am wearing a baby, pushing a toddler, and trying to find the organic spaghetti sauce.  I say a silent prayer that neither one will decide to have a meltdown or that Paisley won't decide that he must go potty while we are strolling up and down the aisles.  Each trip is a mission.  If we get out with 90% of the items on my list and smiles on our 3 faces, that is a success.  
1 meltdown in progress and 1 on the way
In the car, I will talk, sing, and bombard Paisley with questions....anything to keep him from falling asleep.  There is nothing worse then getting home with 2 sleeping babies and a car full of groceries.  Lila will wake up within 3 of the car stopping.  Once I remove Paisley from his carseat, unless he is in a dead sleep, he will wake up grouchier than any 2 year old should be.  He will then fuss unless I hold him.  So I have an infant that wakes up crying within 3 minutes and wants to be held, I have a toddler that will wake up screaming mad and want to be held, and I have 2 gallons of milk, a ham, juice, and a carton of eggs that demand refrigeration.  This timeframe is my least favorite of the week.

When one cries, the other cries.  When Lila wants to eat, Paisley decides he is hungry.  When one falls asleep, the other wakes them right back up (sometimes on purpose).  It's hard.  Sometimes when both of them cry, I join them.

If Paisley wakes up before Lila in the morning, he asks me when she'll wake up because he wants to tell her "good morning."  He calls her "Lila Bean" and "Little Sister."  He doesn't like sharing his toys with her, but he'll happily go find her Dolly and give it to her.  I've overheard him saying "I love you so much" to her when he didn't know I was listening.  He kisses her good-night every evening before I put her down for the night.

Paisley is her favorite person to watch.  He can get her to stop crying and smile by looking in her direction.  When they are on the ground playing together, they look at each and smile and laugh, speaking a silent language that only siblings understand.  He gets her to laugh the way no one else can.  Their love makes my heart full.  Their laughter makes me join in, even if I haven't a clue what they are laughing at.  Life with 2 is very hard, but I have never enjoyed a challenge more than I have raising these two kids.

Scott once said, "You know at times we may question why we did it (when we are both holding a screaming child, looking at each other through red rimmed exhausted eyes), but looking back, I'm so glad we did."  Me too Scott, me too.

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Saturday, February 22, 2014

184 Days (6 Months)

Hello world!
   Birth              6 Months
7lbs 5oz           16lbs 11oz    
19.5 inches        26.5 inches

Miss Yuck Face
I can remember the exact feeling of her rolling over in my belly.  I vividly remember her preference for chocolate milk and her disdain for the smell of breakfast meats.  In 184 days, we met our daughter, introduced her to our families, kissed those cheeks over a thousand times, and fell more and more in love each and every day.  Six months has passed in the blink of an eye.  

Our little Dolly continues to be a happy morning baby.  Her internal alarm goes off between 7-7:30am and I hear her squeals float across the hall in to our room.  I'll lay there and listen for a few minutes, enjoying her vocalizing her excitement over experiencing a new day.  I love the ways her eyes widen as she sees me walk into her room.  A wide smiles runs the length of her face and I can't scoop her into my arms quick enough.  

She continues to nurse on demand throughout the day.  We still don't have a feeding schedule, she just eats when she wants.  We have also started introducing solids.  So far she is showing preference for carrots and green beans and she doesn't seem so excited about sweet potato (who doesn't like sweet potato)?  She eats 1 ice cube size of solid everyday.  She tries to help by grabbing the spoon each and every time it gets near her mouth.  This leads to a messy baby and mommy.  We have also started giving her cold water via straw occasionally.  She loves water.  
Happy Eater
If we had to pick Lila's favorite toy, it would be Paisley.  She's happiest watching him.  If she can get her hands on him, either a fistful of hair or shirt, she's even happier.  If he's in trouble and fussing, that makes her laugh.  She holds her own if they are on the floor together, stiff arming him if he gets too close and pulling him near if he starts to get too far away.  She holds tight to her dolls and puts up a struggle when he tries to take her toys.  She loves when he gives her kisses and hugs and often laughs as he snuggles her.  She really enjoys bouncing in her jumperoo or laying on her play mat.  
This face.....

Lila is fairly good at sitting if she is on a hard surface.  On the carpet she can sit up for a minute or so, but then rolls over and makes her self comfortable.  She can roll across the carpet like her pants are on fire and gets a real proud look on her face after a series of rolls.  When she's on her tummy she has begun the process of trying to crawl.  She can get her legs stiff underneath her but hasn't figured how to get her arms to push her trunk up.  Hopefully she figures out the arm portion soon or she's going to get rug burn on her chin.  Two little white slivers of teeth are visible in the bottom gums, but haven't made any movement in awhile.  They aren't even close to cutting through the gum and they aren't swollen.  Lila has great hand eye coordination and grabs whatever she wants.  Most things she grabs go straight to her mouth.  She has recently discovered her toes and loves playing with them.  Not only does she play with them but they usually end up in her mouth.  And she said "Momma" this month.  Not once, but twice.  Both times it was when she was starting to fuss and she looked at me and said it clear as day.  Thank goodness Scott heard her say it or he wouldn't have believed me.  

Sleeping continues to be an area that we haven't quite found our niche yet.  I will nurse/rock her to sleep at 7:30.  She gets up to feed anytime between 11-1 and again between 2-4.  Then she's up for the day between 7-7:30am.  This is making me one tired Momma.  

Her stuffed Dolly
Chewing on her fingers and toes
Chewing on other peoples fingers
Listening to Mommy sing
Hearing herself babble
Being Naked
Playing peek-a-pie

Having clothes pulled over her head
Not being as mobile as she'd like

I can't imagine falling more in love with our little caboose...but I have a feeling the next 184 days will prove otherwise.  

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