Another week has flown by.
Once again, it's this crazy mixture of of hours full of sweet and wonderful things like new baby smell, and sleeping baby, and tiny hands and feet, and horrible, AWFUL things like realizing I may have scored the only baby born without the pooping and burping genes. She has pooped 3 times in the last week, and sometimes it takes her an hour after nursing before she can finally get a painful burp out. We have officially gone from perfect baby who only cries when she needs something to baby who often cannot be soothed until she finally falls asleep from sheer exhaustion. Evenings over here are so fun right now that I really have no idea when I would have blogged, even if I had the brain space. That brain space is pretty well fried from all the crying. That and Penelope's constant stream of consciousness chatter in which no minute detail of the day is safe from comment. Crying, sleeping, nursing, and more crying--that's the baby's routine. Penelope's is talking, talking, talking, kissing the baby, talking, talking, talking...you get the picture.
So here's some random stuff I do remember from this last week. Some are probably more interesting than others. Sorry.
Adeleine is 3 weeks old. Oh my god. It's flying by. I love having a tiny baby around again. I have to admit, though, that there are things about toddler-hood that I love even more. This is from someone who used to dread the toddler years and all that they mean (potty-training, mostly). Now I am so accustomed to a little body who is still sweet and and somewhat new but can communicate in sentences and follows verbal directions really well that I have admit to a slightly different perspective on things. I can't wait to see who and what Adeleine becomes. I have some ideas about who she is but only she knows for sure and I'm so excited to discover that along with her. That said, I'm trying to hold on to all the good moments as they happen right now, knowing for real this time that time only goes faster and faster (though the nights can really drag).
Penelope is still adjusting to our new life awfully well. But she is often quite petulant about things and has lately become somewhat demanding. We're working through it but it's both funny and irritating. We've been using the "naughty chair" a lot, again. (sigh)
Jeffrey's aunt came down and stayed with us this past weekend. As crazy as life is right now, it was really, really fun. We had a nice breakfast out, we all went over and saw Jeffrey's parents, we went to the park and farmer's market, and she insisted on weeding our backyard (she's amazing like that). Penelope loved seeing her "Auntie Shaddon" (Sharon) and keeps asking me when she's coming back.
Jeffrey has been amazing about making sure Penelope has lots of one-on-one time with him when he gets home at night. And on the weekends, too, taking her to parks and on fun outings and and errands. So it's helping make up for all the time she and I used to spend doing those sorts of thing throughout the week, and helping her feel a bit more settled about sharing her airspace with another human.
Funny story: the other day when I told Pea that I needed a break from watching her and listening to her constantly and that sister needed some attention from me, she momentarily lost it, and then started walking around the house saying, "Pea is AMAZING, Pea is AMAAAZING." Apparently that sibling came just in time, eh?
I'm going off dairy as Attempt #1 to fix the baby's colic-like symptoms. If that doesn't work wheat will be next. Not exactly fun, but absolutely worth it if it means my happy, peaceful baby returns. And I always lose weight when I go off dairy and gluten so a side benefit could be the 15 rascally pounds left from pregnancy (which, by the way, I'm not exactly worried about as it's only been 3 weeks and I loathe our culture's obsession with speedy post-partum weight loss).
The other day I was letting Pea watch a little bit of the Olympics (ten minutes of quiet, you know) when some commercials came on and I was a bit slow to change the channel (I HATE my children seeing advertising and I have some pretty strong opinions about how women are often portrayed therein). An ad came on for that new sitcom "Kath and Kim" and Pea watched transfixed as Molly Shannon and Selma Blair said their little lines...and then turned to me and parroted, "Mama, I'm a trophy wife!" Right.
The baby continues to redeem the days by being an absolute dream at night. Falls asleep for real somewhere around ten or ten-thirty, and then simply wakes at 3-4 hour intervals to nurse, falling immediately back to sleep. And she is starting to predictably sleep for a few hours around two in the afternoon, which hopefully means I can start napping when I put Pea down. That could make all the difference in terms of emotional sanity, so fingers crossed...
And now the best moment so far. One night last week while I was holding a sleeping Adeleine, she started laughing. In her sleep! Full-on, open-mouthed, laughter. I wouldn't believe it either, if I hadn't seen it with my own eyes. Amazing.
In other things I'm woefully behind on, I was given a blog award several days ago by my friend Snickollet:
I'm so behind on this, just like everything else--but thank you, Snick, and especially for the kind words. I know--it IS crazy how we know we each other (I'm married to her high school boyfriend. Word.) and I am SO glad we do. I'm also incredibly proud of you, and I think you're a far better mother than you give yourself credit for. I can't wait till we're closer geographically and we can say all this stuff over wine and something chocolate (anything chocolate).
I am supposed to pass this on to 7 other bloggers but I am going to plead the "Sleepy Mama with Baby who Doesn't Poop" clause and simply pass this on to one. I hope that's not too big of a faux pas, but the truth is I haven't been reading blogs at all the past few weeks--I can barely figure out how to get a shower and finish a sentence. But I have recently happened upon a blog/blogger who I've found really inspiring and moving. I haven't even commented over there (till tonight!) because of how little time I've had to myself/computer but I hereby award this to Erica at Crummy Cupcake. Go read her and see what I mean...
And now it's late, late, late and I'm so tired but it's Friday which means Jeffrey is home tomorrow and the next day and so there's hope...
1) If it wasn't for my upstairs laundry room the laundry would never be caught up again. Ever. As it is, I can handle the washing and the drying, but the folding? Folding is now officially for the leisure class. The rest of us are just happy to have things sorted into piles and shoved into a drawer.
2) Certain things really are easier the second time around: nursing, night feedings, soothing, figuring out post-partum hormones, knowing when company is a good thing and when it's just plain NOT, knowing that after these first few weeks things really will get easier.
3) A LOT of things are harder. I know what you're thinking: a big, fat Duh. Things like two kids crying at once and at similar volume levels, two bottoms to keep clean and dry, two mouths in seemingly constant need of food and drink, one little body with a fatal attraction to dirt and berries and anything sticky and another that collects lint and milk gunk in secret folds and recesses. I'm still trying to figure out how to also keep myself clean and in relatively clean clothes.
4) Jeffrey and I just may never have a complete conversation ever again. I'm trying to be okay with this but mostly it just makes me want to cry. Or throw something. (Not around the children, of COURSE.) He's got so much on his own plate with work projects and family stress and trying to spend lots of time with Pea in the evenings when he's (finally) home that it seems awfully petty to complain. But up till now we've always been really good about putting each other first and now, with the new baby and a toddler who has to repeat every single thing she says at least 20 times and does NOT STOP talking all day and especially not once Daddoo gets home, well, airspace is pretty well maxed out.
5) I have no idea who this baby looks like. I mean, her toes are mine, her ears are my family's, and her chin is Jeffrey's, but this is all we know for sure. She is her own little person at this point--beautiful but very different from Penelope. I love that she's not a carbon copy of Pea but completely herself. As cute as it is when other people have babies that are all at first glance exactly the same, I've always hoped to have children that were obviously individuals. (But if Pea got all the good tanning genes, Adeleine is going to turn 14 and hate her.)
6) At her two-week check-up yesterday, Adeleine was 8 lbs, 9 oz and is measuring three quarters of an inch longer (though it's hard to say, the first month, whether that's actually growth or just her little muscles relaxing and stretching out). She looked and sounded perfectly healthy, other than the nasal congestion that sister has so lovingly shared with her.
7) My emotions are just as fragile as last time. Except this time one of the babies has the comprehension of a 5 year-old and the tendency to repeat the saltier bits of my language so it's harder to pretend that everything's totally fine.
8) It's really hard not to panic when your baby starts puking up half-digested milk after every other feeding. Even when you've read lots of other people's stories and technically know everything that can cause it and what to do and know not to worry right away. When you're also very, very tired and emotional it's pretty much the final straw.
9) Adeleine seems to have settled into a nicely predictable night time routine. Still keeping my fingers crossed as, hello, we're only two weeks in here and I know the odds. Especially since my first one was a good sleeper too. However, she handles each daytime completely differently, meaning that all daylight hours are a complete crap shoot. Sometimes she sleeps and eats predictably, sometimes she keeps herself awake for waaaaay too long, and sometimes she cries and cries because she can't burp. But at least the nights are good--usually somewhere around 9:30 or 10 she falls asleep for real, and then wakes to nurse every 2-4 hours. We're co-sleeping with her at this point which is actually working this time because she's such a calm sleeper (sister was moved into her own bed next to us at approx. 3 days old because co-sleeping did NOT work with a capital N), and she does really well at nursing while lying next to me. All of which means I'm getting a lot of night sleep for a new mother. But by the end of each day I am so exhausted it doesn't seem to matter.
10) My ear infection has yet to completely go away, even with natural remedies AND antibiotics. Apparently it would clear up faster if I was getting more sleep, but when my doctor informed me of this I almost laughed. I mean, I'm already getting more than most new mothers, how the HECK am I supposed to sleep all day with a toddler? So I'm on week two of the antibiotic which is undoubtedly the reason the baby is puking. I mean, hopefully that's it, though I have a list of other things to check if it doesn't clear up when I finally get well.
11) That love has a way of multiplying and hearts have a way of growing and dividing. Meaning that everything everyone ever told me about the second baby is true. It's different--the Mama part of your brain is already turned on so there's not the same electrical flash when they're born, but at the same time you go from wondering how you could ever love someone as much and as intensely as your firstborn to wondering how you ever thought you couldn't. When Penelope was handed to me for the first time I took one look at her and knew I would stand in front of a train for her. This time, when Adeleine floated up out of the water to me, I knew that and so much more. I knew that I would fail her at times and that some days I would wonder why I thought I was sane enough to commit to something like motherhood. I knew that the first few weeks were going to be a big adjustment. But I also knew that I would really and truly love her forever, that nothing she did could ever change that, and that knowing her, and being entrusted with the first part of her life, would change me forever.
Posted by Annagrace at 11:15 PM
Look at those long, pretty fingers. And nails. She often throws her hands over her face and/or eyes when she sleeps. Or if it's too loud or bright.
Asleep is when she looks the most like Penelope and Jeffrey. Awake, I'm still trying to figure her out... There's something very thoughtful about her, she already studies everything in front of her very carefully.
Most of the time she's very peaceful. She only cries when something is actually wrong (unlike her sister as a baby), the downside to which is that she goes from 0 to 10 very fast. Very. But it's usually over quickly, too.
And isn't she pretty?
Posted by Annagrace at 3:47 PM