Tuesday, June 28, 2011

2 Months

 Dear Daughter,
  You are now two whole months old. I'll say what ALL mothers to babies say, that I just cannot imagine life without you. Sure, I remember it. I remember it well - the daily luxury/mini-vacation of life with one (usually very well behaved) child. But I cannot imagine or comprehend life without you now. I cannot imagine a day without smelling your SWEET smelling head, rubbing my face on your soft-as-baby-bird-hair head. Watching you wildly pump your little legs the moment I lay you on your back, anywhere. Making you smile the biggest gummy smile, just by talking to you. Counting your leg and arm rolls.
Your two month birthday was not uneventful. The latter part of the day, at least. Naptime was not the greatest. You usually take your most substantially long nap around noon or so. THANK GOD your father was home (it being Sunday) because we had a doozy of a time. First, you decide to drop the mother-load of poop. It's one thing to hear a huge load being dropped, it's quite another when you hear that, and then a gigantic fart immediately following it. That precise combination of sounds only has one deadly result. BLOW. OUT. Yes, you farted the poop right up the back of your diaper. Leaving a poop spot on the bed sheet. And the mattress protector. Strip the bed. Nap-attempt take 2! Is not having it, so as a last resort (and usually very successful), we put you in the Ergo baby carrier. Your father takes you - you still IS NOT having it. So he unstraps you, and as he does this, you drop another load - of fresh baby barf, all over yourself and the carrier. Another load of laundry, second in one hour's time. We eventually get you to sleep, and all is well. UNTIL! Later that evening. We are all four being lazy out on the back-porch (we just got a canopy to provide shade - it's awesome).. when I hear the air conditioner turn on and then immediately off. This is a weird disconcerting sound. Your father checks it out - while I brainstorm what to pack for ALL FOUR OF US OMG in case it can't be fixed and we need to evacuate the premises. Love, if we didn't have you on our hands, we'd probably just sweat and be miserable and stick it out - but you and your inability to regulate body temperature left us no choice but to flee to Grandpa's house at 7pm. (which is what? Your bedtime.)
We unfortunately had to let you squawk for a good 10 minutes or so, while on your playmat, because your father and I were running around LIKE CRAZY packing up things, putting them in the car, and otherwise going insane all the while the temp rises a degree a minute it seemed (it being 101 outside!). As this was our first official overnight-away with you, I think we panicked a little too much and overdid it with the 'essentials'. You really didn't need your bouncer AND your playmat. Your heiney barely touched either, as it was being held by either Grandpa or Mamaw. You didn't need the baby bathtub we hauled over either. Despite the definite fact that you probably needed a bath, given the poop and barf explosions of the day. And those 20 diapers I brought? Probably overkill as well. So were the 10 outfits.. but I digress.
We got you upstairs and nursed/rocked you to sleep, and you did pretty well considering. You slept about 5 hours before waking up for a feeding. I actually think you did better than your brother, who slept across the hall (in Aunt Kelly's old room), because he conked out on the drive home the next day. Clearly he did not get as much quality sleep as you did! 
It was sort of surreal, nursing you in the room I grew up in. Looking around and seeing little remnants of my childhood/high school years, as I cuddled you close. Just a full circle, weird, crazy moment. ALSO weird nursing you at Mamaw's house. I took you to one of her bedrooms, and in true-Mamaw-form, the dresser was absolutely cluttered with nostalgia. Homemade frames, old pictures of us as kids. Many deceased family members. More full-circle moments.
It was a definite change of pace, this little air-conditioner mini emergency. Your grandpa, being the BEST EVER as usual, really hopped into emergency mode as well. Not ten minutes after hanging up with him to tell him we had to bunk up, he calls me from his cell phone, at Target, asking me what all he needed to get for us/Andrew. And without me even asking (because I had a hard time asking for anything, given how generous he was already being), he gets me decaf and caffeine free Sprite. His nursing daughter was QUITE pleased!! Not only that, but he puts Andrew to bed, buys our lunch, fixes his meals, takes him to the potty, changes your diapers, and then when we leave, packs us up a cooler of all the fresh fruit/whatnot he claims he won't eat himself.
So. Your two month birthday. Celebrated by packing up half the house to go stay at Grandpa's for less than 24 hours. Happy Birthday!!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Life these days

This is a post not entirely dedicated to either child - it's a rambling of what's been going on lately - wrapping up a post in a bow of organization and cohesive thought is just way down my priority list right now, so bullet-points it is!

* Andrew is pretty much an awesome brother. I always knew he would be. He does need to learn some normal boundaries, as most toddlers would, because his volume level when right in Avery's face is sort of frightening.. but still. I've gotten a little selfish sometimes by cootchie-coo talking to her in a lowered tone, because I know the instant he hears me he will come over and do the same. And then overstimulated-baby city! It's so sweet to hear him say 'kick those legs!!' or 'hi pretty girl! you're such a big strong girl!' or little things he hears me say all day long. He's so big on the positive reinforcement!

* Avery is just bulking up like crazy. Her wrist rolls are just so edible I can hardly stand it. Her cheeks are endlessly plump, and her upper thigh rolls are insanely cute. Her eyelashes are slowly coming in, and her eyebrows are also slowly starting to show some color. It's funny, I had a warped memory thinking that Andrew was born with his lush full set of lashes, but looking back at photos shows that he certainly was NOT. It took him several months. So Avery still has a great shot at those luscious lashes I am so jealous of! She certainly has the big eyes to carry them.

* Our sleep situation has been not so bad. The last few weeks have been pretty much the same, give or take. Avery will go her longest stretch of sleep for the first of the night, followed by several 2-3 hour stretches. And by 'longest', I'm talking anywhere from 3 to 4 hours. We've gotten TWO 5-hour stretches. Ever. And separated by two weeks time. Technically, according to google (?), the term sleeping-through-the-night is classified as 5 hours. Which is nuts, but in the interest of setting her up for success, I'll buy into it and say she's slept through the night twice! So, even though our every night is broken up into 2-3 hour increments, where I have to feed her/etc, we aren't that tired. We were total zombies when we went through this stage with Andrew. But I truly think it was just a first-time parenting thing.. we have been through SO many rough patches of sleep with Andrew over the last 3 plus years, that I guess we're used to things like this. Before Andrew, we most certainly were not. We have developed a tough (sleep-related) shell I suppose. Don't get me wrong, by about 8pm every night I am ready to CRASH. But getting through the day is pretty do-able. I am a bleary mess when she wakes up sometimes 3 times a night to eat, but I try to picture her as a teenager, rebelling and otherwise loathing us, and this gets me through.

* Avery has started to smile SO much lately. I have to really sweet talk her for them though. Like, all out 'whoooo's my pretty girl?? YOU ARE! whoooo's my sweet little girl?? coootchie coooo!' It's pretty sappy, but when I use the right tone at the right volume, and she's really locked in on my eyes, she smiles the sweeeetest little open mouth smiles I've ever seen. And sometimes she sort of makes a laugh-sound to back it up. Not a full-out LAUGH, but a 'heeeeehe' sort of soundtrack to her smile. And then, usually, right when I'm getting a good one, Andrew will come over and get all up in our faces and the moment is GONE!

* Andrew has taken to acting like how a pestering older sibling often does act. To me. When he asks for something, and the answer is no (or not yet) he'll taunt me. Scene: He wants to watch some Curious George. I say maybe later. He starts singing 'I wanna watch some Geeorge.. I wanna watch some Geeeeeorge...' I say 'You already got your answer'. He looks at me incredulously (and tauntingly) and says 'I'm just singing the George song!'.. and he continues this 'George song'. It's maddening sometimes! I ignore it usually.. but he does it in so many different scenarios! When he's done with his meal, and asks to get cleaned up, and I've got my hands full with 10 other things and tell him to please wait patiently, he'll sing the 'I wanna get cleaned up' song. It's akin to an older brother holding his finger a half inch from your forehead and singing 'I'm not touching you... I'm not touching yoooou!' In due time.

* A funny (yet stressful) story of one morning earlier this week: I had a dental appt early in the morning, and when I came back home (and Pablo left for work), I decided I needed to get us out of the house. Before we leave for the park, I ask Andrew to go potty (as usual, before we leave the house).. he says he already did go, and was pretty adamant about this when I argued with him, so I took him for his word, given that I was not home earlier. Off we go, and as usual, I have Avery strapped to me in her little sling. Which is cozy and sleep-inducing for her, but a little HOT for me in the morning sun. Within 5 minutes, Andrew says he has to pee. Since I have Avery strapped to me, and the potty in the trunk is under heaps of grocery sacks and a bazillion-pound heavy stroller, I tell him that it's a great time to pee outside! yay! Standing up and peeing is like the greatest thing EVER! How awesome!!! No. Hate. Stomping of feet and no way Jose am I peeing here outside are you off your rocker?!... I tell him there's no room in the trunk to go potty there. So he simply says 'ok then, let's just go home and pee.' CHILD. I just got your sister strapped to me, I am soooo not peeling her back out and in the car-seat so we can go home to PEE. So I relent and heave the stroller out and heave the child up, to pee. In the trunk. I heave him back down and tell him to go play. My vision is compromised (directly in front of me) because of the sleeping babe strapped to me, so, naturally, I spill his potty full of pee on my foot. I rinse my foot with the squirt bottle I keep in the trunk (ever the Girl Scout), and we continue our leisurely morning at the park. While I swelter from the previous exertion, and air my foot out. Just another morning in paradise!

* The hours of 4:00 to bedtime (7-8:00) are quite hairy. Avery is usually taking her last nap of the day, Andrew is usually either cranky from his nap or running around like a maniac, desperate for Pablo to get home and give him the physical outlet he needs. I am debating whether or not to cook or get last minute take-out. Also trying to catch up on the day's worth of housework that has inevitably piled up. Laundry to be dried/sorted/put away. Dishes - always endless dishes. Pablo gets home, I usually am feeding Avery, so I join them when I can. I hoover my food so I can start in on the chores. We trade off kids, depending on Avery's level of fussiness and who is succeeding the most at quelling it at that moment. I sometimes have a selfish evening and throw in a 10-11 minute long bath (hygiene ranks low these days), but usually I'll spend some one-on-one time with Andrew, because the day's events make that difficult, so I take advantage while Pablo is here to man Avery. The dishes and laundry sometimes get done during this short time span.. Then, bathtime and bedtime! Many routines to be followed, same every night. Needless to say, we will not be getting out and painting the town red during these hours anytime soon!

Life these days is rough, yes, but good. SO GOOD. I have come across so many random blogs and stories lately regarding hardships with babies, and it always makes me stop and count my blessings, for I have many of them. My babies are my world right now, as they should be, and they couldn't be any sweeter.