Friday, August 19, 2011

A Nap-Time Laundry List

*It’s my first day alone with both babychildren and they are both sleeping at the same time! Yes, I should be sleeping myself, but here I am instead. I have to clear my head of all the things rattling around in my brain that I want to get into words. Nothing cohesive and no commentary. Just little thoughts.

*Left my wallet at Target today. Thank Mother Earth they had it! But since Justin was headed out to a golf tournament (mmhmm), I had to take both girls back to the store to pick it up. Annie slept on the way—as long as the car was moving. Every time we stopped or even slowed down, she wailed. So annoying. Amelia used to do the same thing and it made me crazy! I’ll surely get a ticket one day and will have to explain that if I go slower than 35, my baby screams. In any case, it turns out that a wailing baby is the ONLY thing that makes Amelia quiet in the car. Trade off. And every time I glanced in the backseat, I saw that Amelia was holding Annie’s hand. Not in my view and not trying to be cute for attention. . . but to keep her baby sister company. How sweet is that?! I am not sure my heart can take all the sisterly cuteness.

* Annie is huge. She is literally as big as Amelia was at 3 months old. I love that she feels more sturdy already and is getting past the mushy newborn phase quickly, but dang! My whole plan to have another girl and pass on the wardrobe is about to foiled, I fear. Annie is definitely not fitting newborn clothes in either length OR girth, but I just knew that 3 month clothes would be way too big. . . until I tried them on. Fit perfectly. WHAT?! So crazy. I don’t know if I will every get used to her being so much bigger than her sister. I weighed her yesterday and she is over 12 lbs. HA! How is it possible to have two babies on such different ends of the scale?! Insane. And in regards to the clothes, she is going to grow out of season y’all! And my whole evil plan for two daughters to share their clothes is quickly headed down the toilet.

*And I of course totally LOVE that she is so big and chubby and ridiculously strong.

*Speaking of strong, I forgot to post about Annie rolling over. Twice. True story. She rolled from her belly to her back twice within the first 3 weeks. I thought the first time was just a fluke and then it happened again! I set her down on her tummy and looked away. When I looked back—on her back. Holy hell! I can’t even set her down and trust that she’ll be in the same place at less than a month old?! I think we are in trouble with this one. With Amelia, you could see a milestone coming a mile away. Made it much less scary.

*Justin’s taken an extended leave from work and it’s been nothing short of wonderful. I just keep thinking how we’ll never again be off from work together for a long time to just enjoy our family and togetherness. I am not too worried about juggling two babies when he goes back to work, but I will definitely miss him. Hopefully, we still have a few more weeks. It’s been so awesome to divide the duties and kids and make it all work as a family unit.

*Last Saturday was the perfect day. Justin got up with both kids so I could sleep in a bit. Then Amelia and I went to the Farmer’s Market (alone) for a while, eating berries out of the basket and sharing a peach muffin. After that, I took both Annie and Amelia on an errand for the first time alone—without a hitch. Once home, we had lunch and both girls went down for nap at the same time (saving grace!) so Justin and I spent some time together in the pool and soaking up the sun. After nap, we watched a movie with Amelia and then had a yummy dinner outside as a family. So simple. It doesn’t get much better than an easy day with your babies and your love, enjoying life’s little pleasures.

*My brother’s getting married in 2 months. It’s an ‘elegant’ wedding and Amelia’s the flower girl. I’m not thrilled about having to find a formal dress in which I can breastfeed and feel remotely human 3 months post-partum and take a million pictures.

*Speaking of my brother, mothering my second baby has given me profound insights on the affects birth order have on children on into adulthood. It’s too much to go into now, but the second child has an incredibly different set of parents and a universally different experience than the first. Makes so much sense and watching it all unfold has made me realize a lot about my (older) brother and I.

*School starts next week. I’d be lying if I didn’t say that I miss the excitement of the first week after summer. Arriving at school and meeting up with all of your tan and rested friends. There is a buzz in the air that is intoxicating at the beginning of the school year. HOWEVER, that excitement is the ONLY thing I miss about it. . . and even that is pretty false because I teach summer school every year, so rather than excitement, I am mostly immersed in dread and burnout and forced to fake the energy. So in reality, I don’t miss work right now. Not one piece of me wishes I was in meetings this week and prepping for class next week. If you know me or have taken a class from me, that’s probably a surprise. Heaven knows I love my job and am practically married to it when in session. . . but that’s the problem! I teach at burn-out pace year in and year out. I don’t have a good sense of balance between work and home and I’d rather be here. With my babies. I don’t want to worry about grading papers while breastfeeding at 3 am.

*OHOHOH! That reminds me that it must be recorded that Annie slept until 5 once this week and then until SIX am! What in the efffffff? Who does that at 5 weeks old? WHO I ask? Of course, the first time, I woke up at 3 in a panic and the second time, I had to get up at 5 to pump lest my boobs completely explode. I didn’t pump the first time and practically drowned the poor child. Is it really possible that we have that kid? The one who just . . . sleeps? Oh my. The good deeds I will do if it turns out to be true.

*And the big one is up from nap. She asked me to put barrettes in her hair. “Like Daddy does it with two clips.” So I put two in and she looks in the mirror, “Mama. Can you fix this? It doesn’t look right to me.” Sigh.

This here life? Pretty good.

Date Night

I’ve been desperately carving out time to spend with Amelia alone. Our relationship has shifted profoundly since Annie was born and I’ve seen the stress on her. While she is sincerely and genuinely kind and loving to her sister, Amelia’s acting out through this transition has mostly been aimed at me. She even hit me a few times in the first couple weeks. It has been probably equally painful for me, this shift in our relationship. It’s just not what it used to be. Can’t be. I just keep telling myself that this time with the baby is temporary and in just a few months, I’ll be more free to spend time with Amelia and share more with her again.

All in all though, it has to be said that Amelia has handled this transition really well. There were a few episodes in the beginning that were rough, but she really does love her sister to no end and appears to really understand that Annie is a baby and needs special attention. It’s still early I guess, but I have faith in her. I truly think the transition has been harder on me. Watching her cling to her dad and say that she wants him all the time just sucks, but I know that nobody’s replacing the Mama anytime soon and her and I will go back to our own special relationship soon enough. . . even if it will never be as it was.

Anyway, the whole reason I started this post was because again, I’ve been trying to make time for special Amelia adventures. We started tiny when I took her to get her hair cut for an hour. It was the first time we’d been alone since Annie’s birth (maybe 3-4 weeks at that time) and as soon as we walked out of the house, Amelia said, “It’s just you and me mama??” Heart. Breaking. And then one day I surprised her at school at pick-up time (a task that Justin has done solely since a week before Annie arrived) and we shared a smoothie before heading home. Too fun.

Last night, I took Amelia on a real date night. We went to the movies and watched the new Winnie the Pooh flick and then off to dinner. She was pretty excited.

The only theater still playing that movie was a ways from home, so as we got closer, she asked “Are we close to the moooovie Gator mama?”


“The Mooovie Gator.”

You mean the movie theater?

Yeah. The Mooovie Gator.”

Thee-uh-terr. The movie theater. Say it.



“Do you see the Movie Gator mama?”

Sigh. We are getting close sweetie. Very close. We’ll be there soon.

And then I looked back to see her “looking for the mooovie gator.”

movie gator


Those are her binoculars apparently. ha.

Since we were on a special date night, I went all out and got popcorn AND a slurpee. Serious business. Amelia’s never had a slurpee before last night, but I’m pretty sure she’s a fan.



The movie was pretty cute and appropriately short for the kids’ age. It was just the classic Pooh story book story in a movie. You know the one—with the red balloon. Since we got out of the movie earlier than expected, we decided to hit dinner too. I asked Amelia what she wanted to eat and she was contemplating when I thought of the perfect place. I’d seen an IHOP on the way to the theater and as we walked out, I told her that there was a restaurant that made tons of pancakes, even for DINNER. To which she replied, “OOOOHHHHHHHHHH. I want pancakes.” When we got to the restaurant, she asked what it was called and when I told her, she said, “I LOOOOOOVE IHOP mama” as she skipped in the door.

So it turns out that IHOP is really empty at night with exception to several people eating alone. Since it was so quiet, Amelia got a lot of attention from the staff and she even ordered for herself and responded to all the waiters who asked us how everything was. Very grown up, you know. OH! And it also turns out that kids eat free at IHOP every night. What the heck and who know?!

It was a sweet little date night with my favorite first-born. It kind of broke my heart that it’s come to this—special occasions—but felt pretty good about it. Although I was totally exhausted by the time we got home. ha. Oh and that Amelia asked for her daddy ALL the way home. *heavy sigh* On the flip side, Annie was VERY happy to see me and even smiled when I fed her.

Lastly, the whole time I was out with Amelia last night, I kept thinking about how I never got away like that when SHE was a baby. What the heck?! How can I manage to get away from the baby this time when I was in complete and total captivity the first time? And now that I can pry myself away from the little chubby leach at home, I need to spend it with the other babychild? Does that mean that I could have seen friends or laid by the pool or just done anything by myself back THEN?! I am really beginning to mourn for the first time mother in me who had it so rough.

In any case, we’re all making it work. And if a date night is all I’ve got for a while, then a date night we shall have.


Good grief, I love my girl.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Baby-Timed Post

I’ve begun several posts only to get interrupted and unable to finish them. Argh. I’ve been on the internet a lot, but only on my phone. My actual keyboard time boils down to a couple times a week. Ack.

So instead of waiting to finish a full post, I’m just going to get little thoughts down as quickly as possible until the baby timer goes off.

Today was a rough day. (Coming from my only previous experience, I don’t know what a normal fussy baby is like so I am trying to stay positive even though it appears that there are early symptoms revealing themselves.) In any case, Annie finally fell asleep today late in the afternoon and slept through Justin’s birthday dinner. And then on the way home, she screamed like an animal. All. The. Way. It mostly sucked hard. There was a funny moment though when Amelia (who stayed astonishingly silent for almost the whole ride) looked at her sister, sighed, and said “Come ooooooooon Annie. Don’t cry in the CAR!”

This of course made us chuckle.

If the child only knew.

Friday, August 12, 2011

A Tuesday in July

I gave myself a whole month of just soaking in major baby-ness but it’s time for a formal introduction.

Early on a Tuesday, exactly one month ago, we set off to the hospital with the surreal notion that we were on the way to life’s biggest moment. I don’t know when I’ll be ready to sit down and plug out the whole birth story, but our trip to the Birthing Center that day resulted in this . . .



And this . . .


DSCN3082And then this . . .


And be still my heart, there was this . . .


Do you see the amazement in her eyes? So. Dang. Precious. 


Miss Annie Layne was born at 745, weighing in at 8 pounds and 6 ounces and measuring 19 inches. Although, to be fair, she was unnamed at birth and for a few hours after. While her birth was nowhere near as exciting as her sister’s, it was far more pleasant. However, the day was not without incident or complications either. Again, details later. It still, for the most part, was a big improvement with our previous birthing experience. And the talk of the entire day was her size. From the first comment the doctor made before pulling her out to the conversation that went into choosing her name. Annie’s size shattered the assumption that I make tiny babies. Where her sister was the tiniest peanut in the birthing wing at 6 pounds, Annie was a total bruiser with 2 pounds and 4 ounces on her big sister. Opposites. Already. Oh except that they look identical once you get passed the extra chub on the new one.

The first month has flown by at record pace. I swear the first month with Amelia felt like an eternity and this time, it’s felt like a blink of an eye. I’ve learned that there’s a lot of value in the ease of already being a mother with the second child. That transition into Motherhood adds a level of complexity and fear that weighs the first experience down to a grind. That said, I’ve also learned that I completely blacked out on Amelia’s first month. I SOOOO forgot how hard it all is in the beginning. Figuring I was an old pro at breast feeding, I didn’t give it the attention necessary. I’d forgotten how much effort it takes in the beginning, physical and mental. Add my confidence with a baby that came out with a much stronger suck than her tiny sister and you’ve got bleeding, cracked nipples in less than 24 hours. Holy hell, I can’t even describe what it takes to continue letting your baby attack you when you are in such pain. Wincing doesn’t even begin to cover what your body does as that baby gets near you. And someone please tell me again how women got the rap as the ‘weaker sex?’ Anyway, that was something I totally got to avoid the first time and struggled with the second go-round.

Other than that, things have gone pretty smoothly. . . so far. Annie, having so much more meat on her little bones, has been a longer sleeper than Amelia was. When we brought Amelia home from the hospital, she was so tiny that we had to wake her every couple hours to eat for two weeks. It was dreadful. Annie has slept in 4-5 hour increments since we brought her home, and only getting up once on a typical night. Amazing! While that is really impressive for such a new baby, I’m pretty tired from not sleeping for longer than a few hours at a time for a month now. It really does start to pick on you as time accumulates.

Which makes me wonder why I’m writing this blog when I should be sleeping!

There’s still so much to catch up on, but for now, I’ll wrap things up so I can hit the sack.


Annie Layne 1 week



2 weeks



3 weeks



One Month!






At one month, Annie is over 10 pounds (guessing) and already passed 21 inches! She was born big and has only continued gaining chubs rolls and length. She literally looks like a spitting image of Amelia at about 2.5 months or so. It’s so crazy! She’s been able to pick up her head and turn it to the other side since the day she was born and can now hold it up for intervals. She holds it up more than not. She has begun to smile in the last week or so, reserved with a half grin most of the time but the full gummy smile every once in a while. She has baby little baby acne breakouts and has started to enjoy bath time. She sleeps in the car (halle-frickin-lujah!), and loves to eat. Annie absolutely adores hanging around outside and prefers moving about over sitting and rocking (to the disappointment of my back). She loves her sister’s voice and can luckily sleep through the incessant background of tiny voiced-chatter and regular meltdowns. The baby has grown into 0-3 month clothes and may be pushing out of them in the next couple weeks. Annie, has, to my potential heart break, showed some symptoms of reflux or digestive issues. Nothing super decisive or convincing, but there are signs here and there. The poor baby also has paranoid parents who have no ‘normal’ as a comparison. We are however, eternally hopeful.


Annie, at one month old, is pretty cool.