Tuesday, December 20, 2011

How Did This Happen?

Since Amelia is only in school once a week these days, we are spending a LOT of time together, her, Annie, and myself. It’s a daily struggle to keep Amelia stimulated, entertained, and loved while also caring for the baby—especially since she’s used to school lessons, projects, and friends several days a week. There’s been a lot of acting out, which I am assuming is a result of this sudden change in her daily life/schedule. Thankfully, Amelia is tremendous at keeping herself occupied with quiet projects or reading in her room for hours. But she needs mama too and desperately needs to get out of the house every day. Considering the babychild literally runs  to bed every night and runs out of bed every morning, she needs open space to just . . . run. Every. Day. At least this is what I’m realizing now that we’re all spending our days together.

We’ve actually fallen into a pretty decent routine each day while Justin’s working. Early morning is mostly survival and juggling, but once Annie goes down for a morning nap, I sit down and spend concentrated time with Amelia. We play a game or make a craft project, read books or bake a treat. It’s her and I time. When the baby’s up again, we all hang out as best we can (will be SO much easier once she sits up unassisted!) through lunch. After lunch used to be house nap time, but it took exactly a quick second before Amelia realized that if she didn’t sleep, she could crash Mama Time and get a solid couple hours to herself with me. She hasn’t napped since. So My Time quickly turned into Amelia and my time. (sigh) During this time, we now shower together, get a couple tasks completed and then hang out. Sometimes I remind her that it’s Mama Time and that she can stay up with me only if she gives me some space/time to work on my projects. This includes her hanging out with me while I sew, working on her own ‘sewing’ projects.  The ultimate privilege for her is to get to use a few of my sewing pins for her scrap fabrics. She literally sits at the table just beside me, follows me into the ironing room, and back to the sewing table, not wanting to separate for a single minute. It’s mostly very sweet . . . but sometimes exhausting too.

In any case, a major goal at the moment is to get her outside every day to run. You know, like a dog. I’ve been trying to get a trip to the park into my routine for a few months and now that Annie has been sleeping through the night, it’s finally doable. So we went to the park yesterday. Annie hung out well and happy while we indulged her sister, even though it resulted in her missing her nap (seriously, to give needed attention to one kid, it always seems that the other—the little one usually—suffers) and Amelia ran around climbing, jumping, sliding, etc. She was thrilled that we were all at the park ‘togever.” When she asked to get on the swing, I was stuck. I was holding Annie and didn’t have the hands to push her on the swing. I try to avoid saying things like “I can’t do that right now because I have your sister” so she doesn’t blame the baby for every inattentive moment she has with her mother. And then I thought about it . . . I bet Annie can fit into the swing! Hmmm. I wonder if she’d like it?

I plopped Annie into the swing, pushed a tiny bit . . . and she didn’t scream.

Annie swing

I think the verdict is still out on whether or not she enjoyed it. o’ hai.

photo (2)


Onto Amelia. Plopped her into the big kid swing. She was very excited to have Sister with her on the swings!

Amelia swing

So I pushed her and stood back. And took this picture.

girls swinging


Didn’t think too much about it. When I got home and looked at this picture, it took my breath away. I’d be lying if I didn’t tell you that my heart began to pound loud and fast. It’s not staged or posed, but just a picture of them being kids. I think it’s the first picture of them just playing. In any case, it blew me away. I have two kids. Let me repeat. . . I HAVE TWO KIDS! Please someone, tell me when the hell THAT happened. Without exaggeration, I still find it hard to believe that I am a mother at all . . . much less the mother of two. And here they are. Dude, WHAT?! How is it possible that there are two people on the planet who rely on me as their mother—for all of eternity?

And now that the second baby is here, that’s it. You spend so much of your life thinking “someday when I have kids,” wondering what you’ll have, and then it’s a totally separate stage of your life in getting them here. And now they’re . . . here. And growing big. Amelia will be in school in a little over a year. And Annie is big enough to ride in a swing! And this is my life. It’s settled.  Mother of two girls . . . who will soon no longer be babies. Then I’ll just be a mom of a couple of kids, driving them to school, cheering at soccer games, and helping with homework. The weirdest thing is that I cannot tell you how or when I got here. It’s hard to explain these moments when your life comes into focus for a second and you don’t recognize yourself. And you realize that you’re getting older, heading to old, and that you’re a grown up and that there are people who will only ever know you as Mom, an old grown up. It’s not a bad thing, but it certainly catches me off guard every once in a while.

I’m sure there are many more of these moments to come. It’s only the swings now. I can’t imagine the heartbreak these two little babygirls will bestow upon their mama—just by growing up.

Friday, December 16, 2011

It’s a Good Thing She’s Cute

We had a pretty rough day yesterday. Amelia and I have been battling something terrible and yesterday was pretty . . . bad. But then we went to her gymnastics show last night and she was the cutest kid on the planet. I went from barely able to even look at her to proudly blubbering as I snapped pics of her ‘tricks.’

She was as adorable as possible in her grab bag hand-me-down leotard (that she got after having a pee accident in class one day. Score!). And she was SO excited to play with all the big kid gymnasts.




  DSCN3878 She performed with just one other little person and the crowd just loved them to pieces. Amelia was so shy when she started gymnastics that I had to tell the teacher to be sure and include her because she kept getting left out. . . Yeah well that’s all gone. She loved having the audience there and wanted to keep performing even after her turn!


I die.


And even though she misbehaved all day and pushed me to the point of wanting to strangle her, I decided to keep her after all. I mean that tushy has saved her many a time. She’s lucky I’m a sucker for amazingly cute tushies.


Doin cartwheels like a boss.


(video forthcoming) 

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

I’ve Heard of Babies Like This

I’ve talked to parents who simply shrugged as they mentioned that their baby slept through the night at a few months old. Or who boasted about their little ones as being “the easiest baby ever!” Their baby just smiled and cooed at them all the time. I’d even heard of babies who didn’t scream for three hours when they missed their bed time by 30 minutes. I’ve seen with my own eyes babies who just hang out happily and appear to just be along for the ride, mellow, easy.

I thought these babies were a myth. Even the ones I saw myself, I had my doubts. I thought their parents were liars or worse, terrible parents who must just ignore the screams of their poor, over-tired babies. Because I assumed that they all screamed. I assumed that they all screamed when they had a dirty diaper, missed a nap by 5 minutes, or simply when changing their clothes. I assumed that they all screamed when the woke up and when they went to bed. Isn’t that what makes parenting so hard?

And then I had Annie.



And she smiles like crazy. She laughs easily. Cries rarely. In fact, even when she’s crying, you can still make her smile with little effort. When she turned three months and stopped sleeping, I thought she’d lost her status as the most perfect baby ever. . . and when she was about 4.5 months, I decided to try sleep training her just to see how it went. One evening of complaining-not-crying for a bit and she was sleeping through the night. I don’t know if I should even say it, but for the last week, she’s slept until 6 or 7 and even 8 once. And then she takes a 3 hour nap every afternoon without fail. She sleeps in the car and doesn’t mind running all over the place. She’s nothing short of amazing.

She is the only thing that could heal me of my first-time-mother experience. She’s made me love babies instead of wishing they’d just grow already. And naturally, she’s growing so very rapidly. I actually believe that I will miss her being a baby someday. . .

Without my even coaxing or teaching her, she’s hitting all of her milestones. She’s already rolling from back to front.






She reaches out to grab everything and plays with toys.



She’s pretty super.


DSCN3702She’s just my sweet, little baby.    


Good Morning Sunshine!!




Amelia and Annie on Thanksgiving



Oh. My. Thighs.


On our way to the Festival of Lights Parade.



And since Annie stares down anyone who dares to eat in her presence, we decided to let her have a go at food herself. She literally will pull herself off the boob to turn around and glare at me when I try to eat. We skipped the whole rice cereal game and went straight to avocado. She’d open her mouth and take the spoon willingly. Then she’d do this.


What have you done to me?!


Then she’d recover and open her mouth again wanting more. I’d give her a tiny bite and she’d do this.




Tonight I gave her some ground oatmeal and she DUG it. Made a bowl thinking she’d only have a few bites and she snarfed the whole thing. So it’s ON with food. Will be roasting some butternut squash and sweet potatoes this weekend! I can’t believe I’m already busting out the ice cube tray lids and making baby food in bulk.

I can NOT believe that my little love is 5 months old already! I am enjoying her so. Did you hear that?! I am ENJOYING her so very much. She is just a sweet, joy, love, babycakes. I just can’t get enough of her and that smile and those cheeks and thighs and . . . just her. She’s just my heart. I love her so and I marvel every day at her and how much she’s changed my view on babies and parenting.

Now, she’s ready to start teething. She’s been drooling on everything and gnawing on anything she can slam into her mouth. . . so maybe the worst is yet to come. . . ? Somehow I doubt it.

5 Months Old!!


Have I mentioned that she never stops moving?? NEVER.


Most of the pics I take of her are blurry from movement.




Annie, 5 months.




And don’t think that I can take pictures of Annie without Sister jumping in. How proud is Amelia?? It’s so NOT for the camera. She adores her sister. And quite frankly, the feeling is ridiculously mutual.


Oh Look.




I can’t believe it’s been 5 months since we brought Annie home. And I can’t believe that just one year ago, we were barely aware of her. I can’t believe that I have two babies and I can’t believe that these little girls are all mine. Five months later, I think Annie completed us in a way when we didn’t even know we were missing something.