Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Stream of Consciousness

Everything is hard and wonderful. Some days and nights are sleepless and some are full of sleep and naps. Henry suffers from terrible reflux and some part of me is usually wearing it. He is also miles of smiles now and it’s the best. Sammy strings together words to convey meaning: “I jump! Baby! I see? I see? Baby. Watch. Jump.” (I want the baby to watch me jump.) “Otto. Mama. Car. Home.” (Otto and his mom are going home in their car.”) “Mama funny!” (When I jump around the car after buckling everyone in.) “I up here!” (When he has climbed up somewhere.)

I bought new rugs and now I want to buy 100 rugs because they are so nice. I love to lay on them... any time I’m not actively trying to put Henry to sleep. Having a baby in the winter when everyone is sick is hard because you can’t go anywhere. And then you buy 736 things online after you just watched 7 YouTube videos about minimalist zero-waste lifestyles... oops. Special oops because paid family leave is still not a thing here. (But going back to everyone being sick, if you’re sick, stop, please stop going places you don’t HAVE to go.)

Feat of the day: I woke up 15 minutes before we were supposed to leave for a doctor appointment. I made it there with both boys on time even though I missed the exit. I don’t talk about this NEARLY as often as I think of talking about it because I don’t want to gross anyone out, but Caleb is the best parent and husband ever ever. He is totally the quiet hero most days  in our home. And he has to go to work and not nap. Sammy is so smitten with him and so am I. Anyways he got us out the door on time. And my mom met us there. 

I have to start thinking about my return to work now. Part of me is thrilled - I love the work, my coworkers both here and abroad. And I love other job benefits such as the number of hours I will not be covered in spit up. Unfathomable! But good grief, 12 weeks is just not enough time. Around 6 or 7 weeks is when I just started to feel like I was in love with Henry.  Of course I loved him instantly and instinctively, but like anyone, it takes time to get to know him. Now I see him whip his little head around when he hears my voice, I watch him instantly go from fussy to burrowing in my arms, his body relaxing. He struggles with reflux and I read a study that showed that a parent’s touch can reduce the amount of pain a baby feels by 40%. He needs a lot of touch. He looks so much like Sammy and so different, but this week I’m starting to see glimpses of his own person. 

Sammy turns two soon. Sometimes I reflect back on his newborn days and it is amazing. It is sort of as if I have lived two different realities, that are somehow the same and totally different. 
Henry’s cheeks are so soft and his features so dainty compared to Sammy’s. And yet both perfect. 

Don’t be fooled by my twitterpated ramblings - this stuff is still so hard and I still swear several times a day. And yell. And sometimes slam doors. And sometimes want to slam my head in a door. And wonder if I can quit.... but also know I never would want to. 

Tuesday, January 1, 2019


Tomorrow marks a new transition for our family. Tomorrow, Caleb goes back to work and Sammy goes back to daycare. It's bittersweet really. The past two weeks have been FULL. I was worried about how Sammy would do, but he's done great. Henry is attached to me most of the time, and Sammy has even began to become worried when he comes into our room and doesn't see Henry in my arms or next to me. That's not to say Sammy and I haven't had lots of our own special moments together. We yell "HI DADDY" over and over from my bed during at least one nursing session per day. There was the time I was getting ready for a much needed "me-time" bath and Sammy came in and started taking off his shirt too, so he joined me. And even though I thought I needed time alone, it turns out I needed some good, silly toddler fun with my first baby. Or the afternoon when I held Sammy until he went to sleep in my arms and then I picked him up (breaking my weight-lifting restriction) and laid him in his crib.

Let's talk for a minute about fingernails - do you know how much easier it is to clip the fingernails on an almost two year-old compared to a two day old? Or change the diaper or pants on a cooperating toddler?

When we left the hospital, our nurse said that when we got home, our oldest was going to look older, and he did. It took us several days to remember that he was not a seven year old - he was just so big! so capable! so able to express himself!

We thrive on routine in our family, and eventually we found our staying at home routine - Sammy began to miraculously sleep in until 8 or even 9 each morning. Henry and I slept in one room, Caleb in another. Caleb was available if I needed him in the night, but was mainly in charge of Sammy's sleep. Henry and I stayed up late having nursing parties (#ClusterFeeding), and then stayed in bed until 10 or 11. Sammy's nap time moved to be later in the day. Friends and family stopped by mainly in the afternoons to hold Henry or play with Sammy or unload our dishwasher (bless you).

Sharing a pacifier
These were demanding and beautiful and precious and exhausting days together, finding our way as a family of four. There were hugs - so many hugs - between all of us all the time. There were tears - so many tears - from all of us except Henry who hasn't quite started making tears yet.

Most days in the evenings, Caleb and I would look at each other wearily and smile and high five, a sleeping Henry tucked into one of our arms."We're doing it!"

Tomorrow we will begin to find a new routine. And in ten more weeks, we'll find a new one again. Breathing, accepting, beginning again.