April 25, 2017

Mom thoughts.

I recently had a moment of clarity that was almost like a punch in the gut. Molly is the sweetest little thing, but she hasn't been the easiest baby. I've been beating myself up with all the things she doesn't do that Parker did at her age, mostly regarding sleep. If you didn't already know this, parents with infants obsess over their sleep like some people obsess over sports stats. With Parker we hibernated for the first year of his life and it was most beautiful of times. We did very little and practically all he did was nap in his crib while I kept a tidy house and did puzzles. It was freaking magical.

Molly just isn't Parker. She's more difficult. She's delicate. The nurse and doctor both bantered around the word colic, but I don't think it's fair to parents of colicky children to apply it to Molly. The thing is, once I really truly realized that she isn't as easy a baby as her brother through no fault or shortcoming of my own it was like a big old burden came off my shoulders. Mom guilt is so real, and we are our own worst critics. Usually.

Right now I'm focusing on baby steps with her and it's doing wonders for my sanity. Those first 2 1/2 - 3 months as a mom of two were the absolute hardest. Now, I'm just focused on what we are getting done. Molly goes to bed around the same time as Parker. Yes. Thank you, Jesus. She's starting to put herself down to sleep while she's swaddled. Hallelujah. She's not co-sleeping as much. Glory be to God. She is only napping for 45 minute stretches at a time. Well, you can't win them all. Baby steps. I figure that by the time she's 7 months old we'll have her on a spotty morning nap (second child problems) and a killer afternoon one like her brother. And that's really all you can hope for. At least we'll always have bedtime.

But enough about my daughter's sleep, let's talk about my jeans. There's this beautiful time right after you give birth where you feel like a sexy, slim beast. Your body is amazing, it just ejected a homegrown human, and DANG where did your jumbo belly go? That lasts a couple weeks, then you feel fat and milky and overtired and like you'd like to burn every reflective surface you see because your body is disgusting. Then that goes away, too, and eventually you just accept the fact that you need to do some work to fit your pants and that the body you once had is nothing more than a memory. For me that happened right around the time my belly band started to wear out. I tried and, magically, succeeded in buttoning up my pants. It was a big, fist-pumping moment for me. Then I ate something and they didn't fit anymore.

My weight has always fluctuated, but I'm currently in that stage of life where if I eat just a little too much junk my pants are too uncomfortable to do up. I'm really looking forward to the elastic waist shorts days of summer, but until then I'm in this weird limbo of wanting to do my pants up and wanting to eat cookies. I'm really glad my kids are too young to see this side of me. I don't want them to ever worry about their bodies, as long as they're healthy, and I certainly don't want them to complain about their or another woman's thighs. But right now,  their mommy just needs to lay off the doughnuts and she's got clothes to fit into.

While Parker and I enjoyed our time together when he was little, he now needs to socialize far more often. The weather still isn't fabulous and I'm not really interested in braving it with a newborn but Parker needs more stimulation than just me to facilitate epic naps. Last week we had four play dates, and tomorrow morning I'm having five moms and their kids over. I know one of them, but the other four moms are complete unknowns.

You know you've been momming for a while when you start just accepting a certain level of messy for having strangers over. Sure, I tidied and swept the floor, but I didn't do a real clean. I reserve that for visiting family members I need to impress. If everyone wears socks they might not even notice. I will, however, make muffins and coffee. That's all moms really need anyway. And hugs.

Speaking of affection, Parker has re-entered a sweet stage. When he hurts himself he instinctively knows that kisses make it better. I have no idea where he figured that out, but one day he just started asking. I am more than happy to provide as many as he'd like. It's pretty stinking cute. He also puts himself in a time out when I tell him to. It makes me want to laugh and cry all at once.

Oh, motherhood. It wrecks you and builds you back up all the time.

April 05, 2017

Thanks, kid.

Molly is 12 weeks old. I remember when Parker was this old thinking that he could stay this age forever. It was sweet, low key, sleepy times. He'd spend half the day napping and I could clean, organize, paint things, and knit whenever I wanted. It didn't matter if he was awake or not, because he was just happy to lay on his play mat and flail at his toys. Those were beautiful days.

They say that it's easier the second time around, and I certainly believe there is some truth to that. The newborn stage isn't as scary, and I find Molly very easy even though she's not as easy as her brother was. It's only been in the last month that she's been happy to lay on her back because she's so gassy, she has only napped in her crib a handful of times, and makes bedtime an exciting adventure. Aside from that, the newborn stage is much easier the second time around. I don't even mind so much that she's always around me during the day. Whereas I longed for my personal space when Parker was born, and he gladly gave it to me, by now I'm used to being the mom and always needed.

This toddler thing, though. It's hard. Parker and I had a decent routine and repertoire going when it was just us, but Molly has changed all that. I can't devote myself wholly to him anymore. He loves his sister but doesn't love sharing me. One newborn is easy. One toddler is manageable chaos. Combining the two is the hardest thing I have ever done in my life.

We're finally starting to get Molly into a bedtime routine (I hope) that doesn't involve her awake until 11:30. She even slept from 9-7 straight last night. I heard birds and angels singing a happy chorus this morning when I woke up, engorged but so so happy.

We have good days and bad, but my main two goals right now are getting her to bed before I'm ready to sleep (although I am in a permanent state of tired these days; it's my new normal) and having her nap in her crib. We have a video monitor so once she naps in her crib Parker and I can play outside without me having to worry about her. I also see the dreaded four month sleep regression fast approaching and want to be ready to tackle it head on. It never really bothered us with Parker because he napped in his crib from day one, but I'm feeling like my arsenal is woefully ill-equipped this time around.

Sleep is my love language and I'm feeling a little depleted at the moment.

This morning I dropped Parker off with a friend so that Molly and I could work on crib napping. I was ready. I was determined. Instead of stopping for coffee and waiting for the library to open I brought her straight home from dropping him off. I was ready to get our crib napping on, even if it meant I had to camp out next to her crib the whole time to make it happen.

She fell asleep in the carseat on the way home. Two and a half hours later she's still sleeping. I thought she'd wake up after half an hour so I didn't even try to get her out. I have to get Parker in an hour and a half. At least she's getting a good nap in.

It also turns out I don't remember how to enjoy extended quiet time. I told myself that I would just relax and enjoy my break because goodness knows the next time I'll have one like this.

I had a quiet breakfast. I drank hot coffee. I read some of my book. I even had a loud phone conversation right in front of her. Then I got antsy and put away the laundry. 

Yep, still sleeping.


March 06, 2017

Currently. March "blizzard" edition.

wearing: A baby in a wrap, standing at the kitchen counter, hoping the toddler doesn't realize that I've got something cool that he doesn't have. Actually, he's being very quiet. Just checked and he's scooping flour out of the bag and onto the floor with a rogue measuring cup. But that's not what I'm wearing, because what I'm wearing is a newborn. There's really no other explanation for what is currently happening. It's like the heaviest sweater I've ever owned and it's almost guaranteed to give me back issues, especially leaning over the counter like this. But I'm also wearing joggers (the kind of sweatpants that are socially acceptable to wear in public) because we have a blizzard warning and the only people I'm going to see today have either slept in my bed or delivered my mail.

listening: I finished the Blue Babies Pink podcast last night. You can also read it, but at this stage in my fussy baby wrangling life listening is more up my alley. I very highly recommend it. He does such a good job of telling his story, throwing in some beautiful imagery, and I'd be lying if I told you I didn't tear up a couple times. If you don't know what it is, it's a gay Christian man telling his story, and no matter how you feel about that particular theological issue it's well worth a listen.

Now that I'm done with that I'll catch back up with Young House Love's podcast. It's my bedtime kitchen cleaning jam.

I'm also going through the Harry Potter audiobooks again. I needed something good to listen to during naptime and didn't have the energy to find another audiobook. They can be so hit or miss.

I also have The Elms' Truth, Soul, Rock and Roll in the CD player. I now relate to all those old people listening to music from their high school days. I don't think I will ever stop liking The Elms.

anticipating: A trip to Victoria later this week. I'm a bit nervous about our raging toddler being places that aren't Parker-proofed. He's going to be spending a whole weekend at my mom's without us while we go to a wedding in Vancouver. Someone told me after church yesterday that he's such a delightful kid and she loves having him in Sunday School. I almost cried. As a parent, that's kind of all you can hope for. I'm hoping that carries over into his time with my mom. 

I'm looking forward to time with friends, visiting the petting zoo, ice cream sandwiches, vegan doughnuts, and buying new shoes. My feet have gone up a half size and I feel like this month's clothing budget would be well spent on a new pair of nice footwear. 

eating: Chocolate right now, but also a lot of crock pot meals. Why I didn't use our crock pot every day for the first couple years we had it is beyond me. I use it at least once a week now and it's the best thing ever. Especially with the snow. Also, tuna wraps. 

making: Belgian waffles, book mobiles, pompoms, and baby blankets. Did you know real Belgian waffles are made with yeast and chunks of sugar? I burned my finger about 15 times cleaning the melted sugar off the waffle iron (with a q-tip) and eventually decided that the rest of it could stay on there for the next time. How are you even supposed to clean a waffle iron? Why doesn't the iron part come off for actual cleaning? Someone should lose their job for that design fail.

feeling: Tired, mostly, and sometimes overwhelmed. Looking after two very little kids is the hardest thing I have ever done in my entire life. When Parker was born I used to mourn my life before kids, wondering if it wouldn't have been wise to wait longer before having kids. Then I realized we weren't that interesting before anyway and got over it. The hard part about having two under two is disciplining the older one. He's too young to understand a ton of consequences, but not too young to know when he's doing something he shouldn't. It's a hard age, and while things have certainly gotten easier in the past few weeks as we all adjust to the new normal, I can't help but feel that if the age gap was even a few months bigger between the kids this would be a bit easier.

I was so tired on Saturday that, aside from accidentally burning myself multiple times on the waffle iron, I cut my finger while making pompoms. I was clearly too tired for depth perception. And basic intelligence. I took a half hour nap then proceeded to win a round of Settlers of Catan for only the second time ever, and I did so quite handily. Highlight of of my weekend. 

reading: I have a hundred pages left in the fantasy book I'm reading. It's the fourth and final in the series and according to goodreads the ending is the worst thing ever. I'm really looking forward to finding out what it is.

I'm also reading parenting books on discipline. Dear Lord, how have I come to this point in my life?

It's not very often I have more than one book on the go at a time, but I currently have three. I'm hoping to trim that down drastically in the next week or two. It feels like cleaning three rooms at a time and having nothing actually clean. Too many loose ends.

loving: Baby girl clothes and thrift stores. After reorganizing Parker's room there's a lot of blank wall space. I went to the Salvation Army the other day to try and find stuff to put on his wall, and ended up spending $8 on a dress, two pairs of pants, and a sleeper for Molly. I wish I had as much luck on finding clothes for myself there, but I went through the bins of my old clothes the other day and I have some great stuff in there. If that isn't motivation to lose the baby weight nothing is.

watching: Way too much TV and Netflix. That's the beauty of middle of the night nursing sessions and the newborn days. I've given up on The Magicians. I watched it last year because I read the book a while ago and was hoping the show would be better. It was, but not by much. I'm over it.

Riverdale, The 100, and Jane the Virgin are my weekly Netflix go-tos. I also watched Santa Clarita Diet and really enjoyed it. Nathan Fillion was a major highlight of it.

Do you watch Suits? We caught up on Netflix then realized we have the channel it comes on and are now totally caught up. I actually understood most of what happened this season and the finale was probably my favourite episode ever. 

We finished The Good Wife. I have a crush on Jeffrey Dean Morgan (except his waist is so tiny it makes me insecure) and it's rolling over into our Walking Dead watching. Is it wrong that I have a little crush on Negan?

missing: Spring and fall. I'm over winter (always am) but summer is too stinking hot here. I'm hoping the island sorts itself out and stops having winter and snow (what in the world?) and has balmy spring weather when we're there. Especially since I sweet talked my mom into taking me for a pedicure this Friday.