Sweet, sleepy boy in carrot overalls from our awesome landlord.
This week has been so very, very good. It had its challenges, to be sure, but at the same time it has given me a huge amount of hope – hope that I might be able to handle this parenting two children gig after all. Up until this week, there were moments in just about every day when I thought I just might not have the patience for parenting more than one child, or when I felt like it was impossible to give both children the attention they deserve. I’m actually starting to believe that I can do it, though, and it’s a huge relief.
At playgroup, Annabelle busily cared for dolls for almost a full hour. We may have to talk about car seats!
Annabelle, as I’m sure many new siblings do, definitely seemed to be having a hard time adjusting to the idea of having a baby sharing her space, her milk, and her mama all the time. I’ll write more about that in a separate post, but I’m happy to say that for the most part she seems settled now, and secure in the fact that there will always be enough love (and enough milk) for her. I think we just had to prove it to her. Bedtime was the hardest part of the day in the first couple of weeks. The daddy and I would alternate, trying to help Annabelle get down to sleep until we had reached the absolute end of our patience and then excusing ourselves and sending the other in to have a go. I don’t want to speak too loudly, lest I jinx it, but this week has seen us settling into a routine that is downright enjoyable. I actually look forward to bedtime these days because it’s the one time of day when I can count on having some quiet moments with my girl.
An exciting day! They used some very cool machines to tear out and replace our driveway.
Naps disappeared with Elliot’s arrival and I believe I mentioned that this made afternoons a huge challenge some days, because naps were quite obviously still needed. This settled week has brought them back, and brought with them the funny, cheerful, creative child who just had not been herself before. She really is so much fun to be around, whether we’re just watching from a distance as she does her thing or interacting with her. On one night, after she had napped a bit longer than perhaps would have been best for her schedule, I could hear her talking back to the relaxation mp3 playing in the room at bedtime. “You’re so comfortable now,” it said. “Are you not so comfortable now,” she replied. “You’re all cuddly and snuggly,” it suggested. “Are you not all cuddly and snuggly,” she insisted. This continued on for quite some time before she gave up arguing and eventually went to sleep.
Pretending to be different people and things remains an ongoing theme. This week, not only did she become many different people for a day, mostly friends from Guam, but she even tried out being a police car siren for an evening. The little tiny baby and [new]born baby versions of Annabelle come and go. One evening, the daddy had the following conversation with one of them.
First nap on his own.
Annabelle: “Are you a little, tiny baby.”
Daddy: “Oh, really? I thought you were a big kid.”
Annabelle: “Do you disagree. You are a little tiny baby.”
Andrew was pretty shocked to hear her using the word “disagree” so appropriately. As a side note, the reversed pronouns are a funny thing these days, too. Every once in awhile I’ll hear her use them correctly, but before long she’s back to using “you” for herself again. Perhaps there’s just going to be a gradual switch. Today I had the opportunity to hear her talking with an older child, a girl of four, for the first time since she has been so conversant. We haven’t been around many children since we moved, and those we are around tend to be younger and therefore hard for her to chat with. It was so interesting, and so much fun to hear her going back and forth with another child, but I could see that A’s pronoun usage made things a bit confusing for the other girl. They chatted about animals at the zoo and discussed the fact that the ground doesn’t move, and neither do mountains and trees.
More big sister love.
Elliot is starting to spend good chunks of time awake, and is even looking around and focusing on objects, which is so much fun to see. He really picks his head up to get a good look at the world around him. At the dinner table, I tend to hold him in my lap in a cradled position while I eat and, even in his second week of life he was picking himself up so that he was almost sitting straight up in my arms. Not only does he have a strong neck, but he has rather impressive abs, too, I guess.
He’s a champion nurser, and a champion burper. The latter may have something to do with the fact that I seem to be nearly drowning him with milk half the time. No supply issues here! He seems to have a strong need to suck in general. When he was born, he had a purple mark on his arm that looked almost like a bruise, and one of our midwives suggested it might be from him sucking on his arm in the womb. A few days later, it went away, but it has returned and the midwife was right! If there is not a breast immediately available, he sucks on his forearm until one is offered.
I’m sure there are more growing pains to come, but overall it seems like we’ve reached a place where everyone feels comfortable and secure with life as it is and we can just enjoy one another. On Elliot’s seventh day of life, the daddy had to go in to work and I completely dreaded it. I didn’t know how I would survive the morning. Yesterday, he had to be out of the house for most of the day and I wasn’t worried at all. I just genuinely loved spending the day with two of my favorite people. Such a beautiful contrast!
A few more photos from the week, taken as part of the mamatography challenge.
I made a road for her cars and trucks, and she colored it.
We were really excited to observe Annabelle drawing people for the first time. They’re nearly all legs, and this drawing had mommy, daddy, Annabelle, the baby, and Miss Cassie (her doula).
Sidewalk chalk in the back yard. Annabelle lined it up so very neatly.
Have an update post of your own? Link up below! Letters to children, photo updates, written updates, and anything else you’ve prepared to share the latest with your family is welcome.