I’ve been surprised by how difficult the adjustment to having two children is emotionally. I expected to be tired, harried, and any number of other things, but I did not expect to be sad. I’m not talking about the baby blues here, either. While I treasure and love our sweet baby boy just as much as I always have his sister, I find that I’m mourning the loss of all the one-on-one time I used to have with Annabelle. As she has grown up, one of the biggest parenting challenges we’ve had with her has revolved around sleep, so it’s funny that the salve for my growing and aching mama heart would be bedtimes with my girl. Bedtime has become my favorite part of the day with Annabelle, and these days it’s not (just) because I’m so exhausted from the day that I can’t wait for her to be asleep. Mostly, it’s the one time during the day when I can relax and spend time with just Annabelle, and I treasure it. The road to get here was long, and we still encounter bumps along the way, but we have a pretty darn pleasant bedtime routine going at the moment. Continue reading
As usual, Annabelle has done many new things this week, but the biggest change for all of us has been an end to nighttime nursing. Something about this pregnancy seems to have made Annabelle1 want to nurse all the more, and many nights she was nursing all night long, which made for lousy sleep and an aching back for me. While I know that some women manage not only to tandem nurse, but to nighttime nurse two children, I also know that such an arrangement would make me personally a pretty grouchy mama. Continue reading
- Age 21 months, for those who aren’t aware. ↩
Bedtime around here was wonderful for a moment, and then got a little hairy again awhile ago, probably due to daddy travels. In an effort to get things back on track, we’ve been adding a bit more consistency to our sleep routine. We used to read at bedtime often, but it wasn’t a fixed part of each night’s events. Now that reading is Annabelle’s favorite thing in the world, we’re making a point of taking time to snuggle in and enjoy a story or two after bath each and every night.
In an effort to make our bedtime books an even stronger sleep cue, I thought I would separate them from the books we read during the day. So, I gathered them all into their own basket and each night I take it out and let Annabelle choose the books she would like to read. Continue reading
I have no real explanation for the fact that I haven’t shown up in this space for the past couple of days. It’s mini breaks like this one that make me thankful that I’m not getting paid for this gig. If there are other things I’d rather do, I can do those instead and that will be that. Mostly I have just been making futile attempts at getting my google reader unread post count down to a number below 100, and enjoying all of the inspiring, exciting, and sweet things you all have to say along the way. Anyway, I’m here! There has been so much going on with Annabelle that I can’t wait until next Wednesday to record it, so this post will combine my Joy Pockets from the week with What’s New. You can read one, both, or neither. It’s all up to you, of course, as I’m pretty sure you’re not getting paid to be here either.
Mon of Holistic Mama and Bohemian Twilight is on a pretty grand adventure at the moment, so I don’t think linking up with her for Joy Pockets is an option, but I’m posting mine anyway, because it makes me happy.
|chatting with the ladies at the table beside us|
Parenting is filled with all sorts of tiny revelations about life and our children. They change in the blink of an eye, and catching up can take awhile. On the weekend, when the daddy had to work all night, I decided to sneak out of the house with the babe as soon as she awoke, so as to keep the house quiet for the sleeping daddy. That left us with the issue of breakfast. I took Annabelle to my favorite coffee shop, where she sat in the chair at the little bistro table instead of in a high chair, and charmed passersby while eating a muffin. Suddenly it occurred to me that she is becoming much more like a companion than an accessory. Not that I ever view any child as a simple accessory, but taking babies out often just means settling them in to a carrier and allowing them to take it all in. Taking Annabelle out now involves serious exploration, a whole lot of pointing, “oh wow”ing, naming, socializing, and just plain being in one another’s company. There aren’t many people I enjoy spending time with more.
|not the birthday party slide, but still fun|
Another thing I have noticed only in the past week is how very animated and boisterous Annabelle is. I didn’t realize how unusual her personality and temperament were. We celebrated the birthdays of some friends last weekend and the party involved a slide, which Annabelle wanted to use over and over again. Her eyes would light up when she arrived at the top, then widen as she slid down shouting, “WOW” and giggling. At the bottom, she would grin, shake and yell, “SLIDE!” before going again. Many other children enjoyed the slide, but none were quite as open in their love as was our Annabelle. Everyone’s delight in her expressiveness made me realize what a rare gem she is.
On a more straightforward developmental note, the two word phrase has most definitely emerged. Annabelle loves to watch the neighborhood kids play in the street each evening. She used to be content to watch from a distance, but her enjoyment of these children has merged with her new hugging obsession and she now insists on walking over to give them all hugs: “Hug boy. Hug boy!” Then there was the evening when she decided she had absolutely no interest in the bathtime part of her evening routine. I tried to walk her back at the appointed time, but she responded with a very clear, “No bath. No way bath!” Then of course there’s the daily request to, “Move tower” over to the kitchen sink for a very long, drawn out session of hand washing.
I don’t know if it was the reading of sleep books, which I’ll be writing about in the near future, or simply time and more attention to our routine, but our sleep situation no longer makes me want to cry. It is by no means perfect, and I dare not say which aspects are working well, since they’re sure to stop working the moment I speak them aloud. My own feelings on the subject aside, Annabelle is sleeping as much as all of the charts in my books say she ought to be, and I’m feeling a bit more human, so I call the sleep improvement project a success.
As for me, my mind has been buzzing and there is much that I want to write about. I have been so focused on the little’s sleep and on organizing things in our home a bit more that I haven’t given myself the time work on my own projects, but I hope next week will be different because I am dying to write. On the list for this weekend is the arrangement of a new work space for me, and I’m crossing my fingers that it will be just what I need to refocus my work in this space and others.
I’m wishing you all exactly what you need out of the weekend, too! I would love to hear what brought you joy this week, and/or what the latest is with your families. It really does make my day when you say hello and share with me!