Thursday, February 16, 2012

The Baby Days

[Disclaimer: This is totally one of those blogs that hipster people of the blog world make fun of, because it's like a play-by-play of our days and probably completely over the top, e.g., "and then, we walked outside, and I opened the mailbox, and grabbed the mail, and threw the junk into the recycling bin, and then I opened the garage door, ad nauseum, ad nauseum, BLA BLA BLA." But as Greg noted to me personally, most of this is for my own record.  So BOOM. Enjoy!]

Things are going and moving along as they should.  We're really in a good groove right now and I couldn't ask for much else, save my recent intolerance to eggs (a once favorite food of mine)!  I'm investigating that and considering various possibilities* but for now my mornings are starting off with some soaked oatmeal and a little coffee and then this is generally how the rest of our day unfolds...
(I'm documenting this now, because the newborn/baby days tend to be a blur and I know I'll forget this if I never record it)

Mia tends to wake up around 7-7:30am, and if Gabe hasn't woken up prior to that (anywhere between 4-6:30am), he'll usually wake up by then, if not usually by 8.
He'll feed, Mia will be done watching whatever morning show Greg hooks her up with (usually Sesame Street) so he can get ready for work, and she and I will eat breakfast [she usually eats toast, fruit, or "noats" (oatmeal), or sometimes a smoothie or a muffin I've previously made].  I have lately been scarfing down {soaked} oatmeal every morning with a little cup of joe and some cream and that tides me over for a while.

Then, if there's not some other pressing obligation, I'll start doing laundry or cleaning up the kitchen or if those are somehow miraculously taken care of, I'll get ready to go out (although sometimes we never go out)!  After breakfast is when at-home duties are attended to, or when we get ready to head out for an errand or a playdate, or sometimes when dinner prep begins (if a crockpot meal or meat needs thawing.)

Helping Gabe in the Bumbo
For a while there, we were getting out every single day. I call it part of my "save-my-sanity-postpartum-plan," but it really only lasted for a while as I began to realize it was an unsustainable practice that left me on the go just a bit too much and a little drained, with stressed-out hungry kids (Gabe included). So now, even though I still love and need to get out during the day and see the rest of civilization, we do it much less frequently and on more of a relaxed schedule.  If it works, it works, and if it doesn't, well then, we just make do.  I've tried to be more purposeful in my grocery shopping so that we have more of what we need at home and don't have to make trip after trip to the store.
It was definitely one thing when it was me and Mia and we could "quickly" (in toddler-speed) run into a store and grab something, or even peruse the aisles a bit longer and have fun, but it's another thing when you're hauling an infant either in his carseat or in a baby carrier.  There's just more to mentally attend to and it makes quick trips just not-so-quick.

So now, we only get, if possible, 1-3 mornings a week.  There's usually at least one grocery store visit, and one morning where I have a girls bible study and Mia and Gabe come with me.  Occasionally we go to the chiropractor, have a playdate with other toddler friends, and every other Tuesday we dash out early in the morning to pick up farm fresh eggs and dairy products.  While I tend to loathe getting up early Tuesday mornings for this pickup, it's good for getting us out of the house while life is hustling around us, and oftentimes I stop at Target or Nutrition S'mart (a health food store) on the way back while Gabe is still snoozing and Mia's well-enough entertained and finish any other shopping we may have.
Miles of Smiles after an outing

We eat lunch anywhere between 11:30am and 1pm, and I feed Gabe one more time before naptime, and swaddle him, put him in his swing, and get Mia ready for naptime.  Right now our process is to read 2-3 (short) books, say a prayer, sing some (short) songs and I leave, and Mia goes to sleep pretty soon thereafter after playing with her baby doll and/or singing to herself.  Thankfully, Mia is handling naptime so much better these days than she was months ago.  I think the whole Mommy-is-having-a-baby-and-there's-so-much-change was harder on the both of us than I realized, and her fiery resistance really reared its ugly head at naptime.  So much so, I thought we were doomed.  However, most days now I'm thankfully seeing her nap for about 2 hours and our lives are all much the better because of this.  Usually when I walk out of her room, Gabe is peacefully snoozing in his swing and he'll sleep extra long in the afternoons.

I don't know what I'm going to do when he outgrows that swing, because it's my saving grace every afternoon!  He'll nap in his bouncy seat or in his crib in the mornings, but he won't take very long naps in his crib in the afternoons.  I just don't know how to transition him into that just yet and I'm okay with him in the swing as long as it works.  I guess when it stops working for us, we'll reevaluate and move on to the next thing (which would be the crib, I guess).  He is swaddled for his afternoon nap and at night.

Caught sleeping!

Mia tends to wake up between 4-5pm and we get a quick snack, check the mail, and she likes to watch another show.  Right now she is really into "Max & Ruby," based off the books by Rosemary Wells.  It's a pretty cute show, but she's obsessed with it right now.  "I WANNA WATCH MAX!!!"  It's been so nice out though, that even though I love that Gabe sleeps so long in the afternoons, it'd be a nice time to take a walk before dinner.  It's really the best time of year in Florida.

Greg tends to get home between 5:30 and 6 and if dinner isn't started by then it usually will be by the time he gets home.  You could say our roles are very traditional right now -- something I never imagined years ago knowing myself, but it just works for us.  Dare I admit it, it's just better for us this way!  Gabe is usually awake for dinnertime, and then we might do some light activity after dinner, and then it's usually bathtime for Mia (and occasionally Gabe), then bedtime with Daddy, and I get Gabe ready for bed too.  He doesn't always go to bed as early as Mia does, but lately there have been more times when it's syncing up than not.

Making a cake from scratch with Daddy -
Happy Valentine's Day to ME!

Getting Gabe down isn't tricky in the sense that it's hard for him to fall asleep, but sometimes it's hard to know when he's done eating.  He may fall asleep after eating, only to cry a bit when I lay him down, so I try to feed him one more time to make sure he's totally full, offer him his pacifier and lay him down in his crib.

Thus far, he's been much easier to put to sleep at night than Mia was.  I attribute that to a) us as parents being a bit more chill, relaxed but purposeful about "sleep training" and b) Gabe's temperament.  He just seems more calm.  He doesn't necessitate lots of coaxing and coddling as much as Mia did, although the other night he seemed legitimately fussy and just needed to fall asleep in my arms in the dark.  After having a rough time with Mia (which, bless her heart, much of it was our fault in creating bad habits), we are so thankful -- at least for the time being -- that Gabe is an easier sleeper.

He's a longer sleeper too, something I'm also not taking for granted.  While he has occasional regressions, like he did a few days ago, last night he slept from 10 to 7:30am!  He's such a good little guy and having had Mia first, I know how blessed I am to get that much sleep.  His sleep regressions the other night meant he got up 2 times in between 10 and 8.  It's always just a stage, which is what I keep telling myself.

Having two now means a few different things.  For one, I've realized it's really easy to overdose on just taking care of the baby. At first, that's all I really could do, and I was glad we had extra hands around to take care of Mia.  But now I realize they are both my responsibility and while Gabe sometimes has more pressing concerns than Mia does, I can't let her feelings and her need for emotional connection and support fall by the wayside.  That's something I'm trying to be more purposeful about.

Totally unscripted senior-picture like poses of
Mia with her baby in the Moby wrap // LOVE!
Secondly, as I alluded to before, while I enjoy being on the go, and Mia does too, I've realized for feeding and sleeping purposes, it is just not a schedule I can constantly maintain.  It also is not very restful for me, and I find it physically draining. So, forcing myself to slow down has actually been a very good thing for our tiny people and for me.

Thirdly, I've realized it is actually making our days more purposeful.  It's forcing me to be a tad more organized, whether that means with meal-planning or designating my days to do x, y, or z.  I can't do everything in just one day so I have to spread out my tasks.  Even though I've been mothering for almost 3 years now, I think I took for granted some of the free time I had with just one child and I didn't have to plan as much.  Now, I plan and carve out my time a bit more carefully.  And I stand in awe of women with more than 2 kids.  Do tell me, how do you do it?  I'd love to know and learn from you.

We have good kids and good health and a good life.  It is really a good, blessed time in life. I couldn't ask for much more...maybe a little reprieve from my own brain, but that's about it ;)  Naps are good, too.

*One of my considerations is trying the full GAPS diet, if even for a few weeks or a month to see if it reverses my egg sensitivity and improves what I believe might be eczema on Gabe's arms (not bad, very mild).  If you have any interest in trying it with me, please let me know! I could use a buddy in this diet experiment!

1 comment:

Tiffany Hope said...

I really like hearing the boring stuff. That's the stuff you don't get to experience with others, and it's sort of nice even just to see a similarity and feel normal, or realize a place where I could be managing my time better, or something. My head is stuffed and I'm not expressing myself well, but I just want you to know it's not boring. :-)