Friday, July 23, 2010

Cuteness Keeps Us Going

Here I am in the post-baby bliss phase. Sweet pea continues to sleep for monstrous chunks of time. As much as I adore holding her, she accommodates me by frequently offering to sleep peacefully on her own in a bouncy chair or her co-sleeper. She amazes me. Peanut could rarely be persuaded to be out of arms for more than a few moments. Additionally, Sweet Pea quiets the moment someone picks her up so there is rarely any fussing or crying for very long. It's a wonderful time around here which is good for adjusting to life with a newborn and toddler because the toddler still demands a great deal of time and attention any way you cut it.

In fact we had a day last week that was so rough I nearly ran screaming from the house. I just couldn't seem to communicate with Peanut (she's about to turn 2 1/2) who was fitful about everything. She was throwing things, kicking and hitting me - all very out of character for her - for no reason that I could see. By lunchtime I was exhausted and then she didn't take a very long nap which meant that I didn't get a whole lot of downtime. That night I had plans with some friends to go out and I was immensely grateful that the plans were in motion and Gboy planned to stay at home and put the girls to bed without me. I needed that night out (my first since Sweet Pea was born 5 weeks ago) in a way that was visceral.

Parenting a toddler continues to be a challenge each and every day, particularly as I now try to do it with one hand tied behind my back (so to speak). Having to stop whatever I'm doing with Peanut to nurse Sweet Pea has disrupted the rhythm of things. I'm hopeful that ultimately what will come out of this is more independence for Peanut. She's incredibly verbal and extremely conversational and very much into pretend play right now. As a result, she wants me to constantly be her playmate; I provide the voices for her dolls and stuffed animals and I'm the customer for her store, patient to her as doctor, etc. On top of all this, we're solidifying the potty training and we've moved her to a big girl bed after she figured out how to climb out of her crib just weeks after Sweet Pea's birth. BIG changes all around.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

It Was a Good Underwear Day

Once upon a time, before Gboy and I started thinking seriously about starting a family, our post-dinner conversations went something like this:

"Work was interesting today...."
"That was a really nice bottle of Merlot we had with dinner. I'd drink it again."
"What do you think we should do about the dead grass on our microscopic 'front lawn'? Should we think about landscaping it ourselves? " (Insert laughter here!)

Today, our post-dinner conversation actually began with Gboy saying, "It was a good underwear day." He was referring to the fact that Peanut wore her first pair of Big Sister underpants and kept them dry for the better part of the day (minus the 3 hours that we went out for an excursion and decided that with limited access to toilets a diaper was warranted instead). Life feels different when this is how daily conversation goes. Not bad, and not necessarily "good" (discussing the toilet habits of other people, even my own children, isn't high on my list of exciting things to do) but it feels very real and often very rewarding.

But if, 5 years ago, you'd asked me how to interpret that sentence, I wouldn't have had a clue about the context in which I might use it!!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

I Miss My Mommy....

I dropped my mom and dad off at the airport just an hour ago and I miss them already. I'm wishing for my mom's help already. Gboy and I decided that despite my mom's earlier offer to stay longer if we needed her help, that we wouldn't make a request for her to extend her stay right now. She's been with us for approximately a month and has been helpful in countless ways. She stayed with Peanut while we were in the hospital overnight before we could come home with Sweet Pea. Mom took Peanut to the park and entertained her and baked cupcakes with her and basically ensured that she was having such a good time that she barely noticed Mama and Papa were gone. In fact, when Mom brought Peanut to the hospital to meet the new baby, I was afraid that Peanut would wail and refuse to leave without Mama; but I was wrong. Peanut and her Nana had a great time together.

My dad arrived a few days after the baby was born. His ruptured ear drum prevented him from arriving with my mom the prior week. He and my mom took Peanut to the Pike Place Market - a favorite tourist destination of theirs. She ate cookies! She saw the pig! She rode the bus! And apparently sang a song of her own creation entitled "Eeney Meeney Miney Moe" the entire way home. Mom and Dad played Play-Doh with her, read her books, fed her fruit, took her to the grocery store, and helped with the potty training (she's about 95% dry during the daytime hours these days). These are the things for which I am grateful and reasons why I will miss them.

Still, it feels almost too easy right now to have extra help. Well, the infant is easy. And I do mean super easy. When my mom stayed with us for the 4 weeks after Peanut was born, I distinctly remember one of us adults (Gboy, me or my mom) having to rock her through the dinner hours. She wasn't a colicky baby but she'd fuss for sure *every* night at dinner meaning two of us would eat and one would rock Peanut and then we'd switch. But Sweet Pea is a great sleeper and happy baby. She rarely fusses with the exception of an hour or two in the evening (usually for some stretch between 9 pm and 11pm). And once she's asleep she's asleep. Getting her back to sleep after she's nursed in the middle of the night is easy. Because Sweet Pea is a fast and efficient eater I get lots of nighttime sleep.

I expect everything to change at some point. It always does. But for now, we think we might be able to make it work. Having a husband who works from home also gives me lots of flexibility and support if I need it in a pinch. Needless to say, we're hoping for the best right now. Gambling on the fact that I've assessed the situation accurately and that I truly can spend most of my time entertaining Peanut. She loves, I'd even say needs, to have playmates; for now, I'm it! If things don't work out and we need more help, we'll have to consider preschool options or daycare. But we could also call Nana and have her come back out to lend a hand. I don't think she'd mind!