Wednesday, May 16, 2007

And Then There Were Two....

Wow. Two kids. I can’t believe I am a mother of 2 …under age 2. What the? Crazy? Yes. Fun? Yes. Hard? Definitely. But to all you women in the grocery store who look at me with pity (and sometimes contempt) and say: “My, you have your hands full” I say: “Really? You think?” (as if I haven’t heard that before) and then I say, “It ain’t all that bad..I’m managing..I’m doing it…doing fine, thank you…..I have no fear.” No fear of toddler tantrums, of non-sleeping babies, of diaper genies that fill their bellies in a day instead of a week, of projectile poop, spit-up, and grocery carts that now have no room for groceries because they are full of carseats and wiggly toddler bodies. I now have two adorable little girls, and although it isn’t always easy, I try to tell myself that I am one lucky mama. I told Jevan that we are now a real true family with two little kids…there’s just no way around it. This is going to be another marathon post as I haven't had a chance to sit down at a computer for any length of time since Allison was born. Man, I had forgotten how demanding a newborn can be for the first few months of life.

Let’s start with Allison. Nickname: Littles or Alli Cat. So precious. She has such a cute face and like Jane, you can see more of Jevan in her than of me. Unlike Jane, she is a little chunk and growing faster everyday. She was born at 7 lbs 12 oz and when I took her into her 2 week appointment (where usually they check to make sure your baby is at her birth weight because most newborns lose some in the first couple weeks) her doctor exclaimed: “Wow! If you ever had any question about what those things on your chest are for, they aren’t just for asthetics - they have a function, and apparently yours function really well!” Yes, he did say that…verbatim…he’s a hoot. Allison was already 10 lbs! She is now 2 months old and probably around 12-13 lbs. Just solid…yet with lots of baby squishy. I absolutely love snuggling her.

She has been a good baby from day one. There really must be something to the fact that she is a second child…a lot of my friends have told me that their second kid was easier…probably because they just don’t get the same attention as the first. Some days I have serious guilt about how much time Allison has spent in her bouncer or swing. She is a fabulous sleeper. She started only waking up once or twice a night starting the second week..and now at 8 weeks she usually wakes up only once. The first week or two at home it wasn’t Allison that was keeping me up as much as it was Jane. Jane’s world had so completely turned upside down that she would wake up multiple times throughout the night just wanting to be rocked. We accommodated her for a while, to ease the transition, but then had to retrain her to go back to sleep on her own, which is always really hard. I hate to hear her cry.

Allison is also a really happy baby. If she is well rested and fed, she is full of smiles and baby talk…she loves to communicate anyway she can. Give her some focused attention and she will instantly try to start up a conversation…and then keep it going for quite a while. It is so cute.
She’s very strong and holds her head up well. She also loves to stand and will push to standing whenever she gets the chance. She is another kicker, like Jane was, and her favorite place to practice this talent is the bath. She loves the bath. I put her in her bath chair and she goes to town, kicking her legs and flailing her arms like a mad woman. I think she loves the splashing sounds and that she can make them with her body.

Jane has responded really well to her new little sister. There aren’t really any jealously issues as I had feared, and Jane loves to point out the “babeeee” to everyone. We actually spend more time just keeping Allison safe from Jane’s “loves”. Jane gives great bear hugs and Allison is not left out, even if they squeeze all the air out of her little body. Jane also loves to point out all of Allison’s body parts, especially her eyes, which Jane thinks you won’t see unless she spears one with her finger and shows it to you. I continue to be amazed that Allison still has both her ears and both her hands attached to her body. No Jane, Allison is not Mr. Potato Head. We gave Jane a little doll when we brought Allison home from the hospital that we call her “baby”. I think it has really helped her get used to having Allison around. When I feed Allison, she will give her baby a bottle, and even try to burp her. Her little baby never gets cold because Jane makes sure she is draped with every burp cloth she can find in the house.

Life is definitely crazier now. To get anywhere on time, I have to plan at least an hour of getting ready. Get Jane dressed, do her hair, feed Allison and change her, re-do Jane’s hair because she has pulled it out already, take a shower and get ready, clean up the house that Jane has torn apart while I have been in the shower, change Allison..again, put Jane’s shoes on, re-do Jane’s hair…again, put together the baby bag, get Allison in the carseat (she is screaming at this point because she HATES the carseat) find and put on Jane’s shoes that she has taken off and lost in the meantime, grab keys and pile into the car. Whew! Then I spend the rest of the time in the car listening to the same Brite music songs over and over. Don’t get me wrong, they are great songs..but you start to lose brain cells after listening to “Lambie pie” again and again. Jevan was amazed one of the first Sundays we went to church because we honestly started getting ready 2 hours before. Great fun.

Jane continues to be her crazy toddler self keeping us entertained and on our toes at all times. Her vocabulary is exploding and she is getting really good at mimicking what we say. Not only can she do all the animal noises now, she can also say the animal as well. My favorite is elephant which comes out “ep-a-tee.” She counts to ten except she skips one, seven and eight…really, who needs those numbers anyway? She has also become really good at singing songs. Granted she only gets some words…mostly she just tries to mimic syllables, but super cute just the same. She does “ABCs”, “Elmo’s World”, “Twinkle, Twinkle”, “Lambie Pie”(of course), and “Row, Row Your Boat”. One night, Jevan was singing her a lullaby, a Brite song that Jane calls “Baby’s Boat’s”. After he finished, he started singing it to her again and out of the blue she started singing with him, every word (or as close as she can get to the right word). He was so surprised!

Jane is becoming more independent all the time and exerts her will whenever she can. There are definitely things that we now just stay out of her way and let her do herself. These include washing her hands, buckling the top buckle of her carseat, and putting on her shoes. I think she is starting into the “terrible twos” because temper tantrums have been increasing. They are never very bad, but she definitely wants things her way a lot more now. She will shake her head “no” and if you still don’t bow to her wishes it becomes “uh uh” in which her whole body, head, arms, you name it, shake back and forth. We even get screaming on occasion. We are currently working on trying to get her to “use her words” as much as possible to curtail the whining that is becoming more constant. She is starting to put words together.. “more juice”, “no socks”, “Jasper come!” (this one is my favorite…she yells it and is sounds like “Baaper gum!”). We are working on “please” and “thank you” which she is picking up pretty well…if you remind her.

Besides being busy with kids, we have taken on another project this spring that is scaring both Jevan and I with its immensity – The. Back. Yard. It has been a mess since we have lived in our house…broken sprinklers, lots of dead trees, struggling grass and all kinds of surprises…in one corner there is an old compost the other corner, a pine tree, some aspen trees, and…a barrel cactus. Uh- huh. It’s nuts. Oh wait, and don’t forget…the toilet…yes, a toliet full of plants. Someone wanted a pansy potty? A chrysanthimum commode? Very chic. And by chic I mean weird. So we have been spending all our precious Saturdays trying to fix it up (the yard, not the lavendar lavatory...) and so far we (I say we, it’s really mostly Jevan) have cut down all the dead aspen trees, torn up all the prickly bushes, including the aformentioned barrel cactus (sorry, little cactus), and pulled LOTS of weeds. Jevan managed to cut down 13 trees without maiming himself or anyone else, and spent most of the following week singing the “I’m a Lumberjack” song to himself. He has issues. We have also torn down our deck and are planning on replacing it too. We currently have a giant dumpster sitting at the side of our house with all the fruits of our labors thrown into it. It’s very classy. It has been so much work; discouraging at times because it never looks like we are making any good progress…but I have hope. We did put a swingset back there for Jane which she really enjoys. The goal is to have a working backyard before the summer ends. Yikes is all I can say.

So there you have it. Life is crazy hard..and fun at the same time. Lots of roller coaster days...especially for me. The transition to two has been hard for me because of my sudden lack of any kind of control or freedom in my life. You can go lots of places with just one child in tow, but with a newborn and a toddler? Not so much. I am a SUPER task oriented person and for me to go a whole day with only MAYBE getting in one load of laundry...yeah...I go a little loco. I am hoping that it will slowly get better in that respect...I know it will, I just have to be patient. I tell myself that one day I WILL go the bathroom by myself. And until then, I will sit back and enjoy these precious little girls...hug my wiggly, crazy toddler and enjoy the sweet-smelling, fuzzy-soft head of my little newborn.