Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Mom of Two: Three Months In

Last month was the turning point for me in my adjustment to this new normal, praise God. I made it through the "fourth trimester"!

Zane had three weeks off of school in December, and it was just in time. At the beginning of his break, he woke up with Daisy, so I could sleep in a little longer each day. By the end of the break, Amy was sleeping through the night, and I felt like a new woman.

Early in January, we were hanging around the house. Zane was in the kitchen; Daisy was playing; I was rocking Amy. I felt such peace. Everything was right. I realized that I had gotten used to having two kids. 

Further proof of my new-found adjustment is that recently I had a memory of something over the summer and thought, "Wait, what did I do with Amy during that?" Oh yeah, she was in my belly!

Amy is so much fun now. She interacts, smiles, coos, and wants to be part of the action at all times. She's so strong too, trying to sit up and roll over. Neither has happened yet on her own. She's also out of the ballpark in terms of height and weight percentile for her age. She's a good eater!

Along with my feeling of "I got this" with two kids has come a sense of contentment with this stage of life. After many months of disliking life in our new town, I have come to like our little apartment. It's super quick to clean. After getting home from errands, I feel peace walking in the door, shutting out the world to rest and enjoy our little sanctuary. I have explored the area enough that I have a pretty good mental map of where things are located. Our new home has finally become home.

I still have lots of dreams and goals on the horizon. I can't shut off that part of my personality. But, here and now, this is good. Nursing school is good. Tampa is good. Two kids is good.

Whew, it happened. I adjusted. Now, what to change next...

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Christmas Family Fun

Merry Christmas Eve! This year, we've done Christmas to the max it seems, and I have a feeling we will be doing Christmas even bigger as the girls get older. 

We decorated as a family right before Thanksgiving (we have no qualms about blending the two holidays). Daisy loves to decorate! We had to keep her from taking off the ornaments so she could re-decorate. 

To start December, we made Christmas cookies with friends. Daisy loves to roll out the dough and use cookie cutters. Daisy helped Daddy make "Christmas pretzels," which is Zane's traditional Chex mix/Almond bark candy treat. 

We went to Raglan Road twice this year. The first night, Daisy danced up on stage with the Irish step dancers. She was adorable. The next week when we returned, she danced on stage twice! By the second time (her third time dancing), she basically knew the whole routine. 

It's always fun to walk around Disney at Christmas time and see all the beautiful decorations!

The weekend before Christmas we had an extended-family Christmas celebration with some of my family at my grandparents' house. With just five of my cousins' families, we had eleven great-grandchildren present. This is the best photo we could get of all the kiddos. 

Then we jumped over to Zane's family for the annual cupcake decorating competition. My creativity must have been depleted this year, because I couldn't create anything worthy of winning, but we did get some cute photos of Amy and her cousin Declan.

Christmas Eve was spent at another family party. The girls had super cute Christmas dresses, but we forgot to take a photo of them! We spent Christmas with Zane's family, then did Christmas again on the 26th with my family. This last week has been spent relaxing with family and catching up with a few friends in Orlando.

I hope all of you have had a fun season with family like we have! 2014 was a wonderful year with lots of changes (moving, nursing school, new baby). We look forward to all that 2015 brings! 

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Mommy of Two: Two months in

Wow, how can one month feel so long! Other people have said, "She's already two months? Wow that went fast!" But it's the same concept as other people's pregnancies always go faster than your own. I'm living each day in all its hours watching this little person grow up, and it feels long. 

Long isn't necessarily bad though. I've enjoyed watching Amy fatten up and raise her head and follow objects with her eyes. She gets distracted while eating if Daddy or Daisy start talking in the room. She loves to watch Rufio run around. I'm still her favorite person, and seem to always have the magic touch when calming her down, even without nursing. 

I love having a baby. She's so cute and sweet. I love her smiles and squishy cheeks. I'm excited for the future and for the girls to interact more, but I'm really loving Amy's baby stage too. 

It feels like Amy is growing up faster than Daisy did. Time goes slowly, but Amy's growth in that time seems fast. Her milestones seem too soon, but I guess that's because I'm not waiting with anticipation for them to happen like I did with Daisy. 

In addition to her milestones, she's growing in size faster than Daisy did. She's already in six month clothes!! All her cute three month clothes are packed up. 

This month Amy started going seven hours between feedings at night. That gives me about six consecutive hours of sleep overnight, which means I can go without a nap during the day if necessary. 

No naps are helpful, because I opened my Etsy shop back up this month, and I've been busy with orders. Pregnancy slowed down my sewing WAY more than having an infant. When Zane is here to watch the girls, I can knock out my orders in a few hours. When I was pregnant, I had to stretch them out over days. Just an interesting observation. 

One thing that will probably remain a challenge no matter what is this constant worry that I'm neglecting one of the girls. When I'm holding Amy, I'm worried that Daisy's not getting enough attention, and when Amy's stuck in her yellow rocker for most the day, I'm worried that she's not getting held enough. How do people add more kids to the mix?

I had quite a bit of baby blues the last couple months, but ever since Zane's winter break from school started, I have felt much better. His daily presence has given me the break that I needed, like when he gets up with Daisy in the morning, and I get to sleep an extra hour. He starts back to school in January, but I think I'll be in a much better place then. I have several goals for the new year, and I'm excited about starting a new chapter and new routine. 

I think the main lesson I have learned through this early newborn transition is to not set too high expectations for myself. In fact, the only expectation a mom of a newborn should set is to feed her kids and change their diapers. Forget accomplishing anything else!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Mom of Two: One Month In

I made it a whole month! We all survived! In some ways, this has been a long month, and in other ways I feel like I just had Amy yesterday! Really, not much has changed since I wrote this post two weeks ago. I'm still experiencing the same struggles and victories. 

The main difference between having one baby and having a baby and a toddler is this: less daytime sleep. It's funny, because I wrote this post about being sleep deprived after Daisy was born. HAH! I had no idea what sleep deprived felt like then. 

Another big difference is how much I have to let the baby cry. I tend to her as quickly as I can, but there are times when I hear her crying in her little rocker thing, and I'm in the middle of helping Daisy dress or putting her to bed or cleaning up her potty. Amy has to wait for me. She's very patient and forgiving. 

I'm pretty sure Daisy never had to wait long for me to get her when she was one month old. That could contribute to why when Daisy cries now, she's not nearly as patient for me to tend to her.

I think I was a lot more light-hearted about everything after Daisy was born. This time I'm a little more on edge. I didn't have a toddler peeing on my couch and pooping in panties before (that was a rough day). Things are different now. 

I have to consciously remember and enjoy the happy parts of the day and dismiss the unhappy parts. 

There are plenty of happy parts too. Amy started smiling. Daisy continues to carry on hilarious conversations with us. Zane and I get a few restful moments together at the end of each day. We can actually hug each other without a basketball between us. It's the little things! 

We went to church on Sunday for the first time since Amy was born. That was a victory! This week, I finally left the house with both girls all by myself. Another victory! That which seemed impossible a few days after Amy's birth was actually not bad at all. I'm slowly starting to feel more capable. 

Only a few more weeks of this crazy busy semester for Zane. I'm SO looking forward to his break from school. Four 12-hour days in a row, plus studying on the weekends is really wearing on us. After this semester he's halfway to graduation! 

Every day is a little easier than the last. Eventually we will find a normal routine. It's close. I'm thinking I'll feel normal again by January. Too soon? I hope not! 

Monday, November 3, 2014

Amy's Infant Photos - DIY

When Daisy was born, we were very blessed to have a friend take some great infant photos free of charge. When I was pregnant with Amy, I did some research on infant photos and decided to attempt it on my own. I followed It's Always Autumn's advice on taking DIY infant photos. 

I don't have super duper camera, just a point-and-shoot Cannon Powershot. It takes pretty good pictures though, and with my large west-facing window and photoshop (the free online editing tool), I was able to get some pretty sweet pictures of my 5-day old infant. 

I think they turned out pretty good for being edited by an amateur!

Here's the original: 
See? Pretty good, right? 

Okay, back to the nice, edited photos: 

I originally edited the photos on my Mac with the photo preview tool. I didn't have time or motivation to go back and re-edit them all in photoshop, so the less-professionally edited ones are below. I basically just adjusted the colors a little and lightened the exposure.

This is obviously not a professional pose for infant photos, but I just love her skinny little legs in it!

Below was my first attempt at a sibling picture. As soon as I told Daisy we were done, she slipped out from under her crying sister. We'll keep trying.