Wednesday, October 10, 2012

The Little things

We all have those days where someone we see has it way more together than we do.  It seems to me that those people are everywhere:  The woman who has an endless amount of patience with her kids.  The woman with an infant who doesn't have spit up on her shirt or poop somewhere on her pants.  (The kid's poop; not mine.)  The woman whose put an elaborate meal put together for her family without demolishing her kitchen.  The woman who cooked at all.  (My poor family has been on a steady rotation of casseroles, pasta, and grilled chicken for over a year.)  The woman who looks great after working out.  The woman who worked out at all.  The woman whose kids look cute, without dirt marks on their knees and scuffs on their shoes, without bows askew.  That woman drives me a little nuts.  

I am pretty sure I have never been that woman.  If I have been, the moments are few and far between, and I was stressed out getting there.  And my kiddo has probably been a bit neglected and watched too much television that morning to allow me to get that way.  Or she's emptied my makeup bag out while I was brushing my teeth.  Or something.

I have a tendency to concern myself with random stuff.  I clean and straighten our home obsessively, for example.  Who cares?  Brad doesn't.  Addison doesn't.  Just me.  And I want to be early or on time to everything.  That is next to impossible with an infant, let alone with an infant and an extremely independent two year old.

As a stay at home mom, I have tried to continue to have some sort of schedule to the week.  I'm a planner, and this helps me function.  I was reminded this week what else helps me function: a pal.  A mom of kids similar in age who also shows up slightly frazzled; with one of her kids still in pajamas; who, like me, carries an endless supply of Goldfish crackers and fruit snacks in her purse.  To sit while our kids raced back and forth, discussing the pros and cons of waiting to potty train when our kids are obviously ready, and what they're learning in preschool, seems to make the week a little easier.  Knowing someone else sometimes feels like they're drowning in a sea of toys and diapers and laundry makes me feel a little less lonely.  When Addison was little I had a couple of close friends with kiddos close in age.  We did lunch and coffee dates where we let the babies sleep and we put our feet and just talked.  It's been a while since I recognized the need for commiseration.  It's so important!  It reminds you that what's important is not always what's easy or what you wish your kid was doing.  It reminds you what God has called us to as moms.  It reminds you that sometimes just letting go and being with your kid is what matters.  Isn't that why we stay home in the first place?  I needed that reminder.
Another reminder came from one of those articles on Huffington Post about motherhood.  It was one of those pieces that made me tear up (doesn't take much these days... or ever).  I was especially struck by the following:
Our sons need to see how young and beautiful and human their mamas were. Our daughters need to see us vulnerable and open and just being ourselves -- women, mamas, people living lives. Avoiding the camera because we don't like to see our own pictures? How can that be okay?

How true!  Addison doesn't care if I'm racing back and forth around the house picking up laundry before I go get her from preschool.  She doesn't care if the library books are returned a day late, or if dinner is take out or leftovers.  She doesn't notice if her stuffed animals make it into the bed before she does, as long as they're there eventually.  And she doesn't care if she eats lunch a few minutes earlier or later, based on when Audrey is fussing.

So, I'm going to schedule more play dates for Mommy, because I know they benefit Addison and Audrey.  (And even Brad.)  And I'm going attempt the library story hour today.  We will probably be late.  My hair will be dirty and I'm pretty sure either my baby or I will smell like spit up, but I'll be there.  And I'll try to be all there.  So Addison doesn't remember me cleaning or cooking or how I looked, but instead remembers how much I enjoyed her.

By the way, Audrey is one month old today.  Where does the time go???  One more reason to slow down and enjoy the little things with my gals.

PS: it took me two days to write this post.  

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Life with Two

Well friends, we've got two... two sweet gals.  This weekend it was rainy, and I had the pleasure of having both curled up in the bed with me.  I couldn't help but wonder how we got so lucky.  I am constantly in awe of these sweet blessings.  Audrey Lynn came into the world on September 10, 18 inches long, and 7 pounds 4 ounces.  Screaming as loud as she could.  As Brad says, we were pretty nervous for about 30 minutes, but she calmed down and has been just as easy a baby as Addison was.

So, how is life with two different?  I am pretty sure it will constantly evolve.  Right now I'm still technically recovering from my C-section, so I'm not supposed to pick up anything over ten pounds.  That's pretty difficult when the baby weighed almost 9 pounds at two weeks old and you still have a two year old who likes to be held.  (You read that correctly: our little bit gained an ounce a day in her first 10 days at home!  Phew!)  The hardest part has been not picking up Addie and doing all those things we are used to.  I actually overheard her explaining things to her Mickey Mouse doll last week:
"Mommy can't pick me up because of her owie.  But I love you, so I can pick you up and hold you."  Ouch.

I know she'll forget all about how often I've had to say "Mommy can't ______," when I can do all those mommy things she thinks I should.  In the meantime Brad is her favorite, I can do nothing whatsoever - including read stories before bed or say prayers, and she climbs like a monkey up into her car seat, high chair, bed, and anything else up high.  Our big girl is getting so independent.

The little gal is working on a schedule for Mommy... last night she slept almost 5 straight hours!  (It's amazing how little it takes to make a new mom happy.)  She grunts in her sleep like a goat, and coos whenever I carry her in the sling.  Her chubby cheeks melt my heart.  

Getting both out of bed and ready to go anywhere feels a little like I've worked out.  Bed time when Brad is not home is touch-and-go.  Any time Audrey cries, Addison gets distressed and says "Oh no!  Mommy she's fussing!"  It is super sweet how she doesn't ever want baby sister to cry, but it sometimes makes for an interesting race for me, back and forth between the playroom and the nursery, haha.  
So while Brad and I stay busy taking care of an infant and chasing a two year old - and scratching our heads over the things she says - we'll continue to count our blessings.  Two healthy, beautiful girls.  Wow.