I've been the mother of two for six and a half months now. Here are some thoughts, ideas, differences I've noticed, and just a general update on my two favorite little munchkins.
Garrett is just over 20 months now. Once a kid turns one, I don't like saying their age in months. So he's still 'a year and a half' when asked by strangers. Because let's be honest, no one really cares how old my kids are. I'll never see these strangers again, but for some reason, the age of my children is the most frequent question I'm asked. And it's usually followed by, "Wow! You're busy!" But with Lulu getting close to 7 months, and Garrett still being 'a year and a half', I don't want to be asked if they are less than a year apart. So, I've decided that when Lulu is 7 months, Garrett will then be 'almost 2'. Much easier. I'll seem 'less busy', 'less crazy', etc. etc. Just in case you cared to know...
Although most people don't seem to believe me that going from one to two kids was a much easier transition for me than going from zero to one kid, it's still 100% true.
Lulu was a harder newborn, but much easier 'medically'. Easier delivery, easier well baby checkups... symmetrical (big) head, no need for a helmet, no need for a chiropractor, or a physical therapist, no need to see a specialist for anything, etc. We just go to the doctor and come home. No follow up visits, no referrals to new doctors, and a lot less expensive.
She's at a stage now were I tell Paul if they were all like this I'd have a dozen more, (but with the stage Garrett is in) I follow that up with, "but most days, Garrett makes me want to get my tubes tied." But truthfully, Garrett is a sweet little boy, he just pushes the limits as he tries to figure out life...I wonder where he got that from... And I'd love another baby in a few years. Boy or girl.
Differences I've noticed with 'round two'...
-I spend less money on, "maybe we should try this" type things.
-I worry MUCH less about completely irrational things. Though, I give a lot of credit on that one to the medication I'm on. Worrying and depression go hand in hand.
-I don't freak out about not being asleep. I used to lay awake (when I could be asleep) and think, "I need to hurry and fall asleep because Garrett will be awake in 2 hours and how will I function on so little sleep?" Then an hour later I'd think, "I have to get up in an hour. I'm so tired! Why am I awake?!" Then and hour later Garrett would wake up and I'd be so tired and depressed. My councilor really helped me train myself to not think about sleep when I'm awake. If my body really needs sleep, I'll sleep. I'm not going to die from sleep deprivation. Even if I have to call someone to come get my kids so I can nap because I think I might die, my body will sleep if it really has to. Having said that, we all four sleep for 8 hours + now, and we're doing great.
-With Garrett I loved pulling out the next size of clothes as he'd grow. With Lulu, I try to squeeze her into clothes for as long as possible.
-I was so excited to start Garrett on solids. The thought of starting Lulu doesn't sound fun at all. And no, at 6.5 months, we haven't started yet.
-I don't pull out the hazmat suit and wash every binky and toy that touches the ground. I don't even wash it, just kinda maybe brush it off and give it back.
-At the 6 month well-check, the doctor said to start weaning her off the binky. Umm, no. I'll decided when I want to do that. With Garrett I would have read about everything bad that can happen to teeth and speech when babies use binkies. Taking a binky at 6 months doesn't worry me at all. Garrett never took one, so I never thought about it.
-Speaking of doctor advise, he told us 2 months ago to get a potty for Garrett. Still haven't. Just like the solid food thing for Lulu, I have no motivation to potty train. I think he's too young. We'll get there when we get there.
-We're doing more of what works for us this time around. I read less parenting books. I research every little thing on the internet much less. I follow my gut more. I don't want to miss out on my children's childhood because I'm trying so hard to do it 'right'...or what I'm being told by books and people who don't know me or my kids. It's much better, and a lot more fun this way.
-loves chasing people and playing hide and seek.
-hugs my legs a lot when I'm standing.
-is pretty nice to his sister.
-tries to share his sippy cup with her a lot.
-gives her toys and her binky if she's sad.
-loves to tickle people and does a loud surprise scream/laugh when he gets you.
-loves having juice and milk on his big bear.
-is trying harder to say more words.
-is still obsessed with Shark Tale.
-is so handsome, and is losing his baby look more and more.
-gets called Lulu 99% of the time by Paul and I.
-is sleeping really well.
-is drooling less.
-only cries if I wait a little too long to feed her, and we almost never make it anywhere in the car seat without a few tears.
-smiles all the time.
-rolls over a lot, scoots, and is sitting up like a champ.
-laughs the most at her brother.
-is so, so, happy in the morning and after naps.
-naps twice a day for about 2 hours each.
-is SLOWLY catching up with her head.
-is the cutest baby girl in the world.
These pictures above are a result of an evening where Paul and Garrett were watching sports and Lulu and I had nothing better to do. She's such a good sport, and such a doll.I love my babies.
An update on the Hansen Family. Though we've never met in real life, I've followed their story closely and have been really inspired by their faith and their commitment to family and God.
Atticus finished his hard fight with cancer yesterday and passed away peacefully at home in the arms of his parents. He died on the last day of what the Mayor of Sunnyvale, Texas had declared "Atticus Hansen Week". Just four and a half years old, and less than 5 months after he was diagnosed with DIPG. I was emotional and heavy hearted when I got the news. I just cried and held Lulu until she didn't want to be held anymore, then I went and got Garrett from bed, luckily he wasn't asleep yet. We read, colored, played with magnets, and shared a cupcake before we both finally called it a night.
Something Atticus' dad wrote just a couple days before he died, has really stuck with me, "What I wouldn't give for just one more day with a healthy Atticus."
Tragic experiences like this remind me of how blessed I am.