I have officially been a mother of two for 16 days and I can only imagine things going better if I had a 24 hour on-call masseuse and a private Ben and Jerry's store in my basement. This is largely due to the fact that Thom's parents were here for a week and a half of toddler wrangling, and now Thom has a whole week off from work to pick up the slack.
Oh yes, we've had meltdowns and tantrums, we've had blowouts and projectile vomiting, we've had little sleep and less downtime... BUT, we've also had lots of laughs, lots of snuggles, and lots of time together relishing our new family.
Lila is proving to be an exceptionally easy baby to read. She's simple in her needs: feed me, change me, burp me, get me to sleep. If I can accomplish those things, she's a blissful little girl. The biggest challenges right now are feeding her as much as she wants (she likes to nurse pretty much nonstop from 8pm to 11pm) and holding her as much as she likes. Thom takes care of River's bedtime so I can do the evening feed, and the Ergo helps me hold her without giving up use of my arms completely. Even though it seems like a lot, if I think back to how much I held River during the first months of his life, I'm not spending a fraction of that time on Lila. I'm much more willing to put her down and let her entertain herself than I was with River. I don't go rushing in to rescue her from every snort and sigh, and consequently, she's learning to soothe herself much more readily. Some might read that and think I'm short-changing my second child, but I think she will be so much better off with the skills she learning. She will be better adjusted and, just as importantly, she will have a better adjusted mommy.
River has had some tough times this month, but I think it has to do more with his fatigue of company and less with Lila. By the end of their trip, Thom's parents had endured some pretty snotty behavior from the kid - telling them he didn't want their help, wasn't going to talk to them, wasn't going to do what they said. His need for mommy and daddy was intense, and now that Thom's had some time off, River seems happier. His biggest jealousy issue is that Lila gets to sleep in our room and he doesn't. We tried to let him stay in our bed one night this week and it was pretty much a disaster. After Lila's first feeding in the middle of the night, he was awake for another two hours telling us he thought it was wake-up time. Needless to say it is an experiment we will not be repeating.
Aside from having Thom around, another thing taking the pressure off right now is the generous preparation of meals that my friends are doing. About a dozen of the women from my moms' group have taken it upon themselves to cook a meal for us over the next few weeks. It is such a load off knowing we have dinner covered every other day (and can often stretch the leftovers even further), and I am so thankful for their wonderful gift to us.
And speaking of gifts, the best Christmas present we've received this year is the work grandmas Janie and Julie did to POTTY TRAIN RIVER! Yes, that boy is now officially peeing on the potty entirely during the day. He's still in diapers for nighttime, but he's totally in undies once he wakes up. We've had quite a few days without any accidents, and I am so proud of him (and so amazed that it happened right in the midst of a new baby coming). It's pretty much the last thing I thought would happen this month.
Finally, I have to brag just a little because I was shocked to discover yesterday that I have already lost the "baby weight" (this, in spite of the fact that I'm eating anything and everything I can get my hands on). That doesn't mean my shape is anywhere near where I want it to be (my Wii trainer says I'm still fat), but between eating pretty healthy during the pregnancy, burning up calories nursing, and chasing after two kids, I'm 4 lbs lighter than when I got pregnant. Whoo hoo! I went shopping for some non-pregnancy clothes yesterday and was so pleasantly surprised at the sizes I fit into. I think it's a good start for the new year, and I'm hoping to follow through with better eating and work-out habits.
Once Thom goes back to work next week, I know it's going to be rough adjusting to parenting solo most of the time. Our sitter will take some pressure off, but it's nothing compared to having two full-time parents around. I hope I can carry some of the calm and confidence I have right now into the coming months. I would love nothing more than to be this relaxed and happy all the time.
Keeping watch over her flock
4 hours ago