Tuesday, May 12, 2015

The Initial Adustment to Life With Two



I am sure that the adjustment from one to two kids is different for every Mom and probably easier for some than others.  I think that I am adjusting in some ways better than I expected so yeah me, on the other hand, the more challenging areas for me have been much tougher than I imagined.  

I realize that for all of you who have two or more kiddos already, that this is old news and I know that someday it will be for me also.  This post is more for the Mom who is on Google searching for information on starting her journey with two kids as she is pregnant with her second and curious about the upcoming transition.  This post is also for the mom who just had her second kiddo (like me) and she is wondering if anyone else can relate to what she is going through.  Maybe she feels like pulling her hair out or crying all day...I was in that place the first couple of months and especially after the hubby went back to work:).  Maybe we have some things in common.  I hope it is encouraging just to know that you are not alone in this transition!  

I wrote this post originally when my son was only about a month old and now I am rewriting it when he is 4.5 moths old because so much has changed already.  Overall I would say that the changes have been mostly positive so that is encouraging I hope.  This season is just one of the MANY seasons in life that I have come to realize takes time to adjust to, fall in to, accept, understand and find peace in.  No one feels warm immediately upon being thrown into a cold pool but, if you swim around a lot and for a while, you begin to adjust to the temperature.  So, that being said, prepare to give this season a good amount of time and soon enough you will warm up to it all.  That's not to say that it will all be easy but, just that you will feel more confident in your routine because you will know how to best manage your day with your newest addition with the aide of time and through trial and error. 

  In all honesty, I was feeling super overwhelmed the first 2 months after my son was born.  A big reason for that was that I had an unplanned c-section and a really rough recovery. I wasn't able to do much for the first 2 months and that was awful for me.  After delivering my daughter, (my first born) I was up and cleaning house the day I came home from the hospital.  Not that I had to do housecleaning but, I wanted to, I could and it felt great!  I had so much energy after having my daughter and I never dealt with any postpartum blues etc.  After having my son, I didn't know how I would ever get out of the house with the two kids alone at first and it really gave me a great deal of anxiety when an appointment came up or if someone wanted me to go somewhere.   But, with each outing my confidence grew and though it isn't easy (not easy at all...sorry but, it just isn't as easy as life with one kiddo...not even close, lol.) to shop with 2 kids, I can do it now.
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The one thing that I want to encourage all Moms adjusting to a new little one is please give yourself time and try not to cave in to the pressure to go-go-go, if you don't feel quite ready yet.  Your busy life will resume when it is meant to, that I can assure you.  If I had listened to everyone that was telling me that I needed to get out right away and that it was "what was best for me," I would have been even more of a wreck.  Please accept grace and rest in it.  Rest whenever you can and take it easy. There is plenty of time for rushing later.  Adding another little human to your family can be very exhausting and you will need all the r&r that you can get!   

 I actually survived 7 days alone with my husband out of town on a business trip when my son was 3 months old and my daughter came down with a severe stomach virus the day after he left.  Horrible timing and I think I did over 25 loads of laundry that week.  Seriously, I felt like SUPER WOMAN after that time on my own with the two kiddos.  It was craziness.  One of the most exhausting weeks ever!  

 That may have even been the week that I realized I was so much stronger than I thought I was and so much more capable then I ever knew.  When we Mom's need to rise to the occasion, we do just that,  We rise. 

 The first few months with a baby are all about figuring that tiny person out, learning their personality, their schedule and getting settled.  Figuring all that stuff out takes time.  Learning what a baby likes and doesn't like, takes time and just when you think you've got them figured out they go and cut a tooth or grow an inch and get all grumpy again.  Tis the way of life with a wee one.  As you already know from your first round...patience is probably one of the most important tools in every aspect of parenting. 

Now at almost five months my kiddo has pretty much created his own sleep/nap routine all on his own.  It feels good to know what he needs to be happier and more content.  I am able to plan my days with a lot more ease...more or less.  It's never going to be a perfect science with a baby of course but, it really does begin to fall in to place a bit with time.  Thank you sweet Jesus for that!  



   

1. The Emotional Adjustment


Simply put, learning to let go of what was and how to adjust to what is...is not as easy as you think!


For at least a few months after my son was born I was struggling a lot in this area.

 I missed all of the quality time that I got to spend with my daughter before Bruin was born.  I missed the energy that I had just for her.  I can't emphasize that enough.  I had nearly 5 years with just her and I knew having another kiddo would be a big change but, I didn't realize how much I would miss all of the one on one time I had with my her.  My heart actually ached deeply for her.  It was depressing...not gonna lie.  I held it together on the outside but, inside I felt a lot of sadness...I'm sure that my postpartum blues and the traumatic delivery weren't helping things for me.  What made it even harder was that my daughter had a bit of a tough time adjusting to the changes that came along with her baby brother for about 3 weeks as well.  Now five months in things are a lot better overall but, I still miss being able to do more with my daughter.  We baked, crafted, cuddled in bed on Saturday mornings, went shopping together etc.  I can do some of these things with her of course but, not nearly as often and certainly not every day.  I am still learning to adjust in this area but, we have come a long way in five months so I am thankful for that.  

I miss sleeping through the night and waking up refreshed and in a generally good mood.  I missed feeling okay physically.  The c-section was a doozy for me and really took me out of commission for close to 3 months.  That was SO unexpected and thus it was so much harder for me to adjust to because I wasn't remotely prepared for it.  I used to hold my daughter often and carry her a lot but, after the c-section I couldn't and it actually broke my heart because it was just another thing that distanced us when I wanted to feel closer.  I didn't have the energy to tuck her in at night so Daddy took over and I missed that too.  I wasn't able to drive her to school in the morning because I wasn't allowed to drive on the meds for a few weeks so Daddy took over the morning drives.  I missed that as well.  There was just so much change in such a short amount of time and though I can adjust to moderate levels of change, this was more than I was able to process all at once I guess?  

This is another area that some people adjust to faster than others I'm sure.  I'm a slow adjuster...what can I say. 

FACT #1:  Being exhausted can make even simple life challenges harder for anyone to handle. Fact #2 Infants are EXHAUSTING!!  I've decided that it doesn't matter how "good" your newborn/infant might be...a baby is still a baby and a baby is just plain hard (good?) work any way you slice it. 
I'm so so so so so so so so so so tired.....zzzzzz....


Then there are the new levels of guilt.  Am I spending enough time with my baby?  Does he feel loved?  Does my daughter (my older kiddo) think that I love the baby more than her?  I didn't do tummy time today..or this week? Have I failed as a parent, why yes I have...how sad! haha What can I do with my extremely limited time and energy to make my daughter feel extra special today?  She said she doesn't like me like ten times today right, I probably deserve that.   My house is a mess! I feel like a crazy person when I look at this disaster!! I wonder if my husband thinks that all I do is watch soap operas all day??  Sigh. Will I ever be able to make my husband a dinner again?  Why is it so hard to take a shower..or get dressed?  My toe nail polish is so chipped...I guess I'll need to wear shoes all summer...sigh.  I'm so tired but, I need to pretend that I have energy so that people won't worry about me.  My infant son hasn't taken a bath in 7 days...Lord have mercy, social services will probably be knocking on my door tonight!  My daughter ate a doughnut for breakfast...and dinner. Why can't I get it together?

Just say NO to mom guilt!  It's a nasty little trick of the enemy to break a Mom's spirit and joy.  Whenever those little guilt trip thoughts pop up in my head, I quickly battle them off with a prayer of truth about who I am in Christ.  It's not to say that this is always an immediate fix but, it is a great habit to get in to.  It's a practice of battling the negativity that guilt creates with the positivity that Christ fills us up with. And for me it is something that I MUST practice daily...lemme tell yah.

It was also hard to see my daughter feeling angry, sad or even mildly jealous after her brother came home.  She did an amazing job of holding it together and she never took it out on him which surprised me.  She took it out on me and Daddy mostly which is understandable.  She was more defiant.  She slammed her door more.  She seemed a bit cold and distant on occasion and she was very vocal about her dislike for us when she was mad.  It hurt a lot but, I reminded myself that it wasn't personal and that it was just her way of adjusting to things being so different.  She missed me too!

The key for us was to continually love on her as much and as often as we could.  We also involved her in diaper changes, baths etc...though she seems to have quickly bored of those things and no longer seems interested in participating.  I also made a point to include her in the baby chats I was having with my son.  I would also tell Bruin to wait his "turn" if Daisy was talking.  This helped her to feel like she was important and that the baby didn't always come before her.  Still, this area has been a work in progress and there have been days where Daisy has whined and said, "you like Bruin more than me," which especially stings when it comes on the heels of playing a game with her for an hour while he napped instead of squeezing in a nap for myself.  There really is no way of getting around it I suppose.  She is so much older so she thinks more and observes more.  If your kids are closer in age and younger they may not even be all that interested in the new baby you have brought home.  They may not even notice the attention you have to give your wee one.  Daisy is 100% engaged and aware of my every move.  She is my little shadow and mini-me.  She is always hungry for my undivided attention.  

 I will say that after almost 5 months, Daisy seems to be much more comfortable with our routine and I would say that overall she appears to feel content in her new relationship as big sister and no longer an only child.  We definitely have moments where I catch her staring at me when I am talking to Bruin while he sits in my lap and I see the need in her eyes for validation.  I try to affirm her as often as I can but, we win some days, we lose some days.  At least I can say we have improved in this area A TON in five months. Once again, it took time for her to accept the changes but, she slowly got on board.

I have also made a point to go on a few dates when I can with my daughter.  We both LOVE our dates together.  We've gone to ice cream a few times or just to grab groceries alone together.  I also took her with me to the salon when I got my hair done.  She had never been to a salon and I gave her a tour and let her sit in my lap and talk with the stylists.  She had a great time! Then we went next door to grab lunch and we laughed our heads off together.  I give her my undivided attention during these special outings and I can tell that it really makes her feel extra special.  In fact when I went to Mother's Day Tea at Daisy's school she had written that her dates with me were her favorite thing to do with me.  That really blessed me to hear.  It also makes me feel better to get this quality time in with her...honestly I'm not sure who it helps more.  I come away from those outings feeling very connected to my daughter and I can tell that she feels the same.  I hope we will get more of these special dates once I am done nursing.  Sometimes I think that we need to be purposeful about dating our kids in the same way we need to try and date our spouses when we can.  It's amazing how much a little break from the routine can freshen a connection and strengthen a bond between child or spouse! 

Other areas of transition:

Sleep - OMG

Hey, maybe your baby will sleep great! Maybe your baby will sleep through the night from day one.  Maybe all of your kids will sleep awesome and you will have the life I can only dream about...well, actually I won't be able to dream about it BECAUSE I NEVER SLEEP...and if you do happen to be so lucky then please...just please...don't tell me about it. And I don't even think we should be friends.  Your peppiness will drain me and your glorious stories of awesome sleeping babies will depress me.  HAHA...totally kidding but, seriously. I'm SO TIRED. Sigh.  I've tried all the tricks and taken all the boat loads of advice.  Nope.  He still likes to get up at least 6-8 times a night or so and he generally likes to nurse 4 of those times at least.  I know that he will get there but, it is going to take time by the looks of it.  That being said I have had to adjust to extremely inconsistent nights but, consistently about 3 hours of broken sleep tops on average.  It's ROUGH.  I like to sleep.  Scratch that, I LOVE to sleep and getting 45 minutes at a time is just not my thing.  Still, the body has an incredible way of adapting and mine has managed to adapt overall but, it doesn't change the fact that I do feel very run down most of the time.

I dream while I am awake about what it will be like to hopefully feel more rested again when I wake up someday.  lol.  I am trying to wean my little guy from wanting to nurse so much at night but, it ends up being a very long middle of the night scream fest every night so I'm fried.  Being tired effects EVERYTHING else in the next day.  Patience is hard enough to maintain as a parent on a good night's sleep but, without sleep...holy moly it becomes a supernatural thing I tell yeah.  Entertaining my highly energetic five year old all day every day, while also tending to my fussy 4 month old is exhausting but, I have found that if I keep busy I actually get through the day better.  It's when I get too stationary at home that I start to realize just how tired I am and my mood wants to go downhill from there.  So, I tend to be a busy bee until bedtime.  I think I have gotten 3 naps since my son was born!! JUST 3 and they weren't any longer than 20 minutes at best.  Yes that is craziness.  I'm shocked just reading that.  Now that my daughter is past the napping phase I no longer have the luxury of napping when my baby naps.  I miss that a lot.

Because I am unable to get a nap, I force myself to go to bed early which is not fun or easy.  I so badly want to stay up late and get some quiet time or spouse time in before bed but, if I do that I risk losing the only 2 hours of uninterrupted sleep that I might get all night.  Most nights I have to  close my eyes by 9 at the latest.

If you are like me and you need a lot of sleep, then this may also be a tricky area of transition for you.

Having two kids is definitely more tiring than having one...for me.  But, if your baby sleeps great this won't be as much of an issue for you. Yay! 


Getting Two Kids and Myself Ready to go Out...Fuggedaboutit.


We really had the whole one kid thing down pretty well for the most part.  We had a great routine and we were generally on time for things....yah, I just want everyone who ever invites us to anything to know right now, that's never going to happen again. HA!  For the record, I love being on time for things and it is important to me...but, I've decided to let that expectation go.  Gone.  Buh-bye.

Why is it so hard to get out of the dang house with kids?  Oh yah, because every single time I touch the door knob to leave I remember something else that I have forgotten...the sippy cup, the water bottle, the diaper bag, the pacifier, my sweater, my glasses, the keys, her baby doll, the lunch box, his blanket, the toys, my bible, my purse, my shoes, her snack and so on.  And if it isn't one of those endless things it's the kids needing something. "I have to go potty! Did you get my bag? Can you bring me some animal crackers? Or maybe just as I get all of my ducks in a row my baby spits up on my shirt for the fifth time that morning and I simply cannot wear it with that many layers of stench.  Then I have to change and that can be a whole other long and drawn out process these days because I pretty much loathe everything in my wardrobe.  This post partum body isn't quite rocking the skinny pants or the form fitted tees yet. lol Or maybe you hear the sound of a lovely poop explosion in your infants drawers and you see it rapidly leaking out of his onesie and onto your blouse...yup, all the time. So yah, with each kiddo we have added to our family, our punctuality has gone more and more down the toilet.  Sorry friends!  Having low expectations in this area is a good thing!

I try to plan short outings and I try to plan for them to be difficult, so that I am not surprised or  upset when things go awry.  Bruin often starts crying in the middle of my short shopping trip and I have to take him out of the carseat or stroller and hold him with one arm, while pushing the stroller with my hip or one free arm.  It's tricky but, I've managed.  Sometimes I will stick him in the sling/bjorn but he isn't a big fan yet so that doesn't always solve the screaming problem.  I have about a one hour window of good outing time before I have to stop and tend to the baby for a diaper change, feeding, or position change.  It's not nearly as easy with two as it was with one...not even close but, I am thankful that Daisy is older and pretty independent at this point.  That has been a blessing.

I love when I am in the middle of my grocery trip with a full cart and a sleeping baby lodged between groceries in the cart and suddenly, Daisy grabs  her legs and with wide eyes, "Mom I have to go pee really bad!!!" EVERY TIME.  Then I have to haul booty to the bathroom on the other side of the store and help her go potty while leaving my cart somewhere and taking Bruin and his carseat out of the cart...which wakes him up and inevitably starts him crying earlier.  Especially when the toilet flushes or someone puts there hands under those jet engine hand driers...gahhhhhhh....can't you see my baby is sleeping people???  It's fun I tell yah.  BUT, it's life and we mom's all manage to get through it.  I still have my red super mom cape on back order but, I can't wait for it to arrive.  I plan on wearing it everyday.

Nursing 


I don't mind nursing overall.  I'm thankful that I am able to nurse as it saves money and is often easier than having to prepare a bottle...each time my son wakes up at night for instance, and it really is a sweet bonding experience.  On the other hand, It was a lot easier to nurse  my daughter overall because I was working from home at the time and I could just sit in a chair and nurse her when needed.  No problem.


 Now that I am out on the go a lot more it has become a lot harder for me to enjoy nursing.  I am not a Mom who will ever be comfortable busting my top off in public to nurse or even nursing in a group of people with a cover for that matter.  My babies tend to kick the cover off and leave me all like, "hello world, take a look at my boobs!" Not my idea of a good time but, to each his own.  I know plenty of mommys who are super comfortable nursing publicly.  Power to yah Moms!

 I like nursing in quiet rooms or in private spaces.  That's just the way I am.  I have found that the back seat of my van has become my nursing station when I am on the go and it is working out well overall.  Still, it's hard to plan outings around a 2.5 to 3 hour nursing schedule.  If I was bottle feeding I could just pop a bottle in my kiddos mouth while I was shopping and it would probably make things easier but, I am just not ready to do that yet.  I have appointments to be at and I have to pick my daughter up from school and I can't always arrange those things around a nursing schedule so it's tough.  Sometimes I have to feed my kiddo early all day just to make it to appointments without him screaming during my checkup or while we wait in carpool for 30 minutes. All that to say that because I do like my privacy, nursing is harder now that I am on the go all the time but, I am managing and for that I am pretty dang proud of myself! Not sure how long I will nurse, or maybe my son will call that shot and wean off but, for now I will keep chugging. lol

Also because I exclusively nurse, this has put a temporary end to my girl's nights, or solo outings or even easy date nights.  I pretty much have my little guy glued to me until I stop nursing or until I also do bottles.  This isn't an easy sacrifice for me but, again, it's temporary.  In the overall big picture...I'm very thankful that I am able to nurse and if I get to nurse for a year or close to it I won't regret it.  And let's face it...it's a helpful weight loss tool after pregnancy!  I'm very thankful for that as I gained a lot of weight with Bruin.

 I am not sure if Bruin is our last kiddo or not but, in case he is I really want to savor this time with him to the best of my ability even if it is an added challenge.  I won't ever get this time back!  

Slim to none - "free or quiet time" 

Obviously, once a kiddo comes into the picture for a family, free time becomes almost non-existent for a Mother unless that kiddo is napping.  Daisy has been in preschool for the past two years so I could count on a couple of hours each morning to get things done or just have some quiet time which I truly treasured.  I LOVE quiet time.  Quiet time in my peaceful home is what fuels my introvert spirit. Now I have zero quiet time...unless you count those middle of the night nursing sessions...which are pretty quiet but, my brain isn't functioning enough to appreciate the "free time."  The baby is awake when my older kiddo is at school and takes his naps when she is home and when she is home she is a non-stop ball of energy.  That being said, if you are like me and enjoy those quiet nap or school breaks with your one kiddo it might be wise to expect that you may not have those breaks with two kiddos...at least not for a little while until you get a good routine going and figure out how to carve that time into your new system.  I think this has been a tough area for me to adjust to.  I'm looking forward to when Bruin takes a more consistent and hopefully longer morning nap and hopefully it will happen while Daisy is at school so I can once again enjoy a little quiet time!

With one kiddo, I got in the habit of cleaning the house and grocery shopping when my daughter was at school.  I get SO much more done when I am not cleaning up old messes while attempting to clean up the new ones that are being made! lol  I love having a somewhat clean home.  My brain feels more peaceful when my home is less cluttered and messy.  Obviously with kids I have had to learn to tolerate my home with more messes but, it hasn't been easy for me.  This is an area that I am sure is easier for some women than others depending on your level of need for tidiness.


 I am continuing to accept that I won't ever be on top of it all anymore.  There will never be an end to the laundry, dishes, bills to pay, errands to run, packages to ship, school demands to meet, etc.  It seems to be more about learning to find the peace in the chaos these days. Something that will take me a life time to balance I'm sure.

So SO SO much busier:


It is so hard to find the time to do much of anything it seems like.  Laundry takes me three days and while I am working hard on that the rest of the universe is usually falling apart around me.  Then, when I finally finish laundry I spend a day doing bills...because I get interrupted like every 1.5 minutes. Everything takes so much longer. More appointments, more shuttling around in the car everyday, more rushing. I put my lunch in the microwave (cuz that is all I have time for) and then the baby starts screaming or blows out his diaper or wakes up from his nap.  Then I forget about the lunch all together and wonder why I am starving three hours later.


 Yup, life is busy and with each kiddo added, it gets a little busier.  More adjusting required.  I'm trying to figure out how to come to terms with the fact that there is only one me and that the household tasks will never be done.  I have to do what I can do and let the rest lie.  I have to learn to let it all wait so that I can be present with my kids as well.  Being present is very important to me.



Marriage Quality time? What's that Pshh? -  Nursing around the clock makes it hard to get away with a hubby as does not having a reliable sitter. Sleeping zero hours a night also means that I pretty much need to go to bed when the kids go to bed at night. I have no choice really.  I literally fall into a delirious heap most days as soon as the kiddos are both in bed.  I am a true zombie at this point.  My hubby has been super gracious and understanding.  We have managed to watch some shows in the evening here and there but, I pretty much have to crash by 9 at the latest if I want to survive the next day.  I definitely look forward to the day that I get a little more consistent sleep so that I can stay up more often with my hubby and have more quality time.  This is one of those areas of adjustment that is temporary and requires a lot of give and take. We experienced this for about the first year of life with our daughter and as a result we haven't been surprised by our exhaustion this time around.

HUBBY HELPS!


So, these are just a handful of the changes that we have worked through over the past five months.  There are other areas but, these are the things that influenced me the most.  I will say that my hubby has continued to take my daughter to school in the morning and I am SO SO thankful for that.  Her school is on the way to his work and it is about a 20-30 minute drive each way for us.  It lands smack dab during Bruin's first early morning nap.  I would have to take him out of his crib to run out the door each morning as so many moms do.  I am so glad that I don't have to do that!  My hubby has also taken on a grocery trip once a week and any extra little errand trips that pop up at the last minute.  I write the list and meal plan as best I can and he shops and it's another area that he has stepped up in that has been HUGE and SO appreciated.  I think this has been a big change in our marriage as well...more give and take and more sharing of responsibilities.  Team work is essential in family life that is for sure!




It's ALL WORTH IT, of course! 


I have absolutely loved watching Daisy step into her role as big sister with so much love and grace.  She is so gentle and nurturing with her big brother.  It's as if she has always been a big sister and I can hardly imagine her any other way now.  She seems so much older...as if a few short months have made her more independent and mature.   Makes me a little sad to see her "growing up overnight" so to speak but, it was time I suppose.  She no longer thinks just about herself but, instead she is always thinking about her life with a brother in it.  She talks about her future plans and her brother is always a part of her dreams.  I love that! Now my daughter has a somebody and that makes me so happy.


I've also notice that Daisy has naturally fallen into an understanding of our routine.  She gets that I have to nurse and change Bruin.  She is more patient now and she asks a little less of me because she knows that she would have to wait for what she wants if I am busy.  She is learning to do more for herself and I am not having to teach her.  Our new circumstances are teaching her all on their own which is a blessing.  



Daisy is also very helpful.  She gets Bruin pacifiers when he cries, blankets when he is cold, turns on fans for him to look at.  I marvel at her thoughtfulness actually.  She loves to be near her brother and to hold and kiss him.  She is rarely rough though it can happen on occasion and I just have to remind her to be gentle.  I will say that the novelty of a baby has worn off.  Daisy was obsessed with babies before Bruin was born and like most other children who have siblings, I am realizing that she is less fascinated and enthralled with the whole baby thing now.  She now wants to do other things and play on her own.  I'm a little sad to see the intensity of her love for babies fading but, I guess it's also a natural and healthy thing. It's a bit more in balance now I suppose.


I realized today that I hold Daisy SO much less than I did before Bruin was born.  She used to whine and ask me to hold her all the time when she was an only kiddo.  Evidently she just learned all on her own that she can't be held as often anymore and she even seems to find it a bit strange when I want to pick her up now.  See, so much change in such a short amount of time! Tugs on the ol' heart strings. 

I love having a son. I never thought I would have a son but, I do and it's so awesome.  I'm enjoying blue...we have SO much pink over here.  I'm enjoying the boy toys and the boy conversations.  I love the balance that my son has brought into our lives.  I'm so thankful for him.  He is noisy and strong!  Boys are so different and I am enjoying the adventure of a little man in the making.  Having two kids has made life much more complicated and so much more beautiful...so messy and beautiful.  There is just something about the things in life that are often challenging...they are often the best things too.   Kids are like that for sure.


It's also awesome to see my husband hanging out with his son.  Pretty cool to see a Daddy and his little boy.  I can only imagine the adventures they will go on together someday very soon.  My two fishermen perhaps?  Every time Bruin sees Daddy or hears his voice even from another room he crams his neck around until he finds him.  When he makes eye contact with Daddy his face lights up and he quickly turns his head the other way in his bashfullness.  He does this over and over again.  It is SO cute.  I think we have a little Daddy's boy on our hands.  


So, overall the transition was a tough one for me and continues to be a challenge in some ways because my baby doesn't sleep much and I am so worn out most days. More importantly though, I love that my family has grown to four and I love that my daughter has a sibling to grow up with. I love that we have more laughter, more adventure and more surprises ahead of us in life.  This chapter has been hard, but it's worth it!  It was the desire of my heart for so long to have another kiddo and now he is here. God is faithful.  



I would love to hear your thoughts on life with two kiddos and how the adjustment was for you.  What were the challenges you faced and how did you work through them? 

Monday, April 27, 2015

Happy Monday!

It's really hard to capture this little guy's smiles on camera because he doesn't smile a ton and because it takes a lot of work and perfect timing to make these smiles happen. If I recall, this smile was a result of Daddy walking up behind me while I squealed and danced like a buffoon all for nothing.

 All it took was Daddy saying hi and Bruin busts out the biggest smile.  He melts me.... I have so many pictures of this little guy that I would love to share but, zero time to upload, edit, resize and write about them all. So perhaps I will throw a few random ones up once in a while just to say that I tried! haha. Isn't he edible. Yum.

And though big sister is totally not interested in the photo op. she was sharing the Curious George show on my cell phone quite nicely.  She adores her little bro to bits and she is happy as a clam so long as he is next to her.

 I'm so, so glad that they have each other.  BFF's.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

My Little Girl is Five!

My little girl is five!  And I am proud to say that I am getting this posted before she turns six.  Big accomplishment over here these days...however; this did take me three months to complete. Sigh.

  I really do love this age.  I love the conversations, the imagination, the silliness, the jokes, the fact that we can do so much more together now like play games, go on dates, go on bike rides, go to the movies, get our nails done, sing songs together etc.  Daisy is such a spunky, hyper, silly, loving, thoughtful, sensitive little girl.  She does still desire a ton of attention (er quality time...only child for nearly five years) and that can be a bit exhausting BUT, it's safe to say that I am never lonely when she is around.  hehe.  

Daisy was so excited to turn five.  She thinks that she gets to drive a car when she turns ten and move out soon after into her pink house so I think she is counting down the years? lol.  I use to do the same thing as a little girl.  I loved the idea of growing up when I was little.  It seemed fun and exciting.  I think it's great that Daisy is looking forward to the life ahead of her.  We had a little party this year for Daisy at a park on the weekend and then on her actual birthday we ordered take out sushi.  She seemed to really enjoy her festivities.  Since having another kiddo, life has gotten exponentially busier for me and it has been much trickier to be as present as I used to be but, I am trying my best to soak up every innocent moment I have left with my little girl.  I love her sparkly brown eyes, the dimply cheeks, the crinkle in her nose when she smiles really big, the way she often toots when she laughs too hard (she is going to hate me for this in 10 years:), how she just can't seem to figure out how to put her shoes on the right feet though she tries so hard every time.  I love the way she loves on her baby brother.  It literally melts me.  I love her resilient spirit and her passion for the things she loves.  Not a day goes by that this little girl doesn't give me a nice big belly laugh.  She is the best! God has used her to open my eyes to so many things and I am better because of her.  

Thank you Jesus for my sweet little girl! 

Now on to the long winded Five year old Stat report...

At five years old Daisy is still just as in to princesses as she was at 2, 3 and 4 years old.  Princesses, princess pets, baby dolls, cooking and imaginary play are a few of Daisy's favorite things at the moment.  She is incredibly creative and will often come up with very elaborate ideas for an activity.  Her ideas and activities are usually very messy now days (and I thought babies were messy!) but, I try to let her roll with whatever she comes up with as it seems to be her gift.  For example: she likes to get our cups, pots and dishes out when she cooks with her pretend food. She will literally cover the entire floor in dishes and play for 20 or 30 minutes and then I have to wash everything.  She will get pads of paper and a pen and ask me and Joey what we would like to order and she asks us to write our information down.  Then she delivers food to us...over and over again.  It's really cute though.  I hope she grows up to LOVE cooking.  I will happily surrender that task to her! haha Other times she will throw every pillow in the house on the living room floor and find every blanket that she can in order to build herself a fort.  Lately she has taken a liking to typing on Joey's Ipad keyboard.  She writes stories by keying furiously on the keyboard.  When her note page is full of letters she feels very satisfied that she has written a great story and then she asks us to mail it to our family or to post it on facebook...which we usually don't.  These things are priceless to us but, I am not sure that everyone on Facebook would agree:).  Regardless, I really love her creativity and I look forward to when Bruin is old enough that he can play with Daisy a bit more in some of her many imaginary activities.

Isn't she just the cutest little princess you ever did see?

Below this picture: she is having a birthday party for one of her baby dolls.  A hot dog bun was our "cake." lol

SHOWS

She watches a fair amount of TV and Netflixs.  I have a PBS kids and Disney ap on my phone and these days she prefers my phone over the TV because she likes to have control over what she watches.  She is really into a show called ODD squad right now.  It's so cute to see how fascinated she is with this show.  She also loves the Disney show Octonauts.  Some of the other shows in her rotation: all the older Mickey Mouse Disney movies from my childhood, Peep and the Big wide World, The Little Princess, Oscar the Lizard, Wild Kratts, Bernard and Curious George.  I'm surprised that she still enjoys Curious George as much as she does.  I love it:).  Daisy gets to watch a couple of short shows in the morning while she eats breakfast and gets ready for school.  We have had this routine since she was two years old, so it will be hard to change it someday if we ever need to.  She sits in her own recliner sipping juice out of her cup and snacking on breakfast while watching whatever happens to be on.  It's been a nice and relaxing routine and she enjoys the consistency so it's all good.  The only reason she isn't watching different shows is because I am still trying to keep a tight lid on what she gets to see.  She has such a wild imagination the less she is exposed to the better...for now.  :)  

SIZE

Daisy wears size 5/6 in the older girl section (not 5T) and in some things she is wearing a 6.  She is usually 5/6 in shirts and dresses but a 5 in pants and shorts. She wears size 10 or 10.5 shoe. Just tonight as she walked out of her bedroom for the third time after being put to bed, I cuddled her and held her foot in my hand.  Her feet seemed so small until Bruin was born and now of course her feet seem so big.  She has the cutest little feetsies though.   I love shopping for Daisy and I am lucky that she doesn't really care at all what she wears because I get to have fun picking out her outfits most days.  I don't have a big budget to shop for her or get fancy things which would be SO MUCH FUN...but, it is a good thing I suppose, because if I could I would probably go a little overboard.  Instead we generally shop at our local consignment shops and enjoy the clothes we are gifted from friends and family.  My favorite places to shop on special occasions are Baby Gap, Old Navy, Target, Children's Place and Gymboree.  I enjoy shopping and dressing my kids so much more than shopping and dressing myself.  I know a lot of you Moms out there can relate:)


COLORS

Pink is still her favorite color but, she also LOVES purple, aqua and gold.  She is in this phase where she very strongly dislikes red, blue, green, black and white...yellow isn't a favorite either but, she will sometimes call it gold if she feels like it.  She doesn't like playing with toys in the house that are these colors and she is not a fan of wearing these colors.  I can still convince her to ignore those colors in her clothes most of the time but, for example she refused to wear green on St. Patrick's day and she almost refused to go to school if I was going to make her wear green.  I decided she won and we wore something with aqua and hoped it was a compromise:). haha  This chapter of super strong opinions about things is a rather new territory for me with Daisy.  She has never been one to care much at all about what she is wearing or what she is given etc.  I enjoyed the less opinionated season while it lasted.  

FOOD

Daisy has become super duper picky about what she eats over the past 6 months or so.  She used to be willing to eat and try so much more.  That all changed and I have no idea why accept that she is five and I suppose that is pretty typical for this age.  She pretty much refuses to eat all vegetables except steamed broccoli and even that I have to really encourage her to eat now.  It was her favorite for years.  I'm sad that she won't eat veggies but, I hope I can get her to again in the future.  She eats, mac n' cheese, chicken nuggets, burritos, nachos, tachos, sushi (but, now picky about that too!), corn dogs, chili, turkey and cheese sandwiches but, with no crust and pb and honey sandwiches.  The only fruit she likes is strawberries and watermelon.  She will sometimes eat cantelope and pears but, that is about all.  She loves chips and crackers and eating cereal dry.  She loves apple juice but, does not care for milk.  She likes pancakes, cheese, applesauce squeezers, and plain rice.  That is about it. It's exhausting trying to feed her to be honest.  I want her to eat so I try to serve her what she wants but, I also don't like serving different things for every meal.  She has also started chewing food for a really long time and she struggles with swallowing if the texture bothers her.  We have definitely found a few bites of food spit out in the toilet later in the evening. Sigh. Typical kid issues. 


MUSIC

She loves music and she has quite a few worship songs memorized from all of her car drives with Daddy and on her radio in her room.  I love that she enjoys worship music as much as we do.  She has a tendency to get the words wrong but, she presses right along and inserts her own words when needed.  That is EXACTLY what I did as a kid!  She loves the song God's Not Dead by Newsboys, anything by Phillip Philips, Mandisa, Mercy Me Shake and a song on the show ODD Squad. It's so cute to watch her sing along with all her might.

I leave my acoustic guitar out in the living room so that Daisy can pick it up if she ever wants to play.  She was also spoiled with a pink guitar of her own for her birthday this year (thank you Lulu and Papa!) and now it too sits by the fireplace so she can pick it up and play it whenever she has an urge.  That's what started me on my musical journey as a teenager.  My mom had a classical guitar and I would pick it up and strum it here and there and I taught myself a few chords.  We also had a piano growing up.  Though I wouldn't consider myself a very musically gifted person (AT ALL), I really do enjoy playing instruments (poorly) and writing simple songs when I am alone.  I would love if I could pass that joy on to Daisy. 


DANCE

She loves to dance...on her own terms.  She doesn't really want anyone telling her how to dance which is why I am not sure if she would really even enjoy a dance class at this point.  She isn't the most coordinated when it comes to following an instructor (also like her mommy) but, she loves to boogie to her own beat.  We have a lot of family dance parties around our house.  Fun times!


SCHOOL

She currently goes to preschool five days a week from 9-1.  Overall she really enjoys it and she has learned so much from preschool over the past two years.  Like most kids, I would say that her favorite thing about school is playing on the playground with her friends at break time. lol.  She also loves the special event days and party days.  They had a beach day recently and she was SO excited about it.  So cute to see her excited about school as a lot of the time she does want to stay home with me instead of going in the morning.  I think she enjoys it once she is there though and I think it has also really helped her socially.  She is still learning how to play with other kids and not just direct them but, she has come a long way.  She has made some really special friends and we will be sad not to see them more often once Kindergarten starts up in July.  We only have another two months left of preschool.  I seriously cannot believe that my little girl is old enough to start elementary school.  I'm in denial over here.


PERSONALITY

Daisy is a home body and she LOVES being home with me and Bruin.  I think if she had a choice she would stay home with me every day and skip school, church, even play dates or whatever.  She just likes hanging out with her Mom, Dad and bro.  Home is her happy place and as much as I want my daughter to be more extroverted than I am, I think it is pretty sweet that she enjoys being home with her family as much as she does.  Now, I realize this will soon pass...or most likely will.  Perhaps that is why I do not rue snow days or vacation days quite as much as some...because as exhausting as those days can be, I love having my little girl around.  She is my little buddy.  Daisy likes to be the one in charge.  Typical of the eldest child I would say.  She likes to tell other people how to play the game or activity and she finds other people's ideas rather boring most of the time. lol  She doesn't like to lose when we play a game.  This is somewhat our fault as we often let her win as a little kid and now she thinks it should always be this way.  We have some training to do over here but, she will get there in time.  Daisy is very sensitive to praise or lack there of.  I definitely think that words of affirmation is one of her love languages.  

The other day after an adult friend/family member left our house Daisy asked me why they don't like her.  I asked her why she thought that and she said because they didn't talk to her but, they smiled at and talked to Bruin.  I of course told her that they do like her but, that not all grown ups remember to talk to little kids when they visit.  I am beginning to realize how much she values adult conversation and participation.  She tends to feel left out and even unloved if she is not included.  Tis  the way of life when you are the only kid in all of the families for nearly 5 years.  Adults become your friends!  

Daisy is extremely observant even when she seems to be distracted..she is always taking things in around her. She comments on hairstyles, eye colors, outfits, shoes, the way people talk, the cars that people drive etc.  She is a stubborn kiddo when she doesn't want to do something.  I've been trying to teach her the basics of reading and site words for two years..we have gotten no where but, I know that all of sudden when her desire really kicks in, she will learn it overnight.  That is just how she is.

She is very nurturing to her baby dolls, her cousin and her brother.  She is gentle, thoughtful and very helpful.  A little mommy in the making for sure.  She kisses boo boos and says the sweetest things when people are sad, mad or hurt.  She really does have an incredibly loving heart.  I thank Jesus for that!  

She is super silly/goofy too.  She would rather make goofy faces than pose pretty for a picture 99% of the time.  She loves making people laugh and will do the silliest things to try and draw laughing attention to herself sometimes.  She is a ham:).  She is also so so so girly.  She loves everything a girly girl would love. Gliter, sparkles, princesses, pink, purple, dolls, frills, dress up etc. And on the other hand the kid can kick and hit a ball like no ones business.  She can run fast, climb high and she has a very adventurous streak in her...as proven by the roller coaster at Disney land that she rode and loved.  So, I would say very girly with a nice dose of athleticism.  

Daisy has a lot of friends and I  would say the ones that she is the closest to are the ones that we play date with the most usually after school.  She does still struggle with the concept of letting other kids call the shots or playing what other kids want to play.  She likes to direct the activities and otherwise she is quite content to play by herself or wander around alone at a park.  She is social for sure but, she also values personal space.  She hasn't yet made a friend on her own that has really stuck other than the friends that I regularly expose her to at church, school and our outside play dates.  


Today in between household chores and tending to Bruin, Daisy and I played a few games of Frozen- Chutes and Ladders, we colored a picture or four, ate pretend food over and over again, played guitars, watched a show and like always and she talked my ear off.  It's absolutely exhausting and absolutely wonderful all at once.  Things have changed a bit around here since little brother came along.  I just don't have as much time or energy to give to Daisy as I once did.  It's been a challenge transitioning for both of us I would say but, when I do have time and energy, I absolutely love spending it with my girl.


She loves hanging out with her Dad and he often spoils her.  He recently bought a little toy helicopter and Daisy asks him to fly it almost every day.  Then she yells out, "pretend that it is chasing me Daddy, pretend that it is chasing me," and she runs around squealing with the brightest smile as he "chases" her with the helicopter.  Daddy is the one who wrestles, plays video games, tickles, is technically more fun than I will ever be (I can be rather boring when compared to Daddy).  Daddy takes Daisy on jeep rides at night when I have to tend to Bruin.  He plays hide and seek and reads her bedtime stories.  Daisy loves her Daddy to pieces and I think one of her favorite things to do is visit him at his office on her way home from school.  She loves to draw pictures at his desk and tape them to the wall and she loves to make pretend calls and act like she is working.  She asks to go to his work ALL time.  Pretty stinking cute if I do say so.  She is much more rough with him too.  She spanks him just for the heck of it.  Tickles him whenever she gets the chance and tries to tackle him at random.  They just have that kind of bond.  Father/daughter silliness.  




Daisy has had an imaginary sister named Kezia, for at least a year now.  She talks about her from time to time and all the things she is doing or how old she is but, she never talks to her or seems to engage the idea when she is alone.  It seems to be more of a thing for her to talk about with me and Joey than anything else.  Perhaps she really hopes for a sister someday or perhaps it's just a little phase.  I humor her and play along.  I think it's sweet and harmless.

NURTURER

Daisy is an amazing big sister and cousin.  I'm not just saying that because I am her mom:).  She is endlessly giving Bruin his pacifier when he cries, giving him a toy, covering him with a blanket if she is worried that he might be cold, turning on the fan to give him something to look at, asking if he can come and lay on her bed so she can cook him pretend food.  She helps me with almost every diaper change.  She gets so excited to see him every day when I pick her up from school.  She kisses him constantly and holds him as often as I will allow.  She is an awesome big sister and Bruin ADORES Daisy.  He is always cramming his neck and arching his back to get a look at her wherever she might be.  It's so cute.  I really pray that I can help foster this love as much as possible as they grow.  Daisy also adores her cousin Avery and has a tremendous attention span for playing with her.  Avery is only one and Daisy is five so I am surprised that she can play with her as long as she does but, she loves when they get to be together.  She is already counting down the days until they can have their first sleep over.  Too cute!  Love that she is so nurturing and gentle with other babies and kids.  This is one of my favorite qualities about Daisy! 
 


GATHERER

 She still loves to gather rocks, leaves, flowers and other random treasures when we are in the yard or at a park.  She hands then all to me and asks me to keep them safe.  She often stores little trinkets in the drawer of her step stool until I find them months later and sneak them into the trash. shhhh.... 



Not a day goes by that my hubby and I don't look at each other and say, "she's so awesome," with a big smile on our faces.  Yes, she's a super high energy kiddo that chats our ears until they are literally raw some days but...she really is so fun and adventurous.  She has added so much joy and amusement to our lives.  

Daisy Love, we adore you and thank God for every day that we get to watch you grow.  May God bless you all the days of your sweet life. xoxo  Happy five baby girl. 


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