Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes

I made a batch of cookies earlier this week.  Yesterday I whipped up a batch of shortbread because it sounded delicious.  Earlier this week I bought all the ingredients for and put together some homemade mosquito repellent.  Twice this week I’ve harvested the seeds from some of the flowers in my garden to use next year and also to give to my mom.  I’m back on the kick of planting a vegetable garden and putting in some herbs along the back patio.  I publicly breastfed my baby in the middle of a party last night surrounded by a ton of people I didn’t know and this morning, I dried my daughter’s sheets by throwing them over the fence and letting them blow in the breeze.  I don’t know what’s happening to me.

On having 2 kids…

Here’s what I’ve learned, in my first month, of having 2 kids:

  • When mentally preparing for whatever task is at hand (getting ready for church, running an errand, getting A to preschool or dance class, fixing dinner, etc.) it seems downright impossible.  The truth is, on paper, it never works.  But somehow, when the time comes, you just do it and it all works out fine.
  • Accomplishing any task at this stage makes me feel like a superhero.  I took both girls to the zoo yesterday, no the baby didn’t sleep the whole time, and we did just fine.
  • Nursing in public is a must-do.  It really doesn’t bother me as long as I can find a somewhat discreet place to do it.  And if I can’t find a discreet place, well, too bad.  Frankly, I’m not that modest and I’m only willing to do so much.
  • Breastfeeding is so much easier this time around.
  • If I’d had only an ounce of the confidence I do now, as a mother, the first time around with A wouldn’t have been nearly as difficult.
  • Babies cry, in public.  And it’s ok.  Preschoolers cry too, sometimes in public.  And it’s also ok.  I just tend to their needs and move on.  I’m much less concerned about crying in public this time around.  When A was little, I was terrified to leave the house for fear that she’d cry in the car or in public.
  • My needs have taken a serious backseat.  That’s not necessarily a good thing and I need to work on it.
  • I’m pretty sure I’m on the AAP hit list.  I’m breaking all the rules.  C spends a good chunk of the night in my bed.  Surrounded by pillows and covered with my sheets and comforter.  This morning I found her passed out on her belly…gasp!
  • I feel the need to repeat the word confidence.  It’s made such a HUGE difference.  Unfortunately, that confidence only comes with experience.
  • I’m shocked with how much C adores her big sister.  At only a month old she looks for A when she hears her voice and is perfectly content to lay on the floor beside A while she plays.  C talks the most to A.
  • A is just as smitten with C.  For now.  I suspect that will change when C becomes mobile.
  • I can’t imagine doing this with a 2 year old.  A 3 year old is so much more independent and makes it much easier.
  • I’ll choose sleep over a shower almost every time.
  • No 2 babies are alike.
  • I can almost always pinpoint exactly what C needs and calm her down.  The only thing I can’t seem to fix are her gas issues.
  • My house is a disaster.  I’m pretty sure I don’t really care.
  • I miss my husband like crazy.  Both from a relational stand point and also as my partner, an extra set of hands and someone to talk with.
  • I’m amazed by the number of things I can do with one hand.
  • The emotions I feel about the well-being and the life I want these 2 girls to have is almost over-whelming.  Especially since we’re getting ready to take a HUGE step of faith in the work/income department.  It stresses me out a little…I want them to have a great childhood and want to be able to provide a really great life for them.  I know that doesn’t always mean you need lots of money, but it helps.
  • There really is plenty of love to go around.  Lap space, not so much.
  • I can manage on a lot less sleep than I ever dreamed possible.
  • The time goes by too fast.  Baby C is already 5 weeks old and weighs almost 12 pounds.  She wears 3 month clothes and I think we’re going to need size 2 diapers next.
  • I wish someone would have told me to really SEE A before C was born.  A still seemed small.  Her nose was small, her fingernails were small.  Now all those things, and so many other things seem huge because my perspective has changed.  I can’t seem to get back to the place where anything about A seems small and it makes me sad.
  • I’m kind of loving having 2 kids…especially when I walk into the room and see this:

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What’s buggin me.

I’m a little hot-headed.  I feel like it’s been greatly subdued over the past 3 years or so; quitting my job, becoming a mom, experiencing the loss of the twins and the general understanding that most things in life just aren’t worth wasting the energy being upset about.  However.  There are a few things that have crossed my path recently that have me flustered.  I blame the pregnancy hormones.

The Mommy Wars

I’m a stay at home mom.  I chose to be a stay at home mom.  Not because I made next to nothing while working.  Not because day care costs would have eaten my entire paycheck and then some.  All that is true, but my husband and I desired for our children to be raised with a parent at home.  We thought it was best for OUR family.  We decided that’s what WE wanted for OUR children.  What you do is your business.  We put off having children because I just wasn’t ready to be a stay at home mom for several years.  I don’t run around spouting off research that supports our decision.  Nor do I get into regular debates about what makes a better parent; stay at home mom vs. working mom.  Like I said, WE made OUR decisions based on OUR desires for OUR family and OUR children.  Your decision may be different and I respect that.  With all that said, the next person to post a link on facebook about why working moms are happier or why working moms are better, they’re getting de-friended.  Keep your judgmental thoughts to yourself.  Along the same lines: Just because I’m a stay at home mom doesn’t mean we’re loaded financially.  Yes, my husband makes a nice living, so do a lot of people.  We still have to make sacrifices for me to be at home.  And we live on a budget.  Every.single.month.  Our income is budgeted to almost $0 by the time I get done directing our money to the places I want it to go.  And if my husband didn’t make the living he currently does (which I’m sure we’ll be faced with sooner rather than later given our goals) we’ll make even more sacrifices to keep me at home.

The Breastfeeding Wars

Ok.  I’m a breastfeeding advocate.  And I’m seriously lacking in the modesty department which is an important detail in this rant.  I had a really rough start with A, but stuck with it and nursed successfully for just over 12 months.  I truly enjoyed it and I will encourage anyone that asks my opinion to at least attempt to breastfeed.  However.  If you can’t, fine.  If you don’t want to, fine, that’s your choice much like my decision to breastfeed is my choice.  There has recently been a lot of attention given to women nursing in public.  This was never a huge issue with A because the few times I tried it was a disaster.  One in particular on an airplane where anyone who wanted to look had a very nice view of my left bewb.  She wasn’t inclined to eat anywhere but the rocker in her nursery.  That’s not to say the need to nurse in public didn’t occasionally arise.  It did, and I had no problem attempting it.  I also nursed a lot in my car.  I expect to be nursing in public a lot more with Baby C.  It’s just not realistic to expect to be home enough to feed her in the privacy of my home; especially with a 3 year old in tow.  Here’s the thing; if you need to feed your baby in public, great!  But please be aware that every time you nurse in public it doesn’t need to be a platform for women’s rights.  If your baby won’t stay under a nursing cover, or you choose not to use one, it’s not going against your God-given right to at least attempt to be discreet.  I don’t make it a habit of seeking out moms nursing in public but even I, a pro-breastfeeder, was slightly offended at dinner one Friday night when a lady lifted her shirt, removed her bra cup and nursed her baby on the patio of a very busy downtown restaurant.  It’s not the breastfeeding I took issue with, it’s the complete lack of tact while breastfeeding.  No attempt AT ALL to cover herself (not really an issue) or to BE DISCREET (this is my issue).  I just don’t understand the need to make such a point; not everyone is comfortable with a mom breastfeeding her baby.  You forcing it upon them isn’t going to change their mind, it will only enforce their current feelings on the subject.  So, no, I will not be participating in your nurse-in.  And no, I will not sit in the most public place I can find and nurse my baby just to make a point.  Also, I will not get into an argument about our “rights” as women to breastfeed wherever we want.  I’ll feed my baby when the need arises, nothing more, nothing less.  It’s not a battle I’m interested in fighting.  I just want to feed my kid.  I will attempt to cover myself when in public and if that doesn’t work I will at least try to be discreet.  And unless someone asks for very, very intimate details, can we all agree that stating you breastfeed is enough?  For example, posting on facebook about your husband squirting your own breastmilk into your own eye to clear up a case of pink eye is just too much information.  Nobody needs to know that.  And it gives the rest of us a bad reputation.  And it will get you blocked from my news feed.