Monday, March 29, 2010

4 weeks to go

The c section is scheduled for 4 weeks tomorrow. I have just 4 very busy weekends between now and then and 4 full weeks of work. People keep asking me if I'm prepared for Hayden's arrival. For the most part the answer is yes...the nursery is ready (just need to sort through the sizes of some hand-me-downs), and we have the necessities (heck there wasn't much to buy!). Plus I'm not too worried about it. After having one, you realize just how little you need in the very beginning as they just want to eat, sleep, poo and cry.

I have been trying to enjoy the last days of having just one child. Playing with Jillian whenever she wants. Enjoying an afternoon nap together on the recliner. Having two under two will be hard, but of course Jeramy is likely to be home for my entire maternity leave, which will make things much easier. I've been joking that it will be he who has the hardest time when I go back to work since he'll have two to take care of by himself. Or perhaps it will be his mom who gets it the worst when she watches Jillian, Hayden and their nearly 4 year old cousin.

Sorry for the sporadic posting as of late. My energy level has been quite low...lower than I think it was at this stage during my pregnancy with Jillian. I've reached the point I feel like I'm about to fall forward when standing up, and I find myself out of breath within a few minutes of doing just about anything. I'm looking forward to Easter this weekend, as it will be the first one where Jillian gets a basket of toys and goodies. I'm sure she'll be on a sugar-high Sunday.

I'll try to post pictures of those festivities and the nursery soon. Promise!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

No she doesn't have narcolepsy

If we don't notice the signs of her getting tired, Jillian takes matters into her own hands and takes a nap where ever she happens to be. Jeramy has sent me a couple of interesting pictures of her over the past week.

Monday, March 8, 2010

17 Months

We are nearly to the 1 and a half year mark...and to having two under two. We are about to embark on some crazy times at our house.

This past month Jillian continues to perfect her climbing skills. Jeramy's mom found a swing set/big toy on Craigs List for free, so Jeramy picked it up last week. He needed to replace a lot of the lumber and buy some new accessories but it still ended up being a really great deal. I'm surprised how much use she can already get out of it. Jeramy built a climbing wall that was a little less steep so that she could get up by herself. It has been an unusually sunny winter here in Seattle so we've been able to go outside to play several times.

Lately she has taken to climbing into things. For example she likes to empty all the toys out of her red bin, walk around with it and then climb in. She has also climbed into smaller bins, which doesn't always work out as well. If I were a nicer mom, I'd help her out rather than grabbing my camera first.

Jillian continues to pick up a new word occasionally. This past week she learned a new name..."Cujo". Well it sounds more like "Ujo" but close enough. She likes to talk, but you can rarely understand what she is saying. I keep reading that language development really takes off after 18 months, and I'm starting to get excited about communicating with her in a more verbal manner. Right now the game of guessing why she is having a temper tantrum is not a lot of fun and trying to reason with her is futile. For example yesterday, just before succumbing to a nap, she'd cry for help to put her boots on. Once on, she'd kick them off. Then cry because she wanted them on. I'd help, and then she'd kick them off. And cry. It made me want to cry too.

She loves going places and always wants to go "bye bye". Even when there is no place to go. I have taken to go to the drive through coffee stand on weekends, just to give into her pint sized demands. When she wants to go someplace she'll run and grab a sweatshirt and/or shoes. Or she'll go to the front door and cry "bye" several times. When we are not about to head out, I try explaining that we are staying home to no avail (see the end of the above paragraph).

Her molars have been growing in at a snail's pace. I think it was two months ago when I first felt one poking through. That one is still only a little grown in. Two others have since began to emerge. For the most part it doesn't seem to bother her, although we'll get an occasional night that is filled with tears until a dose of Tylenol kicks in.

For the most part she is a pretty good napper, and if we don't throw some crazy kinks into the daily routine you can usually get a good two hours of peace and quiet from her. Last Monday this was not the case. She only napped for Jeramy for 45 minutes all day, and upon my arrival home I could tell that both Jillian and daddy were basketcases. During dinner sleep finally overcame her. This photo was taken at 5:45pm, and she slept from then until 6am the next morning.

One of Jillian's favorite activities these days is having a book read to her. She has a few favorites: Busy Busy Kitties, Hand Hand Finger Thumb and Doggies. Jeramy and I frequently hide these, because they get a little old after you've read them 12 times in one afternoon. I bought her a few new ones in hopes that she changes it up a bit.

Over the weekend we went to Bean's 2nd birthday party. Poor Sunny had to miss most of it due to some contractions (which is bound to happen with you have a baby bump the size of a small planet), but Jillian enjoyed herself thoroughly. She is used to playing with other children, but doesn't rarely more than one or two at a time. She was also a big fan of their dog, who she followed inside and outside, and inside and outside, and inside and outside. She was also a fan of stealing everybody else's food, juice boxes and forks. Apparently she hasn't gotten the memo on personal boundaries yet.

Friday, March 5, 2010


I have shocking news. I am not a big fan of newborns. Well at least not of newborns who previously resided in my uterus. And while the population of newborns that have fit that description is exactly one, I am not yet inclined to change my view despite the knowledge gained from a college epidemiology class telling me that case studies of one individual are not at all reliable.

Those early weeks with Jillian were incredibly tough. I was overcome with sleeplessness. After a lengthy hospital stay where I got no sleep, I came home with a baby who cried incessantly allowing me no sleep. Then when she would finally drift off for a few minutes, I would find that my mind was racing making it impossible to sleep. The only way I could find to keep her asleep for any significant duration was to hold her. So I slept with her in my arms in the recliner all night long for a few weeks until the discovery of the swing where she slept for the next several months.

I remember the doubts that crept into my head. That I couldn't handle it. That I would never be a good enough parent. That my failure to breast feed would permanently scar her and leave her with a subpar immune system. That this cycle of no sleep, feedings, and diaper changes would go on and on forever. It wasn't depression. It felt more like hyper anxiety. All my senses were on high alert, and I could not calm down. I wore ear plugs to sleep at night because every little sound she made would wake me.

People came over to help, which was nice. But in truth I didn't really want their help. I wanted to do it on my own. It was hard to feel comfortable in my own house when others were there. While their intentions were to help, having guests made me feel like I needed to entertain.

Advice came from everybody. From family. From friends. From the doctor. The internet. From books. However it seemed that Jillian did not follow anybody's advice. And she certainly had not read any of the same books that I had.

What I expected was a baby who slept for a couple hours, woke up to eat, got a diaper change and would fall asleep. I expected some crying...but not what felt like hours of inconsolable crying. I expected a baby that would sleep in their crib. I expected to breast feed. I expected it to be hard...but not that hard. I expected that when I was tired and the baby was asleep, that I would have no problems falling to sleep.

For me, taking care of a newborn was a stressful and thankless job. Sure she was adorable. Sure I loved her more than anybody else in the world. But the endless diapers and feedings coupled with the lack of sleep and self-doubt were all consuming.

Then one day she began to smile. And then she began to bat at a toy in her play gym. And then she laughed. And laughed and laughed and laughed. Slowly she became interactive. The crying spells tapered off. She slept for longer periods of time. I slept for longer periods of time and even without ear plugs. Taking care of her was no longer just was fun! Every day I grew to love her more and more.

Sometimes I see posts from new moms on blogs or on Facebook. They rave about how much they love their precious newborn baby and how wonderful being a new mom is. They seemingly enjoy the sleep deprivation and explosive diapers. I am tempted to reply by saying "I call bullshit". And if they aren't lying, then I'm insanely jealous.

As we near Hayden's birth, these memories come flooding back to me. By comparison, pregnancy is much easier for me. If it were possible to keep her inside for a 4th trimester, I most surely would.

Don't get me wrong. I am excited to meet Hayden. I feel overwhelmingly blessed to be having two little girls. But I know what to expect. Or rather, I know better than to set expectations because she will surely defy them. I suspect that I'll have less anxiety about my ability to be a mom, and that I'll know better the temporary nature of this situation. Of course those worries will be replaced by new ones as I worry about the impact on Jillian and try to divide my attention between the two.

Just under two months left. I'm both excited and nervous.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

The Joys of a SAHD

One of the wonderful things about having Jeramy home with Jillian all day is that sometimes I get pictures of their fun on my cell phone or in my email. Like this little gem.

Monday, March 1, 2010

What I Love

I love Jillian and her kisses these days. Jeramy gave her a bath last night, and afterwards she came running out to me for a goodnight kiss. Then she went running back to her bedroom so that daddy could put her to bed.

Then this morning she woke up right before I left (way too early), and insisted on giving me a kiss before I left and said "bye bye" several times. I felt bad for daddy who had to be up before 6am, but her kisses are the sweetest things ever. They just make my day.