It seems like I'm always getting the comment that Jillian and Hayden look absolutely nothing alike. Certainly there are differences, but I'm not sure they look quite as dissimilar as people think because they are comparing Jillian now to Hayden and not Jillian 18 months ago to Hayden. So here are a few pictures for comparison's sake:
Jillian (9 weeks)
Hayden (12 weeks)
Jillian (13 weeks)
Hayden (11 weeks)
Different but similar is how I'd describe their features.
Today marks the 1/4 of a year mark for Miss Hayden. She is so little, and yet I'm feeling nostalgic already. As I'm not planning to have any more children (well we know how well my plans work out, but that is not the point), I find myself thinking but I'll never have a baby this little again. And she is such a sweet and easy baby. She is precisely the type of baby that sweetly deceives couples into trying for one of their very own, only to have them feeling disillusioned when they are up night after night for weeks on end trying to soothe their colicky, fussy infant. It really is best that she be my last. That way I can spend the rest of my life condescendingly offering young women advice on how best to raise their newborns and raising my eyebrows in disbelief when they describe the trials of new motherhood with only the memories of Hayden fresh in my mind and the memories of Jillian buried in the corners of my once sleep deprived brain.
As you can see Hayden is all smiles these days. She does not smile on command for the camera as her sister would, but instead offers the most adorable grins when only I am there to treasure them. Other times she seems to have a wide-eyed look of near terror on her face as if she suddenly realizes that these crazy people surrounding her are indeed her family. I went back to work late last week, and while I miss my little pumpkin, I did not cry. I'm not really the sort that cries over this sort of thing as (1) I like my paying job and (2) two under two is a much tougher job that I'm more than happy to pass on to my now weary husband. Life has pretty much returned to normal or at least our new state of normal. Our weekends are jam packed this summer with weddings, birthdays and other fun outings that I may one day manage to post pictures of. Luckily Hayden is quite accepting of our busy lifestyle and is happily transported in her car seat anywhere at anytime. If only Jillian were so flexible.
Speaking of Jillian, she continues to be quite happy with her new little sister. Mostly because Hayden contentedly watches her older sister's constant performances as she attempts (and succeeds) at being the center of attention at all times. Any of my relatives would tell you that the dynamic exactly mirrors that of me and my younger sister. Occasionally I have spotted a little jealousy in Jillian like the other day when she demanded that I place the "baby" on her play mat and then sit in the recliner and feed Jillian her sippy cup like a bottle.
Sleep continues to be reasonable. Jillian is pretty consistent in an 8pm bedtime, and usually I can get Hayden to sleep around the same time. Usually she only wakes up once between then and when I wake up for work at 5am, so I really cannot complain. Of course now that I have posted this all hell will break loose. She naps in her swing periodically throughout the day. With Jillian at this age I had a whole nap routine worked out. Not so with Hayden. She just sleeps when she wants to and is awake the rest of the time with very little fussing in between.
Jillian turned 21 months old today. While this might not be quite as exciting for her as another 21st birthday might be in the future, it is pretty amazing to me. In just three months she will be two, which seems impossibly old to me.
This past month she has become increasingly independent. No! (said with arms folded) is definitely one of her favorite words, although she'll still sprinkle in some "yeahs" along with plenty of hugs and kisses. In the past few days, she has also started saying "memememememe!" when wanting something for herself. She understands when I ask her to identify body parts, she knows the difference between her, mommy, daddy and baby. She will often mix up the terms "mommy" and "daddy" and Jeramy is a bit concerned with the frequency with which he is called "mommy". I'm sure that will likely reverse when I go back to work in a couple weeks. She is my little social butterfly who loves to greet everybody she meets "hi" and "bye". Going "bye bye" is still one of her favorite activities along with going outside or " 'side" as Jillian refers to it. She gets quite excited when we tell her to go get her shoes. Both my girls garner us a lot of attention when we are out, which I don't mind. People tell us that we are very lucky, and they are absolutely correct.
Night terrors continue to be a problem for Jillian. If we dare to stay out past the hour of 9pm as we did for the 4th of July, we most certainly pay the price with a screaming, thrashing toddler about an hour after she goes to bed. It is harder on us than her as she doesn't remember anything since she was sleeping. It kills us though since there is absolutely nothing that can be done to help her. I could just as well leave her in bed, but since we end up awake regardless it feels better to hold and rock her through it. They can last for up to 30 minutes. I really, really hope she out grows this soon, because it is absolutely heartbreaking.
This month will bring on new challenges as we are going out of town over night on two different weekends for weddings. I'm not sure how this will go given Jillian's sleeping issues and the 2 month old, so I limited each trip to just one night even though people wanted us to go for longer. Jillian has not slept anywhere overnight except for her crib since October, so I'm of course concerned. She does not sleep well in bed with us. Since she isn't used to it, she usually she just plays or rolls off the bed in her sleep. I'm going into both trips with exceedingly low expectations for the amount of sleep our family will get and exceedingly high expectations for the amount of caffeine that I will be consuming.
There are certainly times where I'm exhausted and at my wits end between temper tantrums and a house that seems to go from clean to disaster in about 60 seconds. But really, I wouldn't change a single thing about either of these two girls.