Wednesday, January 8, 2014

a new year

The tree is down, the needles have been swept up, and the ornaments have been packed, with care. Acorn is at an age where she can help make ornaments, which means we have a few extra ones to pack. She and I made applesauce cinnamon ornaments a few weeks ago. The first day we had the tree, she came down from her nap and hugged the tree, her arms half-circling the greenery. She is quite sad that it must go.

Dahlia is almost 9 months old. She is starting to wave, almost clap, loves looking at books that have photos of babies. She is growing quite well. Her favorite person to watch is her big sister, her favorite person when she is tired is this Mama, and her favorite person to vocalize with is her Daddy.

We tried to keep the holidays low-key, but that is impossible when you have lots of very-happy-to-have-children-around relatives. I remind myself that we are lucky to have so much love and generosity surrounding us, and I hope that I will find a space for all of the *stuff*.

Monday, October 21, 2013

miscellany in October

Dahlia turned 6 months old last week, amazing.
There are still days that I catch myself surprised that I now have a family of four. All those years of infertility, wondering, if I'd be a mother, and now I am, and to two girls. Wow.

Sleep continues to be the biggest challenge of motherhood, for me. I just don't have it in me to let my kids cry it out. Acorn sleeps like a champ, now. Since starting eating, Dahlia is sleeping better, some nights, but some nights she waked every 45minutes to 1.5 hours. Yikes.

After a rough first month of preschool(which meets 3 days a week, from 9-1) Acorn is suddenly loving preschool, so much so that the girl who used to say "I don't want to go anymore" was sad when school was closed on Friday for a professional day.

I am still working part-time(just two days, 4-6 hours each), which has been great for my sanity, though not in the moments when I am trying to get all three of us out the door. When I am teaching, I forget to worry about the baby, I talk about literature and learn from my students. Lovely.

Mr S was furloughed during the recent idiocy, and our fragile 'just barely making it' financial situation really hit home. As a contractor, he doesn't get back pay. I am still infuriated with the people who used that platform for grandstanding.

But, in our personal life, I still feel it is a good thing to have me home as much as I am, and I have hopes that we'll make it through these years, not able to go on vacations or fix up the house, but happy the girls had so much of my time. I figure I can work more when they are both in school.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

little ms independence

Acorn had her first week at camp last week. It was bittersweet. She has never been in daycare or preschool, just relative and friend care. (yes, we are lucky)
So, drop-offs were hard, but she had a great time every day(space camp, imaginative play, half day)...
I almost cried the first day. I imagine that is how it will be with preschool.
And, she has learned to swim. Mind you, she wears a flotation vest. But, she is paddling around the big pool, no longer holding on to me for dear life.

There is nothing that can make you notice how swiftly your infant's life is changing then seeing her older sister blossoming and growing.

Dahlia is a joy and delight. She is full of smiles. She is very intent on looking at people who are talking to her, and just rolled over(back to front). She is 3.5 months old. She is dealing with her first illness, and has been rather screamy, especially at 2 am, but seems to be on the mend. The hardest thing for me(other than seeing her upset and losing sleep) was that I was short-tempered with Acorn. It really made me quite sad.

My life is very full, and I don't get much done, beyond keeping us fed, clothed, and active(going to our neighborhood pool, mostly).. but, my girls are happy, and that is what is important.

Friday, June 7, 2013

eight weeks

my little Dahlia arrived 8 weeks ago. She came fast and fierce, as I have heard many second babies do. Between my intermittent overnight contractions, dropping Acorn at her Grandma's, and rainy Friday morning school traffic, we only got to the birth center 22 minutes before she was born.
This means I did NOT get my strep B shot. (but, it turns out that infection risk goes way down when the baby comes so fast)
This means our doula arrived a few minutes after the birth. (she did help the midwife clean up, took some photos for us, and went and bought us some croissants)
This means the midwife barely got her gloves on, and I was halfway in the tub and the baby just came out!
 
She has a wonderful latch, nurses well, sleeps comparatively well(for a newborn, hey, we take what we will get)... Some nights she wakes 1-2 times(between 10-6) and sometimes more.
Acorn is a really wonderful big sister, and if she gets jealous, she gets frustrated at me and Mr. S, never taking it out on Dahlia.

We go out pretty often(because being home, alone, with a very talkative 3.5 year old and a newborn makes me stir crazy), mostly to places within 10 minutes of here. We are lucky to have so many friends and kid-friendly activities nearby, I am still on nursing lockdown(in that baby sometimes wants to nurse every 1-2 hours, and does so for 20+ minutes).
I have SO much less anxiety than I did with Acorn. Oh my. I don't expect her to die, if I ignore her or don't hear her, for 10 minutes. I do have weird paranoid thoughts, especially when up at 2 or 4 am, such as "If a baby gains a lot of weight, is it a sign of a health problem?" or "Her head is too slopey- she must have a brain defect." But in the light of day, I usually realize how crazy those thoughts are.
I can tell she is growing, and her poopy diapers are the right color. She has started to smile, and moves her head when wanting to watch something.
In these first weeks, it is the small things!


Monday, April 8, 2013

Acorn's Day, and 39 weeks(me)

A friend of mine sometimes writes down her child's day and/or current interests and likes.
Today was rather lovely, and I am aware of how soon my attention will be changed and divided very very soon. I decided to record some moments from our day.

April 8, 2013, Acorn is 3 and 1/4. I am (hopefully) days away from having a baby. I have Monday off, so we usually gather with other part-time (at home) parents...

1030am = helping push cart at costco, "look at how fast my feet are going!" and then "Now it looks like the street is moving!"
arboretum with friends and cousin= lots of running around on the hottest day since fall, 2-4 yr olds running around the field and herb garden, rolling down the hill, stopping by the blanket(under the blossoming cherry tree) to drink water, to complain, to cry, to show me a new spin.
Joy and sorrow all intermixed, moment to moment. (the life of a 3 1/4 yr old, esp. when Mama is 39 weeks pregnant and not willing to run around)
played silly hats with NM(2ndcousin) and M (two of my hats, too big, one of M's, too small) running and giggling and falling and laughing.
home and nap.
Wakes, tells me a fairy visited. The fairy had a green dress and yellow hair and skin(yellow like a daffodil) she was big like Mama.
read some stories, eat.
430pm dancing and making up new dances, first, 'the stepstool dance' which involves jumping from the stool to the(just placed) mat in the kitchen, next dance 'the ice cream dance' lines up her 'friends' Maisie, jellycat and bunny rabbit on dining room floor. Each one has their arms up, lying on the floor. She lays amongst them, stretches out, says, "I am the ice cream, they are the ice cream cones."
Comes in with 'friends' in grocery cart, because 'Mama, the class is over.' and hands me each one, saying, "the children have come home from school." I am holding all four of them(winged frog was added to the dancing crew.)
conversation before heading out to plant things (this was preceded by "Please let me watch TV RIGHT now!") her current TV loves: Charlie and Lola, SuperWhy, Sesame Street, Thomas
our quick talk
"Soon I am going to be a big sister. Aren't you excited?"
Yes
"But I wish I wasn't going to be."
"why?"
"I just want to be myself."
"You'll be yourself."
"I don't want to be different."
"You'll be yourself, you'll just love a new person."

Monday, March 25, 2013

37 weeks, and sibling memory

chugging right along with this pregnancy. Things are going well. I wake way too often, and feel a sense that I just can't get enough done, esp. before true sleeplessness begins again. However, I continue to be so grateful for this new baby.
Our friends and loved ones have been showering us with gatherings and gifts, and I just can't believe our luck, we live in such a great community.
A few people have made sure to either give Acorn a gift, or talk to her about what a great big sister she will be. She and I had been having that conversation already, but it has really activated her awareness. She will now say things like, "I will be able to turn on the light for the baby, because I am a big girl and I am growing." etc. So adorable.
She will be 3 1/4 when the baby is born, and it is crazy to think she(later) probably will only have a tiny handfull of memories that don't involve this not yet born sibling.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

28 weeks

am 28 weeks along now, crazy to be on the verge of the third trimester!
I had my birthday last week. It was low-key after last year's 40 hoopla. Got to have dinner at Oyamel on actual birthday and drinks/dinner with a few friends, so nice, the next night. Never been pregnant on my birthday, before. I am sort of enjoying this whole different season while pregnant, thing. I've had to buy some clothes, as Acorn was born in early November, which meant I didn't need to be super warm and bundly while big. (first tri was during winter, but not showing, then)
I keep reminding myself of how temporary my large belly and unwieldy-ness are. And, that there are yummy cocktails in my future!
Depending on who I talk to, I am either quite large(family, mostly, who are excited about proof of baby, I think) or 'hardly showing for 28 weeks' (mainly friends who've had two kids. It is strange to get such vastly different responses, when people see me. Belly is a main topic.
It all has me thinking of my infertility journey, and how crazy that I am having another child. Sometimes I want to reach out to people that I *think* are dealing with infertility, but who have not said anything. Just to listen, or offer support. But, I don't want to presume.
I read about a new kind of doula- an infertility doula, to help get through the IF journey. I was like, "I could do that!"

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

the nesting and cleaning drive

My favorite part of pregnancy, the organizing and nesting urge, has kicked in. Hurrah!
Now, if only I could share it with Mr. S!
And, if only I could get Acorn to nap properly, or not want all of my attention(silly toddler, who does she think she is, my responsibility, or something?)
Anyway, I've been looking around the house with 'new' eyes, seeing things to be gotten rid of, things that can be in a more proper place, etc.
I am falling into the normal "if only we had a bigger house" trap, most days, especially when seeing 'mudroom' or entryway organization, or playroom(ha!) ideas. Our living room is really just a playroom with a couch and TV also in it.
It is good to think of friends (like those in NYC and DC studio apartments) who use a small space, so well.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

the season

for the first time since I was young, we have a live tree in the same house where I live. So lovely!
Acorn wanted a small one(her size) and Mr. S wanted small, so it is just a bit shorter than me. It is covered with red and white lights, and many homemade, and some bought, ornaments.
The house smells wonderful, I am making kale, bean, sausage soup(farmer's market sausage, which Mr. S (who is mostly vegetarian) eats) and just made a batch of spiced pecans to give as presents.
Acorn had her normal super melt down she has every Thursday, after she is watched by MIL. I am glad she has time over there, but am glad it is only one day(6 hours) a week, as she is always fussy. I think it is a combo of too much TV and extra sugar. She gets both at home, but in more limited amounts than at MIL's. To counteract both, we stopped at a local monastery, for some peaceful and non-stimulating activity, on the way home(it has an amazing garden, among other things) and walked around and looked at the lights.
Acorn had fun running through the 'tunnels' (a series of cloisters, very pretty) and is suddenly fascinated with Jesus, which is no surprise, considering the season. Our neighbors have a lit-up nativity scene, so I told her who he is(not in god/religion sense, just basics) and she is intrigued.
Part of our cloister walk conversation:
Me-"there he is as a baby, in the manger" (yesterday she heard a Christmas carol and wanted to know what a manger was)
Her-"Oh. I like the sheep"
"What is he doing there?"(later picture, her asking me)
"He is talking to God." (garden of gethsemane picture)
"But where is God? Why can't we see God?"
ah, the questions are just beginning.
We aren't atheist, per se, but not Christian, at all. Will have to talk more with Mr. S about all of this. We were both raised Christian, but are more pagan leaning, now. I look forward to exposing her to many faiths and traditions, and allowing her the space to explore as she wishes.
* * *

Friday, December 14, 2012

news and the listening child

It has been such a busy week, around here. End of the semester, my ever-expanding unwieldy-ness, Acorn's ever-increasing awareness of SO much. Can't hide anything from her. If Mr. S and I say *anything* about a negative event, emotion, etc, she picks up on it, and asks about it.
Example:
Mr. S- It was a stressful day.
Me- What happened?
Him: Some projects were almost complete...
Acorn- What was stressful? What is wrong?
Mr. S- finishes sentence-and I found errors, had to redo everything.
Acorn- What?
Me- It is OK, something went wrong at Daddy's work, but he fixed it.
She has always been super attuned to conflict, emotion, etc. Sometimes it worries me. We don't hide disagreements or discussions from her. However, we just aren't yellers, so our arguments are usually pretty mild. Usually, any discussion about emotion is when we go over something that happened in our day.
All of this runs through my head as I read the horrifying news from Connecticut. I had to wait until her nap to keep reading, I knew I'd get upset, and knew she'd want to know why. I didn't mind telling her about our cat dying, but THIS, I can protect her from.
The fact that a parent did this horrific crime just makes it 1million times more horrifying.