Saturday, January 22, 2011

Family of Four

We still fit comfortably in both of our vehicles.

There is still one parent per child if they are both upset at the same time.

We still fit at our kitchen table without having to use the leaf.

When Jeff is not home, both children can fit on my lap with no trouble.

I have one arm to hug each of them at the same time.

There have been aspects about being a mother of two that have been surprisingly easy and other that have been more difficult than I had expected.

What surprised me the most the first week is how guilty I felt all the time. There were a few parts of my life that I was very used to: 1. giving Jill all of my attention, 2. having a tidy house, and 3. being able to do both of those things completely on my own. After coming home from the hospital, that just didn't happen. Every moment I spent with Daniel, I felt like I was stealing from Jill. And any time I spent with Jill, I felt like needed to be given to Daniel. And then there was laundry to be done, dishes to be washed, meals to be cooked, and rooms to be tidied! Tears were shed, emotions ran high, and I wasn't sure I could handle this new life.

Then my mom finally couldn't hold her tongue any longer and said, "you know, Mimi, I didn't come here to be on vacation." Hm. She made a very good point!

Once I remembered that she was my mommy just like I was Jill's mama, things got a lot easier. Sometimes it's hard to let someone help you though. And of course then whenever she had Daniel or Jill, I was jealous of that time. Ha.

I finally just had to let go and realize that my babies would survive without all of my attention all the time. I mean, I'm the youngest, and I had to share my mom with three siblings, and I obviously (ha) turned out pretty great, so surely Jill and Daniel could handle sharing me, too.

And they do handle it very well. Daniel almost never cries when Jill hugs, kisses, pats, or squishes him. And Jill doesn't mind sitting next to me instead of on my lap while Daniel is nursing. Or how she says it, "Daniel eating. Eating." She does occasionally get bottle jealousy. Haha. She'll pretend that she wants to feed Daniel, and she will for a while, and then she'll take his bottle and put it in her mouth.

Binkies have been an issue as well. Jill used to only get her binkie when she was sleeping and during long car rides (and occasionally as a last resort at church when she was fussy). However, Daniel has his binkie in his bassinet all the time, so she sees it a lot. Since she always wants her binkie, she thinks he must as well. So she always climbs up and tries to put—shove—it in his mouth. He does not always want his.

Or she'll see it and decide that she should have it, so she'll take it from his bassinet—or from his mouth—and plop it in her mouth.

This has made me resort to letting her have her binkie whenever she wants. In an interesting turn of events, she has rejected the Nuk binkie that used to be the only one she would accept and now has returned to a Soothie binkie. Hers is pink, and Daniel's is blue-green.

Occasionally, even with her pink Soothie, she'll try to take Daniel's, because one of her various stuffed animals needs a binkie, and apparently the toy's need is greater than her brother's. :)

I'm interested to see if sibling rivalry will develop more later. Right now there is none.

Jill has another new development this week. She calls me "Mimi" half of the time now instead of always "Mama." She did that for a little bit early on, but she hasn't in months. I wonder if it is from hearing my mom call me "Mimi."

My mom, as I mentioned, helped me survive the first week. I have been by myself this second week, and things have gone well.

I had food on the table for dinner every night except for last night, and we only stayed in pajamas all day once. I feel pretty victorious.

An interesting piece of information I have learned by staying home all day for two weeks is that my daughter has a very regular sleep cycle. She wakes up almost exactly at 7:00 am every day. She is ready for her nap by 11:30 and is asleep by noon. She always sleeps between two and three hours. She is ready for bed again by around 7:00 pm and is always asleep by 8:00. She will usually lie in her crib for a while saying "Mama," but she doesn't cry. Sometimes she sings to herself. Then she drifts off. It is nice to know what to expect and unexpected to discover that I was forcing her to sleep at unnatural hours through all my activities and running around. I don't plan on being a slave to her sleep cycle, but I do plan on letting it work for me.

Daniel does not have a regular sleep cycle. He is slowly spending more time awake every day. Right now if he is awake, he is either pooping, trying to poop, eating, or wanting to eat, so it has been wonderful to have a pump, because I can only nurse nonstop for so long. It's still painful! He still has night/day confusion, but it is improving. His longest awake time is in the evenings right now. Last night he was awake from around 7:00 to 10:30, which allowed me to have quite a few hours of consecutive sleep!

Since he is so sleepy during the day, I have always been able to get him to nap during Jill's nap, so then I get a nap in and some stuff done, so life is good.

Life is very, very good.

People have asked me if Daniel looks like Jill did. You can decide.

Jill had red hair and the very defined V hairline. Daniel has brown hair and a rounder hairline. I think they have the same nose and mouth though. We'll see how his appearance progresses.


  1. I think I see something about their eyes and mouths, but I don't see Homer ears on either of them. Thank you, for such lovely GRAND babies Love, grandpa H.

  2. My favorite part was that Jill pretends to want to feed him and then ends up taking his bottle and putting it in her mouth.

  3. I'm glad week two went well for you. What an adventure to be a family of four! And I love the things Jill "does" for Daniel. She isn't that far out of babyhood herself, so it shouldn't be a surprise that she still cares about things like bottles and binkies, but yet it sort of is, huh?

    You're such a good mom. I hope to be like you some day. :)


  4. Congrats on the addition to your beautiful family! Good luck with the adjustment-- it has been four months for me and I'm still figuring out how to juggle everything. :o)

  5. Ah Jill. Maybe it's because she's not mine, but reading all these things just make her sound so cute and loveable, but when Hallie did the same things day after day they drove me INSANE.

    Yeah, that must have something to do with it. But from here in NE, Jill is just precious. And it goes without saying, so is Daniel. So I guess they look a lot alike in that respect.

  6. You had dinner on the table every night a week after having a baby? I thought you were amazing before, but now I think you're Wonderwoman! It is hard to balance it all, huh? Both your babies are adorable - you have a darling little family!

  7. For the purposes of full disclosure and honesty, I must add here that my mother had cooked a ham and a turkey while she was here, so the meat portion of most of the meals was a matter of thawing already cooked meat and then preparing it in some way with noodles, beans, vegetables, etc. So, I'm not that amazing. But we did eat! Thanks Mom!!

  8. great job on adjusting to your new life!! glad you are enjoying it and loving it :) i have been thinking about you a lot.
    2 was a nice easy and fun transition for me too.... but then again lilly was bottle fed.... breastfeeding takes real commitment!!
    go meems!!

  9. wait a second.... dinners??? aren't people bringing you meals??? can i bring you one? i'm pretty sure i can do ANY day this week. i never got a call- who is in charge of that now??

  10. I love your mama. She's so awesome! Glad she was able to come and visit you.

    I totally get what you're going through. I'm currently trying to wrap my head around what happens when we decide to have a third. What if it's a GIRL???? I'm good with boys, that's pretty much all I know! :)

    Jill and Daniel are adorable. Crazy how different they look now--but newborns change daily! Aidan was born with black hair, then was a redhead, and now has blond hair. Asher went from black to blond. Completely skipped the red. And I have to look at the background of some of the pictures before I can tell you who is who, lol.

    Love ya, Meems. Miss ya, too.

  11. Um, I'm back. I can't get enough of your family of FOUR apparently.

  12. Meemz, I TOTALLY felt guilty when I first got home after having Callie. If I was with the baby i felt like a bad mom to annibelle, and if I was with Annibelle, I felt like I was neglecting my baby. But Annie was STILL my baby, right? Ugh. IT was a hard adjustment! I actually feel that getting stuck back in the hospital for 2 weeks with Callie helped me bond with her, and it helped Annibelle to feel concern for her.
    As for binkies, Annie still does that with Callie's! lol at this point, unless one of them is ill, I don't stress about it. I just try to wash them all off when I find them laying on the floor. (I swear we have at least 20 binkies for Callie, but, for the life of me, I can't ever find more than 3 at a time... and sometimes none!) I've learned that you can't have too many of those noise stoppers.
    You're lucky that Jill loves to hold and snuggle her brother. Annibelle only occasionally is interested in Callie, and then only for a moment. It's a bit sad because Callie just lights up and starts smiling and laughing whenever Annibelle gets near her. (SO cute!)
    I think Jill and Daniel look a lot a like. I'm really interested to see how he looks as he grows.
    (btw, i still don't have dinner on the table every night. Of course, that might have something to do with the fact that Peter isn't around for dinner most of the time, so I figure, why make a meal?)

  13. Daniel is so darling! I agree with you I think the nose and mouth are similar between him and Jill. Wow, food on the table every night but one and only one pj better feel victorious!


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