(That little cliche would get me an A+ in eighth grade English. Woot!)
So! A six month old and a twenty-six month old! It's safe to say that I'm adjusting. I've been adjusting since Naomi was born and I have a feeling I'll be adjusting for the next eighteen years or so. By "adjusting", I mean that somehow, someway, the children are clean, fed, growing, and happy, and I am at least fed and happy. And growing (Christmas sweets ... boo). There are days where I stop amidst the whirlwind and wonder, "Wait, where am I? What's next?!" Even though I feel that I've gotten the hang of it, having two little bodies with two different needs and personalities is somewhat dizzying, and I've found that meeting both of their needs simultaneously sometimes means those needs are met only halfway, and that's totally fine.
I think it's safe to say I've relaxed since Cub was born.
Speaking of Cub, let's start with him.
He is a bundle of fantastic energy and sweetness. He is still very much my cuddle bug who loves to snuggle when he wakes up. He crawls into my lap with his (very much worn) Mr. Lion and we snuggle as he sucks his thumb and wakes up. His vocabulary floors me. This evening he crawled into my lap while I was feeding Naomi some peas, and, peering into the bowl, he asked me very clearly, "What is in the bowl?" I looked down at him and asked back, "When did you begin speaking in complete sentences?" My boy, who was such a quiet baby, loves to talk. And he's quite efficient at it. I'm wondering if Naomi, who is not a quiet baby, will be the opposite and hate to speak! We'll see. Either way, it's so fun to share conversations with Caleb, to discover things and watch him wonder at everything. He loves to run and play and is becoming more and more like a little boy.
He is still very much a compliant and easy-going little guy (firstborn), who generally does what I say when I say it. But, we do have some challenges with instant obedience, with him responding immediately to whatever I am requesting of him. I'm not a huge fan of the "I'm going to count to three!" concept (it gets a little drawn-out sometimes), so, when I sense that he's being a tad ornery, I will get on his level (after making a request) and remind him, "Caleb, you may choose to obey or disobey. Just remember, if you disobey, there will be a consequence." And, sometimes he presses the line and chooses to disobey. And then I follow through. I've learned that, at this age, distraction is the rule. He gets so distracted by everything. It's my job to make sure he's focused and understands what I'm asking of him (to "bring him back to earth" sometimes!). Tonight, for example, he wanted a cookie. I told him that it was almost time for dinner, and that he may not have a cookie. He asked again, and I responded with no. He started to whine, so I sent him to his room (I tell him he's more than welcome to whine and get it out, he just has to do it on his bed). Then he came back and asked again. And again. And again.
I realized after a while that I was allowing him to continually ask me, when really, he should just accept my "no". We were both growing frustrated with the asking and the refusing, and then I remembered ... he's two. He's TWO. And, as I mentioned, distraction is the rule. I again got on his level and, not mentioning the word COOKIE, I told him he was more than welcome to have some grapes and cheese, if he'd like. Bam! That was it! He never mentioned the cookie again, and happily munched on some grapes. I think his little mind just gets a little one-tracked at times, and, rather than try to derail him completely, I just need to steer him in a different direction.
He loves everything to do with trucks, tractors, balls, and trains. He is a boy through and through, and it's so fun. We've been working on Psalm 23 (he fills in words when I pause) and we're almost finished. I tried making it a song today and (very lamely) sang it to "Mary Had a Little Lamb" and Cub almost immediately started singing what he heard. A good friend told me that singing verses to kids is the best way for them to learn them, and I think she's right! Cub is our little dude and he delights us as much now as he did the day he was born. We're in love.
And we're in love with his little sister, too.
Naomi continues to be our spunky, happy-go-lucky little lady. She smiles at anything and everything and loves to laugh. She's definitely a Mama's girl and she sometimes fusses when I'm not around. Thankfully, her brother serves as a fantastic distraction and if he's in the room, she's fine. She loves to sit and play with toys, but continues to HATE being on her stomach. So, I don't see crawling in the near future. However, she has discovered that if a toy is out of reach, she can grab it by reaching and falling forward to her stomach. At some point, she'll realize that obtaining things requires movement, much to her chagrin! She babbles all the time now, making lots of "ma-ma-ma-ma-ba-ba-ba-ba" sounds. She reaches for everything. She passes toys from one hand to the other, and then, eventually, it ends up in her mouth!
We started the foray into solid foods and so far she has eaten peas, green beans, summer squash, and carrots. I made some baby food for her and our freezer is stocked with the aforementioned peas and green beans, and also mango, acorn squash, and pears. I have some zucchini and apples that I plan to whip up and freeze as well. After she transitions to a new food successfully, I go back to feeding her peas or green beans for a few days, just to remind her of those tastes. I know once we go to fruit, she'll be in heaven!
She is a great napper, but still struggles sometimes at night. Let me say now that if she were my firstborn, I would be appalled by this, thinking I was a parenting failure. I think it's fair to say that with Cub, I based his sleep habits directly on my parenting abilities. Seriously--for you first time Moms, how often did you hear, "IS YOUR BABY SLEEPING THROUGH THE NIGHT? MY BABY IS SLEEPING THROUGH THE NIGHT. JUST SO YOU KNOW."
There's this peculiar connection between night sleep and parenting awesomeness.
Well, I know better now.
Naomi is my little Variable X, who is just an entirely different little person than her big brother. She wakes up periodically, needing her paci (we let her cry for a bit and if she builds and builds, then we get up and help her find it). Her stomach continues to be sensitive, so there are times when that wakes her up, too. She no longer wakes up to eat, so that's good, although there have been times where she gets so worked up that a bottle is the only thing that will soothe her. On good nights when she sleeps through, she sleeps from 7:30 to 6:30-7:00ish. Little Mouse. Oddly enough, I don't mind the sleepless nights too much. She's already HALF OF A YEAR OLD, and I know that soon she will be sleeping just fine and graduating college.
I don't mind helping her find the paci.
She has a pretty consistent day routine, taking four naps and eating six times. She's a tiny thing--90th percentile for height, but only 33rd percentile for weight--but she's growing and sturdy, with the most delicious baby thunder thighs. She keeps us on our toes, but she is an absolute delight.
Phew! I've written a lot here!
If you are still reading, then bless you.
I love being a Mom of two. We know that we are blessed immensely. In the midst of the chaos there are two beautiful children, laughing, learning to play together, learning to share, smiling up at me from in the tub, sitting on the couch in footy pajamas, and sitting at the breakfast table, bedheaded and perfect. Yes, there are days where I wonder if I've lost my mind. But honestly, my brain was a small price to pay for the loveliness of these days.
Have a lovely day.