Friday, August 22, 2008

How Can She be Three Months Already?

And I thought the second child grew up in a flash! Seriously, since she was born, I've been remembering so much about Ruby being a baby, but not so much Claire. I really hope it has more to do with the fact that Haley actually REMINDS me of Ruby, and not that I CAN'T REMEMBER Claire as a baby. I think at least some of the lack of reminders of Claire as a baby has to do with Claire's babyhood being so much busier than Ruby's was, even though I had a whole extra five months to enjoy her babyhood than I did with Ruby (Ruby was 17 months old when I had Claire). It made alot of difference to experience Claire's babyhood with a toddler to chase after.

Haley laughed for the first time today, as I was singing "Pat-a-Cake" to her. I couldn't get her to do it more than twice, but it was so sweet. Since we've been back from Oregon, she's also been giving me a long break between nursing at night. The last few weeks she's been going anywhere from 4 to 9 1/2 hours between night feedings, usually somewhere around 6 or 7. It has been a real blessing to be able to get several hours of sleep in one chunk. There were a few weeks toward the end there when I would be in tears, wanting to have even just a couple of hours of sleep where she didn't have to be in bed with me or actually ATTACHED TO ME. (Maybe it's because I have lots of other sleepers in my house that I don't think I can let her cry it out too long. I did try it once and I cried the entire time she cried [two hours--I know--what a terrible mom, right?]. It wasn't something I could do again. I still feel guilty for letting Ruby cry as much as I did.)

Footprints, finally!

Tuesday: Haley and cousin Alan (who is 4 days older and at least 3 pounds heavier!)

Casey's gone camping for the weekend with the guys in my family. Even though it's harder on me in a way, I really wanted him to do it. He doesn't have many chances to go and do things he enjoys and be with guy friends. Camping hasn't been as enjoyable since we have a couple very little ones who can get into danger very easily (we usually come home from camping completely exhausted). This trip was adult guys only. I think he'll really enjoy himself.

With Casey's being gone, the girls and I are trying to do some fun things. While more difficult to parent alone, it is also a little easier, since I don't have the same pressures of meal preparation or cleaning. Today, we were able to just go with the flow. Walk to the park first thing in the morning while eating a granola bar breakfast, lunch at 10:30, naps at 11:30, hair cuts for R & C, then dinner at 4 o'clock, and bed at 7. It went fairly smoothly, but it's the beginning of the weekend. We'll see how we do by Sunday night.

Home after our errands this afternoon. Next stop: bedtime!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Ahhh . . .The Sound of Silence!

I am up BEFORE ANY OF MY GIRLS this morning (They're still sleeping--Yay!) After a leisurely shower sans children (I usually have at least one in there with me), I decided to have a cup of coffee and blog for a moment. That's when it hit me. As I poured a spoonful of sugar into the mug, I could hear it "break" the coffee. Its wooshing sounded like a piece of paper being torn. (And it really wasn't that much sugar, I promise!) I realized how long it must've been since I've experienced something like that (i.e. silence) early in the morning. And I must say I liked it enough to blog about it. Silence is certainly golden!

Once upon a time, I was a newlywed bride, waking with my husband to get his clothes and breakfast and pack his lunch for the day (often including a note), waving goodbye to him every morning as he drove to work. Upon starting his civilian job only months after we got married, his new co-worker commented that my waking with Casey wouldn't last long. I think he gave him a timeframe of a couple of months or something. Years passed. Babies came. Still I would wake with him and get his clothes and food. Only a few breaks here and there when I was sick or just had a baby, but even the baby breaks weren't ever more than a week or two. Then I got pregnant with number three. In the very beginning and then toward the end of Haley's pregnancy, I was not even getting up with my hubby, let alone packing his lunch. And this has become the norm. I still pick out his clothes most days, but now it's the night before. Kinda cheating, I know. Once in a while I'll pack him a lunch and put it in the fridge for him to grab on the way out the door.

When I think about it, it makes me a little sad. And when I think of why, it makes me more sad. My children take so much of my waining energy (can it be called "waining" if it's barely even there?), and my husband is suffering the consequences. I've read and heard about husbands getting jealous of a new baby, since it is now getting all of his wife's attention, but until this baby, Casey has still had much of my attention and affection. Now that we've switched to a zone defense, we have to work very hard at (and communicate about) "us." I can totally see why couples fall into the trap of being all about the kids and forget that they're married. It would be easy to do. And it's so sneaky--we work together like a finely oiled machine; we usually know what the other is thinking and make a pretty good parenting team, if I do say so myself. But here's the catch: we become such great partners in this parenting thing, managing the household and the like, and lose sight of the fact that WE are also an entity. Marriage certainly becomes harder when a child is introduced into the picture, and three little ones are no exception.

There are other factors that contribute to my not getting up with Casey anymore. Most mornings, I am nursing (in bed--trying to get a few more minutes of uncomfortable sleep) when the alarm goes off. And since Casey changed jobs a couple years ago, it is no longer helpful to have a lunch packed. (It used to be that if I didn't pack him one, he wouln't get lunch because he was so busy all day--never had much time at his desk. Now he has the opposite problem.) I also asked him last year if it discouraged him when I didn't wake with him and he said no. Put those together and add a few incidental other reasons, and what you get is a mommy who wakes when her girls wake, possibly in time to wave goodbye to her husband, but not get him anything.

Perhaps if I asked him today if it matters whether I get up with him or not, his answer would be different. At any rate, I am going to try get back into the habit just to show him again how much he means to me. Even those little things can make a bigger difference than we might think.