Wednesday, October 7, 2009

One Month In...Our New Normal

It is hard to believe that exactly a month ago today, I was emailing my friend Allison during the middle of the night, awake due to a strange yet dull discomfort I would soon learn was called Labor. My labor was induced with Ryder and I was given an epidural before any "real" pain set in. Crazy, but I did not know what labor felt like. Let me assure you , you will be able to figure it out should this scenario ever happen to you!

That was Labor Day, a day we had planned for swimming and barbecue in celebration of Matt's Birthday, but instead we began our new normal.

We have gained so much over the past month. Obviously, a new member of our family. It is amazing to me how quickly he fit into our "mold". It becomes evident that he was meant for us. I remember when I first became pregnant, I immediately had the feeling of "Oh Crud...what have we done?". I was scared. It was not that we weren't trying for our "Plus One"...we were. That didn't make me unafraid of the change this new addition would bring. I remember receiving an email from my sweet friend Heather after they found echogenic bowel on our 20-week ultrasound. She gave me some very encouraging words which included Psalm 139:

For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother's womb.

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.

My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place.
When I was woven together in the depths of the earth,

your eyes saw my unformed body.
All the days ordained for me
were written in your book
before one of them came to be.

This reading provided us great ease during a scary time, but amazingly it still fits. This child was made for us and for his Brother...long before Matt or I knew one another. All of my fears have disappeared as he has created a New and Amazing Normal for our family.

Here are some things I have learned over the past month about being a Mom to Two who are Two and Under:

1. The little person in your house you once thought was a baby instantly grows up.

2. Although Ryder initially did not care for our new addition or his Mom who he felt was responsible for bringing this baby into his life, he loves us both now. My days are filled with hearing him say, "Hi Baby!", lots of very abrasive kisses on his "Baby", constant music from the swing which Ryder feels the need to play even if Rustin is not in the swing, 2-year old tantrums that didn't disappear with the addition of baby, "All Done!" my cue that Ryder needs help just when I have started to tend to Rustin and some occasional newborn cries when I have to address the above "All Done!" issue.

3. A newborn can sleep through anything and a 2-year old will sleep through a newborn crying in the middle of the night. Two big fears I had before Rustin arrived...that Ryder would wake him up and vice-versa.

4. Get ready for this one... I love getting up with Rustin during the night. It is that one part of the day where I can devote my full attention to him. I already know I'll miss our time together when he starts sleeping through the night.

5. When you bring out infant toys, your 2-year old will be more infatuated with these than all of the new toys he just received for his Birthday.

6. Your Brother's Room is waaaay more fun than your own room.

7. Laundry is easier to keep up with if you do at least one load a day.

8. You will set a huge bag of diapers out on almost every Trash Day.

9. You should add at least 1-hour of prep time in order to get out of the house by a certain time.

10. When by yourself...It is easier to get the baby out of the car first. He can't run away yet... a 2-year old can and will take full advantage of the opportunity. Note: 2-year olds also learn quickly that when your hands are tied up with a new baby, this is a great time to try pushing limits...i.e....climbing onto tables and other unauthorized behavior.

11. When Shopping at Target or any other said Grocery Establishment it is easier to carry the New Baby in sling or Baby Bjorne and put the 2-year old in the front of the cart. Putting the 2-year old in back only results in bruised produce and open boxes of cookies.

12. Husband's are a huge Blessing. Especially when they help with dinner mess, baths and stay up to handle the 10:30 PM feeding all after leaving the house at 6 a.m. for a full day of work.

13. I "give in" to Ryder so much more than I should or did before Rustin was here. Sometimes it is just not worth the fight. I struggle with this. I want a well-mannered child who is respectful and pleasant to be around. Is there a happy-medium out there? I hope that there is and that I am finding it!

14. That it is possible to love another baby unconditionally...they both are already so much alike yet so different. It is amazing to see this and experience the love that Ryder has for his sibling.

15. You begin to talk to yourself (in your head) a lot...sometimes it seems your plan works better if you talk it out with yourself...i.e. A scenario like this often runs through my mind: Get Ryder and start him eating breakfast..then start Rustin with his bottle...he'll be satisfied enough by the time Ryder is finished that I can clean him up and start him upstairs ...turn on Wonder Pets...finish feeding Rustin and then I can get them both dressed

As crazy as it can be sometimes... cherish won't last forever.


Anonymous said...

I love these Joy! Especially #4... I get exactly what you mean! Tatum has been a baby that just wants to be left alone (ie: when she's tired, I'd better lay her in her bed asap and leave her the heck alone). It has made me sad...thinking back to the night feeding days that are so sweet and tender. Thankfully, NOW, she is becoming a cuddle bug again and I get at least 2 minutes of Tatum love when I lay her down for naps. (While her brother is doing WHO knows what downstairs!)

And the toys!? What is UP with the big boys' fascination? Trevor is now being re-introduced to his walker toys... which renders them absolutely useless to his sister- she can't get her hands on them!

We should plan a day to meet up... not like tomorrow or anything...just whenever you feel up to it!

Mary said...

Yes very good observations and all very true for me as well. The talking to yourself is I'm sorry to say only going to get worse!!

It's part of my routine to plan in my head what the ideal situation will be as well as worst case scenario. Then anything in-between inevitably brings a little laughter which helps me get past the stress of the unexpected.

Because as you know, the unexpected now rules our days. The getting them in the car and start unloading them only to discover someone has pooped out of their diaper and into their carseat...and I forgot wipes...and I forgot my purse...and well I'm sure you can relate.

You're doing so good figuring this stuff out and finding the joy in raising two little ones that can't always say, "THANK YOU MOM!" They are appreciative of you!

And the getting up in the night thing?

Girl, you're a NUT! lol

Janelle said...

It's amazing how you can adapt so quickly, isn't it? I felt the same way (the, "oh crud...what have we done") but Lizzy was meant to be in our family just like Rustin was meant to be in yours. So precious. And, if I know you at all, Ryder is a well-mannered and respectful boy already. No need to worry. :-)