April 2009

A Walk in the Woods

Emma and EJ discuss what might be lurking in the hole in the tree. Or maybe they are just sharing ways to drive their parents crazy.

Today marks the end of Will’s first month as a member of the world. Up to this point he has proven to be incredibly mellow and laid back, but lest the karma gods think I am mocking them, let me say that I am sure he will start crying inconsolably any minute now.

He is incredibly snuggly, and spends most of his awake time staring with big bright (blue?) eyes at whatever enters his field of vision. He really only cries when he is hungry and often makes snorting/trumpeting noises that remind me a of a tiny little pachyderm.

He eats A LOT, which is good for him, if slightly tiring for me (and also makes it really hard to finish thank you notes…). He was 7 lbs. 3 oz. at birth, 7 lbs when we left the hospital, 6 lbs. 13 oz. at one week and 7 lbs. 6 oz. at two weeks. No doubt the constant eating will translate into a big weight gain at his one month check up this Friday, I will keep you posted.

We got what really really looked like a smile at about 3 weeks and he already has crazy-good head control and an iron grip. He loves lights and just in the last couple of days has started tracking people and objects with his eyes.

His sister seems to still be pretty fond of him, and we of course adore him. He’s a keeper.

The Family

As a result of Mike’s obsession mad skillz with the internets, he scored us four tickets to yesterday’s White House Easter Egg Roll. Since Emma “hearts” Sasha and Malia, and Mike and I *heart* their dad and mom, we were all really excited to hang out at their house for a couple of hours.

Emma talked about going to “Sasha and Malia’s house” for a week before we went, and seemed to have a good time once we were there – although I think she felt there had been a bit of false advertising, since we never actually went INTO the house itself. She did get to ride Metro, meet Curious George, and show off her new Ladybug dress.

William’s adventures were a little more low key, but he still got some good stories. First he got to freak out the Secret Service guy who reached into the stroller to check it out and got the shock of his life when the “doll” started moving. Then he got to nurse on the grounds of the White House. Really, there can’t be too many people in the world who can say that, right?

When we had Emma, I was totally prepared for that first month home with her to be the worst month of my life. I figured I would be sleep deprived, hormonal, in physical pain and generally confused about my new role as a mother. It turned out that actually it was much better than I predicted – I was pretty good about sleeping when she slept, Mike and I got to hang out just the two of us as we got to know our new baby and I didn’t feel nearly as stumped by motherhood as I thought I would.

This time around I didn’t prepare myself for much of anything, mostly because I was so wrong last time, and I couldn’t quite get my head around how life would be with two anyway, so why waste time worrying about it?

I have to say, 3 weeks and 3 days into this adventure, that things are much more challenging this time than I could have ever imagined. Sleep is… oh pthltpt, who needs sleep anyway? Mike and I are getting really good at splitting up to attend to one child each, but this means we don’t get to do a whole lot of hanging out “just the two of us” – although thank god there ARE two of us. The emotions connected to raising two kids is enough fodder for an entire month of blog posts, so I won’t even go there. And holy mackerel – the sheer logistics of managing two kids is completely overwhelming at times.

Case in point – it took us forever to get to the grocery store this weekend. Every time we planned to go something came up – Emma was melting down, Will needed to eat, the weather was too nice and a trip to the park seemed like a much better idea – and we didn’t actually get to the store until 48 hours after we had initially planned to go. It made me realize two things – 1) Going to the store by myself with both kids is not going to happen for quite a while and 2) I am in serious trouble when Mike goes back to work in a week.

Peapod may become my new best friend.

Emma turned 28-months old yesterday. In the last month or so, we have seen an all-new, not necessarily improved, Emma. It’s as if someone reminded her she is two-plus-some and she really needs to do her part upholding the image that two-year olds have around the world and get crackin’ on that “terrible twos” thing.

Maybe the arrival of a sibling is partially responsible for sparking the newfound ornery-ness, but I kind of think we would be experiencing similar changes with or without the new baby. The difference would be that Mike and I would not be distracted, exhausted and hormonal as we try to deal with her.

When I can look at the situation from FAR FAR outside of myself, and think of this phase as her job, something she has to do to develop appropriately and move to the next stage of person-hood, I can feel almost proud. “Man, she is so good at finding opportunities to be independent!” “Wow, she is really skilled at questioning authority and finding her own way of doing things!”

Unfortunately, I am very rarely FAR FAR outside of myself these days, and when that little stinker puts her foot up on the table during dinner – despite my REPEATED warnings not to – my eyes begin to bug out of my head and I begin to speak in tongues and she smiles at me as if it were the funniest thing ever and then announces she would like to go into a time-out… well, those are the moments I have trouble feeling especially sane, let alone proud.

But she is very proud to be a big sister, and every morning comes into our room and wants to see her “baby bruvver”. She especially likes to hold him “on the sofa” and always offers to hold his hand during a diaper change. She loves to give him sweet gentle kisses and lots of hugs. The good news is that she doesn’t seem to hold Will responsible for his arrival at our home, the bad news is that she does hold me responsible from time to time. A few nights after we got home from the hospital she threw a book at my head – an act she seemed to find as shocking and upsetting as I did. As things start to settle down, though, she seems to be forgiving me, and our relationship is getting as back to as normal as possible. When she isn’t putting her feet on the table.

Oh – and she can now count to 11 (before she skips to 14, 16, then back to 6) and can ALMOST sing the entire alphabet, although she likes to jump to the “Now I know my ABC’s…” part after the letter L or so, so we sing it with her to keep her on track.

There are times when Emma does something particularly, shall we say, rebellious? independent? – and she gets a little twinkle in her eye. Sometimes I swear I can see a 14-year-old version of herself in there somewhere, and it completely terrifies me…