Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Two Months Gone By...

11 lbs. 13 oz., 22 inches!

The Family Comedian!

As I sip on my afternoon coffee, listen to Christmas music, and start decorating for the season, I can't help but feel like I'm living in a dream. Both my babies are sound asleep and the rain is softly tapping on the windows. Now if only if I got a shower and my makeup done, this would be a scene straight from an ABC Family Christmas movie. :)

But really, who cares? I know Isaiah and Maci don't. Isaiah just wants me to play and kiss his boo-boo's all better and Maci just wants to nurse and cuddle. I still can't believe they're both mine. So sweet, so innocent...so mischievous, at times. I love all the moments, all the moods, all the messes...all of it. Maybe not all the time but once I get a chance to reflect on the chaos that has become my life, I can't help but feel overjoyed. There's a sense of calmness in my heart and my home that I've never felt...even when Isaiah colors on the floor and Maci just wants to be held and dinner is burning on the stove and Darren will be home late...again. This is my life. And I love it.

I can hardly believe two months have passed since my sweet Maci was born. It flew by but I can hardly imagine how we lived a lifetime without her. She's so sweet, peaceful, mellow, and at times, a drama queen. Darren thinks she's a little fussier than Isaiah and wants to be held more, but really I think it's just that we put her down more. We can't always hold her the way we did Isaiah. It's good that she fusses for us to hold her though. It reminds me to not "forget" about her while I play with her big brother.

Maci seems to love everybody and is smiling a ton! She laughs in her sleep and likes to roll to her side. She sleeps at least 5 hours straight at night then gives me another 2 or 3 hours before Isaiah is up. She has slept 7 hours straight a few times already and I can't even believe how GOOD that felt! I've been blessed with two good sleepers...they must take after me. I love my sleep!

Maci is growing so fast. She nurses about 6-8 times each day and she's fast. Only about 5 minutes and she's done. She's chunking out quickly so clearly she's getting what she needs. It must be the "cream" I make. ;) It's kind of nice that she finishes quickly so I can get back to playing with my little guy.

Speaking of Isaiah, he is doing AMAZING. I really, really, truly could not have asked for a better transition. He's had his moments with sharing (especially with younger kids) which could be related to age just as much as getting a new sister. I wanted to share a few things I make sure I do with Isaiah that I believe have helped make the transition:

1. Go on "dates" - just me and him...like old times. We go to the library and ice cream or simply run errands together. It's sweet because while we're driving he asks, "Where Maci?" or tells me where she usually would be. We do this about once each week.

2. 30 minutes of undivided attention every day. This sounds like very little (at least it did to me when I read about it) but 30 minutes without distractions can be difficult. It means no phone, no TV, no diaper changing, no soothing a crying baby, no nursing, no answering the door, no cooking, no cleaning. Nothing but 30 minutes of straight play, reading, singing with Isaiah.

3. Nursing toy basket. These are suppose to be special toys for when mama is nursing the baby only. We ended up putting puzzles and games on the ipad for Isaiah and that's what we used. He snuggled up next to me while he played. It also satisfied his curiosity about nursing. Now he's oblivious except when I'm using the cover...then he thinks it's a game.

4. Keep busy and keep a routine. This so helpful for me too! I used to rock Isaiah to sleep for nap time or go for a stroller ride, but my arms aren't always available and the weather doesn't always permit so I just started laying him down, saying a prayer, and telling him, "Have a good rest, buddy. I love you." Now he just smiles back at me and says, "Have a good rest mama!" He usually sleeps (or at least stays in bed) for 1-2 hrs. We've also kept morning time, our outing time - play dates, errands, etc. Back by 2 to nap up by 4, dinner, play, get ready for bed, snuggle with a show, in bed by 8. Up by 7:30 to do it all again.

It hasn't been smooth every day. We all have our moments. But these things have made a difference and I've quickly reached a point where I feel like, "I got this," when I wake up. Unless Darren's home...then it's like, "Honey, you got that and I got this." ;)

Helping with the Christmas tree.

Tummy time!

One of our dates!

Getting used to the bumbo! She seriously has great head control. :)

Isaiah loves to play with her. Sometimes he loves a little too hard, but he's learning. :)

Friday, November 9, 2012

Two Kids and a Dream.

Have you ever heard the song, "I am" by Nicole Nordeman? If you haven't I highly recommend it. The lyrics are a narrative of life and how God is always there for you. From the time when you believe in super heroes and fairy tales to the time when you need reassurance that you will get through the day...or night. The verse I've found myself in for the last 6 weeks is this:

"You saw me wear white by pale candle light
I said, "forever" to what lies ahead.
Two kids and a dream, with kids that can scream
Too much it might seem when it's 2 a.m.
But when I am weak, unable to speak
Still I can call you by name
Oh Shepard, Savior, Pasture-maker
Hold on to my hand
And you said, I am"

We've already had a few nights with both kids awake in the wee hours of the morning and I know it's only just begun. I couldn't help but giggle to myself thinking of this song. Even though I'm pretty tired these days, I'm loving every second of my babies. Isaiah, my sweet, energetic comedian, fills this house with so much laughter and squeals of joy. And Maci, my sweet little love, made this family even more complete. I am so thankful God gives us enough love for all our children. And that we are able to love them exactly the same. Fully and completely. Even when we're exhausted. Even when the chaos drives us crazy.

I've been told by a few people recently I was designed to have kids. Partially because my labor/delivery was so fast and smooth, but also because the transition from one to two kids has been so easy. Yes, really. I think a big part of that is Isaiah is too young to fully understand. He already doesn't remember life without her. When I ask him if wants to go somewhere he says, "ok!" then turns to his sister and says, "Come on Maci!" He talks to her, sings to her, and always wants to know where she is. Maci will just smile at him like he is the coolest. That's not to say he hasn't had his moments but those are few and far between. There's NOTHING like seeing your children develop a bond before they can even speak in complete sentences. It's such a blessing.

I also feel like having two is easier than one. Partially because I knew what to expect - what to do when, how things feel, how things go, how things heal. With the first it's slightly crippling because everything is so new. This time I feel so at ease and confident in my parenting. We've already started to get on a schedule. Some days I'm down right impressed with myself.

I could continue to brag and toot my own horn and act like I'm such a professional mother. But that wouldn't be truthful. Because really I've done nothing but give up everything to God. Every worry, every sleepless night or napless day, every hint of anxiety. All I do is pray and somehow, by the grace of God, I gain the strength to make it through the day...successfully. What a sense of relief. Maybe I am meant to have children so that I can teach them how to love Jesus in the same way He loves us, to show them His mercy and grace so that they may be gracious to others. Maybe I'll be able to light a fire in them so that one day they can light up the world. This may not be all I'm meant for but right now it is and I've never felt so fulfilled. Two kids and a dream...

Oh Shepard, Savior, Pasture-maker...thank you for holding on to my hand.

"Cast your burden on the Lord, and He will sustain you." Psalm 55:22

Here are a few pictures from the month....