Thursday, June 30, 2011

Settling In And Not Slowing Down...

It's crazy to think that only six weeks ago, Emilie wasn't here. Already, I can barely remember what it was like when there were only three of us (plus pooch). I think that means we are officially settled and adjusted.

Of course we haven't much slowed down. It's not just that I don't much care for slowing down, it's more just the way of the second child. With Marin we had more of a choice to take things at a slower pace. I pretty much dictated what we did and didn't do everyday. This time we have a two year old toddler singing and dancing and swimming and playdating her way through a busy summer, to consider as well. So, we get out and Emilie just goes with the flow. Not only has she attended swim lessons with us, she's been to the splash park, and the pool during regular (crazy I'm-doing-this-cannonball-without-regard-of-the-infant-in-your-arms infested) hours, and has even been in the water with us. She's been to the outlet mall, and on more stroller rides than you can even imagine. She's been to our town's busy, packed Swedish Days festival that included a trip to the carnival, multiple heavily amplified outdoor concerts, two parades, lunches and dinners out, a Channel 5 news spot, sidewalk sales and shoe shopping. She's been to two retirement parties (yay! Grandma's retired!!), two birthday parties, and was passed like a hot potato at a party at her house. She's been to a fancy restaurant on a weekend night for dinner and didn't make a peep. She's been to many lunch and breakfast restaurants- happy as a clam tucked away in her stroller. She's been to the Brookfield zoo on a marathon day of over six hours of animal watching, including being splashed by the dolphins (side note: Marin was also splashed by the dolphins and was only okay with it when she discovered that Mommy and Emilie were also splashed).
Emilie takes life in stride and is very happy go lucky. Unless she's hungry. Then she screams bloody murder until her belly is full and she can go back to her life of smiling at the dog and her sister as they dance circles around her.

I guess it's a good thing that we don't much slow down. Jason was offered another new job, as Managing Director, that he is just two weeks into. We're very proud of him, as it's an excellent opportunity for his career, but it comes at the price of no longer working from home, and much longer, busier, crazier work days. We majorly miss having him at the breakfast table. I specifically miss the extra diaper changing hands. Still, we are adjusting to this new change as well, and enjoy walking to pick him up at the train almost every night. Marin has told anyone with a pulse that her "Daddy working on choo-choo". I'm fairly certain that the entire town assumes he's a train conductor. She literally greets him with jubulent jumps of joy at the train, followed by requests for a "huggie" and "kisses" and says, "I miss you, Daddy".

I'm almost totally used to doing everything with one arm again. This time it includes frantically putting Marin on the potty while holding the baby. Emilie joins Marin and I for stories before nap and bedtime, and as we water the flowers, or sit on our bench in the yard. Free time is sparse and life is chaotic, but we're happily settled in our "new normal". Happy that there's more laundry to fold, more errands to run, more mouths to feed, less hours slept, more noise in the house... because without them, we wouldn't be a family.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Life with Two

Before Emilie was born, a lot of moms told me I'd never remember what I did when I just had one. But I can tell you, I remember. I got a lot more stuff done. Two children means that my life has become one giant multitask. I almost never do just one chore- literally never. Things take a little longer to get done, and some things continue to get pushed further and further down my never ending to do list. And sometimes, we have to pull clean clothes out of the laundry basket, because they go unfolded for a few days.

Emilie sleeps a lot still, but like clockwork, wakes up right when her big sister goes down for her nap. If they ever are asleep at the same time, I run around frantically like a crazy person, trying to jam a million things into the limited time before one of them wakes up again. After Marin was born, we adjusted to a whole new life. This time it doesn't feel like a whole new life, it just feels like adding more chaos to our lives. Wonderful chaos, but chaos none the less. For me, it was easier to go from one child to two children than it was to go from zero children to one. Does that mean it will be easier to go from two to three? :) Just Kidding, not quite ready to go there.

This time around I am much more confident, but I do still find myself checking to make sure she's still breathing, and consulting the baby book to be sure "that's normal". Even though I've been down this road before, I still have to remind myself to stop and enjoy it; to soak it all in. This time I know that phases come and go, and that time passes too quickly. Ever since we brought Emilie home, Marin seems like she's about ten. I look at Emilie and I can't believe that Marin used to be that small. And then I quietly whisper into both girls ears at night, "Don't grow up too quickly". Sometimes Marin reminds me, "I little, mommy. I not big." And I hope that she and her sister will always want to curl up in my lap.

Very shortly after Emilie was born, someone quipped to Jason, "Oh no, Jas; two girls means two weddings." Our delivery nurse, who has four daughters chimed in, "Trust me, before there are two weddings, there are four prom dresses." I asked my dad later if he could imaging having had two of me, and joked that poor Jason has three of me! Still, I know Jason enjoys being King of the Castle. And we certainly appreciate him. I will admit that a few times I have envisioned our family 14 years from now- and imagine that it will be filled with shared closets and borrowed shoes, and arguments over who used up all the hot water, or who broke the hair dryer. I've told Jason that at some point it's entirely possible that Marin and Emilie will hate me, and that it's his job to talk me up.

In the meantime, I'm going to enjoy my little girls like a fine wine and try to keep some of their sweet moments on reserve just in case I need to remind myself someday of what it was like when we were all under the covers reading stories or how Marin dances through the house singing about how she loves her sister.

Two things I've learned since becoming a mom are that life is a constant adjustment, and that most of the time it moves too quickly. Soak it up and take lots of pictures.