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My Parenting Experiences

I love Christmas jammies. Maya loves Christmas jammies. Every year she gets super excited about the pajamas she gets to wear on Christmas Eve. I also love giving the girls new Christmas books. New books to add to our collection that we can read every year when the Christmas stuff gets brought out. However, giving the girls their Christmas jammies on Christmas Eve means they don’t get to wear them much. And, giving them a new Christmas book as one of their Christmas gifts means they don’t get to read it much before it all gets put away. So, I decided to remedy that.

This year I am starting a new Christmas tradition. Saturday morning, the first day of Maya’s Christmas break, the girls will come downstairs to find a very special present under the tree addressed to them. They will open a letter attached to that gift and find a special note from Santa saying that he sent one of his elves on a very special mission to deliver this package to them so they could begin Christmas break by getting cozy and reading Christmas stories as a family. Inside the girls will find a special pair of Christmas jammies for each of them along with a new Christmas book!

I can’t wait to see Maya and Anna’s faces when they see that gift under the tree. I can’t wait to curl up in our warm, cozy jammies and read them their new book. This is a new tradition I’m really looking forward to :)

I learned early on as a parent that time changes, or at least your perception of time changes, when you become a parent. I think this especially true for stay at home parents. One day blends into the next and before you know it weeks, or months, have gone by and it all seems a blur. Each subsequent child has altered time a little more. The hours in each day feel like they are less than before. The time you once had to spend in some quiet activity with your child, or relaxing on your own for some much needed alone time, seems to have all but disappeared.

I remember when Anna was born I struggled to make everything fit into my old schedule, the schedule I kept when I only had one little one to worry about. It didn’t work out, it was never going to work out no matter how hard I tried. But, it took me a while to figure that out. It took me a while to realize that I needed to alter my schedule and make adjustments with my time so that everything could get done. Once I figured that out we got into a really nice little routine. Each child got their much needed time, the housework, etc. all got done and I even had a little time leftover for myself (occasionally). So, when Nora was born I already knew from the get go that the old schedule wasn’t going to work anymore. I started early on altering my schedule, making slight shifts in how I allotted my time. The transition has been much smoother. The only problem is that no matter how much shifting I do, how much altering happens to the schedule, there just never seems to be quite enough time.

Do we ever stop looking for more time? More hours in the day to get to all the things on our to-do list. A way to slow down time so our children don’t seem to grow up in the blink of an eye. A way to stretch out the hours in a day so that each child and our spouse gets their fair share leaving just a little at the end for ourselves. There just aren’t enough hours in the day to get it all done. This here little blog of mine has suffered lately. I can barely seems to post once a week. One day I’ll have more time. My kids will be busy with their own lives and I’ll have all the time in the world. I’ll look back on these days when time was often my enemy, and I’ll wish I was back here trying to make it all fit.

 

On Sunday Maya celebrated her 6th birthday by hosting a fun birthday bash for all her little friends at The Little Gym. Maya loves gymnastics and The Little Gym has become a sort of home away from home for us the past year, so having her birthday party there seemed like a fantastic idea. Plus, they do all the work which was a great added bonus!

The party was a blast. The girls had such an amazing time. It was so fun watching Maya interact with all her friends and enjoying being able to spend time with them just goofy off and having fun. She has made a lot of friends since moving here which has helped her feel very at home here in Seattle.

After playing their little hearts out in the gym the girls gathered in the party room for snacks and cake. The cake I ordered turned out beautifully and the girls loved it!

I still can’t believe she is 6! I’m glad she had a good birthday and got to spend a wonderful afternoon partying like a 6 year old with her friends :)

Tired doesn’t even come close to describing how I feel today. Exhausted doesn’t even really seem to do it justice. I seem to have reached a whole new level tiredness that doesn’t even have an adequate name for it.

This past weekend was crazy busy and I got to single parent my way through it. The weekend before Halloween always seems to be so busy for us and when you add 2 big girls who decided to get up earlier than normal and a baby who had a rough night into the mix it spells a recipe for disaster.

Saturday the girls attended a Halloween Bash at The Little Gym and Maya had a show performance with her gymnastics team. We spent about an hour playing around on the gym equipment before Maya’s little performance. There were A TON of kids there, chaotic doesn’t even begin to describe it. I felt like I had whiplash by the end of it trying to keep an eye on both girls! Maya’s performance was awesome. This time they did their performance with the older kids’ show team. The younger ones would demonstrate a skill, like a handstand or a cartwheel, and then the older girls would do a more complex version of the same skill. It was fun to watch. Maya is really inspired by the older girls so she loved getting to perform with them.

Here is Maya in mid-handstand warming up for the performance and demonstrating her straddle hang and dismount on the uneven bars.

Sunday we hit up the Halloween Carnival put on by our community. It was held at Maya’s school. They turned the gymnasium into a little carnival filled with games, bounce houses, face painting and a balloon guy. The kids had a great time. Maya played pretty much every game. Anna’s favorite part was the balloon guy, although she was rather confused when he asked what she wanted him to make, she kept responding “balloon”. He made her a little bear and she looked at it with the most confused look on her face. She clearly would have been happy to just get a balloon! A few of Maya’s friends were at the carnival too and she loved getting to run around and spend time with them.

By Sunday evening I was so incredibly tired I couldn’t see straight and my whole body hurt. At least Nora was back to sleeping well last night and big girls slept until I had to wake them up at 7 (of course, since I didn’t have the option of sleeping in!).  I think this afternoon calls for a nap, hopefully Anna and Nora agree ;)

One of my biggest fears before Nora was born was the impact it was going to have on Maya and Anna and my relationship with each of them. I remember having the same fears before Anna was born. When Anna was born there was an adjustment period for all of us, especially Maya. She loved her baby sister but she challenged us to see what the new boundaries and family layout looked like. It was chaotic sometimes and definitely tried my parenting skills at times but eventually it all settled down and life was good. I knew in my head that whatever the first weeks (or even months) after Nora’s birth brought it would all settle down eventually.

We are wading through our adjustment period now. Nora is a good baby so far. I’ve been blessed with 3 good babies and I know how lucky I am for that. Having a good, easy going baby sure makes things a lot easier. Anna is adjusting pretty well to her new roll as big sister. It helps that she is super chill and easy going as well. She is fascinated by Nora and loves to talk to her. Whenever Nora cries she says “I know Nora. It’s okay Nora.” It is quite possibly the cutest thing ever.

Maya’s adjustment has been a little more challenging. There was so much going on in her little life between just starting kindergarten, having her grandparents visiting and welcoming a new baby sister. It was a recipe for disaster. It really wasn’t any wonder when things went south at school just before Nora arrived. There were a lot of tears, a lot of difficult mornings at drop off when she had to be dragged into school by her teacher. At home the adjustment manifested itself in some pretty wicked back talk and meltdowns. Things have settled down. She is back to enjoying school and things on the home front are calming down too. Fewer meltdowns and much less back talk. She loves Nora and is always so happy when I ask her to help out with something baby related, especially when I ask her to help by sitting with Nora and talking to her. Maya is a great big sister.

As I help my littles adjust to this new life I am trying to adjust myself. Learning the fine art of juggling time and attention with little girls. Life with a newborn is always a bit chaotic, even when you don’t have other children’s needs to deal with. Things like housework, and this here little blog, get pushed to the side for a bit. Newborns are by nature high needs, they eat frequently, sleep irregularly and just enjoy being held, all of which means the vacuuming, laundry and cleaning of the bathrooms has to wait. I’m slowing getting into a groove. Laundry is pretty much always on the go, it just takes a while before I get around to folding it. I’ve squeezed in time to vacuum, deep clean my kitchen and clean 2 of the 3 bathrooms so far this week. My Moby wrap is a life saver ;) I’m enjoying this chaotic time as much as I can because I know how fleeting it is.

We are all adjusting to our new life as a family of 5. It may be crazy and chaotic but it is full of laughs, smiles and love (and maybe a few tears). Can’t ask for more.