Thursday, January 25, 2018

Blogging and kids

Once again I find myself unable to sleep at a time when the house is quiet, I should most definitely be sleeping and my mind is racing with thoughts. It took me an hour to give up and say, ok, I'm up! I kept thinking, you have a cold, you are pregnant, you have a long working day ahead of you tomorrow, there's no way you're not going to fall back asleep. But hey, here I am. 

When our first kid was born I took monthly growth photos and blogged about her monthly. I love our second daughter just as much but have a quarter of the time (I started working part-time and was chasing after a toddler). In my first pregnancy I took outfit photos all along (at home and work) - for my second pregnancy we were mostly in a new home that didn't have any full-length mirrors and I worked from home, ditto with my third pregnancy. I really miss documenting my pregnancies and I miss documenting my kid's lives. I love getting to look back and remember the different parts of pregnancy, or the early baby times. I find it reassuring to look back at my pregnancy for anomalies and the similarities. I love comparing the times - and even more so with twins this time. I'm 24 weeks and I haven't taken any picture shots but have definitely been showing basically since being pregnant. I keep thinking I'll solve the problem; I even bought a full-length mirror to hang up to solve this problem, but it just hangs out next to Paul's laundry basket - decidedly unhung. 

Our sweet little B just turned 1 in December. One year of her sweet flappy self. B continues to be happy and cheerful except when she's teething (which she currently is). She is always up for a smile (the cheesiest biggest grin around). She does this hilarious thing when she's excited where she looks like a flopping fish out of water - laying on her tummy, pumping her legs like crazy and flapping her arms. We love it - makes us laugh every time. She can say two words...sometimes. Hi and Dada. She waves and kinda blows kisses, mostly eats them. She isn't walking yet but she loves to stand and crawl - she will take steps if you're holding her hands though. 

Having a second baby is everything and nothing like the first. It's so much less intimidating, in my experience. It's not that I always know what to do with her (she's definitely a separate human than Avie), but I know that each stage will pass - the good and the bad. I can look ahead to the fun of having a toddler and know that next stage is coming. With your first baby the selfishness is ripped out of you in a major way - someone else is calling the shots in the life you used to lead. There is someone else giving major shape to your day - and not in the way a job gives shape to your day - there is no ending to it. It's a full on jumping into an entirely new life experience. So when the second baby comes, it's like you're already deep in it. There's an immersion of course, of learning to have two humans that depend on you, and being back in the newborn stage, but it feels manageable compared to that first time. I kept saying to Paul, we thought this was hard last time? But last time it was hard. And this time, less so. And honestly, there were still hard moments - babies cry, babies bite when breastfeeding, or poop everywhere just when you need to leave. Babies wake up in the night needing you. Hard moments will come, but we're so much more used to hard moments this time. And so much better at recognizing and embracing the great moments. 

I was recently having a discussion with a friend and were talking about why people have babies. Some people have babies because they LOVE babies. I have babies because I want little kids. Babies aren't so much my jam. I mean, there's parts of each stage of baby that I like - I sure do love being pregnant when we have this secret world between only us. I love the sleepy newborn stage with that baby ability to sleep anywhere and everywhere. How fun to see babies slowly understand the world around them - that first smile, the first giggle, the cuddles. B is 1 now and there is a lot of fun - her cheesy grins, bath time fun and so many firsts. But there's also a lot of things with each of those stages that I find tricky and don't enjoy quite as much - mostly it's keeping the baby alive. The newborn and under a year stage is full of the work of feeding and sleeping and helping them be safe and covered as they grow. Right now, at one, I feel like most of parenting B is trying to keep her alive in a different way than when she was a newborn. She wants to explore every dangerous thing she sees. The second she can she b-lines for the toilet, or the steep marble stairs that head up to our bedrooms, or the steep drop off to the laundry room stairs. It's constant vigilance at this stage - she wants to put anything and everything in her mouth, it seems like she especially wants the most dangerous things in there.

I love watching Avie and B interact - they are so cute together. They love each other now - before B was indifferent but Avie was super in love - now they are in it together. They love to laugh - they do silly things to make the other giggle and it melts my heart. I have no idea I could feel such love for these little two people. They always seem to want to be right on top of each other. I can't wait to see what their friendship grows into over the years and pray that they get to be best friends like my sister and I are. 

Last spring we were watching Avie's language - we weren't sure if she was a bit behind but the doctor said we didn't need to worry yet. At a friends recommendation though we started giving her Fish Oil in the summer - around that time (and I assume this isn't a coincidence but in fact correlation) her language exploded. I love having stories and chats with her - watching her trying to communicate. She's finally learned her name though she says it's "Abbie Morgan" rather than Avie, but hey, it's closer. She gets Paul's full name right, though I am "Mommy Morgan" so there's that. Mostly we're working on getting her to keep Paul's name in her head since the way she says it actually sounds like his name (unlike when she says my name, "Taaa") and we want her to know one name in case of an emergency. I love asking Avie to count - she can 100% get it right, but if she isn't focusing and you ask her to count to five she'll say "one, two, salmon, eight, ten." It's the right number of numbers at least! I love that seven = salmon and eleven = alemon. Oh, that makes me smile. We are, in any case, not worried about her language at this point - so much talking, so much learning of new concepts and sounds and ideas. Such fun. Right now her big thing is to tell you what she's going to say to the person she'll be seeing later - that she's going to say she'll miss them, and give them a hug and a kiss. She doesn't always do it - she may get shy - but the heart is there :) She's just bursting full of love, always wanting to cuddle with us, proclaiming "I missed you guys" after our work days. 

So Avie is going to be 3 in April, B is 13 months, and I'm 24 weeks pregnant with twins, which means they'll most likely come in April sometime (April 1st I will be 34 weeks pregnant, and April 28th I'd be 38 weeks pregnant). It's crazy to think that means sometime in like 10-14 weeks I'll double the count of kids I have. Like almost impossible to believe. Gosh, I need to find a Mat leave replacement person now! This pregnancy has felt very similar to my singleton pregnancies until last month. And even more so in the last weeks - there is a party in my womb for sure! I mentioned to my doctor that it wasn't just like double the movement, but even more than that, because it felt like they were egging each other on. She said that when she looked at the ultrasound it was clear that indeed they were egging each other on - she said she could see them kicking at each other, haha. At my last appointment, I was 23 weeks and measuring at 31 weeks. People keep asking if I'm almost due. Nope, not really :) I have my first monthly follow up ultrasound and it was pretty awesome to see the babies again - they are growing healthy (each are a pound and a half) and my body is still coping well with carrying them (pregnancy insomnia and general soreness/tiredness aside). 

A couple weeks ago we hit up a Twins Prenatal class, which was helpful for pregnancy, birth and the early newborn stage. Through that I found the Vancouver Twins Facebook group that I'd never been able to locate before on my own - and I met up with a group of pregnant twin moms who are due this spring/summer - so I'm feeling like there is a real community around going through similar things to us. Even found one family online with 2 young kids and a twins pregnancy - most of the ones we meet are on their first pregnancies. I've just signed up for another course in a couple week - Preparing for Multiples - and a few mama's from the meet up are going to join in, which I'm super pumped about. This course is more about baby care, self care and practical tips for having twins - which is exactly what I'm looking for. Basically through either facebook groups or classes, I was really hoping to find a community of people in the same stage to walk this out with (like I got to in my first prenatal class with Avie - I have made two fabulous friends from there, and like I get to experience with my SIL and sister both having babies at the same time as I had B), and get some hands on tips for this whole twins thing. So I'm feeling pretty great about that side of things. 

The one thing I keep coming across is to be prepared! This weekend we're heading down to Bellingham with two other couples WITHOUT KIDS for the weekend (woot!) and while we're there we will pick up the many packages waiting for us at our PO Box so that when we are back here we can pack up the twins diaper bag and have that prepped and ready ages early (also swinging by the consignment store in Bellingham because they often have preemie items and I just want to make sure we have a couple tiny items, just in case). I'm going away once more in February (one of my best friends is turning 30 so we're spending the weekend on the sunshine coast, no husbands or babies and I can't wait!), and then the first weekend of March is our annual women's retreat at Stillwood near Cultus Lake, but after I get back from that (I'll be 30 weeks) I will pack my hospital bag fully and leave it ready to go. It's silly I know, but I like my bag and so I don't want to pack a different bag, knowing that I really want the bag I'll be travelling with those other times, hence why I'll be waiting. 

Anyways, other than the hospital bags, we just received our extra diaper genies (one upstairs, one downstairs), I have the extra baby cam's coming (to link up to the monitor I already have) and noise maker ordered, as well as my favorite baby socks and slippers that I swear by (100% I used them with both babies and freaking loved them - am only ordering more because I use them so much they wear through eventually). These are the socks and slippers that I order in bulk when I find them for a good price and then give away as gifts to any mom friends having babies because OMG they are amazing. The last thing you need when you have a newborn (or two) is socks that slip off! I have sorted out the girls clothes and have the newborn stuff accessible - it's not into a dresser yet, since the dresser is currently chilling in our hallway waiting to see where it will end up, but the clothes are at least easy to access if needed early. The boy clothes are a slightly different story since this is all stuff we've just been given - so I need to wash it all, and then do the same thing with it, though because it's new to us, I don't have a home for it yet and might slip it into the dresser, even in the hallway. Between my sister and her friend, we have been given a ton of boy stuff - including a pair of my favorite slippers mentioned above, and two pairs of Padraig knitted slippers!!! Those also stay on super well. For babies 6 months and under I exclusively put my kids in those two types of slippers - heck a year and under. I don't have time to chase after fallen slippers. Anyways, with all that generously given hand me downs, oh boy, we'll be set. I'm super pumped.

The last thing to think about (or that my brain is capable of thinking about right now) is writing down a schedule for our two girls so that if I go into labour early we have an easy to access and follow basic schedule and info sheet. I know when I babysit toddlers/babies, I like to have an idea of the structure and stuff that goes along with them. Once they are older it's not so needed, but under 5 I really usually feel like I'm flying blind if I don't have something to guide me, so I want to be able to give them with our girls. My Aunt is planning to be here with them, but she doesn't live in town, so there could be gaps if things happen in unexpected timing. Thankfully we have lots of support, but I want to make it as easy on our support as possible. 


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