Brotherly Love

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At 7.5 weeks, I feel like we’ve begun settling into a sweet little family routine. And the love between these two (well, it’s one sided from Potamus to Lil G at this point, right?) is so sweet.

Yesterday I took Lil G down to Olympia to hang out with my bestie. When I came back it was late afternoon, and so we spent some time outside looking at the trees blowing in the wind and feeling the sunshine on our faces. Of course Potamus wanted to snuggle his baby brother and I captured this sweet shot. Be still my heart.

These moments are why people say they’re glad they have two or more kids.

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6 Weeks: Twitterpated in the Sunshine

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My parents came for a visit. Three nights. They’ve never been allowed to stay three nights in a row before (I have a two night policy for guests, and a two night policy for my own visiting. It’s best to leave feeling like “I wish I should have stayed longer,” rather than “I wish to never see these people again.”), but they recently bought a motorhome and the extra private space provided a nice respite from them staying in our house. Potamus loved going out to the motorhome to play games with them at night, and when my dad needed to take his real estate calls, he didn’t have to do it in my living room with a 4 year old saying “grampy, grampy,” an infant crying, and my mom sighing. It was a lovely visit.

And the sun was out.

Seattle has been unseasonably warm and glorious in the past two weeks, and I was able to get a few lovely shots of Lil G in our backyard. I’m surprised everyday at how much I love this child. It is such a sweet feeling to have again. And a sweet feeling to know that this is the moment, one to never be repeated again. There’s something about it, like the flowers in the background, opening to beautiful blossoms and then dropping off to the ground after their moment of glory. ❤

Joy in Comparison

12916097_10100849873349183_6625354155679802775_oOne of my biggest fears in having a second child, is that I would constantly be comparing the two boys. It’s partially why I wanted to have a girl, so that in case the kids were different (which of course they surely would be), I wouldn’t be all like “why can’t you be like your brother?” I was afraid that I would make one child feel less than by these comparisons. I was afraid that I would favor one child over another.

We didn’t have a second kid in order for Potamus to have a sibling, that was an added side benefit. Instead, we had a second kid in order to experience the joy of watching another person grow up to be themself. And boy is this amazing so far. Comparison happens on the daily, but rather than this being a negative thing, it’s like a joyful surprise, the topic of many conversations, and is fully feeding into my desire to watch another small person grow up.

When Potamus was born, it was like falling in love at summer camp: heady, overwhelming, all encompassing. With Lil G, the love was like visiting the ocean on a warm day, vast, and calm, waves lapping at my ankles. I love my boys equally, but the feeling in my body is different. There’s no competition because they are completely different experiences.

The other night Lil G slept for 6 hours at night, which means that I got about 5. I didn’t get more than 4 hours of sleep with Potamus until he was almost 2. Lil G loves a pacifier, and can fall asleep in the swing, and Potamus needed to be bounced on the yoga ball and still sleeps in our bed. It’s not judgment on either kid. It just is what it is, and I’m loving it. I was so afraid of the comparison trap, but instead I’m enjoying it so much. I can’t wait to see who they grow up and experience the ways that they are the same and different.

Babywearing FTW

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Of course in my obsession to foster attachment with Potamus (which, let’s be honest, was really in order for ME to foster attachment to HIM), I looked up all the attachment parenting tricks, and eagerly dove in to babywearing. In fact, Potamus slept on my chest or in my shirt for the first two to three weeks of his life, and from then on he was held pretty constantly, either by me, or by Boof when I wasn’t around. I don’t want to think that is the reason he’s 4 and won’t sleep without us…but, I digress.

I used the Moby at first, because when you see mainstream babywearing, the Moby and Ergo are the two go-tos. Baby Bjorn is considered sinful and a “crotch dangler,” but we inherited a hand me down version that Boof liked wearing with Potamus for awhile. But I did the Moby. I found it clunky and hard to wear. Then I used the Ergo, when he was old enough to hold up his head. It was great, except I’m only a shade too tall for it, so it didn’t quite sit on my hips right.

And then I found a sling.

It was a used sling, and it was great for hitching Potamus up on my hip for walks around the neighborhood. I used it well into his toddler years, and so with Lil G I decided to get myself a sling from the get go. I did a little online research, and went with Tula Baby ring sling, despite its price tag. And I LOVE it.

At first it felt a little stiff, but after I wore it once or twice, I was in heaven. It is so easy to wear, easier than the slightly padded hand me down I had used with Potamus. It’s super easy to put him in it, bee bop around the house or doing errands, and it has been a lifesaver with a 4 year old. I can easily strap Lil G in the sling, and play soccer with Potamus, or cook dinner, etc. While I’m not loving breastfeeding this time around, I’m loving babywearing more than ever!

Step Into the Sunshine

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There’s something about a confession that leaves even just the slightest bit of room for a shift. I wrote in my last post, I hate Breastfeeding that the second time around, I am hating the whole breastfeeding process. It felt good to say. And it’s not entirely true, anymore. It was true then. It’s not true today. I’m okay with that.

Maybe it’s the sunshine, or the fact that my nipples are mostly healing, or that it’s week 5 and we’ve settled into a little bit of a routine, but I don’t hate nursing today. I don’t love it. I don’t feel the necessity of it in the way I felt with Potamus. I feel ambiguous about future weaning, but I feel ambiguous about a lot of future events (like him starting daycare at 6 months old). But today I don’t hate breastfeeding, not in the sunshine, in my backyard, with this sweet lil G man.

One Month: Tongue Tie

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After 3 weeks of nipple pain, a bout of mastitis, and a visit with my lactation consultant friend, and a lot of Googling, it was determined that Lil G had a posterior tongue tie and an upper lip tie. I hemmed and hawed for about a week, hoping my nipples would heal, and that the ratio of painful latching to non-painful latching would become more balanced, that he’d get bigger, and everything would be peachy…I realized that it wasn’t going to happen. And so I made an appointment with a naturopathic doc who specializes in tongue ties.

I am SO glad I made that decision. Already, only 24 hours post op, the nursing pain has decresed incredibly. Could I finally be healing? And, “oh yes, this is what nursing should feel like,” goes through my mind when he latches on. Sure, it wasn’t a miracle cure, yet, as he needs to still work on his sucking mechanics, but overall I am feeling so much hope for the future of nursing this lil dude. He turns a month tomorrow, and I can’t believe it! Flying by!

4th Birthday Love

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On December 20th, Potamus turned 4. We had celebrated his birthday earlier in the month, but with grandparents and aunties in various locations around the state, really this kid is getting birthday month (um, as it should be? Speaking as another December baby for a minute here…).

Four years. I have so many thoughts about these last four years. I used to tell people that when you move to a new place it takes four years to settle in. I really believe that about places, but I also believe that about parenting. I have felt an amazing connection to motherhood in the past four years, but what I have noticed lately, is my distinct lack of angst about getting him yet another peanut butter cracker/glass of orange juice/etc. What used to feel like having competing Internet Explorer browsers open, now feels a little bit more like a humming program running in the background, while the internet browser is open to whatever tab I want it to be.

I know that in 8 weeks this will change with the birth of my second kid, but it feels like year 4 with little dude is in a really good place.

And look at how sweet he is in that picture? So big. So big that Boof said, “I barely recognize him in those pictures from his first year.” I know. It’s crazy.

Happy 4 Years Buddy. I’ll leave you with this recent quote of his:

“Before you were born, I was just a lady. And you made me a mommy.”

“Yeah! And you made me a [Potamus] and I made daddy a daddy. We all made each other.”

WE ALL MADE EACH OTHER.

Wisdom from a 4 year old.