There are so many things that are new and different now that we have two little ones at home! Most of them were easily anticipated but there have been a few that I didn't expect.
Challenge: Time is cut in half, work is doubled!!
While easily anticipated, I never could have realized just how true this was! It makes me even more grateful that Mitchell has been off of work and such a huge help. Trying to get back into the 'swing of things' has proven much more difficult than expected. Brookelynne has been totally off schedule and trying to get her back on her schedule is not easy. She woke up in the middle of the night the first 4 nights we were back home, and since I was still not able to lift her, Mitch had to be the one to try and put her back to sleep. The problem is that Daddy is 'fun', so as soon as she saw him, she wanted to play, play, play instead of sleep! I, of course, was still getting up in the middle of the night anyway, pumping and feeding Braxton, but the lack of sleep for hubby, meant two tired parents each morning instead of one. Then of course there is the laundry and dishes of having 2 little ones!
Reward: The quiet moments alone with them are perfect...
One thing that I had totally forgotten was the serious amount of time that babies spend sleeping. I had this picture of him being awake for at least 6 or 8 hours each day and me having to work really hard to get time with Brookelynne, but that has not been the case! Each day I've had time to set aside for me and Brookelynne to do something together. Whether it's just singing her songs (while she does the motions) or if it is sitting with her and playing or reading, it has been a sweet joy to get alone time with her so that she knows how important she still is to me! It has also been great to set aside the time that Braxton is awake for Mitch and I to look him in the face and talk to him just like we did with Brookelynne. I know he can't really see us yet, but I want him to know that we love him and recognize us as soon as possible. He's so precious and the one on one time that I spend with him, whether it's while he's eating or in the rare times he is awake without reason, are such a joy! One of my biggest fears had been that as the second child he would miss out on so much of the one on one interaction and the individual attention that Brookelynne got, but so far, that hasn't been the case.... What a blessing!
Challenge: Every baby is different...but how?
Everyone who has ever had children will tell you that their kids were each distinctly different from each other and from the parents. This has been something that has been on my mind since we found out we were pregnant (if I were to be totally honest, I would have to say even before that) and while I wouldn't say I 'worried' about it, I have given it more than enough thought. Mainly because of how much we love Brookelynne and everything about her, it scared me to think that the 'differences' would be things that were 'not desirable' (ie- that he would be super fussy or never sleep, always upset or easily bothered) or that I would see them that way if they weren't. And while there is very little of his personality that we can already 'know', the things we've seen that are different, aren't bad. They're just different, but it's definitely a challenge each day to recognize that he is his own person, and not another 'Brookelynne'. I've found myself assuming that he's going to do/like/want something 'just like she did', when he doesn't. (Thankfully, this has happened less than I expected). I pray that the Lord will continue to let me always see my children as He does, as separate, unique, precious individuals that He created perfect and special in their own way (not sinless, but perfect creations)!
Reward: The differences can be so sweet!
Like I said, there's only so much of Brax's personality that we know so far, but the things we've seen are precious. He's quiet and reserved, giving us 'warning sounds' before getting upset. (Unlike his sister, who only cried when she was hungry, but when she was hungry she went from 0 to 60 in no time and stayed that way until we fed her!) He doesn't push away from you, and likes being snuggled, something Brookelynne never took to. She was pushing away from your body, and wanting to look out from day one. His sweet smile isn't yet something that I can get him to do, but when he smiles, its a sly one, like his Daddy's, not a big cheesy one like mine and Brooke's. Oh, and he can already do the 'Mitchell look', for those of you who know what that means, and it's soooo funny!
Challenges: Schedule. Or should I say "What Schedule?"
Call me silly, call me crazy, maybe its a little bit of both, but I REALLY thought that with Mitchell having 10 days off, we would *easily* have Braxton on a schedule that worked well with Brooke's before he headed back to work. But that has not been the case! lol I can honestly say that part of that is simply because I've been waiting on Braxton to set his own schedule that we can 'adapt' Brooke's too. But unlike his sister, he is not like that. She had herself on a schedule by 5 or 6 days old, and she ate every 5 hours, and slept 7 or 8 hours at night. Braxton has been a great baby, but he's not as content as she was. If he's awake, but not really hungry, he'll still fuss and take part of a bottle, which only encourages his not-consistent eating habits. I am planning on getting a book from a friend of mine on putting them on a schedule and hopefully will have him on one soon!
Rewards: Unplanned fun and excitement...
Brookelynne was already off of her schedule when we came home from the hosptial. After 6 days of 'playing' and 'fun' with friends and family, she was less than excited about going back to her 2 naps a day and sleeping through the night routine! :) She has been waking up in the middle of the night, but it's been quite a sweet thing for me. Mitch has been handling her in the night, since I have to pump and feed Braxton anyway, and his way of getting her to go back to sleep is bringing her to the bed with us. This has never happened before, because I always rock her back to sleep and put her in her bed, but she won't calm back down once she sees Mitch, so he just brings her to bed with us. It was so sweet the first morning that I woke up with her in the bed. Even though she had kicked me in the face a time or two in the night, she had also snuggled up to me. I woke up to her leaning over my face with her big cheesy grin, and she started laughing as soon as I opened my eyes. :) lol. We also had a morning where we got Braxton in the bed with us too, and we laughed as Brookelynne played on the pillows and kissed on her brother. Those are things I would have never planned, or would have ever happened on 'my schedule'. :)
All in all we have been thrilled to have this time with our two little bundles of joy and are looking forward to the coming weeks and years of raising them, challenges and all! Mitch goes back to work on Wednesday, so we'll see what happens!