Ten years ago, David and I would lounge in bed in our pajamas and nap all day long and watch various movies or TV series and talk about plans for the future and our ideas about the spectrum of ideas. It was luxurious and we felt self-important in our lovely perfection of love. Sometimes I would turn to David and say that all I wanted was to work as a “model of love,” where we could just exist like this, be together, adventure, and never have to worry about money or jobs or bills. Maybe if we win the lotto we can revisit that!
This morning we woke up after getting to bed too late, and being disturbed from our blissful slumber by a little three year old seeking some help in the bathroom, and after the alarm sounded to say, “The day begins.” It was less luxurious but even in this moment of sleep-deprivation, David was the person I rolled over to see through bleary eyes. We might not be modeling the best of ourselves all the time because life gets in the way of life when two tiny humans are thrown into the mix of things, but we are still modeling our imperfectly perfect-for-us-kind-of-love and I am grateful and appreciative and very much in love still with this partner of mine. And yes, Hallmark made me reflect today on these sentiments with their manufactured Valentine’s Day, but when we get busy and overwhelmed it is all too easy to forget our beginning and how awesome these ten plus years together have been. The soft-spots in our marriage are inevitable, but I am so glad that I have an opportunity to reflect and love that same man who swept me off my feet. So cheers to the sappy holiday and cheers to renewing our commitment to being “models of love,” (and allowing our love to shift and change and ebb and flow through the different stages and phases).
Much of the day of mommyhood is processing and responding to funny, sweet, and weird phrases, conversations and requests from Henry and Owen. So many of these parenting gems have been lost to the abyss of noise that is forever constant from sunrise to sunset, but every now and then, I have enough mental clarity to recall from my working memories those little sillies and jot them down for posterity. And then add to this an assortment of the many socially acceptable behaviors we try to encourage and discourage the boys from doing in an attempt to socialize them to the cultural norms they are a part of.
From the parents:
No, you can’t lick your brother
Don’t touch your butthole or you will get pink eye
Eating a cake pop off the floor of Starbucks is yucky
Did you pee pee on the couch? Where should we go to the bathroom?
Buster doesn’t want you to ride on him
From the babies & toddlers:
Let’s play pretend tiger. What is that? It is when I roar at you and then you scream and then say wait you are just pretend.
Baby in there, as Owen points to my boob
I have an idea, how about I eat my dinner and then we go to CVS for a new toy?
Can we play hide the ball? I will hide it first….okay ready Owen runs over to the hidden spot and points to where the ball is. No, Owen stop it, be more fun.
Ce Ce Ja Ja? Puppy Ja Ja? Santa Pajamas or Puppy Pajamas what Owen wants to wear all day everyday.
Can we just do dinner and a show? Trying to have dinner small talk and Henry would prefer to do otherwise. Ha Ha nice try kid!
Hands mommy Hands! Any time we ride in the car, Owen gets his shoes off and slides his socks onto his hands. His proudest moment.
Tonight the GOAT, Tom Brady, takes to the field for yet another run for a Super Bowl win. While the game may be exciting, the commercials are known to create a Twitter trend too. A few years ago, I think it was Budweiser, had a series called “unsung heroes.” This thirty seconds praised random people for silly and what might at first seem like insignificant talents. However they were true feats of strength like the bathroom user who replaces the toilet paper roll or the individual brave enough to take that last bite of the appetizer before the waiter removes the plate.
On Thursday, I had my greatest moment! While I might have been in labor for 17 hours with Henry only to push out his chunky 9lb 12oz body and then headed back for another baby born naturally almost on route 9 because he was so fast and intense, Thursday trumps both of these moments in stick-to-it-ness and mind control! My co-worker is baking beautiful artisan breads and on Thursday morning while I sat in the faculty room for my prep, this kind coworker gifted me half a loaf. The feat of strength then commenced!
I sat beside that loaf of bread a mere twelve inches from my nose for two hours!!! I made multiple attempts to unwrap it from its cellophane but just before I peeled a layer, I stopped myself. Let’s all just agree that there might not be a better smell than bread. No matter what the grocery store smells like as soon as you hit the bakery aisle don’t you smile? Is that just me? Clearly a fresh loaf is my trigger. But at 3:25 on the fateful day, I walked to the car with the loaf intact proud that I resisted its temptations and prepared to share my sacrificed loaf with the family!
Everyone always says, “Going from one to two is the hardest” and…
They are right!
Of course most of the time being a family of four is just beautiful and magical. When Henry cuddles up to his brother or kisses his forehead or does “tummy time” with little Owen, my heart just explodes. When I am tucking Henry into bed and holding Owen in my lap for story time, I could stay in that moment forever.
The hardest part is the random times in the day when you just don’t have enough hands: Henry wants a cuddle or a snack while Owen is nursing. I keep telling myself it has only been three weeks and not to get too worried about this dilemma. It will settle itself and we will find our family rhythm, but I just wish I had two more hands so I could be all things to both boys and then I wish I had one more set of hands so I could fold laundry and roast vegetables, haha!
It is amazing how these two boys come from the same momma and daddy and yet are already very different (I think). Henry is pale and Owen olive. Henry is slender and Owen rotund. Henry is sensitive and Owen seems to be made of tough stuff. Comparison is the fastest way to unhappiness, no? Yet, I promise that my comparison of the two little dudes in my life will stop here because I just want to savor and love and observe their unique personalities and see what paths they take in life (but, I am sure that desire to compare will show up from time to time).
What might be the hardest part of all is that Owen doesn’t speak. It has been a LONG time since we had a little one in the house who wasn’t babbling about all day. I just want to know Owen more and hear what his little voice is like, but we will have to be patient for a few months until we get a glimpse of that personality and see what kind of songbird this child is. Until then, when I hear “The Sound of Silence” on the radio by Disturbed, I imagine that that deep husky voice is Owen’s.
So while this period is full of unknowns and curiosities, it is also full of quiet moments (though brief), lots of cuddles, and lots of learning on this mommy’s part on how to develop and hone in on my patience and living in the moment.
Weighing in at 9lbs 10oz little Owen is ALMOST as big as Henry was on the day Henry was born! It is crazy because when I look at Owen he seems so big now and Henry was that big on day 1, WHAT!?! Crazy!
These two weeks with Owen have been fantastic. He is the cutest little baby and my heart just keeps on growing each and every day to love him more and more. Owen is definitely an “easy baby.” Of course, easy is relative to the parents’ I believe, but he is so chill during the day. We are able to pick him up and pack up for a day out and about. Owen has gone out to lunches and dinners, visited with friends and family, and gone to the playground to watch his big brother a handful of times. When I was this far out with Henry, I was SO scared to leave the house. Just getting down the stairs to the garage felt like an epic journey. So getting out at least once each day at this point feels very exciting and has given me some really great confidence as a mommy to two boys. And as we close out on day 14, Owen is more and more awake to explore the immediate world around him. His beautiful little brown eyes will scan my face and I cannot help but cuddle up close to him and kiss every inch of his baby face.
What does a day look like at our home?
We are typically awake by 5AM and then head in to play with Henry in his room for at least an hour. Mornings tend to be slow as David and I alternate showers and head downstairs to cook up some breakfast. Then we aim to have a little morning outing. This past weekend, we went to Drumlin Farm with friends and I find that it takes a good 30 minutes prior to our set departure time to get everything packed for the day and to have the boys pottied and fed for the car ride! The philosophy of our lives right now is to get out the door in one piece with as little bulk as possible. It has taken about two weeks to figure out what we really need and what can stay home and how to keep all the boys’ things in a single lightweight diaper bag. We are back home by 12:30 for lunch time and Henry’s nap and this is when Owen is most awake. It’s so sweet to have a little alone time with Owen and to whisper sweet nothings in his ear while his brother naps. In the evenings, I am pretty tired from the day and still feel drained from the physical toll of labor and delivery and aim to keep things slow and simple for the healing process having us stay close to home until bedtime with the boys.
Owen sleeps pretty well. We get a long stretch of time asleep from 8PM-Midnight and then after that it depends. Some nights he sleeps for two-hour increments and some nights only one-hour increments (which leaves me very very tired by 5AM). Thankfully David has been home these two weeks to help in the morning and to encourage me to take naps when I can during the day even though my mommy guilt tells me to go go go. My big worry is when David goes back to work and I have to be everything to these two little ones. Of course, I want this but I am worried if I am able to do it. Fingers crossed for me please!
Even though I am tired, and even though we are still adjusting to our life with two little ones, these two weeks have been some of my most favorite in my life. David has kept me smiling and is the most playful sweet father I could ever imagine having as a partner. It is really wonderful being loved by and loving three men!