solo parenting again

What with all of the focus on the new baby lately, I sort of forgot to mention that Dave is flying to England today. (Well, tonight. He’s on the red eye.) This time it’s for business reasons rather than just fun/family stuff, and the trip has been planned for a while, so it’s not like I didn’t know this was coming.

And the funny thing is that I’ve been totally chilled out about the idea of this trip all along. When Dave first mentioned it weeks ago when I was still pregnant, my reaction was all, “Eh, whatever. Two kids, one me, no biggie.”

It wasn’t until late last night that I suddenly almost burst into tears. I’m sure it’s a combination of post-partum hormones, sleep deprivation, and maybe a little leftover trauma from the last time he went to the UK.

But it doesn’t even make sense, because it’s not like I’m going to be on solo parent duty for the two weeks that he’s away. My mom is flying up tomorrow and she’ll be here for the majority of the time that Dave is gone.

(My dad is coming up for a few days in there too, but since he’s not a big fan of travel, he’s only coming for a few days rather than 12 days like my mom.)

So I know I’m going to be fine. I’ll have backup. The whole thing is totally manageable.

Dave multi-tasking with both kids

But holy crap, we’re really going to miss that guy.

Safe travels, babe. Love you.

the personalities of newborns

I wrote a post a few months ago about things that were different in my first and second pregnancies. And of course, I knew that Lucy herself would be different than Catie, but I didn’t realize that the differences would be start appearing so quickly. Little things like:

Eating Habits
Catie wolfed down each bottle and ate every 3 hours like clockwork when she was a newborn. Lucy is much slower on the bottle and tends to “graze” more – she just wants a little here and there, not a lot at once.

Swaddling
Catie loved to be swaddled and slept peacefully that way until she was about 5 months old. Lucy wants her hands up by her face when she sleeps, so if you try to swaddle her, she gets ANGRY. I’ve started swaddling her under her armpits so at least her lower half is all warm and snuggly, and that seems to work pretty well.

Can't say that I mind waking up to this face.
Exhibit A: Lucy’s hand placement when sleeping.

Swings vs. Bouncer
Catie hated the swing and loved the bouncy seat. Lucy is the opposite – loves the swing, not a fan of the bouncer.

Music
Catie has loved pop music since she was in the womb. (Seriously, she’d start kicking every time I turned on Madonna.) And she still likes the dance radio station whenever we’re in the car. She loves Lady Gaga, ABBA, Michael Jackson, Pink, all kinds of pop music.

Lucy, on the other hand, seems to have an affinity for the “O Brother Where Art Thou” soundtrack. Which may be because I sing this song to her as a lullaby.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4D8YEgANLow

She also seems to like Rufus Wainwright and other stuff that’s on the more mellow end of the spectrum.

Diapers
These kids have very different, um, bathroom habits. Lucy tends to hold it in and then have very explosive results. I’m not a fan of this. And I can only assume that my washing machine isn’t either. Yuck.

Pacifiers
Catie was never interested in pacifiers, but they really seem to comfort Lucy a lot.

It’s just a lot of little things, really, but it’s cool to see how babies are essentially born as their own unique person. I can’t wait to see how their personalities differ (or are similar) as they get older.

Catie & Lucy

One thing they seem to have in common so far is a strong mutual affection. And I really love that.

settling in

We’re almost two weeks into this whole “life with two kids” gig, and so far it’s pretty great. Lucy is a really good baby, she usually only cries when she’s hungry or when we change her diaper. Which, to be fair, is pretty often. But still.

Lucy late at night

I’m not sure if it’s just because I’m medicated, or if it’s because this is my second baby, but things just feel so much easier this time around. Yes, I’m exhausted, and every time Lucy wakes up in the middle of the night (which is approximately every two to three hours), I have that feeling of “oh god, somebody find the baby’s snooze button, I can’t handle this right now.” But it’s fleeting. I get up, I feed her, change her, get her back to sleep. And we cope. It’s hard, sure, but it doesn’t feel unbearable like it did with Catie.

My mom has been here for the past week, and it’s been so great to have her here. She helps out with the baby, she cooks dinner, and she even convinced Catie to try holding Lucy, something I hadn’t been able to do.

Catie & Lucy

Seriously, that picture just about makes my heart explode.

We will all be very bummed when Mimi flies home on Wednesday. But the good news is that she’ll be back in just a couple of weeks when Dave goes to the UK.

Lucy & Mimi take a nap together

My mom is already sad about leaving too. (And incidentally, anyone looking to buy a house in Ridgeland, Mississippi? Because I really need my parents to sell their place so they can move here!)

Anyway, we’re hanging in there. Better than that, really. We’re doing pretty great.

oh hi!

Oh, and Lucy says “hi!”

Introducing…

Internet, meet Lucy.

Lucille Devon Wilkinson was born at 9:36 p.m. on May 31, 2011. She weighs 7 pounds, 1 ounce, and is 19 inches long. She has Dave’s ears, my mouth, a nose that I can only describe as my grandfather’s, eyes we haven’t figured out yet, and a full head of dark hair that I cannot stop kissing.

She is absolute heaven, and I can’t stop staring at her. We’re all totally in love with her.

Last night, Dave took a picture of Lucy (who at that point still had no name) with my cell phone and sent it to my sister. Tracy was at our house with Catie, and she showed her the picture and said, “Do you know who that is?” Catie replied, “That’s my baby!!”

Today they got to meet each other. They seem to dig each other so far.

More details, like the whole birth story and whatnot, when we’re all back home and not poaching the hospital’s wi-fi.

But seriously, y’all, the messages on Twitter and Facebook the last couple of days? I don’t know what to say except thank you so much. It was beyond amazing to feel so incredibly supported and encouraged through all of this, and I cannot wait to share more about this amazing baby girl with all of you.

Knocked Up

So, sometime in late September, there was this.

And then today, there was this.

It looks like we’re having baby #2 sometime on or around May 31st, 2011. I’m a little over 12 weeks along. And based on the ultrasound today, the doctor said there’s about a 95% chance that we’re having another girl.

If you know how long Dave and I were trying to get pregnant (OVER. A. YEAR.), you know that obviously we’re both beyond thrilled. And we’re super-excited about having two girls, too.

It’s funny, after how horrible my first pregnancy was, I couldn’t imagine being excited about doing it all over again. And it’s true, I’m still not the glowing “Earth Mother” type. I’m much more likely to whine about heartburn or moan about how my clothes all suddenly stopped fitting about 5 minutes after I got a positive pregnancy test.

But at the same time? I’m so psyched. I absolutely cannot wait to meet this tiny person. If she is anything like her big sister, we are in gonna be in for SO MUCH FUN.

YAY FOR BABIES!! (And more on the nitty-gritty pregnancy details later!)

on having a second

I haven’t talked about it much, but I had my IUD taken out last August, which means that Dave and I have theoretically been trying for baby #2 for the last 10 months. And I say theoretically because, well, at first my heart wasn’t really in it. I was so indifferent about having a second kid for so long, and there were months when we didn’t try at the right time because I just didn’t really want to get pregnant at that particular moment. Maybe we were particularly stressed about money that month, maybe I was going through a rough phase with Catie and doubting my ability to survive another child, whatever.

My attitude for the longest time has been, “We’ll have another kid if we’re supposed to have another kid. And if we don’t, then I guess we’re lucky that the one we have is pretty freaking awesome.”

Then something changed. I don’t know exactly what. It could be that I’m barreling down on 35 (“advanced maternal age,” oh no!), or because I realized that Catie will be at least 4 years old by the time we have another baby, or because I suddenly know so. many. people. who are having babies. (Seriously, those are just 3 examples. There’s also at least 2 girls I know from high school who are pregnant right now, and a few other people I know who have had babies in the past 6 months.)

Suddenly, I was hearing about all of these friends of mine being pregnant, and I felt… jealous?

So, for the past couple of months, I’ve been focusing more attention on trying to get pregnant. I’m even considering charting my cycle, since that worked last time. (Funny: I just went looking through my blog archives to see if I could find a post where I talked about charting my cycle, and all I could find was whiny “this isn’t working & I don’t think I’m even ovulating and I’ll never get pregnant, boo hoo!” stuff. Spoiler: I got pregnant the next month.)

And that sort of relates to my recent exercise obsession. See, for those of you who don’t already know this, the last time I was pregnant? Was bad. I got really, really sick during my 3rd trimester, and no one could figure out what was wrong with me. But I lost all of my pregnancy weight while I was still pregnant – which, for the record, is not the ideal weight-loss solution. I mostly lost muscle, not fat. By the time Catie was born, I was so weak that I could barely hold her. It took a long, long time for me to feel “normal” again, energy-wise.

So, this crazy need to work out every day and build my endurance as quickly as possible? A large part of it is because I want to make sure that if/when I get pregnant, I’m starting at a healthier baseline than last time. So if I get sick again, it hopefully won’t have quite such detrimental effects on my health.

We’ll see how it goes. And in the meantime, if any of y’all want to throw out a little “get Cindy knocked up” prayer or thought, I sure wouldn’t mind.

weighty issues

I had a doctor’s appointment yesterday. I went to my OB/GYN and had my IUD taken out. So, yes, this means that technically we’re going to start trying for baby #2 – or at least, we’re no longer preventing the occurrence of baby #2. And I know that’s exciting, and yay! Squee! Baybeees!! But there’s something else about this doctor’s appointment that really bothered me, so we’ll leave the baby talk for another time (like, I don’t know, maybe after I get a positive pregnancy test, which could be a year from now, given my previous track record).

The thing that upset me? My weight.

I knew I’d have to step on the scale at the doctor’s office. You always do, right? I hate the scale. I avoid the scale at home. I’m almost never happy with whatever the number may be. But I thought I was mentally prepared. I had done a little calculation in my head on the way there – sure, most of my clothes are feeling a little tighter lately, but I can still button my size 12 jeans, so it’s not that bad, right? I had an idea of what the number on the scale would probably be.

Wrong.

I’m not brave enough to type the number here, but let’s just say that I have a mental block around a certain number – a weight that I haven’t been since my gastric bypass surgery. It’s a number that for the past 7 years, I have refused to ever see on the scale again. And now I’m dangerously close to that number. Like, I’m less than 10 pounds away from it. I can smell that number from where I am. And I don’t like it one bit.

And I know – I KNOW! – that it’s just a number and it’s all about how you feel and how your clothes fit and blah-blah-blah, but the thing is? I feel like crap most of the time. I feel comfortable in very few of the clothes that I own. So it’s not good, and I need to do something about it. I started a diet back in January, but I think it was too radical – I cut out ALL refined sugar and white flour, which is insanely hard to stick with when you have a 2 year-old in the house. But I did it faithfully for a month and lost a whopping zero pounds. That’s when I got frustrated and quit.

Since January, I’ve gained about 10 pounds, and I think I know why: I snack too much at night. I have always “grazed” in the evenings, but lately it’s gotten out of control. I would estimate that probably half of my day’s calories are consumed between 8 p.m. and midnight. Pretty much the worst possible time to eat, right? So that’s the biggest change I’m going to work on for now. I’m definitely going to be adding in healthier food choices and snacks during the day (plus drinking more water & less Diet Coke), but I also know that it’s pretty likely that I won’t be able to stay away from the occasional cookie. So for now, the main thing I’m going to do is stop eating at night.

I started last night. After I put Catie to bed, I had a cup of chamomile tea – because hot liquids trick your tummy into feeling full, plus it helped me start to feel sleepy. And you know? I didn’t die. In fact, it was fine.

I also need to work on getting in shape. I couldn’t do the 30-Day Shred because it hurt my knees too much, and I love the Wii Fit, but it’s more for fun & doesn’t feel like it’s giving me a really solid workout. So I’m thinking about trying Cool Running’s Couch-to-5K program. I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to jog/run a 5K; I have wonky knees, and I doubt they’ll hold up for something like that. But I can try. The program only takes up 3 days a week, which seems do-able. Throw in one or two yoga/pilates workouts too, and I should be doing fine in no time.

Wish me luck. I’m going to need it.