Briefly…

It appears that I actually have a brief moment to myself today.  I had a meeting away from the office and it didn’t make sense to head back into the downtown core afterwards so I came directly home.  D is at work and the boys are at daycare so I AM ALONE!

Before I go and do something productive like prep for dinner or put some laundry away, I decided that it’s only fair that I take a moment to write.  I miss it here!

Life is chugging along (or, more accurately, zooming along).  Spring seems to be finally arriving and the boys are enjoying spending more time outside again.  Littleman started t-ball recently, which is cute/chaotic.  I’m still struggling to figure out how to balance work with the children’s activities and keeping the house in order (somewhat).  So far, we’re managing ok but I find we’re all pretty burned out by the end of the week.

Poor Bo is in that awkward stage where he still can’t walk but doesn’t want to be held or strapped in all the time.  He’s a super-speedy crawler and heads straight for the stairs or other dangerous obstacles whenever we put him down.  He gets frustrated when we stop him from approaching said obstacles, so he ends up whining a lot.  We’re told he’s eating well at daycare, which is a good thing because he’s usually pretty tired/grumpy at dinner time and doesn’t end up eating much (unless it’s dipped in or spread with baba ganoush – go figure.)

Speaking of awkward stages, I’m in one myself right now.  I’m still breastfeeding Bo first thing in the morning and right before bed.  My body has adjusted to the two-feeds-a-day schedule quite nicely but I’m in a tough spot when it comes to bras these days.  I’m still wearing my nursing bras (which fit well by the end of the day when I’m getting fuller but are pretty loose and gapey right after the morning feed.)  I was kind of hoping that we could wean completely sometime soon but Bo still seems to really enjoy it and there’s no real reason for us to stop.

Littleman is the one who is really thriving these days.  All of a sudden, he seems really mature.  He looks like such a big kid and is really great at helping make sure his little brother doesn’t get into too much trouble.  I’m so proud of the cool kid he’s becoming.

Anyway, my alone time will be coming to and end soon and duty calls.  Happy Friday, everyone! 

    

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Oh, the injustice!

This morning, for the first time in a long time, Littleman had meltdown on the way to daycare.  I asked him to stay inside the front door with his brother (who has a tendency to try to crawl up the stairs as soon as I turn my back) while I set up the stroller out front.  When I went back inside to get the kids, Littleman started crying because he had wanted to help set up the stroller.  I reminded him that he had helped me by watching his brother and I asked that he help me clip the baby into the stroller.  But, alas, it was too late.  He was wound up and wasn’t going to be distracted from his anger.

He cried the whole way to the daycare.  Then, through his tears, he said, “I’m crying because I wanted to help you with the stroller!” I couldn’t help but smile.  A year ago, when he was an angst-filled three-nager, his meltdowns were intense.  He’d get super mad and cry really hard and, in the end, I sometimes wondered if he even remembered what the whole fuss was about.  Now (at the ripe old age of four) he knows exactly why he is upset and articulates it very clearly.

He calmed himself down by the time we reached the daycare. He helped me collapse and store the stroller, which somewhat made up for the earlier injustice of not being allowed to help set it up in the first place.

Watching all this go down made me realize how much easier parenting Littleman is now that he’s four.  He’s always been a pretty well-behaved kid who is a good listener and likes to help.  But, he is still a kid and we’ve certainly had our ups and down.  Age three was probably the hardest so far – I wrote about it here and here – but we seem to have turned a corner.  Sure, there are still moments like this morning where he gets upset when he doesn’t get what he wants.  But, like today, he gets over it pretty quickly now and he seems to be starting to understand that he can’t always get what he wants (his dad and I have amused ourselves by singing that to him which could have pissed him off but seems to have entertained him instead).

It will be interesting to see what Bo is like as he gets older and starts to show his frustration more.  Will he continue to be an easy-going kid, like he’s been an easy-going baby?  Or will he be stubborn and get easily worked up when he doesn’t get his way?  I guess we’ll have to wait and see.

MIA and IOU

I realize that I appear to have totally dropped off the face of the earth and I owe you an update…

I’ve almost made it through three weeks of work and life feels like a total whirlwind.  If D is working, he’s gone before the rest of us wake up in the mornings.   On those days, I rush to get myself ready before the boys wake up.  I nurse Bo when he awakes and throw some clothes on him.  Then I pester Littleman to get dressed and rush him through his breakfast (he is sllloooowwww).  I bundle us all up (will be so happy when we can drop the winter clothes for good!) and strap Bo into the stroller.  We walk to daycare as quickly as Littleman will allow (again, so slow!).  It breaks my heart to leave them there so early, but I pretty much have to drop them right when the daycare opens if I want to get to work at a decent time.  By the time I’m on the bus, I feel like I’ve already worked an entire day and it’s only 7:45am.

On days that D isn’t working, we have a bit more flexibility.  I can leave whenever I’m ready and the boys can take their time getting ready for daycare.  These days are so much better.

Work itself is going ok.  I was promoted while I was on maternity leave so I’m trying to get my head around my new responsibilities and getting to know my new employee.  I also have a new boss, so figuring out all the “people stuff” (i.e. personalities, working styles, expectations, etc) is the biggest challenge.  The actual content of the work is fine – I’ve been doing this stuff for a long time.

After work, the evening craziness begins with the commute home.  The boys are always tired and hungry after daycare so I try to get them as early as I can.  Then it’s dinner prep and eating, baths and bedtime.  The thing I’m hating the most is the fact that we just don’t get much time to hang out and play together.  I miss that.

I also miss writing here.  So much has been swirling through my head in the past few weeks as I try to reconcile the fact that my baby is one, we just passed the two-year anniversary of our miscarriage, I’m now a working mom again and we’re quite certainly having no more children.  I’m hoping that I’ll find a better balance soon so that I can ensure I’m able to find time do the things I want to do (play, write, read) instead of just things I have to do (work, laundry, cook).

That being said, I’ve been reading my favourite blogs as much as possible (the upside of all that time spent on public transit?) While I haven’t had a chance to comment much, please know that I’ve been thinking of you all through your ups and downs, good news and bad, celebrations and losses.  You really do help keep me sane.

Four

My first-born son, my baby-who-is-no-longer-a-baby, is four years old today!

Littleman has grown and matured so much this year.  He became a big brother and has rocked that role, right from the start.  His baby brother worships him and I love to see their relationship developing.

Everyday I am amazed at all the things Littleman can do on his own.  He is so independent these days.  He can reach the light switches, go to the bathroom on his own, wash his hands, get dressed.  He can talk on the phone to his grandparents, ask politely for what he wants, help set the table.  He’s learning to ski and skate and swim.  He’s no longer as shy as he used to be and it blows my mind when he goes off for his lessons with barely a wave in our direction.

Three was an interesting age. I found it harder to parent a three-year-old than a two-year-old. Littleman’s patience was in short supply and he struggled with listening. I would get frustrated with him, which never helped. Things seem to be getting better as he continues to mature. There are still some meltdowns and whiny moments at home, but my boy is very polite and well-behaved outside our home.  People often compliment us, which, I must admit, feels good.  I have to remind myself of those compliments when I’m in the middle of battle with him at home.

It’s hard to believe I’ve been a mom for four years.  In some ways it feels like he’s always been here, but sometimes I don’t know where this big kid came from!

I was looking back at what I wrote on his birthday last year.  At that time, I was dealing with a lot of guilt about being distracted by other things that were going on and not being fully focused on Littleman.  This year, it’s a different kind of guilt.  I’ve spent much of this year focusing on the baby, while Littleman has waited (usually very patiently) for his turn getting the attention.  I hope, in the coming year, I can find a way to split my time and attention more evenly so that Littleman and I can get some good mommy and son time together.

Happy Birthday, Littleman!  I am so proud of the incredible boy you are becoming.

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What’s cooking?

As much as I’d like to slow down time and keep my baby from growing up too fast, I know it’s time for him to start eating solids.  So, in celebration of Bo’s half birthday, we gave him his first taste of “real food.”

Littleman, our three-year-old, was pretty excited about his baby brother getting to try food.  I think he was a little disappointed when he realized that “real food” was just plain old brown rice cereal.

We popped Bo into the high chair, snapped on a bib and mixed up a tablespoon of cereal with formula.  The first try went pretty well.  When he wasn’t trying to grab the bowl or spoon, he was opening his mouth to take in the food.  He polished off the whole bowl.  Take two wasn’t quite as successful because I think he was too tired.  Take three was somewhere in between.  He didn’t love it but didn’t hate it.  He was kind of indifferent but at least he ate it all.

Rice cereal is pretty boring so I’m looking forward to offering him other foods with a bit more flavour or texture.  Littleman didn’t like eating at this age and pretty much hated all pureed food, so I’m hoping things go a bit better this time around.  I’m still primarily breastfeeding so we’ll take the introduction of solids slower this time around and let Bo take his time getting used to the different tastes and textures.

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How’s he going to react?

I think my three-year-old is starting to sense how imminent the arrival of the new baby is.  And, I’m starting to worry about how he’s going to react when it actually happens.

Littleman is a pretty smart kid and we’ve been talking about the baby for many months.  I think he understands what’s going on as much as he possibly can at his age.  He knows there’s a baby in mommy’s tummy.  He knows that it’s his baby brother.  He likes playing “baby” a lot these days.  But he’s also a typical first-born or only child.  He is used to having constant attention and one-on-one time.  He is not used to playing by himself.

We’ve been trying our best to prepare him for the baby’s arrival.  We have a couple of books about being a big brother.  We talk about the things that the baby won’t be able to do – the things that only a big boy can do.  We’ve practiced having him sleep at Nana and Nonno’s house (my parents).  But I’m just not sure that there’s anything we can do to really, truly get him ready for the change that’s about to happen.

As I said before, I think he’s starting to realize how soon this baby will be here.  He’s always been a daddy’s boy, but lately he’s been wanting mommy for everything.  This weekend, I got tons of cuddles and kisses.  When we were both around, he pretty much only chose me to do things with him.  That is very abnormal behaviour for him.

Now that I’m done work, I’m hoping I’ll have some more energy to play with Littleman  in the evenings.  I want to spend as much time with him as I can in these final days before the baby arrives because I know my attention will be stretched between the two of them once Bo is here.

If anyone has any advice on what else we can do to prep Littleman for the baby’s arrival, please pass it along!  I certainly don’t expect the transition to a family of four to be easy, but I’m willing to try anything we can to do to make it a little less hard.