Day by Day

Charlotte actually pet a goat! This is a HUGE deal for her.

Picking out her pumpkin. She's SO proud of her pumpkin.

At the pumpkin patch. Oh, that little face!

My first-born girl.

Petting the goat again.

Such a lady. (Note. Daddy dressed her that day.)

Pumpkin sitting.
Well, we have been parenting two children on the East Coast sans a West Coast net since Monday, when Mums flew home early in the morning. Day 1 went okay, all things considered.

Day 2? Oh my goodness, Day 2 almost killed me. Charlotte had her school field trip to the pumpkin patch on Tuesday, so we kept her home until almost 10:00 a.m., and then she and Chris (who chaperoned) returned home a little past noon for the rest of the day.

In the 3 hours and 39 minutes it took me to get Chris and Charlotte out the door while simultaneously dealing with an infant who decided to cluster feed all morning (cluster feed = short, close together bursts of nursing that are highly inefficient and totally aggravating) had me absolutely desperate to say adios to Charlotte for a few hours, cute and sweet as she is. The child literally climbs all over me while I nurse her sister, which makes me insanely nervous because Charlotte is not the most graceful little girl. She accidentally kicks and elbows me in her attempt to get as physically close to me as possible while I aim to protect Lorelei from toddler jabs. And let's face it. It's one thing to be literally attached to one of your children all the live-long day. Being underneath TWO of them at once--constantly--is a bit of an invasion of personal space, to put it mildly.

Still, Charlotte has remained very positive about her sister so far and has yet to want to kick her out of our house, so that's good. I'm reaaaaaally trying to make sure Charlotte doesn't feel pushed aside, so I tolerate more of her climbing all over me than I want to, at least for now.

So, on Tuesday, Charlotte and Chris FINALLY left for the pumpkin patch, leaving Lorelei and me in peace. They returned, Charlotte napped for not as long as I wanted, and we had a LOT of time to fill. So, Chris took her to the park and eventually we took a late afternoon family trip to get ice cream, which Charlotte thought was great fun. And, because we live in The Sticks, the ice cream stand OF COURSE had farm animals to gawk at, and nobody is a bigger fan of animals than Charlotte.

All day long, I felt very uneasy, like I was short-changing Charlotte. I was SO tired (Lorelei sleeps very little at night at the moment), still recovering from the birth, and my patience was running very thin. And of course I felt guilty about it. Finally, during our drive home, I told Chris, "I've been feeling like the worst mom ever to Charlotte today, but you know what? She had a super fun trip to the farm and pumpkin patch, a long stint playing at the park, and a special trip for ice cream---all in one day! That's not to shabby. How many kids get to do that much, even without a newborn infant dominating their family?"

Chris looked at me like I was nuts. "Well, yeah," he said. "Charlotte is fine. Quit worrying so much, will you?"

Of course, all these fun activities for Charlotte are hugely dependent on Chris's paternity leave, which will soon be up. I'm absolutely dreading his return to work.

The night of Day 2 was a disaster, as Lorelei refused to sleep unless she was in our arms. So, we took 3-hour shifts, staying awake and watching her sleep. Misery. When she finally fell asleep ON HER BACK in our bed on the morning of Day 3, I studied her sleeping. I realized her startle reflex was jolting her awake every minute or so, so I researched swaddlers and found one that we went out and bought that same day. Charlotte, my extremely active girl, hated swaddling from the get-go, so we didn't really have that sort of stuff on hand, nor did we think swaddling was that big of deal. We. Were. Wrong. Post-swaddle, she slept for two 2-hour stints in her crib, on her back, by herself, which was effing miraculous. So, we're optimistic that tonight will suck a tad less.

So, we're hanging in there! One day at a time.


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