One of our neighbors has a fancy camera and every now and then he catches our family (and other families…but we have the babies and it’s hard to resist taking pictures of babies, right?) at the right moment and takes some pictures to share with us.
I love this picture. I wish I could remember what Wes was saying. More often then not, if you approach us in our yard this is how Wes greets you. He’s got something serious to tell you and he’s going to cross his arms about it. I think this is a Sean mannerism.
I couldn’t decide which of these Madeline portraits I liked best. I will miss when I can’t just plop her down in the grass anymore. It doesn’t last for too long, but there are moments when we’re outside and Madeline is fine sitting and observing and Wes is fine digging a hole, foundation, ant house, what have you in my garden and I can just sit without any children on me. Of course I like hugging and kissing and having them on me, but it’s nice to just be too.
Who is this man child?! Is this my 3.5 year old or a teenager?!
That’s Wes’s jackhammer. A important for hole, foundation, ant house, what have you digging.
Sweet, right? It is sweet. Really it is. But watch as it becomes less of a hug and more of a forced re-positioning.
I titled this “An Afternoon…” but really you can find us just like this most afternoons that the weather allows. In the mornings we try to go somewhere, but in the afternoons between nap time and dinner prep, it’s nice to stay close to home. I always thought of myself as an indoor girl, but it turns out I really crave being outside. So does Wes now. Hopefully Madeline does too, but we’ll see. The fresh air is so good for us. I’m so happy to have these pictures that make just our normal everyday afternoon look a little more special.
The other week a play date canceled at the last minute and Madeline slept way late (why can’t our children sleep in together…and on the weekend?). I packed it in during the morning for Wes so he’d nap and after lunch we headed to a nature center. This nature center has everything a playground, a pond, and a building with animals.
It was a really nice time initially. We played on the playground, put together the puzzles in the nature center, saw the baby turtles there too, and ventured around the pond.
We’d intended one last play on the playground before heading home, but I mentioned this was after lunch. So Wes was tired. Sometimes I wonder if I should give more allowance to defiance that happens when he’s tired and I’m the reason. He really should have been at home but I was pushing for a) a nap (not just quiet time) and b) to start that nap at the same time as Madeline’s. But then there’s that look. You’ve given me instruction, Momma, and I heard you but I’m going to half smile at you as I stick my toe over the line as little as possible to make sure you’re serious.
I could stand to be more consistent, but this time I was serious. Because I hate that half smile. So we went home. Crying child all the way to car and all.
When it comes to parenthood, why doesn’t winning always feel good? I set the boundary, it was crossed, I reinforced the rule. That’s a win! I did the hard thing. I was unwavering. Why doesn’t it feel better? Why does it feel like I still lost a little? Especially when there’s a child crying all the way to the car. Why doesn’t it feel like I made progress toward the end goal? What is the end goal here exactly? Am I meeting it? I really have to wait 20, 30 years to find out?
In the short term I didn’t even accomplish the goal of a nap. So long term, I’m really holding out hope for you. That the combination of these difficult moments really will matter.
I clicked on the folder labeled “Madeline’s Weekly Photo Project” last Tuesday. I knew I’d neglected the project but was really disappointed to see I hadn’t labeled a picture since week 10. I was confident that I hadn’t taken enough pictures to make this project work and was sad. After I realized how hard this project was for me with just Wes, it had been a fear of mine that Baby #2, who turned out to be Madeline, would not have this same record. But by some miracle I’ve taken enough pictures! The timing is not perfect from picture to picture (I know of at least one instance where I took pictures in two different outfits on the same day….) but the general point of the project is still here. You can see still the change and growth over time. I’m so delighted I pulled this off! And now, here is Madeline’s updated project (well, almost…she’s 34 weeks this week and I only have up to 33 here).
Madeline was a real cry baby in the beginning. Bedtime was especially hard. Even without looking at these pictures I have a hard time thinking back on that time. Looking at these 5 and 6 week pictures I just think – thank goodness you’re not 5 and 6 weeks anymore. Some people love the newborn phase. I am not that person.
This blue sweater was Wes’s!
Wes’s grey pants!
Madeline is definitely her own person, but go back and look at Wesley at 17 weeks. There are a lot of similarities between the two depending on the angle!
Wes’s chambray! None of these clothes I’m pointing out made it into his weekly photos! It would have been so fun to see some of the same things on both babies.
Evelyn’s teacup playsuit!
My Steppie made those two dresses above. I took these pictures when it was still a little cold out. I hope Madeline will still get some use out of them over the summer.
Here’s Wesley looking ridiculous in the same bunny hat! And what a fun Easter that was! I had forgotten!
This was Evelyn’s and she wore it to Wes’s first birthday party!
Like I mentioned above, newborns are hard for me. Babies overall are hard for me. Navigating life with two kids has been difficult. But Madeline is a real delight. I thought she was going to be so serious, but she’s a very happy baby. Quick with a smile and always trying to catch the eye of a stranger. She’s very tolerant of a big brother who has so many lessons to learn in personal space (I’m apparently not the right teacher for such lessons). If you surprise us at home she can frequently be found wearing her most recent meal. She’s got one tooth and babbles like the best of them. Some of my favorite moments right now are Wes singing or quietly talking to himself in the backseat of the car accompanied by Madeline’s ba-bas, da-das, and other coos. Wes is a sweet big brother who loves to show Madeline things. I know the dynamic will change as time goes on, but it’s a sweet time right now. It’s hard but there’s so much joy.
Yes, I really had canceled my blog. When the auto renew notice popped up I thought this doesn’t make sense. I hoped my archives wouldn’t vanish and that I’d revisit this hobby in a year. But here we are. I’m having a hard time parting with this blog. Having a record is so fun (I mean, who are these fresh faced, kid-free people touring the West Coast 5 years ago?).
As a quick update, here’s our 2018 video up until April 22nd. Not because I’m behind on it, but because I switched phones on April 22nd and saved that version in case it was lost in the transfer. So for ease we’re going with this version.
Madeline Eve joined our family on September 25th. Her due date! She arrived at 10:22 a.m. and weighed 7 lbs 9 oz and was 19 inches long. We’re delighted she’s here but we’re all still adjusting.
A day or two after we’d come home from the hospital my mom asked me if I liked Madeline better inside or outside. And I answered very confidently outside! This might seem like an odd question with an obvious answer, but I don’t think so. When I was pregnant with Wes I was so excited to meet him. Every moment of that pregnancy was magical to me. But when he arrived, I was totally overwhelmed. I wondered what we’d done and how life could ever feel manageable again. With Madeline, I’d spent my pregnancy planning and fearful. Planning by getting things done and making lists and checking boxes and being very transactional about the whole thing. Fearful about what kind of baby she’d be, if I’d love her as much as Wes, how on earth I was going to juggle the needs of two children all day. But now she’s here and she’s completely delightful. I’m so happy to meet her and have her in our lives. I think I’m still curious about how I’m going to manage the needs to two children once I’m on my own all day, but I’m so much less fearful. It’s really nice to experience these happier feelings after the birth of a child.
Everyone told me your second child comes faster, but I had no idea how fast that could be! Madeline was fast! I really thought I’d have to be induced, and we were scheduled for an induction on the 27th. But at 4 am on the 25th I woke up to go to the bathroom and realized something was going on. I think I knew they were contractions, but I wasn’t 100% sure. Because I was induced with Wes and safe in a hospital, I just didn’t pay attention to my contractions with Wes. Other than realizing that they hurt. When Sean woke up at 5:45 my contractions still weren’t totally consistent, but I did tell him that I thought he’d have to stay home that day. He laughed a me a little bit because he knew right away that we were having a baby. I was still feeling unsure and working under that assumption that I’d be driving Wes to school in a few hours while my contractions got stronger. But I did text my parents and ask them to start driving. And did text my neighbor to ask if she could help with Wes that day. So I started to get things ready for Wes and myself, and then it was really clear we had to go. We arrived at 8:15-ish. I told everyone who would listen that I wanted an epidural. Everyone else seemed to move so slowly. I felt like we were in triage for forever and I wanted to leave and get my drugs so badly. I was 3 centimeters when we left triage. We got to the delivery room and things progressed very quickly for me. I was very uncomfortable. I screamed with my contractions. I did not expect to be a screamer but I couldn’t help it. It’s just what came out of me. The anesthesiologist had to tell someone to close the door, probably so I didn’t scare off the other ladies on the floor. I was really very loud. I told someone I had to push. They told me not to push because the doctor wasn’t there and no one knew how dilated I was. I told them again that I had to push and it was really hard to not push. Again, it seemed like everyone around me was moving so slowly. Finally a senior nurse checked me. I was at 9. The anesthesiologist had been trying to figure out what drug to give me. I did get a drug, not quite an epidural because that would have taken too long. It was so hard for me to stay still for that epidural type thing I was given. Sean told me later he didn’t think I’d be able to do it because I was so busy screaming and moving around. It was hard, but I was scared. An unmedicated birth is one of my biggest fears. But, I did pretty much labor completely drug free because almost as soon as it was in the doctor was there, I pushed three times, and Madeline hard arrived! Just about an hour and a half after we’d made it to the hospital! While I do have very fond memories of my induction for Wes, I really preferred this quick delivery!
And now we’re all pretty taken with her. It’s so fun to watch Sean be the father of a newborn again. It’s not his favorite phase, but he’s sweetly protective. If she’s crying and he’s not already in the room, it’s not long before he swoops right in and comforts her. Wes says he loves her and kisses her and hugs her and “reads” her a book every morning as I change her into her daytime clothes, but he’s putting on a brave face and is being such a trooper. The mom guilt of not enough of me for everyone all the time is pretty tough. Overall we’re happy, but still working through some of the challenges.