It's days away from one year ago that I started this blog. The days and months have flown by. My little girl continues to grow up way too fast. I begged her the other day to stay my little girl forever..."even when she is 30." She has this endearing new way of saying "Honey" in the middle of her sentences. For example, "Can I have some 'bubbles,' Honey?" She calls both her Daddy and I "Honey" from time to time. Presumably, she has decided that since we call her that, it also makes sense for her to call us the same. By the way, "bubbles" means "Sprite."
Here is the little imp in front of the Christmas tree. We celebrated a few days early with Grandpa and Grandma H since Grandpa H wouldn't have a day off of work close to Christmas. Zoe got most of her gifts that day, but we saved a few, including the ones from Grandma and Grandpa M and Uncle Jowell and Aunt Lisa, for Christmas Day. Of course, she's gotten several gifts along the way the past few weeks in an effort to make the transition of adding a new baby easier for her.
She was so excited to get up from her nap and see presents under the tree. She ran around saying, "Can we open the presents?" and was so excited she could hardly stand herself. As you can see, she managed to get one open before we could get her to look at the camera for this picture.
Each day gets just a little bit easier as we try to integrate Zachary into the family. Zoe gets less upset when he cries, but it is still hard for her. He slept for a 5 hour period a couple nights ago, and I was the tiniest bit hopeful that that would be a routine event. I figured it could be possible, given his current size. But the past two nights have not been so fortunate. He is on a three hour around the clock feeding schedule. It's amazing that he seems to awaken at exactly three hour intervals, and not more than a couple minutes longer. I have to remind myself that in the scheme of things, this stage of his little life is but a blink of the eye. Though I cringe as I use that analogy as my eyes have not been getting enoughs blinks, or winks, or whatever you call them, for a very long time. The pain of starving for sleep finally hit me a couple days ago. I didn't sleep well most of this pregnancy, with bouts of insomnia and just general over-all discomfort keeping me up. Then a couple nights of painful contractions before the all night labor and delivery process. Then being on my own in the hospital this time. Last time Dear Husband roomed in with me and got up all night each night to hand me the baby for feedings and to do all the diaper changes. Of course, now there's also the challenge of having to be up and ready for Dear Daughter to get up at 8 am, which is her usual waking up time. No sleeping until 9:30am after the 6:30am feeding like I routinely did with Dear Daughter. And this time I will return to work at 8 weeks instead of 12.
"People do this all the time!" I remind myself, all the while wondering how it is possible for a relatively well-adjusted, mature, nearly 34-year-old adult woman to feel as though she is getting her butt kicked so badly every day by a mere two-year-old and a mere (not quite) two-week-old. How do poorly-adjusted, immature, young people do this? I know there are those much less capable than I in this world trying to parent toddlers and newborns.
What a mystery, that something so difficult can also be something so rewarding. At the moment, I have a snoozing newborn propped on my shoulder, sighing content infant sighs, little back rising and falling with his tiny little breaths. Upstairs I have, what I believe to be, the cutest, sweetest two-year-old in the world napping in her "big girl" bed. I got lots of cuddles and kisses from her before tucking her in for a rest. When she gets up, the first thing she will want is to see "Mommy" for more cuddles and kisses. Indeed it is the hardest and yet most rewarding thing I've ever experienced, to be a child's entire world--their entire existance wrapped entirely around me. While I'm busy trying with everything in me to meet all the needs of a toddler and a newborn, often neglecting my own needs in the process, I am still saddened beyond words by the knowledge that one day the world will expand for these little ones and no longer will I be their sun moon and stars. It's the biggest paradox I've yet to encounter, this parenting thing.