What a roller coaster of a month this has been! It has been full of really big highs (vacation! better naps! sleeping 7, 8, 9,10 hours at night!) and really big lows (sleeping only 2 hours at night! bad naps! frustration! tears!) Although I really need to remind myself - our lows are not that bad, at all. We have a (usually) happy and healthy baby girl, and really that's what matters.
But sometimes it's hard to remember that after waking up for the fifth time in as many hours after midnight ;)
There has been a lot of learning this past month - for all of us. Kaitlin learned that she has hands, and has been (even more) fascinated with them ever since. One thing she still hasn't learned though is how to suck her thumb/fingers. She is good at sucking on her fist, and she even likes to have her pointer finger in there a lot, but nothing solid yet so the pacifier remains in place. She is learning how to roll over (she's going to get there soon!) and is discovering her voice box more and more each day. I swear she learns how to make a new sound every day - much to her (and my) surprise! She follows her dad and I around the room with her eyes, staring intently at us taking it all in. We've discovered that she is quite the chatty Kathy, especially with her dad. We've also discovered that all this "talking" usually leads to crying if we don't get her to bed soon after the conversation begins.
Kaitlin has always loved to be held up against your shoulder, never really liking the traditional baby hold. Her neck and stomach muscles are getting super strong and she now regularly spends time in her Jumperoo and Bumbo. Even when she is propped up in the Boppy or the stroller she is constantly trying to sit up. Work that core, girl!
|left: Brian 3-4 mos, right: Kaitlin 10 weeks. Twins, right?|
|the many faces of KLC, part 2|
During our vacation this past month Kaitlin was very fortunate to meet her first set of great grandparents. My Nanny and Papa were over the moon to meet their great granddaughter, the first one on this side of the family! It was really special to have Kaitlin spend time with them, I realize how lucky
she we are to have them both around. Hopefully during our next trip to NY she will get to meet her other set of great grandparents!
While we were lucky to have Kaitlin meet lots of our extended family members during our vacation we also had to say goodbye to one very special one. Brians grandfather, Kaitlins great grandfather, passed away earlier this summer. He never got a chance to meet Kaitlin but we know that he loved her very much. We love and miss him every day and know that he is smiling down on us as we try and navigate this thing called parenting. He was a big part of Brians life and although she will never get a chance to meet him, she will know all about him.
Some things that I have learned this month:
This shit is hard
Like, really hard. Harder than any day job I ever had. Harder than any relationship I have ever been in. Harder than any physical or mental challenge that I have faced. It is just plain hard. I keep thinking it's going to get easier, but it doesn't. Sure, some things might get easier but then you have a whole new set of challenges to deal with. And I'm pretty sure this is the easy part. She is fairly immobile. She can't talk back yet. She doesn't have any siblings that I have to chase around. She can't drive, she can't date boys, she can't go to college. Yet. Yup, this shit is hard.
My life is completely different
This might seem like a "No, duh" type of thing for me to say (write?) but it really didn't hit me until this month. This isn't just because of Kaitlin - my whole life is completely different. Up until now I think I was so busy with the house, being pregnant, giving birth and taking care of an infant that it didn't really register. As we are coming up on a year ago that I first found out I was pregnant I am reflecting on how different my life is compared to this time last year. Last year we were jetting off to Southern France for a long weekend, I had a good job at a big name clothing company, we were living in London and making the most of it. Fast forward one year and we are living in Texas. We own a house, two cars and we have a three month old baby. Of course all of these changes are for the best - I don't regret and wouldn't change them for anything in the world - but seriously, that's a whole lotta change in one year.
Put the baby monitor down
I know my husband is going to like this point the most, he hates our video baby monitor. He hates that I have it at the dinner table, on the sofa and right next to our bed. I like to have it near me, on at all times when Kaitlin is in bed. Sometimes I just like to turn it on and see her sleeping peacefully in her crib. Sometimes I turn it on and my stomach is in knots wondering if she is asleep yet/is she going to wake up/why is she awake now?! While we were on vacation most of the places we stayed we didn't even need to use the monitor. We were always in the room right next door to her so we could hear her get up. I still liked to be able to see her at any given time but I hardly used it. And while at first it caused me a little anxiety, over time I was able to relax. Sometimes this even worked out for the best, which is why I'm trying (trying being the key word) to follow this lesson now that we are back home. A few times in the middle of the night I could hear her wake up. In my half awake stuppor I would say to myself "Just give me one minute, Kaitlin, I'll be right there" only to wake up an hour and a half later and find her peacefully sleeping. Since I didn't really look at the monitor to see her or to see those little green and red volume lights flash I didn't jump up every time I heard a noise. It taught her, and me, that I didn't have to rush in every time she woke up. We both slept a little better because of it. And trust me, if she really needed me she would have let me know. If she needed to be changed or be fed she made sure we (and the neighbors) knew it.
I really need to relearn this lesson again now that we are back home. I find myself running in to soothe her and calm her down at the first noise she makes ever since we got back from vacation. Her sleep and eating habits have also been really wacky since we got back, so I'd like to think that it's not entirely me just being neurotic, but it definitely doesn't help.
I love her more than I ever thought I could
Sometimes I will look at her and feel overcome with love and emotion. Just this morning while I was making breakfast I looked at her laying down on our huge ottoman just staring at the ceiling fan with three fingers shoved in her mouth. When she noticed me looking at her she flashed me the biggest grin and I found myself melting into a puddle. My heart literally felt like it was going to burst. Or when I walk into her room after she wakes up from a nap and she is laying there (again, with her fingers/hand shoved in her mouth) and she looks at me and smiles like a crazy person while wiggling around, so excited to see me, I feel like the luckiest woman in the world.
And it makes her waking up numerous times in the middle of the night all worth it ;)