Now and Then

So since I have this baby growing in my ever-expanding belly, I’ve been remembering more lately about what it was like when Evelyne was still in the baby stage.  I’ve mentioned this before, but she was definitely not the easiest or most laid-back baby on the planet.  The first year was super-hard for both Clay and me, major adjustments, sleeplessness, and just generally trying to cope.  Things are SO much better now on many levels, and since we’re about to be thrown back into the baby phase again, sometimes I get a little scared and weirded-out by having to do all of it over again.

Here’s some of the good and bad:

The Good: Evelyne now eats completely independently.  No nursing, no spoon feeding, she just does it all herself while I eat my own food or do something else.  (like blog!)

The Bad: Just because she can eat doesn’t mean that she actually will.  At least when she was nursing and eating babyfood she had a good appetite and ate anything I fed her.  Now I would swear the girl is anorexic if my doctor didn’t warn me that she might be one of those picky eat-like-a-bird types.  If she doesn’t like the food I give her, she just won’t eat.  For a really, really long time.  Finding something she wants to eat is really tricky, what works one day doesn’t work the next, and when I don’t give-in and cater to what she wants, I worry that I’m sending her to bed hungry because she just won’t eat anything at all.  (Case in point, she hasn’t had anything to eat since a muffin at around 11:45 today… she’s been asking for food since she woke-up from her nap an hour and a half ago, but because she doesn’t want to sit in her seat and eat the food I tried to give her, she hasn’t eaten a bite.  It’s now after 5:00 p.m.  She’s showing no signs of backing down.  It’s not like I’m trying to feed her brussel sprouts or anything, it’s macaroni and cheese for heavens sake!)

The Good: I can take long showers in peace now!  When she was little she screamed hysterically every time I tried to take a shower, so for most of her first year I only showered when Clay was home or she was napping.  After she got over the fear, it was still hazardous because she would get into everything and I was afraid she’d fall into the toilet or unroll all the toilet paper or something.  Now she usually just brings her toys into the bathroom and casually plays on the floor.  This morning she was watching Sesame Street and I told her I was going to take a shower and she just stayed where she was!  I took a shower and got ready in peace by myself while she happily watched Elmo!  It was awesome!

The Bad: Even though she’s amost two, she still sometimes likes to be carried and not put-down during the fussy evening hours when I’m trying to cook dinner.  It’s a lot harder to carry 24 pounds than 10 pounds.

The Good: She’s usually a pretty great sleeper now.  Not so much her first year.  For the first nine months she only took two 45-minute naps a day, and woke-up twice a night.  Even after that it was pretty touch-and-go.  It felt like I never had a break from a fussy, overtired baby that I had to continually bounce and walk around our tiny apartment while I waited for Clay to get home so I could throw her into his arms. Now her sleep times are pretty steady.  She’s not the longest napper, but it’s pretty consistent, and she rarely wakes-up in the middle of the night.  Lately she’s been sleeping-in until around 7:45 or 8:00 a.m. which is absolutely miraculous to me since we spent months getting-up with her at 5 a.m.  I don’t know what I’m going to do when I have to get back on a newborn sleep schedule again!

The Good: She plays independently very well.  Most of the time.  She will actually let me take a short nap on the couch while she reads books and plays quietly on the floor in front of me.  (I KNOW, it’s a miracle!)

The Good: The girl is hilarious!  Just a second ago she was singing a song and waving her sippy cup over her head like she was at a sing-along in a bar holding a can of beer.  She has such a good sense of humor and we laugh at each other all day long.  In the time it’s taken me to write this paragraph, she’s made me laugh about four times by just saying silly things and making faces.

The Good: She’s very social and interactive with her environment.  She LOVES her friends (even though she’s still a little too young to play with them much) and she loves going new places and experiencing new things.  A bit of a challenge for me to keep-up with sometimes, but it’s fun that she’s so open and excited about the world.

The Good: She’s not scared when I leave the room anymore.  If I go to the bathroom I just tell her where I’m going and she’ll usually just keep doing what she’s doing.  For most of her first year she’d just scream uncontrollably if I walked more than four feet away from her, so I mostly just hauled her to the bathroom and everywhere else with me.  Such freedom, to be able to pee in peace!!!!

The Good: Even though she still has her incredibly frustrating moments that make me want to pull my hair-out, instead of just being a baby blob who lies there and doesn’t do much, she makes it up by being incredibly sweet and engaging afterward.  She’s starting to learn how to say, “I love you, ” by going “Loooove!”  In the past few days she’s said it several times spontaneously to Clay, and it’s just the sweetest thing.  To me, the level of engagement and closeness that this age provides makes her hard times more easily forgotten.

OK, so those are just a few things off the top of my head.  For us, the good majorly outweighs the bad at this age.  I miss her being a baby, and it makes me sad that she won’t ever be that small again, but I enjoy her much more now.  So now that we’ve come this far, we’re about to start from square one again with a new baby.  FUN.  Don’t get me wrong, I actually love babies and quite prefer them to older children.  I’ve never met a baby I didn’t like while kids tend to get on my nerves unless I know them personally.  And I know that this next baby might have a completely different temperament with different habits, and that’s a good thing.  But I’m sure I won’t get to have such nice long showers like I do now or drink coffee while checking my email in the mornings while Evelyne happily eats breakfast and watches Elmo.  And I’m guessing that I’ll be worried that Evelyne will “love” the baby a little too much while I’m out of the room, so I probably won’t be peeing by myself for awhile.  Sigh.  It’s like we finally get to this happy place and it’s time to shake things up again.

Oh well, at least I’ll get to snuggle with another precious sweet-smelling baby and enjoy the baby stage since I can see how very quickly it passes.

***We have an appointment for an ultrasound tomorrow morning!!!!!  Pray that this baby keeps its leg wide open so we can find-out the gender!!!!

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4 responses to “Now and Then

  1. It sure was fun to read about the all thing Evy is doing now and all she’s done before. It just makes me miss you guys more! We’ll be thinking of you guys this morning as you take another peek at Geo. (sorry i can’t get that name out of my head!) If you can let us know how it goes. I’m sure you’ll be able to see a lot of features since you are further along. Hope you guys are doing well and miss you guys a ton!

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  2. One great thing about having two kids is that you’ll be able to leave the room for a minute and have Evelyne entertain the baby. When Nash still fit in his infant carrier, I could put him in there, and if he cried, Shea would go talk to him and calm him down. She’ll sit in front of his swing and “read” to him for long periods of time. It’s so nice that they can entertain each other, and I can get some stuff done. Now, you can’t leave them alone for long b/c no telling what that entertainment will entail. Shea inevitably ends up rolling around on the ground while holding Nash’s neck or Nash ends up with a clump of Shea’s hair in his fist if I turn my back for too long.

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  3. Haha, good point, Laura, I forgot about the entertainment value of an older sibling. I know that would’ve made a big difference when Evelyne was a baby if she had someone else doing a song and dance for her. I just keep having flashbacks of when I was six years old and picked-up my sister when I knew I wasn’t supposed to and my mom was out of the room and I DROPPED her on the fireplace!!!! Then I put her back in the bassinet and didn’t tell anyone until I was in high school! I think I’m going to be a little overprotective that Evelyne won’t try a stunt like that!!!! I’ll make sure the baby is totally strapped down when I leave eyesight, but other than that, you’re right, I hadn’t thought about it being easier for that reason.

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  4. Emily,

    i have been reading your blog for months now and find it so interesting. i found your blog thru courtney murphee. anyway, i must ask…how in the world did you get evelyn to sleep past 5am. i have a 15 month old son who only sleeps 9.5 hours at night these days…he’s always been a good sleeper, but just doesn’t sleep that long at night….used to sleep 10.5, but now we are down to 9.5. it is killing me b/c my husband and i need about 9 hours ourselves and that leaves no time for us. anyway, he’s up by about 6am or earlier everyday and i’m dying to get him to sleep a little later in the mornings. how in the world did you get evelyn away from the 5am wakings and on to the 7ish hour? please, please share your secrets! thanks.

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