I didn’t think that I’d be the type of mom that dresses my girls in similar out fits. Turns out I’m wrong. I am that mom. It’s a little bit embarrassing, but I think they’re so dang cute in their ‘twin jammies’ and at this point Maggie, the only one of the two that can voice her opinion, absolutely loves matching her sister. I’m not inclined to make this a habit, but you can bet your bottom dollar that I’ll be doing this again. Not having a sister to be matchy-matchy with, I can’t totally wrap my brain around the complaints that I might field down the road. So it goes, this whole parenting gig is one twist after another.
We’ve had a few recent playdates with some of my A-Town girls and their kiddos. Thomas and Maggie are both in the stage of loving to make little animals and figurines talk, and thankfully they’ll do it together. Hearing them have conversations with their little toys is very entertaining. Barry and I try to play ‘Dollies’ as much as we can, but it can get really repetitive. The other evening I went for a walk and when I left Barry and Mags were playing a very involved game of Dollies and by the time I got back from my walk, which seemed like a long time, they were still playing, except Barry was lying flat on his back with his eyes closed holding his dolly up on the coffee table half-heartidly. So, when Thomas comes over and is just as excited to play Dollies (although he might call it something else), Maggie is very into it.
Both Thomas and Maggie also aren’t too interested in the babies when they’ve got each other to play with. Every so often they’ll come check to see what the two little ones are up to, but for the most part Thomas and Mags are happy as little clams to play together. It doesn’t seem all that long ago that we’d meet up for a playdate and they wouldn’t even ‘play’ together. Now they play so much and so hard that by the time it’s time to go, there is often tears and sadness.
Maggie gave up naps long ago and that means that we often have an early bed time around here and try to keep our afternoons fairly relaxed and stress free. Very rarely does she take a nap, but yesterday she was yawning so much mid-morning that I took an opportunity, once Audrey was asleep, to read some books in bed. Maggie will jump at a chance to read a book and she wasn’t convinced the bed was the place to do it, but eventually bought into the idea. After reading a few chapters out of her Nancy Clancy book, we turned the light off and snuggled. I was informed, many times, that she did not want to ‘lax. Miracle of all miracles she fell asleep.
And I had exactly three minutes of a quiet house all to myself before Audrey decided to wake up.
It was a restful three minutes. I stared at the wall and wondered what I should do with my free arms and free time. Audrey answered for me. Thanks, Chica.
We still have quiet time in the afternoons, but I need to be more intentional about it. I feel like so much of my day is telling Maggie to wait…wait for me to finish feeding, changing, bouncing, dressing her baby sister, or feeding and changing myself. By the time Audrey is asleep and I have a few minutes, I work hard to try to fully engage with Maggie. We often have a ‘project’ going on that we like to work on together. Last week we made a month-by-month mini scrapbook for Audrey and Maggie was my Sticker Girl and Cutter. Yesterday we made a St. Patrick’s Day sign from some of her old paintings and glitter. Mags loves projects and to be able to tap into that creative side with her is really fulfilling. It also makes me feel a bit better when I’m asking her to wait yet again. If we’ve got a special project set up, we an talk about the next steps that we’ll do on it while she waits for me to finish.
And when she can’t wait any longer, she’ll start in on her own project. Sometimes this is good….sometimes it isn’t. Either way, having a few projects to work on keeps the grumps away. If you’ve ever experienced a grumpy almost 3 year old on any given day…..you’d move heaven and earth to have a project as a distraction.
ABM , Caroline , doing stuff , friends , life , MMM , motherhood , Sister Love , Thomas
The above photo really has nothing to do with this post. It is just a photo of Audrey getting some heavy duty sleep while the chaos of our life unfolds around her. Truth be told, she generally isn’t so sacked out in the bouncer seat with her arms free, we generally swaddle her up like the newborn that she is. Isn’t she just sweet as a chocolate chip cookie?
Speaking of babies, look at the picture of all the A-Town babies from well over a year ago. Weren’t they so little? This morning Charlyn asked me if I’ll remember THIS stage that I’m currently in and I just know I won’t. Time will pass and this season of my life will fade from my memory – the midnight nursing sessions, Maggie wearing her tap dancing shoes all day long, nursing in the car, learning how to maneuver in the world (like at the grocery store) with two kids, feeling sad that Sydney doesn’t get the attention she once did. Other memories will take over and there will be a new normal.
When I went back to work in September, I established a new normal of being out the door early in the morning and having my afternoons with Maggie at home. As much as I really loved working, I’m thankful that I am no longer rushing out the door first thing and having to say goodbye to both my girls. I also really missed seeing my girlfriends and all their kids. I’d gotten so used to adventures to parks, Jetty Island and all our houses, but the reality of squeezing in a playdate after work really wasn’t an option for all our schedules…we’ve all always had different nap schedules, live far apart, etc.
With the birth of Audrey and me being home now, it has again opened up the door to fall into a regular schedule of playdates with my A-Town girls. I’m not going to lie….it feels SO good to be back in the swing of things with them! Our kids all get along and we’ve been friends since grade school. Making friends as an adult is not one of my strengths….I wish I was better at it, but there is something to be said for old friends and not worrying about the popper etiquette of sharing information, blah, blah, blah.
It turned out that Valentine’s Day was a day that we were all open to get together at Lara’s house. Mira, Lara’s new bundle of joy, was born one day after Audrey and I hadn’t gotten adequate holding time of her since we’d only seen her once. [That is the only bad thing about having babies at EXACTLY the same time as one of your BFFs. It is nearly impossible to love on them in the way that you would if you didn't have a newborn of your own.] Plus, we hadn’t seen everybody else in ages. We hopped at the chance to go and Maggie worked hard on making Valentines for all her friends.
I didn’t take pictures of it, but the delivery of valentines was the sweetest of things between all the kids. Maggie and Caroline had a hug-fest and I’m pretty sure that Gavin never let his box of Sweethearts go the entire day. Erin brought goodies to decorate cookies and with the help of Marc, Maggie decorated a coookie that was twice the size of her head. We ‘accidently’ forgot the cookie at Lara’s house when we left….
But the icing on the cake wasn’t the cookies, the valentines or even the fact that we were all reunited after a long time. No, the icing on the cake was when Marc busted out Thomas’ new electrical jeep/tractor. Maggie, who doesn’t know how to steer, loved driving and riding in the tiny vehicle. Her and Mara spent an extremely long time cruising around the property laughing and giggling together. Once Mags discovered the reverse option, she never really drove it too far because she kept backing up. Mara, on the other hand, probably would have driven the little cart all the way home had we let her.
Marc got out the lawn mower and the boys rode around for a very long time. It was actually quite funny watching the whole thing unfold….and to see what type of driver the young kiddos are. Eventually Marc and his little tribe of followers came back inside and we had a bit of play time in the playroom, with Maggie wanting to play guitar with Marc. She gave us a quick concert of “Country Roads” before too long.
I laughed with my friends that day wondering why I ever thought taking care of JUST a newborn was difficult….Audrey is a dream, especially if she’s being held or I am wearing her. Having two children is a challenge, one that I’m slowly figuring out ways to make it easier. Getting together that day at first felt like somewhat of a chore to pack everything up and get there on time [which we weren't], but by the time we got home that evening, I found myself so happy to be back in the saddle again with my A-Town playgroup.
Give me another me another month or so with two kids, and I’ll be ready for all sorts of adventures, and another new normal.