Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Family update - nearly 2 months as a foursome

First, William:
  • he has the cutest smile, the bluest eyes and the loudest voice
  • he is growing very quickly and has already had a number of exhausting growth spurts (i.e going back to feeds every two hours)
  • when his tummy is full he can sleep through Emma's singing, prancing and dancing and loud talking
  • it takes him a while to find sleep and we have resorted to swaddling him - something Emma hated but he seems to enjoy - to stop him waking himself when he startles as he falls asleep - this seems to help a lot although we only wrap him before putting him down in his bed as he has no trouble falling asleep when carried in the baby björn or when pushed in his buggy
  • he loves sleeping in his stroller and enjoys baths
  • like most babies, he dislikes the wind and hates being cold
  • his eyes follow me and he can turn and lift his head really well
  • his poos are noisy and explosive
  • he is not at all good at burping - Emma did this all on her own always twice as soon as she had eaten - Will needs to be burped in the middle of a feed and after which means you really have to pay attention of he'll heave half the milk all over you. I have found that it is more efficient to rock him forward and back from the waist holding him in a sitting position rather using the classic over the shoulder method. If you don't burp him properly, expect a lot of reflux!
  • he has started to coo
  • I clipped his nails for the first time this week
Now that we have mastered the burping and he seems to be in less pain after every meal (less colicky) and that we are finally learning how to settle him to sleep, all we need is to get some sleep ourselves... (so far day-time naps have proved impossible! and nights are extremely broken and short). Hopefully after this growth spurt is over we can get back to a three hour routine in between feeds and begin to feel more human. Fingers crossed please!

As for Emma, she is doing really well with her potty/toilet training (she uses both) although she sometimes still needs reminding (asking if she needs) to go to the toilet to pee.
She loves her big girl underwear "so wie you Mama" (like you - meaning like yours - Mummy!)

Pooing is a different matter; so far she doesn't use the toilet or potty for that.
Hopefully, we'll get there before her birthday.

Unfortunately, she tends to want to pee (accompanied) just as it's time to put Will down to sleep... Evenings are the hardest with both of them on totally different schedules but both needing attention and to be bathed, fed and put to bed.

Most of the time Emma is really good with William and tries to be gentle and helpful. She has learned to walk with fairy-princess tip-toes (as opposed to dinosaur bear ones) to tell him we are nearly home when he cries or that I (and she) are right there, not to be afraid. When I yawn, she asks me if I am tired.

In the evening as I put her to bed she sometimes forcefully states that I am her Mum and not William's or she tells me that she "needs her Mummy"
in the morning when I take her to kindergarden. All things considered, I think it's good that she feels she can freely express such things. I try not to negate or question her feelings but rather repeat a hundred times over my love of her, focus on her when I am with her and avoid comparing her and Will at least vocally (although I inevitably have to explain that Will does not have teeth to brush nor can he speak to apologize when he burps).

At times it is good to reinforce all the great things about being big(ger) but she sometimes still needs to be small and helped and hugged and held even when she says she does not. Although she seems like such a big girl now in so many ways, I try to keep in mind she is not yet 3.

I have been telling her that I love her a lot and so now when asked "who loves you to bits?" (qui t'aime très très fort?) she bellows "Mummy!!!!" (we've now added, Daddy, William, Grand-papa François,
Pata, Gogo, Deda, Tata-yéyé, Marta, etc. to this little ritual). We have great hugs and lots of kisses and tickles and still sing and read in the evenings. She also likes being told that I am happy to see her and is now using this expression herself with William too.

The initial "showing off" of William to get attention ("Schau mal! Das ist Mein Bruder William!") has become increasingly authentic and I sometimes think she is already protective of him. Oh and she is still interested to know if he has pooed and likes to help bath him.

Her hair is exactly as I remember my sister's was in the morning: a bird's nest!

There is a lot of joy in parenthood these days but many hours when my brain is mushy, my batteries are flashing low and I feel we are just surviving on some form of auto-pilot. It's really hard coordinating and juggling with two totally different time-tables, ages, needs, kids. More than ever, you need to put yourself last (but I did manage an hour of Pilates today thanks to Steph) and solidarity and cooperation between parents is essential.

Two kids is tough but it can only become better.

... I can't believe I have actually managed to download these pics and write this post all in one sitting! (don't want to jinx things, but it seems things are definitely improving!!! )Time to feed Will one more time before getting some sleep.


Anonymous said...

Dear Sandra, I am happy things got a bit easier for you guys.. I recoginize a lot of what you've written.. The morning and evening rush hours moments are difficult, but with Arthurs help in the evening it is managable.
Good that you took a family holiday, it sounds great.
Due to Egypts hot weather we have more possibilities to enjoy short holidays at the beach here, which is our luck.
Anyway, thanks for your update, it seems you are all doing very well!

Anonymous said...

Dear Sandra,
Wow, I cannot imagine how you must feel. I would be in a constant state of overwhelm.
The pictures are wonderful. I love Emma's birds nest. Exactly like Leyla. She also has it after car rides.
Love from Eva