Thursday, April 19, 2012

Good kids

Tonight I weighed Charlotte. She's 14 pounds 6.5 ounces. That is officially more than Robbie weighed at a year old. She's 5 months actual, 4 adjusted.

I try not to compare them but it really is impossible. Mostly I keep thinking how much easier it is this time. I mean, it's harder in that there are two of them and it's hectic, but between just knowing what I'm doing a little more and Charlotte just being easier, it just isn't as hard as Robbie's first year.

I worry about the comparisons. People ask about it all the time. I get "Is she a good baby?" a lot. I got it about Robbie, too. I answered the same way then and I do now. "oh yes!" Even though Robbie was a higher maintenance baby doesn't mean he was bad. After I say yes, people automatically ask if she sleeps, if she eats. I say yes, she's a pretty good sleeper, though we have bad nights. And yes, she loves to eat, just not from a bottle. People always laugh and talk about how much easier I have it this time.

That part isn't untrue, but it still troubles me. Robbie is usually with me. I don't want him to get the impression he was a bad baby or even a difficult baby. I don't want him to be pushed into the "trouble" role and Charlotte to be pressed as the "good girl." I hope they're both good kids, but they are who they are.

I don't really know what to say. I don't want to be rude or make people uncomfortable, but I also really do object to labeling them as good vs bad.

Robbie has certainly had his challenges. But he's come so far. Even when he misbehaves, I can see the good in it. Today I had to talk to his teacher about his bossiness. This from the kid with a major speech delay. He's in trouble for telling the other kids what to do too much. It needs to be handled, of course, but a little part of me is like "hell yeah!"

We're coming up on the first anniversary of him having his g-tube removed. This weekend I asked if he wanted a hamburger and he said "Yeah! And french fries and beans!" His latest love is "beans and mud." You and I know that dish as pork-n-beans. Messy, squishy beans! I still get choked up sometimes when he scarfs something down or guzzles some water. I'm not sure it's ever going to get old.

He's a kid who has been through hell but still loves to go to the doctor. We pull in the parking garage of the medical building and he says "Yay-yay, Dr Polito!"

And Charlotte is an easy-going baby. She was sleeping 6 hour stretches as soon as the doctor would let us let her. She loves to eat. I haven't started her on solids yet, but she's already watching every bite we take like she's trying to convince us to give her a bite. If she's crying, she's hungry, tired or lonely. Pick her up and talk to her and she'll grin ear to ear. This morning she woke me up just cooing happily, just waiting for me to get her. When I rolled over to see her, she looked like she hadn't seen me in a year. "Hi mommy! So glad to see you!" Despite last night having been one of the rougher nights, you can't not smile back.

Robbie and Charlotte are a great pair. Today she was laying on the blanket and managed to pull the corner over it over her face. She was grunting and yelling to announce her displeasure. I asked Robbie to save her. He ran over and pulled the blanket back. Then they spent a long minute just grinning at each other. Robbie announced proudly "Baby Charlotte smiles!" They love each other. They are both good kids.


Sunday, April 15, 2012


Life with 2 kids is hectic. It's a good hectic, though. At least, most of the time. My anxiety issues have mostly settled down. I still get flashes every now and then, but it's not nearly as severe as it was, and I feel pretty confident now that it will be short-lived so I can muddle through.

Robbie and Charlotte
Robbie's coming out of the three-teens a bit. He still has an attitude that makes me want to throttle him sometimes, but he's also so funny and cute. Sometimes all at the same time. Last week I told him it was time to take a bath and he said no. I said yes. He said "I SAID NO!" I took the stern tone and said "I SAID YES!" He thought about that for a long moment, then finally said "NO, I gave you your choices! I said no!" I had to bite my lip and turn around to keep from laughing at his naughtiness.

He's an amazing big brother, though. I was concerned about jealousy but honestly, it's very few and far between. Even when he wants my attention and I can't give it, he's nice about it. "Mommy put sister down and come play."

Yesterday I put Charlotte in her crib for a minute. She started fussing a bit. I asked Robbie if he would go talk to her for a minute until I could get back to her. He said "Yeah!" and went in to see her. I hear him say "Hi little baby Charlotte. It's Wobbie. You're my bruvver!" (Pronouns are hard, ya'll!) Just when I think I can't love him more, I do.

Charlotte's an easy baby. I think it's partly comparison to Robbie who was.. well... not an easy baby. But she's also just really good natured. Everyone who meets her comments on it. She cries when she's tired and if she's hungry and I can't feed her quick enough. She doesn't like to be left alone. (I mean I can't leave the room. I promise I'm not running errands while she's at home.) She doesn't like the car, but I think that comes back to not liking to be alone again. Robbie's back there with her, but she can't really see him so I think she thinks she's alone. But outside of that, she's just a happy baby all around.

She sleeps through the night pretty regularly. She had a 4 month wakeful period (ouch) but before that, she had even gone 12 hours a few times. She's coming out of the bad cycle, and it's not uncommon for her to sleep 10 hours. She goes to bed about 8 and will eat about 6 and go back to sleep. We do still have nights where she eats every 2-3 hours, but it's not every night.

She loves to eat. Not from a bottle, of course, but she eats. I still find it amazing when she fusses for food, eats, and then is happy again. That's not an experience I had with Robbie. It's very novel. And honestly I really enjoy nursing. I really wish she would take a bottle for many reasons, but I really do love nursing her. Again, maybe it's because it's SO much better than pumping, but now that we have the hang of it, it's so convenient most of the time. (More on that later.) I just love how happy she is to see my boob coming. Sometimes she actually giggles. Of course, that makes me giggle.

Robbie started back to school this week. We're sending him just for preschool (2 hours) on Monday & Wednesday and all day on Tuesday and Thursday. He was so cute when we pulled in the parking lot on Monday. "Yay yay! We're home to the kid's house!" The kids were happy to see him, too. There was a lot of happy greetings and hugs when we got there. And one friend chased us out the door (with their teacher calling him back) that afternoon to give Robbie a hug goodbye. Everyone is happy he's back.

Outside of that, I've been helping organize a local walk for the Preeclampsia Foundation. Of course, we also have our March for Babies team as well. I haven't done a lot for it this year as I've been so focused on the Promise Walk. I feel torn between the two, really. The MoD has done so much for babies, definitely impacting Robbie's survival. But I worry about Robbie and Charlotte having to deal with preeclampsia if/when they want to have children. In the end, I just wish neither were necessary.

Honestly, the biggest concerns I have these days are Charlotte's bottle refusal and Robbie's potty training refusal. Typical parenting problems. Typical is good.