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Posted by on Jan 7, 2016 in Baby Andi, Motherhood | 4 comments

Andi Rose – 6 Months

This baby!

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THIS is the baby that makes me want ALL the babies. Andi Rose is now 6 months old and for such a tiny little thing, she brings a whole lot of joy into our house. I am completely and utterly smitten with this baby girl!

Atlas had a horrific case of colic as an infant, so my poor buddy cried for 75% of his waking hours for the first few months of his life. I remember people seeing me out on the streets of NYC and coming over to tell me how precious my baby was and how these were the best days of my life. He was absolutely precious (still is) but those were absolutely not the best days of my life. I actually remember someone asking me if I ever got bored with him because I stayed home. In their experience, their baby was easy going so they didn’t know what to do with themselves during the day because their baby would chill in the baby swing for hours. But the only thing that seemed to soothe Atlas was the sound of running water, so I stood in the bathroom for hours on end running the faucet and bouncing him to keep him from screaming. He hated to be set down. He hated his fancy baby swing. He hated every toy we purchased for him, except for 2. There was no time to sit and be bored. That colic situation was also compounded by the fact that I was a new mom living in a new city. Those were some dark days, my friends. Some dark, dark days. But Atlas eventually outgrew his colic and now he is my little ray of sunshine, but I tell you all that to say this: I was bracing myself for that same roller coaster with Andi but she’s so different. Not better. Not worse. Just different. My whole motherhood experience this go around is different, for a few reasons.

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She is the happiest little thing. My neighbor calls Andi Rose “the little joy bringer” because Andi makes everybody smile. That baby is so quick to offer someone a huge gummy grin and people can’t help but smile right back at her. It is my very favorite thing about her. There are pages in my prayer journal where I prayed very specifically for a happy baby when I was pregnant with Andi. I wanted her healthy and I wanted her happy and God answered that prayer beyond what I could have imagined. She has been the baby that we can *usually* take just about anywhere and she’s just happy to be along for the ride. I can now totally understand why some people find babies ‘boring.’ If I didn’t’ have TWO babies to keep up with, I may actually find time to be bored. Up until about a month ago, she could sit and entertain herself for sometimes up to 30 minutes! She’s still pretty good about playing alone (like when I’m making their meals or tidying up or doing something with Atlas) but she does have some separation anxiety that is starting to kick in. She will usually cry now if I set her down and walk away. I think this is just part of her development though – she’s starting to perceive distance and relationships and she’s all, “Hey, lady! Where are you going? Come back!” She is getting more high maintenance with each week that passes, but I would still categorize her as a very easy going baby. She’s just not an infant anymore and she’s more engaged in what’s going on around her, which is a blessing! She’s growing and thriving and I’m glad she wants to always be in the middle of whatever is going on these days.

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*Full Disclosure: She isn’t by any means perfect. She isn’t happy all of the time. In fact, today she had a very off day, which does happen on occasion. We go to a Bible study class on Wednesdays and this morning I actually had to get her from her nursery class because she wouldn’t stop screaming in there. She was pretty much fussy from the minute I got her out of her crib this morning to the time she fell asleep tonight. But, that isn’t her ‘normal’ and for that I’m so so grateful.*

She’s been rolling over for months, and she is SO SO close to crawling. Like, on all fours trying to scoot forward. It’s so fun to watch her! She adores Atlas. He is, without a doubt, her favorite person in the world. She lights up when he gives her any kind of attention. And I mean any kind of attention. He can hit her with his stuffed bear (a reoccurring behavior I’m still trying to correct – Lord help me) and she smiles like he just handed her a dozen roses. He will sing a song to her and she will laugh hysterically. It’s really the best thing to watch their bond being formed. She obviously likes him way more than he likes her, but I’m hoping that changes over the next year or 2 and they become best buds.

Her sleep is a bit rough. I never fully experienced that ‘walking zombie’ aspect of motherhood that comes with not sleeping for weeks at a time with Atlas. That boy cried so hard during the day, he zonked out at night. We’re talking full 12-14 hour stretches of sleep at night. Andi was sleeping through the night after about 7(ish) weeks, but then she hit that 4 month sleep regression. Oh my word! That threw me for a major loop and it took over a month to get it ironed out. She is finally back sleeping through the night (most nights) but she is up every morning by 7am. I know I shouldn’t complain about that, but Atlas has always been a late sleeper so I still struggle with knowing I’m ‘on the clock’ so early with her – especially since I love the mornings to get things done. In a perfect world, she would sleep until 8am like her brother but I enjoy the quality snuggles I get with her, often times before the sun comes up.

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That’s the other thing that’s different about Andi – because she’s my second child, my perspective is different with her. I know that this is just a season and it goes by so quickly. I can look at Atlas and see how fast time is passing. It seems like those days of standing in the bathroom running water for him just happened. But he’s 2 now. It’s all flying by. When I’m up early with Andi or trying to rock her back to sleep, I know that in the blink of an eye she will be a toddler and she won’t need as much from me. It makes me want to cherish this time a little bit more and not wish it away. But of course there are times when I’m so tired and she’s awake and I’m like, “OMG! I would do anything to sleep right now – this is going to be what kills me! Sleep deprivation – there’s a reason why it is used as a form of torture. Why don’t they make NyQuill for babies?! Someone needs to get on that! Dave – google that!” Then there are those days when I text Dave at 4pm and I’m like, “Are you coming home soon or should I call 911 because I’m about to fall asleep on the job and this feels like an emergency. HELP!” So, there’s that heaping dose of honesty for you.

For as happy as Andi is, there are still those times when she fusses and I don’t know why (like today, for example), so I do that mama dance where I bounce her and sway around our living room, singing songs to her and trying my best to soothe her while simultaneously entertaining Atlas. But I take situations like that – situations where I’ve done all I know to do and she’s still not happy – situations like that 3am wake up that causes me to sit with her in the rocking chair for 45 minutes- as an opportunity. An opportunity to stop and pray. I pray specifically for Andi and for Atlas. Because I believe in my heart God stores up those prayers for me. I pray that her and Atlas will be surrounded by great friends one day who encourage them and build them up. I pray that they fall in love with Jesus at a young age. I pray that they love others. I pray that they are the kids in school who befriend the child that other kids exclude. I pray all sorts of things – whatever God puts on my heart, really. So when I feel helpless and like I’m sinking under the pressure that can come with having 2 children who are demanding my all, I stop and give it all back to Jesus. The song “What a Friend We Have in Jesus” plays on repeat in my house these days & I so wish I could go back to when Atlas was an infant and play this for that new scared mama who was so overwhelmed in her tiny NYC apartment with her new colicky baby.

“What a friend we have in Jesus. All our sins and griefs to bear. 

What a privilege to carry everything to God in prayer. 

Are we weak and heavy-laden? Cumbered with a load of care?

Precious Savior still our refuge. Take it to the Lord in prayer.”

So grateful for my sweet Andi Rose and the answer to prayer she is and I’m so glad God is using her and Atlas to lead me closer to Him.

And one last full disclosure comment: There are times when Andi is fussy and I’ve changed her diaper, fed her, burped her, prayed over her, sang to her, talked to Jesus about it and she’s still crying so I put her in her crib to cry and I go stand in the kitchen and eat as many Reese’s peanut butter cups as I possibly can before Atlas comes into the kitchen and finds me and forces me to share my secret candy stash.

And all the mama’s said, “Amen.”

 

 

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Posted by on Aug 3, 2015 in Baby Andi | 2 comments

Andi Rose – 6 weeks

My sweet Andi Rose is 6 weeks old today.

15 day old Andi - 1(Are you dying a little bit over that photo? Because I am. But I’m her mom, so I’m obviously biased.)

These last 6 weeks have been bananas. On one hand, it is all going by too quickly for my liking. I already feel nostalgic thinking back to Andi’s birth and the moment the nurse placed her on my chest. A part of me wants to relive all that again because it was just so wonderful. But on the other hand, I’m like, “Hurry up, Christmas!” ←Because I just love Christmas and because Andi will be 6 months old then and that’s when I remember things getting really good with Atlas.

Andi is such a great baby though, so I really can’t say that things aren’t “good” now.

3To be honest, I have been pleasantly surprised by motherhood this go around. Atlas had colic and he pretty much screamed every day from about 5 or 6pm until midnight. He also hated his stroller, carseat and baby swing so that made life tricky. Andi rarely cries in the car (she’s already been on 2 road trips), she loves her stroller and she will sit in her baby swing for 45 minutes sometimes. She’s just laid back and easy going, which is exactly what I prayed for when I found out I was pregnant.

Simply put, I just enjoy her more than I anticipated. That’s not to say I didn’t enjoy Atlas…but let’s just say I enjoy him a lot more now than when he was her age. There isn’t a person on this planet who cracks me up like Atlas does and his spit-fire personality provides constant laugh-out-loud entertainment in our home. He is such a blessing. But, those first several weeks with him were so incredibly tough. Andi is just easier – at least at this stage. Who knows what she will throw at me later in life.

I keep waiting for her to ‘wake up’ and start screaming like he did. And don’t get me wrong, she does cry (if you were in our neighborhood Whole Foods yesterday around noon, then you know she cries). And she gets fussy in the evenings for sure! It just isn’t to the same level that I grew accustomed to with Atlas.

15 day old Andi - 14Her sleep schedule isn’t the best. That was one great thing about Atlas. He would scream until he just flat passed out and by the time he was her age he was sleeping 11+ hours at night, with only 1 quick wake up to feed. Andi’s nighttime sleeping is sporadic and she typically doesn’t sleep longer than 4 hours at a time. I’m pretty sleep deprived at the moment. But I do know this is a short phase, so I don’t actually mind waking up with her – especially since she isn’t up screaming. She’s just awake and squeaking and looking for food. Dare I say, some nights I even enjoy the extra cuddles with her? But then some nights I’m like, “OMG! I just want to freaking sleep!” So, there’s that.

She eats like a champ and I’m so grateful for that. She was 10 pounds 4 ounces at her 1 month check up. Homegirl can put down the food. I don’t have her on a ‘strict’ feeding schedule yet and I think this may be contributing to her sporadic sleep schedule, but we’ll get all that sorted out soon. For now, I’m just letting her rule the roost. With Atlas, I was all, “You’ve got to be on this Baby Wise schedule because that’s the only way you’ll get into college and that’s the only way I’ll ever get my life back.” With Andi I’m more like, “You may be better off just marrying rich and I don’t have a life anymore…unless watching The Bachelor with a pint of ice cream counts?” You can file this under hashtag “second child problems.”

15 day old Andi - 3Atlas has finally taken to her and it is the sweetest thing. Like today, he begged to hold her so I let him (of course, I supervised and helped) and he kept saying “awww” and kissing her. Gah! It’s just too cute! And then later she was crying in her swing so he ran over with his favorite bear and put his bear next to her. It’s so awesome to watch him with her now. Such a huge improvement from when we initially brought her home. But I still have to watch him around her 24/7 – not because he’s mean, but because he’s 22 months old and unpredictable.

I’m feeling pretty good postpartum. Mentally and emotionally I’m feeling a lot better this go around. I think it is just because my perspective is so different. That’s not to say I haven’t had my share of meltdowns, but overall I would say I’m feeling grateful, blessed and happy. Physically I feel mostly recovered, but still not 100%. I also still have around 10 pounds to lose (insert emoji with streaming tears here). I feel like I’m walking around with a small tire around my waist, but I’m hoping with the right amount of exercise I can get back into my favorite jeans by fall. That may be too ambitious though. There are definitely days when I look in the mirror and I want to cry, but then I realize I just had my second child so I need to cut myself some slack. You know those cute signs you can hang in your house that say, “Pardon the mess, but we live here” – that’s sort of how I feel about my body right now (*ahem* and my house). There’s a part of me that so desperately wants my old body back right.this.second, but then I’m like, “Um, pardon the mess, but 2 kids actually lived in here.” I’m so grateful that my body was a safe and nurturing home for Atlas and Andi. My stomach may be softer than I would like and my hips may be wider than they used to be, but my body was used to do something marvelous, so who cares if it is a bit ‘messy’ at the moment. It has been put to good use and it has served me well.

I mean, just look at this precious angel.

1I’ll take her over cute skinny jeans any day.

And yes, that’s a real cat in the above photo with Andi. I die.

*All photos are by Pebbles and Polkadots.* I cannot recommend Mary enough if you’re looking for a newborn/family photographer.

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