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.
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.
*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.
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.”