3 Months with Elliot!
Oh my god it's been a month since the last post... Time slips, babies grow, laundry persists and the seasons change. Yesterday we celebrated Elliot's 3 months! In parenting and baby books you read a lot about the three month mark. This is often when sleep training is recommended, when babies personalities start to flourish, and the chaos of the new life addition seems to calm down. As I write this, I am eating my chia parfait, the house is quiet, and the kids are napping. It's about a 50/50 chance that they will nap at the same time, but when that happens I can do something from the following list:
2. Prep food
7. Facetime a friend
12. Check Social Media
Oftentimes I can do two things (I am eating and blogging namasteeeeeee), but often I can barely do one in the time they are napping - thus the one month blog hiatus. That's okay though! It's life. It's a simple time being at home with two, but it is full and sweet nonetheless. Since the last post, I've seen both our kids change and grow dramatically.
Elliot was so stoic and serious for a while, and the last two weeks I've seen him smile and open up more every day. His laughter is coming and he is getting goofier too. Yay!!! He sits really well in a bumbo, and tummy time is getting easier for him too. He holds his head up great so I want to try the jolly jumper this weekend! I like the bumbo because he can be closer to the action, and be more active too (compared to lying or in the recline wire chair thing). It's hard work keeping that big head high, and that way I can have him close to me while I cook and let him smell and see everything I'm working with (note: he isn't stoked on being in the wrap anymore! Unless it's a long walk he doesn't like it! Waaah!)
Having a second baby is such an interesting experience! So so so different from the first. There are many factors at play too; Mark was at home with me for the first 2.5 months with Penelope, not to mention constant family and friend visits in Calgary. I wasn't really into cooking or food, and we had more 'babysitters' so it felt like we could give constant face time to Penelope. Read non-stop. Play non-stop. And I didn't have a nap routine at all for a good 4-5 months with her. Switch to baby two - Elliot! From the moment I was pregnant with him, I was sharing my energy and time. I was breastfeeding Penelope until I was 24 weeks pregnant with him. I knew in utero that he would be patient, understanding, strong and good at sharing! He is young now, but he exudes wisdom and forgiveness to Penelope and me for sure. It's really easy to let the day's to-do list to fill up my time. Feeding, eating, dishes, walk, nap, feeding, eating, dishes, nap, feeding, eating, dishes, bedtime. Boom - there goes a day. I know I haven't read to Elliot as often as I did with Penelope, but I stopped myself today and thought how little time it takes to read just one children's book, and how important it is to me to commit to a minimum of that a day. Even if we are both tired. Mark reminds me that he gets something Penelope didn't get as a baby - a sibling! He watches her play and learn and he takes that information in every moment. He isn't the guinea pig child either! We learned lots with Penelope, and so it's been fairly smooth getting him into a great sleep routine with our honed parenting skills (blog post to follow). Not to mention he is there next to us when we read to Penelope, too. I think it's natural to be hard on ourselves, and we are always our own worst critic. I often reflect on how I could be better, do more, or change what I do as a parent - but it is unnecessary worry. I love my kids so much, and show them love as best as I can, and I just have to trust that it's enough and they will be happy, healthy, smart, well-adjusted kids! I know I'm not alone in my wishes for my kids. All parents want that! The feelings are normal, but it's good to talk about it.
Although I think I have been very very blessed with happy, healthy, easy babies - days can still be hard. Having energy is a challenge, and when I am more tired - everything is more difficult. I am more argumentative, stubborn, and sad when my energy is low. There are things that fill my cup, and things that take energy.
Here is a list of things that fill my cup (as you can imagine, the opposite of each has a more draining effect)
- getting outside for a walk
- interacting with others (but not constant interaction either)
- shower and time for self care
- nutritious food
- bulletproof coffee
- moderate exercise
- being playful and having fun with Mark (this means non-chore oriented interactions (what a term wow).... new parents can talk about laundry and crappy diapers 100% of the time if we aren't careful! Right??)
- writing goals, lists, and journal entries
- making a new (and good) dish
I just want to share that it's not always perfect and easy. I share photos on social media of our happy times because that is what I enjoy and what I am proud of show. But to new moms, and moms to be, and parents and anyone who feels drained, sad, down or just tired - know that it's normal and okay, and to make sure we make time for those 'cup-filling' activities and moments. It's our responsibility to make sure they happen, and if we don't make time or energy for them, they just won't.
A note on Penelope's changes too! She is getting to the point where she will try to say almost any word I throw at her. Can you say Georgia? Can you say Elliot? Can you say flower? Can you say door? Constant questions! It's really entertaining to watch her talk. She reads her books, pointing at the pictures and making up words for each page. It's honestly so cute and hilarious. I love this stage. She has yet to do a free-stand, or walking attempts but she is mastering the spoon (oatmeal makes it a bit easier!), talking more, and crawling on chairs and strollers non-stop.
Next month we have a road trip to the West Coast, and some family visits lined up. Until then, we have the weekend to ourselves before things get busy again. Ending this post in some gratitude:
- Time to write. Always a gift that I enjoy. Thanks for napping great, kiddos!
- The internet, and pinterest. I get SO much inspiration and ideas for food there, and I wouldn't be the same person without them! Nourishing my family has become a huge passion of mine, and I love trying new ways to make delicious and healthy foods.
- My enthusiastic and yes-man husband! A couple weeks ago he wanted to the lake on a whim late on a Wednesday night. A big part of me was like no it's late, nothing is ready, we have to pack blah blah blah frustration blah blah blah. I had to wiggle that feeling out and be like ummm this is why I married him. I want to be with an adventurous-let's-make-it-happen-just-go-say-yes-love-life man. We went and it was great. I had an amazing sunny evening swim, we borrowed someone's BBQ and ate and enjoyed the night. On top of that, he eats and is grateful for everything I cook. Thank you, Mark.
- Time in Calgary. The kids and I spent 10 days in Calgary and saw so many friends and family. It was so nice! Quality time and gorgeous weather. We went to my dads yearly Stampede party and had a blast too!
- Eating more plant-based. It's just feels good! We are still eating the meat we had in our freezer, but incorporating more vegetables/lentils/legumes/fruit when we can.
- Sleeping kids! Only a handful of times has Elliot gotten up in the night since last month. I'm getting more rest and thankful for it.
Kids are stirring... gotta wrap this up!
Sending love from the mountains,