Attention Divided, Understanding My First Born

Attention Divided, Understanding My First Born - Girl Nesting

Life with two requires a juggling act you can try to perfect but don’t bother. It’s all freestyle folks. It’s darn good freestyle. There are days when it all seems a little too easy…Like “maybe we should try for more kids” easy. Other days where you just can’t figure out the juggle of the newborn in the stroller and the kid hanging off the back…I keep stubbing my toe and running the stroller into large objects like walls and street posts. It’s obvious I’m still getting my bearings.

This morning I hit a different kind of wall, a wall of emotions and a need to step back a sec. Zoë is fighting for attention. She’s always been a child who needs a lot of attention and that we have always given her being that she was our only. More lately, because we tried so hard to avoid exactly this behavior – jealousy. She’s angry. The worst kind of angry too, the very female kind of angry where she says she’s not angry and loves the baby, but then if looks could kill. She’s angry that our world has forever changed. It’s no longer just the 3 of us anymore. She’s angry that all the attention towards her is now divided. I love this picture of her above, her joy lights up a room. This was taken before Skye was born and it brakes my heart that this wasn’t the look I got this morning. Zoë found out that I stay up with the baby to feed her when everyone else is sleeping and I could see in her eyes the burning annoyance. The person she’s most angry with is me. In her eyes I was the one that brought the baby into our world, so it’s my fault. Michael isn’t to blame. The doctor told me this would happen and to be ready to have my heart-broken as this would be the first time my child was truly resentful towards me. I thought I would get lucky.

Today, I felt angry with her as well. I need her to be good. I need her to be helpful. I need her to be o.k. It’s not about me though. Zoë is the one that needs me. She needs me to remind her how much I love her. She needs me to be there for her. She needs me to make her feel like she’s still my number 1, even though there are 2 now. She needs me. This is why I step back, so I can see the bigger picture and see it from her eyes. To move the “wall” out of my way and be better at parenting. It’s not easy. It’s not all coming to me like second nature. Sure there are things I know how to do like caring for the baby and caring for the 4-year-old, but now I am learning how to manage the emotions of the 4-year-old. That’s going to be a lifelong lesson right there. This is it. I’m in the game now. This is when all that I was taught from my mother really comes into play. Now it’s my turn to be understanding and patient. Now it’s my turn to let the hits bounce off and be the wiser.

Welcome to Motherhood.

Full Circle {Happy Valentines Day Michael}

Full Circle {Happy Valentines Day Michael} - Girl Nesting

In our old loft I used to wake up after a long night with newborn Zoë, ask for coffee in a low voice and Michael would miraculously hear me. “On its way”, he would say in the other room, I would hear the coffee brewing shortly after. These days I phone Mike for coffee because he’s one floor down. Living in a house with four floors, feels like living in a small apartment complex where Michael’s the maintenance and I’m the doorman. Each room has its identity and function, nothing like the open concept loft where rooms bled into rooms.

It’s a month now since Skye’s arrival. A month…How?! Time rarely slows down especially with two kids. I try to keep up with our pre-Skye routine as much as I can for Zoë, because that’s important for our little 4-year-old. Getting up in the morning to sit with her in the living room while she eats the breakfast Michael made her, that used to be my job. A new routine is born. The routine changes often with Skye still finding her rhythm of sleep.

“Should we turn on the fire this morning Zoë?”. “Yea, make a fire! We can make a fire every morning. We can do anything we want!”, she said with amusing confidence. Anything we want, who is not in love with that idea. I looked at my girl, who was once the baby in this blog…Her long curly hair slicked back into a ponytail that Daddy styled for her. That man is a super dad. My daughter looks more and more like me when I was a kid. Her golden brown hair like her dad glows in the light. She eats her breakfast every morning at the Eames Coffee Table Michael and I hauled home one evening back when we were dating almost 8 years ago. I had called him so excited that I found it at last online for a great price at a retro antique store in the loop. We rushed over to the shop in Mike’s small non-air-conditioned car that his parents lent him back in his college days. Somehow we succeeded in fitting the large piece in the back of the car and proudly drove back to my loft.

Michael lived two blocks away from me in those days. He would work from home in the mornings and then call to tell me he was coming over. When I wasn’t at a photoshoot modeling I was home with a lot of free time. Our laid back schedules were preparing us for our busy schedules today. I never thought then that this coffee table would one day be where our daughter would eat her meals. Isn’t life funny? Even furniture roles evolve and expand.

“Bye mom, I’m going to eat all of my food today”. Zoë yells to me from the stairs.

“You promise?” I ask her all-knowing.

“I promise” she answers firmly.

I laugh, “Ok, I hope so”.

“I will, I will do it.”

“Have a great day baby, be a good girl and listen!”, I say this on repeat every . single . day.

“I will mommy, today I will listen.”…I hear this on repeat every . single . day. Sometimes it happens. She is my husband’s child no doubt (lol).

I watch Michael from our living room window, carrying Zoë in his arms to our black three row SUV. He smiles up at me with that “this child will age me” smile we often give each other. I take a deep breath and sip my coffee. It’s that golden moment when I feel pretty darn lucky.

On Saturday, Zoë had dance class in the morning followed by a birthday party. When you have kids this is a typical schedule. Saturday mornings should start later, ours does not. We rise and shine to Zoë our personal alarm clock who insists it’s time to get up because the sun is up. So Michael and I stumble out of bed half awake and turn on that coffee machine once again. Fast track past adorable girls twirling with colorful scarves, past the fun birthday party and little adorable faces painted, to Michael and I pushing our babies in the stroller in front of that same retro store we found our Herman Miller Eames Coffee Table 8 years ago.

“Michael, it’s that store! Remember?!”

“No way!”

“It’s still here. We have to go in!”

We pushed our babies through memory lane, both a little older, a little wiser and now a family of our own. I watched Michael look around the antiques, silent in his thoughts. A nostalgic smile crept over his face. Time had gone by. Somehow fate had led us here again, full circle. We had found our way back to a place we never would have thought to return. A place filled with furniture from the 50’s, 60’s and so on. The very place, even though we didn’t know it at the time, we bought our first piece of furniture together. Now here we are, with our daughters years later. A little older, a little wiser and now a family of our own.

Sentimental items take life at any time, like our beloved coffee table. We’ve put our feet up, addressed our wedding invitations, birth announcements and birthday invitations, ate dinners, carefully wrapped and boxed our wedding china, carved pumpkins, wrapped Christmas gifts and even changed a baby on that old table. Who would have ever thought?

Facebook 2009 “He also didn’t hesitate or even stall when I said I found the Herman Miller coffee table at an amazing deal! When I asked, “where are we going?”, he replied “to go pick up our table”.:))) Man of my dreams people!!!!!”

Full Circle {Happy Valentines Day Michael} - Girl Nesting

Full Circle {Happy Valentines Day Michael} - Girl Nesting Full Circle {Happy Valentines Day Michael} - Girl Nesting Full Circle {Happy Valentines Day Michael} - Girl Nesting Full Circle {Happy Valentines Day Michael} - Girl Nesting Full Circle {Happy Valentines Day Michael} - Girl Nesting Full Circle {Happy Valentines Day Michael} - Girl Nesting Full Circle {Happy Valentines Day Michael} - Girl NestingFull Circle {Happy Valentines Day Michael} - Girl Nesting Full Circle {Happy Valentines Day Michael} - Girl Nesting Full Circle {Happy Valentines Day Michael} - Girl Nesting Full Circle {Happy Valentines Day Michael} - Girl Nesting Full Circle {Happy Valentines Day Michael} - Girl Nesting Full Circle {Happy Valentines Day Michael} - Girl NestingFull Circle {Happy Valentines Day Michael} - Girl Nesting

*This reflection is dedicated to my darling Michael. Happy Valentines Day my love. Thank you for the beautiful memories.

Loving Skye

Loving Skye - Girl NestingLoving Skye - Girl Nesting

*This post has been sponsored by Boon.*

Time has gone by so quickly. I can’t believe that it’s been a month since Skye’s arrival. Having a newborn in the house again has been incredible. In the beginning we didn’t sleep much, but last night Skye woke up only once! Is this the “2nd child gift” parents talk about? If it is, I accept!!! Fingers are tightly crossed this continues and is not a one time thing. Before this gift Michael and I were getting up twice a night! Yep, that never happened with our first daughter Zoë. In fact, Zoë was colic…so if you ask me I think we deserve sleeping through the night – just saying (lol). Whatever the case may be I don’t really mind either way, because let’s be honest, I can’t get enough of that newborn smell – it should be bottled up like perfume.

There are noticeable differences other than sleep with our 2nd child. With our first daughter, Michael and I were so nervous taking care of a fragile little person. Ha, I think that’s when we both started going grey. I was terrified we would mess up. Terrified! Anyways, Zoë survived, we survived and we had another as you can see…but I still wasn’t sure we would remember how to do this dance. After the “cliff notes” version of how to care for an infant from the nurses at the hospital, I came home feeling a bit more confident that I could successfully give Skye a bath, because that was really my phobia in a nutshell – bath time. Well guess what, everything I had learned four years ago started coming back to me. I hate using the analogy “it’s like riding a bike”, but it really is. Nursing, burping, swaddling, bathing was all there in my memory bank. I also grew a new talent, I now know what Skye’s asking for when she cries! Each cry has a unique sound and I finally understand it. I speak baby!!! (LOL) Because I speak baby and can give my daughter a bath without a full on panic attack, it has been such a different experience these past four weeks compared to when I was a first time mom four years ago. I can relax and just enjoy Skye. I so needed this to be the case because now the real challenge is managing two kids…and I have to be honest, I really wasn’t sure I was going to enjoy the juggle of two kids. When I was pregnant I found myself quietly freaking out that I would be awful at this. Don’t get me wrong, it is a lot, but I’ve got this! I’m seeing a side of myself I didn’t know I had. I guess I’ve been in training – thank you first child.

With everything going on, our friends over at Boon really came through and helped us with the tools we need to care for baby Skye. It’s one thing having the experience and then it’s another having the right tools to make it all work smoothly. So for all the snot that must be sucked, the fevers that rise, the medicine that needs to be taken and other infant issues like caring for those adorable toothless gums, Boon CARE gives you the tools you need to get through it all with ease.

Loving Skye - Girl NestingLoving Skye - Girl NestingLoving Skye - Girl NestingLoving Skye - Girl Nesting

This brilliant care kit even looks great and I love having our baby gear fit our modern style. Babies need a lot of stuff, so having all that stuff blend in with our stuff = AWESOME! I promise you will always find awesome at Boon.

Now back to those amazing baby snuggles…Oh my goodness, this is THE BEST!

Loving Skye - Girl NestingLoving Skye - Girl Nesting

Our story started with just the two of us and now it’s the four of us plus a pug, fish, snail and lots of baby snails – yep, I said baby snails! I came home from the hospital to find out I wasn’t the only one pregnant in the house – HA!

A full house of love. Michael and I will never be the same in all the best ways.

Loving Skye - Girl Nesting

*This post is in partnership with Boon, whose products we’ve used over the years and love.*

Introducing Skye

Introducing Skye - Girl Nesting Introducing Skye - Girl NestingIntroducing Skye - Girl Nesting

(Newborn Pictures Captured by Me!)

It is my pleasure to introduce our newest family member, Skye. Born January 5th, 2017 at 12:30am (week 37 almost to the day). 6 pounds 3 ounces and 18.5 long.

After I finished my last post almost three weeks ago (“Happy Full Term Today!”), I quickly phoned my husband and my mom. It was time, I needed to go into the hospital right away! I was having contractions every 4-5 minutes and I was supposed to phone the doctor when it reached every 12 minutes to be safe. Regardless I stayed unusually calm and grabbed a bite to eat in the kitchen, I put on some comfy clothes (I still had on the dress in the blog post; those pics were taken that day!) and then I greeted Zoë home from school – she was covered in chocolate (LOL Thanks Michael). I cleaned her face and gave her a big hug and kiss. Zoë looked up at me while her arms were tightly wrapped around my huge pregnant belly. She exclaimed with such certainty, “Mommy, the baby is coming now”. I looked up at Michael in shock who shook his head and whispered, “I didn’t say anything to her about it!”. They say kids always know. I bent down and kissed her again, “Do you think so?”. “Yes, she’s coming now mommy. She’s ready to come out now!”. I smiled and whispered, “I think you’re right baby girl”. I told her that Daddy was going to take me to the doctor as soon as Nana got here. “The doctor is going to take good care of me and help me with Skye”, I reassured her. She didn’t ask how thank goodness. She simply nodded and said, “You’ll be ok Mom. The doctor knows what to do.” I have an amazing child.

Michael rushed us through downtown Chicago traffic to the hospital, I stayed distracted and read comments to my post on Facebook. It was only about thirty minutes after I pressed publish for that post that I then updated my Facebook status to, “I’m in labor! This is it!” Just as I had been experiencing all along for weeks my contractions came steady and strong and then eased up…almost stopping??? No one knows why. They put me on Pitocin a few times to get the ball rolling again, it kicked in finally the 3rd dose and then it was game time! Michael and I were so excited to meet our 2nd child, we were two kids waiting to meet Santa all over again. Labor and delivery were as I hoped, smooth and fast. I pushed a total of 6 minutes! That long-awaited moment when they passed her to me and laid her onto my chest was so surreal. Having done this before didn’t lessen the excitement one bit. The only thing, which I laugh about now, is that I thought Skye was so small my instincts were to actually hand her back! I felt like saying, “I don’t think she’s ready yet, put her in for another 15 minutes”…like I do with cooking – Ha! I don’t remember babies being this tiny – super tiny! Skye though was in fact larger than Zoë at birth. Zoë was 5 pounds and 14 ounces I believe…Skye was 6 pounds and 3 ounces and born two weeks earlier than Zoë! Despite that, I was used to a 4-year-old and this baby was so little in comparison. Once I held her though and she latched onto my breast to nurse, I saw nothing else…except her eyes caught my attention – they were blue! When I was pregnant I had dreams of giving birth to a baby with blue eyes…but I did not expect it to really happen. Michael’s family is predominately blue eyed..he’s one of the very few with hazel/green. Skye’s eyes were a pleasant surprise. We were informed they could change in time and they have a little. Time will tell, she’s a beauty and a joy regardless. Anyways those dreams were part of the reason I named her Skye. In my dreams her eyes reminded me of a blue sky.

Introducing Skye - Girl Nesting

Happy Full Term Today!

Happy Full Term Today! - Girl Nesting

Hello 37 weeks – Baby #2 is now full term!!! We made it. I’m fighting back tears over this awesome milestone, this is huge…and so am I. Ha! I – have – GROWN! I am a little bigger than I was with Zoë, a lot more achy than I was too. Second pregnancy is not easier than the first, my guess is they don’t tell you to not scare you. Well, I’m not going to keep it a secret. Make sure you have a warm bath to live in the second time around. 

Nesting in this house is mostly being done by my partner in crime Michael. He has painted, replaced, cleaned, moved, drilled, set up and taken down more than I can count. After weeks of this he finally came to me yesterday and announced, “Everything is done, feel free to have the baby now” and winked. Thanks…would love to! I’ve been having contractions on and off for days, along with Braxton Hicks that don’t let up for as long as a half hour. My last doctors visit they found me dilated at 3 centimeters, that was last Thursday. On Saturday I lost my mucus plug followed by intense contractions like never before…but then it stopped after 40 minutes and I fell asleep for hours and hours. It’s Wednesday now and the discomfort is at an all time high, so I am keeping this post very short. For those ladies who are interested, the mucus plug (also referred to as the bloody show) is often followed by labor shortly after (or hours after), but it can also stall for days or even 1 to 2 weeks. God give me strength I’m getting closer to a week now.

This is it (as far as I know), the last time I will be pregnant. Have I cried about it? Uh yeah, ugly crying at it’s best. Despite me being the biggest complainer ever, these past 37 weeks, I will miss this. Words cannot express how grateful I am to have experienced the baby bump. Despite my odds, these girls, my daughters are a real example of the miracles in this world that can happen. Proof to never give up your dream. Take on the challenges that come your way because you never really know what can happen. To quote my first miracle, my daughter Zoë, “Just do your best”.

Thank you God for blessing me with my ultimate wish come true, twice.

Happy Full Term Today! - Girl Nesting Happy Full Term Today! - Girl Nesting Happy Full Term Today! - Girl Nesting Happy Full Term Today! - Girl Nesting

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