Tuesday, October 30, 2012


Getting ready for our ward trunk-or-treat this past weekend.

Five weeks old.

I have struggled.  Honest?  Yes.  Am I ashamed to admit that?  Kind of.  Do I have more 'frustrating' days than good days?  Yep.

How do I describe my day to day life without sounding ungrateful?  Or whiny?  Or simply selfish?  Or truly offending the women who would give ANYTHING to have our two wonderful girls?

This is an honest post.  Please, if you may hate me for reading this, then don't read anymore.  I'm feeling the need to put this on paper so that in a couple of years when we decide we're ready for another baby I can come back and remember these first weeks at home.  And remember that it gets easier, that the baby becomes a toddler in a blink of an eye, that sleep will happen again someday, that I'll figure out my routine eventually.

I had a vision for my weeks at home from work.  I pictured a constant party, shopping, going to lunch, spending oodles of time with Roger and enjoying every single minute with my angel daughters.  Reality is not that at all.  I think I'm a fairly organized person.  I like to be showered and dressed everyday.  Before noon.  I like a clean house (as much as I can with a 2 year old).  I like to get out of the house every single day to help with my cabin fever.  These days I just try to remember to rotate which couch cushion I sit on for each feed to avoid a permanent indent of my bum on the same cushion.  I've had a stye in my eye for a week now from such chronic lack of sleep.  I'm short tempered with Roger.  I'm even more short tempered with Brooklyn.

And lets just discuss bodily fluids.  Enough said.

And hormones.  My poor family on those rougher hormonal days.

I'm pretty sure I packed up both kids yesterday, drove half an hour to my mom's house, and sat at her kitchen table in tears telling her that I didn't like my kids.  Today I can whole heartedly take that statement back, but I had been up literally every 2 hours the night before with Brynlee and I was exhausted.  She thinks she's starving I swear.

I think I'm struggling with some feelings of inadequacy.  You'd think being home all day, everyday, that my house would be spotless, my toddler dressed cute with her hair done everyday, my laundry put away the day it was washed, dinner on the table every night and myself freshened up and happy when Roger comes home from work.  Instead, I have six, yes six, loads of laundry currently waiting to be folded and put away.  The bottle of bathroom cleaner sat on the counter for five days while I guiltily looked past it everyday because I didn't have time or energy to finish cleaning my bathrooms.  My baby is ultra fussy when she's ready for sleep despite the fact that I went off caffeine.  (Withdrawal here I come.  Danget.)  Which means I find myself holding a baby with one hand, fending off Brooklyn with the other, and attempting to do whatever task is at hand in between.  I'm also feeling guilty that Brooklyn is strugging, too.  She's still a happy sweet girl, but is having some hitting, biting and spitting issues.  But please still come visit us, its usually just me and Roger getting this treatment.  And every once in awhile Brynlee does too.  How do I fix that behavior by the way?!

BUT, yes here comes the but in all of this....

I find myself in tears, too, with how lucky I feel to have these two girls to care for, to love, to watch grow.  Brynlee is already huge.  When did that happen?  I blinked (or probably fell asleep sitting up, haha) and now she's in clothes at 5 weeks old that Brooklyn didn't wear for three months after coming home from the NICU.  She has three chins (guess she's getting enough calories from me after all!).  Brooklyn is so darn cute with the baby, too.  She literally kisses her a hundred times a day.  She is really gentle with her.  Roger is my saving grace in this as well.  How can I not admit that he's taken the brunt of my frustration.  I go to bed early if I can and I'm no fun to be around because I'm ornery by the end of the day.  I'm sure he looks forward to going to work to get away from me for the day.  Poor guy.  If my house is ever clean these days its because he did the cleaning for me.

Five weeks old.  I need to find my balance.  Hence the title of the post.  I haven't nailed down what works for me, for my kids, for my husband, for the ever so sensitive 'balance' in my life.  It's coming, I can feel each day getting easier.  I just worry I will look back and regret how I treated my darling toddler during these weeks I'm trying to figure 'me' out.  Or that Roger will give me back to my parents, haha!  Or even worse that I won't have taken enough pictures of Brynlee during these first weeks of her life to remember the good days. 

So there it is.  My too honest post of my struggles right now.  Someone please tell me I'm normal.  That I'm not a horrible person for admitting to what I just posted above.  Now I'm going to bed and will kick myself tomorrow for putting this out there for all to see.

My goal now is to put together a funner post with cute pictures of my girls.  I had newborn pictures taken of Brynlee and got to include Brooklyn in some of them.  Those will be the next post, can't wait!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Tired means......

My definition of tired at 3 weeks old:

  • Laundry had to be rewashed because I forgot about it.  For four days.
  • Bathed Brooklyn...and forgot to wash her hair.  Didn't bother to put her back in the tub to wash it.  Good thing its healthy not to wash your hair everyday.
  • Find myself sitting up with my mouth open, head leaned back on the couch and my arms snuggling this adorable baby at 3:00am because we're having a hard time dragging oursleves back to bed.  The blanket on the couch is good enough as a bed.
  • 7:15 rolls around and I pray extra hard that Brooklyn will sleep in today.  Apparently the Lord is still sleeping, because Brooklyn is like my own personal alarm clock!
  • I'm not a very nice person by 6:30 at night.  Yep, so ashamed to admit that.  Poor Roger.  He comes home to a tired, frustrated wife a lot.  He's a saint by the way.  I got so lucky with that one.
  • Feeling bad that Brooklyn and I don't play nice all the time.  Playing 'defense' around her 24/7 is so exhausting.
  • Didn't leave the house today at all.  Still haven't been to the grocery store with both kids.
  • Only clean my house when I know we have company coming over.  I soooo look forward to those visits by the way!
  • Hurry to bed at whatever time both kids are asleep.  I try to sleep hoard when I can.  Those every 3 hours feedings are brutal.
  • Full body aches every night from lack of sleep.  And chasing a toddler around.  How come I don't remember that from the first go around?  Bought myself a heating pad.  Best ten bucks we've spent this week!
Tired also means:
  • I am forced to slow down and really get to know my two little girls.  Brooklyn is my buddy.  She has thrived with a more consistent schedule at home.  Shame on me for toting her around so often before.
  • Brynlee is an angel.  As long as I watch for her cues.  We're figuring each other out her and I.  Love her little features and her face that doesn't resemble Roger, Brooklyn or me.  Love her little stinkbug bum that pokes up when I burp her on my chest.
  • I appreciate my awesome husband for his help.  And patience.
  • I appreciate my family.  And Roger's.
  • I look at the calendar and am sad.  Has it really been 3 weeks already?
Tired means I'm responsible for someone else.  Two little someones.  Tired means I'm happy.  Tired means I cry sometimes.  Tired means I'm tired.

Tired means:
I am a MOM.  And proud beyond proud to claim the title and all that comes with it!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Sisterly Love

Today I made it out the door for two doctor appts.  And I was on time!  And didn't forget Brooklyn or the baby!  Kidding...... :)

Seriously, though, HOLY COW!!!  Who wants to come over and help me figure this war zone out?!
Good things kids are forgiving huh?

Aaaagh, so sweet.  Too bad Brynlee is the only one sleeping this good....

Life at our house has been a bit crazy to say the least.  It has taken a solid 2 weeks for me to feel like we have any sort of a routine down.  Sleep was in short supply at our house that first week.  I was a walking zombie at first.  Then after two straight nights of Brooklyn being up for hours straight on top of feeding Brynlee every 2-3 hours, I was a mess.

I proceeded to call my mom and Meg in tears....wondering how in the world I was ever going to succeed with two kids and still be functional.  And showered.  And teeth brushed. 

Brooklyn spent a few nights doing crazy things in the middle of the night.  I found her on top of our kitchen table requesting to eat.  At 3:00am.  Next we found her in the hall closet using some sunscreen.  Next night?  Found her vacuuming with her pretend toy vacuum.  Neglected child syndrome??  We didn't think we'd ignored her basic needs too much, but apparantly this was her way of acting out despite our best efforts to spend solo time with her.  She has since gone back to sleeping through the night, but boy were we tired after those nights.

Brooklyn LOVES Brynlee.  She's so sweet with her.  No hitting or smothering yet.  Though I feel like I'm constantly in defense mode around her, making sure she doesn't underestimate 'soft' and 'quiet'. 

Brooklyn and Brynlee look nothing alike.  Seriously.  Brooklyn = Rogerette.  Brynlee has her own look.  Yet again, neither child look like me though.  Maybe on the next one........ :)

How do Roger and I feel?  Well, Roger is hooked around both of his daughters' fingers.  Literally.  He has been pleasantly suprised by how much and how easily he fell for his newest baby girl. 

As for me, I'm realizing I was a selfish person before Brynlee came along.  Okay, in all honestly I still am.  I toted Brooklyn around with me everywhere, but SHE worked around MY schedule.  With two kids, I work around THEM.  Everything takes triple the time.  Some things just aren't worth leaving the house for (like dinner.  Sorry Rog.)  I for sure have to decide what I'm willing to pack up my house for.  But, I LOVE these two girls.  We're buddies.  And I hope someday I can be as close with them as I was with my own mom growing up.  Love to be a girl, love to have girls.

Enjoy the pictures in absolutely no order.  Because I'm exhausted and Roger is holding our fussy baby, I'm not taking time to rearrange them.  Days 1-14........ 

Monday, October 1, 2012

Life at Home

We had many visitors while in the hopsital.  Thank you to all who came to see us!  I have many more pictures, but seem to have misplaced my camera cord in my sleep deprived state, so these are the last of the pictures Meg so kindly took on her camera the day we were released from the hospital.

 Loading up into the carseat.  What a peanut.  And might I add, Brynlee no longer takes a binki.  This was pretty much the last time she wanted it.  Sigh.

 Brooklyn carrying out her loot.  Thank you to the kind people who brought a sibling gift for her.  Her guilty feeling parents bought her a bike, too.  We're such suckers.

Home Sweet Home.
Such a little body next to big tall Dad!

Brynlee is now 7 days old.  And I'm exhausted.  I was asked if I have cabin fever yet (we haven't left the house - call me paranoid).  Nope, no itch to get out and about yet.  I'm too tired to even think about it.  Brynlee and I are still figuring out the eating thing, which means we're up ALLLLLL night.  The last two nights we were up every hour from 12-6. 

But holy smokes has this little girl stolen our hearts.  Roger didn't put her down at all the first day.  I'm still in awe with how small babies can be.  Brooklyn is so sweet with her, but we're definitely having some behavior issues from her (as expected).  The sibling thing will get its own post, but suffice it to say we've had some food throwing at the Gardner household.  Love her.

Brynlee is a very sweet natured baby.  Roger called her boring because all she does it eat and sleep (minus those lovely middle of the night feedings that men so conveniently get to skip).  I'm excited to see how her personality will start to show itself.  She loves to be held.  Hates the bath.  Loves to get her hair washed.  And likes to eat. :)

As for me, I'm recovering pretty well.  The second go around on a c-section was as expected, but I'll say the recovery has been rougher this time.  I had some bleeding issues the first night, which ended in some pretty good anemia.  So my energy levels have taken until about today to perk up.  I can't seem to get enough sleep, despite Roger's amazing help.  He's literally done everything around the house, taken care of Brooklyn, held Brynlee and helped me.  I married a great guy I'm telling ya.  A few other incision issues have put me back a few extra days as well, but thank goodness for family that have stepped in to help us out.  Thank you family for entertaining and feeding our toddler, and for driving out to our house everyday this last week to help out where needed.  My heart truly goes out to those who have babies without family around.  I wouldn't have lasted without the help of my family this week!

One week down - I think we're figuring out somewhat of a routine!  Here's crossing our fingers now for some sleep tonight....I think I'll go to bed early and get a head start on the little miss. :)