Tomorrow is Lana's two-month birthday, and so I'm going to go ahead and declare myself through the worst of the "two under two" storm. Someone else with two children fairly close together told me that, for her, the worst part was being nine months pregnant with a young toddler, and I have to agree. Even on the days when I feel like I'm at the end of my rope, at least I have the energy and ability to run around the house keeping everyone alive. Sometimes the level of neediness is way too high, but it's nothing I can't handle. It's hard in the way a tough class is hard, or a big project at work - you bust your butt for awhile, and it sucks for awhile, but you know the end result is really going to be something you're proud of.
I'm not trying to be all, "Look at me be a super mom!" nor am I saying it's a walk in the park - no way. But it's going better than I expected, and I'm just trying to share the "Wow... So I actually CAN do this!" realization that I've been having. Maybe I'm just awesome (perhaps), or maybe I just get way too anxious about things ahead of time so I'm pleasantly surprised when they turn out to be okay (likely).
It helps immensely that I have two chill, responsive, independent and inquisitive little girls, who both happen to be decent sleepers (well, night sleepers... Lana is taking after her sister (and me) by turning into a terrible napper, but I'd rather have the night sleep so I can't complain). And, with the exception of a bout of mastitis early on, we've been pretty issue-free. Lana doesn't even spit up. (I didn't even realize there were babies out there that don't spit up!) Really, it's my girls that are making me look good.
Also, I've had a lot of help. I've swallowed what's left of my pride and accepted any and all help that's been offered. My mom got us through the first three weeks. R's mom takes Julia and/or Lana for almost the entire day one day a week (and watches the girls so R and I can squeeze in a date night here and there). And I hired a nanny to watch Julia twice a week for two hours, so I can spend some one-on-one time with Lana and get a break from Julia's toddler tornado. R has managed to be home almost every night at a reasonable hour, and he's been so helpful with everything (yes, they're his kids too but I know so many women whose husbands either aren't willing or able to help out as much as he does). And I have a small handful of incredibly awesome friends who have brought us lunch, helped out with rough bedtimes, met me for playdates, met me for coffee, and just all around been an awesome support (that's mostly you, A!). And you know what? I don't feel any less proud of what I'm doing just because I've accepted all this help. It'll taper off as time goes on, but Lana will mature, Julia and I will get in a rhythm, and the three of us will have things running smoothly all by ourselves soon.
Lana's not really clear on who people are right now. I think she knows R and me, but Julia doesn't stay still long enough for her to really get to know her. Julia generally likes Lana but she's spinning in her own orbit right now. Sometimes she is desperate to hold the baby RIGHT NOW, and other times she gets really upset if I'm interacting with Lana at all, even just holding her. But most of the time she ignores her. Or steals her pacifier.
Tandem nursing is going alright. I hung in there with Julia through the pregnancy, with the assumption that it'd get better and be worth it once Lana got here. There are some upsides but they're mainly just convenience things. I'm not getting this magical bonding that I hear about. There are no rainbows and unicorns. Just Julia vaguely irritating me with her rough and lazy toddler latch and her random insistence on comfort nursing at really inconvenient times. The good news is that my supply is awesome, largely thanks to Julia, and Lana is doing great. We actually had to force Lana to accept a pacifier, since she kept trying to comfort suck but couldn't do that without getting a mouthful of milk. I'm hoping to get things evened out around here - get Lana on a schedule and get Julia out of her current needy state - in a few months and then work on weaning Julia. But who knows - two weeks ago I was all, "I'm going to nurse everyone until they self-wean!" Like the last 20 months of nursing, I'm just taking it a day at a time.
I don't have any new photos of the girls together, so here's Lana today, playing with her favorite lion. (Julia loved this lion too. I don't have any idea why but he is like, #1 favorite in this house.)
|Why hello there friend.|
|I've missed you.|
|Let's have intense conversation.|
|Let's joke around.|
|Let's be totally adorable together.|
|I love you lion.|