Friday, April 29, 2016

Philomena is four months old now! Ahhhhh time is flying like a mother over here! She is JUST starting to chill out a little more, or maybe it's that I'm just starting to understand her a little more. Either way, things are getting a hell of a lot easier and I honestly am so relieved. Philomena definitely isn't an "easy" baby and only now do I feel like we are starting to understand each other. So for any new moms out there who are a few months in and still confused, please know that I was there for a long four months.

Just a list of things we've been trying to help her with: severe gassiness, problems eating, teething, constipation, super dry painful eyelids and not sleeping like...ever. I mean, honestly, life with two isn't difficult for me. Philomena is difficult for me. 

Before the baby, we prepared Penelope by getting her a step stool so she could help herself to things I just wouldn't be able to help with. I've established a really consistent routine as far as brushing teeth, cleaning up, dinner, bedtime. The routine aspect has helped tons because there is no fighting it, she knows what comes next and 9 times out of 10 its a breeze. I got Philomena's crib super early since they are sharing a room and had it in their room for a few months. I wanted Penelope to understand that she'd be sharing with someone else soon. She went to all my doctor's appointments and we would get excited together about hearing her sister's heartbeats. Preparation really, really helped.

Most importantly I prepared Penelope to understand that I'm not available 24/7. I felt like that would be the biggest issue and so everyday I would consciously be unavailable. If she wanted to talk and I was busy, I taught her that she needs to wait until I'm finished. Or how to play alone without needing me to play with her. Basically, she needed to be ok with being on her own sometimes since I felt that's what would need to happen with a new baby.

Honestly, because of preparation I feel like the transition for Penelope was amazing. She's such a sweet girl and so thoughtful, so I think the preparation was the icing on the cake. And boy was I thankful because Philomena is a handful. Five handfuls. In the beginning it would take hours to give her a nap. Then she'd wake up five minutes later. 

The transition from one to two wasn't difficult. I think going from no kids to one was more difficult for me. The most difficult aspect of two kids is the 24/7 guilt. I never feel like I've given each of them enough of myself for the day. I don't know that I ever will. I want to give endless love and affection in ways that will make them feel singularly special. But no matter how much I do, I'm left feeling like I could have done more. So the mom guilt is the hardest.

Philomena is super difficult, but even so, can I tell you how happy two girls makes me? I have two warm cuddly little babies that think I am the best thing in life. I get to watch the relationship between sisters unfold right before my eyes. I get to snuggle with my two babies one on each hip. It's the most amazing feeling there is in life. I thought my happiness meter was full with one kiddo and it was, but just like that it expanded to include another. And now I don't know how we even lived without her here. Like...that's weird.

Below I've put together some things that have really helped me with two. But even for a new mom, these are great for you too!

Mom of Two

1. Baby Carrier - MUST HAVE. I personally like a wrap because it travels well and I love the natural feeling of it with Philomena.
2. Kid's Table - Penelope has started eating here a lot. It helps me out when I'm busy so she can easily eat, put away her plate and clean up. It's also great as an option to have her near while I'm feeding Philomena and she likes to color or read.
3. Swaddle Blankets - These light blankets I use for everything. Seating, rags, shade, an actual blanket etc. I have a few laying all over the house.
4. Step Stool - It was important to find one Penelope could easily carry around and this one is super light. It's pretty high so she can reach things on our counters if need be. She uses it for everything: toilet, food, brushing teeth, washing hands. When I'm busy with Philomena the stool is a life saver.
5. Ikea Shelves and Baskets - Laying this lengthwise makes things Penelope uses a lot accessible. We store diapers there and also clothes and pajamas. In the mornings, I ask her to pick an outfit for herself and her sister. At nighttime she gets her own pajamas and diapers. It's all about easy access for the toddler!
6. Bouncer - You need this with more then one kid because you don't want your newborn to accidentally get trampled on. Something simple, but keeps your baby off the ground.
7. Double Stroller - Sometimes I want to walk around in peace. I love this stroller and strapping two kids in with seatbelts gives me peace of mind to not have to chase them anywhere. 

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