Friday, August 24, 2012

Like Riding a Bike

Aaron's Mom left early Wednesday morning on August 1st. I teared up as she walked outside and down the stairs. I shut the door behind me and with a quick turn of the lock my reality suddenly shifted. Two kids, one apartment, one adult keeping things together. I was nervous. In all honestly I expected the worst. Meltdowns at every corner, both kids crying simultaneously, meals not being prepared, the apartment in shambles, you name it, I was expecting it to happen. So we all stayed home, in our jammies, and had nothing on the agenda but: survive.

And survive we did. Actually we did better than that, we enjoyed ourselves.

Lunchtime, naptime, dinnertime, and bedtime were all about 3 hours off. But we worked it out and I mentally high fived myself because I didn't even come close to crying (which considering how easy it was for me to cry, was a pretty awesome feat). We made it, completely unscathed and a little exhausted but I could see that being a Mom of two was in fact a very possible undertaking.
 The first official day being without "The Moms" a friend invited Grace over for a playdate. I prepared the night before and had all outfits and materials ready for a quick dash out the door. Both kids were clean, dressed, and ready to roll by 10am.
I even had the chance to a few errands with just my little man in tow.
 We spent the rest of the afternoon at home, and I finally got it out of my head that I couldn't do this alone. Two days in and we were rockin' it. We even did tummy time, or as Christian does it "Lay on the floor and kick your feet time."
 And then after that it was like riding a bicycle. It was a bicycle I had never been on before, but the pedals operated the same way and I pushed forward just as I normally would have. We still played.
And made dinner (sneaking cheese as we went).
 We still went for walks at the mall (I'm slightly obsessed with the newborn doubles setting of my stroller.)
 I still got pedicures- okay maybe they were just pretend Crayola pedicures by Grace, but it was a pedicure nonetheless.
 We still did the laundry and cleaned the apartment. Grace was "doing the dishes" when I caught her like this scrubbing the sink. I gave her a gold star and told her to keep up the good work ;).
 Things were just a little bit different since we had this awesomeness in the house.
The added babe slowed down the pace for how quick and efficient we were, but the "to do" list could always be pushed aside for moments to snuggle and love.
Soon we were flying around on our new bicycle and wiping out when things got ridiculously overwhelming. Yes, I cried and yelled, and there were time-outs and frustrations and trips to Taco Bell when I couldn't get my stuff in order to make dinner. But we got back up and kept going and everyday seemed to be better than the next. And most importantly, we were happy.
Very happy.

And I wouldn't trade it for all of the ease and comfort in the world.

Thursday, August 23, 2012


I'm not sure how, or why, but Grace fell in love with Christian from day one. She made it seem like having him in her life was the most normal transition and she stepped up to the plate in her new role as big sister.
I wasn't sure what to expect with her. She talked about the baby before, but I knew at the age of 2 years and 11 months, she really couldn't grasp the concept of my belly meaning a new sibling. Heavens I barely grasped the concept sometimes.

The nurse gave us some tips before Grace arrived: 1.) Don't be holding the baby when she walks in. 2.) She will probably be standoffish to you because she sees you in a different setting. 3.) She will probably want nothing to do with the baby at first. I had Christian in the bassinet and prepped myself for her underwhelming reaction as she walked through the door. But, she was the opposite of all the warnings. She saw me and said "Hi" and them immediately ran to the baby. She wasn't phased by the hospital room or me hooked up to an IV. She peered through the bassinet and was super excited to see Christian.

The first time she held him, she looked at him and then nuzzled his nose. She looked up and smiled as if she had done this a million times. (don't be alarmed, that is just my underarm being shown through my hospital gown)
The second day in the hospital, when Grace arrived, Christian was getting his circumcision (poor guy) and was in the nursery at the time. She was pretty bummed that it was just me and Aaron, but was excited when they wheeled Christian back into the room.
Her love for her baby brother has yet to diminish. Perhaps she loves him a little too much. As expected she is a mini little Momma. When he cries she says "Shhh, shhh, shhh Bubby, it's okay, I'm here." Or gets him a pacifier. If I'm helping her with something and Christian is crying, she looks desperately at me and says, "Mom! Christian!"
Helping at Christian's post hospital doctor's appointment
Let the dressing up begin
The transition for her has not been flawless, and we have definitely had some bumps in the road. Temper tantrums, refusing to sleep, etc. But overall, considering the huge life change she just experienced, she did really well.
My biggest concern when we brought the baby home was that I wanted Grace to continue to receive a good amount of attention. Aaron, my mom and Aaron's mom were amazing at making Grace feel special and involved, but there was one time that I will never forget. We had friend come over to visit and meet Christian. As they walked in, everyone immediately went to Christian. I watched Grace while everything unfolded and the look on her face absolutely broke my heart. She seemed so confused that this group of people, which normally would come and talk to her first thing, weren't even acknowledging her. I did my best to get close to her to make her feel better, I'm not sure it helped. After everyone left, I burst into tears. She had been such a trooper, but the look of hurt on her face was too much for me.
Thankfully those moments were few and far between, heaven only knows my hormones couldn't handle it. And in between snuggling our new sweet boy, and attempting to sleep, we soaked up moments with our favorite little girl.

I think she is going to enjoy her role as big sister.
I sure do love this girl.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Two Weeks

Two week stats

9 lbs 3 oz
21 inches long
Everything looked great, his frenulum was recovering well and after his appointment I nursed him and we headed up to the hospital for his final heal prick test.


Shortly after Christian was born the Partridges came to visit. Grace loved having a friend to run around with and maybe Noah donned a Dora backpack so they could be matchy matchy.
We dined on Totino's pizzas, a seriously throw back to our college days. We all felt sick afterwards and realized, once again, that we're not as young as we used to be. (as if being married, and 2 children each wasn't evidence enough).
This picture makes me laugh so I had to toss it in (sorry Tayci!).
The Partridge's have already headed back to Utah for James to finish up law school and we are so sad to see them go.
The next week, while my Momma was still in town, my sister Stacey and her kids came for a visit. Stacey used to live up here and we spent lots of time hanging out together before she moved. I'm pretty sure Grace considers Carly and Taylor to be her siblings. She soaked up every minute with them that she could.
Taylor has been the only boy cousin (on my family's side) for the past 6 years. He is surround by older and younger girls. We got a picture of the two boys cousins together for the first time.
Carly, the baby whisperer, and Christian.
Did I mention that Grace was in heaven? Stacey and co. even took Grace all day long on a field trip to see some family in Fort Worth. I'm pretty sure Grace was ready to jump-ship and join their family permanently.
Mema, or Meah as Grace calls her, and her Texas Grandkids (minus Christian).
When we told Grace that Stacey, Carly, and Taylor were coming to visit, she immediately informed us "Stacey is my best." Meaning, Stacey is her best friend. I'm not sure when, but Stacey and Grace formed a serious bond. Grace absolutely loves her and for the first time I was able to get visual proof.
This was the only picture that I wasn't rocking a double chin. Yes, I'm that vain. No, I don't normally try to make love to the camera with my eyes. Stacey and my Mom look great though.
We were so sad to see them go, but thank our lucky stars that they are just a drive away. We can't wait to see them again (soon!).

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Grandee in Town

Aaron's Mom arrived the day before my Mom left, and the Grandma torch was passed. Although I missed my Mom and cried when she left, I knew we were in good hands with Grandee in town.
Three generations of Barnards
It is safe to say that I am an extremely lucky girl. Not one, but two Moms that flew into town to help and keep our lives functional and easy during this time of transition. Aaron went back to work the Monday after his mom arrived and I was grateful to not have to make the jump to flying solo during the day with two kids quite yet.

Grandee got right to work and gave Christian his second bath, and despite the look on his face, he thoroughly enjoyed it.

She then got right down to business snuggling Christian
And spending lots of time with Grace (photo below taken by Grace)
They spent tons of time shopping together, going for walks, going grocery shopping, and playing at the play areas. Mornings were usually Grandee and Grace time, and they always brought lunch home with them :)
We even ventured out a few times together.
And when I say "ventured out" I mean "went to Chick-fil-A"
I can't tell you how many mornings and afternoons Aaron's mom got up with Grace got her fed and kept her entertained so that I could sleep. She kept Grace occupied and quiet and I didn't even realize what had happened until I woke up hours later.
She even helped me to do trial runs of things. For example a few days before she left, she said we would go to the grocery store and I could practice grocery shopping with two kids and she would only help with extraneous things. I was so much less stressed having extra hands with me, just in case. during my first trip to the grocery store with both children. The next time I went to the store, even though I was alone, I wasn't nervous because I had already done it before and was totally fine.

I remember Grandee leaning in to me at church and whispering, "Did you know that you all got ready, out the door, and on time to church without my help? You'll do great when you're on your own." She prepared me for life without the help of a Grandma, and it was a much needed confidence boost.

Sadly, she too had to head back home, and I cried again. She was so wonderful, and I struggled once more to find the proper words to thank her. I hope the string of "Thank you so much" phrases were sticking and that she knew, somehow, how much she helped me.