I started putting away baby clothes in earnest today. Newborn have been done for weeks. 0-3 as well. And now, 3 month onesies are being packed away. Linnea is a big baby. She came out bigger than Darwin so her rate of growth is slightly slower, but she’s still got a half pound on her big sister for the same age.
When I packed these clothes away slightly less than two years ago I was weepy. I blame hormones and exhaustion. This time it was more of a happiness that the last two and a half months have gone so well. Thrilled that our younger daughter is growing and healthy, and that Leah’s worry about not producing enough good milk didn’t come to pass.
I did pause several times to wonder if and when we might pull these clothes out again. Eventually I assume they will be worn by another baby, possibly several (good quality clothes should go through many families after all). Will we unpack these clothes for another baby of our own? Will it be a baby I carry our Leah carries? Or will these boxes eventually be brought back down from our attic to be shared with friends as they birth children, or foster children, or adopt children?
As I’ve written before, I don’t feel like we’re done. I never thought I wanted a big family until I suddenly realized I do. It’s possible that Linnea will be the last baby in our family. And I would be ok if that were true, I think. But I suspect it’s not. So for now the tiny onesies, sleepers, and hats get packed away and we continue to enjoy these two amazing kids we are so lucky to watch grow.
Darwin hands me her baby doll and a small blanket.
Wrap her up mama. I will love her. So much.
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Fig Newtons by Darwin
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Where do you want to go Darwin?
To the library!
My work is done.
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Basically our kids are perfect. Darwin is pushing 26 lbs and is 34 inches tall, Linnea is 14lb 4oz and 23.5 inches long. Milestones are being met, kids are healthy and vaccinated. Success.
Today, Darwin spent her first morning with our new nanny. This summer I finally admitted that I just don’t have enough hours in the day, and that I really needed for us to add some hours through childcare. Our friends agreed and ended up finding a woman who is a great fit to be with the kids for 4 mornings a week. That’s 20 hours a week in which I’m able to focus 100% on work and not try to schedule childcare around meetings, classes, or hiccups.
Drop off was hard. Darwin cried when we left. But then I got to my office and got more done in a 4 hour period than I have in months. I felt productive. I then worked through my lunch. I continued until Leah came to get me with the kids for their well visits.
Right now, I feel like a new person. I’m exhausted from only 6 hours of sleep. I still have probably 2 hours of work ahead of me tonight. I’m sporting a headache. But tonight I played with Darwin at bedtime without feeling stressed about not having gotten enough done today. I had a level of patience that I haven’t haven’t had since she was months old. Darwin responded by having the best bedtime in weeks, and falling asleep before 9.
Today I found an elusive balance that I’m sure will continue to come and go, but now that I know it exists, it is something I am going to work for more.
We made it. Today our little bug turns 2 years old. Sometimes I think ‘how is that possible?’, but most of the time (like right now, while she’s 45 minutes into refusing to nap) I feel like we loved, played, worked, grew, learned, teethed, taught, explored, and basically earned these first two years really well. It’s funny. Last year, Darwin’s first birthday was really emotionally charged for me. Somehow two years, or perhaps a two year old, changed it dramatically. This year Darwin knows it’s her birthday. She’s excited. She talks about how she’s turning two. Last year it felt as much about me and wrapping up or first year as mamas as it did about Darwin. This year, it’s all about Darwin. And that is a relief!
This year we watched Darwin go from a crawler to a walker to a runner and a hopper. Her handful of words expanded beyond counting. She puts on her boots, but not yet most of her shoes (which are now a harder sole rather than the mostly soft, flexible baby shoes). Darwin is a sweet and thoughtful big sister, bringing Linnea toys and kisses, but not overwhelming her (most of the time).
Right now we’re in the middle of two year molar hell. It doesn’t disrupt sleep so much as make getting to sleep even harder, and I’ve never heard a kid whine so much in a one week period in my life. I’d whine too if I had giant enamel icebergs cutting through my gums though. I will be glad when teething is over. So will Darwin.
A few notes about what makes Darwin happy and not.
Mac n cheese
Swinging (suddenly, after hating the swings)
Scout and the kitties
Going for walks
Large groups of people
People she doesn’t know
When Linnea cries
Going to sleep
Waking up in the morning