Tuesday, August 31, 2010

23 months: Devon (August)


Devon went through a big change over the past month ... he became a big brother! When I came home from the hospital he was pretty mad at me to the point that he ignored me completely for 2 days. The baby, he was fine with. He's pretty taken with her actually.

His beef was with me. It was pretty heartbreaking when I would try to hug him and get forcefully pushed away, but we are back on track and doing great. It was a great moment when he started asking for me first thing in the morning and reached out for me to put him to bed. All is now right in the world ;)

Devon is doing a fantastic job as a big brother. He throws out her diapers, brings me blankets, if I give her a bottle he holds it, finds her pacifiers (without putting them in his mouth which I am surprised at) and he loves to touch her head, hands, feet and points out her eyes and nose. This past week I found 3 of her pacifiers, a diaper and a quarter in her crib. He loves to bring her stuff even when she's sleeping ;)

I have make a point of saying that he is doing all of these things on his own without Joe or I prompting him to do it (with the exception of the bottle holding). He also lets me know when she is crying, sneezing, coughing, or sleeping and tells me that we have to be quiet so we don't wake her up. He loves to check on her during the day and peers into her crib standing up on his tippy toes. He is very attentive and is really proud of himself when he helps her. I am so happy that the transition from one kid to two kids has gone so well.

Devon and I went on a "date" to the mall just the 2 of us to play and I got him his first ice cream cone. He loved it! Now he says what sounds like "Eye creams" (ice cream) at least every other day. And yes, he stayed this clean.

Whenever he gets the tiniest bit of food on his shirt he says "mess" and makes me clean it right away. If he gets food on his finger or arm he says "owie". Love my clean kid!

Devon loves to eat pizza, My little pony fruit snacks, melon, hamburgers, apples, pears, meat and his new favorite ... ketchup. He will say,"Meat. Ketchup. Dippin'." It's pretty adorable. He dips everything in ketchup. Even watermelon. It's gross to watch him, but if it gets him to eat them I'm OK with that. He loves to help his Daddy,"Fire. Meat. Cook." so he will pretty much eat anything that has been grilled. This got me to notice that he will eat what he helps to cook so I let him stir and pour things when I am making dinner. He calls every meal lunch. I let him put all the asparagus (one piece at a time) from one container into the pot and not only did it occupy him for a few minutes he got to feel like he helped cook and he loves to cook! He loves to watch Ratatouille and shouts at the TV,"Cookin. Knife. Cut you, Cut you. Fire. Ummmmm."

We have been at home more these past few weeks since I can't really go anywhere with the new baby for a month so we are enjoying playing with his toys, reading books, Hot Wheels cars, exploring around the house and watching his favorite movie Toy Story. He doesn't care if it's part one or two, but he wants to watch "Woody" at some point everyday. I will usually give him some cut up fruit after nap and we will snuggle on the couch together and watch Woody completely captivated. It's a nice option to have if I need to occupy him while I nurse the baby or to just sit with my sweetie and have our alone time together ;) He also wants to dress like Woody as a cowboy so I put on this little leather sheriff's vest, his cowboy boots and hat. Oh ... and don't forget the Gucci purse, of course.
He has gotten into Egyptian art and wants to watch it on "To tube" (You tube), in books, magazines or shows on Egypt. He talks about "finx" (Sphinx) and "tatues" (statues) all the time. It has been to fun to see him get to that age where he actually starts to have preferences for stuff that he's interested in. He still loves "tashures" (tractors) and also loves talking about the moon, stars, astronauts, "rockeets" (rockets ... complete with hand movements and rocket sounds) and robots. He plays hide-and-go-seek and hides in the same place nearly every time, but it is my new favorite game. He will hide in a completely dark closet and not get scared. This kid loves to run. He loves it, especially if we are chasing him. He runs into our closet, throws himself down on his belly, squeezes his legs together, points his toes and declares that he is now "safe." I tickle him, flip him over onto his feet and the game continues.
Devon loves go to Gamma and Papa's house to pick tomatoes from the garden. He will eat half a dozen tomatoes from the basket before they even come back into the house.

He will eat however many tomatoes you give him. Seriously. If you give him 5 or 15 he will eat them all and ask for more. That reminds me, Devon no longer says "meer" when he means to say "more". He just says more. Another cute baby word bites the dust :(
Devon loves his Uncle Ben, Hannah, Harrison, Autumn and Sadie. He hasn't had much exposure to Sadie's older siblings since they are usually in school, but he talks about my brother and these 4 cousins all the time. When Uncle Ben comes to visit Devon has an absolute blast with him. He wears Ben's watch, they play toys, Devon gets "tickle tortured" (tickled in both armpits and belly at the same time ... Devon LOVES IT and is happy to perform and show him all his tricks.
video
Devon is doing great with potty training. Sometimes he tells me he needs to go and sometimes I ask him, but he makes it to the potty a few times a day. I offer him "potty candy" (Smarties or Gummy bears), but more often than not I will give it to him and he will just hold it and not eat it. If I don't offer him candy he doesn't ask so I'm thinking I may not offer it at all and see how he does. I think he's still a little young to really get potty training 100% at this point so I'm not being crazy about making him go every hour or whatever "they" say to do, but we're trying.

He loves to go into the garden, pick an herb and smell the fragrance! This time it's rosemary. By the way, he picked out this hat himself. We were at the Gap and he pointed to this hat. He insisted on seeing himself in the mirror before committing to the purchase.

Devon is on his way to learning his ABCs. When we color I choose one letter to focus on and we sing the song at least 100 times a day. He is able to "sing along" for more and more letters each time. We are working on his counting, colors, shapes, countries and he is starting to say 3-word sentences. He is definitely at that age where you should only talk to him about things you don't mind him repeating because he will! Although he has come to that age where tantrums seem to be a daily occurrence, Devon is still the sweetest boy on the block. We love to hug and kiss him and snuggle on the couch. He is so thoughtful and gives out massages, high-5's, fist bumps, kisses, hugs and wants to share all the time even if it's with someone on the TV or in a book. He is so smart, funny, handsome and awesome. Ask him and he'll tell you the same ;)

Monday, August 30, 2010

4 weeks + 5 days = Sleeping through the night


I didn't think this baby could get and easier, but she has in a major way! Audrey has only been waking up once a night for nearly the past week. This morning she woke up at 6:00 am and hadn't eaten since 11:00 pm the previous night. Needless to say I am a well rested happy Mama. From what I've read, "They" consider sleeping 5 or more hours as "sleeping through the night" and she is definitely there. I'm not ready to leave her in her room alone with a baby monitor at night since I still like to have her close by, but I am happy with her sleeping progress! I don't know how I got so lucky, but I'll take it.

On a side note, I made the onesie and headband that she is wearing. I didn't sew the onesie (I got it for $.50 at Savers brand new with the tags still on), but I put the flowers and rhinestones on. I thought she looked so fancy ;) The onesie only lasted about 30 minutes until she started drooling and the dye from the flowers started to bleed. I guess that's why they don't put fake flowers on baby clothes ;) I knew she would only be able to wear it once, but I wanted to try it anyway. Can't wait to make more head bands and bows!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

9 years: Happy Anniversary

We celebrated our 9 year anniversary on 8.18.10. I can still vividly remember our beautiful wedding with the last minute preparations, flowers, people, decorations and all the yummy food I didn't get to eat. My only regret about our wedding is that I didn't get a good photographer. Now that I have seen some more editorial wedding albums I wish I would have just paid for the photographer I really wanted because, truly, PICTURES are probably one of the more important things about a major event like a wedding. But I digress ...

Last year for our anniversary our babysitter had to call us 45 minutes after we left for dinner because Devon wouldn't stop crying. She was worried that something was wrong with him so I was glad we went home. I did, however, hope that this year would be different ;) We love our babysitter. She's very good with Devon and genuinely seems to want to spend time with him. He loves to play with her and show off all his tricks. It was the first time Rochelle met Audrey and watched both kids at the same time. She seemed a bit overwhelmed at first, but it was totally understandable. Right as we were about to leave Audrey woke up and needed to eat. While Rochelle was trying to thaw frozen breast milk, Joe and I were trying to convince a crying Devon that he would be OK without us. The last few times we've had a sitter, Devon was asleep when we left so it has been a few months since he's actually seen her and had to deal with us leaving. It was a little chaotic, but she did a great job at distracting him so we could slip out and he went to sleep without incident.

Joe planted me some mini roses (as he does every year we're married) by the front door and vowed to take care of them so I wouldn't kill them with my greenish-brownish thumb. I don't kill ALL plants, but I have 2 kids, 2 cats, a husband and a house to take care of so plants are at the bottom of my list which means they often don't make it. He also got us tickets to the Tosh. O comedy show in September. Daniel Tosh has a great show on Comedy Central that we watch and love so we are excited to go to his stand up show. We need a sitter if anyone is interested ... September 24th! Joe lost his wedding ring quite a few years ago and recently mentioned that he wished he had one so I got him a new ring. It's the same brushed finish and shape as my ring so we match ... awwww. I was going to wait until next year for the big 10, but I wanted to do something nice for him now.

Joe got a gift certificate from a client that he built a house for to this fancy steakhouse so we went to Sullivan's for dinner. It was for $150 and it barely covered our meal. I had the PER-FECT glass of Chilean Merlot that I've ever had in my entire life. I wish I would have brought home a bottle because it was insanely good. I got a fillet and Joe got prime rib. We got salads, appetizer, and split some "home style" onion rings, but they were so big I was only able to eat 1.5. We finished off the meal with a raspberry souffle that was divine.

Joe (18) and me (17).

Even though we are self proclaimed "home bodies" it is always nice to go out and spend time uninterrupted. It's also nice to have someone else do the bed time routine and be able to focus on each other for 2 whole hours ;)I also love the don't have to cook/clean up part, too. We were able to catch each other up on some of the details of our lives, get a little dressed up and go on a real date. I have to admit that part of the fun for me is watching the waitresses drool over him and look at me with those "you're so lucky to be married to him" faces. Can't wait for next year!

To read my post/see pics from last year click on the link http://annieryouok.blogspot.com/2009/08/happy-anniversary.html

Monday, August 23, 2010

1 month: Audrey


Audrey is 1 month old today! This is how you will usually find her ... sleeping. She sleeps All. The. Time. Some days she is literally only awake for feedings and not only do I have to wake her up to feed she won't even open her eyes. She has been a dream 2nd baby. When I do happen to catch a glimpse of her eyes I would guess that they might end up being blue. Her hair also seems to be getting a little lighter around her face so we'll see what happens. (By the way, the bones on her shirt glow in the dark).

We went to the grocery store yesterday and I have decided that going to the store in this heat with 2 kids is SO not worth it. All-in-all the trip went fine since I put Devon in one of those cars attached to the cart and Audrey in the Ergo carrier. However, I would rather go at night after I have put them both to bed and spend time playing with them instead of dragging them on errands I prefer to do alone. By the way, when I say the "first trip to the grocery store went fine" I mean that I had to pull over 3 minutes into the drive and nurse Audrey. No big deal, but after all the shopping was done and had loaded the food and Devon into the car I realized that the battery was dead and had to get someone to give me a jump. (Just when I realized I needed a jump the guy that was parked right next to me was leaving and was happy to help so I only panicked for 2 minutes). So yeah ... it went fine ;)

In spite of all her sleeping, she does seem to wake up a bit more around her 8pm feeding which is nice because she gets my 100% undivided attention and we just stare at each other ;) Joe calls her the "hold-a-holic" because when he watches her she just wants him to hold her. Can't say I blame her ;)

There was ONE day last week when the weather was "nice" (read that as hot, but overcast) so I took the kids to the park. Devon was so excited he wanted to hold his bucket and shovel for the 2 minute drive there. We were all a little sweaty, but it wasn't bad and it was a good first visit. It's tough to play with Devon in the sand with Audrey in the carrier, but I'm sure it will get easier as she gets a little older.

We are just enjoying our little little lady and covering her with kisses. Since my hair is stick straight I don't really know how to manage her curly hair, but I love to style it into a little wave on the top of her head since that seems to be the only way to tame it. She is such a doll and loves to snuggle with her Mama. She was a little fussy yesturday so after I put Devon down for his nap I brought her into bed with me and she took a nap in my arms while it rained. It was heaven.

Freezer

I've been having lots of "when-did-this-become-my-life" moments lately. I love all these moments and usually enjoy them with a chuckle and ahead shake, but still ... they are "when-did-this-become-my-life" moments. Such as:

- When I have a few quiet moments I take a nap.

- I choose what I wear for that day based on my ability to easily breast feed while wearing it.

- When I get my coffee going in the morning I am soothing a new born in my arms while hearing Devon calling me over the baby monitor (by my first name at times) and 2 cats circling my ankles crying to be fed.

- The most exciting thing going on in my life right now is potty training.

- When someone says,"You can sleep in tomorrow ... it's Saturday." I laugh uncontrolably. People who don't have kids are adorable.

Today I had another one of those moments. I am SO excited about it and a little embarrassed by how excited I actually am, but it is what it is. I bought one of these ...



And the clouds parted and angels began to sing! A deep freezer yeah!

I wish I could have gotten it before the baby was born so I could have made frozen dinners, but I am happy to have it now. I can now deep freeze pumped breast milk, freeze some dinners and buy veggies and meat in BULK for crying out loud. I hate going to Costco and usually have to go weekly for a few items that I can only get there. Now I can stock up and maybe go once a month. I hope to make things like lasagna and pasta sauce to freeze and serve on those days that I don't feel like cooking or when I don't have the energy to do it, but want to have a nice meal made in advance. I sound like such a house wife ... and that's a good thing ;)

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

3 weeks: Audrey


If it's possible, Audrey gets cuter by the day. She has been putting on weight and filling out those cute chubby cheeks. I can't believe she has out grown all her new born clothes already! She is probably close to 9 pounds by now so she is in 0-3 month clothes which means more dresses, yeah!

She is such a lucky little girl to have so many family and friends come to visit at our home so we don't have to brave the scorching, summer heat. Pops and Abuela (Joe's parents. Abuela = grandma in Spanish)come to visit every Sunday. This is their last grandchild and they are excited to watch her progress.


My brother has been coming over every couple of days in the morning and does an amazing job of playing with Devon and indulging him in undivided attention. He loves to hold Audrey and is somehow able to do it without letting Devon feel left out.He is so good with my kids and I really appreciate all that he does to help me entertain Devon because as a Mom with a new baby that's what helps me the most. Not to mention the fact that he takes out the garbage without me asking him. He is just thoughtful that way. Love you Uncle Ben!

My sister, Jane, got sick with bronchitis right around the time Audrey was born. She was sick nearly 2 weeks and was finally able to see the baby just a few days ago. She was practically running up the front stairs to hold her. Jane loves babies and babies love Jane! It is really fun for me to see my siblings love and hold my children and for me to see that bond starting to form.

I know this may sound funny, but this past week I really felt like Audrey was starting to be comforted by me. I know babies are comforted my their Mom's, but sometimes I think newborns are just as happy being held by a nurse, a cousin or their Dad and it's all the same to them when they are that little and new. Latey, there were a few times where someone would be holding her, she'd start fussing or crying and they'd give her to me and the crying would stop. Warms my heart! She has started to be awake more during the day for longer stretches of time and it has been fun to interact with her. She loves to play and kick on her little toy mat and seems to really enjoy that.

She is still getting up just 2 times a night to feed, but does seem to be a bit fussy and needs to be held a few times as well. Those nights have been a little rough. We are making it through just fine, but my coffee intake seems to have increased ;) We only have one more week to go and then we can officially leave the house since she will be one month old. It has been nice to be home with both kids and we can just hang out and play, but it will be fun to get out and go on outings all together.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

2 weeks: Audrey

I can't believe my due date was yesterday! She would have been HUGE if she would have waited until then. I am so happy that she arrived when she did. People are still offering to bring me dinner, but I am doing great! I think I came home from the hospital feeling 75% like myself. A week later I was nearly 100%. I went to the gym last week and ran 2 miles. It wasn't the greatest 2 miles I've ever run, but it felt AMAZING to move like that and feel light again. I've lost 15 pounds so far and I have 16 more to go. I gained 31 pounds officially, but I'm not worried about it right now because I know it will go away soon. I can already fit into a pair of jeans so I'm happy about that! I remember cursing my pre-pregnancy body wishing it was thinner, leaner or more fit. What I wouldn't do to have that body back! ;)

Audrey had her first doctor's appointment last week and she was 60% for weight, 80% for height and head size. Dr. Kopas wants her to put on a little weight (back to her birth weight since she lost 8 oz) so we have been working on that and trying to fit in a few extra feedings. At her 2 week appointment today she put on a whole pound and is still above average for all her other stats. Yeah!

I am excited to report that nursing is going great! It was a little painful with that first latch for about a week, but that has now gone away. (Lansinoh nursing cream was a lifesaver that first week). Last week I was feeding her and held a pumping bottle up to one side while I nursed. I "leaked" 2 ounces ... AMAZING! Up until then I had just been letting it absorb into a cloth, but decided to try and save the milk and I'm glad I did. I finished the feeding and was still able to pump 3 more ounces. It really puts my mind at ease to know that she is getting enough milk and getting the very best. I have no qualms about using formula. I have no ego this time around insisting that the baby only gets breast milk. If she needs milk and I don't make enough then formula is the next best thing, but it's great to know that at this point she doesn't need it. I feel so much more relaxed about feedings and nursing in general and that has been a nice change.

Sleeping on the blanket that Granny made for her.

She eats every 3-4 hours during the day and only gets up twice a night (2am & 5am). That has been the greatest gift to a Mom with 2 kids under the age of 2 at home. I have heard of kids sleeping through the night at 1 or 2 months and I didn't believe it, but at this rate maybe I will be one of those lucky Moms. I hope that as she gets older she doesn't get up more often, but I will take what I can get and enjoy the sleep for now if that's the case. I slept in the guest room with Devon until he was sleeping through the night at 5 months so Joe could sleep and be rested for work without being woken up by the baby all night long. Since Audrey only gets up twice, Joe and I decided that it would be OK to have her in our room in a pack-n-play crib. It's nice to have her within arms reach to hear her fussing to eat and I am able to get to her before she gets so upset that she cries.

Chatting up my little sister, Elizabeth, A.K.A Aunt Bizus.

I had to take her in for her heel prick this week and I was much more mentally prepared this time around. I took her out of her car seat once we got there and she had blown out her diaper All. Over. The. Place. How can it crawl all the way up her back to the neckline of her onesie? Luckily, I brought an extra outfit (something I almost didn't bring) for her so we were fine. She only cried while they were squeezing her heel and when they were done she fell asleep. Her umbilical cord also fell out and I was able to finally give her a real bath. I didn't take any pictures because I pretty much got her in and out as fast as possible.

We stayed home the whole first week after she was born, but by the 2nd week we ventured out and went to my Mom's to visit my parents, my brother and his 3 kids. Other than figuring out which order to get what kid in the car first, leaving the house was so not a big deal. I'm sure the ease of going out will change once she gets older, but for now I am feeling good about this whole having-2-kids-thing. If it wasn't so hot here going out would be a breeze.

I must admit that I am now in LOVE with pink. Pink onesies, pink dresses, pink shoes, pink blankets, pink, pink, PINK! I love it and I can't get that kid in enough pink stuff. I am particularly fond of the diaper/undies covers ... how cute are those? I saved a few of Devon's clothes for her, but now that she is here the last thing I want to do to my little lady is put her in something remotely masculine ;) When she's a little older I'll break out the dinosaurs and sculls, but not quite yet. I was not a fan of "brain squeezers" A.K.A. baby head bands, but they really do look over-the-top-cute so I may have to make a few.

Audrey is such a good baby and rarely cries or fusses. She is starting to be awake for longer periods of time and I love to see her with her eyes open. She is very chill and low maintenance, but loves to be snuggled and held in the Ergo carrier (The Ergo is officially my new favorite baby wearing system since I got the infant insert. SO much better/easier/more comfortable than the Moby. Sorry Moby!). She doesn't seem terribly interested in a pacifier, but will accept it on occasion. I love to hold her, stroke her curly hair and kiss those cute cheeks! A friend told me that I would love having a baby around the house and I DO!

I remember when Devon was a few months old and seeing little, blue, boys clothes all over the place and how cute I thought that was. Now there are these little touches of pink popping up all over the house and it positively makes me smile. It is a very peaceful, fulfilling feeling to know that all the members of my little family are all here.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Introducing ...


Audrey Anne Smith was born on 7.27.10 at 8:15 pm weighing in at 7lbs and 15 oz. and was 20.5 inches long. She has black, curly hair and it goes down her neck and past her ears!

Monday evening I started feeling cramps. Tuesday morning I felt them as well, but started getting ready for the day anyway. Around 9:00 I noticed that these cramps were starting to feel like a little more than JUST cramps. I said to Joe,"Not to alarm you, but I may be in labor." I got ready for Devon's Movers and Shakers class and Joe went off to work. We decided that since it may be a while (if I was in labor at all) that it was fine to carry on with our day until things progressed a little more, but he would stay close to home in case we needed to go to the hospital. I was about to leave with Devon to his class, but had 2 contractions were were definitely painful and changed my mind ;) Around 11:15 my contraction were 3-6 minutes apart so we called Joe's Mom and Dad who volunteered to watch Devon and headed out to the hospital. One of my biggest concerns was for Devon through all of this, but he had a blast with Pops and Abuela who took him to their house to play with their dog, out for a fancy dinner of Mexican food and to Baskin Robbins for his very own scoop. It really put my mind at ease to know he was doing OK.

When I arrived I was 4 cm dilated and 80% effaced. My labor progressed well and over the next few hours and I was 5 cm dilated and 100% effaced. I finally had 3 made-me-cry-they-were-so-painful contractions and got my epidural. The epidural was SO much more painful than any contraction I had so far I was so caught off guard by how much pain I went through just to get to that point of not feeling any pain. After it set in, however, I was feeling great and by 8:11 I was ready to push. My doctor went home to have dinner and put her kids to bed so we were sort of waiting for her to get back. I KNOW that my body was ready well before they let me start pushing so my labor probably would have been shorter if I hadn't had to wait. Anyway, at 8:11 I started pushing. I know I started pushing at 8:11 because at that EXACT moment my sister, Katy, texted me to see if I was pushing yet ;) 4 minutes, 1 contraction and 2pushes later Audrey was born.

They laid her on my belly and I felt amazing! I was so happy to see her and I just could not get over that hair! All that dark, curly hair! Devon had pretty light hair when he was born and now it's practically blonde. Even though I knew she could have dark hair it was such a surprise to actually see it. All of Joe's sisters and Mom have curly black hair and I was born with black hair as well so it's not genetically strange I just wasn't expecting it. At any rate, she is totally adorable and I was so happy to hold her in my arms and know and she was healthy. I however, look a little wrecked.

My friend Jaime, my parents, Joe's parents and Crystal (Joe's sister) came by to visit me on Wednesday. Joe took Devon to his Movers and Shakers class (I am so proud of him for making the effort to keep Devon on a schedule), but came to visit me afterwards. Devon seemed happy to see me, but a little unsure of me at the same time. We didn't force an introduction between the new siblings so we didn't take any pictures, but Devon said,"Audrey!" and pointed at her bassinet. We took him over there and let him look at her and he was VISIBLY upset. He didn't cry, but it felt like he figured out what was going on and didn't like it. He seemed to move on from it almost immediately and then they left.

We stayed in the hospital the next day, but got to come home Thursday morning and I was so relieved to be back. I was so tired of being around all these random nurses I just wanted to be home with my little family. The relief was somewhat short lived because Devon was CLEARLY mad at me. He didn't look at me or say hi when I came home. He acted like I wasn't there. Like he saw right through me. Bru-tal. I sort of expected this so I tried to not let it bother me, but even the next day he wouldn't let me hold him, give him hugs or put him down for bedtime. I tried to, but he kept crying for his Daddy. Any other day in the history of his LIFE I would have loved for him to cry for his Daddy to do the bedtime routine since I pretty much do it (and love it) every night, but that night I was really sad. It felt like all the love and attention and care I had given him up til this point was washed away. I was at square one. I had to start over. I know that's not the case, but in my hormonal-just-given-birth-first-day-home-brain that's how it felt. I understand how he feels so it totally makes sense. Joe is like this bright, shiny new toy that Devon gets to see in the morning, the evening and on the weekend. All of a sudden I'm gone and his favorite toy is with him ALL THE TIME for days on end doing fun things with him that I never do. It's no wonder that he just wants his Daddy. I'm sure once Joe goes back to work and Devon and I get back into our routine it will get back to the way it was. He has definitely started coming around and I even took him with me to Target yesterday and we had a great time so I think things may be getting back to normal soon.

In spite of all her black, curly hair, I think Audrey and Devon do look quite similar in the face. Here is Audrey and I ...

and here is Devon and I.

I have really made the effort to not dote on Audrey when Devon is around. I try to have her laying where we are playing so he gets used to her being there without having her in his face. I have never said (and hope to never say),"Devon, I can't (blank) right now because I'm taking care of the baby." He is such a sensitive kid I don't want him to feel like I'm tending to her instead of taking care of him. All I have to say is,"In a second buddy," and I think I can get the same result without him feeling bad. I have, however, started wearing her in a "pouch" in the morning so I can play with him and not feel like I've just left her alone. It has been great to "play" with both of them at the same time and it also allows me to be hands free so Devon doesn't notice that much is different.

My first night home with Audrey was pretty easy. She only woke up twice to feed and once for a change and a snuggle. Joe and I were both so tired we hadn't figured out sleeping arrangements so we just had her in bed with us. The 3 months that Devon slept in the bed with me are some of the sweetest moments in my life with him as a baby. I only had him in the bed until he could roll over on his own and I also bumpered the bed (and floor, just in case) with pillows. I am a very deep sleeper and don't move around so I am not at all worried about rolling onto them. Co-sleeping made getting better sleep so much easier since I could a) be more attentive to their needs because I'm just an arms length away an b) could nurse laying down and sleep while doing it. Makes sense to me. Anyway, I awoke Friday morning reasonably well rested and was able to keep up with Devon all day and not be cranky.

Devon was much happier with me this morning and even was interacting with the baby on his own. He found her pacifier and had his pacifier in his other hand. He looked at both of them and could clearly tell they were different. He held hers out to me and said,"Audrey's". I told him that he was right and he went over to her, put the pacifier in her mouth and said,"Share." At that moment I knew that everything between them was going to be fine. He has not shown any jealously (I know it's week one, but still it's something) and even kissed her. Of course he now asks to hug her. He brought her a blanket (without me asking him to) and was asking to touch her foot. I am just so thrilled that he is doing all of these sweet things without ANY prompting from Joe and I and I have to say that I'm not totally surprised with my sweet little Devon's big brothering skills ;)

Joe has been amazing. I mean he IS amazing. I couldn't do this without him and it will be a rough adjustment when he goes back to work. The first morning I was home he got Devon out of bed, dressed and made breakfast. He played with him all morning, washed the sheets, made the bed, cleaned the kitchen, WASHED THE WINDOWS (inside and out), took Devon with him to the store and did the grocery shopping. He is constantly telling me to nap and rest and lay down. I knew that Joe would be helpful, but I am just so grateful to have a husband that is taking care of me to the extent that he is. He has totally stepped into his role of taking care of Devon and me as well as keeping the house clean. I think it has also empowered him to be more comfortable in the day-to-day stuff and figuring out his own way to do things. It's good for him to get a glimpse into my daily life and see that it's not just fun and playing. It was also nice to hear him say things like,"It is so hard to keep this house clean." and "Devon is a lot of work." Music to my stay-at-home-Mom-ears.

I have to say that I just feel so happy at this point of my life. I have my son, my daughter and I am in love with the most amazing man who walks this Earth. It does not come easily and is not taken for granted. I am so grateful for it all.