I suppose it is natural, but Jim and I find ourselves comparing the girls a lot. We compare how Nora is now to how we remember Fiona to be at that same age. We've been talking a lot lately about when the milestones happened with Fiona and that led me to dig up some old pictures of her. Its funny, because they look to me like sisters, but not exactly alike.
What do you think? Here are the girls at 14 weeks on the same playmat. Any similarities?
Our daughter Fiona cracks me up. If given an opportunity, she would crack anyone up too. She has a knack for saying the most honest and funniest things at any time. I think I have highlighted that from time to time on this blog. Fiona has uncanny observation skills--if she sees/hears it once, its in that head of hers. She is really becoming very creative and imaginative these days, too. She is always pretending; pretends to be at the park, be a Mom, teach a class, rescue an animal, drive a car, be a princess, do the groceries, you name it. I see a sparkle in her eyes when she is pretending and it gives me chills. Jim and I both were very imaginative growing up so I know its in her genes and I encourage it. Tonight she acting out being a Mom and taking her baby to the store. She put on a scarf, sunglasses, a hat, and carried her baby to a box of blocks, sat down and drove the car. I even heard her tell her baby to watch out for cars in the parking lot. Also, Jim and I suspect that she has an imaginary friend named Ali or Alipo that will soon become part of our family. She will often talk about that person coming over for lunch, being at school with her, and even sitting on the couch near her. I had an imaginary friend named Maddie growing up that flew with my family to England, so I think I can handle Alipo. Hopefully he/she is quiet, can wash a few dishes, fold some laundry, and feed Nora at 3am.
Jim is the father of two daughters and it suits him. Every guy when expecting their first child wishes for a boy--a son--someone to play football with, teach to shave, pass on all sorts of guy knowledge to. But really I think that every man should have a daughter first. Having a daughter teaches men to be sensitive, loving, affectionate, and most importantly how to play tea party, paint fingernails, do hair, and wear fairy wings and necklaces.
Jim is a great father of girls and here he is proving it. One night Fiona gave us both wings and necklaces and Jim put his on without batting a blue eye.
A real man can wash dishes in fairy wings, you know.
There were times over these past 12 weeks where I thought I would never again sleep, eat, blog, or function, but I was wrong. Many people had told me that going from one child to two was difficult, I took their words to heart, but didn't quite appreciate them until it happened to us. When we just had Fiona there were some bumps in the road, when we added Nora there were some potholes. The good news is that Jim and I make a great team and I plow through any difficult situation, so here I am with both of my children fed and asleep blogging. It feels good to have both girls on a schedule now and I feel competent again as a parent. We aren't quite to the sleeping through the night part yet, but I feel it coming.
How did I celebrate Nora's 3 month birthday? With a huge blowout. No, not a big party, silly. Lets just say that Nora managed to get herself instantly dirty all over her back and in her armpits while drinking her bottle. So today I gave Nora a bath for the first time (shocking, I know, but Jim is the bath guy around here) and she cooed at me the entire time. Thanks, kid.
This is a historic day for our country and I wanted to take a moment to acknowledge it. No matter what your political stance is, we should all feel the power of change today. We should all be proud to see what an amazing amount of change has already happened in America and feel hopeful for what is yet to come.
This is a day that we will all remember and recount where we were when President Obama was making a historic speech. Today I was in my home with my wonderful husband and sweet daughters. I thought of my parents coming to America for a better life and how my daughters will always know a life where anything and everything is possible.
Nora is 12 weeks now and changing quite a bit. She has mellowed out a lot more thanks to baby gas drops and a new easier to digest formula. We are hoping that all her discomfort was gas-related and now will stay a happy baby throughout the day. She is stretching out her feedings more now and napping well during the day. One of these nights I wish to sleep longer than 3 hours, but I believe its going to come eventually.
Nora loves company, she loves to see people and hear their voices, she enjoys being held, she will stop everything to watch tv or to find her Mommy, Fiona is her favorite person to watch and she is yet to discover Casey exists. Nora loves to coo, she has a beautiful smile with twinkly eyes, kicks and fails her legs when excited, spends hours a day trying to suck on her fingers but only gets licks at them instead, and just a couple of days ago starting putting her two hands together.
I have three stories about Fiona being oh-so-grown:
1) Fiona and I had our first heart to heart today about a naughty word. I know that you are thinking that I swore in front of her and she repeated it (again), but that is not the case. I can blame Charlie Brown for teaching my child the word...stupid. I really dislike that word, always have. Fiona used it in context about one of her toys this morning and I told her not to use that word. Well, she said it over and over again. I was explaining that saying that word might hurt someone's feelings and make them cry. Her response? "Saying stupid is stupid" Yep, pretty much.
2) From time to time Fiona asks to borrow my cell phone. She pushes the buttons and pretends she is calling random friends and family. Today she asked to borrow it, I said yes just for a minute, and then she faked storming off, hid in the corner and said "Just LEAVE me alone". Alrighty, which dramatic teenager has been rubbing off on Fiona? I was about to tell her to quit the sassy talk when she walked up to me with a huge smile, showed me a picture of Nora on my phone, and asked "Did you see my best friend Nora?".
3) NickJr has a few commercials on being "green" that play during Fiona's favorite shows. They teach you to pick up garbage, recycle, and turn off the lights/water when you aren't using them. Well, I guess Fiona has picked up on the lessons. She is at this moment running around our house with a small bag picking up "garbage" singing a made-up song about cleaning up the world. I kid you not. In fact, she just stopped to tell me that "cleaning up garbage is AWESOME" Hysterical!
Ahhh, naptime. God bless it. You Mommas out there know what I mean.
Fiona returned home right at naptime just as I was trying to get fussy Nora to sleep. Within minutes both girls were crying and clearly overtired. To me, sometimes motherhood is like what I imagine battle is like--all the preparation in the world doesn't save you from the dirty work. You just jump in there and get it done. Although I was tempted to lay down and cry with my children, I did not. Nora needs more work to fall asleep then Fiona, so she was chosen first. I sent Fiona to her room to play while I worked on Nora. Fiona did not want to go willingly (again, overtired) and screamed like a crazy person just as Nora was nodding off. Lord help me, that was not a good moment. Deep breaths. Finally Fiona went into her room (so what if I carried her there) and I got Nora asleep in her swing. Up the stairs I went to do the same to my eldest daughter. She got into a bed crammed with toys and books, tried to get comfortable, and then the dreaded list of demands started. "I need....the blankets switched/the cap to this bottle/my Sleepy Beauty doll/a drink of water/blah blah blah". I was reading her a story, scratching her back, when I saw her drifting off to sleep. Ahhhh, I knew a double nap was imminent and had to bite my lip to stop from smiling!
Then I heard yet another dreaded sentence. I knew it was coming seconds before it happened:
I need fuzzy ducky
Fiona has a duck blanket lovie that has been with her since birth. They are tight. Want to make my kid happy? Give her fuzzy ducky. Well, he was missing and I foolishly told her to nap without him. Ha! I went on the search for fuzzy ducky and came up empty. I went back to her room to explain that I looked and could not find her friend. "But did you look everywhere, Mom?". I had to name all the places I looked until she was satisfied. She looked at me with big blue eyes and said "Can you at least find the pink baby bottle then?" I quickly answered "What am I, the girl who finds everything?!" and went in search for the requested item. I found it, returned it, hugged and kissed Fiona and left.
I was walking out of my room when I saw the beloved fuzzy ducky peeking out from under my bed. Ah ha! I walked into Fiona's room and handed her the little fella--she smiled and said "SEE MOM, you ARE the girl who finds everything". Awwww. To make it even cuter as I was closing her door I heard her whisper to fuzzy ducky "oh, I was looking for you everywhere, silly ducky".
If you need to find anything, just ask your Mom. I bet she knows where it is.
Here are the pictures from Nora's baptism on Saturday. It was a very nice ceremony, aside from a grumpy Nora crying off and on before getting blessed with Holy water. Jim and I were definitely sweating since Fiona never cried during her baptism. Speaking of our eldest daughter, she was very interested in "Nora's fancy bath tub" and wanted to get in on the action--she ended up dunking her forehead in the Holy water while we weren't looking. I turned to see her dripping and slightly stunned. Certainly a moment of comic relief.
Here are some of the pictures:
Nora all dressed up:
Jim and I trying to keep the girls
content during Mass:
Nora's big moment:
Fiona and her Auntie Mary after dunking
Nora with her parents and grandparents:
Nora with her godparents Aunt Laura and
Grandpa PJ whispering the secrets of
the world to Miss Nora:
The sweet girl at the end of the night,
cuddled up with Aunt Mary
(Mary, she looks good on you! Wink wink)
It was a great baptism celebration that we will always remember. Thanks again everyone!
Nora was baptised yesterday and we want to thank our families for joining us for her celebration. Jim and I want to especially thank the Boldischars who drove down to Chicago in the snow to meet our sweet girl. Thank you PJ, Kathy, Paul (Godfather), Meredith, Pat, Mary, Laura (Godmother), Mary Bridget, and Mark. It means a lot to us that you were at our side and our girls enjoyed the time you spent with them.
Thank you to my family as well for celebrating with us, babysitting so we could enjoy a pizza dinner on Friday, and for helping us with dinner/dessert. It is great being so close to you again!
We had a great weekend and, for a change, experienced a lack of sleep because of fun and not Nora's sleep schedule. Both Jim and I had a great time staying up oh-so-late having drinks and great conversation with his brothers Paul and Pat and their lovely wives Meredith and Mary. Since moving to Chicago in May we haven't had a chance to really do that and enjoyed every moment--definitely worth the lack of sleep.
I promise that we have pictures (thanks Pat B!) and will post them soon!
I think you know where this post is going based on that subject, right?
It was yet another long night of interrupted sleep. I went to bed late after cleaning the house and then woke up at 3am with Nora. I finally fell back asleep at 5am only to wake up at 8:30am. Lord, help me.
I was up and ready to finish cleaning since we are having Nora's baptism party tomorrow and 30+ people in our small townhouse. I had it all planned. Fiona has her first all day class today, Nora should sleep, and I can get stuff done. Silly Mommy had plans. That was where it all went wrong.
Jim was here, but unavailable due to work phone calls. Nora woke up to eat just as I got the dreaded "come change your daughter's poopy pull-up" phone call. I literally had just changed Nora, so whats one more, right? Jim held Nora as I went to see to Fiona.
See it her, I did. I walked into class where I was greeted by Fiona saying "I have poop, Ma". Great, kiddo. I was changing her on the table as she freaked out by the height and started screaming--in front of the whole class and two teachers. What was supposed to be a quiet and quick change was not. I got her onto the floor and went about the business as she asked very loudly "Momma, are you wearing your pajamas??". "Noooo, shhh" "Are you SURE those aren't your pajamas?" Oh my word, only slightly mortifying. (And to answer the question, black non-pajama pants with black pajama shirt. Half credit to Fiona) I got her up and back to class and left for home.
Return home, start to make lunch, and get...yet another call. Seriously?! Put lunch on hold and zoom back to get Fiona. This time I was met by her teacher saying "Prepare yourself for what is in her pants". Lord, what kind of greeting is that?! Well, the worst one I have ever seen including work. Needless to say, Fiona was coming home with me sick.
And here I sit thinking that today I might even get my house cleaned, I am already entirely past a respectable shower time, I am tired and in need of a poop-free day to say the least. Peace? Not today. When you don't get your peace, you just move past it and head straight for a lovely girly drink at the end of the night.
Counting down the hours until I can sip on something....
I am not talking about global peace here, just simple personal peace.
Everyone needs it, not everyone gets it. Mothers....well, we need it a lot more and daily. If you are a mother, then you know just what I am talking about.
Every day I need some peace. I need time alone, quiet, with my stamp all over it and preferably not having to do with my children. Does that sound terrible? I don't really care. :) You know why? Because it is the truth and we all know it.
Being a mother requires a huge amount of give and a wee little amount of take--having daily peace helps that imbalance. Your peace time can be anything you want--reading, sleeping, taking a hot bath, being on the computer, counting your fingers and toes, whatever ya like. I find the days I don't get my moments of peace are especially hard and make me oh so crabby. That time is all about me and makes me feel, well, normal.
We all have a list of priorities and for mothers we have our children and husband at the tippy top. Then it could be extended family, work, church, friends, household chores, charity, a hundred other things, and then ourselves. We can't do it all, do it well, AND take good care of ourselves. We are not perfect and are simply human.
In 2009, I am going to put myself near (not at) the top of my priority list and ensure that my children and husband have a happy and sane woman in the house. This is nothing new, just true. There is a reason there is the saying 'If Momma ain't happy, ain't no one happy'.
My peace today? Typing this blog posting while sipping hot chocolate as Jim entertains the girls. Good enough for me!