Sunday, June 28, 2009
But I don't think you can really appreciate the depth and pervasiveness of that change until it happens to you. Until your brain is puttering along on 4 scattered hours of sleep and you notice that you're wearing the same clothes you had on yesterday, and you really can’t muster the energy to care. Until your arm gets numb from jiggling a crying baby as you watch the window lighten at dawn, and you realize dimly that this is what people are talking about when they say that babies keep you up at night.
I think that the hardest thing to adjust to, though, is not a crying baby or sleep deprivation. It's the fact that I have been tossed into a completely foreign existence, and there is no end in sight. I remember hearing a mother once talk about caring for her three-year-old son who had severe cognitive impairments and health issues. She said it felt like she and her husband were surviving in "crisis mode" to get sleep, food, etc.--but that the "crisis mode" just never ended. That's sort of what I feel like, only not nearly that dramatic. It feels like I've made crazy changes to my life to get through a crazy situation, like taking extra deep breaths and focusing to get myself through the last few laps as I run on a track. But this time, when I squint toward the end of the track to see how far there is to go... there's no end! For the foreseeable future, my life revolves in three-hour segments of feeding, sleeping, and changing, with bouts of crying and rocking peppered in for flavor.
And it's not that bad--it sounds kind of depressing on the surface, but it's nice to be in a routine and know what to expect. It just takes a whole different lifestyle and frame of mind than I've ever had.
Want to know my newest revelation? I am TIRED of planning!! Me, the princess of plans, wants to abdicate the throne. Because now I'm not just planning on a large scale. I have to plan every single minute in order to get anything done. I have to plan LAUNDRY. Laundry! I hate laundry! And now I have to make advanced effort just to fit it into the day! Because if I just wait until the moment strikes me, as I've always done, it won't happen. I will think of it just as a baby starts crying, or after 10:00, when I really need to drop everything and sleep or I'll never get any rest. Because I need to plan when I will sleep, too! My life has no spontaneity at all anymore!
That's not even all, though--the real kick in the pants is that things will NEVER turn out the way I planned them! I feel a little like that Greek guy who had to roll the boulder up a hill and watch it roll down again, over and over for all eternity.
And now, because I am overly dramatic when I describe things and people reading this may think I am nearing suicidal levels of depression, let me just say that I am fine. WE are fine. If this is torture, then it's fairly pleasant torture. And there are many good moments. Both babies broke from the plan yesterday and slept soundly through a two-hour car ride, including an hour of stop-and-go traffic. Noah gave me a very cute and very real half-smile this morning. And Lily got lots of compliments on her tiny baby bracelet at church today. So I suppose we may make it after all.
Until they start teething, of course.
In other news, we are growing massive babies. As of last Friday, the kiddos were 5 weeks old. Lily weighed 6 lbs, 14 oz, and Noah weighed 8 lbs, 1 oz! So she has gained a pound and a half, and he has gained three pounds!! These kids are actually going to make it onto the growth charts! It is sadder than I expected to watch Noah outgrow his cute little newborn clothes. I’m going to have to buy outfits in three consecutive sizes when I really like them, so I can enjoy them for more than a couple of weeks.
And now for pictures! Here is Noah in his gangsta hat.
And Lily in her ladybug outfit, complete with hat. Unfortunately, the outfit is newborn sized and the hat is much bigger...
Monday, June 22, 2009
The babies have really started staying awake for longer periods, holding up their heads, and looking at things around them. We've even gotten a couple of smiles from them that seem like they couldn't have been completely accidental. Lily has teensy little biceps and calf muscles, no doubt from her constant kicking and flailing. We're pretty sure she'd be gaining more weight if she didn't burn off so many calories all the time! Mr. Noah is still calm and patient, and can entertain himself for quite awhile on the play mat or bouncer. He has recently perfected making the sound of an old, creaky door closing.
And now for some pictures...
Noah with Grandma, doing what he does best: (Well, second best if you count eating.)
Lily, taking a moment from her sport of giraffe-kicking to cast a knowing glance at the camera
Thursday, June 11, 2009
I can't believe how much the babies have changed in just 3 weeks. Noah is putting on so much weight it's ridiculous. He developed a double chin sometime last week and he may have a third one soon. I want to weigh him every day because I can feel him getting heavier. Lily has turned into a very alert little baby. She stays awake several periods every day, looking around and grunting. She picks her head up really well, too! Noah is also working on lifting his head, but is a bit slower about it. I think he should get a little extra consideration for having such a massive noggin on such a tiny neck.
Every day they get a little more different from each other, too. From the shape of their eyes and faces to their temperaments (and, okay, their respective boy/girl parts), they are two very different people. Noah is calm and easygoing for the most part. You pick him up, feed him, change his diaper, and put him back in his bed for the next nap time, and you usually don't hear from him until he gets hungry again. (Which, amazingly, follows pretty closely to the three-hour schedule we are trying to follow. He may be very punctual when he grows up.)
Lily, on the other hand, gets a bit more interesting. She is quick to let you know when she is hungry. Or tired. Or whether the position you have had her in for 30 seconds has gotten uninteresting. Or whether she'd really like wrapped up in a blanket. Or unwrapped. And she is even quicker to let you know when she is REALLY upset about any of those things after approximately 3 seconds of grumbling. And she's not exactly precise in letting you know what it is that's bothering her. (It becomes like some sort of game show where you try and figure out what the answer is before the time runs out. But nobody gives you any money for figuring it out...)
But she keeps things exciting, that's for sure. And she is so alert and responsive, I think she'll be a really bright and interesting (if somewhat intense) little kid. She's definitely going to be a cuddler, that's for sure. I feel bad sometimes for poor Noah, who doesn't get snuggled 24 hours a day simply because he's not crying all the time. But he seems happy enough, and I suppose he may forgive me someday.
We took the babies to get pictures taken yesterday. I have always enjoyed the cute pictures I've seen of sweet, peaceful babies sleeping in serene little poses. I had always wondered how they got the babies to sleep so well. Want to know the secret? They don't! Noah was fairly unconscious for our little photo shoot, but Lily was her usual awake and active little self. They pretty much had to take the pictures while she was blinking. The effect is pretty good though. Here is a sampling of the best shots...
Saturday, June 6, 2009
Since the babies are less-than-interactive at the moment, Scott has been looking for ways to increase their entertainment value. Noah appears to be constantly hungry, and will generally attempt to drink from anything within 6 inches of his face. One time, he seemed very interested in Lily's ear. (She was not impressed.) We tried to repeat the little scenario by pushing their little heads together, but apparently Noah had decided his sister's ear was not a good source of nourishment:
Wednesday, June 3, 2009
We took our first non-mandatory outing with the babies today and went for a walk. Scott was the designated baby-pusher, which allowed me to hover relentlessly and adjust blankets and sunshades every five feet.
In case it wasn't obvious from the first picture, the kids were thoroughly impressed with their new experience:
They're excited. They're just hiding it really well.