I had just begun to contemplate changing the name of my blog since Anna's not so hot on the Cheerios and really, she has been sleeping through the night pretty consistently for at least two years now. And then, boom! Llama Face.
For the most part he's a pretty good sleeper. But he's hit a growth spurt that has me remembering why I titled this blog Tales of Sleepless Nights. I tallied it up last night and over the previous three nights combined, I'd slept about 7 hours. Seven hours of sleep does not a coherent or emotionally controlled Kerry make.
In some ways the second time around is so much easier. I know what I'm doing now. I know that the hard parts are not permanent, nor are they really that hard compared to some of the other parenting trials I've now tucked under my rapidly expanding belt (ever tried to explain to a rather inquisitive 4 year old why her brother's "bottom" is all bumpy - why isn't hers bumpy like that? Or calm not one, but two tantrums over the fact that said 4 year old can neither marry, nor procreate with her brother?).
What I find myself struggling with is the fact that there is only one of me. It seems like someone is always having to wait around here these days. And that waiting is frequently accompanied by crying. I try to meet the needs of both kids as quickly (and reasonably) as possible, but sometimes I just really need to use the bathroom! It's especially hard when Anna makes comments about me never having time to play with her any more (that's partly true, I don't have AS MUCH time to play as I used to). But she tells me every day she loves her brother better than me, though she won't clarify as to whether that means she loves him more than I love him or she loves him more than she loves me.
Watching the two of them together has made every second of morning sickness (mostly) worth it. Anna pokes his cheeks and makes up crazy songs and Henry soaks it all in, smiles and coos at her. And you can just see in his face, a look of "Just wait, sister. I'll be able to move soon enough and then that hair you're always dangling in my face will be mine. MINE! Oh, and BTW, I'm going to play with all your toys while you're at school and there's nothing you can do about it." Yes, one look says all that. My baby has some really, really expressive eyebrows, ok?
I'm working on balancing fulfilling their needs and still managing to fulfill mine. I can't tell you how many times I've run the garbage out or gone to grab something from my car and realized (usually too late) that I have half a boob hanging out from the last feeding because I forgot to put myself back together. Sorry, neighbors!
In an effort to take care of myself, I've taken up running 3 times a week. I had considered forming an "I Love Ice Cream Club," but running is healthier, albeit, a lot less tasty. Usually I have to go after the kids are in bed which is not until 8:30, but it's still an hour to myself. An hour when I'm just me and I don't have to answer to anyone. I can crank my music as loud as I want it, and just go.
So, no, I haven't taken up late-night prize fighting. I just have some really rockin' dark circles under my eyes. I'm not inventing a new perfume called Eau de Baby Vomit. Henry just requires that anyone who burps him wear a HAZMAT suit. Unluckily for me, I don't own one. There is an awful lot of bribery, begging and prayer involved in my daily shower. And if I get breakfast before noon, then it must be Saturday.