Mommy I have a question…

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Mommy I have a question…

Every time my beautiful Caroline wants to ask me something she always starts by saying “Mommy I have a question.” My response is always “Yes Caroline”! Now she doesn’t always follow with an actual question…sometimes it’s a statement but mommy reminds her “That’s not a question. That’s a statement”. Then she says “Oh, ok I have a statement”. Of course she does 😉

This can go on for a while until she actually gets to her point but it got me to thinking. My girls will always have questions for me or their dad. Will I always have a good answer? Will I always be here to answer them? Now I have every intention of living forever and being the smartest mommy on the block who has all the answers but I must admit sometimes I don’t.

I guess I’m trying to mentally prepare myself for their questions. Girl questions are not like boy questions which means daddy might not know the answers. But mommy will…or that’s what I keep telling myself.

So in a preemptive manner I’m making a list of all the questions my girls may ask me. And just in case I’m not here or I’m surprised by the question I’ve already prepared my answers.

Mommy why do boys hit?

That’s easy girls. Because they’re flirting with you. Little boys are a lot like big boys. They never really know how to tell a beautiful lady how they feel or that they think you’re pretty. So they hit and hope you hit back. If you hit back (nicely of course) then they chase you. And that my beautiful girls is your goal. If they’re chasing then you know they care.

Mommy can I marry Daddy?

I’ve actually already had this question several times. I always say that daddy is taken but mommy is really hoping you find a man just like your daddy to marry one day. In the meantime though, you can borrow mine. Just have him home by dinner 🙂

I know what you are thinking…these questions get harder and I’m trying to mentally prepare for that because right now my girls are 3 and 1. They’re so young and innocent!

Wow the irony of my last statement! This is where I stopped blogging a few weeks ago until today. Today made me stop and realize tomorrow is not promised.

I’ve been meaning to finish this post for a weeks now. I honestly didn’t know the next witty thing to say until Caroline asked me one of the hardest questions I’ve ever tried to answer today after her Sunday School class. Her daddy and I have been trying to wrap our minds around the tragic news we learned yesterday as we were out enjoying our gorgeous Saturday afternoon with our sweet Caroline. As her parents we struggled with how to tell her the news. We decided to go to church today so we could spiritually prepare ourselves. When we left church I asked Caroline what she learned in Sunday School and she said “Mommy one of my friends went to Heaven with Jesus” and as I tried to hold back the tears I said “I know Caroline”. I asked her if she knew her name and she said “Yes her name is Cameron”.

Over the weekend one of her Sunday school classmates, Cameron, went to Heaven at the age of three. She was beautiful, healthy, sweet, energetic, and always had this smile on her face. She was loved by two amazing parents and an older brother. Her parents made us feel welcomed at our new church and Cameron and Caroline played together many times in class and at VBS this summer. When Caroline asked me such a hard question I remembered my drafted blog post and how God always helps us finish what we’ve started. God always helps us put things into perspective. God always reminds us that tomorrow is not promised and if we have something to say we should say it.

Here I go finishing what I started with what God has given me. She went on to ask me…

Mommy why did Cameron go to Heaven?


My immediate response was “Caroline I honestly don’t know”. She looked at me a little confused as I tried to compose myself. No mom should ever have to explain why a healthy beautiful child leaves this world so unexpectedly. They’re so innocent and young. She should be asking about what’s for lunch or if she can play outside. Cameron should have been in class this morning with one of her beautiful church dresses on with her signature matching hair bow. No parent should have to bury their child but God doesn’t always give us a reason or even a choice. Life doesn’t always make sense. He only asks that we trust in Him and go by faith and not by sight.

When we got home this afternoon we played for a while and then we read “Heaven is For Real” before our nap. We talk about all the wonderful things in Heaven and we tried to imagine Cameron with her angel wings playing and dancing with Jesus. We talked about how Jesus would take care of her. And how she’d always be happy and never get sick. She would get to play with all the other kids in Heaven and get to see God. I’m not sure if I answered her question but I feel like I did what God wanted me to do as a parent.

I just pray that Caroline never has to ask me that question again but if she does I can only hope I have a better answer. I also pray for strength and courage for the Firebaugh family as they prepare to say goodbye to their beautiful Cameron. I pray God guides them thru this time in a way only He can.

I bookmarked a bible verse a few weeks ago that has given me comfort during this time of sorrow…even then He was preparing me for the things I could not see ahead.

9 Only be careful, and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them slip from your heart as long as you live. Teach them to your children and to their children after them. Deuteronomy 4:9

There are many other thoughtful and witty questions I could add to my post but I realize now that God knew she would ask me THIS question and that’s the only one I’d need to answer for now. I pray this post helps Caroline remember her friend forever and she can take comfort in knowing Heaven has another angel watching over her. Be blessed…
A few pictures from Sunday school this summer

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Beautiful Cameron

My First “Baby Girl”

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And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. Romans 8:28

Andrea Dawn Tyler is my first baby girl. She is Jason’s first niece. She is a lot of firsts for our family. Let me explain.

Andrea came to us when my sister was like every other young woman in her late teens…in love. She was (and still is) madly in love with Mr. Philip Tyler. He eventually became the brother I never had. But before that he and my sister became Andrea’s parents. My sister made a choice that many women choose not to make…she became a young, single mother. I have always respected her so much for not only making that decision but for being so awesome at it.

We all know the saying…”First comes love, then comes marriage, and then comes a baby in a…” Hold on a minute. That’s not exactly the sequence of Andrea’s life. She came first before the marriage part…five months before to be exact. And that’s just the way it was meant to be. She was meant to be first.

God doesn’t always go in order (or what we think is the right order). Sometimes we get the big things first and the small things come later. Sometimes we get the little things first that lead to amazing and wonderful gifts from God. Andrea is that gift. Not only to her mom and dad but to our entire family. God knew it would be a long time before I was brave enough to get married or have children. He also knew way before anyone else that Andrea would be an only child. And since her birth Andrea has been many firsts in this family…first child, first grandchild, first niece, and first cousin.

Today she did something first in her life! She’s a graduate…class of 2013! She will be attending the University of North Carolina at Pembroke in the fall on scholarship. Attending UNC-P is not a first for the family because her mom, dad, aunt, and cousins all went to college there but it’s a first for her. It will be her first college experience. She’ll have her first syllabus, first professor, and first college paper. She will have her first college midterms and final exams. She will hopefully have her first college “A” and dreaded “C” but that’s all ok.

Life is full of firsts. I pray today and going forth in life that Andrea continues to experience the many wonderful firsts of life. I pray in four years I’m writing a new blog about her graduating from college and attending post-graduate school or doing something else first in her life. I pray life’s firsts are always good to her. And I pray I’m blessed enough to be present for all of them.

We love you Andrea more than all the applesauce and ice-cream in the whole world. We are so proud of you and can’t wait to see what you do next!

Love Jason, Tammie, Caroline, and Claire

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…Clean Dishes

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I’ve been inspired.

I’m sitting in Claire’s room trying to decide if I want to burn all the mounds and mounds of clothes these girls have accumulated since their births, save them (again), or give them away to anyone that will take them. Jason (DH) is cleaning the kitchen before he heads off to work another 12 hours (don’t go awe he so sweet because he was suppose to do it last night). Claire is literally rolling all over the floor (I’m sure with a couple of tries at crawling that I am missing). Caroline is playing tea party all alone with the occasional running into the room and screaming “Mom what are your doing?” Then of course she races out of the room back to her tea party. The whole time my iPhone is blasting a shuffle of my favorite tunes and a song comes on that reminds me of something…all these duties, the screams, the dishes, and the clothes…they’re not chores or annoyances…they’re blessings. Thanks Scotty McCreery!

It sounds like he has a good Mom. She prays, cooks, makes them wash their hands, and is appreciative of all the chaos in their house. I’m sure he didn’t make this stuff up. I bet she’s just that awesome if not more.

I sometimes like to complain aloud about the chaos in my house and when I do my father-in-law loves to say “Tammie you wouldn’t have it any other way” and he’s so right. I love the chaos in our house. There are many chores and responsibilities I dread in life but they are a part of the chaos so I should just embrace it all right?! Maybe if I list the craziness it will make more sense to me and anyone taking the time to read my thoughts!

Things I’m thankful for…

A Working Husband – I have a wonderful DH who would love to be with us more but if he did we wouldn’t have food or clothes or a home. We both work not because we want to but because we have to. I’m grateful for my work flexibility. It makes his long days easier on the family. I sometimes see the dread on his face when he races off to work after being home maybe eight hours or getting home after the girls are in bed and leaving before they wake up. It has to be hard but he does it anyway and for that I am grateful. We also know that our times together are so fleeting that we tend to savor them up just a little more. And well it takes a special women to be here all the time and step in when he can’t and I struggle everyday with the challenge but I love the people in this house so it’s worth it.

Noisy Kids – They’re healthy thank you Jesus! They thrive. They are smart and aware of their surroundings! They like to play and sing and chill (as Caroline can say). They seem to enjoy each other and their mommy and daddy. They are enjoying their childhoods and that’s all we can ask for.

Laundry – These kids can pile on the dirty clothes. Their mom and dad can too – from work clothes to workout clothes. Play clothes to ruined clothes. It’s ok though. This just means we have money to buy them, are healthy enough to exercise in them, and we have somewhere to go. Caroline can put acrylic paint or marker from school on them all she wants as long as she’s learning. Claire can put all the squash and applesauce on her sleepers as long as she’s thriving (20.8 pounds today so she’s definitely thriving). I’m grateful for the never ending pile of laundry (and a mother-in-law who sometimes likes to help slim the pile).

Loud and noisy house with a lot of slamming doors – If you call me when the girls are home you know what I’m talking about. My mom is fine with the constant “hold on a minute” while I chase down one of the girls during our telephone calls. My sisters just text instead 😉 I’ve seen my niece and sister-n-law look for an escape route when they come to visit but that’s okay. I like to tell them their days are coming. I’m thankful my house is loud and noisy and sometimes slightly unbearable. It means my girls are comfortable in their home. It means they can relax and unwind in their surroundings. It means we have a home. It also means no one visits for too long 😉

Dirty Dishes! – Thank you Scotty for reminding me dirty dishes mean we have enough food to eat, and place to eat it in, and a reason to cook. Some people don’t have enough to eat. Some kids go hungry. That makes me sad and grateful at the same time.

So in honor of my grateful spirit I decided to write my own prayer.

“My Dirty Dishes Prayer” –

I want to thank you Lord for slamming doors, noisy kids, a working husband, laundry piling high, a never ending messy playroom, a baby always screaming for mommy, crayon marks on the wall, food crumbs in the chairs, applesauce remnants on the table, toilet tissue unrolled in the bathroom, a constant echo of “Mommy” in the background, a messy desk in my home, and of course dirty dishes. Amen!

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Hurry Up and Slow Down

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Hurry Up and Slow Down

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Does anyone remember the story of the tortoise and the hare? The hare was always in a hurry and the tortoise was so slow. Meet the tortoise and the hare. Me!

I keep thinking a lot about how much a baby changes in their first year of life. A baby year is the equivalent to a decade for an adult life. They’re always evolving into this little adult person thing. They actually start looking like somebody. I’m cleaning out drawers every other month to make room for new baby clothes because this baby just keeps growing and growing. I’m switching out bottle nipple sizes, changing food stages, and reading up on growth spurts. I’m swapping out old toys to make room for more age appropriate ones.

As a mom I also keep thinking about all the things I’m ready to be done with – nursing, washing bottles, changing diapers, carrying a baby around all the time, keeping up with a Paci, teething, and the dreaded night waking (still). I’m like “hurry up already!”

And then it hits me…when all those things go away they’re no longer a “baby” anymore – not by definition anyway. They’re a toddler. They can use the potty, they have words (and lots of them), and now they can express some independence. They don’t need me to wash their hands or pull up their pants or even get their cup for breakfast. Caroline has a saying Jason and I like to repeat – “I can do it all by myself” with as much emphasis on “myself” as her little sassy self can muster. Really? Can she REALLY do it all by herself? And do I REALLY want her to? Don’t I want to be needed as a mom?

Don’t get me wrong. I wish Claire would go back to sleep by herself without me nursing her or rocking her but the day Caroline doesn’t need mommy or daddy to read her a bedtime book I may cry. I’d love for Claire to walk so I don’t have to carry her around all the time but when she starts walking she’ll want to run. And I’m pretty sure she won’t want her old mama carrying her. I would love for Claire and Caroline to give themselves a bath but I’d miss the water fights and struggles over who should get out of the tub first (Caroline always volunteers Claire).

All I keep telling myself with Claire is “hurry up and slow down!” Get to the stage I’m comfortable with and when you get there slow down so we can enjoy it together. Caroline is at a perfect age for me – I can relate to three-year olds. That’s how I make my living. I know the songs they like and the food they eat. I know what books to pick out for reading and what makes them smile. Caroline is no different. She’s your typical princess toddler. I never know what Claire is bringing to the table. Hence your typical baby right?! Some days she’s cranky and happy or sensitive and silly. She doesn’t have the language or the words to truly express herself yet so she depends on tears and laughter and winks and giggles to communicate. That’s why she needs mommy and daddy. Yay for being needed right?! Right?!

Maybe I don’t want her to hurry up. Maybe I just want her to take her time growing up – the kid just starting rolling across the room this week (she’s not crawling yet). She’s eating more solid foods and nursing less. She takes a bath now with her sister. She waves sorta and can say “uh-oh” with such clarity. She’s 9 months old today which means Auntie Jeka will be calling me in the next few weeks to plan her birthday party. Daddy has already looked at the calendar to ask for time off! Claire is turning 1 in 3 months! Goodness gracious how did that happen?! Slow down already kid! Mommy’s head is spinning.

Maybe I will make some time to hurry up with my world and all the chaos it brings so I can slow down and enjoy theirs. Now wouldn’t that be nice.

Just some thoughts from the hare to the tortoise in us all.

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A Year in Review…

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A Year in Review…A year is very quantitative…365 days, 52 weeks, 12 months, and 1 year.  With that said you’d think a year felt like forever. Not this one.  This year flew by.  When years fly by this way they are no longer quantified.  These days and weeks and months and years cannot be counted.  As a speech therapist I love to use the term qualitative (e.g. attributes) to teach my clients out to describe things.  I use this same concept when thinking about our year. I don’t think of it as dates or specific times.  I think of it as a host of moments and feelings that took our breath away.  This year was more amazing, breathtaking, humbling, and wonderful than ever before. 

Amazing…We started this year knowing we would bring a new life into this world. We hadn’t planned this but quickly realized it was the perfect time.  Jason and I kept it a secret for a little while as we took this time to enjoy our blessing as a unit before we told the world.  It is amazing that God always knows what we need even when we don’t.   When we were ready we told our immediate family by letting Caroline wear a shirt that said, “I’m happy to be me because I am a big sister to be”.  And what an amazing sister she has been! 

Breathtaking…As soon as we found out we were expecting we started planning.  First thing we planned was a family trip.  Just the three of us…Jason, Caroline, and me!  And where else would you take a two-year old princess other than the happiest place on earth – Disney World!  Nothing is more breathtaking than seeing your daughter’s face the first time she sees Cinderella’s castle on Mainstreet USA. We saw Minnie and Mickey hanging out the first day and ate lunch with all the princesses on Mother’s Day at the castle. We visited with the fairies and had dinner with Pooh and all his friends.  On the last day there we ate breakfast with Chef Mickey and Minnie and Goofy and Donald and Daisy.  I’m certain she saw every character and got their autographs.  She even got a few of them twice! What a lucky little girl! 

Humbling…It is a wonderful and beautiful experience to be blessed with a healthy and precious child but to have it happen twice is truly humbling.  Claire was born on August 15th in her perfect, stunning form and once again we were reminded of God’s grace and unfailing love for us.  How humbling it is for Jason and I to know we were given two gorgeous girls by our Heavenly Father to raise and nurture and love as He loves us.  She reminds us everyday how lucky we are to be parents.

Wonderful…Now that we have Claire and Caroline our lives are forever changed.  We know it’s not all roses and butterflies.  Two kids can be a very big challenge. I still say 2 is like having 20 but we wouldn’t change a thing.  This is such a wonderful time in our lives.  Caroline just celebrated her third birthday and her language is developing at such a rapid pace.  She enjoys going to school with her friends twice a week and hanging out with her Mom and little sister “Claire Bear” on her off days.  She loves playing at the park and “cooking” for Mommy.  She says Daddy is her “boyfriend”.  He is her first love without a doubt.  She’s full of life and amazes us with her charisma everyday.  Claire just turned 4-months this week and is on track in her development.  We think she just recently started “seeing” the world with her own eyes and making observations.  She “talks” already (like that’s a surprise in this house).  She responds to her name and tries so hard to sit up.  Jason and I are both very busy at work.  He recently accepted a new position as Administrative Manager for Lowe’s Home Improvement in Cary and just ran his first half-marathon – The City of Oaks in Raleigh.  I still own and manage a private practice in speech therapy in Garner.  I just came back from maternity leave and still find myself adjusting to working, running a business, and managing a household.  What a wonderful and busy time in our lives.  We are so truly blessed. 

 

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Caroline wouldn’t take her picture with Santa in 2011! Things have changed!

 

Starting New Traditions…

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I Love Christmas!

Now that we have two beautiful daughters the DH and I have got to get serious about establishing our family traditions around holidays and sticking to it!  BUT…this is probably the busiest time of the year for us!  We not only celebrate Christmas during the month of December, we also have an anniversary and Caroline’s birthday.  They are literally within days of each other.

So as of 2012 we have started several family traditions – decorating the Christmas tree together, visiting the Christmas Lights in Clayton with Auntie Jeka and Uncle Dean, and now it’s “Abby the Elf” and “25 Days of Christmas”.

To set the stage for all these new traditions “Santa” AKA “Mommy” had to write the girls a letter explaining what we planned on doing for the next month.  I have to admit my now three-year old didn’t sit very well for the letter to be read aloud but it’s okay.  She will read it one day and appreciate it’s value.  And of course Claire has no clue.  She just sits and grins and assumes you are talking about her!

I thought I would share with you the letter “Santa” wrote to the girls to explain our new traditions.  I hope you enjoy!

Dear Claire and Caroline,                                                

You two are my favorite little girls!  Caroline, I have loved visiting you the last few years and I am so excited to meet Claire for the first time!  Mommy I promise not to wake them both!  I will just take a quick peek! 

Let me start by telling you both how so special you are to Mommy and Daddy!  From the first day they saw you they have been telling me all about you two!  Caroline you are so silly that your Mom calls you a “wild child”. She told me how much Claire loves to grin so she calls her “grinning guts!”  That makes me smile!  Your parents love you both so much that they spend all their time giggling about all the silly happy things you do and thanking Jesus for you both.  That makes Jesus smile just like Mommy and Daddy!  Did you know that Jesus gave you both as gifts to your Mommy and Daddy?! That’s right! You’re gifts too given by God with love!  That’s what Christmas is all about girls…making sure the people around you feel your love and spreading it to all the world just like Jesus spread the good news of God’s grace and salvation for our lives.  Jesus told everyone how God forgives us when we don’t listen and how he loves us no matter what!  Christmas is a time to celebrate that love and to remember that Jesus loved us so much that he lived and died for us so that we may be forgiven! 

Okay I have so much to tell you about our plans for this Christmas.  Let me get started!

Abby the Elf…

Abby the Elf eating Caroline's snacks!

Mommy and Daddy keep telling you about my little helper Abby…how she came to stay with you until Christmas to make sure you are both being nice helpers and good listeners.  She has told me some very good stories about Caroline helping Mommy with her baby sister and helping Daddy feed Eddie.  She also told me that sometimes Caroline needs extra help listening.  That’s okay Caroline!  You keep trying your best.  That’s something else Jesus and I have in common! Jesus taught us to understand and forgive each other.  He knows we are not always going to be nice.  Sometimes we are just naughty! That’s okay!   He loves us anyway.  Just like Mommy and Daddy love you.  Just like I love you!  Just remember that on Christmas Eve I will come wherever you are and bring you special surprises…as long as you try your best and believe! 

I really hope you are enjoying Abby!  She is very special to me and I want her to be just as special to you both.  I want you to take care of her like she takes care of you!  She is going to get into some silly situations but that’s okay!  I am sure she has made a few mistakes already!  I hear she has landed in some silly spots in your house!  She has been a “stinker” eating all Caroline’s snacks and drinking her juice but that’s how she learns.  She is new to this Elf thing so go easy on her. Abby loves to make kids happy!  She will try to be the best Elf ever!  That’s all we can ask. 

When I told Abby she was going to stay with two super special girls she did the “Hotdog Dance” like Minnie right in my workshop.  Abby is silly like that!  Then she dashed out the door with all the new magic in her heart and flew right to your house.  There are only a few rules for her…the biggest one is that you DON’T TOUCH HER!  If you do all her magic will be gone!

25 Days of Christmas…

25 Days of Christmas

Now to hold you over until Christmas Day and to celebrate such as happy time of year Mommy and Daddy sent me a list of real special things and items for you all to do as a family until I arrive with your big Christmas gifts!  We call it “25 Days of Christmas.” Your parents told me all the fun things you like to do!  Some are simple and some are memorable.  Some are silly and some are for keeps!  Some are to teach you how to give!  Some are to teach you how to love!  I’ve put them in this special bucket and I have numbered them for each day – 1-25!  Please enjoy them and remember to thank God for each one.  Your Mommy and Daddy work so hard to provide for you girls!  Remember to appreciate them and all your many blessings!    

Have fun!  I will be back Christmas Eve to pick up Abby and bring you both lots of Christmas surprises! Love SANTA!

…Pride

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…Pride

When I Thought I Knew What Was Coming

When I found out I was pregnant with Claire (December 13, 2011) I quickly looked for forums to support me during this unexpected miracle. By doing this I soon found out there was a new label for Moms like me. I was STM (yay me!) If you are unclear what that acronym stands for it means “second time mom”.  I had to google it myself. I thought that term fit me perfectly. I hadn’t too long been a FTM (“first time mom”) to Caroline. I thought to myself how I would be such a “perfect” STM because I had been a FTM and I had gotten all the kinks out the first time around right…right…wrong…dead wrong. Here I go realizing I love my kids more than pride at this point because I was wrong and I admit it. Everything I thought I knew about being a Mom became a pile of misconceptions the second time around. Believe me when I say two pregnancies are not the same.  Shoot, for that matter, two kids are not alike.

So I started thinking about all my misconceptions about the rockstar mom I thought I was.  Without fear of ruining my self-esteem and pride I decided to blog about them so that everyone will know I am not perfect incase you missed the previous memo 🙂 I still don’t have all the answers and I probably never will. I am just shooting darts in the dark hoping I hit my target while my girls look at me like “Super Mom”. And at this point that’s all they need to know.

  1. C-Section the second time around won’t be so bad! – Wow was I wrong. I believe no matter how you try to get around the pain of giving birth it hurts. As a matter of fact, even after laboring 21+ hours with Caroline my first c-section wasn’t “that bad”. Yeah it hurt but it was manageable. I could stand up straight afterwards. I actually didn’t need all the pain meds prescribed. I did this time. I needed all my meds.  Post-op recovery took several hours not minutes.  The whole ordeal was nothing I expected.
  2. Sleepless nights…I still remember them! – Lie! Big fat one too. My body didn’t remember getting up every two hours for a month straight. All it remembered was my almost three year old sleeping till 9 a.m. everyday if you didn’t bother her. Now my body had to adjust to getting up all times of the night. It took me a good month to adjust.
  3. Two kids can’t be that different from just one! – Who tells us these lies?! Yes it is. Two kids together…well you might as well have 20! When one wakes up the other falls asleep. You wash one and then remember to wash the other one! One sleeps in the car and the other one screams. How did generations before us have 15? God only knows.
  4. I’ve breastfed before. You need advice?  I am a pro! – It took almost three days to realize this was a bold faced lie. I will toot my horn for a brief second and say I did breastfeed Caroline for 12 long months so I think of myself as knowledgeable but I still had no clue how different it would be. Claire wouldn’t latch properly and my breast hurt like crazy. I mean the kid drew blood for God’s sake and literally brought me to tears! Never had that with Caroline. I almost quit all together with Claire. That thought never crossed my mind with Caroline. I took five weeks to get in sync with nursing Claire.  It was smooth sailing at this point with Caroline.
  5. DH (dad) would be as awesome as before! – This isn’t a complete lie. Only a little white one. (I love you Jason!) He was very supportive (and still is) but I believe even husbands (including my wonderful and sexy DH) have the same misconceived notion that STMs know what they are doing this time and won’t need as much help. Yeah, they wake up with you in the beginning and change the baby but when they go back to work (2 weeks later) the wake ups become less voluntary and more mandatory. When you are breastfeeding the big hydrating glass of water becomes more of a request (i.e. demand) than a given. Also I didn’t realize that his awesomeness and supportiveness would shift more to Caroline the second time around.  It never crossed my mind…who is going to watch her when I am nursing Claire at night? Who is going to read her a story? Who is going to get her milk? Wash her? Discipline her (this part might be a stretch)? Dad! This time around, the new baby and I didn’t have his undivided attention. So now I sometimes get my own water or endure the 4 a.m. feedings by myself because he’s exhausted from being a hard-working Daddy of two girls instead of one. But he still has his moments of awesomeness and for that I am grateful.
  6. Claire would be so different from Caroline. No two kids are ever the same! – Here I go trying to figure out where I got all this stuff from. Don’t get me wrong they are a lot different but they are A LOT alike. Their baby pictures are so similar. When we show Caroline her baby picture she says “That’s not me. That’s Claire Bear”! We try to tell her it’s her picture then find ourselves looking to make sure it really is Caroline and not Claire. They are both healthy and smart and very aware of their surroundings. Caroline loved our nursing time and being rocked to sleep by Gigi.  Claire is no different. Caroline caught her first glimpse of Eddie around 2 months and Claire just saw him the other day for the first time and watched him across the room as he walked. Caroline loved to be held by her Daddy as he paced the living room and Claire is proving to enjoy it just as much. Caroline loved to bounce in her bouncer AKA “Jumper Hopper” (term coined by my Mom) and Claire can bounce just as hard. How can two kids be so similar?!
  7. Caroline is going to be so jealous of her new baby sister! – At this point in their relationship I couldn’t be more wrong. Caroline loves her little sister. She is always asking to hug and kiss her. She wants to know where Claire is at all the time. She doesn’t mind that Claire sleeps in Mommy and Daddy’s room. She hasn’t regressed in her potty training. She doesn’t have separation anxiety. She (almost) didn’t miss a beat. She still seems to be Caroline. I think keeping her life in balance before Claire has helped her adjust to life with Claire. We tried really hard to spend as much time as possible one-on-one before Claire was born so she would feel secure when her new sister arrived. So far (crossing fingers and toes) it has worked!
  8. I won’t worry as much about Claire as I did with Caroline. – Nobody told me this one. I think I made it up. It’s still a lie regardless. I worry all the time. And I worry about the same things I did with Caroline. I know the Good Lord say “Do not fear…” but I fear everything. We are Moms. We are going to worry. When Claire is older I will worry about the same stuff I worry about now with Caroline. I am sure when I am 90 I will still worry about them. I worry and I have accepted it.
  9. I won’t have as much one-on-one time with each kid! – This sounds more of a true fact than a misconception but I did think I would never ever ever have one-on-one time with Caroline or Claire but I do. Like I said before (see #3) because their schedules are so different and out of sync I find myself sneaking off to spend time with Caroline reading or playing in her playroom when Claire is napping or cuddling with Claire when Caroline is at school. We still take Caroline to Carolina football games while Claire stays home with one of her awesome Aunties or Nana or Gigi! I still get my girl time shopping at Target with Caroline when Claire is home with Dad. I have realized these one-on-one moments are even more precious and priceless than before because they are very rare.  Now if I could just get this valuable one-on-one time with DH but that’s for another blog!
  10. Can’t possibly have room in my heart to love anymore than I already do. – I know you are suppose to love your kids the same. I do BUT nobody told me I would ever love anything or anyone this much. And to feel that much love twice. Well, that’s just crazy. But God gives us these kids to love and comfort and care for and raise and now I get to do it twice. Like I said that’s just crazy – to know He loves me enough and trusts my instincts enough to allow me to give life to such precious things.

Pride left me the day Caroline was born as I learned to ask for help and accept defeat on a daily basis.  And just as soon as my pride and “know it all ” attitude tried to resurface it’s ugly face I was knocked back on my butt again by Claire.  And for that I couldn’t be more grateful.