May 6, 2015
the look of a very tired college student, cramming for finals. me not Ace, clearly he is wide awake!
Going from one to two kids was probably my biggest shock. For 19 months Ace had been my whole world. I had never been away from him. We did every single thing together. Chris ended up leaving for OCS (officer candidate school) when I was eight months pregnant with Pierce. This left Ace and I to get even closer. I had all these emotions going on that I just poured every ounce of energy into those last few weeks of it just being him and I. Chris ended up missing Pierce's birth, so I didn't have him there as a buffer to ease the transition with Ace. Chris was gone for another two months before coming home. I would say that was the hardest on him. Not only was he coming home to a new baby, but he was coming home to the craziness of two children. Reintegration is hard enough on military families, that was just a little sprinkle on top. With two kids you don't feel completely outnumbered, yet, so you try and be super mom. If one is crying you try to tend to them immediately, but what if the other one wants you? You work yourself overtime just trying to make sure that your first born doesn't feel overshadowed by the baby. But you yourself want to soak up this baby stage as well. It's difficult to know where to draw the line.
Odette being added in has made no difference as far as our routine goes, and how the kids are. She fit into it all seamlessly, thank goodness! Now, we are only seven weeks into this. It will get more difficult when she is mobile, her naps become less frequent, and we add in the oh so fun teething time. But I have learned that including the older kids in everything the baby does is the only way to make sure everyone feels that sense of mommy attention. Diaper changes, I always let one kid grab the diaper, one grab the wipes, one "baby sits" (they just sit and talk to her while it all happens). It is kind of a long process, but if they want to be included I let them. Same goes for baths, tummy time, whatever. I don't ever want them to resent the baby and all the attention she gets from me, so I make sure they know she is their baby too. It doesn't always work. There are still so many fights during the day, but just like my standards have lowered in other areas, they have in the "break up every battle and attend to every boo boo" department. I can only tell the kids to keep their hands to themselves so many times. Sometimes they are just going to have to wrestle for a minute while I feed the baby. Sometimes the baby is just going to have to cry while I get the older kids dressed and fed on a chaotic school morning. But that is okay! It's all okay!
Avalon's face says it all....