For those who don't already know, we are thrilled to announce that we officially broke ground on our new house this week! (I've uploaded a new slideshow under "House Progress")
Yes, it really is an addition rather than a completely new building, but to us it's going to mean a very different house than we have right now. We'll go from about 960 square feet to around 1,830 square feet and we are being given the spectacular gift of a complete basement underneath the new part of the house. To double our space again, all we have to do is finish the basement. Our new house will be HUGE compared to the old one!
Originally, we were going to build on a crawlspace since a basement didn't fit in the budget; but we have wonderful friends who decided we ought to have a basement and therefore they're building one and doing some amazing things to make it work, such as advertising free fill dirt on Craigslist and then patiently hauling truckloads of dirt out to different locations to dump it. One of the bigger expenses in building a basement is hauling away all the dirt that came out of the hole. Everyone is also spending time searching Craigslist for other material supplies that we would normally just purchase new, but every little bit we purchase as odds and ends from other jobs is money we save off the total cost, giving us the ability to do a lot more than we would've otherwise. Ben is thrilled and intrigued with this - he's always really enjoyed bargain-hunting, but this is going to a whole new level we hadn't ever thought of.
He's also thrilled because he's gotten to use the mini excavator. When we did all the work on our house the first time, things were going so fast and we were trying to prepare for our wedding at the same time, so he didn't get a chance to help with a lot of the projects. He also felt like he would get in the way since he was always having to learn how to do whatever was being done. He's said for a year he wants things to be different with the addition: he really wants to be able to learn more and be able to help with the building - and one side benefit of having friends willing to build our house is that they're also ready to teach how to build our house.
We began digging the basement on Wednesday afternoon, though the work really got going in earnest on Thursday. One of the things about working with friends this way is that there can be a long period of waiting followed by a fantastic amount of activity in a short period of time. To anyone watching it probably looks like nothing is ever going to happen; but a good thing to remember is that we pretty much took the house apart and put it back together as a wheelchair-friendly place in two weeks - from the 14th of November to the 28th, the kitchen floor was stripped and raised, the wall between kitchen and living room was removed, a new bathroom was totally installed (including the new drain lines and the construction of a shower), extensive drywall repair was finished, the whole house was cleaned and painted, the stairway and doorways were raised in the kitchen where the floor had been raised, the electrical system was revamped and a bunch of new fixtures were added, all new interior doors were installed, and we moved Ben and I in. That is a LOT of work in two weeks. I tend to think the addition will be the same way. Kim asked us in April if we thought we'd be almost done when she came back in August and I honestly think there's an excellent likelihood of it.
In other news, Abigail learned how to roll over both ways this week. She also did something I've never seen done before: she's learned how to flip over while in her bouncy chair. She rolls herself around so her face is in the chair and her little bottom is stuck up in the air...and then she cries because she can't figure out what to do next. Actually, in order to roll over she yells the whole time. It's not crying exactly, just like she's yelling. And then she gets over onto her stomach and lifts her head up to look around in a sort of bewildered way - "Okay, I did it. Now what?"
She finds all the activity surrounding the addition pretty fascinating and will sit quietly for an amazingly long time watching the big machines out the doorwall as the excavation continues. Grandma is convinced all the loud machines scare her, but she doesn't look scared at all to me, just intrigued. She was even laughing hysterically (for her) when Benjamin was pounding up the concrete from the old sunroom. She's laughed more this week than I've ever heard. Her aunts have all been around a lot this week too, so she's been getting used to them hauling her around. When it's just me and I get tired, I put her down; but with all the girls around, when one person gets tired, they pass her on to the next set of hands. Now she thinks she really ought to be carried everywhere so she can see what's going on rather than being stuck in one place. She thought that anyway, but now it's even more pronounced.
Obviously, this has been quite a month. I didn't realize I'd left things this long! I have a new slideshow up on the Abigail tab.
After another relapse on Abigail's part, we are finally well aside from some various allergy-related problems now that we have some beautiful warm weather. We did end up going to a doctor for Abby's ears after she was up crying in pain all night and it turns out we most likely had RSV, which explains why we got so sick. When my brother Jonathan got RSV at Abigail's age, he was in the hospital for three weeks. Abigail didn't even get an ear infection; although Ben did and had his eardrum rupture - he's just now able to hear mostly out of that ear again. Yikes.
I've pretty much been waiting three months to reach the three-month mark, because it's usually at this point that many things get a lot easier. Babies and parents both learn a lot in that time. Babies usually have their digestive systems develop a lot better by three months and learn to sleep through the night, among other things. I'm happy to report that Abigail's now sleeping for about seven hours at a stretch at night, then eats and goes back to sleep for another three hours or so. Ten hours is a really nice night, folks. Plus, at three months Abby is starting to find things interesting besides just being walked around, so she can be entertained for ten or fifteen minutes trying to reach for the toy hanging on her carseat, for instance. And she laughed at peek-a-boo for the first time this morning. Which is good. What do you do with a little person who doesn't get the concept of a game yet?
Unfortunately, she hasn't grown out of her digestive issues completely yet. She can now handle me having some peanuts, but any dairy at all - and because it's the casein in the dairy, it means even sodium caseinate that's an additive in a lot of food - causes three days of crying and her little stomach gurgling uncomfortably every time she eats. It makes me nervous to eat away from home where I can't read labels because I always wonder what I'm accidentally going to eat without knowing it and have Abigail pay the price for days. Since I'm not dairy-intolerant myself, I don't get any stomachache or other warning. It's a little taste of what it would be like to have a serious allergy myself; and I'm glad I don't actually have it, so I won't have to be so very careful the rest of my life.
Thankfully almond milk turns out to be quite good, actually, and it makes a great substitute in baking so I can still make some good stuff like muffins and my favorite raisin bread. Also thankfully, I'm not doing a gluten-free, egg-free, dairy-free, soy-free, corn-free, peanut-free diet. If you have a kid with really severe allergies, that's what you'd get; and I think that pretty much means celery sticks and plain chicken for a long time. Good for the waistline...but boy, it'd get boring!
In other news, lots of work has gone on behind the scenes to prepare for our addition. We have an amended building permit now posted in the window and we're pretty firmly expecting to start excavating Tuesday - though this could always be changed, having a date to start is new and exciting. Ben and I have been working around the yard the past couple of days, cleaning things and getting stuff out of the way and moving the little peach tree a little further back so it's in a more convenient location...and also a little more out of harm's way when the big machinery comes through.
We had a little surprise pop up in the middle of our yard - the round circle garden that was so totally full of weeds last year that we pulled everything out sprouted a whole crop of tulips this spring. Apparently, they must've been choked by the weeds but sprang right up once they were exposed to sun and water. It's been a serendipitous occurrence; and it's entertained Grandma Lila for weeks as she sits at the breakfast table and looks out at their progress. I'm probably going to go cut all the flowers tomorrow so they don't get crushed; they're completely in the middle of everything and there's certainly no point making machines drive all over the yard to avoid a few flowers. But I'd like them to finish blooming on our kitchen table if they can't stay in the yard.
Ben and I have been attempting to put some order back into life so we can get things done. Abigail definitely slows us up, but we've been gradually taking care of things one at a time and venturing out of the house on little outings. We went to the library a few weeks ago and came home with a DVD collection of Dirty Jobs with Mike Rowe. We watched one episode every evening after Abigail was in bed for the night (usually around 10:00) and got kind of hooked. It's not that all the jobs are really that dirty, but the show focuses on all the small tasks that people make their living at in order to keep what we know as "civilized society" functioning. One of the amazing byproducts of watching this show is that we're starting to look at our surroundings and say, "huh...I wonder who maintains all those lights on the side of the freeway and what it takes to do that job" or "I wonder what it's like carting produce around to all the grocery stores and making sure it stays fresh and getting rid of rotten stuff". There are literally thousands of seemingly small jobs that people spend their lifetime doing that we never notice because it all goes into maintaining the infrastructure we've built up and are familiar with.
I will caution that it's definitely not a show for the little guys. There are some fairly graphic bits involving breeding farm animals (yep, that's definitely a dirty job) and an awful lot of tasks involving what Mike always calls "poo". And I have to say, if I didn't already not eat pork, I'm not sure I could now.
All in all, this month has gone by really fast and I'm starting to see some light at the end of the adjust-to-the-new-baby tunnel. There may even begin to be time to sit and write more often again soon.
Then again...there's always construction!
I've been trying to post all week but not getting the chance, so quickly...
We have Abigail's two month pictures from the 28th of March! I've also made a new slideshow and archived the old one, so there are more pictures if you click on the "Abigail" tab.
Ben and I have both come down with the same cold Grandma and Abigail had after going all the way to the bitter end without catching it. We're pretty droopy today - as with the girls, I keep waking up thinking, "Why do I feel worse today instead of better?" I've been sick since Monday and today's the first day I feel about the same as yesterday instead of worse than yesterday, so hopefully that means I'll be feeling better tomorrow.
Abigail's second month has felt a lot more controlled to me than her first in spite of spending a few weeks messing around with this fairly nasty cold. She is beginning to do things like sit in her bouncy chair long enough for me to make dinner and fold clothes, so my back feels better and more of our normal things are able to be done. Her new pacifier helps with this a lot because she enjoys having something to DO rather than just sit. She is definitely a "doer" now that she's awakened from the newborn coma. Unfortunately, she's also begun squealing when she's unhappy and I miss that soft little newborn cry. She's also been smiling a lot more and has even laughed a few times in the past few days, so the squealing does have it's balance.
She is also very fat. She is such a dumpling! She looks very healthy; but she thinks she's starving to death if she hasn't eaten in two hours.
And she is hungry now, so I'd better go take care of her...
Grandma and Abigail both came down with a cold this week at exactly the same time.
We've been more or less living like germaphobic hermits since Grandma came to live with us since we knew any kind of virus was likely to be pretty hard on her. Adding a brand-new baby to the mix only made us more careful, but no matter how careful we were, we finally picked something up after nearly 18 months. We're not exactly sure how we got this particular virus since we've been that careful, but somehow both the people we wanted to protect the most got sick. In some respects, I'm pretty grateful they got sick at the same time because I have no idea how we would've been able to keep one from getting the other sick if they hadn't gotten it together. Likewise, I'm thankful Ben and I have stayed healthy this long because it would've been a REALLY long week otherwise.
Sometime in the blur of walking Abigail and being up at night shooing Grandma into a steamy bathroom so she could breathe, I remembered a song I like to sing that I learned from my mom. It's called "I Am A Servant" and it's about a person waiting to see how God is going to use them to serve him since the person was made to be a servant and wants God to choose him/her for a task. In many ways, I've been serving my entire adult life, but not as I am serving now.
Now, don't get me wrong: this is not something to be upset about or resentful of. In our current culture, we don't like to be in a position where anyone can call us servants. Even people whose professional job it is to serve people don't literally call themselves "servants" but "servers", "waiters/waitresses", "flight attendants", "hostesses", and lots of other names. I think because perhaps we view being a servant a lot like being a slave (which isn't a bad thing either, in the correct context - being a slave to righteousness, for example) and we love our freedom in this country. Being a servant or a slave is something we're too proud to be.
There are times I don't like feeling like a servant either. Having to lay down what I want for what other people want doesn't come easily or naturally. I don't get excited about getting out of bed at 3 am to shepherd Grandma into the bathroom, convince her she's not dying, talk her into drinking water, putting Vicks on her, then going back to my room to suction a very unhappy Abigail's nose so she can breathe so she can nurse. I would say this wasn't something I volunteered for...except I did. When I sang that song, I meant it. I wanted - and I still want - to serve God the way he planned. And he planned me to serve here.
I've heard people say God called them to do much more romantic-sounding things, like starting new churches or going to China to run an underground Bible-distribution system or running an orphanage in Haiti. But I suspect they feel pretty much the same way I do when I'm up at 3 in the morning. They say, "What am I doing here again?" and then they remember, "Oh yes...I'm here because I asked God to send me where he wanted me. And this is where I want to be. And it will even feel a lot better when the sun comes up."
I am pleased to report that this is true: things are much better by the time the sun comes up; and last night I didn't even get up at all. I think we might just have survived this one. I'm also pleased to report that Ben's purchase of a new pacifier was approved by Abigail, which allowed her to take a nice long nap during the afternoon for the first time in a week yesterday. Much as I love her, I prefer her to sleep when she's not feeling good. My back gets pretty tired after a day of walking back and forth in the living room - I could probably draw a map of all the boards in the layout of our wood floor by now!
Now if Ben and I can just stay healthy...
We're definitely going to have to make Abigail some nicer signs in the future: but here's her one-month photo. She weighs nearly 12 pounds, is 22.5 inches long, sleeps for about six hours solidly at night, is now smiling just in recognition rather than always being coaxed, and can ride in the baby carrier facing outward instead of just inward. It's hard to believe she can grow so fast!
Technically, she's actually six weeks old as of today, but since I've been slow with pictures this will have to suffice. It just means 2-month photos will be right on top of 1-month photos.
I've also updated the slideshow under the "Abigail Lauren Turner" tab if anyone wants to see more.
There are milestones for me, too. I'm down from 170 pounds at Abby's birth to 137. I'm able to wear more and more of my normal clothes, which is really nice. I can now run up and down stairs again, lift heavy objects (boy, I got really tired of the "no lifting" requirements!), take walks, drink normal amounts of water instead of what felt like a gallon a day, wash the kitchen floor, help Grandma Lila with showers, and stay awake past 9:00 at night without a nap. Don't laugh - these are big improvements!
There have been moments the past few weeks when I get a sudden feeling of panic that says, "Life is never going to be normal again!"
It's a very disconcerting feeling. I have to remind myself that things don't feel normal when they've changed and feelings are not only not reality, they change quickly. It didn't feel normal at first to live in any of the houses I've moved to, either, but after a while they all came to feel like home. Those all-important three months aren't up yet, which means I need to stay patient, keep doing what needs to be done every day, and wait for "feelings" to wake up to what is now a new normal: there's a baby in the house and routines have changed.
Every time Abby decides to cry for an hour at bedtime (seriously, she is a slow learner!), I wonder how strange and disorienting everything must feel to her. If life seems a little strange and abnormal to me, it's a complete and total change for her. I'm at least used to my surroundings, know what's going on, am familiar with all the people around me...and am used to breathing and eating, for goodness' sake. For Abigail, until five weeks ago she had never really been able to see anything, had never eaten, had never breathed, and didn't even know what it was like to stretch out without walls around her.
The amazing thing is how fast she adapts, all things considered. On Friday, she even began to smile at me in recognition. Five weeks ago, she didn't recognize my face when she saw it, though we'd been the closest of companions for almost ten months.
Of course, she might just be smiling because when I'm around she usually gets fed. This girl gets her enjoyment of food from both sides of the family and her waistline shows the effects. I weighed her for the first time in a few weeks and she's now coming in around 12 pounds (I say "around" because that was two days ago and I'm guessing she's gained even over that time). This means she's rapidly turning into a dumpling with a head, but that's okay. She turns out to be a kid who wants to move and that means as soon as she can crawl, she'll slim down quickly. For the moment, though, she's what Ben calls "a milk junkie" and she looks it. I notice I've switched from calling her "Peanut" to calling her "my little butterball", but since she's still smiling at me I guess she probably forgives the nickname.
In spite of my feeling that everything still isn't normal, certain things are gradually falling back into place. I'm getting the laundry done much more promptly, I've been cooking dinner again, we've gone to church and gotten our grocery shopping done, and Ben and I have gotten a little better at getting Grandma and Abigail taken care of in the morning. It does take us a while to get everything moving, though. I'm often not able to get to making breakfast for us until 10:30 or so, which often makes me feel like half the day's over before we've even gotten started. I'd really like to get us back to getting Grandma's breakfast out at the usual 9:00 and ours either with it or before it, as it used to be before the advent of Abby.
People keep asking us if we're getting any sleep, a question they seem to find deeply amusing though I can't figure out what exactly is so funny about parents of young infants getting a little sleep-deprived - that's a condition that brings sympathy under any other circumstances. We're sleeping pretty well at night and have the kind of schedule that's allowing us to sleep in; but somehow I'm tired a lot anyway. I think Ben is faring pretty well because he's usually sleeping through any midnight-Abigail-nursings, but his back has been sore lately and I think he's actually not getting as deep a sleep as usual. Still, he's wide awake into his usual evening hours while I have to take a nap in the afternoon to stay up with him - and naps and I have not really been on speaking terms since I was Abigail's age. I've wanted to follow the advice to sleep when Abby does, but I notice that I'm having trouble doing so - when she's taking naps it seems like I need to be making Grandma's lunch or answering the phone or getting dinner or so on and so forth. Another thing that I'll hopefully either figure out how to make routine or just won't need for long enough to get that far!
Grandma is still doing really well, and thankfully she really doesn't hear Abigail crying all that much. When she does, she still thinks Abby is in a terrible state and as her mother I should either be doing something about it or letting Grandma hold her so she can make Abigail quiet. This is a little tricky for me, since Grandma has some trouble holding onto Abigail when she's crying (why do babies always squirm when they cry, I wonder?) so I can't really hand Abby off to Grandma and take a break for a bit but have to pretty much stay right there so I can take Abby back when she gets to be too much of a handful after a minute or two. Grandma is pretty firmly convinced that she has the ability to make Abigail be quiet even if I can't, though, which makes for a delicate diplomatic situation. I really appreciate her help - and she's been doing all kinds of stuff like keeping an eye out for laundry that needs folding that I haven't gotten to yet - but how do you explain to your grandmother that if a mother can't get her baby to be quiet, it's probably going to be pretty tough for anyone else to?
Ah well. As I said, thankfully Grandma actually isn't hearing Abby when she cries most of the time. Especially at night when Grandma doesn't wear her hearing aids...
And Grandma says, "I just love that baby so much!"
I say, "Me too, Grandma."
"I bet you do," she says back.
We have this conversation about once a day. Not a bad thing to repeat over and over, eh?
Abigail is taking a nap. That means that I have a few minutes to actually write something - I've had a lot of minutes sitting and doing not much of anything while she's nursing, but I've discovered that I haven't yet mastered the art of typing and nursing at the same time - she keeps trying to swallow and breathe at the same time, which then means she begins turning an alarming shade of purple and I have to quickly sit her up and remind her that even though she hasn't been doing it all that long, breathing really has it's good points. This makes it difficult to balance a laptop on my lap and type at the same time.
I expect this will get better. Most people I know can get through dinner without choking every few minutes and needing a vigorous back-pounding to start breathing again. Can you imagine what a big gathering would be like if we didn't all learn how to swallow and breathe at different times? It would sound like an orchestra's percussion section.
For the past few weeks, every time Abby slept I spent time trying to get basic normal things done around here until she woke up and I needed to do the whole eat, change, walk a little, go back to sleep rounds again. I was pretty slow for the first few weeks and am really just now feeling like I can move at normal speed, though I must still be recovering because I'm usually completely wiped out and ready to go to bed at 9:00, a time when I'm normally still going strong. My brain knew that recovery after a new baby is usually about six weeks and it really takes more like three months for everything to have settled into a new routine, but knowing something in your head is a whole lot different than living it!
Things have been pretty busy around here even if Abigail weren't adding a new layer to the usual routine. Kim and Emma were in town for a bit and we celebrated Grandma's 90th birthday as well as having a "Meet the Baby" shower with the Turner side of the family. These were events that I could normally handle in my sleep, especially since Mom and Dad and Kim and Jenny did most of the work; but I think I found out a little what it must be like to be Grandma during those days because even just having people over was oddly tiring. I always wondered why older people seem so tired just from people visiting, but I guess in a weaker-than-average state, even just visiting really is tiring. I've been saying all along that when our wonderful work crew is available to start the addition, I'd really like to see it started no matter what was going on with the baby; but after last week's festivities I'm very grateful to our friends who said, "You do not want us working on the addition right after the baby's born. That's crazy. We'll aim for March instead."
Abigail herself has been as little trouble as a newborn can be. She sleeps pretty well most nights, takes good naps during the day, has taken to nursing like a champ (except for the breathe-and-swallow thing...), has not shown up with any unusual rashes, digestive issues, or any other potential concerns, and even spends a little while awake without fussing most days, which is pretty much perfect in my book. Of course, I'd like to see her awake without fussing ALL the time, but when you consider that babies as little as she is tend to wake up only when they need something, I figure a little time awake without crying is a good sign. I think she's also begun smiling the past two days, but she'll only do it when she's exactly in the right frame of mind and then only once each time: but she was wide awake and staring at me peacefully when she did it, so it wasn't one of those fleeting sleep-grins that newborns so often exhibit. She'll be four weeks old on Monday, so maybe next week we'll start seeing some more reliable smiles. I'm looking forward to that!
Ben has gotten comfortable holding and handling her and has been learning all about brand-new babies since he doesn't really remember Kim and Jenny at this age very well. She tends to be very awake in the morning and he likes to balance her on his chest and laugh as she holds her head up and stares around. He says she's adorable when she wrinkles her forehead up; the funny thing is that he's spent two years trying to get me to stop wrinkling my forehead when I'm thinking of something, which you would think would be a lost cause since I'm told I was born with that expression on my face. Just goes to show you what is adorable in a baby might not be as adorable as an adult - same goes for little pudgy fat rolls, no teeth, and hair that sticks up in all directions.
Grandma is doing well, though she gets concerned when Abigail cries and follows me around to see if I'm going to get her to stop and enquires anxiously if she should hold the baby instead. I'm not completely sure how to answer her because I do definitely want her to be able to spend a lot of time holding Abigail, but she gets very distressed whenever Abby cries and thinks someone must be doing something wrong and Abby is either in pain or very unhappy. There's also the factor that if Abby is crying for her mother, she will probably cry harder if her mother gives her away...and she's usually crying because she wants her mother to feed or change her. Even when her mother is in the middle of making dinner. As a side note, I have to say that the gift of a Baby Bjorn that we received last week has been a huge help because Abigail is much more content when she's getting dragged along with whatever I'm doing than when she's sitting in her bouncy chair watching.
Thankfully, Abigail doesn't disturb Grandma at all when she cries during the night because her cry is so soft and high that Grandma can't hear it with her hearing aids out. This is a definite relief for all of us and takes away a concern I had before Abigail's birth: that Grandma would be kept awake by the baby crying.
We've begun working on all the paperwork requirements that come with adding someone to our family. We have an appointment on Monday to get Abby checked over by a doctor so we can certify that she does indeed exist - in order to get her a social security number, we have to have two pieces of identification saying she exists and she really is our baby. One is a birth certificate, but the other is a little more difficult to come up with. It reminds me a lot of trying to get a driver's license when you're homeschooled. The system is just not set up to deal with anyone who strays a little outside the accepted norm; but I suppose that's how systems are!
Even with the resurgence in home births across the United States, everything is still geared toward hospital births and hospitals have a routine set of paperwork the government agencies are all comfortable and familiar with. The receptionist at the doctor's office scolded me a little by saying, "Well, we usually do newborn checkups two days after they come home from the hospital." Hm. Well, Eileen and Heather did the two day, one week, and two week checkups, so it didn't seem particularly important for us to take our brand-new baby out to a doctor's office in the middle of cold and flu season; and the only reason we're going now is because Abby's almost a month old and it's going to start getting trickier to get all our paperwork done if we let her get much older.
We've actually not taken Abby very many places at all: she's been to a funeral, the grocery store, and to my family's house. I'm starting to feel a little homebound, a feeling I don't think I've had too many times in my life. It's not that I have such a busy social calender, but I don't recall very many times in my life where I actually didn't leave the house for a week on end - we went to my family's house for my sisters' birthdays last Friday, so I've just been outside one time since. We aren't even going for walks. I'm beginning to look forward to warmer weather!
Ben has been going into the office again, but his wonderful schedule is that he leaves here sometime around 1 or 1:30 in the afternoon and comes home around 6:30. Tough to beat that.
I still am not totally used to the idea that we have a daughter. There's this strange sense that I've been "one of the kids" my whole life, and the concept that Ben and I are "Dad and Mom" the same way my parents were "Dad and Mom" is a little odd to adjust to. To me my parents have been parents for as long as I can remember, but I haven't been. Ben keeps looking at Abigail and saying, "Can you believe we have a daughter? I mean, she's part of you and part of me, but she's all ours and not anyone else's." It's completely normal until we stop to think about it...and then it's weird. Ben's other question is, "Was this what you imagined having your own baby to be like?"
Well, yes and no. As I said before, your head can know things, but it still feels a lot different when you're actually in a situation than when you weren't, no matter how much preparation you've had. Nursing, for example. I had really, really excellent training to nurse Abigail. Every time Mom had a new baby, she'd tell me the whole routine she used to get a newborn started (it takes a little time just to teach a baby to eat, oddly enough) and I spent way more hours than I can count sitting next to Mom while she nursed the babies. I knew what everything should look like, knew all the little noises babies make that are normal, knew the whole routine like the back of my hand. My mom was having other babies and teaching me about them from the time I was 2 until I was 22, and I wasn't even gone to school during the day. That was an incredible level of preparation that I'm only just beginning to grasp the true value of now.
But it was still new and different and unfamiliar to be the one on the spot, so to speak: the one who was responsible to teach this newborn how to nurse, the one who had to spend most of her time sitting and nursing because that's what you do with a new baby, the one who was responsible not to eat dairy because that usually makes the babies colicky (I can't tell for absolute certainty if Abby is lactose intolerant, but she does definitely show some tendencies and considering Ben and I were both probably lactose intolerant at her age...I've pretty much cut dairy out of my diet to give us all peace and calm!). The one in charge of poopy diapers and who gets the baby handed back when she's fussy. It's definitely different. Is it what I expected? Yes...with my head. But it's a bit disorienting yet.
Still...Abby is one month old, come Monday. It really does seem to take three months for things to all fall in place and be normal again - the new normal. So while we're not there yet, we're a third of the way through. If the next two months go as fast as this one did, it'll be no time at all before the last remaining vestiges of weirdness fade away and being Dad and Mom won't seem so odd and I'll know when I can and can't spend time writing blog posts and...we'll probably be in the middle of starting an addition and that'll be a whole new experience to learn!
Wife of Benjamin and mother to two wonderful little girls who are getting bigger every day. Enjoys writing down thoughts and discussions we are having within the family and sharing them with whoever is interested in reading.
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