Life With Two... By Myself ( 2month old + 2 year old)

Monday, April 11, 2016
I have been waiting to write this post for 11 weeks now. I have finally reached a place in my *new version of motherhood where I feel like my world isn't constantly being rocked. Justin has been gone for two weeks now and things are actually really good with me and the girls. I never thought we would get to this point (Olivia's three week stretch 6pm witching hour was brutal), but it feels so incredible and I love being able to soak in these tender moments that motherhood has afforded me. I say that a lot, but I do relish in them. Everyday, the girls grow. They change. I don't want to miss a single moment of that with them. I've had a few emails from mama tribes with one kiddo, four kiddos, you name it... basically asking me what my hurdles have been and what has been necessary to resume "the calm" in my life. Here goes nothing! 

Hurdles + Biggest Challenges

The fact that there is only ONE me is hard. I find myself being torn on which child to cater to first. I hate when my Livy girl is crying, but I also hate when my Ava bug is crying or in need too. Ultimately, Ava is normally my go to first. Olivia crying (while in a sling, in my arms) is tolerable if Ava needs something that I can provide in a timely manner. Normally, I'll just nurse Olivia in the sling, so that usually resolves 97% of her tears at this point (yay for comfort nursing, i actually absolutely love this). Ava is older, she's smart, and she analyzes everything. My biggest fear with adding another baby was Ava feeling neglected. I try REALLY, REALLY hard to make sure that I provide all that Ava needs and that her routine hasn't change too much with the addition of a sibling. 

Grocery shopping. Hands down. It's really not terrible at this point, it's just harder. I always have Olivia in a carrier and I've resorted to only shopping during her sleep time so she stays asleep the entire time we are in the grocery store. With Ava, you could take her to a store, mall, zoo, etc. at anytime of the day and she was golden. This has been a huge adjustment for me, but I am rolling with Olivia's little personality and needs. I try to only shop for 1/2 a cart per trip. Lifting all those groceries alone is actually a lot of work. I'm holding Olivia's head in one hand, and trying to lift gallons of milk in the other.... like i said, it's harder.

Meltdowns. Oh the unison meltdowns. Those are by far the worst for me. When Ava has a meltdown, it never fails... Olivia will start bawling almost instantly. When both girls are crying, I want to cry too honestly. Ava will cry because she misses daddy, she can't have something she wants, or because I put lotion in her hand to lotion herself (yes, that happened last night). You name it, her toddler freak outs come out of no where sometime. Olivia is now at the point where she will only cry or fuss when she is done with her tummy time mat, she's hungry, or she wants to be held. Normally, I'll grab Olivia and nurse her.. then invite Ava over to cuddle so she can calm down too. This works 99.9% of the time with meltdowns. 

Changes + Adjustments

Routines are everything. Seriously. We have a routine down pat and it is golden. Want me to walk you through it? Okay. We wake up and head down stairs pretty early in the morning (thank you, Ava). I change baby butts, put Olivia down for tummy time, and immediately start making Ava's breakfast. By the time I've gotten Ava a banana and her milk, Olivia has rolled over and is cooing away. Ava likes watching "her shows" in the morning, so she does that while eating. I will then nurse Olivia and she will usually sleep for 1-2 hours solid. I take this time to bond with my Bug. We read, play with puzzles, work on colors, etc.

Afternoon routines are different since my toddler has boycotted nap time. I will put Olivia in the sling if I am not making Ava a hot lunch. If I am making Ava a hot lunch, Olivia sits in the fisher price seat that we purchased for baby Ava. It sits right in the kitchen with me. While Ava eats lunch, I play with Olivia for a bit until she falls asleep. Yes, she actually falls asleep without needing the breast (Ava ALWAYS needed the breast). That's when I get a little me time in. I'll social media it up on my cell phone until Ava is done eating. I'll switch the laundry, fold laundry, etc. 

Evenings are my favorite time of the day for more reasons than one. We head upstairs at around 7pm and I bathe both girls. AT. THE. SAME. TIME. This was the smartest decision I have ever made. I put Olivia in her huge pink baby tub (fits right inside the back of the bath tub) and Ava hangs out around the faucet playing with her toys and water. I bath Livy bean first, then Ava. I take Olivia out and hand Ava bug a towel. We get all ready for bed and then it's story time! After we give kisses, hugs, and get Ava tucked in... I immediately start nursing Olivia... it takes all of five minutes for her to fall asleep. 

From 8pm-5am, both babies are sound asleep. It is seriously the most amazing time of the evening for me. Not only are both of my babies getting great sleep, but it's also the MOST chunk of time I get for myself in a day. I literally clean up the entire downstairs from the toddler toy destruction that happens during the day, I do dishes, I switch laundry, etc. I get to shower, I do homework, I edit photos, I blog.. you get the picture.. lots of "I" in there.

Helper Ava

Having Ava love to help out is seriously a blessing. She will pass diapers, wipes, snot suckers... pretty much anything I need for the baby. While I cook, she will sit and entertain her sister so she doesn't get fussy. She sings for her, gives her infinite kisses, and loves to make her smile. She helps out so much and we are completely thankful for our first born! It also makes me really appreciate the age gap between our kids. If I had gotten pregnant a year earlier, there is no way that Ava would be able to comprehend all that she does now. Definitely feels good to have those moments of reassurance in our lives. Ava has without a doubt made the transition from one to two a lot easier in a lot of ways. Especially in Justin's absence. 

All in all, I think that's pretty much the bulk. I always make sure to have time for myself at the end of a day, I remain flexible because not all of our days will play out the same way, and I remind myself that nothing is more important than having healthy, happy, kiddos.

♥- Leilani

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