As of two days ago Lu officially turned one month old!
To say the least it has been a wild road and to say the most I am honestly not sure how I made it here in one piece. I’m thinking, lots of naps, gallons of coffee, a little wine, and a pretty patient and amazing husband. But to be fair, I also have to admit that Luella is a great baby. She is peaceful and easy-going and she SLEEPS! I didn’t think it was real. I was convinced that people with “sleeping” babies were not telling the truth, or exaggerating. Any one who knows us knows that Jaxon and sleep have never coexisted (In fact, right now I am currently in a battle with myself on whether I should remove Jax’s nap all together). But now we have found out first hand that it is real! I have officially experienced a sleeping baby, and it. is. wonderful. It has also helped that on top of Lu being so easy-going Jax has become an amazing big brother. However, even with all of that it doesn’t mean that this has been an easy month for us.
There was so much that I had forgotten about having a newborn. Like how much time they really need and how often they need it. Or, how much nursing really takes it out of you. I forgot how often you are completely covered in either breast milk or spit up and how “not” often you really get to shower and remove it from yourself… let alone clean the house, cook or do much of anything else. And that was all before adding a toddler in to the mix.
Going from one to two kids is HARD. Way harder than I anticipated. It took a lot longer this time around to get into a smooth rhythm, if I can even consider myself to be in one completely right now. Currently life has become one large juggling act.
I am always surprised by how we have adapted to our life as it has changed over the years. It never seizes to surprise me what parents are capable of. Before having Jaxon I remember wondering how in the world I was going to do it and before having Lu I was terrified I wouldn’t be able to do it at all. After having Jax I remember looking back at my “pre-kids” years and wondering what I did with ALL that time?!
Most of this month has just been us winging it and trying to do our best. If you are interested in some of the things that have really helped us, these are our biggest.
1. Create “diaper stations” and put them EVERYWHERE. Everywhere. I have baskets and buckets full of powder, cream, wipes, and diapers (for both kids) in about four different rooms. The living room, our bedroom, the playroom, and the nursery. Basically anywhere we spend a decent amount of time. Let me tell you, not having to search for diapers has saved so much time and it really helps that I don’t have to leave the room to grab anything. I also try to keep spare socks and an extra outfit or two in there too, just in case.
2. Love the floor. Make the floor your best friend. I have basically forgotten about furniture. I live on the floor. I love the floor. This is my new mantra because being on the floor puts me right on their level and really makes me feel like I am a part of everything they are doing which is especially nice when one of them may need more of me one moment than the other one does. It also makes it so easy for me to handle both of them at the same time. I can nurse and read a book, or hold Lu and play trucks. It has really helped me to just be there with the two of them in the moment and be in contact with both of them at the same time. I save furniture for after the kids have gone to bed, the couch has now become a special treat for me.
3. Play when they sleep. The whole sleep when the baby sleeps a thing? Well that’s not realistic with two kids, at least not for us. So when one sleeps I make sure to give the other a lot of one on one attention. It has helped Jaxon to not feel left out and it has given me some special snuggle time with the little one. When I actually can get them to both sleep at the same time? Zzzzzzz.
4. The 10 minute clean-up. So awhile back I read about someone doing this and for the life of me I can’t remember where I read it but it has changed my life. Every night before bed or right after the kids go down we spend roughly ten minutes cleaning and straightening up the house. Whether it is putting away all the toys or folding a load of laundry we try to get everything cleaned up before going to bed ourselves. It is amazing the difference we have felt since starting this. Waking up to a clean house is a great feeling and one that has reduced some of my stress throughout the day.
5. Skip some steps. I struggled (eh. still struggle) with this. After embracing the chaos and letting go of a little control it has lifted some of the weight from my shoulders. I definitely need a routine and we are still fine tuning a good one with the two of them. When it comes to “needing” to put real clothes on, well, we skip that some days. Some days we just live in our pajamas and don’t feel guilty about it. Some days we eat breakfast for lunch, and some days the dishes are piled higher than our heads and we are (trying) not going to feel guilty about it. As they get older and as we get that routine fine tuned I will be able to start doing everything again, but for now sitting on the floor and not worrying about doing everything is the most relaxing thing that I can do. We are building memories and right now that is more important than anything else.