All things considered, our days are very easy. We put baby to sleep around 730pm in our bed and he wakes up at 11pm then 3am then 630am, more or less. Mika creeps into our bed between 1am and 3am and I never notice her until I’m sort of awake and feeding baby at 3.
At 630 Ivan gets up with baby and at 7 Mika wakes up, kisses me all over my face and then whispers ‘i’ll be with papa and baby in the kitchen’ and quietly slips out, closing the door behind her. Sometimes I take half an hour more sleep or I lie in bed awake just having some mental time to myself. I am very much a morning person, but lately I can’t bring myself to be awake and cheery before 7. It could be to do with the fact that I’m on a no caffeine diet..but more on that later.
We walk papa to work and depending on the day we drop mika at school on the way. The walk is good cause baby is ready for his first nap by 830 and this makes it easy to get everything done.
We are always home for lunch and sometimes ivan joins us. After lunch, mika’s friend C comes over 3 times a week and this is pretty much the best situation for everyone. The girls can almost entertain themselves entirely with make-believe games. I feed them snacks and we usually do one activity together (baking or a craft) and I always read them at least 5 books. So while they play, I have time with baby – sometimes they help me or play with him too, and then once he is down for his longer afternoon nap, i have some time to play with them or clean etc.
We have a very tiny house and I feel like I am always tidying and cleaning and we have a very minimal amount of stuff and it just makes me wonder how other people do it…like with a bigger house or with more stuff, I think I would go crazy! I am also constantly purging and clearing things out of our home and it somehow always seems like there is more to get rid of.
At 5pm C goes home and sometimes we will walk to get Ivan or we will drive and go get groceries together before heading home. Then I am usually out the door for my run and we all eat together around 7, either something I’ve made or Ivan’s made and after Teo is down by 730, Mika follows closely around 8pm.
It is a good rhythm we have going and it all feels very…easy. And although I wish I could get the laundry done faster (there is just so much!) and our list of things to do in the yard is never-ending, I am really enjoying this baby-nap-3-times-a-day lifestyle. I have heard from multiple sources that it all changes once your baby boy is more mobile, so I’m going to relish his immobility! And every month is just so different – I think the warmer spring weather is making things so, so much easier.
And he is just so insanely cute, I can’t even… like sometimes I’m alone with him and he is just so cute that I don’t even know what to do. Like, should I squish him? Or eat him? Or just make squealy happy noises? Cause he’s so cute I feel like I need to do something.
Today you are 31 days old.
I can’t believe we’ve been staring at your beautiful face for an entire month. (Read: I can’t believe I haven’t had more than 3 hours sleep in a row for an entire month.) Ha, but no – also I can’t believe how much bigger you feel in my arms already, and how tiny you still look when I see people holding you.
But here we are, back to ‘normal’ life cause your papa has now gone back to work and so it is just you and me and your amazing big sister. (Quite honestly it blows my mind how much this girl loves you. You’re a lucky boy.) And what does normal life look like? It is a midnight, a 230am, a 530am and a 7am wake up with you. It is lying in bed trying to catch one extra hour sleep between 730 and 830am while your papa makes oatmeal for your sister. It is Mika suddenly taking full charge of herself and running in to wake me up at 830am to proudly show me her choice of clothing for the day. Sometimes it is kissing your sister and papa goodbye as they go off to school and work respectively. And then we hang out at home and I watch your gorgeous face when you’re awake and I try to do other things when you’re asleep (if you let me put you down). And sometimes it is the three of us heading out to paint playground or a dance studio or the open gymnastics. And somehow everything just keeps going.
I had one of my favourite ‘duh’ moment realisations the other day. One of those ‘this is IT’ moments. One of those ‘life happens while you’re busy making plans’ sort of moments. One of the best things about first time parenthood is the complete naivety. When Mika was about 6 weeks old I wrote that she was now sleeping like 5-8 hours at night! I remember thinking ‘woohoo! this is it! we’ve made it!’ and then it wasn’t until after many many more sleepless and sleep-full nights I realised that the only thing we can be sure of it that things will change. For better or for worse or just different – things will change.
This makes second-time parenthood a little bit easier and also a little bit sadder. But what it sort of makes me think about is that I don’t want to be living in my head waiting for it to ‘get easier’. Cause it sort of won’t. It will just get different. And so instead of trying hard to make it easier, or waiting for it to get easier, I find myself accepting it for what it is and enjoying these moments that will not last: the sleepless nights, your erratic newborn breathing, the sweet smell of your breath, soothing you with breastmilk, feeling like i’m covered in breastmilk all.the.time, how you sleep on me all day long, the quiet moments when you’re awake and we stare at each other for the longest time, your jerky baby movements…all of these things will pass.
But every day I feel like I am getting to know you a little bit more and I love every second of it. Your papa and I can’t quite believe how lucky we are.
This weekend we relied heavily on our friends to help us get ready to move house. Definitely the best part of the weekend was not sitting in traffic in the pouring rain trying to rush around to furniture stores, but rather the 2 hours spent watching these kiddos play and eat cake and celebrate the end of charlie’s third year.
When you are stuck in a hole, stop digging.
It’s been a tough week. One of those weeks where I haven’t felt ‘on the right path’. Avoiding difficult conversations, reaching for a handful of chocolate chips before lunch (?!), avoiding my vegetables, comparing myself to others, critisizing myself harshly, etc etc. On top of this (or because of this?) both Mika and I came down with a miserable flu which meant that I also didn’t exercise for 3 days, but I wasn’t sick enough to not eat – rather I was the sort of sick that saw me asking Ivan to pick up Thai food on his way home cause i’m ‘too sick to cook’ and then him being extra nice and bringing me licorice allsorts for my ‘sick person treat’. WHO ARE WE?!
I sat on my mat but i didn’t flow for three days. Instead I just read my ‘meditations from the mat’ book that has pretty much been my bible for the past few months – searching for answers? I feel that as long as I continue to read and meditate and inquire, I will find my way.
And today i woke up and the sun was shining and my headache was gone. ivan left for work and mika was still sleeping and i read and meditated and decided to stop digging. it is time to start climbing. And then Mika woke up and said ‘mami, yesterday i was sick in my big girl bed and it went evvvvverywhere but today i am ALL BETTER!’ and i said ‘that’s so great! would you like to sit in your stroller so I can go for a run on this glorious fall day?’ and she said yes.
So I ran 3 miles and she chatted to me the whole way. The last time i ran with mika was probably when she was just over 1. Now it’s practically like having a running buddy, except my other running buddies and i would never have conversations like this:
‘mami why are you running?’
*huff puff* ‘exercise’
*hufffff pufffff* ‘to…feel….good’ *huff puff*
‘why are you running?’
‘why do you think?’
‘to feel good?’
‘oh. bravo mami!!!!’
heart melts. *hufff pufff*
And then we went to the zoo together and we spent a long time with the snakes and the bugs which are apparently her favourite. There were no goats out for patting but that didn’t matter cause all she really wanted to do was wash her hands anyway. did you guys know that washing hands is so much fun?
Then we grabbed a coffee together and sat in a park and mika played with our empty cups for about 45 minutes making me different flavors of tea in the sandbox. There were a group of teenage girls in the park, wearing skimpy clothing and taking group self photos in various poses and talking about the sort of crazy things that only 16 year old girls find important. Mika and I watched them for a little while and then she turned to me and said ‘tea mami?’ and handed me the cup full of sand and I almost burst into tears at how gorgeous and innocent she seemed, especially contrasted with the teenage girls in the park and my heart jumped into my throat for a moment as i realised the terrifying inevitability of time.
“The moment I fall off the moderation wagon, my mind becomes consumed by the fact that I am no longer living up to my potential. My mind fills with obsessive concern; I know all too well the ways I am self-sabotaging. My heart yearns for peace. Then I wake up one morning and find that I have made a decision. I am ready to let go of whatever it is that’s consuming me. I am ready to reestablish brahmacarya in my life. I am ready to follow my heart. I am ready to listen to the wind of my soul.” Day 38, Meditations from the Mat
friday night was family happy hour in the sun with friends, followed by fancy pizza and a late night bus ride home with my baby girl strapped to my chest.
saturday morning was early morning running, followed by cat feeding & plant watering and pancake eating on a friend’s balcony. we each read the new yorker and national geographic until we could barely stand the sun any longer then we made a poorly timed family visit to the zoo as all the animals seemed to be sleeping – except the snakes (mika’s favourite?!). yoga and work during nap-time, then a long walk to a BBQ in a gorgeous backyard with beautiful people.
sunday was for papa to sleep in. mika and i cuddled and danced and peed in the potty. when papa got up we walked through the farmer’s market nibbling on apricots and cherries. then i drank coconut tea and we headed home for naptime. another run and more yoga during naptime then guacamole making and showering before heading up the hill for our first taste of s’mores, toddler BFFs and new friends.
so much goodness.