Sunday, October 5, 2008


Last week I babysat FashionBaby for the first time as a favor for FashionMommy. I kept her every day starting at FIVE O'CLOCK IN THE MORNING, at which time Teenybop woke up because of the noise. So I had them both to deal with until it was time for Teenybop to go to school at seven-thirty. It gave me a glimpse of what I will be dealing with at this time next year, when I will be a mother of two.

However, FashionBaby has been taught over her seven-week life that it is normal to be held ALL THE TIME, therefore she has been raised thus far to be a very demanding baby. She is quite cute and usually pretty content ... if you hold her constantly. But lay her down and all hell breaks loose within twenty minutes. Even if she's sleeping. You want her to sleep? You hold her till she sleeps, and then you hold her some more till she wakes up. I have been spending the past week struggling to teach her that it is okay to chill out alone for a bit while still responding to her cries and meeting her needs. I'm even trying to teach her to put herself to sleep (no, not by letting her cry, thank you very much) and take a nap alone. Ambition, anyone?

After Teenybop gets home from school, it's back to having both kids to deal with, and that's hard because Teenybop is such a "helper" that she actually makes things harder for me in some ways.

And FashionBaby wasn't in the mood for anything on Friday, so she cried all day. Each time she'd start up again, Teenybop would try to help soothe her by SHOUTING over her cries that she was there and everything was okay and not to worry.

On top of all that, my house is a wreck because I am not allowed time during the day to get my household "chores" done, and by the end of the day it's all I can do to wait up till Teenybop is asleep before I'm passing out myself. Friday night I missed one of my favorite shows because I fell asleep at eight o'clock, and I didn't wake up Saturday morning until nine.

But, if you look really hard you can see a very faint silver lining. And in that silver lining is a hint that Teenybop will be a great big sister. This infant we've been keeping in our home loves Teenybop, and that love goes both ways for sure.

The exhaustion I mentioned above shows no sign of ever letting up. It seems to be getting progressively worse as the days go by, and this is very new to me. I didn't have this to deal with in my pregnancy with Teenybop and since she slept through the night from the start, I wasn't ever this tired with her.

So it's been hard to deal with, and not only does it make me s l o w e r a t e v e r y t h i n g, it has made me completely scatterbrained. It takes me actual thought so spell, type and speak somewhat correctly, which is weird because these things have always sort of been ingrained for me. Also, at the slightest interruption I find myself spending real effort just to get my thoughts back on track. I'm sure that is not helped by the fact that our computer is currently located in our third bedroom, which until now has been an "office" of sorts. It will now be converted into a nursery which is hard because it involves several major hassles.

First, when we moved into this apartment, we gave Teenybop the master bedroom, partly because she had so much stuff that she actually needed the space, and partly to encourage her to play in her room since she did have so much room to play. But in order to make room for the new baby, we have to find space for all the things that are in the office right now. Since our apartment is small closet-sized miniscule cozy, the best way to do that is to absorb all that stuff into our bedroom. And the only way to do that is to take over the master bedroom. We also have to try to keep any connection from developing in Teenybop's mind between the bedroom move and the new baby. because we don't want her to be afraid of the other changes to come. We'd much prefer for her to be excited.

So while babyitting and adjusting to the new pregnancy, we've been painting the room that was ours blue with a pretty pink "big girl" stripe and planning to move Teenybop in there once it's finished. In the meantime all of our stuff is crammed into the office, creating tons of mess and clutter, and we've been camping out on an air mattress in the living room. The clutter is making me CRAZY and I can't wait till this part is over so that at least I can keep a somewhat tidy environment again. It's working though, and Teenybop is very excited about her move. Hopefully it will be done soon, so that we can enjoy the next few weeks before it is time to tell her about the baby.

Why not tell her now? I have had a misscarriage before, so we are waiting until the misscarriage risk is lower, right around the twelve week mark.

Lately it seems more important than ever to continue with my little "self-competition", because I have more going on than ever, and I am more exhausted than ever. I want to remember my challenge to take better care of myself, doing more than just the basics. In the past few weeks, my sleep has been long but fitful, my bladder has declared war (but this only applies to repeated attacks in the middle of the night), and now my apartment is in shambles.

But I've remembered my challenge so far. My feet are done again, and tonight I will re-shape the eyebrows that are in need of a little attention. Not too bad, but I'd like to keep them up so they don't get all crazy ...

Maybe things will settle down again soon, even if just for a little while. FashionMommy is on the hunt for a permanent sitter, so at least I'll be able to sleep in again and spend more mornings cleaning. Mostly what I look forward to though, is getting to take Teenybop to school myself again, pick her up and hear about her day, and hang out with her in the afternoons. We haven't had much time for that lately.