Maya is 1 Year Old!

We’re baaaaack!!! Whew, it’s been a whirlwind of a year and I’m here to give you the cliff notes now that life has settled down!

First thing first – Maya is 1 year old!!!

This girl – she is the most beautiful little being I’ve ever set eyes on. Her smile lights up a room. Her giggles make you laugh along with her.  And those bright blue eyes simply speak to you and make you melt.

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Maya gets excited by the sheer sight or sound of her brother. She begins to wiggle and kick as she and I walk downstairs and her brother’s voice comes into earshot.

She loves to walk, holding ever so slightly to my hand.  She’s been doing it for months, yet still too timid to take more than a step on her own.

She is attached to me with such ferocity that I’m lucky if I can step out of the room before tears fall and she’s chasing after me.  I love the feeling of being needed and appreciate that the warmth of my arms will not be enough to create such a sense of calm for much longer but it is exhausting as well.  She refuses to let anyone else, except Simon (and even with him, not all of the time), hold her, soothe her or care for her.

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Today her ped described her as precocious because she has mastered the ability to throw a world class tantrum at an earlier age than most others in addition to her intense stranger danger. I would not claim for a moment that she is an easy-going baby.  But her intensity also means that she loves deeply and has great passion for things she loves like reading, walking, and her family.

Maya is my sweet, itty bitty (5th percentile for wt. and ht.), fiery little girl.  We love her so.

And then there is Toby. This kid is so amazing.  And is literally changing every.single.day. He’s learning, he’s growing, his passion for the things that he loves is remarkable.

Toby loves all things fire truck, garbage truck, trains, bikes, cars, car carriers, and puzzles. He loves biking, running, swinging.  He loves to wait for the school bus every morning and watch as the “big” kids get on. He loves to sing songs to his sister when she cries, he loves to ask questions and questions and more questions. He loves to make believe. And he loves to wear his big boy underwear.

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Toby loves his little sister. And there are moments – many, in fact – that they laugh and play together.  Moments where he’ll share his trains with her or explain new concepts to her. But he’s struggled to learn how to be gentle with her.  And fun and games can often end in tears when hugs turn into tackles and pats turn in to pushes. I’m struggling to navigate this area of my parenting and find myself at a loss of what to do. Traditional discipline doesn’t seem to work.

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As for our lives – we’ve moved across country. Back to DC and the east coast. We feel so much more ‘at home’ here. The east coast is where I belong, that’s for sure. When we moved in July, I became a stay-at-home mom.  The transition has been a positive one, albeit difficult. It’s certainly the hardest job I’ve ever had.  I plan to go back to work sometime next year, but this time has been so precious and I have had the opportunity to get to know my kids in a way I would not have otherwise had the opportunity to do.

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Simon is working for an organization that has been affected quite dramatically from the recent election so he’s working long hours helping his team rethink their approach to policy advocacy. And he’s rocking it!

My family is now driving distance from us and I am grateful to have them closer although I still wish they were right down the road.

It’s Christmas time and I love this time of year. Life is pretty good over here and I’m happy to have found the time to get back to you.

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We’re Settling in as a Family of Four

Im a shitty blogger.

Or maybe Im just pressed for time with two crazy kiddos at home!

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Im going back to work in a week.  I can’t believe it.  Im dreading it – both because I am going to miss Maya desperately and do not believe a 3 month old should have to separate from her mother this soon and also because this time away from work has confirmed for me what I already knew – that I dont want to go back. Im not happy in my current job, but Ive been successful there, have moved up quickly and make decent money, so leaving is hard.  Especially since both kiddos and Simon are covered under my health insurance since his company doesnt offer any (what! – I know, it’s ridiculous.  A successful for-profit company doesnt offer health insurance…).

Life is wonderful, chaotic, and stressful.

Maya is 11 weeks old.  She’s stunning, incredibly active, gives great smiles, and is an excellent sleeper.  She’s also relatively fussy, pretty sensitive to sudden change, isn’t a big eater, and is itty bitty little. She’s just 9 lbs 13.5oz and in the 5th percentile.

Maya’s weight is a focus of attention right now. In her first few weeks, she was in 20-25th%.  She has since steadily dropped and has been coasting at the 5th for the past couple weeks.  The doc isn’t overly concerned at this point, but does want us weighing her every other week.  If she drops off the chart, we’ll have to take action – starting with adding some formula to a bottle a day to help add in some extra calories.  Unlike with Toby (who was also itty bitty), I am not concerned this is a supply issue.  And very unlike me – I don’t think it’s much of an issue at all.  I think I just have little kiddos.  Maya looks great, has energy, and sleeps well.  But, we’ll just have to wait and see…  I think a big contributor is Maya’s fussiness because she absolutely refuses to eat when she’s upset. Especially during her witching hour(s) that can last 2+ hrs in the early evening…awesome. She’s almost 3 months though and their bodies usually start to regulate and become more comfortable around that time, so Im hoping we’ll have a happier, hungrier baby soon!

That witching hour has been brutal but it seems to be calming down a bit (fingers crossed). For weeks on end, Simon would arrive home with Toby around 5pm and they would walk into a complete shit show. Maya would be screaming while Simon and I tried to cook dinner, feed Toby, eat ourselves, and get Toby to bed. Poor Toby rarely got (gets) to share a meal with both of us and watched as we frantically rush in and out of the room relieving one another after we hit our limit with Maya’s cries and have exhausted all of our soothing techniques.

Luckily the days with her are definitely better and we get to enjoy lots of time cuddling, smiling at one another, talking, and laying on the floor and staring up at bright, shiny colors 🙂  her naps range from 45mins to 2+ hrs. Oh, and most nights she gives me a nice 8-9hr stretch which is a damn miracle.  I swear I didnt get more than 3hrs from Toby until he was 8-9 months!

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Toby…the kid is too much!  He has us laughing all the time.  Or…so frustrated we want to scream! 🙂  His language is unbelievable.  It’s made such a huge difference being able to talk to him and for him to be able to effectively communicate his wants and needs to us.

Me1: Toby, what do you want for breakfast.

Toby1: Toby want o-a-t-a-m-e-a-l for breakfast.  No banana, mommy.  No Toby like banana.

Me2: Toby, do you want to set the table with me?

Toby2: No, mommy, Toby no want to set the table.  Toby’s cooking. Do it yourself.

Haha.  Love him.

He’s continuing to handle the transition well.  He shows Maya so much love, care and concern, and tenderness.  His hitting is far less frequent and we can usually read his mood and behavior well enough at this point that we remove one of them before it happens.

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As for me, Im doing pretty well.  Like I said, dreading going back to work but it is what it is.  Luckily my office is a welcoming one and my co-workers are great. Im totally recovered from surgery and have begun a journey to better health.  I have done one round of the Beachbody program, 21 Day Fix, which is an exercise and eating plan and have really enjoyed it.  Im going to do a few more rounds of it before I move on to another program.  As inspired by my fellow blogger over at Taking Our Family From 3 to 4, I think I am going to begin expanding this blog so that I can share my journey (and hopefully feel accountable to you in addition to me!).  I’m 4 pounds away from my pre-pregnancy weight but unfortunately that was already way higher than I should have been, so I have a ways to go.  But, I’m moving in the right direction.

Finally, Simon.  All I need to say is that he is my everything – our everything.  We are so lucky to have him.

We were only able to get Maya a 2-day slot at Toby’s school for at least the next couple months, so both Simon and I are taking off one day a week to be with her and he’s “working from home” the other day. This is going to be a big change for him and will likely be hard at first but what a special way for dad and daughter to have an opportunity to grow and strengthen their connection.

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