Sunday, February 16, 2014

One Month with Julia

Time really flies when your days consist of juggling the needs of a newborn, a toddler and normal household stuff! I went back to re-read some posts about Natalie at 3 weeks and 2 months and I must say, I'm so thankful that Julia has not had her days and nights mixed up like her big sister did! We still get up about 3 times a night, which is rough enough on poor ol' mom, but thank goodness for nap time! (Natalie is asleep on the hardwood floor at my feet as I type...that's a new one.)

My favorite thing about having Julia in our family is seeing how much Natalie enjoys her. She tells me several times a day that she loves her baby sister and it just melts my heart. Natalie loves "reading" books to her baby sister and tries to keep Layla away from her. After Julia wakes up from a nap, Natalie sometimes says, "Eyes open!". I guess she doesn't know the word "awake" yet, haha. She recently starting giving Julia hugs and kisses before going to bed and then I hold Julia up so she can give Natalie a "kiss", too.

Valentines Day was a bit of a disaster for us this year. We had friends over for dinner and both kids were in bad moods. Julia became hysterical, I think because I waited too long to try and feed her and she got too worked up to calm down. Then I finally got her calmed down enough to eat, and Natalie started acting out. After dinner, Julia started crying hysterically AGAIN, this time because she was fighting sleep. And boy, does she have an ear-piercing "mad" cry. Think nails on a chalkboard. I took her to our bedroom and shut the door while I tried to calm her down, but nothing worked. Finally, I remembered something from a video I'd watched earlier in the day and decided to try swaddling her to help calm her. Our friends were getting ready to leave as I walked out of the bedroom, with tears in my eyes. Of course, Julia would stop screaming and fall asleep as soon as they were gone!

I'm really curious to see what kind of personality Julia has as she gets older. She and Natalie seem so much alike, but I'm sure they will have their differences. They have both liked being held facing outward or up on your shoulder so they can see what is going on around them. Both have tempers, although Julia's has only come out more recently, whereas Natalie showed hers immediately after being born. Julia loves being held...maybe a little too much. She usually wakes up as soon as I try to put her down for a nap any time during the morning. Thankfully, for her afternoon naps, she tends to sleep deeper and longer on her own in the pack n play or her cradle. I love cuddling with her, but I don't want to take away from Natalie and sometimes I feel like I'm depriving Natalie of quality attention because Julia is always in my arms. Julia usually loves the swing, which has been a big lifesaver. Another lifesaver has been my homemade Moby wrap. There have been a few times where Julia was upset and she calmed right down when I wrapped her up in that on my chest. My first and only solo trip to Walmart with both kids necessitated the use of the Moby wrap. I do not look forward to going out alone with them again before Julia is old enough to sit up in a shopping cart or the weather is warm enough to wear her from the car into the store and leave the car seat in the car.

Julia weighs 10 pounds according to our home scale. She gained 14 oz during her first week of life alone! She outgrew her newborn clothes around 2 weeks old and has been wearing size 1 diapers for about 2 weeks. If our cloth diapers fit her now, I'll probably start using them soon. Two kids in cloth should be interesting! I can barely keep up with the laundry as it is! Our poor girl suffers from a lot of gas pains and spits up far more than Natalie ever did. I feel so bad for her. I don't know if it's because of what I'm eating or what, but I wish she didn't have to deal with all that. It's definitely something to talk to the doctor about at her next appointment.

      You captured my heart from the start, and I can't imagine life without you. I was worried about bonding and falling in love with another daughter, but it happened so quickly and naturally and for that I am so grateful. You give me such cute little smiles even though I don't think you do it on purpose yet. Everyone says you look like your grandma (my mom) and I agree, although I think you look a lot like your big sister, too. Maybe one of these days you'll start sleeping better at night like you did in the beginning, but until then, I'll try to enjoy our frequent mid-night cuddle sessions because all too soon you will grow up on me. I love you so very much, my sweet girl!