Whew!! We made it through the first week, and you know what? It wasn't as hard as I thought it would be! I kept my expectations low, and Michael has been a rock star. Combine those two and you get a pleasant week with a gigantic learning curve. Without further ado, here are some things I've learned this week about being mommy to our sweet Bennett and little Jasper, and some pictures, since that's what you're really here for :)
1) Not all red heads are tempermental.
Our Jasper is a sweetheart and a half, and I find myself amazed and praising God everyday for how blessed we've been with not one, but TWO easy babies. I was nervous about this, thinking our second would be a little firecracker for sure. But truth be told, it's looking like that role belongs to Bennett alone, and even he is very obedient and has a very strong desire to please coupled with his mountains of energy :) Jasper LOVES to sleep (already sleeps 4-5 hours at a time at night, so I'm feeding him at 9pm, 2am, and then 6am each night), which was another thing I was a little worried about. I thought with Bennett being as good of a sleeper as he's been, the odds were we'd really "get it" this time around. But Jasper is more calm, quieter, and more docile than Bennett ever was as an infant, amazingly enough. So some redheads are sweetie pies with little to no temper :)
2) Bennett's greatest needs are love and consistency, and occasionally some intentional one on one time with his mama, which I'm more than happy to provide :)
Michael and I noticed him acting out a bit more the third and fourth days, and we talked about and came up with a game plan. Other than feedings, we swapped responsibilities with the boys. I took Bennett on a LONG walk and played with him all day yesterday, while Michael held, rocked and soothed Jasper as his needs arose. This worked WONDERS on Bennett's behavior and spunk, and I'd REALLY been missing my little buddy, so it did my heart good to hand the baby over and have some rip roaring toddler fun with my munchkin.
3) Taking the days apart and dealing with them in chunks of time works MUCH better for me and is MUCH less overwhelming.
I think about goals and things we'll do in the morning, pre-Bennett nap, then during Bennett's nap, then after the nap, then the evening time, then after Bennett goes to bed. Everything revolves mostly around Bennett's schedule because it's well established and is something I can count on. I'm learning where to fit in Jasper's needs and activities around this, and it works well so far.
4) Getting out of the house is always a good thing.
I'm not a home-body. Sometimes I wish I was, but truth be told, I go a little stir-crazy if I'm inside too long. So it's fabulous that the weather has been so pretty. We're getting zoo passes for the summer, we've discovered a new park, we go to library story time each week, and we try to get together with friends once a week, and to have a day with Mimi once a week as well. All of this, along with running errands (which I haven't really tackled yet :) ), helps me stay structured and sane, and to take a deep breath and enjoy enjoying my sweet boys :)
5) I have A-M-A-Z-I-N-G friends. Seriously.
I knew you guys were great, but SO MANY people have really outdone themselves with showers, hospital visits, setting up meal rotations, and checking in on us with e-mails and messages. I cannot tell you how much this means to me and to our family, and how WONDERFUL and what a relief it is to know there is this body of people who love us and are here when we need you. I feel so humbled and grateful for all of you. It's beautiful to see God using His people to lift up others. THANK YOU to all of you - you know who you are!!
*Bennett LOVES his baby brother. He brings him toys when he cries, he CONSTANTLY wants to hold him, and he's very gentle and loving. This is a great blessing as well.
*I'm feeling GREAT. My surgery went really smoothly - I'd say even more smoothly than last time, which has really helped getting things back to normal and figuring out how our family of four should function now.
In the hospital...
And that should last all of you who were wondering how we've been and what our little buddy #2 looks like/acts like for a good while! Have a great weekend! :)