Saturday, April 9, 2011

Now what?

Holy Crap, we have a 2 year old and a newborn.
Now what?

We had been preparing Katie for the arrival of her brother for what feels like forever. And I mean forever - if you think about it, a good majority of her life we have been talking about the baby - and that was the majority of her life that she was communicative and understood what we were saying. Most people told us we were crazy and that she wasn't going to understand because she was too young.
Those people obviously have not had a full on conversation with our 26 month old who knows her alphabet, numbers, right and left and makes up her own songs to tunes she already knows.

I was afraid of all the horror stories that I have heard from different parents regarding bringing home baby number 2. From toddler outbursts, to anger issues, even siblings that try to hurt the baby and of course the older sibling that ignores mommy for the first few days/weeks after baby comes home.

We didn't want her to think he was staying in my belly forever, so I made sure to explain that he would have a birthday and we would go to the hospital to meet him and then he would come home with us. When we set up his part of our room, I let her help me put up the decorations for him and set up his diaper station and changing table.

We explained to her that when he came home he would be little and not able to do much and sleep a lot. We also told her that he would cry and that we would have to tell him that it was ok.

She understood all of it. Even before she turned 2 - she would tell people that she had a brother and point to my belly. We would ask where he was going to sleep and she would show us.

So, we thought we were pretty well prepared for D day.
We were right!

Katie has been a ROCK STAR. She was at my parents house for a few days when we went into labor and she LOVES going there - especially alone. So, we didn't have to worry about leaving her with someone or waiting for someone to get here - so that made things much better. Before she left to go to my parents house, we explained that we might see her next at the hospital for "Brother Baby's" birthday.

He tool all day to come, so no one came to visit us on Thursday as it was after her bedtime and I didn't want to disrupt her schedule - plus, there was no sense seeing as how he was born at 9:15.

I had heard somewhere that it helps if you have the nurse bring the baby into your room after your toddler is there so she wasn't walking in on us hanging out alone with the new baby. So, I made sure that Dave went down to get her from my parents, and brought her up alone so that she could meet him with just us. (the grandparents came up a few minutes later) I also made sure to get up and get dressed and look as normal as possible as I was afraid it might spook her.
We then had the nurse bring him in.

She was unbelievably cool about the ENTIRE THING. She wasn't scared of the hospital or the nurses or the situation at all. She talked to both of us and was more concerned with getting her snack than she was with anything else. When they brought him in, she went over to look at him and then kept eating her snack. Later on, he gave her a "present" which she still tells people Brother Baby gave him to me at the hopsital (that's how she says it)....

I was afraid of going home. But life has been amazing. Our parents were able to help the first few days with paying special attention to Katie and we have been able to split our time between the two of them as best as possible. since I'm nursing, it's a little lopsided, but she's handling it very well and I try to do things like, read to her or set up a special activity that I can help her with with one hand while I'm feeding him so that she doesn't feel totally ignored.

I also make sure to explain to her that all the stuff we are doing with/for Ben, we did for her. So I will show her pictures of her playing tummy time or sitting in the swing. It seems to be helping her to understand that we paid special attention to her when she needed it too. I also make sure to point out how boring Ben is - hahaha and how he can't run, jump or play like she can.

I can't have asked for a better response from her. She talks to him, and helps us when we ask - but she isn't overly into him where I have to worry that she might smother him a bit. She doesn't really get jealous when we have to help him - although she has one point in every day where she seems to be fed up a bit and starts acting out a bit - but we are VERY lucky as the worst she will do is throw some of her food on the floor or do the opposite of what we are saying.

She really is an amazingly behaved kid. The terrible two's have not yet shown up on our doorstep. She has shown NO signs of reverting with her potty training and she is sleeping just fine. Napping is getting more difficult but ever since the time change, she's had that issue. Even when she doesn't want to nap - she will lay quietly in her crib and play with her friends for up to 2 hours - and that's fine by me.

Ben is doing GREAT!! He doesn't eat nearly as much as Katie did - so nursing is working out WAY better. He is gaining weight like a monster and already holds his head up. I am looking at it as I have 1 more week before nursing is spaced out enough that we can safely go do things during the day without feeding getting in the way.

Lucky doesn't even begin to describe how I feel right now.

One more little story, then I'll stop talking about how great life is. (sorry - but I'm on a bit of a high as I really was worried)

We took Katie to the mall to go on the carousel and play in the play space kind of as a thank you for being such a good big sister day on Dave's last day home. I had to nurse Ben - so we had to stop in the middle of our outing for about 40 minutes. (they have an AWESOME family lounge where I could relax and feed him in private) Katie had gotten 3 tokens for the carousel and done 2 rides with Dave while I got a head start on feeding. She then said she wanted to ride with me - they had to walk all the way down to the lounge, wait about 20 minutes while Ben finished and then we went to lunch before getting her last carousel ride in and she didn't complain or pitch a fit once. Her patience has amazed us in having to put Ben first sometimes and I'm hoping it lasts!!!

Granted, that night due to a bad nights sleep and no nap because of our outing, she has a mini breakdown for attention - but one really bad hour out of the majority of the week from a 2 year old who has just had her life turned upside down??? I'll take it!

Thanks for reading!

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