Monday, September 19, 2011

Ten Months Old!


Here's something I've learned about parenting - you can never trust what other people tell you about raising children. Everyone always told me that raising a second child would be completely different than the first. But so far, your similarities to your older sister are far greater than your differences. At this age, you both couldn't stand to be left alone in a room, were always, ALWAYS on the go, and had very little interest in age appropriate toys while always angling for ways to get the things I didn't want you to have. You and Emily were/are both social babies: perfect angels when we're out on the go, but often very whiny at home. But Sophie, in little ways, you are definitely your own little person. You're tender, and will almost always give me a cuddle, albeit often brief. Your smile is big, bright, and so frequently on display. And not to knock your sister, but let's just say I have a hunch that the natural athletic ability was more greatly bestowed to you.

You're such a good sleeper, my darling baby. This needing more sleep is both a blessing and a curse though because if you miss a nap you fall apart so quickly it's pathetic. When I started working three mornings a week and at first you weren't napping in the morning- well, let's just say it was a rough transition. But we've found a solution, you seem to adore your caretakers at the nursery while I work, and all is well.

You're still very much attached to your bottles, but slowly warming up to the idea that liquids can also come from a sippy cup. You let us know that you can feed yourself, thank you very much. Baby food fed from a spoon doesn't go over very well with you, but you will pick up cheerios and banana pieces until we decide you can't possibly need any more food. You are finally getting your first tooth popping through, which leaves me feeling relieved that you will indeed have at least one tooth by the time we're celebrating your first birthday.

Unfortunately, Sophie, I am finding it to be true again that this is often a frustrating age. You are very much aware of what you want but can't yet vocalize it with words. You very much want to follow but can't quite keep up by crawling. You desire to be held and explore at the same time and why can't I just figure out a way to let you do both? Still my darling girl, I cuddle up with you before bedtime, you rest your little head on my shoulder, and for a few moments, absolutely all is right with the world.



Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Our New Normal

I'm so thankful that the Lord knows me so well. When we moved to Pittsburgh for Eric to go to school - with a spirited three year old and an infant - I didn't imagine working was in the cards for me. Not because we wouldn't need the money (we sure do!) but because there didn't seem to be any scenario that would prove to be financially beneficial while simultaneously not completely overwhelming. Put another way, I may have been able to find a full-time job that would net us enough money to justify childcare expenses for two children for 40+ hours, but there was no way that I was comfortable leaving them for that long each day. As I found with Emily, part-time work is what sits best with me as a mom. It allows me enough of a break to miss my kids, to engage in adult conversation, to challenge parts of my brain that aren't normally used in parenting, etc. But at the same time, it's not so much that I feel like I'm missing out on milestones or bonding time with my girls.

I was given the gift of a job opportunity a few weeks ago when I was asked to interview for a part-time position in our church. I now work Monday, Wednesday, and Friday mornings with a great group of people. I feel challenged to do my work well, and I get to hear words of affirmation in a way that my little ones aren't able to provide me for me. I work in the same building on the same days that Emily goes to pre-school and Sophie is in the lovings arms of childcare providers just down the hallway from me. All in all, I couldn't imagine it working out any better. Our new normal routine is taking a bit of adjustment, but I praise God that "Before a word is on my tongue, you know it completely, O Lord!" (Psalm 139:4).