I give myself a pat on the back for documenting the details of Aden's first year (so far). Part of it is attributed to my nature (to blog; to keep record of things). I'm current in Aden's baby book, his Places I've Been Book and I take photographs of him every single week. Of course, there's his weekly photo with the zebra so we can see how much he's grown. Andi's the better photographer between the two of us and he took all of Tory's zebra photos, so Aden's might not be the best quality but dang it, he has a photo each day he turns a week older!
|24 weeks old yesterday|
As a mom to two kids, there are differences the second time around. I suppose this is the advantage /or disadvantage of being Child #2. Take, for instance, how it dawned on me the other day to read to Aden. I ran across a stack of Tory's favorite board books and thought, "hey, I wonder if Aden would like these?" And, he did. I spent hours lying on Tory's bedroom floor reading books to her when she was Aden's age and for some reason, it never occurred to me Aden might like to do the same thing. I blame it on life being busier, I guess. It seems like we're always on the go. Anyway, I try to make it a point to read to Aden every day now.
While I may not have the time to read to Aden for hours on end, he has the benefit of being exposed to music and social situations infant Tory was not. Aden gets toted along to all of Tory's events and activities, like attending music class at only a few weeks old. I signed Aden up for swimming lessons next month and I almost reconsidered when I saw the total cost of having two kids in lessons this summer. But, no! He shall not get the shaft as second child! We started Tory in swimming class at 6 months of age and I want Aden to have the same opportunity. (Plus, it just makes good sense considering we have a lake cabin ... even if it is astronomically expensive).
Though, being carted along to so many extracurriculars means Aden is sick far more than Tory ever was as a baby. Sigh. No avoiding germs with an older sibling in the mix.
Another point - I'm constantly reminding myself not to wish away Aden's babyhood. I love every baby stage for what it is, but now that I know what milestone is on the horizon, I seem to be in a rush to get there. Aden is starting to sit up unassisted and in my head I'm like oh, finally! I imagine him crawling around in the grass at the cabin this summer and daydreaming about the day he's big enough to play toys with Tory. What I really need to say to myself is slow down, mind! Quit rushing away the moment Aden is in today.
One milestone I'm not rushing into is baby food. This is the complete opposite of when Tory was Aden's age. Baby food is just ... so much work. Meal times are already a stressful part of my day and I'm not looking forward to adding one more mouth to feed (and person to clean up after) to the mix. I remember making all of Tory's first purees from organic fruits and vegetables and this time ... no way / nope / not happening. For me, making my own baby food purees was more work than it was worth. Aden shall have the best jarred baby food they offer!
I'm more lax about formula, too. I keep a 2oz. bottle of ready-mixed formula in my diaper bag for emergencies / last-minute childcare, etc. I would've never fed Tory formula when nursing was an option, but these days it's just easier sometimes. For instance, when you're in the middle of Target with a hungry infant, a wiggly toddler and a cart full of groceries. Easier. (Btw, have you seen those little pre-mixed bottles? I'm not sure if they're a new thing or new to me, but they're so smart and convenient.) The new mom I was two-years-ago is shocked by how differently I feel about feeding my second baby today.
I stuck to a rigid schedule with Tory. She slept from this time to that time and ate meals precisely at X time on the dot. I used to stress - hard - when I'd visit family in Nebraska and people were noisy in the house after 7:00pm. Tory is sleeping everyone! Don't you have any respect for my child?! With Aden, I'm much more flexible ... with everything. Yes, we have a basic pattern to each day, but naps are often interrupted by errands or plans or people and sometimes naps even happen in the car. I just don't get as worked up about the little details of our days the way I used to.
Speaking of sleeping (through the night, specifically) ... my little boy stinks at it, and failing to teach our child to self soothe is one mistake I won't be repeating. Aden's been pretty sick this week so I've catered to his every whimper, but soon I'll be implementing some tough love.
This is so ridiculous, but I always feel bad for Aden when Tory gets a gift from someone and Aden doesn't. It happened a few times around Easter. Now, I know Aden doesn't know the difference and at 5 months old, he could really care less ... but it hurts my heart a little bit. I find myself compensating for his second child-ness by overbuying clothes for him. It's a bit of an obsession, actually. I feel like Tory had SO. MANY. CLOTHES. when she was Aden's age because she received boatloads of gifts from baby showers, etc. Aden didn't have the same experience, so when I'm in the store I can't help but buy something new for him. I worry he doesn't have enough clothes to wear, then later I realize ... whoa, little dude's dresser drawers are plum full. Just this week, I found a whole stack of 9 month clothes I'd bought a few months ago and stashed away for summer.
Having two kids is such a trip. So many of life's experiences I want them to share and some I'm choosing to do differently with a second chance.