July 26, 2012

milestones revisited

My buddy is growing like a weed.  Every time I look at him it's like he grew a foot taller.  His baby face is gone and he's all little boy now.  He keeps growing out of everything - including his current cloth diaper.  I've been looking into cloth diapers for bigger kids.  I found one that has an extender tab so it can be used for larger kids as well.  I thought this was a great option because then after he is potty trained, I could use the diaper without tabs for rara.

Then it hits you.  He may not be potty trained before rara.  He may not speak before rara.  My buddy is 3 1/2 years older than rara and before I know it she will be accomplishing things that my buddy will still struggle with.  I wonder what the first milestone is that she will hit before he does.  Will rara feel guilty about doing things her older brother cannot? 

It's been a long time since I've thought about milestones.  My buddy has been learning a lot - letters, colors, letter sounds.  He amazes me with what he knows and what he can "tell" me without having the words.  I guess having your baby sister surpass you is just another chapter in life with Down syndrome.

July 19, 2012

growing pains

Every time there is a new addition to your family there are sure to be some growing pains.  Rara has added so much to this family and I can't wait to see who she will be.  But for now, I am sucked into the black hole of caring for a newborn.  I am still amazed at how long it can take to just feed, diaper, and make one little being happy. 

Monkey bear continues to be a huge help.  No one can get a bigger smile out of rara than her big sister.  At the same time, monkey bear pleads with me to play with her.  I feel so bad about the lack of attention she is getting.  It can be so hard to leave the sink full of dishes and use that rare moment of no one needing me to sit down, play and just focus on her.

The bulk of the Mommy Guilt lies with my buddy.  He loves rara with all of his huge heart but he is not baby safe.  He cannot be near her without you being right there. I hate that I constantly have to push him away from the baby and he doesn't get to love on her the way he wants.  My buddy has been asking me lately for more hugs than usual.  I know he is feeling neglected as well.

Then there is rara.  She never gets to be free on the floor to explore the world because my buddy is out and about.  Rara is always locked in the kitchen or in my arms.  She gets left to cry more than I would like and gets dumped on the floor when I need to address my buddy's dangerous behavior.

There are moments each day where I feel like everything is falling into place and I've got the hang of it, but there are way more moments where I feel like nothing is going right and I just want to go to bed.  Luckily I have been here before and I know that it does get easier.  One day the toilets will be clean and the sink won't be full of dishes and I won't be begging a baby just to go to sleep.

July 8, 2012

the husband

I'm not sure I have ever mentioned my husband in this blog.  Let's face it, my life revolves around the kids.  But I wanted to take a minute to acknowledge what an amazing Dad they have.  As rara entered our family, he has really stepped up and taken charge of my buddy and monkey bear - making sure they have fun and plenty of big kid time.

When I was 21 years old and my 20 year old boyfriend suggested we get married, all I thought about was how head over heals in love I was.  Never for a minute did I consider what kind of a father he would be or what our lives would be like together.  There were plenty of people who said we were crazy for getting married and I'm sure they thought it would never last. 

We were married within a year of our first date and our crazy marriage began.  Since we were so young and my husband is a wanderer at heart, we moved from place to place.  We lived in Salem MA, West Hollywood CA, Malden MA, Exeter NH, Albany NY only to settle back in CT where we both grew up.  Now, 15 years later, he has an advanced degree and a grown up job and takes care of us all.

I first met him in High School as a punky 15 year old.  He had a mohawk, wore band T-shirts and combat boots.  I wore my brother's Polo shirts with my Gap shorts and Tretorns .  We still are opposites in many ways, but with all our years together and shared history those differences just bring us closer together.

Never would I have imagined that so many years later, he is a fantastic, loving Dad.  When the kids hear the key in the lock, their eyes light up and they go running for the door just to get a hug.  He tells all of us how much he loves us every day.  Even though we are both exhausted and a bit grumpy, I know I can count on him to step it up and be there for his family.