Here we go!
These boys – I tell you – they are such great buddies! Matthew didn’t really have a rough time adjusting to his new brother, but there were moments where he’d get frustrated and act out. I can count on less than two whole hands how often Matthew’s shown any type of anger towards Bryson. We are used to hugs, kisses, and requests to hold Bryson. We’re used to lots of love being shown in both directions between our two boys.
Lately, though, Matthew has sort of ignored Bryson altogether. Matthew is Bryson’s entire world, his favorite person of all time. Bryson spends much of his day gazing at his big brother, trying desperately to get his attention. For the most part, Matthew rarely looks over during those moments, and it’s a little heartbreaking, even though we know he means nothing at all by it.
The last few days have shown a marked difference in how Matthew views his brother, though. He seeks Bryson out, kisses him FIRST every morning, entertains him in the bath tub, kisses his boo boos, requests to hold him, and tends to him when he’s crying. If Matthew gets in the tub before his brother, he requests we get him right away. We are so tickled that he’s doting on his baby brother again, and giving him the attention he so desperately craves from Matthew.
Bryson can’t play in his gym without Matthew coming to play too. There are moments of taking toys away, but for the most part, they play together. Yesterday, I caught Matthew watching Bryson to see what he’d do with a toy. Of course it went straight into Bryson’s mouth, and Matthew followed his lead by putting the toy he had in his mouth too… And he was so pleased to be like his baby brother.
They melt my heart!
Having one final family nap (including Lily in her usual spot) before B gets home later today. Bryson has taken TWO naps in his crib today, 40 minutes and 1.25 HOURS long. I figured he deserved a seriously peaceful snuggle with Mom, Big Brother, and his kitties. 🙂
I was chatting via text with my cousin tonight. She checked in to see how I’m doing with B out of town. She’s a great gal, a wonderful relative to have in my life!
We had a rough evening here in our house – we’re having an ice storm so we couldn’t get out. If you know anything about me, you know I MUST GET OUT OF THE HOUSE! So we were homebound and getting a bit bored with each other. Matthew and I made another batch of pouches together, which was super fun, and I ordered pizza. Everyone was really good, but Matthew is now obsessed with playing with the water. He’ll pull a foot stool up to the sink and turn it on, filling up cups, bowls, whatever. That’s all well and good when I’m there, but if I’m not there, he can get it too hot. He kept doing it.. over and over and over even though I said to stop. I yelled a bit.
Then he took his foot stool to the counter where I had the cuisin.art setup and started playing with the knife block. Another raised voice from me.
Then I slipped on the ice and fell hard when bringing the garbage cans in – it’s going to hurt tomorrow.
Then Matthew wouldn’t stay in bed.
I did end the bedtime escapes very patiently and lovingly, but I was at my rope’s end.
Not to mention I tried to get Bryson to sleep in his crib, and all that got me was the two of us in tears together, with me holding him so tightly that it was hard to put him down. I am such a wimp! I couldn’t stand his crying after 20 minutes and I couldn’t get in there fast enough to spring him out of his little jail. I was heartbroken (as was he).
So my cousin and I were texting and I said something that just says it all. The best way to describe how I feel right now is this: I can feel the patience leaving my body, from my stomach and back, through my neck, my arms, and out my fingertips. I could literally feel the patience leaving my body through my fingertips.
I am so ready for B to come home. I am ready to get some sleep. I am ready for my play day on Saturday. I am ready for some help. We are all so done and bored with each other, and we need a changing of the guard.
I’m solo-parenting this week. I’m half-done. I feel like I’m coming apart at the seams. It’s really not that bad, but it’s tiring.
Bryson sleeps like crap, and I don’t even want to talk about it anymore. I think he is frustrated by not being able to stretch out in his rocker, but he refuses anything else. He’ll sleep 4-6 hours. Then is up every 2 hours. Midnight, 2:00, then 4:00 last night before I put him in bed with me. Then Matthew woke up and needed me (us) at 5:33. At 5:53, all three of us got up. Holy hell! It’s a good thing I napped yesterday!
It’s really just the nights that are killing me. And this morning. I’m just so tired. B can’t get home soon enough! He left Sunday morning at 10:00 and comes home Friday at 5:30. It’s essentially 6 days and 5 nights in a row on my own. It’s hard. I have so much respect for single parents, especially those with more than 1 little one.
I enjoyed alone time with Matthew when B would travel. A week of him being gone never fazed me, because, well, one kid is easy. Two kids… someone is always being ignored and that makes me sad. 😦 I just pile on the self-guilt when I can’t give either of them what they truly need and want from me.
I told B that Saturday is MY day. My only kid responsibility is to nurse Bryson. I’m sure I’ll choose to hang out with them all most of the day, but I want to SLEEP and I want to go somewhere, anywhere, by MYSELF while they nap.
The above was written this morning, when I was grumpy, tired, and… pissed off.
I’m much better now.
What changed? I have no idea. Maybe it’s the realization that despite the exhaustion and pissiness, I know that things aren’t that bad and that in all honesty, I get a lot of shit done when B is out-of-town. I mean – I GET SHIT DONE! Here’s what I’ve done that would normally go by the wayside when solo-parenting:
- I tried out my new pouch maker! I steamed up 5 apples and 4-5 sweet potatoes, pureed them, and pouched them up for Matthew to try (I got only 4 applesauce pouches and 4 sweet potato pouches out of that, saving most of the sweet potatoes for a later recipe and also freezing some in cubes for Bryson who starts solids after Christmas)
- Met up with one of my best friends who moved away a few years ago, and learned that she may move back (YAY!)
- Bought heaps of produce to make more pouches
- Everyone in bed by 8:45
Monday (Preschool Day):
- Took Bryson to get his photos taken with Santa
- Scheduled all 3 cats’ vet visits ($$$ ugh!)
- Bought Christmas PJ’s for our trip to St. Louis after Thanksgiving
- Ordered 12-18 month sweater one-piece outfits for Bryson (everything we have 12-18 months is for SUMMER)
- Everyone in bed by 8:36
- Matthew’s dental exam first thing in the morning (went well!)
- Lunch with my friend, K
- Trimmed and steamed 1 large butternut squash, 12 apples (variety), 1 bag of blueberries, 2 bunches of fresh carrots, 2 large parsnips, and 4 bananas for pouches (with Bryson strapped to me on the front as he napped)
- Blended 5 different types of pouches ending up with 34 pouches and 3 trays (36 cubes) in the freezer
- Changed out all towels
- Everyone in bed by 8:30
Wednesday (Preschool Day):
- Took one cat to the vet while Matthew was at school
- Forced 2 pouches on Matthew who refused them until just before dinner
- The cleaners came (yes, I have cleaners… but most everyone knows that)
- Took both boys to see Santa (and Matthew rode the train)
- Dinner at Chip.otle
- Changed all sheets
- Laundry (all done now)
- EVERYONE IN BED BY 8:05!
Here’s what’s on-deck for the rest of the time while B is gone:
- Watch my friend’s daughter
- Go to the grocery store for more produce
- Steam up the produce I still have (peas, pears, broccoli)
- Blend 2 types of pouches and freeze them
- Zoo activity at 10:30
- Buy new sheets for Matthew (he’s picking them out!)
- Lunch and naps before picking B up at the airport at 4:30!
I’ve come to realize that even though things get stressful, I like to stay busy when B is out-of-town because I get lonely. You can only watch so much Bre.aking Bad before you want to just DO SOMETHING. I’ve always been this way, which is why I have a ton of super crafty scrapbooks to showcase my travels as a single person. When I’m alone, I don’t like to go to bed – I’m a night owl. So if I’m going to be a night owl, I should use it to my advantage and get shit done.
I’ve also come to realize that I am really, REALLY good at putting my kids to bed. I wasn’t sure how it would go with B out-of-town since he reads to Matthew while I nurse Bryson, but we figured it out and will actually modify bedtimes from now on because of what we’ve learned. Matthew has RUN to his room every single night with B out-of-town because of one little change I had to make (let him watch 15 minutes of CG while I nurse Bryson). He is excited to read his books now, rather than fighting us because it’s bedtime. The break between bath and books is what he needs to not feel overwhelmed. AND THESE KIDS ARE GOING TO BED EARLIER! I always tend to roll bedtime back while B is out-of-town, but then it slides a little here, a little there once he’s home. I’m not saying it’s all his fault. But what I’m saying is that it’s all his fault. 😉 He just isn’t tough enough with Matthew, and I am. Bedtime, from this day forward, is now 8:00. Lights out at 8:00. No toddler needs to be up past 8:00!
So yeah, I’ve been stressed, but I’ve also done a lot of good stuff. I’ve loaded up our freezer with healthy snacks for Matthew (and some essentials for Bryson that he’ll need in just a month – WOW!), I’ve got all the laundry caught up (this is very important to me before B comes home), everyone is sleeping on clean sheets, we’re still getting out of the house at least once (if not twice) a day, I’ve gotten everyone (including the cat) to all activities on time, and bedtime has been moved back to a reasonable time. Good things happen under pressure, I think!
Whew! It feels good to get all of that off my chest! Now, it’s time for some Breakin.g Ba.d!
I’ll leave you with photos of my boys with Santa! It went really well – my plan worked and although Matthew did not smile, he did go sit with Santa willingly and gave us some cute things to capture!
We will be meeting Santa again this year, but in St. Louis this time two weeks from yesterday. Meeting Santa last year was not a great experience for Matthew. We got cute photos of him being scared, which wasn’t exactly what we were going for. HA! When Matthew was Bryson’s age, we got cute photos, but he was rather stoic in them. But man alive, they were cute!
Today, while walking the mall with my mom friends, I thought, “why not try a Santa picture with Bryson?” He was dressed for the occasion (a darling sweater outfit because jeans don’t fit his
little legs) and was in a good mood. So I got in line (there was no line) at 9:56, waiting for them to let us in. He did great. He was so cute and had a great time – and yes – his outfit was pretty perfect!
Of course I bought all the digitals (say it with me, “of course you did!”) and a 5X7 that I’ve already shown Matthew, asking him if he wants to meet Santa too. He says no. 😉 We’ll see in a couple of weeks. I’ll keep using that photo as bait, and the Santa-dressed sock monkey Bryson picked out for him while we paid for the photos.
Our photos next week better work out – we all (and I mean, we ALL, including B) have matching sweater outfits for Breakfast with Santa! I have officially turned into my mother (sigh).
I forgot to document a milestone for Bryson… And what good is my blog if I don’t document the important things (because I don’t keep baby books)?
Bryson is sitting up, unassisted without props of any kind, and has since Sunday (11/10). He actually did it a week or so earlier than that during family photos, but we didn’t push it so I didn’t count it. I only count milestones when they’re really being done. He can’t roll over yet – he has no interest in moving, just like his brother 2 years ago – but he’s sitting up like a big boy. I remember asking the doctor last time if it was ok that Matthew was sitting but not rolling over, and she said of course it is because sitting is a more advanced accomplishment. Who knew? So this time, I’m not concerned.
Which brings me to a parenting realization. I just don’t care this time around when things will happen, because I know they will happen. Matthew sat up (early) before he rolled over, he crawled early, walked early, etc. If I had not listened to that doctor two years ago, I probably would have gotten caught up in his inability to roll (or lack of interest in rolling) and not helped him move on to other things. He did roll over, eventually (but I never even wrote down the date of when he did).
I haven’t worked too much on rolling with Bryson, and he’s still sleeping in the rock and play (but must get out of it this weekend since he can sit up now, and topple out, I suppose) which means he can’t roll even unintentionally in the night. Sure, I’m trying to give Bryson space and time to try to roll, but let’s face it – that’s hard to do with an active 2 year old this time around. The minute Bryson is on the floor, Matthew is beside him playing with and entertaining him. Forget putting toys out of his reach to encourage movement, because Matthew will just happily hand them to him. Bryson doesn’t have to roll to get to things – he has his big brother to get things for him 🙂
And the bottom line is – he’ll do it eventually. When he wants to.
I am a bit irritated with other mothers at the moment in regards to new milestones. Some of them have older kids who are rolling like champs but not sitting up yet. Mind you – Bryson is sitting rather early, so it’s not like their kids are even behind at all, but it seems to be an irritant. I very openly talk about Bryson not rolling over and about Matthew’s speech, with no excuses or explanations because there aren’t any, because things just are what they are. These other moms (and their friends) tell me that Bryson is sitting up because he’s so chunky and has a broader base. No, that’s actually NOT why. Matthew sat just two weeks later than Bryson and he was much thinner. In the next breath, these moms will tell me that he isn’t rolling because he’s too chunky. So which one is it – is he too chunky to do things, or does his chunk help him? You can’t have it both ways. It doesn’t even matter because they’re wrong given that Matthew was the exact same way and thinner.
Why are parents so catty? I don’t get wrapped up in it, and I don’t even correct them because who really cares? But it pisses me off. I thought we were all beyond whose kids do what and when, but apparently it starts over with baby #2. Unreal. All of this because I posted a picture on FB so my mom, who never sees my kids, could see that he’s sitting up. I never mentioned it to the other moms – I just posted the picture on FB to share it with my family. These moms took it upon themselves to bring it up, and then say that it’s because my kid is a chunk and their kid is thin. Do they know how ridiculous they sound?
I chalk it up to an age thing (I’m old and they’re quite a bit younger), but I don’t think it’s that simple. But whatever! I know we’re all defensive of our kids, I just wish some moms weren’t defensive by being offensive to others. GAH!
So yeah, Bryson is sitting up… on the floor, on the bed, in his brother’s chair, in high chairs at restaurants (huzzah!), EVERYWHERE without my help. It’s very freeing for me because it makes him so happy to be upright. When nothing will calm him down, I can set him in Matthew’s chair and (gasp!) walk away. I know this is going to bite me in the ass, but so far, there have been no injuries. I’m sure we’ll have more injuries once he’s rolling and I forget and leave him on the bed. HA!
If you were reading my blog a year and a half ago, you may remember that I was WAY into planning Matthew’s first birthday party. No detail was missed. It was a lot of work! I did a couple of projects knowing I’d repurpose them in his nursery, namely the mobile that hung above the party table and the animal bouquet centerpieces (that not even one person noticed!).
Surprise surprise, I never got around to doing those repurposing projects! All I had to do with the mobile was hang the darn thing, but that involved getting a hook for the ceiling, blah, blah, blah. Bottom line – I was lazy and exhausted after 6 months of planning and working on that party. And I was sick of it!
Bryson is in the nursery now and I really wanted to make the room his own, and not just a hand-me-down from Matthew. I hung the mobile last week, and I just finished the garland I made with the animals from his centerpieces and the pom pom cupcake toppers.
That silly little garland was more work than I thought it could ever be. I’m not sure it will last for the long run, but for now, I’m loving it! However, make no mistake, this is a one-and-done project. I will NEVER make another one!
Now if I could just get Bryson’s newborn photos hung above the crib. Sigh. The last frame arrives Wednesday so they should be up soon!