I just looked back at at our Zoe posts from “early on”, and guess what? There seem to be a lot of similarities to this time. Clear difference? Another cute kid to bathe, feed, entertain and love (oh, and the fact that we think we know what to do, but I swear it feels like we’re relearning everything – and on little sleep).
Everyone says “It must be so much easier this time, now that you know what you’re doing” – HAHAHAHAHA. To be clear, we never really “knew what we were doing” and those things we were doing were FOUR years ago. There are plusses and minuses to a 4-year age gap.
Anyway, here’s a glimpse of a typical weekday during these first (almost) 4 weeks of life:
- Get up around 6:30 (that includes Zoe, who wants to “help” feed her crying sister)
- I feed Ella and one of us gets her back to sleep while the other prepares breakfast for Zoe (and talks her into eating it), gets her dressed and takes her to school – the one left at home clears the table, preps for Ella’s next “up” time and tries to get something (anything) done while she sleeps
- About 2-3 hours later Ella wakes to a farty party (read: she POOPS), gets a diaper change and feeds like crazed animal who hasn’t been fed in a week (REPEAT every 2-3 hours)
- Insert “Try to Get Something (Anything) Done While Ella Sleeps” at every sleeping interval, with mixed results – some afternoons she “cluster feeds” which is every hour. In this way, the day melts away and suddenly…
- It’s time to pick up Zoe from school, prepare dinner, spend quality time with Zoe before/after dinner (Ella eats, sleeps, poops at will in between all of the above)
- Get Zoe ready for bed, read her books trying not to pass out in the middle (in fact, one night Zoe asked me if I could always read her books since “Daddy falls asleep sometimes”) and once she’s safely tucked in bed, it’s time to start the Ella night ritual…
- Usually, Bart changes Ella’s diaper, I feed her, and one of us (usually him) gets her back to sleep (REPEAT every 2-3 hours all night long)
Weekends are a crap shoot. With Zoe home, we alternate taking her places and/or finding fun things for her to do (that don’t involve her hovering over Ella’s sleeping spot saying “Hi, Ella – I’m your big sister. You’re so cute.” and patting her head). I’m no good at daytime sleep, but when he’s lucky, Bart gets a nap, especially on the weekends while Zoe is napping. Thank goodness our 4-year-old still naps!
Quick funny story about that: Apparently at school Zoe has been napping REALLY WELL, and one day she woke up still tired and told the teacher “It’s the Baby. She’s keeping me up all night.”
We’ve also been lucky to have help. My sister was here for Ella’s first week, my mom has been here this past week, and Bart’s parents arrive in the middle of next week. Phew! Otherwise, I think we’d be nuts by now…
I’m confident this will all get better once Ella is a little more aware (and has built up some immunity) so we can all go out and about more often as a family. Of course, I’m sure I will end up writing THAT blog about the challenges of taking 2 kids out of the house, but it sure SOUNDS like it will be better ;)
I remain optimistic. And in the meantime, our sleepy selves still feel VERY lucky to have two beautiful daughters!
UP NEXT: Bart takes Zoe on a Daddy/Daughter trip to see Grandpa play volleyball in St George, Utah this weekend, and we have Ella’s official 4-week doc visit on Monday. Stay tuned!