Katelynn’s First Birthday

It’s been such a long time since my last post! It’s a been a very busy and blessed year. My youngest daughter turned one this January! I am going through a mixed bag of emotions – ranging from gratitude that we all made it in one piece and that Katelynn is so healthy and a voracious eater despite the nightmare of my pregnancy and relief (that she is sleeping through the night, no longer refluxy/gassy) to sadness (that she is getting bigger every day and now a toddler almost ready to walk on her own).

Then there’s the uh-oh feeling I get when I realize she’s starting to show her true personality now (complete with tantrums and angry arm flailing when we tell her no). When I see couples holding their newborn baby, I start to feel nostalgic – remembering the times I held her all day to keep her asleep.

Then I remember how hard it was and I feel relieved that we survived the chaos of Katelynn’s first year and my first year juggling two children! There were countless sleepless nights when Katelynn needed to be burped 10+ times due to excessive gas and reflux. Midnight was her average bedtime those first few months!

The hardest moments were trying to figure out how to manage my time between my two girls – nursing Kate took so much of my time/energy and Annelise would be so sad and jealous of the amount of time I spent holding and nursing the baby. I experienced a ton of mommy guilt but my heart feels more settled now. I realized that I cannot be the perfect mommy to even one child so how could I possibly try to be the perfect mom to two!?

We have finally gotten into a rhythm and a routine. I can bathe both girls at the same time (woohoo!). Katelynn can eat real food now so I don’t have to fix two different meals for the girls. Katelynn and Annelise have started to play together and can entertain each other for short periods of time. Life is still very crazy/frantic but a bit more manageable.

It’s good to sit in quietude and reflect on how abundant my life is. I’m thankful for the sweet and funny moments like when Annelise is belting out a song and Katelynn is dancing to her sister’s random tune. My favorite part of the day is when all of us are laughing together because of something random and silly. That and when the kids are sleeping so I can finally catch a break!

Happy birthday to our sweet baby girl who has brought much laughter, giggles, dancing, and chaos to our family!

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Mother’s Day & HG Awareness Day

This Mother’s Day, I am so grateful to be a mom of two, healthy HG miracle babies. Annelise is almost 22 months and Katelynn just turned 4 months! One of the things I learned when I underwent hyperemesis is that we cannot take our health for granted and that it is truly a blessing from the Lord to be healthy. I’m still so amazed that despite my 15-20 pound weight loss with each pregnancy, Annelise and Katelynn are both so healthy…and so big!

May 15th is HG Awareness Day. If you have the means, please consider giving the gift of a donation to an organization near and dear to my heart – the Hyperemesis Education Research (HER) foundation. www.helpher.org

I hope and pray that we can one day find a cure to this devastating disease so that pregnancy does not have to turn into a nightmare!

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Baby bunching

Sometimes it feels like you blink and life just zooms by in high speed. How did I even get to this point? I’m 30 years old (which I used to think was ancient). I’ve been married four years already. And now I’m a babybuncher – (mom of two kids under age two)! Life has never been busier, crazier, challenging, and more joyous than now!

Raising one child is difficult. Raising two is even harder. And I have to say raising two under two is impossible! My older daughter Annelise is now 19 months and my second daughter Katelynn is almost two months old. My daily schedule involves nursing Kate every three hours, holding Kate for her daytime naps, changing many diapers, feeding Annelise three meals a day, bathing Kate or Lisi, taking Lisi to the park or library for story-time, grocery shopping, cooking dinner, taking our dog Cole out, reading to Lisi. It’s a non-stop, never-ending, go-go-go kind of day…every day.

Annelise keeps me busy during the day – she’s an active toddler who loves to explore the world – her favorite things to do are eating, reading, watching Pororo or Pingu, taking everything out of her drawers, and basically touching anything and everything. Katelynn keeps me up at night – she has her fussy period at nighttime and I either have to nurse or pump in the middle of the night. The interrupted sleep really has been making me exhausted. Thankfully my parents have been so wonderful in helping out during the day!

It’s impossible to give all my attention to both my girls all the time – that’s been the hardest thing about babybunching. I’m certainly not superwoman so when I’m nursing Kate, sometimes Annelise is crying because she wants my attention or she’s jealous. And when I’m attending to Annelise, Katelynn is crying because she wants to be held! All I can do is do my best with the limited time and hands I have. And I realize I need to pray for God’s wisdom and his grace because it really is such an impossible situation. As difficult as it has been, mommyhood is such a joy. And being a mom of two is double the pain but also double the fun.

The best thing about being a mom is that it forces you to sacrifice your time, your energy, your sleep, your everything. Because it forces you to give and give until you have nothing left in you – it’s such a blessing to experience and a reminder of how much God loves us. He gave and gave – until he died. What an inspiration and what a challenge for us moms to follow.