We’ve officially made it past the four week mark with baby Charlotte, and I have to say I’m incredibly proud of Garrett for adjusting to this new way of life so quickly and so well. From the minute he saw Charlotte, he went into big brother mode – asking to hold her, and wanting to get as close to her as possible if anyone else was holding her. Every morning he walks into our room (where I’m more than likely nursing Charlotte back to sleep) and he gets as high-pitched as a banshee saying “Hiiiiii. Whatcha doingggggg?” (I realized that he gets this from me – isn’t it funny how a toddler can remind you just how often you say things out of habit?). There have only been a handful of times where he’s gotten upset over me not being able to do whatever it was he was asking me to do, which ended up making me feel way more guilty than he had intended. Even so, I try not to let my head wander to “that place.” That place where you remember what it was like with just you and him. That place where your mind tricks you into thinking he would have been so much happier as an only child.
Our sweet baby girl (who we can now call by her actual name, Charlotte Madeleine Murray), was born Friday July 21st at 3:47 am, at 7 lbs 14 oz and 20 in long. Garrett dubbed her with one last nickname – “Twinkle Toes” – when he met her in the hospital, and not gonna lie – it kinda stuck. He also couldn’t help but notice the “Italian trademark” of dark hair covering her ears, to which he inquired, “Why does baby sister have so much fur?” LOL. It’s hard to believe that just this past Tuesday was my original due date, but this little lady had other plans. She shocked us with what we’re now calling our “trial run” the Wednesday night before, which sent us to the hospital and then back with irregular contractions 3-6 min apart. So come Thursday night, I told the hubs that I was just going to ignore any weird contractions I was feeling. Easy enough, that is, until 1 am rolled around and I got up to go to the bathroom, after tossing and turning for lord knows how long, only to realize my contractions were 2 min apart and had me buckled over in pain. Yep, it was the real deal. So we called our sweet neighbor again to come stay at our house with Garrett until my MIL could make it over, and Grant literally flew down the freeway to the hospital 40 min away – with me white-knuckling the passenger door handle the whole time.
To try and “momsplain,” as I like to say, all that I’ve learned since having my first child three and a half years ago – would quite possibly need a blog dedicated all to itself. I’d call it “You Know Nothing, First-Time Mom” (where all my GOT fans at??). Enticing idea, but instead I’ve decided to do a little run-down of my single favorite baby registry must-have that just might get you through those second (or third, or fourth) baby blues.
Last week I had started a draft for this blog post with a working title of “Happy Place.” Except a lot’s happened between now and then. As I laid awake after a much needed cry fest last night, the only thing I could think of was that it was time for me to “get real.” Too often we feel the pressures of putting on that happy face, even though we know well and good we are holding back tears or anxieties that eventually come to a head when we’re least expecting it. Last night was one of those times. I was preparing to give my son a bath just like any other night, but this night he insisted on having a “boo boo” that was going to hurt if he put his foot in the water. Oh dear. So for a solid five minutes (felt like 30) I tried every bribe in the book, until tears ensued and dad walked in asking buddy what’s wrong. To which I went off on a lightening speed explanation on why I’m so frustrated after trying to negotiate with a toddler for ten minutes, which results in said dad backing out of the bathroom slowly, very slowly.
I have a lot of mixed feelings on maternity wear. Not because there aren’t a ton of cool brands out there – see Fashion Mamas founder Natalie’s crowdsourced list in LAmag (I may or may not have contributed to the H&M & TopShop picks). I just have a hard time spending money on clothes that will be worn for maybe six months and then disappear in a box somewhere in the back of your closet/no-woman’s land. But on the other hand, shopping for your new-found bump is one of the short-lived perks to being pregnant. So, I made a compromise with myself: I will allow myself to shop for maternity clothes, if and only if they are affordable and fit in a way that makes me feel great about myself (cuz let’s face it – come 32 weeks in, we all need a little pick me up). Plus, there’s nothing like your best friend from college getting married to kick you into hyper-shopping mode.
Now that my superstitious mind has waited long enough, I’m finally ready to announce the big news. I’m pregnant! Yep, the Murray’s will be welcoming another little tyke into our family August 1st (but I’m thinking it’s gonna be a July baby, given that Garrett came early and this one’s measuring a whole week bigger already!). Aaaand, wait for it – it’s aaaaaaa….GIRL!
Dear Judgy Mom at the park this morning,
I can see my son just offended you, and I’m sorry.
I’m sorry that my son, who just turned three less than a month ago, and who you undoubtedly took one look at and mistakenly took him for a five year old, didn’t live up to your high standards. Because here’s the thing – he does look five. At first glance, if I were you, I too would have scoffed at his behavior – running up and pushing aside your son who had at least four years on him and who he thought was done on the swing set. And I’ve been known to tell a kid (much, much older than Garrett) to let him have his turn, but minus the incredibly rude tone saying that “my son was playing there first.” And as you sat in the only other swing (as an adult), I’m sorry I didn’t thank you profusely for reluctantly getting up to let my son swing – because we all know how put out we feel to give up something to a child.
I never thought I could love fall, and October in particular, more than I did when I was a kid. But then I had my own kid and it’s like fall has taken on a whole new meaning. Primarily a new found love for pumpkin patches. I mean seriously, who knew plopping a baby down on a field full of pumpkins could be so stinkin’ cute? Now that my son’s a little older, we get to enjoy more things like hayrides, petting zoos, etc. which is what we found after stumbling upon Sunset Hill Tree Farm. We literally just mentioned it in passing when visiting my father-in-law in Alvarado, TX a few weeks back – and turns out, he knows the man who owns the farm. He told us the story about how he helped fetch him and his lawn mower out of the mud last Spring. After a good laugh I imagine, they got to talking about how Duane (the husband) and his family have been running a Christmas tree farm and pumpkin patch for the past several years – and invited my father-in-law to stop by. These are the kinds of good country folk who make us so proud to be back in our home state.