Thank goodness for my dear husband and his blogging skills. I fear that this project would be quite neglected if it was left up to me. One of the reasons we wanted to start this page was to capture the growth of our family and children in such a way as a baby book would (another endeavor of mine that has been shoved to the bottom of the “to do” pile). So I am forever grateful for his updates, pictures and videos because at the end of the day blogging is not exactly a priority of mine. And while I am on that note, thank you sweetie for swooping in at 6:00 each day, pretending like you are not totally exhausted from working, and having a nonstop play-fest with Patrick until dinner is ready (and more times than not lately, making dinner too. I certainly am spoiled).
The second pregnancy has been enjoyable, like a visit from a familiar old friend. Not unlike the first time, I frequently have a little voice in my head reminding me to enjoy the whole process, the good and the not so wonderful moments; for this may be the last time we are blessed in this way.
Although it crosses my mind, I find that labor, birth, the first few months of sleep schedules and the challenges of a newborn are not at the forefront of my thoughts. Those things will work themselves out. What I think about most are questions like: Will I be able to meet my children’s emotional needs equally but have a full understanding of their own uniqueness? How do I make them feel special but not entitled? Will I be able to support and advise them in their life decisions without being too pushy or controlling? I want to parent with the ultimate goal of helping them become independent individuals but yet never want them to feel alone or neglected. For now I will focus on the immediate tasks at hand; growing a healthy baby girl and doing my best to ease the transition of a 1 ½ year-old only child to a big brother.
One of the best parts this go-around is being pregnant at the same time as my older sister, Mandie, Toby’s sister, Katie, and my friend, Megan. All of us had babies due within 6 months of each other. We could not have planned it any better if we tried (except for the fact that both Mandie and Megan live across the country from us). But it is also bittersweet when it comes to my older sister. I will be too far along in my pregnancy to travel to Idaho for Mandie’s baby shower at the end of this month. I will not be able to help her when Creighton arrives the way she helped me when Patrick was born. It saddens me a great deal that I will miss out on the first couple months of his life. On the positive side, our children will have cousins close in age on both sides of the family. Nothing impacted me more growing up than having a huge extended family.
I vividly remember family gatherings in Wisconsin, surrounded by Aunts, Uncles, cousins and Grandparents. Camping at Disney World for a whole week with 20-some relatives, backpacking in the mountains of Idaho and countless winters spent skiing, sledding and ice skating are some of my favorite memories. Mandie, our cousin Rhiannon, and I are just a few years apart and were inseparable growing up. Our parents went to great lengths to make sure we were able to spend time together despite my family’s multiple moves to different states. I remember my parents saying many times they didn’t want to get us “stuff” but would rather make memories with us. Mission accomplished Mom and Dad!
I can honestly say that learning how to fly fish, horseback riding down a mountain in complete darkness in Costa Rica and sail boating with Dad and Grandpa will always be memories kept close to my heart. I feel so incredibly blessed that Patrick and Madelyn will have cousins and Aunts and Uncles and Grandparents that are invested in their lives and happiness. I hope to provide for them lasting memories with the people that love them most. Thank you for showing us the way. A $10 campsite is full of a thousand adventures. Lesson learned.