The New Normal

For a long time, my spin on motherhood was that it was hard. I remember people congratulating me on my “little bundle of joy” or “the most precious gift” when I had Clara. Sleep deprived and thoroughly unprepared for sacrifice, I would smile and nod and wonder what was wrong with me that I couldn’t yet find the joy. I suspect Clara will be a mite possessive of “my baby,” as she likes to report to me, but William will owe a smooth, unemotional infancy to his big sister. We are swaddling and shhhhing and using a pacifier and pumping—doing a lot things we should have done with Clara.

With my mom visiting and Aaron home for summer, mothering two under the age of three seems pretty easy. I did practice pushing Clara in a grocery cart while holding William in a sling today. It’s going to take some strategizing to grocery shop with a little one and a two-year-old who sometimes listens and sometimes doesn’t, but there is so much joy in this new normal.

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For the most part, Clara has embraced big sisterhood, but last week she insisted Daddy give her a good swaddling.

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William is getting a lot of love around here. He just soaks it up, too. It’s so fun to smell his cheek and hair. 

Love from Dad . . .

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Love from Aunt Sam . . .

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Love from Grammie . . .

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A big part of our new normal has been moving into our old house. It’s not a big house at 1300 square feet but we often wonder if we could ever be as happy as we are here. It’s full of color and windows and squeaky doors. We’ve been negotiating our way through the Tampa and Tallahassee Craigslists and have come across some wonderful pieces of furniture to fill our little space. We decided it would be a lot easier to teach Clara her colors if she could sit on them.

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Here’s where we make food.

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And here’s where Dakota comes to relax. Yesterday, William was squealing through a diaper change, and Dakota audibly huffed and left the bedroom for a quieter family room.

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Here’s where Delilah likes to give herself a back-scratching.

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And, finally, here’s Clara’s very own bedroom with plenty of her favorite color orange.  As soon as William was born, it was like she transformed. She feels so heavy to me now and way too big for diapers.  She’s nearly potty-trained if I let her run around naked all day, but I’m not sure what we’ll do on outings. Like so many things maternal, I wonder how so many people manage to make something as impossible as potty-training happen in due course.

We had a small grieving session today as Aaron dismantled the crib, but so far, Clara likes her new bed.

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I’m so proud of my college self for scouting out the perfect husband and father. Aaron has bagged twenty-two Husky black bags of lawn debris, moved stacks of furniture by himself into our house, fixed dinner, and still has enough energy left at the end of the day to hug his babies and dance up a storm with Clara and the ukulele that she plays when he plays his guitar.

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