Wednesday, February 22, 2017

A moment of confusion

I started writing this post a few days ago, and then Adeline woke up and I had to walk away from it. Since then I had a moment of clarity in the midst of my confusion and doubt which has changed my thoughts (and this post) quite a bit.  

Let me start by saying that when I was pregnant with Cordelia,I knew who she was. By that, I mean, I felt like I knew her personality, her soul. I couldn't tell you what she would look like, but I felt like I knew who she would be. 

During those long eight and a half months I knew the child growing in my womb would love to dance, that she would climb everything and anything, that she would be loud and often impulsive, that color and noise and energy would swirl around her. 

All of these things are true about her, there are times she has so much energy she seems to vibrate. She climbs her bookshelves, and scales our kitchen counters. She loves to move and dance, and there are many times when I have asked her why she did something and she would say "I don't know Mama".

I never could have anticipated how caring she would be. Cordelia has often arranged stuffed animals in groups so they wouldn't be alone, and it has been easy to teach her to look out for friends in new situations so they don't feel left out. The most upsetting part of watching Harry Potter wasn't the giant snakes or the dementors, but the sadness Hermione showed when Buckbeak died.  And I was so surprised when she told us she was a little disappointed that we waited "so long" to tell her I was pregnant because "did you know all this time and that's why mama has been so sick?" 

Cordelia and I have spent the last five years incredibly close- she has been my number one gal, my mini me but so much more.

I knew that this year would bring about a lot of change in our relationship- but I only thought that change would happen because Cordelia wouldn't be an only child anymore, I never anticipated how much school would affect us. 

This is the first time Cordelia has spent the majority of day away from family- the first time I only had a vague idea of what she does all day instead of knowing exact details. She comes home and sings songs I don't know, and some days when I ask her about her day she gives me no details. She makes the facial expressions that her friends do, and uses expressions she didn't learn at home. 

On top of all that she is downright mean when she gets home. Mean, argumentative, defiant. There is so much space between us and it's been heartbreaking and I've been struggling with the feeling that for the first time in her life I'm not sure I know her. 

And that's the direction this post was originally going to go in- my feelings of sadness feeling like I was loosing my kid, that she was becoming someone I didn't understand. But yesterday she stayed home from school sick, and I read this article, and with some contemplation it clicked.  

Cordelia is still here. In her post Kristen says 

"Our home is their practice field. It is their learning ground. This is where I want them to get it wrong. The failures aren’t forever and they don’t define them–or me.
I live in this place –this close space of motherhood–where it’s easier to pick out what we get wrong and forget to acknowledge the countless things we get right."
For a moment I forgot that I am her safe space, I am the space where she gets to push her boundaries, I am the space she gets to let it all go, and right now that means that often I will see this tired, argumentative, difficult side of her because she spends so many hours being the child that I know she is when she is out in the world. I hope one day I will get to see that kid everyday again, but right now I am holding tight to the reminder that that's who everyone else gets to see and if that's the case, than I'm not failing after all. 
"it’s hard to see the truth close up (especially on hard days), sometimes we have to step back for it to come into focus. It’s all in how we look at it, but we do have to stop and look"

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Two Months

The first week of this month marked two months that our Adeline has been with our family. We all seem to have settled into a schedule fitting for our family of four (which still includes waking up three times a night for Mama and baby). Even though eight weeks seems like such a brief period of time, I'm not sure any of us remember what our schedules and our life was like without our smallest family member. 

These days Adeline is spending more and more of her daylight hours awake and observing things. Its still apparent she can't see too far from her face but she loves to observe the shapes and movement of light on the butterfly picture next to the sofa and she loves to watch our faces. Her favorite person to observe is Cordelia, Cordelia personifies movement, energy, and expression- so there is a lot to observe. I think this time spent observing is what has led to us also catching her giving us her first real smiles! 

Up until now Adeline has always held her legs scrunched up to her belly- like she was still trying to curl herself into a ball in my uterus. Now she seems to be learning to relax into the space around her, stretching her legs out and uncoiling from her ball. 

She also went through a tremendous growth spurt and now weighs 12 pounds 7 ounces and is 23 inches long! Look at that darling chubby tummy, and she has the best chubby baby thighs! Adeline and I are doing quite well nursing- which is another thing that seems easier this time around. There was less discomfort, and less anxiety about having to nurse in public or around people. We went out to dinner for the first time this month and it didn't worry me at all to sit and nurse Adeline under a cover at the table while we all ate. It's a relief because Adeline always wants to eat when we are eating, and it's harder - if not impossible- to stop what you are doing to go in the other room for privacy to nurse when you have a five year old who very much wants life to not be interrupted. 

Adeline is starting to grab things, she likes to hold onto my shirt or braids when I am carrying her, and she has a jackalope stuffed animal my sister made that has perfect hand sized legs she likes to squeeze. With her new discovery of her hands she also likes to try to stuff them in her mouth. I've noticed she likes to chew on her right hand, and grab with her right hand, which makes me wonder if she will end up right handed in the end. 

In less than fun news, poor kid also caught her first cold this month. I guess that's the pitfall of being a winter baby, with a big sister in school, and picking big sister up every day and greeting all the super enthusiastic kindergartners and their germs. I know I am supposed to be super overprotective and not let the other kids touch her, but I love seeing them marvel over her tiny fingers and feet, they get so excited to see her open eyes, or whenever she is wearing a new hat. By the time Adeline goes to school she will just have the best immune system.  

Friday, February 17, 2017

An Adaline Dress- for Cordelia

When I was pregnant I really wanted to take beautiful family photos. Pregnancy was months of throwing up, being dizzy, and not getting out of bed. I wanted beautiful glowing photos to help me forget all of the misery and focus on the wonder of growing a human life- because it's a pretty amazing thing to do. So we booked a photographer, I picked out Brendon and my outfits, sewed Cordelia this dress- and then ended up spending the week in the hospital connected to an IV, a fetal monitor, and receiving steroid shots in my hips. So we missed our opportunity for family photos and in my sad hormonal state I have to admit I cried about it. 

But Cordelia did end up with this lovely dress! Which was a good thing because we had one of those moments where we woke up and nothing fit her! Do your kids do that also- just grow two sizes overnight?

I used the Adaline Dress pattern from Bella Sunshine Design. I've sewn Melissa's patterns tons of times before and I always find them to be clear and straightforward- the end results are always nicely finished on the inside too!  

I made this dress in a size 7 but added two extra inches in the hem for my super tall girl. One of the things I have found I like a lot about Bella Sunshine Designs is that if Cordelia wears a seven in this pattern I know she will wear a seven in any of the other BSD patterns- and a 7 is also what she normally wears in store bought clothing, so when I forget to measure her (don't do this, don't be like me- always measure your kids lol) I can guess pretty well what size to make. I also deviated from the pattern by adding extra volume to the skirt and thinning out the sleeves a tiny bit. 

The sleeves and upper bodice are made from a lightweight jersey (the pattern has you cut them out of a woven, but I don't think this affected the fit too much) and the body of the dress is cut from a soft flannel. 

I added pockets too because Cordelia is offended whenever I make something without pockets (she doesn't know how good she has it!) but I think the pattern includes an update for adding pockets so this isn't really a modification anymore. 

This cute micro house we took pictures at was made by Forty Third Place and installed in one of our local parks. Cordelia is now itching to have her own micro house in our backyard because it's so fun to play in- there is a little bench in there too. I can't get over how pretty it is- I love the hexagon pattern on the roof- something they are known for. 

Thanks for stopping by and taking a look! 

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Sisters on Valentine's Day

While I was taking Adeline's newborn photos Cordelia looked at me and said "make sure you don't take more picture of Adeline than you do of me, I don't want there to be more of her". I have since used this against her every time she doesn't want her picture taken. 

It would take a lot of effort to surpass the number of photos of Cordelia in just two short months- in fact I don't think I will ever have more of Adeline than Cordelia because most of my pictures now include both of them! 

Fair has been one of Cordelia's main concerns these days- It's not "fair" if I seem to take more photos of Adeline, it's not "fair" if Adeline gets new socks and Cordelia doesn't, I made them both Valentine's day hair bands and it wasn't going to be fair that I planned them to be different. For the most part it only really drives me insane when I am tired because I know this is a big adjustment for Cordelia and "fairness" has been her only real complaint, most of the time she is a super enthusiastic sister. Also, from being one of four kids I know that fairness is a never ending issue.

In the end Cordelia didn't complain about her headband because it was much fancier and I think she thinks she got the better end of the deal. She is also home from school and on her 6th day of being sick- so she has more pressing things to complain to me about. I wish you all a wonderful Valentine's day free from sick kids and full of fun adventures.