the question I get asked the most

So, what’s it like having such young kids so close in age?

Honestly, my instinctive, don’t-even-think-about-it answer is usually:  I don’t recommend it.

(With a laugh, of course.) 

I don’t know why I say that, but I hate that I do.  Nope, it’s not always easy.  But guess what?  I wouldn’t know the difference.  If I hadn’t gotten pregnant with Dexter and we still just had Theo, I bet I would say that having a toddler (and just one of them) is challenging, too.

Maybe, just maybe, subconsciously I want everyone to know that I’m workin’ my ass off here, just trying to keep it all together and be the best mom that I can be.  I’m not always proud of my words or actions when I get frustrated, but I doubt that it would be much different if I only had one kid.  Maybe, just maybe, I think if I make everyone realize how exhausting it is, they might not judge me for flipping my lid from time to time.  Or perhaps that makes me feel less guilty for said lid-flipping.


Our plan was to have our kids 2 years apart.  We are overachievers, I guess, because they’re only 14 months apart.  I got pregnant again when Theo was only 5 months old.  So 16 of his 21 months, I have been taking care of him and another baby, too.  I have been exhausted for two and a half years.  I could count the number of times that I have slept through the night on both hands since Theo was born.  Maybe just one hand, if I’m being truthful.  I have been nursing and/or pregnant since June of 2009.  That’s kind of like having a body, but not really having full control and ownership of it for two and a half solid years.    

I don’t recommend it.

Or do I?  Because really, it’s not that bad.  Like I said, it’s the only experience I’ve known as a parent.  There are bad moments, sure.  But doesn’t the job of raising 2 kids that are 2 or 3 years apart have it’s share of bad moments, too?  What about twins?  I’m sure that is just as (if not more) difficult.  I don’t think there’s a perfect solution because parenting is never going to be easy breezy.  If it is, you must not be doing it right. 

I already see the benefits of having babies so close together.  They are starting to play together.  I love the way Dexter’s face lights up when Theo is giving him attention.  Theo is so loving towards Dexter (most of the time) and has adapted just fine to not being the (only) baby.  I am already envisioning my boys playing sports, double dating, and sharing friends in school. 

Having them so close together seemed like a nightmare when I found out I was pregnant.  Now, I feel endlessly lucky.  Who knows what might happen a couple years down the road?  I have heard too many stories recently about young moms with ovarian cancer.  Emergency hysterectomies.  Having just one child was never my plan and I would have been heartbroken if the option of having more had been taken away from me.

We are in the thick of it right now and I am well aware that it might get worse before it gets better.  It’s getting more interesting as Dexter has recently become extremely mobile.  I wonder what Theo will be like a year from now, when Dexter is developmentally where he is now.  The story is always changing, evolving. 

I’m pretty sure this time in our lives is going to be one that we look back on and ask ourselves, “how did we survive?” with smiles on our faces.  Like being in grad school, working full-time at a brand new job career, and driving 700+ miles every other week or so to see my dying father.  It was chaotic and stressful, but so, so worth it and I wouldn’t have done it any other way.  There was no other alternative.  I did what I had to do and that’s what I’m doing now.  It may be a stretch to say I’m loving every second of it, but I bet when I look back, with a smile on my face, that’s how I will remember it.

So you know what?  I guess I do recommend it.  I’d be lying if I said I wish my life had turned out differently.

Hey, guys, I’m working my ass off here to keep it all together and be the best mom I can be. 

There, I said it.  Now you know it and I won’t have to act like I’m miserable, raising these babies who were born 14 months apart. 

not miserable,

P.S. This post was inspired by Krista at one of my favorite blogs, Not Mommy of the Year.  Read her post here.

P.P.S. I have had a handful of people tell me that they can’t or have had trouble commenting on my blog.  If you are one of those people or if you have ever had trouble commenting on my blog, please try the new format.  If you still have trouble, please email me and let me know.  I’d hate to think people aren’t commenting because they can’t!  Your comments truly make my day.

(the last) baby weight update

It’s gone.  Finally. 

Just got on the scale yesterday and I officially weigh what I weighed when I got pregnant with Dexter.  Woo hoo!  It took me a little over 6 months to lose 22 pounds, but it was without really trying.  Thank you, nursing, for burning 500+ extra calories a day and letting me eat whatever I want while continuing to (slowly) lose weight.  Thank you gestational diabetes for making me eat healthy throughout pregnancy, thereby prohibiting me from eating what I really wanted to.  

Now the true test will be whether I can keep it off or not after Dexter is done nursing.  Hopefully I’ve got some time, because some adjustments will have to be made.  It took me 5 months to lose the 29 pounds I gained with Theo.  I was probably a little more careful about my diet after he was born than I have been this time.

I really would like to incorporate some physical activity into my daily routine but it’s so hard right now, especially with the upcoming winter weather.  When it was nice out, we would try to at least walk around the neighborhood in the evening.  But now? Now it’s freaking cold and I will soon be a recluse that only leaves the house when it is absolutely necessary. I hate trudging through snow and the static in my hair and purse straps falling off my too-puffy shoulders.  Don’t get me started and ruin my good mood. 

Anyway, I don’t have much else to say besides WA-HOO!  My body is so awesome.  Wait, wait.  Before you click out of this post and say I’m awfully conceited now that I’m back to pre-pregnancy size, let me explain.  I still have a muffin top.  The cellulite on the backs of my thighs has been there since I was 20.  I’d love to lose another 5 pounds.  My stomach is squishy and has this weird road map wrinkle affect at times (but only 1 stretch mark!).  My boobs.  Well, I’ve nursed two babies.  But I’m celebrating my body because it is awesome.  It has grown two perfectly healthy, amazing babies.  My body pushed them out like billions of women before me.  It has nourished them with mother’s milk and nurtured them with hugs and kisses only a mama can give.  This body is everything I need it to be.  More importantly, it is everything that anyone who matters needs it to be.

I have never been prouder of this body, imperfections and all.

pure magic & sentimentality

One year ago today, I found out I was pregnant.  It was a different experience altogether from the day I found out I was pregnant with Theo, just 14 months earlier.  On July 6, 2009, I jumped for joy.  I cried tears of happiness.  We hugged and high fived and couldn’t wait to tell our friends and family.  That day changed our lives forever.

So did September 14, 2010.  A year ago today, I suspected it due to some implantation bleeding a couple days earlier.  I took a test.  I was right.  I showed it to R and said “I hope you’re happy.”  Then I went to my room, laid on the bed, and cried sobbed.  Not because I didn’t want Dexter.  I always knew I wanted another baby.  But we were planners and we weren’t ready.  Theo was 6 months old, still an infant.  Barely even sitting up.  Still spitting up.  Still nursing.  R sat on the couch holding Theo, lost for words.  I don’t think he ever came back to comfort me.  I don’t think I wanted him to.  He was dealing with the news in his own quiet way.

I was immediately filled with self-doubt.  I was terrified.  I was certain that I would never be able to handle 2 babies at once.  I didn’t want Theo to be the big kid in the family at 14 months.  I didn’t want to take time away from him.  I didn’t want to take time away from the new baby because Theo’s needs would still be so great.  Nothing about it seemed fair to either baby and truth is, I was upset devastated.  I didn’t want to go through another pregnancy and childbirth and recovery so soon, especially since I still had a baby to take care of. 

With Theo, we couldn’t wait to tell everyone.  Our dreams were all coming true.  With Dexter, we felt embarrassed for letting this happen.  We thought people would say “you’re an idiot.” Maybe they did, behind our backs.  We had wanted to move into a bigger house before we had our second baby.  We waited to tell our families and very best friends until I was 10 weeks and told everyone else in the next few weeks following that.  I tried to lighten the mood with a funny photo card.

“eek!  We hope your Halloween isn’t as frightening as ours.  Seriously Scared, R, ~C~, and Theo”
Well, as it turns out, it’s a lot funnier when everyone gets it.  It was hit or miss whether people understood what the card was saying, but that’s how we told most everyone.   
In time, we got used to the idea of another baby and even began to see the positives in having our kids so close together.  We were thankful that we were able to get pregnant easily as opposed to the struggle we had to conceive Theo.  We were thrilled that I had another healthy pregnancy, complicated only by a mild case of gestational diabetes.  We were glad our kids would be close in age so that they could someday become playmates and hopefully best friends.  We were relieved that this happened at a reasonable time in our lives, if there is such a thing, when we could afford it, had a decent place to bring the baby home to, were settled in our relationship, and knew that we would have another baby eventually anyway.  We realized that the timing could have been much worse and began to grow excited about our new little bundle.
By the time Dexter Jay came along on May 13, 2011, we were ecstatic and unable to imagine our lives without him.  I still feel that way.  I hate that I had so many negative feelings throughout the pregnancy but that’s just the way it was.  I don’t think it makes me any less of a parent to him.  I love him every bit as much as I love Theo.
1 week old

Dexter Jay is 4 months old now and at his appointment last week, I was surprised that he only weighed 12 lbs, 15 oz.  He only gained a pound and a half in two months.  Aren’t babies supposed to double their birth weight by 4 months?  Because if so, he should weigh 15 pounds now.  Makes me feel kinda crappy, like I’m not feeding him enough or something.  But I assume he’d tell me if he was hungry.  Maybe he’s just too weak to cry.  He be ‘aight.

I’m not complaining that he’s still my little guy because I know pretty soon, he’ll be talking back and wreaking havoc, just like Theo.  Every day I see him rolling over, trying to sit up, staring at our plates during meals, and grabbing onto toys.  I may as well be watching him graduate from college or get married.  Feels like time is slipping right through my fingers.  Especially when so many people I know are pregnant right now.  It was like all the sudden, there were 8 people having babies.  Most are first time moms, which makes me feel jealous.  But WHY!?

I guess because I know that special time in my life is over.  Not to say that our future doesn’t hold even more special times as a family…but there’s something about being pregnant, and I’m pretty sure pregnancy is all but a memory for me.  My second pregnancy was a blur, in the midst of caring for an infant who turned into a toddler somewhere along the way.  There’s just something about expecting that first baby.  The second baby is special too, in a different way.  It’s because you know what to appreciate more.  And you know that the things you don’t appreciate will be a memory in the blink of an eye, which makes the whole thing more bearable somehow.  Expecting a baby is this magical state of being and when I look back on it and it makes me sentimental.  Those irretrievable, first foggy weeks full of figuring things out.  Getting to know your new baby.  Snuggling at the most inopportune times in the middle of the night.  Knowing that the only thing that baby wants and needs in the world is you.  It’s. Pure. Magic.

I get a bittersweet feeling every time I drive by the hospital where my kids were born.  I remember being admitted both times and all the anticipation that came with signing all that paperwork.  There’s a certain calm you feel the second time, but the anticipation is the same.   Knowing what my friends are about to encounter as they journey through their own pregnancies, I feel envious.  I beg them to embrace every moment.  Pregnancy is not a glamorous thing, nor is parenting.  But there just something about the whole thing that makes me feel…sentimental.  Try as I might, I just can’t find the words to really explain it, so I’ll stop here.
We’ve come a long way, baby.
Cheers to 1 year of our Dexter Jay surprise,