Happy Belated Mother’s Day! I am so grateful for my mom and for the opportunity I have to be a mom.
I wanted to record a life lesson that I’m in the process of learning…
Before Brooke was born, David and I had a simple, daily routine that was fairly predictable. Early on in David’s life, we had implemented sleep training techniques that helped him develop the ability to sleep through the night and nap daily. I could count on his sleeping time as time for me to get things done or time to relax with John. David was also becoming more and more self-sufficient during play time. He knew where the toys were he liked, and he was beginning to really understand what things around the house he could touch and play with and what things were off-limits. Although, he did like to push those limits sometimes haha!
I knew that once Brooke came along, that daily routine would shift and that life would once again become more unpredictable. Life would revolve around the constant feeding of a newborn and learning to understand what all her different newborn cries meant. Newborn babies are learning how to adapt to this new world just like we as parents are learning.
The hardest part for me of this new role as a mom of a two kiddos under two is when they both are crying at the same time and need me. I remember telling this to a more seasoned mom. She joked that when she had her second child, she felt like she was constantly asking herself, “Which one of you am I going to ignore?” As just one person, you can only help one child at a time. And it’s hard to think you’re ignoring the cries of another child. (Side note: When John is home, I don’t have this problem. He’s a terrific dad and helps out a lot. He’s actually the one who bathes David and gets him ready for bed each night.)
Some days are easier than others. Like today for example, both my kids went down for a nap about 1 p.m and now it’s 4 p.m., and they’re still sleeping (cue heavenly choirs singing!). Some days are much harder than other days. Even on the “easy” days, I sometimes stress that I’m not going to be able to handle the future. For example, I feel anxiety about what I’m going to do when David learns to climb out of his crib. While we implemented sleep training techniques to help him sleep, some afternoons he just doesn’t nap. Thankfully though, he plays happily in his crib alone during that time, so I’m still able to have some “me time.” But I worry that when the confines of the crib are gone, I will lose that much needed and rejuvenating “me time.” I feel like this “me time” enables me to be a better mother, wife, friend, daughter, etc. It’s an opportunity for me to re-charge and be productive around the house or in my consulting work. This is just one example of an anxious place my mind can sometimes go when I think about the future. Social media seems to be filled with moms talking about how hard it is to be a mom and that makes me feel nervous. While some days are challenging, for me, I wouldn’t classify my role as a mom as hard. This makes me fear that I’m in the “easy stage” and that hard times are ahead.
While trying to calm my anxieties about the future and how I’ll be able to handle the different stages of motherhood (and life in general), I thought about the children of Israel and their journey to the promise land. During this journey, God provided literal manna from heaven that allowed them to have the sustenance they needed to continue this journey. This manna came each day. This is a great video (below) that talks about this manna.
I realized after reflecting on the experience of the children of Israel that God will provide me each day with what I need to be the mom, wife, daughter, friend, etc. each day. He will give me what I need daily. I shouldn’t let myself wade in anxiety about the future. I’ve started praying each morning for “motherhood manna.” Before going to bed, I’ll say a prayer and express to Heavenly Father how I received my “motherhood manna” that day. I realized I need to take each day as it comes and realize that while I don’t know how God will provide for me tomorrow, He will provide.
In Phillippians 4:6 it says, “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.” To me, this means that God doesn’t want our hearts to become burdened by anxiety. He wants us to ask Him for what we need. My petitions to God shouldn’t be made out of fear but out of gratitude and faith that He will provide.
This lesson doesn’t just apply to motherhood but to all aspects of life. The future can make anyone feel anxious because it is unknown territory. God provided for the children of Israel, and I know He will provide for us today because we too are His children.
Brooke recently hit the two-month mark. I love this time in a baby’s life because it’s when you begin to see the beginnings of their personality unfold. Brooke is very sweet. She cries less than she used to, is sleeping better, and slowly but surely her tummy troubles are easing. When David hit two months, he was sleeping 8-9 hours straight at night. Brooke isn’t quite there yet, but she generally does sleep at least 5-6 hours straight at night without waking to eat. There have been a couple nights when she’s slept 8 straight hours. Thankfully when she does wake to eat, she goes back to sleep very easily. Below are facts about Brooke at two months.
Brooke is beginning to smile. Occasionally we get to see her sweet smile when we look into her face and smile at her.
She loves to keep her hands up by her head.
Sometimes she’ll take a pacifier and sometimes she definitely is not interested in a pacifier.
She enjoys bath time and has never cried when we’ve bathed her.
She holds up her head fairly well for her age.
She is 2 ounces shy of 11 pounds.
She is in the 45th percentile for weight; 46th percentile for length; and 49th percentile for head circumference.
David hit his 18-month mark last week. He is full of happiness and energy. He loves to smile. I hope he maintains his happy demeanor throughout his life. It is so contagious. Everywhere we go people say to me, “he’s so happy!”
He absolutely loves cars. The picture above is a scene we see everyday. He enjoys lining up his toy cars and playing with them for hours. He often carries his cars from room to room. He doesn’t want to leave any behind when he goes into a new room haha.
He is constantly “talking” but doesn’t say many real words. When he’s hungry, he says “eat, eat, eat” (it sounds more like “eee, eee, eee”). When he sees me cleaning up, he says “een up” for “clean up.” He says “woof woof” anytime he sees a dog. When I point to the picture of Jesus in his room, he sometimes says “she-shush” for “Jesus.” When he’s tired, he’ll lay down his head and say “night, night.” Surprisingly, he has yet to say mama or dada when referring to me or John. He knows who we are though. For example, if you say to him, “where’s dad’s nose?”, he’ll go touch John’s nose.
He loves to open the pantry and pull out a cracker box (when I forget to close the baby lock on the pantry). He’s a pretty good eater and is willing to try most foods. He seems to love carrots, peanut butter, cheese, and apples.
He is a very caring big brother. He likes to pat Brooke when she’s laying down and bring her blankets and burp cloths. He’ll often walk over to her when she starts crying. He likes to pull out her hair bows and then immediately put them back on her head (see the picture below haha).
Today we had his 18-month visit with the pediatrician. He is in the 87th percentile for weight, the 83rd percentile for height, and the 94th percentile for head circumference. I love the front-row seat I have to watch him grow!
Brooke hit her one-month mark a couple weeks ago. I took the pictures in this post the day after she turned one month. She will be six weeks tomorrow, and while I want to focus this post on Brooke at one month, I will say this last week I feel like she’s become more alert and attentive. I love seeing her become more animated! Also, last night she slept for 8 hours straight (from 8:45 p.m to 4:45 a.m.).
Facts about Brooke at one-month:
She loves bath time and never cries during the process. (David always cried during bath time as a newborn. He did not like being naked).
She didn’t cry much during her first two weeks of life, except when she was hungry. She gave no other clues that she was hungry (like rooting). So when she was hungry, she cried loudly (still does, haha). When she ate, she acted like she was ravenous.
She was born with long hair and long fingernails.
She has big, blue eyes.
She doesn’t love being swaddled tightly (which David did love).
We’re so happy to have her as part of our family. While having a toddler and a newborn has taken my days to a new level of busy as I try to meet both of their needs, the transition from one child to two children has been easier for me than from no children to one child. I think part of that is because I haven’t had to deal with the same nursing challenges I had the first time around. I love watching both Brooke and David grow!
Our little miss Brooke Ann joined our family a little over a month ago. Her entrance into the world was speedy. I went to bed one night about 9:30 p.m. and woke up about 30 minutes later to what felt like could be a contraction. I started timing the contractions and woke John up about 10:45 p.m. My contractions were seven minutes apart, and I told him we may want to head to the hospital somewhat soon. We live about 45 minutes from the hospital. We got in the car about 11:15 p.m. At this point, my contractions were about five minutes apart and switched to two minutes apart while on the way to the hospital. The hospital staff took their time checking us in, and we weren’t officially admitted until 12:50 a.m. Because my contractions didn’t feel super intense, at first the staff didn’t realize how far along I was in the labor process. Less than an hour and a half after being admitted to the hospital (2:11 a.m.), sweet Brooke was in my arms. About 20 minutes before she was born, the pain was super intense. The epidural didn’t have time to kick in. John and I joked afterwards that while the pain was the worst of my life, that intense pain only lasted about 15 minutes, which really isn’t that bad (and for that I am super grateful!).
We love this new addition to our family. She was born with thick, long dark brown hair. I love her hair because I can already stick bows in it. During her first couple weeks of life, she pretty much only cried when she was hungry. She didn’t give any other clues she was hungry. So, when she cried, it seemed like she was at the point of being ravenous. John says she takes after me because when I am hungry, I NEED to eat or a different side of my personality appears haha. Little Brooke had some mild tummy trouble which made us sad to watch. Thankfully mylicon drops have been a lifesaver.
David seems so big compared to Brooke. It’s amazing how small babies are when they’re born and how fast they grow in that first year of life. Because David is a tangible, daily reminder of how fast babies grow, I’m trying to soak in all the newborn cuddles I can.
John took off work for two weeks when Brooke was born. I was so grateful to have him home. He was a champ taking some late night shifts with Brooke during those early days. He saw the worst of her tummy troubles in the middle of the night.
My mom stayed with us for a month. We loved having her here. She and David are best buds. She kindly took a shift with Brooke each night to allow us more sleep. She also taught David new skills like how to climb down the stairs (previously, he only knew how to go up the stairs) and how to blow kisses (he’s still not the best at that haha).
While having a newborn brings a substantial amount of fatigue during those early days and weeks, they also bring a sweetness and joy that is unparalleled by anything else. Sometimes when things get hard due to lack of sleep and/or having a baby and a toddler crying at the same time, I remind myself that I wouldn’t want things any other way. I’m grateful to have two healthy kiddos who are thriving.
Some background regarding Brooke’s name… Brooke has the same middle name as both of her grandmas and her paternal great-grandma. Her first name is derived from the surname of her maternal ancestors from Holland. Her ancestors from Holland have the surname of Van Tussenbroek. The last part of the name (broek) sounds like “Brooke.”
It’s about 5:40 a.m. I’m laying on the floor of our baby girl’s nursery as I type this on my phone. John made a make-shift bed on the floor here in the nursery and stayed in here from midnight to 5:30 a.m. so I could get some rest. I just came in, woke him, and sent him to our room so he could get some real rest.
I’ll write more about the birth of our sweet baby girl later but wanted to record just a few things here.
I’m so grateful for John’s support and my mom’s support. My mom came into town a week ago today and will be with us for three more weeks.
Last night, as we were putting David to bed, he could hear the baby crying. He wanted to get out of his crib and go to her. So my mom brought her in the room and he instantly cheered up. Right after we put him down, I gave the baby a bath and then brought her into the nursery to lotion her and put on her pjs. David could hear her crying through the wall (her changing table is right on the other side of the wall where David’s crib is in his bedroom). He started “singing” almost like he was trying to soothe her. It was adorable! When we brought her home, he was busy playing with cars (his favorite thing). At one point, he brought a car over to the baby and placed it in her car seat where she was sitting. It was so cute.
I am so thankful for this sweet family of mine. It’s crazy and exciting to think that we’re a family of four!