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Paige's Parenting Journal

Month Two
~ Absolute Perfection

Maureen and BrigidCan I be a bit sappy for a minute? I am not sure I have ever felt that the world is as perfect as it has been the past two months! I wish I could figure out what is so different about Maureen or why I feel so different about my life right now, but it is just perfect. This baby is absolutely the most perfect thing that has ever happened to our family. Stuart, Caitlyn and Brigid are wonderful . . . don't get me wrong. But Maureen is absolute perfection. Maybe it is because she is the last child we will be having. Maybe it is because my pregnancy was so wonderful. Maybe it is just that time of my life to realize what I do have to be thankful for. I don't know. But she is perfect. She is now smiling and laughing and cooing and I wonder if life can get any better. Brigid loves to hang over her and talk to her and Maureen responds by grinning. Then Brigid laughs at her and Maureen laughs back and I know that all is right in the world.

Of course there are all the other things that go along with an infant that make life so difficult. It is amazing how hard these first few months can be and how sheer exhaustion can take over your world. Maureen is sleeping pretty good at night once I actually get her laid down. But I am so tired that most of the time I am falling asleep while nursing her and have no clue when she actually falls asleep. She seems to have a very hard time relaxing in the evenings and has to nurse, nurse, nurse to get relaxed enough to fall asleep. I remember this with Brigid and was very frustrated by it. I am trying very hard to just accept it this time around and just lay down and go to sleep. Eventually I wake up, notice that Maureen is sound asleep and I can lay her in her bassinet. This is usually around 1am . . . she then will sleep until about 5:30, wake up and nurse and then go back down for several more hours. This will work out great for right now, but when Michael isn't home and I have to take Stuart to school and Brigid to preschool, she will have to get her little self awake and moving. After having one child who didn't sleep much until she was 2.5 years old, I am so totally focused on the sleep habits of this one . . . I am trying very hard to remember that Brigid did sleep through the night eventually and accept any sleep issues that come along.

MaureenWe went in for Maureenís 2 month check up last week. She is already 23Ē long and weighs in at 11 lbs 13 oz, so has almost doubled her birth weight. She certainly isn't getting deprived in the food department. I love seeing her go from such a skinny Minnie to the chubby, rolie-polie she has become. It is very satisfying to know that I am providing her with exactly what she needs to grow and pack on the pounds. With Michaelís job in an ER we are very pro-vaccine, as he brings so many viruses and illnesses home with him. But we have always done a modified schedule. I just cannot agree with giving an infant 4 vaccinations at the same time. I just think it is too stressful on their little systems. So Maureen only had two shots and handled them both very well. We nursed our way through them. Unfortunately Michael had brought home a cold virus that Stuart and I caught and have passed on to her . . . so at 8 weeks old she has already had her first cold. It seems to have passed with just a little crankiness and clinginess. Now that the kids are back in school, I am sure there will be more arriving in the house before too long.

And the kids are back in school . . . and along with it all the activities they are both involved in. Caitlyn plays rec soccer and Stuart plays football for his school and travel soccer. We took our first travel trip last weekend and have discovered that Maureen absolutely hates the car seat! Oh what am I going to do? It was awful listening to her cry when I really do not believe in letting babies cry. UGH! We would stop and I would let her nurse herself to sleep and then put her back in the car seat and away we would go. Within 10 minutes she was back at it again. It was absolutely awful and by the time we got back home, I was ready for medication . . . for both of us! We have to go again this weekend and I can already feel the hairs on the back of my neck standing up in anticipation. I just pray she adjusts to travel quickly!

I had my 6 week post-partum check up and am ďincredibly normalĒ as Dr. Combs put it. I am healed, below my pre-pregnancy weight, and am already ready for another baby! Maureen slept through the entire exam in my Maya wrap. Dr. Combs was fascinated by the sling and was going to call the company about getting some information to put in his office. I told him how it fulfills Maureenís need to be held a lot and my need to be doing stuff and then we are both happy. And everyone knows the saying about a happy mommy!

We are still dealing with job issues and I am not sure when they are going to end. Michael is getting calls almost every day from companies recruiting him but they all involve moving. I just don't know what to do. I really need to focus on this part of our life in my prayers. I am so torn. One doc that he knows from working at Walter Reed Army Medical Center wants him to come and interview. He and this doc got along famously and I know that Michael would love to work for him. Two problems . . . it involves surgery - not Michaelís strong suit and it involves moving to Richmond. I love my life here and just don't know about moving. We moved for Michaelís job several years ago and it was a disaster and I don't want to go through that again. The kids are in school now and it would be so much harder on them. There is also the issue of our house. We have 8 acres, a 3000 sq. foot house, a barn, three horses, a fenced yard. It is very selfish of me not to want to sell this house. But this is the house my mother and I bought after my father died. We have owned it since 1986 and the idea of not owning it is very disconcerting. We live in a good school district and have access to many great activities. Not considering Michaelís need to support his family is also so selfish, but you have to understand that Michael has a very hard time committing to any job and I am so fearful of packing up my family and moving and then having him decide that he doesn't want to keep this job as it wasn't really what he wanted. He seems to have an initial period of satisfaction and then gradually becomes more and more unhappy. We discussed it a bit this morning as I could sense his excitement over his conversation with this doctor. We are at least in agreement that we would not leave until next summer at this point. There is no way I am moving my children in the middle of a school year. At least I know I am set for a year . . . But we have to muddle through this and come to some sort of conclusion. We just cannot continue to live as we are living now. It is too unsettling for me and the kids and I imagine for Michael, although he doesn't show it the way I do.

But for today, I shall focus on finding a fun activity for my girl scouts to do this afternoon, watering my plants, weeding my garden, planning my perennial beds and enjoying my two baby girls. I shall also focus on this . . . Romans 8:26-27 "In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God's will."

As I pray for the Spirit to intercede on behalf of me and my family and guide us in our search, I shall also pray for guidance in parenting the most perfect children.

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