09 March 2011

 annie and me, 2 pm.  i'm definitely not showered, straight out of bed.  the glory of motherhood!

i wrote a post in my head last night while i was trying to fall asleep... it's always better in my head.  whatever.

the people in lithuania are very different than the people in america.  have you ever noticed how we always ask people how they're doing?  it's like the first thing that comes out of our mouths:

us:  hi there!  how are you?

them:  doing so great!  thanks!  (actually, my dog just died and i lost my job and i've gained ten pounds and i'm more depressed in my life than i ever have been).  

typical, right?  fake it 'til you make it.  in lithuania, if you ask someone how they're doing, they will flat out tell you the truth.  my dearest friend agne (who taught me how to speak lithuanian.... well, taught me everything to know about lithuania in general) told me this years ago: if you ask a lithuanian how they're doing, they'll let you have it.  so... maybe just hold off on asking them that for awhile.  it was a hard habit for me to break while i was serving my mission over there.  i was so used to asking people how they were doing, and i realized i really was a creature of that habit.  it started to bug me because i realized that when i asked people how they were, or when others asked how i was doing... i mean i never really told the truth.  most days i really do feel great and i'll be honest about it.  but on the days when i'm not having the best day, i've never just flat out said, "you know what, i'm actually having a crap day."  god bless those lithuanians for teaching me how it really is.  it was very refreshing.

so, let me tell you how i'm really doing.

annie has been here for a week and we've definitely fallen in love with her.  she's super cuddly and very aware of the things that are going on around her.  when she's awake, which is more often than not actually, her eyes are wide and observant.  her little fuzz head is kind of amazing, and her cheeks are fattening up nicely.  i already can't imagine living without her.  when did we ever?  you know what i mean?

goldie has adjusted very well.  she's little, it's true.  but she was aware of annie's presence the minute we got home.  at first she would keep her distance.  i would ask her to come see her baby, and she'd slowly walk over and then turn and do something else.  my mom would hold goldie and i would put annie in her lap-- she'd stiff-arm her away before i could even lay her down.  little by little every day goldie has shown more interest and love.  when annie cries, goldie cries.  i haven't figured out if that's a protective thing or if goldie is like, "get that baby outta here!"  but she looks concerned and usually looks at me like, "whatever the problem is mom, fix it already!"  yesterday she gave annie her first official kiss on the head.  she did it willingly, and it was pretty sweet.  goldie is learning about body parts, so she's been pointing and touching annie's head, eyes, nose, mouth and ears.  i think i've said, "oh be so soft goldie" a million times already.  and for the most part, she is.

so that's the sister update.

the adjustment has been fairly smooth, in my opinion.  i was so afraid of it for some reason, but at the same time i knew it was coming and i knew i had no choice.  so she was born and it was fast (2 pushes in 2 minutes, BAM there's annie), and i was in shock.  jake laughed his proud father laugh and it made me smile.  it was a really, really good moment.

life just kind of moves on.  we make the world go round, doing our normal routine.  my mom is here helping and playing with goldie and that helps so much.  jake's mom and sister will come after that-- the help is greatly appreciated.  i feel like i've healed for the most part but all of a sudden at night i'll get a headache and i feel the bruising more than usual.  then i realize that i'm exhausted (even with naps)... it's all part of the process.  i'm trying to accept it and do my best, but i'd be lying if i said that it was always patient.  annie seems to have her nights and days slightly mixed up.  we'll have a great night one night and the next night is straight out of my worst nightmare where i'm crying my eyes out because she won't stay asleep.  it's crazy.  i just have to keep reminding myself that she is a newborn, only a week old, and it takes some time for her to learn about night and day and sleep and all that jazz.  she's probably still wondering what the heck she's doing outside of that warm womb.

and yes, i've read "baby wise" and all the other books.

she does eat though.  and take a bottle if needs be.  so... i'm very thankful for that.

my body is in full-blown hi-i-just-had-a-baby mode.  i've lost some weight and my ankles are back.  my stomach is, uh... yeah we'll just skip that part and my boobs are gigantic and engorged.  i walk around with rocks on my chest and if one person touches me, even on accident, i might karate chop them.

everyone is napping right now except me and annie.  they have long nights too.

annie likes to be held, like always.  that's how babies are though.  they need to be cuddled and hugged and kissed ALWAYS because how can you not?  i try to give her alone time everyday on the couch or somewhere out of goldie's reach, but she just grunts like it's torture.  i'm working through it.

oh anyway, what it all comes down to is that even though there are long nights sometimes, and times when i lose my patience and feel like an idiot, or times when i swear i'm clueless even though i've successfully birthed two babies now, or times when i cry and can't stop, or times when i'm laughing and loving my daughters (this happens most often, thankfully), i know that i'm doing exactly what i'm supposed to be doing.  i was born to be a mother.  i was born to take care of a family.  that's my purpose on this earth, i truly believe.  yes there are other things that i'm good at and love doing, and i'll never give those up.  but i'm happy to embrace being a mother and helping the world to go round, one poopy diaper/bottle/boob/burp at a time.  i am happy, tired, and content.

two days ago, i had annie nursing on my left and goldie sitting on my right leg reading a book.  how could i not feel happy, tired, and content?  the good always weighs out the bad.

so, if you're asking how i'm doing, this post is the complete truth.  spoken like a true lithuanian.


Angela and Mike said...

Thank you for the update. You described the newborn phase perfectly...you find yourself sobbing, but then so happy....but then exhausted. Nights for me are a dark and lonely time. Once the sun would come up I would feel hope again. Life ALLLLL gets better the more sleep you get. and hopefully every day from here on out it gets a little better and better every day.

You rock girl!

Mckenzie said...

I know, I know, you don't know me, I don't know you and yet I feel like kindred spirits because of the adventure we share called "motherhood". Don't think I'm a stalker, just a stay at home mom. I have to say, I do check to see if you have updated more than I should but really its refreshing to know... I'm not freaking alone and not every day should be perfect. We are expecting baby number 2 in June. Can I tell you, I'm scared to death but more excited. I'm learning lots through your little journey (thanks for doing it first). I don't know what I'm going to do, I don't have that much help but like you said... some how it all works out and you manage. Your daughter(s) are just gorgeous. You are living my dream, two little girls. I will have to settle with a new dream, a girl and boy. Remember, how fast the "newborn" phase passes and remember to hang on tight.


Sunday said...

Is it weird that I kind of miss being up late with Sydney? (Says the mom who was super grumpy when she wasn't getting enough sleep). Thanks for being honest. You sound happy and I'm happy for you. :) --Rachel

abby said...

i love the lithuania story, jenna. i was just going to post something along similar lines and then i erased the post because it was lame and i was chicken. but thanks for expressing it so well.

Ali said...

glad to finally see an update! I am glad to see you all are alive and well. Brynn is 10 weeks old and today was the first time I hit the grocery store up with both kids....with a very short list. By the time I got home, I swore off doing it again. The adjustment is s.l.o.w. & you figure it out as you go. :)
Brynn was up literally every 1.5 hours for her first 2 weeks of existence. And I'm alive to talk of it - so hang in there!!! You've got gorgeous girls and a wonderful family! More pictures please??! :)

Rachel said...

This is really lovely, thank you for posting it.

holtkamp said...

thank you for telling how you really are! that is a funny thing about american culture :) i love love love the pictures of you and annie, they are so precious and so REAL! i love your thoughts on motherhood and having your two sweet little girls. love you! - jen

Michelle said...

love love love it. You're seriously the most beautiful mother I've ever known. so glad to hear how you are doing.

Agnė said...

Tikra lietuvė. Pasiilgau ir myliu tave.

eclaires said...

O kaip as myliu tave! :)

Erin + Geoff said...

your honesty is refreshing. you write what i'm thinking, i need to write my thoughts out more like you do!

Johnny & Alli said...

Congrats! What a sweet name. Mothering 2 is crazy sometimes but more than worth it. Cute family!

jenn said...

love it! you rock!

Jamie said...

I'm so glad for the update. I've been checking your blog constantly looking for updates (I know, I should sign up for Google Reader.) Anne is precious and her name is darling, too. Glad things are going well thus far.

Anyway, your post relates so well with the book I'm reading--Geography of Bliss. It's this guy's journey to find the happiest place on earth. He travels from Iceland, to Qatar, to Thailand and everywhere in between figuring out what makes people happy. Supposedly Moldova is one of the most unhappy countries. Who knew?

In any case, I think it's so healthy that you are deliberate about looking for the good. We can all learn a valuable lesson from you. Keep it up!

Bethany said...

Nera zodziu kartais ar ne? Oh kaip as tave myliu. Daznai, as pavydiuz taves, tavo gyvenimo...bet tada as prisimenu visko ko tu mokei mane apie kaip buti laiminga, ypac laiminga savimi. Man butu imanoma "buti tavo vietoje" siuomet, ir as zinau kad as esu butinai kur Dievas nori ir kur jam reikia kad as butu.

Tik tiek, as myliu tave, ir labai dziaugiuoju del taves!


Mrs. Blimes said...

thank god for your honesty. I am freaking out cuz our second babe will be born so soon. I am so grateful to have your blog to look to for a real glimpse into how it may be for us. You are awesome :o)