We learned of my second pregnancy shortly before Christmas and we were very excited that we would be adding to our little family. Anaveiya was one and the May due date would make Ana a bit under twenty months; a little closer together than we had planned, but it would be great just the same. I instantly started planning as I always do. I am a planner by nature and even though my plans do not always work out the way that I hoped, they work out just the same. Since I began dating my husband and especially after I became a mom, I have learned to make my plans a lot looser. I thought the learning curve after having my first daughter was tough, but little did I know the learning curve after having my second would be just as tough at the beginning.
I, like I am sure many second time moms, thought that having a second child would not be much harder once we arrived home than bringing the first one home, since you kind of know what to expect and every little thing is not so new and unfamiliar, but boy was I wrong! I had a pretty good routine for Ana from sun up until bed time and would just adjust the routine to include Gabriela and her naps, meals, bath time and bed times etc. The first few days were not too bad because Gabriela slept close to twenty hours a day, but that changed quickly and then the real fun began. Anaveiya believed that Gabriela was hers to play with and care for and when this began I leveraged it to the fullest extent. Once again inclusion was very important in transitioning from a family of four to a family of five.
The first few days Anaveiya helped by picking which diaper and outfit Gabriela should wear. Anaveiya would also help with Gabriela’s feeding and bathing. I breast fed Gabriela, but when she would cry Anaveiya would tell her “One minute. I get mommy milk” and then she would come running to find me. Once the feeding was done then Anaveiya would put the burp cloth on her knee, take Gabriela and lay her on her knee and pat her back for Gabriela to burp. It was a bit tricky at first trying to figure out exactly what she wanted and being patient while Anaveiya helped, but GG didn’t seem to mind and Ana enjoyed it.
Bath time was and still is fun! Ana tells us when bath time is – I never know how she knows when it is bath time, but she is always within ten minutes of when we have bath time, she runs and finds her bath time ‘babies’, tosses them in the tub, strips her clothes off, comes and grabs GG’s hand and says “Mom, let’s go bath”. We would make our way to the washroom; Ana takes Gabriela’s outfit and diaper off and then jumps in the tub, pushes her babies to the side and pushes the plug down waiting for the water, holding her index finger up at Gabriela while saying, “GG wait – agua no ready. Mom need bubbles peez.” Anaveiya would then allow Gabriela to stay in the bath with her long enough for me to wash the day’s dirt and grime off of Gabriela and then Ana would take the bucket of water and dump it on Gabriela’s face to make her cry and tell me, “Mom GG all done! More agua now peez.”
Getting ready for bed now takes twice as long with two little ones. Bath time is followed by naked time; this started once Ana became mobile because once she was naked she was gone. Ana loves to be naked and as soon as her clothes are off she is gone and getting them back on can take some finesse on our part, so we just incorporate it into the bedtime routine. Once naked time is over it is pajamas and snacks followed by a quick trip to the potty and a family story – one for Gabriela in her room followed by big sister hugs and kisses and then one for Ana in her room. Ana sandwiched between her dad and me with Hershey our giant lab at the bottom of the bed, so glad we went with the double and not a twin. (I suggest a double bed to all of our friends who are transitioning from the crib to a big kid bed, so much easier for cuddling when there is a bad dream, a tummy ache or someone just cannot sleep.)
Once I discovered that there is no such thing as a quick errand, that however long I think something should take – it will take twice as long, a two year old has her own opinions and needs to be a part of everything; especially when it comes to her sister, getting a two year old and a eight month old (who is no longer in a bucket seat) out the door is harder than preparing a business report and that some days all plans go out the window we seemed to find our groove. I include Ana in as much as I can with Gabriela, I became really good at counting to ten when the girls press the last button I have because like me they are trying to find their way too, laugh often, enjoy the time that they are little and most of all remember to cherish the little moments because everything changes so quickly and before we know it they have gone from 8 months to 18 and they are no longer our little babies wanting to cuddle.
By Amanda Menjivar – A 29 year old Edmonton mom of two who spends her days balancing caring for her family while providing administration support for her husband’s company while it continues to expand. She enjoys being physically active whether it is chasing he kids, attending a session of boot camp, or getting in a run or a round of golf.