As I sit here typing this, I really should be going to be. It's almost 10PM, it's been a busy and fun (and tiring) weekend and I'm studied OUT. But baby girl is moving around inside me and my 37 weeks + 1 day mama brain and emotions are just unstoppable these days. So here I go. Being sappy and writing something on my blog that isn't a belly post, a monthly Charlie update or a random five on Friday post. Gasp.
Here's the thing. This whole 2 kid thing is starting to make me think about so many things. I know the minute she gets here - my whole perspective will change - just like it did when Charlie arrived. But sitting here in bed on a stormy night with a quiet house and an almost 2 year old sound asleep in his crib and a baby moving around in my stomach, it's just crazy to think that in 3 weeks or less how different my nights will be. And I'm excited and terrified all at the same time. I guess that is the joy of being a woman - we can and many times do, have such mixed emotions.
One of my favorite times of the day is bed time (for Charlie...but me too I guess!). We have just the most wonderful routine and while it's slightly adapted due to my growing stomach and inability to bend down and get back up in a manner that doesn't involve lots of groaning and moaning, it's just wonderful. Since I know this is all going to change in a blink of an eye, I don't want to forget what it was like. So here it is:
Jimmy takes Charlie upstairs and gives him a bath. Sometimes Charlie cries out for me when they are walking upstairs, but Jimmy always tells him that I will be up there soon. Jimmy plays some oldies music while Charlie is splashing around in the bath tub. When it's time for bath to be over and Jimmy unplugs the drain - Charlie always pushes it back down to stop the water and gives Jimmy just the cutest smile that says "ha - I stopped it" and laughs. They do that a few times until the water drains. Then into his hooded towel he goes (which btw was an AMAZING baby shower present from my friend Lindsay at work that her mom made! I've bought some stuff to make one for baby girl and another one for Charlie, so depending on how I do with them - I'm thinking this might be my new staple baby shower gift because I love that it's something that we are STILL using when he's almost 2 on a daily basis!).
Jimmy likes to get him ready for bed on the floor - I used to sit down next to them, but that doesn't really happen much anymore. Now they put diaper cream and diaper on, lotion up and put PJs on on top of the changing table. About this time I usually emerge in the room after I've been downstairs picking things up from the inevitable mess that Charlie has made. It's funny because I actually treasure that time in a way - picking up the toys, cards, markers, etc. that are left behind. Now don't get me wrong - some nights I'm secretly cursing Charlie under my breath for making it so our house is never clean. But sometimes, when I'm walking around picking things up, I think about the time when there will be no more toys and my house will be spotless and my babies will be gone and it's then when I treasure those toys. And I relish in the quiet. I'm weird and just love a quiet house sometimes, so it's peaceful to me. Ok back to bed time - when I get up there, I bring up a cup of milk and plop in the chair. Sometimes, Charlie is crying (annoyed at the nightly process or just tired) and sometimes he's hysterically laughing at Jimmy. Hit or miss you know with those toddlers.
When his PJs are on, Jimmy hands him me while I'm sitting in the chair and I give him his milk and we pick out 3 books. Sometimes I let him pick and sometimes I pick - yes I'm that mom, but come on, reading the same 3 books every night! Ha! It amazes me when we read the books now how he participates in the reading and can say many of the words. We've come a long way from that newborn that we would read books to and I would wonder why (now I feel like this is why!!). After the books, I tell him to take his last sip of milk and we go to brush his teeth. He's gotten a little better at this and will show me his teeth and his tongue when I ask (sometimes), but hasn't quite got the spitting part down. Someday, right?!
Then we sit back down in the chair and he snuggles next to me, I turn off the lamp and I tell him it's time to say our prayers. He takes my hand and I pray a little prayer and we say Amen. I am a random prayer, so I don't follow the SAME exact prayer every night. I tend to be specific to what is going on in our lives (which is funny because it makes me wonder if that is how he will be too!?) but always say the same couple sentences at the end and then we say "Amen" together. Then he snuggles up a little more and lets go of my hand and we sing "Jesus loves you". Well, I really sing. I'm not sure how I got started on this song. I used to do a better variety, but lately I've been sticking to this one. I'm a horrible singer, but he seems to enjoy it. Then my favorite part. I'm done singing through it twice and he wants to readjust and put his head on my shoulder. And his little bottom fits just right on top of my growing belly. It's amazing how it does - I really didn't think it would, but it's my favorite way to hold him. It makes me feel like a mom. Yes, that's a weird statement, but the way he snuggles with me like that makes me feel like he knows I love him and will protect him against anything...then add to that the fact he's butt to butt with his sister (because - yeah! - she is head down!!), it's just the best. Then he whispers "bed" and I stand (these days more like HEAVE) up and lay him in the crib. I hand him his tag and put the light blanket on top of him. I say "night, night", he says it back; I say "I love you", he mumbles his version of "I love you" and then I used to lean down and kiss him, but belly doesn't permit that, so I blow him a kiss and make a kiss sound...and he does it back.
I grab the cup of milk and head out the door and close it ever so quietly. And sometimes I rush off to do something in a hurry and sometimes I stand there for a moment and think about how no matter how frustrating things in the day were or how stressed I was, that I'm so lucky to have this little man. And how I thought I knew all about love before him, but how much he has made my heart grow.
Then I look just to the left at the door to his sister's room. Thinking about that in just a short amount of time, this nightly bedtime routine will become a little more hectic and unpredictable...as things do with a newborn. But yes, how blessed and lucky we are to be adding her to our nightly rituals. It's terrifying and wonderful all at the same time. Which pretty much describes my daily emotions these days (watch out Jimmy!). But I guess that is what parenthood and growing as a family is all about, right?
I'm such a creature of habit and love a good routine, which is why I think I'm so scared of the chaos about to ensue. However, I keep reminding myself of the feeling of holding your baby for the first time in your arms and how your heart instantly finds the perfect spot in it for all the love you need to give to them. And there you have it, I'm crying. So now I need to go to bed. Tomorrow I'll think more about this and probably every day until she's here.
Baby girl - we are ready and excited for you to join our nightly routines. And before we know it, it will be baths together and divide and conquer and that routine I thought I knew will become a new routine.
And I can't wait.