29 August 2009

Like Mother, Like Daughter

Anyone who knows me knows that I love books. I love to read! And while I would prefer it if the book is well-written and engaging - I'm not really that picky about what I read. There is no one genre of books that I prefer over the rest, though I tend to be drawn to stories that are more realistic - every once in a while I can enjoy a book that has elements that are fantastical or fictitious. I used to be a very avid reader. Growing up, I remember anytime there was a break of any sort - summer, Christmas, Spring Break, a three day weekend, etc. - I would fill all of my free time reading. I still love to read, but it's sometimes hard to find the time... but when I do find the time, reading is still my number one choice for leisure activities.

My husband, Adam, can attest to that. He dreads it when I start a good book - because it feels like his wife has been kidnapped. Adam has had a hard time understanding my love of reading - like many people, the only time he chooses to read is for some sort of assignment. Reading for fun is an oxy moron.

Until now.

See, a few months ago we watched a movie together and Adam really enjoyed it. And since I had read the book that the movie was based on, I was able to fill in some of the pieces of the book that the movie had left out. This movie really made an impression on him - and the parts that I had told him about that were missing or hadn't been explained well enough intrigued him. He kept asking questions, wanting more details so I told him to read the book. That did not appeal to him. He just wanted me to tell him everything that happened in the book, so I suggested that we read the book together. So we did - every night after we put Audrey to bed, he would read a chapter of scripture and then I would read a chapter from the novel. I think we were both surprised at how much this quiet time spent reading together meant to us. We both started to look forward to it. And we had fortune on our side because that one book was just the first in a series of four novels. A few nights ago we finished the last book in the series. I've loved sharing my love of reading with him. And it's been fun to watch him enjoying the stories and looking forward to what's going to happen next.

It's made me excited for the day when Audrey is old enough to read actual novels. For now, we are deeply entrenched in Dr. Seuss and Shel Silverstein - which is great fun! Audrey loves books! She loves being read to - over and over and over and over and over again! She also loves just "reading" them herself.

I will often find her sitting with an open book on her lap, flipping the pages, looking at pictures - and with how many times she's heard the stories, I bet it's not hard for her to remember which part goes with which picture. She's a smart kid.

She's also a too-cute-for-her-own-good kid!

PS - anyone read anything good lately?

11 August 2009

New Roles

Since Lucas came into the world three weeks ago, we all have added at least one new role to each of our lives - I'm a mom of two, Adam is a dad of two, and Audrey is a big sister. We are all adjusting and trying to get used to what these new roles mean to us individually and also what they mean to our family as a whole. I am loving having Lucas in our lives. He is such a good baby. He is nursing well, he is sleeping well, he is pooping and peeing well - all the things a newborn should be doing, he's doing. Except maybe he's sleeping longer and not crying as much... and you will not hear me complain about either! I feel very blessed.

Of all of us, adjusting to our new roles, he is probably handling everything with the most grace. Maybe the secret lies in how much sleep he gets...

Or maybe the secret is that his dreams are so pleasant...

I wish I knew what was going through his mind. I wish I knew what he thought of everything in this new world. He has been such a wonderful addition. It's already hard to remember what life was like before him!

In the weeks and months before his birth, the thing that I was the most nervous or anxious about was how Audrey would handle having a new little baby in the house. I knew that she wasn't really understanding me when I would tell her that the big bump on mommy's belly was actually her growing brother. I knew it would be a big adjustment for everyone, but especially for her because she really didn't understand to be able to prepare herself for the adjustment. I was worried about her. Would she feel displaced? Would she feel jealous? Would she be excited? Would she want to play with him? Would she love him instantly? I knew it would likely be a mixture of all of these at different times. But the thing that I worried about the most was what I would do about it. How would I help her deal with all of these emotions (and the ones I didn't anticipate) and make her feel just as loved as always? How could I help her understand that this new little addition didn't subtract at all from my love for her?

I haven't found any definitive answers. I'm still working on it. Some days Audrey is really easy going and eager to play and be read to and she wants to interact with Lucas. She seems confident and is ok when I am holding or nursing Lucas. On others, she's a little more clingy with me - she seems to feel a little insecure about our relationship. For instance, if I need to nurse Lucas, she wants to be cuddled right next to me too, or she throws a fit because she wants me to put him down and hold her. Like I said, I'm still working on it. I try to make a conscious effort to make sure that when Lucas is sleeping I am getting some good quality Audrey-Mom time so that when I need to take care of Lucas, Audrey will be more likely to feel ok and not get jealous or insecure.

One thing I am happy for is that Audrey really does seem to love Lucas already. Whenever she sees him she whispers "Baby" and points to him and smiles. A few days after we got home from the hospital, I was nursing him and Audrey was sitting next to me. She kept patting her lap and looking at the baby, so I asked her if she wanted to hold him. She smiled really big, so after I finished feeding him, I set his bum in her lap while still supporting his torso and head. And she loved it!

I am really excited to see how their relationship develops as they both get older. It'll be fun to watch, as Lucas grows and develops, and see them actually start to play together and interact. I'm thinking that Audrey will be a wonderful big sister.

What do you think?