Tuesday, December 20, 2011

About Oli. And Then Some.

Few days ago, Oli turned 3 months old. It was bittersweet for me because looking back, not too long ago, Frappy was 3 months old, too! And it was all so new, so sweet, and so exciting for us. I remember how I would carry her in my arms for hours on end and would find all the reasons just so that she could sleep on the bed with me. And now, look at her, a big girl who’d knock on the door gently and calls out to me ever so sweetly to get her after she wakes up from her naps in the room, instead of crying because she wakes up alone.

Well of course not that we are not excited about Oli or that Oli is not as sweet, far from that! It's just things are kinda different the second time around. Jason is busier at work with higher goals and expectations to meet; I get all tired out caring for 2 girls on my own whose age gap is so close and by the feeling of getting trapped with no escape route in the house with housework (and that doesn’t even include house cleaning!) all day long, I mean, what about my dreams? My plans? My career? And to think it’s gonna be like this for the next 20 years. Dear Lord, it’s just, exhausting, really.

Sometimes, I feel terribly guilty secretly, that I haven’t love Oli enough, that I haven’t spent enough time with her doing nothing, just basking in each other’s presence, that I don’t breastfeed her as much as I did with Frappy, that I hardly sleep with her on the bed, that I don’t take a million pictures of her every day, that I’m not as tender loving as I did with the firstborn simply because I don’t have the luxury of time to take things slowly, that I feel so stressed out at times and thus, she doesn’t get a 100% of her mama in the most patient ways, that sometimes I wish and hope my mom would take her and the sister away from me so that I can sit down and breathe for awhile. And I don’t dare voicing these sentiments out loud. For fear of what, I don’t know; being judged for such a horrible mother? Being look down upon? Feeling guiltier if the response was neutral instead of full-on supportive? Yeah, maybe. I mean, mothers the world over is doing this every day, so why do I have to be such a big baby about it, right?

But of course, I know full well that these are the ups and downs of life. I suppose it’s the same in most other situations each individual is in; it’s just something one goes through every day in different settings. So yeah, I complain, but I’m not all depressed and dying don’t worry (although Jason would beg to differ!) haha. I have meant to write about Oli’s growth progress in this post, but somehow side tracked and here we are. Ah well.

For the record, Oli is a total sweetheart (when it’s not her sleeping time, to which she’d become this crying screaming monster -_-). In fact, I’ve never met any other babies who are as responsive as Oli at this tender age. Right from the first month, she’s been gurgling when talked to, smile even! And then by second month, she’d demand to be carried/sit upright. When you put her down and hold her like you would a newborn in your arms, she’d pushed her head up with all her might. I suspect her eyesight is pretty focused too, because she’s never go cross-eyed, and can respond with an excited chuckle even if I was calling out to her from quite a distance away. And at the age of 2 months old, she’s gotten way chattier than when she was in her first month.

Now at 3 months old, she’s practically a smiling machine! Every time one of us turns to her, she’d flash us a sunny smile, and that just makes everything OK again. And she’d gurgle, and babble, and gibber all day through, be it on her own or when talked to. She gets cranky when left alone too long. When she's on her tummy, she can stick her head up like bobble head dog haha!

She now drinks 4oz of milk every 3 hours plus minus; goes to bed by 7pm, wakes up for a feed around 12am, and then sleeps through till about 6/7am. With Frappy, we never used a pacifier, but now Oli does. Some say it's a bad habit to start, some say it's good. I'm not sure, but I guess in different situations bad things can be helpful and vice versa; and in this sense, it helps me in putting her to sleep rather effortlessly, without having to lie down with her and pat her forever. So yes, for the convenience of the mother, Oli is started on a pacifier.

Just the other day – the first day after she turned 3 months old – I was pleasantly shocked to hear her laughed! A hearty, vigorous laugh that lasted a few seconds each time, and that’s because I tickled her lightly on the cheeks! I was taken aback because firstly, I thought it was Frappy and Frappy wasn’t in the room with us then, so I was like, who the heck just laughed like Frappy?! Come out right now!!! Zzz. I know. And secondly, I never knew young babies can respond to such stimulus and wouah, laugh! OK, maybe I was just plain ignorant and actually all babies do laugh like that, but hey, nobody told me! I actually caught the laughing act on camera and it amazes me endlessly every time I watch it.

Last time, with just one baby, Frappy went to bed according to our schedules – she got to go out with us everywhere – as a result, she’s very accustomed to noisy environment and would sleep through most everywhere. In came Oli and this practice goes down the drain because going out with two babies is more tiring than fun for us parents, one because Frappy is at this toddler age where you need to constantly keep an eye on her, and she's so friendly?! What if she follows some indon lady and never come back? T__T plus Oli is fussier with her sleeping and milk time, everything has to be on the dot. So end up, I began to need the comfort of being at home and I shy away from outings. Going out makes me jittery, for I don’t know when Frappy will misbehave (and I can’t calm her by letting her watch her Barney videos in the safe confinement of her cot), and I don’t know when Oli will start screaming (because she’s overtired and by then, there’s just no way you can calm her down without you breaking down in the public). I begin to need familiar routines.

So there, who says being a second time parent is a piece of cake? Haha! OK, so at least not for me. The only cake-like experience is I don’t get too paranoid as compared to the first baby, i.e oh dear she’s gonna die because she’s not finishing her milk 2 times in a row! Oh no, she’s gonna grow worms in her tummy because I only rinse her bottles with just hot water during night feeds instead of sterilizing it in the sterilizer! I think I better go check on her again (for the 104th time in 5 minutes), what if she gets this SID or the bed sheet mysteriously wraps her up and choke her to death?! You know, stuff like that.

Alright, so all these aside – my stress level, the endless housework, the getting trapped at home the whole day everyday – I am, no doubt, honestly, extremely thankful for a newborn as cheerful as Oli, and a toddler as friendly and loving as Frappy. Really. I won’t say it’s all worth it, because that’s not how I’m feeling right now and it’s cliché, but it is something I will continue doing, to nurture and raise these 2 girls as best as I can simply because I love them, instead of say, send them to babysitters so that I can go out and bring in my share of dough; and I know, it’s a responsibility God has bestowed upon me and that He’s grace will definitely see me through this season of life.

Haha. So much for a report on Oli’s growth progress! But yeah, at 3 months old, how much do you expect a baby to be able to do? Anyway I can’t wait for her to grow a little older so that I’ll have more things to brag about in this space :D Until then, here we go with the bottle washing again! :)

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