I am so much happier than I was when I wrote last! Things are getting easier and easier each day that goes by and last week, a switch seemed to have flipped on Nora and she is back to being much happier and flexible again. She still has her moments, like any 2.5 year old, but she is mostly back to her old self. It could also be that I am learning better strategies to deal with her. It's all about constant forethought on my part- what can I get her busy with before a feeding? When was the last time she had a snack? How can I spin things to make them her idea/more fun for her? How can I constantly keep her involved with what I am doing with Juliet? It can be exhausting on my part, but the end result is less tantrums and whining and more enjoyment for all of us.
Juliet is the sweetest little thing in the whole world! I find that I am more in love with every day. I remember the same thing with Nora, the first few weeks you're kind of in shock as to what has just happened to your life and super worried about whether the baby is OK, etc. and as you get the hang of things, you just start connecting with that baby more and more. She is such an easy baby, I hardly even want to say it out loud. She really NEVER cries, other than the odd little squawk if she is hungry or has to wait for me to pick her up. She is so content all the time and the gummy grins are ridiculous now! I rush over to her crib in the mornings or after naps and can't wait to look over the edge and see that little face smiling back at me.
I remember really trying to force a routine with Nora at this age and it just didn't work. This time, I am far more laid back and if we are home, she naps in her crib, but if we have things to do, she naps in the stroller or car seat. I can't make things hard on Nora and make her stay cooped up at home all day just because Juliet needs a nap, especially when she will sleep anywhere at this point. I do make sure she takes at least one nap a day at home so she gets used to napping in her crib. I put her down awake for naps and sometimes she cries a bit, sometimes a lot and sometimes not at all. When she does cry, I go in every 5 mins or so and settle her down, say "time to sleep, time for a nap" and then leave again until she falls asleep. So far it is working quite well. She is also going to bed between 7-7:30 already which is amazing. I love having my evenings back! She wakes up once a night, anywhere between 2-5 for a feed and then sleeps until about 8:00 every morning. One thing that really helps is understanding that her "wake time" is about an hour, so no matter where we are, I make sure to lull her sleep after an hour of being awake so she doesn't get overtired.
We got out the play mat for Juliet this week and she loves to lay under there and kick while Nora surrounds her (buries her!) with toys and stuffies. It is seriously cute and so fun to watch her look around and play.
I feel like I am finally falling into a groove of being back at home with these two littles again and so thankful that I get to be with them all the time.