And here we are.
Gosh, the nostalgia is killing me these days! I’d like to think I don’t even have time to sit and think about how fast it’s all gone, yet that’s what I find myself thinking in my spare time. The cooler weather. The Halloween candy. The fall candles. The pumpkins. Everything is reminding me of this time last year.
This was one year and one day ago. She was a different kid. He’s about the same.
This is 4 days shy of an exact year ago. Man, she was heavy. But man, I loved that belly.
There was no Quinn. Well, there was, but she wasn’t as big or as loud as she is now. There were just three (four) of us. Kyle was a studying fool. I was a nesting fool. Leah and Duncan were a pair of nuts (ok, so some things haven’t changed). I remember this time last year thinking what life would look like this time next year.
And here we are.
I so vividly remember walking in the door from the hospital with a tiny Quinn and wanting to run back to the hospital as fast as I could.
I wanted to get out of that hospital and home to real life as fast as possible, and I talked everyone there into letting me leave early – but I immediately regretted all of that. It was terrifying even to take that picture. I remember the feeling of being overpowered. There might have only been two, but they seemed like an army of 300 to me. Quinn was so little, and so new, and would need so much. And Leah was so big, but still so little. She still needed so much out of me. And I had Kyle, and I even had my mom, but I was already thinking past them. The countdown until the day he went back to work started almost immediately for me. It was so scary.
I cried most days (and nights) that week. Yes, mostly hormones, I’m sure. But partly, a real fear of not being able to be enough for two of them during the days when Kyle worked. I remember breaking down during dinner one night, and telling him I just couldn’t do it. The transition from one to two is nothing to mess around with. They double, you guys! And you don’t double with them. As the days went on during that week he was home, I got a little more confidence. Mainly because Kyle was great and kept Leah happy and occupied, and he reassured me in his off time. I had tons of time to bond with Quinn and realize that she wasn’t as scary as I initially thought. That she was the new kid on the block, and that she would have to fit in with US. “That’s right, fall in line, kid” became my new motto of power. Or something to that affect.
And then he did it. He left us. For 8 whole hours! And it went quite well! I was so proud of all of us, really. I mean, myself the most, but Leah did okay, too. She was made to be a big sister, and that was the best part of that day. Realizing that she would be my friend in all of this, not my concern. The two of us together could tackle the little one – no biggie. As good as it went, however, it was still messy. I was crying when Kyle walked in the door – and I tried so hard not to be! I was bouncing and shhhing and crying – and Quinn was still screaming her silly little head off. Eight hours was a long time for one to be constantly in your arms, and one to constantly think she needs a snack. And oh yes, one to constantly want to go out – then come in – then go out – then eat toilet paper. And I’d say we did pretty good. Screaming included.
It only got easier from there. That little one, she started to blend in with us. She still screamed, but I just strapped her to me to shut her up.
With her like this I could play with playdoh, make cookies, rake leaves, push a swing, you name it. I tried so hard to give Leah a little bit of the life she was accustomed to not even two weeks prior. That was, and still is, the biggest hurdle. Figuring out how to give them both what they need – and be nice about it! Tricky.
It was like this that we made it through winter. Kyle and I would take turns bouncing/rocking/shhing Quinn so at least one of us could eat dinner with Leah. I would pass out on the couch at 6pm while he took both girls to the playroom for a bit. I’d wake up at 7, get Quinn ready for bed til 7:30, put her to sleep and then stare at the monitor just waiting to hear her scream 5 minutes after I laid her down. (Anyone else a slave to a baby monitor?! Man, it’s the worst just knowing what sound is gonna ring through).
But then she turned 4 months old. Well, at three months she turned a great corner – but we have been smooth sailing since 4 months.
She finally turned into the little doll I knew she could become! She slept through the night! She let me put her down awake and she would fall asleep! She was happy through dinner time! She was content scooting in her car! She could hold her head up! She ate less (well, more, but less often)! Just everything you want a baby to do, Quinn did.
And we have coasted into today. Back to where it all began, fall.
And this is what I deal with.
We haven’t even had a first Halloween with her yet – which blows my mind. She missed it by 8 hours and 19 minutes. It just seems like she’s been here forever. As much as I remember about this time last year, it’s hard to realize that she wasn’t actually here yet. I have two distinct memories about Quinn. One is walking circles in her room late at night as she slept peacefully in my arms. It was snowing. I had the blinds open so I could watch the snow glisten in the streetlights as it covered the quiet street. Just holding my new baby girl, soaking up everything that she was. The verse we have on her wall, “For the Lord has done this and it (she) is Marvelous in our eyes,” was never truer to me than in that moment.
And the other is stomping my foot so hard I thought I broke it (and Kyle thought I broke the floor), because I was SO frustrated and SO exhausted and I just wanted her to sleep. Not quite as perfect a memory, but just as true. They both feel like they were 10 years ago, and I have to remember that they weren’t even 10 months ago.
That’s how fast it all goes.
My this time next year turned into this time last year in the blink of an eye.
And here we are.
Safely on the other side.