We've made it to the two week mark! Deirdre is two weeks old today, and Mom, Dad, the boys, and the little lady have all made it through with flying colors. We've had our first doctor's appointment, our first walk, our first bath, my first breakdown (which lasted all of 2 minutes), and many wonderful moments in between.
Here are a few pictures of the doll baby - isn't it amazing how much she's changed? Note the picture of her with her proud, older cousin. Isn't Emmy going to make a great big sister? Hopefully within the week!
Having enjoyed these first two weeks immensely, despite a little fatigue here and there, I've found that following Henry's lead in three distinct areas makes for a happy and healthy mom (and baby.) Here are the cues I've been taking from Mr. Henry, all of which happened to ring true during my worst bouts of Lupus. Isn't it interesting how the concept of "taking care of yourself" can be pretty formulaic?
Tips from Henry the Pug:
1) If you don't feel up to walking (or in my case - cooking, cleaning, or doing laundry), don't do it.
Henry is the master of refusal - turning away many an opportunity to take a walk outside. He might argue that our driveway has a bit of an incline, or he could claim that he needs to wait longer for his food to digest - but in either case - he has the "I don't feel like walking so I won't" thing down pat. And you know what - in the case of slightly fatigued parents of a two-week old - the theory isn't all that bad. If I'm too tired to make something for dinner, I shouldn't. If Johnny is too pooped to mow the lawn, he should skip it. Now it just so happens that we've been able to do both of these things several times over the course of the past two weeks because our daughter is a pretty good night sleeper. But in the case that she decides to stop her good habits, we'll need to keep in mind Henry's advice. If we do, we'll be able to slough off the stuff that doesn't have to get done, without feeling guilty about it. I can guarantee you that Henry the Pug feels no guilt.
2) Perfect the art of catnapping (or rather, pugnapping.)
Henry and Darwin both have the uncanny ability to close their eyes and instantly be asleep - and I'm learning how to be able to do the same. I've always been a good napper, but it's become apparent just how valuable closing my eyes for 20 minutes can be. I used to bank on an hour and half to get me through (and I still get a good hour in the morning and another 2 hours in the afternoon, thanks to my husband and an afternoon babysitter), but in the wee hours of the night, when Deirdre can't make up her mind whether or not to fall asleep, getting a wink here and there really helps.
Although here, she's trying to act like she's got the whole thing figured out.
Come to think of it, maybe the pugs could sharpen Deirdre's sleeping skills. Perhaps in this picture, Henry was trying to help her work out the kinks.
3) When all else fails, try to look your best. It usually makes you feel better.
Henry always appears well-groomed. I'd even put him in the "dapper" category, but I realize I'm terribly biased and therefore won't go on and on about how cute and adorable he (and his brother) really are. However, there is value in trying to look put together - and I've learned that I feel a whole lot better about myself if I've showered, dried and styled (albeit quickly) my hair, and put on a little makeup. My morning routine lasts all of 20-25 minutes, but Deirdre seems to love the sound of the shower and the whir of the hair dryer - both of which put her to sleep. So I'm enjoying taking a few minutes to make myself look decent (i.e. wash off the dark circles under my eyes) and look forward to feeling refreshed and renewed each morning. I remember feeling the same way when I was sick with Lupus. It always helped to at least appear put together. That way, when you pass by a mirror or someone stops to say hi, you don't look like death warmed over, even if you feel like it. Looking good I believe partially translates into feeling better.
But I think Deirdre is skeptical of the whole bathing/grooming concept - although she seems to like the aftermath quite a bit, don't you think?
But who wouldn't enjoy being wrapped up in a big, pink petal?