Oh, my sweet girl. I can’t believe you’re two years old. It’s been such a wild year with a lot of big life experiences mingled with a million, seemingly small, utterly magical moments. It’s true what they say about time slipping through your fingers like sand, so I’ll do all I can to bottle up some of that sand as often as I can and remember that distinct privilege of watching someone grow up from day 1.
Adding a second child to your family shifts the entire dynamic in ways you truly can’t know until you know. For me, the best way to describe it since we first met Coco is this: you’re connecting a missing puzzle piece. You didn’t know how something could ever fit so perfectly, and you wonder how you lived before with that piece missing? Motherhood is a trip, y’all.
When I describe Quinn to people, I always say that she reminds me of Grandmother Willow from the movie Pochantas. Now, trust me, I know that is a wild reference to use for a two year old, but this girl is an old soul — and when I say old, I mean ancient. She’s not like a normal baby (and I would know because I had one of those, too.) She’s never put anything in her mouth she shouldn’t have, she’s never fallen down the stairs, never even as much as stood up in her crib to try and Houdini her way out of it. She has this calm knowing about her that just tells you, “I get it, I understand.”
Parenting a second child is so interesting. It’s different because while you’ve done it before, it isn’t the same. You’re not the same, the child is not the same, the experience isn’t the same. As parents, Drew and I are continually astonished both by the similarities of what we’re experiencing but also how vastly different the girls are. One thing that is so different between the girls is their energy. Quinn is just this constant, balanced source of energy (usually rooted in joy) and has a very go-with-the-flow attitude — though her spunk is shining through more and more these days. She’s pretty even-keeled overall.
It’s been so fun watching the girls develop their own bond and also just feeling clarity in that our family is complete. I’ll be honest, I always only wanted two kids and felt so thankful for two healthy girls after our miscarriages, but when the time came that Quinn started growing out of her baby clothes and I was faced with the fact that we would not longer need all the teeny tiny things, I started to question if we were truly done. We’ve gone back and forth a bit but ultimately have decided that she was the missing puzzle piece and we’re complete as a family. In the last six years I’ve been pregnant four times, grieved two losses, breastfed for 3.5 years, and was pregnant for 2 of the years… so yeah, I’m ready to move forward into the next chapter of life.
In an attempt to remember this time forever and ever (because Lord, we blink and they’ve grown) I’m going to answer a few questions all about Quinn:
List out her nicknames: She most often goes by Quinnie and calls herself, “Kinnie.” Also known as: sis, Quinnie Lou, Louise, and Kin.
Favorite moments of her day: She LOVES getting woken up and out of her crib. The moment her bedroom door cracks, she sits up with a smile.
Favorite food: I’m fairly certain she could live off of yogurt pouches, noodles (or noo-noos), rice, and cheese.
Favorite activity: Riding on the “puppy” merry-go-round at the mall. We are now saving a stockpile of quarters so that she can ride it more than once.
Favorite mommy time: Breastfeeding. I never imagined we’d go THIS long and yet here we are. She still nurses twice a day and we’re hanging in there.
Favorite daddy time: Playing in the playroom and making forts or reading books before bed.
Favorite show: Anything with Ms. Rachel! She loves Ms. Rachel.
Favorite song: Every night before bed, she wants me to sing “Jesus Loves Me” and sing Coco’s special personalized song.
Favorite words: “Follow me!” as she stretches out her hand and leads you to somewhere else.
Best friend: Coco (of course) and her BFF Sylvie that she does a weekly playdate with. Her and Sylvie are also like sisters.
How she would describe her sister: Leader, encourager, assertive, and loving (with a side of sass!)
Funny sleep habits: She requires four buddies with her when she sleeps: Baba, Koala, Bunny, and Green Guy. They all “kiss” her before bed.
Reflections from Year Two
Part of me feels like she was born yesterday, and the other part feels like I’ve never, ever lived without her. I don’t know if it’s just the fact that I am now divided between my kids OR that this child is still breastfeeding (I’m laughing at the “me” who said that since she’s my last baby, I’ll go as long as she wants. All signs point to me still breastfeeding her until she’s like four years old, OMG) but I feel like I am just coming out of the fog of postpartum…
Which also makes my ADHD brain ask: aren’t we just, like, permanently postpartum for the rest of our lives? I think that’s a ‘yes’ but I’m refusing to Google it at this moment or I’ll totally get sidetracked. These early years are a lot. (Understatement of a lifetime.) They’re busy, ever changing, and so sacred. I feel like my life slowed down and sped up when Quinn entered it.
These last two years have been a straight up beautiful blur – one that I know I will miss and that I am clinging to with every fiber. One that I am challenging myself to just be IN. Children are such amazing teachers. I recently read a quote that said, “Your first child is raised with you and your second child is raised by you” and I can’t get that out of my head. Quinn’s shown me that there are no “absolutes” in parenting and challenged me to see her soul as her own: individual, free, and peaceful. She’s the embodiment of ‘let it be easy’ and the purest form of joy from the moment she wakes up to when we put her down. She has inspired me to try and change the world to be a place where that pure peace can exist for each of us and all of us…
She is sunshine bottled in a tiny little human. And while I no longer share photos of my sweet girls’ faces online… just imagine the sweetest gap-toothed grin and the purest brown eyes with the shaggiest of baby hairs bleached by the sun. We all love our Quinn, our puzzle piece, our calm. Happy birthday, sweet girl.