We are almost 5 months in and I really feel like we have turned a corner and are finally feeling "normal." For so long, each day felt a bit like drowning, or treading water, and I really feel like we are above now. Sure, we (I) am still getting up at night, and I never know when...and we still are yet to go out on a date or do anything as a family past 7pm...but I feel more comfortable, more a part of a routine, and settled.
For the most part, Merritt wakes up around 7ish. She doesn't have to eat right away and loves to play or sit in her bouncy seat and watch whatever Emma is watching on TV. We leave the house around 8:45 for school, and almost always, Merritt falls asleep sometime before 9:15. This lets me go to the gym or run errands while she naps in her carseat. She then wakes up between 10-12 and she eats. This is when the day gets hairy and routine gets thrown off. Sometimes Emma stays for lunch, so I pick her up at 1pm. I normally let her play on the playground for a bit before we head home. Merritt may or may not be awake. I let her sleep is her morning nap wasn't too long, but I wake her and make her hang out if it was. I try and get her an afternoon nap at home, but it usually fails. So I try and plan an outing for the afternoon to make sure Merritt sleeps, if only for a half hour.
Merritt will eat again around 4-5, and then I always give her a bath around 7-7:30 then start the bedtime process. It's a bit long since she nurses for awhile to sleep, but I know this won't last forever. She is normally in bed by 8:15. This has been nice to have some time to sit down, shower, clean, etc... For 3 nights in a row, Merritt slept until 5am. Then she got up the 4th night at 11:30pm, and 4:30am. So...not quite regular yet. But she did then sleep until 5am Wednesday night. When she wakes up at 5am, she is super happy (really happy every morning), and she eats for about 30 hour, then I put her down and she sleeps for another hour. This time is precious - sometimes I get up and have breakfast and coffee and watch TV I want to watch...and sometimes I go back to sleep and get up at 6:30/7 to get ready for the day. Either way, I feel like mornings are so much easier now. I also feel more relaxed going places. I know that if she's eaten, she will be fine for a bit and I can entertain her with toys. She is really very happy and rarely fusses unless she's hungry or tired. We are out of that newborn fussy stage, which is really nice. She is smiling ALL the time, laughing, and so inquisitive. She grabs everything she can and tries to eat it. We are going to try solid foods this weekend and I'm excited and sad at the same time.
I've really learned how to enjoy these moments. I know they won't last, and I know I am not having anymore kids, so I am cherishing this. It is hard, and exhausting, and I miss parts of my "life." But.....how could anyone resists those cheeks and her sissy's smile.....:)