Family

babies don't like to cooperate for pictures at the same time.
mark has discovered that his tongue is very fun to stick out.
classic Mark and Elijah- except they aren't trying to eat each other's hands.
Carlie got them matching shirts- next month we get to see Christina and her baby with the matching shirt.

This morning Carlie left after a week long visit. I think it was pretty brave of her to come because we don't know each other super well. She called me when Mark wasn't sleeping at all and volunteered to come help. I cried.
I didn't realize how overwhelming it can be to have children with no family around. Some people say that two children is much easier than three. My kids seemed to be determined to never be awake at the same time. Two children is Much harder than two. It seems so easy to take care of Danielle if Mark is taking a nap- until he is completely nocturnal and I don't know how to fix it. That child needs one of the most rigid schedules I have ever seen. Who knew that some babies loved schedules and needed things to be quiet. He is pretty sensitive- going out too much or playing too much is way to stressful. So pretty much the opposite of my last baby.
I like how my dad told me that one more is always harder, if it be two or five. We moved here and I have been dealing with postpartum depression and the adjustment to medical school and two children. I finally got insurance approval to cover my medicine this last week. And Mark turned five months old.
Carlie's visit was different- we did projects and she did all the dishes and cooked. That woman can plan a menu. We stayed up and talked about babies. I got to take a nap every day and go to the gym. It felt like family.
The feeling of family is so important. These are people who will always be there. My sisters and I used to talk all the time and go to the bathroom together. We would talk with a towel in our laps. I like them to come over and talk to me while I do chores. Sisters can help you mop your floor. My sisters know the checklists my mom used to use to see if we were done with our chores. they clean a bathroom the right way. We can sit on the couch most of the day and not feel bad.
My sisters work. I haven't seen them since I moved here. My mom has never seen my baby. I always imagined she would come and help clean my house- I always assumed that was the plan. Life hasn't really cooperated though. I never really thought about my husband's family in all my dreams about family. I didn't' imagine my mother in law helping me with my new baby. I thought my siblings would be having babies the same time I was. In my dreams I didn't know the people who would somehow always be pregnant the same time I was. At first I resented how they seemed to take away from my special moments- I'm not the first to have a child and everyone else is having a baby the same week. They didn't do things like my family did-like gossiping about each other constantly and talking on the phone for hours a week. They don't really care about presents. They aren't the people who were there for my first heartache.
My reality about family is different than what I imagined. I may not have parents that I can visit for Thanksgiving. Maybe someday I will though. Carlie's visit and Brooke's experiences recently have made me think a lot about the power of women. Women are family. Family helps you when you need help. Family talks to you about life.
I am grateful that Carlie is in my family too.

kathryn (February 23, 2010 at 10:21 PM)  

That is a really sweet post.

The Blind Spot (February 24, 2010 at 6:50 AM)  

I don't know what happened between you and your parents but it sounds quite sad to me. I'm scared that I have to move far away for a job and my mom won't be able to see my future kids often. I wish they could grow up like I did, with my grandparents just around the corner. I don't have siblings, so I can't relate to that. But having to go away in order to get a job is tearing families apart and I hate it. I hope you'll feel better soon, now that you have newfound family members that will help you.

Brooke (February 24, 2010 at 9:05 AM)  

That was such a sweet post! I am so grateful to Carlie for going there. I feel really bad that I haven't been able to come. Did she steal my bff spot? hahaha just kidding I so totally agree with you. I feel like I was really hoping to find a good family in my husbands though and it has taken a long time to really feel like they are. There is a special sisterhood in it and also, I have super crappy brothers of my own, Paul's brothers are the best! Anyway, Love you sister. I hope you are rested. call me whenever.

Carlie Madsen (February 24, 2010 at 10:01 PM)  

Janae, thanks for this. I'm sitting at home feeling a little lonely. I miss being able to follow you around and talk your ear off. I had a wonderful visit. Thanks for giving me a chance to help you out. I think I get to know people best by sharing positive experiences. And, the babies are so cute. I'm excited to see you in March!

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