This is one of the last pictures of Penny sleeping in her crib.  She’s 19 months old, and has started climbing out of the crib.  It won’t be long now before we need to put her in a toddler bed.

It’s also one of the first pictures of her sleeping in her crib.  I’m realizing, as Penny is stepping firmly into her toddler years, I’ve missed a lot of her babyhood.

With a 3 1/2 year old and a 19 month old around when she was born, there simply wasn’t time for me to savor those little moments like I did with my first two.

I missed her first smile. Of course, I saw it, I just didn’t get a picture of it. In fact, I didn’t manage to get a picture of her smiling for 2-3 weeks after the first one.

I missed those times when you go into their room and just watch them sleep.  When she was napping, no way I was going in her room or I would have two tag-alongs following me, sure to wake her up.

I missed those times when you’re nursing, you look down, and your baby is gazing into your eyes.  You smile, and she smiles with her eyes and for a few minutes it’s just you two in the whole world. I was constantly doing something else when I was nursing Penny.  Mostly, trying to keep the other two from destroying the house in the five minutes it took to feed Penny.  I was in a hurry always. No time to just sit and enjoy the moment.

Even more sad, I’ve forgotten them; the first tooth, her first steps, her first words, I don’t remember.  I completely missed her crawling phase. She started crawling around 6 months and started walking at a little under 9 months, so it wasn’t a long period, but it seems I should remember it a little.

To be honest, the first 18 months with three children kicked my butt.  Not just a little, a whole lot. I went into survival mode and I’m just starting to crawl out of the bomb shelter and survey the wreckage.  During that time, Penny was almost an afterthought.

I do infant well. I’m really good at taking care of infants with very little effort.  I can take care of a baby while really focusing on something else.  Like two toddlers.

I’ve lost a lot of special moments with Penny, but now that I’m able to breathe again, I’m trying to refocus on Penny.  Starting by sneaking into her room during nap time while the other two are busy watching television, and just watching her sleep.

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7 Responses to “Refocusing”

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  1. E. RaMona
    Twitter: iamErnee

    Oh Jessica! I just want to say from one mother of 3 girls to another,…..YOU’RE DOING A FANTASTIC JOB!!! Take a breath, get your second wind and enjoy the rest of Summer. Think about all of the lovely memories yet to come. What you’re doing takes real chutzpah! Remember, ALL of her memories involve you!

  2. NotJustAnotherJennifer
    Twitter: MidwestMomments

    Aww! Super cute pic!

    As the oldest, I always thought my sister was better off being the youngest. Now that I have kids of my own? The youngest totally gets the shaft. I try to make a concerted effort to document things with Baby R, but it just doesn’t happen. She has started singing along with my lullabies at night and I want to videotape it. I’ve been thinking that for 2 weeks. If I don’t do it soon, she’ll have moved past that super cute stage of only knowing the last word of each line and filling the rest in with random noises. Sigh….

    • Jessica Anne says:

      The youngest definitely gets the shaft. Penny’s baby book is practically empty. I know what you mean, I think about capturing some sweet moment, and then life happens and the moment passes undocumented. Maybe I need to walk around with my camera and video camera. :)

  3. Kristin @ Peace, Love and Muesli
    Twitter: kristinglas

    I am really familliar with the kick my butt part of the story. You are not alone with missing parts. There’s only 2 at my house and I struggled with the same things.
    Courage my friend.

  4. Alison@Mama Wants This
    Twitter: MamaWantsThis

    I only have one child and motherhood is already kicking me in the butt so kudos to you with 3 under 4! You might have missed the first few months but there are many more and bigger milestones for you to catch! And don’t feel bad about the lack of photos – I always say, sometimes it’s best to stop and enjoy the moment, rather than miss it while trying to photograph the moment :)

    Stopping by from TRDC.