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All You Need is Love

"How long do you want to be loved? Is forever enough 'cuz I'm never, ever giving you up."

I'm in love, again. Call me a polygamist but right now I'm in love with two people. Well, make that three. Every parent of multiple children has told me it is incredible how we worry about not being able to love our second (or third, fourth) child as much as the first yet how easy it is to open your heart to make room for the next baby. I admit that I don't have quite as much time to spend staring at Charlotte as I did Caroline but thanks to Andy's super dad parenting of Caroline, I've been able to spend hours admiring every inch of my new baby.

Night is my favorite time to admire the miracle. It's probably because I am a bit delusional from lack of sleep and also because there is something magical about being awake at 3 am when you know the rest of the sane world is fast asleep. During these late night feedings I lazily lay on my side while Charlotte nurses. I close my eyes and gently rub her head, her hair, her ears, back and toes. When I finally get the energy to sit up and change her diaper I find her wide awake, her big eyes blinking up at me. She cooes and swivels her head back and forth looking at the shadows the bedside lamp casts around the room. I rub her tummy and the rolls on her legs and arms. We both drift back to sleep when I tuck her in my arms and rock her gently. I feel her chest rise and fall next to my own and it is hard for me to put her down back down to sleep alone. I keep my glasses on when I sleep (so glad I didn't buy a new pair since these are all crooked now) so I can easily peek at her. Occasionally, I wake up and can't fall back asleep until I put my face as close to hers as possible so I can hear her lightly breathing.

Since I've spent less time with Caroline over the past month, my time with her is very similar. Now, if I give her a bath, hold her in my arms, or stroke her hair while she lays next to me, I stare at her in amazement. She is huge! When did she get so big? Or is it because I am comparing her to Charlotte? I love to brush my finger along Caroline's chin and to look into her eyes when she smiles at me.

Yesterday afternoon I nursed Charlotte and rocked her to sleep as I watched from the window as Andy and Caroline played in the kiddie pool. I sat on the couch for a half hour, peeking out at the two of them laughing and splashing in the water and looking down at Charlotte as she contentedly grunted and rooted my arm in her sleep.

It is hard to believe that nine years ago Andy and I were two kids flirting with one another while trying to figure out what to do with our lives and now we have made a life together and two beautiful children. No matter how hard the day is, how many temper tantrums we extinguish or diapers we change, as every parent says, it is so worth it.

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