I knew I would learn a lot of things once we brought Lauren home. I knew I'd have to be a different parent with two little ones to take care of every day. I just had no idea exactly what would change, or how it would effect things we do with Brenden.
I thought with two kids I would be even more strict. More rigid in what I expected of Brenden, more scheduled with Lauren. Wow, I was wrong. From the get go Lauren has been fed when she's hungry, which usually ends up being ever 2 hours or so, which is what I was used to. But it wasn't "10 o'clock, time for Lauren to eat!" We tried so hard to stay on top of what Brenden would want so that he was never upset. With Lauren, a little crying doesn't bother us that much, as long as we know what she wants.
That also extends to solid foods. I was so scared of Brenden being allergic to things (which he is, so I'm glad I was) that I followed the rules exactly. He only had one type of food for 5 days so we knew that he wouldn't have a reaction. With Lauren, I haven't bothered. I even fed her something with eggs in it (with orders from her doctor) and neither Tim nor I batted an eyelash. If she broke out, we knew how to deal with it. So far, the only thing she had a reaction to was rice cereal, and I think that might have just been because she was broken out from the diapers she was wearing. I'm going to try again to make sure.
I also didn't expect to be so laid back about nap times. With Brenden, he went to sleep at the exact same time every day, on the dot, no matter where he was. I could tell you his schedule down to the minute. With Lauren, if she's tired she naps. If she isn't, oh well. Brenden still naps at roughly the same time, but having one kid awake means I don't stress about the other one being asleep. We're much more lenient on Brenden's naps as well. If he doesn't fall asleep and we need to be somewhere, oh well. He may be a little harder to handle, but we won't let us stop us anymore. He still ends up taking one nap a day no matter what, it just may not be as long. He's also fallen asleep on his own several times, which I never expected him to do. He fell asleep in my lap on the boat, on the seat of the boat, and on the floor of the boat. Maybe we should take more boat rides!
All in all, I think we are all happier this time around. Brenden is definitely acting like a 3 year old boy, but that's to be expected. We've had potty training problems, but that was already part of our day. We have two kiddos with allergies and skin reactions, but nothing we can't handle. All in all, this time around, we're all enjoying it.