Two-And-A-Half Months with Our Little Guy!

Our little guy is now over 2 months old!

Atticus is an incredibly happy baby.

054And he continues to be everyone’s favorite little snuggle bug.

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He’s definitely growing well. At his two-month appointment with his pediatrician, he was in the 88th percentile for length and 73rd percentile for weight. He seems so big to me that I was actually surprised those numbers weren’t higher!

He’s also getting stronger all the time. He enjoys tummy time more now that he can hold his head up a lot better – and of course the girls are always eager to come hang out with him on his blanket.

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He truly enjoys his sisters. He’s a social little guy, so he doesn’t like being put down and left alone, but I often set him up in his bouncy seat and ask one of the girls to sit and talk to him while I get dinner going or switch the laundry or something of that nature. I’ll return to find them cooing and smiling at each other happily 🙂

He gets a ton of language exposure. I was actually worried that he wouldn’t pick up words as quickly as Miranda did, since I wouldn’t be able to give him as much direct one-on-one time, but now that I’ve seen what his life actually looks like, I realize how silly that concern was! Matt and I both still talk to him quite a bit, but the girls are also speaking to him constantly. On top of that, we read to the girls a lot, both for school and for fun, and he’s around for much of that and just soaks it in along with them.

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And – in response to the #1 question for parents of babies his age – he is sleeping very well 🙂 He gives us good, long stretches of sleep at night, usually just waking to nurse 2-3 times each night. His naps are more variable, which is not ideal (from my perspective), but it’s very typical for a baby his age, and it’s not a real problem.

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All in all, I think things are going pretty well. We’re not back to our normal patterns from our life before his arrival, but we never will be. It feels like we’ve established at least the outline of what our new normal (for now) is, though. We’re able to do school, run errands, and take care of most of the everyday tasks of cooking and cleaning. And for the most part, Matt and I are both able to do the work we need to do and have quality time together. We’ve even been able to start spending a little bit of time with friends and having people over for dinner again.

There are hard things about this stage of life, though. I often feel like everything continues to run smoothly as long as I am working toward that end constantly – using any spare minutes to get a few more dishes into the dishwasher or start a load of laundry. There’s more to do, and everything just takes longer these days. I never know when I’m going to have a free 20 minutes to accomplish (or even start!) any task that needs to be done, and the unpredictability of it is hard for me. I’d so like to be back to my pre-pregnancy weight and be able to wear something from my closet other than yoga pants. It can be hard to connect with friends when we have 3 young kiddos. And I don’t feel like I get true breaks – since Atticus won’t take a bottle, the instant I finish feeding him, the clock starts ticking down toward the next time he’ll need me.

But the thing about adding a child to our family for the third time is that I know this time is fleeting. This stage won’t last forever – or even very long at all. Soon enough Atticus will begin eating solid food and no longer need me to be his sole source of sustenance – and then I’ll blink, and he’ll be done nursing entirely. His naps will become more regular – and then someday he’ll give them up completely. I think that this time around, I still feel the pressure of the challenges, but I can work with them. I set him up in the bouncy seat and talk to him while I do the dishes, and I grab a book to read while he sleeps in my arms. And I know that these particular challenges will pass, but in the meantime, there’s a heck of a lot of joy available.

I get to see my girls growing in their roles as helpers and nurturers. I get to see the pure joy of Atticus’s smiles and coos and laughter – and I get to be the one at whom he so often directs those beautiful gestures. I get to love and snuggle and read books and answer questions and teach facts and encourage kindness and pray for growth. I get to grow myself, learning more about patience and gentleness and kindness as I feel myself stretched.

These are good things. We’re thankful for them and thankful for the little guy whose arrival ushered us into this new stage of life.

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A Week (and a Day)

Our little Atticus is 8 days old today, and what a sweet 8 days they have been!

We spent 2 nights in the hospital after he was born, and by Monday morning we were so ready to come home and continue to snuggle our little guy in the comforts of our own home and be all together as a family.

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We continue to think Atticus is one of the most adorable, precious little babies ever – along with his sisters, of course 🙂

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We’re getting to know him more and more each day. He has these awesome facial expressions that make us wonder if he is going to grow up into the inquisitive, observant, and thoughtful person that he seems to be.

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We’re learning more about all of his likes and dislikes, as well. Current loves are snuggling, nursing, and watching his sisters 🙂

He is really a pretty laid back baby, which is fortunate, because he is a third child, and the world cannot revolve around him even if we wanted to make it so! Now that we’re third-time parents, though, I think we’re also more laid back. We’ve been there, done that, and so we don’t get nervous about things like snorty breathing, nursing in public, or his routines being disrupted when we leave the house.

Little Atticus and I have been able to work together to get into a good groove with nursing. We saw his pediatrician on Wednesday, and he had already surpassed his birth weight, so we were thrilled! I’ve started burping him more frequently, which has successfully decreased the frequency of his “spit-upping,” as the girls call it. And I get to enjoy this view multiple times throughout each day 🙂

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What a little sweetie! And look at those ears! Matt and I think they look like elf ears and very much hope they retain their shape into the future 🙂

Sleep is also going much, much better than it did for our first few nights, and we are all so relieved. I spent 4 or 5 nights with no more than 4 hours of sleep a night (sometimes considerably less), and Matt wasn’t faring much better. I was starting to feel like a zombie. The last few nights have been so, so, so much better, though, and while we’re still tired, we’re able to function reasonably well and enjoy our days.

We even made it to church this morning, our first outing as a family of five! It was nice to get out of the house and introduce our little guy to some of our church family and worship together and participate in the celebration of Advent.

As well as the past week has gone, this upcoming week might be more of a challenge. Last week we were fortunate that Matt was able to spend more time than usual at home with us, and my mom was also able to be here until Saturday morning.

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This week one of Matt’s sisters will be here for a few days, but the kiddos and I will also have a few days on our own, and, to be honest, I’m a little nervous about it. The girls really do love baby Atticus a lot…

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…but they’re also still very young, and their routines and their lives have just been dramatically altered. They’re more on edge than normal, and I obviously have more going on now that I am also taking care of a baby, and my post-partum hormones have kicked in. That combination could make for some hard days.

Some friends have offered to help out with the girls, but I think it might really be best for them to try to return to as much normalcy as possible. I actually think I may try to do some school with them this week. I’d thought that we would probably take all of December off from school work, but I think the structure and routines of school might be really helpful for them. My primary hope is that I can be patient and kind with them through the days, regardless of how well or how crazily they might behave. I’m sure we’ll survive the week, but I’d like to do better than that and actually parent all 3 of my kiddos well! As I’ve been reminding them all week, they are each so precious to me!

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