Jane is now 2 months and we are finally settling into a new routine as a family of 6. Which means there is a little less chaos. But still probably more crazy than at your house. :)
New this month:
-Jane now sleeps longer stretches at night!!!! We can consistently count on 5 hours, sometimes even close to 7.5 or 8 in a row. This is HUGE. I feel less tired now than when I was pregnant. And sometimes I even get stuff done.
-Smiling! Jane smiles more now. Mostly just at me and Steve, but occasionally for siblings or other family members.
-Nap training. Stressing over sleep is my least favorite part of newborns. I've been tracking Jane's sleep the last week, and she is consistently 1-2 hours less than she probably should have, with naps almost always only being 30 minutes with a rare longer nap. Once I have her an opportunity to try to put herself to sleep instead of just rush in with a binky, she has done MUCH better... In fact, she is currently on a nap extension going on 2 hours (at the same time the twins were napping!). I think it probably helps her at night too, but she is all business at night and just nurses herself to sleep. This means we almost never leave the house because she naps best in her bed. I'm getting a little cabin fever but need to remember that it will be worth it.
-Improved head control. She's a lot less wobbly. Next month, we'll work on tummy time.
-Recognition. Jane definitely knows me and Steve, and her siblings. Though focusing and head turning is still hard.
-Weight gain! We go to the Dr. next week, but according to my home scale, Jane is over 10 lbs.!!!! She's definitely thickening up and getting some cute little baby fat rolls. Jane was also blessed at our home ward this month. It marks the first time one of our children was blessed in our own ward. We had lots of family and friends come and it was a great event.
We've survived the first month with a newborn! It's been a rough month (it always is) but not as bad as I've expected. I don't nearly feel as tired or busy as I thought I would. Now, I wouldn't exactly say it's been "easy", just not the blur of craziness I planned for. Which has been nice.
I think a lot of that has to do with the pre-planning I did. I had about 2-3 months worth of meals in the freezer, a fully-stocked pantry, and a lot of the projects were completed. We've had lots of friends and neighbors drop by with meals and Grandma Garff has taken the bigger kids for a few outings to help out as well. I've also had low expectations for myself for the first 6 weeks in order to adjust and heal and sleep. I've had to force myself to sit down more regularly (since I'm running around so much with the other kids) so I can be sure to recover, but I'm not a big fan of that. I just want to be back to normal! I'm feeling great now, so hopefully almost there (except for wanting to lose another 25-30lbs, of course).
When I came home from the hospital, I barely felt like I had given birth, my recovery has been EASY. In fact, I went to sacrament meeting the next day. It was Mother's Day, and I thought there'd be kids singing some cute musical number that I wouldn't want to miss, but no such luck. The hardest part has been my SI joint pain. With Jane being turned all funny, it separated my pelvis, which has STILL not gone back completely. Walking even a block that first week was difficult and painful. I've been going to PT, which has been super helpful, but still not back to normal, yet. I have started running a bit (2 miles, 3x a week), but don't want to increase mileage until I am pain-free. Which hopefully will be soon as I regain my muscle and strength.
Jane has been a mostly pleasant baby. She hardly ever cries when she is being held, doesn't take forever to eat, and is working on sleeping better. It has been a challenge getting her to learn to sleep in the pack'n'play all alone, but she is doing much better. She seems like she will be a very happy and easy baby once we get passed this sleep hurdle.
Jane, 1 Month:
-SMILING!!! Started at 3 weeks; crazy, I know, but it's been often enough we know it is a real smile. She even has a dimple!
-Sleeps for 3-5 hours at a time during the night, usually going right back to bed.
-Kind of a spitty baby, but not nearly as bad as projectile vomiting Caleb.
-Loves to stare with her deep blue eyes and make funny facial expressions.
-Loved by her siblings, who are adjusting as well as can be expected. William often is indifferent, but every so often, I can get him fascinated by her umbilical cord, or funny faces. He doesn't want to hold her, but did try to teach her to crawl. Yesterday, he said that Jane looked like a boy because she has short hair. :)
The twins fight over holding her and can't get enough baby. Caleb picks most of her outfits and they already have a special bond. He talks to Jane in a high-pitched voice that is just darling. Lily adores having a little sister and always wants to hold her.
My favorite thing is when the kids ask if we are going to keep Baby Jane forever.
William graduated from preschool this week. He has loved it.
The preschool was about a mile from our house, so we often walked or biked when the weather was nice. William insisted on wearing Steve's East High cap, and wanted to wear red to match it. Definitely stood out.
They sang a few songs and got a diploma and a cd of pictures. William is so EXCITED for kindergarten next year, but will be sad to not be in Mrs. Brown's class anymore.
I've been debating about what to do about the pet situation now that Nike is gone. I'm not a fan of having no pet...but I'm also 25 weeks pregnant and have a lot to do before this little girl gets here, so a puppy doesn't really make sense (though it is tempting...).
The plan right now is to get a baby bunny in the next month or two, and then get a puppy when life calms down after we have this baby. And I'm not dealing with potty-training, big-bed transitioning twins.
But in the meantime, I've decided to foster dogs with Rescue Rovers. They take dogs out of the shelters and give them a home until they are able to find a new home.
Our first lucky guy was Bulldozer. A Great Dane "puppy" of around 100 lbs and 1 year old. He was a sweet dog, awesome with the kids. Caleb especially misses him. But Dozer has found an awesome new home with a dog brother and four strapping young boys to play with.
Our current dog is Tater. Tater is a 2-year old Catahoula/border collie mix. He's potty trained and doesn't mind being left alone when we have to run to the store (some things we were working hard with Dozer to fix). But he definitely needs some leash work, so we've been going on lots of walks/runs in an attempt to fix his bad habits and help him find a forever home.
The first thing Caleb said to Tater was, "I Love you, Tater!" The fostering thing might be hard for my sweet sensitive boy, so we'll see how it goes. But it's fun for now, though I can't wait until we get a dog that is a good fit for us permanently.
Nike had been showing signs of age for some time now, and hasn't been able to run with me since shortly after the twins were born.
In the last few weeks of December he stopped eating, had a hard time controlling his body functions, lost 10 lbs (down to a final 49 lbs from a more typical 75-80), and was quickly losing control of his legs. I made the hard choice to put him down.
But then again, I wasn't about to let him starve himself to death, either. It was one of the hardest decisions I've ever made, but luckily, the vet (dad of my old friend Dagny) said he would have done the same thing if it were his dog, so I have some consolation.
Nike was the best dog. He was well-behaved and hardly ever did anything to get in trouble (except the occasional taking food from babies, and they practically have it to him so it's not really his fault), he would run with me for hours at my pace, and he let my kids climb all over him.
I miss that dog. Finding a new one as good as him will be difficult.
It's been an eventful and stressful week. I got a new niece, lost a dog, wrote a talk, and had a lot of drama in all aspects of my life. Hopefully the next few weeks calm down and I can hopefully get a new dog soon, but until then, I just hope I can make it through without too much more crying.
Of all our children, Lily is the most "adventurous". She likes to run as fast as possible, climb higher than I prefer, and is often falling or tripping or otherwise getting injured because of her "activities."
So it's no surprise that she was the first in our family to get stitches.
Though this time it wasn't her fault. I was doing dishes, and Steve was getting a movie ready for Movie Night (it was Lily's turn to pick and she picked "Frozen"). Lily tripped over Steve and was inconsolable...and started bleeding uncontrollably from the bottom of her foot. I could see it was deep enough she would likely need stitches, so I gauged her up, put on a sock to hold it in place, and headed off to urgent care.
Luckily, I had "Frozen" on my phone because that was the only thing that made Lily happy. After what seemed like eternity of a crying baby in the waiting room, Lily's injury was examined. It was though it might have got the tendon, so a more senior doctor came to look at it. Still, they were unsure, and of course my phone battery died, so we had a kicking and screaming mess on our hands in the form of my daughter. And boy, can she scream! She wouldn't stay still enough for a thorough exam and cleaning, so we almost had to go to Primary Children's to have her sedated. But with 4 of us to hold get down, we finally got her cleaned up, determined it wasn't a tendon that was cut, and put in 7 stitches.
After a Popsicle and a sucker, Lily finally calmed down and we went home. But Lily wasn't allowed to go in our brand-new sandbox or finish out the next week of swimming lessons. :( luckily, I got a refund for both her and Caleb's lessons.
And when we asked Lily what happened, she said Daddy cut her...his toenails aren't that bad. :) Caleb had thrown one of my nice Pyrex measuring cups a few days prior, shattering all over the tile. While I had vacuumed and swept several times, we assume a stray piece must have ended up by the couch where the injury occurred.
It was a hard 10 days, but I'm happy to say that our baby girl is all healed up and we are back to bike crashes and brother fights as usual.