And just like that, half of 2017 has come and gone. So much has changed since our last family update, mainly the addition of a third child! We're starting to adjust to being a family of five, now that Lewis is 2 months old. The past 2 years have been a wild ride - we moved across the country, added Teddy to the family, started new jobs, got pregnant with Lewis, and traveled quite a bit in between. I'm looking forward to some continuity and normalcy for the next few months at least! Anyway, here's what we've all been up to the past few months...
Earlier this month Pippa celebrated her fourth birthday, and she suddenly seems so much more mature in every aspect (except whining - that quickly reminds me that she's definitely still a four year old). As the eldest sibling and only sister, she takes her role as caretaker very seriously. When I set the baby down to do something, and he starts crying, she will sit by his side and sing to him or read him a book to calm him down. It's so sweet!
Teddy has been more and more interested in playing with her as he gets older, and she will tolerate it to an extent. She is stingy with sharing her toys, reserving the "worst" ones for him, and hoarding the best for herself, but at least she's letting him play! Something I want to remember about her, though, is how great she is at independent play, and what a vivid imagination she has. She can and will play by herself for hours at a time with Little People, stuffed animals, blocks, or train tracks. She will play school and read to her dolls and stuffed animals. It's so fun to overhear the scenarios she comes up with.
Pippa is sleeping very well in her big girl bed, but often still needs one of us to snuggle with her in bed to help her fall asleep. Most mornings she will crawl in our bed around 5:30 a.m. fall back asleep. She's very good about eating fruit, and I've been talking to her about the difference between sugar and fructose - that fructose is a natural sweetener found in fruits. We're still working on vegetables, though she will happily munch on green peppers and carrots, especially if there is ranch dressing involved!
I truly cannot believe that she'll be starting preschool in the fall, and am already starting to get weepy at the thought of it! I keep telling her she's not allowed to grow up, but she seems pretty insistent on it. I'm treasuring the thoughtful conversations the two of us have been having as she grows more inquisitive and observes more of the world around her.
What is there to say about our Teddy Bear? He is the life of the party, and brings a smile to your face whenever he walks into the room. He gets comments on his curly blond hair everywhere we go. Teddy is the most happy-go-lucky little boy, always angling for a laugh. He loves sports, and is always up for a game of "bah-m-ball" (basketball) or "bah-bee-o" (baseball).
My other favorite thing about Teddy right now is that he refuses to leave the house without a hat. He's become known for his backwards baseball caps with baby curls sticking out the front. Regretfully, I recently tried to fix a developing mullet, and wound up giving him a mushroom cut. I've got some work to do before I reach expert mom barber status.
Teddy is becoming more verbal by the day, putting together novel sentences left and right! It's fun watching the wheels turn in his brain as he finds new ways to communicate. Some of my favorites phrases lately are: "That, Mommy, that!" / "Let's go, Mommy!" / "Bowl yereal?" (yereal = cereal) / "Where Pippa go?" / "MY choo-choo, Pippa!" / "There you go, Mommy!" / "Ok, Mom." (when I ask him to do something - SO CUTE!) / "Pepper dip dip" - refers to our afternoon snack of carrots, bell peppers, and ranch dressing, which he refers to as dip-dip.
Teddy's wearing size 2T - sometimes 3T for bottoms because he's got those thunder thighs! He's eating anything and everything all. day. long. When he does find time to play quietly by himself, he's been stacking blocks or zooming his cars around. We are looking forward to Teddy's second birthday in about a month!
The kid is growing like a weed, and eating like a champ! We're hitting the 2 month growth spurt, so cluster feeding has been more commonplace, especially in the evening. He's been giving his longest stretch of sleep from about 9 or 10 p.m. to about 3 a.m. I'll take it! But that means I've been heading to bed at about the same time as Lewis to maximize my sleep. That also means I haven't been getting much work done in the evenings. Ce la vie! This phase will go quickly.
He's still in size 0-3 month clothes, and size 1 diapers, but I've been trying on a few 3-6 month outfits, and they're really not that big on him. He's got the monk hairdo going on right now, developing a bald spot in the middle of his head. He's been discovering his arms and legs, kicking and stretching to his heart's content during "play time" after he eats.
We've been loosely following an eat/play/sleep routine, since he's not quite ready to be on an eating schedule just yet. I truly am looking forward to the day I can feed him every 3 hours, so my body can get on a schedule! But for now I'm still feeding him on demand.
I'm so excited to have my 6 week checkup in the rear view mirror! Those first six weeks after baby is born are some of the toughest both physically and mentally for a mama, so it's always a relief to me when I start to feel like myself again. Now that I'm 8 weeks postpartum, I've been exercising, but gentle exercise, since I'm working on healing my diastasis recti, or separated abs. (I'll be writing a post about this soon, so stay tuned!) In addition to walking, most of the moves involve engaging my transverse abdominals, and I've started incorporating some squats, lunges, and arm workouts. As I get stronger, I'll transition into more intense, HIIT-type workouts, but I'm not rushing into anything! Right now feeding and bouncing the baby, chasing Teddy, and doing dance parties with Pippa feels like enough movement!
I'm enjoying maternity leave, which bleeds right into summer break. When the new school year rolls around, I will be going back to teaching, but at a much smaller capacity - just 2 afternoons each week! I'm looking forward to being home with my babies the majority of the time and getting into a great routine with them. Along with that, I'll be focusing more on my blog and my health and wellness business, and I'm so excited for the freedom and flexibility both of those will provide me - both time freedom, and additional income.
I'm so proud of my husband, as he is starting his master's program this summer! He's very focused on his professional development, and how he can be the best teacher possible, and I love seeing him find his passion within the field of education! He's also enjoying summer break, but really hasn't had much of a "vacation" yet this summer. Afternoons have been spent at school getting his classroom set up and block planning for the next school year. However, we've all been savoring slow mornings at home as a family, sipping our coffee and doing puzzles with the kids.
I also have to mention that he has taken becoming a father of three in stride! Dads don't often get noticed in the weeks and months following the birth of a child, but I have to say that without him taking on lots of extra work around the house and with the kids, this transition would have been so much harder! He's been cooking more dinners for the family, doing the majority of bedtime routine for the older kids, and rocking the baby to sleep after long bouts of nursing. He's a champ!
So that's our family update! Stay tuned for a family vacation later this summer, some weekend trips, and Teddy Bear's second birthday! This season of life is so physically demanding and exhausting, but I will also say that it's so much fun watching our kids grow into individuals with personalities. I know we'll miss these days when they're over, so I'm trying to soak in the goodness through my sleep deprived eyes.