What’s New: Life as a Family of Four
The past two weeks have been huge around here, as we were busily preparing for Elliot’s arrival until he finally joined us last Tuesday, leaving our family forever changed in a most wonderful way.
I have seen so much change in Annabelle. The word toddler hardly seems to describe her anymore, although that is what most would call her. She has become so independent in many ways, despite the emotional ups and downs of big sisterhood, which often manifest themselves in a desire to be treated as a little baby. That has been quite fun, too, though, and is a game I’m more than happy to throw myself into during times when Andrew is holding baby Elliot and I have nothing keeping me from scooping Annabelle up. It’s amazing how absolutely massive she seems now, in contrast to him.
Her imaginative play, which was already becoming quite rich, has taken on a life of its own. She is always chattering to herself, and I hear her remembering and processing the things that she experiences through conversations with toys. In the week leading up to Elliot’s arrival, her doll finally came back with the movers. She has had it since she was about 18 months old, and never taken much of an interest, but as soon as she saw it again, she wanted it and it has hardly left her arms since. She takes it everywhere, talks with it, instructs her daddy and I to ask it questions, diapers it, feeds it, and even sleeps with it most nights. If I refer to it as her doll, she corrects me, saying, “Your baby, you mean.”
Birth terminology is now everywhere. She was transferring some star shaped, plastic ice cubes from one bowl to another with tongs yesterday, and started calling them “bags of water,” the term she had been hearing to refer to the amniotic sac. Shortly after the birth, she put some pieces of cloth in a small basket and I overheard her saying, “You put your placenta in the bowl. You have to put the placenta in the fridge…” She has had much fun with all of the birth workers who have come in and out of our house, too, bonding with each one.
She absolutely adores her baby brother, and frequently comes over to look at him. When nursing, she holds his hand, and when she’s just staring, she’ll repeat over and over that, “the big sister is looking at the baby brother,” and “he’s so small!” She loves to hold him, and has gotten the idea that each time she does is a kodak moment. If someone doesn’t have the camera ready, she reminds us as soon as he’s placed in her lap to, “take a picture!” With all of the excitement, she has not been napping well and that, mixed with the newness of life as a big sister has certainly made for some challenges, but for the most part she is adjusting incredibly well.
So far, Elliot has been what many would call an “easy baby.” Of course newborns are supposed to sleep most of the time, but he sleeps quite literally all of the time, save for five or ten minute spurts here and there. Even nursing, his eyes are typically closed. He is perfectly at home in a cozy wrap or sling, where he sleeps for three hours between most feedings, undisturbed by the sounds around him. He wakes at night, but wants only to eat, burp, and eliminate so that he can get back to resting. The one thing he really does not like is to be moved, and each time someone dares change his position, he reminds them of his preference to be left at peace. We can’t stop staring at him.
I would love to hear what’s happening in your home and family as well, so please share! If you have a recent update post of your own, I’d love for you to link up at the bottom of this post so that I can read along.