So now you know that Avery is here and you’ve heard about her arrival, but what has life actually been like as a family of five? Three words: crazy but good! We knew moving from man-to-man defense to zone defense would be a challenge, but whew! Some moments are just pure hilarity for the amount of chaos happening in our home. And that’s been with near constant help from family members the past two weeks. Three kids four and under are just a handful, not matter how many people are on hand to help!
(Forgive the picture of a picture, I only have a hard copy of this photo.
It’s the first of all five of us together while we were at the hospital.)
But Avery is the sweetest and has been a relatively easy baby so far. She’s still in that magical, sleepy newborn stage before we know what her personality is really like. She is a textbook baby — sleeps for 3 hour stretches at night, sleeps better swaddled even though she hates it, nurses frequently, poops constantly, and is generally happy if she’s held. She has a sweet little cry, it’s hard to imagine her competing with her loud brothers in a year or so.
Everyone want to cuddle with Mommy.
Speaking of the brothers, they are also being very typical. They are sweet to their sister even though they don’t understand her fragility. They accidentally bump her or drop things on her even though they are just trying to get close and love on her. Nolan was a little mad at me to begin with, but we seem to be back to normal. Parker took it all in stride and seems to have forgotten life before his baby sister (who he says all the time is so cute and sweet). He has been a bit confused about the girl aspect. It’s quite hilarious how concerned he gets during diaper changes. He also doesn’t really comprehend the things that are just true of all babies (no teeth, umbilical cord, etc.) versus the things that are different about baby girls. For instance, he’ll say, “Oh, baby girls don’t have teeth.” It’s quite entertaining.
Playing with Baby Avery. Parker has pinkeye at the moment (as if we needed more turmoil in our household!), so he plays very carefully and tries not to spread his germs.
Daddy is getting pretty good at multi-tasking. Such a pro!
The boys have definitely reverted to some bad behavior that we thought we were way past. Nolan has also catapulted into the terrible two’s just a month or two early. He pretty much says “No” to everything, all the time. Even things he wants. He just loves to shake his head and say no–followed by much tantrum throwing when he has to do whatever it was anyway. And Parker, well, his response to everything is “why?” or “I don’t want to”. So we’ve been cracking down on all kinds of bad behavior at the same time we are more sleep deprived and less patient than usual. It can be difficult combination! Nolan is definitely Parker’s little shadow right now and is doing EVERYTHING his big brother does. It’s good to see them entertaining each other but they also get into a lot of trouble (permanent marker on our carpet!?).
Yep, they do EVERYTHING together these days.
A few days into shoving three kids into the back of our Explorer was enough to convince Brian it was time to have the minivan talk. We ended up buying a used Honda Odyssey when Avery was just 5 days old! It is amazingly challenging to get three little people out the door and into a car without losing your cool. The little amenities in this car might keep me on this side of sanity!
Everyone squished together in the back of our Explorer.
2005 Honda Odyssey Touring
We are so thankful for all the help from family these first weeks. It’s been especially helpful for me to get some alone time with Avery while family members watch and entertain the boys. I treasure each moment with her in a way I never knew how when I only had one baby. I love her snuggles, sounds, faces, and even nursing. I don’t mind it because it means I get to be holding her and no one can take her away. Plus, she’s really good at nursing so it’s never frustrating — after two years of nursing experience with the boys I’m happy it’s finally easy and enjoyable!
So, that’s a wrap of our first two weeks together. I’m sure life is going to be interesting and challenging for the next few months (years?), but we are so happy to be a family of five and so thankful for the addition of our little girl!