Our life is small right now, but so very good. We are busy learning and growing, and not busy with much else.
After two years of being a two car family, we’re back to all sharing the Subaru Outback. We managed to fit three car seats across the back, which saved us from seeking out a bigger car just yet.
In the winter months, that means the kidlets and I mainly stay home during the week and I love it. It’s been a great excuse to not overfill our schedule! Mackenzie still goes (or stays, on my weeks to teach) to Joy School twice a week and we gratefully mooch rides when it’s not within walking distance.
Other than that, we’ve been spending our time as follows:
Daniel (4 months)
Nicknames: Daniel Doo, Dan Dan, Buddy, Dan the Man, Danny Boy, The Boy
Recent Happenings: Sleeping a bit better at night time (woo!) That means some nights he goes 8 hours between feedings, but he keeps me guessing and still wakes up to wail for an hour a few times a week.
Because I’m a sucker for punishment and stay up late (and I have two other young children who occasionally have nighttime wakeups), I still have yet to manage a 5 hour stretch of sleep myself. He’s 4 months today and I can’t sleep when I’m very pregnant so I’m going on 5-6 months without a good stretch of sleep. It is going to be sweet when it comes, I’ll tell ya!
His umbilical hernia is closing! He actually has an “innie” now and you can’t tell there’s a gap unless you push down on his belly.
His tear duct is not closing! He has had a goopy eye since he was born and it is still gunky around the clock. He’s always got a tear running down his face and he has little patience for us de-gunking his eye any more. Usually those ducts open up by the time babies turn 1, so we’re just waiting (and wiping).
Pastimes: Daniel is a homebody like the rest of us. As long as we are hanging out around the house, he is content to kick on a blanket and watch his Mama and sisters.
He giggles happily when I swaddle him for naps… if we are at home. If we are anywhere else, he fights sleep for hours and rarely succumbs.
He also dedicates a large portion of the day to giving me sad, puppy dog eyes:
And the remainder goes towards working on his thigh rolls:
Temperament: Mellow. He reminds me a lot of Mackenzie at this age. He’s not quick to smile, but he rarely cries. He loves to be sung to and nothing calms him down faster than hearing someone play the piano (a recording won’t do).
Award: Cutest Feet
Nicknames: Bug, Buggy, Bug-a-loo Sue, Miss Sue
Recent Happenings: Caitlyn is a walking contradiction.
She speaks in opposites:
“Unbuckle me” = Buckle me up
“My high chair is unscooted” = My high chair is scooted in
“The snow is melting!” = There is snow falling from the sky!
“A” = The letter you’re asking me about is actually “B”, and I know it.
“Orange” = The color you are pointing to is actually yellow, and I know it.
“I’m NOT thankful for” = The phrase she uses in her prayers when listing things she likes.
“I’m going pee pee” = You guessed it. She nearly always gets these mixed up. This made our few weeks potty training extra exciting.
Pastimes: She also lives in opposites. She begs to be read to all day long, but rarely will sit through an entire story. Her favorite thing is to color, but she will spend exactly 2 minutes on the task before wiggling off her chair and racing around to find something “else” to do. She longs to play with Mackenzie and do everything Mackenzie is doing, but she can’t resist snatching something and racing away (or smashing, or grabbing), which then burns bridges with her sister.
Temperament: Despite the contradictions, I feel like I understand her much more easily than her older sister. Her emotions are all right there on the surface. If she’s sad or frustrated, she’ll cry and tell you why and then she’ll get over it. There’s no brooding or scheming. If she’s going to make a bad choice, she’ll own it and do it right where you can see it.
Her unbridled enthusiasm for life persists, and she is always making me smile. One of her signature moves is declaring in a highly dramatic fashion, “What can I HAVE?” or “What can I DO?” as if her life is coming to an end after being told she may not have [a sharp knife] or [color on the walls].
Caitlyn also loves to dance in the living room with me, snuggle with her blanket (which includes deep inhalation of her favorite corner), and sing songs to herself.
She is a daddy’s girl, especially when she’s hurt.
Award: Best Welcomer. She screams and nearly falls over with excitement. Then she races for the door narrating as she goes, “I’m going to get Daddy because Daddy is HOME!!!”
Nicknames: Kenzie, Miss Lou Who, Miss Mackenze, Lou, Goose
Recent Happenings: Finally, Mackenzie has started reading chapter books! I knew she’d love them but I was trying not to push them on her because I have a deep and abiding respect for Mackenzie’s stubborn streak.
She is consumed now with Pollyanna, Pippi Longstocking, and the Little House on the Prairie series all at the same time… and has also started the Boxcar Children series and Ramona books. She does finish some but generally she is engrossed for an hour or two, excited to tell me all about it, and then before she can read more Caitlyn pulls out her bookmark and Mackenzie can’t remember where she was. There is generally some sadness and then she moves on to another book.
Pastimes: Mackenzie spends most of her time inventing games and exploring her world [currently our house] with her sidekick little sister. She adores having a built-in
minion friend but because Mackenzie tends to be “particular”, the two year old who does everything with gusto tends to push her buttons. Smash, scatter, plunder… tears. Rinse and repeat.
We have a kindness jar on our fridge that the girls are working on filling as they treat each other, and react to each other, with kindness.
Mackenzie is also working on catching a ball and kicking her soccer ball. We have to carve out time in the day for these things, since they just don’t happen naturally around here. New goal: wear the kids out with physical activity in the evenings so they’ll go to bed better!
She is still a skinny minnie. Her little brother weighs more than half what she does, though she’s tall for her age.
Temperament: She has developed quite a silly streak lately and is always doing quirky, creative things to get us laughing.
Award: Best Questioner. Nothing escapes her notice and she’ll often mull over something for days or weeks and then ask about it.
There have been moments this winter when I’ve felt a bit like Daniel in this picture:
But more often, I’m loving life.
I’ve been plugging away on some personal and family goals lately. I’ve learned that with three little children I need to celebrate progress, however small it is.
One example: I’m trying to make motherhood look as enjoyable as it is. I realize when I dress sloppily, it reflects poorly on what I do every day. In reality, I’ve always been a “low-maintenance”, “casual” sorta girl but that was easier to pull off when I wasn’t sleep deprived or spit up on. I’ve come to the conclusion that looking decently put together will take concerted effort now.
On that note, I am happy to report that I’ve worn my hair down every day this year and plan to finish out the month doing the same. After a few weeks of getting used to it hanging down, I actually blew it dry and straightened it one day and timed it. Surely I can take 6-10 minutes to give my usual ponytail a reprieve every now and then?
Oh and hey, I even wear earrings on a semi-regular basis now.
(not a blow drying day, clearly)