Finnegan: 3 Months

December 2nd, 2016

(For reference: Linc 3 months, Caroline 3 months)

I started this post at 9 am, and it is now 9:29 pm. Finn is an adorable, cuddly, happy baby but he also wants to nurse 90% of the time he is awake. It is hard to work on my computer while he is nursing, and impossible to do almost anything else either. I don’t mind sitting on the couch mostly. Sitting down is nice. I am starting to resent being forced to watch the shows Linc picks though. There are only 3 seasons of Octonauts on Netflix and I have seen them all.

Finnegan’s eating habits are strongly reflected in his thighs. He hasn’t had a checkup recently, but I’m guessing he’s about 18 lbs. He’s wearing 6-9 or 9-12 month clothes – anything that actually says “3 months” on it is too small.  Caroline really, really, really wants to carry him around and help with baby stuff, but I’m terrified she’s going to drop him just because he’s so chubby. As soon as he can sit up on his own we’ll both be much more comfortable. He’s like a big round lump of soft white squish. His rolls are getting rolls. It’s amazing.

Finn really loves his swing. He likes the bouncy seat too, and the play mat, and the rock-n-play. But he LOVES the swing. We actually burnt out the motor in the swing we had left over from Linc because we use it so much. Moving the swing up and down the stairs is annoying, so we take turns sleeping on the couch until he wakes up for his night feeding. Luckily that’s been getting later and later, so 4-5 hour chunks of sleep are possible. As soon as he hits 6 hours in a row consistently we’ll try to transition him to the rock-n-play in the bedroom, but honestly I don’t hate the couch. If he’s fussy or awake for a long time I get to watch stuff on Netflix (Yesterday, the final Jeopardy question was about someone who won an Oscar, a Grammy and an Emmy, and I knew the answer immediately because I had JUST watched the EGOT episode of 30 Rock. Being awake at 2 am is educational!)

I feel a little guilty that Finn doesn’t get out into the world nearly as much as the previous children did. I’ve had a cold for the past 6 weeks. I’m fighting off a touch of PPD. I’m still not fully over my election disappointment (TBH, I really doubt I ever will be). Linc is a fairly difficult 2-year-old and I have a limited number of hands to wrangle him when he throws himself on the floor because I also have to do something with the baby, whether it’s wear him or put him in a stroller or cart. Once Finn is big enough to throw on my back I think we’ll get out a lot more, but I have a few more months before that’s going to happen.

I realize that this monthday update is more about other children than Finnegan. I think it’s a 4th baby problem – right now, all he needs is to be kept alive and clean. His personality is “3-month-old baby”. He isn’t particularly hard or particularly easy. It’s going to take a little longer for me to think of him as a full person.

Likes: Swinging, nursies, throwing up, cuddles, his siblings, music, bath time, his blankie, mommy, daddy.

Dislikes: Being forced to sit up for photos, gas, cold feet.

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That was a sneeze. It was hilarious.

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3 Month Milestones 

Mastered Skills (most kids can do)
Recognizes your face and scent – Definitely. He totally likes me best.
Holds head steady – He’s almost got it.
Visually tracks moving objects – Yes, he really likes Evan’s lightsaber.

Emerging Skills (half of kids can do)
Squeals, gurgles, coos – Yes.
Blows bubbles – Sometimes. He can do it but I’m not sure it’s on purpose.
Recognizes your voice – Unsure. He probably recognizes the Octonauts theme song though.
Does mini-pushup – Sometimes. He’s not much of a tummy time fan.

Advanced Skills (a few kids can do)
Rolls over, from tummy to back – He can get about half way. Just enough that I should probably stop leaving him on the couch.
Turns toward loud sounds – It almost worked during photos.
Can bring hands together, bats at toys – He can hold his own hands but I’m not sure it’s intentional.

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My Week(317) in iPhone Photos

November 30th, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving! I’m a little late and fully into Christmas mode now, which is my favorite part of the year. I’d like to just live in the 4 weeks before Christmas forever. We had friends here for the holiday and it was so, so great. They did so much work/child entertaining that it felt like a vacation instead of hosting.

Sunday:

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Super excited to give this to Evan for Christmas

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The extent of my Thanksgiving decorating

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Sibling cuddles

Monday:

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First snow!

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Linc likes “helping”

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Hello cutie

Tuesday:

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Making his Christmas list

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The most beautiful wrap in the world

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Sunset = same time as bus pick up

Wednesday:

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Shop til you drop

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Don’t even care what they watch as long as they’re quite for 20 minutes

Thursday:

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Men doing manly turkey frying

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Potato masher

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Caroline is the quality control department

Friday:

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Black Friday Hanna shopping

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Linc was SO into decorating, it was adorable

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More gingerbread building

Saturday:

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Christmas tree hunter

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Small town adorable parade

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Tree is up!

 

For the record, I am still sick. It’s now been 4 weeks with the cough, that has now become a sinus infection, most likely an ear infection and a weird painful bump on the roof of my mouth the internet tells me is probably related. I’m almost desperate enough to go to the doctor, although I’m still 90% sure they’ll say “it’s a virus, nothing we can do”. Maybe just MAKING an appointment will scare the virus into going away. I’m pretty sure that’s how viruses work.

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November 20th, 2016

It is very cold and gloomy today. One fourth of my children are napping, but unfortunately it’s the only one who doesn’t really NEED to nap. But I got a bunch of cleaning done this morning, there’s chili in the crockpot for dinner, and I have secret chocolate to eat when they eventually do go to bed. So it’s not the worst Sunday.

Sunday:

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He loves his lovies SO MUCH

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Pokemon hunting

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Local architecture

Monday:

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So stylish

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When Linc crashes, he crashes HARD

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WHAT IS THIS BATH THING I NEVER HAVE THEM???

Tuesday:

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We are both a total mess in this photo

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Diapers, cat food, giant bag of jelly beans

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Sitting down while someone else vacuums is my favorite

Wednesday:

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Ridiculous baby outfit

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The cat is SO DESPERATE she sat with the toddler

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Sure, why not bring a giant stick inside?

Thursday:

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Weirdo

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But a happy weirdo

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I can deal with happy (ps in the stroller, not the car, don’t send me car seat hate mail)

Friday:

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Baby friends playing nicely. It was very confusing.

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I shut him in his room for being a monster, obviously he was a tired monster

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Finn likes Zootopia too

Saturday:

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Zoo fun

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Gorgeous weather

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Target life

My throat sort of hurts but I absolutely refuse to acknowledge it could be ANYTHING except for very dry air in my house. We have important Thanksgiving plans, there’s no way I am letting germs ruin them. Fingers crossed I can get enough sleep in the next couple days to be back to 100% by Wednesday. It’s a tough time of year to stay well, especially when you’re only getting an average of 4 hours a night.

One of these days, I will completely forget what having a newborn is like and I’ll have to come up with something else to whine about. I can’t wait.

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November 19th, 2016

This was The Bad Week. I’m going to do the most recent week’s post tomorrow so I bump it down the page quickly. I still don’t want to talk about it.

Sunday:

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Mini sessions day 2

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Photographer life means ALL the throw blankets

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I have the best clients. This had Boston cream in it.

Monday:

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He was so excited about the fake oranges he needed real oranges

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These are not outside shoes

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Hates everything

Tuesday:

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Nope, don’t want to talk about it

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They’re having fun, I promise

Wednesday:

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He’s OBSESSED

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I “found” Everest, if by “found” you mean spent a crazy amount to replace the lost one

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His hair makes me happy

Thursday:

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D0N’T JUDGE ME I CAN BUY CHRISTMAS STUFF

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More appropriate bus stop shoes

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Her response to “Can I take a picture?”

Friday:

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Kid Chess has very different rules than real chess

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Always so judgy

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A bin of baby clothes I haven’t seen in 6 years

Saturday:

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Another gorgeous day at the seaport

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Outdoor nursing in November

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Very focused on stacking

I need at least 3 more weeks of outdoors weather before I’m fully ready to commit to my winter hibernation. Or at a minimum, it needs to not be frigid until after we get the Christmas tree and the lights up. IT’S SOON. SOOOOOOOON.

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Then Someone Hands You A Baby

November 18th, 2016

A lot of people told me that once you have three kids, adding any more is basically no big deal. You’re already outnumbered and have been practicing zone defense for a while. You probably already drive a minivan. You’re used to multi-tasking while being perpetually tired. The bigger ones can help with the smaller ones.

Although all of those circumstances are true for me, going from 3 to 4 has not been easy. At all. I’m getting my ass kicked a little bit. There’s a Jim Gaffigan bit where he talks about having five kids: “Imagine you’re drowning. Then someone hands you a baby.” I feel like four kids might be the point where I’m still treading water but seriously wondering why the shore is so, so far away.

When I went from one to two, Evan was still a toddler with no commitments. If everyone was tired and wanted to sleep in, we all slept in. When he napped, she napped, and then I could nap. He ate basically nothing but goldfish crackers and cups of milk. We owned 243% fewer toys that could be spread out over the entire house. It was still hard, because taking care of kids is hard, but it wasn’t daunting. By the time I went from two to three, both Evan and Caroline were in school, so although I had to get them up and out the door every day once that was done I just had one newborn to keep alive which I could do entirely from the couch. Linc and I could handle errands or chores or work thanks to babywearing and an infant who started sleeping 8+ hours a night around 6 weeks.

Now I have both big kids who have to be dressed and fed and packed and put on the bus; a toddler who wakes up too early, is trying to give up his nap, needs to be fed a constant stream of pb&j sandwiches; and then I also have a helpless baby who isn’t much of a fan of sleeping.

Being a stay at home mom has always been a weird mix of always having way too much to do and long, boring periods of nothing. There is always something or someone who needs to be cleaned, so my work is never really done. There is so much laundry it feels almost comical – how can we own so many things that constantly need to be washed?! It’s so much mindless work. I can’t trust Linc alone with Finn for very long, so I’m not taking as many showers as I probably should be. (I don’t think he’d hurt him on purpose, but sometimes he gets the urge to just SQUEEZE HIS HEAD BECAUSE HE’S SOOOOO CUTE and doesn’t know that’s not a good idea.) I am currently serving as a 24 hour buffet for the baby, so having to feed everyone else too seems ridiculous. Can’t they all just feed themselves with food that magically appears in our kitchen? I used to love cooking, now it’s tedious. The level of being touched-out has reached new heights – Finn is a very cuddly baby, especially at 2 am, but Linc is also a very cuddly toddler. There are So. Many. Diapers.

I know in my head that this is all super temporary. We missed a lot of our favorite October stuff this year because I was too tired to wrangle everyone out of the house, but there will be 18 more Octobers where I have at least one child at home to do fun fall things with me. Right now I need to choose the less stressful option, maybe let myself be more lazy than I’m usually comfortable with, perhaps do just a little less for the holidays so I don’t end up freaking out completely. I’m hoping my friends and family can grant me some grace for not being as thoughtful and timely with their gifts and thank you notes and baked goods and holiday cards.

One day, in a future I can’t quite imagine yet, having four children will be totally normal for me. It won’t take me 30 minutes to get everyone settled just so I can go do laundry for 5 minutes. I won’t constantly run out of food because I forget how much 6 people eat. I will sleep more than 3 hours in a row and it might even be in my bed instead of on the couch. There’s even a chance I will go to Target and won’t lose ANY of my kids. For now, I will keep my head above water however I can and not pretend I’m doing it very well.

I can, however, occasionally force them into photos.

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