Posts Tagged ‘new baby’

One Big Happy Hello

Monday, September 12th, 2016

A big happy thank you to Gymboree for sponsoring this post! They’ve been delightful to work with and we’re all thrilled with the new fall clothes. Be sure to check out their giveaway for an amazing baby bundle here

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After we came home from the hospital the first time, we didn’t really have a chance to adjust to our new 4-kid family before poor Baby Finnegan had to go back to the hospital for his light therapy. When we finally did make it home, school had started and the big kids were gone all the time. It’s made our first two weeks home feel sort of disjointed and hectic, not the calm, cuddly, peaceful time I had imagined in my head. It hasn’t helped that along with school, it was the first week of soccer, E had to go back to work and the toddler has been trying to give up napping, so even WITHOUT a brand new baby things would have been a little crazy. Still, we are so excited about our one big happy hello moment – completing our family with baby #4.

One thing that HAS been just as good (or better!) than I could have hoped is how Evan, Caroline, and Lincoln have all fallen in love with their new baby brother. They adore him completely. It’s such a joy to see and makes my heart want to burst every time I find one of them patting his head or singing Twinkle Twinkle to calm him down or saying “I just LOVE Baby Finn!” Obviously, this isn’t my first new-sibling rodeo and I’ve learned a few things over the past 3 kids. I think applying them all has really made this transition easier. Here are some of the things that have worked for us:

  1. Don’t change anything you don’t have to in the days before the baby comes. Linc is 2 now and probably getting close to potty learning, but we didn’t even consider trying right now. That’s a big change for a small person and adjusting to sharing Mommy with a baby is hard enough. I couldn’t avoid sending the big kids to school the same week the baby came home, but we kept our routine as normal and typical as possible. No new expectations or demands, no new charts or schedules, and I cut back on this year’s fall enrichment activities so they have more time at home in the evening to relax.
  2. Bring the kids to the hospital to meet the new baby. The kids visited us twice before we got to come home, which gave them a chance to interact with Finnegan without having him immediately in “their” space. It also helped them build up excitement for the moment when he (and I) would be released  and back under the same roof with the rest of the family. We let them all hold and cuddle the baby as much as they wanted in the hospital and made a Big Deal about how proud we were when they were loving and gentle.
  3. Put them to work! “Helping” with the baby is a favorite chore around here, especially for Lincoln. He loves bringing diapers and burp cloths for Finn or snacks and drinks for Mommy. Caroline and Evan are expected to do the same stuff, as well as contribute to general household well-being by feeding the dog, picking up after themselves, and helping Linc with things that are slightly above his abilities. Everyone likes to feel useful and important, and they all love their Big Kid Helper status.
  4. Do your best to give everyone some one-on-one attention. I know that’s easier said than done, especially if you’re adding a 3rd, 4th, 5th, etc etc child to the family. Just do your best. I’ve taken Caroline alone with me to do errands or pick up food, E took Linc with him to Home Depot and watched a movie with Evan, my mother reads endless books patiently to anyone who asks. Even if I am holding or feeding Finnegan, I try to make room next to me for whoever needs a snuggle.  It’s easy to get touched out, exhausted and want nothing more than 10 minutes of quiet, but try to remind yourself it’s not forever and some day you’ll kids who don’t even want to be seen with you, let alone sit in your lap. This too shall pass, and probably way faster than you want it to when you look back.
  5. Accept help. The more time you can spend with the kids – or the more people around who can also spend time with the kids – the less likely they’ll see the baby as an attention-stealing monster. It can be tempting to try to prove you can do everything on your own (and you probably can, Supermom) but you don’t HAVE to turn down help. Try saying yes. A freezer meal means you could spend that time snuggling instead of cooking. Someone whisking away older kids for a playdate means you can take a nap while the baby does. Someone who wants to come over and just hold your baby for an hour means you can take a shower. I am one of those people who says “No, really, I’m fine! We’re good! I don’t need anything!” but when people ignore me – and I’m so lucky to have people in my life who ignore me – and help anyway it’s amazing. The less stressed you are, the easier it is to make a smooth transition to +1 more kids without major meltdowns.

Another way to get ready for baby is to shop for newborn essentials like onesies, socks, bibs, blankets and hats. Gymboree has all that and more covered with 100% combed cotton baby items, which are crazy soft and incredibly cute too. The newborn styles are easy to mix-and-match (who has time to hunt for the ONE pair of matching leggings on 3 hours of sleep?) and reversible bibs and blankets mean you can get twice the use out of them.

One of my favorite things about Gymboree is their kid clothes LOOK like kid clothes, whether you’re just looking for comfy play outfits or dressier looks for family photos. I also love matchy-sibling stuff and they are super great at carrying a theme/styles through their baby, toddler and kid’s collections each season. I had so much fun putting together looks for each of the kids and then surprising them with these fun orange boxes.

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After everyone tried on their new clothes, they helped Baby Finnegan open his box and see what his new outfit looked like.

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They are DELIGHTED with the outdoors/wolf theme, and I think it’s so cute that I have a whole “pack” of kids.

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You can expect to see these clothes in our weekly photos a LOT this fall – soft, comfy, and stylish (plus easy care) check all the boxes for the things that become instant favorites. Linc’s outfit comes from the Mountain Trail collection for toddlers, and Evan’s is from the matching boy’s stuff. Caroline’s owl dress and leggings are part of the mix & match collection.

And now for a GIVEAWAY!

Did you know September is one of the most popular birth months? To celebrate, Gymboree teamed up with 6 popular brands to bring parents the ultimate bundle for baby. They’re giving away over $2,000 in prizes from Gymboree, Land of Nod, Seventh Generation, 4moms, Baby Bjorn, and munchkin. You can enter to win this AMAZING prize pack by clicking here. It’s an AMAZING bundle, don’t miss out!

www.gymboree.com/babybundle

I will also surprise and delight one person who comments on this post with a $50 Gymboree gift card. (I apologize for taking down the Rafflecopter, I misunderstood some directions in my new-baby exhaustion fog and it’s totally my fault. I’ll still choose someone at random who comments on this post between yesterday and Monday Sept 19th with a $50 gift card.)

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My Week(305) in iPhone Photos

Saturday, September 10th, 2016

A whole week late but DONE. I can’t skip the week I had a baby – you would miss so many brand new baby photos! There will be a lot more babywearing selfies happening from this week forward.

Sunday:

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Living that #lakelife

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Goodbye lake! See you next summer!

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I really need to have a baby soon, I have no clothes that fit

Monday:

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Really very much so done with this

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SO HAPPY TO BE IN THE HOSPITAL

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Hospital crushed ice = perfection

Tuesday:

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BRAND NEW!

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Paparazzi attack already

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Someone missed me while I wasn’t home

Wednesday:

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I’m quickly remembering what the middle of the night looks like

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Can’t stop won’t stop

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Actual first day picture, taken by someone else

Thursday:

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Squishy faaaaace

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Naps

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Gave the baby to the toddler so everyone could relax

Friday:

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Early morning wake up call

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PEACE OUT

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So chubby

Saturday:

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I forgot how much I hate carrying these things around

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The toddler missed us all

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And I missed the toddler too

Even though they let us go home, the whole next week was full of doctor’s appointments and a trip back to the hospital for Finn’s jaunice. It’s my least favorite and it seems to happen every time I have a baby. One more 2 week check up to get through and then hopefully we go to normal, infrequent appointments and I can spend all that time snuggling babies instead.

 

 

 

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Finnegan’s Fresh 48

Wednesday, September 7th, 2016

Fresh 48 sessions are my favorite kind of photo sessions, whether it’s my own baby or someone else’s. These are the rest of my pictures of Baby Finn from our time in the hospital. Well, our first time in the hospital. We had to go back to spend some time under the lights for his bilirubin levels, which wasn’t fun for anyone. But now we are home and can finally start settling in.

I would apologize for the number of photos in this post, but I’ve been writing this blog for 8 years now. I’m pretty sure I’ve already scared away everyone on the internet who DOESN’T want to see 60 photos of babies.

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Name Suggestions Here Please

Saturday, May 14th, 2016

So, we’re having another boy, which means we need another boy name. This is terrible news, because we have NO boy name ideas.

These are our current boys: Evan Richard (III) and Lincoln Scott. Evan Richard is named after his father & grandfather. Lincoln was MY grandfather’s name and my uncle’s name and Scott was my father’s brother. Scott is also my soon-to-be brother-in-law’s name, although we didn’t choose it specifically for that reason. It’s just one of the ways our family manages to have plenty of people but very few names.

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I have two lists at the moment. The Family Name list and the Names I Found That I Would Consider list. The family name list I’ve been keeping sort of hoping something grows on me, but they are mostly nos. There are a lot of good names we like that I feel I can’t/shouldn’t use because other people close to us have used them, but most of those aren’t full-stop-NO-WAY nos.

There are also a lot of good names we like that I feel I can’t/shouldn’t use because other people close to us have used them, but most of those aren’t full-stop-NO-WAY nos. The definite nos are: Ethan, Carter, Zane, Zachary, Alexander, and whatever my sister-in-law uses when she has her baby in July.

(Sidebar: what’s your feeling on off limit names? If we have a local friend we see at least monthly who has a child named Bob but Bob is 7 years old, that’s still OK, right? But if we have a local friend who has a child named Fred, we see Fred on a weekly basis, and Fred is only 1, that’s probably too close, yes? HOW CLOSE makes a name unusable, is the question.)

Family Names (mostly from my very Scandanavian family, in case that’s not incredibly clear):
William (my father)
Charles (father/brother/uncle’s middle name)
Andrew (brother/brother-in-law’s name)
Newell (E’s grandfather)
Lawrence
Paul
Olaf
Halvar
Oskar
Johan
Lars
Carl
Joel
Eric
Ruben
Rickard
Mathias
Gunnar
Anton
Martin
Gideon
Thayer
Ralph
Burton
Elias
Mason
Jason
Jacob
Arthur
Nathan

Names I Found That I Would Consider (my feelings on these change almost daily):
Asher
Griffin
Hudson
Beckett
Caspian
Sullivan
Phineas
Dash
Noah
Henry
Oliver
Wesley
Max

Oh wait, I forgot a list. This is the Things The Children Want To Name The Baby List:
Rocket
Kristof
Olaf
Baby
Kylo Ren
Ben Kenobi

So basically my family uses obscure, terrible names and my personal list all falls into the “dog or child?” category. I am still hoping I will stumble across something that makes me feel very strongly, but I’m sort of afraid that’s never going to happen and we’ll just settle. That’s ok though, right? You would think after named three children this would be EASIER instead of harder.

All name discussions, vetos, opinions and suggestions are welcome. PLEASE HELP US.

p.s. Caroline’s middle name is Noelle, if that helps. So the sibling set will be Evan, Caroline, Lincoln and ________. Caroline is named after my sister and my mother-in-law (Carolyn/Carol) as well as maybe a tiiiiiny bit after Caroline Ingalls and Princess Caroline and Caroline Kennedy. But it’s mostly family-based. So something at least family INSPIRED for this baby would be nice.

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Baby #4 News! It’s A…

Thursday, May 12th, 2016

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We actually found out we were having a boy a looooooooooong time ago. I had some extra genetic testing done around 12 weeks because my first tests were “borderline”. That testing includes the option to find out if it’s a boy or a girl. As much as I loved being surprised when Linc was born (I also REALLY loved not having to have the following conversations with a million people: Are you happy it’s a boy? Do you have a name? Oh, don’t worry, I’m sure you’ll have a girl next time. Well you can always try again…) I felt strongly that I wanted to find out this time. Partly because I was expecting it to be a girl and I didn’t want to go through my whole pregnancy convinced I was right and have to deal with my feelings when I was already dealing with birth hormones, and partly because if it WAS a boy I could get rid of a TON of girl clothes. Also, I already have 3 kids and I’m pretty busy on a regular basis. I am definitely not spending a ton of time sitting quietly and deeply connecting to the new life I’m growing. Knowing it’s a boy and thinking of him as a HIM has definitely helped me feel more in touch with this baby.

Also, we have NO BOY NAMES, so it’s good we have so much time to think about it. All suggestions welcome.

Please note: Evan is not actually sad it is a boy. After the video, he started laughing and said “I was just kidding. As long as Caroline doesn’t get to be the boss of me.”

More photos from our reveal (plus some fun in the orchard):

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p.s. Don’t you love my orchard? It’s FULL of treasures.

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