Let's start this post off with a video (press play! up above. Don't worry, it's only 24 seconds).
So far with our three babies, we've been able to have a preserve a little bubble immediately after each was born. When Chris was working, he would be able to get a week off, and this time around Elise came on the perfect day since it was just under a week until Chris had school commitments. I love holing up just as us, a family freshly stretched to welcome someone already loved who fits just right like he (or now she!) was there from the beginning.
You can tell from the video that it's terribly sweet, but not necessarily tranquil and quiet. It's the best.
Everyone asks how the boys are doing with a sister. They adore her! A lot. A whole squeezing lot. Ryan said the other day in the car out of the blue, "Mom ... I love Baby Ewise." As Chris described yesterday, "Ryan never hurts her, but he's always two inches from her face." Ha. As for Conor ... you know that feeling when you just want to SQUEEZE a baby because she is just so delicious and darling, but you suppress it because squeezing babies isn't a great activity to actually carry out? Conor doesn't suppress it! He kind of grits his teeth, dons an obsessive laser focused look in his eyes like a big, bad wolf going after a little piggie and coos, "Baaaaybyyyy," through his teeth with his hands ready to pounce.
All this adoration does not mean that things are always fine and dandy. Not at all. There are regressions in behavior here and there (or sometimes it seems they are nonstop) and the volume of the house has been quite amplified. It's not a tearful end of the world. Really, it's the welcomed start of a new one.
The first few days of Elise were mildly shocking to me because Conor had been such a breeze his first week of life. Our girl came out hollering, shocked all the nurses with her volume when we were in recovery, and only ceased expressing her dislike for the outside world when nursing or sleeping. Her newborn cry is not a little wail. In fact, the first night Elise and I were home, Chris and I began a The Lord of the Rings marathon. During the first scene involving the Nazgul and the hobbits, we couldn't tell the difference between the screeching Ringwraiths and our little bundle of joy. Hilarious. Of course, we still saw and currently see her as perfect.
But! Once my milk came in, she showed us how a full belly works wonders. Maybe the Nazgul were just hungry like she was? ;)
I'm so grateful Chris worked so hard to get us all moved in and unpacked and organized by the date I had set as my goal. I've felt so unorganized the past two years that I was longing to start off a family of five with as much of a head start as we could manage in terms of the physical parts of homemaking, and we did it. This helped our family days be as low key as possible without frantic searches for this and that out of boxes.
There is never a time that Ryan does not want to hold her. His form could use work, and I have maybe thirty seconds to use two hands before she squawks if she is awake, but it allows me to see the tiniest, tiniest glimpse into having older kids.
One of the most entertaining toddler behaviors to watch is Conor attempting to figure out spacial proximity to Elise when sitting or trying to lie down next to her. He missed the mark here. When he wants to lie down, his head is normally too far away, and he tries over and over with a perplexed look on his face. The Foot Book is currently Conor's again! again! again! favorite book.
Elise's jaundice levels were on the high end of the low to medium range so we did a lot of sunbathing with her face in the shade and her belly in the sun.
Our nickname for Elise is "Dawbadee." You know, because it totally makes sense to have a three syllable nickname to take the place of a two syllable name. But, my nicknames for Conor make no sense whatsoever (Conor Baby Chunka Monka or Boo Boo Bottom) so this was expected.
Anyway! Her nickname comes from this outfit and Conor's pronunciation of strawberry which just turns us into goo-goo-ga-ga, OMG say it again, doting parents. Here is a video of it and of his mad jumps if you care to see:
We had the first of many mother-daughter painting dates, I hope. It's neat to create when one of your masterpieces is right there next to you.
Chris has done all the clothes shopping for our daughter unprompted so far, and I find it adorable. Don't think guys' guys don't have soft spots.
I can't believe our third family days bubble has already come and gone.