Feathered Aspen

My first update with all three girls…

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It’s been two months since Luna was born, and it’s been tricky to find the time to log onto this space and post an update, but all three girls are sleeping right now, so I’ll try!

Luna

At eight weeks old, Luna is a smiley, sleepy, easy going baby.  These days, she goes down for bed between 745 and 9 pm and then sleeps next to me, nursing two or three times during the night, until the two big sisters get us up each morning (right around 615).  She wakes up for about an hour and grins at Lily and Lu while they marvel over her.  We eat breakfast and get dressed, and then I nurse her just before she falls asleep.  At this point, she’s so used to being held and I enjoy wearing her so much that she only naps for a long stretch if she’s being worn in the carrier or if I’m laying next to her.  It’s not the most flexible habit, but it’s pretty similar to what I did with the other two girls, and I just love all the newborn snuggles.

On Tuesdays and Thursdays, we’re in the car a little after 8 am to bring Lily to school.  We drop her off in her classroom around 830, and then we go grocery shopping if it’s Tuesday or head back home if it’s Thursday.  Sometimes we visit with Ellison and Bierstadt, otherwise we’ll take the opportunity to do some vacuuming and mopping around the house.  On these days, we do lunch around 1230 and try to get down for nap by 1.  We’re back in the car just before 3 to pick up Lily from school.

On Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, we move a little bit more slowly in the morning, but we usually get out of the house between 9 and 10.  Recently, there have been a lot of doctors visits, but typically, we’ll head to a play date, the Children’s Museum, the Art Museum, a story time at the library, or a playground.  These morning outings are my salvation.  If we hang out at home for too long, the older girls start to bicker and I find myself continually cleaning up little disasters (the most apt metaphor here is shoveling in the middle of a blizzard).  Once we’re out of the house, the girls get to engage with something new and I can interact with them rather than simply clean up after them.  Oh, and feed them.  I’m stealing this line, but sometimes I feel like my main job as mom is feeding my children 36 times a day.  That, and picking up their messes and wiping their butts and issuing band aids.  Add in refereeing sibling and other social interactions (which I try to keep to a minimum without crossing the line of allowing them to maim each other or irritate another parent), and you have a pretty clear picture of how I spend my day.

But back to Luna.  She naps throughout most of the morning, and then I try to get her out of the carrier around noon.  We nurse, and then I set her down to do lunches and some tidying before nap.  After an hour or two of wakefulness, she’s ready to nurse and nap again, right around nap time for the big girls.  This is one of the trickier times of day, trying to get all three girls settled down, but I’m happy to say that we’ve met complete failure only once, after which I learned to try to keep Luna awake for an hour or two before nap.

After nap is by far the most emotionally fraught time of day.  The big girls are hungry, cranky, and want plenty of snuggles when they wake up, and it’s difficult to supply all those things, all at once, to all the girls.  So there’s lots of sobbing from about 330 -4 until Joshua gets home between 430 and 5.

Luna wakes up to the sound of her sisters screaming or sobbing and then stays awake for most of the evening, taking a couple of cat naps here and there.  Until a week or two ago, this is when she’d also be incredibly fussy, crying and writhing unless we were holding her and bouncing her, and often crying and writhing even if we were holding her and bouncing her.  Thankfully though, I’ve noticed that she’s more content in the evening these days.  (With perhaps the exception of when I go for a run, where I’m pretty sure she gives Joshua a run for his money.)

Joshua went back to work a little less than three weeks ago, but before that, we had a lovely, long paternity leave.  For six weeks, we were able to adjust to life as five, and it was such a blessing to have that time.  Not only did those six weeks give the two older girls the gift of an easier transition, but those were also the more challenging weeks of Luna’s life thus far.  She was quite restless in the evenings, sometimes crying until 11 or 12 pm at night before she’d finally fall asleep.  Having two parents at home meant that these fussy times were so much more manageable.

Thankfully, Luna seems to have grown out of her fussy evenings, and my main challenge now is helping Lu cope with this huge shift in her life.  It’s hard for both of us.  Physically, Lu is very uncomfortable.  She’s been sick a lot since Luna was born, and she’s often nursing little injuries from playing.  It seems pretty clear that Lu is both uncomfortable and seeking comfort, in both figurative and literal ways.  I recently stumbled upon Janet Lansbury, and after listening to a few episodes of her podcast, Unruffled, and perusing her website for various trouble spots in my day, I’m feeling a bit more fortified in my response to these behaviors.  That being said, a hurricane of whining and crying can really wear a person down (me), and we still have our challenging days.

***

As has become the norm, I’m now returning to this post two weeks later.  At the moment, all of the girls are napping, but you never know how long that will last!  Luna is fabulous, grinning and cooing and gurgling even more, and each day, I try to get a few uninterrupted minutes of flirting in.  Oh man.  She is so sweet.  I just love her to pieces, and like I wrote a couple of weeks ago, she’s just an easy, smiley, cuddly baby these days.  I’m loving it!  At her two month appointment, she was doing really well – she’s already up to 12 pounds (a pound and a half heavier than her sisters at this age!), and the pediatrician was impressed with her muscle tone and strength.  I don’t really think it comes as a surprise that she’s bigger and stronger, because two squirrelly big sisters will do that to a person 😉

Lu

Oh my little Lu.  At 2 years and 8 months, her hair is outgrowing the pixie I cut at the end of July (after Lily chopped off her bang hairs at the root), and draping over her ears and eyes at odd angles.  After a long night’s sleep or even just a nap, the crown of her head is a tangled little nest, and with her depressed immune system (I truly think a response to losing her role as baby of the family), she’s had a drippy nose for weeks.  But that face!  She just gets me every time.  Disheveled and oh so sweet.  I could trim up the hair, but I figure any growing out pixie has an awkward phase, so we’ll just muscle through.  And when you’re as sweet and adorable (shh! I’m not telling them how adorable!) as she is, who cares?

One of the things that I love about Lu is how easy she is with other people and in groups.  She just has this comfort, and she loves to be in the thick of it, playing and running around with the other kids.  She lacks the self-consciousness that I’ve always had.  On play dates, she loves hanging with the big kids, and to Lily’s credit, her older sister is so good about including her.

Lu has been showing more interest in drawing and painting lately, and a couple of times I’ve gotten her set up with a craft and she’s been so caught up in the creative process that she’ll sit for over a half hour, just working.  My favorite craft recently was a little embroidery sampler.  She did so well and she was so proud of her work!

On the playground, Lu is becoming an adventurous climber, but those darn slides scare her to bits (she’s been chucked on the chin too many times in the landing).  I love watching her run; she does this cute stride with her little arms straight out at her sides and her head thrown back.  Haha!  She’s also the sweetest little hand holder.  She loves holding my hand while she walks and often invites me to run with her while holding her hand.  I just ordered a Tula toddler carrier so I can carry her a little more easily on my back (with Luna on the front).  She doesn’t want to be carried all the time, but even just a couple of blocks reassures her and helps her feel loved and remembered (even if she’s not the baby any more), so I’m more than happy to be a pack horse! (Haha, and most of you know I love an excuse for a good workout anyway, so I’m not much of a martyr ;))

Poor Lu, she’s had the flu (or stomach bug or whatever it is that makes one vomit a lot) three times in the past two months, and for a while there, she was so skinny all of her undies just fell around her knees (BTW why does Target not carry undies in sizes smaller than 4T?!).  Luckily, she’s doing a bit better now, but our bittiest little lady is looking even more bitty these days.  At a weigh in recently, she was just under 24 pounds.  But that reminds me that I haven’t taken her height in ages…  So I have no idea.

Lily

Oh my!  This girl is getting SO BIG.  I cannot believe that I am the parent of a child this grown up.  Seriously.  Sometimes I look at her and I see this super mature face and nature coming through.  She loves to have conversations just between the two of us, and when we do, she has a very serious, earnest look, explaining her thoughts and realizations.  To be honest, most of the time she just seems so old to me that when she does things that I consider “younger” behavior, it throws me off.  When she doesn’t listen or pushes the physical boundaries too far with Lu or Luna, I get really frustrated, and I have to remind myself that she’s not even five yet.  It’s funny to have this little girl who is on one hand an incredible helper and a mature conversationalist but on the other hand really isn’t that old yet and therefore exhibits some really normal (and sometimes irritating) 4 going on 5 year old behaviors.

These days, Lily is loving school, dance, yoga, and play dates.  She’s gotten to practice biking a lot in the past week because the weather has been so glorious (80 degrees today and above 70 for the last four days), and she’s doing really well getting started and pedaling for the length of a block (hills and stopping are still a challenge).  She loves drawing and it doing some pretty recognizable shapes and images these days.  She LOVES holding her littlest sister (actually, she loves holding all the kiddos, Lu, Ellison, and Bierstadt included), and she likes being in charge of Oscar on our walks.

Swimming is still a favorite, and I’m just kicking myself that I haven’t gotten her into swim lessons.  I mean!  The girl would practically be swimming laps by now if she had gotten the least bit of instruction.  I think she’ll adore our trip to Costa Rica for that very reason (because we’ve promised her that she’ll be able to swim almost every single day.  Bliss!).

At school, Lily is getting ready to transition to kindergarten (ish…  Waldorf doesn’t really do kindergarten in the same way that traditional schools do.) next year, attending every day Monday through Friday from 830 to 1230.  (I forgot to mention that Lu with also be going to ECE at the same school next year, but right now, we’re not sure how many days a week.)  We’re still sensitive and sometimes have short outbursts, but you guys.  Lily has grown up so much in the last year.  For a while, we struggled with whining, and before that, god knows there were tantrums, but right now, we’re in a really good spot.  I’m so curious what 5 and this next stage will bring.

Well, I’m going to leave the updates at that for now.  I’m sure I’m missing a billion things, but it’s better than nothing!  My dad and Mandy are in town for almost a whole week (spoiling me with help!), and then Joshua has spring break and we’re going to take a long weekend in Moab with the Pietaris…  And then on May 18, we leave for Costa Rica!  So in terms of solo parenting three kiddos, we’re really looking at a very short time.  Next school year will be so different with Lily in school every day and Lu in school anywhere from two to five (I hope not five) days a week.  Plus, by the time Joshua goes back to work, Luna will already be 7 months old.  So really, I’m just looking at a month and a half here of solo parenting three young ones during the day, and really it’s not that bad.  There are moments when they’re all crying and I think I might just combust from being pulled in so many directions, but those moments are not as frequent as I might have predicted.  And I keep reminding myself how lucky I am.  I get to spend this time with my kiddos.  I get to be there for these young years, snuggle them, carry them, feed them, and listen to them.  I get to see them grow.  It’s pretty fantastic.

 

Author: Ellie

Wife, Mom, Adventurer...

2 thoughts on “My first update with all three girls…

  1. Thoroughly enjoy the update and am impressed as usual with your parenting skills. Josh and your efforts will last a lifetime! Ellie you are such a good mother and I’m very proud of you. Both of you have a natural parenting gene. They say some people aren’t meant to be parents but I know you are and it doesn’t hurt that they are so perfect! Love to all!

  2. We had such a wonderful, wonderful visit. Truly, I am in awe with all that you do and such amazing children! You are a testament to each other. “Helping out” is just another way of saying we were just thrilled to hold the baby or read or feed or cook–any and all of those things. Not to mention running with the full flotilla: three children and four adults. Slowest run ever!

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