Sorry it has been awhile since my last post; three kids are keeping me rather busy!
Things are wonderful (most of the time) around our house these days. HotDog is such a great baby...thank goodness because we had to jump right back into reality as soon as we touched down. When we brought Chipmunk home it was the dead of winter and we were living further away from our families. We hunkered down and really hibernated as a family of three for the first few months. It was wonderful and really allowed us to start a great bond with him. When we brought Monkey home, we did much of the same. It wasn't as easy, as it was right before Christmas. However, we found that it was much easier staying home with a 3-year-old and an active 17-month-old than trying to brave most of the holiday madness.
Unfortunately for HD, with two big brothers and the upcoming holidays our calendar never seems to be empty. In the past two weeks we have had a parent-teacher conference, Monkey's third-and-final post-placement for Russia (woohoo!!), trick-or-treating at the zoo, a baby shower, an evaluation with Monkey's teachers/OT, a pediatrician's visit, our annual pumpkin-carving with Nana and Pops, not to mention the daily trips of picking up Monkey at 11:50 and Chipmunk at 2:30. I really am trying to keep things very low-key for her and am attempting to maintain some semblance of a schedule, but with a 5-almost-6-year-old and a 4-year-old, it makes it challenging. However, she is quite the trooper and very rarely fusses. For the most part, she is a very content, happy-go-lucky child.
We had our first pediatrician's visit last week. It was fantastic. The doctor said she looked "fabulous" and was thrilled at how healthy she is. She had gained almost a pound since the previous week and I'm almost positive she's gained at least a pound since then too. He did give us the okay to go ahead and start her on cereal and baby food. That has made a world of difference. She gets a mid-morning snack in between bottles and then a big meal right before bedtime. Filling up her belly that late has helped the sleep issue tremendously. She usually goes down between 8:00 and 9:00 each night and usually sleeps until about 7:00 each morning. Yeah! She is also taking a couple of naps during the day that last for about 2 hours each.
The only thing that really upsets her is the car seat. She cannot stand it. It is a battle every time we have to put her in it. This has me very worried because we have our big visit to the IA doctor next week and it's about 2 1/2 hours away. I think I'm going to head up the night before and spend the night with one of my best friends. Her house is a little more than halfway up there so at least it will split up the trip into more manageable pieces, for HD and for me. I am still not looking forward to it though I know it is something we have to do.
It is amazing to watch her little personality blossom. She is really a calm and content little girl that loves her thumb and her blanket. As long as she has both of those things, she is great. She loves to be tickled and has a deep belly laugh. She is definitely a momma's girl too (sorry Stu!). She gives me big open-mouthed kisses. If I am in the room, she wants to be in my arms. If other people want to hold her than I need to be out of her eyesight. She loves the mornings and wakes up with the biggest toothless smile on her face. She does not like to lay down and be in a position where she can't watch everything around her; she definitely wants to be part of the action. She loves her exersaucer and her leg strength is amazing. She can already stand up by herself as long as she is holding my hands, the couch, etc. Bringing her home at six months, I thought it would be awhile before we had to worry about her mobility, but the pediatrician thought she would bypass crawling entirely and go straight to walking...in just a couple of months. Uh oh. Looks like we need to start baby-proofing again very soon.
The boys are doing great. They absolutely adore HD and I find myself constantly reminding them to take a step back and get out of her face. It's really cute to watch them talk to her and bring her the toys they think she'll like. It's become quite the competition to see who can get her to smile the quickest or whose turn it is to fetch a clean diaper or get the bottle. They are such great helpers. They are acting out a little bit in order to get our attention but we are really trying to make sure that we are spending "big boy" time with each of them. So far, so good. They are super-excited about Halloween, which is followed by Chipmunk's birthday a few weeks later. Also big news around our house is that the Tooth Fairy finally made a visit. Chipmunk has had a loose tooth for several weeks now and he has been working hard at pulling it. Finally on Monday night he pulled it out himself. He was so proud, as were we! Now, of course, Monkey is determined it's his turn to loose a tooth. I'm scared to think of what he may try in order to make that happen. We don't call him our Evil Genius for nothing:)
I'll leave you with a few pictures of my beautiful family. I look at my children (and my wonderful husband) and wonder how in the world I got so lucky. I have certainly be blessed and it's going to be such a happy holiday season for us.
Loving her swing!
A smile before bed
The cutest skunk, farmer and cow ever!
Carving pumpkins with Daddy
My beautiful children