Monthly Musings

Clearly, I don’t have time for regular blogging anymore.  I still want to write about my life, my boys, and the great balancing act that is being a woman in the 21st century, but I might only have time to fit in a monthly blog post from here on out.  A few weeks ago I started working on a grant again (I know, I know, E is only 8 weeks old), so  I’ve been using my “down” time in the evenings to work on my academic writing.  Something had to get scaled back.  And that something was this blog.

Having Emery in my life has been an amazing experience.  He is such a sweet boy, who loves closeness, snuggles, smiling, music, and most of all, his big brother.  At 8 weeks, E is quite a busy little guy.  He can turn his head to follow H around the room (he almost seems to look up to his big brother ALREADY).  He  is always kicking his little arms and legs (he has STRONG legs).  By far, his favorite thing to do involves being held in a standing position, which is super tiring on my arms but well-worth the huge smiles that it elicits.  E nurses very well (he took to it immediately and without any problems right after he was born).  He doesn’t nurse with the same frequency that H did at the same age (thank goodness), and he only wakes a couple times at night to tank up.  He is a bit more sensitive than his brother, to noise, temperature, novelty, etc., but he is still a lovely little guy who doesn’t really cry all that much, considering his age.  E has started vocalizing and imitates a lot of the noises that I make.  He loves to study my face and seems to observe me, and others, in earnest.  He furrows his brow quite a bit, which is hilarious and is something that he has done pretty much since birth.  His furrowed brow is interrupted by these huge heart-warming grins.  He is just so sweet.  I’m trying to savor this baby stage with E, knowing that a year from now he’ll be walking and it’ll be hard to remember these sweet days of physical closeness that we now share.  Even so, I am at the same time very excited to think about how E’s personality will unfold, how he will interact with H as he gets older, what some of his challenges and strengths will be.  He is clearly a very different person from H, and my experience of parenting him is bound to be very different as well.  Despite their differences, I sometimes gaze at their baby pictures and find that they are nearly indistinguishable:

Here are two babies sporting outfits that prominently feature sushi on their shirts—but which is Holden?  And which is Emery?  Holden is the first picture, Emery is the second.  Emery is a bit thinner, has less hair, fairer features, and fuller lips than Holden at the same age—Emery also is shaping up to look MUCH more like his Papa than Holden does, if that’s possible.  They are both beautiful and full of energy, and I am so lucky to have them in my life!

H has transitioned so incredibly well into his new role as big brother.  I am in awe of how patient he is.  There are things I can’t do for him immediately any more because I am nursing, or have to change a diaper, etc.  But H patiently waits until I have a free moment, most of the time without complaining, and ALWAYS without any apparent resentment or hostility toward E.  H will actually get down on the floor with E and talk to him, he’ll show him his toys, read him stories, stroke his arms and legs.  E responds with grinning, vocalizing, and kicking his legs.  It’s the best thing to be able to watch.

In general, transitioning from a family of three to a family of four has been relatively painless.  It was nothing like the enormous change of going from a childless couple to one with a newborn.  Even my physical recovery has been easier.  I had a second degree tear, but I’ve completely healed from that already.  At my 6-week checkup, I found out that I’m about 16 lbs. away from my pre-pregnancy weight, which I think is really pretty great!  I’ve started running (only once each week), and I am getting a real workout doing yard work and assorted household activities.  Yes, it now takes me three days to mow the lawn, a task that used to only take a couple of hours, but damnit, it’s exercise!  So I’ll deal.

We’re having a relatively leisurely spring/early summer.  We’ve been careful not to overcommit to too many things, yet we somehow ended up going to 4 preschool birthday parties in the past month!  So I hereby declare a moratorium on all further preschool birthday parties.  Although by far my favorite party was one hosted by H’s girlfriend, Elsie.  As a gift for her fourth birthday, H painted a beautiful picture.  I got a frame for his painting at the craft store, and voila!  H was so incredibly proud of his creation:

And he just couldn’t wait to give it to the birthday girl:

These two are just so incredible!  I love them!  And she has the most lovely parents and younger sister, and another younger sister on the way!  They are a wonderful family—funny how my favorite preschool kids have parents who rock!

What else is going on this summer?  Well, today we volunteered at H’s preschool to build an incredible outdoor classroom.  It’s still not finished, but the dads did a good job of digging holes to secure the tree stump “seats” for morning meeting, and burying used tires in the ground for climbing.  Someone brought a used entertainment center, where kids could “cook” items in their bakery.  These items consisted of scones made out of bricks and cupcakes made out of rocks.  One of H’s classmates charged me $18 for a cupcake, to which I replied, “It had better be organic!”  Here’s a shot of the beginnings of our beautiful outdoor classroom:

A huge milestone for us this summer is that H turns FOUR in a couple of weeks.  This completely shocks my brain.  I’ve planned an outer space-themed birthday party, which I am hoping will be fun and low key.  We’ve invited only 4 kids because we don’t want things to get too crazy.  We’re planning on visiting a planetarium at some point this summer as well, in keeping with H’s recent preoccupation with all things outer space.  Other than that, our summer is basically wide open.  While I’d love to fit in a camping trip somewhere, and maybe even an easy hike, we really want to stay away from making too many plans.  It might be fun to just have no plan for once and see where the summer takes us!  As it is, H will still attend preschool 2 days each week, and then take swim lessons once each week, and soccer once each week, so we already have a good chunk of time accounted for.

In between all of this activity, I need to still find time to snuggle my little E.  He is such an incredible little guy, and I love him so!

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