Posted by: Ingrid | August 3, 2016

Three Months: Bubbles and Smiles

Dear Wesley,

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This month was delightful.  We celebrated the Fourth of July in South Dakota and returned home a few days later, driving a full 10.5 hours (longer with stops) in one day.  Other excursions have involved dressing like a cow for free Chik-fil-a and visiting a battle ground from 1869. The summer seems to have flown by, June and July have ticked down and now it is August and summer is on it’s way out.

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You have magnanimously granted me several 8 hour stretches of sleep.  The couple of days when 7.5 to 8 solid hours coincide with a 5 am wake up have been bliss. You nap well too, though I find myself bellowing, “Shhhhhhhh!” more often than I prefer because your siblings are so darned loud.

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Speaking of siblings, they still like you and you are still alive, so this is all good. Isaac remains your devoted fan and has to be told not to wake you too early in the morning.  He wakes up early, comes into our room, and just stares at you.  He is the most tenacious at trying to get smiles from you and to get you to “talk”.

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He also will hold you. Lily still likes you and pays attention to you and Jonathan enjoys you as well.  Everyone is willing to hang out with you during tummy time.  Speaking of which, you rolled a few times this month, but not consistently.

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You drool in great bubbly trails now, and are sometimes called Mr. Bubbles.  Other nicknames include Bubby and Baby Beluga. You actually sound like you speak Whale now.  Sometimes you look like a cross between Buddha and Chris Farley.  All of our kids, including Lily, went through a Chris Farley stage.  I blame your father. You have reached one of the best milestones EVER, the one where you make eye contact and start making sounds like you are trying to carry on a conversation.

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I love this.  You do this to almost anyone once you lock in on them.  All of these sounds come out of your mouth and sometimes you are so serious, though mostly you look happy and animated.  A few times, when you have been placed in your swing, I have caught you loudly complaining to the pink birds that circle overhead. Most of the time you see them and smile and coo.

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You are now almost 14.5 pounds. I weighed you last night, stepped on the scale and wondered how I was still so close to my peak pregnancy weight and how I’d gained 18 pounds since the morning. I stepped on again and off again twice before I realized that I was holding a baby. When you had your doctor’s visit this month I asked the nurse about your head size since all the other babies in our family are in the 97% percentile at this point.  You were at 50% so I came home and told your dad that you might not be his.  (I kid, of course, just look at the resemblance!)

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You are into size 2 diapers and quickly growing out of 3 month clothing.

When you cry, usually when you are hungry or have been left unattended too long, you sound like a little deranged goat.  Often if I come up to you and place my hand against your chest you immediately calm and start flirting with me and conversing.  You also seem to feel wet and dirty diapers more acutely than your siblings did because changing your diaper is almost a personality changer.

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You are suddenly all smiles and jokes. You have laughed a few times, some of them in your sleep just as you finished nursing.  You are a great eater and I am enjoying my reading time, though now that I have breezed through the Ender’s Game series I am going through literary withdrawals.  Sometimes I just watch you eat – it always amazes me how fat babies get drinking milk and how proficient they are in just three months.  You still really like to suck and often finish eating and then promptly start sucking your clenched fists as if they are a giant lollipop.

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You are a delightful, jovial, and fairly easy baby, Wesley.  Hopefully I didn’t just jinx myself by typing that!  I love the transition from month two, when smiling looks so taxing for babies, to month three when it comes so naturally. Smiley, fat, babbling babies are a delight.  And delicious.  I would be lying if I said I didn’t talk about wanting to eat your cheeks and nibble your fingers.  I remember being horrified when people said that with Isaac and now I am the crazy lady who wants to eat the baby.

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We left you for the first time this past week.  For four hours we attended a wedding without children.  I felt just a little lost, but it was fun all the same to not have to spend half the time somewhere feeding you.  This is a natural divide that I have found with all my babies, the three month mark is when leaving them with someone else sounds like a really good idea.  Usually this starts with the church nursery, but not this time.  You still like to eat in the middle of the sermon and last week, you entertained the quadrant of church we were sitting in by giving a long satisfied belch as soon as I quietly brought you back into church.  It was awesome.

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You are enjoying the mirror more these days, particularly when we gaze into it together and you smile brilliantly at the mommy-in-the-mirror and gaze quizzically at the other baby.  I am trying to soak in all of these moments, knowing that the pace of life is going to drastically increase in just a few weeks.  Half of me thinks there’s no way I can leave you for 6-8 hours a day.  Half of me thinks it will be just fine, particularly since I will be in and out to feed you. But it will be different, I know that. So I cherish and savor the moments and your easy smile and jovial ways. A quarter of the year has already passed in the blink of an eye. I don’t know that I can deal with time flying by any faster.

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Love, Mom

Posted by: Ingrid | July 31, 2016

A Radical Act

Since coming back from vacation my activities have been focused on one thing – going back to school in the fall.  I have placed my order for scrubs, purchased a stethoscope (!), had two TB tests (one isn’t enough any more), had a ridiculous amount of blood titers taken to test for any number of diseases, purchased expensive textbooks that could double as small weapons, and tried to finalize child care.

I have found it takes a ridiculous quantity of energy to upset the normal of the past seven years. For seven years I have been at home with children.  For seven years I have been pregnant, nursing, and taking care of people as my sole job. In under a month our entire life will be upended as I go back to school.  It is exhausting, not so much in the details, but in the mental energy that it takes to know that I am making the choice to disrupt our family equilibrium, I am sending us down the road to crazy-ville.

Going back to school is high stakes because it feels like if everything falls apart into chaotic ruin, it’s my fault. Fear of failing at everything comes near the top of my list of fears, just above fear of all things awkward. It has been my job (self-appointed, but still) to hold things together and keep things running smoothly, a job I took seriously long before I got married and had children.  I juggle the logistics, I make things happen, I ensure that there is food in the house, on the table, and that laundry gets done.  I have a very vivid memory of going to premarital counseling, perhaps the only thing I remember, when our counselor advised trying to work things out so that only one of us was “crazy” (ie. busy, really stressed, dealing with significant life changes) at a time. I took this to heart because it already was part of how I operated.  Oops!  Everyone else is crazy… must not be my turn yet. But here’s the secret that I have found over the past ten years.  People around me may be less crazy at times, but there’s never a time when there is no crazy and someone asks me if I’d like to maybe take a turn disrupting life in a big way.

I was on the stationary bike sometime in January reading Stitches by Anne Lamott book and a paragraph caught me and had me doubled over in tears (a sure sign something has hit home) as I read it.

I never used to take my turn. I always gave my turn away. I helped others have a great turn. I must have had a clipboard by the time I was six, because by then I had a whole caseload of people to keep track of. After they had all gotten a turn, then maybe I could go, if there was time and it didn’t bother anyone.

Now I take my turn, as a radical act.

That was it exactly, the knowledge that, for me, this is a radical act. It is the feeling deep inside that is giving me the ability to fight against the sometimes strong desire to give up going back to school. It’s hard to stay home with kids. It might be even harder to figure out the logistics of not being home with them. It is much more difficult than I thought to not only give lip service to the idea that it’s okay to go back to school to do something that I’ve wanted to do for so long, okay to entrust my children to other people while I am in classes, clinicals, and studying, okay to not orchestrate everything in our family, but to also put my money and time behind it (both difficult things for me to part with). That is scary and hard.

I don’t know that I have done anything this good and terrifying in a long time.  I am excited and scared to death at once. The enormity of the list of things-that-must-be-done in three short weeks has me anxious. I keep telling myself that this change in our lives has to be akin to marathon training; you never think too hard about the 20+ mile runs the first week of training because if you did, you would talk yourself out of it. You wait until you’re well into training and then, somehow, it fits and makes sense.  I hope that’s true in this case as well.  In the meantime I keep reminding myself that radical acts are hard and taking deep breaths is necessary.

Hopefully thorough oxygenation will see me through the next 22 days.

 

Posted by: Ingrid | July 15, 2016

Transplanting Lives

A month ago I tried transplanting the pumpkin shoots and vines that had sprung up, uninvited, in my garden.  They looked magical.  I truly thought a fairy godmother and coach would be following soon as the intricate tendrils unfurled.  Despite my attempts to interest them in other areas of the yard, none of the transplants took. Within minutes of their move they were droopy and wilted beyond recognition.

I’m glad I’m not a pumpkin vine.

Two years ago today we arrived at our new home in Colorado.

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Two years, almost the entirety of my daughter’s life so far, seems like such a long time.  In a small town, however, where families have lived and farmed and measured the time in generations, two years is nothing.  For those who say that it’s easy to move with children, I politely disagree.  Easy to move with a baby, yes.  I have done that.  Easy to move with older children, to uproot from any support and friendships that you carefully cultivated? A thousand times no. Two years in and I feel like I am still sprouting fledgling roots and trying to anchor myself.  I was out running shortly after we moved and Alanis Morissette’s song Not as We came on my ipod. Once again, my life was explained in music.

Reborn and shivering
Spat out on new terrain
Unsure, unconvincing
This faint and shaky hour

Day one, day one
Start over again
Step one, step one
I’m barely making sense
For now I’m faking it
‘Til I’m psuedo-making it
From scratch, begin again
But this time I as I
And not as we

I can say with heartfelt gladness that I am glad we moved. Glad for my husband’s job that he loves, his fantastic co-workers and interesting subject matter to teach. I am glad for what the move meant for our family, glad for the things that have happened in the two-year span; two marathons, buying our first home, having Wesley, the friends we have made and the people who have been by our side as we moved and started to settle in.

But moving and starting from scratch is hard work.  Changing the landscape of our lives has been anything but easy and I still have the feeling of “faking it”, the feeling that I must be stuck somewhere off in no-man’s land between Michigan and Colorado.  Probably at the emotional equivalent of being on the border of Illinois and Kansas. It still surprises me how long it takes to settle in and find a place where I feel like I fit and belong.  I keep fumbling towards that and not quite getting there. Forgetting it takes time and feeling frustrated with the slow progress.

I just need to keep reminding myself that it would be much worse if I were a pumpkin vine.

Here’s to the next two years of the transplanting process.

Posted by: Ingrid | July 11, 2016

Two Months: Eyes Wide Open (From July 3)

Dear Wesley,

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This letter comes a little late, as we are vacationing in South Dakota.  Because that’s what you do when you have your fourth baby, you take a road trip.  And truly, it hasn’t been bad aside from trying to travel with a baby who cries and can’t keep his pacifier in his mouth.

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So far you have seen Mount Rushmore and driven through Nebraska and South Dakota and been adored by family members in Watertown and visited the zoo.  You won’t remember any of it, but It’s pretty sweet to see, particularly the family love.

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At two months you are somewhere between 12.5 and 13 pounds, a veritable chunk of baby with squishy thighs and kissable cheeks.  I still think you are our prettiest baby and everyone comments on how much you look like your dad. You now have a barely visible hairline and the softest ever peach fuzz on top of your head.  Sometimes I just rub a finger back and forth because it’s so soft and it won’t last. You have a lovely olive complexion, blue eyes, a strong grip, and a myriad of diverse expressions that play across your face while you are awake and asleep.

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You are such a little man now.  I call you that, sometimes, when you look at me so seriously.  Other times I call you a Chubby Bubby.  Don’t even ask, it’s a weird rhyming thing that happens when people look at cute babies and lose brain cells.  When you are well fed and happy, you look very zen, very Buddha-in-training. You are into non-violent resistance, particularly during tummy time.  You have discovered that subversive tummy time is only a nap away. You never know when a nap may hit.

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You have moved out of Newborn clothing and into 3 and (sometimes) 3-6 month clothes.  This is a little sad for me, but it is also good, since you are our off season baby and therefore have more winter options in your closet than shorts.  Fortunately, it is entirely appropriate to take your baby out in just a onesie in the summer.  I still swaddle you when you sleep but either you are really strong or I am a lazy swaddler these days because you always get out.  I love carrying you in your Baby K’Tan and can always manage to get a nap out of you when I wear you.  Downside is that it feels like wearing a mini furnace on my chest and you drool all over me.

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You are on more of a schedule now, but when you get particularly upset because feeding time is delayed you sound like a little goat and start frantically sucking on your arm.  As an aside, you are so drooly that I am starting to wonder if you are teething.

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You can nap with decent consistency now and gave me an 8.5 hour stretch of sleep one of our nights we were on vacation.  Most nights I am up two times, which isn’t terrible. You remain a good eater, and by “good” I mean that you eat well and often and are fat.  It’s okay, I like my babies fat. Plus your eating schedule has me reading at an amazing rate. I really love the amount of time I spend reading when I am nursing a baby, currently I am plowing through Orson Scott Card’s books like you wouldn’t believe. You are not a discreet nursling, which doesn’t shock me at all.  You are just so loud, smacking your lips and gulping like you haven’t eaten in 120 minutes or something.

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I have decided that everyone who suffers from insomnia should be given a fat, swaddled, well-fed baby to put on their chest.  When you nap this way (which I know will not be for much longer), I fall asleep and feel like I can’t possibly wake up, like your warmth makes everything inside me feel centered and the rapidity of your breathing deepens and lengthens my breaths.

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Part of me is sad that you are no longer a newborn and part of me is delighting in seeing how you learn to relate to the world.  When we had Isaac, I thought it looked so silly when people would get in his face and talk in exaggerated tones to try and get a smile.  Now I know that it’s one of best things in the world to get a smile out of a baby. You are smiling real smiles more and more, and when your siblings get them, they LOVE it.  You tend to smile more at your dad than at me.

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When you hear my voice you look worried, like your food source might leave the building and then where would you be?  At the beginning of the month it was so difficult for you to focus on a person when you heard a voice.  Half the time I wasn’t certain if you were interacting with me or my colorful and dangling earrings.  Now you have all these signals; your little noises, your smiles, the way you march your legs up and down, all signs that you are trying to communicate so hard with the outside world.

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Watching you wake up to and see the world around you is amazing, but not nearly as precious as the first time I walked into the room and found you awake in your pack n play and leaned over.  You were zoned out looking at the ceiling fan and then all of a sudden you saw me. All your attention centered in with the precision of a laser beam and it took my breath away. It seems so simple to talk about being seen and recognized by a baby but the experience of it is profound. I look forward to catching more of those moments as you change and grow.

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Love,

Mom

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Posted by: Ingrid | July 6, 2016

Be interesting

I attended a mandatory nursing meeting last week.  It was such a strange feeling to be in a classroom with 20 other women who are getting ready to embark on this two year journey alongside me, all of them strangers.  It was stranger still to know that I am “old” – probably in the top 20% of the class when it comes to age.  We had a quick set of introductions, the type that involve name and city and something interesting about you.  Almost every single woman in that room (including the meeting facilitators) preceded her interesting thing by saying, “I don’t really think there’s anything interesting about me…” Everyone!!!  And I felt that too, by the time it was my turn, even though I didn’t make any self-deprecating comments.  It’s like the ambiance of the room made you feel like there was no way you could or should be interesting.

What a ridiculous lie.

It is still bothering me, over a week later. Maybe because I am older and it irks me to see people believing something like this or maybe because I have spent a good portion of my life feeling and believing the same thing. It made me wonder what kind of criteria we were using to gauge what was interesting and how on earth we had lost the realization that we are interesting? I was surrounded by women of all ages who have more hoops to jump through to get into a two-year nursing program than you would ever need to simply enroll in a university. I find that academically interesting.  Never mind their families of origin, current relationships, jobs, children, hopes and dreams, travels, obstacles overcome, and double jointed limbs.  How can anyone say they aren’t interesting?

As a test, I made myself think of random interesting things about myself on my four minute walk home.

-I have moved to 25 different houses/dorms/apartments in my life

-I have a bachelor’s degree and 30 units of post-graduate work in Education and have never worked in that field

-I’ve never been to Washington DC but I have been to Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia

-I met my husband in the candy aisle of the 99 Cent Only Store

-I wanted to be an astronaut until I watched the Challenger explode when I was six years old

-The first running event that I ever did was a marathon

-I could do the splits when I was 15 and in ballet and now I can’t even touch my toes

-I’ve never tried any type of drug or cigarette

-I don’t have enough life left to do all of the educational degrees that I wish I could complete

-I would rather run an ultramarathon than train for a sprint triathlon

I wish I could have said something to that group of women, to myself, to anyone who tends to minimize who they are. Something along the lines of: Why expend energy believing and acting like there is nothing special or unique about you?

Be interesting.  You already are.

Posted by: Ingrid | July 4, 2016

Two Months (the abridged version)

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Posted by: Ingrid | June 22, 2016

Every new beginning

One thing I didn’t anticipate with having a baby in May was that Wesley’s birth would coincide with so many things ending.  There I was with a new baby as my husband wrapped up his semester’s grading, as we took Jonathan to his end of preschool picnic, as Isaac walked across stage for his kindergarten graduation.  Mixing that much change with already swirling postpartum hormones meant that I found myself holding Wesley one day and crying because all the things were ending.

When I graduated from high school, Semisonic’s song, Closing Time, was on the radio all the time, and seemed to epitomize the feeling of approaching change that was coming. I felt like the month of May played out with that song in the background. How can my first baby be going into first grade?  How can our last baby grow so quickly and change overnight from newborn to such a little man in seven short weeks? And at the forefront of my mind with everything coming to a close was how I could choose to never have a newborn again?

I know babies.  Every two years for the past seven years I have produced a new one. I have fed them, changed them, clothed them, shuttled them to the doctor, held them when they cried and been mystified and enchanted by each of their similarities and differences.  I can answer questions about babies and am fairly confident that I could give advice. I am secure in the newborn stage; love them and keep them alive and you’re going to be okay.  You can swear in front of them and they don’t repeat what you say.  There is a deep well of forgiveness when it comes to caring for infants (thank God!).

But now we’re done, and being done with something I know is nothing short of terrifying.

I don’t know grade school politics.  I don’t know how to navigate the ups and downs of first grade relationships.  I feel like I am leaving my area of comfort and expertise with each day Wesley outgrows the newborn stage.  I know that there are all sorts of things our children are growing towards. There are sports (but if our Tee ball and baseball experience this month is any indicator as to whether I like this I am in for so much trouble), there are family camping trips and hiking in the mountains once everyone can walk and not require a pack n play.  There are big vacations like Disneyland or the Grand Canyon that are lost on an infant and toddler.  I know that there are so many things up ahead that our family hasn’t been able to do because of having a nursing baby/napping baby/child in diapers, but I don’t know those things.

I don’t like change. I don’t like endings.  I don’t like not knowing how to do things.  I don’t like feeling like there is a whole new landscape to navigate because I don’t like feeling like I might fail. It’s hard to willingly let a season of life go, to close that chapter in our lives, even though I know that there are new things waiting on the horizon. Good and new things that require closure before they can truly unfold. I have to trust this is true because knowing this is the end feels a little like a free fall.

Closing time, every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end.

Sweet Baby Wesley b&w

Posted by: Ingrid | June 4, 2016

One Month: The world’s smallest hippo

My Dear Sweet Wesley,

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I have to call you that sometimes.  Unfortunately, it won’t make sense until you’ve seen The Princess Bride.  Nor will the fact that we are going to have to train you to say “as you wish” instead of “yes, mom”.

Only at this stage of life can gaining roughly three pounds change your nickname from “Peanut” to “Hippo”.  And yet, when we met you at 6 pounds 12.4 ounces, Peanut is all I could think to call you.  But now as you bask in all your chin rolls and 10 pounds (that would be a 3 pound 9 ounce gain since leaving the hospital), I often call you Hippo (in the most loving way, of course).  You were back up to birth weight in no time, and at your two week visit you were doing nicely.  You had also grown from 18 to 20.5 inches. Your doctor told me that normally he would see me at one month, but since this is the fourth baby, he’d see me at two.  Fine by me. You have almost filled out your newborn pjs.

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Speaking of pjs, you put aside your lazy ways and actually put on clothing two times in the first month.  Isaac was pretty intent on getting you in real clothing, asking me every other day when you were going to wear something other than footie pjs.  Part of the problem was that you were so little that your newborn pants were twice as long as your legs AND too big around the waist.  The other part of the problem is that I am lazy. And tired. And have three other children who want to be fed, clothed, and go places at regular intervals.

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You have a hairline like your dad (I’m sorry!) and I hope that you fill in the blanks at some point, namely on the top of your head.  You have dark blue eyes, dimples in your knees, a tiny stork bite on your belly and a large dragon tattoo on your bicep.  (Just kidding.) Your ears don’t stick out at all and you have a pointed chin (with several other chins under the chin bone. You have a reddish complexion, making you look almost tan, like you spent the last month picking up some sun in Jamaica.

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Sleeping has been… okay.  You don’t cry for hours at night and you fall back asleep after nursing.  So that’s good.  On the con side, you haven’t done any really long stretches and the first stretch is usually the longest I get, so if I don’t go to bed early I am stuck with two hour increments of sleep.  Two nights ago I went to bed too late (as did you) and you slept your first 4.5 hour stretch.  My joy at seeing that it was 3:30 am (and not midnight) was completely stolen when you nursed and then spit up EVERYTHING in your stomach all over my pjs, your sleeper and blanket, my blanket, and the burp cloth, necessitating costume changes for all.  I was really tired when I attempted to wake up in the morning.  Last night you gave me 9-3:26, and I got almost all of that.  End of the month bonus for me!

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We are still trying to figure out your schedule, namely when and where you sleep during the day.  From weeks 3-4 of your little life we had house guests, and I feel like I lost track of what I was trying to learn about you.  So aside from knowing that you will sleep when worn (like any self-respecting newborn), unless you are hungry (and then you bobble against me like a deranged woodpecker), I don’t really know if you like being swaddled or not, or what works for nap times.  Guess that is my task for month two. I do know that nap times with you snuggled on my chest are the sweetest thing ever, and won’t last as long as I would like.

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We have just started giving you a pacifier, which you seem to enjoy.  You are a little sucker and may enjoy it more than any of our kids.  Or maybe it’s the novelty.  Back in the day (seven years ago) they sent your big brother home from the hospital with a paci.  Now we are supposed to wait a full month.  You just aren’t so good at keeping it in your mouth.  That whole hand coordination and being able to grasp thing bit of the developmental process.

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You eat a lot, more frequently and (it feels like) longer than the other kids did as infants.  Annoyingly, this has not led to weight loss (I’m heavier than I have ever been 4 weeks out) or an expansion in my wardrobe.  On the other hand, I am blazing through books now, so all is not lost. You are getting better, but for those first few weeks, every light change, clothing change, and diaper change that made you uncomfortable (which were all of them), you wanted to eat.  For every difficult situation, there’s food!

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Lots of people have asked how your siblings are doing now that you are on the scene.  I can definitely say that bringing home a baby to a 2, 4, and 6 year old has been so much fun.  From the first car ride home with Isaac (6), who made sure to verbally confirm that “we shouldn’t poke newborn babies in the eye with a stick, right?” to all of us laying in bed this morning and me having to look at Jonathan (4) and say, “Do NOT put that pacifier down your pants” (??? Who even has to say that to a kid???), it has been sort of hilarious and very chaotic.  Lily is attentive and tells me that you are crying before I hear you and then looks at me like I’m not doing my job because I haven’t picked you up immediately.  She likes to hold you in 3 second increments, kiss your hair, look at your toes, and shove your head to my chest when you try to eat.

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Isaac is good with you.  He likes watching you and is pretty good at holding you.  He thinks all of your noises are pretty funny too.  You may not be interactive, but you burp loudly, so the 6 year old is a fan.  Jonathan’s interest waxes and wanes, but he likes to look at you and the other day he held you and “read” you Panda Bear, Panda Bear, What do you see? and never shoved you off his lap. All three of your siblings will sing “I love Wesley” whenever you cry.

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I think we are already out of the “milk drunk” stage, where you pass out in deep bliss at every feeding.  You are so much more alert and spend a good deal of time gazing around and pursing your lips and making any number of hilarious facial expressions.  Your daddy thinks you smiled at him the other day and he may be right.  You definitely do a lot of smirking.  You are so stretchy and squeaky when you wake up, as if I should maybe use more WD40 to keep you well oiled and sounding less like a train yard.

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Four times around and I am still in utter and complete awe of the growth and changes and minutiae that make up your life at this point.  I watch your heavy breathing as you lay across my lap; completely trusting as you breathe heavily in your sleep, and try to be as present as I possibly can to the beauty and wonder of these incredible first days.

Love,

Mom

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Posted by: Ingrid | June 3, 2016

One Month (the abridged version)

Wesley 1 month

Posted by: Ingrid | May 31, 2016

The Genetics Game

I have been asked so many times who Wesley looks like and still have no idea.  Nor have I had time (until now) to even pull up pictures of the last three kids as babies.  The most memorable thing for me, after all these years being pregnant or having newborns in the house, is that Jonathan was a really really ugly baby who looked like a squished tomato with hair (I omitted that picture and also, he is adorable now) and that Wesley has had less baby acne than the others. After seven years of this crazy it is really hard to remember much of anything, including my youngest children’s names.  We alternate between a cross of Lily and Wesley and call them “Willy” and “Leslie” depending on sleep and stress levels.  So here you have pictures of the genetics game, all of the kids at birth and then four weeks later.  As an aside, this last child who started out at 6 pounds 12 ounces is now about 9 pounds at four weeks old.  Craziness.

Isaac: August 2009

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Jonathan: October 2011

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Liliana: October 2013

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Wesley: May 2016

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