Mister man is four weeks old today! He will be ONE MONTH on Monday and it's quite the paradox to feel shocked that it's 'only' been a few weeks with him, but shocked that he hasn't been with us forever. Because pregnancy seems like a different lifetime at this point and I can't really remember a day without my Porter on the outside.
Except sometimes I forget that I have three kids and feel slightly panicked, like I have to count heads to make sure we aren't missing anyone (and one of them is totally immobile, so I know this will only get worse with time). A few days ago I got really excited about taking Truman and Cecelia to McDonalds for dinner as a special treat with Mom here. After I told her my fabulous and carefree idea, I remembered that I also have a newborn who hates the car seat and is sometimes very fussy in the evenings. Oh yes. An evening out for a meal is a much bigger feat than it was four weeks ago! (It turned out fine, aside from hysterical crying by the baby and Cecelia at the end of the event. Happy Meals, french fries, and an ice cream cone means this was still a big win!)
I also catch myself calling Porter 'Tru' or even 'Sister' sometimes. Sorry about that, sweet third child of mine. It's okay, sometimes I call Nate 'Henry'. I'm losing it, obviously.
Porter has been a lot better in the evenings lately. I can feel myself relaxing a little bit more each day that passes because we are falling into a new sense of normal that feels a little less chaotic. He will still cry occasionally but we can usually find something that calms him down before The Blood Curdling Protests begin. Usually he just needs to eat, have his diaper changed, be swaddled, given the pacifier, and get walked around/carried a bit and he is out like a light. He could still flip a switch and get ridiculously angry and overstimulated at any time but the past week or so has been significantly more peaceful than the week prior. YAY for less fussiness! And yay for baby wearing because if I thought it was an important tool while juggling a newborn and a toddler, it's even more crucial with a preschooler, a toddler and a newborn. It's either wear the newborn or grow two extra arms in order to survive daily tasks at this point;)
Of course, little man still tweaks in the car but luckily we haven't pushed him to his limits in that torture device of a car seat too often. It's quite sad to hear him screaming until he sounds like a creature from a different world but I really don't know what else to do, aside from step on the gas and pray that we don't hit every red light on the way home from whatever excursion seemed like a good idea before the crying started. Let's hope this phase passes soon (like, tomorrow!).
(before the inevitable tweak-fest)
Porter is a really good sleeper and a fantastic eater. Still posting big numbers on the sleep scale with two wake ups per night, usually 3-5 hour stretches. Still loves his MamaRoo for all sleeping activities but I'm noticing that he can soothe himself to sleep a little better now and doesn't always need to be held or nursed to sleep. That's big time!! He sleeps a lot during the day with solid naps ranging from 1-3 hours in length and is now awake for a good hour at a time and is mostly content/very alert when he isn't snoozing the day away. I just realized that he is probably old enough to start looking at toys and we found Truman's old dangly elephant rattle thingy that went above his changing table----baby brother loves that elephant, too! Interacting more with him is fun and he's even flashed a few grins at us. Without gas that follows, so it feels like a 'real' smile even!
He's nursing very well, usually from both sides, with less and less coughing and popping on/off as we go along. No real schedule for feeding him but I'm guessing he averages about every 2-3 hours during the day for a session, sometimes more in the evenings, and still pretty efficient with about 10 minutes on each side. He needs a little more help with burping than I remember doing for the other kids and his old man farts are amazing, too. He'll grunt around and seem very antsy until he can burp or poop but after that he usually sleeps like a dream----I love how hard he has to work to get his tiny GI system moving. Newborns are so freaking adorable and helpless and pathetic at times!
(Lol. Stink face)
When I remember to practice tummy time, Porter rocks it and seems very strong to me. I had Nate give P his first bottle just yesterday and he gulped down 2 ounces like it was nothing. Whew! I figured he would do well with it but I'm glad Porter is officially nothing like Cecelia when it comes to bottle acceptance;) I'm pumping daily now and working on growing that freezer stash while on maternity leave.
Mister man has baby acne already, it comes and goes and looks worse when he is crying or after a feeding. I've heard that doing a 'breast milk facial' can help so you better believe I'm slathering him with milk since I figure it can't hurt! Plus if he pulls off the breast during a let down, he gets sprayed in the eyes anyway so I might as well push it a little further to battle the baby zits.
(also a bit cross eyed sometimes...)
He's seriously huge, though. I don't know but he is definitely a lot bigger than my other kids were right now. Last week he was about 10.5 pounds and I have yet to weigh him this week---but the 3 month clothes fit perfectly and have for at least a week or two. We finally finished off our newborn diapers because they were a little bit obscene, lacking modesty for our chunker with 'barely there' coverage in the thigh and belly region. Slow down, Porter-man!!
(These are size 1s but can we please talk about that round little belly?!?!)
(even seems kind of big next to big sister at times...who is working hard to avoid smothering him with aggressive hugs)
(obsessed with collared rompers for this child. OBSESSED)
Another notable is that my mom is still visiting us but her seventeen-day trip is coming to an end this weekend. I cannot even imagine how sad we will all feel when she flies back to Colorado. There really aren't words to describe how amazing it's been to have her here---seriously, so freaking awesome, we've been incredibly fortunate to have her here for so long. I know I can handle the kiddos without her but it's just 100x easier with her here and I'm going to miss the crap out of our GoGo! Like, woah.
Reading back over Truman's four week post had me smiling all the way through. Man, he was a chill little (fat) dude back then! He loved being out and about, so he definitely beats Porter with the ability to be in the car seat without hysterics. He had taken a bottle like a champ, was sleeping about 3-4 hour stretches at night, and hated baths. I was falling in love with being Truman's mom and shocked myself by the type of mom I was becoming. I couldn't have predicted that I'd go with the flow, without imposing a schedule right away. I didn't know that I'd feel most comfortable with T sleeping in our room instead of his crib in the nursery. I just had no idea what it would be like to be a mom and after four weeks, I realized that I was totally obsessed. It certainly helped to have an 'easy' baby to get us going down the path of parenthood!!
Then Cecelia's one month post (didn't do a four weeker) made me realize that she really was a pistol, even back then. She hated all pacifiers, rejected the bottle from the first try, hated her car seat, and didn't like to sleep anywhere but our arms. Ah, yes---my little lady knew what she liked, even back then! She was also sleeping the same as her two brothers at this age---about a 3-4 hour stretch, meaning two night time wake ups. This scares me because Porter could still take a major turn towards the HORRIBLE SLEEPER department like his big sister did. It seems like she was a lot more fussy in the evenings than Porter is right now though. And she didn't have baby acne until about 5 weeks, which was the same asTruman, actually---so Porter is ahead of the pimple curve on that one, I guess.
I think overall, having Porter as our third child means that these first weeks have been sweeter and more cherished. There's not as much time to overanalyze every small decision we make with him, and we are just going with the flow since our perspective has changed over time. He only sleeps in his swing? Okay, so what? He won't sleep in there when he's starting school. He likes to be held? Done and done, I have no problem snuggling this sweet baby while I can. Sure, it's totally different having a newborn when there are also two other children to divide my attention. Porter *has* to be a little more chill because he isn't the focus of our entire world like Truman was as a baby, and he isn't quite as demanding as Cecelia used to be (ahem, still is?). He may have to fuss around a little bit more and wait his turn for mommy while I tend to his older siblings, but he really doesn't seem to mind too much. Basically, he is a great third child/baby of the family already;)
So yeah, the combination of this being our third baby along with having mom here to help for the past two weeks has made for a really awesome transition…so far! I'm not naive enough to jinx things by claiming this is a walk in the park because it's more like run while wearing a blind-fold: quite unpredictable, definitely stressful at times, and worthy of an alcoholic beverage in the evenings.
But (excuse the mushiness and optimism here) Porter is a wonderful baby and we cannot get enough of those chubby, pimply cheeks. I don't know how my heart made room to love another baby THIS MUCH but oh, I could just burst when I see these three little monsters of ours. It's wild. We have three kids and life is crazy but pretty freaking fantastic.